I do a lot of crazy things, and waking up at seven in the morning on a Saturday to go shopping is probably one of them. Crazier was convincing ten friends to come with me. Luckily, my friends are just as crazy as I am. This past Saturday was the private HomeGoods shopping event at the new store on the Upper West Side, and my guests and I had to get there early because the event was being held before the store opened. The nice people at BlogHer and Homegoods, however, provided a nice breakfast spread from WholeFoods, and after a coffee and a bagel, we were ready to shop. Full disclosure: my friends received $50 gift cards, and I received a $100 gift card to spend at the event.
David should get an award for waking up at seven in the morning on a Saturday to go with me to a HomeGoods shopping event, and then going for tea and scones at Alice’s Tea Cup. Not all men are that secure in their manhood. In any case, if you find yourself at Alice’s Tea Cup in the next few months, with or without your significant other, their strawberry and peach scone ($10 for 2 scones and a pot of tea) is perfect for the warmer weather. Light, crumbly, and studded with fruit, it’ll satisfy your scone craving but won’t sit in your stomach like a paperweight. It’s tasty enough to eat alone, but as most scones are, it’s better with clotted cream and preserves. MORE »
Have you ever been to HomeGoods? I haven’t been because there wasn’t one in Manhattan for the longest time. A few years ago when I wanted to buy a Le Creuset dutch oven, my friend Ellie kept telling me they had them at HomeGoods in Long Island for a ridiculous price. We kept making plans to go one day, but I’d get to Queens too late, and we’d end up just stuffing our faces somewhere in Flushing instead. After a few more tries, I finally gave up and bought an imitation Le Creuset. It works fine as far as I can tell, but it’s still not a Le Creuset. Le sigh…
One day, I hope to be able to eat in the main dining room of Per Se whenever I want and not on a special occasions, but until then, there’s the Salon, the makeshift less fancy lounge outside the “real” dining area. Yes, it’s a bit uncomfortable as the tables are low and don’t accommodate for leg room (unless you sit at the communal bar table), and you’ll undoubtedly look on with longing as the people who probably have more money than you strut into the main dining area, but you make do because the food is solid, served à la carte (unlike the main dining room’s $275 prix fixe menu), you don’t need a reservation a month or two in advance, and the service is impeccable without being uptight. What’s a little discomfort? David and I minded only the slightest. MORE »
Last year, David and I went to Nougatine (Jean-Georges’ more budget-friendly restaurant) for lunch. The food was decent — except for a splodge of old micro basil gunk atop of my grilled squid — and affordable (3 course lunch prix fixe for $24.07), but the entire time I longed to be at Jean Georges next door. Sitting right by the entrance of Jean Georges, I felt like I was sitting at the uncool table while the cool table was just a few feet away. So this year, when the opportunity to take out-of-town guests to a nice restaurant presented itself (Gruezi Alvin and Alli!), I made reservations at Jean Georges. Unlike high school, coolness was just a click and $98 away. MORE »