Showing posts with label Downtown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Downtown. Show all posts


Sneak a Peek into the New 190 Bowery Tomorrow

I'm a sucker for NYC architecture, especially when talking about old-timey buildings with substantial, and often grungy history. If you have lived in the city over the past decade, at least, and EVER walked down the Bowery, you will have undoubtedly noticed 190 Bowery in all its graffitied glory.

Photo credit: Gothamist
But if you have walked down NYC's old skid row lately, you will also stumbled over the fact that this building has been buffed of all of its colorful vandalism. The gorgeous old 190 Bowery, formerly Germania Bank, has been a private residence of photographer Jay Maisel for the past 5 decades. But it was recently sold to a developer and is being converted into an office space.

For those curious lookie-loos and architecture appreciators alike, this Saturday from 5-8pm, the new owner, developer/art collector Aby Rosen, will open the doors of the historic building to the public. So sneak a peek and let us know what you think!


SPONSORED POST: FREE Cone Day at Carvel on 4/30

Raise your hand if you ever had a Carvel Ice Cream birthday cake growing up! All those who just raised their hands are going to be excited about the news in this post...

Nutella ice cream in a waffle cone at Carvel

Carvel wants to start your Spring off right with FREE CONE DAY nationwide on Thursday April 30! Pop into any store near you for a free soft serve Jr. cup or cone.

Also, they are celebrating the grand opening of their new Financial District store at 9 Broadway by kicking of 8 days of delicious deals STARTING TOMORROW! Mark your calendars peeps:

  • Saturday, April 25: Buy one shake, get one for 80 cents
  • Sunday, April 26: Buy one sheet cake, get an OREO® Lil’ Rounders® 6-Pack for 80 cents
  • Monday, April 27: Buy one sprinkle cup multi-pack, get one half off
  • Tuesday, April 28: Buy one small cup/cone, get a kid’s cup or cone free
  • Wednesday, April 29:  Buy one classic soft ice cream sundae get one free
  • Thursday, April 30: Free Jr. Cup or Cone (soft serve only)
  • Friday, May 1: Buy one Sundae Dasher™,  get one half off
  • Saturday, May 2: Grand Opening, Free Jr. Cup or Cone (soft serve only) and buy one Flying Saucer® multi-pack, get one half off

The Carvel storefront at 9 Broadway
The storefront at 9 Broadway

Last weekend after the MS Walk, my boyfriend and I headed downtown to check out the new location for ourselves. It is decorated in the style of the new Carvel shoppe design, which the brand unveiled last year to commemorate its 80th anniversary. Updates include new dipping cabinets and a topping bar, digital menu boards, and an inviting atmosphere with wood-finished floors, vibrant colors and new brand imagery, including a revamped logo.

Carvel shoppe interior at 9 Broadway

Topping bar at Carvel Ice Cream 9 Broadway

I wanted to try the new Nutella soft serve, but unfortunately the machine was taking a vacation day. So instead the friendly cashier recommended the Nutella hard ice cream, and since I was going for it, I opted for the waffle cone. Oh yeah. My boyfriend ordered the Oreo Sundae. We walked a lot that day...

Me with my giant Nutella ice cream waffle cone at Carvel
Me with my giant Nutella ice cream waffle cone

Oreo Sundae at Carvel
Oreo Sundae

The best part of the new shoppe is it's location right off of Bowling Green--a perfect place to enjoy your tasty (and FREE) treats.

Nutella cone in Bowling Green
Nutella cone in Bowling Green

The store is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, please call (212) 785-5688, visit, follow them on Twitter @CarvelIceCream, or like Carvel on Facebook.

Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Carvel and our ice cream treats were comp'd but all opinions are my own.


Down Some Brews with Flying Dog

If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, I'd highly recommend you check out the Flying Dog Brewery event taking place at Clinton Hall this Tuesday 4/22 from 7-10.

If you go, you will be one of the few to enjoy the incredible and rare 9.5% Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from the Maryland brewery. It is aged 180 days in whiskey barrels, which results in vanilla notes and whiskey warmth to compliment the sweet chocolate flavor and velvety texture. You will also be one of the first to try the new 10% Amarillo Single Hop Imperial IPA. This is brewed all for the hops, with a light malt backbone showcasing the floral, spice, citrus and sharp hop bite of Amarillo!

