I’m in New York!! I’m so excited! I love this city. And this is an extra special trip as it’s James’ first visit. I can’t wait to show him around. If you have any tips for what we should do, let me know! I’ve just arrived and am about to head out for a run but I thought I’d post this, which I wrote during my last visit to New York in November 2015 but never posted…
We had been really good for our long weekend in New York, carried out a lot of research and booked most of the places we wanted to eat at. We had decided for our last day, a Monday, that we wanted to go out for a big US-style brunch, and I had been recommended Robert by some friends that had been the year before.
But when it came to book, I realised that they weren’t open for brunch on a Monday… And by that time we were slightly jaded with the organising / booking and it was on our last day so we just kind of forgot to do anything about it.
Robert is the restaurant above the MAD Museum – the Modern Art and Design Museum in New York. It is right on the southern edge of Central Park, with incredible views out over the park. So obviously we wanted a window table. But by the time we finally got our energy up to call and book on Sunday afternoon, they had no more window tables left.
We realised quite how annoying this was when we arrived and saw just how good the view was. I would really recommend booking ahead if you’re going to Robert and specifying a window table – you really want one (that’s what I’ve done this time round!). Instead we just found a small gap and peered through between some tables so we could see the view, and then settled down to our table.
On reading the wine list, my little sister, now all grown-up and knowing things about wine of all things, spotted a really good rosé from Provence in France so of course we ordered a bottle of that. They came over with tap water immediately and poured that for us – that was something I noticed in almost every restaurant in New York that you so rarely get back in the UK. The default water comes from a jug, is free, is offered almost as soon as you sit down and is frequently topped up. In the UK, you usually have to ask and specifically request tap water – it gets worse on continental Europe where often they don’t even have free water.
For a starter, I ordered the tuna carpaccio, with olives, red peppers, chipotle and alioli. It was delicious, the tuna thinly sliced and delicate, mixing with the stronger chipotle and garlic flavours.
I shared with Jilli, who had ordered mussels. These were fantastic and cooked unlike any I had had before. I love mussels and have eaten them hundreds of time, especially in restaurants by the sea in southern France. Nothing beats a good old moules marinere, especially given the simplicity of the dish. But Robert did these really, really well – cooked with chorizo, fresh baby tomatoes in an assortment of colours, spring onions and a light tomato-y sauce. They were delicious.
My main was pasta parpadelle with mushrooms – they were so large and meaty it was as if I was eating meat! In a thick tasty sauce, I loved it. Jills had a huge sandwich with cheese and pesto and chicken.
Finally came pudding. I decided to go for the cheeseboard for some nibbles rather than have an actual pudding, influenced by to the presence of manchego which I just love. I did slightly regret it though as Dad ordered a cheesecake which I took a bite of and then wanted the rest – melt-in-the-mouth, light, delicious.
As a final touch, we were brought three small, rich, perfect chocolate brownies with a lovely message from the chef:
We’ve booked lunch there again for this trip, this time specifically requesting a window table and I can’t wait.