Wordless Wednesday: City Delights

I love being able to casually walk around New York City with deadlines, worries and pending items on my mind, only to be amazed by buildings like this one. Almost like it came out of nowhere, demanding my attention.

[Dinner] Grano Trattoria

I love Italian food, as any sane person should. Cheese is everything, no questions asked. When it was time to pick where to go for my first birthday dinner (yes, there is more than one, duh) I wanted to go somewhere Italian.

I’ve been dying to try Rosemary’s in the West Village, many friends have recommended it, but there were no reservations available when I checked. Thanks to the Open Table app I discovered another option for dinner, Grano Trattoria.

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Obviously, I started with the daily selection of cheese. These were particularly more special since I had been on some sort of cheese deprivation period, which basically means that I was eating normal amounts of cheese and no the ridiculous amounts that my heart desires.

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This is what got me. This risotto was DELICIOUS. It was the perfect balance of thick and creamy. I think by some, this risotto can be considered more on the cheesy/creamy side, but in my eyes that equals perfection.

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My boyfriend got the veal parmegiana, which looks messy but was actually pretty good. I’m not a big fan of veal, but he said it was good. He’s usually an easy chicken parm kind of guy, so I think that says a lot.

So that’s how my birthday celebrations began! If it was up to me, I would celebrate all month (which I kinda do in some way) but I tried to be normal and kept the celebrations down to a week. I always love to go out to dinner and try new places, but there’s always a nice extra touch when you’re going out for a special occasion. You don’t need to get me any presents, just feed me, seriously.

[Brunch] Jane Restaurant

I admit I’ve been slacking on brunch posts. Don’t you worry, this in no way means I have been deprived from the wonderful glory that is breakfast food at what some people call lunch time. I think winter is getting the best of me and going anywhere outside of my radius has been somewhat of a challenge. You know that you’re in the midst of winter when 40 degrees inspires you to go out.

I know I am super late in the game, but I’ve finally discovered the wonder that is Open Table. I have used it before and it’s always been great, but I had never used it for brunch and let me tell you, it’s amazing. You really feel like New York royalty when you walk into a crowded restaurant and find a lovely table open and waiting just for you.

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Before I even get into the wonder above, I must say the Jane Restaurant has some sort of strawberry butter and it is delicious. Anyways, let me just say I have never thought of seafood as breakfast. The thought is still a little weird for me, but I decided to give Lobster Eggs Benedict a chance (or Lobster Benny as it’s called in the menu). Excellent decision. I would have liked more lobster, but it’s ok, I wouldn’t have been able to eat more anyways because I stuffed my face with bread and strawberry butter.

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Classic, but good, you can’t go wrong with this Farm House Popover – scrambled eggs, smoked ham, gruyère and caramelized onions.

What’s nice about this spot is that you get a complimentary cocktail with each entrée. What’s not so nice is that NY laws prohibit the serving of alcohol before noon on a Sunday, so remember that. I obviously forgot and sat down at 11:30 am, needless to say I took my sweet time admiring the menu. 🙂

Cheers!

Happy Friday

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Maybe it’s the good book I’m reading, maybe it’s the lovely fall weather or maybe is the interesting people that walk by, but coming to Washington Park after work today was the best decision I could have made.

There’s something about being in noncommercial public spaces that makes me happy. I can just sit here and chill without getting a cup of coffee or the pressure that I need to be quick because someone else needs my seat. You see, I have two hours to kill while I get to meet my friend for dinner and I decided to sit on a bench and read (well obviously I’m writing this now, but you know what I mean).

It’s pretty awesome to see this city come alive on a Friday evening. You can sense people are happy or maybe I’m just happy and can’t notice anything else or maybe sad people don’t come to this park.

I may hate this city at times, it’s fast pace insanity and all, but it’s pretty awesome and for now, this is where I want to be.

Happy Friday, y’all.

Mine is about to get even better with tapas and good company, cheers!

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Best Places to Have Lunch in SoHo

This list should actually be called: “Best places to have a delicious and “ok” priced lunch around my old office in SoHo”. I’m no expert, but I know what I like and I know what my wallet doesn’t.  Below are my favorite places to have lunch in SoHo, this list has been in development since I started working in SoHo almost two years ago. Some places are cheaper than others, but one thing they all have in common is they can provide a delicious lunch in less than an hour. This list has been evolving since I started the post, since sadly some places closed.