The event is free, but pay as you eat/drink, with new specials released every half hour including:
  • El Dorado Single Hop Imperial IPA - aromas of dried apricot and pineapple
  • Brewhouse Rarity Mint Chocolate Stout - made with brewery-grown mint, with more cocoa and peppermint. Sweet, minty and creamy!
  • GABF Gold-Medal winning Horn Dog Barleywine - 10% alcohol!
  • Kujo Coffee Stout - brewed with flaked oats
  • Doggie Style pale ale - in a live cask on the bar with a very special prize going to the person who taps the last glass
RSVP here to save your spot!

Clinton Hall on Urbanspoon


A Truffle-tastic Tasting

'Tis the week of feasting and boy have I feasted. It all started with one of the best blogger dinners I've ever been to at Bagatelle in the Meatpacking District. 

I'm not going to lie, I've always been a little weary of the Meatpacking, whether for fear I would not fit in or because I'd be scared to go home to an empty bank account at the end of the night. While you're not going to be particularly frugal if you go to Bagatelle for dinner, I felt very welcome upon walking in the front door. What first caught my eye was all of the 'out there' art that adorned the walls of the restaurant. It was highly entertaining.

One of my favorite pieces of art from Bagatelle
Fellow blogger friend Laura with a colorful sculpture
The main dining room
They even have a DJ under a fabulous chandelier

Headed by chef Sébastien Chamaret, Bagatelle offers a menu inspired by the South of France, and parties like it as well, closing the blinds after dinner and throwing a hopping party (as told to me by a friend who was recently there for a bachelorette party). I decided to get my own party started with a Girl from Lima ($14), a cocktail combining jalapeno infused pisco, passion fruit puree, lemon juice and mint. Because I neglected to read the "jalapeno infused" part, I was a little shocked at how spicy this drink was and didn't think I'd be able to finish it. However, I warmed to it, and would highly recommend it!

Girl from Lima
I don't know about you, but when I typically go out to dinner, I don't order the entire menu, but at this awesome event, they practically sent out everything the kitchen was cooking up. For appetizers, we had the Pizza a la Truffe Noir with black truffle, flat bread, crème fraiche, scamoza ($22); the charcuterie board ($24) which came with a variety of house-cured meats and whole grain mustard; Salade Bagatelle with hearts of lettuce, parmesan cheese, fresh garden herbs, and mustard vinaigrette ($13); Tartare aux Deux Saumons ($17/$25) fresh & smoked Scottish salmon tartar, shallot, salmon caviar, dill crème fraiche, olive oil crostini; Haricots Verts et Canard Fumé string beans, radicchio, smoked duck prosciutto, truffle vinaigrette ($18); foie gras creme brulee (off-menu); and finally the Tartare de Thon Bagatelle ($19/$29) ahi tuna tartar, avocado salad, lime soy vinaigrette, taro chips.

My favorites were both of the tartares, although I always favor salmon. The fish was fresh and super flavorful. I was very intrigued by the foie gras creme brulee, but I still concede that foie gras is an acquired taste. Hence, I only had a couple of bites as it was very rich, but I would definitely say it's worth a try. The salad was simple and fresh, but I might opt for one of their other more creative salads next time. The truffle pizza was OMG amazing and not just because I like anything with truffle.

Pizza a la Truffe Noir
Charcuterie board
Salade Bagatelle
Tartare aux Deux Saumons
Haricots Verts et Canard Fumé
Foie Gras Creme Brulee
Laura with the Tartare de Thon Bagatelle

After all that, I honestly thought that was the entire dinner and was ready to put on the coats and head home. But no! Chef Sébastien came out to answer questions and explain a bit about his background in preparation for the main courses. Yes, plural main courses, because, why not?

