USA Day 1 – Flight & Arrival

Even though it’s only been about 48 hours since it happened – the first day of our USA trip is a bit of a blur.  It really started about another 24 hours before that, when I was notified that my points request for a business class airfare was granted!!  Yay!!  I did a very unprofessional happy dance around my desk. I’m only 2 and a bit weeks into my new job – I hope it wasn’t a career limiting move!!

Anyhoo – this trip had been a year in the planning.  It was a girls’ trip – ostensibly to celebrate mine and iMac’s birthday. However, it turned into a much bigger affair when we invited the Gorgeous AT, who in turn invited her friend Pescatarian M, and then a cavalcade of their old school friends from New York and London joined us for a mini reunion.  So, now on the weekends, we have a party of eight to fine dine with!! But I get ahead of myself.

First up we started in the International Platinum Lounge for a champagne breakfast.  I managed to scoff almost 3 glasses of champagne, and then I wore two glasses when the wait staff accidentally lost balance of her tray.  Ah well – I guess there’re worse things, and they were terribly apologetic.

First class breakfast

My breakfast was very tasty and got us into the right frame of mind for our long haul flight! I felt very special being in business class – and it was much more comfortable than any other flight I’ve done. Here’s hoping that the homeward bound trip gets upgraded as well.  Fingers crossed.

After almost 24 hours of flying across 2 legs, kitting up in Qantas pyjamas, getting finger printed at US customs, and a taxi ride later we arrived at our hotel in the heart of midtown New York and not far from the great Times Square.  Regardless of the certain overload on our senses, we couldn’t help but to be drawn to the bright lights where the summer evening resulted in throngs of people checking it out.

Times square 1

iMac and Gorgeous AT enjoying the bright lights in the big city!

Once we’d had our fill of the neon and craziness, we wandered back to the hotel looking for a quick bite to eat.  Along the way we happened across this lovely little Italian restaurant, Osteria al Doge, where we happily installed ourselves for a bite to eat.  Now, I have to apologise for the quality of these photos – given we had just spent 24 hours in transit, I had forgotten my camera and so had to resort to the iPhone.  Such a bad blogger!

Bread basket

Bread basket

As we pondered over the menu, we happily munched into the bread sticks, and some lovely olives.


Bruschetta al pomodoro

To whet our appetites, we decided to get some lovely fresh bruschetta.  The tomatoes were lovely, and it had just the right hit of olive oil, basil and onions.  It was lovely just to sit at a table again to eat.

Tagliatelli with veal ragu

Tagliolini alla chitarra

iMac ordered the tagliolini with a veal ragu and wild mushrooms.  She was very happy and ate it all up commenting on the freshness of the pasta and the wonderful tastiness of the sauce.

Parpadelle with lamb

Pappardelle verdi al sugo d’agnello

I ordered this amazing spinach pappardelle – wide pasta ribbons which were liberally punctuated by pieces of roasted lamb and olives and enhanced by some wonderful rosemary.  Absolutely delicious.

Salmon ravioli

Tortellini al salmon

Pescatarian M had a gorgeous homemade tortellli filled with Atlantic salmon & goat cheese in a light herb, tomato and cream sauce.   It was topped with a little salmon roe and was absolutely melt in the mouth.  Amazing.


Pizze al mozzarella, tomate, prosciutto

The gorgeous AT wanted a pizza – and this one was delicious.  The mozzarella was gently warmed by the pizza base, and topped with paper thin slices of melt-in-the-mouth prosciutto.  There was just enough diced tomato to add a little freshness and it was complemented by some rocket.  It had a wonderful thin crust and was absolutely scrumptious!

Tiramisu & petit fours

Homemade tiramisu and petit fours

And then, because we could – three of us ordered tiramisu.  We had seen the dessert plate go around, and while there were some pretty good dishes, we can never go past tiramisu.  It was deliciously creamy – but perhaps could have done with some more coffee liqueur to give a little more moistness to the saviordi.  Gorgeous AT resisted dessert, but the waiter brought her out some special petit fours so she wouldn’t feel left out.

Californian pinot noir and the restaurant

Our lovely waiter with a bottle of Californian Pinot Noir, and the gorgeous interior of Osteria al Doge

Overall, we were very impressed with this little find, and expect that we may be back for more given its proximity to our hotel and Broadway.  With 4 shows to catch – we could be convinced!

Osteria Al Doge on Urbanspoon