Other lessons I took home from my week in the Big Apple and upstate New York:
* Don’t try to eat late in Manhattan’s Financial District, even on the weekend. You’ll end up at a Marriott sports bar, staring at old movies and ESPN, while passing around plates of calamari. Conversations will be as fractured as the food.
* The bomboloni at Sullivan Street Bakery in Hell’s Kitchen might be the perfect breakfast pastry: light, fluffy, not cloyingly sweet, and, if you want, with seasonal fruit filling piped inside. Best of all, it’s small, no larger than a Parker House roll (and just as airy). Unless you order them in blocks of four, like sliders at White Castle, you can keep the calorie count down.
* Restaurants need to offer seasonal wine menus. Too many lists are stagnant, particularly during the warmer months when heavy reds are about as appealing as a cup of hot cocoa in a sauna. I’d love to see a much wider selection of roses during the summer.
* At more than 100 miles away, Hudson, N.Y., has become a defacto suburb of Manhattan. The latest evidence: Two former chefs from wd~50 have opened a modernist restaurant, The Crimson Sparrow, in the town of 6,700 residents.
* The latest evidence that Hudson has not become a suburb of Manhattan: The Crimson Sparrow is open for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays only.