09 February 2007

running away to new york

It's that time of year again, when the dog fancy turns its attention to New York and the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. I try to go every year. Some of my long-time readers might remember that a snow storm conspired against me last year. Then things went completely to hell and I was glad to be home. I hope this year is better.

I can handle New York for four days, once a year. The shopping and the restaurants occupy most of my attention before the dog show starts on Monday. Zitomer, Petit Bateau, La Maison du Chocolat and the all-important Ralph Lauren Rhinelander mansion store are on the list. Some of these are for JT, some for me.

While her job is arranging the hotel, restaurant reservations are my responsibility. I'm a big fan of OpenTable. I made reservations this year for Artisanal, Country (the cafe, for brunch), Rosa Mexicano, and Ouest. We decided an early dinner in a "real" place would be preferable to Madison Square Garden hot dogs on Monday night, and OpenTable conveniently offers major bonus points for non-peak reservations at some locations. Couple that with Ouest's prix fixe three course dinner menu and I think we have a winner. Needless to say, there will be a restaurant review, or four, coming soon.

To further our efforts to limit our MSG food consumption to Ben & Jerry's ice cream bars (I won't be able to partake of the champagne with a strawberry in a crappy plastic cup this year), I was thrilled to discover Pret a Manger has migrated to this side of the pond and they have a location within walking distance of The Gah-den. If they opened one in Pittsburgh I would eat there every.single.day. I know it's crazy to be so ga-ga over a sandwich place. I just hope they have not Americanized their fare. I want to close my eyes and imagine I'm in Trafalgar Square.

Oh yeah, the dog show. I should probably mention a bit about that. While I will be watching the Clumbers, most of my attention will be on those Little Brown Dogs, the Sussex spaniels. JT is bringing two with her this year. I'm the handler-in-waiting for her older dog, since the youngster cannot bear to be breathe anyone but JT's oxygen. Their breeder should be there to spare everyone from watching me waddle around the ring. As long as one of them sleeps on my bed I'll be a happy girl.

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