24 hours in New York City

 

“So lucky to be alive today… in the greatest city in the world”

“In New York… in New York” – Hamilton

New York City. It’s one of those places that stimulates me and exhausts me at the same time. You know what I mean?

Just got back from a quick trip anniversary trip, and I’m still so wired from the whole experience.

Seriously, you don’t even need caffeine there.

The streets, the people, the atmosphere. It’s all enough to keep you alert and bright eyed for hours, if not a day or two afterwards.

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by heading from DC to NYC for a day.

Here’s how our 24 hours unfolded.

After taking the train, then checking into our hotel, we freshened up and headed to lunch.

We chose Carbone for a long leisurely lunch before our show later that night.

Carbone is a Michelin rated retro style New York Italian restaurant. If you watch the Netflix Aziz Anzari show, Master of None, it was featured in the second season. Aziz is a big pasta fan in real life, so we were sold!

 

The Decor: Big beautiful florals in vases. Pink tiger lilies. Bright blue walls. Tiled floor. This is a HAPPY place.

The Food:  The food is Italian-American, so think big platters meant for sharing. Meatballs. Pastas. Italian salads. That kind of stuff.

The meal begins with a basket of garlic bread, a plate of salami, and a warm fresh ball of gooey mozzarella that they cut with scissors right in front of you. We also ordered the caesar salad, which was the best I’ve ever had. Big garlic croutons with a creamy dressing, and lots of anchovies. (of which I could only eat one… thought I could handle more, but guess not).

We also couldn’t resist the penne al la vodka, lobster ravioli, and veal parmesan.

The Atmosphere: This restaurant is very old-school with waiters who are a bit bossy and brash. It’s the New York experience, really.

Our waiter rolled his eyes at me for looking at my cell phone when he was explaining the menu. (I couldn’t help it. I got a text from my brother, who NEVER texts me. Thought it might have been emergency.)

It’s also very noisy here. The tables for two are pushed together quite closely, so you hear everyone’s conversation around you, and see exactly what everyone else is eating too.

The people next to us, practically in our laps, were also celebrating their anniversary and we chatted with them few minutes, which was fun

Overall impression: This lunch was really enjoyable, and I feel fortunate that we got to eat here. A few groups got turned away as they moved out of the lunch hour, and supposedly it’s impossible to get a reservation here for dinner. While the food was certainly tasty, the whole experience of food + service didn’t quite measure up to Michelin-quality, in my opinion.

I don’t think I would go back there again on my next trip, but I’d recommend to others for a fun NY Italian meal.

Hamilton on Broadway

Okay, so I have to preface this part by saying that while I do enjoy musicals, I’m really picky about them.

I once fell asleep during the musical Camelot and slept through the entire intermission.

Anyway, believe the hype about Hamilton!

It’s really good! As in, your head can’t stop bopping the entire time.

You can’t wait to see what they’re going to do in the next scene.

Every song is better than the last.

This show is so creative. It’s educational. It appeals to a large audience.

And the songs have been stuck in my head for days.

Breakfast

So, after a late nightcap after the show at a rather lame speakeasy (it’s not awesome when the same waitress takes your same order and doesn’t remember)  my husband and I were looking forward to our breakfast ritual in NYC.

We always devour fresh bagels and then buy a dozen to bring back with us to DC.

Before you think that’s weird (because there are bagel shops in DC after all), when I lived in California, I once knew someone from Long Island who would bring BAGELS and NEW YORK style pizza back on the plane with her.

Anyway, a bagel is pretty much my idea of heaven.

I’m pretty sure if I have the opportunity to choose one of my last meals, it would probably be a New York Everything bagel with scallion cream cheese.

Until next time, New York!

 

 

Dinner at Sfoglina

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You know how you find a great new restaurant and you want to tell everybody?

That’s how I feel about my latest discovery! It’s called Sfoglina. I can’t rave about this place enough to neighbors, coworkers, anybody who will listen to me.

Each dish was soooo good, and I can’t wait to go back. Though there were only two of us, we went all out and ordered whatever sounded good to us. Here you’ll see all the highlights of the meal.

Some Prosecco to start the evening
Some Prosecco to start the evening

The Decor: Sfoglina is really cozy. There are booths and tables inside with burgundy and beige feminine touches. Inside there is also a lively bar with stools which were completely taken by the time we left. We opted to sit outside on the lovely patio because the weather was still nice this evening. IMG_1598

The best spicy calamariIMG_1599

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The Food: The menu at Sflogina is really simple, but that’s how it should be, right? Each section of the menu only has about 4 choices, so they can focus on the quality of the ingredients.

This restaurant is all about their homemade pastas, and the two we ordered were absolutely heavenly. Next time we visit, we’re going to order their pasta special which includes a sampling of three different ones. One fun highlight is that they always seem to have panna cotta on the menu for dessert, but it changes flavor frequently. Tonight, it was one of all my favorite Italian flavors, tiramisu.

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Fall pasta with fresh mushrooms
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Because one pasta just isn’t enough, there had to be pasta amatriciana too
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Short rib over parmesan polenta

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The Service: Our server was really lovely and attentive. On top of that, the manager visited our table several times to make sure all was well. We told them it was our anniversary, and at the end of the meal, they brought us a lemon dessert (not pictured) and two flutes of the most delicious dessert wine. panna-cotta

Reservations?  Sfoglina was recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, which means it’s really delicious food at an affordable price. Because of this, the restaurant is likely to be packed! Yes, they take reservations and you should make them unless you plan on being there when they open at 5 pm for dinner. We got there around 5:30 pm, but by the time we left at 7:30, the entire restaurant was full.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

These faux leather pants have been a great basic piece in my closet. In fact, they’ve been one of the best purchases I’ve made in the last few years. I bought mine at Nordstrom in 2015, but they are available at Bloomingdales here.

