Sugar. Butter. Flour.
Katie and I watched the movie Waitress back in college. We fell for the quirky little movie featuring Keri Russell, and we got really excited when we heard it was being made into a Broadway musical. Then Sara Bareilles made the soundtrack. We should go! To New York! So we did. And we figured we should bring our husbands along for an autumn trip to New York, too.
Katie, T.J., Danny, and I booked the trip for mid-November, and before I knew it the weekend had arrived and we were taking our seats for the show. It was the first Broadway show for all of us, and Waitress was so wonderful. We laughed. We held back tears. We ate pie out of jars during intermission.
At one point Katie and I looked over to gauge whether the guys were into it or not. T.J. was on the edge of his seat. Danny’s eyes were glued to the stage. Neither noticed us looking their way.
The soundtrack for the musical became the soundtrack of the weekend. Someone would say sugar. Another would sing butter. A third came in with flour. I’m home now and still can’t stop singing it.
Go see Waitress!!
Okay so we obviously went to New York City to eat, too. There were so many incredible things we got to eat and drink and so many more we didn’t get to on this trip. Katie and I binge watched Gilmore Girls this year ahead of the revival, so it was fun to try the Gilmore Girls ice cream flavor at Ample Hills Creamery. Yes, there’s coffee in it! Russ & Daughters was our favorite bagel stop, and the menu itself is an education in smoked fish. I tried sable for the first time and loved it. We had an incredible dinner at Estela. We also had fun pre-gaming in our hotel room with gin and tonics while getting ready for a night out.
(A full list of where we ate is toward the bottom of the page.)
I’ll probably never live in New York City, so it was fun to explore for a few days with a couple of our best friends. (It was an especially welcome respite after a rough week.) The one thing I am sad to report about our trip is a serious lack of shopping. We were so busy zipping around the city that we didn’t really stop and shop at all the cool stores we walked by. Next trip: more shopping! I am also here to report that the best pizza in New York…is the one you eat in bed.
Where we went in New York City
Estela // The best meal of the trip. One of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and New York Times critic Pete Wells liked it, too. The Obamas ate there! We were swooning after every dish: mussels escabeche on toast, burrata with salsa verde, arroz negro with squid and romesco, lamb ribs, the lightest ricotta dumplings hiding under a layer of mushrooms shaved into perfect rounds, and pork with nettles. That chef is into circles. The rice arrived in a perfect circle, shallow and wide, with irresistible crispy rice. We tried sweet potato leaves for the first time! It’s a small, cozy restaurant, and it was an ideal final dinner where we could linger, laugh, and get nostalgic about a trip we were still on.
Russ & Daughters Cafe // We ordered a board per couple—the shtetl for Danny and me—which came with an everything bagel, smoked sable, goat cream cheese, and the usual bagel accessories. Definitely try a soda here! The cucumber and cream sodas were excellent. We all
shared devoured the babka French toast.
Black Seed Bagels // Bagel sandwiches (I had the beet-cured lox!) in walking distance from our hotel in Soho. Great coffee, too.
Leyenda // If I lived in Brooklyn, I’d be here a lot. A true, honest-to-God happy hour with $7 drinks! And the cocktails are so damn good. The Shotgun Wedding was especially memorable: gunpowder tea infused singani, cachaça, palo cortado sherry, coconut, vanilla, lime, fernet, nutmeg.
Clover Club // Dark, busy bar right by Leyenda with fancy cocktails. I really liked my Log Cabin with hazelnut-infused bourbon.
Mew Men // We ducked in here after a musical and before drinks and a late dinner reservation for restorative bowls of ramen. I loved the Shio-Paitan with its milky chicken broth. The fried chicken is worth ordering, too.
Pok Pok // Believe the hype about the wings. We loved those wings and another pork dish we ordered. Though the green papaya salad was so spicy for us that it sort of overshadowed everything else. We’re wimps.
Once Upon A Tart // Cozy little French cafe in Soho. We stopped in on our last morning for pancakes, a polenta bowl topped with fall vegetables, avocado toast, and chicken pot pie.
Mother of Pearl // Tiki! We all got some fantastical drinks here, including a very green cocktail for Katie and one that came in a shark head for me and “wasn’t done” until the server sprayed red… bitters? food coloring? … all over my shark head cup. It was hilarious and unexpected.
La Sirena // Mario Batali’s new and gorgeous restaurant. We stopped in for a bottle of wine and what I guess you’d call a pre-meal? We were somewhere between lunch and dinner, so we shared cauliflower carbonara with a side of bread and butter. It was a lovely not-meal.
TurnStyle // It’s a market in a subway station! We did some window shopping and had Bolivian salteñas (similar to empanadas) for breakfast before hitting up Central Park.
Corner Bistro // Burgers and beers in the West Village.
Whitney Museum of American Art // With two musicals to see and so much to eat and drink, we decided to visit the Whitney while we were at the High Line instead of the larger MoMA or the Met. We really enjoyed our visit here. The Dreamlands exhibit was a trip!
High Line // Public park on an old stretch of freight rail line. This makes for a fun walk and people watching.