New York Nosh

20140720_155745

Recently, work took me to NYC for a few days.  It was a jam-packed trip, but in the evenings, I took advantage of my locale and munched on the Big Apple. (See what I did there?! 😉 )

Fortunately, I have a few obliging friends in the city, all of which allowed me to drag them to restaurants I was eager to try.  I was thrilled; not only did I get to catch up with an old friend at the end of each day, but I got to eat my way through a few restaurants on my New York Foodie Bucket List.  And yes, such a list exists. 🙂

Unfortunately, the one miss on this trip was that I managed to forget my camera (ERRG.), so please forgive the phone photos!

20140721_185300

On one of these lovely evenings, I met up with a Chicago friend who just happened to be also in town on business.  Also a foodie-at-heart, he happily agreed to my restaurant of choice for the evening: Ed’s Lobster Bar in SoHo.

20140721_194140

A truly tiny spot, this all-white restaurant has mostly been taken up by the gorgeous marble bar that spans nearly the whole length of the place.  It’s the perfect perch for your meal – you’ll enjoy every bite as you watch the bartenders and servers whirl and whiz past, busy maintaining a well-oiled machine.

Before you know it, your small order of fresh oysters are presented in front of you, and you’ll immediately regret the decision to place a small order instead of a very, very large one.

20140721_191139

But you’ll quickly get over this oversight as soon as you see this monstrosity of lobster arrive in its’ place:

20140721_193117

HummanaHummanaHummana.

20140721_193124

A WHALE of a lobster roll, accompanied by a perfectly crisp pile of french fries.  You’ll proceed to eat every single last fry.  Even the crunchy bits.  (Ok, maybe that was just me…)

The lobster itself is presented in a perfectly soft pillowy vessel that resembles brioche.  It’s delightfully light; not weighed down with mayo like you might expect.  You’ll inhale the fresh flavorful roll, scooping up the chunks of lobster that tumble out onto the plate, making sure not to miss a single bite!

One more close up, because before you know it, your roll will disappear…

20140721_193134

My mouth is literally watering as I type… le sighhhh.

Net: Ed’s is definitely worth a stop when in NYC.

I proceeded to plan every single precious meal I had in the city around my taste-buds (because how else would you plan it??), and took advantage of even breakfast and lunches.  It required plenty of research and some serious speed-walking, but it was worth it for every slurp, bite and sip.

To offset my gluttony in the beautiful New York evenings, for breakfast I tracked down a lovely local juicing chain that would help me kick the day off with a healthy start.

20140722_080159

Juice Generation offers fresh smoothies, juices, and raw foods, and it was just what I needed.  I picked up a Mr. Greengenes before my day full of meetings, and sipped down the energy I needed to keep up with my long days.

Clearly, food is my favorite part of this gorgeously huge city, but a very close second is simply exploring. 20140722_191815I probably walked 3 miles or more a day, just absorbing as much New York as I possibly could, soaking in every beautiful building and charming corner.

20140722_195133

On my very last day, I had one last place on my list, one that I’d heard lots about…

20140723_121500

In fact, I was told that Shake Shack is BETTER than In & Out.

Yeah.

So naturally I had to try out myself.  You know, purely for market research.

Since it was a painfully beautiful day, I refused to eat indoors and toted my meal to a nearby park, in order to eat in the gorgeous sunshine.

20140723_125020

Unfortunately, my stubbornness resulted in a very melty custard, but I enjoyed it, regardless.  The burger itself was flavorful and fresh; I think the patty almost could stand on its’ own.  As in, I would totally eat it even if given a plate + patty.

I’m not sure I would say it’s BETTER than In & Out.  I  would have to do more market research to validate this claim, of course.  But I will say it is arguably as good as In & Out.

Undoubtedly, it was a lovely ending to my food-filled trip.  I sat on my park bench and tried to soak in as much as possible during my last precious moments in NYC.  I watched as the city bustled around me.  So fast, everything is almost a blur, and yet you can’t help but want to be a part of that big blur.  If even for just a mere moment.

