If you called me right now and were like, Heather. I only have one hour left to spend in the city. Tell me where to go. I would throw you into a cab and have you hauled off to Café Lalo.
Upon arriving, I would make sure that we sat in the corner, by the window. (Did you think I wasn't going to join you? Think again!) Because if we sat in the corner, then we would have a view of the whole café and would still be able to see the twinkly lights that are always on the trees outside (twinkly lights are pretty up there in my book, so these details are all very important).
After a few minutes, you would realize how overwhelming the menu is and you might start to panic. At this point, we would order two glasses of champagne to calm your nerves. This should help you see more clearly and realize that, yes, of course the Goat Cheese and Spinach Scramble with Rosemary Bread is the best choice. I would then demand that I get to eat half.
While we enjoy the tulips on our table, the music, and all the amazing aromas floating out of the kitchen, we will start to wonder if we are suddenly living in the middle of a romantic comedy. You will slyly look around the café to see if Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are sitting at any of the tables nearby. Disappointed that they are not, we will request a dessert menu and another round of champagne. While you scour the 50,000 flavors of pie on the menu, I will gaze longingly at the blueberry cheesecake in the display case. Declaring it Love At First Sight, I will refuse to even look at the menu.
Too distracted by the Best Dessert of Our Lives (and the food comas that we are slowly slipping into), it wouldn't be until the last bite that we will both remember that you were only supposed to be in New York for one hour. By this point, three hours have gone by and you will have missed your flight. C'est la vie! we would say, and two more glasses of champagne would be ordered.
This is pretty much a play-by-play of brunch this morning with my mom, give or take a few minor details. We weren't in any hurry (no flights were missed) and we were much more concerned about cheesecake than we were with Ryan Gosling. Also, she didn't panic about the menu because when we get together, it goes without saying that everything we order is going to be shared. You all know how I feel about trying little bites of everything.
The moral of this story is: if you're visiting New York, this is the *one* place I insist that you go. It's impossible not to love. (And when you go, I hope you'll tell me all about it!)
201 West 83rd Street
New York, NY 10024