Well, we made it. We're here. We wake up: and it's light! We wake up, and we feel great. We come home, and it's light! There's rose to drink and strawberries to eat. June, you are a total joy, with the luxury of pleasures current and the knowledge of a long, hot summer ahead.
To take advantage of it:
Soft shell crabs, as long as you can: I've waxed poetic about the beauty of soft shells every year, but really. They are the harbingers of spring, available for just a few weeks. While you can, cook them into a briny pasta with garlic, olive oil, and parsley, or fry em up and make the most delightful sunday lunch, sandwiched in a fat roll with avocado (and then take a nap.)
Cocktail hour at Atla: Enrique Olvera's more casual sister restaurant to Cosme opened last summer to rave reviews. On a buzzy corner of Soho, it earned a name for modern and marginally cheaper takes on luxury Mexican. With flaxseed chilaquiles and beautifully rich cafe de olla (get it in its cortado form), it become a favorite Saturday lunch in a city of mediocre brunch. But in June: in June, you go on a Friday evening, when the light is long and you can sit in the window. You order both the Carlota's margarita (silky with lime curd) and the Overproof, and a bowl of their guacamole, topped with piles of herb and crowned with an enormous blue corn chip. Another round of Overproofs, and then a pile of churros. There is nothing, just nothing, nicer.
Heavenly Bodies at the Met: June is the perfect time for an outing to the Met -- an excuse to walk along Central Park, weave through excited tourists, and enter dark, cool halls. This weekend we went in search of the Golden Kingdoms exhibit... only to find we had missed it by three days. And so we began our normal meandering, from the Greek statues through to Oceania (detouring this time via 12th century Panama with incredible tiny animal pendants). And then we happened to hear music as we turned a corner, and fell into the Heavenly Bodies exhibit. It was perhaps the most evocative and modern exhibit I've seen at the Met -- darkly lit, weird music soundtrack, dramatic use of height -- pairing historical artifact with modern design. Self-aware and over the top, it was totally worth fighting through the crowds. (And then a visit to one of the dozens of Mr. New York carts down 5th Ave. - you've earned that swirl.)
Perfect little sweets at Burrow: Burrow has been on my list for a million and one years, but as is the case with many New York gems, part of its mystique is its hours and location: monday through friday, nine to four, in the back of a dumbo office building. As my normal workday does not exactly take me there, this one had to wait until a loungey spring friday vacation day. Arriving a little after eleven, we found the tiniest, sweetest counter, with an incredible array of pastries, designed like art -- from a classic quiche with a lovely crust, to gingery strands of pastry braided into a fat plait, to a thin, crisp roasted green tea cookie, to my favorite, the far breton -- an almost caramel-like Portuguese egg tart with apricot preserves -- there was a Japanese attention to precision, with a homeliness that made each delicious. While Arcade will always have a place in my heart, Burrow may have knocked it out as my weekday go-to.
Asparagus for every meal: Whether you shave it thinly and dress it with olive oil and lemon (and perhaps some farro or an eight-minute egg), broil it up and top with fried eggs and a sprinkle of pimenton, or do as we did last night and blanch then top with melting butter and bottarga (new rule: bottarga on everything!)... asparagus is the spring everymeal and it never fails.
Brooklyn Brewery tour (with Mister Dips to follow): June is the time for group outings as everyone climbs out of their hibernation hole. For a recent team event, I booked a group tour at Brooklyn Brewery and it was as quirkily old Williamsburg as you imagine. For eighteen dollars, you receive four beers, a beer glass (fun fact - designed by Milton Glaser, an original funder), and the pleasures of following your guide around for twenty minutes of history and brewing. (Ours was a former art student whose rings spelled "Fat Wizard," if that gives you a sense of the vibe.) After having your fill, walk a few feet down the street to the Vale Hotel and pop upstairs to Mister Dips for a round of burgers (the veggie is surprisingly satisfying -- all crisp edges and oozing cheese), excellent chicken tenders with old bay and hot honey, and most importantly of all, enormous soft serve cones. Known for its instagrammy concoctions with piles of toppings, the ice cream itself is really incredible. Get one off the menu for looks and then just a good ole chocolate or vanilla for eating.