Food quote of note

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience"…Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, November 26, 2012

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

Thanksgiving is all about three things - family, friends and food - and for us, two out of three ain't bad!  We didn't get to see our families this Thanksgiving (we will make the trek to the Great White North for Christmas, never fear), but we were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving week in New York City with our dear friends the McClishs - what a blast.  It was a great week - filled with sights, laughter, crowds, shopping and, of course, lots of great food. 

Matt, Jennifer and their great kids (Madeline, Ian and Aidan) are some of our best friends and favorite folks to vacation with - and this trip was no exception.  The kids had never been to the Big Apple before, so we of course tried to squeeze in as many of the "must do sights" as possible - Times Square, The Rockettes, Broadway, Empire State Building, Central Park, museums - we packed it all in!  And, of course, we were treated to some of the best food around.  Here's just a glimpse of all we enjoyed!

We got to NYC on Sunday, and it didn't take us long to hit the streets in search of food!  Dinner our first night was in a crowded, loud and wonderfully delicious Italian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen.  What a great way to kick off our trip!

Dinner for 7

Breakfast of champions - I started each morning with a nonfat latte and Pain au Chocolate (chocolate croissant) at a coffee shop across from our hotel.  The perfect fortification for days full of sightseeing!

We managed to squeeze in multiple museums on this trip - the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and the Natural History Musuem.  
Monet's Water Lilies at MoMa

The New York Public Library was a must-see for my husband, the Librarian,
and the McClish children, all voracious readers.  The building is very interesting
and beautifully decorated for Christmas.
Of course, we had to have some of the traditional Big Apple specialties....
Madeline enjoying lunch at a NYC deli

Ian has a piece of NYC cheesecake at Pershing Square Cafe

Aidan devours pizza in Rockerfeller Center
Chestnuts from a cart in Central Park
Our hotel was very close to Bryant Park - and we spent quite a bit of time there shopping at the Holiday Market, watching skaters on the ice rink and sampling the myriad of food offerings. 

One of the chocolate shops there sold chocolate preloaded into syringes for
decorating cupcakes, cookies, etc...what a great idea!  I'm totally trying that!

It was hard to pick from all of the interesting and tasty lunch offerings - but, when we saw these Gozleme, we knew we had to try them.  Gozleme are Turkish pastries - rolled flat then filled with a variety of savory treats such as cheese, potatoes, spinach, etc.  Since Guy and I had seen these being made on our trip to Turkey and tasted them, we chose this for our lunch.

NYC Gozleme with chicken, mushroom and dill - just as tasty as
what we had in Turkey!
Of course, we had to make a stop at the Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes - you just have to, if you are in NYC! 

Magnolia Bakery Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
While there is certainly some great shopping on 5th Avenue, I have to admit that my favorite shopping is strolling through the food markets - cases of beautiful and interesting foods, all artfully displayed and tempting...Foodie Nirvana!

Our hotel was very close to Grand Central Terminal, a great location for sightseeing...and also home to a very interesting Food Market.

After a busy morning of shopping at FAO Schwartz, we stopped in at the Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel...a very high-end and beautiful market.

And, of course, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving in The Big Apple without The Parade.  Yes, we got up early and braved the crowds so we could experience this holiday tradition...and yes, it was worth it! 

After a fun-filled morning at the parade, we enjoyed a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Back Forty, a casual farm-to-table restaurant in the East Village.  The food was truly delicious  - large platters of turkey, stuffing and interesting sides served to our table family-style - followed by scrumptious desserts.  It was a great meal and a great way to spend Thanksgiving in NYC.

After almost a week of exploring The Big Apple, we found ourselves at the end of our trip...we opted to skip Black Friday shopping on Friday and instead take a long stroll through Central Park and make a stop at the Natural History Museum.  It was a lovely, sunny day and an amazing time to be in the Park - a great end to a great visit  -- once again reminding me of all I have to be thankful for - not just in this trip, but in so many aspects of my life. 

Bench in NYC Central Park - how fitting for our trip!

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