City Guide: New York City

Ciao, friends. It’s been a few months. A lot has happened. I got engaged. I changed jobs. I started taking French classes (again). I traveled to some new places: Morocco, Cuba, Sedona, to name a few and even took a solo trip to Paris. What brought me back to type up this post? You guys! Well actually, a bit of laziness brought me back + you guys.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.31.28 PM.png

If I had to guess, I receive 2-4 texts each month with friends, family or friends of family or family of friends who are asking for recommendations of what to do in NYC. Where to stay. Where to eat. What to do. Here’s a list of my favorites, a mix of the old and the new. The classic NYC can’t misses and the new & trendy. So instead of texting it out for the umpteenth time, here we are:

WHERE TO STAY

Best for highrollers

The Plaza Hotel || Need I say more? Live like Eloise. Walk through the revolving doors and find yourself in a little slice of NYC heaven. Enjoy a glass of champagne at the Champagne Bar. Tip: If you can’t afford an Eloise lifestyle, dip downstairs to the Plaza Food Hall to discover NYC staples like Luke’s Lobster, and my favorite black and white cookies in the entire city from William Greenberg‘s.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.26.12 PM.png

Best for seeing the sites

The Freehand Hotel || It doesn’t get trendier or cozier than this. The Freehand made it’s big debut in the city last year and has been a favorite of travelers and locals alike ever since opening its’ doors. Enjoy the lounge area and the midtown location, in close proximity to the lights of Broadway. Bert and I stayed at the Freehand in Miami and love the hostel concept and how the hotel aims to bring travelers together through communal spaces.

Best if you want to feel like a real New Yawk-er

The Hoxton Hotel || Retreat from the hustle & bustle of the city and stay in the newly opened Hoxton Hotel across the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sleek and sexy, this hotel brand made waves in London, Amsterdam and Paris before opening their first location in the U.S. in Williamsburg.

WHERE TO EAT

How to choose? There are too many life changing restaurants in this city. My rule? You can’t leave NYC without trying the below cuisines. Pick at least 3 from this list to leave feeling like you tackled the NYC food scene. When all else fails, go to Smorgasburg, The Plaza Food Hall, Dekalb Food Hall, or Canal Street Market to have a variety at your fingertips.

Bagels

Ess-a-bagel || A true NYC bagel that’s guaranteed to be larger than your head.

Russ & Daughters || Top off your bagel with a large selection of cured and dried fish.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.26.53 PM.png

Frankel’s || Yummy Brooklyn bagel sandwiches with a Jewish deli feel.

Italian

Il Buco || They have Iberco Ham! And delicious pasta dishes. Have never been disappointed here.

Spaghetti Incident || Bert and I used to live above this spot. Homemade pasta, with most dishes coming in right around $10.

Arthur Ave. || See “What to Do”

Lilia || Please order the Squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese, aperol spritz’ and anything with truffle.

Pasquale Jones || I saw Jay-Z here!!!! …And the food is very good…

Noodles (Pho/Chinese/Ramen)

King’s Co Imperial || These are the best American soup dumplings you will ever find. Great alternative to trekking out to Queens but probably takes as long when you account the wait time that is typically 1-2 hours. Worth it. Order the soup dumplings, green beans, and any noodle dish.

Pho Grand || My heart will always be with the pho shops in Chinatown. I have tried them all. I keep coming back for the vegetarian pho at this haunt.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.30.23 PM.png

Mu Ramen || 15-seat cash only ramen spot in Long Island City. The ramen here is the best in the city and will take your breath away.

Bad & Bougie

The Odeon || An NYC staple. Transport yourself to a French bistro that feels equal parts French and NYC. A neighborhood favorite.

Loring Place || Chef Danny Kluger’s restaurant. The food amazes. The ambiance is sophisticated. You will leave happy.

The Polo Bar || A place to see and be seen. The food is fine. You’re really going for the fancy matchbook and the oil paintings of horses. And the close-to-guaranteed celebrity spotting.

The NoMad Hotel || Dark and intimate. Recommend going here on a rainy night. Something about it just feels right. Order the truffle pasta.