But soon it was time to go, and while I wasn’t quite ready to depart for home, my feet sure were, so I picked up my bags and got on my way.

Until next time, New York.

Cheers!  xx

G

 

 

 

Advertisements

South Beach Sabor

P1070478

A few weeks ago, we took a little weekend trip to Miami.  We were there on *official* business, for AG’s High School Reunion, as well as his birthday. 😉  With a fun-filled weekend ahead, we decided to kick things off with a bit of Ocean Drive fun on Friday.

After doing a bit of research, we identified a spot right in the middle of South Beach that we wanted to try out for lunch.  The Local House is located right on Ocean Drive, just a hop-skip away from the beautiful, white, sandy South Florida beach.

P1070436It was the perfect place to start our weekend getaway.  A true Miami urban oasis of a restaurant…

P1070438

We settled into our well-cushioned seats and promptly ordered up some cocktails.

P1070442

A Peach Bellini for moi and a deliciously unique beverage for him, called “Down the Rabbit Hole.”  It was comprised of Bourbon (his favorite), muddled raspberries, lime, mint, sugar, and topped off with some ginger ale.  Delightfully fruity and fresh, it quite honestly blew my Bellini away.  I might have to try to replicate this drink just for you! 🙂

P1070444We enjoyed our beverages with a side of South Beach views and studied our menus to determine what to nosh on!

Almost immediately, we spotted the Goat Cheese Croquettes and agreed this was a must-try.  P1070451They were served with a sweet and spicy Guava sauce that went perfectly with the creaminess of the goat cheese and the salty, lightly fried exterior.

P1070452

They didn’t last long.

We followed up with an order of Shrimp Risotto, which mingled flavors of fresh shrimp, asparagus, basil and more goat cheese (can you tell we like goat cheese??).

P1070458It was light and fresh, a perfect lunch option before hitting up the beach!

Finally, we continued with our beachy theme, and ordered a plate of the Pan-Seared Branzino, which was perfectly cooked and served with Polenta Fries that were simply to.die.for.!

P1070453

MmmMmmMmm!

The fresh fare offered at Local House did not disappoint – it served up the flavorful flair of South Beach while offering a relaxing spot to chill and enjoy the scenery.

P1070446

That is, until they brought us the bill…

Upon reviewing our charges we noticed that they had already included 18% gratuity.  However, with a second glance, we realized that their “18%” was completely inaccurate – they’d overcharged us by several dollars.  We brought it to their attention and they apologized, but as we’d already paid our bill, we decided to let it go.

Lesson learned though – if you are in Miami in the near future and decide to check out The Local House, please double check your bill before paying so they don’t rip you off too!!

Despite this slight hiccup, we moseyed down the strip to enjoy more South Beach sunshine.

P1070480P1070469P1070481

And discovered someone hunting for Coconuts…

P1070482

After watching him gather a few coconuts via that impressive pole-contraption, we made a pit-stop at Wet Willie’s for their famous frozen beverages to take to the beach.

P1070484

P1070487

Mine was a Piña Colada & Sex on the Beach swirl, and AG ordered a “Colombian Flag,” which was pretty much just a random mix of colorful flavors. 🙂  It sure did look festive though!

P1070496

We took our beverages to the South Beach sand and enjoyed them while looking out onto the gorgeous turquoise water.

P1070494wpid-img_20140606_141922.jpg

We left with sandy toes and slightly pink noses (ok, mine was a bit more than slightly pink…).

A truly beautiful beach day, indeed!

Cheers!  xx

G

Foodies in France – la deuxième partie

In continuing our French foodie adventures, I’d like to whisk you off to Paris for another brief moment.

Even if you don’t have immediate plans to visit this glorious city, hopefully you can escape for a little bit and lose yourself in dreams of walking the rues with me…

DSC01278

Exploring the Opera House…
DSC01331

Strolling across the bridges that transport you over the Seine…DSC01236

My new favorite sightseeing spot in this city might just be the Pont des Arts.  Prior to this trip, I’d heard and seen plenty about this amazing pedestrian bridge.  It has become a symbol of love and romance with its padlocks that lovers from all over the world attach to the railings.  I find it so poetic, so romantic, and so I had to see it myself.

