It’s Officially Autumn on Park Ave

Park Avenue Autumn officially changed their menu over, the true sign its fall in NYC. This delish restaurant in the Upper East Side changes its menu, decor and name each spring, summer, autumn and winter. My favorite appetizer on the menu is the roasted pumpkin soup with lobster croutons.. yumm. And for the entree, duck of course.


Pizza Goes French on the Upper East Side

Our latest and greatest restaurant discovery is an adorable french bistro on 3rd Ave and 62nd St – Marche De Sud. There’s a great wine selection, the prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is cozy- especially the back patio.

Their specialty is a Tart Flambée, which is essentially a french pizza on a very thin yeast-less dough. But what sets these tarts apart are the deliciously curated toppings. Who wouldn’t want duck confit with créme fraîche on top of a pizza??? Below are my three fav tarts:

La Campagnarde créme fraîche, duck confit, onions, lardons, potato and comtée cheese    $14

La Fruits De Mer lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, leeks, gruyére cheese and bouillabaisse béchamel    $17

La Marocaine homemade hummus, spicy harissa, merguez sausage, swiss cheese, lemon confit and cilantro    $14


As if NYC didn’t have enough cupcake shops, one more has opened – Sprinkles. The great part (or perhaps worst part) about Sprinkles is that it opened a block away from me! The major difference between Sprinkles and its famous cupcake competitors (Crumbs and Magnolia’s) is the amount of frosting – its actually manageable. You won’t leave feeling like you just inhaled a carton of sugar.

I also particularly like the modern approach they took in it’s overall appearance. Both the cupcakes and the store are clean, simple and modern. A much needed change in an overly frosted, overly cupcake obsessed Manhattan.

Although I haven’t tried this particular cupcake yet, Sprinkle’s May special is called the “Salty Caramel Cupcake” and I’m verryy interested.

Their website describes it as below:

Sprinkles Salty Caramel cupcakes are an irresistible salty-sweet flavor combination using fleur de sel crystals hand harvested from the pristine seas off Brittany, France. These fleur de sel granules are a delightful complement to the sweet, buttery caramel which flavors both the cake and frosting. Taste the rich, delicious complexity of Sprinkles take on this classic French duo.

If you aren’t craving a cupcake after reading that – you have big issues.

Fig & Olive

If you haven’t been to Fig & Olive you need to NOW. They have a bunch of locations in Manhattan, all are adorable, all are delish. Since its summer (or close enough to it) I have been craving the Fig & Olive Salad (romaine hearts, mesclun salad, fig, apple, manchego and dolce gorgonzola cheese, tomato, walnut, olive, scallion, 18 year fig & balsamic dressing with arbequina olive oil). What more could you ask for in a salad??

Fig & Olive Salad

If a salad just isn’t cutting it for you, their grilled filet of Mediterranean branzino (glazed with fig & 18 year balsamic vinegar, snow pea and figs, Picholine Olive Oil) is heaven on earth. The fish is perfectly flaky and the 18 year old balsamic adds an amazing flavor.

Grilled Branzino with Fig & Balsamic

To finish off your meal you must, and I mean MUST, try the dessert “Crostini”. It consists of a shortbread cookie topped with fresh marscapone, pistachio, an amarena cherry, and a touch of basil. YUM!

Dessert “Crostini”

Financier Patisserie

I love pastries, especially french pastries. Financier Patisserie recently opened in my neighborhood and let me tell you.. it is amazzzzing. They have many locations across the city and all of them are adorable.. but more importantly delicious!

Their pastry selection is extensive and they look as good as they taste.. which is perfect. You can purchase full size cakes and tarts or mini personal size versions. You can also grab a few macaroons or madeleines with your morning coffee like I tend to do (oops).

In addition to pastries they also offer a really great breakfast and lunch menu. In the morning I typically order the mushroom, Gruyère, white truffle oil Quiche and a latte. My favorite lunch is the butternut squash soup and the La Grecque salad. They also offer a large selection of yummy sandwiches and paninis too.

The Standard Biergarten

The Standard Hotel has an amazing Biergarten under the Highline in the Meatpacking district. It’s definitely a classier, more upscale biergarten – which of course, is why I love it.

In addition to offering delicious German beers, you can also order a large selection of bratwurst or a humongous pretzel.. why not really??

And, once your sufficiently drunk you can embarrass yourself by playing ping-pong in the middle of the Biergarten.. perfect.

My Favorite Cocktails

Pear Crisp: Vanilla Infused Rum, Pear Purée, Lemon, Prosecco

I typically like anything made with Absolute Vanilla, but I had never tried Vanilla Rum. Rouge Tomate specializes in creative cocktails.. my favorite being their Pear Crisp. It’s naturally sweet from the pears and vanilla rum but very light and fresh because of the lemon and prosecco. I’m not sure of the exact measurements but I’m sure any combination of the below ingredients would turn out delish! This should be shaken, not stirred.

Cranberry Flower: Hendrick’s Gin, Muddled Cranberry Compote, Lemon Juice

Beauty and Essex is so chic and fun.. and on top of it they have delicious cocktails made with fresh ingredients. I am typically a gin and tonic girl in the summer and love cranberry vodkas in the winter. They came up with the PERFECT combo. The Cranberry Flower is light and refreshing like and gin and tonic but has the bitter bite from the cranberries.. they also dropped in whole cranberries that were soaked in syrup.. a nice touch. This should be shaken, not stirred. Here is a nice recipe for Cranberry Comopote.

On a side note, if you haven’t been to Beauty and Essex I highly recommend stopping by.. you have to go through a pawn shop and there’s a back door that opens to a three level restaurant/lounge. It’s absolutely gorgeous inside, the food is really fun and the best part is they serve free campaign in the women’s bathroom.. score.