Eating Out in NYC at Le Bernardin

There aren’t many summer Fridays left when we cut out of the work early and get a longer weekend.  I, for one, have not really taken advantage of them this summer the way that I wanted to.  But let me tell you the story of a couple of Fridays ago when I experienced the perfect summer ditch day.  Located in midtown, surrounded by skyscrapers, is the well-known restaurant, Le Bernardin.  Famed chef and owner Eric Ripert, serves up exquisite classically French seafood dishes with sauces so perfect you will lick your plate afterwards.  Now, as much as I love this restaurant, I have only been once for a very special occasion in which I was not paying.  As big of a foodie as I am, a meal here is basically handing over your rent check.  That being said, I do like to indulge in New York’s best restaurants for lunch.  The prices are always cheaper and, if it is a restaurant as sophisticated as Le Bernardin, the service will be impeccable.

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Eating Out in NYC at Public

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Earlier this month I celebrated my 30th Birthday by enjoying an incredible dinner out with my husband.  We happen to be major foodies and always open to trying new things.  That being said, I don’t like going to a new restaurant for a special occasion.  I want to know what I am getting in regards to the ambiance, service, and cuisine.  But this year, all my preferred eateries where I wanted to spend my birthday, were booked.  I didn’t know it then, but it was a blessing in disguise, because it led us to our favorite new restaurants: Public

Public, located in NOLITA, from start to finish was a very special dining experience.  After seeing the restaurant photos on the website, I was surprised at how large the space actually was.  But the ambiance with its decorative plants, lively bar, and romantic candlelight made it warm and cozy.  Public’s American-born, London trained chef, Brad Farmerie, created an original cuisine he considers Australian-Asian.  The menu was fascinating and we had a hard time narrowing down the choices because it all sounded so intriguing.  Since it was my birthday, we started off with one of their signature cocktails.  Then the sommelier assisted us in finding the right Australian wine to go with our meal.

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10 Mother’s Day Activities in NYC!

kate1 1. Enjoy a day at the spa!  Pamper her with amazing spa treatments like; mani/pedis, hot stone messages, or a facial.  Here’s a link to my favorite spa located in SOHO; Haven.

2. Show her a good time at the Mother’s Day Garden Party hosted by the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy food, music, games, and the beautiful scenery.  It’ll be a fun time for just the two of you or the entire family!

3. Take in a show!  Check out this link for discount theater tickets.  If you don’t have a show in mind, here are this year’s Tony Award nominees.  See if there are any on this list she’ll enjoy.  I recommend Beautiful: The Carol King Musical.

4. Here is our list from last year of our favorite brunch spots in NYC to take mom.  If you’re looking for an evening activity, wine and dine her at Uva on the UES.

5. Appreciate some art by attending the Met’s Costume Institute exhibit!  Spend the afternoon looking at the beautiful gowns by couturier Charles James.  See what all the Met Gala fuss was all about.

6. Afterwards, have a fun time walking through Central Park share a picnic, rent bikes, or just sit and talk.

7. Indulge yourself by treating her to Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes to get a true NYC experience.  Afterwards, enjoy some mother/daughter window shopping in SOHO.

8. Take her out to a ballgame.  If your mom is a baseball fan the Mets will be playing the Phillies this weekend!  Check out our Citi Field food guide here.

9. Another fun outdoor activity for mom would be a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Start on either side and enjoy a leisure walk and gorgeous views.

10. Be a kid again by taking your mom to Coney Island!  Roller coasters, hot dogs, cotton candy, and fun in the sun, what’s not to love?  I have a confession though.  I’ve never been to Coney Island.  So, please let me know in the comments what I’m missing, and I will schedule a trip.

Friends, Bloody Mary’s, and Cookshop Oh My!

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What better way to enjoy brunch in New York than the one and only Cookshop!   Not only is the food delicious, but it is also located in fabulous Chelsea, just steps away from the lovely Highline Park.  Cookshop has been a trendy neighborhood spot for a while now, but it always feels new.  With its’ open space and large group tables, it is the perfect spot to go with a large group.  In fact, the most recent experience I had at Cookshop was a brunch with my gal pals.  With our busy schedules, it is very rare for us to all get together.  We needed a spot where we could sit comfortably to catch up and have a beautiful meal to remember the day by.   That is why we chose Cookshop, not just because it is a happening brunch spot, but it holds good memories of delicious food, great conversations, and is a perfect city experience.

Now let’s get to what’s most important here: the food!  Cookshop is known for its seasonal farm to table menus.  Right now, their menu is filled with beautiful spring vegetables and fruity dessert goodies.  Cookshop also has a fantastic dinner menu, which I highly recommend. One piece of advice is that as their portions are huge, just order two appetizers which should be plenty of food.  But this article isn’t about dinner, it’s about a New Yorker’s favorite meal and pastime:  brunch! When brunching at Cookshop, number one on your must order list are their Spiced Apple Beignets.  They are perfect for sharing, but order two because one just isn’t enough!  The great thing about going with a group is if everyone orders different things, you get to try more options, which you’ll want as well.  From the poached eggs with wild mushrooms,  the broccoli & cheddar scramble, to a large plate of pancakes, there’s something delicious for everyone.  No brunch is complete without tasty drinks and their Bloody Mary’s are to die for!  If you can’t tell, I am a big fan of this restaurant and once you see the images below of the wonderful dishes we consumed, you’ll become a fan too!  Now that it’s spring, there are so many more reasons to visit this eatery.  Because of their prime street corner position, they have a large sidewalk prime for outdoor seating.  And what New Yorker doesn’t like to sit outside sipping mimosas all day?  Share with us your favorite brunch spots in the city that you think I should review next!   Happy brunching!

