The Noguchi Museum

October 23, 2014


It’s about time I add a splash of culture to this collection of my favorite places in NYC. The list is characterized by a distinct overload of restaurants and coffee shops (which makes sense because I am a foodie especially when traveling, and I often find that the best way to discover a city and its neighborhoods is by locating the best places to eat!). But eating out isn’t all we’ve been up to during the past couple of months, and I have been taking advantage of living in a city with some of the most amazing museums in the world. MoMAThe GuggenheimPS1 and The Frick Collection are a few of my favorites so far but unfortunately, these well-attended spots are always difficult to capture photos of (at least when one prefers these to be tourist-free).

The counterpart of the crowded museums of Manhattan is The Nogushi Museum in Queens. Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi founded and designed this place in 1985 and in ten galleries and beautiful sculpture garden he features some of his own sculptures and design (I love the concept of creating an entire museum to showcase your own work – brilliant!).

When I visit museums and exhibitions, the architecture, light and surroundings often capture my attention more than the actual works of art. Noguchi’s museum is no exception, and even though his sculptures and design are beautifully done, the rooms they’re exhibited in speak for themselves. Huge windows overlooking the garden, creaking wooden floors, lots of light and a silence that you will not find at many other museums in the city. Feeling inspired by this extraordinary space, I got myself a book in the shop; ‘New York’s 50 best places to find peace and quiet’. I haven’t had time to read it yet, which is kind of ironic, isn’t it?

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Rd
Long Island City, Queens

The Fat Radish

October 19, 2014


Yesterday, I had the best pancakes of my life. I had to share them with three persons, but luckily, these three are the ones who know me best in this world, so I got to eat the majority of them without anyone feeling cheated. Phew! They were Lemon Ricotta pancakes served with blueberry jam at The Fat Radish, and they were soft, not too doughy and so tasty.

As the name implies, fresh and seasonal vegetables are a big part of the farm-to-table menu at this place, but there’s something for everyone here. I have only visited The Fat Radish for brunch and the ‘all greens omelette’ with ricotta cheese is delicious. So are the crostini with smoked salmon and the potato cake with poached eggs!

You will find the restaurant on Orchard Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown – or is it called Lower East Side? I am not sure, but either way, this neighborhood is one of my favorite places to be in Lower Manhattan. Quieter and less crowded than some of the other areas (I’m thinking SoHo and Greenwich Village), but still so diverse and so much to do, see and eat.

The Fat Radish
17 Orchard Street


October 9, 2014


After nearly three months in this amazing city with too many Shake Shack burgers, too many Five Leaves pancakes and too many cocktails, I am almost fed up (almost!). This is why a dinner at this fairly new Japanese restaurant a few weeks back did me very good, so good that after a delicious serving of ramen one night, we had to come back a few days after to get a taste of the Japanese breakfast.

With this place, chefs Tara Norvell and Yuji Haraguchi aim to give New Yorkers a taste of a more healthy kitchen. In the morning, the place is named Okonomi and serves a traditional Ichiju Sansai set meal for breakfast, and in the evening it shifts to Yuji Ramen serving ramen. The breakfast (pictured) consists of five small servings, a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice with an optional egg. I would have imagined eating fish and rice in the morning feeling weird (I cherish my oatmeal and fruit highly) but it was surprisingly normal and tasted great. The room is tiny – seats about 8 people at a time – and you feel like you’ve just entered a private living room somewhere in Japan. The menu which changes daily is handwritten and whenever someone leaves the place, many ‘thank yous’ are given to the kitchen. Both times I’ve been by, almost all of the other guests looked Japanese, which adds even more to the authenticity of the place.  

When I went by a couple of days after our feast to take some photos of the place, I had a chat with Tara and she explained how one of the ideas behind this place is to minimize food waste. They use the whole fish, the bones go into a broth and the menu changes daily after what’s available. Before opening up the place earlier this year, Tara was a chef at Bushwick’s pizza-hipster-haven Roberta’s and Yuji was running a successful ramen pop-up noodle bar inside Wholefoods whilst supplying a bunch of the city’s restaurants with seafood. Their love for Japanese food and their excellent sense of style (they redid the entire room themselves!) shine through, and the location on Ainslie Street in Williamsburg is perfect with a bunch of nice cafés and other good restaurants near by. And just look at the place. Japan is next on my list (I wish!).

