My latest trip to New York was packed into two days this past August. Our home base was the Sheraton New York Times Square. Formerly known as the Sheraton Towers, this hotel has recently undergone a 180 million dollar renovation.
My friend Jeannine and I made full use of the Club Floor facilities which included 24 hour access to a private lounge that offers healthy snacks such as fruit, veggies and granola bars. A very popular feature of this this relaxing penthouse floor sanctuary was a machine that allowed us to re-create all of the specialty drinks offered by Starbucks. There was also a full continental breakfast, computer access and a large screen television.
Our room was comfortable and spacious by New York standards. The beds had a number of fluffy pillows and the famous Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds did provide a very good night’s sleep. We found the staff to be helpful and check-in to be a painless process. Having a good home base is essential when one is doing the ” quick trip” to Manhattan.
Centrally located, our home away from home allowed us to run around on foot or by transit and then meet up to compare notes. Jeannine went to the MOMA while I hit the Television museum. We trekked down to one of my favourite NYC sanctuaries–Bryant Park. After a quick lunch at one of the of the tables, I checked out the outdoor reading room, while she hit the Upper West Side.
Even though we had both been to Manhattan numerous times we had never been to the Empire State building so we met there in the late afternoon and did the entire tour complete with audio. What a wonderful way to learn about the history of NYC and the various landmarks and boroughs.
That night we were royally pampered at Abigael’s on Broadway which is billed as the largest kosher restaurant in the world. It is owned and run by chef Jeff Nathan, famed for his appearances on the Food Network as well as his popular cookbooks. The restaurant consists of a number of interconnected rooms at an underground level—where a varied fine dining menu is served-and a smaller above ground room which specializes in Pan-Asian cuisine.
What is nice about this setup is that you get the feeling of being in an intimate setting when the rooms are closed off from each other but actually as the world’s largest kosher eatery—Abigael’s can seat 350 guests at once in the lower level space and about 50 in the street level lounge.
The staff was extremely attentive and pleasant. Our waiter, the very smiley Mario, helped us to select a delicious starter of a Mexican tortilla soup which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Jeannine then went on to order the ‘carnivore’s delight'(~ short ribs, chicken, steak and sausage with garlic fries and chimichurri drizzle) and I had pecan salmon; served with an arugula salad of cherries, apples, fennel, wild rice and candied pecans, dressed in a pomegranate vinaigrette.
But of course we shared everything and both thoroughly enjoyed the delicious meal. I had to try my favourite dessert creme brulee–while Jeannine slowly slipped a glass of red wine.
The trip was over far too quickly. We managed to fit in a lively play, Motown the Musical and some shopping here and there. But as always–I’m ready to go back anytime–there is always more to see and do in New York City.
For help in planning your visit to New York City–http://www.nycgo.com/