Friday, February 11, 2005


Well, I will get my shameless plug for Rebound in early and then fill in the details of today's saga when I get back from lunch. I woke up this morning and felt fine, no hangover whatsoever. Now, as I have said, this isn't too unusual because I seem to be largely immune to them anyway, so I can't say what, if any effect taking the Rebound had, but it certainly didn't hurt and I feel, perhaps, a bit more energetic than usual.

An addendum, I checked out Cyntihia Large's website and I see where one of her paintings is "St. Christina The Astonishing" and is available as either a notecard or a poster. Check it out.

Okay, I started my day and it turned out better than I thought it would.

190) Les Halles'

Got on the subway in Brooklyn and got off on 28th in Manhattan. As I may have mentioned before, I was having lunch with my wife and her sister at Artisanal's. On the way we passed by Les Halles' at 411 Park Avenue. I don't know if you have ever seen the show "Cooks Tour," but the executive chef, not that he shows up that much anymore, kind of runs this place. It really is a very nice French bistro and the food is very good. They have a little butcher shop in the back, with a real butcher. Be prepared to pay a lot, but what you get is worth it. They also sell cheese from Artisanal, where I was headed. Nice place and well worth stopping in.

I had a bottle of Chimay Blue.

Had lunch at Artisanal and, because I had a drink there before won't count it. Nonetheless, thought I should at least mention it. We started out with a fondue, reminded me of the 70's except the wine was a lot more expensive than the 69 cent Ripple I used to drink back then. I had a couple of glasses of very nice wine with a cheese plate and my wife and her sister had skate. They said it was very good. They headed off to shop and I headed off to:

191) Desmond's

Hey, I hate to keep saying another Irish pub, but this was another Irish pub on Park between 30th and 29th. But it is a great one. They had The Wolfe's on the jukebox. Hated to blow their cover, but this is an Australian group that just sounds Irish. They sound kind of like the Pogues before Shane MacGowan left and the band, as far as I am concerned, fell apart. But, I wander. This was a very crowded place and the bartenders were all singing along, so who cares. They feature rugby on the televisons on the week-end and considering the crowd that was in there today, I can only imagine it is packed then.

I had a Dewars and soda and would go back in a minute. Very friendly place.

192) Red Sky

This place is on 29th between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue. Had red bunting draped all about and hanging from the ceiling. There was a booth up front and a bunch of small tables against the back wall. Candles in red holders on the bar. They had five televisions and M-15 was playing on them all. Hanging about were round, disco-like bulbs, and some of them were lite from within. It is a long, narrow place, like so many in New York places are. Friendly bartender, fun kind of place.

I had a Dewars and soda.

193) Campanile

This is more of a restaurant than a bar, but a bar they did have. One TV in the front and it was on the cooking channel. I ended up talking to the bartender and the coat-check lady about cooking the whole time I was there. A pleasant place. Nice flower arrangements on the bar and the whole place smelled great. Their lighting looked like wrapped parchment. They also had Johnny Walker Blue on the top shelf. You don't see that very often.

I had a glass of Chianti.

194) Ixta

Well I finally hit the uber Mexican restaurant. You have to see this place. Great lighting, both overhead and on the walls, and the lighting over the bar is outstanding. Sometimes I complain about how much a drink costs, but I paid ten bucks for my margarita here and it was worth every cent, top shelf tequila and made with freshly squeezed lime-juice, not the mix out of the bottles that even the so called classy places use. Then they had the best chips, and I am not doing them justice by calling them that, and two great dips, made on the premises. I will be back, and it won't take me a year to get there.

I had a margarita, one of the best I have ever had other than the ones I make myself.

195) Park Bistro

Well, I was headed to the subway, but then looming ahead was the beckoning Park Bistro sign. How could I not stop in. So, stop in I did. Great French bistro type of place with a very small bar up front. Tall, red-headed bartender who told me she came from Albuquerque. Still one of the hardest city names to spell I have ever seen. She poured a decent drink though, and this, once more, looked like a place to visit again. You go through red velvet curtains to get into the place and it kind of looks like you are in a 40's nightclub, but a small one. a few burgandy banquettes and then a bunch of small tables covered with white table clothes. A bunch of black and white photos of Paris as it must have looked like way back when. Yet another new place that I have discovered and would certainly like to go back to once more.

I had a Dewars and soda, the way I think I now like them, Dewars on the rocks with just a spash of soda.

196) Mesa De Espana

My last hit. This place is just a step away from the subway entrance and was so enticing I could not pass it by. That means it was close. Just an Itallian restaurant with a small bar in front. Not much about it that I can remember. Spent most of the time on the phone with a buddy of mine talking about who knows what.

I had a glass of Chianti.

Well, I hit a few more today than I thought I would, but it was a fun day. A buddy of mine has been encouraging me to hit 200 bars before I leave for Mexico, the guy I was talking to at the last bar, and, by golly, it looks like I might make it. And that won't even include the two bars I will hit at JFK while waiting for my flight.

A mere 804 left to go.