Eleven Madison Park || It’s dinner and a show and it’s the #1 Restaurant in the World.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.32.05 PM.png

Pizza

Paulie Gee’s || Another Greenpoint favorite. No wonder I love this hood! So many great restaurants. Try the hot honey sauce on your ‘za. We keep it stocked in our pantry.

Emmy Squared || Get anything with pepperoni. The yummiest, crunchiest, nickel-sized ‘roni is coming your way. Order the off the menu burger. You won’t regret it.

La Margherita || Our favorite slice shop in the Lower East Side. Best served after a night of dancing nearby.

WHAT TO DO 

Walk, walk, walk!

  • Central Park
  • High Line
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Along the brownstones of the Upper East Side
  • Through Williamsburg
  • Down 5th Avenue (especially during the holiday season)
  • Bryant Park
  • The quaint boutiques of the West Village or NoLita

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.31.15 PM.png

My favorite museums

  • The Frick || Hard to believe this used to be someone’s house. I love this museum because it was one of my grandpa’s childhood favorites. The permanent collection contains many of the same paintings he remembers through the eyes of his young self.
  • The Whitney || A very “doable” American modern art museum. You can tackle it in a few hours.
  • MoMa || The grand dame of modern art. You can spend all day here.
  • The Met Breuer ||The best part about this museum is the beautiful Flora Bar where you can enjoy a delicious glass of wine before or after enjoying the artwork.

Day trips

  • Take a trip to Queens for soup dumplings
  • Go to The Bronx and enjoy the real little Italy – after burn some calories at the NY Botanical Gardens
  • Coney Island and get tickets to the Sideshow

Other NYC musts

  • See a show – or two, or three!
  • Have a picnic in Central Park
  • Snag tickets to Shakespeare in the Park
  • Sit in a cafe and people watch
  • Window shop in SoHo

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.29.57 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.29.47 PM.png

Remember, the city is your playground. xC

Advertisements

Greenpoint || Neighborhood Guide

 

Brooklyn, you’ve got charm. It’s a different kind of charm. The kind of charm where the little old lady next to you gets a corn muffin and coffee and slides two dollars across the table and tips with coins. The kind of charm where you can cozy up all day inside a coffee shop. The kind of charm that makes you feel like you’re at home.

Below are a few spots that I’ve frequented since moving to Greenpoint at the end of August. The neighborhood is rapidly changing and new shops and cafes are popping up left and right.

Coffee

Champion Coffee – My favorite spot to grab a coffee, a beurre and jam baguette and people watch. Also the only place I’ve ever redeemed a punch card.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Maman – You’ve heard me talk about this place before. Go here to escape and pretend you’re in the south of France. The decor, deconstructed avocado toast and french tunes make this a top spot for me. When I heard they were opening in Greenpoint, it was a big factor in my decision to move. I knew if Maman thought things were happening in GP, they were on to something big.

IMG_8927.JPG

Bakeri – If you’ve seen the movie or musical Waitress, Bakeri is pretty much the reality of it. Hard working women dressed in overalls dusted in flour create wonderful buttery pastries and coffee for their patrons.

Food

Peter Pan Donut – A no frills diner inspired donut shop that serves up the best fried dough you’ve had in your life. You can usually order a few donuts, coffee and a bagel sandwich (I’ve had experience) and expect the tab to be under $10.

VSCO Cam-2.jpg

Glasserie – Situated in an industry chic space, Glasserie serves up innovative dishes that put Greenpoint on the map as a foodie destination.

Milk & Roses – Favorite place to grab a cocktail. Think candlelit room, bookshelf lined walls, and a pianist playing your favorite tunes.

IMG_7973.JPG

Hail Mary – 70’s inspired diner playing Biggie. Get their punch and be prepared for a fun night.

Five Leaves – You’ll know why there is a line for brunch. Wait it out. It’s worth it. Fluffy pancakes layered between bananas and strawberries, crispy thick-cut bacon, delicious coffee, great people watching, ….the list goes on. A Greenpoint staple.

