Monday, June 27, 2011

ladies who brunch

"There are very few things this New Yorker loves as much as Sunday brunch. You can sleep until noon and still get eggs anywhere in the city, alcohol is often included with the meal, and Sunday is the one day a week you get the single woman's sports pages: the New York Times wedding section." -Carrie
A friend recently commented that "brunch" was such a "New York" thing. I hadn't realized. Although the fact that Leslie thought it appropriate to celebrate her last weekend in Manhattan with a potluck brunch should have made it obvious to me. Fabulous times were had, as to be expected of the best meal of every week.
We enjoyed fennel salad, wheatberry salad, fruit salad and scrambled pesto eggs with eggplant and garlic scapes. Deliciousness, plus my spinach & feta quiche:
Oh, and mimosas... more than one of 'em. Champagne and orange juice is most definitely one of those matches made in heaven. It's often my morning cocktail of choice, right next to Bloody Mary's which I surprisingly only tried for the first time two weekends ago. Spice really is better every now and again.
Anyway, back to the food :) I piled my plate high with the many salads, eggs, a taste of my own creation and a sweet piece of Rebecca's berry pound cake.
Then I finished the meal happy and satisfied with Sarah's homemade ricotta over her beautifully-assembled fruit salad.
But more than the food, and the drinks, and a whole lot more than the NYT wedding section (I'm all for love and marriage {especially the equal kind} but I'd like to wait a few years before even thinking about that special day of my own), brunch is amazing because it always means quality friend time. Thank you, my dear Leslie, for hosting such a Sunday treat. I'm sure I speak for all of us (Sarah, Katie, Sofia and Rebecca) when I say it was one of our best brunches to date.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

one lucky day

Yesterday, at 4pm, I boarded a bus headed south to Atlantic City.
Why A.C. you ask? Well, I have this new friend that is originally from the area.
And he has a friend, or two of them rather, that became a Mr. and Mrs. last night.
It was such a beautiful wedding. The couple, their friends, and their family are so wonderful. The food was delicious, especially the cake (and I don't even like cake).
Beautiful, wonderful, delicious... and fun. I literally danced the night away.
In addition to enjoying a taste of an Atlantic City classy (not trashy) club.
This morning was spent sleeping in, brunching, touring and beaching. I basically had the complete A.C. experience (minus any gambling) in about 24 hours.
I know, pretty impressive ;). It was such a spontaneous trip too. Love those.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

tree bistro & garden

Today I learned thatandriko (orανδρικο)means "men" in Greek. It also the term used to specify black coffee. There's significance to that--an assumption that real men drink their coffee black because it is manly to take your coffee without any milk or sugar--and I love it. I love that understanding one word can reveal such a characteristic of a culture. Even if it's a negative one (not that the Greeks are the only ones guilty of "machismo"). It excites and fascinates me, and makes me want to travel the world and continue learning languages for the rest of my life. Though I suppose I should enjoy New York and focus on mastering the two other than my native English first, huh? Oh, Spanish and French.
Speaking of "French," this past Tuesday I finally, finally, finally made it to tree for dinner. (Note: It's not quite a French restaurant, but there is a strong French influence.) I probably read something about it, heard a few good reviews, walked by and fell in love with how adorable the interior and how pretty the typeface is on it's sign. Whatever the reason, I have been wanting to go here for months.
My date and I started off with wine. I enjoyed a sparking mint cocktail which literally was just a sparkling wine with crushed mint in an iced glass. It may have went un-photographed as we got lost in conversation upon seating, but it was perfect, especially in the calm humidity. We also shared le fromage board served with walnut-raisin bread and homemade fig compote.=
For my entrée, I chose the seared salmon with lemon dill aioli, red onion, and red pepper daikon slaw. He opted for the oven roasted icelandic cod with seasonal vegetables in a tomato-bacon vinaigrette. We had some extra French bread on the side and another glass of wine as well. Everything was absolutely delectable. Then we shared the créme brulée for dessert. It was the best I've ever tasted. A French bistro one night and a Spanish wine tasting the next. (Click the link for Sofia's lovely recap of vino and yoga). Told you it was a good week.
I'll admit that my ears perk up to eavesdrop when I hear Spanish or French. I'll admit that I purposefully avoid the English instructions on most labels so that I can read them in Spanish or French. I'll even admit that a menu in Spanish or French will positively influence my decision to dine at a particular restaurant. Yet, I also must say that even if my comprehension abilities are right up to par, my skills in speaking are anything but. And since I can't run away to a Spanish- or French-speaking country any time soon, I need to figure out a way to practice. Conversation group, anyone?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It has been a good week, a very good one in fact, but this morning I found myself more stressed out than I have been in long time. Even the greatest of jobs will do that to you sometimes. So, I thought back to my most recent happy memory: Father's Day. It went a little something like this...
The weather was perfect, Tarrytown was quaint as ever, every single one of my family members was in a fabulous mood,  the food was delightful... and I feel better now. But, to be safe, I'm doing power yoga and wine tasting with Sofia and Leslie tonight. Just putting the prompt below into practice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

