New York Trip Day 5 (August 2nd, 2011): A Carriage Ride Through the Park and a Meal Fit for Kings

Spending your birthday on vacation in New York City is probably enough for ones birthday right there. But when you combine that with an absolutely incredible day, life just can't get any better. Like every day on this trip we woke up well past a "normal hour" at around 10:30-11. After the last few days have been jam packed with sight seeing we decided that the rest of the trip would be more centered around enjoying the experience of New York. So we woke up got some hot dogs and a pretzel from the corner street vender and walked over to Central Park.

Eating Yet Another Awesome Hot Dog

Eating Yet Another Awesome Hot Dog

When we got to 5th Ave and 61st Street we made our way over to the beautiful horse drawn carriages that will take you on a nice walk through the park. We were lucky enough to get a very nice Irish man who talked to us about some of the different movies with scenes filmed in the park and random historical tid bits. Jenn and I had a great time laughing and taking in the beautiful park. When we did get to the end of the trip we learned that they were shutting down the carriage rides for the rest of the day. New York City has a mandate that if it gets past 90 degrees (it was 92 at the time) that they had to shut down the carriage rides for the day. So we were even more stoked that we got the ride in before it was shut down.

Carriage Ride Through Central Park

Carriage Ride Through Central Park

Close Up in the Carriage

Close Up in the Carriage

From the beautiful carriage ride we took a leisurely stroll through central park, people watched, and just enjoyed the nice day. From there we headed back to 76th street and even picked up Jenn some vanilla gelato along the way. This gave Jenn and I an hour or two to regroup and get ready for our big night.

Beautiful Shot of Jenn in Central Park

Beautiful Shot of Jenn in Central Park

Another Beautiful Shot in Central Park

Another Beautiful Shot in Central Park

The Sun is Shining Through

The Sun is Shining Through

Jenn Chowing Down on Some Gelato

Jenn Chowing Down on Some Gelato

After a lot of debate we decided to go the Chef Ramsey's London restaurant. We knew going into it, it would be a pricey affair but were ready to take on a brand new experience and one that would be memorable for a lifetime. Jenn got us a taxi (3 for 3 in nabbing a taxi within a minute of stepping out of the hotel) to take us to the London hotel. The doors were immediately opened for us as we got out of the taxi and we let them know we had reservations for Chef Ramsey's London Restaurant and they took us through the Maze Restaurant and through double doors to a very private dining room that seats at most 30 people. We were given a beautiful corner seat with a great view of the rest of the dining room. Our reservation was for 6 PM and when we got there we were only joined by one other party who was at the other end of the restaurant. So really we felt like we had the restaurant to ourselves.

I would be lying if I said I didn't do a ton of research about the restaurant and the experience beforehand. What was amazing that even after all the research the evening far exceeded my expectations. We were immediately greeted by three separate staff members who talked to us about the restaurant, the menu, and the specials. There was really two options in terms of ordering either do there 3 course meal or there 7 course tasting menu. Jenn and I in the "go big or go home" mentality decided to both get the 7 course tasting menu. Jenn ordered a cosmo to start with and I had the wine pairings to go along with the 7 courses.

Prestige Menu

Course 1: Amuse bouche

Course 2: Poussin roasted on the bone, foie gras torchon, baby lettuce, Burgundy truffle

Course 3: Maine diver scallops, curried cauliflower, pressed mango, spiced chickpeas

Course 4: Filet of turbot “gratiné,” marinated sungold tomatoes, white asparagus, basil velouté

Course 5: Colorado lamb, Moroccan couscous, braised artichokes, Meyer lemon, lamb vinaigrette or Caramelized Long Island duck breast, sweet rutabaga, potato rösti, Szechwan consommé

Course 6: Peach, thyme crumble and lemon verbena ice cream

Course 7: Lime ganache, coconut dacquoise, passion fruit, tequila gelée, Thai banana ice cream

With each course came a new work of art. Each dish was portrayed in the most unique and beautiful setting it was hard to imagine anything was even edible on the plate. Some of our highlights from the meal was the scallops, the chicken (which didn't taste like chicken it melted in your mouth), and our main entrees of Lamb and Duck were both out of this world.

Throughout the meal I had 5 total glasses of wine (3 white, 1 red, and 1 desert) and each of them was amazingly paired with the food. Jenn later on in the meal got an Espresso Martini which was extremely strong but delicious. I think what Jenn and I enjoyed most even over the food was the experience. Every second you had someone asking how they could help or explaining the cooking methods or the vintage of the wine. I for one have never been treated like such a king in my life.

Eating at Gordan Ramsay at the London Hotel

Eating at Gordan Ramsay at the London Hotel

Eating at a place that cost as much as The London did is not something you would do everyday. But its those rare occasions in life that you just sit back and feel tremendously blessed to be alive and to be able to experience something as amazing and as delicious as the experience we had at the restaurant. Nearly three hours after we sat down the experience was coming to a close and we just spent another ten or fifteen minutes sitting and enjoying the now much busier restaurant.

We picked up a cab and got dropped off at our hotel ten minutes later. Literally for the rest of the night all Jenn and I could talk about was how amazing the experience was. The food, the atmosphere, the art on each plate, it was just incredible. We spent the rest of the evening watching great old re-runs of The Office and Friends and even caught half of the Mark Whalberg version of Planet of the Apes.

I can honestly say I enjoyed every second of my 25th birthday.