Mimosas, Wine, Knicks and Friends.

I have been lucky enough to have two days chock-full of friends. I spent the most time with one friend in particular, Ali!

Wednesday, I left work early to go run some errands. I surprised Ali at her office for lunch and we walked the 10 blocks to Cafeteria (one of our faves!) for a liquid lunch. How do you say no to a Blood Orange Mimosa?

Yummy.

Oh that’s right, you don’t. After getting slightly buzzed and chatting away with afternoon cocktails, I went downtown to meet my friend Carolyn (remember, the one who is getting married?) to look at wedding venues and have some vino.

We sat at the bar at City Winery drinking one of the best dessert wines I have ever had (I was too excited to see the rest of the venue to write down the name. I regret that! It was so good!) The internal event planner than came to meet with us and gave us a tour of the space. It was huge, and they make their own white and red wines there. They keep most of them on tap, which was very cool. Check out their distillation room:

The Restaurant Space. It was very pretty.

After loving the space very much, we guzzled the rest of our wine and headed back uptown to check out the Chelsea Art Museum. It was PERFECT. I didn’t take any photos because it was in the middle of a new installation and it wasn’t very interesting. The cool part was they have a GORGEOUS roofdeck overlooking the Hudson River. I think she might choose that space!

In any event, that night I went to the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. I am not a basketball fan, but we took clients and the company I work for owns a suite, so how bad could it be? It was really fun, but I was so tired I left early. I did however, remember to take TBW’s camera so I could snap some decent shots.

This was Camello Anthony's first game as a member of the Knicks!

Basketball is boring.

This is the last one because all the photos look the same.

I think calling them “decent” is a stretch, since the subject matter was lacking.

I was so tired, I slept through my alarm yesterday morning and didn’t get up and go to the gym. I was kicking myself for it, but got over it pretty quickly. My boss took me to Sushiden for lunch and it was really, really good, but he kept insisting we order more and more and when I left I was completely stuffed and needed a nap.

CNBC was filming at my office yesterday too, which was sort of fun. They have a segment called Trading FLoor Thursdays and Maria Bartiromo does her closing bell show directly from a trading floor. Yesterday was us. Everyone was on their best behavior and wore their nicest suits. I was on camera for about 30 seconds. Regrettably, I didn’t know they were filming and I was stretching my arms up over my head while talking to a colleague. Whoops.

Interviews and Camera Crews.

Where the CNBC crew was staged.

Sort of makes for an interesting day at the office.

I had back to back meetings in the afternoon and finally got to leave to meet Ali downstairs (she met me at my office!). We went back to the Upper East Side and spent the remainder of the evening on my couch with wine and chinese food. I love Chinese food, so this was really a spectacular way to spend my evening.

Chinatown East Chinese food spread. So good!

Ali and I laughed hysterically at Sex and the City and ate all the Chinese food and polished off a bottle of wine. It was just so fun to relax and laugh with one of my favorite people.

Doesn't Ali look comfy. That's TBW's prized Palm Restaurant blanket. I hate it.

I went to bed early-ish and woke up this morning a happy girl. I jumped out of bed, went to the gym and did weights and circuit training with Bryant.

I’m excited for the fun weekend I have planned!

What are your weekend plans? What are your favorite things to do with your friends?

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Gaga Madness.

I saw Lady Gaga in concert last night.

She. Is. Awesome.

You can’t help but dance to her music. It’s high energy, fun and a little crazy. Just like her show. She dances like mad, she sings her heart out and it makes you want to dance right there on the spot.

After dinner and drinks at Brother Jimmy’s. Probably not the best choice ever. Their food usually makes me sick and frankly, it’s not very good. Their meats have weird flavor (maybe it’s liquid smoke?) and their sauces blow. I feel like a BBQ place should at least have decent sauces to cover up the fact that their meats are lacking. Nope, Bro Jim’s doesn’t seem to care what you think. Probably because it’s the number one hot spot for recent college grads looking for a never-ending frat party. The crazy thing is, Brother Jimmy’s locations have started springing up faster than Chase Bank ATM locations in NYC (if you are not from here, there is a Chase ATM on every corner. Not joking).

