Sunday, April 20, 2008

Membership Has Its Dishes

I've racked up a lot of miles and billable time for my company over the years. In 2007, I delivered over 160 billable days, and in recognition, my company rewarded me with a vacation of my choice anywhere in the country. Its part of a tradition known as "The President's Club" which many companies adopt as part of a performance-based incentive program.

So, for the past few days as part of "making Club" (as the sales force refers to the acheivement), my wife and I have been enjoying the sights, sounds, and cuisine of the Big Apple. We've enjoyed orchestra seats at the Metropolitan Opera, walks through Central Park, and visits to landmarks including Times Square and the American Museum of Natural History.

During our travels, we've enjoyed dining at some well known and not-so-well known gems of Manhattan. I want to depart from my usual technical and societal commentary, and indulge instead in some "observational gastronomy".

The Stage Deli (837 7th Avenue between 53rd and 54th) has been the toast of Broadway and the place to be seen eating gargantuan corned beef sandwiches since 1937. Regular court holders of New York's "most famous deli" have included Fiorello LaGuardia, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, Milton Berle, Jack Benny and George Burns, just to name a few. Even today, movers and shakers from New York and beyond are seen 'being seen' here. Many of the Stage's entries on the menu are named after sandwiches favored by some of the famous regulars. (I tackled the "Aretha Franklin", a triple decker of tender pastrami, turkey, roast-beef, swiss cheese and a whole lotta soul.)

Il Gattopardo (33 West 54th Street) is a minimally adorned and understated southern Italian resteraunt across from the Museum of Modern Art. The creamy brick walls and simple tables offer no distraction from the embrace of Neapolitan home cooking and a wine list that is beyond exceptional. We stopped by on our first night in the city and became immediate fans of the lasagna with veal and beef meatballs, flavored with thyme sauce and accented with smoked mozzerella. Because of our schedule that night (we were attending the final performance of the Zeffirelli production of "La Boheme" at the Met) we couldn't stay for dessert. We returned for a second night which included a grilled tuna steak cooked exactly to order (rare-medium-rare), accompanied by broccoli rabe and red peppers. We stayed for dessert and can report that the mascarpone and espresso would almost have been worth missing the first act the night before.

Cafe Des Artistes (One West 67th Street) will be our dining choice prior to our attending the premiere of "La Fille Du Regiment" at the Met tomorrow night. I'll update this article with commetary after returning from Lincoln Center.

1 comment:

Edward Ott said...

because of you i now want a corned beef sandwhich.