Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2012

Viewing NYC from the Palace to the Bulldog

I did a major change in scenery when I headed from Florida to New York City.  I had a lot to get in and decided to stay in Manhattan for a few days for the first time ever. There was no quick in and out this trip. I was going to explore, taste and visit my way around the Big Apple.

There’s almost nothing better than a greeting of fruit, snacks and refreshments after a long day of traveling, but I found the something better next to my bed at the New York Palace. I have traveled to many hotels around the world, from comfortable to luxury.

This one stumped me with something I have never seen before. It was so simple, just a little remote control on my night table that controlled the room lights and temperature.  Without getting out of bed during the night I could turn up the air conditioning, the heat, or turn either off. One of these days I will make a list of my favorite hotel room amenities and this will be toward the top!

The temperature control helped me get a good night’s sleep and I was in for another surprise when I opened my drapes. There right in front of me was St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Regardless of your religion (or if you have one at all), the sight of this beautiful, historical building is something worth seeing. I took some time to luxuriate in my large bathtub before heading downstairs to meet my pal David Kenas.

David and I have known each other for many years as we both covered a lot of the same players at the U.S. Open. He’s known as a tennis photographer, but what many don’t know is that he’s also a part owner in Bulldog Gin. We’d been talking for a while about getting together for a tasting and we were finally able to arrange it.

It was a cool day in Manhattan as we walked around trying to pick a place for lunch. Ironically, we ran into a Bulldog Gin truck along the way before settling into the lounge at Pop Burger. I ordered a gin and tonic then (which happens to be my favorite cocktail), but have since tasted Bulldog straight. While I usually go for the gins heavy in herb, I loved the smoothness of this one and I’m not alone. Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave this gin its highest ranking for the spirit.

Don’t expect the usual juniper jumping out at you when you’re sipping Bulldog. Instead, this London gin shifts the focus to dragon eye, a fruit related to lychee, and poppy. It comes through with a hint of spice rather than herb, and is easy sipping even on its own.

I had some free time to take a long walk back to the New York Palace before my daughter, Sam, met me. We decided to head down to Times Square to one of our favorite places. While many come to New York City in search of that five star restaurant, I was in search of comfort food and for me that’s a bowl of chicken noodle soup, some potato pancakes and a piece of chocolate marble cheesecake at Juniors. I have yet to find a place that does any of those better in my opinion.

We decided to head out for a drink and had some time to make it a relaxing one. We had never been to The View at the Marriott Marquis and I’m glad we decided to do it. We headed for a window seat at the top and enjoyed the view as the lounge rotated with our drinks. It was a Pear Ginger Cocktail for me and a Malibu Breeze for Sam before we called it a night and I got ready for a full day to come in Manhattan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My First Taste of Colorado

I was lucky enough to time my New York visit with the Colorado Tourism Harvest event and it was quite a preview into my trip to come.

The event was held at The Little Owl venue down in the Village. It’s an interesting space that’s being used for pop-up dinners, with an open kitchen and plenty of room to mingle. I took my daughter, Sam, along and we spent some time mingling. I was excited to see Anna Watson, who was the lead on my trip to Champagne & Burgundy (she’s now working in the food industry and has a great blog, The Yellow Table).

I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the food and drinks at A Taste of Colorado Harvest event. There was no fish at all, so I was able to try everything. The food was prepared by Chef Justin Cucci (left), who oversees the food at the Denver restaurants Linger and Root Down. The menu was clever and fresh and consisted of passed oversized Hors d'oeuvre that highlighted what’s fresh in the state right now:
Fried Green Zebra Tomatoes with Charred Goat Mozzarella, Organic Golden Beet & Sunflower Pesto, Pea Shoots and Hibiscus Gastrique
Asian Pear Chutney, Cilantro
Justin’s Peanut Butter, Miso Butterscotch, Cabernet Jelly Whipped Cream
Slivered Ginger, Avocado, and Green Zebra Tomato Water, Watermelon Radish, Cinnamon Caps, Sesame Seeds
Chia Seeds, Amaranth, Cornmeal, Ginger, Molasses, Cinnamon, Clove, Fava Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Habanero Vin and Goat Cheese
Palisade Peaches with Charred Pistachio-Fava Hummus, Feta, Micro Basil, Pueblo Piñon and Smoked Paprika
Homemade Sourdough Bread, Pickled Lemon Cucumber, Daikon, Carrots, Mint Watercress, Cilantro, Fresno, Sambal Cream Cheese, Aioli, Five Spice Bean Curd
Olathe Corn and Roasted Pueblo Chile Avocado Lime Salsa
Refried Black Quinoa, Radish & Slaw

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like, even the Denver Tofu and Black Bean Miso, though I don’t normally go for tofu or Miso. I’d have to say my favorites were the BBQ Bison Tacos, Peach Bruschetta and Olathe Corn Cakes. The Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups, inside a delicious dark chocolate shell, were the perfect dessert.

