07 March 2014

Pizzas, Playbills and Pavement-Pounding in NYC

Yesterday evening, we had a date at the New World Stages theatre to see a production of Murder for Two. Hell's Kitchen isn't necessarily the best place to find a great place for dinner and Don Antonio, a Neapolitan pizzeria on 50th Street, has the kind of signage you would walk right past. In fact, we did. Mum found that it had great reviews in the Zagat Guide, however, and it was right opposite the theatre, so we headed over. We had to wait 15 minutes for a table — by the time we left, the queue was way out the door — but it was nice to drink at the zinc bar. I had an excellent Vegas G and T with Hendrick's Gin, cucumber and juniper berries.

The staff also brought us nibbles: a sort of puffy dough ball with spicy tomato sauce. Once we were seated, we soon established that the pizzas were well worth the wait. I ordered a Capua, with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, rocket and pecorino. The pizzas were thin and crispy with a puffy crust. Delicious.

Murder for Two was a wacky but hilarious musical murder mystery. There are only two actors — one who plays a cop and one who plays ten suspects. The latter, who also co-wrote the musical, was particularly good, physically transforming from old lady to college student, to hunchbacked psychiatrist instantaneously. It was clever and funny, and it was only 90 minutes long.

This morning, I went running again. It was much milder than yesterday (i.e. minus two centigrade) but without the sunshine, so running was less painful but perhaps less pleasant too. I warmed up on the way back with a filter coffee from Ninth Street Espresso's Midtown outpost, and then after breakfast in the hotel, my parents and I went for a walk in Central Park and conducted the first leaps of the trip.

I then took the subway downtown, doing a little bit of shopping on that great stretch of Fifth Avenue north of Union Square. I then went to a great little espresso bar called Toby's Estate. It actually occupies a section of Club Monaco — as does a carefully curated selection of books from Strand and gorgeous fresh flowers. Toby's is sleek and chic inside, decked out all in white including a gorgeous white coffee machine. I enjoyed a rich, flavoursome pourover coffee — a Colombian Andina.

Refreshed, I headed downtown to meet my friend and colleague for lunch at a SoHo Mexican called Papatzul, on Grand Street. I had the spicy and delicious fried fish tacos and, peer pressured by my buddy, a super-strong tamarind margarita with a chilli rim. I was worried the boozy lunch might lower my shopping inhibitions, but the only thing I bought this afternoon was a bottle of Death's Door gin!

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