Travel Diary: New York City

One thing I can assure you is that one will never run out of things to do in New York city. It does not matter if you have lived there for 2 months, ten years, or you are just visiting…you will never run out of things to do.  New York is quite the lively city, I can assure you that I made plenty of memorable memories (some good, some bad). I am going to share with you what was on my itinerary, what places/restaurants/shows etc., what I would and would not recommend. This may help you narrow down or give you ideas for future trips to the Big Apple or maybe you are just curious what I have been up to in New York.

Broadway Shows

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Dear Evan Hansen was a phenomenal show, the cast had outstanding vocals, the story line was captivating, and the show was the perfect combination of sweet/sad/funny. Dear Evan Hansen revolves around two outcasts, one who ends up committing suicide. One of the outcasts becomes wrapped up in his web of lies, he ends up crashing into a ball of flames. The way the story line plays out allows you to really get invested in the characters and who they are. Many people in the audience shed a few tears, so I recommend bringing a package of tissues. Considering that I am a cry baby, I was quite surprised when I did not cry. Haha. It truly was a great show, if you are visiting the city you need to attend this performance. I would advise some parental discretion when it comes to this show, there is vulgar language and the discussion of suicide throughout the show.

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I simply do not recommend one to waste their money on The Book of Mormon. I know so many enjoyed it, but I cannot say so for myself. I only found a handful of scenes from the show to be funny, most of it I was offended by. I am not Mormon, but the mockery they made of their religion I found to just be simply distasteful. One of the two main characters was beyond hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of watching him perform, but other than that I was not amused. If you are Mormon, I would highly suggest you not seeing this show, I am certain you too will be offended at the sense of humor present throughout the performance. I have read that many people have enjoyed this Broadway musical, but I am most certainly not one of them and would not recommend this show to anyone.

Food

Jean-Georges

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To start we have pea soup garnished with house-made panko, two bite sized croutons (one topped with fresh tuna and cilantro, the other topped with a spicy creme and a pepper.) In the top right corner we have farm grown mini vegetables with a lovely hummus.

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The next course: sea trout sashimi salad with buckthorn and bergamot dressing. This course was an adventure for my palette. The mixture of textures and flavors was divine. The trout was unbelievably fresh, the plethora of citrus flavors all combined together beautifully.

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Second Course: Pumpkin purses with brown sugar vinaigrette. This dish had no exotic flavors, but it was delectable. The pumpkin purses are simply a fancier name for pumpkin ravioli. This course was just the right balance of sweet and savory.

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Next on the menu: BLACK SEA BASS Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, Sweet and Sour Jus. At first, I was not the hugest fan of the Sea bass, not that it was bad, I just did not think the flavors were amazing. As I ate it more the flavors grew and developed, the broth that was underneath was absolutely scrumptious!

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For the Amuse Bouche: White chocolate shell filled with Passion fruit. This was one of my favorite items at the restaurant, a thin white chocolate shell filled with a fruity, tarte passion fruit filling. The filling was liquid so it was a surprise to my senses, but that is what added to the experience. This Amuse Bouche properly prepared my palette for dessert.

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For dessert: the Citrus assortment. This dessert featured mango and grapefruit sorbet, puff pastry pinwheels, citrus fruits, and crystallized sheets of sugar. The dessert was good, but personally not good enough for me to personally order again. It would be a great option if you absolutely loved citrus.

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Dessert partie deux: Chocolate truffles (cherry liqueur, pistachio, and passion fruit), house-made marshmallows, nougat, and candied oranges.  My favorite was the pistachio truffle, it was nothing out of the ordinary, but the flavors just worked beautifully together. The nougat was interesting, not bad, but nothing too special. I usually do not eat marshmallows, or like them, but these were superb. They were not too sweet and had just a hint of vanilla. The cherry liqueur truffle was absolutely horrendous, I had to chase it down with water. Not for me.

