New York City Favorites

New York City is an amazing “foodie” destination. There are literally TONS of options when it comes to getting an amazing meal, but here are some of my favorites (so far).

Just FYI – When it comes to food, I’d call myself a simple eater. I appreciate unique dishes that are as simply prepared as possible — dishes that highlight wholesome ingredients without a ton of sauces, dressings, etc. The restaurants that I highlight are likely going to be on trend with my taste preferences, so these spots may not be for everyone.


Two Hands Restaurant & Bar


Excuse the poor photography. I used a quick video to document our meal, so the images above are screenshots from the video. My husband and I ordered several dishes to share because everything sounded amazing. We had two small plates and two large plates — Small plates included roasted sun-chokes with pear, lettuce and green goddess pressing (top left image) and charred broccolini with jalapeños and almonds (right image). Large plates included salmon with roasted carrots, radish and a light vinaigrette (bottom left) and roasted chicken with tahini, blistered grapes, almonds, and bulgar (not pictured).

I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite dish when it came to this meal. EVERYTHING was cooked to perfection and tasted like perfection. The Australian-inspired dishes are prepared in interesting ways with subtle seasonings that bring out the best flavors of the food items. We left the restaurant feeling full, but perfectly content. The food makes you feel healthy, happy and dying to come back again.


Jack’s Wife Freda


After hearing rave reviews about this spot, my loving family agreed to accept the 1.5 hour wait to get enjoy Saturday brunch at this joint… And it was so WORTH IT. If this restaurant opened a location in Winter Park, I’d be there weekly. The menu features mostly healthy Mediterranean dishes with a balance of breakfast and lunch items. My husband and mom ordered the Breakfast Bowl, I had the Mediterranean Breakfast and my dad had the Prego Roll with french fries.

The Mediterranean Breakfast is featured in the image below – mine had two poached eggs, chopped salad, labne, avocado and pita bread.


Photo Source: @Jackswifefreda on Instagram

The Breakfast Bowl has scrambled or poached eggs, red quinoa, kale, spaghetti squash, grilled tomato and avocado.


Photo Source: @Jackswifefreda on Instagram

They really pack in the customers like sardines in this restaurant, but it’s actually refreshing. I love how the diners are happy and willing to squeeze next to a complete stranger for a delicious meal. While the restaurant was crazy busy and appeared hectic, the wait staff was totally chill. You could tell they were passionate about their restaurant and embraced the community vibes.

One of my favorite things about Jack’s Wife Freda is that most of their dishes are so simple, that they inspire me to recreate them in my own kitchen. I love places that open my eyes to new food combinations.



Beauty and Essex



My husband and I visited this speakeasy on a Sunday evening for pre-dinner drinks. From the exterior, it seems as you are entering a vintage jewelry store, but upon opening a door in the back, you enter a majestic, three story night-clubby restaurant with loud music, dim lighting, and chic decor. The cocktails are pricey but SO good.

My drink was the green one in the image above — the “Beauty Elixir”. It tasted like a freshly cut garden of deliciousness with the following ingredients: hendricks gin, cucumber, strawberry and sparkling rosé.

Greg’s drink (the pink one above) is the “Emerald Gimlet”. He thought it tasted great, but thought it was a bit too girly looking for him to order that drink twice. Ingredients include vodka, basil, lemon nectar and fresh lime.


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