Sunday, August 28, 2011

northern spy

At this very moment in time, I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom, cozy, warm, and dry with a cup of hazelnut coffee by my side. Miss Irene has certainly ruined my weekend plans, and yet, I feel as though being stuck at home with my family was a necessary change of pace. I've been going, going, going this entire summer. It was fun, there's no doubt, but it didn't leave ample time to read, write, or relax as much as I would've liked to. That time is now, whether I like it or not. 
Now that it has, I'd like to share with you the dining experience of the summer. I have literally been dying to go to Northern Spy Food Co since I first discovered it in February. Named after one of New York State's classic heirloom apples, it boasts a menu based on seasonality and quality with as much local goodness as possible. It's small East Village space incorporates as many reclaimed and repurposed materials as possible. And, it maintains one of the wittiest and most entertaining twitter accounts there ever was.  I suggest you follow them now.
Plus, on Mondays throughout the summer, they offer half-priced cocktails from 5:30pm and throughout the rest of the night. They're really that awesome. Last week, a favorite dining companion of mine joined me for dinner to enjoy such deals and delicacies. Please note that when I say delicacies, I'm not simply talking about the cocktails, although they did receive a fantastic review in the NY Times.
Craving a little spice, I enjoyed a Salvadoran Fence: Jalapeño-infused Lillet blac, Punt e Mes, watermelon, basil, lime, and Angostura bitters. It was beyond amazing. Like, my new favorite cocktail kind of amazing. The meal was already off to a perfect start. Then, Leslie and I were struggling to decide between two salads to start with. Our waitress suggested we go with one over the other. 
We did, we chose that one. Yet a couple minutes later, the Purslane salad was served (blueberries, roasted corn, green beans, Landaff cheese, yogurt vinaigrette) alongside the Peach salad (padron peppers, mint, honey). 
Apparently our second salad was from the manager. We were blown away (no hurricane pun intended). After happily clearing both plates, out came our entrées:
We both ordered specials of the night. I had succulent (yes, succulent) scallops from Long Island served with a zesty carrot tapenade and roasted cauliflower.
Leslie had a beautiful bowl of mussels in a white wine sauce with crusty country bread. These dishes alone could have wonderfully satisfied us, but we were also served a complimentary side of their duck fat fries with malted spiced yogurt.
I wouldn't be surprised if these fries were their most popular side item; they were delicious. As was the dip which was made by Lancaster Farm Fresh. We enjoyed as many bites as we could, but could not believe our luck, nor their generosity.
And that was before dessert, a course for which I was very honestly considering not ordering. In the end though, I did, because Leslie promised to split the Chocolate and Peaches (vanilla roasted peaches, dark chocolate sorbet) with me, and I figured it was only fair I taste a full spectrum of their incredible offerings. 
Taste I did. In addition to our chosen item, they served us the Goat's milk cheesecake (blueberry compote, blueberry-thyme sorbet), compliments, again, of the manger. What? Why? How? I couldn't tell you. I really couldn't. They later tweeted us that it's "always a treat to see our tweeters." Perhaps they're fans of food blogs as well. All I know is that the entire experience was sublime and I will return soon. Maybe I'll go back on a Wednesday night for their 1/2 carafe deal, or a Sunday night for their $24 three-course supper. In the mean time, at least I have their daily special tweets to provide instantaneous seconds of edible pleasure.

P.S. Wherever you are as you read this, I hope you are cozy, warm, dry, and most of all, safe, too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

hello again

In the three and a half years that I've been blogging, I've met a seemingly endless number of fellow bloggers. It's crazy, really, how many strangers I've connected with through the internet. Some have been brief acquaintances, others, lifelong friends. I'm grateful for each one... and being as I met quite a few new faces this past weekend, I thought I'd briefly introduce myself :).
This photo was taken around the time I started blogging. I was 19, a sophomore at Syracuse University, and I was helping a friend with her advertising project. Today, I'm 23. I've lived abroad in Ecuador, Chile, and France. I've graduated from college with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Modern Foreign Language. I've road-tripped across the country all by myself. Right now I'm living in New York City, working at a wellness website, traveling and exploring whenever I can. For more about my background and passions, please read who's danielle?.
And now I'd like to invite you to either become more familiar with my blog, or, reminisce with me on its evolution. My 7 Links (thanks again for the tag, Sofia!)
Most Beautiful: Free
Most Popular: Disorderly Conduct
Most Helpful: Over Wednesday Wine
Most Surprising Success: Tales from an Imperfect Perfectionist
Most Proud Of: Al Tiro

Monday, August 22, 2011

the city of bloggerly love

 [Roomie love at Independence Hall: Shannon, Deirdre, Amelia]
[Happy hour date at Tria with college friend & roommate, Julia]
[HLS Cocktail Hour at Reading Terminal Market]
[HLS Breakfast provided by Attune Foods]
[Sad stats from Lauren's fabulous Budgeting for a Healthy Lifestyle presentation]
 [New & old blends: Shannon, Nicci, Krista, Heather]
[Adorable photos of the beautiful and kind Rising Above Negativity speakers: Brittany, Julie, Courtney, Heather]
[Lunchtime eats at Reading Terminal Market with my sorority sister, Hannah]
 [HLS Snack break with Quaker Oats & Naturally Nutty]
 [Fishtown beer tour with Julia, beginning at Kraftwork]
[A morning walk to the Rocky steps]
This was my second year at the Healthy Living Summit and my second time in Philadelphia in the past year. Wahoo! I had an absolute blast meeting so many wonderful ladies, eating so much delicious food, and, as expected, not sleeping nearly enough ('twas worth it, but I hope to catch up soon). A big thank you to Meghann and all the volunteers for planning such a spectacular weekend. I'll check back in soon with more details and more information about myself (for any new faces to "danielle abroad") once I get through this busy Monday.

P.S. Those orange velcro things in the swag bags are straps for your yoga mat :). Enjoy 'em!