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Eating out in America

Every meal of our eleven day trip was planned weeks in advance. Seriously. We are total fatsos.

We landed in New York on a freezing Friday evening and were swiftly spirited away from that sprawling city by our dear friends. When we arrived at ye old neighborhood pub in New Haven, very cozy, tinsel-y and collegiate, we looked around a table of favorite faces and felt comforted and content. In no time we were in old form, ordering beers and appetizers to stem the tide of dark and cold New England. Malcolm slathered himself in Buffalo wing sauce while I entered a parallel universe of melted mozzarella and pesto sauce. Also de rigeur at Dempsey´s, the mile-high fries, a quasi-food of fat and toppings completely enmeshed, in my mind, with staying up all night studying for finals.

We charged ourselves with the delicious mission of consuming all those things we can´t find here in Merida in less than two weeks time. We could only fail if we did not try. We tried so well my pants don´t fit. Seriously, it´s all elastic waist band skirts this week. I digress.

These foods include, but are not limited to: chicken curry noodle soup at the Ivy Noodle; a child´s weight in dumplings from East Melange (see our review); country style ribs and an onion loaf from, where else, The Rib House (also reviewed here); aloo palak and garlic naan on curry row (6th Street); thin crust white pizza pie in New Haven and a deli made bacon egg and cheese in Manhattan were all very specific requirements fulfilled.

Sizzling shrimp at Bangkok Gardens, fish and chips at The Playwright, and lovely little olives and cheeses and my favorite rosemary crackers from Nica´s market in East Rock were super satisfying. Every dinner with friends was a delight. Malcolm shared steak and chocolate souffle for two at the Knickerbocker on University Place with his traveling companion while I supped on my grandmother´s famous Everyone I Know is Dead Manicotti. Hm-Mm depressing.

We spent our last night in America alone together in New York. This is how we are meant to be. We had a lot of catching up to do, having spent almost 48 hours apart. We attempted entering the soulless glare of Time Square which is even better for fat families but worse for whores than ever, but soon realized that we are not yet tourists like that. Walking, talking, trying to sum it all up while taking it all in we found ourselves drifting east. We happened upon Brasserie Les Halles as if by magic.

A word on our complete crush on Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, coolest guy to ever wear a sleeveless Ramones tee shirt in the jungle of Malaysia: He rules. He is a hero and a god to me. Smart cynicism perfectly balanced with a joie de vivre unmatched by any other ¨celebrity chef¨ (the porcine Mario Batali can bite me). He is a tall drink of water in the wasteland of televised talking heads. And a sexy sonofabitch to boot. I felt smitten only standing inside his restaurant.

The warm, woody space is dark and lit like another, more quality century. Mirrors and chalkboards are the hallmarks of pleasing design to francophile me. It´s all perfectly lovely, shabby chic a la Bourgandy. After a drink at the bar – my absolute last dirty martini of all time – we were sat at the perfect tiny table, just where I wanted. Malcolm had been once before and was advocating steak au poivre (bien sur), but I needed to choose carefully and for myself. The wine list was a little intimidating but we ended up with a good Chateauneuf-du-pape that went well with my lamb and his steak frites. You should stop whatever you are doing this second and run don´t walk to Les Halles and order their fries. Best of all time. So says Bourdain, and I concur. We started with an accidental foie gras served with dark pumpkin bread and unsalted butter. I will just have to return for frogs legs another time. The perfect meal ended with a creme brulee and the house coffee done tableside with flame and flair. super cool.

The cab ride uptown was a delicious blur of lights and sound. I had that perfect feeling, of tipsiness and sated appetite that speaks to me of Malcolm, Christmas, New York, a sense of home and happiness. I knew that I could leave America fulfilled. I had done what I came for. Which, no, smart ass was not eating and drinking everything in the tri-state area. More on that tomorrow. I have to go home for lunch.

[time to reduce. Thanks to God for the lovely and chic Mireille Guiliano ]

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. “Last dirty martini of all time” – dear god, do tell why??!!

  2. Hello Jillian! I’m Lena from Ukraine. I visited CT,USA in 1995. I live with Angela Delecke’s family. Please, can you help me find her.Please, you can write me, my icq is 341213058. Thank you!

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