When it’s as hot as it’s been the past few weeks, restaurants meals and takeout replace home cooked. Usually, it’s take out but last week, I ended up with several more restaurant meals than take out as we celebrated a promotion, friends visiting and a friend leaving New York City temporarily.
The first part of the week found us at Birdland, a jazz club in midtown. My friend, Lorraine, a singer was visiting and wanted to listen to live jazz. There are several locations to listen to jazz in New York City but Birdland was close to where she was staying. We were chatting so much, I forgot to take photos of the meal when it arrived, and photography was not allowed when the Loston Harris Quartet, with special guest singer, Monica Behan, took the stage.
Later in the week, we celebrated our friend’s Judith’s promotion with a meal at Aba, a Turkish restaurant on Manhattan’s west side. I chose the Doner Kebab. I had read about doner kebabs in a post that Jan at Budget Travel Talk had written a while back. When I saw it on the menu, there was no question what I’d have for my main course.
If you’ve had gyros, you know exactly what doner kebab are and most importantly, how it tastes. Very flavorful, succulent and plain delicious. I ate every slice.
Another friend is due to leave shortly on a fellowship in southern Africa. When she requested Jamaican food, I mentioned a few of my favorite restaurants. I don’t remember exactly how we decided on Ripe Restaurant in Mount Vernon but early Saturday afternoon, we were sitting in their “backyard” – Ripe is a small restaurant with maybe 15 tables so the backyard, which is open during the summer, extends the space – sipping a glass of their rum punch.
I had been salivating over two of my favorite appetizers at Ripe – the Strawberry Hill Codfish Spring Rolls and Cuban Plantain Boat – and undecided which I should order. Honestly, I would have ordered both but I decided on the spring rolls. Not your typical spring rolls, these are bullets stuffed with codfish and served with a vidalia onion mustard sauce.
I always have a difficult time deciding on what to order when I go to Ripe because I like just about everything on their menu. I was tempted to order the curried shrimp but I decided on the Jamaican Beachside Style Fried Fish. Ripe’s fried fish is so crispy, there’s nothing left on the plate when I’m finished. And yes, they leave the head on. I know, some people are squeamish about that but I love a crispy fried fish head.
My friend chose the “Big Ass” Jerk Rib Eye Steak – yup, that’s exactly what it’s called – and she loved it!
We ended the evening in Harlem listening to the New York Flamenco Jazz Project at Silvana.
What’s your go-to restaurant / food when you have out of town guests?
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13 comments on “A Week of Live Music and Restaurant Meals”
I am glad you got to try some Doner Kebab. Loved your selection of other meals, especially the codfish spring rolls and the Big Ass Jerk Rib Eye. Thanks for the link. 🙂
Oh those codfish spring rolls look good! I’m one of those “can’t eat the fish with the head on” people but that dish still sounds tasty!
Looks delicious, Maicia 🙂
H Marcia, that sounds like a fun and delicious week. The seafood offerings at Ripe looks really good. I don’t think I ever have a spring roll with fish. We’ve also been busy entertaining out of town friends the last few weeks. We don’t really have a go-to restaurant; we ask for the guests’s preference. One friend and family preferred a restaurant with a skyline view so we took them to Gaonnuri. One wanted to go to Meatpacking with good people watching, we took them to Standard Grill. One wanted pizza and we headed to Lombardi’s. If they say it’s up to us, then we go to wherever we feel like going at that time.
It’s really more fun eating in a restaurant with a live music. The Strawberry Hill Codfish Spring Rolls looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this post. I had fun reading this post. Definitely share this to my friends who love eating at the restaurant with live music.
Jazz and delicious food … you just reminded me of the reason why I love New York so much.
Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Truly looking forward to find out more.
I’ll be printing this off for use on my next trip to NYC, Marcia. You had me at vidalia onion mustard sauce on codfish spring rolls–mmm!
That’s a pretty good selection, Marisol. I’ll have to try these before the summer ends. I especially like the idea of a skyline view.
It was very delicious, Lesley. Let me know if you’d like some company.
Oh yea those codfish spg moves look good! I’m one of those “can’t eat the species of fish while using head on” men and women but in which bowl nevertheless sounds yummy!
With Flamenco Jazz music!!!!! In Spain a lot of people are discovering classic flamenco through the Flamenco Fussion.
So tasty! That seems to be impressive!
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