So, you may have noticed that we have been MIA for a the last week or so. Well, that’s because we were living it up in Connecticut and New York City! Jessica lives up in Connecticut, so I went up to visit for about 5 days. We spent the first few days visiting some amazing places around her place in Connecticut, then went into the city for a 24 hour NYC adventure. I feel compelled to mention this is not a post about “clean” eating. It’s more about a simple love of food, local and fancy alike. In our clean eating philosophy, we will consider this post the 20% of our 80/20 rule.
I made my way up via the train. I love the train, but the culinary options are less than desirable. I always bring lots of healthy snacks with me so I can avoid the microwave atrocities they serve. The Almond Butter Protein Balls are an excellent train snack as well as the trail mix, or even just some grab and go fruit like a banana or apple. But I will say I was starving when I finally arrived. We started our journey by exploring the quaint town of Greenwich, stopping at a posh wine bar and then a local Irish pub with surprisingly awesome food.
Jessica and her boyfriend are doing the Connecticut Wine Trail Passport. It’s really fun. We have one here in Virginia too, but their’s is way cooler. Basically, you visit all the vineyards and wineries on the passport, taste the wine (its a tough job, but someone has to do it), then they give you a stamp. There are prizes for finishing it. Top prize is a trip to Spain. Um, yes please. So in an effort to help Jessica win a trip to Spain, the next day we went wine tasting, of course. I was so excited about this because I live in Virginia wine country, and consider myself somewhat of a wine snob. It was so fun to see the “local” culture in Connecticut. Our first stop was Bishops Orchard, Farm Market & Winery (www.bishopsorchards.com) in Guilford. If you live anywhere near Guilford, please go there. It’s amazing. You will not be disappointed. You could spend an entire Saturday there. Start by picking some fruit, then do a fruit wine tasting, then get some yummy BBQ from the food truck that makes everything from scratch, then get some gourmet groceries. Like I said, full day. Back to the food truck, yes, we did have some because the smell was irresistible. I had the pulled pork with the homemade coleslaw, and Jessica had the slow cooked beef brisket. So delicious. We visited one other orchard that day then ate dinner at Jessica’s. Of course we had an MCK recipe – the Coconut Curry Chicken.
The next day we worked (boo, but have to earn the money to support our food addiction) then went to a local brewery called Two Roads. The beer is all made there on the premises. The founders of Two Roads decided to buy a 100 year old building and renovate it instead of building a brand new building. What a great decision because this place is really cool. I tried a couple of their homemade brews, and honestly couldn’t pick a favorite. But the Road Jam Raspberry Wheat was particularly smooth and tasty, just not very traditional. But that’s the way I roll. We spent the evening in the little downtown where Jessica lives. Connecticut towns are adorable, I think I saw like 30 town square gazebos while I was there!
We got up early (really early) the next day and headed into the city via the Metro North train. I love that you can get just about anywhere by train in the Northeast. I miss living up there. We got into to Grand Central around 8 am, grabbed a cab, dropped our bags at our hotel then headed down to Chelsea on the subway. Our plan was to start there and walk our way back up. I bet we walked 8 miles on Saturday! I had never been to Chelsea Market before. I loved it. We stopped and got a very delicious yet completely unhealthy pastry. Then we went to this little spice shop called Spice and Tease (www.spicesandtease.com). They have tons of fresh, loose spices from all over the world. The company was founded 4 generations ago in Italy, expanded to France in the 60’s then opened their first US location is 2003. They family has a commitment to finding what they call “first grade” ingredients sourced and traded with the best producers and small farms all over the world. You can find just about anything you would ever want here. You can order online, so check it out.
We then journeyed up to Eataly (www.eataly.com/nyc). Eataly was opened by Mario Batali and is an Italian market with products ranging from fresh produce to homemade pasta, to Italian cookware. There is a raw bar, espresso bar, gelato bar, cafe and pizzeria. It’s huge. They do cooking classes and demonstrations too. I go to Eataly pretty much every time I’m in the city. I truly love this place. We met some friends there for lunch and had another unhealthy meal of margarita pizza. But, that pizza was worth every single bit of unhealthiness. It is so good. We worked off the pizza and pastry by walking all the way back up to our hotel in just below Central Park.
For dinner we went to Bar Americain, one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants. The food was good, wine was good, service was excellent and the atmosphere was entertaining. After dinner, e made our way over (just around the corner) to Caroline Comedy Club, which was awesome. Then went back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. The next morning we splurged on breakfast with a trip to Norma’s at the Le Parker Meridian Hotel (www.normasnyc.com). I describe Norma’s food as “foodie hangover” food. It’s all delicious, and all decadent. The meal starts with a yummy shot size smoothie, compliments of the chef. Then fresh squeezed orange juice and a french press coffee pot gloriously placed on the table. I got the Light and Lemony Griddle Cakes. Don’t let the name fool you, its a marscarpone pancake topped with Devonshire cream! Honestly, my mouth is watering just typing it out. Jessica had the Norma’s Eggs Benedict. They make it with a buttermilk pancake instead of toast, layer it with Canadian bacon and top it with the most delicious grilled asparagus and hollandaise sauce you’ve ever had. We spent more than half our food budget on this delicious breakfast, but it was worth it.
We rolled ourselves over to the train station after breakfast to start our journey home. Needless to say, after breakfast, I wasn’t hungry the rest of the day. We are just starting to recover from our food extravaganza and will begin posting delicious and clean recipes again this week. We’ve missed you guys.
We’d love to know what your foodie summer indulgence was? Share it with us in the comments!