Afternoon Tea: Bergdorf Goodman

I had a weekend of classic NYC moments: celebrity sightings (Mario Batali eating next to us at Rosemary's  in our neighborhood), a couple hours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a visit to The Plaza Food Hall, a Broadway show (Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick & Kelli O'Hara - fun and frothy), and...afternoon tea at the 7th floor restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman, BG. It is divine in so many ways, starting with the Kelly Wearstler-designed space, followed by the tea sandwiches, scones, and mini treats.

Broadway Sunday: Porgy & Bess, Sardi's & Chez Josephine

A classic Broadway New York day goes something like this: show, Sardi's, post-theater dinner.

I sat wide-eyed and glued to this production of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (originally an opera), on Broadway through June 24. I fell in love with Porgy (Norm Lewis), and I teared up when Bess (Audra McDonald) hit the high notes. As The New York Times review says, "And when she sings — ah, it’s a God-touched voice that turns suffering and ugliness into beauty...This Bess has the breath of divinity in a world that feels entirely too mundane to keep her. " I highly recommend it.

Porgy & Bess cast at curtain callSardi's needs no introduction for New Yorkers-it's been open for 90 years in the heart of the theater district. The restaurant is especially famous for its walls, adorned with smiley caricatures of hundreds of celebrities. It's a tourist trap that I don't mind being trapped in.

On far west 42nd Street is Chez Josephine, a bizarre, funky restaurant that feels like you're stepping into a 1930s Parisian woman's boudoir. It was a great dinner start to finish, with live piano renditions of Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, and "Moon River" and a terrible but laughable first date at the table next to us. It is a tribute to Josephine Baker, the American-turned-French singer who adopted TWELVE children, and with close familial ties--it's run by her adopted son, Jean-Claude Baker. The only thing missing is a cloud of cigarette smoke to make it feel truly authentic.

Broadway: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

There is nothing I love more than a great New York night. Nothing. Last week, we went to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and then had dessert and coffee at Joe Allen’s on Restaurant Row, W. 46th Street. 
The stage before the show
Yes, Daniel Radcliffe drew me in to the show.  And there were a couple moments at the beginning where I giddily thought “That’s Harry Potter!” And then, “Wow he’s really short.” And then I forgot about Harry Potter altogether because he was so fantastic in the role, singing, dancing and commanding the stage.  It’s a fun show, with a great supporting cast and I left thinking that Daniel Radcliffe can do anything.  He’s in the show until January, when Nick Jonas takes over the role. 
Joe Allen, New York City
After, we went around the corner to Joe Allen, a place that I felt nostalgic for as soon as I walked in and I had never been.  Open since 1965, the walls are covered in posters of notable Broadway flops, like Breakfast at Tiffany's.  
They’re famous for their banana cream pie so we split that and still had a lot left.  It’s gigantic and good, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.  The ultimate Broadway chick, Kristin Chenoweth, told Bon Appetit “At Joe Allen’s in New York, I order the banana cream pie.  It’s ridiculously good. I had it two nights ago. When I’m in town and I want to treat myself, that’s what I have.” 
Joe Allen used to give hefty discounts to struggling actors when it first opened and it’s still inexpensive by New York standards.  I will go back again and again on those Broadway nights.