If you’ve spent any time with us at all and mention New York – we literally light up like a Christmas tree and turn into a bumbling mess because we love NYC SO.FREAKING.MUCH. We had a chance to accompany our clients at RGE RD they were invited to prepare a dinner for 30 American travel/culinary writers and influencers on behalf of Travel Alberta. It was also the same week as TravMedia’s IMM conference so we took that as a sign to hope the direct flight via WestJet a few days early to get reacquainted with our favourite city and set up some visits with our media friends who were in town for IMM as well as some pals in the culinary world.

STAY: We typically try to stay in a different borough each time we visit and on this trip – Brooklyn was calling. We stayed at the gorgeous Wythe Hotel for the first part of this visit and loved it. From the most badass hotel mini bar we’ve ever seen to the Brooklinen towels, RUDAS bathrobes and Goldies bath amenities – we loved the partnerships showcased in almost every nook and crannie in this property. The service here was impeccable – we fell in love with the doormen who were so kind and helpful. There were lots of nooks and crannies to explore nearby too. The Williamsburg Hotel and The William Vale Hotel are also steps away offering incredible views of Manhattan at rooftop bars, restaurants and cafes while surrounded by incredible architecture and design.

We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and stayed at the SOHO Grand for a few days with hosting and meetings in Manhattan and it completely took our breath away. With an unexpected upgrade, we found ourselves walking into a beautiful Deluxe King with a California king bed and a view that looked like a painting. The 65″ Samsung TV was epic (an interesting feature considering how little time we spent in our room) and the bedside controls for lights and windows were fantastic. There was no shortage of charging outlets in these room which we also super appreciated.  C.O. Bigelow bath amenities, Fretté bathrobes and a mini bar that had EVERYTHING you could possible want or need (including thong underwear for $40 USD) makes this one of the loveliest stays we’ve had in NYC. Once again – the doormen here stole our hearts and the concierge team was so helpful in getting a couple packages delivered for us during our visit.

EAT: It was hard to keep track of all the noteworthy eats on this trip…Le Crocodile in the Wythe Hotel was phenomenal. Old school brasserie with French classics like steak tartare, proper frites, a not so traditional roasted pork chop with sautéed kale and anchovies topped with burrata and of course, freshly baked madelines for dessert. We hit up indoor winter Smorgasburg at the Brooklyn Flea and enjoyed some dumplings, Du’s Donuts at the William Vale (Wylie Dufesne’s little place) and popped into the Brooklyn Bowl for some

Le Crocodile – Pork chop w/ burrata and anchovy sautéed rapini

pigs in a blanket and a beer for a snack. We can’t go to Brooklyn without a pit stop for pasta and a visit with Chef Silvia at LaRina Pastifico + Vino. In Manhattan, check out Wildair (fantastic wine list – small plates, very tasty, there’s a crudo dish inspired by Swan Oyster Depot’s Sicilian Sashimi), King Restaurant (set menu, gorgeous pasta and lovely service by alum from London’s iconic River Cafe), Clay Pot on Bleeker for midday comfort food in the West Village, Uncle Boons (which is an absolute must for Thai and just an awesome dining experience – order slushy beers), indulged in a chocolate chip cookie at Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side, Ivan Ramen in the East Village, delicious Steak Frites at the Grand Bar in the Soho Grand. We hosted media at Koreatown’s COTE on this trip which meant an over the top dazzling experience that can only be defined as “sexy Korean BBQ” (this is a MUST – there’s nothing like it in Canada – order the butcher’s feast and be part of the tableside show) and at Cafe Boulud (which was truly impeccable and the quintessential New York dining experience you’d think it will be on the Upper East. It may be “just lunch” but goers were dressed to the nines. We also enjoyed a pit stop into Nom Wah Tea Parlour’s

COTE – Steak tartare and beef tendon crisps

Nolita location for dumplings and noodles followed by a Negroni at Balthazar a few blocks away. One of the biggest highlights of this trip was Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards where we indulged in so many delicious bites…Suckling pig paella, Iberian jamon, tortilla de patatas (potato omelette sandwiches). With 13 kiosks serving sweet, savoury, land food and seafood and an additional three restaurants and two bars – this was a feast for the senses and just a wonderful sight to see families of all cultures enjoying the casual dining experience.

 

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SHOP: There’s wasn’t a lot of time for shopping on this trip but had to stop in MUJI to pick up some essentials and popped into ZABAR’s – legendary European grocer in the Upper West. This was people watching at its finest. Pick up a few pieces of chocolate and cinnamon rugelach to snack on in the hotel.

SEE: Can’t go to NYC without going to a Broadway show…This time, we went to see Hadestown which did their rehearsals in Edmonton – fresh from winning a Grammy for Best Theatre Album and won a Tony Award for Best Musical this year. It was spellbinding…and Reeve Carney was a joy to watch. Incredible talent on one stage…

Needless to say, NYC never disappoints – can’t wait for our next visit.

 

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