Saturday, June 16, 2007

Biking in NYC

Wanting to be outside in NYC but not sure what to do?!?! Rent a bike! I recently spent the afternoon biking around Union Square and on the trail near Chelsea Piers with a friend. It was such a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. And for a reasonable price... I rented a bike for $7 an hour at Metro Bicycle. They have 7 different locations so really you can bike anywhere in the City and have a great time. This is definitely something I want to do again soon!

Robert Moses Beach

Today was my first trip to a beach in NY. It took about 2 hours to get to Robert Moses beach from the City by way of the LIRR. The LIRR train left Penn Station at 12:04 p.m. and arrived at the Babylon station around 1:40. The buses that take beach goers from Babylon to the beach doesn't start until next weekend (June 18th)- as luck would have it, we didn't know that so we had to take a 20 minute taxi ride to the beach.
Just laying out under the sun with not a building in site was so relaxing after a hectic week in the city.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

think coffee

This cafe near NYU (Mercer St. btw. 3rd and 4th Streets) is very forward thinking using only coffees and teas organically and shade grown and bought from fair trade farmers. The cafe has also opened up a wine and cheese bar featuring small-producer wine and farmstead cheeses. This is a perfect cafe to frequent on rainy days in NYC, grab some coffee, tea, a cookie, what have you.. but most importantly... play Scrabble! That's right enjoy the cafe scene by challenging your friends to a wordsmithing game. So fun! (Every Tuesday night is Scrabble night at 8pm!)

Chat 'n' Chew

This home-cookin' restaurant near Union Square (E. 16th St. btw. 5th Ave. and Union Sq. West) serves American favorites like macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, and even chicken fried steak served in a up-scale TV dinner dish/tray.
I'm usually not a fan of BBQ-type places but I must say the sweet potato fries were very, very good!

BLT Prime

As a celebration last night, some friends and I had a fabulous dinner at BLT Prime (111 E. 22nd St. btw. Park & Lexington).
Even as a vegetarian, I truly enjoyed this restaurant that prides itself of its selection and quality of beef. Before being for our 9:30 reservations we ordered a drink at the bar where the bar tender educated us on the chemistry of alcohol- already I was impressed with this place. I noticed a wine I had never heard of before- Rioja- so I asked about it and they let me sample it before pouring me a full glass of the spicy, smooth Spanish wine. After just a few sips of my wine the host lead us up the stairs to the elegant booth table near the large windows overlooking the Gramercy neighborhood.
Our dining experience began with a complimentary jar of chicken Pate and four slices of rustic bread. (I didn't taste it but the others said it was very good.) As an appetizer ordered a cheese platter with 5 kinds of cheeses, all selected by the chef according to our preferences and entree orders, and escargot. Before our main dishes were served the waiter brought 4 very large popovers to the table that were buttery, crispy and altogether delicious. The popover recipe was served along side the rolls so we knew exactly what we were eating- I thought this was a good idea.
Our entrees, along with all of our sides and the bottle of wine we ordered, were served by out two attentive waiters. Our entire spread included: Roasted Beets with Fresh Goat Cheese, "BLT" Cut/ Bone in Double sirloin, Porterhouse, Creamy Home Fries, Par mean Gnocchi, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes, and Poached Green Beans. Needless to say, we were totally stuffed by the time the dessert menu came. However, keeping in mind this was a celebration... we ordered dessert! We had the special of the night- Blueberry Pie with vanilla ice cream and the melt-in-your-mouth Caramelized NY Cheesecake served in Strawberry Rubarb Soup.
BLT Prime is owned by Chef Laurent Tourondel who also owns BLT Fish and BLT Steak. Click here to see the menu from BLT Prime.