Jason and I have been to New York City at least a dozen times each and we never get tired of it! It’s really one of the few cities I could visit over and over again.
We recently visited just before Thanksgiving and, as usual, had a great time.
We didn’t set foot in Times Square or Rockefeller Center this go-round. We’ve been so many times and done all the touristy things. I do love seeing shows on Broadway, but we mostly stayed below 42nd street and acted like locals. 😉
Here are some highlights!
The menu is full of smaller, shareable plates. Our good friends, Farrah and Justin, joined us so we basically ordered everything on the menu. Some favorites were the scrambled eggs, burrata, gorgonzola fonduta, chorizo flatbread and the kale paella. So much food! I’d say Gato was good, but not the best meal I’ve ever had.
Jason and I both love a good cup of coffee, and we really enjoyed La Colombe our first morning in the City. It’s a small chain of cafes in the Northeast and Chicago.
Nothing fancy, just good coffee (and you can get it with a splash of organic almond milk!) and interesting pastries. I had a pretzel croissant which was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.
After a morning of window shopping, we met my sweet friend, Jessica, for lunch at La Esquina. I’ve known Jess since elementary school and she’s lived in the city for a few years now. Always a treat to see her!
Of course I had to get my Mexican food fix. Jason had the fish tacos, I had a mushroom quesadilla, and Jessica had a giant breakfast burrito. We all shared a huge bowl of guac to start and everything was delicious.
Farrah and I met up at Dry Bar that afternoon for blow outs! Having someone wash your hair (complete with a neck massage) and fabulously blow it out for you is a dream come true! I think we need one in Destin.
That night the four of us went to Mario Batali’s Babbo for dinner. Gorgeous Italian food heaven! Everything about this meal was perfection. We ordered everything from beautiful shaved prosciutto to mozzarella di bufala to the most gorgeous arugula salad I’ve ever seen (or tasted).
There are about 15 different pastas on the menu, each homemade and more incredible than the other. Babbo is a must visit for sure.
The next day Jason and I stumbled into a little Greek bakery in SoHo. My expectations weren’t all that high, but I was blown away by Pi Bakerie!
This place was sleek and modern and overflowing with succulent Greek pastries (both savory and sweet) and giant bowls of the richest-looking Greek yogurt with honey, nuts and berries. My vegetable frittata was stuffed with tomatoes, zucchini, caramelized onions, feta, and oregano. Every bite was delicious! Jason had a savory breakfast pastry that basically tasted like the perfect tomato pizza minus the sauce. I will absolutely seek Pi Bakerie out on my next visit.
We met my cousin Allison for lunch at Parm on Mulberry. Babbo was beautiful Italian food, while Parm was more of an Italian diner. Fine by me! The fried mozzarella sticks and buffalo cucumbers (cucumbers and blue cheese in buffalo sauce) were so tasty.
Jason and I split the chicken parmesan platter with pasta and it tasted like an Italian grandma made it. Nothing healthy about this place, but it’s all good!
Parm is known for their gigantic ice cream cakes, so of course we had to sample one (huge) slice for dessert. We opted for the classic which is a layer of strawberry, chocolate, and pistachio. Yum!
As if ice cream cake wasn’t enough, we made the trek to Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side. We’ve been to Levain on all of our recent visits to NYC for the BEST COOKIES EVER. There were probably 100 people in line ahead of us when we got there (that is not a joke), but it moved quickly. The cookies are as big as my hand and are served hot and ooey gooey inside.
My very favorite is the chocolate cookie stuffed with peanut butter chips. Pass the milk! Levain is a MUST when you visit NYC. No exceptions!
We walked around a bit more to work up an appetite for dinner. Justin made reservations at ABC Kitchen for our last night and we were all eager to try it out, as it’s known for celebrity sightings. Farrah and Justin think they saw an SNL cast member dining there but Jason and I didn’t recognize him.
ABC Kitchen is the restaurant counterpart to ABC Carpet and Home, which is a lovely home goods store. I ordered a marinated carrot salad with avocado and lots of vibrant herb flavors like cumin and coriander. It was so different and really quite delicious.
Our entrees ranged from fried hot chicken with greens to snapper to a whole grilled lobster. Everything was beautifully plated and delicious. As if our previous two desserts of the day weren’t enough, we all split the salted caramel ice cream sundae with candied peanuts and popcorn (aka gourmet Cracker Jacks).
Oh glory! What a perfectly sweet note to end our trip on.
Now it’s back to reality and back to the treadmill!