Tag Archives: oysters

Another Visit to the Big Apple

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you will notice that we love New York. We tend to go once or twice a year, and a few weekends ago, we drove down with Kelvin’s parents for some shopping, exploration, and good food.

Photo 2013-07-14 1 54 27 PM

Day 1 is almost always the same. We leave bright and early (like 7 am early), stop in Binghampton, NY to fill up gas, then head to Woodbury Commons. I am usually the conservative one when it comes to shopping – the one who counts her American pennies. However, this time I hit the jackpot at J.Crew and found too many things that would significantly improve my wardrobe, including this jacketthis skirt, and these shorts. We continued our shopping at Garden State Plaza and the local Ikea (apparently they have things that we don’t have) before checking in late at night at our usual spot – the Marriott Glenpointe in Teaneck, NJ.

Photo 2013-07-13 8 28 55 AM

Day 2 was a whirlwind. My mother-in-law and I woke up super early to take the bus into the city (167T gets us there in 20 minutes). We rushed over to line up at Dominique Ansel for these infamous cronuts, and proceeded to wait for two hours in line with other hungry patrons. Okay, some people were lining up there so they could flip their cronuts for some crazy profit…but I didn’t think the extra $30 would be worth that amount of time. Anyways, Kelvin and his dad joined us in line around 9:15, and after a few scares of sold-out cronuts, we got our hands on a box.

Photo 2013-07-13 9 59 20 AM

The cronuts – a mix between croissants and donuts – were $5 a pop and you were allowed to buy 2. Kelvin and I shared a box of two and that was plenty for us. It was in fact delicious, and the texture was really interesting yet familiar, but I still can’t say whether it was worth the wait. I suppose it’s one of those things you must try once in your life and once you’ve had it, you’re good. The macarons were slightly disappointing. But perhaps this is because I have yet to find macarons that I really really like. Maybe I don’t know what they’re supposed to taste like? We also ordered the DKA (very good, and you can get it any time of day) and the little egg sandwich (also priced at $5 and quite yummy )

Dominique Ansel Bakery on Urbanspoon

With our stomachs full and the city beckoning, our shopping for the day commenced. We went all over town, from Muji to Uniqlo to Longchamp and Kinokuniya. But the place that really jumped out for me was Suit Supply. This is where Kelvin went to get fitted for a suit for our wedding, and he liked it so much that he decided to go back. Now, I’ve never really understood the intricacies of a suit and the differences between cuts and what not, but I imagine this is shopping heaven for the well-dressed man. We entered through this nondescript doorway and were greeted by these men whose suits were so well-tailored it blew my mind. Needless to say, Kelvin did not come away empty-handed. That suit will likely be making an appearance at the next wedding we are to attend this summer.

Photo 2013-07-24 6 47 57 PM

Later that afternoon, we went for a stroll along High Line (so excited for their continued expansion!) and in Chelsea Market. We tried a new place for dinner – Cull and Pistol – and quite enjoyed ourselves. Kelvin and I recently discovered our love for oysters so were keen to try them again. We ordered the raw sampler, a lobster roll, and the fish tacos. The littleneck clams were not my favourite, and I found the oyster selection a bit too briny for my liking, but the shrimp was sweet and enormous. We didn’t get any crab claws because they were out :( We got extra oysters instead. The fish tacos were average, but the lobster roll was out of this world. There were huge chunks of lobster and the flavouring was just right. Overall we enjoyed our experience there. Plus, they gave us orange gelato at the end of the evening so we would leave with a sweet taste in our mouths. Two thumbs up!

cull and pistol

Cull & Pistol on Urbanspoon

We rounded off the evening with a trip to The Filling Station in Chelsea Market, where we bought some Cranberry Pear balsamic vinegar. It is the most delicious things ever and I use it all the time now. It is essentially vinaigrette and comes in a cute little bottle that’s the same size as the California Garlic Olive Oil we bought at Kingston Olive Oil Co.

