It has taken me a lot longer to compose this portion of this little mini-series than I anticipated. Every time I start, I get distracted, and fail to return to the task at hand. So, without further delay, here is our culinary adventure.
We were given the choice of what type of restaurant to dine at. The girls chose Italian, since they like the Olive Garden. We were taken to Fresco by Scotto on East 52nd Street, which happens to be a favorite amongst celebrities like Regis Philbin. Sadly, no celebs when we were there.
There were 8 of us dining together, so we sat at a giant square table – two on each side. Joe really wanted the girls to have a great New York City experience, so he had his assistant, Even, sit near the girls and give them shopping locations. It was amusing, from my standpoint.
The waiters first asked if we wanted bottled or sparkling water. Bottled went into clear goblets, sparkling went into blue. That way they wouldn’t have to interrupt our conversation to ask what we needed for our refill. After the water was poured, Joe motioned for the waiter to come over, and gave him instructions on the appetizers he wanted for the table. He also asked for the wine menu, which was huge! I have no idea what type he ordered – the label was not in English. While we were waiting for the wine to be poured, the waiters brought out a basket of bread sticks in many different sizes and grilled pizza margheritas. We still hadn’t ordered our main course when the second round of appetizers arrived. It was Meat & Cheese Antipasto…wow. The waiters were instructed to put a sample of all the elements on each plate. We had Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mortadella, Fresh Mozzarella, Sweet & Spicy Sausage, Provolone and Capizola. They brought out French Fries for the girls, just in case they didn’t like the other food.
After all of this, it was time to order our main meal. We opened our menus, and to our surprise – the Schwan’s logo was in the center! (The headquarters is 10 miles from our home.) Jonathan ordered an organic Angus beef burger, two of the girls and I ordered the Ravioli Fresco, and one ordered the Spaghetti alla Chitarra. When our meals arrived, it was just like in the movies where a long line of waiters come to the table to present everyone with their food. Half-way through, Joe decided we should taste the Eggplant and Zucchini Pie, so he ordered that as well.
About the time we finished eating, Joe received a phone call and had to leave. Connie asked if we wanted coffee or dessert, when a waiter came over and said that dessert had been taken care of. They brought out coffee (which was also very good) and a dessert tray that was probably 2×3 feet…and filled with samples of many desserts to share. There was Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers (my favorite cookie), two or three kinds of gelato, two types of cheese cake, biscotti, and fresh fruit.
The food was all top-notch, the service excellent, and the company was unforgettable. We rolled out of there, and walked towards Central Park. I was very thankful that we were walking everywhere after the feast we were treated to.
We hung out in Central Park for a short time, then thought we should make our way over to Broadway. Connie ordered tickets for Mary Poppins for us. We were floored! She had us dead center – 6 rows from the front. We could see the sweat on the conductor’s brow…and when Mary Poppins got hit by a chimney sweep’s broom, we could see the blood trickling from her brow. The show was amazing – different enough from the movie that it seemed fresh, yet very familiar.
We headed for home the following day, taking time to see my brother and sister-in-law, Byron and Lois. They took us to Point Pleasant along the Jersey Shore. We walked along the boardwalk, ate at the amusement park, and walked on the beach and in the ocean. A great end to a very memorable trip.