Recently my darling friend Jennifer Vides came to NYC. As a lover of LA, who felt “eh” about New York, she was the perfect person for me to hang out with because I knew I could probably, maybe, possibly, turn that “eh” into a “wow”.
The plan was simple. Dinner and drinks. But I wanted to make it a nice experience. She’s my friend. I love her and I wanted to show her the city through my eyes. The evening was beautiful, the weather was great.
I carefully thought out where we would go, and I planned around favorite lanscapes: for the Brooklyn Bridge we would dine at South Street Seaport, for Rockefeller Center/5th Avenue we would dine in the courtyard (what is the ice skating rink in the Winter) of Rock Center Cafe, and for the Empire State Building with a park view, we would head to Bryant Park Grill.
After spending a lot more time then planned at an Irish bar near Penn Station, and stopping to flirt with some oh-so-cute, but oh-so-young NYC fire men, we decided to go to Bryant Park.
As soon as we entered the park the awe inspiring feeling NYC tends to give people when they least expect it hit us. Everything was lovely and quiet, even right there in the heart of midtown. The grassy lawn closed for the night, the famous Bryant Park chairs sitting empty under the evening sky. My heart full of love for my city as we walked over to the restaurant.
There are several places to go and have drinks at Bryant Park. There is the Bryant Park Cafe ,an outdoor bar and eatery, open only during the warmer months, where you need to show ID and the after work crowd comes to hang out, mingle, and drink. There’s the Southwest Porch, which, even in the middle of a week day, seems to always be full, serves drinks and snacks, and is free to enjoy.
We immediately found a table outside (ok, my husband who met us there found a table, we just showed up). It’s a bit pricey, with the average price for an entree being $22 -$24, but the food is great, and if you end up going on an evening like the one we had, it’s just nice to sit there, with a glass of wine, and enjoy a nice meal.
In the end I think that is really what you are paying for, that amazing NYC experience. That moment that just steals your heart, as it did Jennifer’s, where even I, a resident here, have to pinch myself at how incredibly, crazy lucky I am to call this city my home.
Jennifer ordered the steak, which was massive! I ordered a Cesaer Salad and crab cakes, my husband ordered a chicken dish. All were really delicious, even my dishes, though both from the Aperitif section of the menu, together made a nice dinner. I swear we could’ve spent hours there drinking and chatting it up…but I actually think it was closing time by the time we left.
I would love to go back for brunch, or maybe dinner around sunset. I have no photos of the lovely meal we had as it was too dark out (mental note: must invest in a low lighting lens), but I hope my pictures here will at least give you a sense of how lovely our evening was, and what a truly wonderful place it is to go for a night with friends or significant other.
I think I made Jennifer fall in love with NYC that night, which is awesome for me because I do love her so and want her to come back soon. And next time, I’m buying.
Located in Bryant Park’s Upper Terrace between 40th and 42nd Streets. Reservations are suggested for the dining room, but are a first-come-first-service basis for the outdoor patio garden and rooftop garden. For more information, please call 212-840-6500. Sunday – Thursday 11:30am–11:00pm Friday – Saturday 11:30am–Midnight