It’s been a great year of travel, we did one international trip, three domestic trips, and a road trip. This was my second trip to New York and Henri’s first, so we went full tourist, except for the food. I did extensive research for food, scourging thru valid resources on Instagram and asking friends for recommendations. We ate so good I will be sure to write a ranked food article for you all.
We took a Thursday red-eye flight and hit the ground running Friday. We checked-in at our hotel, the new Even Hotel in Midtown. This new chain is by IHG who also owns Intercontinental, Kimpton, and Holiday Inn to name a few. Their twist is wellness themed. Each room includes a yoga mat, yoga block, exercise ball, bands, and in-room videos so you can exercise at your convenience. There’s still a gym, too. I stretched once, but I really liked the room and the location.
Anyways, after adding a layer of clothes we started walking towards Central Park from Mid Town, passing a very quiet 30 Rock, to have breakfast at Sarabeth’s. We ordered the salmon eggs benedict and the fat & fluffy french toast. Both were amazing and I highly recommend a visit if you want an upscale brunch. The english muffins were perfectly round and the french toast melted in your mouth.
It was a great meal to have before out long walk thru Central Park. We also walked to the nearby Met and the Natural History Museum, we didn’t end up visiting either of them because we couldn’t decide which to do.
By the time we walked all thru Central Park, past Rockefeller, and back to Mid Town we were ready to eat. We had our hearts set on the Cacio e Pepe from Via Carota in Greenwich Village. I saw photos on the Eater NY Instagram and I was sold, but when we got there it was a 3 hour wait for a table. Then, I googled the place and realized it was one of the “IT” restaurants in NYC.
So we stumbled upon Suprema just around the corner on Bleecker Street. And I am so glad that we did because the meal we had was delightful! We asked the waitress for her recommendations and she said their burger is award winning, and I could taste why the minute I had it. Imagine short rib, brisket, a bacon jam, cooked tomatoes, and a black garlic sauce aged cheddar cheese sauce. I loved that it was served with brussel sprouts, it really complimented the flavor of the burger better than fries would have. I admired the last bites of my burger as Henri summed it up “it’s so good I don’t want it to end.” We also shared an awesome chocolate orange tart for dessert. It pleased our palates and was a great way to end day one.
Saturday was planned around Soho and had tickets for the new King Kong musical.
We started at Sullivan Street Bakery to grab coffee and split the Panini D’Uovo which was good, but the savory Cannoto was the highlight. I ordered the spinach and cheese cannoto and wish we would have ordered another.
From there it was a nice walk to the Flat Iron building where there was a holiday market and into the part of Soho where all the shops are. I remember loving this district when I visited as a teen and it still held up. Especially at this time of the year when it’s decked out for the holidays and shops like Chanel are handing out free hot cocoa.
After hours of walking we made our way back to Via Carota to take another try to get their famed Cacio e Pepe. This time the wait was 45 to an hour. But, we hacked the system. There are two small bistro tables by the coat rack that we sat at to wait for our table. It was taking long and we had tickets for King Kong so we asked if we could eat there and we did. We were done with our meal before we would have even been sat down.
We had time before the show so we marveled at Time Square and made our way over to The Broadway Theatre to see the show. It’s a good show, there were some odd parts, but overall the technology used for the huge puppet playing King Kong was interesting and the music was fun.
After sleeping in, we tried to get a bagel at Ess-E-Bagel, but the line was so long! What is it with all the lines! We waited 30 or 45 minutes and then gave up to make our way to board a boat at noon to Liberty and Ellis Island. We were warned to dress warm and we’re glad we did because it was cold, but we weren’t feeling it too bad.
That took a good chunk of the day and we had slept in. So we walked to the Financial District and to see the One World Trade building. Next to One World Trade is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the fountains are haunting. Each is the size of the Twin Towers that perviously stood in it’s place and the names of the lives lost are inscribed in the fountain.
We were starving since our breakfast plans got wonky. We only had muffins on the boat to Liberty island so we set out to Prince Street Pizza. Their signature slice is the “SoHo Square,” a fat square slice of pepperoni pizza. The line was (surprise) long, but worth the try. However, we did see folks picking up from orders they called in. I advise trying that instead of sitting in the cold as other taunt you with their boxes when they pass by.
Our last night in NYC we did the most cheesy, Christmas thing possible. We saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. Much to my delight, it was in fact a spectacular when those ladies started to kick up in unison. The use of projection mapping in the venue really envelops the audience, extending the show all the way to the back of the theatre.
Monday was our last day and with a flight our of Newark we had limited time, but enough time to see a few more spots. So we ordered two signature favorites from Ess-a-bagel to be delivered to us as we got ready. We could only eat half before getting full!
We mapped out pit stops along the way to 30 Rock. We saw Grand Central Terminal, the New York City Public Library, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and FAO Schwarz. Then, we grabbed tickets to go up to the Top of the Rock to get one good last look at the city. It’s been said that this is the best view in town, by tourist and natives alike, and it was the absolute perfect way to say goodbye.
We walked to Penn Station to take the train to the airport. And that’s how we did The Big Apple in a New York minute.