I want to Talk about some highlights that put a special glow on our recent New York visit. Great theater, a superb restaurant, a dear hotel, and special friends….
NEW YORK, NEW NEWS
NYC in July was hot in the best of ways. We started our stay at The Elysee, built back in the elegant 1920s and the home of The Monkey Bar. Our favorite perk was their Club Room available for guests all day with a free breakfast (a multitude of choices) and complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres every evening. Fabulous (and frugal!) The hotel’s staff is cheery and accommodating. The great location on East 54th Street is walking distance to Central Park, glamorous shops on 5th Avenue, to the Theatre District, and Voilà, just a block from San Pietro.
RISTORANTE SAN PIETRO
The Bruno Brothers are proof that our country is enriched by our immigrants. Gerardo and Antonio established the true glory of southern Italy’s extraordinary cuisine when they moved from the family estate in Salerno, to NYC. Let’s not be coy, this is one of the finest dining experience one can have. The atmosphere is elegance, twinkly, and familial. Gerardo Bruno, President of San Pietro, sat with us and shared stories of his family, the sadness of the recent loss his brother Antonio and their countless awards, appearances on the Food Network and celebrity guests, like Marcello Mastroianni and Vladamir Horowitz (and now, Jackie and David), inhaling the food and wine we had longed for from the Amalfi Coast.
Just to mention some specialness, the extra virgin olive oil is produced by the father, Gaetano Bruno, who lives on their farm in the hills of Salerno. (A majority of their ingredients are flown in weekly from Southern Italy.) We dug in! Just to mention a hint of our excess, I’ll never forget the white salmon Carpaccio. And David had the best veal chop that he ever tasted. They gave us a tasting trio of in-house-made pasta (Pasta with pesto, Penne with sausage/mushroom sauce and Divino ravioli with goat cheese). The wine, (Campania’s Radici Taurasi Reserva!) served by their most engaging Sommelier, Tommaso Mondelli, allowed us to happily lift our glasses to the brilliant Bruno Brothers and their new and most excellent (and very young and very adorable) Chef, Alberto Pepe, who just happens to be their nephew. Keeping it in the family!
LORETTE: The last week of our New York marathon was in Loretta Swit’s apartment, at the Phillips Club, across from Lincoln Center. We dog-sat with her precious Yorkie, Munchkin, while Loretta went to St. Augustine (loaded with her personal goods), to help a small animal rescue open a thrift shop. This is such a special lady who walks the walk. A fellow Board member of Actors and Others for Animals, she’ll be at “The Best in Show” fundraiser on Sept. 28. We took her to her favorite Vegan restaurant, a small thanks for her hospitality and generosity.
Broadway Theatre was the best in years and we so admired Nathan Lane in The Nance, experienced Matilda, flipped our surprised lids for Kinky Boots, and laughed ourselves silly at the best play we’ve seen in years, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE. Why the big bold letters? Because it was a big (quietly) bold show! A majestic script, inspired direction, a folksy set, and the most gorgeously funny acting I can remember onstage. Laughing until I couldn’t catch my breath, I think you can assume I highly recommend this. David Hyde Pierce, I adore you more than married women should. Brilliant, brilliant, and then some. On this adoring note … we’ll Talk….