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New York – May, 2014

20 Jul

Wow! It has been a long time since I’ve updated this blog and I absolutely blame my absence on being busy, with a hint of laziness. Life has been wonderfully busy as I have recently started a new job…in the food industry! I’m so excited to have finally made my dreams of working in the food industry a reality, that I’ve been completely absorbed with learning all that I can and that means that I’ve had no energy for my hobbies. Hopefully I can find a balance soon.

I had a week between jobs so my sister and I made a last-minute decision to fly to New York for a quick trip. We learned that May is a glorious time to visit the city that never sleeps. The flowers were in full bloom, the weather was warming up but not yet humid, and the city didn’t feel overly busy. Having been to New York a few times, this trip was all about taking it easy, avoiding the touristy stuff, and eating and drinking our way through NYC. Unfortunately, as our trip was last-minute, we didn’t get into some of the restaurants that I had really wanted to visit (at the top of the list was the NoMad restaurant). I also couldn’t afford to do the high-end experience that B and I had on our last trip so, instead, we explored the more affordable side of the New York food scene.

Spring time in New York = lots of flowers!

I was less adventurous this time around when it came to food and we ended up going back to a few places from my last trip with B, so that I could show them to my sister. These included Eataly (always reliable), Shake Shack (meh, won’t be going back again), Blue Bottle coffee, and Magnolia Bakery (we know this place well!)

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Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes (I still love these, regardless if people think they are over-rated).

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Eataly – Buffalo mozzarella with olive oil and sea salt. Classic. Perfect.

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Eataly – Ravioli filled with spring pea, ricotta, pecorino, mint, and finished with butter and asparagus – superb!

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Eataly – Tagliatelle with short rib ragu

I had wanted to visit Momofuku Milk Bar last time I was in NY but could only find the time to get to the UrbanSpace market stall. This time, I made it my mission to visit an actual store. We ended up at the East Village location on East 13th street (I recommend that if you go here to also time it with a visit to Momofuku ssäm bar as they are across the street from each other). I wasn’t as taken with the things that we tried as I’d hoped to be. I found that the crack pie, which is what they are famous for, was a bit of a disappointment. To me, it just tasted a lot like pecan pie, without the pecans. I still absolutely adore their birthday cake truffles though – I ended up with two bags of those to take home.

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Cereal Milk Soft Serve

P1080661The famous Crack Pie

We made the mistake of spending most of our first day getting to, and visiting, Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. Smorgasburg is an outdoor market, right on the water in Brooklyn (great views of Manhattan). With over 75-100 food vendors on offer, it sounds like heaven. Unfortunately, I found it more like my personal hell. There were soooo many people at the market that we couldn’t even see what most of the vendors were selling. The line-ups for the vendors were ridiculously long and, once you’ve managed to get some food, it was difficult to get a spot to eat it. Personally, I won’t be going back even though I love the concept.

Although we didn’t try too many new food places, we did try a lot of bars. My favourite bar of our trip was Employees Only. Hidden down in the West Village, the cocktails and the prohibition bar atmosphere were awesome. We actually popped in for “one drink” but end up staying for three. I could have gotten into a lot of trouble at this bar as every cocktail was tempting to me.

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P1080667Cocktails from Employees Only

Not too far from Employees Only is The Top of the Standard. Here is a tip: save your money and avoid the long line-ups at The Empire State Building or The Top of the Rock and, instead, soak in the impressive city views from the Top of the Standard for the cost of a cocktail. Personally, I found it a bit pretentious but worth suffering through for the views.

We started to do a bar crawl through the East Village but couldn’t get to even half of our wish-list as the East Village has so many excellent drinking spots. The ones we did visit were Amor y Amargo and Mayahuel. Amor y Amargo is probably the smallest bar I’ve ever been in, which creates a very intimate atmosphere. They are all about the bitters here and the cocktails are interesting as a result. Mayahuel has a strong focus on tequila and mezcals and, again, has some very interesting (and dangerously tasty cocktails) on offer.

Due to lack of time, we missed out on going to Crosby Street Bar (in Soho), PDT, Booker & Dax, Death and Company (over an hour wait), Beauty & Essex, and Schiller’s Liquor Bar. I plan on spending two nights the next time I’m in NY, just exploring the bar scene in the East Village.

