Fashion For Free . . .

If you're ever craving a fashion fix, I'd suggest you stop by The Museum at FIT. Because let's be honest, after a certain number of visits the sales women at Valentino start to catch on that you're not really going to buy that gown. At the Museum, you'll never feel pressure to purchase, since you can't. Truly New York on a dime. Completely free of admission and open to the public, I cannot think of an easier or more relaxed way to admire collections of stunning garments both old and new. And if you keep your eyes open, you might even see the next Alexander Wang or Marc Jacobs - the Fashion Institute of Technology's students roam throughout the gallery, taking notes and gathering inspiration from the greats.

The Museum is currently showing three exhibits:

The 1960s Fashion Revolution
Closing April 7, 2012

50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Closing April 17, 2012

Fashion, A-Z
Highlights from the Collection of The Museum at FIT, Part One
Closing May 8, 2012

Here are a few jaw droppers from Impact, my favorite exhibit, including a 2012 Oscar de la Renta gown that I pretty much died for right there in the gallery. 


Zara Sweater

Zara Fringe Bag

J. Crew, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and vintage Bracelets

Zara Flats


Cultural Adventures . . .

I've had quite the week of cultural adventures, if I do say so myself. Last night I saw the Boston Symphony Orchestra play at Carnegie Hall, tonight I'm going to a painting course at Paint Along NYC, and Tuesday night I took a cooking class at the new Sur La Table store on 57th Street. Cooking, music, and painting, all in one week. Sigh. I'm a lucky girl.

I'll let you know how the painting goes, but if you have any interest in getting better acquainted with your spatula and sauce pan, I'd highly recommend taking a class at Sur La Table. The whole experience was just fabulous. If you go with three friends, you'll get your own butcher's block and work as a team. It's really fun! And surprisingly easy (I'm a bit of a disaster when it comes to the kitchen). The class is lead by a head chef along with three cooking assistants. They set up all the equipment and provide aprons and name tags. After the class you get to eat the meal you've put together as well as shop through the store with a 10% discount. It's really a wonderful way to spend a week night - try for a double date or make it a girls night out. Take a peak at the classes offered HERE.

We took a French Bistro Classics class - very country, very rustic, very yummy. The class was lead by chef Judi Rose who taught us all the tips and tricks on making an easy and delectable French-bistro-style meal. We started by making a roasted potato and fennel gratin, and then whipped-up a thyme and fresh Chevre tart. Next was the main course of Gamay-braised lamb shank with Nicoise olives, followed by a dark chocolate and cherry clafoutis for dessert. Every bite was like taking a tiny trip to the French countryside. It was hard to believe that we made it all ourselves. Here are some pics from the night as well as the recipe for the clafoutis (personally, my favorite dish). If you want any of the other recipes feel free to email me - I didn't want to clutter the post - but I'm more than happy to share!

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis


3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspon salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing

3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1/4 granulated sugar
3 tablespons amaretto or other almond liqueur
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, place 11x7x2 inch baking pan inside.

Mix eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Process until completely smooth. Set aside.

Remove hot baking pan from overn and add butter, swirling the pan to coat. Place pan back in oven to continue heating.

In large saucepan over medium heat, add cherries, sugar and amaretto, stirring to combine. Cook until sugar dissovles and cherries are headed through, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove hot baking dish from oven and immediately pour in half of the batter. Quickly pout the warm cherry mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the reamining batter evenly over the cherries. Sprinkle with choped chocolate and place pan in oven. Bake until the clafoutis is golden and set in the middle, about 30-35 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and allow claufoutis to cool slightly. Serve warm and enjoy.

Bon App├ętit


Weekend Update . . .

Friday: Spent celebrating Dad's birthday with dinner at Per Se, drinks and jazz at Robert, cupcakes and gifts at home. Saturday: A morning stroll through the Lincoln Square Farmer's Market, window shopping along Columbus Ave, and a junk-food-fix at Shake Shack - concretes and cheese fries for the table (don't worry, I only tried a few bites). Sunday: Blueberry flapjacks and a skim cap at The Dutch followed by a post-brunch SoHo saunter, an afternoon with the family, catching up on reading and writing, and dinner together at Tao

It was a delightfully restful weekend, full of family time, 
memorable meals, and so many laughable moments. 

How was your weekend, anything exciting?


Little Black Tour Book . . .

I know, I know I'm a day late. I'm sorry, crazy week!
But here's your LBTB for the month of March.

Click the links below to be directed to each pick's site. 

ABC Carpet is my idea of interior design perfection. Just a few minutes walking throughout the store, and you'll instantly be inspired to redo your entire apartment. Every pillow, chandelier, table cloth, and coffee mug is the epitome of taste. If you're thinking of redecorating, ABC Carpet should be one of your first stops. It's also worth mentioning that they sell a wonderfully delicate and unique collection of handmade jewelry, which I always stop to admire when visiting this store.

Dinner at Soccarat Paella Bar is like taking a trip to Madrid for the night. With two locations in the city, one in Chelsea, the other in NoLita, this restaurant offers the comfort and liveliness of a typical dinner in Spain paired with the ambiance and food level of a trendy New York eatery. Whether you're going with a date or for a celebration, Soccarat is a fantastic place for a fun and absolutely delicious dinner. Order a bottle of red, a few tapas for the table, a Soccarat Paella to share, and you can't go wrong. 

Ring the buzzer to be greeted by a keen host who'll let you know when your table will be ready. Once inside you'll be utterly charmed by the deep velvet and dark wood that takes you directly back to a nineteen-twenties speakeasy. Every detail of this bar is perfectly attended to and the drinks are divinely creative, top notch. Sitting in the plush Parlor couches, holding a Ritz Champagne Cocktail at Raines Law Room is about as civilized as it gets. 

Chic and sophisticated, The London NYC is the ultimate cosmopolitan hotel. With Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay's culinary team heading the hotel's restaurants and bar, you'll be sure to experience the best of the best. Super luxe and located in the heart of Manhattan, this modern hotel offer spacious accommodations, attentive service, and a convenient location.
(Resident Tourist Bonus: the Manolo Blahnik store is just two doors away).