Friday, April 06, 2007

Dining and Sniffing in New York City - Part 3

On Sunday morning, after Andree grabbed a cup of coffee at the hotel, we headed out for a day of perfume boutiques. And food. Breakfast was at Bond No. 9, a niche perfumer who creates scents based on New York. We had little bites of scrambled eggs with chives and tiny croissants. There were also little muffins and fruit available, along with coffee, tea, and orange juice. We ate quickly, standing up, so we could get on with the business of sniffing the many wonderful Bond fragrances (we each bought some).

Lunch was at Country Cafe, a tiny restaurant on Thompson Street, and directly across the street from another stop on our sniffing tour, L'Artisan Parfumeur. Lunch was broken into two seatings, because of the high attendance and the size of the restaurant. Personally, I think the place was entirely too small. And...they were unprepared for us. When Andree and I arrived at 1:15, fifteen minutes late, they still were trying to get rid of their non-Sniffapalooza customers, whom they had allowed to come in for breakfast and were not leaving in time. They should have closed the restaurant for the event. We eventually were let in out of the cold and allowed to sit while we waited for the staff to get their act together. Famished, we could have eaten the place settings, but thankfully were presented with a rather large bread basket overflowing with French bread, cornbread, lemon pound cake, and heart-shaped cookie-like pastries. The four of us at our table demolished the bread in about 15 minutes.

After another wait, we got menus - ones that were somewhat different from the menu we had been sent in advance by the Karens. I had my heart set on the merguez (spicy lamb sausage) and frites, and it was nowhere to be found. Instead, I ordered eggs Benedict with ham, a mimosa, and hot tea. Andree got the omelette. One of our dining companions, S., ordered 3 poached eggs, and our fourth, another S., had the Benedict as well.

Our first seating luncheon was supposed to be over at 2:30, instead, we ran well over. We didn't get our food until about 2, and it was gobbled post haste. Although I would have preferred a crispier English muffin and smaller ham slices (the large rectangles buried the muffin and engulfed the plate, making the egg look Lilliputian by comparison), the eggs were perfectly poached, with runny yolks and firm whites. I hate slimy whites, and there was nary a slimy bit to be found. The hollandaise sauce was dolloped on gently and didn't drown the dish, another plus. The eggs were joined by a small pile of baby greens in a balsamic vinaigrette, and breakfast potatoes that were still a little too firm for my tastes. Andree, a reformed egg-hater, enjoyed her omelette immensely, and the other two ladies seemed happy as well. Amazing how a good bread basket can make people happy. We could have been very disgruntled by the wait, but we ended up feeling quite content by our meal.

Our last weekend meal in NY. Back to home-cooking for both of us!

Country Café on Urbanspoon

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