Katz’s Deli

NYC Recap: Tourist Time

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My recent trip to New York City for NYFW was an absolute dream!! I had never been to the city (I know, I know totally un-American of me) and this was my first MBFW, so I was literally in heaven!! I’m so so excited to share with y’all the 10 days that I spent eating, exploring and eating my way through the city. This is just the first of many posts with a look into the first few days of our trip. We arrived on a Monday and Fashion Week didn’t start until Thursday, so we had lots of time to do allll of the tacky tourist attractions and boy did we! Clearly, from the picture above you can see that I won’t be doing any posts on how to pack lightly anytime soon. Hey, in my defense we were there for 10 days and had to pack lots of heavy items for the freezing temps!

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We stayed at The Archer Hotel on West 38th between 5th and 6th (if I had a dollar for every time I had to say that on the trip). I won’t complain too much, but it definitely wasn’t our favorite of hotels and my hubby has officially cut me off from picking in the future! While the hotel is brand new and super clean, the rooms were SO tiny (even for NYC) and the staff wasn’t exactly the friendliest or most accommodating. The location was a great central spot, but I fell in love with the meatpacking district so will probably stay more in that vicinity next time. I will say, The Archer Hotel has the best salted caramels that have ever graced the face of this earth- so that pretty much made up for everything else!

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Our first night, we had dinner at what was probably my favorite restaurant of the whole trip- ABC Kitchen. I knew I would love it after seeing pictures online and finding out that it was part restaurant, part home decor store, but the food also exceeded my expectations! Like many NYC restaurants, it didn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside was absolutely beautiful!! After a day of traveling (okay, maybe just a direct 2 hour flight from CHS>JFK, but still) I needed a cocktail, and the vodka thyme lemonade was absolutely perfect! I’m not a froo froo drinks kinda gal- aka give me vodka soda- but NYC has so many fabulous specialty cocktails that I just couldn’t resist. For dinner, we started with the tuna sashimi and house made sausage (weird combo, I know) and those were delish. But, the real highlight was the entree! We like to try a little of everything, so we shared the ricotta ravioli and the black bass. Now, I’m normally not a pasta or a fish fan, I mean I eat it but it never really wows me. Both of these dishes were unreal!! Everything they serve is made with fresh, organic ingredients and it shows! The flavor on the black bass was just out of this world- rich but kept the dish light at the same time. Clearly, I couldn’t even resist the ravioli long enough to take a picture! Seriously though, this was one of the best, if not the best restaurant we went to in New York. Look at the menu, I would literally eat everything on it!!

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After dinner, Todd wanted to take me to see Times Square at night. Enter my “Welcome to New York, It’s been waiting for you. Welcome to New York, Welcome to New York” moment! Seeing Times Square at night for the first time is something that will stick with me forever. Now, I will say that area turned out to be my least favorite part of the city, but seeing it is a big check off my bucket list and it was a pretty magical night!

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You may have seen my post on Instagram- Is it really your first morning in NYC if you don’t start it with a bagel?! I think not!! My hubby had done his research and knew that Russ & Daughter’s was the spot to go for an authentic New York bagel. However, upon walking in the shop I was a little overwhelmed with all of the fish! Luckily, I worked past that initial anxiety and even ordered a bagel with lox!! Which, I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan, but they were so nice and helped me pick a milder flavored option. This bagel was out of control y’all!! My mouth is watering just writing about it!! We ordered an everything bagel with salmon, scallion cream cheese, tomato and onion- mmm mmm perfect! We split it because this was just an appetizer to the meal we were walking a couple of blocks to next (I told you we ate our way through the city!). But, if you want a full sit down dining experience they do have an actual cafe rather than the store that just provides counter service. I prefer the counter service shop because of it’s convenience to our next stop, Katz’s Deli!

