JACKIE: We want to talk about too many things, (more that can fit in our allotted words). So, to be as concise as possible, on our way to Mt. Airy for Mayberry Days, we took a big bite of the Big Apple. We stayed at New York’s MUSE Hotel, a prime spot, and dined at Aureole. Time for sharing.
DAVID: The Muse proved to be a great place to meet new friends, thanks in part to the nightly complimentary wine. The evening we arrived, we had one of those New York moments and merged into conversation with Jonathan Frank, who creates Broadway theatre commercials, his mate Michael Casey, a famed costume designer (who now teaches costume design) and their lovely friend Kathleen, who they were visiting. A glass of good California cab and we were invited to join them for a VIP private tour at the Top of the Rock, easy walking distance. New York from this spot airplane high above 30 Rockefeller Center was all sparkling jewels and the sunset seemed like a canvas of contemporary art.
JACKIE: Wonderful new friends! And, being New York, we ran into them next day heading into Central Park. The next evening, at wine time we met a young couple from Scotland wondering what to do on their final eve. They took our suggestion to go to Top of the Rock for the view and then dine in front of the fountains and Prometheus. Nice to do a payback and so easy while mixing at the Muse.
DAVID: The hotel itself is a new favorite, and not just for the style, location (a block from Times Square!) and comfort. We slept like the guiltless on the Muse’s plush pillow top mattresses covered by Frette linens, resting on down pillows. What a way to live! And they offered Etro amenities! NIOS, their very delicious casual and sophisticated restaurant and bar are, a big plus. But to us, the greatest thing is that they are PET FRIENDLY!
JACKIE: At the reception desk, some lovely young women and two tiny dogs welcomed us. A Teacup Pomeranian and a weenie Yorkie held court. They were business like, but offered kisses when prompted. Oh my heart. This is a must-Google. Just check out the Muse and be inspired, which is their goal. Under Enjoy, there is a fine story on Ginger, the director of pet relations, who prefers Prada, visits to the spa and ahi tuna, and would be delighted to share where to go and what to see in NYC with our four-legged guests.
DAVID: I’m certain Ginger’s “where to eat” list would include Charlie Palmer’s celebrated restaurant. Recently moved to Bryant Park, a hip hop from Broadway. Check out the site for Aureole and learn about Bubbles after Broadway, and their coveted Michelin Star. Impeccable service, understated elegance that could only be Manhattan. We opted for the three course menu, each carefully choosing different dishes to sample.
I started with yellow fin tuna tartar topped with a perfectly formed “egg yolk,” which proved to be the dressing — truly delicious, lovely and witty.
Executive chef Christopher Lee and Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee defined their excellence with my lamb loin, perfectly cooked and accompanied by mission figs, English peas, baby artichoke and purple potatoes and Jackie’s prime beef tenderloin with Amish corn fresh off the cob and goat cheese potato puree. Easy to see why Chef Palmer is world-famous for his meat dishes.
JACKIE: Mr. L’s dessert was a milk chocolate mousse with graham cracker and passion fruit marshmallow. Mine was a luscious peaches and corn cobbler with a white peach sorbet and bourbon mascarpone. Super yum! Much applause for Aureole! We offer our highest recommendation.