Friday, October 24, 2008

We arrived back at our hotel around 1830 and gave Aris a call. If you were following this blog back in June 2008 you would have met Aris at that time. Aris is a young doctor who had just recently finished his residency in Anesthesia and was doing some locum tenens to gain some additional experience prior to taking his oral boards this fall. He was providing vacation relief at our hospital for two weeks in June. During his stay, D. and I took him out to dinner a couple of times and on one weekend, at his request, Leigh and I agreed to teach him the rudiments of kayaking.
Aris is from Romania. He moved to the USA when he was sixteen. His family lives on Long Island, while he currently resides in Queens NY. We told Aris of our plans to visit New York in the fall and he made us promise to call him when we were there so we could get together for dinner. The a week or so before we were to leave, Aris called and said he remembered that we would be coming to NYC soon and wanted the details and made us promise to call when we arrived. In the photo is Leigh, rel and Aris (nearest to the camera.)

We called to touch base when we arrived in the city and agreed that Wednesday night would be the best opportunity for us all to get together.

Since we had done Korean the night before, D. thought Italian would be good for that night. Not wanting to travel far if we didn't have to we asked at the front desk if there was an Italian restaurant near by. The young woman directed us to a place just 2 1/2 blocks east of our hotel.
Aris said it would take him about twenty minutes to get to our place and we said we'd meet him on the corner of 27th St. and 5th Ave.

Aris picked us up in his 2008 Lexus (you's have to be from NYC to understand) and we told him about the Italian restaurant. That was fine with him but he said he needed to park in a garage rather than on the street because his inspection was due last month and if he parked on the street he'd get a ticket, probably two, so he wanted to park in a parking garage. We found one 10 blocks away. So now we were going to have to walk 10 blocks to get to the restaurant that was 2 1/2 blocks away from the hotel. But, hey, that's what you do in NY; you walk a lot! It was a pleasant evening, good friends, plenty to gab about, so what the heck, go with the flow. As we strolled down the Avenue, Park Avenue, we passed:
Les Halles a French restaurant. We stopped to look at the menu and D. said she'd be ok with French rather than Italian. I thought this could be our little bit of France vacation. Inside we didn't have to wait at all and were seated immediately. The place was a little too dark and a lot to loud but hey this was NYC and not Paris so allowances were made.

We ordered some wine to get us in the mood and to wet our appetites so to speak. This particular wine was good because of the label. We had them peel it off for us, to save, as a souvenir. If you are a connoisseur of fine red wines, then I would not recommend this one in particular, unless you too want the label It was ok but a bit thin for my taste. I wouldn't order it again.

For dinner, Aris stayed with traditional NY and ordered a NY steak. D. went French with her Coq au Vin, which she enjoyed very much. I ordered the traditional Toulousian "Cassoulet" which was quite delicious, but , BUT, was not Toulousian by any means. I should have know better but being caught up in the moment I was hoping for a recreation of the meal I'd been served in a small bistro in Gimont , France last year and will forever be my reference for Cassoulet. All in all the evening was a success; the food was devine and the company sanguine. I will definitely return to this restaurant in the future.

rel & Aris

Thanks for dinner Aris and some great NY hospitality.


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Blogger willow said...

I am thoroghly enjoying your recaps of the trip!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

That does sound nice. i haven't had a fun dinner date with great people in quite some time.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Merely Me said...

wow! fancy shmancy! i am very envious!

6:39 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

even tho i am not commenting, i am taking every step of this trip with you and having a wonderful time...

7:51 AM  
Blogger Epiphany said...

You're so funny, Rel, it "was not Toulousian by any means". I laughed pretty heartily at that one!

I love French food, and what you and D. had sounds heavenly.

Sooo, you got a little more excercise than you had hoped. But more of an adventure, right?

I'm glad you had such a lovely time with your friend.

9:47 AM  

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