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Having been around for over 100 years, Katz’s Deli is a bit of a New York tradition and definitely one they need to keep! We had originally planned to go to The Carnegie Deli, but after seeing Anthony Bourdain go to Katz’s, we quickly made a change of plans! You can either order at the counter or do table service and we chose table service to get away from the cold weather for a bit. I knew I was going to like this place as soon as they brought us out a plate of house made pickles- who knew New Yorkers liked their pickles so much?! Since we had just scarfed down the bagel, we shared their classic pastrami sandwich on rye and a side of potato latkes. As you can see above, they really just don’t give you enough meat on your sandwich! I could barely fit my mouth around the whole thing, but it was delicious!! Definitely somewhere that you must stop when in NYC and I love the convenience of hitting both Russ & Daughter’s and Katz’s in the same meal!

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After that very hearty brunch, we needed to walk some food off so headed back to the Times Square area. I would not recommend this during the daytime, as there are people haggling you to buy stuff on every corner! Just keep walking and don’t make eye contact! But, we wanted to get tickets for one of the double decker buses- i’m telling you we were in serious tourist mode- and this was the best area for that. We wound up getting a 3 day pass with the Gray Line buses (the red ones). These were great for getting from place to place for a few days when wanting to site see, but I definitely wouldn’t rely on them for transportation your entire trip. Also, don’t count on the guides being very informative either! But, we enjoyed riding around and seeing everything in one easy swoop and having the flexibility to get off at any stop!

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See  ^ major tourist mode! Yes, those are Ugg boots in public and no, I do not even care. It was 20 degrees and my feet were warrrrm!! This puffy Patagonia jacket from Half Moon Outfitters was also pretty essential on casual days that we spent a lot of time outdoors. And not gonna lie, I’ve kinda grown to love it.

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What’s the number one tourist attraction you’ve got to see in NYC?! Top of the Empire State Building, of course!! This was another check off the ole bucket list and we so enjoyed getting to do this together!! The views are totally worth the wait in line and even the freezing wind at the top. Can you tell I’m cold in that last pic?! This was another one of those moments where you’re just in awe of where you are and how pretty freaking awesome life is! IMG_9727 IMG_9728

After freezing our booties off at the top of the Empire State Building, coffee was a must! Just so happened, there’s this awesome little food cart called Wafels & Dinges in NYC that serves BELGIAN WAFFLES with toppings AND COFFEE!!! Um, hello heaven! All I have to say is I’m glad there isn’t one of these in Charleston because I would be in trouble. I got mine nutella and strawberry topped and yes, it was just as amazing as it looks. DROOL!!

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What does one do to top off a touristy day in New York City?! Why see a Broadway musical, of course!! Considering I’m a huge theater geek, I was going to be happy with anything on Broadway, so I let the hubs pick what we were seeing. He saw the word Vegas and that Tony Danza was in it and was sold on Honeymoon in Vegas. I had never seen the movie before, so didn’t know what to expect, but the show was hilarious and the cast very talented! Since it’s a newer show, I don’t think it was nearly as big of a production as say Chicago or Phantom, but definitely something to see with your man to keep both of you entertained! Plus, they serve wine in tumblers- right up my alley!!

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Since the Lincoln Center was close by and I wanted to scope things out before the shows started, we had reservations to the Lincoln Ristorante that night. A traditional Italian menu with a New York twist, the food was perfect for lovers of charcuterie and red wine- aka my favorite meal! The ambiance was fairly quiet and laid back, with glass walls perfect for watching the people leaving the opera that night. The highlight of the meal was absolutely the buratta which was made with pomegranate and pistachios and I will forever be trying to recreate at home! After a long day of site seeing, sipping a glass of red wine and munching on some prosciutto was the perfect way to spend the rest of the evening! I couldn’t leave out a little bathroom mirror pic of what I wore that night (this is when we know I’ve had one too many glasses of wine). But, seriously I love this outfit, especially the Ted Baker coat that I scored for under $200 on sale!!

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When my hubby is on vacay, he doesn’t want the night to end so we headed up to our hotel’s rooftop bar- also another highlight of NYC, all the rooftop bars. I must say, while our hotel lacks in some areas, the view from the bar is not one of them! This pic isn’t great but we had the most perfect view of the Empire State Building! Talk about a way to end your second night in New York City! Like I said, this is just the first of many posts about our trip. I cannot wait to share with y’all all of the NYFW shows I attended, more yummy restaurants and of course, what I wore!! Stay tuned!!