Love and Food in the Big D

Monday, November 25, 2013

New York City - Day 3 ; Four Year Anniversary Weekend

Day 3 - Our last full day in New York City and we were set to make the best of it.  We had a few specific things that we knew we wanted to see and do...but much like the other days, we just walked...and walked.. and walked some more.  

Our last day, in pictures.   

The Empire State Building

Our first stop of the day:  The New York Public Library to check out an exhibit on Children's books that we heard great things about.  :)  And of course the architecture geek in me, got excited about all the amazing details in this building.  (But apparently I forgot to take daytime pictures of the exterior).. Boo.. Party foul! 

Goodnight Moon

The original stuffed animals of the real life Christopher Robin Milne born in 1920, pictured with his father, author and creator of Winnie the Pooh :)  

and what to my wandering eyes did appear... 


Funny how my eye went straight to that every single time I scanned over this tower of book titles

Top of the Rock : Our view to the Empire State Building..

We had heard it was much easier and faster to get to the Top of Rockefeller Center than it was to get through the lines of the Empire State Building.  And because I had already been to the Empire State Building (and Chad didn't really mind either way, he hates heights anyway ;) we went with building that we thought might get us better views of Central Park.  

It took less than 20 minutes to purchase tickets, wait in line and ride the elevator to the top!  

With about an hour and a half to waste before we were set to see the Broadway show, The Lion King.. 
We made sure to get some New York City PIZZA!  :)  

I honestly wasn't expecting the bottom to be so nice and crispy!  So, so good!  

Next Up:  The Lion King :) 
Where of course, no pictures were allowed. Wah, wah, Waaaaahhh...

The Empire State Building from Bryant Park.  

To cap off our trip to this amazing city, we were excited to get a chance to meet up with one of Chad's old culinary school friends Leslie and her boyfriend in Brooklyn.  After a few pre-dinner drinks at a local bar, we took our bellies to this quaint little Italian restaurant:  Lunetta

Thanks for a great trip New York City!  Can't wait to come back :) 
 So much left unseen!  

Friday, November 22, 2013

New York City - Day 2 ; Four Year Anniversary Weekend

New York City - Day 2

I have to say that I love the way Chad and I travel.  We definitely have that "I feel like going this way" attitude to exploring any new city.  We see something we like and that catches our eye, we follow it and see where it takes us.  No planned itinerary, we just try to take it all in as we go.  Most often we stumble upon amazing things that weren't even on our original list of things to do.  :)  

True to our nature.. day 2 proved to be pretty fluid.  Wandering from Murray Hill (where we were staying)... through Midtown, over to Chelsea then down the Hudson to the World Trade Center Memorial.. before heading back to our hotel before our dinner plans for the evening.  

First stop just so happened to be Madison Square Park..

Where we made our way to check out Eataly

Such an incredible selection of gourmet foods.. everything was so beautiful!  

After Eataly, we made our way over to Chelsea to check out the High Line 

Taken from their website :  The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the nonprofit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy.

Next Up:  Chelsea Market 

And a super tasty little bite at Num Pang

Hoisin Meatballs - Jasmin Rice, Basil and Stewed Tomatoes

Such beautiful colors all around 

LUNCH at the Spotted Pig 

Yvette - Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Onion Marmalade and Mustard

Chad - Bath Chap - fried "pig face" sandwich

Our loooooong walk along the Hudson to the World Trade Center Memorial

It's amazing how we went from the crazy chaos of the always bustling New York City streets to an almost eerie calm as we entered the 9/11 memorial site.  

Taken from the memorial website :  The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

The callery pear tree became known as the Survivor Tree after sustaining extensive damage, but living through the September 11, 2001, terror attacks at the World Trade Center. In October 2001, the tree with lifeless limbs, snapped roots and blackened trunk was discovered and freed from the piles of smoldering rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The tree was originally planted in the 1970s in the vicinity of buildings four and five in the WTC complex near Church Street.

The Empire State Building... on the way to dinner at Esca :)

Before you continue... Let me just stop to apologize for the next series of CRAPTASTIC Iphone photos at our dinner at Esca.  Of course they set the mood with a beautifully dim restaurant that of course hindered my ability to take ANY decent shots of our meal!  Damn them and their romantic lighting.. lol.  So sorry in advance.. The food tasted MUCH better than it looks here.. 

Our Tasting Menu for the evening.. 
The extra "Crudo tasting" 

Seared local monkfish liver with a salad of Greg's dried fruits, local greens and vincotto

House made Amalfitana style pasta with shrimp extravaganza and Chinese broccoli

Grilled Sicilian style local Mahi Mahi with stone ground polenta, wild mushrooms and cardoons

Grilled local wild bass with caramelized root vegetables, crab apples, chestnuts and apple cider vinaigrette

Don't remember the flavors but they were DELICIOUS! 

Brown butter, cranberries, quince and apple

It's funny how one of the only things that Chad kept repeating about this trip... was wanting to go to Katz's Deli... at 2 in the morning!  He seemed so fascinated by the idea that this place would probably still be crazy busy at that middle of the night hour. So, after heading back to our hotel for a quick snooze, we hit the streets again at 1am to see what all the fuss was about.  :)  

I honestly don't remember the last time I was up at 2am.. (on purpose..and not because of a baby crying ;) 

Sure enough.. the streets were still packed with people and 30 blocks later, we finally made it!  :)  
There was absolutely NO feeling guilty about all the eating we'd done on this trip, we EASILY clocked 10-15 miles a day!

Perfect way to end the night :)