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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ray's Pizza

Ray's Pizza was located just across the street from the Sheraton. We needed a small snack before dinner so we stopped in for a slice.

Mushroom & sausage pizza--$6 for 1 slice. It was good but way too expensive.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014


MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, had a special exhibit on Matisse's Cut-Outs. Admission was $25 but included the special exhibit.

Part of the permanent collection. Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe.

Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans

van Gogh's Starry Night. 

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Ippudo Ramen

After the show, we left the studio at 10:15 and headed to lunch. We wanted to have ramen and found Ippudo, located at 321 W. 51st Street. We had to wait a short time before it opened at 11 am.

Shishito Peppers--$8. Flash fried Japanese peppers with yuzu salt & lemon. These were delicious! Just the right amount of crunch and not too spicy.

Shiromaru Hakata Classic. The tonkatsu pork broth was rich and flavorful and the egg was well prepared--just the right amount of runniness. The noodles were chewy and delicious but at $14, it was ridiculously expensive. I prefer Orenchi Ramen in Santa Clara.

Akamaru modern--$14. Tonkatsu broth with Ippudo's secret Umami Dama spicy paste and garlic oil.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Live with Kelly & Michael

We got tickets to see Live with Kelly & Michael. The ABC 7 studio is located at 7 Lincoln Square (corner of 67th & Columbus). We had to arrive at 6:45 am and waited outside until 7:45 when they let us inside the building. I was amazed that we didn't get seated until 8:30 am for a live show at 9:00 am.

Michael was not there on the day of our visit. Mark Consuelo was the guest host. It was fun to watch the  playful interaction between Kelly & her husband. Kelly is very personable and interacted with the audience during commercial breaks. Guests on the day of our visit were Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars), Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), & Paloma Faith (vocalist).

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Saturday, December 27, 2014


Whenever we find okonomiyaki, we always try it. This was Otafuku in the East Village. It was the last stop on our noshing adventure. It's located at 220 East 9th Street.

Each order came with two roughly 6-inch pieces for $9. I ordered 1 with shrimp and 1 with pork. The pork was actually 2 slices of bacon. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with shredded cabbage.

The finished product with a drizzle of okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Tonkatsu sauce), mayo and shaved bonito on top. These were okay--there weren't a lot of ingredients in them and no noodles. Still haven't found any quite like the ones in Osaka--tall and full of shrimp, bacon and noodles. 

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

We stopped at Il Labarotorio del Gelato next. It's located 188 Ludlow Street. My sister swears it's the best gelato. It wasn't really gelato--it didn't have the chewy texture but it was good ice cream

Taro & Hazelnut. This was a small--2 scoops for $4.25.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Donut Planet

Next stop was Donut Planet, located at 379 Grand Street.

We ordered a peanut butter with banana cream donut for $3.50 (upper donut) and a creme brûlée donut for $3.75. The flavors were interesting but I thought these were too expensive and I've had better.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Prosperity Dumpling

We went noshing after we checked in. I had read about Prosperity Dumpling on Yelp.

Prosperity Dumpling is located at 46 Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side.

$2.75 for 10 chive & pork dumplings. The skin was chewy and delicious but the filling was soft. Not the best I've had but not bad for $2.75. If I lived in Manhattan, I would go back.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sheraton Times Square

After lunch, we drove back to Manhattan. We had opted not to get the toll pass from the rental car company and were able to pay in cash until the last bridge right before Manhattan. The service fee from Dollar was $15!

We stayed at the Sheraton Times Square in Midtown, 7th Avenue & 53rd Street. It was such a convenient location. The Dollar Rental Car was located just 2 blocks away at West 52nd Street. The B, D & E subway lines were right next door to the hotel. We purchased a 7-day subway pass for $31 even though we were planning to be in town for only 4 nights.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Bocuse at the CIA

After our Cracker Barrel dinner, we had lunch at Bocuse at the CIA in Hyde Park. The Culinary Institute of America is a private, not-for-profit college specializing in culinary education. It was founded in 1946 and my favorite snarky chef Anthony Bourdain is a graduate.

Roth Hall--you'll find the Hospitality Office, American Bounty Restaurant, Apple Pie Bakery Cafe, Bocuse Restaurant & Bookstore here.

Beautiful buildings and grounds at the CIA. We didn't have time to take the tour at 4 pm but we did walk around by ourselves and found the library. SO different to see cookbooks on the shelves. How fun would it be to go to school there?

Cards at the table with food-related trivia questions.

We chose the 3-course prix fixe lunch menu for $35--you could choose any items on the menu (some had supplements). It's served Tue-Thurs. I chose the Torchon of Foie Gras for my first course--Apricot Compote, Black Plum, Muscat Gel, Candied Marcona Almonds, Brioche. So good and no supplement.

Another of the first course choices--Citrus-Cured Big Eye Tuna--Hearts of Palm, Haricot Verts, Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms, Chilled Basque Tomato Puree. 

Olive Oil Poached Halibut--Spinach, Zucchini Blossoms, Ratatouille Coulis. The fish was so well prepared and the flavors were fantastic.

Roasted & Braised Rabbit Variation--Loin & Mustard Braised Leg, Egg Noodles, Tarragon, Peas, Baby Carrots. Loved it! Reminded me of a Rabbit & Mustard dish I still remember from Paris.

Mont Blanc--Chestnut Vermicelli, Pound Cake, Rum, Tangerine Ice Milk. This was quite a presentation with liquid poured over dry ice to create this effect. The chestnut flavor was strong and delicious.

Table-Side Ice Cream & Classic Treats--Vanilla Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone, Pear Clafouti, Canele de  Bordeaux, Green Tea-Red Bean & Jasmine Rice Pudding Gateaux, Date Cake with Pecan-Butterscotch Sauce. This is served for 2 or more and has a $5 supplement. This is such a huge dessert that you could probably just eat this for your meal and be okay.

Ice cream hand-churned table side.


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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cracker Barrel

Whenever I find a Cracker Barrel restaurant, I can't resist stopping in to have a meal. This one was in Fishkill at 4 Merritt Blvd, about a 15 minute drive from Poughkeepsie.

I love the buttermilk biscuit that is served with all meals.

Country Dinner Plate with Fried Catfish & 2 sides--Fried Okra & Mac & Cheese. All this for $7.69.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplins with Turnip Greens. This was also $7.69.

Chicken Tenderloin Dinner served with your choice of 3 vegetables--$9.59. We chose coleslaw, country green beans and mashed potatoes. This way we tried quite a few of the sides.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Walkway Over the Hudson

Walkway Over the Hudson is a State Historic Park spanning the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to  Highland, NY. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, it is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. There is no admission fee to walk across the bridge. There is a pay lot at the entrance or you can park at the lot below the pay lot for free. The bridge is open year-round from 7 am to sunset.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Vanderbilt Mansion

The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is located in Hyde Park, near the FDR Library & Home. It is an opulent home befitting a Vanderbilt and offers a panoramic view of the Hudson River. Admission is $10 and includes a 1-hour guided tour.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

FDR Presidential Library & Museum

After Val-Kill, our next stop was the FDR Presidential Library & Museum, America's first presidential library and the only one used by a sitting president. It was opened to the public in 1941.

Statue of FDR & Eleanor just outside the Henry Wallace Visitor & Education Center at the entrance to the site. Wallace was the Secretary of Agriculture and the VP during FDR's 3rd term in office.

Presidential Library & Museum--the tour is self-guided and tells the story of the Roosevelt presidency from the Great Depression to the New Deal and WWII. At the time of our visit, there was a special exhibit on the pins of Madeleine Albright.

Sculpture made with pieces of the Berlin Wall.

Home of FDR. The home tour is guided by a US National Park ranger. Combined Library & Home tickets are $18.

Beautiful grounds at the site.

Lunch at the library--Roast Beef Sandwich with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes & horseradish on ciabatta—$8

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