I have been busy all week getting ready for a very special arrival tomorrow... Little Duck! I've been looking forward to her trip all summer and I cannot wait for some of the fun we're going to have! I'd spill some of the beans, but some things need to be kept a surprise! Now hopefully the weather will cooperate with us... I'm going to be busy playing tour guide so I probably will be taking a little break from blogging for the week but stay tuned for some highlights from our fun. You can also follow along to some of our #DucksTakeNYC adventures on Instagram!
It's been a busy summer so far with lots of trips out of the city! Today I'm so excited to share my recent girls' trip in Connecticut. This trip has been years in the making (yes really) and I'm so excited that we finally made it happen!
Mystic is a super adorable coastal town located in Connecticut. It's about 3 hours from Grand Central, but totally doable for a weekend trip!
Lucky for us, we had a pretty awesome tour guide to show us the ropes! We stopped in the downtown area and had brunch at a cute new spot called NOCA. When you're on the coast I feel like it's totally necessary to eat as much seafood as possible, including brunch. I ordered their Mystic Scrambler with farm fresh eggs, lump crab, shrimp, jack and cheddar cheese, tomatoes, spinach and hollandaise sauce with a side of sweet grits. Seriously solid!
Connecticut was definitely living up to its preppy stereotype with this shop and I was loving it!
We also got to watch Mystic's famous draw bridge go up (a few times!) It goes up once an house in the summer months and it was fun watching it go up and all of the ships that went through.
If there's one word to describe Mystic I'd definitely say it is quaint. The downtown was so adorable.
After watching the boats go under the bridge we decided to hop on a boat ourselves and take a little tour of the seaport.
There was actually a boat festival going on during the weekend so we got to get up-close and personal with some pretty cool ships.
Oh yeah, and if you look close in this man's kayak there's a dog cruising down the river with him!
One of my favorite part of the town was Captain's row, which were all of these beautiful homes that were waterfront on the river. Gorgeous!
After a busy day of exploring we worked up an appetite to hit up another Connecticut favorite.... Lobster rolls!! Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!
These were. so. good!!!! You really can't go wrong with fresh lobster on buttery rolls though can you? While we were eating I saw that they were selling these funny little lobster hats, so obviously I had to buy one! ;-)
After we were stuffed to the giles with lobster we headed onto our next adventure... fresh ice cream! We had a little bit of a drive which was fun to see a little more of Connecticut. We went through a lot of trees and then onto farm lands so I felt right at home!
Alas, we arrived at Buttonwood Farm for some dessert! I was pretty pumped to try this place because my friend has been talking about it for a few years. The hype didn't disappoint either! I ordered a blueberry ice cream cone and it was definitely top 5 that I've had. Totally worth the trip out there!
We wrapped up the weekend with some more girl time including time with her pup Phoebe! We had such a great time and I can't wait for my next trip back! And for more lobster rolls and ice cream ;-)
I have a little treat for you this Friday. Today I'm excited to announce the kick-off of a new guest series I will be featuring by my other half, Chris Sandstrom. In this series Chris will highlight how he discovered some of his favorite food spots in the city (Spoiler: He has pretty good taste in food). So without further ado, welcome to Finding Food in NYC.
The combination of Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony has yet to lead to many wins, but it did lead me to American Cut. Last year when the Zen Master was trying to convince the then free agent Anthony to stay in New York I read an article describing their meeting at the Marc Forgione steakhouse. Apparently Carmelo had the Filet Mignon and the Caesar Salad.
I decided that my next fancy dinner would take place at the restaurant where Phil (and $124 million) persuaded Melo to stay with the Knicks. It was a decision I did not regret. The meal was excellent from start to finish. For my steak I went with The New York City Cut, a 20 oz Bone-In Rib Eye with pastrami spices and smoke. It was as good as it sounds.
I have long been a devotee to the Caesar salad and American Cut’s version, listed on the menu as the OG 1924 Hotel Caesar. It may be the best I’ve ever eaten. It features Parmigiano Reggiano, Soft Egg, and Pullman Crouton. Nothing revolutionary, but remarkably effective when chopped tableside and combined with the perfect amount of an absolutely delicious dressing. If Melo chose to stay with the Knicks only for regular access to this Caesar I couldn’t fault him.
My girlfriend and fellow burger enthusiast recently alerted me to an article on Eater touting American Cut’s off the menu In-House Burger. We knew instantly that we had to try it while at the same time getting another taste of that Caesar.
One can't simply walk into the restaurant and order a burger at anytime. Only a finite number are made each day. At 4:20 each afternoon American Cut tweets how many burgers they will have for the evening. The number seems to usually be in the 10 to 15 range. They can only be ordered at the bar and once those dozen or so burgers are sold, that’s it for the night.
