If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (if not, you should!), you’ll know that I was in New York last week for a mini vacay with R. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon, just before the big snow storm “Jonas” hit the east coast and trapped us for a couple more days than we originally planned (no complaints here!).
Wednesday and Thursday we got lucky with beautiful clear skies and sunshine. We were staying at the Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan, Central Park. Our room had the most amazing view of the city.
After checking in and quickly changed our clothes, we were ready to start our New York adventures.
In the most random way, we found ourselves taking part in the audience of the Late Show with Steven Colbert. Not knowing before hand who the guests were, we were psyched when we found out that James Spader was the main guest (he’s one of R’s favorite actors!).
Show done, it was time to feed some very hungry bellies! The temperature was low and we needed something to warm us from the inside. Nothing better at that than a big hot bowl of delicious Ramen!We walked the dim and calm side streets of Manhattan, until we found ourselves in front of a tiny Ramen joint called Totto. It’s a tiny whole in the wall, that serves delicious Chicken broth Ramen and exquisite pork buns.
We slurped our Ramen away before heading back to rest for a busy next day.
Waking up to a crisp and clear view of the beautiful NYC skyscrapers was a dream come true. We hurried up, got dressed, got our coffee and strolled 5th avenue for some shopping!At lunch time, we’ve heard of a delicious Lebanese manousheh spot in the village, called Manousheh, that’s not to be missed.PS: Manousheh is a delicious type of Lebanese style flat bread/pizza . It’s mostly a breakfast food in Lebanon, but it’s delicious any time of day. We were over the moon to find out that they also sell some of the most nostalgic Lebanese tidbits. The infamous Bonjus pyramid pineapple juice (no pineapple in it at all, only sugar haha) that’s a must with a manousheh! Also Unica chocolate waffers, that every Lebanese kids knows and loves.
We started the meal with delicious Ma’moul before we dove in the zaatar (lebanese style thyme) and lamb manoushehs.At night we took the subway to the Village, where we had some not so good drinks at a beautiful looking speak-easy bar. The decor was absolutely gorgeous.After only few sips, we ditched our drinks, and went for a Italian feast, as you should when in the Village!De Andrea is a cozy Italian restaurant, prefect for an intimate dinner date or a little group gathering. The house wine is highly recommended. Get a carafe and sip it throughout your meal. Both R & I are big octopus lovers and don’t miss a chance to have some. So obviously, we started our meal with the grilled octopus with potatoes and black olives.
Tip: add some balsamic vinegar to the oil dip for some tanginess and extra depth of flavor.
We shared squid ink tagliolini with clams in garlic white wine sauce and saffron fettuccine with black olive puree. The pasta tasted fresh and was perfectly cooked al dente. The freshly shaved parmigiano on top was every cheese lover’s fantasy. We stayed tucked in De Andrea with our carafe of wine and delicious food for a couple of hours, chit chatting and planing the next few days. Little did we know that all those plans were about to get all jumbled up in the most perfect way possible.
Stay tuned …