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Food, Places I've Been, Travel

Dinner at Michelin-starred River Café in Brooklyn

May 13, 2016
River Café in Brooklyn, New York

When planning my trip to New York, I really wanted to visit the restaurant that Meg Ryan has dinner in in Sleepless in Seattle. I found out it was the Rainbow Room at the Rockefeller Center and booked a table only to find it was a special occasion that cost way more than I was willing to give for a dinner without wine. So I researched some more and found that River Café in Brooklyn was a good alternative, with an even better view. Of course, I booked a table right away.

We arrived a bit late, but our table wasn’t ready so we grabbed a drink in the bar, right after we had picked our chins off the floor. We had hurried through the Dumbo area of Brooklyn from the subway and when we finally found the place we were astonished by not only the view but the atmosphere outside of the restaurant. I mean, take a look at the picture above as well as this one and tell me you’re not impressed:

river café new york brooklyn

River Café in the front with the Manhattan skyline in the back

We had the most amazing view from the restaurant over the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Our amise bouche arrived, which was octopus, so we politely asked for a vegetarian version and the friendly server soon arrived with a cold asparagus soup. They don’t have an a la carte menu, as we had first thought,  but a three course menu where you get to choose your meals from a menu.

For starters, I ordered the handmade ricotta gnocchi with asparagus spears, grilled wild ramps, salsify purée and crispy guanciale. No, I have no idea what the last two are but it was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life – it was that good. Jacob ordered the beet salad with goat cheese and was also impressed – although not as impressed as I was with my meal. I wanted to order it again for the main course, but instead chose the only vegetarian thing on the menu: the mushroom wellington which was a vegetarian take on the beef wellington and it was served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Of course, I was again delighted! How could something so simple taste so good? Jacob, who rarely eats meat, ordered the duck breast and he said it was the best damn piece of meat he’d ever had.

beet salad

Jacob’s beet salad

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Vegetarian choice: Mushroom Wellington, with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

rivercafeduck

The best damn duck in the world, according to Jacob.

As we sat in our little corner overlooking the rest of the room and the big windows with the spectacular view, the servers catered to our every need, never letting our wine or water glasses get even remotely empty.

After a little rest & digest, we ordered our desserts: Jacob ordered the Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge with raspberry sorbet, vanilla ice cream and meringue while I ordered a milk chocolate soufflé (without the marshmallow as it’s not vegetarian) with hot fudge and Tahitan vanilla bean ice milk. As you can tell by that description alone, we weren’t disappointed. As we were about to devour our desserts, the server came up and said it was about time we moved up to the first row of tables for a n even better view of night-time Manhattan. We happily agreed.

rivercafedessert

The chocolate Brooklyn Bridge…yum!

Everything about this restaurant was pure perfection and it was only when we were about to leave that I saw that it has indeed been rewarded a Michelin-star not once, but twice. I wasn’t surprised at all, as it genuinly was a an excellent restaurant with delicious, yet unpretentious food, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and impeccable service.

As we sat in the cab heading back to Manhattan, impressed beyond or expectations, we did feel a bit guilty having spent so much money on food and drinks – but considering it was a night we’ll always remember, we decided it was 100 percent worth it.

rivercaferestaurant

 

 

 

Places I've Been

New York: The Museums We Visited

May 5, 2016

If you go to New York, you owe it to the city to visit some of the great museums it has to offer. We bought the New York City Pass, which saves you the entrance to a number of museums and must-see attractions in the city. With so many great museums to see, it’s hard to pick which ones to go to, so having the City Pass made it a lot easier. Here are the museums we visited during our stay:

  1. American Museum of Natural History
    We took a walk in Central Park yet again, all the way to AMNH. With a science geek (Jacob) in the household, we visit every damn natural history museum in every city we’re in that has one… and of course the New York one is one of the most prominent and famous ones, so it was a natural choice. The line was huge but moved pretty fast and we grabbed a map in order to find what we were looking for. We started with a viewing of the exhibition Dark Universe, voiced by a favorite of mine: Neil deGrasse Tyson. As you may have guessed it was about space and we sat in a planetarium with huge IMAX-screens which cover the spherical ceiling, creating the illusion that you’re traveling through space. Being a huge fan of space it was amazing to learn about dark matter and it was pure joy to listen to deGrasse Tyson.
    Other things we enjoyed was the replica of a real-size blue whale. You don’t quite grasp the size of it until you see it in the museum. It is huge! And of course the whole dinasour area was pretty amazing.

