Lunch at Pastis

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

On my last afternoon in the city, Christina and I finished our weekend of extreme shopping with a very SATC style lunch. We headed to Pastis, which any Carrie Bradshaw fan knows well.

Can I just brag about how beautiful + chic Christina is? Look at that hat!

I love my older sister and miss her tons!!! Let’s see if she’s really reading my blog like she says …

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Anyway, Pastis was packed to the brim. I love going to restaurants that are filled with people even on off peak hours. It usually means you are in a for a very good meal.

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Since I’d been indulging in everything from greasy Chinese to multiple cupcakes, I decided to keep it light and got an arugula salad with shaved parmesan. Christina went for a classic cheeseburger and very kindly shared her fries with me.

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I have to tell you that the service at Pastis is really impeccable. Christina’s burger came out a little too rare for her liking and our waiter had no problem taking it back to the kitchen and bringing her a new one. However, there was a mix up in the kitchen and her second burger turned out to be bloodier than the first! Immediately the waiter whisked the plate away and within seconds the manager came over to apologize and offer us dessert on the house. We weren’t expecting the manager to come over and apologize, let alone give us dessert. It really speaks to the integrity of Pastis – they are popular enough that they don’t have to have such amazing service, but they still do. Love it.

Christina and I decided on the strawberry shortcake, but our waiter insisted on bringing us his favorite too, the sticky toffee pudding. It.was.amazing!

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Eataly

June 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

I heard about Eataly months ago from one of the many food blogs I frequent. The thought of visiting a huge warehouse filled with Italian food, wines, cheeses, and gelato had haunted me for too long. I knew that if I could convince Christina to go, she’d love it too, but it was a hard sell. Once we got there though, she was just as excited as I was!

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There are displays of wine, huge rinds of parmesan cheese, barrels of olives, slabs of meat, Italian glassware + espresso machines all over the building. The building is sectioned off into a grocery section, a wine section, cheese section, and a few  different mini restaurants including a vegetable + seafood specific station.

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We chose to sit at both the cheese section for a plate of antipasti, as well as the vegetable restaurant for some bruschetta. It goes without saying that a good amount of wine was imbibed.

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All in all, Christina and I spent about 3 hours (and way too much money) enjoying Eataly, but it felt like there was still so much to see + eat. I think if you’re a foodie (okay or just a glutton) visiting New York, it’s definitely worth a stop!

Blacklisted

June 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

It started out innocently enough. I went for a nice run through Central Park while Christina finished up some work on Friday. She decided that once I got back she was going to call it quits for the day and we would go have lunch at Chelsea Market. Once we got there, we wandered around a bit and settled on a little cafe called Friedman’s. Christina had eaten there before with friends and knew the food was good.

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We ordered some sandwiches, which may have honestly been the BEST sandwiches I’ve ever had.

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Unfortunately, we also ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

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Any RHONY fan knows that Ramona Singer loves Pinot Grigio. Ramona Singer also acts like a raving lunatic. If you weren’t sure there was a correlation, let me assure you, there is.

After we finished eating and drinking the entire bottle of wine, I got up to use the ladies room. I got out of my seat and immediately slipped and fell right onto the floor! I was weebit drunk so I let out a little yelp because I was so surprised. It happened so fast! One second I was getting up from my chair, the next I was on the ground. I was dying of embarrassment. I ran to the ladies room then texted my sister and told her to pay the bill because I was literally going to bolt out of the restaurant.

I have a pretty good sense of humor and will be the first to laugh at myself in situations like this. I think it’s part of being klutzy. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping (not a good idea drunk, sorry Dad) and laughing about what an idiot I was. It was a great time. We decided to pop into Christina’s usual nail salon for a quick manicure + pedicure.

While we were at the drying station, talking about our plans for the evening, Christina all of a sudden looks at me and says “Umm I don’t feel so good” and proceeds to pass out in my arms. It was kind of scary, but I knew it was just a mixture of dehydration from all the wine at lunch, the stuffy nail salon, and the fact that it was pretty hot outside. I yelled for some water and a cold towel, and the next thing I knew, the nail techs had my sister on the ground covered in cold towels. She came to pretty quick and got a free massage out of it. Literally everyone was freaking out and hovering over her, yelling to call an ambulance. I knew she was fine, so I was just laughing about all of the events of the day.

And since I’m a horrible person, I took a picture of her on the ground getting massaged.
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We decided a few things on our walk back to her apartment.

      • 1. Friedman’s is ruined and there’s no going back
      • 2. She needs a new nail salon.
      • 3. No more Pinot Grigio at lunch!

