Archive for the ‘Food and Recipes’ Category

NEW YORK CITY TRIP PHOTOS (PART 3/4)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

One of the things I feel most polarized about (no pun intended, ha ha) our trip to New York was not bringing my Nikon DSLR. It was great not having to carry it around and truly be able to enjoy our trip and experience, but at the same time, my little point-and-shoot didn’t take nearly as good photos.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

I really do think that our lunch at Mario Batali’s Del Posto restaurant was the highlight of the entire New York trip for me. Yes, even more than going to Kleinfeld Bridal, amazingly :) Batali’s Del Posto is a fine dining restaurant located near Chelsea Market in New York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous space and yes, the food is exquisite.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Kim, Greg, Allan and I decided to go for lunch there as the lunch menu is significantly less expensive than the dinner menu, with a prixe-fixe menu of 3 courses for $29. Although it’s not listed on the menu, you can actually add an extra course and it’s only $39 for 4 courses. An amazing deal for the quality of food.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

The amount of food we went through was ridiculous. We started off with an amuse bouche of a traditional Italian egg drop soup, some crispy accompaniments and of course some freshly baked bread.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

I would say the appetizers were the real standouts for me. The fresh harvest vegetables were perfectly crisp with a delicately flavoured vinaigrette. The fried calamari with capers was RIDICULOUSLY good. Wow! If you only order one dish at Del Posto, I highly recommend this one.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Next up was our first pasta dishes which were also very good. The pumpkin cappellacci with brown butter and sage was flavourful and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the garganelli verdi al ragu bolognese was so so good — a real ragu bolognese is a treat.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Other dishes we tried included the beef rib eye, arctic char, slow-baked lamb and more pasta were executed with care, high quality ingredients, and tons of flavour.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Before we knew it, we were stuffed and it was onto dessert… way too much dessert! The chocolate ricotta tortino with pistachios and ice cream and the butterscotch semifreddo melon agrumata were sweet, rich of flavour, and fresh without being too heavy.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

We were also treated by the chefs to a “chocolate tree” which was stunning.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

Lunch is finished off with complimentary petit fours including various salted and sweet caramels, chocolate pops, and truffles. Wow, what a good value.

New York - Mario Batali's Del Posto

We walked out of the restaurant feeling happily full. Service was impeccable, the live piano playing was quiet enough for conversation but beautiful enough to create atmosphere, and the building itself with the staircases, columns and fresh flowers is just a pleasure to dine in. We highly recommend the lunch at Del Posto for the value and quality of food and service.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

After lunch, Allan and I rushed off to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to explore the famous museum and take in some art.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

New York - Museum of Modern Art

I thought MoMa was amazing. Not only is it a cool space to walk around in, but the variety of art was very impressive.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

The architecture section was probably my favourite. I loved the miniatures they had of some of the most incredible architectural buildings around the world.

New York - Museum of Modern Art

My only regret is not having more time to explore!

New York - Buddakhan

It was a busy day but it was about to become an even busier night! We rushed over to Buddakhan to meet up with a whole bunch of friends from different walks of life all the way from elementary school to university.

New York - Buddakhan New York - Buddakhan

Buddakhan is a large restaurant/lounge inside the Chelsea Market and is also the place where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner in Sex and the City! I couldn’t believe how many people they could pack into the lounge section and the restaurant section.

New York - Buddakhan

The dining room is BEAUTIFUL and would be lots of fun for a birthday party or large group at the communal table. Most of the tables were in the upper floors or around the communal table.

New York - Buddakhan

Allan and I waiting for friends to arrive and our table to be set.

New York - Buddakhan New York - Buddakhan

Although the atmosphere was super trendy and fun, I was a little disappointed by the food for the price. It was good, but not fantastic, and quite expensive overall for both food and drink. Not to mention the service was very slow so it took us over 3 hours to finish our meal.

New York - Buddakhan

I think the dessert was probably the highlight. I loved the creative designs and it was very rich and flavourful.

New York - Buddakhan

But the best part was the people! It was nice to meet new friends and see many old friends from elementary school, high school and university. Our friends are starting to get engaged and married now too, so it was wonderful to celebrate that with them.

New York - Pub Crawl New York - Pub Crawl

We then walked over to a different area of town (I wish I could remember the name!) and had a mini pub crawl. We started out at the Biergarten. It was busy but lots of different kinds of beers!

New York - Pub Crawl New York - Pub Crawl

Then it was over to the Brass Monkey where we stayed for a couple hours and had some drinks, dancing and catching up to do.

New York - Griffin Nightclub

Lastly we headed over to Griffin Nightclub where our friends managed to get us in and secure a private bottle service box for us overlooking the entire club! It was really cool, and Allan and I definitely felt spoiled!

New York - Griffin Nightclub

Except we were a bit suspicious if they had watered the booze down…

New York - Griffin Nightclub

That being said, the music was really good and we had a lot of fun going out clubbing in New York!

New York - Taxi

Pretty soon we were off in a cab back to our hotel…

New York - Pizza

… and of course, ended the night, as always, with a New York slice of pizza. :)

NEW YORK CITY TRIP PHOTOS (PART 1/4) AND A WEDDING DRESS VOTE

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It’s hard to believe just two weeks ago we were in New York City, enjoying the food, shopping, and sightseeing. I have so many photos from the trip that I decided to split it into four chronological parts. This was also the first time I have ever traveled without my DSLR. It was actually broken (the lens and the camera body), so Allan bought my a new point-and-shoot for the trip. It took pretty nice photos, but I do wish I could have had my Nikon there.

