National Geographic: The Best Holiday Treats in NYC

Holiday cranberry doughnut from Doughnut PlantI had such a wonderful day writing/researching this piece for my Urban Insider blog on National Geographic - The Best Holiday Treats in NYC - with stops at Jacques Torres, Sarabeth's, Doughnut Plant and Mile End Deli. I loved getting to know chefs and restaurant owners and why they love being in New York and creating food for New Yorkers. 

As many of you are, my heart is broken for those who lost their children and family members in Newtown. I think Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo, one of my all-time favorite reads, gave a short yet poignant tribute here in A Moment of Silence.

Friday Links to Love, With New York City Food Gifts!


Photo: From when I made chocolate treats with Jacques Torres!

I recently gave my aunt a thank-you-for-letting-us-crash-at-your-house bag full of NYC foodie gifts, things that are from New York or the Hamptons.  I added a Dean & Deluca mug and NYC postcards.  I really want her to come visit and am hoping they entice her to come sooner rather than later! 

For future gifts, I made a list of NYC items that are easy to ship or pack for out-of-town relatives and friends:

  • Tate's Bake Shop cookies from Southampton, NY: Addicting! And if you find yourself in the Hamptons, you can visit the bake shop that started it all. They have nice holiday cookie packs too.
  • Jars of Hamptons Honey: Delicious honey for your tea from Southampton, NY
  • Fat Witch Bakery Brownie Mix: At Chelsea Market and on some grocery store shelves
  • Sarabeth's Jams: One of the city's great brunch spots
  • Jacques Torres Chocolate: I had a wonderful time making chocolate with Jacques Torres himself a couple of months ago. The DUMBO outpost is great. 
  • Jars of Rao's pasta sauce: The vodka sauce is the best jarred sauce you'll ever taste. So if you can't get into Rao's (someday I will), you can buy the sauce. 

So it will come as no surprise that one of the links I loved this week was a slideshow from SeriousEats with gifts for NYC food lovers! Their list had more perishable items (cheese, bialys, pastrami) on it but it's a nice round-up.  SeriousEats slideshow

More fun links: 

  • From The Huffington Post comes a cool video of Washington, D.C. at night (time-lapsed shots)
  • This week, NASA announced the discovery of the first EARTH-LIKE PLANET outside of our solar system and that all the components are right for life: "Such planets have the right distance from their star to support water, plus a suitable temperature and atmosphere to support life." Too bad it would take us 600 years to get there IF we could travel at the speed of light.
  • A great piece from The Atlantic on how growing food organically, without cancer-causing chemicals, can actually double or triple crop yields and feed more people in a better way: Organic Can Feed the World
  • This hotel freak loved drooling over Conde Nast Traveler's picks for Most Gorgeous Hotel Bathrooms (I love the Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental in New York)

Brunch at the new Sarabeth's in TriBeCa

Opinions on where to go for Sunday brunch often reach heated levels, especially when picking a neighborhood. I love Five Points (my post here), for example, but I don’t LOVE walking around the surrounding neighborhood of NoHo. I LOVE walking in TriBeCa, and so when I heard Sarabeth’s was opening a branch here, I booked a reservation.  That’s key point #1: You can book a reservation on OpenTable here. Score!  
From the outside walking by, you might think the place is small and cozy.  Wrong. For New York standards, it’s huge.  The first thing you see is stacks of gorgeous Sarabeth’s cookbooks next to stacks of their jams and the croissant, muffin and cookie choices for the day.  
And the menu is great-egg dishes, of course, but also sandwiches and lobster rolls.  It’s hard to find that perfect New York brunch, where ambiance and buzz meet with reservations-accepted and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Sarabeth’s TriBeCa is it.  This is by far the best of their locations.