Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I really want to like Girls. Especially since season two of Homeland ended and I’ve been feeling a weekly void come Sunday night TV time. But while Girls is entertaining, it’s just not that funny. Or smart. The writing isn’t nearly as brilliant as that of its oft compared to HBO series: Sex and the City.

And shouldn’t I be the quintessential Girls viewer, a white 20-something “coming of age” in NYC? Maybe I’m a little too close to 30… Regardless I’ll keep watching, at least as Season Two unfolds. One very small part of Sunday night’s episode three (titled “Bad Friend”) stood out as amusing: the exchange between Hannah and her junkie neighbor Laird regarding wireless network names. Hannah and her rotating roommates had chosen “Madame Ovaries” and then “Muffins Are Tasty.” Not bad. Remember this AMB post on the same subject? I think we’re on to something… Wireless network names will soon be a coffee table book at Urban Outfitters. In fact, maybe I’ll pitch the idea to publishers now… And then my kitschy coffee table book will end up in Hannah’s hipster apartment

Monday, January 28, 2013

One of the best kept secret date spots in NYC…

After a couple of weeks of working ridiculously late and therefore having less than ideal togetherness time, Justin and I went on an impromptu date last Thursday. We braved the bitter cold to dine out at one of our favorite local restaurants, a hidden gem in Greenwich Village squeezed in-between the seedy sex shops and gemstones dealers: I Sodi.

I Sodi serves delicious Italian food in a tiny, cozy but clean atmosphere. Our favorite dishes are the artichoke salad, the homemade tagliatelle and the whole branzino roasted with capers. I, ever the purist eater, also recommend the simple mixed green salad. Even I Sodi’s bread and olive oil are of the utmost quality. And the restaurant’s jumbo green olives are not to be missed.  

Bon appetit,

P.S. Near I Sodi is Il Cantuccio, another relatively unknown spot with the best biscotti in the city. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

a restaurant for all occasions

Justin and I recently went to L’Artusi twice in seven days. We coincidentally had a Hanukkah brunch with family and a holiday dinner with friends, both at the same West Village eatery.

L’Artusi is another West Village restaurant with scrumptious food. I don’t love the d├ęcor. (My friend Brian and I decided that the look is 1970’s casino bar meets French bathroom meets front porch.) However the quality food and excellent service make up for the restaurant’s shortcomings in design.

For brunch I recommend starting with the Assorted Fresh Pasties Basket. It’s not your typical breakfast breadbasket. The fresh loaves and pastries are amazing. I also recommend the L’Artusi Scramble with pecorino, broccoli rabe and crispy potatoes. Justin recommends the L’Artusi Breakfast with two fried eggs, roasted mushrooms, crispy potatoes, sausage, bacon, roasted tomato and toast. The Bloody Marys were… interesting. My future sister-in-law (woohoo!!!) pointed out that they tasted a bit carbonated. The waitress remarked on her discerning palette and explained that they put some sort of ale/beer in the L’Artusi Bloody. So if that’s not your thing, go for a Mimosa instead.
Our holiday dinner was a larger party with a pre-selected menu. The Holiday Dinner is a new tradition among Justin’s high school friends and their significant others, all of whom have become my close companions. We opted for a four course family style dinner with unlimited beer and wine. Needless to say it was a feast. And it was delicious. See below for the menu –
FLUKE CEVICHE pear, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate
GRILLED QUAIL autumn squash, pomegranate, sage
ROASTED MUSHROOMS pancetta, fried egg, ricotta salata

RAVIOLI autumn squash, sage brown butter, parmesan
GARGANELLI mushroom ragu
TAGLIATELLE bolognese bianco, parmesan

STRIPED BASS tuscan kale, cannellini beans, tomato
HANGER STEAK crispy potatoes, salsa bianco

Assorted Dolci:
A house assortment of cookies, fruit and mini olive oil cakes for the finale

Following the L’Artusi Holiday Dinner we ended the night with a boozy dance party at our friend Michael’s apartment. (And props to Michael; he had also spearheaded the planning of the inaugural dinner.)

L’Artusi was a success on both occasions. I’d love to go back sometime, maybe in the next seven weeks.


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dress

Speaking of dresses, I recently found my wedding dress! After explaining the harrowing process of wedding dress shopping here I decided to check out three more boutiques, thereby extending the painful process. I wanted to make sure I’d really exhausted all my options. Bad decision. You can visit all the wedding dress stores in NY (& NJ) and never exhaust all your options, nor find “the one” for that matter. I fell in love with a few dresses (my prior top two contenders, plus two more...), so I finally had to pull the trigger and just choose one. In keeping with tradition, I can’t disclose the dress's details at this time. But it's beautifully made, comfortable and just “bride-y” enough. And a sweet perk? I got it in New Jersey, so there was no tax.

The three final wedding dress locales:
Adriennes is old-school. You get to peruse the racks which is a treat. You don’t get to know the designers of the dresses you’re looking at, or anything about the dresses except for the price tags. It is a little off-putting how extremely paranoid the store is about patrons potentially running off with a dress design and getting it made elsewhere. And that hypothetical was so beyond realistic for me. No photos of the dresses allowed? I’m used to that rule. No knowing the names of the dress designers? A little much. (And as I've said before, I don’t even care about this designer vs. that.)

This place is for the anti-bride. I’m not exactly “bride-y” but I don’t consider myself a Stone Fox Bride either. Still the store is exceptionally cool and worth checking out if you're a bride who happens to think "f*** weddings." I’ll let the store's website do the talking:
Stone Fox Bride is a laid-back, high-fashion, punk-bohemian bridal showroom in downtown New York City that offers gowns, bridesmaids dresses, veils, rings and a personal concierge service designed to help you plan your wedding and make your transition into marriage meaningful and amazing.
Exquisite Bride is an absolute delight, despite having to schlep to NJ to get there. In fact, I found my wedding dress there. The store is spacious (of course, being in the burbs and all) and clean and has a lovely ambiance. And again, you get to browse the racks yourself! The sales staff is helpful and assertive without being pushy. And the store carries quality frocks. I was sold :)


Golden Globes Best Dressed (According to AMB dress standards adopted from my mama.)

In my formative years my mom taught me what I now consider to be the golden rule of fashion: Choose the dress you feel most beautiful and confident in. Choose a dress that flatters you. Don’t let the dress wear you. To this day, I don’t care if a specific designer is all the rage, or if a dress is on-trend. If it feels good and looks good, I’ll say yes to the dress. And regarding that quintessential red carpet question, “Who are you wearing?” – I would probably mispronounce my dress designer’s name if I ever ended up in a pre awards show powwow with Ryan Seacrest.

So with that, my best dressed picks for the 2013 Golden Globes: Kate Hudson and Jennifer Garner. I have no idea who designed the dresses worn by these two lovely ladies, but they looked gorgeous. And their gowns? Beautiful but not overpowering. I love their red carpet looks. They (and their stylists) chose frocks that flatter without stealing the spotlight completely from these fine-looking women. Mama would be proud.

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