New York Trip Part 1/4

In one word, the trip was… AMAZING. It was intended to be a birthday trip, as well as a trip to go wedding dress shopping in NYC. Probably the best vacation I have ever taken, minus some travel issues at the end. But we’ll get to that in a few posts.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

The trip started out just fine… we flew Continental from Seattle to Newark, and then took an airport shuttle to our hotel. We traveled with two of our good friends, Kim and Greg. Kim is one of my best friends from elementary school, and is also my maid of honour for our wedding next September.

New York Trip Part 1/4

Before we did anything else, even before we checked into our hotel… it was critical that we had a slice of New York pizza (from just around the corner of the hotel) to kick off the trip right. It was the first of many.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

Our hotel, Affinia Manhattan was very conveniently located across from Penn Station. The location was fantastic.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

The rooms were comfortable but not super modern. We booked a one bedroom for 4 nights (4 people total) and although it was pricey, we were able to keep costs down by sharing between the king bed and the sofa bed in the living room. The location was the biggest draw, as it was across from multiple subway lines and near Times Square/Broadway.

New York Trip Part 1/4

The next morning we bought our metro passes for the week and hopped on the subway to our first destination in the East Village. We took the subway almost everywhere, and I loved it!

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

We had lunch at Motorino Pizza, which I had done a lot of research about. I’m actually a member of a pizza making forum (I know — nerdy), and I have been following the story of Pizza Napoletana, a famous pizzeria which was bought and turned into Motorino Pizza… but inherited the amazing hand-built wood burning oven from Naples, Italy.

New York Trip Part 1/4

The pizza was amazing. Exactly how Neapolitan pizza should be… bubbly, light airy crust… fresh mozzarella… real oregano… and hand-crushed plum tomatoes from Italy. It was perfect.

New York Trip Part 1/4

The oven was pretty amazing too. It was awesome to see it in action after reading so much about it.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

Our food journey didn’t end there, as we also sampled some buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese from Sarita’s right next door. I think my travel companions were crazier about the mac and cheese over the pizza, but I was still crazy for the pizza so I didn’t eat too much of it.

New York Trip Part 1/4

While we were in the East Village, we wandered around a bit and checked out the beautiful apartment buildings.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

A quick cab ride and we were back downtown where there was a Veteran’s Day parade going on. It went on for hours!

New York Trip Part 1/4

Then Kim and I went to my first bridal appointment, at Bridal Reflections on 5th Avenue. I tried on some Ines di Santo dresses which I had been lusting after for a while, but ultimately didn’t find my wedding dress.

New York Trip Part 1/4

My friend Kim got engaged about 4 days before our trip to NYC, so it was especially fun going shopping with her since she was engaged too. I had some time left at the end of my appointment, so I suggested she try on a beautiful dress that I figured would be perfect for her. It was, and it turns out that dress was saved in her wedding file too… and she had been wanting to try it on. She fell in love with it. And it was the first dress she had ever tried on!

New York Trip Part 1/4

We escaped from the store after some high-pressure sales tactics, and met up with the boys who were getting drunk in some local pubs while we were at our appointment.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

We wandered around 5th Avenue and eventually stopped at Joe Bastianich’s Eataly (also owned by Mario Batali). We had some delicious coffees and I had an amazing pear gelato.

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

And who did we see but Joe Bastianich himself! I got a photo with him, and mentioned that I was a big fan of Master Chef and his restaurants. We were going to Del Posto on Friday (also owned by Joe and Mario), so he was happy we were going to be dining there.

New York Trip Part 1/4

Then it was our last bridal appointment of the day… at none other than… KLEINFELD’S! Yes, after watching many “Say Yes to the Dress” episodes on TLC, Kim and I were both frothing at the mouth to go to Kleinfeld Bridal.

New York Trip Part 1/4

I had made an appointment about a month before our trip, so we were really lucky to get to go!

New York Trip Part 1/4 New York Trip Part 1/4

It was really exciting. We got to see a lot of the “famous” staff such as Joan, Keasha, Sarah, Jessica, Debbie… and we also got to say hi to Mara, the owner.

New York Trip Part 1/4

We were getting a little nervous sitting in the waiting room. Finally, our consultant came out to help us (Jacqueline). It was a great experience and they really did have a huge selection of dresses. We checked out the stock room, but after trying on several dresses, I was pretty sure it was between a Monique Lhuillier dress and a Pnina Tornai dress (exclusive to Kleinfeld’s). After much deliberation, Joan (the Director of Sales from the show) helped us, but I still couldn’t make a decision.

New York Trip Part 1/4

We had some time left over at the end of my appointment again, so I suggested she try on the same dress she tried on in the other store. She tried on a few more, but kept coming back to the first one. In the end… amazingly… she bought it from Kleinfeld’s! It was super exciting and I am so, so happy for her. It fits her beautifully and it really does suit her personality. I know Greg will love her in it.

As for myself, I still have not found a dress. It’s come down to these two dresses… and I just cannot decide. They are both so unique in their own way, and so different from each other. So help me!

WEDDING DRESS VOTE

New York Trip Part 1/4

Pnina Tornai (Kleinfeld Bridal) Ballgown — I love this dress. It fits me perfectly and is really, really flattering. Allan loves this one. It’s a little more flashy but I love the volume of the dress, and the corset is just amazing.

New York Trip Part 1/4

Monique Lhuillier’s Schiaparelli — I love this dress too! It’s a little more modern/trendy, but it’s also less full a dress, and isn’t as flattering. I would get it converted to a sweetheart strapless neckline. My mom and dad love this one.

Please help me by voting in the comments for one! It’s such a tough decision and I could really use some help :) I love them both! Thanks! :)

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