JetSet: NYC

A few of us have been travelling quite a bit lately, so thought it would be fun to introduce a new blog category called JetSet. We’ll share our tips, ideas and insider info about restaurants, hotels, bars, attractions and anything else awesome we stumble across in our journeys!

When a Porter seat sale comes through our inboxes, we like to take advantage. One of our favourite weekend jaunts is to the Big Apple. New York City is just a short flight away, and there’s always something to do, plenty to eat and endless sales to check out. It was genuinely hard to narrow it down to a few, but here are some of our fave places to stop by while in the city that never sleeps. 

Where to eat
If you’re in Brooklyn and have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend you swing by DOUGH –
a doughnut shop with delicious, fresh creations including nutella, lemon meringue and hibiscus.

Café Cluny  in the West Village is a great place to stop in when you need a break between Maje and BookMarc. The cute French café/bistro is great for a light lunch or a glass of wine. Bonus: on occasion you can spot some celebs grabbing a bite. 

If you’re like us, food always tastes more delicious when it’s a little bit hidden, and totally unexpected. You know, like Mexican food from a basement restaurant marked only with Vietnamese signs in a Chinatown alley. Sounds random, but Pulqueria is all that and more. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. Their taco selection and margarita pitchers, not to mention their tower of salsas, make this an awesome spot to have dinner with friends. 

Expect the unexpected in NYC.

Rosemary’s, also in the West Village, has a slightly higher price point, but delicious Italian food (with ingredients from their rooftop garden!) and a good vibe. Be sure to start your meal off with prosecco, for the true Italian touch.

Where to party
Le Baron is the NY incarnation of the Parisan hotspot, located in Chinatown. It boasts three floors and has banned photography (sorry, no instagramming) – but you can tweet at them here: @LeBaronNYC.

To get into the ever-popular Jane Hotel, be sure to make a reso or get on the
guest list. Otherwise you risk being among the masses huddled outside – consider yourself warned.

Swanky hot spot, The Jane.

Honourable mentions go to the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hoteland if you’re a member, Soho House for poolside drinks and dinner. 
Where to shop
While Soho
is always a fun place for wandering, we recommend going on a weekday if possible, as weekends are a bit crazy. A few good starting points are Barney’s Co-Op, Neiman Marcus and the TopShop on Broadway to check out the sales. 

When in Brooklyn, stopping by Catbird is a must. Their adorable housewares, including an in-house line of candles, and beautifully curated jewellery makes this tiny shop a must-visit every time we’re in NY. 

For clothing, Bird in Brooklyn (no relation to Catbird) carries some great lines and does a great job editing which pieces are carried in-store. 

We highly recommend spending some quality time at Stella
 a wonderful vintage store in Williamsburg. Bonus – there’s a houseware
store right beside it which is pretty neat, especially if you’re in the market for unique linens or blankets. 

There’s a reason we can go back to New York again and again and again, it’s because the city has endless things to offer. These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, so don’t be surprised to see us update you with our newest NYC discoveries. 


My ‘Hood: Rachelle

I live near Mount Pleasant and Eglinton, which I like to think of as a small nook of the city that’s still slightly under the radar. Some people call it Mount Pleasant Village, I like to call it the really great strip that has pretty much anything you need and more. It is home to amazing small shops, great eats and unique boutiques, where you can find everything that’s just a little bit different. 

A weekend doesn’t go by without a family outing (dog in tow, who gets tied up outside) to the very authentic French bakery, Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Café. Being from Montreal, I can say this bakery rivals the best when it comes to pastries and breads. I always go for the classic plain croissant (hands down, the best in the city!), hubby opts for the Danish aux abricot (Danish pastry filled with apricot) and our son goes for the richer pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). 

We never leave without a couple of sesame baguettes (voted Toronto’s best baguette in Toronto Life Eating + Drinking 2011) to go. These have just the right blend of crisp and chewy texture. Throw on some butter, sip on a café au lait and you may just feel like you are in Paris. The owner Marc Thobors, a Parisian-trained bread baker, is typically hard at work in the kitchen (he can be seen kneading dough through his peek-a-boo window), but he always comes out to greet a friendly face. Oh, and did I mention that all of the staff speak French fluently, so I get to practice!

We shop for our produce and specialty food items at Culinarium, a gourmet food store, specializing in locally produced Ontario food products and culinary events. They have a great selection of seasonal produce, cheeses and organic milk (Harmony in glass bottles is our milk of choice). They also offer really unique cooking classes and events, as well as vegetarian and meat share programs. I love their recipe of the week feature (recipes can be found in-store on postcards or online), which is designed to help you get one locally focused dinner on your plate each week without all the fuss of planning, searching out recipes or travelling to multiple stores to get groceries. The Roasted Squash Soup with Chipotle Aioli Drizzle is one of my recent faves.

With all this eating, I need to get a little physical sometimes. I usually opt for an ‘ohm’ fix at Yoga Plus (Eglinton studio), a hop skip and a jump away from my place. Christine is my go-to instructor for incredibly relaxing, yet challenging Hatha classes. When I want to get my cardio on (and weather permitting), I usually go for a brisk walk with my dog in the glorious Sherwood Park, truly a green oasis in the city. 

There are great trails, open spaces to throw a Frisbee or ball around, spots to have a family picnic (or make out!). And if you have a pooch, this is literally doggie heaven, with one of the city’s best off-leash trails. If you have kidlets, there’s a terrific playground and splash pad in the summer.

My hood is such a great area for me and my family that I sometimes feel like I never want to leave. I love supporting small shops and local businesses without having to get into my car.