My perfect New York trip would include some of the high-end places from our last trip (Eleven Madison Park is a must-visit) and I would combine those with some of the bars that we visited. I still have a very long list of places that I’d like to visit when I next return (Buddakan is one of them) so this isn’t it for me and New York.

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Eleven Madison Park – New York

5 Oct

11 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
10010
USA

When I was planning our trip to New York, I was pretty confident that during the trip we would be indulging in the best meal of our lives and, thankfully, I wasn’t wrong. However, I had assumed that Per Se would deliver the most memorable meal. I was pleasantly surprised when, in fact, it was Eleven Madison Park that surpassed all of our expectations.

Firstly, if you are planning a trip to Eleven Madison Park in the next few months, stop reading NOW. Do not flick through the pictures. Do not try to get a glimpse of how spoiled you will be. Get outta here! I say that as a friend and as someone who doesn’t want to ruin the experience for you.

…OK…so if you are still reading, I’m assuming that you aren’t going to New York anytime soon. Try to bear with me as I struggle to capture in words four hours of an incredible experience. To me, it was more than a dinner. It was almost a performance, a dinner complete with a rotating cast of seamless performers, mystery, and intrigue. This is not an exaggeration.

If you are going to visit Eleven Madison Park jump in, feet first, and prepare to pay for the experience. The tasting menu of fourteen (yes, fourteen!) courses is $195 per person, and drinks pairing is an extra $145. I was hesitant to pay for the pairings but in the end, I decided to splurge and was very glad I did. They certainly didn’t skimp on the booze and after the ten or so drinks that we had, we were extremely happy wobbling out of there. The interesting thing with their pairings was that it wasn’t just limited to wine, there was also beer, Sauternes, sherry, and apple brandy. When it came to the menu, you were able to select four courses out of the fourteen courses but the rest were a surprise. The beauty of their menu is that you don’t know exactly what you are getting as you are only selecting the main ingredient for each course. For example, for one of my courses I selected the element “foie gras” but how that would be served, or with what, I didn’t know. I only knew I was getting foie gras. Personally, I love this concept as I’m not that adventurous when it comes to ordering food.

We were told that we were among some of the first diners to experience this new tasting menu and the theme of the menu was “New York”. Quite simply, dishes were meant to showcase either produce from the region of New York, or stories and dishes traditionally associated with the area. It goes without saying that I found all of the food amazing, incredible, outstanding! There were courses that were more memorable than others and, for me, they were the Black and White cookies, the Sturgeon sabayon, the carrot tartare, the carved-at-the-table duck, the picnic basket, and the sleight of hand card game that introduced us to our dessert course (I told you there was intrigue). I get giddy just thinking about this dinner! So, let me introduce you to the best meal of my life!

Black Truffle and Parmesan – Savory Black & White Cookie.

These are the restaurant’s savoury take on the famous Black and White Cookies. They were melt in your mouth, earthy, truffle cookies. Absolutely decadent.

Apple – Smoked Tea with Celery Root and Apple Chips.

Drink Pairing: Diebolt-Vallois, Blanc de Blancs, Cramant, Champagne, France.

The story goes that potato chips were first created in New York. In the packet were four chips and each one was prepared differently.

Tomato – Gelée with Gooseberries and Tarragon.

Cucumber – Snow with Lapsang Souchong and Grape.

Sturgeon – Sabayon with Chives.

One of my favourite dishes! The sabayon was creamy, foamy, dense, all at once. It was really hard to pick the sturgeon flavour as there was no fishy flavour at all. The only problem was that I wanted more!

What is under the dome??  (The mystery I was talking about earlier!)

Smoked Sturgeon!

Sturgeon – Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar.

Drink Pairing: El Maestro Sierra, Fino, Jerez, Spain.

First Selected Course: Foie Gras – Seared with Water Chestnuts, Dates, and Sunchokes.

Drink Pairing: Château d’Yquem, Sauternes, France 1998

Carrot – Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments

Drink Pairing: Hermann Wiemer Riesling, Magdalena, Seneca Lake, New York, 2010.

This dish is a tribute to the steakhouses of New York. A chef came out to our table with a meat-grinder and made “tartare” at the table. This dish, even in its simplicity, blew my mind!

Second Selected Course: Lobster – Poached with Escarole and Almond.

Drinking Pairing: Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco, Vorberg, Alto-Adige, Italy, 2009.

The Long Island Clambake.

