Thursday, June 13, 2013

Foodtrainers Favorite NYC places…and my anniversary

Fifteen years ago today it was raining. Perhaps you remember “El Niño”?  My brother in law carried me across the lawn in a garbage bag. Don’t freak out, he was making sure my wedding gown didn’t get dirty (and it didn’t) going from the house where we got ready in to the car. That's how awful it was out. On any other day, this self-confessed control freak would’ve been inconsolable but I wasn’t. The weather wasn’t ideal but getting married was.

Marc and I didn’t rush into marriage and had time to iron out important details. In one conversation he asked “how long do you think you’ll want to stay in the city before moving out?” I couldn’t fathom that this person I had so much in common with would ask such a thing. I said “we’re not leaving the city” and I’m pretty sure he thought I’d change my mind but he is still golf-obsessed and what can I say?
 I love NY.

A reader asked for ideas for an upcoming NYC business trip. Here are my suggestions:
Top 10 restaurants for various reasons:
ABC Kitchen- I insist on sharing whenever I'm at ABC, there are too many good things to try. My favorites are the Brussels sprouts in the winter and the  Roasted Carrot Salad. Marc's brother's girlfriend took the photos hanging in the dining room (you may recognize them from the Footrainers office)
Rouge Tomate I am not on the Upper East Side often but will make a trip for RT. If the Sorrel Soup is on the menu, it's delicious. Their interesting juices and salads with curry vinaigrette are other highlights.
Green Square Tavern- this farm to table gem is owned by our friends Gigi and John Marsh. All ingredients well sourced and prepared with love and care. Try the Kale, Shrimp and Rhubard salad.
Mermaid Inn - from the decor to the menu, everything here is right. There are 2 locations, we love the UWS restaurant. In season, the crabs are a fun dinner (a little messy) but the Calamari with Feta appetizer has my heart.
Pure Food and Wine - I've mentioned before that I'm not a sweet person, right? Well I lied. Aside the the spectacular outdoor seating and a menu that makes me contemplate being a raw, vegan I dream about the chocolate mint sundae, dream.
Gran Electrica - you may recall my Halloween cocktail was the Gran Electrica grapefruit, jalapeno margarita. While the cocktails and food are fantastic, sitting outside with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge is spectacular too.
Balthazar- always great for brunch or dinner. The Spring St Soho location is perfect and the raw bar selections are top notch. 
Tipsy Parson - if it's possible the TP menu is Southern and healthy-ish. The decor is a lot of fun (weirdly like the bathrooms too). Favorites are the Dandelion Salad but you also may want to try the spoon bread (corn, mushrooms, artichokes-insane).
Green Table in Chelsea Market always makes me happy, especially for lunch or brunch. My current order is the egg/asparagus bake thing. Go for brunch and walk the High Line afterward to work it off.
Hu Kitchen- is a gluten free paradise, try the organic vanilla chia pudding with berries and coconut crème or  quinoa veg. egg bowl . To give you an idea of taking ingredients seriously here are the milks offered with coffee:
Organic dairy and non-dairy milks available: organic coconut milk, housemade almond milk, organic grass-fed skim and whole milk. Nice.

There are also so many juice places depending on neighborhood, Organic Avenue and Juice Press are my favorites.

The sights
Reservoir- my #1 NYC spot, I find it instantly calming. Depending on where you exit you can hit 2 of my favorite museums Natural History or the Guggenheim.
I love Lincoln Center especially in the summer.
Grand Central Station-even if you're not taking a train is a fantastic building, there's a market and of course the  Oyster Bar.
Ellis Island –I went with my son's class on a field trip last year. It was my first time and it was very moving. I take NYC for granted but you can't when you go here.
Union Square Greenmarket- M, W, F, Sat. Aside from the incredible variety of offerings, you just may run into some of the chefs from the restaurants above.

Tonight we’re heading to Blue Hill,  I’ve always wanted to go, and as of now the forecast calls for rain…of course.
What are your favorite NYC places? Or places you've always wanted to go? 


  1. Happy Anniversary! Many many more :)

  2. thanks Ayala, 15 seems like a long time and like yesterday, how is that?

  3. Carlene Thomas RDJune 13, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Happy anniversary. I've never done NYC- just the US Open which does not count at all. But I do know that I'm obsessed with Tipsy Parson's branding.

  4. you must come, the Open counts (great NYC event). Love Tipsy Parson, everything about it is thought out.

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotesJune 13, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Happy Anniversary!

    I have never been to NYC - some day...

  6. Hi Lauren Happy Anniversary you guys brings back great memories Bertie x

  7. Oh my goodness what a nice surprise, miss you so much. Any shot we'll hit some NYC sites together in the near future? Still sad you're so far away.

  8. And when you come? You have to let me know. We'll fitbit together.

  9. We lived in the city for a long time, and I still think we'll move back after my son is out of the house! The suburbs, for us, are a necessary evil. The walking is what I miss the most - took a long time to get used to having to drive pretty much everywhere. And of course the restaurants, although the only one on your list that I've been to is Balthazar. I find that when we do go into the city we mostly find ourselves downtown - one of the restaurants I like down there is Locanda Verde. Also the Chobani store. We go to a lot of concerts so our challenge is always to find a restaurant in reasonable walking distance from the venue.

    Happy anniversary!

  10. cannot wait to try hu kitchen when i get back!!!! Love getting recommendations from someone who knows their food!! :) happy anniversary!!!

  11. Well come back already and we'll go. "Knows their food" you mean thinks about it 24/7? Takes one to know one. XX

  12. I am so sorry about your "evil" and hope you come back (everyone says they will). Ooh LV good one. I have yet to hit the Chobani store. And yes, near MSG/theatre dist so tricky.

  13. Happy Anniversary, lauren!!

  14. Thanks Betty and many happy anniversaries to you married lady.

  15. Very nice list!!!!

  16. I love so many of these places (oyster happy hour at Mermaid Inn is one of my warm-weather favorites), and you've given me some inspiration of places to visit. I can't lie, I do also love the High Line, touristy as it is.

  17. Perfect timing, we're planing our trip to NYC right now! Going later in the year. Thanks for the recs. I need to print this. Have you been to Dale's restaurant (he's a Top Chef) or Tom Calekio's (can't spell)?? That's where we want to go. I'd love to hear if you've been to either of those.
    Funny thing, I am also a control freak but was anything BUT during my wedding. Right before we all walked down the "beach aisle" my bridesmaids sprayed themselves with bug spray and it made greasy stains all over their dress. I just laughed it off (SO not like me!).
    Congrats to you and your husband, and enjoy your night (I'll be at a wedding today actually!)

  18. You have to let me know when you come. Not sure of Dales, Collochio (can't spell either) is Collochio and sons I think...

  19. While I don't like touristy restaurants, love some of the sights. Love Mermaid.

  20. thanks Gig, see you this summer I hope.

  21. Happy Anniversary! I would have loved to see a photo of you in a garbage bag :-) I've seen most of the sites on our list, but haven't been to any of the restaurants-pinning this for the next time I go to NYC-maybe we could meet for a green juice (or a cocktail :-)