What We Ate in NYC

What We Ate in NYC

I’m such a foodie.  I love to cook, eat, watch the Food Network, read Bon Appetit magazine. So even though we didn’t have a ton of time to eat amazing meals, what we did eat was SO good.

We grabbed pizza across from our hotel initially because we were starving. But it was legit the best NYC pizza we’ve had.  The crust was crispy yet bready (in the best way- so it wasn’t crackery crispy). The sauce wasn’t too sweet or too heavy handed.  They had traditional toppings (I happen to love a veggie pizza and mom likes sausage), but they also had pasta pizzas, like spaghetti with meatballs!  The garlic knots weren’t my fave, but the pizza was AWESOME.

Little Italy Gourmet Pizza on 45th between 6th and 5th

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We had an iconic dinner at Sardi’s. It’s known for being a hub of theater meals. It was a pretty traditional Italian menu.  We thought the food was great, but the service was so-so. The atmosphere is why you go- it was worth it and I would go back.

We shared an appetizer sampler.  Everything was SO good except for the green olive stuff under the shrimp. It was Bruschetta; Prosciutto and Melon; Asparagus Rolled in Smoked Salmon; Roasted Bell Peppers; Mozzarella And Capers; Truffled Chicken Liver Pate; Grilled Shrimp (taken from their menu, since I couldn’t remember what it all was).

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Mom got cannelloni crapes and I got a white broccoli lasagna. They were both great.

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We were stuffed, but decided to get desserts to share. ha!  Tiramisu (which wasn’t as coffee flavored as normal, and almost tasted like it had orange liquer- it wasn’t my fave) and creme brulee…which was AMAZING.

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We grabbed our favorite treat- Schmackary’s cookies (on 45th and 8th). Sadly, they were pretty picked over, but we did get 3 different cookies.  The cereal killer and cookies and cream are my faves- and they had both.

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Another must eat for us is Shake Shack.  It’s the BEST quick service burger (I think better than In-N-Out. They are now all over the NY area and even across the country).  We got Shack burgers (OMG YES SHACK SAUCE), fries and shakes.  It’s just so good and worth the wait.img_4114

Our next dinner was at Nizza, another must-eat while in the city. Nizza is on 45th and 9th.

We got a delicious appetizer- the burrata cheese (like a cross between mozzarella and ricotta) which was served over an arugula pesto, yummy tomato and garlic bread.

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Mom got the special- a paprika pasta with lamb ragu, and I got the cacio e pepe, a garlic butter parm pasta. I also got a meatball at the urging of our waiter and it was SO good.  We got cocktails- mom got a frozen aperol spritz and I got a peach bellini martini. Both were GREAT (also recommended by our waiter).img_4119

 

We snagged cheesecake at Juniors on our way to the hotel to change clothes so we could eat it for dessert.  Mom got a brownie explosion and I got apple crumb.  To be honest, hers was better.  We also got a pecan bar, which was YUMMY. img_4132

After the Tony’s, we got “street meat” at the Halal guys.  Their carts are everywhere, but it’s because it’s good.  Don’t fear the street meat. We both got lamb gyros. VERY good.

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We got treats before we left from Magnolia Bakery (at the urging of a coworker). We got banana pudding (which was the BEST banana pudding I’ve ever had) and some brownie/cookie bars. All were good.img_4197

We also got donuts from Dough. They were bready, but airy.  They describe them as brioche donuts.  Mom got a cafe au lait, and it was DELISH.  She also got a plain glazed, which showed off the donut. I got a cinnamon sugar, and a passionfruit- which was tart and cut the sweetness perfectly. Very good. img_4196

We also ate breakfast at Europa and Pick a Bagel, which were both good grab and go breakfasts…but I didn’t take any pics of those. Oops.


Bucket List: Attending the Tony Awards

Bucket List: Attending the Tony Awards

Last year for my 30th birthday, mom sort of mentioned that she wanted to take me to the Tony Awards (they are always my birthday weekend), but she looked for tickets too late. So we started dreaming about this trip.

We booked it MONTHS in advance (like 8 months ago) but Tony tickets didn’t go on sale until May.  There was MUCH drama about getting the tickets.  They were going to sell public tickets, then they weren’t. Then they said a limited number would be released.

So on release day, we had a very dramatic time getting tickets (they were there, then they were all carted and we didn’t get them…so I refreshed the ticket count until two popped up and bought them ASAP).

So it was real. We got to get all fancy and attend the Tony Awards.

Another picture taken by the ladies in the hotel lobby.

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We walked to Radio City Music Hall for entry into the side door (the celebs got the red carpet/front door treatment. As nobodies, we got the side door. ha)

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We got there early because people said the Puerto Rican Day parade could have created a sea of people…but they had all cleared out by 5:30 when we left the hotel.