 Clam – Clambake with Tomato, Corn, and Zucchini

Drink Pairing: Southhampton Brewery, Saison Deluxe, Long Island, New  York.

Third Selected Course: Duck – Roasted with Lavender and Honey, Apple and Quinoa.

Drink Pairing: Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône Valley, France, 2009.

We opted to share the duck and, when I talk about how strong the service was, this was particularly evident when we were served this dish. The whole duck was served on a carving table that was wheeled to our table. Our server then sliced the duck – infront of us – and served it on plates that were warming on the side. Impeccible.

A picnic!!

Greensward – Pretzel, Mustard, and Beer.

Drink Pairing: Ithaca Beer Company, Picnic Basket Ale, Ithaca, New York.

The picnic basket was such a fun course. We got to create our own picnic at the table from New York state produce, and of course, there was a pretzel. The beer was specifically brewed for Eleven Madison Park.

Malt – Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer

I’d never heard of Egg Creams before, but once again, it is a tribute to New York, in particular Brooklyn. It was created in front of us at the table.

Chocolate – Ganache with Caramel, Apricot, and Cocoa Nibs

Drink Pairing: Heidi Schroeck, On the Wings of Dawn, Ruster Ausbruch, Burgenland, Austria, 2009.

Fig – Glazed with Orange, Sage, and Tapioca

Drink Pairing: Donnafugata, Ben Ryé, Passito di Pantelleria, Sicily, Italy, 2009.

Huckleberry – Soy Cheesecake and Lime

So, the intrigue that I mentioned earlier came with the final dish, dessert. I’m not going to give away the trick but the course involved a card game, Three Card Monte, with cards made especially for Eleven Madison Park. We had to choose a card that helped select our next dessert course, the chocolate that you see in the picture. We were not expecting what happened next and we both sat at our table for the next 10 minutes speculating how this trick was done. An excellent end to the meal!

And finally, we were served chocolate covered pretzels, finished with a sprinkle of sea salt, and a bottle of apple brandy. We were sent away that night with house-made granola (for breakfast, they told us), a box of the beautiful designer playing cards, a booklet of all of the stories, as well as menus for each person.

Service throughout the whole meal was impeccable and the servers at Eleven Madison Park know their stuff. They oozed passion. It felt as though they were truly thrilled to have us there. They seemed genuinely excited to show off their tricks and treat us to their menu. This is what I felt was lacking from our meal at Per Se.

Eleven Madison Park has set a high bar. This was the most memorable meal of my life. I would not hestiate to return to Eleven Madison Park, nor would I hestiate to recommend it to anyone travelling to New York. Save your pennies, because it ain’t cheap, but for the foodies amongst us it will absolutely be worth it.

Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon

Per Se – New York

2 Oct

10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY
10019
USA

B and I are big believers in the term “You only live once”. Hence why we didn’t hesitate to book Per Se when we went to New York, even though we had only been at The French Laundry back in March. We could not visit New York and not check this bucket-list item off.

Per Se is The French Laundry’s sister restaurant, located in the hustle and bustle of New York City. The restaurant looks directly out over Columbus Circle and has spectacular views over Central Park. The restaurant is more modern, so less cozy than The French Laundry. If I had to chose which ambiance I preferred, I’d have to say I preferred the “feel” of The French Laundry as it was more intimate and the vibe was much more relaxed.

The food at Per Se was as superb as the food that we received at The French Laundry and there were some familiar dishes on the menu, starting with the canapés of salmon tartare coronets (cones filled with red onion creme fraiche and topped with salmon tartare) and gruyere gougères (French cheese puffs). The “Oysters and Pearls”, the foie gras, baskets of tempting freshly baked breads with paired butters, and “coffee and donuts”, were also dishes that we had been served at The French Laundry. Once again, my favourite dish on the menu (available as a supplement) was the silky foie gras. It is so rich and decadent!

With any high-end fine-dining restaurant, it was more than a meal. It was a three hour experience of indulgence. Our nine-course set menu consisted of:

Course 1: Thomas Keller’s signature dish – “Oysters and Pearls” – “Sabayon” of pearl tabioca with Island Creek oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar.

Course 2 (supplement): Slow Poached Élevages Périgord Moulard Duck Foie Gras with pluot glaze, young radishes, pea tendrils and Riesling gelée with toasted brioche. This was served with seven (!!) different types of salt.