VSCO Cam-1.jpg


Those are my spots. Any other Greenpoint recommendations? Still on the hunt for the best place to get a cheese board and wine….at the moment my cozy apartment is the top contender.

xC

Lower East Side || Neighborhood Guide

I spent one year living in the Lower East Side. One year getting to know what’s housed between fire escapes on Ludlow, Rivington, Eldridge and Orchard. A year embracing the trash smells, but living in the heart of it all, and taking the good with the bad. One year walking up 68 steps to our fifth story walk-up. My year in my cozy, exposed brick, if-you-lean-your-head-out-the-window you’ll get a view of the Empire State Building apartment and I’m leaving and moving a stones throw across the East River.

To celebrate and thank LES, I am sharing with you my LES Neighborhood Guide.

IMG_6855.jpeg

EAT

Spaghetti Incident — Under my old apartment, this cozy spot serves up inexpensive but hearty Italian dishes. The waitstaff carries out their duties with gusto, and in no time you will have a delicious bowl of housemade Bucatini in front of you. Pro tip: if you’re visiting late night, get their pasta to-go, served in a paper cone.

Pho Grand — Broth. When it comes down to it, this place’s broth has got it going on. Sure, there are other authentic spots in the same neighborhood, but there’s something about this broth and noodle combo that keeps bringing me back.IMG_0586.jpeg

Russ & Daughters — Enjoy a bagel just the way your grandma would want you to. Choose from a variety of smoked salmons, browse the selection of caviar, dried fruits and chocolate covered candies.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 4.55.40 PM.png

La Margarita Pizza — Favorite by the slice spot in the city. Served Sicilian style, with the perfect ratio of doughy center to crunchy outer layer, this is a must for a quick lunch or late night bite.

il laboratorio del gelato — You’ve heard me rave before. If I was granted one wish it would be to eat dessert here everyday for the rest of my life. Flavors change daily and range from Turkish coffee, to basil, to cream cheese.

Goa Taco — What tacos should taste like. Served in the cutest apparatus, devour a crunchy taco that’s bursting with flavor.

DRINK

Jadis Wine Bar — French wine cave where you feel right at home. Enjoy the selection of wines and cheeses, and coffee table books and board games on their bookshelves.

Atta Boy — This spot serves up specialty cocktails, shaves their own ice, and requires a special eye and patience to make it in.

VSCO Cam-3.jpg

Verlaine — $6 Lychee Martinis. Best in Manhattan. That is all.

DO

Sara Roosevelt Park — Take a walk down the park and prepare for sensory overload. Little old ladies doing Tai Chi here, 6 ft 5 basketball players keeping score there. A children’s soccer game, hidden gardens with turtle ponds, a running track, racquetball courts, etc. This park has it all.

VSCO Cam-4.jpg

Sunshine Cinema — A quaint movie theatre that shows indie films and has the best snack bar selection of any theatre I’ve been to. Escape from the bustle of the city in here.

2nd Ave Park — A graffiti park exists across Houston. Installations come and go – there was once the famous heart wall, and now it’s home to pop artists facades such as Drake, Adele and RiRi.

Walk — Get lost and enter. The thing I will miss most is walking around this neighborhood. There is always more to see. Something new that catches my eye. Someone to stop and talk to.

IMG_7093.jpeg

But let’s be honest, you know I’m excited to find my new spots in Brooklyn 😉

Corianna’s NYC Favorites

I’ve reached a pinnacle point in my relationship with the city. It’s about this time when I feel as if the city is truly mine, because I have found my favorite places. These spots are available to the entire city, yet they feel like my own due to the frequency that I enjoy them.

A few coveted favorites:

  1. Coffee || Maman

Not only is their font and branding off the chain (I mean, who doesn’t love a insulated serrated to-go mug) but the vibe in this small coffee shop in Little Italy is as cozy as it gets. Indulge in a flakey croissant or matcha cake while enjoying a cappuccino and flipping through a carefully curated selection of recipe books. The music and good eats put this at the top of my list out of all the coffee I’ve enjoyed in NYC.