    Big whale in the American Museum of Natural History

    Me & the whale 🙂

  • The 9/11 Memorial Museum
    Truth be told, this is probably not a museum I would have visited had it not been part of the City Pass. I would have gone to Ground Zero, had a moment of silence and move on. But the 9/11 Memorial Museum was actually really, really interesting – especially for those of us who clearly remember the 2001 terrorist attacks. It was heartbreaking. When you enter the exhibition you are taken through a chronological story of what happened. There are pictures, videos, and sounds playing. There are actual objects that was found in the remains of the two towers – among them bloody shoes, glasses, the terrorists’ boarding passes, the partial remains of a the plane that crashed into the North tower, deceased firefighters’ uniforms. But the most touching and heartbreaking parts were the messages that played when you picked up telephones around the exhibition. Voicemails that some of the victims recorded for their loved ones saying things like how much they loved those close to them and that they will be waiting in heaven. Phone calls made by the flight attendants that were stuck on one of the planes. I was so touched by it and so heartbroken that I had nightmares for a couple of nights after our visit.

    9/11 Memorial New York

    9/11 memorial pools with a white rose

     

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    At first we thought we had tickets to MoMA, but the kind security guard informed us that we had tickets to the Met. I had really set my mind on MoMA, so I was a bit dissappointed but we went to the Met instead. The Met is huge and there’s so much stuff to see. Unfortunately, the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, the museum’s most famous was closed when we visited but the Egyptian galleries were amazing to see. I particularly liked the modern art galleries and the collection of European paintings. I was particulary excited to finally see my favorite painting that I’ve admired since I was 8 and my teacher first introduced me to art and the European painters – the Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies by Monet. It was stunning! I also got to see many of the other paintings from the European masters that I admired as a child and some new ones that I hadn’t heard of.

    MoMA - Bridge over Pond of Water Lilies by Monet

    Bridge over Pond of Water Lilies by Monet

    MoMA New York

    Me at the Met

 

Top photo: American Museum of Natural History By Ingfbruno – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Places I've Been

A Stroll in Central Park

May 4, 2016
central park

In New York, we lived just a few blocks from Central Park so our first day we went to a nice little café for breakfast and managed to get a table for two right before it was full. We ate our omelettes and drank freshly squeezed orange juice before we walked over to the park. One thing that kind of made me sad was seeing the horses with carriages outside of Central Park – a completely inhumane and ancient practice that I understand will soon be banned in NYC (and here’s a great article on alternative ways to see Central Park). Once we got past the horses and the many men and women trying to sell us rides, it was completely calm and quiet. As if we had entered a completely different city inside of the city. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the pink cherry trees were in full bloom. The only thing that really gave New York away were the giant skyscrapers surrounding, almost guarding, the park. If you looked one way, you would only see green trees, dogs playing, and joggers on their daily run, but looking the other way you would see the iconic buildings that all make up the Manhattan skyline.

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The view from Central Park

central park new york

Jacob and a Yellow Cab

central park new york

We strolled around in the perfect weather for a few hours (took the jacket off later)

central park bench

Loved this bench

central park new york

Cherry blossom!

central park new york

We took breaks along our stroll to really take it all in

central park new york

Love these little signs. You can “adopt” a bench in order to support Central Park and you get your own sign on a bench there. Loved walking around and reading them.

Places I've Been

A fun night out at in New York

April 28, 2016

On Thursday, our second day in New York, Jacob and I met up my  friend Maija, who was also in town, and two of her friends. We went to a rooftop bar called The Press Lounge to get the perfect view of New York and to catch up over drinks. The Press Lounge is located in Hell’s Kitchen, which isn’t my favorite part of New York, but this little gem made it worth the walk. We had some great cocktails and enjoyed the wonderful view of Manhattan at nighttime – it was exactly what I had pictured a rooftop terrace to be. It was buzzing with people, had great (but pricey!) cocktails, and the backdrop was the Manhattan skyline. We had a lot to catch up on and later decided to eat at the restaurant located on the ground floor of the same building – The Print restaurant. Luckily for us, there was a table for five available and we ordered our food and a bottle of wine from a really friendly server.  The food was absolutely amazing and better than we expected. So if you’re in town, I really recommend a visit to the Print for food, followed by drinks at the Press Lounge for a perfect night out.