Course 3: Pan Roasted Chatham Bay Cod “Billi Bi”, Yukon gold potato “rissolé”, green beans and demi-sec Juliette tomatoes.

Course 4: Charcoal-grilled Langoustines “Curry” with basmati rice, toasted almonds, coconut cream, “herb salad” and chickpea “pappadam”.

Course 4 (supplement): Butter Poached Scottish Blue Lobster with matsutake mushrooms “Cuit et Cru,” compressed d’Anjou pear, mizuna leaves and “Mousseline de Crustacés”.

Course 5: “Ballottine De Suprème De Pintade” (Guinea Fowl) served with sweet corn, chanterelle mushrooms, swiss chard “Ribs” and California Syrah “Gastrique”.

Course 6: Elysian Fields Farm’s “Carré D’Agneau” (lamb) with patty pan squash, globe artichokes, marinated eggplant, Meyer lemon “Suprémes”, arugula and “Sauce Gremolata”.

Course 7: Spring Brook Farm’s “Tarentaise”(a type of cheese) served with summer melons, pickled Ají dulce peppers, garden mâche, Tellicherry pepper melba and hazelnut-brown butter vinaigrette.

Course 8: “Rainbow Sherbet” with “Biscuit Dacquoise”, whipped orange cream and Garden State raspberry sorbet.

Course 9: “Junior Mint” of chocolate “bavarois”, juniper “ganache” and peppermint ice cream.

Course 9: Unknown dessert – it was ordered off the vegetarian menu so it wasn’t included on our printed menu.

Popcorn Ice Cream

Donuts

As was the case at The French Laundry, Per Se finished strong when the mignardises just kept coming! We had warm donuts, popcorn ice cream balls (very good), espresso semi-freddo, cappuccinos, and then a three-tiered selection of caramels, nougat, and chocolate truffles, was left on the table. One thing that Per Se did differently from French Laundry was, in addition to the rest of the desserts, they also offered us a selection of 24 house-made chocolates that were presented to us in a large wooden box. The best part was that we could select as many of them as we wanted! After all of the desserts, I must admit that I could barely think about eating them, but got three anyway. As seems to be customary with Thomas Keller, we also received a bag of goodies to take with us.

I had been looking forward to Per Se SO MUCH that my expectations were set skyhigh. The reason for this, as I mentioned in an earlier post, was mostly due to its #6 placement on the “World’s Best Restaurants” list. I thought, wow, if it is #6 and French Laundry is #43, then Per Se is going to knock it out of the park! Well, to be completely honest, I was more impressed with our experience at The French Laundry than I was with Per Se. I felt that the service at French Laundry was much more personal and more attentive than what we received at Per Se.

At times, it almost felt like we were forgotten, or at least not a priority, and we weren’t engaged by the servers in friendly queries, like we were at French Laundry (although I heard them asking other diners questions about their visit to New York, where they were from, etc.). As much as this might make me sound high-maintanence, I didn’t feel special. At The French Laundry I felt so special because they took such great care of us.

Normally, I wouldn’t feel entitled to “feel special” but at $300 per person for just the set menu (not including supplements or drinks) and at one of the best restaurants in the world, you are damn right that I wanted to feel special. Simple things, like extra brioche with the foie gras or being handed the menu in a folder without asking, were all things taken care of at The French Laundry but Per Se neglected to do. It’s not to say it was a bad experience, it was still incredible, however when I compare our two experiences, French Laundry was well ahead.

Per Se on Urbanspoon

Del Posto – New York

28 Sep

When I was planning our eating expeditions for New York, one of the restaurants that was continually recommended to me was Michelin-starred Del Posto, a Mario Batali restaurant. After our experience at Del Posto, I can see why people are so keen to recommend it.

Del Posto is a high-end Italian restaurant located in Chelsea, near the Chelsea Market. After making dinner reservations at Per Se and Eleven Madison Park, there wasn’t much room in our budget for a dinner splurge at Del Posto so I was grateful that they have the ridiculously affordable three course prix fixe lunch for $39 per person. Even at this price, we were treated like a King and Queen, and the service was flawless, whilst also being personable. We spent an extra $10 per person to add a pasta dish to our lunch (in my opinion, well worth it).

The interior of the restaurant is elegant and classically decorated. Warm colours, sweeping stairwells, and a live pianist, make it a sophisticated space worthy of spending a few luxurious hours.

