For committed food enthusiasts, planning a trip means meticulously researching restaurants, and coming up with the perfect schedule. I’ve been blessed with a group of friends who are on board with the art and challenge that is marathon dining. We discuss potential restaurants for months, compare notes, and sometimes even bicker about the top “candidates.” All in good fun, of course, it’s part of the process. Most in-demand New York restaurants open reservations only a month in advance. Once those are set, and only then is it time to figure out what to do in between reservations (besides working out, napping, and recuperating in time for the next epic meal).
DAY 1 Shake Shack and Eleven Madison Park
Last winter, six of us decided to return to one of our favorite culinary destinations, New York City. The ambitious schedule took a while to iron out, but we made it work as usual. Our hotel, the Grand Hyatt, connected to Grand Central Station, making our search for a simple “snack” before dinner convenient. A couple of us shared a cheeseburger, a hot dog, and fries from Shake Shack while we waited for everyone to arrive. We have one in South Beach, but when in Rome…
An excerpt from that post: “This year, the Foie Gras, Honey Nut Squash (sage + cinnamon), Lobster (butter poached with rutabaga and pear), and Duck (honey and lavender glazed with turnip and huckleberry) impressed me the most. I happily sat there relishing each second that went by. I never wanted the three-hour-plus dinner to end. I can appreciate (and admire) all it took to birth them all.” EMP has always been highly acclaimed. But, at the time we reserved, we didn’t know they were about to take over the number #1 spot on the World 50 Best Restaurants list just months later and that it would be our last dinner there before they closed for renovations. Perfect timing on our end. To summarize, I will say that despite a couple of hiccups, they still reign as one of our country’s best restaurants. Bucket- list worthy.
The restaurant is scheduled to reopen on October 8th, 2017.
DAY 4: The Palm Court and Ai Fiori