We just returned from our 4 day Thanksgiving Break to our besties in the bay area. We had the BEST time — came back with a very full stomach and extremely full heart. I laughed the entire 4 days (and ate the rest of the time) — all in all, the best time ever. One of my favorite parts was the Avital Food Tour — just the 8 of us on a guided food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. We had a tour guide take us, by foot, to four different restaurants as a progressive meal. Each one was delicious and something I would have NEVER tried before.
California – I love you. West Coast – I love you.
Over the weekend in one of my “best of New York” searches, we decided that the cold weather was perfect for Ramen. So in a quick search, I found out the Ippudo is ranked the best Ramen in NYC. So ten minutes later, we were in the car and on our way to Ippudo — and it did not disappoint. It was perfect in every way — full of flavor and depth, and oh so comforting.
Ippudo — three locations in NYC — East Village, UWS and Midtown. Great vibe with hip hop music, locals, and great food.
Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).
Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.
This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.
Here’s Ken with a guest post. Take it away, hubby!
The Josie Girl and I have had some really fun and adventurous culinary experiences. Roberta’s Blanca tasting menu in Bushwick (coolest eating experience ever), Blue Hill Stone Barns in Pocantino Hills (educational and delicious), and even Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon (chicken wings + Oregon love). We also try our own recipes as well, such as Beer Can Chicken (fun and easy, if not a little invasive for the chicken). This one, however, takes the cake. We haven’t eaten at Fishtail by David Burke on the Upper East Side since 2009. However, we have been able to see what kind of food they serve due to the exposed garbage on the street we have seen over the last 5 years.
From Saturday morning
Ken and I recently took a day trip to Portland for some shopping and dining. We were fortunate to have the grandparents to babysit, so we could wander around the city like we did pre-kids. It was heavenly. And our visit to Pok Pok, was one of the highlights. Pok Pok has been in all the food magazines and blogs, thanks to their Portland flagship and their NYC opening last year. Talk of the town! We love venturing to new, hip restaurants in New York, but the restaurant has so much buzz (and no reservations) that it is a little difficult to plan. So Portland Pok Pok was the perfect place (how many sea shells at the sea shore). Continue Reading
Readers of the blog know that foodwise, I am a huge supporter of everything wholesome, organic, farm-to-table, etc. You are what you eat! While this belief mostly affects the food we buy for our home, it also affects our restaurant choices.
For our anniversary in June, we went to Roberta’s Blanca, an amazing 27 course tasting menu experience that we will never forget. This past weekend, we ventured up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Located 30 miles north of New York City, the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture opened in the Spring of 2004, and from it derived a four season working farm and educational center. Blue Hill at Stone Barns features farm-to-table food directly from the Stone Barns farm, and other local farms around the Hudson Valley. The restaurant won the New Best Restaurant award from the James Beard Foundation.
Below are the highlights. Enjoy the pics! (We didn’t want to be “those people”, so we didn’t use flash. Apologies if anything came out dark!)
The dining room. The restaurant was more formal than I would have guessed. Men are strongly encouraged to wear jackets (and ties). The decor made it feel like a mix of formal and rustic.
There is no menu, per se. You choose between three options. A 5 course tasting menu, an 8 course tasting menu, and a 10 course tasting menu. And you have the option of adding cheese as an additional course to the 5 or 8 course menus (it is included in the 10 course menus). Due to time/nanny constraints (not to mention cost), we went with the 5 course menu.
Being a native West Coaster with a Mexican mother, Mexican food = comfort for me. For some, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese makes them feel at home. For me, it is burritos, tacos, salsa, and cilantro. It is like cuddling up with a cashmere blanket in front of a fire. Unfortunately, New York has NO GOOD REASONABLY PRICED MEXICAN FOOD. I am against going to a Mexican restaurant and paying more than 10 dollars for beans and tortillas. I mean, really, how do the high end Mexican restaurants survive????
(I realize many of you may be reading to find out about today’s giveaway… coming at the end of the post!)
So, I was totally and utterly excited when I tumbled across this article that mentioned Tortilleria Nixtamal as one of the BEST restaurants in NYC. Not the best hole in the wall, not one of the cheapest eats, but one of the best restaurants in general. SOLD.
Nixatamal serves affordable and good quality food. It is the type of Mexican food I love; dirty and cheap, without being dirty. The ingredients that they use are also fresh and high quality. Burrito Boy
doesn’t even do that! The produce comes directly from Mexico via a locally owned distributor
, the meat comes from the local butcher
, the fish comes from Astoria Seafood
, the cheese from a local producer
of Mexican cheeses, and the salsa is made in house.
The menu itself is phenomenal.
I love to pretend that I live in suburbia (instead of in the middle of a concrete jungle island). As a result, Ken and I tend to drive more than the average Manhattanites (we are very lucky to have access to a car — life changer, I must say). It is a fun activity to hop into the car, drive downtown to dinner, explore areas that are hard to get to, and explore other boroughs. One of our absolute favorite field trips is to Red Hook (a remote area in Brooklyn on the water — very warehouse-esque, hip, and modern) and eat at an excellent restaurant called The Good Fork. The Good Fork is owned and operated by a couple who live close by to the restaurant with their family. The husband manages the restaurant and the wife is the head chef. Not only is the food memorable and delicious, but the service is superb, the ambiance low key and cozy, and the overall atmosphere is lovely, familiar, neighborhood-esque and chill. Nothing better than a drive over the Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy an excellent meal in an intimate setting.
The drive. Depending on traffic we either go over the Brooklyn Bridge or through the Battery Tunnel (toll required).
The door leading to the restaurant. The Good Fork is located in a brick house.