Black leather never seems to go out of style and it’s been fun browsing Pinterest for updated ideas about how to wear them. img_2020

This outfit was worn for my recent 24 course tasting menu dinner at Minibar DC.

Because the dinner was a rather avant-garde experience, the edginess of the pants just seemed right for the occasion. Apparently, my sense was right because another woman at the dinner wore an almost identical outfit. (Oops… but funny)

This red wool coat and Japanese purse completed my whole lady-like-meets-rocker-Valentine’s look. img_2013

How do you wear your leather or faux leather pants?

Black and White Holiday Outfit

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Merry Christmas everyone! By the time you’re all reading this, another Christmas day has come and gone.

I hope you all spent a peaceful and relaxing holiday 2016!

This year, I challenged myself NOT to buy any new holiday outfit. Instead, I resolved to come up with a festive look from clothing I already own. Personally, I love seeing other bloggers who wear the same pieces in versatile ways!

The result?

Borrowing from the layered dress-over-turtleneck trend this season, I wore this crepe slip dress (I’ve had for years!) over my favorite Ann Taylor tie neck blouse.

I was pleased with the outfit and happy to wear my favorite pieces in new ways. Best of all, no money was spent at all.

The funny thing is that I have so many favorites that just hang in my closet, never being worn. And all it takes is a little imagination, a little trial and error, and there you go, A NEW OUTFIT!

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I’m sure you have some great items in your closet that you can combine in new ways. I would love to hear your fashion inspiration!

 

Off Shoulder Top and Suede Skirt

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Last weekend, I enjoyed a fall weekend getaway to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It was the perfect opportunity to finally wear more autumn appropriate clothing like this off shoulder top and suede skirt.

My husband and I stayed at Hacienda Nicholas, a charming Southwestern style bed and breakfast.

I wore this look to the happy hour hosted in the courtyard and then out to dinner at a nearby cozy restaurant, Sazon (so much more to say and show about this beautiful dining experience!).img_1369

Hacienda Nicholas was really lovely. When traveling, small inns and bed and breakfasts appeal to me more than big hotels.

This inn had traditional desert New Mexico architecture, and I fell in love with the red adobe exterior, the colorful artwork, the hanging chili peppers, and that red and orange ivy hanging over our door!

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I can’t wait to share more details from this trip including some truly gorgeous mountain views and (you know me) all my favorite meals and food experiences there!

It’s safe to say I’m officially obsessed with blue corn and green chili now…

Banana Republic Off Shoulder Top/Danier Suede Pencil Skirt (similar here)

Charles and David Black Pumps

Slowly Transitioning to Fall

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Even though we’re headed into late September here in DC, it’s still Indian summer. It was 88 degrees last Saturday!

While I’m so eager for fall, I’m taking advantage of the warm weather to keep wearing a few summer pieces, but also give them a different spin.

Like this lemon yellow lace sundress…

Earlier in the summer, I wore it more casually with sandals, but for dinner out last weekend, I topped it with a blouse tied at the waist and swapped the sandals for two-tone pumps.    transitioning-a-summer-dress-to-fall

I’ve got even more plans for this dress as it gets cooler. I’m thinking a fitted black leather jacket or even a black turtleneck with black leather booties.

I’ve recently pared down my closet, donating a bunch of items and focusing on a “less is more” mindset. It’s amazing how much peace of mind a simple closet can bring.

In fact, I’ve felt much more appreciative of what I’ve got and I’m much more creative with my existing pieces. I can also more easily see the “gaps” in my wardrobe and what I should invest in next.

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I actually love when other fashion bloggers “rework” their favorite clothing items and show how they wear them in different ways.

How do you feel about transitioning items into different seasons? Do you like seasonless pieces you can wear much of the wear, or do you tend to want more variety in your clothing?

Ray Ban Wayfarer ClubMaster sunglasses

Ann Taylor shirt/Yellow Dress (similar here)

Pumps (similar here)

Tail Up Goat in DC

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Recently, Bon Appetite magazine named Washington DC as the Restaurant City of Year in the US. One of the finalists for their list of 10 best new restaurants in the states is the cozy neighborhood restaurant, Tail Up Goat.

The name is strange, right?

But let me tell me, my husband and I finally made it there last weekend, and nearly a week later, we’re still talking about our meal. shoshanna-dress

We started with a few interesting drinks including pureed watermelon and chili pepper, an Old Fashioned for my husband, and a “shrub” for me.

(Have you ever heard of shrubs? They actually go back to 17th century… these historic old timey drinks are made from rum or brandy and fruit.)

My version was rum infused with fresh green tomato and herbs. So refreshing!

We ordered a few appetizers such as the frittata below and rabbit sausage bites. My personal favorite, though, was the zucchini bread. A thick slice of toasted brown rice bread, topped with yogurt, marinated zucchini, and balsamic glaze. appetisers bread

The next course was a kale, anchovy, and goat lasagna with salsa verde. (there’s the goat you may have been wondering about…)

The slice of lasagna was massive and we shared it. it was certainly one of the most unique things I’ve eaten lately. Isn’t it beautiful (and kind of strange looking too?)

lasagnaThere was still room in our stomachs for dessert, so we ordered the almond apricot cake and the cannoli. Both so good and so pretty!dessert

We loved this meal and can’t wait to go back and try some new dishes. Everything that came out of the kitchen and was served to nearby tables looked so good!

As mentioned in my Eastern Market post, the DC weather is still like summer.

On this night, I wore a LWD (as seen here in Santorini this summer). Trying to give it a more urban and fall feel (if that’s even possible right now?), I wore this denim trench vest (which is actually a dress from White House Black Market!)

I’m so ready for fall guys! How about you???