La Esquina

My all-time favorite is the “Pepito” and fries with chipotle mayo. Note that the fries do not come with chipotle mayo, but I highly recommend you order it for the ultimate experience, you can thank me later. If you can’t really sit down they also have the option to order to-go on the outside, slightly different menu, still amazing.

la esquinaPhoto from La Esquina Facebook

Delicatessen + MacBar 

Every time I go to Delicatessen I fight the urge to order cheeseburger mac and cheese, because why not, right? Their special mac and cheese plates are to die for and honestly, totally worth it. If you are feeling like going against your heart’s desires, then I recommend the award winning pan roasted chicken thigh sandwich with cerignola olive pesto, sweet pepper aioli, burrata cheese & french fries.

macbarSome of the delicious mac and cheese plates offered on the menu! Photo from Delicatessen Facebook

SoHo Park

I’ve been here over 10 times and I always order the same thing, classic cheeseburger. It’s that good. The extra fun thing about SoHo Park is they have an amazing selection of dipping sauces for the fries, roasted pepper aioli is my dipping sauce selection. This place is also fun for outside seating and actually feeling like you’re in a park, so creative of them, right?

soho park nycPhoto by Cristina Nogueras

Salud

This place recently opened and although I have only been there once, I’m planning to return soon. I love their tagline, “a Latin-take on organic”. It’s really what Salud is all about. I had the quinoa veggie burger and I never expected it to be that amazing. The owner was very nice and even treated me and my friend to some homemade brownies that I believe were made with a chocolate he prepares himself. Salud also has a brunch menu, which obviously, I need to try.

saludnycPhoto from the Salud Instagram, the veggie burger I had at Salud looked so delicious, I totally forgot to take a photo!

Cafe Habana

I’m Puerto Rican, so I love everything our neighbors in Cuba have to offer in terms of food. Cuban food hits close to home and always makes my soul happy. This spot offers a variety of Cuban food, with some other Latin American touches as well, including tacos. If I could, I would always go for the skirt steak, but their Cuban sandwich is also delicious and rumored to be one of the best ones in the city. See for yourself!

habanaGrilled corn, so delicious. Photo from Cafe Habana’s Facebook

Emporio

If you don’t like pizza don’t bother coming here, or being my friend, for that matter. With a nice selection of brick oven pizzas, this place is a great place to go with a few coworkers and share some slices during your break. You can also eat the pizza all by yourself, no sharing required.

emporioMy choice of prosciutto and cheese, classic & great – Photo by Cristina Nogueras

Bread

This cute Italian restaurant is as charming during lunch as it is during dinner. I’ve been able to make my way through the menu and I must say, I can’t get enough of it. If you are having lunch there, the tomato soup is a must. Oh, and in case you were wondering, they do have bread and it is very delicious.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPhoto by Cristina Nogueras

Parm

If you go to Parm, you get the parm. The folks there are extremely good on making these chicken parm sandwiches, so ordering anything else seems like a crime. I have, however, ordered the garlic bread knots and they were very good… followed by a chicken parm sandwich, of course.

parmParm from parm – Photo from Parm’s website

Grey Dog

Looking for a quick, yet nice place to sit down and have lunch? I’ve only been here once, but I had a very delicious sandwich that left me feeling satisfied.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetQuite frankly, I forget what this sandwich was all about, but the pesto was absolutely amazing. – Photo by Cristina Nogueras

Spring Natural

To be honest, this one is making the list because I wanted to reach to 10 and I figured I had to get in a place that was healthy overall, just to ease my guilt. It may be a little overpriced for certain simple items, but after all, it’s SoHo. Their salads are really good (yes, I said that) and the bread they start you with is really good as well.

spring street I’ve tried to kept my photos to what I have tasted, but this looks delicious, could not overlook it! Photo from Spring Natural Facebook

 

What are your favorite SoHo spots? Share them with me below!

Follow @peaceloveanddietcoke on Instagram for more.

¡Buen Provecho!

I Love Brunch.

I especially love Sunday brunch.

There’s something magical about having no rush to get breakfast and the security of knowing you will be able to get bacon no matter what time you are seated at your table is simply delightful.

I know it’s only Monday, but the idea of a good breakfast can make me happy at any point of the week.

Cheers to good food and a new week!

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Classic scrambled eggs, baked pancakes & an exquisite oyster omelet.

Sunday Brunch @ Prune in NYC  – Totally recommend this place!

 

Central Park: Feels Like Summer, Looks Like Fall

Feels like summer, looks like fall

“Let’s go to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday!”

That was ambitious. You would think that for someone who trekked four hours to the beach every weekend of the summer a trip to the Bronx from Hoboken is nothing. But you know how it is, it’s the weekend, you get lazy and you end up at the Central Park Zoo (which is still an accomplishment considering I had to train 45 minutes from Hoboken).

The Central Park Zoo is actually not bad, considering they don’t have giraffes and that their polar bear recently died (RIP Gus).

It was a fun day where the summer and autumn played along nature and the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze made an excellent mix. Confusing for your choice of wardrobe, but one of the best weathers for a stroll down what I consider Manhattan’s gem: Central Park.

Casually visiting the tropic

Where concrete meets nature...

Leaves are turning...

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