Damn, it's been a long winter. And you know what's kind of insane? The fact that I still rock a jacket every morning on my way to work. It's May 6th, for the love of god! I should stop complaining though, because the next two days are going to be...wait for it...70-degrees and sunny! But don't ask what's in store for Thursday - Sunday; just know that it's going to be chilly, wet, and windy. Typical NYC weather for ya...
On a lighter, more "springy" note, I wanted to share some of my favorite eats, drinks, events, and photos of late. Because if you can't look forward to a kick ass plate of roasted beets and Lamb Frites on a cloudy Manhattan day, then what can you (look forward to)?
Cherry blossoms a'bloom in Madison Square Park
...and, speaking of Madison Square Park, I'm totally loving that Spring Mad. Sq. Eats 2014 has commenced! The lineup, as per usual, is great and I've already made my way over more than a handful of times (since opening day on May 2nd). #fatkidforever
Kaffe 1668's Sweet Potato Kale Salad
Sitting prettily atop a bed of kale greens are pinto beans, garlic and rosemary-roasted sweet potatoes, chunks of ripe avocado, and dried cranberries. Add to that your choice of maple-mustard or sesame-tamari dressing, and you've got yourself one helluva hearty - and healthy - lunch/dinner.
For a $9.87 price tag, you receive the salad, plus a refreshing iced tea and crunchy, buttery crostini points. Oh, and for all of you health freaks out there, did I mention that this salad is vegan, organic, and gluten-free? Bam.
Now, going in a whole different direction from "vegan and organic," I'd like to introduce you to my favorite guilty pleasure: Wild Bill's Beef Jerky. Namely, the "jumbo size tender tips." Sounds disgusting, I'm sure (I just reread that last sentence and gagged), but if you're a 'jerky aficionado like me and my sister, then you will LOVE THIS STUFF. I repeat, LOVE! Each bite is packed with intense flavor, spice, and a tenderness unlike any other jerky I've ever tried.
Since Wild Bill's is located in Memphis, a handful of coworkers and I pool our money together and order a hefty supply for the office. You seriously can't get a more delicious, high protein snack!
I'm always suspicious of new restaurants that occupy HUMONGOUS spaces. I mean, what's not to be weary of? Having just moved in to the old Hurricane Club space, I entered General Assembly cautiously optimistic...
However, in terms of the newly-revamped space, the cocktails, and most of the food we ordered, I conclude that General Assembly has "staying power" potential for the long haul. Dana and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience, and I cannot wait to return!
Searching for this summer's hottest thirst quencher? Look no further than the "Lillet Cup," a gorgeous concoction of Lillet Blanc, muddled strawberries, and mint. Menu standouts include: Gratis garlic pull-apart rolls and salted butter, Roasted Beets & Ginger-Citrus Yogurt, Colorado Lamb Frites (think traditional 'steak frites,' but substitute a charbroiled filet of lamb), and the Baked Brie Potato Gratin.
Pre-packaged macaron sampler from Macaron Cafe available at Fairway Market locations citywide
Each box comes with a frozen assortment of nine macarons. Because of the brilliant way in which they're packaged, each macaron remains perfectly intact - thus making this the ideal "from NYC with love" traveler's gift for friends and family.
With almost twenty minutes to spare before our reservation at Chalk Point Kitchen, I was told that I could wait in the bar downstairs because it was "much more comfortable." Although I spied a few empty bar stools in my periphery, I chose, for once, to keep my mouth shut and head to the floor below. After all, I had just arrived from a spin class looking less than fabulous. Oh god, I said under my breath, hurriedly searching for my cashmere sweater. I didn't even realize that I had walked in to the establishment in my sweaty, sleeveless workout tank and visible sports bra.
The Handy Liquor Bar is a romantic and hip juxtaposition that takes "subterranean" to a whole new level: Approachable. From the plethora of intimate seating options and a cozy fireplace, to the friendly staff, this is a bar that I am confident I will return to time and time again. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the drinks are handmade, reasonably priced, and delicious.
While we enjoyed every aspect of our meal at Chalk Point Kitchen, down to the hand-written chalk table card with our names on it, my favorites included: Garden Beet Root Salad with salty blue and crunchy pistachios, Maine Uni Crudo with sea salt and salsa verde, Dayboat Chatham Codfish with a "livornese" sauce, Roasted Heirloom Carrots, and the Butter Whipped Potatoes.
Get. Here. Now.
Mad. Sq Eats (#MadSqEats), now in its sixth year, will return to Worth Square on Friday, May 2nd. The popular pop-up market is a collaboration between UrbanSpace and the Madison Square Park Conservancy; together, we’ve curated one of our best lineups yet.
100 Sardines by George Mendes
100 sardines will be a “sister” pop-up restaurant to ALDEA located off Union Square. They will serve hot and cold soups, sandwiches and rice dishes (both seafood and meat based) as well as Portuguese influenced salads. The rice preparations will be based on the success of ALDEA’s signature “Arroz de Pato ” and will be available to eat on site or taken to go.
Arancini is authentic sicilian street food – fried rice balls made with arborio rice and filled with creative meats, cheeses and seasonal ingredients.
Bar Suzette, run by Peter Tondreau and Troi Lughod, offers savory or sweet delectable crepes with a continuously changing menu. At Mad. Sq. Eats, they also offer an expanded menu that includes burgers, truffle fries and other classic fare.
Calexico serves fresh, flavorful Cal-Mex food in New York City and Brooklyn. They have several locations and carts, and have won many accolades for their food, including a Vendy Award for Best Street Food.
Charlito’s Cocina offers fantastic meat and vegetarian sausages, paninis and sides; everything is made scratch.
Doughnuttery offers hot, fresh, and uniquely sugared donuts.
Hong Kong Street Cart
Hong Kong Street Cart serves delicious Asian street food, including pork buns, dumplings, ramen and more.
Contemporary Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. Consistently voted NYC’s #1 Mediterranean restaurant by OpenTable diners!
Caketails by Kicky’s Kitchen are sweets inspired by cocktails. They have year-round caketails as well as seasonal cupcakes.
L&W Oyster Co.
L&W Oyster Co. features an array of the finest East and West coast oysters, as well as classic clam shack fare — like Lobster BLTs, Oyster Po’ Boys — and beautiful fish entrees that showcase sustainable seafood and local produce.
La Sonrisa Empanadas
La Sonrisa Empanadas offers vegetarian, beef, roasted or coconut curry chicken and pulled pork empanadas.
Founded in 2010 by Christina Ha and Simon Tung, Macaron Parlour offers a wide array of delicious macarons. Their flavor offerings range from the traditional (Red Velvet) to the crazy and creative (Cheetos).
Mayhem & Stout
Founded by childhood friends, Steve Applegate and Jay Brown, Mayhem & Stout specializes in flavorful, fall-off-the-bone braised meats and creative, seasonally inspired house made condiments, relishes and spreads served on locally made bread. They also offer salads and vegetarian options.
Melt Bakery is a sustainable ice cream sandwich company focused on locally sourced ingredients with seasonal flavor combinations.
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle