BITING INTO THE BIG APPLE
A recent revisit to New York City, once again combining business and pleasure, yielded, as at the first sojourn, several new gastronomic delights – and also a major, and I do mean MAJOR, disappointment. So while my wife was slaving away at Pfizer’s midtown Manhattan office, continuing to support me in the manner to which I have become accustomed, my day was free to check out the culture & culinary flora & fauna.
After taking in an exhibition at the Pierpont Morgan Library, I made my way several blocks north to Madison & Vine, a bustling but exceedingly charming restaurant/wine bar tucked away in the boutique Library Hotel at 299 Madison Avenue (Madison & 41st Street).
This was my second luncheon here; and each was a distinct pleasure. During my first visit I ordered the restaurant’s signature dish, the extraordinary macaroni & cheese au gratin. Rich, creamy, and incredibly decadent, this is one entrée that is definitely worth the price of admission. During my second visit, I enjoyed M&V’s delicious rendition of the classic club sandwich replete with seasoned fries. No problem about portion sizes here; they are more than generous.
But the thing that sets this restaurant apart is its excellent wine list, with quite a number of interesting vintages available by the glass. Especially recommended is a first-rate Piesporter Riesling from Germany’s Mosel region. Crisp, clean, and exhibiting a remarkably refreshing acidity, it is the perfect contrasting palate-cleansing companion to that deliriously luscious mac ‘n’ cheese.
If you happen to be visiting Manhattan, and find yourself anywhere in this restaurant’s vicinity around the noon hour, Madison & Vine is definitely worth a visit.
But on to dinner… “From the sublime to the ridiculous,” which, as Napoleon once sagely noted, “is but a step…” Or, at most, a few blocks.
Should you be planning a sojourn to the Big Apple in the near future, here are two restaurants that are guaranteed to satisfy your sybaritic culinary soul without breaking the bank…