The Overview:

The service was great, every employee was extremely attentive: opening every door, pulling out your chair each time you sat down, folding your napkin when you use the restroom, taking your plate the moment you are finished, constantly refilling drinks. Obviously these are things that every restaurant does, but Jean-Georges had two waiters to every table to wait on you. Yes, this was nice…my water glass was never empty, I never had an unnecessary plate sitting in front of me, but at times I wished I could have had a little more personal space. They could hear every word we spoke, but for this being my only complaint, I think Jean-Georges did pretty good. The food was amazing, even though the price is a little up there at $200 -$300 a person you are paying for a culinary experience at an amazing three Michelin star French restaurant. I would recommend that everyone stops by Jean-Georges in New York the next time they are there.

Blue Hill

 

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I was absolutely appalled by the food at Blue Hill, the food was far less than sub par. First they bring me mini carrots and radishes with whipped lard. Yes, you heard that right…whipped lard. The whipped lard was beyond greasy, extremely salty, and sour. That was hard to stomach, but at the point I was still optimistic. My first course was the Muraski Sweet Potato with pickled plum sauce, granola, and black sesame. The sweet potato was just okay, the pickled plum sauce ruined the whole thing (or what there was left to ruin). My second course was the Spanish Mackerel on Maine rice and Jerusalem Artichoke.  The rice and artichoke were decent, nothing too special, the fish tasted just straight fishy. Contrary to popular belief fish is NOT SUPPOSED to taste fishy. My main course was the Gnocchi as Ravioli with scallions, bacon, and farmer´s cheese. I love gnocchi and all the other flavors within the dish, so I was hopeful that this course would not be a dud too. The flavors were actually good, but I only got four pieces of gnocchi that were each the size of half my finger. Their plating of the gnocchi was just horrendous: green and brown triangles with green sauce underneath and a frothy foam on top. As you can see from the picture, it does not look appetizing. For dessert I had malted triticale porridge with white chocolate, apples, and beer ice cream. I sadly did not take a picture of this, I wish I did. At the time, I just did not even think this pathetic dish was worth taking a picture of. I was served maybe a fourth of a cup of porridge topped with beer froth  (it was not even ice cream)! I tasted two bites and decided that it was horrible. At the end they brought us a raisin rum cake that I had to wash down with water…just bad icing on the already bad cake. This review may seem harsh, but at $100-$210 per plate, I should have not only have received more food, but at least decent food that I could eat. I would have rather gone to McDonald’s and picked up a burger than waste money on this dinner. Save your money and skip Blue Hill.

Black Tap

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Black Tap is famous for their burgers…so famous that there is a never ending line from opening to closing. I came for just their crazy fun milkshakes (of course). I LOVED the Peanut butter shake, I am a sucker for sweet and salty. Plus who does not love the overload of candy. Their Cookies and Cream shake was on another level itself. I mean do you see that Ice cream sandwich…as if the milkshake wasn´t enough already. They have a shake with a whole slice of cake on top! Black Tap has a lot of pop culture type art plastered across the walls. You can somewhat see that graffiti wall behind me, super cute for taking pictures with your over sized milkshakes.

Tavern on the Green

 

Pictured above: Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Flatbread topped with Cherry Tomatoes/// Roasted Figs with Honey topped with Arugula, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese.

 

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The food was very yummy, but what was more enjoyable was the atmosphere. The restaurant overlooks Central Park and the main dining area if filled completely with floor to ceiling windows. So it was very bright (bring sunglasses), but very peaceful and serene. They had a nice bar and for those waiting they had a beautiful seating area filled with fireplaces, booths, and velvet couches. They ambiance was quite nice, a beautiful place for lunch.

Sarabeths

 

 

I like Sarabeths, is it a must go while in New York?…probably not, but it was still good. My English breakfast tea was nice and so was my Eggs Benedict. The greens had a very nice tangy dressing. The Eggs Benedict had very fresh bread and excellent flavors within the hollandaise sauce. A good way to start the day.