Okonomi / Yuji Ramen
150 Ainslie St.


September 29, 2014


To be honest, I went to Glasserie because of the pretty walls. Then I had dinner, and now I think it might be one of my favorite restaurants in NYC so far. Those chefs with Mediterranean backgrounds sure know what they’re doing!

You will find Glasserie in the northernmost part of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, just a creek and a bridge from Queens. Every New Yorker I’ve talked to about this place has looked at me with surprise that I would go all the way out to Greenpoint, where subways are few and streets somewhat quiet, but Greenpoint is actually one of my favorite areas of Brooklyn. Mostly because of the good cafés and restaurants, but also because of the quietness.

Glasserie serves Mediterranean food drawing inspiration from both the Middle East and southern Europe, and most of the meals are designed for sharing. We were four people for dinner, and we ordered three starters, three main course plus two desserts. We were lucky enough to be treated with some extra dishes that the chef wanted us to try (thank you!) and left the table more than satisfied. We probably should have stopped at some point, but everything was so good, it was impossible! The menu changes quite often, and we had some delicious servings of Yellowfin Crudo with watermelon; squash kataif pastry, goat cheese and okra; lamb rib with fresh corn polenta and manchego just to name a few. My stomach is rumbling writing this post, that dinner was amazingly good! Every flavour of the ingredients, all fresh from farms, was something else and it tasted like no kind of Mediterranean food I’ve ever had before. At Glasserie, their goal is to cook with intuition and they always consider how much technique and seasoning the products need to be elevated to manipulate the products the least. I think that’s a pretty good ambition to have working with food!

Given the quality of the food, prices at Glasserie are extremely reasonable, the servers were beyond friendly and there was almost a small party going on there on a Tuesday night (that’s NYC for ya!). Booking a table is a good idea, and if you find yourself hungry for a tasteful dinner in Brooklyn, I’d definitely recommend this place. There are so many places I have yet to discover in NYC, but I will need to go back here before we leave, that’s for sure. And not just because of those pretty walls!

95 Commercial St.

The Apartment by The Line

September 10, 2014


The best part about following so many cool New Yorkers on Instagram is that I always know where to go whenever I have some free time and want to take pictures. Thus, because of Eva, Kessara, Tamara and Lily (all of whom I’ve had the chance to meet several times in real life here in the city – isn’t that great, all because of Instagram!), The Apartment on The Line had been my list for a while.

The Apartment is a showroom with wood floors, high ceilings and beautiful furniture and decor. If you visit this place and wish that you could live like this, the good news is that you actually can! Everything is for sale from the bike to the bed to the clothes in the walk-in closet and everything is so pretty! I want new huge windows, those drapes and a tub in the bedroom, please.

The showroom is open Wednesdays from noon to 8pm and Saturdays from 11am to 6pm (I actually went there on a Tuesday by mistake since my head was in the clouds that day, but they kindly welcomed me and it is possible to arrange visits out of the normal opening hours by emailing them). Oh, and it’s located in Soho on a charming cobbled stone street with pretty facades!

The Apartment by The Line
76 Greene Street

Colonia Verde

September 3, 2014


This beautiful place has now become one of our New York favorites. It might be because of the charming backyard, the tasty food, the perfect location in Fort Greene just a nice walk from our place or the always friendly staff. Either way, we keep coming back and if you ever find yourself in this big city, you should swing by too.

Colonia Verde is a Latin American restaurant great for brunch and even better for the weekly Sunday pig roast. A succulent pig has been roasting inside a Caja China all day and starting from 3pm it’s served with tortillas, rice, guacamole and dippings. To set the mood, they start you off with duck fat popcorn and to end the Sunday feast properly, Latin American style s’mores with chocolate and biscuits from South of the border satisfy the sweet tooth.

The menu changes weekly based on what they’ll find at the market (naturally – any self-respecting NYC restaurant will depend on their local farmer’s market for fresh produce!) and the couple of times we have been by for brunch, we’ve enjoyed dulce de leche pancakes (so good!), shrimp tacos, warm brussel sprouts Ceasar salad with a poached egg and so much more. It’s a true neighborhood restaurant, and I feel like gathering all of my friends in that backyard on a Sunday to enjoy a slow cooked meal and cocktails.

Colonia Verde
219 Dekalb Avenue, Ft. Greene