A bar featured Colorado cocktails, wine and spirits. While Sam did try (and like) Mama’s Little Yella Pils, I couldn’t get past the incredible featured cocktail, The White Peach Sgroppino, a unbelievable concoction created by mixologists Toby Cecchini (who was there to serve it).  It’s created with fresh, homemade peach sorbet, prosecco and peach vodka, topped with fresh peaches. Considering I am a big fan of the Bellini and this is even better.

After my preview of Colorado food and spirits, I am especially excited about my trip there at the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m off for a Midwest girls' getaway through Indianapolis, Cedar Falls Ohio and Chicago. Stay tuned for some great stories from the road…

Photos by Samantha Frost

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Day Travel – and Life – Changed

It’s hard to believe 10 years have passed since that horrible day. I was living on Long Island at that time in an area deeply touched by the effects of September 11, 2001. Many of my neighbors worked in Manhattan, some in and around the World Trade Center. I spent the day with one close friend whose husband worked in Tower Two. We waited for hours to hear from him and, though he did make it back unharmed, many in his office did not.

In addition to the people I knew who worked at the World Trade Center, there many New York City Firefighters who live on Long Island. I knew some of those who went into the building burning, collapsing building to help survivors, and search for others. There was one husband and wife who both worked at Ground Zero, not able to let their five children know where they were.

At the same time I worried about the adults I knew stuck in New York City, there were school children – one of which was mine – sitting in classrooms down the block. They didn’t know if their parents were alive (some were not) and what was happening to anyone outside of the school walls. Dismissal was early that day and cell phones would be allowed in the school after that, as students missed those final phone calls from their parents.

For many days, Long Island was isolated, as the bridges and tunnels were closed. The newscasts went on and on, showing the planes crash over and over. It got to the point where I was ashamed of being a journalist as there is a fine line between news and exploitation. No one was happier than me when the Mets started playing, the sitcoms were once again broadcast and we all did our best not to spend every moment thinking about what happened.

I saw the changes in the world almost immediately as I began to travel. Airport security took on a new meaning. First, my laptop came out and I could no longer carry water. Then soon the shoes came off and the scanners appeared. Travel – and life – changed completely.

As the days and years went on, I did my best to remember those lost and those who served us, but I hated the thought of this 10 year anniversary celebration.  Life has forever changed for all of us and while I still feel that ratings was the biggest motivation this week when playing 9/11 tributes, I did (tearfully) watch some of the speeches at the memorial and realized how many needed this. 

I don’t know that I will be able to bring myself to go down to the 911 Memorial, but I’m glad it’s there. What I do know, beyond all, that we have all learned how precious life is and how important it is to enjoy each day we can with our loved ones.

Aerial photo of 911 Memorial as of August, 2011 by Joe Woolhead, courtesy of 911Memorial Photos were not released to the press after so the families would be the first to see it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Salon Millesime Completes the Carlton Experience in New York

When I was in New York City recently I had the pleasure of staying at The Carlton Hotel and visiting the new Salon Millesime.  It was a too short visit, but enough to make me want to come back.

I pulled up to
The Carlton
and gave my name to the valet only to get the instant reply, “We’ve been waiting for you Ms. Frost.”  There’s no doubt that The Carlton is that kind of luxury, but it’s transitioned nicely into the 21st century.  The lobby is has been transformed with a modern flare and the rooms are also contemporary, with the convenience of free high speed internet and the luxury of flat screen televisions and Molton Brown toiletries.  There’s a 24 hour fitness center on the premises so you don’t have to venture out to Madison Avenue unless you want to.

Salon Millesime is downstairs at The Carlton Hotel and it’s one of the most unusual spots to hit Manhattan in awhile.  The earth tones are warm and welcoming and the atmosphere seems to take you back to a neighborhood of long ago, when you could hear the local jazz player, listen to the piano and have a few quiet drinks with friends.  The menu was just getting started with small plates when I was there (Owner/Chef Laurent Manrique has now opened a seafood brasserie up the stairs), but there were more than enough unique and tasty choices to satisfy anyone.

All the food was great, as it should be when supervised by a Michelin Star chef.  Don’t miss the Pork Belly Lollipops,  Meatballs, Tuna Tartare and Flat Bread, but make sure you leave room for dessert.   The Pot De Crème with espresso and caramel was yummy and the Profiteroles with ice cream on the spot.  The drink menu is filled with whisky, cognac  and old standards, but be adventurous and try one of their specialties, like the signature Night & Day.

There is live entertainment at Salon Millesime nightly.  You can check their current schedule on the website.  As for
The Carlton
, it may be New York City luxury, but they offer some great packages – especially for the holiday season.  Check them out next time you are in Manhattan.