What a year 2016 was! I had the pleasure of dining at the best restaurants in the Hamptons and North Fork as well as some notable restaurants in Manhattan, Connecticut and Washington D.C. It proved to be very tough to narrow it down to ten favorite dishes, but after careful consideration, I am thrilled to present the ten best things I ate this past year. I could only imagine what delectable plates 2017 will bring!
Feast your eyes upon the king of burgers and shakes. Black Tap is living proof that good ol’ burgers, fries, and shakes still reign on. With three locations in Manhattan and more to open in the future, these are some serious burger joints. Famous through a hard-wired network of viral Instagram shots featuring their outrageous, ‘Crazy Shakes’, it is no wonder that Black Tap is top on the bucket list of New York visitors and residents alike.
Located on the ninth floor of The Sanctuary Hotel in New York City, Haven Rooftop offers out-of-town sightseers and New Yorkers alike an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. As this rooftop French-American restaurant is ideally set within minutes of such landmark destinations as Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central, it is a perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a cocktail and dinner at their rooftop bar. During the summer months, it is an ideal escape to enjoy happy hour drinks al fresco. Year round, you can witness some of the best skyscraper views from the center of it all.
As we arrived in the lobby, we were instantly greeted by the doorman, who promptly took our coats and led us to an elevator that took as up to the rooftop. Upon arrival at 4pm on a Sunday evening, there was already some activity at the bar adjacent to our table and guests gathered around the bar room just opposite from the elevators. In the upstairs dining room, the tables are well spaced apart and the scene allows for a cozy and leisurely experience.
If you admire the comforting taste of chai with its powerful essence of fresh spices, Dona Chai would surely become a staple in your kitchen. I first discovered Dona Chai just over a month ago. It was love at first sip, I just had to have more. It took quite a feat of strength to resist enjoying the chai, either iced or hot, on a daily basis. I prefer an iced chai during the mid afternoon anytime of year, but always appreciate a piping hot cup of chai in the morning.
This was my first visit to Maman Tribeca, or any one of their four locations in New York City. Maman is a café you will fall in love with instantly upon stepping inside. Whimsical and so darling, this café reminds me of walking into a storybook: think European chic with a rustic, relaxed vibe.
The staff behind the counter as well as my waiter were so gracious. My drinks and dishes were served at appropriate times and my waiter came by multiple times asking how I was and if I needed anything. Details I loved at Maman were the interchanging pretty, blue ceramic plates and dishes as well as the Parisian décor with earthy accents, wild flowers, cozy lamps, and mason jars on the wooden dining tables.