the hit list: nyc itinerary

I leave for New York next week. Feb 27-Mar 2. The trip has been scheduled for a while, even if it is just a quickie. I’m coming in to celebrate Dulce’s 30th birthday, staying with Alexandra and her Mr. Alexandra to be. All the girls are already asking where we’re having dinner. What stores do I need to hit? Which bars do I miss? Where must I go before I leave? I haven’t had time to keep up with what’s in and what’s out (despite my New York magazine subscription), but I haven’t forgotten the standbys. It’s going to be a girls’ weekend, filled with alcohol, shopping, and getting ready. Meeting at bars, avoiding my camera, catching up on all the lives and details in person.

What I’m looking forward to most is the getting ready time. The showers and dressing, and deciding what to wear (though really, thanks to packing and suitcase limitations, it won’t be all that challenging). The accessory shopping, blow dryer time, and the clit-rock. The stories shared over too much wine and too little food. So, now I need to put together my list of do not miss spots. In the coming days, I’ll add to this must-hit list, but off the top of my head…

Balthazar. Goat cheese onion tart, French martini.
Pookie and Sebastian.
Ino. Truffle Egg Toast.
Mink on Mott because it’s more fun to say than Mink on E.11.
Nanette Lepore, the actual store, not the Saks counterpart.
Sushi of Gari. Only for the spicy tuna roll, to go. I will eat this as I walk the streets. Unless it’s too cold, which will mean hitting an Upper Least Side watering hole mid-day.
I definitely need to hit up a store with good accessories. Earrings and necklaces, maybe a bracelet, but I doubt it. There are too many statement bracelets out there now, cute ones from J.Crew and Banana. There’s no need for special when it comes to bracelets right now.
A Gray’s Papaya hot dog, or nine. Unless I hit PDT for the grown-up version.
And let’s just face it, I’m a complete food snob and sloth, and I’m fine with that. I fully intend to cram too much in by way of plans and food, and reckless gluttony including the following stops:

Death & Co. (because really, how many times can one get thee to Pegu Club?), and how does one pass up a Wicked Kiss?

I already know I’ll be hitting up Kittichai and of course the birthday girl’s forever young celebration at the new Islero. Mostly I’m looking forward to hooking up with New York again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a cab drunk. And I’m going to make the most of it by being on my worst behavior. Or something like that.



  1. pappardelle at sfoglia is TOO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Try to stop in A Voce if you've not been already.

    Doing a girls' night out in a few weeks at Stanton Social..stop in there for a drink on your way to Death & Company if you have bar scene. If you're looking for some yummy brick oven pizza/delish meatballs, try Apizz in LES also. Great way to get the stomach ready for a big night of drinking…

    If you want to splurge, sit at the bar at Picholine and do the cheese selection…RIDICULOUS..

    Have fun!

    FROM SK: I'm not a big Stanton Social fan. I don't know why exactly. I do like the hooks beneath the bar for your bag, but that's about it. Though what a great suggestion about a drink and cheese at Picholine. I had a friend named Antonia who worked in the kitchen there making blood orange champagne sorbet. She was fab. Antonia Tellis.

  3. What I love most about this list is that it is giving me some great shopping and eating ideas too- especially since some of the places are in my hood. I've been dying to get in to sfoglia- especially considering it is on my corner- but keep forgetting to make reservations ahead of time for dinner and keep forgetting that they are typically walk in friendly at lunch!

  4. good for you! it's so hard to do the mommy thing, regardless of your personal situation. i am so glad for you to be having 5 days to yourself, to just be you… i have done the solo mommy thing for more years than i care to count, and i can tell you it gets harder and harder to get away if you don't set a precedent early on. i hope that your ny trip is all that you dream of and more…

    incidentally, whenever i travel, i base my destination on what i can eat while i'm there. i plan the restaurants i will hit before i even plan the shoes i will bring!!!

  5. MMMmmm… truffle egg toast from 'ino. I miss that too. 'ino is always one of my stops when I go back to ny too.

  6. Sounds like fun. What's a clit-rock?

    FROM SK: Chick-rock, clit-rock, same thing. All those songs about being over him, to the point where the protests prove otherwise.

  7. My favorite thing to do is get ready with my girls. I just celebrated my 26th birthday this past weekend and my girls came down from NYC to celebrate with me in DC. I cherished every second! I am excited for you to eat good food, shop and feel great with your girls. There is nothing in the world that compares. Have a fantastic time!!!!

  8. for creative, gorgeous, reasonably priced accessories ($40-400), try the Alexis Bittar store in Soho or Cecile et Jeanne (Parisian/Israeli designer) on Madison and 83rd on the west side of the street.
    Have fun!

  9. Welcome back- if only for a few days. I live and work downtown and your post made me crave Balthazar's for lunch. Yum.

    Hope you have a great weekend with the girls!

  10. "Death & Co. (because really, how many times can one get thee to Pegu Club?)"

    Uh, probably not all that much? given that they're fairly new and you haven't lived in NYC for a couple years now?

