The Lower East Side has Russ & Daughter’s, the Upper West Side has Barney Greengrass. The self-proclaimed “The Sturgeon King” has been an institution in these parts for more than 100 years. So, naturally and quite expectedly, your mornings will have to begin with their specialty: cured sturgeon. Still, don’t hesitate to grab some lox and cream cheese on a bagel. Definitely not a choice you'll ever regret.
Lunchtime is near and your stomach grumbles after hours of delighted exploration. Shake Shack is nearby, but you decide not to miss a chance to eat at Maison Pickle. The spot is an old-school American take on dining, focusing on the experiential, i.e. long lunches/brunches — something that isn’t a thing anymore in the city. And yes, you can revel in the selection of pickled deliciousness, such as hot sour cucumbers and sweet & spicy carrots. Don't forget to order the French dip, which is entirely spot-on.
With all the landmarks and museums, there’s always a beginning. And that notion is exactly what New York Historical Society celebrates. Founded in 1804, the museum is the first museum in New York. Today, with exceptionally researched exhibits, the museum’s core revolves around the history of New York and the United States. There are spotlights on George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and slavery in New York. On occasion, the Society also engages in re-enactments with loyalist colonial troops exciting the visitor at the front of the building.
The restaurant scene in the UWS isn’t as plentiful as you’d find in nearby culinary destination neighborhoods. There are some remarkable standouts like Calle Ocho, Tesa, Dove Tail and Nice Matin, but tonight, you decide on a seat in The Milling Room. The contemporary American eatery is a marvel, given how its dining room resides in the atrium lobby of the former Endicott Hotel. As you walk in, the room opens up to a gigantic skylight, giving you a strong sense of outdoor dining. The food is divine and consistent, prepared by famed Chef Scott Bryan, who’s worked with the likes of Eric Ripert and was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s legendary book, “Kitchen Confidential."
There are many great late night bars to visit in the UWS… Gebhard’s Beer Culture, George Keeley’s, Caledonia UWS (a whiskey bar), the Manhattan Cricket Club, and Vanguard Wine Bar, to name but a few. Still, tonight you will have a few cocktails at The Dead Poet. The old-school style Irish pub is designed to celebrate the lives of writers and poets. The walls are adorned with many black and white portraits of famed servants of the pen (and/or quill). There are also framed photos of great quotes and poetic passages. Add to the majestic sensory soup of the Dead Poet the many live music performances.