New York 2010

Fresh off a fantastic trip to the Big Apple I am recovering in more than ways than one from the food, the walking, the shopping and of course the nightlife. NYC could be a strong contender for the city that never sleeps seeing that our routine 4am nights were becoming the norm. I contemplated for some time whether or not I was going to blog about the trip and all the fabulous places we ate at but realized that I may be losing sight on what this whole blog was about – discovering MY city. That being said, a discovery and appreciation for another city (especially one that we’re always trying to measure up to) couldn’t necessarily hurt.

Instead of detailing all of our culinary adventures (and there were plenty – thanks BK!) I figured I would least offer a mention off the places we ate that I loved not just for recommendations (for all my readers lol) but also for my memory’s sake, which seems to fade a little more and more with each passing day! You will notice that our meals basically consisted of BRUNCH and DINNER. The 4am nights made breakfast non-existent and the intake of an evening meal was deemed mandatory for the amount of alcohol that always followed.

Blue Ribbon (Downing Street) –
Tucked away on the small (and pretty much miss-able) Downing Street in the Village is Blue Ribbon which boasts a variety of fresh brunch, lunch and dinner options as well as variety of different branded locations acting as either a market, restaurant or even a sushi grill. We ordered full flowing cups of coffee and then indulged in some hearty (and way too big for one person) sandwiches. They were although the best tasting sandwiches I’ve had in a really long time. Unfortunately the menu doesn’t seem to list the two that we tried but from what I remember, one was a roasted vegetable and goat cheese and the other was a turkey, mozzarella and olive paste combination. Both cam with hearty helpings of salad which made the meal delicioius and complete.

Norma’s (at the Parker Meridien Hotel)
If the Blue Ribbon sandwiches were the best lunch I had then this was by the far the best brunch. All I can say is – portion size, hello!!! Three of us shared two mains and we were OVER stuffed. Prices were a little on the high side but the taste and experience makes up for it. We started with French pressed coffee ($7/person) and for a girl who doesn’t drink coffee, I found love. It was rich and dark and all the other things that coffee drinkers describe as an AMAZING cup of coffee. I couldn’t get enough. We then proceeded to fill ourselves on Very Berry Brioche French Toast ($21) and Chicken and Wild mushroom Omelet with Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions ($21). The French toast was about the size of my head and yes I do have an abnormally small sized head but STILL. Imagine a one inch slice of French toasted warmed to perfection with a pile of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries sitting on top and then other 3 inch piece of French toasted on top to create a jam like texture in between and then ALL drizzled with sweet maple syrup. To die for. The Omelet was a standard omelet but just triple in size and overflowing with chicken and veggies accompanied with an assorted bread basket. We had to eat something healthy!

Upscale Thai resteraunt (read TAO, Buddha Bar kind of vibe). The menu included a variety of share plates, appies and mains which you could pick and choose amongst. It was a late dinner and there were 6 of us so we opted to pick a bunch of different options and share – family style 😉 Food was overall good – I would rate it a solid 7 out 10 but that may also be based on not favoring Thai cuisine in general. My favorite was definitely the Green Papaya and Mango Salad just on presentation alone! It came to the table in a half cut pineapple shell! Picture below with my official food model (thanks TR!)

Crispy Rock Shrimp, grilled eggplant and palm-sugar tamarind sauce
Green Papaya and Mango salad with dry shrimp and chili cashew dressing (2 orders)
Cabbage rolls with chicken (not on the menu hence the lackluster description) (2 orders)
Northern Thai beef salad, Chinese long beans and roasted sticky rice
Banana spring rolls with burnt honey ice cream
Thai tea ice cream sundae with palm seeds and coconut jelly
Bottle of red

My friends are never allowed to complain when I say that I’m tired. If it weren’t for my over-walked feet and strong desire/craving for a glass of sangria we would have never stumbled upon this GEM of Italian dining in the heart of Greenwich Village. Initially we just stopped to rest our feet and grab a drink on the patio but after receiving EXTREMLY adorable service (including free drinks and heart shaped flat bread) we had to change our original dinner plans and move them to this place. Upon arriving for dinner, Gianni (our very colorful waiter) had a perfect table for 8 overlooking the street waiting for us and a bottle of wine ready to be consumed. As we were getting ready to order, much to our surprise, a round of bruchetta appeared to our table as if by magic. Our menu consisted of salads, mussels, calamari, Parpadelle with chicken mushroom and a rose sauce and Penne with capers, anchovies, olives and tomatoes. The food was great but what really made this meal was the service. We literally were pampered and served on as if we were celebrities. He didn’t even end up charging us for our appetizers. If you’re ever in the village or looking for some good Italian hospitality the definitely hit up this place. Just ask for Gianni and tell him his Canadian wife sent you 🙂
Oh New York, like a sordid affair or good dessert, I can never get enough!

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