Friday, July 28, 2006

An uptown night out

I know I said I wasn't going to type until next week, but I have to recommend two great uptown spots before bed. Amy and I visited the Archway in Hudson View Gardens tonight for a latish dinner. It's a really adorable place, and the food was wonderful: I had the wild mushroom ravioli; she had the baby spinach salad entree. Walking in, the place reminded me of England, what with all the British food items displayed among the shelves by the entrance, testifying to the room's former use as a commissary for the co-op complex with a Mock Tudor design that is HVG. There's room for about two dozen diners at most, and it was about half filled when we arrived. The art along the walls was also beautiful, and Amy remarked on wishing she could have one of the mixed-media canvases by Aryn Chapman. It's called "One Self," and it's actually featured on the artist's website. Then we discovered it's listed at $8,500. As a consolation, our waiter dug up one of the artist's postcards.

After dinner, Amy took me to a place she's visited a few times before, down by the Columbia med center. It's In Vino Veritas, on St. Nick near West 171st Street, and the only unfortunate thing I'd have to say about it is it faces a McDonald's. Other than that, it's a real gem. A five-piece combo was playing some really sensational Cuban music tonight, and the place was packed with people drinking wine, sipping Framboise and Stella, munching on tapas and salads, and digging in to the liqueur-laced specialty desserts. We shared a carafe of shiraz as well as the chocolate souffle topped with a touch of Grand Marnier. It's quite the popular place, as people just kept arriving, filling in every nook and cranny in the relatively small wine bar. I'd definitely go back to both places. A. and I remarked on how nice it is to have a night out where we can walk there or walk home or both, instead of having to take a taxi or the subway. And it's good to support these uptown establishments, because then they'll thrive and maybe proliferate.

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