April 20, 2013 Easter in New York
Our office decided to move April 1, so I went down to NYC to coordinate the whole thing. I stayed at the Standard High Line, located in the Meatpacking District, 848 Washington Street at 13th, just steps away from Chelsea Market.
I met Adam, our corporate sales manager, and got a tour of the hotel. I saw all the different room sizes as well as the bar on the top floor – reserved for members only, and looks like something straight out of a James Bond movie. Everything is gold, and old Hollywood glam, complete with beautiful, tall, model-like cocktail waitresses. The plaza in front of the hotel just finished up being an ice skating rink. Now that the summer months are coming, there will be ice cream carts and pizza at the open air bar.
I stayed in a standard queen room, which was quite spacious.
The shower has a glass wall that you can see through while you’re sitting in the bed, which normally I would think was weird, if I hadn’t seen it before at the Hudson.
The toilet was in this small claustrophobic little room, but that’s better than it being in the same room like the shower :)
I laughed a bit when I read this note that says that when the curtains are open, people on the high line can see into your room.
The view from my window.
The hotel is pretty cool, very modern. The 5th floor was quiet for the most part, except for the people across the hall that were having a party in their room until 3am one night. Note that if you stay on the upper floors, you may get some noise from the nightclub.
I was impressed by how well stocked the mini bar was.
More mini bar.
Just thought that this was cute. Cleaning service came in the morning, right at 9 as I was leaving.
The elevators are almost pitch dark with scenes of heaven and hell playing on tv screens on either side.
I met up with a friend from high school at Crema, 111 17th street, 212-691-4477. A cute little place, that wasn’t crowded when we arrived, but within a half of an hour, the place was packed. Tables were pretty close to one another. We had the Quesos Flameados as an appetizer, Chihuahua cheese baked casserole, served with fresh warm corn tortillas, and either guacamole or salsa. We had ours “A la Francesa” – with Gruyere & mushrooms ($14). Wonderfully delicious and flavorful, how could warm cheese be bad? I had the scallop entree ($24), Callo de Hacha con Chile Morita y Mango. Dry scallops pan seared in chile morita, sweet corn cake, avocado mousse, mango pico de gallo, chipotle aioli. The scallops were spicy and went well with the sweetness of the corn cakes. Lovely presentation. The noise level was at a good buzz, and yet we didn’t feel rushed to leave – even though the place was packed. Highly recommend this place for a night out, the food is delicious and the service was pretty attentive.
We moved out of our office space at WeWork in the Meatpacking district and moved down to Hudson Square.
While walking around, I spotted this. Makes you think twice about getting street meat doesn’t it?
Friday, the big day. I had breakfast at the Standard Grill downstairs in the hotel. The front room looks like a French Brasserie, the sun was shining brightly through the windows. There is white subway tile, and dark red leather half moon banquettes. Service was a little ditzy for 8am, but the food was pretty good. $7 for a glass of orange juice and $14 for a gruyere and mushroom omelet.
Thought that the salt and pepper shakers were pretty adorable.
Hudson Square, our new office. Here it is. Empty when I arrive first thing on Monday morning. The space feels so open, with high ceilings and lots of windows.
While the single offices are a little bit on the small side, we kept the space from feeling small by putting in glass doors and walls.
We had our furniture delivered the day before, now all that we needed was the guys to come and put it together. When moving into a new office in NY, make sure that you have certificates of insurance for all vendors delivering or assembling in your space well in advance. Our property manager didn’t tell us until the day before, so it was a scramble to get everything together.
We had a contractor build the space out, they put in a great little kitchenette, I picked out the appliances from AJ Madison – they have great deals on appliances.
The floors are pretty cool. Concrete. Because there is not carpet and there are high ceilings, we have to think about what to do about the noise level in the office. It’s still a work in progress.
By mid day the boxes are piling up. I have about 10 cardboard box paper cuts and of course I forgot any kind of tools, so I have been opening boxes with my keys. Long day.
The view from our office.
Now that’s my kind of mid afternoon meeting – we should make friends with these guys across the street.