I'll start with the pasta and fish dishes. First we had more truffles (!) with the Gnocchi Truffes à la Parisienne de Nicolas ($25/$36) homemade gnocchi, black truffle pesto filling, truffle sauce; Calamars Snackes au Beurre Aille ($18) sautéed calamaris, tomato confit, polenta fritter, garlic butter; Coquilles St.Jacques Rôties au Parmesan ($36) thyme & parmesan crusted scallops, artichokes mousseline, cabernet demi-glace; and the Filet de Saumon Sauvage Grillé ($28) grilled wild salmon filet, asparagus hollandaise sauce.

I could have eaten the entire vat of gnocchi, no joke, it was that good. Do you SEE the giant truffle shavings spread over the top?!?! Other favorites from this course were the onions that accompanied the salmon. Yes, the salmon was good to but it didn't feel particularly special. The onions, however, were of the giant cippolini variety topped with chantarelle mushrooms. Yum! I would also highly recommend the scallops as they were seared perfectly with a fragile parmesan crisp that will melt in your mouth.

Gnocchi Truffes à la Parisienne de Nicolas
Calamars Snackes au Beurre Aille
Coquilles St.Jacques Rôties au Parmesan
Filet de Saumon Sauvage Grillé

Now for the meat! We sampled the signature Poulet Fermier Rôti et Truffé ($30) truffled roasted chicken, country style potatoes, chicken jus and the Côte de Boeuf - Pour Deux ($95) natural fed grilled black angus bone-in ribeye (26 oz), pommes frites, spinach and roquefort salad – for two. You may remember me saying I like to judge a restaurant based on it's chicken before, and according to that rule, Bagatelle passes with flying colors. The truffle sauce was decadent and the chicken was moist and crispy on the outside. The beef was tender and cooked to a nice medium/rare. The French fries that came with it (do you see that giant pile of them!?) were among the best tasting potato wedges I've ever tasted. 

Poulet Fermier Rôti et Truffé
Côte de Boeuf - Pour Deux
As for sides, we sampled the mixed mushrooms, grilled asparagus, and roasted Brussels sprouts & 
butternut squash with candied pecans ($9 each), with the latter definitely a favorite all around the table.

Hahaha, you think the feast is over? No way, Jose! (Or should I say no way Jean Pierre?). The chef sent out five different desserts for us all to share. Wowza! In picture order, we tried the Apple Tarte Tatin, Floating Island, Profiteroles with chocolate drizzle, chocolate mousse, and brioche and pear bread pudding. The floating island was the most interesting dessert; meringue-y and literally floating in a vanilla sauce and topped with almonds, it almost felt healthy (haha, yea right). My favorite was the tarte tatin, a classic done right, although the brioche and pear bread pudding was a close second.

Apple Tarte Tatin
Floating Island
Profiteroles with chocolate drizzle
Chocolate mousse
Brioche and pear bread pudding
Head to Bagatelle the next time you feel like you deserve a culinary treat. My perfect meal would be the salmon tartare, truffle gnocchi, scallops, cote de bouef, and the apple tarte tatin. Don't forget the Girl from Lima!

Good food is better with great company! Head to Laura's and Dave's blogs for their take on our dinner (and even more pictures!).

Bagatelle on Urbanspoon


Guests Come, Time to Eat, Play, Walk

Many people often ask me what they should do around town when they have guests. Though most people who live outside of New York are morally (it seems) against walking, it's truly the best mode of transportation to really see the city. Mike's brother, Jason, was recently in the city for the day and I wanted to show him a good time. Starting in the Financial District and ending at Penn Station, where we dropped him off to catch the train, we probably logged at least 6 miles for the day. Tip #1 for your guests: wear comfortable shoes!

Jason and Mike on the Brooklyn Bridge

We started our journey with a walk halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge and back. This is really one of the best ways to get a feel for the city. This bridge has been around for more than 100 years and is a one-of-a-kind structure. The bridge in itself is truly a microcosm of the city if you think about it - you get city views, street vendors, a historical perspective and an opportunity to experience the hostility of local pedestrians and bikers.