Sadly, we didn’t have our act together to bring a padlock, but it is on my to-do list for next time!  I love the idea of eternalizing your *link* with someone you love.

After you amble across the Pont des Arts, the sun might be starting to set, and you might be starting to get hungry.  So let me take you to another one of my favorite spots, a restaurant that practically neighbors Angelina – Le Soufflé.  Admittedly, the restaurant’s website leaves something to be desired, but you won’t regret it when you see this baby land in front of you:

DSC01414

Since they’re known for their airy soufflés, I highly recommend going for the “menu tout soufflé,”  which is exactly what you might think – a three course meal made up entirely of soufflés. I went for the Spinach and Goat-Cheese to start, and then followed it up with the Beef Burgundy, which was magnifique!

We were fortunate enough to dine with our fellow travel companions and housemates for the week, K and B, and couldn’t have asked for better company!  The boys had fallen under the spell of French Onion Soup throughout the trip, and after much debate, decided that Le Soufflé was the favorite.  They both ordered bowlfuls and we all snuck a bite or two.  

Unfortunately, I failed to get a photo of Le Soufflé’s French Onion soup, but I’ll offer up something EVEN BETTER.  I am bringing you my favorite French Onion Soup recipe!  Consider it a Paris souvenir from me.  🙂  Look for it over the next week, and you can transport a bit of Paris into your very own kitchen.

For dessert, I tried the soufflé Grand Marnier, which is topped off with a spoonful of… you guessed it, Grand Marnier liqueur.  Mmmm, I am feeling all warm and happy just thinking about it!

DSC01413

AG had the Framboise (or raspberry) for dessert, which was equally delicious!  I might have stolen a few more bites than I was invited. 😉DSC01419

With a full belly of fluffy goodness and excellent wine, I’d strongly recommend doing some nighttime exploring around this city.  It simply lights up like nothing else.  I guess that’s why they call it the city of light! 🙂

DSC01259

Cross the Seine and check out Notre Dame at night.  It is both eerie and breathtaking, and a unique experiencDSC01264e, in my opinion.

DSC01261

I’d only visited the church in the day during previous visits, and while I wouldn’t discourage you from experiencing it in the daylight, the contrast of the dark interior of the church with the lit votive candles was majestic.  Visiting in the day offers the beauty that daylight brings to this church, but I found our nighttime experience to be both moving and intimate.  If you get a chance to visit at night, it’s a worthwhile experience.

Stay tuned for French Onion soup… coming soon!

À bientôt mes amis!

G

Foodies in France – la première partie

It has been FAR too long since my last post.  The past several months have been a whirlwind – moving into a new place, settling into a new(ish) job, lots of travel, and cakes!  (More to come on the cakes later 🙂 ) With all of that going on, this blog simply fell lower on the priority list.  Now that I’m finally feeling a bit more settled in my job and my new home, Recetterie can climb on right back up towards the top again.

To make up for my absence, I have something wonderful to share with you… a little taste of my absolute favorite city.

DSC01155

A city that is known for its exceptional culinary status; that offers delicacies such as snails and frog legs; that oozes pastries and goodies that one dreams about… any guesses?

DSC01234

Yep, you guessed it! PARIS! 🙂DSC01268

Sometime in August, le manfriend came home one day and shared the best news EVER.  He had been asked to go to Paris for work.  Of course I was 100% on board with this trip… provided I got to go!  And so we went – AG traveled over there on business, and just as he was wrapping up his meetings, I walked off the plane with a huge smile on my face & trusty Longchamp on my shoulder. 🙂

We explored and ate our way through the city of light for about a week, and it was so good to be back.  I was thrilled to speak french, drink café crèmes, and wander around the rues, soaking in the Parisian light.  It was a glorious week.

