Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our NYC Adventure

Mr. T and I recently took a trip to New York to visit my sister Sarah, her boyfriend Cameron, and their cat Puck.  Mr. T had never seen the city of New York from a non-tourist perspective, so it was quite fun to experience that with him.  We flew out of Charlotte at 6:00 am to ensure that we spent the most amount of time possible in the city.  We arrived around 8:00 am and took a cab to her apartment.  Sarah unfortunately had to work, but Cameron spent the day with us giving a tour of Manhattan.  We met Sarah at her office and went out to lunch.  After lunch Cameron, Mr. T and I took a leisurely stroll on the High Line.  If you haven't ever walked on it, you're majorly missing out.  The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It was originally used to bring animals in from the Hudson River to the Meat Packing District.  It's a great escape from the crowded smelly roads of the city.

That evening we went to dinner at Pipa, a Spanish style tapas restaurant that has amazing Sangria.

The next day the boys got up and went to the Yankee's game.  It was Mr. T's first time at one and he loved it.  The weather was absolutely perfect for it and they had a blast.  Sarah and I spent the beautiful day shopping... of course! That night we went to a great little Italian place for dinner.

Yankee Stadium

Sunday morning we got up relatively early to make the most of our last day.   While we were walking on the High Line on Friday, Mr. T spotted the driving range at Chelsea Piers.   It had been rated the best driving range in the country, so obviously he was dying to try it out.  Cameron and T headed out there for a few hours on Sunday morning, and met up with us later that day for lunch.

We went to lunch at Mottorino, a great pizza place where you can get real Italian pizza, not that by-the-slice crap.  We decided to keep that European thing going and head out to the Beer Gardens in Queens.  The only place I've ever been with beer gardens before was Munich, and when I found out that New York had some I was dying to go. We hopped on the Subway and ended up at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.  It was awesome.


We Then returned to Sarah's apartment, packed up, and headed to the airport.  I must say, having a slight buzz on the airplane made it much easier to nap!  I was out like a light.

Mr. T absolutely loved the big city and we're already planning our next trip back.  He is even trying to convince me that we need to move there. I guess I could always be the Hudson River Recessionista!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Birthday Dinner at AGR

As many as you know, I just had a birthday and boy was it a great one.  Most birthdays I hype up to be such an action-packed fun filled day, and get disappointed when they don't turn out just as expected. Instead I end up spending my special day on the couch watching documentaries on bulimia- no joke, this is how I spent my birthday last year. So, this year I decided to expect nothing special, and just be pleasantly surprised when good things happened.  Mr. T and I decided to not to gifts for each other this year, just a card and dinner.

We made reservations at American Grocery, a restaurant I've been wanting to go to for the last year.  We arrived for our reservation half an hour early so we stopped in to West End Wine to have a glass of wine (which turned into a bottle) before dinner.  We had never been to West End Wine before, but I was highly impressed.  Since it's a wine shop, their prices are unbeatable.  They have several tables inside where you can sit and enjoy your purchase, and offer complementary Gold Fish- a perfect accompaniment to any Pinot or Cab. They even offer delivery services from several restaurants around the area. GENIUS.

 After our $18 bottle of wine (that would have been at least $35 at any downtown restaurant) we walked on over to American Grocery.  The concept of American Grocery Restaurant has always intrigued me, the majority of all of their ingredients come from local farms and artisan producers-something the town of Greenville was missing downtown until AGR's arrival.

We started off with cocktails, I had the AGR Champagne Cocktail a simple mixture of champagne and St. Germain, two of my favorite things to drink combined. Then for our appetizer we tried the Charcuterie and Cheese Plate.

As for entrees, I filled up too much on gold fish so I opted for a salad.  My salad had local duck egg, duck prosciutto, frisée lettuce, blood oranges and was topped with a white balsamic and cumin vinaigrette.  It was awesome.

Mr. T really surprised me when he ordered his adventurous entree- Braised Beef Tongue. He loved it.  The flavor was amazing, but I had a really hard time getting it out of my head that I was eating tongue.  I had one bite and it was amazing, but that was all I could do.

 We opted out of dessert and instead walked down the street to meet some friends out for a few more cocktails.  A much better way to spend your calories, in my opinion. Overall the day was a complete success, low key and full of great food and drinks.  What more could a girl ask for?

 American Grocery Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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