After a long day of unpacking, my coworker and I head out to dinner. I haven’t eaten lunch so I am famished, and probably dehydrated. While we ordered lots of delicious food, it takes me a minute or two to get my bearings and rehydrate. We are at L’Apicio, located at 11 East 1st Steet, 212..533.7400. They say that they have no tables for us to eat at, so we sit in the front bar area on a couch with a little cocktail table in front of us. The place is bustling with people, and there is a great patio outside, too bad it’s too cold to eat out there. We start with the l’apicio spritz ($13) something light and bubbly that goes down a little too easily. We also have the arancini, with sausage ($8) that are so rich that I almost don’t think I can handle it.
We order the bruschetta ($9) that has pork belly and a fried egg on top – oh how amazing is that!! The flavors are SO rich, and the eggs just adds that creamy, salty deliciousness….that makes this an over the top appetizer. We also order the papardelle ($18) that comes with lamb shank ragu. The pasta is perfectly al dente and the sauce is light and yet bursting with flavor. We spent the night chatting away, the time just flew and before you know it, it’s late…and we have work to do in the morning! So we head home and agree to meet tomorrow at 11.
I head to Sarabeth’s for breakfast, the Tribeca location, 339 Greenwich Street, 212 966 0421. A cute exterior, that looks like an old train station. I would equate this to Stephanie’s in Boston, the same ambiance, but also the same level of tourist traffic as well.
We are seated in front by the windows, and have a hard time deciding what we want for breakfast….everything looks so good. It is a carb lovers dream here.
It’s a mixed crowd here, and pretty busy for 9:30. Out waiter couldn’t have been nicer or more attentive. He even let us pull over the two top next to us so we could have more room for all of our food.
The space is open and bright, clean lines with a country kitchen feeling about it.
Breakfast isn’t cheap, oj is $7 and the lemon ricotta pancakes $16.50. Add on a side of bacon for $7 and your breakfast is $30! The pancakes are too much to eat in one sitting. While they are light and fluffy with just a hint of lemon, there are just too many of them :) Those 5 blackberries on my plate made me not feel so bad about the heart attack that was on my plate. After breakfast, I meet my coworker at the office and we head out to buy some last minute items around town.
After hours of running around the city and hauling bags of goods around town, we head over to the Blue Ribbon Bakery on 35 Downing Street, 212.337.0404. The might have the cutest brunch menu I have ever seen. I order the challah french toast deluxe ($18.50) while my coworker orders the shrimp and bacon hash ($16.70)
We also order some mimosas, we deserve them after the long day! Blue ribbon makes their own breads downstairs. The place is pretty packed around 2, but so worth the wait. The challah french toast it out of this world. Far too much food for me to eat, but each bite was decadent. They also serve Vermont Creamery Butter, which is my FAVORITE. Service was good, even though the place was busy-highly recommend this place if you’re in the neighborhood.
Dinner Saturday night with my aunt and my cousin at Cilantro, one of their favorite neighborhood eateries. They are located at 485 columbus ave, 212-712-9090. They have lots of margarita options, I have a raspberry one on the rocks ($10). The place is casual and Americanized. We order the guacamole ($10) that is made to order. They order the chopped salad with chicken ($13) while I order the mushroom quesadilla $9. Not bad, but not great either. We are sat next to a table of freshman college girls who are talking at the top of their lungs and screeching about who should follow who on twitter. The tables in back were supposedly all reserved….
On the walk back to their apartment, I am delighted that we stumble upon Momfuku Milk Bar on 561 Columbus Ave. Having been a New Yorker her whole life, and at this apartment for the last 8 years, my cousin had never been. I love the corn cookies here and picked up some to bring home, but we had both never had the crack pie, so I immediately bought a piece for each of us. We brought it back to the apartment and dug in – DELICIOUS. You can certainly see why they call it crack pie, it’s addictive. I’m sure that it’s pure sugar, and I have to thank god that they don’t put the calorie count on the box….but it was so good it made my teeth hurt. We called it an early night since I had been racing around the city for the past two days and was exhausted.
Easter Sunday I went to Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast. They have locations all around the city. There is a communal table running down the middle of the restaurant and smaller tables around the perimeter of the space. We grab a small two top in the back, it isn’t very crowded, probably due to the holiday. The service was good, our waitress was friendly. I had a cheese and almond pastry and a large fruit bowl. The fruit was pretty good, although there weren’t a lot of berries in it – bummer.
