You know when you’re at a restaurant waiting and waiting for your food to come, and so you tell someone to go to the bathroom because everyone knows that when someone goes to the bathroom that means your food will come? Well, it was sort of like that in terms of me mentioning in my last post that we were still waiting on the arrival of Kacie’s little girl, and then that afternoon I get a text message saying girlfriend had gone into labor. Only the arrival of a baby is like a million times better than restaurant food! Unless maybe you’re at Eataly, in which case that statement could be debated ūüėČ

I’m thrilled to report that Kacie and her husband welcomed sweet little Emily Rae into the world this past Tuesday. I’ve seen lots of pictures from a very proud new grandpa, and mom and baby are doing well.

And in other breaking news, I’m excited I can finally share this:

That’s right, Alex ate a really big lunch! ūüėČ

Actually, Alex and the hubby have officially announced they’re expecting their first bambino (bambina?) January 2013. I couldn’t be more thrilled, this girl was made to be a mommy.

Anyone else have fun baby announcements to make? This is clearly the theme of 2012, so by all means let me know!


The Big Fat New York City Post

The alternative title of this post was, “My Big Fat Ass Post New York City.”

Fact: We like to eat. And while we’re equal opportunity employers when it comes to great food, we usually seek out great Italian whenever possible. Which explains why after checking into the W Hotel Times Square (thanks for the wedding gift, Sandi!), we made a beeline for Eataly. Sweet lord in heaven I can’t wait for this place to come to the DC area. My pizza (pictured above) was straight off the boat, and I’m fairly sure Joey’s pasta with braised lamb is illegal in 48 states. Add on the fresh mozzarella appetizer and a bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a vacation. Oh, and I can’t forget the gelato! The only other place they have gelato this good is Italy. Fact.

The rest of our trip went a little something like this: Eat, Walk, Shop, Sight-See, Get Coffee, Repeat.

In addition to Eataly, here’s the rundown of all the places we ate:

  • Iguana:¬†Great spot for mexican, huge margarita and mojito list! Definitely try the avocado fries.
  • Bouchon Bakery: Right in Rockefeller Center, yes their coffee is overpriced but their almond croissant with raspberry jam was sinful, and my pistachio macaroon the following day did not disappoint.
  • Mesa Grill: A Bobby Flay restaurant. They had me at the Jalapeno cornbread. The duck pancake rocked and both our entrees were spicy (not hot though) and delicious.
  • Becco:¬†RIDICULOUSLY good Italian food and a full list of wines all priced at $25. A must try!
  • Josie’s:¬†Organic, health conscious menu. Great spot for an easy, decently priced lunch.
  • Nanni’s Restaurant: A ‘hole in the wall’ tiny Italian restaurant, complete with old school Italian wait staff. Pasta is as authentic as it comes. Wine list is pricey though.

And like I said, when we weren’t eating, we were shopping. I had been coveting these floral Italian wine glasses from Fishs Eddy since this trip almost two years ago. They came in a set of 6, and while the last thing our kitchen needs is more glasses, these make my heart happy. Who’s coming over for wine and cheese?

Of course we made our way back to Central Park, and yes, we did find our rock ūüôā

WARNING: Cheesy self-timer portrait ahead!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One of the big highlights of the trip was seeing Rock of Ages on broadway. We both LOVED it, and I’m sure I’ll be convincing Joey to take me to see the movie when it comes out.

Finally, what better way to end a trip to NYC than by hanging out with NYCathy & NYCathy’s boyfriend.

Arguably not the best photo ever taken of us, but no one ever looks their best after a bottle wine and all that Guinness. What looked better was the box of Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes that the NYCouple brought us.

Yes, we ate half the box when we got back to the hotel at 1am.

Yes, I ate the other half for breakfast before we headed back to Penn Station to head home.

So there you have it, my Big Fat Ass Post New York City Post. We had a wonderful time, but man it feels good to be home.

Best. News. Ever.

Thank you Pam101 for breaking the news that…wait for it…EATALY is coming to Washington, DC! (cue the angels singing)

Pam101 introduced me to Eataly on our Big Apple Excursion last December, and Joey and I revisited the spot for a little post-engagement celebration in March. From the Huffington Post:

Eataly is big. The 40,000-square-foot Italian food-and-drink emporium already comprises a wine store, a beer garden, a bakery, a grocery store and six restaurants, all on 23rd Street in Manhattan. Eataly is so big that Little Italy’s merchants have been complaining that it’s stealing business from Mulberry Street. But by the end of 2012, if all goes according to plan, it will get bigger.

That’s when Joe Bastianich says he and Eataly’s co-owners (who include superstar chef Mario Batali) hope to have opened their second of three American branches of Eataly they currently have planned‚ÄĒin Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Bastianich says the two new locations will be at least as big as the first, and that they, too, will include both restaurant and market components.

More details are hard to come by in terms of where exactly Eatly DC would be located, and if you read the entire HuffPost article, you’ll see that everything is very hush-hush, but my fingers and toes are crossed!

Joey and I ate at the pizza/pasta restaurant and both agreed that the fresh mozzarella (pictured above) was the best cheese we’ve ever eaten, and possible the best thing we’ve ever eaten, period. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the gelato! Ok, now I’m hungry…

When in New York

This weekend is “Joey & Diana’s Big Apple Adventure” aka Joey’s Christmas gift coming to fruition.¬† We’re off to NYC Saturday morning with little on the agenda except for having a good time. We both like to plan as we go along, Joey more so than me, but I’m learning to enjoy his ‘figure it out as we go along’ style of travel.

Of course, since this will be my first time playing tour guide in New York and Joey’s first time in the city that never sleeps, I’ve had to organize myself a little so we maximize our weekend and don’t waste time doing circles. It’ll be like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – where there’s a framework built but the story is what you make of it.

Here’s my list of possible things to do and see, we’ll revisit next week to see how much we accomplished:

  • Visit Rockefeller Center (Maybe¬†do¬†Top of the Rock, but someone, not saying any names here, is scared of heights…so it’s a big maybe.)
  • Visit Times Square
  • Eat at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants (Bar Americain is right near our hotel, I may or may not have made a brunch reservation that I may or may not tell Joey about.)
  • Get a slice of authentic NY pizza
  • Check out a Museum
  • Go to FAO Schwarz
  • Walk around Central Park (I may or may not be plotting a way to get Joey to agree to a carriage ride. So super touristy, but something you need to do once in your life.)
  • Eat at Eataly¬†(Hazlenut Gelato here I come.)
  • Try and score cheap tickets to a show
  • See St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Visit Little Italy
  • See the Flatiron Building
  • Get a Gray’s Papaya hot dog

Should I start fasting now? Stay tuned for more!