vinovino & more vino

If last week was all about slowing down, green juicing, and taking it easy... this week might as well have been the complete opposite. Nearly evening I found myself out and about, wining and dining, enjoying my workweek to the absolute fullest. My apologies for abandoning this sweet blog of mine as a result.
There's just something about wine and friends (and wine) that is so distracting and yet all the while clarifying.
I met Katie at Bottino last Monday. We caught up on life over two glasses of Montepulicano paired with three varieties of cheese and fig-ginger preserves. I'd purchased a Signpost deal a few months ago that granted us such a tasting.
Then, on Thursday, I met Leslie for a bottle of Duoro and small plates. We'd stumbled upon VinoVino before and had been intrigued. LivingSocial just allowed us to act on it. I had a fabulous time despite the fact that the Pesto Cannelini Crostini (and everything that came after) left much to be desired.
And in between I met my glittle for happy hour and a new friend for dinner.
So, although I don't check my daily horoscope, I hardly disagree with my zodiac (Gemini) profile. It's true that I appreciate going out more than I do staying in, but, I also understand the value in a lazy weekend... making this past one wonderful. The rosé at Father's Day lunch was a nice addition as well ;).
That meal I will tell you about soon. Until then, let me share a quintessential Gemini quality--going with the flow--and how it's going to translate into my life this summer--more yoga. On Monday I'll be sweating and surrendering at Earth Yoga (thank you Bloomspot). On Tuesday I will be welcoming summer with early morning downward dogs in Times Square. And on Wednesday or Thursday, I'll be using an old coupon to one of many neighborhood studios, New York Yoga. Who's to say that wine and yoga aren't a match made in heaven anyway?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

settled enough

It's been about six weeks that I've been living in the city. Yes, six; that much, and that little. I was asked the other day if I'd always known that I wanted to move here, and as you know, I didn't. But as you also know, it's been even better than I would have expected it to be. 

Living in any city is always different than commuting to and from it, traveling through it, or visiting for a weekend. One of the reason I loved studying abroad so much is because it allowed me to live abroad. Over time, as Santiago and Strasbourg became more and more familiar, they also became my home. I discovered my favorite coffee shops, restaurants, markets, and bars. I knew the parks well and used public transportation with ease. I acquired a routine. I felt comfortable. And as soon as I did, I knew it was time for me to get away.

I don't mean to say that I felt the need to escape... just that I needed to go elsewhere, experience someplace new, if nothing else because I then had somewhere to come back to.

I think I may have reached that point with New York. That is why I wanted to plan my September trip to Iceland (it's still very much in the works). That is why I'm taking an out-of-state overnight when K comes to visit in three weeks. That is why I'm going to Philadelphia for the Healthy Living SummitThat is why I'm hoping to take trips to Boston and elsewhere at some point this summer. 

Traveling makes appreciating home, each one of them, that much more special.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

the old commute

Today, I went from my office in Tribeca,
up and over to Grand Central,
onto a train from Manhattan, through the Bronx,
and into Valhalla (the Westchester town I grew up in)
so that I could see my little sister before prom. The trip was well worth it.