There is no better-named place in New York than Balthazar. It is the term for an enormous wine bottle (holding the equivalent of sixteen ordinary vessels), and it comes from the name of the King of Babylon, one of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus. A gift to New York when it opened, in 1997, Balthazar contains more pleasure than a dozen restaurants, and it was created by Keith McNally, a very wise man and the king of Downtown. It has a French menu, a lengthy wine list, and delicious pastries. If you want to know how it all happens, the Times once sent a reporter there to spend 22 hours behind the scenes. Fascinating. (80 Spring St. 212-965-1414.)
Signed fine-art Giclee prints on museum-quality, one-quarter-cotton 280 gsm paper with archival inks are available in two sizes:
5 x 7 for $55 (email me about this size)
9 x 12 for $95
Editions are strictly limited to 365 copies, and each annotated print is a beautiful reminder that our days are numbered.