We took the day off work on Friday and got an early start into Manhattan. We live about 60 miles away from NYC, so the trip is about an hour, depending on traffic. During this trip, my husband was on the phone with work for the duration. Somehow he manages to keep his call going inside the midtown tunnel, amazingly he kept yacking away, red-faced with stress and frustration. When he finally got off the phone, I turned to him and said in my best (terrible) Nicholson impression "You need a lot of drinks...to kill the bug that you have up your ass." He didn't disagree.
After checking in to the hotel, we grabbed an Uber and went further west of 45th st and Broadway toward 9th and 44th. We would have walked but it was bitterly cold and windy. Problem was that at 4PM on a Friday on the West side of Manhattan, everyone and their Aunt Sadie is trying to get the hell out of there. The tunnel based mass exodus makes the traffic on the West side an absolute crawl. Once the driver had us sufficiently West of the Times Square area, we jumped out and hoofed if for two blocks to get to an adorable place called Gallo Nero, a pint sized Italian wine bar in Hell's Kitchen.
This is what I look for in a wine bar. An espresso machine. Helps keep up the stamina while the wine does its level best to put me to sleep.
Sustenance is key to a long bar crawl. If you try to make it on an empty stomach, you won't be vertical past 8PM. For starters, I like a sled of meat with a chaser of good bread and olive oil. Our wine selection - Me: Pinot Bianco Him: Cabernet Sauvignon
Our next location was Murray's Cheese Bar. Murray's is a wine and cheese bar in the west village, two doors down from the Murray's retail cheese shop location, where our class was being held. In advance of a wine and cheese tasting, what do you order to nibble on? Cheese of course. But not just any cheese Buratta mmmmmmmm (Sorry, I can't say burrata or mortadella without making a yummy noise).
|Me: Sauvignon Blanc Him: Nero De Avola|
We sat for a long time waiting for our Burrata, long enough to polish off our wine. When the waiter came by we mentioned our missing cheese and they kindly enough, gave us another glass of wine on the house. The burrata came shortly after. By 6:20 we needed to giddyup to the Wine and Cheese tasting. On to Murray's Cheese Shop, where we were greeted by this:
|I cannot name a single wine or cheese that we tried. I did not take notes as I had a glass in my writing hand at all times.|
The thing about having wine before you have wine is that it takes away all inhibitions. So when the instructor asked us what we smelled in the second white that we tried, my preposterous answer was "European Petrol" which turned out to be both accurate and "astute" (I would say buzzed or tipsy, but to each his own).
Class wrapped up around 8:00 PM so we grabbed another Uber and went east to Via Della Pace on 7th street near 2nd Ave. This is our regular spot in NYC. We spent a couple of hours here. I may have had a glass of wine. I definitely had an espresso (and burnt my gullet because I didn't wait for it to cool) and a shot of limoncello. My husband told me that I had Lasagna Bolognese. I am going to have to believe him.
|An icy shot of Limoncello is the traditional parting gift at VDP. Love the Italian hospitality.|
We ended up here. It was at this point that I started drinking seltzer like my life depended on it. Not my husband though. He went on to have some Sake. Might be why he thought "Jesus of Suburbia" was a good choice for Karaoke. It's a looooooooong freakin song, but the bar was packed with a crazy cross section of people that made it fun and interesting and a great way to end the evening.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was after 2:00 am. We got out of the cab and my husband took off toward Times Square. I assumed he was off for a cheesy selfie amidst the glittering lights, but I was wrong. He returned back with some street meat on a stick and a couple of bottled waters. I refused his offer to share the mystery meat, but happily took the water. It was an epic night out and as I tucked in for a much needed sleep, I was thankful that we make it a point to take advantage of our proximity to NY. By this point, "Jesus of Suburbia" was already asleep.