NYC Cupcakes

June 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s no secret that I love sweets. Cupcakes are like crack to me. Last time I was in New York, I convinced Christina it was a good idea to get a 6 pack of cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. It was actually not a good idea. I ate 5 cupcakes in one afternoon. This time around, I showed some restraint and ate 3 cupcakes in 5 days. I decided to try cupcakes from a few different shops so that I could find my favorite. I won’t say “best” because 1. new bakeries pop up every day and 2. taste is so subjective.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop: Christina and I were wandering around and stumbled upon this bakeshop located on Prince Street. I wanted to love this cupcake. I really did. I mean, the shop was adorable, plenty of seating, friendly staff and they served Illy espresso.
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There was a large range of flavors, and on the suggestion of the girl at the counter, I chose a coconut cupcake to split with Christina. Unfortunately, this was a pretty dry cupcake. It crumbled easily and was just okay. The frosting was laced with tons of coconut and light as air, so it made up for the dryness. I thought maybe the coconut was just not a great choice, but the ladies at the table next to us also commented on the dryness of their cake. No one worry – I still managed to force this down 😉
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Crumbs: With locations all over the city, Crumbs is a really popular cupcake spot. The sign outside the door actually bragged about being voted the best cupcakes in the city. The cupcake I sampled was delicious, there is no doubt about that, but it wasn’t the best one I had. What did impress me though, was the cuteness of these cupcakes!
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Crumbs obviously puts a lot of effort into how good their products look. I had such a hard time deciding. I wanted to get this gigantic red velvet cupcake, but like I said, I was trying to practice restraint. Plus, calories are listed on the menu. Can’t decide if that’s good or bad…
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I ended up choosing the carrot cake cupcake, which was great. Cream cheese frosting and plenty of nuts, I mean how can you go wrong? Honestly, I don’t know why everyone freaks out over Crumbs though. It was great, but not OMG!GOOD!! ya know?
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Billy’s Bakeshop: My hands down favorite cupcake in the city! Billy’s had it all. Adorable shop, great variety of flavors, good iced coffee and a super friendly staff. Not only do they have cupcakes, but a variety of other homemade baked goods like pies, muffins, cookies, etc.
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Christina chose the vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. I asked the girl at the counter for her favorite because I couldn’t decide. She gave me a banana cupcake with cream cheese frosting. I don’t even really like banana, so for this to be my favorite cupcake, you know it had to be good!
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So that concludes my mini-cupcake tour of NYC! I wanted to have another cupcake at Magnolia and try one from Two Little Red Hens, but we weren’t ever in the neighborhood. Do you have a favorite NYC cupcake spot? I feel like anyone who’s been has an opinion on the matter.

Empire State Building

June 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Since Christina lives in the city, she doesn’t do a lot of touristy things. I mean, she lives there and the sights aren’t really going anywhere, so I  guess there’s no rush.. it’s like how I’m from Florida but rarely hit up Disney. Anyway, one of the things I made her do was go to the Empire State Building. Since I only had my blackberry, the pictures don’t really do the views justice. It was very breezy + very crowded, but worth it in my opinion.

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Christina + I splurged on the express passes. It was basically double the price, but we didn’t have to wait in the 2+ hour line. We were up to the top in about 10 minutes, spent some time up there, and were back on the street in about 30 minutes. Plus, we looked VIP when we were passing all the other people waiting in line. So worth it!

Chinatown

June 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

So once I got back from my long weekend in New York, I had two anatomy finals and a genetics exam to contend with along with a towed car and all sorts of other mundane chores. Finals are almost over and I’m finally finding some time to breathe! I’m breaking up my trip into a few posts, and this post is going to take us to Chinatown!

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One of the things I really wanted to do during this trip was have some authentic Chinese food in Chinatown. My sister has a Chinese friend and per her suggestion, we headed to Joe’s Shanghai, a restaurant famous for soup dumplings. I’ve always heard that you know an ethnic place is good when people of that ethnicity are eating there. There were quite a few Chinese people eating there, but there were also tons of tourists waiting in the 25 minute line. I knew we were in for some good eats!

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After our wait, we found ourselves at a large table with four strangers. I guess this is normal though, and it actually enhanced our experience. The people at our table were really interesting and had some great suggestions about other places to eat in NYC. We ordered sesame noodles (suggested by Christina’s friend), spring rolls, a scallion pancake and an order of pork soup dumplings. I loved everything!

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The soup dumplings were the main attraction, and they were so fun to eat. They come out in a steamer box, fresh and hot. So you pick one up on your spoon, poke it with a chopstick, drink the “soup” that leaks out onto the spoon, then pop the actual dumpling into your mouth.

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The food came out very quickly and was delicious, I’d go back to Joe’s Shanghai again for sure.

One thing that I feel has to be mentioned is how inexpensive this place was! In addition to what Christina and I ordered, she placed a to go order of dumplings for her boyfriend, and our total was a whopping $26.89. That’s a great price for the amount + quality of food we got, and especially in a city like New York where dining out can really add up. (If you’re thinking of going – they only take cash!)

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Once we left, I spotted a vendor on the street selling beautiful Jade jewelry. I picked up a cute little necklace and got one for my sister too. It was just one of those cheapy street buys, but I’m not too big on touristy souvenirs. I know that whenever I see this charm in my jewelry box, I’ll always remember our Chinatown adventure!

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New York, New York

May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have so much to share about my long weekend in the city! It was a wonderful weekend with my older sister Christina; we ate, drank, shopped and just enjoyed being together again.

On my first morning in New York, I took this little guy for a walk through Central Park while Christina did some work.

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The whole time I was walking through the park, I imagined a Law + Order: SVU episode playing out in my head, even though it was broad daylight. I have very overprotective parents.

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Christina eventually met up with me and Habibi (the pup) and we headed to Zabar’s. I feel like it was a quintessential New York morning. Walking a dog thru Central Park followed by a doughy bagel and a strong cup of coffee?

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A girl could get used to this!

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