In any event, bad food is bad food. It doesn’t matter how many locations serve it.

Marbled Brisket, Mac & Cheese and Candied Yams with pecans. How do you mess this up? Blech.

Fried Okra and very bad spicy sauce. Gross.

These wings don't even look good.

The best part was the beer (Stella Artois!) and all the people dressed in crazy insane costumes to look like Lady Gaga. I almost asked them to all gather around for a photo.

We walked across the street to Madison Square Garden ready for Gaga Madness. We were not disappointed by her show. I forgot to borrow TBW’s camera so these are my crappy Blackberry camera photos. Apologies in advance.

Jen and I with multiple beers in anticipation. The Scissor Sisters opened for Gaga.

And then she appeared. Covered by a giant purple curtain, but that's Gaga for you.

Haus of Gaga.

I told you these pictures were grabage.

I told you these pictures were garbage.

I really need to get myself a new camera.

I attempted to get a close up with the screen. Camera phone fail.

She put on this giant sparkly white costume with an Elizabethan collar that moved. Yes, her collar moved.

And then she was raised up off the ground. Love Gaga.

I was actually surprised her outfits were not more crazy. She played the piano in a bra and thong for a while, often contorting her body into strange positions while she kept playing. When Poker Face finally came on, I went crazy and started singing and dancing like mad.

Great concert, thanks for the tickets, TBW! Thanks Jen for going with me!

What’s your fave Lady Gaga song? Have you seen her in concert?

Posted in Food and Drink, Manhattan, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lazy President’s Day

In honor of President’s day, I did the exact opposite of what President’s do. Nothing.

Yep, I did nothing all day yesterday. Awesome, right? I usually have plans of some sort, or errands to run, but yesterday there was nada in my agenda. Zip, zilch, nothing to do. You know what? I loved it. I needed a day to shut my brain off for a while and just chill out. I caught up on all my Tivo from the week prior, blogged for a while, Facebook’d for a while, watched a movie and ordered in food.

TBW did the same thing, although he cleaned the apartment while I napped, which was wonderful.It was nice to have a buddy to be lazy with. I didn’t even bother myself with doing any laundry, which I really need to do, but once I was lazy all day, it was a really hard cycle to break. That’s actually usually what keeps me from lying around all day, knowing once I start I can’t stop.

I did however reach a milestone yesterday in the blog world. I hit 2,000 page views. Cool. I don’t know why I was excited to hit 2,000 views, but I was. I know so many bloggers get thousands of hits daily, but as a newbie, I feel like that’s a decent number for now.

My lazy day ended in Thai food for dinner from Land Northeast Thai. I love that place, and haven’t been since I went with my friend Ali a few weeks ago.

We had a great meal of Green Chicken Curry and Chicken Pad See Ew (my fave!). I love living in a city where I can have whatever food I want delivered right to my door in 30 minutes.

Flat noodles, brown sauce, chicken and veggies make up the Chicken Pad See Ew. So delicious!

Chicken in a green curry sauce. Throw some rice on your plate and it soaks up all the curry goodness. Score.

Looks tasty, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

In completely unrelated news, I’m going to see Lady Gaga tonight at Madison Square Garden with my friend Jen. I am beyond excited. TBW got us tickets for Christmas. He’s the best. Of course I will do my best to take photos.

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, and the short work week!

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Tiki Sunday

I had never been to a tiki bar other than on a beach ever in my life until Valentine’s Day, when I went with my girlfriends.

I had a great time and was excited by the fun boat drinks in cool vessels. I didn’t know where to find another tiki bar in NYC. Mostly because I hadn’t thought of it. Luckily for me, my post about my Valentine’s Day at a tiki bar was found by Damon who has a blog strictly about tiki bars. He has a whole catalog of tiki bars by state and that helped remind me of Painkiller, which is a tiki bar I had heard of once or twice but had never stuck in my mind.

