Saturday, March 29, 2014

No Defects at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Today is The Mr's Birthday so I took him out to dinner at one of our favorite spots The Boil. And by "I took him out to dinner" I mean, we went there and I forgot it was Cash Only so The Mr wound up paying for his own Birthday dinner. Major Wife Fail.Afterwards we walked down to Chinatown because he knew of a great place to stop for dessert: The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Travel Edition: 24 Hours in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Capitol


We had stayed outside Philly to save a bit of money on a hotel and to leave the last 30 minutes of driving since it was getting late on Friday, so we started our day by heading into the city proper where are first stop was at The Mutter Museum of medical oddities. Not a stop for everyone to be sure, but we found it pretty fascinating and definitely a unique thing to do. 

The next item on our agenda was to find a place to stay for the evening. Due to modern technology there are a plethora of apps available to find last minute hotel deals which I used to locate Club Quarters. It seemed pretty fancy and very central so we went ahead and booked it. The second we were shown to our room we immediately checked the refund policy. Our room was tiny and located one story above the back alley where trash was noisely getting thrown out. Considering we had just left NYC in order to get a mini-escape, this was not fitting the bill. We made it clear that this room was totally unacceptable discounted rate or no and they graciously moved us to another room. This room was much better, but I will say I was still pretty disappointed in the quality overall considering the price and what I was led to expect from the hotel website.

Next order of business was not surprisingly FOOD. We headed over to Barclay Prime which had a super fancy Cheesesteak that we saw featured on Food Network, but they didn't open until 5pm so we went a few doors down for a drink & oysters at Devon Seafood Restaurant. Then we went back to the hotel for a bit to relax before hitting the town. We tried to go to the 3 story Time bar recommended by Judge John Hodgman, but it was nuts and we were in the mood for something a bit more low key. So we walked around and came across Tria Wine Bar. Weren't expecting more than a glass of wine, but they wound up having some amazing food! I then realized we were down the block from one of the whiskey bars featured in this Thrillist 20 Best Whisky Bars in the Country so of course we had to go there. Whiskey Village was totally awesome, we got to chat with the bartenders who showed us this super cool copper ice ball making device, told us about their homemade bitters, and made us specialty cocktails based on our preferences for our second round. We were super sad that we had missed their kitchen closing since their food looked awesome and sad when it closed and we had to leave.

Independence Hall


We started our day with Brunch at Creperie Beau Monde as recommended by Alton Brown. We then headed over to Independence Hall & The Liberty Bell. Independence Hall tickets were sold out for the day so we just did the Liberty Bell. I wanted to hit up the Reading Terminal Market next, but the day was pretty gloomy and we needed to get some work done so 24 hours after arriving in Philadelphia we were back on the road back to NYC.

The Liberty Bell

Philadelphia Edition: Creperie Beau Monde

Creperie Beau Monde: Pears, Chestnut Cream & Chocolate Crepe
We found ourselves on an impromptu trip to Philadelphia this weekend and needed a good place for Sunday brunch. I searched around on the internet until I found a crepe place recommended by Sir Alton Brown. OK, so he hasn't been officially knighted anywhere except for in our hearts. But his word is practically gospel to us, so off we headed to Creperie Beau Monde.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Philadelphia Edition: Village Whiskey

Village Whiskey: Round 1
We were enjoying some wine and snacks at lovely Tria when I noticed that I had something bookmarked 1 block away. When I realized that it was Village Whiskey which I read on my friend Lee's write up of the 21 Best Whisky Bars in America, there was no question that we needed to extend our evening a little longer so that we could check it out.

Philadelphia Edition: Tria

Tria Wine Bar
We had a lovely, yet very early dinner at Barclay Prime and several hours later found ourselves ready to explore Philadelphia's night life. We headed over to Time since it was recommended by the Honorable Judge Jon Hodgeman, but found a long line outside and were in the mood for something much more relaxed. We wandered all around and were about to give up and retire back to our hotel room when we walked by the window of a quaint little wine bar.

Philadelphia Edition: Barclay Prime

Barclay Prime: Cocktails
We took an impromptu trip to Philadelphia this weekend and The Mr had us make a b-line for Barclay Prime. I had completely forgotten about it, but he saw their Philly Cheesesteak featured on a TV Show at some point and it had seared itself into his memory. We had a late-ish breakfast and therefore skipped lunch so we arrived 30 minutes before they opened for the evening. We headed down the block to have some cocktails and oysters at Devon Seafood Grille while we patiently waited for 5 o'clock to hit. Finally, it was time and we eagerly headed back to Barclay Prime.

Philadelphia Edition: Devon Seafood Grille

Devon Seafood Grille: Oysters
We found ourselves having an impromptu getaway to Philadelphia and were hungry at that odd post-lunch / pre-dinner hour. We knew we wanted to have dinner at Barclay Prime, but they didn't open until 5pm so we bided our time with some drinks and oysters at Devon Seafood Grille. Great ambience and a fantastic server, but a couple of things kept this place from being a solid 5 stars:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Press Dinner: Angus Club Steakhouse

Angus Club: Meats & Sides
Tonight I was invited to try newcomer Angus Club Steakhouse a venture from 4 collaborators who have worked together at another popular steakhouse, but want to have their new project earn a reputation of it's own. True to it's name, all the beef served is USDA Prime Black Angus and what sets them apart is that all of their steaks are aged on premises for 30-35 days.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No Shades of Grey at Sel et Poivre

Sel et Poivre: Crab Cakes with Ginger Sauce
Sel et Poivre was our first Press Dinner 3 years ago when we were a Newbie It remained one of my all time favorites throughout the years. I rarely visit the Upper East Side, but when I do I make sure to stop by and check in. When I was contacted about doing another dinner I was thrilled to have a reason to force me over there and have yet another lovely meal.