Not Our Average Weekend

Good morning! Similar to many of you, Bo and I have today off in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Unfortunately, this weekend continues to be one that is very different than what we envisioned.

Friday, Bo spent the day working from home as he was overcoming a 24-hour virus he caught Wednesday night. The virus included stomach pains, body aches, low fever and malaise. By Friday evening he was going stir crazy, so we enjoyed a date night.

Our evening started at the new Park Slope Orangetheory Fitness to celebrate their grand opening. My good friend, Heather, is the studio manager and has spent countless hours over the past few months getting the studio ready for business.

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After hanging out with Heather, her husband Scott and the Orangetheory team we headed to dinner at a new Fort Green restaurant, Lady’s. I discovered the new restaurant when searching for reservations on OpenTable and was delighted to give the Italian restaurant a try, especially since the initial reviews have been very strong. While the service was spotty, at best, the atmosphere was chic and inviting and the space was packed on Friday night. We started our dinner by sharing two appetizers, meatballs and beet salad, both of which were delicious. We continued the evening by trying their honey pizza, which was written up and celebrated in multiple reviews. Unfortunately, it was far too sweet for our taste, especially mid-dinner. We continued the night by sharing a pasta, as all their pasta is made fresh in-house. The chestnut campanelle, which was rich, creamy and flavorful, was the star of the meal.  We would definitely go back, though I think I’ll give them a month or so to improve their service as it took us 2.5 hours to enjoy dinner since the pasta course was served almost an hour after the previous course.

Ladys chestnut campanelle

Image courtesy of Grubstreet review.

Even though I thoroughly disinfected our home and slept in our spare bedroom, on Wednesday and Thursday night, by the end of our meal, I started to feel ill. I looked at Bo and asked if headache and sore throat were part of the virus. Unfortunately, he nodded, knowingly, and said that we should head home immediately.

I was in bed from 9:30 Friday night until 1pm Sunday. Over those 30 hours I experienced everything from low fever, headache, severe body aches, vomiting, and constant nausea. Moments like this make me so thankful for my mom and friends who are nurses as I was texting and calling them to ensure I was doing the right thing for myself and Baby Girl Diamond during the virus. I only took 2 doses of Tylenol during the time but made sure to force plenty of fluids and some basic foods, following the BRAT diet, down to give her sustenance.

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The time in bed provided me with time to catch up on my favorite television shows, watch a movie (Bridget Jones Baby), start a new series (Catastrophe) and make it halfway through the book, Present Over Perfect.

Giggle shopping

Yesterday afternoon, after holding down food and feeling much better, Bo and I headed out to do some nursery shopping at a few different baby stores including the new BuyBuyBaby at LibertyView in Brooklyn, Sprout, Giggles and finally Pottery Barn Kids. It was great to touch, feel and see some of the items we’d added to our online registry as well as finally make a decision on a few of our larger pieces, including stroller and crib.

Unfortunately, this morning, we woke up to find that half our building is without power which means that basically every other room has power. We do not have heat and we can’t use much of our kitchen. While we are lucky to have running water and internet, it still puts a burden on our final day of the three day weekend.  At this point, I’m just laughing off the long weekend and planning to spend the rest of today relaxing, reading and trying to enjoy as much of the day as possible.

How was your weekend? 

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A Delicious Night with Gilt City and La Palapa Mexican Cocina

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Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a blogger dinner with Gilt City and La Palapa.   I was the only person who knew everyone at the table so it was fun to see so many friendly faces and introduce everyone to each other while enjoying delicious food and a warm, festive environment.

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Heather, me, Diana, Theodora, Christine, Nicole, KatieAlanna, Evann, Meaghan (not pictured), Arielle (not pictured), and the owner of La Palapa, Barbara

The goal of the evening was to bring together health and wellness bloggers in New York City and introduce them to the healthier side of Mexican food as well as the wonderful partners that Gilt City has on their platform. Barbara, the owner of La Palapa, put together a seven-course dinner for us along with three different refreshing drink pairings. As you can see from the menu below, the dishes were all very unique and unlike anything you’d find at an Americanized Mexican restaurant. Born and raised in Mexico City, Barbara taught us that many of the dishes we grew up enjoying in Mexican restaurants are special dishes often only enjoyed during large celebrations or weddings – not on a daily basis.  Since 2000, her goal has been to serve delicious, fresh, flavorful Mexican cuisine to New Yorkers!  The drinks and dishes focused on fresh, seasonal flavors and Barbara prided herself on ensuring that nothing had added sweetener or unnecessary ingredients. She used herbs and seasonings to enhance the flavor in a healthy way. la palapa

La Palapa menu

She definitely succeeded in amazing us!  Her passion for food came through in the way she described each of the below dishes before serving us each course. As she answered our questions and interacted with us, she would be inspired to add items to the evening, including pan-friend crickets! Only two of us were brave enough to try them. I don’t think I’ll do it again but suffice it to say – they are crunchy.

