The Best of NYC

Even though it has been a month since our trip to New York City trip I keep going through photos and thinking about how wonderful of a time we had. After returning home from NYC I shared our trip itinerary highlighting all of our daily activities but I didn’t go into detail about the best parts of our trip.

Hotel

We stayed at One Hotel Central Park. The hotel has a great location right by Central Park on 6th Avenue. This was not your typical NYC Hotel and I absolutely loved it. The hotel has over 24,000 plants throughout the building (in the lobby, guest rooms, halls, etc.) and is constructed from recycled and repurposed materials. It was such a unique and interesting building. Not only was it impressively designed but the staff was absolutely wonderful. We absolutely loves our stay!

Food

We had some truly wonderful meals while we were in the city. From great bakeries and room service to cafes and fine dining everything was wonderful! We had 3 dinners that were truly wonderful and will be remembered and also hit a few cute spots during the day.

  • Fine Dining:
    • Per Se– Our third night in the city we went to Per Se, which is owned by Chef Thomas Keller. Andrew and I had been to his Napa restaurant, The French Laundry, located in Yountville on our honeymoon. We were thrilled to visit Per Se. During dinner we did have a few familiar favorites that we had experienced at The French Laundry and some truly wonderful new dishes. The restaurant is located in Columbus Circle and has a view of the city and Central Park from the dining room. Definitely a highlight of our trip.
    • Eleven Madison Park– Our experience dining at EMP was by far one of the most exciting and lovely dining experiences I have ever had. The restaurant is located across from Madison Park and run by Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. It is currently ranked the 3rd best in the world and I now understand why. Not only were the courses delicious, exciting, and adventurous but the restaurant is beautiful, service perfect, and creativity high. Our dinner at Eleven was on our last night in the city and in celebration of our first wedding anniversary. I would say this experience was the peak of our entire NYC trip.
  • Dining:
    • Balthazar– Andrew and I took his parents out to dinner one of our first nights in the city to a restaurant in SoHo called Balthazar. I had heard wonderful things about the restaurant and was so glad that we made a reservation. All four of us enjoyed our meals and had a wonderful time. We started off with escargot for the table, followed by a wonderful French dish for each of us, and the finished with Crème Brulee and a Banana Tart.
    • Mangia– Andrew and I were looking for something simple after our walk through Central Park and our hotel concierge suggested Mangia. They have a lower half which it more of a cafe style and then a dining room in the upper half with a sit down menu. We headed upstairs and order pasta, pizza and cappuccino to finish. It was a simple but wonderful afternoon treat before we carried on with our afternoon activities.
    • Bouchon Bakery– I am not ashamed to say that I went to Bouchon three times while we were in the city… I know there are SO many wonderful bakeries and cafes in NYC but I after having Bouchon while we were in Napa I just had to go back as many times as I could. So maybe three visits is a little excessive but at least stop in once while you are in the city!

Activities

We walked almost everywhere during our trip which I truly enjoyed because it gave us a chance to really explore the area and take it all in. We tried to fit in as much as possible during out trip but there were a few activities that we really enjoyed.

  • Empty MET- We scheduled a private tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before it opened on Monday morning. While it was a relatively fast paced tour and we didn’t get to see everything, it was a great way to experience the museum without the crowd, noise, and distraction that you experience during regular hours. 
  • See a show- New York City has endless possibilities when it comes to the shows available. When we were planning our trip there were several that we wanted to see between Broadway and shows at the LCPA, but there just wasn’t enough time. We decided on seeing The Nutcracker ballet at the LCPA while Andrew’s parents went to the Rockettes. There are shows for everyone and at every venue, definitely see at least one while in the city!
  • Central Park- We didn’t actually set aside anytime to spend exploring in the park and I wish we had. Since our hotel was only a block away we figured we would have plenty of opportunities to explore but we were just too busy. Luckily, after visiting the Natural History Museum we decided to walk through the park on our way back towards the hotel. It was relatively empty and a beautiful December day. While we didn’t see nearly as much of the park as I had hoped it was so much fun walking around.
  • Hit the sites- Yes, it may feel touristy but the point of traveling (at least for me) is to explore new places and learn new things! Make a list of the sites that you want to see and the neighborhoods you want to explore. A few of our favorites- Greenwich, 5th Avenue (the holiday displays! so good!), Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, etc.
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Pictures from our first 2 days include a night at the ballet, visiting out favorite bakery, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral,  NYPL, exploring 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Plaza and having tea at the Plaza Hotel.
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Pictures from our last 3 days include dinner at Eleven Madison Park, exploring Central Park, tour of the MET, Brooklyn Bridge, NBC studios, Rockefeller Tree, and dinner at Per Se.

 

 

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