Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Great Meals, a Museum, and an Opera all in 48 Hours!

Recently, Dan, Melissa, Chris and I decided to take a little jaunt to New York City to see some friends and get a little culture in while we there. Online, I discovered an incredible deal at the Metropolitan Opera - $20 seats in the "family circle". Basically it's the nosebleed section of the top balcony, but there seem to be few bad seats at the Met. It works out to be cheaper to see the opera in NYC than here in boston with cheap transportation on the Bolt Bus.

I chose a performance of Puccini's "Turandot" staged by Zefirelli. It was FABULOUS! Everything about the opera was an absolute spectacle. You could say that the visuals actually took center stage over the singers. There were elaborate headdresses, glitter showers from above, and a chorus of over 100. At times it seemed like there wasn't any way to get another prop or person on stage. Jonah, who so generously opened his home to let us stay with him, sarcastically called the whole "understated!"

But what trip to NYC would complete without a couple of restaurant stops! We had a birthday dinner for our friend Patrick at Bar Boulud. It turns out that an old acquaintance works there - "Nixon" from L'Espalier. So, it was a nice unexpected surprise to see him there plating up amazing charcuterie. Aside from that, we ate just about everything else on the menu and drank some lovely wines before seeing the opera. The charcuterie was splendid and I was really impressed with the textures of the food. I was served some of the most tender escargots and venison that I've ever eaten. We toasted the evening with Pierre Paillard's "Cuvee Daniel" made for Daniel Boulud by the famous Paillard family.

The next day, we met up as a group: Melissa, Chris, Akira, Patrick, Dan and I for a fabulous lunch at The Modern. Again, we ate just about everything on the menu and I think we had one of each of the desserts. It was lavish and decadent. I have to give a special shout-out for the Tarte Flambée, crispy wafer-thin crust, dripping with onions, cream cheese, and bacon!

After lunch, we stopped off next door for a view of the MoMA. There seemed to be more painting on display than on my last visit and there was a special exhibit of art from the Bauhaus. We were able to see a few late Kandinskys there, but on my next trip to NYC, I am planning on heading over to the Guggenheim to see more. I also really loved the increased number of Matisses that I saw this time. Sadly, the Tim Burton exhibit was not open to the public yet, but I'm sure that we will make another trip to see it before it ends.

It was a great trip with our friends Melissa and Chris! We have already made plans to head back in January, so more later on the next trip.

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