Happy Monday! Can you believe summer is already over? Oh man! This one zoomed by fast. “Short but sweet” is an understatement. I ended it on a high note though, with my dad in town over Labor Day weekend in NYC. We kicked things off at the US Open on Saturday. This is now my fourth year in a row going! I think that makes it an official tradition now. 😀
We watched the Federer match, which did not disappoint. He won, of course. 😀
One of my favorite parts about the US Open: the FOOD! (This is NOT your average hot dog and popcorn kind of sporting event.) I researched beforehand to scope out anything new. I saw avocado toast mentioned in an article, and knew right away that I needed to try that! So glad that I did! This was some of the best I’ve ever had. Next level! The toast was very, very crispy, and the toppings did not disappoint… especially the pistachios! Wow! How did I never think of using them with avocado? Such an amazing flavor combo!
On Sunday, we headed to the Bronx for the Yankees game. (What can I say? It was quite the sporty weekend! None of my friends are super into sports. So when my dad or brother are around, I have to take advantage and do lots of sporty things.) Since I’m not really eating meat these days, I knew I didn’t want a burger or hot dog. I Googled vegetarian options, and when I saw sushi, was initially a little skeptical. But at the same time, it sounded too good to pass up! I ended up ordering the avocado and cucumber roll. It didn’t disappoint!
That night, we ate dinner at Santina. (On my restaurant bucket list for a while!) It’s become a new habit of mine to research restaurants on Instagram before I go. I’ll search the location tag, and look at what food pictures people are posting to decide what I want to order. After some Insta-browsing, the one dish I knew I NEEDED to try was the squash carpaccio! Ooohh, and it did NOT disappoint! I love that so many restaurants in NYC are becoming more veggie-focused and creative. Even the non-vegetarian restaurants. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat-eater, you should still be eating lots of vegetables, so why not make them delicious and extra-special?!
Ironically, Santina is a seafood/Mediterranean restaurant… meanwhile I don’t eat meat, and my dad doesn’t eat seafood (just a personal preference of his, nothing allergy-related). But we both still found plenty of dishes to order! He opted for the spaghetti pomodoro. It was legitimately some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever had!
I opted for the broccoli and pecorino, which was mixed together with a tender risotto and caramelized garlic. Wow! This was a winner as well, although I couldn’t finish the whole thing. Just look at all that cheese! Wowza.
With my major sweet tooth, I always save room for dessert. Especially when trying a new restaurant (and when I know I can split it with someone!). I don’t exactly remember what this was called, but it was some sort of chocolate pear cake. It was pretty underwhelming, especially compared to the rest of the food. But I will say that the coffee was fantastic! Always love ending a special meal out with something sweet and a good cup of joe (usually decaf for me, unless I’m going to be out all night!).
Speaking of coffee, I started the next day (Labor Day) off with the most amazing iced almond milk latte from Untitled at the Whitney. I love the look of the milk swirling into the espresso. There’s just something so whimsical about it! My dad and I split a ton of different dishes for brunch, and believe me, I was darn hungry after just having finished a 9-mile run (half marathon training).
First up: cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. This was essentially hummus with fresh pita chips and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. We probably could’ve eaten three more of these. It was THAT good.
Next up: kale salad with shaved fennel and carrot dressing. Are you seeing a theme here? Everything was SO fresh, farm-to-table and very veggie-focused. Right up my alley. This salad was a unique and very delicious combo, with nuts, delicate slivers of carrot, fennel, kale and cherries, complimented by the tastiest carrot dressing.
Next up: the smashed cucumber salad! This was a truly interesting dish… as soon as it came out my dad agreed, “Whoa. That is not what I was expecting.” However it was another big hit — bursting with summer flavors.
Last but not least! After peeking at the dessert menu, I decided not to order anything (although I was SERIOUSLY eyeing the triple chocolate chunk cookie). Low and behold, the waiter came out of the kitchen at the end of our meal with a giant cookie and milk. He said it was on the house. Somehow, he could just read my mind and knew that I wanted dessert. Well, he was right! This was pretty darn amazing, too! The cookie packed three different types of chocolate — milk, dark and white. What’s not to love?!
Just look at those chunks! This cookie is going into my top 10 list in NYC, right up there with the greats like Levain.
And let me not forget the avocado toast! After walking around The Whitney all day, my dad and I were in need of a snack. We stopped at the Studio Cafe. My dad demanded we split the avocado toast. According to him, “I had no idea this was such a big thing!” To which I responded “are you kidding me?!” LOL! Needless to say, my dad is not a foodie. Luckily for me though, he certainly appreciates good food and always trusts my opinion. 😀
Now it’s back to work, and time for fall!! I always have a weird time encompassing all the fall things when it’s still 80 degrees out in NYC. Lol. Admittedly though, I’m super excited for pumpkin things and have already been stocking up!! Anyone else?