Thursday, January 31, 2008

Weekend in New York

A New Yorker by birth but not by temperament, I’ve now traveled twice to the city since December, following an absence of perhaps a decade. Drawn back by food and family, of course, and in our family it’s hard to know which comes first.

We had a fine Cantonese meal at Fuleen (11 Division Street; 212-941-6888), across from Chinatown’s statue of Confucius. The packed room vibrated with the clatter of teacups and chopsticks while we ate our way through several of the house specialties: baked scallops on the half shell, crispy chicken with soy sauce, Dungeness crab with ginger and scallions, a casserole of seabass filets and tofu.

And thanks to Seth Kugel for recommending the hot chocolate at tapas bar Boqueria (53 West 19th Street; 212-255-4160). We walked from Union Square on a brisk Sunday afternoon, just as the sun was lighting the brick facades on Park Avenue. There were three generations in our party, and each was captivated by the combination of crisply fried churros and smoothly fragrant chocolate. Some of us sipped gratefully from a glass of rioja between bites.