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Four three hours, food and drinks flowed to the table while we laughed and caught up. Most of us focused on the food instead of the cocktails since it was a Monday night, but I tried a sip of each one and especially enjoyed the pineapple and nopal margarita.  By the end of the evening, my favorite dishes were the chalupas de mesa verde with platanos con mole negro, fish tacos, squash tacos, and the guavas with saffron.

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Want to tasta La Palapa’s delicious food and cocktails for yourself? Save up to 55% by taking advantage of the La Palapa deals on Gilt City which include a weekend brunch, dinner for 10 or a four-course dinner for two!

la palapa gilt city

Your turn: What is your favorite Mexican dish? 

Thank you to Gilt City NYC and La Palapa for hosting us for a delicious and fun evening. Thank you also to Heather who provided some of these pictures. 

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36 Hours in Strasbourg, France

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the Alsace region tasting new wines, delicious food and exploring storybook towns together! In just under 36 hours we were able to discover Strasbourg and the nearby Alsace region towns.

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Located 4 hours from Geneva, Alsace is a region in France that borders Germany and the Rhine Valley. It has significant influences from both the French and German cultures, as it has changed hands between Germany and France during its history. Strasbourg, the region’s capital city is the seat of the European parliament and home to a rich culture, cobbled streets, picturesque canals and a restaurant scene strongly influenced by Alsatian cuisine.

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Stay: The Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile is located in the center of the Grande Ile district, just steps away from the sights and sounds of Strasbourg’s cathedral, squares, and canals. The hotel’s rooms were spacious on European standards, the beds were beyond comfortable and the hotel’s concierges made our stay easy with their multiple recommendations ranging from restaurant reservations to wine tour itinerary.

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Eat: Hidden among the canals and gingerbread houses is a restaurant scene which makes Strasbourg one of the top food cities in France. You can find everything from three Michelin star restaurants to century old restaurants who serve regional cuisine. After reading about Fink’ Stuebel in the New York Times we booked reservations at this cozy, rustic restaurant. IMG_9666

As soon as we walked through the door I knew settling on just a few options would be difficult. The portions were huge and everything looked delicious. Clearly influenced by both France and Germany, the menu is best known for the chicken and veal cream dish served atop spatzel, decadent desserts and the local favorite – choucroute garnie. Choucroute garnie is more meat one person can stomach – piled high atop freshly made sauerkraut.

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After our run Saturday morning we warmed up with coffee and breakfast at Cafe Broglie, located just steps from our hotel. A traditional French cafe which dates back to 1781, their breakfast included pan au chocolate, freshly squeezed juice, breads and jams.

Last but not least, we enjoyed a Valentine’s Day meal which far exceeded our expectations at L’assiette du Poete. We were very hesitant when the concierge told us she booked us a table for their special rose themed tasting menu.

While the horrible service is proof that the restaurant is trying to do too much based on their current resources and staff, the food itself is phenomenal. Each of our six courses, ranging from the champagne and strawberry palate cleanser to the marbled house foie gras served with edible rose petals was executed perfectly. The veal, which was breaded in basil seeds and served over an eggplant puree was creative and unlike anything either of us have tried or even imagined creating. Last but not least, the dessert of whipped rose infused mascarpone served between three paper thin sheets of dark chocolate left me trying to figure out how to recreate it for our next dinner party.

I hope the restaurant can figure out the service aspect because the food deserves to shine! Regardless, I will still recommend this restaurant to any of our friends, with the caveat to not go there in a hurry but instead relax, enjoy time with a loved one or friends and order another glass of wine.

Exploring Strasbourg and the nearby wine region deserves a separate post, which I’ll share later this week!

Until then, it’s your turn, if you could visit any wine region which would you choose?

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