my friend, liz, turned 30 yesterday. in honor of her birthday, dennis and i took the train down from new haven to the city on saturday to participate in the bday festivities. we stayed at the grand hyatt hotel which is conveniently located a few buildings down from grand central station. although we are no strangers to nyc, it felt like a mini vacation treating ourselves by staying at a snazzy hotel.
grand central station
the view from our room on the 27th floor
the grand hyatt hotel boasts a contemporary design with minimalistic elements. we were impressed by the details and decor. the room was very comfortable which made it even more difficult to step outside into the frigid city weather. despite the cold, dennis and i walked to madison ave to do some shopping before dinner. we ended up cabbing it for the trip back to the hotel.
the staircases at uniqlo
liz’s bday dinner was at feast which is located in east village and is owned by a friend of her family’s. our dinner party consisted of about 23 guests and we had a private room in the basement.i love the gorgeous rustic look and the coziness of this place. feast offers an a la carte and family-style menu, but we had a prix fixe menu for the birthday celebration.
i enjoyed all of the dishes, except i couldn’t try the swordfish because of the high mercury content. the fish ended up being many guests’ favorite – go figure. dennis enjoyed my portion for me though. i particularly liked the bbq shrimp pie and the croquette.
mmm… shrimp pie
photo with the birthday girl
happy birthday, liz!
dessert was a red velvet cake provided by andy, liz’s husband. feast provided calas, a creole dish that is traditionally served for breakfast. they are similar to doughnut holes but are more dense since rice is one of the ingredients. these are called “rice doughnuts” or “creole rice fritters”. the accompanying sauces are chocolate, quince (a type of fruit), and pistachio. i thought it tasted best sans sauce.
after dinner, we danced the night away at central bar four blocks from feast. the place got packed really quickly and the wait for coat check was a nightmare, but we still had a great time.
the next morning, dennis and i checked out of the hotel and took a cab to k-town to grab lunch and buy pastries from tous les jour before heading back home. we love korean pastries and ended up buying four bags’ worth, but we shared them with dennis’ parents and our friends, grace and ed.
keeping warm with long cardigans and shawls
i spied magnolia bakery at grand central station and bought 4 cupcakes 😀 the one with the green frosting is vanilla on vanilla and the bottom one is hummingbird, a banana pineapple spice cake. i’ve actually made hummingbird cake before and it’s delicious. carrot cake is hands-down my favorite cake, but hummingbird tastes similar to it.
we were exhausted from our short stay in new york and thankfully we both had today, martin luther king, jr day, to recuperate before heading back to work tomorrow. this morning, we went to my ob for a 24-week checkup and penelope’s heart rate is 137 bpm. she’s doing fine 🙂
dennis has been patiently waiting for me to cook dinner so i must be going. good night!