It’s been way too long since I last visited NYC so I was thrilled to get away for a few days. I was still working full time during the trip though so it wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. So, let’s talk highlights, friends…
What I Did
I spent the majority of my time eating and drinking so expect the sections below to be far more interesting than this blurb. During this trip, I got to see Hadestown and visit MoMa. It’s been years since I’ve seen a musical in person so I was thrilled to just BE in the audience. Live shows are such a luxury nowadays.
It was my first time at Walter Kerr Theater, and I was really impressed with the production as a whole. The set was stunning, and I’m glad I got to see André De Shields live! I was always big into Greek and Roman mythology growing up so it was cool that the musical covered one of my favorite stories: Orpheus’ journey to the underworld to save Eurydice, the love of his life.
I wasn’t crazy about the lead’s voice… or the music for that matter, but I enjoyed it all in all! I also found out that the female and male leads – Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney – are actually dating IRL so that kind of changed how I felt about it all. SO CUTE, RIGHT?! Reeve also plays Tom Ford in the new Gucci movie with Lady Gaga so that’s dope as well.
As for MoMa, I always love going. Being there really brought back a rush of memories so it was nostalgic AF. When I was a student at Juilliard, my school ID got me free admission + discounted rates pretty much everywhere. Time really does fly. I remember how devastated I was when I realized I was heading back to Baltimore for my doctorate. Now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I love the DMV area, and I love that NYC is a stone’s throw from where I live.
What I Ate
Soooo my first meal there was no bueno. Damn you, rainbow bagels! You’d think I’d know better after living in NY but nope. I saw a sign for instagram-worthy bagels and thought, “I NEED THIS!”
Yeah, never again. I stood in line for a good hour and left with the saddest, nastiest bagels I’ve ever had. And don’t ask me from where because I don’t bash places, but jesus, if you see a sign for rainbow bagels, keep walking.
Two highlights though: Lucali’s (HOLY SHIT) and Dim Sum Palace. If you’re looking for crazy delicious ‘za, you gotta check out this gem in Brooklyn. There’s a system though! You line up at 4PM and sign up for a time. If you’re lucky, you’ll score a table, if not, better luck next time. I went on a Tuesday but was late so I ended up having (a second) dinner at 10PM.
Their menu’s small but mighty. You can get a pizza or a calzone, then choose toppings. I kept things simple and got shallots + pepp for one and then hot peppers + pepp for the other. Both were fire, but I liked the pizza just a tad bit more. It was fun watching the team roll their ‘za with wine bottles while savoring each bite. Some say this is the best pizza in NY. Care to weigh in and let me know what your thoughts are?
As for Dim Sum Palace, I was very much a fan. David Ortiz recommended that I go, and when David tells you to go somewhere, you go because you know you’re in for a treat. I went to their midtown location on a Monday for lunch so I was seated almost immediately. And BTW, their address on google is wrong. It’s one street over, but I can’t remember which one it was so call and double check.
I got a nice spread for my table, but there’s still so much I need to try. I’m definitely planning on going back next time so I’ll make sure to update you then. For me, standouts were their turnip cake, har gow (shrimp dumplings), shrimp & pork siu mai, and egg tarts.
What I Drank
Oh man, this is going to be the longest section yet. I’m just going to be honest with you guys. Back when I was a student, my world was fairly narrow in certain regards. I spent the majority of my time working – surprise surprise – and I wasn’t a big drinker so I never really explored bars, period.
Thanks to my wonderful drink guide, I was able to experience some of the best bars in NYC, and man, it was glorious. I hit 6 different places – Katana Kitten, Clover Club, Double Chicken Please, Leyenda, PDT, Death & Co – and they were all incredible in their own way.
PDT stands for Please Don’t Tell, and it’s a legendary speakeasy type establishment. Hidden behind a phone booth in an unassuming hot dog joint, you have to “call” a certain number to get in. It’s such a fun space, and I had some incredible drinks there in addition to tater tots with caviar (!!!!!!) and creme fraiche.
Katana Kitten was another highlight for sure. I loved the vibe inside, and the drink I had was insane. It was called the panda fizz, and it was made with haku vodka, pear, calpico, lemon, pandan, soda and lava salt. I also got this off menu item called the umami situation, and it was a doozy. Someone recommended it to me, and I’ll recommend it to y’all IF you don’t mind spending $$$$ and you’re hungry. So, here’s the 411…
They’ll roll a cart to your table, and on top you’ll see two massive prawns. They remove both shrimp heads and place them with heavily salted lemons in this big ass contraption. They squeeze everything together before pouring said goodness into a shot glass, which you then enjoy with shochu + prawns. The prawns are cooked to perfection, but they’re ginormous so go hungry. I went after dinner so I didn’t get anything off of their food menu (other than the shrimpies), but I hear amazing things about their mortadella katsu sando so I’ll definitely be back.
Big shoutout to Clover Club for making my favorite drink during the entire trip. If you have a chance to go, definitely make sure to get their Apple Turnover. It tasted like Christmas, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Anddd shoutout to Leyenda for having some of THE BEST tacos I’ve had to date. I’m grabbing dinner there the next time I go – I still can’t stop thinking about their chicken tinga.
Where I Stayed
I used Hotels.com to book my trip and stayed at EVEN for the occasion. It came out to about $177 per night, and I was very, very happy with my room there. It was located in Times Square, and the space was impeccably clean, the internet was fast, the bed was comfortable, and I loved that they had complimentary coffee available in their “work” area downstairs.
They even let me check in super early which was awesome. I got there around 10AM-ish and hoped I’d luck out…and I did! Not sure if this is common though. Either way, 10/10 recommend!
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest trip to NYC! For more on travel, make sure to check out this tab and stay tuned for more content coming your way.
I’m heading to a beautiful new property in St. Michaels mid-December so that should be fun! I also booked a trip to SF with my lovely mother so that’s coming up as well. YAY for traveling – I’ve missed it all so much. Are you guys traveling anytime soon? If yes, where are you off to?