We were 7 moms on a long weekend getaway and we made the most of our time in NYC. Much of it was spent around fabulous restaurant tables talking, laughing and cocktailing–but we did fit in quite a bit of sightseeing too. We had some NY friends supply us with great recommendations (thanks<3) for things to do and places to eat. Since I can’t seem to get away from my Quality Assurance/military mindset some days, I thought I would do a little wrap up (After Action Review for you military types) of our weekend. It might come in handy on future trips. Of course, it’s just the tip of the iceberg as there is soooo much to do and see and the city changes very quickly. Hopefully, these places will stick around.
Hanging at The Today Show
St. Patricks Cathedral
Kimberly Hotel rooftop bar
Battery Park overlooking the Statue of Liberty
PLACES TO EAT
If you’re downtown (911 memorial) …
Petite Abeille(Belgium) This is a casual place good for lunch or dinner. They have burgers, sandwiches, salads and lots of different Belgium beers. http://www.petiteabeille.com/home.php
Shake Shack This burger joint is quite popular (can also get busy ) and there’s a location downtown near the “Winter Garden” not far from the World Trade Towers. I think they serve organic, grass fed burgers if you’re into it. http://www.shakeshack.com/location/battery-park-city/
If you’re in Soho….
Balthazar – A fabulous restaurant with a great “Parisian french bistro” vibe to it. It’s quite busy and lively. You can dress casual for this place, but I definitely recommend reservations asap. They book up fast, but sometimes you can get a seat at the bar if you’re willing to wait. Awesome steak frites and other items as well. http://balthazarny.com/
Chobani Bar – I love Chobani yogurt and they just opened up a Chobani yogurt bar where they mix their yogurt with these yummy ingredients. http://chobanisoho.com/
Molly’s Cupcakes- http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/ny/ 228 Bleeker Street. This cupcakery is just as good as Magnolia bakery down the street but is the “NEW” place to go for your sugar fix. You can even get your swing on at the counter enjoying your cupcakes on their swing chairs. Their menu is online and will get you drooling.
If you’re in the Meatpacking District…
If you’re in the Lower East Side…
Momofuku Noodle Bar http://momofuku.com/new-york/noodle-bar/ They have really good ramen and this place is pretty hip and busy. They don’t take reservations. David Chang…the executive chef has been on “Top Chef” as a judge and he’s got other restaurants in the city if you’re interested.
If you’re around Union Square…
Max Brenner http://www.maxbrenner.com/ It’s a restaurant and they serve lunch & dinner, but their speciality is your favorite….chocolate! I haven’t been here, so I can’t really recommend it.
L’Express– Open 24 hours! Corner of Park Ave and 20th. French Bistro feel with amazing food and cocktails. 212-254-5858
If you’re around Midtown…
Ess-a-bagel– 831 Third Ave. between 50thand 51st Streets
This is an awesome breakfast spot with great NY style bagels and wonderful coffee. It’s a full deli too so don’t limit yourself to just breakfast.
Carmine’s– 200 West 44thStreet, cross treet Broadway. This is a family style Italian restaurant that won’t disappoint. If you are planning to see a show, then definitely book a table for afterwards and bring your appetite!
Carnegie Deli– 854 7th Avenue at 55th Street. 212-757-2245 Open 6:30 am – 4 am Daily. You have to stop here at least once during your trip. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, you will find something on the menu to die for. I can highly recommend the Reuben sandwich and any of the cheesecakes. Keep in mind that they will wrap up a frozen cheesecake for you to take home.
If you’re in the Flatiron area…
Eataly- http://www.eataly.com/manifesto If you love all things Italian, or even just some things Italian, you have to stop by here. There are 5 restaurants located within Eataly. You may want to make reservations to make sure you get a seat. Shops within Eataly also include Italian specialty items such as coffee, bread, meat/fish, chocolate, wine and gelato!
Other places that are around the city for drinks, tapas, dinner….we weren’t able to check these out but they all came highly recommended.
Dos Caminos – trendy, mexican restaurant http://www.doscaminos.com/ (good guacamole)
BaBBo Ristorante e Enoteca- 110 Waverly Place. ph 212-777-0303 http://www.babbonyc.com Opened by Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in June 1998. Babbo Ristorante e Enocteca is an exuberant celebration of the best of Italian food, wine and lifestyle. Make sure to book reservations well in advance. The bar is gorgeous here.
John’s Pizza- on 44th & 8th
Juniors- Times Square (cheesecake)
Five Napkin Burger- 9th & 45th
Uncle Nick’s- 9th at 50th (Greek)
Panna 2- 1st Ave (Greek)
THINGS TO KEEP YOU ENTERTAINED
Dangerfields Comedy Club– 1st Ave and 61st212-593-1650
http://www.dangerfields.com/ We had so much fun at the comedy club. There were 4 comedians to take the stage and each was funnier than the last. Drinks aren’t great but you’ll be laughing so hard you won’t care. If you get there early you will be seated up front–just a warning. You might want to have seats further back to avoid being part of the comedy act.
Highline – If the weather’s nice, you may want to take a stroll on the highline http://www.thehighline.org/ It’s a public park built on top of a historic frieght rail. The park is above the street and starts in the Meatpacking District (Gansevoor St) and ends at 30th. There are entrances and exits along the way, so you don’t have to walk the entire distance, but it’s scenic with some great views.
Chelsea Market http://chelseamarket.com/retail/ If it’s raining, you may want to stop here, because it’s enclosed and there is food and some shopping indoors.
Brooklyn Flea- http://www.brooklynflea.com/ Founded in April 2008, Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City’s top attractions, operating flea markets every weekend of the year that feature hundreds of top vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing,collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food. Locations rotate so check out the website.
PLACES TO STAY
The Benjamin Hotel- 125 E 50th St ph. 212-715-2500. http://www.the benjamin.com
We had great accommodations here. The rooms were spacious as NYC hotels go. Our suite’s kitchenette had a full size refrigerator! The bar was lovely and the location was fabulous.
Kimberly Hotel- 145 E 50th St ph212-702-1600. http://www.kimberlyhotel.com
While we didn’t stay here, the lobby and building were gorgeous and it’s right next door to The Benjamin. The Kimberly Hotel has a fabulous rooftop bar that has both open and enclosed sections. The decor is cool and the bar is very big so there is plenty of room to sit and chill and just admire the views of Manhattan.