Birthday Weekend in NYC! Pt 1

Birthday Weekend in NYC, pt 1

I'm an Aries baby with an April 3rd birthday, but I'm not a huge "birthday" person. Usually I just invite some of my friends to dinner, get really embarrassed when everyone starts to sing, and call it a day. But this year my friend surprised me with tickets to NYC! (Thank you!) The main mission of the weekend was to walk around and EAT...as much as we could in two days. With redeye flights both ways there was very little sleep, but it was completely worth it. 

We started out Friday night with dinner at Roka, because I love the food and the service is impeccable. If you ever happen to stop by Roka here in Chicago, Rich will always make sure everything runs smoothly. I had to include pics of this because the food was fantastic and I was so happy to be surrounded by good friends and food. One of my favorite ways to spend time is when everyone gets together to share something enjoyable, whether it's food, music, or just walking around. It's good to share these experiences with your others.

IMG_3791.jpg
IMG_3798.jpg
 Wishing for....

Wishing for....

Then it was on to venture downtown for a little bit of dancing until around 2:30 (I somehow managed not to drink very much, which harder than you might think when everyone knows it's your birthday), head home, gather our stuff, and make it to the airport by 4 am. The flight is really quick, so I caught a short cat nap, but we still decided to catch some Zzz's as soon as we made it to our hotel. We woke up in the afternoon with a mission for FOOD! The first place we stopped was Del Frisco's Grill for some appetizers and cocktails.

We had the VIP and Apartment D cocktails, and they were both really good. I especially liked the strawberry one, but I also have a weakness for strawberries. :D We also shared the ahi tacos, lollipop wings, and flatbread with prosciutto and arugula. We both agreed the wings were our favorite, the buffalo sauce is yummy with a good kick. Perfect amount to share between us and great to start off the trip! 

 Del Frisco's Grille

Del Frisco's Grille

 What should we get?

What should we get?

 VIP and Apartment 5D

VIP and Apartment 5D

 Apps apps apps!

Apps apps apps!

The rest of the afternoon we walked around looking for more things to eat. Stopped by Magnolia Bakery, which was filled with hungry people in search of treats. We both got coffees and a peanut butter brownie to share between us. Unfortunately I don't have a pic of the brownie because it was consumed too quickly. Wandered over to the ice skating rink where I had a weird flashback of the first time I ever visited New York years ago. It's weird how the most random things can trigger random memories! Both of us snapped "coffee in the air" pics and caught people looking at us curiously which I thought was funny. This is NYC, don't people see everything around here? :P

My friend was on a mission to find Lady M. I had no idea what that was because but as soon as the words "cake" came out of her mouth I was all for it. Lady M was a tiny little bakery in the basement of the Rockefeller Center. They closed at 6pm and we made it at around 5:55. I felt bad because we were those last minute customers! I hate being those guys! But all of my regrets mysteriously disappeared when we unboxed our checkered matcha cake later in the hotel. SO GOOD. AAAAH.

 Made it!

Made it!

 It was packed in here!

It was packed in here!

 Coffee saves the day

Coffee saves the day

 Getting cake

Getting cake

 Sooo yummy

Sooo yummy

When we got back to the hotel I zonked out again for a few hours, and we woke up later with big plans, it was Saturday night in NYC! No sleep mode, let's go! We started the evening at a small, candle-lit bar called Lantern's Keep in the Iroquoi Hotel. The drinks there are delicious! Unfortunately it was so dark in there I wasn't able to get any good pictures, but everything I tried was very, very good. 

I am both embarrassed and amused to admit out Saturday night adventures ended at one of the food carts. Ultimately, I have a low tolerance for alcohol and we may have had more than a few drinks at Lantern's. I was exhausted before it was even 1 AM. So we wandered over to a food cart and bought a small feast of items: chicken kabob, falafel, hot dogs. Tipsy Melissa ended up eating the hot dog before we even finished paying:

 Had to

Had to

We decided to admit defeat and head back to the hotel. After mini feast mode I ended up completely passing out, but that was okay because there was still a day left to go explore!

..to be continued in Part 2