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Dinner, and a movie, under the stars at The New Leaf Cafe

Set deep within the lush greenery of Upper Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park is The New Leaf Cafe, which is an enterprise of Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project (benefiting community gardens, parks and environmental education programs). Evoking the charm of an old English stone manor, The New Leaf Cafe is adorned with vaulted espresso wood ceilings, warmly illuminated chandeliers and contrasting white washed walls. The decor is minimalistic (as in the fact that they have no A/C), allowing nature's gorgeous surroundings to take center stage.  My adorable date, Charlie, and I arrived at the Cafe shortly before our reservation and grabbed a drink in the bar. My pinot noir was tasty, but a bit warmer and more acidic than I would have preferred. Luckily, we were able to be seated promptly. Our outdoor table could not have been more romantic or fitting on such a lovely summer evening.  For $50/person, each diner received a 3-course dinner, a complimentary Pearl cocktail and an advanced film screening of the movie, "A Man Named Pearl." (For information on this film, please refer to: http://www.amannamedpearl.com/)  Though I felt that the service we received was inattentive and slow, our meal was fine. To start, I had the Chilled Snow Turnip Soup and for my entree, I went with the Grilled Sirloin of Beef, which was accompanied by faro salad and local miniature vegetables. While my main dish was sub par, the turnip soup reminded me of a thinner version of cream of wheat drizzled with honey, which was reminiscent of breakfast Mom made during my childhood. The hefty wedges of wheat bread accompanied by warm butter was a delicious introduction to our meal.
Not many eating establishments take my breath away by their beauty, but The New Leaf Cafe visually stunning. Overall, Charlie and I thoroughly enjoyed our evening, but I know that had the menu not been prix fixed, the food would have probably been much better. I look forward to returning to The New Leaf Cafe and sampling a meal from one of their regular menus.

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