Kim invited Katie and me to finally see The Cloisters museum and gardens (the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe) on one fall Sunday, and we were treated to gorgeous foliage without even leaving the city. But first, we had to do brunch.
119 7th Ave
New York, NY 10010
We decided to hit Cafeteria since it’s along the same subway line. It’s known for serving “American comfort food with a twist”, and according to Yelp, rude waitstaff. This did not dissuade us from going, despite the fact that Kim had been exposed to the latter just the night before, because the brunch menu looked oh so good.
There was a bit of rudeness involved, to be honest. When I tried to put in my name for the wait list, they said they wouldn’t take it until the party was complete. What??? Anyway, once we were complete, they immediately had a table for us, so I guess no biggie?
I started with an iced cappuccino, which looked amazing, but tasted only okay.
Kim and I ordered the spinach benedict sliders, with cheddar grit cakes and poached eggs. The spinach and poached eggs were perfectly cooked, but we both thought the cheddar grit cakes were a bit too salty and the texture wasn’t quite what we expected (it’s “baked” on the outside, mushy on the inside).
Kim and I also ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes, ‘coz, you know. The lemon ricotta cream was fantastic (though it’s not exactly the hardest thing to make), and the pancakes were a little on the chewy side (I prefer fluffier, more tender pancakes).
Katie ordered the green eggs and ham (pesto and goat cheese scrambled eggs, country ham steak, buttermilk biscuit). It obviously looked amazing, and according to Katie, tasted amazing as well.
Fort Tryon Park
689 Fort Washington Ave
New York, NY
The Cloisters museum and gardens were beautiful, but the park surrounding it was for me, the best part of this walk. There’s a breathtaking view of the Hudson River and the Fort Lee Historic Park right across it. I’ve been living in the north east for almost 10 years and I still can’t get enough of fall, especially when it looks like this.
99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Fort Tryon Park
New York, New York 10040
After a long walk full of pauses, oohs and aahs, we finally got to the Cloisters.
These windows reminded me of the RPG games I used to play, like King’s Quest and Kyrandia, and I just wanted to look through them all day.
The gardens were mostly generic looking for someone who’s not into plants like me, but I thought this little pot was adorable.
There were judgemental carved figures everywhere, such as this one on a pillar.
But the view of the gardens was both lovely and serene.
And some of their faces are carved/painted with such interesting expressions. I think the one on the far left is rolling her eyes at someone, maybe me.
Katie pointed out that the baby Jesus here looks like he’s saying “Talk to the hand”.
This sarcophagus depicted what looked like the owner’s toy dog at his feet.
And this bishop looked like one of those evil guys in the movies.
But there were definitely some amazing stained glass windows.
And some really fantastic religious artifacts, like this one used in a tabernacle,
and this madonna and child (although the mother doesn’t appear to be that happy).
Out of everything there, my favorites were the medieval mass books, which looked like they were taken right out of a Disney movie (I have “The Sword in the Stone” particularly in mind, though I’m not sure why, since it’s hardly religious).
1 Margaret Corbin Dr
Our tour of the Cloisters didn’t take too long, we so we headed out early and were again amazed at how gorgeous everything was.
We were planning on just going home, until we came across the New Leaf Restaurant and Bar, which earned a 2013 Excellence Award from Trip Advisor. There were quite a few people sitting outside, drinking these cocktails that are all about fall, and you know we ordered them ourselves.
Heather Garden: Organic Earl Grey Infused Gin, Elderflower Liqueur and Rose Water
Adam’s Ruin: Spiced Rum, Hot Apple Cider, Cinnamon, and Whipped Cream
We took our drinks outside, and I “forced” Katie and Kim to try my cookie butter crack pie (inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s .
We spent a few hours gabbing (not a word I usually use) about Katie’s future wedding, halloween plans for next year, and everyone else we knew who wasn’t present. That took quite a while, so by the time we started walking to the subway, the sun had already set.
The whole experience was very un-Manhattanlike (I would say almost European), and the subway station was like a jolt back to reality. But it’s good to know that all of this is just a few train rides away.