What do you do when it’s the perfect spring day, your agenda is empty and your husband is out golfing? You explore your own city! That’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago. I decided to take a long walk around the center of town and about three hours later I had discovered new shops, indulged in a giant ice cream come from the South Street Creamery, and took in the Morristown green’s budding views. It honestly was the best afternoon I had in a long time.
Do any of you scan your Instagram food feed regularly to look at food photos? I know that due to who I follow on my blog account (@behindthepl8s …in case you aren’t already following along! Get on that!) I look at a sea of “foodporn” every day. It’s how the latest and greatest food trends get discovered and the next “it” eateries do their best marketing. One dish that has been on repeat on my feeds for a few years now is Ramen. It exploded onto the food scene a few years back and continues to prove it has stay power. And for anyone who has tried this Japanese noodle dish (And no, the dried Ramen packets you ate in college do not count….), you understand why Ramen has become a household name.
It’s very rare for me not to enjoy an Italian meal. With New Jersey and New York hosting more Italian restaurants than most places across the country, it’s easy to come across a decent dish. While I love to eat Italian food whenever I can, the restaurants I visit also tend to be a dime a dozen. My general feeling is that once you try one, you’ve tried them all. I shouldn’t paint such a broad brush but, as a large majority, most Italian eateries serve the same overplayed Americanized meals that we have come to accept as “true” Italian food. I don’t downplay that I enjoy these dishes, I even cook them myself. But, let’s face it; some of the dishes we chow down on aren’t even popular across the pond. Our ancestors who came over often mixed together American and Italian ingredients to produce these popularized dishes. Or, as time wore on, only the Italian dishes brought over that pleased other Americans’ palates were what stayed in favor.
My Charlotte journeys continue to grow as the months pass on! Last month I had my fourth visit in the past six months to the Queen City. I spent three days bouncing around for work activities, visiting my best friend, and of course continuing my food adventures. I have to share a quick story that gave me a laugh while on my visit. I spent some time with a work colleague who lives in Charlotte and has for thirteen years. As we began to discuss my love for food she started to list off some of the popular bars and restaurants in the area. I let her in on the secret that I had gone to almost everything on her list. She explained with shock that she had lived there for over a decade and had yet to go to most of them. The conversation continued with me giving her recommendations on which hot spots to get to and which seemed a bit overrated.
Believe it or not, there are still a small handful of Morristown restaurants I have not dined my way through. It’s not necessarily for lack of wanting to try them. It’s just that I’m always out to try the newest place on the block or settling with my regular favorites.
Morristown has had some exciting new restaurant additions in the works for the past few months. Stirling Tavern is one of these endeavors! It took over the beloved David Todd’s space on South Street. I was a big fan of David Todd’s so they had a lot to live up to in my mind. Once I learned that the renowned Stirling Hotel would be taking over the reins I had high hoped for good things to come. (I haven’t been myself but have heard only great things!)
I am not a New Yorker, or even a full on frequenter of the city. I say this upfront because there are PLENTY of restaurants I have not tried, discovered, or reviewed yet. This post comes from a recent business week trip and a date weekend spent in the Hell’s Kitchen area of the city. For the work trip, I was lucky enough to be with a group of like-minded food lovers who were excited at the prospect of trying out some of the area’s restaurants. Based on a little research, some friendly recommendations, and pure proximity we scoped out our week’s food conquests. This is a compilation of the best restaurants to encounter while visiting. It will give locals some new inspiration if they haven’t already tried these locations. And for the visitor or tourist, you can try these eateries with confidence that you will be eating something delicious. One quick public service announcement…I apologize for the lack of photos. After long days in our conference I tended to eat first, think later. You’ll just have to trust me!
Spoiled Rotten. That’s the words that best describe me after my recent excursion to Ninety Acres at Natirar. Before I carry myself back and away with the dining experience, I’ll let you know how I ended there. Natirar is a sprawling 500 acre property and estate in Peapack, NJ that houses a cooking school, farm, meetings and event space, and a fine dining restaurant, Ninety Acres. The property is the embodiment of countryside elegance. The restaurant is reserved for luxurious nights out with an expensive menu, extensive wine list, and elaborate farm to table fare. Previous to my most recent visit I had visited the restaurant one other time for a special birthday dinner date with my now husband. However; our friends know us all too well and more than one of our wedding guests thought to give us a gift card to this estate to use to enjoy the finer foods in life. We’ve managed to make it six whole months without finding the time to make a reservation. But, we had an empty weekend and we finally ceased the opportunity.
My husband and I have been trying to meet my grandparents for a double date dinner for months now! We hadn’t seen them since our wedding and we had taken our big honeymoon trip and they had just returned from a long cross country excursion. We had so much to catch up on. We decided that there was no better way to talk about Paris than to eat in a true Parisian style restaurant. My grandparents were the ones who introduced me to the beautiful French city back when I was 12. So it was all very fitting.