Julie Delpy's great film Two Days in NY got me interested in exploring a part of Central Park I had never visited, Belvedere Castle. What a wonderful place. Our walk there took us through other enchanting sections of the park, including Shakespeare Garden and the Ramble.
A subway ride, stroll downtown, and an elevator ride brought us to the 5th Avenue Rooftop Brewery and Restaurant, Birreria, for a very happy birthday dinner.
We have been enjoying Central Park a lot lately, trying to make up for lost time. There are endless adventures and surprises that delight the senses at every level. Belvedere Castle "was a Victorian folly. Calvert Vaux, co-designer of Central Park" who created this miniature castle in 1869 as "a lookout to the reservoir to the north (now the Great Lawn) and the Ramble to the south." Central Park Conservancy
After we left the castle we walked south through the winding paths of an area called the Ramble. At points you feel like you've left New York City, but then maybe not.
We continued south to 57th Street and jumped on the N train downtown, local stops were closed for construction so we go off at 34th and walked downtown on Broadway. It is a very interesting avenue bustling with international commercial activity even on a Sunday. Then at around 25th street it all changes as you hit the hipster zone of lower 5th Avenue.
Our destination was on the top of the building on the northwest corner of 23rd and 5th that houses Eataly.
On the roof with a striking view of the Empire State Building is Birreria the Italian Brewery and Restaurant.
A great selection of beers and wines are on tap here along with a menu of fabulous food.
There are always three cask beers on tap created by Birreria Brothers: Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Leonardo di Vincenzo (Birra del Borgo), and Teo Musso (Baladin). I had the Wanda a luscious Chestnut Mild Ale, which is a moderate dark traditional mild ale with tasty hints of roasted chestnuts. Love the way it rolls over the tongue.
For dinner we enjoyed some delicious cheese, the Shiitake Fritti Con Salvia, Fried Shiitake mushrooms and sage and a truly amazing salad of kale with sesame crisps and grapefruit.
For our mains we really liked the Cotechino an Emilia Romagna inspired pork sausage served with local krauti and mustard seed and the Quaglia, Manchester Farm boneless quail with charred corn, wilted greens and pancetta vinaigrette.
Unfortunately the fish that Diana order was very dry and she sent it back.
The broccili with pancetta and the olive oil smashed potatoes were scrumptious even though they arrived almost 10 minutes late. The service is spotty, but it is such a busy place so just chill.
We had some very good beer and I had a glass, a wonderful glass, of La Mozza Morellino di Scansano.
We capped off the evening with a walk on the Highline. It was a really great day.