So we had lots of time to get T-shirts (yes, they sell T-Shirts at the Tony Awards!) and go to the ladies lounge. The lounges at Radio City are very old fashioned. There’s a parlor area with seats and huge mirrors.

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It was a sea of fabulous theater lovers.

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We got settled in our seats about 20-30 minutes before the show. We were in the 2nd balcony. They were pretty great seats. img_4183

Our seat neighbors were so nice and offered to take lots of pics for us.  img_4185

Seeing how they did the telecast was SO neat.  The first hour was all technical awards that got teased during the telecast. They explained to the award nominees that they each got 90 seconds from calling their names to get on stage and say their speeches.  They said “The music is coming, so kiss and hug your people later. Get on stage and give your speech!”

Commercial breaks on air were more awards and other performances. We didn’t move for 4 hours because we didn’t want to miss anything. Each nominated show (plus Summer, which had two main leads nominated) performed.  We saw: Frozen, Mean Girls, Spongebob, The Band’s Visit, Carousel, Once on this Island, My Fair Lady, Summer, and Dear Evan Hansen. Bruce Springsteen also performed from his one man show. The hosts were Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban- who were GREAT.

The performances were SO fun. I loved watching them all and seeing what they decided to showcase from their production.

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When it was all over, we went to the ladies’ room before leaving, so we ended up walking out with some celebrities. I got to see Laura Osnes (Broadway’s princess) and talk to LaChanze. So amazing.

What a bucket list item! I am so grateful we got to go. It was amazing to be in the room with so many people I admire.


The Big Apple: Day 3

The Big Apple: Day 3

Another early morning! We walked to have bagels for breakfast. It was so good! There’s nothing like a real New York bagel.

On the way to breakfast, we saw them setting up the red carpet for the Tony Awards.  Spoiler Alert: we attended the Tony Awards!  They get their own post next week.

After breakfast, we took a subway to Harlem for a walking tour.  We met our guide Carolyn at the Apollo.  She was a local and gave us great info on the beautiful neighborhoods.

Harlem has a ton of historical districts, which are protected and preserved, so the architecture is lovely.

Part of the tour was visiting a Harlem gospel church and it was SO GOOD.  We loved the worship and the passion.  They were very welcoming. The music was transformative- such great worship.  After church, we walked through another neighborhood and then got brunch. YUM.

After the tour, we booked it down to the theater district to see Mean Girls!  The show is hilarious and we loved it.

We also loved their yummy specialty cocktails. ha!

 

It was raining a bit after the show, so we took a pedicab ride back to the hotel. (Side note: A VERY EXPENSIVE PEDI CAB RIDE. Always ask the rates first! Also, we almost died. He drove crazy).

Then we grabbed some Chipotle because the pizza place across the street was closed on Sundays (so sad!), and got ready for the Tony Awards!


The Big Apple: Day 2

The Big Apple: Day 2

We were up early to grab breakfast before our tour.  We went to Europa (our fave for quick NYC breakfasts).

Then we went to Times Square to meet up with our tour guide for a Disney behind the scenes tour. To be REALLY honest, this was a theater lovers tour.  If you were only interested in the Disney musicals, I’m not sure you would have loved it as much.  But we were ALL in.

We learned about New York history, theater history, history of different theaters and shows, and then the Disney shows. (our tour guide Robert is in the plaid there. VERY talented guy!)

After walking through the theater district, we got to go inside and all through the New Amsterdam theater, which is the current home of Aladdin.

Then we got to try on some Disney costume pieces.

Mom as Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

 

Me as Sebastian!

 

Hats from Aida

 

Lion King masks

 

Newsie hats and papes (side note: the papes were VERY light compared to a stack of papers, but heavy considering they were tossed up and down a three story set piece). 

 

Mary Poppins costumes! 

We grabbed lunch at Shake Shack, did some shopping and then saw Carousel!  We somehow didn’t take any pictures there.

The show is a bit of a downer (it’s about an abusive loser husband), but it’s a beautiful ballet with a lovely score.  The stars of it were FANTASTIC. I even knew a guy in it!  A friend from college was in the show- and it was so neat to see him perform!

After the show, we did some more shopping and headed to dinner at Nizza (the food will come later, I promise).

Then we went back to the hotel to drop bags, change clothes and head to see Dear Evan Hansen.

I was SO excited before the show. I love the soundtrack.  The cast was AMAZING.  Most are original, except for Evan, Connor and Alana (oh, and the dad was the standby).  They were SO passionate. In fact, Rachel Bey Jones (Evan’s mom) and Taylor Trensch (Evan) both actually cried while performing.

Their performances were so authentic and moving.  I ugly cried during the end of the second half.  But it was worth it. This show made it into my Top 10 for sure.