Wine & Chocolate for St. Pat

There is one day each year when our glittering city runs, of all colors, bright, kelly green. It’s St. Patty’s Day, hooray, woohoo, I think I’ll take the day off so I can start drinking at 9:00 am — and then call in sick tomorrow because I’m sure to have the mother of all hangovers.

Hoboken, NJ pays homage to St. Patrick a few weeks early, and things get so out of control there that my co-workers actually leave town because of it. Thankfully Manhattan has the NYPD to keep the green-clad imbibing citizens in check — but that doesn’t keep me from hearing the ruckus they make in Connolly’s when I’m 10 stories up in my cubicle crunching numbers. Suffice it to say that although I usually never say it’s too early for a tanqueray and tonic, this year I felt rather like the grinch who stole…well, St. Paddy.
Luckily, Pookie was in town, w/her boyfriend JoBo. JoBo is a madly talented composer, and he had a fantastic piece premiering in a concert at the Morgan Library on 36th & Madison. So I joined them for the concert, which was comprised of vocalists from the graduate program at my old alma mater. It was a fabulous display of vocal agility and composition. Most theatres don’t allow photography, so there’s no proof, no evidence that I was actually there — but it’s a chic little spot. You’d never know that underneath that quaint little building there is a space large enough for a gallery opening, and a performance space.
After the concert, JoBo, along with his family, Pookie, and I went out for a celebratory bottle of wine. On my recommendation we strolled down Madison and over an avenue to Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar on 31st Street between 5th & 6th Avenues. The name kind of says it all – and it’s so incredible. With an inexhaustible wine selection (tho’ the one we originally chose was, in fact, exhausted and no longer available), adorably attentive wait staff, and a delicious selection of chocolates, it was kind of the perfect after party for the world premiere of JoBo’s piece.

In addition to delectable wines and desserts, Ayza also has a full food menu. As neither of us had eaten dinner, Pookie and I shared the Hot Artichoke Hearts. It was elegantly presented, but not so elegantly consumed, and while I have no complaints, it was fairly average considering the price ($7) and amount (a palm-sized bowl).

St. Patrick’s Day. I missed the madness of the parade, the crowded Irish Bars overflowing with thirsty firemen, and the copious amounts of green beer and half-price shots of Jameson. Given how crazy my life is generally though, I’d say some great music and some great wine to follow was just what I needed.

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One Response to Wine & Chocolate for St. Pat

  1. AM says:

    Last night I ran the last 5 or 6 miles of the Boston Marathon course. In the last 200 meters to the finish line there are a string of Irish bars. I sort of forgot that it was St. Patrick’s Day, and of course that Boston is such an Irish town, and was shocked to see the long lines out side the bars! St. Paddy’s day is definitely a BIG holiday in Boston! Wine and Chocolate sounds so much more classy than other celebrations I’ve heard of here!

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