Gramercy Terrace is still a never fail lunch spot with lovely cocktails and a revised menu since I last went months back. They are done with the chicken fried steak and now have extra delicious chicken and waffles! The waffle is a lot more dessert-like than I expect for a breakfast waffle, but in an oh-so-good way. Highly recommended for a solid neighborhood eat in a beautiful setting. It also helps that it’s a stones throw away from my apartment.
Beaumarchais. I’m not sure where to start. The food and cocktails were good yet overpriced, which was a clear reflection of the crowd. Go to Beaumarchais to people watch, see people, and be seen. It was a mixed crowd mostly with tables of solely men or solely women popping magnum bottles of Veuve Cliquot. Everyone seemed to be significantly older, around 35-45, but dressed to impress. I’m always a little confused by this loud music brunch scene where people dress up. Did you not have a good enough time the night before? If I’m going to drop $50 on pancakes and a drink, I’d personally rather being doing it at a homey foodie brunch place to unwind from the night before’s excitement.
While I can say we did feel fabulous and the music was great, it also felt like the place we would hope to go to have brunch when we are in our 40s, have too much money, are trying to escape our husbands, and are dying to be young again. (friends, +15 years consider it a date!)
I ordered the Croque Madame, a modest open faced sandwich with salad on the side. It had a nice truffle flavor and good cheese, but didn’t really blow my mind. It sort of reminds me of what I eat for breakfast everyday at home so I was left wanting something more.
Oh, and that sundae with less than perfect marshmallows that everyone (including us) was ordering just really confused me…and made me feel very very silly. If the ice cream, marshmallows and whipped cream were homemade I’d have less of a problem and would maybe even pay more considering it was a dessert to share…but no, it was all grocery store quality and the ice cream wasn’t that great. Hurray food-markups just for a pish-posh atmosphere! Yes I love food, but I have to at least have the illusion that I can not get the exact same thing elsewhere for dirt cheap. Well, okay maybe the sparkler that came on top helped a little…ok, no.
The final word? Go for the pish-posh party atmosphere if your pockets allow for it, but don’t expect mind blowing food.
I had a fabulous time eating overpriced mediocre food and drinking super sugary mixed drinks. Let’s be blunt, you don’t really go to Brother Jimmy’s to eat good food or find fine cocktails. My friend and I ordered the Swamp Water (a strange sugary cocktail of well liquor and juice) that comes in a fantastic 64 oz. fish bowl filled with a plastic crocodile and neon straws. By far the highlight of the meal, despite how disgusting it truly was.
Of course we were extra courageous after the fish bowl to starting using flash…haha.
Oh and we also ordered the Jimmy’s Pig Pick to share. Hush puppies were dry, along with all the meat. I wouldn’t recommend the food and definitely wouldn’t expect more than a (almost cheap) bro bar. They are all over the city, but in the future I think I’m going to just stick to beer and I suggest you do too. Pick up some Fette Sau or Hill Country instead.
My friends and I went to Daniel to celebrate my birthday and were luckily surprised that Mr Boulud himself walked us back to the kitchen to take a picture with him. I realized then how celebrity-stricken I get with chefs and how this is completely not normal! Everything as expected was delicious and perfectly executed. The cocktails were equally stunning, and I think his restaurant group may definitely be my favorite of all!
This past Saturday I had a lovely experience with Publicolor, the non-profit that takes their own stab at inspiring kids to graduate high school. They reach their mission through paint and democracy. Publicolor will invade a school for a few weeks to teach kids color theory, how to paint properly, and invite volunteers on Saturdays to join in on the fun. The kids vote in the beginning of the project what colors scheme they want in the school, and choose from a palette of beautiful vibrant colors.
It was a commitment from 9:45am-3pm out at JHS 22 in the Bronx and each volunteer was paired with a member of the “Paint Club”, a student from the school we were painting. Publicolor’s intention is to get adult volunteers to facilitate in the painting and also have upbeat positive conversation about college and the future. After they are done with a school they induct 10 students into their apprenticeship program to paint with a stipend.
It’s always a humbling experience to hang out with kids and be reminded what schools are like. They had the exact same chairs and desks as I did growing up, and of course I felt a bit nostalgic! The school itself was actually a lot nicer than I expected with all the talks in our flaws in the education system. Perhaps we are having issues with teachers and curriculum, but the actual infrastructure of the school seemed very solid and up-to-date (no doubt with help from organizations and good management from the school).
I have only done Publicolor once before and it seems the organization has come a very long way. I vaguely remember not having enough gloves, rollers/rods, but they currently have a great partnership with Benjamin Moore and get all of their paint donated. The only thing that I regret about the experience is not being able to have a more long-term influence on the students’ lives! It always makes me feel extra guilty when they ask if you are coming back the week after and you know you aren’t.