Great Eats and Treats in Ontario and NYC 2015!


This trip happened earlier in the spring, and I’ll admit that it took me forever to drag my fingers to the keyboard to write this thing up, because frankly, I ate a crapload of food on this trip.

It was a great time of catching up with some familiar faces and stuffing our bellies with fantastic food.  Spending some time visiting in Ontario and then a week in NYC, we had the opportunity to truly define what it meant to be gluttonous.  Here’s a rundown of some of our highlights that we recommend you try!

Barley Vine Rail Co.

Our first top on the trip was to Orangeville, Ontario, where we spent a few days visiting some dear friends on ours.  They had told us that Barley Vine had made the cut to be featured on “You Gotta Eat Here,” and so me being a reality food show junkie, we had to give it a try!  Everything was soo delicious.

We had some duck fat fries and pork belly perogies to start.

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For my entree, I went for the bacon wrapped meatloaf, which was featured on the show.  Again, super delish.

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Pantheon

After a day of wandering around Toronto we were looking for a dinner spot and my googling took me to a Pantheon for some Greek Food.  The ratings were good so we decided to give it a try, and we were super duper impressed with the quality of the food, as well as the awesome service from the staff there!

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Complimentary veggies with 3 different dips
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Grilled calamari
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My moussaka

Complimentary cake with chocolate sauce.  We believed it was because Evalie, our friend’s daughter was just so cute (especially when we got her to say “opa!”)
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Now onto the NEW YORK eats!!

Sylvia’s

Some could call it a tourist trap, and it probably is considering every table surrounding us was of people from a different visiting country.  And how did we know that?  Well we happened to hit up Sylvia’s on a Sunday, which featured a gospel singer going around the restaurant interacting with restaurant patrons, asking all of them where they are from.  Trap or not, the food was great, but be prepared to wait with a huge crowd of people.  As J said “it’s like standing in line at a concert with general admission.”

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Complimentary cornbread
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Smothered chicken and waffles
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Collard greens and mac and cheese on the side

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Hearing many things about David Chang, his restaurants, as well as his feature on “Mind of a Chef,” we wanted to try out his Noodle Bar in NYC.  After going to the interactive play “Sleep No More,” we went to Momofuku for some late night ramen.  I was happy to see that they were also serving his pork belly buns (which we saw many times on TV), so we got those to share, and for myself, I ordered their Momofuku Ramen bowl.  YUM!

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Spot Dessert

Loved this place.  Love it so much I went twice during our time there.  It carried your more typical desserts, but also offered some asian inspired treats and beverages, which I loved.  Totally recommend this place if you love desserts with Asian twists!  Their green tea lava cake has been featured numerous times, and after eating it (twice), I know exactly why!

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Lychee green tea bubble tea
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Green tea lava cake with green tea ice cream.
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Fried toast with condensed milk ice cream
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A strawberry shortcake/ trifle thing that looks like a flower pot!

Le Bernardin

J and I decided to pull out all the stops and treat ourselves to the Chef’s Tasting at Le Bernardin, a 3-star Michelin Restaurant.  Our meal lasted about 3 hours from start to finish and their service was like a well choreographed dance.  The only reservation we could get during our time there was for a 9:30 seating.  It goes without saying that this dinner is definitely not easy on the pockets, but is definitely a great experience.  Crossed that off my bucket list.

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Our tasting menu.
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Some complimentary bread to start from a huge basket they kept circling around.
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The start of our formal tasting menu. The pictures follow the sequence of the menu items.
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A bonus treat not on the menu, some petit fours.
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The last course on the formal tasting menu.

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Some bonus treats that weren’t on the tasting menu to finish off our meal.

Peacefood Cafe

My cousin in NY part owns Peacefood Cafe, a vegan eatery, so I had to check it out.  Now, I really do love my meat, but I have to say the dishes were quite tasty and I really enjoyed my meal.  We went there for brunch, where I had the grilled vegetable panini sandwiches with chickpea fries to share.  J had an “egg” scramble, and a super healthy power green drink.  It was a great lunch with great service and it didn’t hurt either that one of the guys working there was nice enough to send me off with some delicious vegan cookies!

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Roasted vegetable panini sandwiches
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Chickpea fries
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Their baked treats, all vegan!

Carlo’s Bake Shop – Hoboken

Another big highlight of the trip was finally being able to go to Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, after watching countless episodes of “Cake Boss” at home!  Easily accessible by the NJ train, we got there early in the day, worried we would see a long line up, but it was quite empty when we got there.  However, after about 10 minutes the place had a really long line up.  We got there just in time!  Needless to say I spent a good chunk of change there, not just on the cookies, but on the Carlo’s t-shirt, mug…yeah.11076762_10152780475631560_3540644984485467500_o

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Our chocolate hazelnut linzer cookie, black and white cookie, and cannolis, all so good!
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Open view of the kitchen!

EN Japanese Brasserie

Also recommended by my friend, we met up with a different friend who also was in NYC for school to have dinner at EN Japanese Brasserie.  The vibe is modern and sleek, with really good service, and noticeably a lot of serving staff.  There were some items that were found in typical Japanese restaurants, but then some also unique dishes that we got to enjoy.  The qualify of the food was fantastic and very very well done.  If you like Japanese food, this is a great place to go to.

