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And the heat and humidity continue…

Saturday, J and I putzed around the apartment in the morning and early part of the afternoon, trying to avoid the stuffy heat outside.  We watched Covert Affairs, which seems like it might be a half-decent show.  Reminds me a lot of Alias, which I loved to watch in high school.

For breakfast, J tried to pick up a Tom Cat croissant from Food Cellar downstairs, but they had sold out by 9:30 apparently.  He also tried to get fruit from the fruit cart, but alas, the fruit cart vendor was not in his usual location.  Instead, J picked up several peaches from Food Cellar, and we ate salami, emmenthaler and cornichons on a baguette.

Later, J did some p90x yoga while I went to the gym.  It’s quite a sight to watch them doing yoga.

Finally, around 5ish, we decided to head out.  We had spontaneously made reservations at Poco for 8:00 with J’s roommate and his girlfriend.  With about three hours to kill, we walked down from Grand Central, stopping at Banana Republic, where I picked up pants and shorts.  Along the way, we found a huge truck with Coach designs imprinted on the exterior.  Intrigued, I decided to take a closer look – turns out, it was a Van Leeuwen ice cream truck handing out ice cream for free!  A Coach-Van Leeuwen promotion, though I don’t know how successful the promotion is working out for Coach.  I didn’t see many people head into the Coach store after getting ice cream.  I decided to try the mint chip; J went for the chocolate, made with Michel Cluizel 99% chocolate.  Both were good, but not great.  Same impression as we had the first time we bought a cone from the truck.

Along the way to the restaurant, we came upon this awesome store on 8th St. – Nutbox.  I love bulk bins, and this store was like one giant bulk bin.  Except everything was already pre-packaged.  But they had everything that’s typically in bulk bins – and more!  All sorts of dried fruit, nuts, snacks, candy, spices, baking ingredients, grains, etc.  After spending awhile browsing, J bought some dried white nectarines and dried kiwi slices.

By that time, it was 7:55, and we had five minutes to make it across town.  We failed.  But not too badly.  We arrived around 8:10 or so, and were immediately seated.  Good meal.

We ate our way through the tapas menu (I didn’t take pictures), and enjoyed the sidewalk seating.  The weather was perfect (albeit a tad humid), and the sky was clear, allowing for a good view of the half moon.

We chose seven tapas in total, descriptions from the menu:

  • Grilled Marinated Octopus (served with piquillo peppers salad and aged balsamic)
  • Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp with garlic sauce topped with sundried tomatoes on garlic toast points)
  • Mango Tuna Ceviche (with pickled onion, shaved fennel, cucumber and cilantro)
  • Chorizo Mac-n-Cheese (manchego, parmesan and asiago cheese with shell pasta topped with crunchy panko)
  • Grilled Dates (stuffed with cabrales blue cheese and almonds, wrapped with bacon)
  • Skirt Steak with Manchego Cheese Lollipops (accompanied by sweet onion jam and cilantro pesto)
  • Pimenton Rack of Lamb (w/ cilantro pesto & creamy polenta)

Portions were big, and we were all very full.  My favorite may be the grilled dates wrapped in bacon.  Very unique concept, but it worked.

We still had room for dessert though (sort of, anyway), and ordered the bread pudding and almond tart, which were fairly ordinary.

By the time we finished, it was past 10, and we walked back to Grand Central to catch the subway home.

This morning, J and I managed to get our hands on one of those Tom Cat croissants before heading to church.  It looked and smelled promising, but ended up falling a tad short of the ones that we’d had in Paris.  Not quite enough chew and missing the butteriness of European butter, but it definitely ranks somewhere in the 90th percentile.

Post-church, we went to Alice’s Tea Cup and purchased a buttermilk scone (served with jam and clotted cream).  The scone was large, slightly savory, and very moist.  I’m not a huge scone person, but the buttermilk scone grew on me.  The clotted cream was yummy, too.

After that, we continued down Lexington, where I stopped in another Banana Republic and picked up a skirt and a tank top.  Banana and J Crew are beginning to dominate my closet.  I need to diversify.

Finally, before we reached Grand Central, J got sucked into a Wendy’s, where he picked up a small chocolate Frosty.  I haven’t had one of those in years!

Now, we’re chilling on the couch, basking in the gloriousness that is air conditioning.  Happy Sunday!

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