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Old 4 Sep 16, 10:29 AM  
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#31
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Day 2 (Andy's Birthday ): John's Pizzeria

260 W. 44th Street

When researching New York restaurants John's seemed to pop up quite often and the Time's Square converted church location looked quite pretty so I added it onto the list.







I was expecting a wait when we turned up as we hadn't booked but we were shown to a two top table upstairs on the balcony. Again there were fairy lights throughout which gave a lovely festive feel.

Our server scared me a bit (a lot ) she was your typical brash New Yorker who took no prisoners, actually to the point of being a bit rude. Thankfully not to us directly as we didn't dare question her or the menu she was just sharp & abrupt to us. It's not often you feel thankful for that lol.

We ordered a large traditional to share which is just Mozarella, tomato sauce & fresh herbs. This was 8 slices for $18.50. You can then add on any topping that you like from a list.





We had from memory - chicken, garlic & mushrooms.

It was a lovely thin base and really delicious. A knife & fork job really as it was a bit on the floppy side. We took a couple of slices to go as it was huge!

The food & setting were great but the server made me a bit uncomfortable. I'm not sure I would rush back as there are so many other places I wanted to try but didn't get round to.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 10:37 AM  
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Day 2 (Andy's Birthday ): Birthday Cake!

We had a fab night at Aladdin which I can't even describe how good it was.



Then my thoughts turned to Birthday traditions. Andy is not the type of person who would want a public fuss made of him so he made me promise not to arrange anything whilst we were out.

I had looked into Birthday cakes around Times Square and there were a few lovely looking bakeries but even the smallest cakes still fed about 6 people. He is not a fan of cupcakes either

So Andy's super special 30th Birthday cake was bought in secret by myself from Duane Reade (I made him wait outside lol). There wasn't much choice by this time so he ended up with a mini chocolate Bundt cake.

I had already decorated the room whilst he was in the shower in the morning so that set the scene.



I still did it the proper way.









Yaay!

Bless him! He was more than happy with his "birthday cake" and even said it was surprising nice.

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Old 4 Sep 16, 10:54 AM  
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Join Date: Sep 12
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Day 3: Heartland Brewery

Port Authority Bus Terminal branch - 625 8th Ave.

We didn't have time for breakfast as we had to hot foot it over to Bryant Park before the ice rink got too busy.

I skated on my own as Andy has never done it before and didn't want to chance breaking his arm (he is a tradesman so wouldn't be able to work if he hurt himself). Well that's his excuse anyway, chicken.

It was fun. I wonder which one was me



After skating & pretty much bang on midday we headed over to Heartland Brewery near the Port Authority bus terminal. I'd seen it in a few food reports on the Dibb so really wanted to try it.



We sat in the bar area at the front.



A couple of drinks to start.






This was the Pitch Fork punch & very nice it was.

Bacardi Rum, Bacardi Black Razz, Amaretto, Orange, Pineapple & Cherry.



We shared some nibbles from the appetizer menu for lunch. I don't know why we never seem to eat a proper meal each?





Buffalo chicken wings.





These were good & had a great kick but very messy. It was a bit embarrassing sat at the bar with buffalo sauce in your eyebrows!

Tater Tots (with bacon & cheese!)







These were amaze balls (pun intended) Why did we have to share?! They literally lasted seconds. Crispy with fluffy potato inside, gorgeous cheese & bacon flavour. A taste sensation! ()
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Old 4 Sep 16, 11:04 AM  
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Day 3: Rangers Ice Hockey snacks

We went to watch a game of Ice hockey at Madison Square Garden.






Andy treated me to some candy floss (sorry, cotton candy!).



Which came with a free santa hat. I still wore it anyway! It came in handy later that evening when we walked the Highline to Greenwich Village and it was chucking it down!



The candy floss was nice, it had three flavours and was a massive bag. It pleased my inner child.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 11:29 AM  
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Join Date: Sep 12
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Day 3: Gallo Nero

95 7th Ave S.

There was no plan for dinner this evening. We found ourselves in Greenwich Village having walked the Highline. Andy was desperate for the loo about half way so we got off the Highline and popped into a random place called Death Avenue Brewing Company on 10th Ave for a drink. It was so pretty and intimate inside and smelled absolutely amazing but they hadn't started dinner service yet.

Look how pretty.



It looked even more cool at night with lots of candles.

Anyway, so later on that night after exploring the village we decided just to pick a random independent restaurant that looked nice. It was a risky tactic.