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House made tofu, served with soy sauce.
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Spicy tuna roll.
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Garlic fried rice with seaweed on top. Looks simple, but really flavorful.
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Grilled cod – very tender.
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Black sesame tofu mochi donuts! Tastes like it sounds but tasted so good!

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The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

After EN Japanese Brasserie, we walked over to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop for some ridiculous ice cream cones.  The selections were modest, but they were sure fun.  You really can’t help but smile when you go up and say you want to order the “Salty Pimp.”  I opted for the American Globs because I was lured by the chocolate dip and the pretzels.  Win.

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Joe’s Shanghai – Chinatown

I’ve visited Joe’s Shanghai everytime I’ve been to New York, specifically for their soup dumplings (Xiaolongbao), and I knew I had to take J there as well.  After a visit to the Statue of Liberty, we walked to Chinatown for a quick stop there.  I always get their soup dumplings and their red bean pancake, they do both so well there!!  11048692_10152780480551560_7073191282529020272_o

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Tofu and trying to keep up with some veg intake.
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Fried red bean pancake, so good!
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Their famous xiao long baos!

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

I didn’t make it to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory the last time I went to NYC, so I made it a point to visit it this time around.  I love how their “regular’ flavors are the asiany flavors such as lychee, pandan, red bean, etc, but they also feature “specialty” flavors like chocolate, vanilla, etc ;P

J and I got two flavors each: I got lychee and durian, J got red bean and pandan, all the flavors tasted so legit!

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Lobster Place

We spent the rest of the day wandering around and making our way back to Chelsea Market, becuase we wanted to have dinner at the Lobster Place, located within the market.  I wished we had more places like the Lobster Place.  There, you can buy fresh seafood to take home but also eat there, like their oyster bar.  There’s also a sushi counter to take out freshly made sushi and sashimi, or you can eat there right on the spot.  Tucked towards the back is a lobster tank where you can eat a freshly steamed lobster, or again, take one to go.  Basically, it’s awesomeness to be found in one place.

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We shared delicious lobster roll at C&P Galley.

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I then made my way to the oyster bar and sushi counter while Justin saved us some (standing room) dining spots to finish off this seafood lover’s meal.  Everything was so awesome and fresh!

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Freshly shucked oysters.

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Shake Shack

After watching a bball game at the Barclay’s Center of the Nets vs the Raptors, we went for post game eats at the Shake Shack, one of the must go to burger places in NYC.  I had the shack stack burger, which includes a fried portobello mushroom cap (YUM) with a “fudggedaboutit” concrete (like their version of blizzard, but with custard)


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Smorgasburg in Brooklyn!

On our second last day, we ventured back to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg, a famous outdoor food market, and the origins of the ramen burger.  Normally filled with tented areas, the vendors had to go tentless becuase it was ridiculously windy.  We knew our first line had to be for the infamous ramen burger, and from the vendor that started it all.

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LOVED IT.
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We continued wandering up and down the stalls, and found some ramen…
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Along with some Japanese/Mexican fusion vendors, like the spicy tuna nachos. 11160559_10152780482986560_226422104506793176_n 11159879_10152780483146560_1191071434546156376_o

We eventually made our way back to the Chelsea Market to have a few more bites, and stopped at the Doughnuttery for some mini donuts (one of my weaknesses)

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I picked the PB&J and the Paris Time flavor; both of them tasted exactly like the menu.  It was ridiculous.10298841_10152780483351560_6218898390416529058_n 11154719_10152780483506560_19957810320863435_o

I also knew I couldn’t leave NYC without having J try a slice of NYC pizza, so we knew to take him to Artichoke.

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Not a bad size for $5.11128840_10152780484776560_4283726326231090661_n

We continued to wander around and went to Yakitori Taisho for late night japanese skewers.

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We ordered a bunch of things, including the salmon cream yakisoba, which was SO GOOD, and an assortment of skewers.
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Jane

On the day we left, N took us to one of her fave brunch spots, for one final meal of awesome:

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The table got a some complimentary bread and some DELISH strawberry butter.  I opted for the Benedict Jane – poached eggs on crab and crawfish cakes, and the three of us decided to share their vanilla bean french toast with creme brulee batter – so awesome.

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Dominique Ansel

The time had come – the cronut.

I had PREORDERED these a week ahead of time (which was sold out within minutes online) and it was finally time to pick them up!

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Such a cute box.11160027_10152780486366560_2962729949143241834_o

The flavor of the month was Strawberry Rhubarb and Thyme Ganache (with citrus sugar).  YUM.10917947_10152780486416560_8359703292246492337_o

I was super impressed by all the layers and the strawberry filling in all the layers.  It was really good, though I think I’m glad I was able to preorder these, because I’m not sure if I could’ve had the justification to stand in line for hours.11146395_10152780486511560_2265406199888278738_o

Georgetown Cupcake

After a quick run into DASH (just to say we went to the Kardashian’s store), we stopped at Georgetown Cupcake as N instructed.  I went for their Hummingbird cupcake (which got squished on the way back to the apartment)

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Whew.  And there you have (the most of) it.  The long and short of it is that there is definitely no shortage of fantastic food to be found in the big apple.  Not sure about you, but I feel like I’ve gained about 5 lbs just writing this thing.

 

 

 

 

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