Happy Friday friends! Sorry I missed last week, I just couldn’t bring myself to sit at the computer long enough to write this post. The kids and I have been on the go, and the few moments that I’ve had to myself have been spent reading and relaxing. Marathon training has taken a lot more out of me physically than I anticipated, and I’m finding I just don’t have as much gusto at the end of the day as normal. And boy am I ready for Brandon to start school in a week. Keeping two very energetic boys entertained is it’s own kind of exercise. So, let’s get on with what we are reading, eating, and loving this week:
Friday, you could not have come sooner! My husband was away on business most of the week, and let me tell you, being a single parent is no joke. I am utterly spent. It’s amazing how having an extra pair of hands at the end of the day can make life so much easier. I definitely needed a little pep talk around dinner and bath time, and quickly reached for a cocktail once everyone was tucked away for the night. My hats off to all you amazing women who do this on a regular basis. I will happily give you a virtual cheers for this Mommy Happy Hour.
I have some awesome stuff to share with you, and don’t forget to enter to win $100 to Sephora in my blogiversary giveaway!
Happy Friday! Has this week flown by for anyone else? Summer is practically halfway over and I feel like it just got started! We had a great time in Georgia last week, but are happy to be back home. I know most people exit the city in the summer, but I actually love NYC this time of year. It almost feels like you have the whole city to yourself (not to mention, coveted reservations are way easier to come by!). So let’s jump right into things:
Happy Friday! This is actually a very exciting Friday for us because tomorrow we leave for vacation! Wahoo! Before we had kids, Brad and I would go away a lot and to some really fun places. Now, my idea of a great vacation spot is simply my parent’s house down south – built in babysitters! It also helps that they live in our favorite place (which is also where we got married – which we did before Carrie Underwood copied us!). There’s nothing like a week at the lake. I plan on doing a lot of reading and working on correcting my sad, pale state. Anyone have any good book recommendations? Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:
Here’s where we went in September:
This little west village gem was the site of our bi-monthly book club meeting. It’s totally charming and pretty spacious given the location. The appetizers were varied, unique, and delicious – making this a great group spot. They even grow some of their own ingredients on top of the restaurant in their rooftop garden. It’s not necessarily the best meal I’ve ever had, but it was casual and fun, and an excellent value spot. Be sure to take advantage of the $1 oysters at the bar!
I feel like the Jean-Georges restaurants I’ve visited have been a bit of a hit or miss. There are a few that I love (like Nogatine & Dune) and some that I really don’t (Lagoon in Bora Bora). But after 3 visits to ABC Kitchen, I can assure you that this one definitely falls into the love category. It won a James Beard best new restaurant award in 2011, and is consistently serving up delicious organic and locally sourced dishes. Everything is super fresh and seasonal (pretty much all of nyc has jumped on the farm to table bandwagon). It’s great to know that there is always going to be something new and delicious each time you go, but I have a few favorites that I would really like to see back on the menu this fall (squash toast and fried chicken, please!). At this visit, we started with a heirloom tomato toast, then split the burger and squash blossom pizza. The pizza was amazing, and worth going back for in itself. For dessert we had the ice cream sundae, which includes popcorn and candied peanuts and is swimming in chocolate sauce. Hungry yet?
Here’s where we visited this month:
Daniel Boulud has a whole slew of restaurants all over NYC, and this is his newest addition. It was so thoughtful of him to locate it just steps from our apartment on the UWS. The menu is mainly Mediterranean, but it’s pretty extensive so I’m sure anyone could find something they liked. The atmosphere is modern/minimal, and is more appropriate for a business dinner than a romantic date. The food was absolutely spot on. You must, must have the fried artichokes – I’m still dreaming about them. We all (there were 4 of us) had different fish dishes and they were all exceptional as well. Do yourself a favor and forgo dessert and just go around the corner to Epicerie Boulud and have the most incredible chocolate chip cookies (or one of their other amazing treats) and enjoy the views of Lincoln Center at night.
I don’t have too much to say on this one – it just didn’t live up to the hype for me. The restaurant is pretty large, and was only half occupied when we went. Granted it was on the early side (7ish), but the people there seemed like tourists – not a great sign for a NYC restaurant. We found shell (lots) in our crab appetizer, the entrees were so-so, and the dessert pairing of peanut butter pie and lemon granita was just gross. On a positive note, the fries were pretty awesome (they waiter told us they’ve actually won awards for them). Don’t think I’ll be rushing back anytime soon.
This is an awesome “white tablecloth” brunch. It’s not necessarily where you want to be nursing a hangover, but it is delicious, fresh and just fancy and fun for a weekend morning. There is a price fix menu that lets you choose 2 courses. I think this is just plain genius since I usually spend a lot of time trying to decide if I would rather have something sweet or savory for brunch – now you get both! Do not miss the bread basket, it’s probably the best selection I’ve ever had.
Oh Milos, how I love thee! We have been going to Milos for years and years, and it’s still my most craved restaurant – and that’s saying a lot! The restaurant is this beautiful open space that makes you feel like you’ve been swept out of NYC and dropped right onto the Greek coastline. The food is well, crave worthy. If you like Greek food, you must try this place. They are known for their tomatoes, so start with a tomato salad (it’s seriously bizarre how their tomatoes taste amazing even in the dead of winter), then have the Milos special to share as well. It’s thinly sliced/fried pieces of zucchini and eggplant piled high around the most delicious tzaziki. Oh, and the chunks of fried cheese on the side aren’t bad either. Then you have your choice of seafood, which is all laid out beautifully on ice for you to see. My husband and I generally split one serving of dover sole, which is plenty when paired with everything else. Finish with a piece of chocolate mousse and you have the most scrumdidliumptious dinner ever.
A bit of warning though, that the seafood portion of the meal will not be easy on your pocketbook. And the waitstaff definitely errs towards the pretentious side. Just be aware of this going in. Not necessarily rude, but not overly nice either – unless you are ordering for 10, expensive bottles of wine included. None the less, this is probably our most frequented restaurant in NYC and would be a great place to go to before a show as it’s not too far from the theater district.
Steakhouses in NYC are practically as rampant as bodegas, but in truth, most are pretty excellent and will put your local Ruth Chris to shame. QM has a great decor – walls of wine bottles and a labyrinth type layout that is rather interesting to navigate. It has a trendy edge, but given the location, it will be packed with suits at 7pm on a Tuesday. The steak we had was amazing, and they make the steak sauce table side (it was excellent and unique as well, but the steak on its own was so good I didn’t even think it needed any sauce). They really pay ice cream its due in the dessert section and offer a ton of different flavors as well as house made ice cream cakes. Yum!