My husband and I, along with friends, drove to the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan last weekend to visit the beautiful Fort Tryon Park. The park was an ancillary site of the American Revolutionary War Battle of Fort Washington, fought on November 16, 1776, between 2,900 American soldiers and 8,000 invading Hessian troops hired by Great Britain. Margaret Corbin became the first woman to fight in the war and was wounded during the battle, and a major road through the park is named in her honor.
Situated on a 67 acre ridge, Fort Tryon Park has commanding views of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, the New Jersey Palisades and the Harlem River. It was built by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., son of the architect of Central Park, in 1935, and gifted to the city of New York by John D. Rockefeller in 1917.
We visited the New Leaf Restaurant located within the park to have brunch. The restaurant's website states: "Housed in a restored 1930s cobblestone New York City Parks Department building and enveloped by lush, forested surroundings, dining at the New Leaf is like visiting a charming, upstate country inn without ever leaving the city."
The New Leaf offers a modern American menu, created by Executive Chef Scott Campbell, which features seasonal dishes made from only the finest locally grown ingredients. The menus can be read on this link
To begin brunch we shared the basket of assorted House Made Muffins and the Crispy Fried Calamari with mint cilantro chutney. I had the Croque Madame served with field greens (upper right in photo collage above) my friend had the Challah French Toast served with caramelized bananas, Vermont maple syrup and house smoked sausage (bottom left) and the husbands both had Ham and Cheddar Cheese Omelet, served with roasted potatoes and field Greens. Everything was delicious and they kept refreshing our coffee which meant we were able to sit and have a nice long conversation during the meal.
After brunch we walked along many of the extensive pathways in the park and enjoyed the views.
Perched high above the northern grounds of Fort Tryon Park are the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum that houses approximately three thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from the ninth to the sixteenth century, including exquisite illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and tapestries. All are exhibited in this reconstructed medieval monastery. It is worth a trip to visit this exquisite collection, but we saved it for another time, as the weather was so nice we wanted to continue walking around the park.
The Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park is one of the largest heath and heather gardens on the East Coast and the largest public garden with unrestricted access in New York City.
Heather Garden has year–round horticultural and scenic interest, and it was very enjoyable to meander along the paths and enjoy the more than 200 varieties of perennials and shrubs. Throughout the spring season there are drifts of snowdrops, crocuses, narcissi, tulips, spectacular collections of brooms, azaleas, peonies, dogwoods, rhododendrons, and oriental poppies all blooming within the garden.
Just a few close ups of the beautiful flowers that were blooming in Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park...truly a magical place to visit!
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