We finished another prep week here at Long Wharf, which meant I was fortunate enough to get another weekend off. And if you know me at all (or follow me on any social media) you know:
A weekend off = A Trip to my Favorite City
And of course I want to share my weekend with you all, my lovely intelligent readers! Plus (after spending way to much money in the month of December) I was balling on a budget this weekend. So without further ado, here’s a little summary of my trip this past weekend with some cheaper/free options of things to do and some recommendations for incredible restaurants!
The original plan for Friday night was to get take out because I was getting in kind of late after a long week of prep. I got on the MTA North -prepared with snacks this time- and made my way into the city. Normally I meet Jeremy at Grand Central, but we decided to meet at the Harlem 125th Street Station because it is a lot closer to his apartment. Well on the way, I saw a huge strip of cute little restaurants and immediately knew I wanted to go out to eat instead. So we dropped off my stuff and headed out to eat! The original plan was to eat at Red Rooster, but the line was massive and our bellies were hungry. Instead, we went next door to Chez Lucienne (Lenox Avenue in Harlem). There was no wait on a Friday night, which at first seems scary, but it was literally amazing. I got a Le Coq Au Vin ,which was free-range chicken stewed in a red wine with pearl onions, bacon, carrots, zucchini, and served with pasta. It was incredible. I also tried a bite of Jer’s lobster ravioli, which was my first time trying lobster! I didn't hate it. We each got a pinot Grigio, which normally I’m not a fan of, but I actually enjoyed this one.
We ended up getting a desert called Fodant au Chocolate , which basically is a fancy word for one of those chocolate molten lava cake from Chili’s. While it was more expensive and a lot smaller than Chili’s, it was still pretty good and the perfect little treat after a full size dinner.
Saturday morning I slept in. Because your girl is basically in the city every weekend anyways and I know longer need to be “seeing the sights” every second of everyday I’m visiting. I was really in the mood for donuts so we went to Doughnut Plant in Chelsea for some gourmet donuts. I got a blueberry donut and peanut butter banana donut and Jer got two different vanilla cake/chocolate frosting donuts. The two donuts I got were definitely our favorites, but my iced mocha was no bueno. His latte was good (according to him), but to me it was too watery. But he drinks lattes like I should drink water so maybe take his word over mine. But the donuts are 10 out of 10.
We then took the subway to the NY Public Library and I about cried. Never have I ever seen a more beautiful building. It was honestly more of a museum than a library (but fr like where are the books). I can’t wait until I move to the city and can spend my free time blogging and working there. The children’s section of the museum even had the original stuffed animals the Winnie the Pooh characters are based on. Like how crazy is that! I felt like I was straight out of a library in Belle’s castle.
After that we headed to one of my go to city spots: The Drama Book Shop. For those of you who haven’t heard, The Drama Book Shop was set to close after the rent became to high. But after LMM and friends came to the rescue, it has been saved! However, this does not save the bookstore from moving locations.
I have been going to The Drama Book Shop since my high school drama field trips and it has become a token spot for me on every trip to the city! This final trip was full of nostalgia as the shelves were already being emptied and packed up for the move. The store was packed full of people and there were flyers everywhere full of people's favorite memories they had in the store. I picked up a play (written by Dominique Morisseau -the same playwright who wrote Paradise Blue) as well as the final mug they had in the shop.
My final trip to the original shop was also Jeremy’s first time at the shop. This place is very special to me and to share this with him was pretty freaking incredible. I can’t thank LMM enough for saving a store that means so much to so many people.
THEN I FINALLY WENT TO THE MEATBALL SHOP.
And boy oh boy was it delicious. Kate Rockwell from Mean Girls on Broadway (and Bring it On) was sitting a few tables down from us & I managed to keep my cool so win for me. We split the sliders (UM YUM) and I got the classic meatballs and classic sauce over rigatoni. We drank prosecco like the sophisticated people we are.
After that we went to the New York Botanical Gardens for the final Bar Car Night. Jer’s been wanting to go to this for years apparently so when I suggested it he was completely on board. Pun intended. It was such a fun way to wrap up the holiday season! The trains displays were incredible, there were alcoholic hot chocolates (we got the whiskey one- I was not a fan) and a dueling piano bar which had me missing my Murder for Two guys.
Another morning sleeping in! We finally went to Banter NYC for brunch and they should’ve never let me in the SOHO/West Village area because I fell in love. The brunch line was long, but we were finally seated and both got lattes and smoothie bowls. The smoothie bowls were decent, but the latte’s and scrambled eggs were to die for. Jer also ordered us mimosas before we left (which had be stressing because I had a 3 PM matinee to catch). They were massive and not the best, but we did our best before making our way to the Longacre Theatre.
Luckily I didn’t have to miss my Murder for Two guys too long, because Sarah stood in line in the freezing cold for The Prom rush and got us tickets for the matinee. It was such a fun show with a great takeaway message and of course Anthony was amazing. We hung around onstage for a bit after the show and caught up before Sarah and I headed to Social to meet up with Jer for drinks and appetizers. And surprise! Another MGR reunion when Jen and Toots joined us post rehearsal.
My first drink was a margarita and I was not a fan so I swapped with Jer for his sangria (which he was not a fan of). Two sangrias, some mozzarella wedges, and two orders of nachos later (these nachos were the bomb.com) and we headed out. My heart was so full getting to see so many of my favorite humans and I went to bed with a smile on my face and the desire to move to the city strong.
It was another lovely weekend and I am loving branching out and finding new places to explore! I am hoping to go somewhere new soon, but until then I hope you are enjoying reading about my NYC finds!
Much love always,