FullSizeRender.jpg

2. Pho || Pho Vietnam

I can’t say enough about this spot that I visit on a weekly basis. What do I love about it? Well, everything. Where can you fill up for under $10 in NYC? In fact, two large bowls of simmering broth and goodness will only set you back $14. It is spotless in here, which is a rarity for one dollar sign haunts. A bowl of pho gá comes with all white meat, and is piled high with vegetables. Service is A+.

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

The cool chick that introduced me to Pho Vietnam. We both frequent it once a week, not a surprise to run into her! 

3. Bagel || Heaven’s Hot Bagel

Just a few steps down the road from Russ & Daughters (a favorite for bagels + lox) you will find Heaven’s Hot. This cash only spot has every kind of bagel you would want, and all the fixin’s. Go here for that bagel breakfast sandwich you’ve been craving, or just a good ole’ sesame bagel with scallion cream cheese.

4. Wine Bar || Jadis

Wines by the glass, cheese boards, and various appetizers make this wine bar a go-to. Tucked away just a few blocks from my apartment, I love Jadis for their great selection of wine, the cozy casual vibe and the bookshelves full of coffee table books.

5. Dessert || Veniero’s

If it’s a favorite of Larry David’s, it’s a favorite of mine. This East Village institution serves up hearty slices of original NY cheesecake and other Italian pastry delicacies. I love coming here to stock up on biscotti, or butter cookies, or just sit down and enjoy a coffee and a slice of cheese cake.

What are some of your favorite NYC spots?

XC

 

New York, I love you

It’s raining. Horns are honking. Billie Holiday is playing over the speakers. I’m living a cliché. I’m making homemade croutons for a salad that will accompany pesto pasta that I picked up from a local gourmet grocer, to surprise my boyfriend with after he returns from his PhD program. My kitten is laying next to me. Life is pretty good. It’s even better because I’m doing it all in New York. A city I’ve loved and admired for years. My childhood self would be giving me a high five for actually making it here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 8.02.33 PM

Life since I got to New York has been a spectacle. The air smells fresher (is that possible!?), the coffee taste better and my heart beats a little faster.

I leapt at the chance to make it here and I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident with a decision. This city has me hooked.

Cheers to accomplishing dreams and doing things that scare you. Make your childhood self proud.

XC

Ravenous

So, I haven’t exactly been blogging. Not to say I haven’t been eating, and eating well…I just haven’t had the time to sit down and sum up these delicious dining experiences. But here I am, back in the USA, and I thought what better way to transition from my French food experiences to my American food experiences than writing about an American crepe restaurant.

This weekend, my travels brought me to Saratoga Springs, NY and my tummy brought me to Ravenous, a crepe restaurant off of main street. It was funny how almost immediately I felt at home (by home I mean Paris) when I smelled the sweet and savoriness in the air.

With seating in every nook and cranny of this small space, there was a busy vibe going on that made me excited to eat as I put my name in the cue. After being seated in the window and getting to know my neighbor, I took the time to review the diverse menu. They had Parisian classics, and some of their own unique crepes, such as the Taj Mahal which had ingredients that would be included in a traditional Indian curry and the Upper West Sider that had smoked salmon and cream cheese. Don’t forget to get a side of Belgian frites!

If you find yourself in Saratoga Springs, for a horse race or a concert at SPAC (I was there for a Phish concert), make sure you don’t miss indulging in one of these tasty crepes.

Who I would bring as my date: Parisian friends, to reminisce!

http://ravenouscrepes.com/index.asp

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

If the warmth of a heater fails to make your soul snuggly in the winter months, I suggest strapping on your snow shoes and making a trip to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. This BBQ pit attracts Diners, Drive-In and Dive fans, leather-cladden bikers, and families, like mine that shared a meal together on one snowy day in Syracuse, NY.

image

In order to get a taste for what the menu had to offer, I had to get the sampler platter. That way, I could get a taste of fried green tomatos, wings, deviled eggs and cajun shrimp.

image

The homemade BBQ sauce is the most notable experience from this joint, and I feel I have the credentials to say so as someone who worked in the BBQ industry.

http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/

Person I would take as my date: My grandpa, to show him how hip his old neighborhood is!