So a little background, myself and girlfriend are both in out late 20’s we’ve visited NYC before. This was a fairly last minute trip after a planned ski trip with friends had fell through we decided to come to NY. We mulled over our hotel choices narrowing it down to The Belvedere after getting a good rate and positive feedback through the forum.
Arrived Saturday 11am in Newark. My girlfriend had arranged a car with Dial 7, TBH it was a bit of a heap and tatty inside but it got us there cheaply. The car on the way back was much nicer but had no problem with the service and would use Dial 7 again. Arrived at the Belvedere on W48th first impressions were good, we asked for a room on a high floor with a view if possible, we were given a room on the top floor and I was pleasantly surprised with the view, it was pretty good and much better than expected as the view wasn’t really something the hotel was known for.
General opinion of the area is good, you’re close to Times Square and the theatre district but far enough away not to get caught up in the madness of it all. Plus you escape all the chain restaurants and have some more local places to wine and dine.
We’re not ones for having set itineraries, rather we just have a few things we’d like to do but have no set times and schedules as such. The only things that were arranged in advance Sunday night dinner at the River Café, and tickets to see ‘A View From The Bridge.’ The first day was spent getting our bearings for the immediate area not straying too far from the hotel. As touched on previously first impressions of the general area were good, more to do in the immediate vicinity than in our previous stays with plenty of dinning options to mull over in the coming week. We had a walk up to Central park then decided to grab something to eat as it was now around 1530hrs. We decided on Bonne Soupe which wasn’t too far away. It’s an inexpensive rustic French restaurant from what I can tell is French owned and ran we opted for a prix fix menu and allot of red wine…. The food was very good but the service was pretty poor, I think our waiter was half asleep and another waitress who’s section we weren’t in helped out. Due to the dodgy service we were at lunch for much longer than expected and drank more than expected. We wandered around a bit longer then headed back to the hotel for around 1900hrs. We’d fully intended to venture out again that night and have a drink or two and maybe get something to eat. Fatigue kicked in and I passed out on the bed until 9ish then decided just to have a drink in and recharge our batteries, I think the biggest contributing factor to this was that I was at Uni the previous week and basically went straight to the airport from there so started off in need of a good nights sleep or two from the get go.
As a result of an unplanned early night our body clocks were well out of synch and we were out and about for before 7am. We decided to mill over to Times Square which on our previous visits is somewhere we’d only ever passed through once in the daytime. At 7am it was dead and a good opportunity to just stand and look, after this we had breakfast and ambled over to Rockefeller Plaza. There was some sort of fun run going on involving people running up to TOTR looked like fun and just a shame we weren’t dressed for it otherwise it might have been fun! We decided to make our way up TOTR ourselves, it was a lovely crisp morning and the visibility was great. Seeing a snowy New York wasn’t something we’d experienced before and was well worth it. At this point we went off on a bit of a tangent it was 10am and we just happened to think we should go to St.Patricks which we did and ended up attending Sunday Mass which was a memorable experience.
Next stop on our take it as it comes agenda we visited MOMA. Admittedly art is a bit wasted on me but my girlfriend studied art and really enjoyed it while I liked some of the exhibits if not all of it. The Tim Burton exhibit was mobbed and was too busy to take the time it required. Next we walked up to Central Park and to the Boathouse for lunch and drinks the pond in front of the Boathouse was frozen over and had a lovely view to enjoy our lunch over. We decided to walk off our lunch with a walk through Central Park, some of the paths were a bit slippy but it was a good walk. A bit more walking a few coffees here and there and a visit to Macy’s and we headed back to get ready for dinner.
We had a reservation for the River Café at 2030hrs, and we didn’t get off to a good start the first taxi we jumped in the driver had no idea where it was at so we jumped out and got another. This one however, through a combination of fast driving and harsh breaking left me with a sore neck and us both feeling pretty nocuous by time we arrived with not much of an appetite. As usual we went for the chefs signature tasting menu, which was out of this world up until the 5th course of fois gras. Now I like it and my girlfriend isn’t too keen in hindsight we should have asked from the outset if it was on the menu or not. A little of the way through my gf left hers and I found mine particularly greasy so much so that shortly after eating we both felt pretty ill, this was just through the richness and greasiness as a result this spoilt the rest of the meal for us as we just couldn’t stomach anything after this. Our waiter seemed to alternate once or twice throughout the night and eventually when asked I said the fois gras was very greasy. The waiter was apologetic but then seemed to hide from us for the rest of the night-I didn’t know what to expect from this complaint but previously they’d missed a course and we were given all kinds of free goodies this time we got squat but I couldn’t be bothered complaining further after my initial complaint and didn’t want to ruin the night after spending over $500 on food and wine I expected better though. Everything was superb but just a shame about that one course. Went back to the hotel and ended up not having the stomach for anything to eat until well after lunch time of the next day.