The First Bite into the Big Apple.

Good morning guys!

Before I leave the hotel this am… I had to tell you about all I ate yesterday.

NYC welcomed me and my empty tummy with open, humid, foggy, nasty arms on Friday. 

After navigating a PATH train and a few subways, I checked into my hotel, The Andaz Wall Street (more to come on this…)

and then hopped back on the train to meet my bestie Catherine in the West Village. I hadn’t eaten a thing yet, and all she had was some 8 am oatmeal. We probably could’ve eaten the whole village if we weren’t poor recent grads… 

Bosie Tea Parlor was the first stop. It is a very aunthetic, very french, tea shop right off of Bleecker. Unfortunately it was also very empty this particular afternoon.

But I went there for their french macaroons since I am a big fan of roons… The Salted Caramel was sensational, and the PB&J was right up my alley. Do you remember the PB&J cupcakes I made – these were on the same level of hits the spot.

Like I said though, the cafe was dead… no fun. So, we hit The Hummus Place for a little lunch.

Only about a block away, we ordered hummus with chick peas and whole wheat pita bread (which they bake fresh on site all day) … a sampler of falafel, grape leaves, and babaganoush… 

I also ordered a small tabouli quinoa – 

For me, picking a middle eastern place is always a miss because I expect it to be as good as the food that my family makes – but I have to say The Hummus Place really impressed this middle eastern girl. Flavors were almost exact … although the Falafel could’ve used a little less garlic and a little more chick pea. Great lunch stop, and no complaints from my foodie buddy either!

… 

I was starting to feel suffocated and exhausted from the humidity, not to mention my 3rd arm (the iphone) was dead, so I went back to the hotel to enjoy some R&R, a workout in their AMAZING gym (… more to come on that) and to get ready for my dinner at the hotel restaurant, Wall & Water. 

Ready for dinner! I really shouldn’t be shopping since I am saving money for the big move, but I scooped up a few new things for the trip… this being one of them. Animal prints can be dicey, but I loved the way this one looked!

 Hotel Restaurant – usually not the words you want to hear, but Wall & Water at the Andaz here, was the BEST MEAL I have had in a while.

I sat at one of the communal tables right by the raw bar and charcuterie prep area and got to watch all the action. 

This was a tasting plate of local cheeses, with fig and apricot chutney.

Grilled stone fruits, drizzled in maple syrup, with dabs of tangy lemon preserves, salty goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts. Creativity at it’s finest, and the sweetest combination of flavors – I would have never anticipated loving the dish so much. 

Skirt steak is also one of my favorite dishes when done right. Chef did it better than right. Served in a shallow bowl, the marinade seeps out from the steak and combines with juicy yellow tomatoes, parsley, mint, cut red potatoes and olives, so we each slice – the piece gets flavored with all of these amazing ingredients…. It’s almost like your food gets cooked twice. It was so wonderful.

The dessert menu is broken down into, “Fruit” , “Chocolate” ,  “Ice Cream” …

I chose the Apple Pie with homemade chocolate chip ice cream. I NEVER pick Apple Pie, because usually, no matter the caliber restaurant, it is a reheated slice – I was surprised again by a mini, fresh made apple pie in a cast iron pan. The crust was flaky, the apple chunks were juicy and substantial, and the ice cream melted into this sensationally creamy mess in your mouth. 

The staff, my waiter, chefs, and the general manager were all so hospitable to me. I had conversations at length throughout the night, dish suggestions – the perk of making dining your job. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, this is a place that you must try. I love that they bring in most of their ingredients from the Hudson Valley, and as soon as I shut my computer this morning I will be heading to the hotel’s own farmer’s market that they do in the plaza every Saturday … The word for the night was – WOW.

…. In honor of the queen of NYC food writing – I went to bed with this book tucked under my nose…

Amanda Hesser – Cooking for Mr. Latte. 

… Time to go take bite #2 out of the Apple!

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