DSC01202


DSC01195If you are planning or dreaming of a trip to Paris, there are a few spots that I highly recommend making pit-stops for both the food and the experience.  I make sure to visit my favorite Paris eateries just about every time I go.

One of these spots is Café Angelina.  La Maison Angelina is a tea room located on the posh Rue de Rivoli, just a hop-skip across the street from the infamous Louvre.  It has been there since 1903, and has fed several style icons, including Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel.  You KNOW if they frequented Angelina, it has to be good!

Angelina’s is most famous for it’s rich, decadent, and heavenly Chocolat Chaud à l’Ancienne.  If you are a fan of chocolate, sweets, and all that is good in life, you absolutely must try this hot chocolate.

DSC01378

I’d been raving about Angelina’s hot chocolate probably for months before taking AG here, and so I’m sure he was probably sick of hearing about what I’d consider to be “the best thing in a cup.”  One sip out of that beautiful white cup, though, and I watched as AG gave a slow nod of the head and uttered: “Oh man, that might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”  Mission accomplished!

While you’re there, you might as well pair your hot chocolate with one of the extravagant and delicious desserts.

DSC01370 DSC01368

We settled on a tower of sorbet, “Le Trianon.”

DSC01383

Once you’ve sipped the last drop of your hot chocolate, take advantage of the sugar rush, and take a stroll through Tuileries, which is conveniently right across the street!

DSC01206You can wander through the gardens all the way over to the beautiful and expansive Louvre.DSC01234 DSC01232

 

If you get a chance to visit Paris, I hope you get to enjoy a big cup of Chocolat Chaud!

Gros Bisous! xx

G

Nicaraguan Adventures – Quesillos y Cacao

Two weeks ago, I embarked on a wonderful trip to the lovely country of Nicaragua.  A very good friend of ours lives in Managua, so we decided to go visit him, and make a vacation out of it.  And vacation we did!

P1060055

Simply incredible. 🙂

Nicaragua is a beautiful country, with gorgeous lakes, beautiful beaches, and volcanoes – both active and inactive.  We got to see some of the beauty of this country, but also the extreme poverty.  The drive from the capital to the beach town of San Juan del Sur provided incredible views, but also a reminder that this country is still a very underdeveloped one.

I never felt unsafe there, though; particularly because I was with several native Nicaraguans and Spanish-speakers who served as my translators and tour guides.  I only wished I was fluent in Spanish myself!  I did attempt some Spanish, but my accent no es bueno. 🙂

I DO speak fluent foodie, though, and set my sights on exploring the flavors of Nicaragua.  Our first pit stop took us to a little place called El Pipe, where they are known for their Quesillos, a typical Nicaraguan dish.

P1060028

Quesillos are essentially tortillas wrapped around cheese, onions and cream – clearly a low-cal dish, but delicious nonetheless.  They’re served to you on a plate, in a plastic bag.  It might sound a bit odd, but believe me, you want that plastic bag to keep in all that yummy, cheesy sauce.

P1060018

You open the plastic bag, shimmy it down a bit to expose your burrito-resembling Quesillo, and top it with the fresh chili sauce provided to you in a small bowl.

P1060023

Que rico!  It’s like a gooey, cheesy present, just waiting to be unwrapped.

You can also get your Quesillo flat on a plate, so that you can use a knife and a fork, but I think I preferred the bag-version myself. 🙂

P1060024

We washed them down with glasses of Cacao – basically chocolate milk, but BETTER!  You could taste the fresh, roasted cacao with every sip of this frosty drink.   For the rest of the trip, as soon as we sat down at a restaurant, I immediately scanned the menu to see if it was listed there.  Yet this first Cacao experience was most certainly the best.

P1060014

I enjoyed my Cacao drink SO much that my goal in the near term is to come up with a recipe to share with you, so that you too can enjoy the chocolatey goodness!  I had my translators ask how this drink was made, and took copious notes (once they translated it for me, of course), so look for a recipe to come soon!

P1060015

Cheers! xx

-G