Jessica's 28th Birthday was indeed quite a fun packed whole day affair. Birthday festivities had started early that morning with brunch at the Llama Inn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For our reservation before noon the restaurant was mostly empty allowing me to go full photographer mode without catching other patrons into my shots. Since the day was partly cloudy and overcast the lighting inside the restaurant was pretty amazing. I must admit the interior design was very impressive. Llama Inn is situated on a corner lot on Meeker Ave and Withers Street with exposure to street life as well as day lighting on both sides. Each wall of the restaurant was covered with large black steel frame windows with the inside space having high ceilings and smooth polished concrete floors. The furniture, lighting and decorations had so much variety and yet it all seemed to mesh together quite well. The partial height partitions and counter bar walls were painted earth-toned reds, greens and blues giving the interior space a very traditional Peruvian with a modern Brooklyn feel. I was mostly impressed with the intimate roof top bar space they had; it's unlike anything I've been to stateside. It gave me the impression that I was actually back in Lima again.
Now lets talk about the food. Since we came during brunch, the menu was more limited but nonetheless still very creative and inspirational. Just like their interior design the food also had a traditional Peruvian modern Brooklyn twist to their ingredients. The chef Erik Ramirez formerly at Eleven Madison Park (before running the kitchen at Raymi, another high end Peruvian restaurant in the flatiron district) uses raw peruvian ingredients blended together with a contemporary twist. The overall presentation of the food and drinks was excellent and they tasted just as good to eat as they were to stare at! I had ordered the Chiccaron Sandwich ( crispy pork shoulder, sweet potato, red onion salsa and spicy mayo ) which brought me back to when I had my first real one in Huaral during my trip to Peru. The pork shoulder was indeed crispy on the top side and tender on the underside. The spicy mayo and red onion salsa gave it a refreshing kick; quite spicy to handle but satisfying till the last bite. It's safe to say everyone enjoyed themselves when all you could see was empty plates and bowls. I don't want to give away too many spoilers so I'll let the pictures do the talking.
Part 2 of the trip was a group sail boating ride down the hudson and around lady liberty. I didn't want to be on a big boat much like you see when commuting on the state island ferry or any large boat for that matter so when I came across Classic Harbor Line and discovered that they offered rides on their classic 105 foot sailing yacht I just couldn't resist and bought tickets right away. Their america 2.0 ship sat approximately 25 or so people on the main deck where everyone's seat was only a foot or so away from the water. We watched as the boat crew raised and lowered the sails, positioned the masts and gave feedback about the winds back to captain. Our trip that day was partly cloudy with a nice gentle breeze; of course I had my camera snapping away during the entire trip as usual.
Part 3 also our last leg of the trip where we walked through the highline. We started on the opposite end entering at section 3 near hudson yards and ended around section 1 in the meat packing district. Everyone had fun walking around and ringing that really loud bell at that one location under the overpass. After around 6 miles of walking we finished our NYC trip and headed home for the day!
And finally Happy Birthday to my lovely, Jessica. 3 years and counting, this was by far the best birthday experience I could share with the girl I love. I'm glad I was able to bring your parents and family along on your special day. I love you!