The Press Lounge New York

The view from The Press Lounge rooftop bar

Vegan food at the Print restaurant New York

My dish: roasted cauliflower with stir fried quinoa, maitakes, spring onions, roasted baby carrots, radishes and pine nut-currant oil. As delicious as it sounds!

The Print Restaurant New York

Jacob had the roasted chicken with potaties

After dinner, we headed for some drinks and managed to find a completely empty bar, but we didn’t mind not having the company of others as we had so much to talk about.

 

New york

In the bar, I spotted a Hillary nutcracker 😉

 

 

After dinner, we headed for some drinks and managed to find a completely empty bar, but we didn’t mind not having the company of others as we had so much to talk about.

new york

Sangria!

 

Food, Places I've Been, Travel

The world’s best burger at Superiority Burger, New York

April 27, 2016

Even before I had booked my trip for New York, I knew I had to try the burger that GQ dubbed “The world’s best burger” late last year. I never get to try all those fancy burger which is a shame for a foodie like myself, but I jumped from joy when I learned that this burger is actually vegetarian. So today we headed to East Village and found it. Superiority burger is located right next to a cat shelter with crazy cute cats hanging out in the window. There weren’t that many people there so we ordered and received our food pretty quickly.

superiority burger new york

You can stay there and eat, although it’s very small, or take the food with you, which we did. We went to Tompkins Square park and sat on one of the benches while we enjoyed our burgers in the sun. A perfect lunch! We were surprised at how small the burgers are, they’re more like slide rs, but they were really, really good. The patty is fully vegan and no one knows what it’s made from but it has a really nice texture. The dressing has a bit of a sting to it and vegans can choose to get vegan cheese on top. All food at Superiority Burger is vegetarian and some is accidentally vegan – however, all vegetarian meals can be made vegan.

Superiority Burger is located on 430 East 9th St, New York

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…the first bite

The world's best burger

Jacob right outside of Superiority Burger and the cat shelter

Superiority burger NYC

Corner of Avenue A & 9th Street

Places I've Been

Our first day in New York

April 21, 2016

And so came the day when we were finally heading to New York. Going to NY has been a dream of mine since I was a child, but unfortunately I could never afford it until now. And now that we’re finally here, we’re staying for 10 days just to make sure we have enough time to really see and enjoy all of New York without rushing through it.

Yesterday morning, we packed our bags and dropped our cats off for a 10 day catcation (yes, that is what it’s called, don’t question me!) at our friend Nikolaj’s place. It’s always hard for me to leave my little babies (yes, yes, yes, I know they’re basically senior cats now) and so we spent some time cuddling when we woke up – it was the best.

Once we arrived to the airport, it was almost empty and so we could just head through the check-in, the security, and passport control and board our plane. We watched movies and slept through the flight, so the 8.5 hours it took passed by rather quickly. However, as we were descending I started to get really naucious. The descend was really bumpy and I wasn’t the only one reaching for the nausea-bags (a finer word for throwing-up-bags?) but I managed to stay alive even after we landed 😉

We took the train from Newark airport to Penn Station (or as Jacob kept referring to it: Penn State – haha) and a yellow cab to our hotel. We got a room with a balcony and we’re staying on 51st street, which is just by the Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue. After checking in, we headed out to get to know the area better and admired the Rockefeller center for a while – it really is HUGE, but most of all it’s the setting of many of our favorite shows. 30 Rock with Tina Fey is set here and I reminded myself I need to rewatch that show again for the 100th (or something) time.

Denmark is six hours ahead of New York, so after we had checked in, walked around, and eaten a bite we were dead tired – after all, it was around 11 pm at home, but only 5 pm here. We went home, watched half a movie, and fell asleep around 9 pm.

That concludes our first day here. Today, we’re well rested and plan to do and see more of this amazing city.

New york

Street view from our hotel…the other way.