After the 4 hour drive we pulled up in front of the Hilton Millenium One U.N. The bellman helped us with valeting our car and welcomed us to the hotel. Since we only had one suitcase we brought it in ourselves to the check in desk. The following experience wasn't up to their normal standards. We weren't welcomed as Hilton Diamond members, we were handed 2 bottles of water, and weren't offered an upgrade. We asked about an upgrade and at first were told we were given a nice King room. This is what we booked. After a while of searching on her computer the staff member was able to secure us a corner room.
Room 3240 offers a hallway closet, coffee bar with safe, a King Bed, a couple of chairs, large desk, large bathroom, and 2 very nice views. The downsides to this room can be easily rectified by the hotel. The first is the rug is shredding a bit right in the middle of the room and should be trimmed. The second issue is that the wall behind the bathroom sink is quite stained and could use a fresh coat of paint. Otherwise we were very happy with the selection.
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Greg paints designer vinyl toys and so on this trip he was hoping to see work by others. We went into Grand Central Terminal to shop in Piq. We also shopped for some treats for us and family at the Grand Central Market. We purchased teas and specialty seasonings at Spices & Tease, large meringue cookies at Eli Zabar, and white honey from Murray's.
At this point we were getting hungry and decided to go to one of our usual casual spots. Momosan Ramen welcomed us and the staff seated us within just a few minutes. We hoped for seats at the bar but were given seats at the communal tables. Thanks to the recommendation of our waitress we enjoyed a carafe of a delicate Sake. To start our lunch we decided to try the Gyozas. The Gyoza came out hot, plated nicely, savory, and satisfying. I ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen and unfortunately it was a bit of a let down this time. The broth was warm, the noodles were a smaller portion, and the pork was incredibly fatty. Greg ordered the Tantan (a spicy curry) and enjoyed his meal. Hint: Don't wear a white dress shirt while eating Tantan. Thank goodness for Shout Wipes.
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Even though we were full from lunch we decided to continue our search for food gifts. To balance things out we decided to walk the 2.5 miles to Dean and Deluca up on Madison Ave.
Along the way I became such a happy camper! We stopped at Sprinkles Cupcakes for one of their delicious Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes. The added bonus was that I got to use one of their Cupcake ATMs! Sometimes it's the little things that are the most fun!
Inside Dean and Deluca we purchased some Prosecco Gummy Bears, and Coconut Jam. We considered buying the Balsam Oro (balsamic vinegar with gold flakes) but decided to order it next time. At this pointed we decided to take our purchases and hop in a taxi back to the hotel. Once at the hotel Greg took a much deserved nap (since he drove the whole trip to NY) while I did some work online.
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We were seated at the bar which we love! It's wonderful to be able to watch the chef's create and interact with them. Greg and I both ordered the Old Fashioned cocktail while we perused the menu. We ended up ordering a lot of small plates for our meal because everything looked so good!
Our Japanese canapes were Uni, Ahi Poke, and Truffle & Mushroom. The Canapes come on small squares of crispy rice and each one had a wonderful balance of taste and texture. My favorite was the Poke.
Next up was the beautifully presented small Sashimi Platter. We had two types of tuna, crab, amberjack, and three other types of fish (one was from New Zealand). Every piece was fresh, portioned nicely, and didn't need any accompaniments.
The third course was the special for the night. A fatty tuna hand roll which was very tasty but needed to be eaten quickly as the seaweed would get soggy.
The fourth course was the highlight of the evening! Powdered Foie Gras over Duck Chashu is a perfect dish. The Chef brought over a dish of duck chashu topped with arugula. He then proceeded to shred frozen Foie Gras over it and top it with pink peppercorns. The duck was savory, the arugula peppery, and the Foie Gras melted in your mouth. An absolutely perfect bite.
The Pork Belly Bun was next for us. The dish is presented for you to configure your own sandwich. You have the bun, cucumber, the pork belly, and then an aioli. I enjoyed this dish but I did find it a little messy to eat.
Our final dish was the Organic Chicken Karaage. The flavors of this dish were nice. You had the hot and juicy chicken with the sweet and sour sauce on the side (nice so you can add as much as you wish). My complaint is that I wish the chicken was a little crispier.
With the cool atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious food we highly recommend every dine at Roki Le Izakaya when in NYC.
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