Pre-Marathon Carbo Loading . . .

This Sunday is the New York City Marathon, and since last year's was cancelled due to Sandy, this year's is sure to be a big deal. While I wish I could give all you inspiring runners tips for Sunday's race, I think it's best if I just stick to what I know: food. More specifically, pasta. Those of you who know me, know that I love pasta. Seriously though. I usually eat it at least once a day, if not twice. It's an addiction of sorts. 

So naturally, when it comes to marathon tips, the first thing that came to mind was where to get the best pasta for your Saturday night carbo load. New York has so many amazing Italian restaurants, so this is an edited list, but here are my top five pastas around the city. 

Images via Pinterest
Spaghetti Pomodoro

Linguine Vongole

Parppadelle Bolognese

Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Good luck runners, see you at the finish line! 


Decode Your Starbucks Order . . .

Came across this funny article and had to share. Embarrassingly enough I found it pretty accurate in a hilarious sort of way. Check out your Starbucks "horoscope" HERE

Image via Falsely Yours
What's your usual order? Does it ring true to your personality? 
I go for Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall and Skinny Vanillas the rest of the year. 

Ps. This is more of a decoder for the ladies, but guys can check out THIS diagram about what your beer choice says about you.


Top Halloween Parties in NYC . . .

Okay kids, Halloween is just a few days away and if you don't have any plans yet to celebrate it's time to get cracking. There's always so much to do in NYC, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to decide what parties are actually worth stopping by. I've put in some of the leg-work for you and rounded up what I think are the top three parties to be at this Halloween. 

Image via Refinery29
Halloween Open Bar at Mister H
Soho, $15 per person

Halloween at Hudson Hostel
Columbus Circle, $88 for two

The NoMad Masquerade Ball
Flatiron, $225 per person

If you're not in NYC and still trying to plan your Thursday night - why not throw a little impromptu party of your own? Check out some quick tips HERE

Enjoy, and happy haunting!


Fall Movie Marathon . . .

The temperatures are finally starting to drop and when the nights get chilly it can feel a bit harder to leave the house. Not much of a TV watcher, I try to take advantage of this time to indulge in a full blown movie marathon. I'm talking the whole nine yards. Spiced popcorn, red wine, wool socks and cashmere blankets. Candles or a blazing fire (if available) tend to help too. I'm always up to go out, but sometimes the best nights are the ones you stay in. Here's my list of favorite fall flicks for your next movie marathon on a cool, windy night. There's something on there for everyone, so if you're ever stuck trying to decide on what to watch, try one of these...  

Images via Pinterest
You've Got Mail
Good Will Hunting
Annie Hall
Meet the Parents
Garden State
When Harry Met Sally
Dead Poet's Society
Hocus Pocus
Remember the Titans 

What are your top autumn movie picks?
Happy, cozy weekend!


TMZ Tour . . .

Last week I got to be the ultimate Resident Tourist and ride along with On Location Tours for their newly launched TMZ Tour. If you are a TMZ addict visiting New York, you have to check this out - during the tour we got the inside scoop on all the celebrity hotspots including restaurants, clubs, and even residences. There was plenty of TMZ humor throughout the ride, and Ricky, our energetic tour guide, had the bus riled up - giving away TMZ t-shirts to the extra enthused. My favorite part was seeing all the hot restaurants frequented by the Hollywood elite - Da Silvano, Nobu Tribeca, and Bar Pitti have officially moved to the top of my list for downtown dinner options. 

New Yorkers, I understand why you wouldn't want to go on this tour (unless you want to play Resident Tourist like me. Try it out sometime, it's fun!). But do you ever find that you have a guest in town that's never been to the city? Sometimes it gets overwhelming trying to plan how and where to take them around. An On Location Tour is the perfect starting point!

The TMZ tour is ideal for your pop culture junkie best friend. But there are so many other tours to choose from: Sex and The City Hotspots, Sopranos Sites, the TMC Classic Film Tour... Be sure to check out all available tours HERE. Personally, I think the Holiday Lights and Movie Sites tour will be a must for the winter season. What better way to see NYC all lit up than from the warmth of a luxury tour bus? RT Tip: Bring some hot chocolate and cookies for extra coziness and cheer. 

A huge thanks to On Location Tours for inviting me along for the ride!


Banksy New York . . .

Have you heard of Banksy? He's a British graffitist that has mastered the concept of street art, to the tune that his pieces have become worth millions. The craziest part is that he gives them to the world for free. 

For the entire month of October, Banksy has been gracing New York City streets with a new piece of art each day, some on the walls, some on the roads, one even included a vendor stand in Central Park where he hired a man to sell originals for $60 (!) a piece. 

It is just too cool. Creatively elusive, nobody really knows when/where he creates the pieces, but if you visit the Banksy site titled Better Out Than In you can see each day's artwork and what part of the city it's in. Then it's up to you to visit the neighborhood and find it. 

The sad part is that many times when you finally find the piece, it's already been defaced. Or in the case of yesterday's work, stolen. Luckily, many New Yorkers have started to take a stand, protecting the precious artwork from vandalism. Security guards have been hired, plexiglass walls have been put up. 