    I'm sure you're psyched for your weekend, it sounds fun, but this post screams "trying WAY too hard." And "Upper Least Side" has always been a horrible clunker of a phrase.

  11. You and your friends should check out The Bite Club. No affiliation here, just passing along the tip. It'll be something new, and something you won't soon forget.

    Also, Loreley on the LES. You don't need to order much there. I recommend the potato soup (even if you hate potato soup you'll love this, trust me), the aged, smoked gouda (also unlike your typical gouda) and soft pretzels. great for lunch.

    Have fun.

  12. Is this your first time there for a weekend like this without Phil and the kids? The time away alone is therapeutic but being back in your city will be exciting. When I took a similar weekend back in Chicago I was thrilled. The one thing that threw me off a little was seeing the new restaurants, stores and bars that cropped up so quickly. My neighborhood no longer looked like my neighborhood. I felt like an hapless little tourist in my own city! When I started to feel like that though I just hopped a cab to my favorite old dive bar or restaurant and all was well again.

    Do you think you will ever move back? Do you and Phil see yourselves staying in Texas for the long haul?

    Have a great time.

    FROM SK: I don't know what the future holds in terms of where we'll live or move, etc. We're happy here for now. When the kids get into Grammar, school, though, we might rethink things. It's a few years off. And yes, this is my first time back without the man and the beans. It's short enough a trip that I'll miss them without being all that upset. I can't wait to shop for all of them, too.

  13. Em, just so happens I've been with Stephanie to Pegu Club more than a handful of times, back when she was pregs, too. You can overdo it, trust us… especially on the mini-burgers.

  14. Re: Pegu

    but not on the tom and jerry, or, dear god, the earl grey martini. smoked trout deviled eggs? damn i love that place.

    other favorite cocktails: bemmelmans bar in the carlyle (also has audrey's touch on the drink list), and, this is new, b flat in tribeca. the misty, the (forgot its cute name) wasabi cocktail, the smoked tuna sashimi and steamed clams in truffle butter, the champs eleyse. look, i can't spell, but i sure can drink, and if you like cocktails and a chill environment where you can hear each other talk, b flat is my new fave nyc cicktail bar.

  15. Ewww…you said clit-rock! Hate that "c" word.
    Does sound like a blast though. My sister and I cram way too much in when I visit her. I know everyone rushes there, but I always have to hit Magnolia for an overpriced cupcake. Then I drink way too much wine with my sister. It's fun, I can't wait for my visit this summer.

  16. SK,

    I JUST saw Death & Co. on your list and HAD to click. I live on the "Upper Least" and have never been. I'm going Friday. By myself if I have to, because the menu and drinks look A-MAZING! What savory dish do you suggest?

    From Sk: you live upper east or lower east? Upper east is what I refer to as the Upper Least Side (I lived there for many years)… and LES is just a whole 'nother beast…but they do have Death & Co. with drinks as tempting as Employees Only and Pegu.

  17. How fun to hear someone else describe the "getting-ready time" as their favorite. There's just something about being crammed in a hotel bathroom with friends, flatironing, eyelining, glossing. I love it. Hope you have a great time.

  18. have fun. but skip Pookie, it is so overpriced for such poorly made stuff. I actually saw the same exact skirt in Strawberry for $14 that they were selling for $88!!!!(btw I only went into to Strawberry to buy a pair of cheap gloves -hahaha).

    Have fun and if you have time go to Hearth on 2nd & 10th (i think). Yum-me

  19. Be warned, it's been both 35 degrees and 62 degrees within the past three days here. But as you know, so goes nyc. ;) Hope everything is as fabulous as you envision!

  20. ooh – the bread and cheese balls along with the great wine list @ Eleven Madison Park.
    Sapa – what a happy hour and I love their rice paper rolls.
    And I just ate @ Kittichai again on Saturday night and can't get enough of their sea bass. Not to mention the pear-almond martini or the lychee bellini's.

    HAVE FUN!!!

    FROM SK: Oooh, remember when I posted about Sapa's happy hour. Those oysters with the foie gras or whatever is in them… for just a dollar??? It is outstanding. Almost as outstanding as Wathne scarves.

  21. your worst behavior…? something tells me this drunk in a cab experience will not include a man heading south! (i just took a second turn through SUAD, so this story was fresh in my mind) hope you have fun and tell us all about it when you return (and hope the crazy ass weather doesn't screw with your plans)

    FROM SK: Ha! No, my behavior would never be that bad. I still cannot believe that happened. But you know what? I don't regret it at all. You live once, and I was able to get it all out of my system. And now I have a great sex life (but Phil would never go that far in a cab. Ever.)

  22. Oh thank heavens you defined clit rock – I was sure it was some bizarre sort of piercing or other painful condition.

    Have a fantastic vacation…

  23. Ooh- an Islero shout out! My friend is one of the partners. We had a yummy food and drink closed party NYE celeb there. Have fun!!

  24. I hope that you have a fantastic time. So were you able to find help for the beans? How is Phil going to handle the beans without you? Just wondering and hoping that you have found some help.
    Enjoy New I miss it so.