We arrived a little before the kitchen opened at 5:30 pm and had little trouble securing burgers. There are only four elements to the burger (meat, cheese, onions, bun) and they compliment each other perfectly.
The meat is a savory blend of short rib, dry aged rib eye, and brisket. The onions are caramelized in bourbon and topped with right amount of a melted cheddar and fontina beer cheese. All of this tastiness sits in sesame seeded pretzel bun that is baked in house. The pretzel bun was so good that I could have eaten it with nothing more than a little butter and considered the meal a rousing success.
I sincerely hope that Carmelo Anthony’s tenure in New York ultimately brings me more joy than just the discovery of a great restaurant, although that is more than many Knicks free agent acquisitions have done (I’m looking at you Jerome James.)
Chris Sandstrom - Is a graduate of Columbia University and the author of the debut novel, "Reality TV and Hookers" a satire on the reality TV industry. You can keep up with Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSandstrom8.
Finding Food in NYC Is a series highlighting how Chris discovered some of his favorite food spots in New York City.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I know I sure did, can we press rewind? I headed out east for the long weekend for a little family, relaxation and FLOATIE time!! Oh yessss.
I've been dying to use my donut floaties I picked up during my trip to Washington and the time came this weekend to bust out these cuties for some quality pool time.
I can't say weenie was totally excited about the idea at first, but I think he realized that I wasn't going to make him swim in the pool (he didn't love that experience last summer) he warmed up to the idea and we floated around the pool all afternoon.
To celebrate the holiday we got our red, white and blue on and headed to Southampton. I'd never been before and it's been a long tradition to go to the 4th of July parade in Chris' family so that was neat to be apart of!
On our way to the parade we passed... what do you know... a floaty shop that was seriously up on its game! Floaty envy!
Scoots decided he liked the Hamptons too... especially if he got to live in one of the places below. Keep dreaming Scooter ;-)
To celebrate the rest of the weekend we headed to a delicious family BBQ that let to an inevitable food coma and we had a little bit more time visiting before it was time to head back to the city again. Hope you all had nice weekends too!
Hey everyone! I'm officially back in NYC after some fun summer trips and this week I'm going to give you a little look into my trips!
If you caught my last post, you already know I headed back home for Little Duck's high school graduation! I'm so glad I got to be there for her graduation and I'm so excited for her next chapter!
It was the last trip I was going to be home for before she goes away to college so I really tried to get in some quality girl time -- Anna and Faithy style.
Our adventures usually involve some delicious food (insert Red Robin here), jamming out in the car, and definitely a Target trip or two. ;-) One of our big adventures this time around was focused around something totally awesome too... DORM SHOPPING! Shopping for my dorm brings back so many fun memories and I was so excited to help Faithy get ready for hers. Plus, after living in NYC for awhile, I've gotten pretty good at decorating a small space and learning all sorts of storage hacks!
In between shopping, we also checked out a couple of really fun places! One being Sub Zero Ice Cream. I had never been before but it's totally awesome if you have any near you!
You start by picking out the flavors you want and they mix the ingredients into a bowl and then....
Poof! They use liquid nitrogen to freeze your ice cream right in front of your face. It's just like magic (or a little science!). So cool and it was really tasty too!
We also stopped into a spot I've been wanting to check out since Christmas.. The Root Beer Store. I absolutely love root beer and I found out about this shop up in Puyallup that sells over 100+ brands of just that! How cool!?
They also have some fun other options like bottled shirley temples, birch beer and other flavored pops. Basically if you're a fan of root beer you are in for a treat with this spot!
Along with some really awesome time with Little Duck.. I also got to go to Happy Hour for a mini Napa reunion with some of the ladies from my trip in September!
I also squeezed in a trip to spend some time with my grandma which was really nice. She had a rough start to the year so it was really wonderful to catch up and see that she's doing much better now.
To celebrate Father's Day, we went up to Seattle for the Fremont Solstice Fair. I was a little surprised when my dad suggested it because it's a little wild and well, not really his cup of tea, but I guess he was feeling a little adventurous this year.
It ended up being a lot of fun and I even got to spend a little time with one of my good friends who moved up there this year!
And just as soon as I arrived it was time to head back east.. We ended my trip on a pretty exciting note by checking out my mom's new house! I just missed the move by a week when I was home but I did get to watch the house go through some pretty dramatic changes over a week which was pretty neat. SUPER excited for my mom and my sister.
Another wonderful trip in the books! Missing home and the lovely non-humid weather already!