One thing I love about New York City is how with each visit, I get to discover such new, wonderful places that make me fall in love with the city even more. I lived in New York City for 4 years before moving to Los Angeles, and some of my favorite spots from those days are still thriving. But like with any city, it evolves over time and old favorites close down but new favorites emerge. On my recent visit to New York last week, I got to try out some new spots with friends that I will definitely find myself returning to again and again.
I fell in love with the Waverly Inn the moment I first laid eyes on it. This spot was chosen by fellow blogger Krystal Bick of This Time Tomorrow, since we were finally meeting up for the first time after a long time of being Instagram friends. She highly recommended this spot and promptly made us a reservation (reservations are a must!). New York was a bit chilly when I was there, so I immediately felt at home as soon as I walked into the West Village’s restaurant and felt the warmth of the fire.
After grabbing a glass of cabernet sauvignon from the bar, we were led into the dining room. Dimly lit for dinner, with fireplaces roaring with hearty fires, I was eager to take a look at the seasonal menu (which is not available online). After enjoying a cheese board of goat, sheep, and cow cheeses, I couldn’t decide between the highly reviewed chicken pot pie or the Amish roasted chicken with creamy polenta for dinner. I ended up selecting the latter, and I did not regret my decision. We ended the meal with a dark chocolate and blood orange gelato, one of my favorite chocolate combinations. Photos are not allowed inside the dining room whatsoever to respect every diner’s privacy, which is probably why a few celebrities love to dine here.
Waverly Inn is such a peaceful, cozy, and remarkably delicious spot that I ended up returning a few days later for a double date with my bestie Natalie and her husband. This time I decided to start with their famous crab cakes, which arguably may be the best crab cakes I have ever had. I had to order the Amish chicken again, but chose to end the meal with a cheese board.
Waverly Inn is perfect for a gathering of friends, but it’s also a great spot for a romantic date night. There’s a chance I may be making a dinner at Waverly Inn my new go-to dinner spot whenever I am in the city.
Waverly Inn, 16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014
Friend of a Farmer
When fellow former Miss USA Sarah Summers and I made plans to meet up for lunch, Friend of a Farmer was her first suggestion. I had never dined here before, but one look at the menu online made me excited to give it a try. Located in Gramercy Park, we visited Friend of a Farmer on a cold, cloudy, rainy day in New York which made this spot even cozier for a lunch date.
After being seated upstairs by the window, I immediately knew what I would be ordering the moment our hostess placed the menus in front of us. Cold, rainy, cloudy day? Well that calls for a fresh baked chicken pot pie! It did not disappoint. The pastry was perfectly crispy and buttery, which of course is always important in a chicken pot pie. I had not even had a chicken pot pie in a long, long time, and now I find myself asking what was I thinking in waiting so long to eat one again? The menu also has a dynamic list of salads, as well as other hearty dishes like a cheeseburger or lighter dishes like salmon.
Friend of a Farmer is great for casual lunch dates, but I also noticed a few business meetings taking place around us, and it made me consider taking my own management team here someday.
Friend of a Farmer, 77 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar
Okay so this isn’t exactly a restaurant, but I had to include it in my list. Krystal highly recommended it for this wine lover, so I chose Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar as a spot to meet up with my friend Carter while in New York. This French wine bar made me feel like I was back in Paris, and suddenly I had an urge to book a trip there. The setting is very Parisian, and the extensive wine menu is exclusively French. I am still learning about French wine (I am currently focusing a bit more on Australian wines for an upcoming trip), so I am a bit unfamiliar with a majority of the menu. But my wonderful French-speaking bartender didn’t hesitate to help me out. I love a bold red, with earthy tones and/or oak flavors being my favorite. She immediately knew what to suggest – Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Château Haut Pezat 15’. Her suggestion was perfect, and I ended up ordering two glasses of it as the evening went on. We also nibbled on some delicious French goat cheese and camembert, which paired perfectly with our wines.
Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar has a few spots in New York City, but we visited the West Village spot. It’s a great setting for having a drink with friends, or even for a date. Hey and if the date goes well, there’s always Waverly Inn around the corner for some amazing grub. Wink wink.
Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar, 201 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014