The One Place in NYC for the BEST Spices & Teas

Image result for kalustyan's
I really miss being closer to this treasure trove, but no matter where you're located in the city, it's worth a visit. (Even if you can't pronounce the name 100% correctly...!)

Kalustyan’s is located in Manhattan's "Curry Hill" area at 123 Lexington Avenue.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Kalustyan’s may just be **the** best international spice market -ever.

Operating out of the same shop since 1944, they seem to stock every spice, grain, cracker, tea and chutney IMAGINABLE in the world from India to Italy, along with just the right implements, whether it be a tagine, chai teapot or an incense burner.

It’s a certainly a foodie mecca, not just for the seemingly infinite varieties of foods and international kitchen tools, but for the outstanding middle-eastern/mediterranean nosh served at their cafe upstairs.

Once you get to Lex between 28th and 29th Streets, just follow your nose to that wonderful, wonderful aroma that is Kalustyan’s!

Top 5 Chocolates You Need for Valentine's Day

We have great chocolate options in NYC.
There are so many choices of chocolates - in different styles, sizes, and flavors appropriate for anyone and everyone -including just a selfish purchase just for yourself!

But if you're looking for some help with your sweet-toothed sweetie, here's a surefire way to make this a very delicious Valentine's Day!

The top 5 chocolate shops in the city:

Try their chocolate covered macadamia nuts or get some signature spiced Wicked Hot Chocolate any day of the week, but for the special day, check out the Happily Ever After! It's like a jewelry box full of chocolately surprises!

Saint-Valentine-Lifestyle-SocialMedia-LR.JPGThey literally have EVERYTHING I love right here - but those champagne truffles are the real deal.  For Valentine's Day 2018, they created three delicious new duo-filled heart shaped chocolates that pair sweet and spicy fillings: white chocolate strawberry with gingerbread herbs, milk chocolate raspberry with pink pepper, and dark chocolate cherry with anise seed.

The variety of flavors and interesting combos - a favorite is the Viola Truffle45% cacao dark milk chocolate + candied violet flower + mini purple floret. Check out the exotic truffle heart collection.

This is a NYC treasure. I have a penchant for the Nonpareils here -oh! And the seasonal chocolate covered strawberries: YES, please! They won't last long and I suggest contacting the store direct to get an order in ahead of time. 

Some would argue this is THE place for Champagne truffles! Directly from Switzerland, so be sure to ask about their freshness dates if visiting the store in person vs. ordering online. They are a little old school here, but you'll see why they are a city favorite. 

And if you have a favorite, let me know in the comments! I'm always open to new places - but not a "Chocolate Bar" in Union Square. Once was enough there. 

New Places to Explore This Year & The Super Bowl

Oh wow! What a year!

I know we're already in February right now, so I can't exactly say "Happy New Year!" - but I think it's still early enough to be reflective.

I moved crosstown in November 2017, right before Thanksgiving. East to West. Best thing about this? Opening up the possibility to discover new restaurants in Manhattan.

 You may recall that I typically favored the East Village and the Lower East Side in so many of my posts. Sure, I made it to Midtown occasionally, but it's just not as interesting for a variety of reasons. As any NYC resident will tell you: STAY AWAY from Times Square if you want anything good to eat, as the most you'll find over there are a ton of chains.

So this opens up my often neglected blog to some newer places to check out for 2018.

I hope you'll explore some new locations with me as I think it will be a fun year... now if ONLY the weather would be a tad better so I'm more apt to GO OUTSIDE versus getting everything delivered!

Speaking of, with the Super Bowl coming up - anyone having a party? Catering ideas? I have a few recommendations: Epicerie Boulud (their Angus Chili has been a MAINSTAY in our home for years now!), Rotisserie Georgette - check out their Fat Bastard feast and the goodness that they have over at The Cannibal Beer and Butcher. All good things to check out either for the game or any other festive time.

And as my team is NOT in the Super Bowl this year, I'll be rooting for the Eagles - because, I just can't do the other team. Fly Eagle, FLY!

Top NYCFG Posts