One of the best bargains in New York City is the bi-annual event called "Restaurant Week," where participating restaurants offer a prixe-fixe of $24.07 for select lunch and $35 for a select dinner menu. This very popular event is held every summer and winter, with hundreds of top New York City restaurants participating. Reservations fill up fast so I usually go to the event web site and give my e-mail to be put on the notification list of when the event will be held and call for reservations right away. It is a wonderful way to dine affordably at some of the city's top restaurants!
Since my husband works in Lower Manhattan near Wall Street (the NYSE -- New York Stock Exchange -- is seen in the photo above) we decided to visit Ciripani Club 55 located at 55 Wall Street, between William and Hanover Streets, one of the five different Cipriani restaurants in Manhattan.
The National Historic Landmark building of 55 Wall Street is a former bank building that today houses luxury apartments. Initially constructed between 1836 -1842, the building has a long and interesting history. It served as the home of the New York Merchants Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the United States Customs House, and the headquarters of the National City Bank. Unfortunately, there was scaffold around the building, so the entrance to the restaurant was slightly obscured in these photos.
There is a law in NYC that after a certain amount of years, every building over a certain height has to have scaffold erected and the facade has to then be examined for any loose masonry, etc., to prevent potential injury to pedestrians. Because of this, you'll often find buildings with scaffold around them in New York. It is an ugly, but necessary, precaution.
The Cipriani Club 55 Restaurant is located on the second floor of the building (use the exquisite marble stairs or take the elevator), but there are display cases in the lobby that you chould look at first, to see some beautiful, and expensive, Italian leather objects that are for sale in the lobby store. The green leather watch case in the upper right was priced at $2,500!
If the Cipriani name sounds familiar, it maybe that you remember that in 1931 Giuseppe Cipriani opened the doors to Harry's Bar in a stone building along a canal just off Piazza San Marco in Venice. There he created the world renown drink called The Bellini, composed of the juice of white peaches and Italian Prosecco wine. It is absolutely delicious!
When we visited Cipriani's we could have sat outside on the balcony overlooking Wall Street....
on the restuaratbalcony
.... but as it was a very hot day when we visited, so we opted for inside seating. t
For our luncheon meal my husband and I chose the same appetizer -- Tuna Carpaccio with Tomato and Avocado (photo upper left). I had the Baked Green Tagliolini with Ham as my entree (photo top right), and my husband chose the Salmon with Lemon and Capers, served with a rice pilaf on the side (photo bottom left). Our little secret? We eat half of our entrees and then switch plates with each other so we get to try both! We both had the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries for dessert (photo bottom right). From the fine linen tablecloth and napkins, beautiful, gold rimmed monogrammed china, and heavy silverware, the presentation was rich and elegant. The food was utterly fabulous and we felt the portions were very generous, especially the divine Panna Cotta!
After lunch my husband walked back to his job while I stayed in the area. I always wave "hello" to my favorite president, George Washington, as I pass by Federal Hall. If you'd like to learn more about this very interesting building in the Wall Street area you can read a post I wrote about it here.
On this day I visited this interesting museum located nearby -- a future blog post for another day!
PS: Thank you to all who commented on my good news! I really appreciate your support and best wishes!
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