Mercer Kitchen

 

I liked the setup and vibe of the restaurant. The burger and french fries were quite delicious. The meat was good, just right (very juicy and just the right amount of pink). There was a nice sauce that featured a slight zing and complimented the other flavors quite well. The only downside is the burger is HUGE and extremely messy. I needed an apron and gloves to attack this monster. Haha. To start I had the beet salad with goat cheese and honey. It was pretty good, I enjoyed it for not being a fan of beets. So, if you like beets you should definitely give this dish a go.

Putnam´s Pub

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Pictured above: Egg & Ham Sandwhich

This pub is in Brooklyn, personally not worth venturing outside of New York City. If you are already in Brooklyn this is a great place to stop for lunch. The sandwich had a slight kick to it, but it complimented the ham and gruyére. The service was extremely slow, it took almost two hours just to get a sandwich. We had to ask someone to get us water and no one helped us to be seated. This would be a great place to come if you are in Brooklyn, not in a rush to be anywhere, and want to grab a few drinks while waiting for your food to come out. The greens had a good dressing, but they were slightly too bitter for my taste.

Its Sugar

Whenever one thinks of New York and candy stores Dylan´s Candy Bar probably comes to mind. In my opinion, Dylan´s Candy Bar is given too much credit. Yes, it may be three stories, but they sell average candy you could find at HEB. It is crowed and messy. Its Sugar is not as well known, but a super fun candy store. They have your everyday favorite candies, over sized candies, funny and playful candies, everything you could possibly think of. Don´t waste your time at Dylan´s Candy Bar, go to Its Sugar.

Baked by Melissa

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If you want to get some mini treats this is the place to go. It is a small shop, but has delicious treats. The thing I love about mini desserts is that you do not have to limit yourself to one flavor, you can venture out to multiple flavors. Quite a few of their treats are gluten free, but they do not taste gluten free (which is great). For the cakes being so small they are very moist and have great flavor.

Pictured above: Red Velvet Macaroon, Black & White Cookie, Red Velvet Cake, Cookies & Cream Cake.

The Plaza Hotel

Shops @ The Plaza

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The Shops at the Plaza are located on the first floor of the Plaza Hotel. The Shops meet every need you may have…there is no reason to even need to leave the Plaza Hotel. The shops range from Champagne and Caviar, a Wine Bar, Pasta, Cakes, Pastries, Cookies, Mini Donuts, Sandwiches, Tea, Bread, even a Mini Grocery Store, and so much more! It is quite busy in the afternoon, so if you would like to sit around and enjoy your food I would recommend coming in the morning at a decent time.  Stop by the Doughnuttery at the Plaza or in Chelsea Market. They have the best and cutest miniature doughnuts. My favorite is the cinnamon sugar. You order your own flavors and toppings and they make it fresh right in front of you!

Eloise @ The Plaza

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Everyone knows the story of Eloise and her time spent at the beautiful Plaza Hotel. This store would be the dream for any little girl. Eloise books and perfumes, mini Chanel and Hermés look a like bags, a play room, a tea room, and tons of precious clothes. They also have a small room filled with some toys and books for boys. Poor boys, they only get one little room.

Tea @ The Palm Court

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What a lovely thing…afternoon tea. One of my favorite traditions. The tea and food were absolutely divine! The moment I took my first sip of the tea I knew I had to order myself some for at home. My Favorite food they served was the Salmon Sandwich, the Chicken Salad Sandwich, and the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake. The service was wonderful, always attentive. I ordered the classic tea ($75 per person), but there is a fun tea called the Eloise Tea…perfect for mom and daughters. There were so many little girls with poofy dresses and white gloves. I would have loved coming here as a little girl and will most definitely make sure this is something my daughter experiences.

Central Park

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A Park in the middle of New York City. How pretty could it be? A walk through Central Park is a must, there are so many different things to see…beautiful bridges, tree lined paths, rivers, green fields, and so much more. Make sure to wear proper walking shoes, Stuart Weitzman boots do not cut it! I can tell you from experience, I ended up having a partial tear in my Achilles, but hey beauty is pain, right?

 

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