Good late morning, Friday. it's a bit of a gloomer out there but I'm happy to be WFH. Now if only I could shut off CNN. So over it, but my need to know prevails.
So listen- living in New York is magical for many reasons, but the New York we all came up with has kind of hit the highway and turned the city into something a bit less charming. Bigger doesn't always mean better, and with many mom and pop businesses shuttering (old news) to make way for big box brands, life in New York can feel a bit generic at times. My vantage point from leafy Brooklyn tells a bit of a different tale- there's still charm to be had from these shady brownstoned blocks but you can't avoid the construction of high rises and chain stores moving in on this very sacred ground. In any event, I'm not one for nostalgia. Change is growth, regardless of whether or not you like it. But I stumbled on a perfect little resto the other night that reminded me of why I still love this city, for impromptu lovely meals in charming and unexpected places.
I booked a table at Les Enfants de Bohème, a super cute spot way the f down on the Lower East Side, at that strange spot where it looks like the set of "Flight of the Conchords". The restaurant is on Henry Street, just around the corner from East Broadway. This is a neighborhood, that, although full of cute hipster types, is still deeply New York at its best- a petri dish of different cultures, particularly Chinese, whose presence in the area reminds me of when New York felt like the most culturally diverse place on Earth. But back to the food.
I was super in the mood for French food and charm the other night- it was a lovely, temperate evening in New York- the kind of night that is the perfect early Summer evening when the city feels welcoming and alive. A lovely French woman served us the most divine cocktails- mine was a watermelon vodka concoction and David's was a yummy bourbon and mint varietal. We ordered foie gras, we ate amazing cheese, and then we both had beautiful, fresh salads, mine with the most perfectly and simply prepared roasted chicken. I did not have to close my eyes to imagine myself in Paris at that moment- the food replicated some of my favorite easy dinners when I was in France a few years back- particularly our fav little local spot, Café des Musées on the Rue de Turenne (not fussy and delicious food- memorable times there). The windows were all open to the street and I enjoyed watching life go by on a Wednesday night, and felt lucky to still have a great neighborhood standout like Les Enfants to celebrate the midweek point and enjoy a fabulous meal and satisfy my jones for French vibes at a fair price.
When New York gets on my nerves, and it often does, it's moments like that meal and that place and that sweet, weird little corner on the LES I appreciate. And just like that, I fall in love with New York all over again. I guess I'm easy. Just give me a good meal, a nice glass of wine or two, and a view of the city that still speaks to my soul. Highly recommend this cute little spot celebrating 2 years in biz- they were so sweet and the food was so, so good. If not here, keep looking for those little gems that make the city tolerable amidst so much major change. It's nice to know there's still some there here. New York is a wonderful mix of neighborhoods and cultures and there's nothing better than discovering a nice local spot when you're not all about seeing and being seen and such. Local is still alive and well here and I'm so happy about that. Happy to meet anyone of you there for a glass of wine and some great food.
Cause that's what's up this French inspired Friday in the best city in the world. Yours, in remembering what it's all about. XO