September: in my youth, it was back-packs on, back to school, nip in the air... but these days we postpone all these things as long as possible. Now: eat as many tomatoes as possible, squeeze in one last run to the Rockaways, and soak up the laziness of wandering the neighborhood with a late night swirl with rainbow sprinkles.
Corn 'nudja salad: A throwback but this dish is consistently one of the year's highlights. Fresh corn, spicy sausage, and a touch of basil: a reminder that life is truly good (and that we should cook from the Roberta's cookbook more often.)
Olmsted: This. Restaurant. Great in any season, really at all, but completely incredible when the produce is fresh. Eat their ridiculously enjoyable take on crab rangoon and the watermelon sushi and so many tarragon cocktails, sit in the garden watching the quail roost, roast yourself a s'more and taken in the sheer joy that is life in the borough.
Soft serve at mah-ze-dahr: a million years ago I had the pleasure of breakfasting with Umber Ahmad, a powerhouse in the finance world whose pastry skills were discovered by Tom Colicchio. She had just launched an online-only shop and her nutty bars and dark brownie treats quickly became my go-to for gifts. Today, she has a brick & mortar and RUMOR HAS IT (okay, instagram and also a lot of magazine articles) that she's doing soft serve with toppings and it's like all the goodness of soft serve, but possibly somehow better? (Possible?)
Metrograph theater: This incredibly hip little movie theater, complete with a bar, opened last year and somehow we still haven't made it. September seems like the perfect time for a classic NY cocktail and obscure film (because when it's foreign, it's a "film" not a movie, thank you college job for that useful etiquette ). Added perk? Fox Fodder Farm does their entryway flowers, which I'm guessing our worth the ticket price.
Wings at pok pok last call: Every year the man and I wait for a truly sweaty summer night, and then take ourselves on a long walk to the Columbia Waterfront. Pok Pok is known for its authentic Thai in a really fun environment, and all the food is good BUT the real winner is their rendition of Thai wings. We've got our order down to a science: 3 plates of wings (debate over 1 spicy and 2 regular or 2 regular and 1 spicy: you just can't go wrong) which come with fresh herbs and bitter Thai basil, and an ongoing string of cold beers.
Calder Hypermobility exhibit at The Whitney: A visit to the Whitney is a delight in any weather -- the walk to the entrance alone is beautiful and a reminder of the fun of living in NY today. I've consistently found their curation to be interesting--like the pieces or not, you'll always have something to talk about. Perhaps the mildest in awhile is their mini show of Calder sculptures, all bright colors and gentle movement. Be sure to visit on the hour though, when a nice curator will pop out to "activate" a few pieces at a time so you can see them in their full glory.
Frozen margaritas at the Alamo for the 18th time: I cannot overstate the incredible pleasure it is to go to the newly opened Dekalb Market, inhale a perfect arepa or hand rolls, then roll on up to the 4th floor to see a ridiculous summer movie while enjoying a frozen margarita. There is no more perfect drink than a frozen margarita, and this one is the platonic ideal: tall, limey, salt-rimmed. Nothing fancy, just a great late summer night.
Cauliflower harissa wraps: We're bringing back the wrap, and the late summer/early fall version that I love best involves overly roasted, salty cauliflower with a thick scraping of harissa, lots of yogurt sauce, and topped with fresh parsley and garlic.