We got back to the hotel and outside they had a petting zoo set up. Super cute baby animals for Easter. Chicks of all sizes.
How cute are they?
An enormous turtle!
I swear this guy was smiling for the camera.
What does a kangaroo have to do with Easter? Yeah I don’t know either. But he was a cutie, 10 months old and they said that he would grow to be over 7 ft!
After walking around for a few hours, just window browsing and relaxing, I headed over to Chinatown to meet a former co worker who saw an Instagram photo of mine and texted saying she was in the city too! I met her and her friend at Four Five Six, located at 69 Mott Street, 212 964 0003. When the cab dropped me off I could barely open my cab door, and when I got out, I was immediately approached by 4 different people asking me for directions, and pointing to a map, in an asian language I didn’t understand. The one man proceeded to touch my hair, so I was officially creeped out at this point. While I am asian, and love Chinese food, I have no idea what to order when it comes to authentic Chinese food. So I leave it to my former co-worker and she orders some pretty delicious things! We have all kinds of dumplings, pan friend noodles with chicken and beef, and some veggies in a delicious sauce…I can’t for the life of me remember what the dish was called. We had a bunch of laughs and swapped stories of where we had been to eat this past weekend, she was hanging out in Brooklyn, went to the roof deck at Eataly, and had delicious sweet and savory dumplings from a food truck they were tracking. How fun! Love to hear where other people like to dine, makes my wheels turn for my next trip.
After lunch I head over to my favorite place, the Doughnut Plant. Their original location is at 379 Grand Street, between Essex and Norfolk, and they have another location in the Chelsea Hotel uptown, 220 West 23rd between 7th and 8th. This place used to be a dive. Now they have renovated and it’s a trendy yuppie coffee bar.Who cares, doughnuts are still delicious.
The carrot cake doughnut had raisins inside with nice spicy cake. The frosting was just the right amount of sweetness to make this doughnut so delicious. ($3)
The toasted almond was delicious, loved the crunch and the flavor. ($2.75)
Tres leches cake doughnut was so moist, even by day 2. One bite and it just melted in your mouth. ($3)
Pistachio cake was probably my favorite, light cake with a great flavor and the outside packed a little crunch! ($2.75)
The strawberry filled yeast doughnut was amazing, light and fluffy, and the sweet jam was like heaven. They even make their own jam!! ($3.25)
And the meyer lemon yeast doughnut was delicious with just a hint of lemon flavor, and a sweetness from the glaze. ($3)
This place has come a long way, and the line was still out the door! After having one of these, you can never go back to Dunks!
I met a friend on the Upper East Side for dinner. I haven’t seen her in ages, we went to college together. She has a 2 year old son that came with us – he is adorable. Sfoglia is on 1402 Lexington, 212.831.1402. They don’t like to make substitutions here, so basically what they have on the menu is what you get. The service was pretty good, although towards the end, our waiter was in the weeds with other tables. We were sat in the back room and a quiet little table. I had the pappardelle bolognese ($30). The pasta was home made, and impossibly thin. The sauce was thin, just the way I like it, and yet packed with meat. Add a mountain of parm cheese on top and I was in heaven.
They ask that you order the bread pudding in advance, and it was certainly worth it. ($16) The bread pudding was decadent, raisins and powdered sugar added a hint of sweetness that you just couldn’t stop eating. We had the lugana wine $14 and the pigato wine $16, both white and both excellent. Overall a great dinner, good to catch up with an old friend!
I had stopped at Empire Cake over the weekend to pick up some sweets for home. The place was crowded with people sitting and enjoying their cupcakes and treats, it took a while to order.
I walked out with two cupcakes, carrot cake and hazelnut. The carrot cake was a bit dry but the cake had great flavor, warm and spicy. The hazelnut was excellent, the cake was light and airy and the hazelnut crunch reminded me of that nut ice cream topping.
I also had one raspberry thumbprint cookie, which was delicious- it tasted a but like an oatmeal cookie with just the right amount of jam.
I finished up the move on Monday afternoon and headed back to Boston, great trip to New York and I have a ton of places I want to try on my next trip. Where are your favorite New York spots?