Uptown, Downtown

Sundays were meant for shopping, so the wife and I jumped in a cab and went uptown to get swanky on Madison Avenue. Just because you're in the midst of high-end hobnobbery doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. If there's anything we've learned on this blog it's that quality and cost are not always linked. There's always a high-end value option if you know what's worth spending for. We walked by an upscale Italian spot charging $47 for a primi course of pasta. No thanks. Not when Bistro Chat Noir is around the corner on 66th. Rosé awaits!

You hardly ever see cheese soufflé on French menus these days. Maybe because it takes a half hour to make and it's a bit outdated, but that's what makes Le Chat Noir such a joy. Old world charm, Madison Avenue decor, some coloquial classics from the Julia Child era, but with reasonable prices. They say Andy Warhol ate cheese soufflé every day, so this is about as New York as it gets. Someone has to keep that tradition alive.

It's not all comfort food at the Black Cat, however. I ordered the prix-fixe brunch and got the beet salad as a starter. Best beet salad ever! Mixed with crispy green apples, roasted pistachios, and topped with an avocado mousse. Absolutely fucking genius.

Proper Sunday attire. Flowers, Rosé. I could do this all day, and I plan on coming back here to do it again.

Of course, you've gotta see a show when you visit New York. America's current television darling—the Michael J. Fox of this generation—Jim Parsons was doing a one man show at the former home of divine debauchery: Studio 54. He could read the phone book and I'd have a great time watching him do it. What a treat that was.

After watching the Big Bang live in person, we caught a cab back downtown for dinner reservations at my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant in New York: La Esquina. I hate to say it, but the speakeasy-esque downstairs lounge is getting a bit pretentious. I might just stick to the walk-up window from now on. Either way, you can't beat those tacos. There aren't many places in the U.S. that serve cochinita pibil with such pin-point Playa del Carmen accuracy.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll