Written: Fall 2018
It’s my favorite time of year in New York… the city air is crisp and cool, groups of friends still brave patio weather under space heaters while gripping hot toddies, and Fall fashion is front row and center.
It’s also the time year when I am lucky enough to grab my own steaming coconut latte and warmest cocoon coat to brave the Big Apple streets myself. I visited for a few days of work with my favorite team in the business, and then stayed for an additional couple of days for fun with two of my most awesome friends, one who happens to spend a lot of time here, and one who happens to live here full-time. Built-in tour guides for one of my fave cities the entire 5 days I’m here? Lucky girl, indeed.
I didn’t have much time to make notes this trip. During the business portion of our stay our days were jam-packed with presentations and meetings, and during my ‘play’ portion… well, we played and ate A LOT. So, what I offer you in this blog post is my annual New York trip restaurant recaps. You’ll definitely want to try some of these out for yourself. (If you haven’t checked last year’s New York City post, click here).
It’s always a pleasure to stay at Soho House, and they upgraded us again this year at no extra cost. The club dining area on the 6th floor offers a wide variety of food, cocktails and casual vibes. Their breakfast menu offers a delicious variety (my favorite is the quinoa pancakes!), while their cheese burger and Brussels sprouts left Jean and I feeling pleasantly satisfied. However, here is a picture of my most favorite drink of the trip was at Soho House:
It was epic.
We had tried to make a reservation at my friend Ashley’s favorite Italian spot in Manhattan five weeks in advance and that still wasn’t enough time. So, we went early and were able to get a cozy corner booth at the popular restaurant, and ordered a bottle of wine. I ordered the daily pasta special, which was a beet-stuffed ravioli with butter and sage, and the others got a more classic mushroom pasta dish, which was also delightful. We started with homemade “crackers” and fresh ricotta, and ended with an olive oil cake and chocolate + pastry dessert which may have been my favorite part of the menu. L’Artusi was a wonderful Italian dining experience and the food and service was impeccable. Big thanks to Ash for the recommendation!
Described as a “place for seasonal American dishes & cocktails in a polished setting with tiled floors & big booths,” The Loyal was a surprisingly chic spot to step into for a drink on a Thursday night. Initially I had wanted to check out The Garret (a speakeasy above Five Guys Burgers) across the street but The Loyal had lots of room for us, and the service was great. We only had drinks (My “Hey Bruh” aloe soda water + vodka cocktail was unfortunately not delicious) and enjoyed the atmosphere.
During my weekend of fun, April, Anup and I stopped in for late night drinks at Mr. White. While we were too late for the apparently epic fried chicken (this was suggested by April and Anup and I’ll have to try it next time I’m in town!), I must say that every single cocktail I tried was delectable. I tried the Pumpkin Ale Cocktail (wine based “amaretto” & fresh lime juice, poured over ice, topped w/ Schlafly Pumpkin Ale and a cinnamon-sugar rim), the Apple Pie cocktail (apple-infused soju, cinnamon wine-based “rum”, topped with Eastcider’s and poured over ice in a pint glass- it actually tasted like I was drinking apple pie), and the Ice Pick (sweet tea & soju served in a pint glass). We also had a few shots (a story for another time but props to our Buffalo-born bartender!) and taste-tested the peanut butter chocolate beer, which also tantalized the taste buds. I think this is one of my favorite unexpected gems of the trip, and I can’t wait to go back and drink some more Ice Picks.
We went to Palma with our New York City colleagues, and had such a memorable experience. With dim lighting, a classic Italian menu with a robust variety, and a beautiful indoor-outdoor eatery/garden adorned with vines and roses, Palma offered a calming yet fun dining experience. As per their website, Palma consists of “white stucco walls, beamed ceilings and salvaged chestnut door leads to a beautiful garden with ivy covered walls, fresh herbs and flowers…a place to relax and enjoy life. Palma is a traditional Italian restaurant that stays true to generations of family recipes and techniques. Pure ingredients are a must; food nurtures the soul as much as the body.” I think our group tried almost everything on the menu and left feeling fulfilled and pleasantly plump.
I felt like I needed to jam a famous breakfast pierogi down my throat before I left on Sunday morning. Maybe it’s my Polish heritage, or maybe it is just my natural inclination to eat everything I hear great things about! Regardless, I ran into the famous Veselka (as seen in movies like Ocean’s Eight, and known for their borscht & pierogi) for a quick visit before catching my flight on Sunday early-afternoon. (It is also around the corner from Anup’s house, so it was a no-brainer). I had the mushroom truffle pierogies and they were everything I want in a pierogi: fried with the perfect amount of crispiness and baked to perfection. This place was so old school, has been open since 1954 and was so busy– I am extremely happy I made the trip.
WE ATE EVERYTHING. This isn’t really a joke: our waitress asked if next time we were to come back, if we would be trying the other half of the menu. Ashley, Anup, April and I (apparently I missed the memo on a first name beginning with “A”) were thrilled to dine at the famous Misi, owned by Chef Missy Robbins of Lilia fame. Misi, located in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, “celebrates handmade pasta dishes and vegetable antipasti inspired by simple Italian cooking.”
While we would recommend everything we had, some of our favorites that are still on the menu are: whole roasted eggplant with calabrian chilie, lemon, olive oil, chickpea pappardelle with chickpeas, rosemary, garlic, parmigiano, sheep’s milk ricotta filled occhi, bottarga, lemon, and fettuccine with buffalo butter, parmigiano extra vecchio, black pepper. #DROOL
See photos above for pictures of our dreamiest meal of the trip.
It’s hard for me to decide which one was better (of course I had to try both!). I would recommend both famous bagel shops, but loved the cream cheese and selection at Black Seed (I brought Black Seed bagels and cream cheese home for the boys too!), while the French Toast Specialty Bagel and black and white cookie from Tompkins left me uber satisfied.
Try to check both out while you’re in town and judge for yourself!
While our meal at Misi was the most flavorful and epic of the trip, our meal at Yoon, for me, was the most exciting, nostalgic and filling. Ever since heading back to my old stomping grounds of South Korea for the Olympics, I have been craving authentic Korean BBQ. In Toronto, we have an amazing selection of Korean restaurants in “Little Korea” but I haven’t found a Korean BBQ place downtown or midtown that transports me back to Seoul. Yoon’s upscale Korean BBQ New York though, truly did.
We listened to our servers recommendations and ordered the marinated package, which consisted of Marinated Short Rib, Marinated Skirt Steak, a Beef Plate and Sirloin Bulgogi. (All the meat!)
We ordered the Busan Neighborhood Pancake (amazing), the potato noodle add-on (which was a first for me, and cooked in the beef broth on the grill towards the end of the meal), cocktails and wine. The sides were limitless (April and I shared a favorite of pickled jalapenos) and the meat was mouthwatering and cooked to perfection. Galbi was everything I remembered; it was everything I love about classic Korean BBQ. April and Anup were reminiscing of our Olympic adventure and Yoon’s was the perfect place to do it! I definitely missed Ian in this moment.
Thanks for a great night, Yoon’s! I will definitely be back.
After checking out the Korean Mask Store, The Mask Bar, on Bleecker, April and I had lunch at Danji. I have been following Chef Hooni Kim on Instagram for a year now; I found him when I was preparing my taste buds for South Korean cuisine in advance of our Seoul trip. At Danji, Chef Kim fuses French cooking techniques with Korean cuisine and the result is delectable. Since we knew we were eating at Yoon later that evening, we had to eat accordingly (it was a real Korean Day in NYC!). I got hand-made vegetable dumplings with spicy soy sauce, and bulgogi beef sliders with spicy pickled cucumber & scallion salsa. April got a lunch special, but in bad food blogging form, I don’t remember exactly what. I have beautiful pictures though! Other than the server making me feel bashful about following Chef Kim on Instagram (I think she was just a bit awkward) it was a fun experience, and a great Korean meal! I would definitely go back, and next time would want to try the dinner menu.
Described as fast-casual Middle Eastern fare and owned by our Top Chef Canada host and chef Eden Ginshpan and co-owned by Samantha Wasser (two women- rad!), The Dez was a bright, open spot in the heart of Noho. While we were still full from our steak lunch, we wanted to support Eden and check out the space, so we ordered cocktails and enjoyed the open atmosphere of the space. I really wanted to tried the CBD oil-infused ice cream, but the machine was broken! I will definitely be heading back here to try the food though– it looked and smelled amazing!
I won’t write much about this fun cocktail bar since they are now closed for renovations (New Years Eve was their last night… and that really put into perspective how long I have been drafting this blogpost!), but it was a fun spot to drop in while in the East Village! Here is their sister restaurant: https://www.motherofpearlnyc.com/.
I know it is kind of a NYC staple, but I had never been to Jack’s Wife Freda! Described as “A lively all-day NYC bistro executing American-Mediterranean cooking & classic cocktails in understated digs, with locations in Soho and the West Village” (and now a location in Chelsea!), Jack’s Wife is everything it claims to be. We had the grilled halloumi, the rosewater waffle and the Madame Freda- all excellent!
The view, the view, the view. I was thrilled to check out the newest US Soho House in Brooklyn, and the view did not disappoint. The drinks were fab, the atmosphere had a great vibe, and the nighttime skyline view was insanely gorgeous.
Some other really fun things we did on this trip were:
The New York Public Library–-which I cannot believe I have never done! It’s so easy to get lost in the magic of it.
Face Gym– This was a unique facial experience and I begged them to come to Toronto! Located in Saks, Ashley strongly recommended we get facials at Face Gym and they truly do “work out” your face! (See below for photos!)
Morton’s Steakhouse– It isn’t a trip to the big apple with our work crew without a lunch at Morton’s!
The Korean Skincare Store, The Mask Bar, on Bleecker is perfect for those of you who love Korean skincare products and don’t know where to find the most authentic!
We didn’t make it into Death & Co. or PDT this time, but we of course got tater tots.
If you haven’t checked out my blog post from last year’s trip, check it out here. It was also jam-packed with food, fun and no sleep.
Thanks to my NYC work team & jean, and to Apes, Ash, Anup for an incredible trip!
New York, you are always so kind to me.
Can’t wait to head back in July! ❤