West Side

In a lot of ways, going to an art museum is like going to a fine wine store. There are lots of people looking stoically at the wall; some who understand what they're looking at, and others who do not. There are quiet students with backgrounds in art history, taking in the subtle nuance of each piece, while loud tourists with no patience say things like, "I don't get what the big deal is" and grumble to one another. There are professorial pedants working the room, announcing their interpretation to anyone who will listen, while others check self-consciously to see what the "experts" are looking at, in constant fear of missing out on something better. It was quite a scene at the new Whitney Museum this morning (now located in the super hip Meatpacking District). I saw a guy looking at this black square in the modernist section and he was just baffled. "This is art?" he asked his wife incredulously. It sounded a lot like an email I received from a customer earlier in the day about one of K&L's many delicious (or not so delicious, in this customer's opinion) spirits. Everyone has different tastes!

There's a great bar and cafe on the top floor that looks out over the Hudson, all the way down to the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty. It's a great place to get a drink on a warm summer day.

While wandering our way back down Bleeker Street, we sat down on a bench (mainly due to exhaustion) while we tried to figure out a place to eat nearby. Right across the street was a cute-looking patio where a pair of women seemed to be greatly enjoying a meal. They were oohing and ahhing away. "Let's just go there," I said to my wife, not wanting to spend much more time on the search. How bad could it be?

Baker & Co. advertises itself as a "wine and beer house", but to me that's a gross understatement of what's really going on there. Sure, there's a pretty good wine and beer list, but this place is all about the food. Our lunch was like a fucking fireworks show of hit after hit; a veritable explosion of flavor in each bite as we moved through the courses.

The croquettes on the appetizer menu are to fucking die for (that's two F-bombs already). Fried rice balls with mozzarella inside, topped with black truffle purée, and a bit of watercress for a garnish. We about fell over ourselves. It's not like we've never had arancini before, it's just that these were on another level. I'm seriously considering going back in a few hours just to order another plate with a glass of prosecco.

We did salads and pasta courses as well—all fucking fantastic (that's three! My new rating system: three F-bombs = can't miss). That's why you've just gotta let life come to you every once and awhile. I never would have looked this place up on Yelp or a list of West Village hits. Now I can't wait to go back. Next time you're in New York, make the effort to come here. You're talking $10-$12 plates of sheer heaven and a view of Bleeker Street that will entertain you for hours, plus plenty of great booze.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll