Epic rap battle of history and a great, funny, sad show. Our rear mezzanine seats were so close to the ceiling we could see how beautiful the crystal chandelier was. One of the many wonderful lines: “Write like you’re running out of time!” The play is almost three hours long. Pack peanut M&Ms or eat a big meal beforehand. Orso is on the same street.
I have a new story up on HuffPo50 about sending our older son off to college—and feeding him, his younger brother and a bunch of their friends first. The story includes recipes for guacamole and flat-bread pizzas. The guacamole recipe comes from Ina Garten and her original Barefoot Contessa cookbook. It’s a bit controversial—no cilantro!—-but delicious.
I had a new story up on HuffPo50 last week about the pleasures, and perils, of cooking for men. Recipes include a yummy vegan lime mousse, and a decadent and delicious fruit cobbler. Try these at home.
Last weekend, we took our sons to New York to celebrate my older son’s birthday at Tribeca Grill. The restaurant is chic, noisy and fun, and right near the Holland Tunnel so easy to get to from New Jersey. Since Robert DeNiro has a stake in the restaurant, you fantasize that you might actually see him. Stand-out dishes were the Atlantic cod with mussels paella, the New York strip steak and the chocolate layer cake. Downstairs, near the bathrooms, are framed posters of DeNiro in movies I hadn’t thought about in a while—Taxi Driver and Mad Dog & Glory. But the loveliest part of the restaurant are the huge, colorful paintings by DeNiro’s father, Robert DeNiro Sr. Whenever a son pays that kind of homage to his father, you have to pay attention. I was so happy to discover that DeNiro had made a movie about his father. Here is the link to the extremely moving 45-minute documentary that DeNiro made in 2014 for HBO. Robert DeNiro, Sr. was gay and struggled with his twin desire to be both loved and famous during his lifetime. He. was a prolific painter and journal-keeper. His writing reveals that he was insecure about his place in the art world and deeply loved his son. He died of cancer in 1993. DeNiro Jr. cries during the course of the film. You may too. “He was the real thing…” DeNiro says. “My father thought he was different and he was different, not only as an artist, but for other reasons. He was very particular about what art was.. I just want to see him get his due. That’s my responsibility.”
I hesitate to publicly proclaim my love for Danj but here goes. I love this place. If you like Korean food, you will love it too. The place is small and calls itself “preeminently a walk-in restaurant.” My friend Terri took a bunch of us there a few years ago, and since then, we’ve gone several times. always before the theater. The other night, my husband and I took our kids and one of their friends to see “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time.” Maybe you’ve read the book or seen the show. Both are awesome. But back to the food. Of course, we had to go out to eat first. It was a beautiful summer night and we really should have found somewhere to go where we could eat outside but I was craving Danji’s tofu with ginger scallion dressing and soy vinaigrette, the spicy pork belly sliders, the soy-soaked black cod with spicy daikon and the spicy Korean “KFC” fire chicken wings. And I wanted my kids and husband to try this place where I had only gone with my women friends. My husband arrived ahead of us and ordered the spicy yellowtail sashimi. We shared everything and everything was wonderful.
But it’s not for everyone. The place is small, they don’t answer the phone before 5 p.m., they only serve saki cold and if you want to make a reservation for more than four people, you have to call—they don’t take larger reservations on-line. The print on the menus is tiny, the menus are hidden in little drawers tucked under the table and if you’re sitting too close to the wall, you can’t open the drawer. You sit on stools without backs, and if you’re a little late, they call and laugh and wonder when you’re going to arrive. It’s all worth it. I’ve never had better Korean food anywhere.
Danji, 346 West 52nd St (between 8th and 9th)., New York, NY 10019, (212) 586-2880
A lovely day alone in the city, wandering around the Neue Galerie, taking a long look at Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the Woman in Gold, and then having an almost religious experience eating a frisée salad with a perfectly poached egg and an espresso with hot cream at Cafe Sabarsky, on the first floor of the museum. If you can’t get to New York, Anne-Marie O’Connor’s book, Lady in Gold, The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, is a fantastic read and Helen Mirren was wonderful in the movie. Now we all just have to go to Vienna.
Neue Galerie New York Museum for German and Austrian Art, 1048 Fifth Avenue @ 86th Street, New York, NY 10028, (212) 628-6200
My friends Debbie and Julia came to the beach and we made guacamole a la Ina Garten with the awesome mortar & pestle Julia brought. The recipe yields a lot: We entertained two rounds of guests over the course of a late afternoon cocktail party with it. And it is fool-proof.: 4 ripe avocados, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1 chopped ripe tomato, juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and 1 mashed garlic clove. The secret ingredient: 8 dashes of Tabasco sauce. Goes well with wine, beer, Manhattan’s, and whatever else you feel like drinking late in a summer day. Debbie’s tip: If you have leftover, put the Saran Wrap right on top of the guacamole so the air doesn’t turn it brown.
One of my closest friends from Business Week was in town and we celebrated being with each other during Restaurant Week by going to Kefi, a charming, airy Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side. There is no financial crisis there. The warm feta, tomato, caper, pepper, anchovy, olive and pita bread salad, in addition to the cold glass of Chardonnay, were outstanding. I followed up with a Greek salad from the Millburn Deli the next day. It wasn’t quite the same thing but we do what we can in New Jersey,
Kefi, 505 Columbus Avenue, between 84th and 85th Street, NY, NY 10024, (212) 873-0200
Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget is a sad, funny and wonderful book about the hazards and pleasures of drinking and writing. Sarah Hepola is a fantastic writer. This memoir is genius.
My friend Terri’s friend Diane Simon organized a docent tour of the new Whitney Museum of American Art last week. If you do nothing else this summer, go to the Whitney. It was as if we had gone to another country and maybe even another planet. The Renzo Piano architecture, the blue views of the Hudson, the verdant views of the High Line, all set off by the gritty views of the meat-packing district, make the whole experience breathtaking. We wandered around in a daze, looking at beautiful paintings by Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Hopper, and Jackson Pollack, and then stopped in front of a huge, glorious, pink painting. Lee Krasner’s The Seasons will knock you off your feet. Later, we sat down for lunch at Untitled,the serene and elegant restaurant on the first floor. There, under Terri’s guidance, we shared carrots with chilli and peanuts, lobster on gluten-free toasts, a salad of pole beans, turnips, guanciale, and pecorino and a wickedly delicious gluten-free chocolate chip cookie.
It’s summer, the season of vast tracks of time, museum visits and other people’s art.
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014