What’s not to like about New York? And since my mom and I both love the Big Apple, we spent a few quality days there lastsalad.jpg week – taking in a show, museums, the action in Central Park (in full spring bloom!), the NFL draft (my mother loves men in groups), and feasting on midtown architecture, old and new.

We decided to do the all-out tourist thing, so we stayed in the very conveniently-located midtown Hilton. Our room on the 34th floor offered a sprawling view of skyscrapers, theaters and verdant Central Park. A block away was the Museum of Modern Art, where we feasted on Monet, Rauschenberg and Pollock and then went upstairs to The Terrace cafe for lunch. Btw, the dominant language in NY these days is French! (Good euro, bad dollar.)

I never miss the chance to dine on beautiful, affordable food at this choctart.jpgterrific cafe. Fresh organic tomato and basil soup, with Israeli couscous and lemon zest pleased my mom, while I liked a cool seafood salad of scallops, calamari, one giant shrimp, tomatoes, and a topknot of mâche, everything bathed in a very tart passionfruit vinaigrette. Along with La Colombe espressos, we split a decadent chocolate custard topped with crusty glazed chocolate bits.