After a busy day exploring New York until the wee hours a middle of the night shower definitely made me feel brand new! A night of not so great sleep later we grabbed some coffee and took a stroll across 42nd street to Bryant Park.
I love Bryant Park. It is absolutely gorgeous with shady areas to read or eat and a huge sunny lawn. Love. It.
At the east end of the park is the NY Library. The detail on the building had my design side geeked out.
We continued making our way north via Rockefeller Plaza, 5th Avenue and my favourite store, Anthropologie (Rachel Green moment!). Not only did we find some awesome items at Anthro but one of the store employees (from Hong Kong) went to high school and university in my hometown – small world!
St. Patricks Cathedral is always impressive.
By now it was after 1pm and we had yet to eat anything so we headed for the subway, stopping in the MoMa store along the way and finally arriving at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods for picnic supplies.
Unfortunately the Columbus Circle WFs was my least enjoyable WFs experience ever. We braved the lousy layout and escaped to Bouchon Bakery to pick up macarons for dessert before we sprinted across the street into Central Park.
Our feast included salads…
and “packaged” cocktail shrimp (Columbus Circle doesn’t have a shrimp bar ), olive ciabbata buns, roasted tomato bruschetta and fruit.
I ate most of the salad but I was done after a few randy tasting leaves. The fruit didn’t taste that great and the shrimp was just okay. At least the bruschetta was tasty!
On the upside the macarons, did not disappoint!
We would have tried every flavour if we could have but settled on the Caramel, Pistachio, Raspberry and Blueberry.
The best thing about these Macarons was that the filling varied from the standard ganache. The Caramel was filled with melted caramel and the stars of the show were the fruity ones.
“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly!”. Literally.
The raspberry was filling was a tart yogurt base with raspberry jelly. OH EM GEEE it was out of this world. I literally took a bite and saved the rest until the end.
The Blueberry was similarly fantastic and was also saved until the end.
In my professional Macarons opinion the meringue cookie could have been crisper but the filling was the star of the show making these macarons stellar and Bouchon Bakery a must try.
New York is hands down the best place to people watch and Central Park certainly offered a lot to watch, including couples gymnastic.
After the surprise gymnastics show, a nap, and a desperate dash for the facilities we toured the park.
I love all of New York but there’s something about Central Park that makes me never want to leave.
A few hours of walking helped make room for SPRINKLES!! Sprinkles is the original cupcakes only bakery and the newly opened NYC location was on my MUST DO list.
Sprinkles did not disappoint.
Lets begin with the branding because that’s my “thing” in and outside of my job.
Inside and out the store screams the sprinkles brand. Everything in the store, from the cupcake mixes, menu cards and seating area work together and is there intentionally. (sorry no pics, my memory card was full). Sooo well executed.
The service was personal and friendly. I always enjoy when my name is written on my coffee cup and was surprised to be asked for my name at Sprinkles… but I loved the personalize service!
The product. As Joey (Blossom) would say, “WOAH!!”.
I expected Sprinkles to be good, I’d heard A LOT of hype, but I did not expect to be so blown away. The cake was soooo moist (perfectly cooked not soggy) and the icing was just sweet enough.
(l to r, J’s Strawberry, Chocolate, Red Velvet)
As much as I’m a vanilla girl I could not resist the chocolate cupcake with sprinkles and it was fantastic.
Since I was here with Jules we had to split the Red Velvet. One bite and we immediately proclaimed it to be the best red velvet ever. In particular the icing was AMAZING… but the cake was also amazing. Lets just say everything blew our minds.
The big disappointment was hobbling father east (I had an injured foot from baseball) to Dylan’s candybar.
We were excited for some old skool and unique candy finds but found regular candy at a huge mark-up. Needless to say we left empty handed.
Our dinner destination was Hell’s Kitchen which came highly recommended. Described as “progressive mexican cuisine” I thought it was a cross between upscale mexican and cuban or brazillian.
We arrived at 9pm on a Saturday and managed to snag one of the last tables in the restaurant.
Each table is started with complimentary cornbread and a gorgeous whipped black bean dip.
I don’t even like cornbread but this shizz was good! If it had been topped with cinnamon sugar it would have been more of a dessert bread but the bean dip made it was a fantastic starter. Jules may or may not have wiped the remmekin clean.
I was excited about what this meant for dinner.
Sweet plantains topped with guac and grilled shrimp served with sauted peppers/zucchini. Super awesome!! I especially loved how flavourful the veggies were without being oily or heavily sauced.
The only thing I would have changed is to have been less stuffed so we could have tried dessert. I guess there’s always next time!