A perfect place for Sunday morning brunch, tucked away in the East Village. You have to get there (preferably armed with your copy of Sunday's NY Times) before it opens at 10am, as it's small and gets incredibly busy - and rightly so. The menu is a collection of brunch classics with a twist ... and, because you're on holiday, there are nine different bloody mary's to choose from. I had something that involved spicy chick peas and a poached egg. I think it was probably the best breakfast I've ever had, but the combination of jet-lag, a bloody mary and managing to bag a table right in the window put me in such a state of euphoria that a Little Chef fry up would have tasted wonderful.
54 E 1st St, New York 10003 Btwn 1st & 2nd Ave; Tel: 212-677-6221
OK, so this isn't strictly in Cape Town - it's out in the wine district of Constantia which is a 40-minute or so drive out of the city...but it's so, so, worth the journey. Constantia Uitsig is one of a number of vineyards that you drive by, and like many of them it has its own restaurant and accommodation.
We sat around the pool and had what has to have been one of the best meals I've ever eaten, all washed down with the vineyard's own wine (which we then went and bought half a case of). The service was incredible, the food quite gorgeous and the scenery stunning. Doesn't really get any better. And the total cost? Well, it was a couple of years ago now, but the bill for two with wine came to around £60 - which is a fortune by South African standards - but a bargain in the grand scheme of things. For a real treat, you could stay in one of their rooms as well but that was a treat too far for us.
A quite brilliant sushi place, in SoHo/NoHo/Little Italy. It's down in a basement - with great atmosphere, excellent sushi and an extensive sake list (see it here blueribbonrestaurants.com/sushimanhattan_sakelist.asp). Don't expect to leave sober. There's no bookings. Which is both a blessing and a curse.
If it's a Friday or Saturday night, you need to get there early to avoid a lengthy wait. However, when we last went, they were happy to take your mobile number and call you when a table's free ... so you can go for a drink nearby.
19 Sullivan St, Between Prince and Spring; tel: 212 274 0404; blueribbonrestaurants.com/
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