Mel Goes To: New York, NY

The best thing about a month-long work assignment on the East Coast is having the option to visit different cities on the weekends. My boyfriend joined me on my second weekend getaway, making this a mini reunion of some sort. It came at just the right time, because I was starting to feel homesick and tired of the humidity. I spent half of my childhood below the equator, yet I still refuse to endure the slightest bit of moisture in the air without complaint. 

FRIDAY
Dinner came late for us because Ssam Bar is poppin' and fully booked for normal dinner hours. When I say poppin', I mean this place showed no signs of stopping at 9:30 PM. Ugh, maybe that makes me a grandma. 

We fought through jet lag and general sleepiness--ugh, we're both grandmas!--to munch on Lady Edison Ham, Smoked Seven Spice Beef Brisket, and Sake Kasu Ice Cream. It's best to come here with a big group so everyone can share in the meat feast. Because that's what this restaurant really is: a celebration of meat from various cuts of the animal. If you forget everything else, remember this: order the ice cream, because really good sesame ice cream is a rare gem. No pictures from this restaurant because we were too busy eating and thinking about sleeping. 

SATURDAY
We are so fortunate to be alive and thriving in the age of brunch. Articles and friends alike recommended Buvette as the go-to choice. That many recommendations can't be wrong, guys. This French-ass restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it seems to be most popular for brunch. Wait times can be long without a reservation, because it's a rather small space. The steamed eggs with smoke salmon will breathe life into your morning, and their mini croissants make for a super cute brunch starter. 

 Steamed Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Buvette

Steamed Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Buvette

For lunch, Chelsea Market will provide you with plenty of options. I don't do well with having so many choices available, so I haphazardly chose Indie Fresh, hoping their healthy offerings can counter the ramen waiting for me at dinner. Their Daal Saag Chole was delicious and filling yet not particularly appealing to the eye. But a trip to The High Line made it all better.

 The High Line

The High Line

After a quick break at Gramercy Park, we headed midtown to Ippudo West, everyone's favorite ramen recommendation. I fondly recall their fluffy pork belly buns from my first visit two summers ago, and they were just as good the second time around. Go for the Akamaru Modern and add a boiled egg; you won't regret it. 

SUNDAY
An early flight time left us with little time to look for a breakfast spot, so Maialino at the lobby of our hotel had to do. It was hard not to get all googly-eyed at the pastry display, but splitting three items between the two of us was enough. We got the pistachio croissant, banana loaf, and speck & aged provolone croissant. After some people watching and pretending to read the Sunday Times, we were off to the airport. 

My second time in New York was far more enjoyable than the first. Maybe it's because the weather was better. Or maybe older Mel has different tastes than younger Mel. Nevertheless, I flew back to Maryland with a full stomach and began counting down the days to my flight back home.