New York City Food Review
So this new craze called the baby moon. I never really understood why people felt the need for a vacation before the baby came. I thought it would make me more stressed by missing a week of precious Prep time. Ya right. By month 5 I understood. I was so happy to finish work on Sunday night and get home and start the drive to New York. Kyle has family in Albany, New York so we stop there first and spent two days with them to catch up and then Wednesday we hopped on a train to the Big Apple. Even if we were not pregnant we would be going to New York. Kyle is a huge lord of the rings fan (mostly for the music). He had bought tickets in August to a three-night lord of the rings in concert event. So we were going no matter what, even if i was in labor. The symphony was amazing. For not being a fan myself I very much enjoyed it and would recommended it to anyone.
When we first arrived at our hotel, the Hotel Belleclaire on west 77th and Broadway, we upgraded to a king suite. (Totally worth it). The hotel had a beautiful old boutique charm. Our room was great and the bed was super comfy, which is important these days. They had a lovely guest service worker who told Kyle and I how to get everywhere and taught us how to use the subway. If we were to go back we would definitely stay again.
Because our nights were filled with LOR, our days were spent walking around the city and trying different restaurants and bakeries. The first afternoon we got there we hadn't eaten much all day and I wanted a burger so bad. Having never been to Shake shack before but hearing about it on our favorite vlog BFVSGF we knew we had to go. Shake shack just happened to be two blocks from our hotel. What a coincidence. So we walked over and although we had to stand in line and fight for a table it was completely worth it. The decor was modern but not to the extreme. They sell the cutest little onesies for babies, along with adult size shirts as well. The service was amazing at this location. Everyone was super friendly and one of the staff even offered to walk downstairs for me to see if there was seating.
I ordered a double shack burger (don't judge) and a shack-made lemonade. Kyle had a double hamburger with bacon and a strawberry shake. We both had fries. Can I just tell you that I was in heaven. It may have been because I hadn't eaten all day or the feeling of victory from scoring a great window side seat from a group of 16 years old texting teens. Either way the food was beyond delicious. I only wish there was one in Canada. (Hint Hint Shake shack. Come on, get with it).
Thursday morning we went to this cute bakery/chocolatier called Sugar and Plumm. It was a very modern white and purple shop with tons of room for diners to sit and eat but also options for take out. Again we were thrilled with our service. The server was very nice and talkative.
We sat and had breakfast and tried not to buy everything else in the store. Kyle had harloom eggs with sourdough bread and a side of bacon and I had a cheddar and bacon omlete with 7 grain toast. The toast was served in these cute little silver dividers with jam and butter. The jam was to die for. Kyle and I both enjoyed our meals and would have gone back the next day but we also wanted to try other places in the city. After breakfast I scowered the store to find something sweet to take with us. Kyle couldn't get past the chocolate chunk cookies so we bought two and got out of there before buying anything else.
That morning and afternoon we walked through Central Park and Times Square and then caught the subway back to our hotel in the upper west side. Not before hitting up the famous Carlos Bakery. Having heard about Carlos' for years and of course watching Cake Boss and hearing about the famous cannoli’s he makes, Kyle and I knew we had to go and try them. We bought two cannoli’s to eat right there and two cream puffs to have for later. Both of us were not overly pleased with the cannoli. It was extremely dry and the filling flavour was overpowering. We were not impressed by any means. The cream puff however was not to bad but you can't really go wrong with a cream puff. If you are in the neighborhood and want the tourist experience then go but if your in a rush and don't want to wait at least 15 minutes to get served and then other 10 or so to get your treats then I wouldn't suggest it. Needless to say we probably wouldn't go back but we had to try it once.
After walking around all day we were famished by the time dinner came around. We got all fancied up for the symphony and took a Uber down to Lincoln Centre where the show was playing. We walked three blocks up and ate at this little Italian restaurant Joanne's Trattoria. It was definitely small. After being sat at a two person table and having the lady behind me shove my chair one to many times we asked to be moved. (I never do this. However with a few extra inches of belly protruding out of my body I felt I had every right to). We were moved to another two person table with not much more room but I could eat comfortably at least. I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs. As an Italian and a spaghetti expert this is my go to at any Italian restaurant. However I was sadly disappointed. It came with one meatball on top which was not nearly enough to go with the portion of spaghetti. The sauce tasted as though it was just tomato paste and water. I was not happy with this meal at all. Kyle order the pizza bolognese which he says was "okay". He was unable to pick up the pizza slice by slice because of the overload of sauce and had to use a fork and knife to eat it. I say that I'm the spaghetti expert, well Kyle is the pizza expert. The service left something to be desired from the moment we walked in. The hostess was rude and barely even looked at us and our server spent half her time on her cell phone in clear view of our table. As someone who has spent most of their working life in the service industry, I always give the staff the benefit of the doubt but not here. At the end of the meal I left hungry and disappointed. We would not recommended this resturant and would not go back again.
One place I would recommend going if you are in the financial district is Le Pain Quotidien. Such an amazing organic bakery. Kyle and I had breakfast there on Friday morning and it was so delicious. Growing up in a European family Kyle loves soft boil eggs that you dip your toast into, so as soon as he saw that on the menu he knew what he was having for breakfast. I on the other ordered the Belgium waffle with berries and a side fruit salad. I’m on a lemon kick right now (have been for my whole pregnancy) so I ordered the lemonade ice tea to drink and Kyle had a fresh Chia tea Latte. Both of us were more then happy with our meal. Kyle’s came with an assortment of spreads to go with his toast. We purchased a jar of the speculoos spread afterwards because it was so good. I wish we had a place like this in our little town but next time we are in New York I will be coming here.
On our last night in New York City Kyle and I decided to walk to the Lincoln Centre instead of taking a cab. We walked past this awesome looking pub that I would have loved even more if I was not pregnant and could have tried one of their many assortments of ales. The Amsterdam Ale House is an extraordinary pub on the corner of West 76th St. and Amsterdam Ave. Kyle ordered the Hanger Stake and I ordered the Chicken Kabobs. My chicken was lovely and came with the most delicious cherry tomatoes and mint salad that I cannot wait to make at home. Kyle enjoyed his stake and fries. When we go back to New York I’d love to go there and try some of the amazing ales they have on tap. But for now the food was more then enough.
Needless to say we ate well over our three day visit. Bakeries are our downfall. We find that any new place we go we have to find at least one yummy bakery to try. Luckily for us we found two while in New York. This trip was exactly what I needed to relax and spend time with the hubby before the big arrival! I recommend going taking that extra time, even if it is only for three days, just to get away and reconnect. It is well worth it.