Our most recent trip to Paris – October 2015 Trip to Paris – was a day longer than it needed to be because we decided to fly through New York. Yes there are direct flights to Paris from Boston on Air France BUT we were able to score two business class seats out of JFK (plus flights from Boston to JFK and Acela tickets back to Boston) for less than one business class seat out of Boston. Sweet. And who doesn’t welcome a bonus night in New York? As an added plus, Air France flies the 777 out of New York which means seats that turn into truly flat beds which is great for making sure you are feeling good and ready when you land in Paris. Sleep is less important on the way home but the food being served on the plane was so bad that we focused on getting our money’s worth via alcohol so, after a few drinks, the flat beds were nice to have.
We arrived into New York on the late side (but well refreshed from our midday nap). Since we were staying at the Union Square W (I still do not understand that wacky renovation at the W a few years ago) we headed out for a drink at Gramercy Tavern which is just a few blocks away. The bar was completely packed at 11:15 at night so we agreed to a table in Tavern Room which – you guessed it – meant more food. But eating in Paris had made us pretty hard core and we were up to the challenge of dinner at 11:30 at night.
There were, it turned out, a couple of things we were craving after a week of eating fantastically well in Paris: ice cold martinis (we had converted to Champagne drinking while in France), New England oysters and VEGETABLES. French chefs do a beautiful job with vegetables but they, like most chefs at nice restaurants, can be (I assume in an effort to plate beautifully), rather stingy when doling them out (Gare au Gorille being the exception that proves the rule). Gramercy Tavern to the rescue!
The martinis were giant bathtubs of cold vodka and the briny Wellfleet oysters said welcome home.
We shared a kale salad with a grape vinaigrette, quinoa and pecorino. We had actually had a kale and quinoa salad the night before (when the vegetable craving really started) at a cafe in Paris so this additional kale fix was spot on.
Next up was the straight up vegetable plate – raw and roasted vegetables served with three sauces – Grenada pepper, cauliflower caper and walnut miso. I tasted the sauces and they were all good but it was the vegetables that really hit the spot.
The bar at Gramercy Tavern is like an old friend. Always comfortable and reliable. It was extremely satisfying to have such a nice dining experience after such an extraordinary week in Paris. Being in France was magical but what a nice feeling it was to be so content to be (almost) home.