We spent this weekend visiting our friends Scott and Courtney at their home in Hillsborough, New Jersey. We realized this weekend that we have known each other for 15-16 years, which means that we started college that long ago (the men started a year before the women). One very interesting thing about our relationship with these friends is that Scott and Craig were friends, and Courtney and I were friends, before the opposite sexes met and romances eventually ensued. We had a lovely time, and, as always, remarked that we should do this more often. Really, we’re only a three-hour drive apart, so it’s not too far for a short weekend visit. We have also learned that we are good traveling companions, so we might try that again in the future as well.
On Saturday we headed into New York City. The trip in and out was pretty easy. We drove to Jersey City and hopped on the PATH train to the World Trade Center station. From there, we took the subway uptown. We caught a matinee of the Tony Award-winning “Avenue Q,” which was highly entertaining. Even though it has puppet characters, you know it is NOT a family show when some of the song titles are “It Sucks to Be Me,” “If You Were Gay,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” and “The Internet is for P*rn.” The performers in the show were simply amazing in their acting and singing abilities, even while skillfully handling puppets; some of them even performed as more than one character within a scene!
Since it was very hot in Manhattan, instead of taking a leisurely walk or doing some window shopping before dinner, we opted to have a cocktail at the View Lounge on the 40-somethingth floor of the Marriott Marquis. There’s nothing like a $16 cosmopolitan to remind you that you’re in Manhattan. We had great views of the city from the rotating lounge.
After cocktails, we headed to Brasserie Les Halles Park Avenue for one of the finest meals I have ever had. Foodies out there (like Craig and Scott) may know this restaurant as the former home of chef Anthony Bourdain. The entire meal – start to finish – was just superb, starting with the escargot and brie appetizers (two separate appetizers, mind you), my lobster risotto main course, the lovely Louis Jadot burgandy Scott selected for the table, and a to-die-for chocolate souffle for dessert. We all tried bites of each other’s meals and desserts, and there was not a single item that disappointed. To top it off, the atmosphere was warm and inviting, and the service was quite wonderful. (Of course, the service should be wonderful when it results in a $60 tip for the waiter.) Seriously, if that had been my last meal, I would have died a satisfied woman.