When we arrived we were greeted with complimentary amuse bouche and three types of fresh bread. The bread (focaccia, baguette, and olive bread) was served with butter and…wait for it…whipped lardo.

I won’t go into specific details about each individual dish, because all I would be doing is showering you with superlatives, however it should be known that the Sardinian lamb, with its salty, slightly crispy crust, was absolutely one of the best lamb dishes I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of baby sheep in my time.

Lobster Fra Diavolo with Garlic Bread Panna Cotta & Seaweeds

Beef Carpaccio with Sunchoke Puree, Sage Grissini & Sunflower

Veal Agnolotti, finished with Sweet Pea, Espresso & Grana Padano. This was spectacular.

Sardinian Lamb with a side of Roman Artichokes, Bruised Mint & Saffron Potatoes.

Butterscotch Semifreddo with Sour Cherries, Melon Agrumata, & Crumbled Sbrisolona. 

This was B’s dessert, I believe it was the Tartufo al Caffè, Dark Chocolate, Sant’Eustachio Coffee.

Complimentary petit fours, including ice cream lollipop, dark truffle, and donut balls filled with custard.

Our experience at Del Posto, was outstanding. If this how they treat you for a $40 lunch, I’m intrigued to know how they treat you for their dinner service. I would highly recommend a visit to Del Posto, even if it is just for the lunch. When I return to New York, I will certainly be making a return trip.

Del Posto on Urbanspoon

New York – General

25 Sep

How do you sum up five days of epic eating in one of the top foodie cities in the world?! I don’t know and that’s why I’m having such a hard time doing it!

I’ll start with some of the smaller places that we popped into for a bite, or a full meal. I will leave Del Posto, Per Se, and Eleven Madison Park, to separate posts each. Let’s start with the list that I had planned out for us:

  • Eataly – I loved Eataly and highly recommend a visit to check out this huge food market. Grab yourself a beer, or a prosecco, and stroll through the market whilst gawking at all the cheese, cured meats, and pasta. Prices aren’t exactly cheap for meals or drinks but they aren’t extravagant. We shared the grande piatto misto di salumi and formaggi ($22) at “La Piazza”, which is a standing food court. We also returned for a plate of pappardelle con pancetta e funghi  ($17) on another day. The rooftop patio, “Birreria” would make a good stop for a cold beer.

Grande piatto misto di salumi and formaggi.

So much cheese at Eataly!

  • Shake Shack – We dropped in to the Time Square location on a busy Friday night but, surprisingly, hardly had to wait at all. The burger was absolutely delicious, however, I was not as taken with the fries or the shake. The fries were a little dry and the shake was too chocolately (I realize that some might think that’s a good thing so it really comes down to personal preference). 

Shake Shack!

  • Wafels and Dinges – We tried multiple times but just couldn’t seem to locate a truck. Boo! Really wanted waffles with bacon.
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – We happened to stumble upon the Urban Space market in the Meat-Packing district where I found a small Momofuku milk bar! I only bought a packet of the birthday truffles, which taste like balls of cookie batter goodness. Be still my beating heart.
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar – We indulged in the extremely fatty pork buns (delicious) and the Momofuku ramen. Now, I don’t wanna be a hater, but I’ve eaten better ramen in Vancouver. Vancouver, you rock! Have been told I should have tried Momofuku’s Ssam Bar instead.

THE Momofuku pork buns.

Momofuku Ramen.

  • The Spotted Pig – Considering how popular this gastropub is, we felt lucky to have only waited 10 minutes for a table. I wouldn’t say the food was outstanding, it was good, but I really liked the atmosphere as it was cozy (i.e. couldn’t swing a cat in there!) and, even though it was loud, it still had a romantic feel. I had the delightful stracciatella with marinated peppers & tomatoes on toast, whilst B ordered the popular burger (too dark inside for photos). The simple dessert of fresh berries and homemade ice cream and shortbread was memorable. Would it be worth waiting in the rumoured hour + line-up? Nah, I think you could find other places on par.
  • The Little Owl – Didn’t have time but I’d like to try next time.
  • Either Pie Face or Tuck Shop – On my insistence, we went to Tuck Shop in the Chelsea Market and I was disappointed by the extremely dry pastry and lacklustre filling. Having grown up on pies, I really expected more from this Aussie meat pie shop.
  • Ladurée – We tried to get here but in the end I had to throw the towel in. It was just too far from where we going that day and our patience was waning.
  • Bouchon Bakery and Magnolia Bakery. We hit both bakeries, Bouchon and Magnolia, as our first stops. We were staying close to Rockefeller Center and there are locations of both close by. Personally, I’d make the trek to the original Magnolia on Bleecker street for the real thing. Having missed out on trying the TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo) whilst in Napa Valley, I made this my priority when I returned to Bouchon. I also got a Nutter Butter cookie, some macarons, and the bacon cheddar scone. What was great about Bouchon in New York was that there was no-line up on both occasions that we visited, unlike the Napa location.

