Back to New York-Finally!

May 27, 2011

Jay and I travelled up to New York a few weeks ago. Jay’s work is headquartered there and it had been quite some time since he’d stopped in. We were a bit nervous they’d forgotten what he looked like! To smooth his long absence over a bit, I made a batch of Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies for him to take along with him into the office.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies

We stayed at the Standard hotel as usual and as usual it was fantastic!

Standard King Room

While poor Jay slaved away at work, I strolled all around lower Manhattan. The weather was perfect. Once he finished up his day, we met back up and went out to Fig and Olive for a really wonderful dinner.

Truly it was great in every way. The food was delicious and for once, the atmosphere was great – beautiful decor, not crowded, not ear splittingly loud and no detectable attitude. Amazing! Jay and I have not had great dining history in New York in the past. One restaurant we visited previously had some of the best mexican food I’ve ever tasted, but was a nightmare of an experience – crowded (sitting butt-cheek to butt-cheek with strangers crowded- on the verge of a panic attack crowded – and loud to the point we even gave up trying to talk to each other, we just stared across the table at one another in disbelief. One other restaurant had made us wait for over an hour for very bland, yet very expensive dishes. How disappointing! So we were so incredibly happy to find Fig and Olive, which was such a breath of fresh air (another unique experience in NYC)! This restaurant serves Riviera and Coastal Cuisines from the South of France, Italy and Spain. You definitely feel the Mediterranean ambiance as soon as you walk into the restaurant -stucco walls, rosemary and olive trees throughout, lots of candles, olive oil and wine bottles. The restaurant was really quite spacious, but our table felt very warm and intimate. And let me say the food did not disappoint either. We started off with their crostini with three different toppings – mushroom artichoke truffle parmesan, eggplant basil and sundried tomato, and manchego fig spread and almond. They were all great but our favourite was the mushroom artichoke. Jay ordered Penne Funghi Tartufo with Grilled Chicken – cremini mushroom, parmesan, black truffle paste, fresh parsley and scallions with a white truffle olive oil. I had the Grilled Truffle Chicken Paillard – a free range chicken breast marinated with thyme and served with truffle mashed potato leek confit. We washed it all down with an Abruzzo Montepulciano wine. YUM!  Truly a spectacular dinner! I can’t believe we didn’t save room for dessert, but I have no doubt we will definitely be visiting this establishment again. Sorry I didn’t get any photos of the food. The candlelight contributed immensely to the mood but not so much towards any viewable food photography.

The next day, I dashed out to Chelsea Market first thing in the morning on a mission for coffee and some fabulous bread from Amy’s Bread in particular.

The mission was easily accomplished and I returned to the room with caffeine in hand as well a a mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate sourdough twist and a hunk of brioche toast. Sorry no photo of these item either, we ate them too quickly! What a wonderful bakery. It took amazing restraint on my part not to purchase one of everything they had. I’ve recently gotten very interested in trying to bake my own bread. I’ve been pouring over Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and scheming. Amy’s Bread in Chelsea market is fun because you can actually watch the bakers at work through these huge glass windows. I spent quite a bit of time gazing in the day before, so I knew I had to get over there for breakfast and get some of that awesome bread.

Bannetons Stacked-Up at Amy's

Before we left to catch the train we were able to grab a burger for lunch at the good old Standard Grill at the hotel. These burgers are the best! We always try to budget in some time for them!

The Standard Burger

All in all a great visit! Looking forward to the next.


La Feile Padraig Shona Dhuit! (a little belated….)

March 19, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! No, my cats didn’t go wild on my computer keyboard-the title of this blog is “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” written in Irish. March 17th is also the date that Jay and I were legally married here in the States. We had our actual wedding celebration in Ireland on April 26th, which is the date on which we’ll be celebrating our anniversary. Not that we didn’t acknowledge March 17th at all…there were some cupcakes, champagne, etc. And on March 18th we got to travel up to New York and stay at my favourite hotel….The Standard! Jay’s presence was earnestly requested by his employers for a meeting. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day the previous day, almost all of the rooms were taken at The Standard except the more expensive ones. The powers that be wanted him there so much that they were not daunted by the price (well maybe a little bit…)  so we got to stay in a Liberty King Corner Suite!

Yippee! It was, as usual, awesome but this time had an even better view! The huge window literally wrapped around the room.

 

The shower, always interesting there, had a huge window in it. Hmmm…I guess the showers at The Standard are interesting for their neighbours as well!

 

 

While Jay was off at the meeting, I went off exploring. I ended up in the Soho/Nolito neighbourhoods. It was quite a long walk but it was a gorgeous day and I got to browse through a bunch of cool boutiques along the way. I was also able to locate the John Fluevog Shoe store. Dangerous! Jay and I both love Fluevog shoes and already own several pairs. Jay became the proud, and somewhat surprized owner of one more pair that I picked out for him that day.

That evening we went out to dinner at Molé, a Mexican restaurant there in the Meatpacking District. Sooo….the restaurant looked great-cute tiles and punched tin lanterns-the food was very, very good-second only to my favorite Mexican restaurant-Diogi’s (strangely enough in Fayetteville, WV). However, with all that being said, it wasn’t a pleasant dining experience. The place was tiny to begin with and was super crowded! I mean, think of the most crowded place you’ve ever been squished into and then double the number of people around you. It wasn’t just crowded while we were waiting for a table, but when they actually seated us, our table was literally an inch(if that) from the tables on either side. In order for me to take the inside seat, they had to pull the table out and I had to squeeze by the other diners, nearly sweeping their drinks away in the process. Poor Jay was on the outside, where every single waiter/busboy that scuttled by bumped into his back along their way. I’m not too fond of people in general and was near to a full blown panic attack through the whole meal. I could not wait to get out of there. Our waiter, who I’m pretty sure was Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins, was overworked and inattentive. Really a shame because the food really was great. Apparently this is a problem in many New York City restaurants. Overall it was a great trip and I’m already planning our next visit!

 

Trippy shower view


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