We were in New York this weekend, where we attended a lovely wedding and ate a great deal of excellent food. One of the highlights of the trip was lunch at the superdeluxe Google cafeteria, as the guests of our kindly and delightful hosts, who (you will have already figured out) work there.
The Google sushi chef was on paternity leave, a state of affairs I found so deliciously... something, it made up for being deprived of the deliciousness that we missed due to his absence. Anyway, the other options were plentiful and very tasty, and the quality and variety are really quite amazing. There was a roasted pepper and potato soup that S. and I both liked most especially.
Another highlight was getting to try some of Audrey Saunders' gorgeous cocktails at the Pegu Club. They really were superb, though of course also not cheap. I had the Little Italy, which is a Manhattan variant made with Cynar, as well as rye, vermouth, and bitters. (Oh! Did I tell you? I realized why the Manhattans I was getting in bars and restaurants were all so feeble -- apparently most places these days don't put bitters in. What is the world coming to?
Anyway, I picked up a handy way to circumvent this without risking stepping on anyone's toes: ask for a Manhattan "with an extra dash of bitters."
At the Pegu Club this is far from necessary, as not only are they going to put bitters in already, each table has an assortment of little bottles full of things, including Angostura, to let you doctor your drink as necessary, though none of us thought there was any need for adjustments.) Cynar, as you may not know, is an artichoke aperitif, which I realize sounds fairly revolting, but here it was great.
The wedding lunch was also fantastic and bursting with vegetarian options (the groom was a vegan for many years) -- loads of delicious vegetable appetizers, including extra good tiny bruschetta, teeny samosas, and beautifully crisp tempura.
The main course for vegetarians was a layered vegetable thing of the sort that might have been bland and gloomy but was instead entirely delicious, and accompanied by some sort of small risotto timbale kind of thing with a lovely crunchy crust. The meat-eaters got steak or cornish game hen, which looked as if they were equally enticing.
After a full afternoon of walking across Prospect Park and up and down the streets of Brooklyn, appetite just barely began to return, but we squelched that quickly with an assortment of surprisingly affordable treats from Nana. And then yesterday morning we had an excellent brunch as well! Oh, and I almost forgot our stop in to... hm, I can't remember the name, but I think we grabbed a matchbook, so I'll ferret it out for you later today -- anyway to somewhere very pleasant with a "snack" menu for the time after they stopped serving lunch and before they started serving dinner, which I thought was highly civilized and an excellent idea.
Also I drank a ridiculous amount of coconut water, which I'd tried a couple of times in the last month or so, but really guzzled it in New York, since it's so very refreshing when you've been out walking in the sun, and there it's available on (it seems) every street corner, whereas here you have to haul your ass to Whole Foods. Now I am tragically addicted. In conclusion, we had a great time, saw many wonderful people, and stuffed ourselves silly, just as one ought to. Perhaps for the rest of the week? month? we will live on nothing but soda water and biscuits, like Byron.