    FROM SK: YES! We have found someone that we absolutely LOVE! She makes us so so happy, and the beans love her. Each day when she leaves work, she comes over to me and HUGS me! I love her already! I feel so lucky. But, she cannot work nights, so we still need a babysitter for when we're not working.

  25. Have a great time in the city – it's so good to go home! Gray's is where I have to head, too, when I'm back. A recession special with sauerkraut and onions and a pina colada … please!!!

  26. Why are we calling it Upper Least Side? What's the pun?

    FROM SK: Because living on the Upper East Side is about the least fun place to live (I lived there for 5 years with the Wasband). I preferred the Upper Breast Side (Upper West Side). Then I moved to Curry Hill (Murray Hill) to live with Phil. Really, I wish I'd lived in the West Village for a bit. Morningside Heights was fun for three years, too.

  27. skip grey's papaya — crif dog is the best for hotdogs! especially on a good, drunken night! i always find it so fun when my girlfriends and i get dressed up and cute to meet for cocktails in the LES or east village…and yet always wind up eating bacon wrapped hotdogs at 3am.

  28. OK, I thought I was a pretty hip chick but then I read CLIT-Rock and I was like WTF?

    Then I heaved a sigh of relief to know others wondered about it too, and yes, I thought it was jewelry shopping for (and I LOATHE this term) the 'little man in the boat!'

    OR, I thought it was some special one-on-one time with just you and a 10 or 12 inch toy!

    Have some Clit-Rockin' fun Stephanie!

  29. Have a fabulous time! I know you said that you'll be avoiding your camera, but, since it's been a while, it would be fun to see pictures of you w/ your NY friends again – sort of like a step back in time to your blog "back then". Either way, enjoy!!

  30. First, a clarification – PDT is not a restaurant. Crif Dogs is the hot dog joint that will pass a frank through the window to PDT patrons. Also? PDT was really only good the first week or two it was open, now it's filled with awful, awful people. With so many other fantastic places to get a specialty cocktail I'd say skip it (or just go to Crif Dogs for the food – their dogs are the best).

    I didn't see Little Branch on your list but it should be:

    And I'm sure this is a long shot for you but honestly – the best new restaurants in the city are in Brooklyn. One that is without question worth the trip (very easy by car service) is Dressler:
    Wonderful in every way. Or, if you're feeling more casual, its sister restaurant Dumont: has the most AMAZING mac and cheese you will ever sample. Seriously, I have never had anything better – ANYWHERE.

  31. I went back to your original "Things to Do in NY" list and have started a to-do (or more appropriately, to-eat/to-drink) list that I cannot wait to try.

    Have you ever been to 202 in Chelsea Market? It is half boutique, half restaurant and it truly unbelievable. The brunch is especially outrageous (I drooled over the Challah French Toast with fresh berries, and my bf's fried egg with asparagus and caccio cheese for weeks). They also have a fantastic assortment of specialty cocktails.

    And if you are a fan of piano bars/ musicals, try Marie's Crisis. It is a gay piano bar in the west village that plays only showtunes (plus no cover and cheap drinks). SO much fun to sing along all night.

  32. i live less than a block from 'ino and it truly is such a hidden treasure.
    the truffled egg toast rocks…
    but dont forget to order the antipasta platter too (it all the ingredients on the bruscetta on one plate)
    you would love the back room at august on bleecker, centro on bedford and 7th and morandi on 7th and perry.
    also la esquina
    and the always favorite bar pitti on 6th (but that is better in the summer to sit outside!)

    OH and PRUNE… ugh
    gawd i am getting hungry just thinking about all the amazing little places so close by :)
    so much food… so little time!

    FROM SK: I hear ya. I've been to Prune. I remember liking it just OK. But Ino, oh Ino. I will absolutely stop in to get drunk by myself.

  33. hey stephanie,

    I am surprising my best friend, who is getting married this year, with a trip to NY!

    she has her dress already, but i'm sure when we get there, she'd like to find check out some shoes for the big day. any suggestions on (bridal) shoe stores?


  34. I live in Cape Town, South Africa and my husband and I plan to visit New York. We now have some great tips on eating out, but please can you help with places to shop.
    We please need the cheapest places as our exchange rate is not great to say the least. Please also give tips on places to go and things to do that a New Yorker would do and see. Thanks so much!

    FROM SK: Look higher in these comments for where I link to a post on stuff to do in NY. As far as shopping, I'd simply walk the different neighborhoods. The lower east side has great up-and-coming designers, too. The Market NYC (someone mentioned earlier) is perfect, but a lot of the vendors there are cash only.

  35. I just had the best duck of my life at Rayuela. Bar Stuzzichini is fun too. And the Bouchon in time warner center has 4 kinds of brioche. 4 kinds. oh my ; )

  36. I discovered 'ino by accident a few years ago, right when I moved to NY and have been obsessed ever since. I LOVE that you can order one bruschetta at a time – so great for sampling and the wine list is just superb. It's my favorite place to get tipsy with a good book on a lazy afternoon! The only problem is I eventually feel guilty about hogging one of their 6 tables or 6 barstools. (although the itty-bittiness is part of the charm)

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