Eating Your Way Through NYC — A Week In The Life

Big Red Car here.  So we are having a spot of winter here in the ATX.  Mother Nature has arrived and she’s wearing her long mink, mink scarf and mink mittens.  It’s a brisk 37F and an expected high of 43F.  Brrrr!

Nothing but business going on here

So The Boss was up in NYC for some business a couple of weeks ago.  [Shhh, the NSA and IRS might be listening, so YES it was all business all the time even though it was his wife’s birthday celebration and My Perfect Daughter’s 25th birthday surprise party.  Don’t tell anyone.]

So, yes, business, business, business, business, business.

Well, actually it was a lot of business and a lot of eating.  While we are quite proud of our clever little hip foodie Austin, Texas, we must admit that NYC (San Francisco, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston are great food towns also — even Houston and Dallas these days can lay claim to dishing up some very respectable chow) is the WINNAH when it comes to good eats.

A few days in the life of The Boss

So, The Boss likes to use it as an excuse to make the rounds and make the rounds he did.  Got in Monday afternoon.  Hard to work.

Quiet soft landing dinner at the Fat Radish, a recommendation from the Gotham Gal, a chick who really knows her restaurants.  Probably because she is a dedicated restaurant angel investor, long time NYC foodie and Fred Wilson’s muse.  [WTF, Big Red Car, maybe Freddie is her damn muse?  Get it together, Big Red Car.  Haha.  Big Red Car stuck in the 1960s.  Come to think of it, the Big Red Car is a 1966 Impala, right?]  Go read her blog at the link above.  Warning:  do not read it just before lunch or dinner.

Breakfast meeting with a brilliant young CEO at Peel’s.  Yum, those wonderful biscuits.  Someone from Texas applauding NYC biscuits you say?  Yes, Old Sport, their biscuits are excellent.

Lunch at Momofoku with the Wander & Trade team to celebrate the launch of their website.  Wow!  It worked right out of the box.  Great ritual celebration of an important milestone in the life of a company.  [Damn, Big Red Car, bit of pimping going on here?  Yes, sayeth the Big Red Car.  But I really dig Wander & Trade.  It IS that damn good.]

Nice visit with Fred Wilson solving all the world’s problems and a quick chat with Fred and Howard Lindzon.  See every visit does not include a meal.  [Haha, just because it wasn’t quite meal time.]  Besides when you’re in NYC you gotta go see Fred, hands bleeding from counting those Twitter shares no doubt?

Birthday celebration at Babbo, one of Mario Batali’s joints.  What a great dinner.  Everything The Boss put in his mouth was an explosion of taste.  [OK, The Boss made me write that crap.  Really?  A freakin’ “explosion of taste” — really, Boss?  OK, sorry.  I will behave myself sayeth the Big Red Car.]  These kind of iconic restaurants cannot be found in very many cities.

Quick Amtrak trip down to Philadelphia to visit with a brilliant company and its CEO and top management.  Great visit to a very well organized and well run company indeed.  Great discussion as to market share and market growth.  Well worth the trip.  Lunch at the Philadelphia Navy Yard — a one in a million facility — at Urban, run by Urban Outfitters.  A simply spectacular space and a world class example of adaptive reuse of an archaic facility to a modern use.  Great tour and chat.

Quick visit with venture capitalist extraordinaire Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital.  Great offices, incubator space and event space.  Great visit.  Great guy.  Gets all the ideas rolling downhill from adjoining Penn.  Location, location, location.  Leisurely walk back to 30th St Station which brings back a few memories.

Bit of theater — Big Fish — and a few drinks thereafter.

Breakfast at Balthazar with Arnold Waldstein.  Great iconic NYC space filled to overflowing with memories, stories and drama.  Energizing conversation and great visit.  This is the quality of the Fred Wilson AVC.com “salon” — very high class networking and idea exchange.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of great contacts, friendships and chats that have resulted from that community.  Truly remarkable.

Couple of coffee meetings with two very different brilliant CEOs at the Coffee Shop right off Union Square.  The Coffee Shop has that “deal a minute” vibe.  The action never stops.  There is no substitute for a damn good face to face meeting.  It is such a pleasure to meet such talented young CEOs who are obviously going places.  Good on ya!

Lunch with another brilliant woman CEO at Union Square Cafe.  Fabulous conversation and meal.  It is wonderful to see an idea take shape and see it become a product and see the product drive the formation of a company.  To be able to assist just a bit is a real privilege.  Big things will come from this.

Dinner with family including My Perfect Daughter and the Investment Banker.  It is always nice when the Investment Banker can fit you into his deal flow.  Fabulous dinner at Commerce.  The IBer will let YOU pick up the tab, I can assure you of this.

Surprise 25th birthday party for My Perfect Daughter at B Bar with tons of her friends flying in for the occasion.  Quite a coup that her friends would assemble in NYC to surprise her.  Boyfriend did a damn good job in organizing things.  Early dinner over in Brooklyn as part of the ruse.  Well played.  Complete, total tactical surprise.  Tears to the eyes kind of thing.

So, as you can see, the CEO coaching business is a damn hard and exhausting business.  Haha.  But you will eat well, Grasshopper.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.  Please pass the 10W40?  Thanks.

 

 

  • So here is an alternate viewpoint: working at an exec level – and this was true when I was inside companies, even more so as a consultant – while eating only kosher is extraordinarily challenging. Even if I bring my own food – and I often do – or meet for breakfast, where there is always cereal, milk and fresh fruit, or meet in cities where there are kosher options (midtown NYC, LA, some parts of DC, Toronto, downtown Boston), it has an impact on your ability to do business and connect. In my earlier years as a consultant, my biggest roadblock was my lack of knowledge of how to sell. As I progressed, lack of ability to connect over steak or seafood is even bigger.

    All I can say is… thank God and man for beer.

    But what the hell do I really know… I’m just a consultant.

  • panterosa,

    NY’ers are spoiled by great food and fab people to eat it with. Ideas and flavors mix well.

    • JLM

      .
      Great food and great people create energy.

      NYC is all about energy. Tons of energy.

      BRC
      .

  • Great trip report. New York is amazing for food. 10-20 years ago, San Francisco used to beat NYC. Not anymore. SF stagnated, whereas NYC roared. But, what do I know, I’m just a food snob.

  • The Boss needs to make a trip to Chicago. Best food town in America, at a reasonable price.

    • JLM

      .
      I will tell The Boss to get to Chicago when the snow melts. He only likes snow for skiing.

      BRC
      .