Check out their website for additional information: http://www.cookshopny.com/

 

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Spiced Apple Beignets

 

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Fried Egg Sandwich

 

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Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Scramble

 

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Poached Egg with Wild Mushrooms, Spinach & Buckwheat Crepes

 

Bloody Mary

Classic Bloody Mary

 

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival 2014 Recap

If you have been wondering where I’ve been, I recently returned from a lovely visit to California.  Why was I there?  I was attending the 7th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival.  Each year, my amazing parents gift my brother, our significant others, and myself tickets to the festival.  It is the perfect Christmas gift, because instead of getting stuff we don’t need, we share a wonderful weekend together. We of course do what we do best: eat and drink.  It was my intention to share recaps after each of the four-day event. However, you try drinking wine from 10am-6pm and then put together complete sentences!  There were 250 acclaimed wineries pouring from their finest bottles as well as 100 chefs plating their gourmet best.  A lot of the participants are local to the Bay Area, but there were a handful of celebrity chefs such as: Masaharu Morimoto, Robert Irvin, and The Chew’s Carla Hall. Throughout the weekend we attended wine seminars, grand tastings, and elegant luncheons.  By Sunday, all you want to do is take a nap and never think of food again! I look forward to this festival all year long; it is incredible to be surrounded by so many talented chefs and wine makers.  It would take years to travel the world to try everything I did this weekend.  I am so happy to share my experience with you!

 

Thursday Evening

The Opening Reception at the Inn at Spanish Bay kicks off the festival and begins a weekend full of amazing events.  The Reception is my favorite day; it always makes me sad that it’s over so fast.  Why is it so great?  It’s a gala!  I not only sample world class food and wine, I get to dress up for a glamorous evening.  Another reason it is special to me, is the night’s location.  The Inn at Spanish Bay was where my husband and I were married only six months ago.  Sharing champagne and lovely bites with my now husband made it even more memorable.  We go room-to-room sampling the unique and creative plates which we pair with fantastic wines that tickle the taste buds.  You would think you’d get full very fast, but most chefs serve either an amuse bouche or a small appetizer.  The evening can be a bit overwhelming, at times crowded, but well worth it.

Because this is the very first event, the expectations are high and this year it was at its best.  My favorite dishes were:

For fashion reason had to share our stylish looks; me in DVF, Adam wearing Burberry

For fashion reason had to share our stylish looks; me in DVF, Adam wearing Burberry

 

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Parmesan Crisps by Paul Liebrandt  – The Elm

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Scallop crudo by Jonathon Sawyer  – Greenhouse Tavern

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Octopus with fennel cured olives by Jenn Louis – Lincoln/Sunshine Tavern

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Crispy Meyer Lemon Cream Puffs by Johnny Iuzzini – Jean Georges

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Citi Field Food Guide

In honor of the Mets opening day I’m sharing with you favorite places to eat at Citi Field.

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Whether or not you are a New York Mets fan you can’t deny being a fan of Citi Field’s the food.  I love going to baseball games, not only to watch the teams play, but for the whole experience.  When the Mets built Citi Field they kept their fans in mind giving them incredible food and beverage options.  You may be hesitant when you see the long food lines, but be rest assured it’s worth it.  The main food court is situated behind center field with a large TV screen so you never miss a moment of the game.

Citi Field joined forces with famed restaurateur Danny Meyer to bring fans; Box Frites for killer garlic fries and BLT hot dogs, shake shack for the perfect ball game burger, and Blue Smoke’s mouth-watering BBQ.  In most ballparks the good food is reserved for clubs and luxury seat members.  That certainly isn’t the case for Citi Field.

Finding yourself thirsty after all that delicious grub?  Then try a number of New York micro beers like Brooklyn Lager, Blue Point, and Six Point.  Concession stands are an important part of any sporting event and this stadium does it right.  Whether your team wins or loses you’ll go home happy.

Date Night in the City: Balaboosta

imagesLast Friday night was date night; a very important tradition, especially for newlyweds.  Funny enough, halfway through dinner, my husband and I realized we had been married exactly six months ago.  It made the evening even more special, but the star of the night was really the restaurant: Balaboosta.  Located in Nolita, this upscale Mediterranean restaurant offers creative home-style dishes with flavors I could never recreate at home.   The room is warm and cozy with family photos on the walls and menus that make you feel like you’re in the chef’s own house.  Even though it’s a popular place, the room is on the quiet side, which is a rarity in NYC.  It’s perfect to come to with a large group of friends and share small plates or for an intimate dinner.  The candlelit room made it the perfect setting for our romantic evening out.  But let’s get to the most important part of the evening:  the food.  My husband and I are major foodies and Mediterranean food has become a favorite of ours. What really stood out in the evening were the small plates.  I would have been just as happy only ordering the appetizers.  From the hummus with roasted garlic and chickpeas made table side, the fluffy spiced pita bread, to the crispy cauliflower with currants and pine nuts, I was already in food heaven.  But really what made the meal so memorable was the spicy mouthwatering shrimp bruschetta.  Our entrees were very good, but when they came, I wasn’t as hungry as I would’ve liked to been.  But that is the charm of this homey restaurant.  You don’t need to be structured with your meal.   You should want to embrace the family style ambiance by sharing and trying all of the creatively delicious plates.  I highly recommend this charming eatery not only for its delicious food but also for the eclectic wine list and reasonable prices.

Located: 214 Mulberry Street

website: balaboostanyc.com

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Hummus “Mortar and Pestle” with tahini, roasted garlic, za’atar pita

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Crispy Cauliflower with currants & pine nuts

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Shrimp Bruschetta with roasted tomatoes and chorizo

 

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