Day number two in The City (yes, any true New Yorker calls it "The City" because there are no other cities anywhere else in the world) began after my first 4-hour-night of sleep. Jet lag was not playing fair, and despite excessive alcoholic beverages, I was still up at 6am again the next morning. Thankfully, dearest wee nephew was awake and alert to entertain me predawn. After that, however, I had the morning to rest, read and relax before heading out into the deluge of rain en route to my gynecology appointment... Yup, that was part of my oh so fun times in the USA, mainly because I still have zero idea how to deal with doctors and healthcare in France. Not to get all Sex and the City on you, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
My plan was to attend the appointment (paying out of pocket because of course I have no American health insurance) then grab some lunch before meeting my NYC bestie down around Union Square. I had the very grand ambition to track down some broccoli cheddar soup as only Americans know how to make, and was thwarted by Panera but rewarded at Au Bon Pain. Who would have guessed I would have to go to a french-named sandwich chain to get my fatty soup. I then met up with my friend very briefly to grab her keys so that I could drop my bags at her apartment while she worked for a few more hours. As a musician and teacher, she knows only too well the life of a freelancer, something we have always shared and commiserated over. It turned out to be sort of perfect timing too because my lack of sleep from the night before was rearing its increasingly ugly head, and I was able to lie down for a couple of hours on her couch before primping for our ladies night out on the town.
Last year, one of my other besties from college, along with this bestie from NYC and I, hit up Del Frisco's for a traditional New York steak. Now, I had a few people ask me why I would seek out steak in NY when I can get it so easily in Paris... three words: NOT. THE. SAME. French steak certainly has its deliciously decadent qualities, but there is nothing like the perfection of a medium rare slab of meat from an old-school steakhouse, fully equipped with massive piles of sides such as potatoes or creamed spinach. I worked at a steakhouse for many years when I first moved to NYC and so was spoiled at the access I had to such delicacies. This year we were be joined by another few ladies to try out one of the most reputable steakhouses in New York: Peter Luger. It actually resides in Brooklyn, is not super easy to get to, and is known for a rather abrupt staff and old school interior. I am generally picky about steak. And the price of these places is NOT cheap. So I have rather high standards for what I consider worth it. I was not convinced by Del Frisco's last year, but I was absolutely satisfied with the steak at Peter Luger.
They do not offer individual portions here. You order a steak for two or three or four, etc, and they bring out the massive beast on a plate for all to share. We ordered way too much, in addition to our sides, bottles of wine, and of course, dessert. It was all mostly perfect and I would absolutely make the trek next year for my now annual steak dinner. Not to mention the fact that our group of merrymakers was an exquisite mix of fun and frivolity.
After our feast, most of the ladies went their separate ways, but NYC bestie and I hit up another local establishment for some post-dinner cocktails. I would be crashing at her place (my old apartment in fact for the two years I spent back in New York between French adventures) and grabbing breakfast the next morning before heading to Connecticut for Christmas eve! There is frankly just never enough time to sufficiently spend time with good friends when I am in the City, but I can't think of anything better than getting a group together over good food and wine in such a magnificent metropolis.