What should you do if you are in New York City for just a day? Using Anthony Bourdain’s concept in his new travel series “The Layover”, I am going to share with you what I would do if I was in the city for just one day.
*For full review of the restaurants, click on the restaurant’s name.
Rise and shine! No more snoozing. You got one day in the most amazing city in the world. Every second counts. Put on your jogging shoes. We are going for a run in Central Park. This is one of the most refreshing experience you will ever get. Jog around the reservoir with the many fit and gorgeous looking New Yorkers and their dogs. Admire the sun rays reflecting off the water, with the view of the city landscape just behind, but far enough to be away from the smell of pee and all the honkings.
Get into the shower. Put on some clothes. It’s time for breakfast at Locanda Verde in Tribeca. This charming italian place serves one of the best breakfast in the city. Start with the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, served with truffle honey and burnt orange toast. The creaminess of the Ricotta goes so well with the crispy burnt toast. The sweet truffle honey only works to bring out the flavor of the herbs marinating in the cheese. It is nothing short of divine. Then get ready for the lemon ricotta pancakes. These are pancakes in its perfect form. We are talking about just the right amount of fluffiness, sweetness, tanginess, and juiciness to make this the messiah of pancakes. No more Mickey D’s hotcakes for you.
Take a slow walk to Washington Square Park. Get a cup of coffee from Think Coffee on Mercer and sit by the fountain. Welcome to the best spot for people watching. Soak in the energy of NYU students rushing to class; the hipster pianist who somehow managed to drag his piano into the park; the bunch of old people playing their guitar and singing folk music; the dogs playing in the dog runs. It is no wonder that Will Smith as the last man alive would choose to live here.
Time to get some lunch. Make your way to Columbus Circle on 59th street for lunch at Jean Georges’ Nougatine. The prix fixe 3-course meal at $32 is one of the best deals in the city. Everything on this lunch menu is just delicious. Whether you order the tuna tartare in the exquisite ginger marinade, or the roasted snapper in the sweet garlic lemon broth, you will walk out of this restaurant with a smile on your face.
Take a stroll along Central Park South and admire some of the most expensive residence in the world. Have a cocktail at the Plaza Hotel and reminisce the good times you had with family watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Just across the street from the Plaza is Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship store. Marvel at the beauty of the glass cube before heading down to the retail space that boast the highest sales per square foot. While this store is not much different from the other hundred apple stores around the world, it does have a cool glass elevator. Just behind the cube you will notice a nutcracker. Give a salute and walk into the greatest toy store in the world, FAO Schwarz. There are toys suitables for everyone, especially the big piano on the second floor that we all remember Tom Hanks dancing on in the movie “Big”. Swing a lightsaber. Put on the sorting hat. Watch the Barbie runway show. Time just flies by in this magical place.
Hop on the subway and take the train across the Williamsburg Bridge to get to Peter Luger, THE steakhouse of New York City. Order the steak for two with some sides like the creamed spinach and french fries. Medium rare. No other option. And get a glass of red wine too because it is a sin to have steak without wine. Wait patiently because you are about to have the greatest steak of your life. Perfectly charred on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. These people just know how to grill the perfect steak.
Head back to Manhattan and make your way to the East Village. This neighborhood is the place to be at night. Do some bar hopping. Irish? Sure. Korean? Why not. Craving for something sweet? Try Butterlane for its customization cupcakes. I highly recommend the peanut butter frosting on banana cake. Or maybe you are an ice cream person. Just beside Butterlane is the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Don’t be frightened by the unicorns on the wall because they serve delicious treats here with unique names. I personally like the salty pimp which is vanilla ice cream cone drizzled with dulce de leche and sea-salt, and coated in chocolate.
Starting to crave some midnight munchies? Walk over to Artichoke Pizza and get a slice of their famous cream-based pizza. Or if you want something lighter, their margherita slice topped with fresh basil is nothing short of amazing. Or get a falafel from Mamoun’s or a hotdog at Gray’s Papaya. They are all good.
I don’t know about you, but my body cannot go any further. I’m off to bed. If you are looking for a place to party, there are a bunch of clubs you can check out. Stay away from Webster Hall. Go to the Meatpacking District. Many great clubs in the area. Checking out.