My bff and I have been making a habit of weekend brunch lately. Last year he took me to the opera for my birthday and then we followed it up with a Broadway Sundae at Serendipity 3... unfortunately I had a migraine headache and couldn't fully appreciate the sugary madness of S3. We headed into the city for a do-over today, this time for brunch. We seem to encounter hour-long waits for breakfast everywhere we go, so we didn't mind walking around the UES after putting our names on the list.
I love the atmosphere in there... the Tiffany lamps hang super low and it's so cluttered with clocks, knick-knacks and mirrors that it's like a cozy little piece of Wonderland. I got french toasted challah (yum!) and a pot of tea.
Somehow we managed to save enough room to split a Frozen Hot Chocolate... sooo good! If you've never had it, schedule a visit with your besties. I'm sure we'll be back.
Allie and I went to the Hurricane Club to take part in Restaurant Week. I had been there for cocktails before (their tropical drink menu is creative and delicious... they mix works of art!). We shared croque monsieur spring rolls and peanut butter and guava jelly toasts with prosciutto and basil-- both were so good!
Enjoying a few cocktails from their extensive menu was a must. They garnish everything with tropical fruit, ginger and orchids.
Our entrees were delicious as well-- wok seared filet mignon for me and shrimp for Allie. We saved a tiny bit of room for dessert, and good thing. Their chocolate cake with caramelized banana and coffee ice cream with heath bar topping was the perfect ending to an amazing meal!
If you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just love ice cream-- grab a spoon. Stogo (on 2nd Ave and 10th St) offers gourmet dairy-free deliciousness that you must try. All of their flavors are made from scratch using bases of hemp, coconut milk and soy. The case of flavors changes daily, with creative concoctions like Ginger Vanilla Bourbon, Hemp Walnut Turtle, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (my fave!!), Red Velvet Cupcake and Coconut Vanilla Chocolate Chip. You can stack 2 flavors in each dish, so do like me and bring some friends and try them all. Check 'em out next time you're in the area!
Today was my last full day in Paris. I made a lot of souvenir purchases for myself and friends, including Laduree macarons, earrings at Pont Neuf, and Vert d'Absinthe for a few bottles to smuggle back into the States.
After dropping off all my bags at my apartment, I went out for a last afternoon stroll along the Seine. It's just so damn beautiful here!
One thing still on my must-do list was to have afternoon tea and dessert at Mariage Freres. I grew up with my British nana, who had my cousins and me drinking tea the moment we were old enough to hold a teacup. I had heard that Mariage Freres was the best tea house in Paris and had to check it out. The place was pristine, with waiters in all white with white bowties, white tableclothes and wicker furniture, and the walls were lined with rows and rows of canisters of tea. The boutique at the front was a huge temptation... hundreds of teas to choose from, plus teapots, teacups, and anything else tea-related you could imagine.
When I was seated, I was given a book on the history of tea to browse (as if the tea menu itself with hundreds of teas and their descriptions wasn't enough reading material).
Since it was my last day, and when would I honestly be able to get another chance to do it, I ordered the "24 Carats": chocolate mousse flavored with Black Magic Tea, salted butter caramel and chocolate biscuit wrapped in gold leaf with red currant coulis. So incredibly over the top and decadent! It. Was. AMAZING.
After tea I headed home to begin the arduous task of packing all of my newly acquired parcels into my already-too-heavy suitcase. I'm going to miss my daily adventures! I do miss NYC terribly though, and am looking forward to being home. I will definitely be returning to both London and Paris-- hopefully sooner than later!
I stopped in to try the much-buzzed about Amorino yesterday. A short walk from Union Square, this gelato bar has been added to my short list of regular stops around the city! Fork (spoon?) over $5.25 for a cone and there's no limit to the number of flavors you get (they're each added to your cone to look like flower petals).
Not big on mixing flavors, I got chocolate and amaretto- ahmaaazing. The best part is that their gelato is all natural and homemade fresh every day.