Sievers and the City

New York City in the Spring is a wonderful thing.  The first flowers are blooming, the first leaves are starting to appear, and everyone seems to have a spring in their step as they walk down the street.  We were lucky enough to experience a few of these amazing springtime days with our friends from Colorado.

The trip turned out to be an epicurean feast and we hit the following restaurants and bars:

Q2 Thai – A great little Thai restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen.
Basilica – A tiny Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen.
Valhalla – My favorite beer bar in the city!
Hummus Kitchen – Hell’s Kitchen Israeli restaurant.
Sushi of Gari 46 – Our favorite sushi restaurant.
La Sirene – An amazing BYOB French restaurant in SoHo.
McSorley’s Ale House – The city’s oldest bar.
Caracas Arepa Bar – An awesome Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village.
And of course, don’t forget a delicious Halal Cart meal on the day of their departure!

We also hit various places around the city such as Wall Street, Battery Park, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Times Square, and more!  While the girls were out shopping at H&M and Zara, we were riding bicycles around the full loop in Central Park.  It was simply a beautiful day to be outside and moving.

Another highlight of the trip was when we all went to see West Side Story on Broadway.

Here are some photo highlights:

The Dudes @ Valhalla:

The Ladies:

The Happy Couple in Times Square:

All of us in Times Square:

West Side Story:

And finally… the morning wake up call at our house is when the dog comes in and starts licking your head:

Southern Indian Food – Saravana Bhavan

Until yesterday I had always assumed “Indian Food” is similar no matter where you dine.  It makes sense that a country as large as India has different types of cuisine in different areas of the country.  Without going into too much detail, let’s split India into a Northern and Southern region.  This “Northern” food is what I have always experienced when eating Indian cuisine in the United States; think Naan, Chicken Tikka Masala, and meat cooked in a Tandoor.

A coworker of mine is in NYC for a trade show and asked if we would be interested in eating at this place called Saravana Bhavan.  I never turn down a chance to try new food, and three of us headed that way immediately.  On our cab ride down there (Murray Hill neighborhood, lovingly called “Curry Hill”), my friend mentioned that this restaurant exists in his home town of Chennai, India (with locations around the globe) and has missed it terribly.  He also warned that it is completely different from the northern cuisine typically available.

We tried Dosas (a thin crêpe) filled with onion and spiced potatoes that is served with three different chutneys; coconut, mint, and tomato.  There was also the amazing bowl of Idly smothered in Sambar (probably my favorite dish I tried) that had a lovely spice that creeps up on you.  At this point I was rather full, but my friend insisted we try the desserts and have a coffee.  The coffee was fantastic and the cardamom and saffron spiced dessert, called Rava Kesari, was out of this world.

Everything I tried was delicious and I am thrilled that I have experienced the magic that is southern Indian food.

I may have to go back tomorrow…