As I mentioned earlier, I spent this past weekend celebrating my friend Sara’s bachelorette party in NYC. Nine of us girls from Boston headed to New York for a few days of eating, drinking and girl time. It was a lot of fun – the weekend flew by! So much of our weekend involved food so why not include a recap here? Exactly my thinking.
We got into New York City late Friday afternoon and were able to get to the hotel and relax a little before dinner. We stayed near Times Square – boy, is that place packed with people at all times! Dinner, however, was in the Lower East Side at this swanky tapas place called The Stanton Social. I loved the atmosphere as it was dark and cozy but not “stuffy.” The waitress was both fun and friendly. And, I have to say, the food was delicious! Because tapas (small plates) are meant to be shared, we ordered about 12 plates throughout the night and tasted everything from zucchini tempura to wild mushroom risotto cakes to chicken ‘n’ waffles (yep, you read that right!).
I have to say my favorite dishes of the night were the lobster pizzetta and the apple and brie quesadilla. The lobster pizzetta consisted of thin crust pizza-like dough topped with shallots, smoked bacon and marscapone cheese – oh, and a generous amount of lobster! The apple and brie quesadilla was just as excellent: a tortilla stuffed with tart granny smith apples, brie cheese, bacon bits and topped with a maple dijon sauce. Very tasty! When the portions first came out, I was surprised how small they were, however, the small plate sizes allowed us to try so many different things. A real treat!
In addition to the small plates, I also had a delicious cocktail – The Social Tea. I normally prefer wine or beer to mixed drinks but The Social Tea (“Ketel One Citron, gunpowder green tea & orange-honey marmalade”) was refreshing and not very sweet at all. At The Stanton Social we also shared one of the best desserts of my life (did I really just say that?). It was called The Chocolate Tasting – sounds pretty good already, right? It was amazing, described on the menu as “molten s’mores cake, panna cotta, mousse, peppermint patties, chocolate dulce de leche ice cream.” OMG! It was love. Luckily, I was sharing it with the whole table so I didn’t eat everything myself. 😉
Moving onto Saturday, I had a tasty smoothie for breakfast at a little chain called Pax Wholesome Foods up the street from our hotel. I remember hearing about NYC requiring menu boards to show calories but forgot about the new law until I saw the information on the Pax menu. It was…interesting. On one hand, it was nice to see the nutritional information right next to the menu items but I can see how some people don’t like it. For example, my Berry Delicious Smoothie had 250 calories but the breakfast sandwiches had 400-500 calories. But what if I really wanted one? Then I would probably feel guilty knowing how many calories I was eating. However, I partly chose the healthier choice because I saw the nutrition information so I guess it helped me! Plus, the smoothie tasted fabulous and was very filling.
For our Saturday afternoon activity, my friends and I went on the Sex and the City Tour. I know, so girlie but a great bachelorette party idea! During the tour we saw a lot of places where scenes from both the TV show and movie took place. We also stopped several places, including the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner took place in the movie, Buddakan. What a cool restaurant and I loved the bar! (It was closed so I should probably say I loved the bar layout and decor!)
We also stopped to have a cupcake at the infamous Magnolia Bakery. We actually didn’t go into the bakery (the line was out the door and around the corner) but the tour guide brought us all cupcakes. I am kinda picky about my cupcakes because I sometimes find them to be too dry with average frosting but this time, at first bite, I realized Magnolia Bakery knows cupcakes! Wow! I chose a chocolate one with pink frosting and sprinkles. The cupcake itself was moist and chocolaty and the frosting was traditional, perfectly sweet and just what frosting should taste like! If you like moist cake and sugary frosting, you’ll enjoy Magnolia’s creations. Here’s a couple close ups!
Moving on, the next stop of the tour was Onieal’s Bar – also known as Scout, Aidan and Steve’s bar in Sex and the City. We stopped by late afternoon for Carrie’s favorite drink, a Cosmopolitan. The martinis were “discounted” for us (instead of $14, we paid $9) but the drinks was pretty small and tasted pretty much like juice to me. It was good but not especially cosmo-like. Anyway, it made for a pretty photo!
Overall, the tour was worth it and it was a fun girls day out! The tour guide was knowledgable and pretty funny. She showed clips of the TV show and movie after we’d pass or visit a familiar location. It was neat to be in the restaurants and bars featured in the series then suddenly see it on TV on the bus. If you’re a SATC fan, even a little, I would suggest the tour next time you’re in NYC.
Once the tour ended, we went back to our hotel to pretty ourselves up for dinner and a night out. Our theme for the night was little black dresses so it was fun to dress up and go out in the city. Our first stop was dinner where we dined at Dos Caminos, a chic Mexican restaurant. The atmosphere was dark but the little light came from lighting fixtures that were bold and creative. When we first sat down, we ordered a pitcher of red sangria and fresh guacamole. I’ve never been to a restaurant where you’re able to choose how spicy your guacamole is made. We chose medium and the guacamole and tortilla chips was excellent. It was obvious that it was super fresh, made just minutes earlier. The sangria was good too, but nothing special.
I think my friends would agree that our meal selection couldn’t have been better. While we were pretty full from our chips and guac, six of the nine girls (including me) ordered the Grilled Shrimp Quesadilla for dinner. I wasn’t orignally interested in it because the quesadilla was described as open-faced, which I was unsure of. However, it was actually incredible, almost like a crispy Mexican shrimp pizza. The flaky tortilla was topped with a generous amount of Mexican cheese, chile flavored shrimp, smoked wild mushrooms and oven-dried tomatoes. The flavor was truly different than anything I’ve ever tasted before. Plus, those tomatoes were to die for! I started to wish I ate less of the appetizer so I could finish my dinner. Oh well, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach! 😉
We left dinner to find some nightlife where the bachelorette enjoyed herself. We had an excellent time in NYC, what a fun weekend filled with friends and food. I look forward to returning again soon, but not too soon as my pants are a bit tight today! (I just had a flashback of Joey from Friends wearing his Thanksgiving pants!)