Visit from the folks

Ashley and I just had the pleasure of having my parents visit us for the weekend. We were incredibly fortunate to have great weather while they were here. One might say that the weekend was a bit of a culinary tour de force.

We started with quite a meal at Daniel—Daniel Boulud’s flagship that was recently re-appraised with yet another four star rating in the New York Times. In fact, Frank Bruni’s review surely offers far more thorough description than I can offer—so I refer you to the January 21st NYT review. We spent over four hours with a six-course tasting menu (to which was added a truffle course and a cheese course, as well as wine-pairings). Everything was perfect. (Although…the

stools provided for ladies’ purses may have been taking things a bit far). The whole family especially enjoyed the cheese tasting, though I think Ashley especially relished catching our cheese cart guide doing a bit of acting: Most of our waiters were French, and had the accents to prove it. The cheese sommelier was no exception. Or so we thought. When Ashley asked him what part of France he was from, he admitted that he was from Queens and his accent was “part Queens, part Daniel.” It was a charming response.

For Saturday, while I spent a full day and night on call at the hospital, Ashley did an amazing job arranging a tour of Brooklyn—her own little grey line-esque route. We reserved a Volvo zip car, which Ashley skillfully guided through Manhattan, across the Brooklyn bridge, and in and about Brooklyn after brunch at Public in NoLiTa. She came fully armed with a packet full of information about the neighborhoods that we frequently walk though: DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, and Red Hook. Along with some stops to take in the views or read a little borough history, she brought them to Jacques Torres for some very rich hot chocolate, to Fairway Market to pick out provisions for dinner and sample the lobster roll, and to Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies to pick up dessert. Unfortunately, the trip was poorly photo-documented so the memories of those involved will have to suffice. When they returned to our apartment that night, the three of them got down to business, turning out delicious pizzas from

our new oven with the dough that Ashley had pre-made the evening prior. I was very happy to profit from the leftovers, frozen for me and which I’m still making my way through. And the Key Lime Pie? Ashley and my mother both make an excellent version, so it’s saying a lot when they say it was wonderful. My father declared it the best commercially produced pie he’d ever tasted.

On Sunday, when I wasn’t on call, we all had a lovely time visiting some excellent restaurants and taking in a Broadway show. After breakfast at Balthazar and gelato at Grom, we saw Billy Elliot at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. It did not disappoint. Though both Ashley and I have grown up loving musicals, recently those which

we have seen have not held the luster we’d hoped for—even for those of us (me) who love the cheesy plots and songs. Billy Elliot refreshed our love of the genre. Ashley even went home and watched all of the web videos about the casting. We were both overwhelmed with feelings of praise.

After the play, we went to dinner at Five Points, one of our favorite seasonal restaurants in lower Manhattan. Ashley’s elementary school cohort, Shana, and her husband, Jason, took us when we first moved to the city and it has always provided great food and atmosphere. Everything was delicious.

All in all, an excellent visit and were so glad they could come!

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