Happy Hump Day folks!
As promised, here is a photo recap + daily highlights of all the things my friend Katie and I did last weekend on our trip to New York City. You may remember that Katie had NEVER been to the Big Apple before (say what?!) + my needing to get-away for a few days made the perfect excuse for our little jaunt out-of-town.
Per Katie’s request when I began putting together an itinerary, I made sure to include a combo of “NYC things she had to do” – this included good restaurants, shopping, and some quintessential NYC places to visit.
Enter the Empire State Building.
It was a beautiful day (pretty clear and sunny), but very windy.
We decided to buy the VIP Express Pass ($65 each) to visit the Main Deck on the 86th Floor. If you have the extra cash to spend, I’d definitely recommend this option when visiting the ESB, especially if you are on a time clock or have kiddos. It was so nice to just sail through the railings and various elevators all the way to the top.
After visiting the ESB, I suggested we mosey over to Rockefeller Center to sightsee, shop, and get a snack.
We also stopped by Bryant Park as we happily discovered that the Christmas Shops were already on display, along with the outdoor ice-skating rink, and various cafes and food vendors.
Later that evening, we headed to Beauty & Essex for dinner and boy was it a pretty great experience! In fact, it ended up being our favorite restaurant that we went to. We just loved the ambiance of the place and the food was so good.
Patrons are welcomed into a pawn shop upon entering the restaurant space.
But then, you walk into the actual restaurant and you are greeted by a banquet counter, a spiraling staircase, chandeliers, and dimmed lighting. The bar we passed as we were led to our table looked ah-mazing.
The Day’s Recap:
Lunch: Maysville – we liked the food here and our Bourbon cocktails.
Dinner: Beauty & Essex
Coffee & Snacks: Bouchon Bakery
Activities: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park
Hotel: 60 LES
This was our fancy day.
We then walked to 5th Avenue.
We shopped a bit more before our Afternoon Tea reservation at the Plaza Hotel. Lovely, just lovely.
We walked around the Plaza Hotel and Central Park after our Tea Time, before heading back to our hotel to rest before dinner at Balthazar.
The food was delicious here, but we couldn’t keep commenting on how different it was from our Beauty & Essex experience the night before, and not in a bad way. Katie said it felt much more European here, while Beauty & Essex felt very New York, New York. It was definitely more crowded and loud!
The Day’s Recap:
Breakfast: Clinton St. Baking Company
Snack: Mangia, Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel
Activities: The Met, shopping on 5th Avenue, Central Park
Our morning began by heading to Brooklyn to see my friend Julie and her baby boy Noah, I hadn’t met yet.
Then it was off to see Waitress on Broadway! Both Katie and I had seen the movie with Keri Russell when it originally came out, so we were very interested and excited to see how the movie would be put together as a musical. Overall, we thought it was a fantastic production + we got to see Jason Mraz (his last performance is January 28, 2018) act in it!
The Stanton Social is owned by the same folks that also own Beauty & Essex, so it’s no wonder we also loved eating here. The ambiance was a bit different than Beauty & Essex, not as dark and “smokey classy” if you will, but still enjoyable. The food was top-notch.
After we said goodbye to Tiff, Katherine, Katie, and I headed to a rooftop bar, Mr. Purple, for some drinks (pic below), and then to our hotel bar, Tiki Tabu, for some more drinks, before calling it a night.
The Day’s Recap:
Breakfast: Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe – huge, delicious bagels.
Lunch: no time for lunch
Afternoon Coffee Pick-me-Up: Konditori (this cute Swedish Espresso Bar had THE BEST lattes!)
Dinner: The Stanton Social
Bars: Mr Purple, Tiki Tabu
Activities: trip to Brooklyn, seeing a Broadway show!
It probably comes as no surprise that Katie and I slept in this day. 🙂 And then we promptly headed to brunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar in our neighborhood!
After our yummy meal, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial to walk around there a bit, before heading to Battery Park so Katie could see the Statue of Liberty from afar.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and hitch a cab to the airport. 🙁
Needless to say, I think Katie definitely caught the NYC bug and will be back again!
The Day’s Recap:
Morning Coffee: Back to Konditori
Lunch: Momofuku Noodle Bar
Activities: 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park
Helpful Tip: Katie and I found that the PERFECT time to go to NYC in the winter is the weekend before Thanksgiving. Some holiday decorations and window displays are already up and since other decorations are going up at this time, you can still get a feel for the holiday season in the city. We were shocked that there were hardly any crowds where we went – we figured it was because most people were planning on coming the following week for Thanksgiving and then on into December.