Magnolia Cupcakes

TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo) from Bouchon Bakery.

  • Stumptown CoffeeBlue Bottle Coffee, and Laughing Man Coffee. Coffee was our mission, each and every morning. Thankfully Blue Bottle was close to our hotel in the Rockefeller Center, and we found another location in Chelsea at the Highline. My only complaint with Blue Bottle is that it isn’t hot enough. The latte gets cold almost immediately. The line up at Stumptown was ridiculous, yet we waited. Would I line up for it again? Probably not, unless all I could find was Starbucks, and if that was the case, you know damn right that I’d be more than happy to line-up. We tried, but could not find Laughing Man Coffee. Next time, gadget, next time.

Additions:

  • Bar Boulud: We wanted to sample at least one Daniel Boulud restaurant whilst in town, but couldn’t justify a visit to famed Daniel, so we picked the more affordable casual bistro, Bar Boulud, for a four course brunch ($32 each). Not bad, but not rave-worthy.

Paté Grand-Mére

Squid Ink Pasta.

Quiche of the day.

  • Big Gay Ice Cream! I had to go here after I saw that Anthony Bourdain recommended this place. I ordered The Salty Pimp, which consisted of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip. Prepare to line up.

New York is truly a foodie city. You could, like us, spend most of your vacation eating your way around the city, and still not touch on even a smidgen of what the city offers.

Overall, I found the “cheap” eats to be on par with what Vancouver offers. Where I feel that New York is stronger is with its selection of Italian food, and obviously, fine dining. I’m not going to kid myself though, a five day trip to a city with this many food options does not make me an expert so I’m excited to return to New York to sample more of what they have to offer. Stay tuned for my posts on Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, and Del Posto.

New York, I’m coming for you!!

30 Aug

I think it is pretty safe to call yourself a fully-fledged foodie when you make a restaurant reservation before you’ve booked your flights and accommodation. Therefore, I’m a fully-fledged foodie. Whilst planning our upcoming trip to New York, B and I had rough dates in mind but the actual reserving of flights and accommodation was only done once we had a confirmed reservation for Per Se, Thomas Keller’s world-famous New York restaurant.

It has been my experience that you only get a reservation at a Thomas Keller restaurant through pure determination. It starts with an early morning rise in order to phone the reservations office on the East Coast (I’m on the West Coast). If you are lucky enough to get through, you will have to hold for at least another thirty minutes before you actually get to speak to a real person. With only sixteen tables in the restaurant, you might get this far and then find out that there are no more tables available for the night you are wanting. As you are only able to book 30 days out to the day, you will have to try again the next day. The first day I tried, they were booked out. On my second day of doing this reservation dance, I managed to secure a much coveted Saturday night reservation. Per Se, here we come! Why the focus on Per Se? Well, we were blown away by our The French Laundry experience earlier this year, so we know it is going to be good, but I’m intrigued because Per Se is listed on the San Pellegrino “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list as #6. I want to experience why it is #6. I want to be wowed. I want to be dreaming of this meal long after it is done.

With Per Se secured, we were able to focus on securing a reservation at another highly regarded restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. These guys are #10 on the San Pellegrino list. I’ve heard amazing things about this restaurant so I’m keen to see what makes them one of the best restaurants in the world (according to San Pellegrino anyway).

Since booking our flights and hotel, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching and making lists of restaurants, bars, bakeries, coffee shops, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am grateful not to live in New York. It is obvious from my ever-growing list that if I lived there, I would be; 1/ broke and 2/the size of a small elephant. Here are a few of the places that we are going to try and hit up whilst we are there:

Needless to say, I think we are going to run out of time, money, and belt notches before we touch on even a few of these places, but we are certainly going to give it a good try.