Day 3 started off with service at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. My goodness what a refreshing service it was! Solo cello with piano = God’s reminder of the beauty of classical music. I was moved deeply by the worship as well as the sermon, and it was exactly what I needed. Though Psalm 23 is not an unfamiliar passage, I was reminded of our constant search for identity and how we so often are looking for it in the wrong places.

Photo 2013-07-14 3 18 45 PM

After church, we headed to Korea Town for lunch, then to City Hall to embark on our Brooklyn Bridge adventure. I’ve never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge before, so this was very exciting! Too bad construction was happening so a lot of the areas were boarded up. Regardless, we made it across, and found ourselves in the calmer, slower-paced borough of Brooklyn. We wandered over to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, had pizza at Grimaldi’s, and even stumbled upon a food fair. Next time we come to NYC, we definitely need to spend more time here.

Photo 2013-07-15 6 54 55 PM

After a few hours, we headed back to Manhattan to pick up some Shake Shack before bussing back to New Jersey…because you always need to eat Shake Shack when you’re in New York.

Day 4 was a big box store day. Costco. Walmart. Because apparently things are cheaper in the States…who knew? We also stopped in Syracuse at Destiny USA (we see billboards for it all the time here in Kingston) and it did not disappoint! Kelvin finally found the Vans that he had been searching all over New York for. Plus they have an indoor ropes course. And it only costs $7.99. I am going back there…just for the ropes course. Routine stop at Watertown following that for some Chipotle, and we were home before 9.

And there you have it…another successful adventure in the big city.

A Night on the Town

So some exciting news…I got an LTO! That stands for long-term occasional position, aka I am supply teaching in the same class for an extended period of time. I am so excited (and feeling so blessed) to have been given this opportunity, and I am looking forward to planning, getting to know the staff more, and then meeting all my students. That’s already more about my work than I think I’ve ever shared on this blog, but I wanted to share so much because it melds everything that I love in life into one lovely opportunity to nurture creativity.

To celebrate, Kelvin came to pick me up from school and we headed downtown for some yummy food. We made a pit stop first at the relatively new Kingston Olive Oil Co.

Photo 2013-06-28 4 42 19 PM

In addition to over a dozen types of balsamic vinegar, the store was full of many different types of olive oil. We tried a number of them with the bread samples they provided and ended up getting an infused olive oil – California Garlic – to take home with us. We only had a little taste, but already the aroma was overwhelming. We couldn’t resist!

We wandered around the area a bit longer, then headed to one of our favourite restaurants – Le Chien Noir – for dinner. It can be a bit on the pricier side to eat here, but thanks to a gift certificate from my wonderful co-workers, this meal was on the house!

IMG_2056

To start, we ordered one of their daily specials – a swordfish tartare on a bok choy leaf with heirloom carrots and lotus root chips. They were heavenly. We even recommended it to the table beside us! The swordfish had a good weight to it, and it was so fresh and flavourful. The chip added this much needed crunch that just tied everything together.

Photo 2013-06-28 5 55 49 PM

Because we were feeling particularly adventurous, we each also ordered one single oyster. We were both very hesitant, but after our first oysters, we were sold. We each ended up ordering another one! I discovered I like clean, sweeter oysters. Green Gables for the win!

IMG_2058

Our main courses were definitely up to par with the rest of our meal. I had the burger (cooked to medium, as you can only with local meat). Everything came together deliciously and I was happy I made the right choice. Earlier that night, I had a really hard time choosing between the burger and the chicken (fried mac and cheese!!).

IMG_2057

Kelvin opted for the boar chop (a smaller portion but great value and the perfect size considering all the other things we had ordered). He loved the flavour and the spatzle and was also thoroughly happy with his meal. The only thing to note was that the apple salsa (?) was a bit spicy.

We’ve been to Le Chien Noir a number of times in the past few months, but this was by far our best experience this year. We still have some money left on our gift card…and we will be back to enjoy more oysters…but this time for 30% off during happy hour.

Le Chien Noir Bistro on Urbanspoon