We spotted Gallo Nero. (sorry, awful picture).



Here's a better pic I stole from Google.



We were seated straight away. It was only a small & cosy little place.





Throughout the evening the staff were very friendly and our server couldn't do enough for you. He started off recommending us some wine which we ordered and enjoyed thoroughly.



Then we got bread & a delicious oil dip.





For mains, again our server asked us what kind of food we liked and recommended some dishes. Andy went for a rack of lamb dish of the specials board. I don't have any details of what was on it.

I'm sorry the pictures aren't great, it was quite dark inside the restaurant.



It was no problem that he wanted it serve with fries instead of what normally came with it. He could not rave about this dish enough. He said it's the best lamb dish he'd ever had. The meat was super tender and there was plenty of it (not mostly fat as it can be).

I had a chicken dish with proscuitto, a lemon wine sauce, asparagus & rice.



It looks hideous I will admit but tasted great. I really enjoyed it.

Overall I think our risk paid off, we had a lovely dinner & a nice evening. It was fun just to go somewhere we'd never heard of. Usually on our trips I research restaurants and have a list to try.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 11:56 AM  
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Day 3: Duane Reade snacks

Wow, it's only writing this now that it has dawned on me how many times we went to Duane Reade It was just so convenient though,

Tonight's dessert was frozen yogurt. There are a number of machines with lots of flavours to choose from. However it was quite late and all but 1 of the flavours were sold out.

Mint it is!

You choose your cup size, fill it up yourself & then add toppings as you please. There are a number of toppings normally but they were looking a bit depleted.





I did manage to scrape together some mini peanut butter cups (the chocolate on these tasted really cheap), cookie crumbles & gummy bears. It was pretty good.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 12:01 PM  
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Day 4: Duane Reade snacks

On the Fro-Yo run the previous night we also picked up a couple of small pastries for breakfast this morning.

We had a special brunch booked in for 12.30pm but needed something small to keep us going until then. We were quite tired out so spent the morning in the room chilling before getting our glad rags on & heading out.

Small chocolate chip muffin which was better than the previous one.





Not really sure what you would call this one but it was nice.





I liked the pecans on top.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 01:06 PM  
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Day 4: Rainbow Room Sunday Brunch

Warning! This is gonna be a really long one.

So our special brunch was finally here and I was super excited. As soon as i'd seen it online I knew I had to book it and thankfully we were there on a Sunday.

The Rainbow Room is situated on the 65th Floor of the Rockerfeller Center. The room itself is absolutely stunning and the name Rainbow comes from the light that diffracts through the beautiful chandeliers.



There are amazing views of the Empire State Building if you are lucky enough to be seated by the windows.



We headed up from the street through a separate entrance from the Top of Rock visitors enter (thank god as it's always swamped).



Up a few escalators and you are greeted with the check in podium. They take your coats into the cloak room and when your table is ready a member of staff escorts you in an the elevator up to the 65th floor. You do feel very special indeed.

Once you have arrived on the correct floor you are shown to you table. We were given a nice little table not directly by the window but we had a good enough view and were close to the buffet stations.

During brunch they have a live band playing really nice relaxing jazz music. They acts change according to date but the band when we were there were fabulous. I really felt like we had been transported back to the 1930s or something.

They are on a platform above the dining room.



I will add photos that I took of the room/buffet before posting the food photos.

















There was so much choice and each station had a theme:
Charcuterie meats, cheeses & breads
Salads
Carving station with sunday lunch accompaniments (yorkshire puddings, veggies, gravy)
Fried chicken & waffles
Breakfast sweets such as pancakes, pastries & bsgels, granola etc.
Asian section
Raw bar & sushi
A separate dessert platform with freshly made crepe station.

Onto the food..

When we were seated we were offered a complimentary champagne toast and given a plate of I guess appetizers.



It was radishes with chips and some whipped dips. I think one was tuffle and another was chivey. This was quite nice and we had a pick but wanted to save room for the star of the show.

Once we had drunk the small glass of free champagne we ordered a mimosa each (bucks fizz) which was great. The orange juice was very nice quality.



Then we hit the buffet. Here is my first plate.





Clockwise from top on first picture: Small slice of bread, fried chicken, warm honey mustard potato salad, honey carrots, breadcrumb topped cauliflower cheese, waffle, (not sure), shaved cheese slice, parma ham.

It was all great. The bread was a bit boring, I don't know why I chose that. The chicken was crispy & delicious but I found the waffle to be too soft for my liking. The carrots, cauliflower cheese & potato salad were fantastic.

