August 19, 2012 - We wanted to spend most of the day in the city, and we started off with a walk back to The Met. We looked through some of the paintings in the upper galleries, though there were many we didn’t have a chance to see on this trip (this museum is also huge, though less maze-like when compared with the American Museum of Natural History; it’s also brighter inside).
By this time we were ready for a break so we headed to a little coffee shop on the upper east side called Oren’s Daily Roast. We got a moccachino, cinnamon and sugar rugelach and an almond croissant with toasted almonds and brown sugar on top and a hint of almond paste inside. Everything was fantastic, particularly since we found a little courtyard by the Church of All Souls where we could sit and enjoy the morning snack. Afterwards, we went back to The Met to look through a few more exhibits: armor for both humans and horses, musical instruments including some beautiful violins and horns, Greco-Roman, and Polynesian exhibits.
Now it was time for lunch at a local restaurant called the Don Filippo Restaurant. We got two pepperoni slices and two garlic knot chicken Parmesan sliders. The pizza was very good, thin chewy dough, good sauce, and good toppings. The chicken was cooked well (although the oven didn’t heat it up all the way), but the slider was still very good and the garlic knot was excellent. We didn’t see it on the menu, but apparently you can also order a basket of garlic knots with sauce (which we would highly recommend). For dessert… What visit to NY would be complete without cheesecake? Strawberry cheesecake in this case, which they served it on a little plate decorated with chocolate swirls. The presentation was sweet, and the dessert was very good – not too dense (maybe the cream cheese was whipped?) and perfect for both cheesecake and non-cheesecake lovers. It wasn’t the best cheesecake we’ve had, but we’d put it in our top 5.
After lunch, we headed back to the museum before walking back via Central Park. We stopped to see The Obelisk (also called Cleopatra’s Needle), a statue to a famous Alaskan sled dog, and a statue commemorating a Polish soldier. Dinner, at Abitino Pizza & Pasta, was a reprise of last night. This time, instead of take out, we chose to eat at the restaurant. We got two slices of pizza and a portion of garlic knots. The garlic knots were good, but not great, and could have used more garlic butter. The dough was excellent, though, and the slices were a solid choice as well.
Finally it was time to get the car and head out of the city, we had a decent drive and very little traffic. We took routes I-684 and I-84 and thought they were a good alternative to I-95. We stopped for a coffee break at Dunkin Donuts for an iced mocha latte and an iced chocolate mint coffee with milk.