Last night, I went to dinner with Dave and Tal at Rye House, which is one of my favorites. When we were done with dinner, I suggested tiki drinks at Painkiller and they were both game. After being dropped by a cab on Essex and Grand, we looked around the rather dilapidated area to find the bar.

Oh here it is!

The door is in there somewhere, it was hidden.

We walked past heavy curtains and gain entry to the low ceilings and cramped space that was this gem of a bar. We passed all the makings of a tiki cocktail on the bar on the way to our booth.

Huge straws, flamingoes, umbrellas...

I immediately ordered a Suffering Bastard (lime juice, simple syrup, bourbon, ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, gin, soda, Collins) and it was really good, but had an overly strong ginger flavor and I could only have one. But look how cool it looks!

Suffering Bastard

The others in my party ordered these fine looking drinks:

Pina Colada. The bits of shaved coconut on the top were awesome.

How awesome is this drink!?

They played fun music, including lots of Beastie Boys, which made me happy. After drinking a whole conch shell, you can bet I sang all the words to “Sabotage” out loud. The best part? The inexpensive check at the end of the evening. That was the icing on the cake.

We finally departed extremely late (or early morning?) and when we exited, it was snowing. I felt fine with that though, because of our warm weather themed evening and I can’t wait to go back.

Posted in Cocktails, Manhattan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Food Filled Weekend

What else is new? My life seems to revolve around food. All food, all the time. I probably should have named my blog that.

In any event, I ate a ton this weekend. I won’t lie to you. I did however exercise portion control, and everything was mighty tasty, so who cares? Plus, Saturday night was a friend’s birthday celebration, so tons of eating and drinking was in order of course. Full disclosure: this post is chock-full of photos.

I ran home from work (left way early, 4:30PM!) and went for a nice long run on the East River, because it was just too beautiful not to be outdoors. For dinner, I went to the Palm with TBW and our friends Sasha and Steve. Double dates are so much fun, and Sasha and Steve are great company. I had tomato and mozzarella as an appetizer and forgot to take a picture. Once dinner hit the table, I remembered!

I love asparagus. Steamed on the side is a great choice.

The Palm has amazing creamed spinach!

Hash Browns. The sides are the best part!

And for my main course….

Sea bass! I always get sea bass or lamb here. Their fish is so perfectly cooked and buttery.

I love the Palm because the decor is minimal, but rich in history. They have caricatures painted on the wall of famous people who have come in and dined there, as well as regular patrons. See?

Pictures Painted on the wall.

After chowing down on all this great food, I was completely overstuffed. I have said it before and I will say it again: the Palm is one of my favorite places to eat. Always a great meal, never disappointed. I love that.

Saturday rolled around and I had to run some errands in Westchester. TBW graciously came with me so I would have a driving buddy. I treated him to lunch at Palmer’s Crossing in Larchmont. I used to eat there a lot in high school, and I woke up craving this great sandwich they have called the Larchmont Panini. It’s supposed to be prosciutto, olive oil, tomatoes, pesto sauce and mozzarella, all on focaccia bread, but they had changed it around on me and it wasn’t the amazing Italian goodness I remembered from years ago. Disappointed, we got back in the car to head back to NYC.

I was in the mood for something sweet (which very rarely happens to me) and suggested TBW try out 16 Handles. It’s so good, and when Ali introduced me to it, I became an instant fan and couldn’t help but crave it ever since. I picked different fro-yo than last time. Want to see what I got?

Lime Tart & Red Velvet Cake Fro-yo with fun toppings!

TBW is now a big fan of this place as well, so we will definitely be going back.

Full of paninis and fro-yo, I went home for a big nap. It was such a great nap too. I felt tired and sleepy from not running, and wish I had, but baby steps, right?

Feeling a little refreshed from my snooze, I headed downtown for my friend Heather’s birthday. We were going to Spice Market for dinner and then out for drinks after, and I was pumped for the food. I love Spice Market. I have been there quite a few times, and am always happy with it.