Next stop, a walk through Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Tourists always get a kick out of Chinatown with its knock-off purses, super cheap tchatchkes, alive and dead animals in shop windows and its funky smells (oh that durian fruit). I love the area as well. There's no better place to find good bubble tea, dumplings, and just about anything you ever wanted to buy for cheap.

Crab tied up in what seemed to be a corn husk among krill.

Eldridge Street Synagogue

The immigrant history of the Lower East Side is dense and the architecture shows it. The Eldridge Street Synagoge on well, Eldridge Street, was built when this area was settled by Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and all other parts of Europe. It's gorgeous on the inside and I'd highly recommend a tour. A visit to the Tenement Museum, currently undergoing a revamp, is also a great way to spend an afternoon.

We kept north and ran into one of my favorite holes in the wall, Prosperity Dumpling. This is THE place for dumplings. At 5 for $1, you can order boiled or fried pork and chive dumplings, and their 75 cent sesame pancake is my go-to snack. Everything else on their menu is super cheap as well and the same guy is always running the show in front and taking orders. Definitely check it out, but make sure you take your food to the nearby park to eat as there is limited and crowded seating inside Prosperity.

Jason with his dumplings

Still heading north, we took another pit stop at a place I've been longing to try since it opened a few months ago - The Meatball Shop. Another awesome thing about NYC eating establishments is that so many of them get off with touting one food item. There's Peanut Butter and Co. in Greenwich Village, Rice to Riches (rice pudding) in Soho, and S'mac (mac 'n cheese) in the East Village with its many flavors of the glorious comfort food, and now The Meatball Shop.

The menu listed several types of balls (beef, chicken, pork, veggie and a special - lamb when we were there) and several types of sauces (pesto, spicy meat, marinara, mushroom, parmesan cream, etc.). We did the naked balls, since the boys were full from their dumplings, which was 4 balls with a sauce served with a slice of focaccia bread. You also have the option of ordering a sandwich or meatball sliders. In addition to the meatballs, this place had a great selection of sides (I'd love to come back and try the special risotto), drinks (every day is a special lemonade!) and, wait for it, homemade ice cream! You can even select your favorite type of cookie and flavor of ice cream and they'll serve up a highly dangerous looking ice cream sandwich. 

The Meatball Shop

Although we didn't go in, Katz's Deli is a NYC landmark. It was featured in "the scene" from Harry Met Sally and is known for it's ginormous sandwiches. There's a great window where you can watch the master sandwich builders and knish makers work.

Jason and Mike at Katz's

We ended our food journey at Mike's new favorite place - Lula's Sweet Apothecary in the East Village. It's a completely vegan, dairy-free and mostly organic ice cream shop and since Mike is lactose-intolerant, he was finally able to indulge in a banana split without disastrous effects. Even I, a hard-core ice cream fanatic thought this sundae was amazing. The ice cream didn't taste anything less than the super creamy dessert I know and love. The hot fudge and marshmallow sauce were flowing, sweet and gooey. I did notice a slight texture difference in the whipped cream, but by that point I didn't really care because this thing was the real deal. Lula's also serves "ice cream" shakes and malts, brownie sundaes and a myriad of different flavors on cones. If you are milk-free for whatever reason, I'd run to go find this place.

Lula's Banana Split

Weighed down by fried meat in dough, meat in balls and 3 scoops of ice cream with all the fixins, we slowed down a bit. Headed in the general direction of Penn Station, we strolled through Union Square just to give Jason the vibe (and stop to use Nordstom Rack's restrooms - very nice I might add). If we had more time, and a third stomach, I would have liked to go to Max Brenner's, Chocolate by the Bald Man. They have amazing chocolate food, regular food and like a million different varieties of hot chocolate. I'm not kidding, like a million - Swiss, Mexican, Italian, white, milk, dark, in a hug mug, with caramel, rice crispies, whipped cream. I don't believe I've ever not taken an out-of-town guest there and every single one still raves about it.

I hope I've given you some good ideas for the next time you play city host or hostess. I'd love to know what your favorite places to take your guests are. Leave a comment and let me know!

Lula's Sweet Apothecary on Urbanspoon

Braeburn on Urbanspoon

Lula's Sweet Apothecary on Urbanspoon