Postcards from New York & Weekend Notes

By Camille Styles
Bryant Park at Christmas, NYC

It’s the weekend before Christmas. I know: how did that happen? Every year I think this season is going to stretch out and there will be time to do so many Christmas-y things, and then by the time I’ve had a chance to check a couple of them off the list, it’s done! But you know what? I’ve come to a point where I think that’s totally okay; after all, trying to do all the holiday things I want to do in the span of a month would probably keep me from slowing down and savoring any of it. Adam and I took a quick trip to New York in the middle of last week, and it was exactly as magical and romantic as you’d imagine the city to be at this time of year. I also experienced a few of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory, so keep scrolling for my favorite reads from around the web this week, and then scroll some more for my NYC food highlights from our visit! Hope you’re all staying cozy and warm this weekend. xo

10 books to fuel your wanderlust (while you’re curled up in bed.)

A cute outfit for every day of the month.

Teen texting terms, decoded.

Who else wants to unplug during the holidays? Here’s how to do it (for real.)

Gift ideas for the most stressed-out person in your life.

Making this Creamy This Sweet Potato Curry for dinner, stat.

And how about this Super Green Quinoa Bowl for counterbalancing all those holiday indulgences?

How to make your bed extra comfy for all those holiday sleep-ins.

The rules for snacking that’s actually healthy.

*and a few fun things you may have missed! 

17 hot chocolate recipes that’ll make you want to give up coffee.

Genius interior updates that cost next to nothing.

Face your fears in the new year with this life-changing mantra.

These are our 14 best holiday parties of all time.

First up: I finally made it to hip SoHo eatery, Charlie Bird, and the lunch we had totally exceeded my expectations. Not only was the exposed brick and bleach out wood my dream restaurant aesthetic, but every single bite of all the small plates we shared was out of control delicious. This raddichio, hazelnut, & asian pear salad was a stand-out, and we still can’t stop talking about the grilled octopus with chile sauce. Or the burrata with roasted squash and grilled bread.

I’d been to Two Hands smaller spot on Mott St. and loved it, so I couldn’t wait to try out the larger Restaurant & Bar in Tribeca. I’ve got to say it was a whole new level of style and deliciousness — the menu was like a rundown of all the things I want to eat, and I’ve already found myself dreaming about a return trip to I can sample more.

We split the insanely decadent banana bread topped with espresso mascarpone cream, then split the chile-dusted avocado toast with poached egg and the brassicas bowl overflowing with all kinds of green veggies, soft-boiled eggs, and yes, more avocado. Wash it all down with the restaurant’s signature flat white.

For me, a trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a stop at abc kitchen, and this time I tried a few new-to-me items that quickly became new faves. We kicked things off with the kabocha squash toast and fresh ricotta, and it left such an impression on me that I’m already testing out a copycat version for a dinner party I’m hosting tonight (I’ll share the recipe if it’s a winner.) Next up was the roast carrot and avocado salad topped with all kinds of crunchy seeds, then we split the housemade ricotta & tomato ravioli. Paired with a glass of fizzy prosecco, it was the perfect meal to cap off the trip.

A few other NYC highlights: We headed to the new Whitney Museum of Art, which I couldn’t recommend more highly both for the art as for the stunning architecture of the space.

Also, the terrace views of the Meatpacking District were pretty can’t-miss, too.

The current portraits exhibition.

My favorite part of the trip may have just been strolling through the streets of West Village, checking out the holiday decorations and talking about everything along the way. I always feel like I see so much more of a city when we get from point to point on foot — and it leaves room for unexpected discoveries.

And of course we had to check out all the store windows decked out for the holidays, pop in for a little last-minute gift shopping, and head to the Bryant Park ice rink. So many quintessential NYC sights at this time of year! I’d love to hear if you have any favorites we missed so I can add it to next year’s list!