My pre-NYC life in Chicago was perfect. Good friends, great city and I had a lovely spacious apartment with an extra walk-in closet. Even the cold and snow didn't bother me, as long as I had the space for my shoes and bags (+ new ones.) My only problem in Chicago was that I had just finished grad school and needed a job.
So in March 2009, began my New York adventure.
3 years, 4 apartments, 2 jobs and after the wonderful times spent with countless amazing friends, I am still here. I love this city beyond words. New York is though but as the song goes: "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."
Intro to New York 101
Several times a month, I am asked a simple question with the most impossible answer: "Where should we go in New York?"I have an e-mail template that I forward to everyone with a couple changes based on who is asking but the answers are pretty standard: Yes, see the Empire State, watch a Broadway show, Central Park is so pretty, 5th Avenue is a lovely, take a picture at the Times Square...
My favorite part is giving 'where to eat' advices. Anyone who takes eating as seriously as I do is a great mind that I think alike.
Restaurant scene is amazing in New York. I am in this city for 3 years, I try not to go to same place twice but there are so many newcomers all the time, it is impossible to catch up. Here are some of the must-see places:
Buddakan : The place where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner on the movie. I take most of my first-time visitors to Budakkan and everyone always loves it. The decor is beautiful and somehow the food is always consistently good.
Pastis + Balthazar + Minetta Tavern: The famous Keith McNally not-to-miss spots. Minetta Tavern makes me feel the lovely old-school New York vibe. Balthazar is my happy place and Pastis' bread basket is amazing.
Standard Grill: Located right below the Standard Hotel, what can be a better place for people watching? And having great cocktails + fries.
Maialino's: Absolutely one of my favorites. Everything is delicious and my friend ran into Madonna there!
Momofuku: Go all the way and indulge in the tasting menu.
Morimoto: Although I really really love Bobby Flay and Michael Simon, my favorite Iron Chef is Morimoto. His restaurant is as good as his dishes appear on TV.
Magnolia Bakery: Overrated cupcakes, but the amazing banana bread pudding makes my heart beat as I think about it now.
And DBDG, Nobu, Locanda Verde, La Esquina, Beauty & Essex, ABC Kitchen, Little Owl (good luck trying to get a reservation!), Shake Shack, Eataly, Extra Virgin, Bar Piti (be careful, every other table might be Turkish too)
Let me know if you are coming New York anytime soon :)