Monday morning I woke up feeling surprisingly calm.  Usually on days off I completely overwhelm myself with ideas on how to spend the day.  Perhaps I'm finally learning to relax or perhaps the holidays this year beat all the excitement out of me.  All I know is I just wanted to find a place to completely unwind; so I headed to Fairfax.

This cozy little cafe in the West Village was completely full when I arrived with people casually eating lunch, grabbing a cup of coffee or working on their laptops with a glass of wine.  I got incredibly lucky with the last seat at the bar and ordered the Fairfax special.  Each day from 11:30-6:30  Fairfax offers a plate and a glass of wine for just $24 with options like Roman Gnocchi with charred onions, citrus laced Diver Scallops and one of my favorite dishes Steak Tartare.  

Those who enjoy a thick cut tartare will love this rendition with big chunks of raw meat drizzled with olive oil and pecorino cheese alongside thick sliced country bread.  


Lunch at Gotham Bar & Grill

Gotham made my pick as the best fancy lunch spot for 2017 and this NYC institution just continues to wow me in every way.  My last visit I stopped in for a relaxing meal at the bar and opted for the three course Greenmarket lunch.

First Course- Roasted Celery & Beet Root Soup with cranberry foam.  This was so creamy and smooth it could almost been seen as a veloute but with a distinctly lighter finish, while the drizzle of cranberry foam added a seasonal warmth to the dish.

Second Course- Free Range Chicken with farro, broccolini, cauliflower and cippolini onion in a charred meyer lemon sauce.  

Third Course- Brown Butter Parfait with with poached pear, brown sugar cookie and smoked cinnamon ice cream.  This was actually the very first time I veered away from the signature Gotham Chocolate Cake and it was every bit as fabulous.  I absolutely loved the  crunchy brown sugar cookie crumbles on top of the fluffy brown butter parfait.

Gotham continues to be one of the best restaurants in N…

The Dish at La Pecora Bianca

These frigid cold temps have got me in total pasta mode so when I really want to indulge I head to La Pecora Bianca for a nice big bowl of Bolognese.

This causal Italian cafe near Madison Square Park specializes in vegetable driven fare and signature pastas like this hearty tagliatelle studded with beef and pork ragu and freshly grated parmigiana cheese.  It's toothsome and satisfying, the perfect antidote for these windy bone chilling days.

La Pecora Bianca
1133 Broadway at 26th Street
New York, NY 10010

Lunch at Avra Madison

Every year around the holidays I take a few hours off from work, hit up the Rockefeller Center tree and all the 5th avenue windows, then finish the afternoon with a fancy lunch.  This year I decided to stay right in Midtown and dine at the gorgeous Greek restaurant Avra Madison Estiatorio.  This sprawling spot just steps from Central Park was bustling with a large contingent of "Ladies who Lunch" enjoying some wine and chattering away about the latest NYC gossip.  

Every meal at Avra begins with a platter of rosemary dusted flatbread served alongside a thick, creamy hummus, sliced radish and black olives. It's a delightful and delicious change from the usual basket of bread.

First course Tuna Tartare with avocado and crispy shallots dressed in a soy ginger sauce.  This was exquisite, the tuna was chopped a bit more firm than most tartares giving a nice texture contrast to the fresh cut avocado while the ginger added a slightly spicy kick.

Second course Chicken Frites; a thi…

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year-and what a snowy, chilly one it was!  We spent the weekend celebrating up in Hudson New York enjoying a bit of "lake life" (obviously the lake was frozen solid). We had some seriously incredible bourbon cocktails at Olde York Farm and followed it up with NYE dinner at Local 111 in Plilmont.  It was a great holiday weekend made so much better by my beloved Buffalo Bills making it to the playoffs for the first time since 1999!  I could have cried I was so happy:)  Actually I did in fact cry...quite a bit to be honest and I keep crying every time I watch the highlights.  So 2018 is starting out to be a very happy but sappy year for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Looking back at my 2016 Wish List I only made it to four of the thirteen restaurants but all of those dining experiences were some of my favorite 2017 memories.   Le Bernardin was exquisite, Gabriel Kreuther made my entire birthday and Matarkjallarinn in Iceland will be forever etched in my mind for the amazing food, cozy …

Best NYC Tastes of 2017

2017 was a very strange year in the world of food.  It started out incredibly boring, with fast casual restaurants and big Japanese chains taking over the city.  And has ended unsteady and downright disturbing, with allegations of sexual harassment exploding in what seems to be every facet of the food industry and country as a whole.  I honestly feel more uncertain as a person than I ever have before.  Which is probably why I've leaned towards comfort food this year with big bowls of ramen, spicy chili oil wontons and other hearty, homey dishes dominating much of my time dining out.
Union Square Cafe reopened at the end of 2016 and has been my go-to place for spicy, carrot studded Candele Pasta while their sister cafe Daily Provisions actually took the spot for best new restaurant of 2017. This may seem like an odd choice but it had everything I needed this year; incredible crullers for breakfast, inventive sandwiches for lunch and a quiet, relaxing environment for grabbing an even…

One Last Time at Temple Bar

2016 saw the closing of two of my favorite cocktail bars of all time; the incredible Russian vodka room Pravda and the formidable Campbell Apartments in Grand Central Terminal.  Unfortunately as 2017 comes to an end another great spot will be closing its doors, the fantastic Temple Bar.

My first visit to this fabulous spot was way back in 2003 when Yankees (now manger) Aaron Boone hit a walk off home run against the Boston Red Sox to win the American League Championship Series.  It was easily the best night of my young NYC life.   We had been watching the game at nearby Tom and Jerry's for about six hours prior and decided to move our celebration over to Temple Bar.  I'm not sure if the bar was actually closing down for the night or if the bouncer noticed our glassy eyes, hoarse voices and general rowdy drunkenness, but we weren't allowed inside.  No this place required a bit more reserved behavior, a bit more class; neither of which we had at that moment.  

Later that weeke…