I heart NYC

My good friend Gia Passalacqua is not only one of my favorite chefs and wine maker of Dancing Lady Zinfandel wines but one of my favorite people in the world. Gia got me pumped to live out my dream in NYC during Christmas, and because of her generosity I was able to make that dream come true. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime to live it up with. She is truly a one of a kind blessing.

And then there's Molly Del Monte: another amazing chef with an incredible palette. She is the one who mostly compiled this list, which was oh so very generous. You'll see my comments below so please enjoy an insiders track to NYC.

1. Bowery Hotel
It's a happening hotel. Mario, the floor manager is amazing, kind, and insightful; a whole ball of love. It’s really an amazing place. They have a great white wine. Gruener Veltlinerthat, was my staple.

2. Gramercy Tavern
I like the tavern better than the restaurant, yummy drinks! This is an institution and the most popular restaurant in NYC. It's a gigantic MUST that you eat here. A DOUBLE MUST SEE! Address: E. 20th between park and 5th

3. Back Forty
(Dinner only)- sustainable yummy casual eats. Yummy drinks Address: Ave. B between 12th & 11th *They have the best Brussels sprouts, drink menu is amazing, oh their pate' mousse is so good.

4. Lupa
Casual Mario Batali joint and my old stand by. good pasta and veggies, good atmosphere. at dinner, prepare to sit at the bar. (***Side Note: If in LA go to Mozza Pizzeria or Osteria- my favorite spot) Thompson between Bleecker and W Houston
*Mario Batali is a fricking genius, he's food is always so good.

5. The Spotted Pig
Great beer, food and it’s a great establishment. Mario Batalli is a investor in this restaurant.

6. Momofuku Ssam
Trendy - pickle plate is the most memorable I've ever had, for the pork obsessed. Get the pork buns. Address: 2nd and 13th KJoy's Menu Favs: Cured hamachi, horseradish, edamame - taste like butter it's so good I'm obsessed. Fried Brussels Sprouts – fish sauce vinaigrette, mint, delfino Yum Yummerson! Honeycrisp apple kimchi – jowl bacon, maple labne, arugula. So delish! Steamed pork buns – hoisin, cucumbers, scallions. Most popular dish, it was good but i took out some of the meat. A big winner for the man in your life :) Spicy rice cakes – pork sausage, chinese broccoli, crispy shallots. Bought his book because of this dish - if you buy book at the restaurant it's signed by David Chang himself! David is probably one of the most influential chefs in NYC right now, it’s delicious and innovative.

7. Milk
Right next door to Ssam, the best dessert ever!!! I highly recommend for a ladies night out!. Their compost cookie is a blend of pretzels, candy, chocolate, and just about anything yummy. It's so moist and chewy and amazing it's heaven sent.

8.Tipsy Parson
Haven't had full meal here yet, reviews are hit and miss, but decor alone is worth a visit. Brand new and lots of buzz. American comfort food with southern emphasis. Address: 9th between 19th&20th.

9. Minetta Tavern
Address: MacDougal St Manhattan, New York, NY 10012 Seriously the best burger I've ever sunk my teeth into, 26 bucks but it's so good. It melts in your mouth, also the drink menu is amazing.

cheap(ish) eats:

1. Caracas Arepas (get the la del gato and enjoy the secret sauce!!!) 7th between 1st and A

2. Crif dogs (bacon wrapped hot dogs) St. marks between 1st and A PDT- a speakeasy accessed through a phone booth in crif dogs. (It sounds so mysterious, doesn't it?)

3. The Little Owl
90 bedford street corner of Bedford and Grove. The best meatball sliders - super quaint decor.

4. death and co.
a bar that you make a reservation for, 6th between 1st & A(212) 388 0882

for places to go/ things to do:

1. Reservoir in Central Park
I love strolling through Central Park sipping on a cap. Amazing.

2. Staten Island ferry
Free and beautiful views of the city. Walk through Battery Park city on your way there. World Trade Center is in Battery Park. Also a great breakfast place: Cowgirl Seahorse. (Thank you Heather Ross)

3. Brooklyn Bridge
Take the A to High street or the F to York. Get lost in DUMBO and find Jaques Torres chocolates. Use your blackberry to find your way to the bridge and walk across. You can walk back up to your hotel from there.

4. Ice Skating in Bryant Park
Skip Rockefeller Center!! I seriously had one of my favorite memories of my life here. I skated in circles for over an hour, by myself, it was awesome. Eventually, I caught up to Gia who was also going in circles by herself.
5. Walk through West Village
This is where Carrie lived in SATC (on Perry between Bleecker and W. 4th). Stop in Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake if you are dying and the only thing that can save you is sugar. I like the vanilla the best!

6. Chelsea market
75 9 AvenueNew York, NY 10011 Such a great spot and so much fun. Food Network holds their offices there.

7. Ninth Street Expresso
It's delish/ get it there and you can stand and sip like they do in Europe.

8. Murray's Cheese Shop
Get some cheese and bread (preferably from Tom Cat) and you'll be set for lunch.


You can walk Bleecker street between 7th and 8th Aves for high-end boutiques.

2. Bergdorf Goodman
754 5th Avenue New York, NY 10019 -so great!

I leave you in the words of Jay-Z "Theres nothing you can’t do, Now you’re in New York, These streets will make you feel brand new, The lights will inspire you, Lets here it for New York, New York, New York ".