New York, New York

25 Jan

Coming back from New York was bitter-sweet. While I definitely miss all of the great food (available to you 24/7), there is nothing better than coming home and sleeping in your own bed. Not to mention it was starting to get really cold up there and I forgot to pack my ear muffs!

Our trip was amazing. Alex and I basically walked the streets of Manhattan all day, touring through different neighborhoods and exploring quaint little restaurants and bars. We are actually embarrassed to say that we did not go to any of the touristy attractions that one might consider to be the “must see’s” of NYC (like going to the Met, Ellis Island, or the Statue of Liberty). Although, to our defense, some of that stuff was closed at the time. We did take a nice long walk through Central Park and stopped to listen to music at the Bethesda Terrace, where the Gossip Girl series finale was filmed. I feel like that should be in the tour guides somewhere…AND we also did go shopping on Fifth Ave (Tiffany’s = my mothership).

Anyway here is a highlight of some of the foods we ate!

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We ate a fabulous lunch at a Korean Restaurant called Cho Dang Gol, as featured on the tv show “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. Alex ordered the beef and tofu kimchi stew and I got the beef and tofu bibimbap. These are our go-to Korean dishes that we rarely stray from. It’s hard to try something new when you know what you like! The side dishes that accompanied our entrees were also delicious, especially the potato pancakes.

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One day, we took a nice long walk from Midtown to Chinatown. Although walking through Canal St. was definitely an adventure, our favorite part about that day were these delicious soups. Nothing is more smoothing on a cold winter day than a large bowl of Asian style noodle soup. Alex got his soup with beef brisket while I got mine with tripe and wontons. We also did our fair share of snacking while we were down there. Our favorite little treats were deep-fried donuts stuffed with minced pork, and scallion omelet wrapped buns. Yum!

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Our absolute favorite meal in NYC was at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant in SoHo. This small little venue is said to be a hot spot for culinary professionals and celebrity chefs. The food was of the same caliber as (if not better than) any super fancy restaurant I have ever eaten at, yet the ambiance was warm and cozy. The service was outstanding. This place was truly a gem. For appetizers we ordered grilled sardines served with sautéed onions and a tart mousse, and beef marrow served with an oxtail marmalade. For dinner, Alex ordered the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and collard greens. I know that it sounds like a strange thing to order at this sort of restaurant, but we promise you its fabulous. I ordered the roasted duck club sandwich with sweet potato chips. I am a sucker for club sandwiches and this was one of the best I have ever eaten. The sandwich was served walnuts and red onions in it which added a pleasant crunch.

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We even traveled up to the Upper East Side, where I felt like a bum eating dinner next to a woman with Yves Saint Laurent pumps and a Louis Vuitton monogram tote bag. A bit overdressed for an English pub, in my opinion, but I was still jealous of her accessories. For appetizers, we ordered a classic french onion soup and a marinated beet salad topped with goat cheese and smoked salmon. For dinner, I ordered the Haddock and chips while Alex had the kidney meat pie with mashed potatoes. We were half tempted to try the mashed peas but we were just so stuffed. Maybe next time.

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You can’t possibly go to New York without eating pizza! In regards to the big debate over whether deep-dish or New York style pizza is better, there is no contest in my opinion. I love a large slice of thin crusted pizza that you have to fold in half to eat. Although we didn’t quite meet our goal of having slice of pizza every day, we did have some good pie!

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We did a lot of snacking last weekend, I mean A LOT. Alex and I probably ate at least 5-7 times a day. We justified our eating habits because we also probably walked the same amount of miles per day. That balances it out, right???? Alex’s favorite snack was probably the Papaya dog, a hot dog topped with sauerkraut and onion sauce. Did you know that Papaya King was once featured on the HBO show Sex and the City? Carrie ate there after her book release party! My favorite snack was the porchetta sandwich at Mario Batali’s Eataly. The slow cooked pork was served on a crusty baguette, drizzled with olive and sprinkled with sea salt. Simply marvelous.

Other notable moments:

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We went to see a live taping of ABC’s The Chew, my favorite television show. Although we did not get to sit at the tasting table, we still had a blast watching the chefs cook. We later came home and watched a recording of the show, paying close attention to camera shots of the audience. We were on the screen three times!

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This was our last meal in Manhattan. I felt like it deserved a stand alone picture.

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Finally, I just have to put in another plug for Mario Batali’s Eatay. It is truly an amazing place filled with all things Italian, from gelato to homemade pasta. As mentioned above, we had a really fabulous porchetta sandwich there. We also ordered this charcuterie platter, featuring the store’s best cured meats and cheese. It was accompanied with figs, apricots, honey, bread and of course wine.

Unfortunately, we did not venture far out of the Manhattan area during this trip. There was way too much to see/do/eat that we just ran out of time. But that just gives us a good excuse to go back!

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