Andy's first plate included some carved beef which you can see in the background just & a chicken pot pie. I didn't really focus on photographing his buffet selections. They were pretty similar to mine anyway.



The pot pie was extremely rich and had a heavy truffle flavour. Not that that's a bad thing at all but when there is so much stuff to try you really want to avoid super rich foods.

Another plate for me.





Clockwise from top: Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, honey carrots, mashed potatoes, stuffing & hand carved ham. I had a small amount of red wine gravy on there too.

Some repeats as I enjoyed them so much. The Yorkshire pudding was light and airy and the ham was beautifully tender and flavourful. The only thing I didn't really care for was the stuffing. It was a bit bitter.

I did have one last savoury plate (Andy stuck to just the 2). I couldn't get enough of some items & there were others I wanted to try. Don't judge!











Clockwise from top on top picture: Mini pancake with blueberry compote, fried chicken, parma ham, 1 more potato from the warm potato salad, pot roast, sweet chilli chicken steamed bun, honey carrot, cauliflower cheese & red wine gravy,

Andy thought I was mad having a pancake on there but I kept it clean The pancake was only OK in the end. I left about half as it was too stodgy to waste room on. I really didn't care for the steamed bun, not my cup of tea at all. The rest again was awesome. The parma ham is so good & I could easily eat my body weight in that alone.


Somehow we still had room for dessert after all the savoury food. It was a relaxed brunch though and we paced it out over a few hours just soaking up the atmosphere.

The dessert station is a separate platform away from the main buffet. It has shelves of mini desserts.



And also a chef making up crepes fresh to order with various toppings. There was quite a queue for these.



Another chef was making souffles fresh but again there was qute a long "waiting list" for these.



We stuck to the desserts that you grab yourself.







They really were a work of art.



Clockwise from top: Pistachio sponge with raspberry & white choc, Not sure exactly but something peanut, mini key lime tart, raspberry meringue, churro with hot chocolate sauce, frangipane tart with pecan glaze.

These were all good, surprisingly the mini meringues were a stand out and just melted in the mouth.

Now absolutely stuffed we called it a day!

Overall we had the best time. I can't really describe how wonderful it was. The setting was gorgeous, the food was amazing, the staff were great. The music made it that bit more special. It had definitely lived up to expectations. If we are ever back in New York I think it would be hard not to book it again. It really was the perfect thing to do to celebrate at special Birthday! Ok I will stop gushing about it now.

Not cheap at $95 each, mimosas were extra and gratuity not included. Totally worth it I think though.
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Last edited by MissFortune; 4 Sep 16 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 4 Sep 16, 03:20 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 12
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Day 4: Sugar Factory

835 Washington St (Meatpacking District)

I had been dying to pop here for a cocktail and thankfully Andy appeased me.

Borrowed pic



It was pretty busy be we managed to squeeze in at the bar. The two seats on the right as shown here.



We chose to share one of the big Goblet cocktails.



Raspberry watermelon Mojito. It was served bubbling & smoking.





It was really tasty and had plenty of candy to fish out. It was loads of liquid (enough to share between 3 or 4) and took us a while to defeat it. Just as well because it was $35 + tip No wonder they don't put the prices on the menu lol.

The desserts looked really good. I sneakily snapped this photo of the dessert a guy across the bar ordered. I felt like asking him if he needed any help, then his date/friend turned up.

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Old 4 Sep 16, 03:30 PM  
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Day 4: Rosie O'Grady's

We left the Meatpacking area late into the evening with a view of heading back to the hotel. Andy said he was getting a little hungry and that he wanted to pay a return visit to Rosie O'Grady's again before we left. I wasn't going to argue with him on his Birthday trip.

We just turned up and were seated straight away again.

I had the "MEDALLIONS OF FILET MIGNON 29.95"
au poivre - green peppercorns, brandy, touch of cream, broccoli florets and roast new potatoes.





I only seem to have received one potato but no bother when you've had such a big lunch. Normally i'd be a bit peeved though.

Andy chose the "PETIT FILET MIGNON 8 OZ 32.95"
hand picked black angus, aged for a minimum of two weeks. served with choice of roast, baked or mashed potatoes.



Somehow he ended up with fries despite them not being a menu choice. He treated himself to a side of mushrooms too.



I may have pinched a couple because they are so garlicky and delicious.

Another fab meal and a great last evening of our trip
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