(Previously, on NYC 2017, we enjoyed some Manhattan fan favorites, a cultural festival that shut down several city blocks, and a great Broadway musical.)
Labor Day rolled around and, after sleeping in a bit (necessary after our strange ritual of watching lat night movies during our stay…), we headed out for lunch at Momosan Ramen (review). I didn’t realize this until we sat down, but this is one of Chef Morimoto’s restaurants. (I don’t follow celebrity chefs at all, so I am often very oblivious about their restaurants and never recognize them in my friends’ excited photos.) They were offering a sake flight and the waitress looked intimidatingly too-cool-for-school so we decided to go for it because the restaurant is technically Momosan Ramen & Sake, despite the fact that I don’t really drink and I definitely don’t really drink sake. I only lament that they weren’t serving the Peking duck baos during lunch, as I could see a roast duck literally dangling in front of my face as I ate, but when I asked what deliciousness I could order to acquire it, I was told that duck was only on the dinner menu.
From there, we decided to walk the High Line from beginning to end, since it is one of our favorite spots in New York (and one of my favorite spots of all time) but we’ve always started walking from somewhere in the middle. We quickly realized that walking the High Line on a weekday evening is very different from walking on a weekend during daylight hours, as the park was crazy crowded. It was also still very warm out, so the many ice cream, paleta, and gelato vendors were doing really well up there. I swiped a yellow watermelon + mint paleta and it was oh-so-refreshing.
I held back from getting any ice cream or gelato because I actually wanted us to get ice cream in Chelsea when we finished walking the High Line. We first walked past Dominique Ansel Bakery, which I learned was selling their Japan-exclusive Crème de la Corn only during Labor Day weekend. Our timing was pretty perfect, because it was the last day they were serving this treat in New York and they were about to open the ice cream window. (By the time we walked away with our ice cream, the line was very long.)
Caramel and corn soft serve was a novel and interesting flavor experience that I liked! It was a different kind of summery taste that wasn’t too sweet, and the actual corn was very delicious. (It is grilled and then glazed with soy sauce and butter! So yum!) That was a fun and unexpected detour, since I honestly did not think I would be able to make it before it ran out. But on to the ice cream I planned for! I wanted to try some of the other ice cream flavors, but we had more ice cream plans ahead of us! From Dominique Ansel, we walked a few blocks to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. There was a line wrapping around the corner shop but we didn’t mind waiting because it was kind of a perfect golden afternoon moment. That part of the city is quiet and residential, we were approaching golden hour with warm, golden rays of sunshine filtering through the brownstones and the trees, and we were about to eat ice cream after having just eaten ice cream. The ice cream itself wasn’t as sweet as the idyllic moment we enjoyed walking to the shop but it was still very yummy.
There was no way in heck we were going to not visit Joe’s Pizza (review) while we were in their neck of the woods. Joe’s is one of my favorite places to get a New York slice and is one of the few establishments I revisit nearly every time I come back to the city, if for no other reason than to see if the wall of celebrity faces has been updated while biting into that perfect crust + sauce.
Bellies full of pizza and ice cream (honestly, why do we front so much as though children’s birthday party menus are beneath us), we strolled over to Washington Square Park for our annual sit and chill there. It was cooling down, golden hour was in full swing, there was music and laughter and doggos. And this time, I didn’t even run into any rats, it was pretty blissful.
From there, it was time to meet up with my old friend Elvin, so we headed back uptown to meet at Socarrat for tapas and paella. I got to finally meet his girlfriend Emily (after years of us missing each other during my visits) and we had a lot of laughs together over food.
Half-jokingly, I asked “Where to for dessert?”, fully aware that I had just eaten ice cream at two different establishments. But dessert is no joking matter, and we found ourselves walking to Serendipity 3. Despite having heard about this famous restaurant for so long, this was my first ever visit! We were way too stuffed for the famous frozen hot chocolate, so we tried to get the least unhealthy dessert we could manage and wound up with a very fruity sundae. (They let the 4 of us split one dessert because the restaurant wasn’t too crowded, but ordinarily they have a minimum spend amount per person.) It was very yummy, despite the fact that I was eating mostly whipped cream most of the time because the lemon ice cream I was looking forward to was hidden on the other side of the bowl. I don’t know if I get the hype about the Tiffany lamps, which just made the entire restaurant look really kitschy, but I watched Serendipity for the first time fairly recently and it was pretty magical to be there with good friends and a super duper full belly.
We parted ways from Elvin and Emily and slowly ambled our way back to the hotel. It was a beautiful night, and we weren’t quite ready to leave New York, even though we had another adventure waiting on the other side.
Do you have go-to ramen / pizza / ice cream places in the city? We always stop by Joe’s, and our fondest ramen memory is of Ippudo because that was our first-ever ramen experience! I don’t know if I have a go-to for ice cream yet.
Do you like Serendipity 3? I knew it for a long time because of the Babysitters Club (it was Stacy’s favorite!) and then came to know of its rom-com fame (Kate Beckinsale is a beautiful goddess walking among mortals). I have been trying to plan out a NYC rom-com guide blog so let me know if you’d be interested in that!