Images via Banksyny
If you're in New York, you may want to go look for some of Banksy's pieces. This is a really cool moment in the city's art scene. It's not often that creativity like this comes for free and with so much mystery involved.
I'm so into it. 

Good luck finding Banksy, have fun! 


Eleven Madison Park . . .

Lucky me...birthday weekend essentially turned into birthday week and somehow the days flew by before I had time to blink. So a week (plus) later, here's a visual taste of Eleven Madison Park. 

I have to say, this is definitely considered the best restaurant in the country (and #5 in the world!) for a reason. Wow. What an experience dining here is. There were so many highlights I don't even know where to start. To begin, I should explain the basics... Dining here is a 15-course meal without a choice in menu. Of course, any dietary restrictions are easily (and deliciously) accommodated.

Every dish is an experience in it of itself, yet somehow in the end the entire meal is incredibly cohesive and expertly rounded out. For instance, our very first bite was a NY-style black and white cookie, with a twist. It was savory rather than sweet and tasted of cheddar cheese and apple. It was delicious, I could have eaten five more of them. Our last bite perfectly book-ended the dinner. It was another black and white cookie that looked exactly like the first one, but this time tasted sweet, like chocolate and vanilla.

It was inventive touches like this that made the meal so memorable. I could go on for pages (the dinner was 6 hours after all) but instead I think I'll give you my three highlights/standouts.

One. Thanks to a dear friend, we were invited into the kitchen for pre-dinner cocktails and a view - which was super cool! It's amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes, you'd never imagine what an operation a kitchen of this caliber is.

Two. The whole dinner was very interactive, entertaining almost. Many dishes were placed in the center of the table with instructions on how to eat them. One of the neatest courses was a carrot tartare, which was made at our table with a meat grinder. Then we were all given a serving on a plate with tiny bowls of spices, condiments, etc. We were told what each bowl held and then given the reigns to flavor our tartare to our liking. It was really fun mixing in the different spices and seeing what sort of combos we could come up with. Another dish came entirely in a picnic basket, while another included a magic trick with playing cards.

Three. Many of the courses on the menu were New York inspired. You can only imagine how happy that made me... black and white cookies, Everything Bagel crumbs, a picnic basket (filled with local goodies), a mini-grill (the kind all New Yorkers illegally sneak onto their balconies), pretzels, egg cream soda... It was a NY themed feast! And I loved it.

Sorry for the late post!


Birthday Weekend . . .

Image via Food52
Well, tomorrow I turn 27...  I'm excited! I love birthdays, always have. Not just mine, but birthdays in general. What better excuse is there to celebrate? Thanks to my wonderful family and friends, I have lots of birthday fun in store. All mostly food related, of course. I'll make it a "working weekend" though, taking notes (and pics) on all the good eats, treats, and drinks along the way. The highlight is sure to be dinner at Eleven Madison Park, which continues to be at the top of everybody's list as the best restaurant in New York. Cannot wait! 

Happy weekend everyone, have fun! 


A Time for Beer . . .

I don't know what it is about fall that makes me crave craft beer and pub grub over close conversation in a dark, woody space. Beer is on trend right now, which might have something to do with it, but as soon as the temps start to cool a my pseudo-hipster side comes out, begging for flannel and a good brew. 

Image via Organized Clutter
Here are my best three beer bars in the city right now, perfect for a cool fall night: 

From the guys that brought us the city's hit cocktail spot, Death + Co., this East Village nook is the ultimate in beer bars. "Rare, new and unusual beer" is their motto, and they do not disappoint. 

This has been a favorite since I first moved to New York. Serving up all American beers, the scene here is always fun and the prices can't be beat. Two locations: Hell's Kitchen and the Upper East Side. 

An all-wood tavern in Nolita, this bar has an extensive list for beer snobs and newbies alike as well a full menu of hearty plates to pair with your brew. 



Mix & Match . . .

I'm all about mixing the high with the low. Zara and Chanel, Ikea and RL Home, Chinese delivery and fine china. While in Buenos Aires I learned a new favorite high/low pairing: Champagne & Pizza. Carolina's home stay mom introduced us to the combo, explaining that it was Argentina's former president Carlos Menem's number one choice. So perfectly laid back chic, I fell in love with the idea. Cannot wait to serve the two at my next get-together. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser! 

Some fun ideas for your Champagne & Pizza party:

Set up a Champagne Bar with mixers for Champagne cocktails 
Host a Make-Your-Own Pizza night with loads of toppings and bubbly
Throw Champagne bottles into a beer cooler with ice to keep things cool and casual
Serve individual sized Champagne bottles with a straw for the girls
Order from a variety of pizza places for a takeout tasting 

Images via Pinterst


Buenos Aires Photo Journal . . .

Argentina was so magical. The colors, the food, the music ... the entire city was just a feast for the senses. We shopped for leather and sipped tea, ate steak and toured the theatre, strolled through markets and went to a ranch, watched tango and drank champagne, rode horses and indulged in way too much dessert. And with my baby sis as our expert guide, we hit all the best local spots - where I was beyond impressed by the impeccable design concepts and overall cool factor. Buenos Aires, I will be back.