So I wasn’t too sure how to categorize this entry, but today’s adventures really epitomized the backbone of this blog. Jay, Derrick, Caroline and I spent the whole day enjoying the warm, Spring-like weather on this mid-January MLK Monday, wandering the streets of Manhattan and letting our appetites lead the way. We ate our way from Gramercy to Chelsea, from restaurants to markets, and considering it was my last day of freedom (classes start tomorrow!), I wouldn’t have spent it any other way.
The morning started off with brunch at Grey Dog’s on University Street. Having expanded from it’s original West Village location and into Chelsea and the NYU “campus,” Grey Dog’s has become every student’s go-to cafe, whether it’s for a cup of coffee, a quick sandwich, or a full on breakfast. I, for one, can’t seem to deviate from the Grey Dog’s Breakfast. It’s not too often you can find a restaurant that asks you if you’d like your poached eggs soft, medium, or hard and offers a combination of sweet (pancakes or french toast) and salty (sausage or bacon) on one plate.
Afterward, we wandered north to Union Square where the bustling farmer’s market was up and running as the radiant grounds teleported everyone from the dead of winter. From your basic fruits and veggies to homemade marinades and juices, we could have had a meal that covered every part of the dietary pyramid if we weren’t so full from Grey’s. Derrick did, however, take a shot of wheatgrass to battle signs of a mounting cold.
Then we jumped on the M14 crosstown to The High Line. We walked this elevated boardwalk that lined the abandoned west side railway, overlooking 9th Avenue and the Hudson River. And as we worked up another wave of appetites envisioning how nice it’d be to run our own eatery, we descended under the High Line walkway and into the Chelsea Market. Here, we made a pit stop at Ronnybrook Milk Bar. I had the choco-latte, which was so rich with heavy cream that it was difficult to dent. Caroline ordered the winner of the afternoon with her coconut milkshake, made with real coconut ice cream and pulp!
And as we were about to wander out the 8th Avenue exit, a sudden seafood urge overtook Jay and we ended up going on an ad hoc adventure through the Lobster Place. And while the pungent seafood smell can sometimes be nauseating, this market somehow emitted the scent of the fresh open seas. We picked out a 3-pound black sea bass from the Chesapeake Bay and a pound of succulent jumbo scallops.
So with bags of fresh seafood and produce, we rounded out the day in the kitchen. Caroline made a delicious tomato basil crostini along with grilled asparagus and mushroom side dishes. Jay followed a baked black sea bass recipe seasoned in white wine, shallots, salt and pepper over a bed of spinach. Playing head chef, Jay also made seared scallops tossed in flour and Cajun spices. And I made a non-alcoholic contribution from the books of Canyon Ranch – the mint orange agave cocktail. All it takes is a little muddle up mint and mixed orange juice, agave syrup, and lime juice. Tell me how this could have been a more fun, food-filled day.