The Perfect Night in New York City

As the sun began to set on our perfect day in New York City, our fun was only just beginning. During the day we had accomplished every cliche tourist activity in the Big Apple, but it was our plans for that night which I looked forward to the most. CNBC, historic bars, great hotels, and a popular celebrity chef's restaurant....This was going to be quite a night.

Times Square at Night
The Lights of Times Square

First up for the evening was Times Square. Most people that visit this New York icon come for the lights, to see a show, or to just say they've been there. Not me. Being a bit of a financial market nerd, I wanted to see the NASDAQ. More specifically, I wanted to be the crazy bystander that waved wildly behind the windows during CNBC's Fast Money. I'm unsure if I managed to get on camera while my wife rolled her eyes from afar, but I did get to see Melissa Lee and the rest of the crew on air. Oh and the lights were pretty cool too...
CNBC Fast Money
"Dad, Turn on the TV quick!"

After dropping by the hotel to freshen up, we were on to stop #2....The St. Regis. If you've come to New York searching for cheap hotels, I wouldn't advise starting at the St. Regis. There's a history inside, however, which shouldn't be missed...

We arrived at the St. Regis hotel in grand style - Yellow Cab - and as we entered the hotel we passed an actor who's name still fails me. Bald guy with salt and pepper sides, sometimes has a beard? Couldn't tell you what he was in. You know...that guy. Anyway, we made our way through the grand lobby, and I stopped a bellman to ask where we could find our destination...the King Cole Bar.
King Cole Bar St. Regis
The King Cole. Credit: The St. Regis

The King Cole is famous for being the first place in the States to serve that Sunday morning favorite...the Bloody Mary. We entered the dark, crowded bar, and tried our best to look like we fit in. I'm sure we failed miserably at the task, but the bartender paid me the same attention he seemed to show the traders from Goldman Sachs. We sipped our Marys in a little nook to the side of the bar and took in the scene, as well as the gorgeous mural behind the bar. Then, the bill was placed before me, and I realized why the bartender had been so courteous in the beginning. He was softening the blow of the $20 Bloody Mary.

The next stop on our adventure was Bar Americain for dinner. When I solicited my wife's input on where we should eat, she said after about .08 seconds "Bobby Flay's restaurant." She went on to explain that Bobby Flay is hot, and I figured since it was our anniversary I'd let her go on thinking he was actually back there slaving away on her dish.
Yes dear, I'm sure Bobby grilled the steak himself...

We arrived at the restaurant and I recognized the interior immediately from episodes of my guilty pleasure, Throw Down with Bobby Flay. I ordered a bottle of wine, and we took in the bustling atmosphere of this popular restaurant. The scene was quite different from the King Cole, with many more tourists mixed in the crowd, drawn to Bar Americain and it's celebrity chef like bugs to a fluorescent zapper. As for the food, the wife and I were both in the mood for steak, but it was our side which was the biggest hit...
Bar Americain Fries
Fries with spicy mayo...Bobby Flay you're my hero..
Credit: The Good Life

Finally, we flagged the yellow chariot for our last stop of the evening. There is a certain thrill that I get when hopping into cabs and stating the "I'm a big shot" destination, so my legs went slightly numb as soon as "The Plaza" left my lips. We had skipped dessert at Bar Americain intentionally, so that we could enjoy it at The Plaza's legendary Oak Bar. Being a Friday evening the place was absolutely packed, but an incredibly helpful hostess scrambled through the bar, and found us a table in the center of this gorgeous room.
The Plaza Lobby
The Lobby at The Plaza
The numbness returned to my legs with the first bite of our chocolate praline dessert, but it was the atmosphere which really sucked me in. As I sipped on a glass of Veuve Clicquot, I began to understand why the Lieutenant in Scent of a Woman chose this spot for his final meal. In the pantheon of legendary New York hotels, The Plaza is firmly at the top of the list, and as we reminisced on what had been an incredible 24 hours, we both agreed that this was the perfect ending.

Enjoy Your Stay