Last Thursday Jason, Scottie and I left bright and early for New York city. This is a trip Jason and I have taken for several years now around Christmas time and this year was the first time we had Scottie with us. I absolutely love New York at Christmas and I was excited to bring along my favorite girl and see the magic that is New York during this time through her eyes. After a quick flight and a car ride to our hotel we were walking the streets by 11 that morning.
When we arrived at the hotel we immediately set out to get a feel for the area we were staying in and scope out a lunch spot. We soon realized we weren’t too far from Fig and Olive, a restaurant we have visited every time we have been to NY , so keeping with tradition we made our way there.
Fig and Olive Salad topped with chicken. Salad consisted of Manchego, gorgonzola dolce, fig, apple, tomato, walnuts, olives, romaine, mesclun, scallions, fig balsamic and Arbequina olive oil.
After lunch we continued to walk around for the rest of the afternoon before making our way to central park to give Scottie a chance to stretch her legs. At this point we were all feeling pretty tired so we headed back to the hotel to check into our room and have a little down time before heading out for dinner. We ended up going to Bistro Milano, a place recommended by the hotel located a few blocks away. Dinner was good but by this point in the day we were trying to entertain Scottie and get through dinner so we could get her back to the hotel and to bed. We were starting to push our limits with just how much she could handle in one day.
Friday morning, once we had showered and grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel, we set out for another day of sightseeing and walking. Whenever we are in New York we want to walk everywhere and take in as much of the city as we can, which is what we set out to do. We weren’t sure how much walking we would be able to do before Scottie started to get restless in the stroller but apparently she loved the walking just as much because she was so content the entire time. It obviously helped there was so much to look at and everything was so new and exciting to her. We walked through the outdoor Christmas market at Bryant Park and went to Macy’s to check out the window display.
It took us forever to find a lunch spot where we could sit down and all of us could enjoy it but eventually we did. I got this yummy salad with lobster and avocado along with an unpictured dinner roll and bites of Scottie’s pasta. We lingered over lunch a while as Scottie was making friends with the people beside of us then we decided to head back to Central Park for a Pedi cab ride.
After the pedi cab it was already late in the afternoon so we decided to head back to the hotel to get Scottie settled since Jason and I had plans that night. My cousin is in the Tisch school at NYU and she was coming to our hotel room that night to watch Scottie while we went out to dinner. We made reservations well in advance at Mas Farmhouse after it was highly recommended to us by a friend. This restaurant was unbelievably good and by far one of my favorite dinners ever. They offer a seasonal menu and the preparations to the dishes are unlike anything I have ever had before. Each dish had so much flavor and texture and Jason and I savored each and every bite. I could not imagine going back to New York and not having dinner at this little gem. It is worth the trip alone.
Appetizer: Beef Tenderloin Tartare with Pickled Mustard Seeds, Charcoal & Parmesan Crackers with Black Garlic Oil & Cured Egg Yolk
Entrée 1: Roasted Long Island Duck with Brown Butter Chestnut Purée, Marinated Tatsoi, Black Trumpet Mushroom Stew & Persimmon Gastrique
Entrée 2: Roasted Goffle Road Farm Chicken with Sunchoke & Thyme Purée, Crispy La Ratte Potatoes, Smoked Maitake Mushrooms & Espresso Sauce
Dessert: Hazelnut Dacquoise with Milk Chocolate Crémeux, Candied Cara Cara Orange & Cinnamon Crème Fraîche
My cousin stayed at our hotel Friday night so Saturday morning we all grabbed another quick breakfast before hitting the streets. Just as we are about to leave the hotel we realized it had started to rain. Scottie was bundled up and covered in the stroller so we decided to head out anyway. We went to FAO Schwarz, one part of the trip Jason and I had been looking forward to the most. Two years ago when we visited New York I was pregnant at the time and we went to FAO where Jason bought Scottie a huge pink stuffed dog. We pictured bringing our little girl there in years to come and here we were with our now 19 month old at this world-famous toy store. From there my cousin recommended The Brooklyn Diner for lunch so we headed in that direction. I got the veggie burger with avocado, feta cheese and cilantro aioli served with a side of fries. I loved this place and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a casual and really tasty lunch spot.
Since this was our last day in the city we were determined to make our way to Levain Bakery for their outrageously delicious cookies. We were introduced to Levain’s on our previous trip to New York and immediately fell in love. The cookies are soft and gooey and filled with whatever goodness your heart desires. In our case it was chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate chip peanut butter and chocolate chip walnut. These cookies are huge and resemble a muffin more than a cookie. We did not eat all three cookies at once, although tempting, but last time we only bought one to split and we weren’t making the same mistake again. Below is Jason, my cousin and her friend waiting in line in the rain. Yes, 100% worth it.
At this point in the day we could tell the rain simply wasn’t going away so we took a cab back to our hotel to dry off. We ended up meeting a friend of ours who happened to be in the city as well for a drink at the hotel bar. Once we said our good-byes to our friends and my cousin we realized it was time to start thinking about dinner. We didn’t want to take Scottie back out in the rain and we were still feeling pretty full from lunch so we kept things low-key with room service and a Christmas movie. Not what I imagined for our last night in New York but it was just what all three of us wanted.
Sunday morning we showered and packed up our things then had just enough time to go out for breakfast before catching a ride back to the airport.
We were sad to say good-bye to New York but we were ready to get back to all the fun Christmas happenings we have going on at home (and Scottie back to her normal routine). Till next time New York….