There were five of us at dinner. When I sat down with the girls, they asked if I was going to blog about our night. I said “sure!”, and asked them if they read it. They all said they do, and looked forward to my posts. I was actually really surprised! I knew people like my mom read it, TBW reads it, other friends that blog read it, but I didn’t realize so many of my girlfriends were reading it too. It was cool to know people read my blog and actually liked it. Awesome! The best part was, they helped me remember to take photos of the food, and they even smiled for the camera and granted me permission for posting!

Then the food showed up and they kept telling me to take some pictures. I happily obliged. I’m not sure the people eating next to us loved me for it, I extend my apologies to them.

Heather (the birthday girl!!), Marcie & AnnieMe & Darcy

 

The birthday girl had lobster. Shouldn't everyone eat lobster on their birthday? That should be some sort of rule.

The Vietnamese Chicken Curry is SO GOOD. I get it every time I go. I can't help it.

Heather with her birthday dessert. The Ovaltine bar. It was nostalgic and yummy!

Other highlights were:

  • The Whiskey Passion Fizz (Bulleit Bourbon, Passion Fruit, Ginger Ale) – Incredible. I had one too many, but they were just so good. Annie and I couldn’t stop drinking them.
  • Fragrant Mushroom Egg Rolls with a Galangal Emulsion – They were so good, the sauce was the best part.
  • Lobster Summer Roll with citrus-dill gelee, Sriracha Emulsion – Also very tasty. Light dish with loads of lobster. No skimping there!
  • Peekytoe Crab Dumplings with sugar snap peas and aromatic spices – This was my favorite appetizer.
  • Avocado and radish salad with Chinese mustard and tempura onions – Surprisingly light, the crispy radish slices were a nice compliment to the tempura and the avocado.

I was so super happy with the whole meal. There was only one dish that was actually bad. The White Chocolate and Yuzu Pavlova. There is no other way to describe it other than bad. It had a weird licorice flavor drizzled on top and there wasn’t enough meringue, the creamy mixture inside was mediocre, at best. I wasn’t that disappointed though, because I was still swooning over my Chicken Curry entrée.

We decided to have more cocktails elsewhere, and after a way-too-long line at The Canal Room and epic winds coming off the Hudson, we walked to Kittichai.

I love Kittichai. They have the best food, the best drinks, the best atmosphere. Situated on the ground floor of The Thompson Hotel, and it’s thai food with a glamorous twist, orchids everywhere tufted leather banquet seating by the bar and a small pool in the dining room.

We got really lucky, because Ty Bellingham, the executive chef was sitting at the bar. It was great to meet him, as I have dined here numerous times. My mom was even married here last October. We ordered some Lychee Martinis (best in the city!) and relaxed as Carolyn and her fiance Patrick arrived to share in the birthday celebrations.

Cool decor, right? That's only one wall in the bar.

Once Kittichai closed down, we went upstairs to Thom Bar and had more cocktails before ending the night at Solas to dance it out a little. Fantastic birthday, fantastic friends. We were the only three standing at the end of the night. Troopers!

Annie, Me, Heather

I was so exhausted and slept late today, until TBW woke me up and took me to brunch.

More food? Yep.

We went around the corner to Eli’s Vinegar Factory, which has some of my favorite brunch on the Upper East Side. They have this incredibly homemade jam that will change your life, a bread basket to rival the jam and eggs benedict that are worth the trekk from anywhere else in the city.

Bread basket and jam. Awesome!

If you don't think that looks delicious, we may not be friends.

Happy, full and a little sleepy again (I’m super lazy, clearly) I’m settled on the couch with TBW and Ruby (TBW’s aunt’s dog) who is adorable and snuggly.

Ruby and I. Isn't she a cutie?

I’m going out again tonight (because there’s no work tomorrow, yay President’s day!) and will of course let you know all about my jaunt around the city.

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Birthdays, Cocktails, Dogs, Food and Drink, Friends, Manhattan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments