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There was some major catching up to do with old friends in New York last weekend — all the while we enjoyed libations and one excellent meal after another — from crochette di baccala, rabbit meat balls with ricotta, smoked duck with sour cherries and pistachio, garrotxa, red prawns, chorizo crepinette, whole boneless porgy ssam, heritage farms pork chop, salted cod and potato croquettes with aioli, and the list goes on…. and before I forget, the Popcorn Cake!

Inspired by a rustic Roman pizzerie, chef Nick Anderer‘s Marta is definitely a must try – outstanding food, polished service and beautifully designed space!

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After a morning walk heading south through the High Line, we stumbled upon the Gansevoort Market in the Meatpacking District. A curated market of artisanal food that are locally produced. Unfortunately, we were on our way to a brunch reservation and had to restrain ourselves and be content with just looking and smelling.

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We were on our way to Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter‘s Estela for brunch. I was disappointed as the arroz negra squid ink rice was not available which I have been thinking of since I had it last year — but the meal was still most enjoyable.

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Needless to say, I had to go back to David Chang‘s Momofuku Ssam Bar.  It’s as good as I remember it to be and service was very warm and friendly. It was here where we were introduced to the special dessert of the evening – popcorn cake! And it can be only ordered as a half cake minimum. Let’s just say at the end of it, we were not complaining that there was no movie playing!

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I was delighted to see Maison Kayser steps from the hotel where we were staying and had the chance to have breakfast there. It brought back memories of Paris as it was founded there in 1996 by Eric Kayser who is recognized as an authentic artisanal French baker.

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For Sunday brunch, I booked us a table at a New York institution – Sarabeth’s. It coincided with Mother’s Day but I was lucky to get a spot in their Tribeca location. Crab cake benedict was the special for the day. 

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I was wondering what the daily long lines were at Lady M on 38th Street so I decided to test it out. The queue at the Plaza Hotel was not that intimidating and I had a try of their Signature Mille Crepes before they sold out an hour later.

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The final meal of the weekend was at Gato, chef Bobby Flay‘s newish restaurant. Located in NoHo, Gato is described to be a Mediterranean expression of food, drink, and design. A perfect cap to a weekend of gastronomic pleasures. Till the next reunion!

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