Brunch at The Grey Dog in Chelsea, New York with the hosts of the Everything Acting Podcast and dinner at Blossom Vegetarian Restaurant with Kate Wetherhead.
For our last day on the east coast, it gets even colder.I have brunch plans in the neighborhood, but it is absolutely arctic out there. So I do something I never did when I was a New Yorker – I take a taxi. $6 later I meet up with the hosts of The Everything Acting Podcast at The Grey Dog in Chelsea:
I’ve mentioned Darbi and Roz’s podcast numerous times as an outstanding resource for actors. They’ve also guest posted for us – I’ve been listening to them for a few years now but this is my first time meeting them. They are as delightful and charming in the flesh as they are on the show and I’m so happy we finally connect.
The place is packed with a Sunday crowd – we order and pay at the counter, then they bring the food out to us.
I ask for something that isn’t on the menu. An egg and tomato sandwich on a whole wheat bagel. It comes with a side of extra crispy hash browns (almost like a clump of shoe string fries).
I dip them all in various condiments – hot sauce, ketchup, and spicy brown mustard. Terrific stuff, especially the potatoes, which I finish half of. It’s hard to get a decent bagel in Los Angeles so I am happy they allow me to customize my breakfast.
I also sip on some chamomile tea…
…that they gave me a refill of, in a to-go cup. Which I think is sweet until I realize that was their way of saying “Get outa here.” The place is getting ridiculously crowded. We take the hint and leave.
Roz walks me halfway back up Eighth Avenue. Right after we say goodbye I run into my friend (actually, one of Christy’s best buds) Brad! Such an unexpected treat. It is too frosty out to exchange anything more than a hug and a kiss. Booking it back to the apartment for the next few hours, watching bad romantic comedies on HBO and reading blogs until my friend Eboni comes by for some afternoon tea.
A pot of Ginger Orange.
I haven’t seen Eboni in almost 5 years! We used to be members of the same theater company that Christy and I met at. We have a wonderful hour and half chat. Some friends you can just pick up with right where you left off.
Around 5pm I still am not hungry from my brunch so I suck on a Pomegranate Tootsie Pop and another cup of tea to keep my mouth occupied before dinner.
Can you see the Empire State Building in the background? I actually used to work in that epic building.
We have reservations at 7 to meet our college friend (and fourth actress of the day) Kate Wetherhead at Blossom Restaurant. I hail another cab six blocks down.
It is very cozy, intimate, and dark in there, which is why all my pictures look like garbage.
I order the Phyllo Roulade. French Lentils and Root Vegetables baked in a phyllo crust, served over carrot-cream sauce with caramelized onions and swiss chard.
I’m pretty sure that is spinach under there, not chard. No matter. Still incredible. I part with one of my Phyllos and share some bites of the appetizers Kate/Abe order.
Seitan Skewers in a rich hickory sauce with Jicama Slaw and Parsnip Cappelletti. That is ravioli stuffed with whipped parsnip and potatoes, finished with shitakes and truffle oil.
Cape Cod Cakes (a blend of hijiki seaweed, tofu, herbs and spices, served with a vegan tartar sauce) and Blossom Rolls. Phyllo stuffed with porcini, almonds, and ground tempeh, served over a cashew pesto and finished with pomegranate seeds).
This is a truly divine experience; perfect for our last vacation dinner. My one complaint is I could use some dinner rolls. It is expensive (about $30 a person) for a meal that doesn’t come with some bread. But it’s still easy to see why they are Time Out New York’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant.
The walk back is brutal. I don’t think I will make it – I’m pretty sure I go through temporary insanity. So I speed-walk with my hands over my mouth the entire time. I’m definitely ready to go back to Los Angeles, where it is close to 80 degrees today. But we’ve had a really incredible two weeks. I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my east coast adventures with y’all. I’ve spent quality time with family, caught up with a lot of old friends, met a bunch of new ones, and, of course, eaten a lot of supremely delicious meals.
This is the very first year in a long time that I haven’t made a resolution that has to do with food. Because I haven’t had to. I think I did a great job this year of listening to my body, not depriving myself, and keeping things balanced – the best that I can. Hmmm….now I have to figure out WHAT my New Year’s Resolution IS.
See you on the plane tomorrow!