First, I’ll just preface this by saying this is in no means a definitive guide to New York – it’s just a bunch of places that I visited and enjoyed. I will also say that all my trips are pretty much focussed on eating and drinking. While we are eating one meal, we are planning the next. So, here it is – New York – Honeyspoon style!
-The best meal of the trip was at Dovetail. They have a Meatless Monday tasting menu that was absolutely amazing. Beautiful food and service – I would definitely recommend this place to veggie folks looking for a fine dining experience – it’s got a Michelin star y’all! This video will give you an idea of the type of food and presentation you can expect. Very nice.
-Another meal we really enjoyed was at Buvette (above) in the West Village. It’s the cutest little French restaurant tucked away on a charming little street. I was a bit worried about there not being enough veggie food on the menu, but there was lots and it was all fantastic! I would describe the style of dining here as French tapas – lots of yummy little dishes to share, and the atmosphere was great. The chef, Jody Williams, just released a cookbook that looks great – and she was selling a special edition at the shop that came in a block printed canvas bag. I didn’t get one = huge regret.
-After all these wonderful meals, I needed to eat something a bit less decadent. I checked out Dimes in Chinatown for breakfast, and it really fit the bill. Lots of healthy juices, acai bowls and the like. Needless to say, I skipped right past those and ordered the big breakfast with a side of avocado. It was still delicious and healthy, and I was on vacation after all!
-For the first few days of our trip, we stayed at the Refinery Hotel, and each morning, we grabbed a coffee and light breakfast at Culture Espresso (above) before hitting the streets. The coffee and atmosphere were great, and it was nice to find an independent cafe amongst all the chains in Midtown Manhattan.
-Homesick Aussies will appreciate the food and coffee (oh the coffee!) at Bluestone Lane. You can order classics like Jaffles and avocado toast and real flat whites! I had the avocado toast (GF option available!) and I swear it had a whole avocado on it. Delicious!
-Speaking of the Refinery, the drinks and view at their rooftop bar were great. All together, the hotel was really cozy and comfy and I would most definitely stay there again.
Although we had a week in New York, the time went by much too fast! There were so many great things to see and do – other highlights were strolling the high line, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, exploring the West Village, and visiting the Met, MOMA and Natural History Museum. There were so many more things I wanted to do and places I wanted to visit – but I know I’ll be back soon!
I have a lot of cookbooks. I mean A LOT. I love them all for different reasons – some are just inspirational, some have great writing, some I don’t really cook from any more but am a bit sentimental about and can’t seem to get rid of them (hello Moosewood!) and there are some that I look at almost everyday – whether it’s to plan meals, or for that last minute panic about what we’ll have for dinner. Today, I want to talk about three of my favourites from that last category:
Heidi Swanson – super natural everyday and super natural cooking. I got to know Heidi Swanson’s cooking through her wonderful blog 101 Cookbooks (someone who loves cookbooks as much as I do!). The recipes are whole foods based, nutritious and vegetarian; and also delicious, indulgent and deeply satisfying. Contrary to what some people think, these things are not mutually exclusive! I know a number of these recipes by heart, and one will make an appearance on our table at least once a week. We love the Weeknight Curry, the Cauliflower Soup and the Sprouted Garbanzo (aka Chickpea) Burgers, but looking through the books again to write this post, I see that I’ve only scratched the surface and there are so many more recipes I want to try. The photography is beautiful, and there is a photo for every recipe. You may find similar recipes on the blog, but it’s definitely worth buying the cookbooks.
Deb Perelman – the smitten kitchen cookbook. I also got to know Deb’s cooking through her great blog Smitten Kitchen but her cookbook is a fairly recent acquisition. This is a cookbook that not only has wonderful recipes and photography, but each recipe has an introduction filled with irresistable descriptions of the food in Deb’s funny and warm prose. Many of the recipes I love from the blog are included in the book – Shaved Asparagus Pizza, Mushroom Bourguinon and Brocoli Slaw, to name a few – but there are so many more I want to try. I’ve got a box of large gluten-free pasta shells just waiting to be turned into the (Artichoke) Heart Stuffed Sheels with Lemon Ricotta Bechamel. We are vegetarian around here, and although this book is not exclusively vegetarian, there is a whole chapter devoted to vegetarian mains as well as one for salads, and many of the pastas and breakfast dishes are also meat-free.
Yotam Ottolenghi – Plenty. Yotam Ottolenghi is the co-owner/chef of London’s Ottolenghi Restaurant. Well, looking at their website for the first time in ages, I’ve actually realized that it’s not just a restaurant, but an empire of four restaurants, books and many online shopping opportunities. He also wrote the (sadly now defunct) New Vegetarian column for The Guardian. Plenty is a book that I might not use every single day, but the middle eastern inspired recipes are the kind of food I want to eat every single day. The recipes are divided up by vegetable family, and run the gamut of salads, soups and curries that you can whip up quickly to recipes that will impress your dinner party guests. Ottolenghi – The Cookbook is also great, I especially love the baking section of that one, but I’ve also heard great things about the meat recipes from carnivores.
When I was starting Honeyspoon, I had some definite ideas about the look and feel of our packaging and logo – I wanted a handmade rustic feel, and – well, that’s where my ideas ended! And, that’s where our wonderful designer Anna Stowe came in – she took all my vague ideas and turned them into the beautiful logo and packaging that we have today. I had long been a fan of Anna’s artwork, and have a few of her pieces in my home, so I knew that she would create something that I would love. In fact, Anna often knew what I would love even before I did! For example – I would have never thought of putting the colour yellow in our logo, but as soon as I saw it, I absolutely loved it and knew it was right for us – it’s the colour of sunshine, bumblebees, dandelions and, of course, honey – all the things that we stand for!
Anna also worked with me on our packaging – not only creating the graphic elements but also helping me think through how things would work, and what would be practical on busy market days. I love the way that our best before stamp is like our own little postmark, and the logo on our bag is reminiscent of the chalkboards that we use throughout our display.
Another instance of Anna anticipating what we would need even before I did are these wonderful spoon patterns. They are great for many applications like web and social media backgrounds, and – someday – a custom iphone case.
In short – we love our logo and packaging and hope you do too! We also love our designer Anna, who is not only brilliant, but a pleasure to work with and recommended unreservedly!