Monday, May 23, 2016

good books part 2

The last time a book recommendation post appeared on Indulge Inspire Imbibe was January 2015! Here's a look at a handful of books I've read over last year and a half that I think are worth a mention.

Curtis Sittenfeld
I loved Eligible! I always enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld's novels and this one was my favorite of hers so far. It was a fun read with interesting and amusing characters. Although, I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. It was one of those - I've invested so much in these characters but this cheesy, quick wrap up is all I get? Ah well. I'd still recommend it and would love to hear others thoughts!

Fates and Furies
Lauren Groff
This novel is on the more serious side of the spectrum, and one of the years most talked about. It was remarkable and complex. An excerpt that sums it up nicely: Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

The Girl On The Train
Paula Hawkins
Everyone read this thriller sometime in the last year, right? If you haven't, give it a go; it's exhilarating, a for sure page turner. You won't be disappointed!

Luckiest Girl Alive 
Jessica Knoll 
Recommended for fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Jodi Picoult - the author debuts a solid mystery novel with a compelling intensity and twists you won't see coming. This book was hard to put down.

Pretty Girls
Karin Slaughter
This was, hands down, the most terrifying, disturbing book I have ever read. I had NO IDEA going into it, so let this be a fair warning. I mean, it was one of those once you start you can't stop (except to put it down because it becomes so disgusting you need to remove yourself and take a breather...) I was in a constant state of shock. And I keep wondering about author Karin Slaughter. WHO IS THIS WOMAN?! Honestly. I have so many questions about how her mind works. If any of you have read this, please share your thoughts - or just tell me to relax about it already. 

Brain On Fire
Susannah Cahalan
Brain on Fire is an award winning memoir of Susannah's struggle with a rare brain disease at age 24 - diagnosed in the knick of time. Her story is profound and breathtaking, her writing swift and compelling. I was glad I read this one, it's nice to incorporate true stories in the mix of all these crazy-town girl focused thriller novels. 

I Smile Back 
Amy Koppelman 
Written in 2008 and made into a movie starring Sarah Silverman in 2015, this novel tackles the crippling mental illness of a suburban Mom with a loving husband and two adorable kids. As Laney struggles with addiction, depression and severe anxiety, I found myself routing for her, enraged at her, and deeply compelled by her come-undone story. Curious if any of you have seen the movie? Is it worth watching?

What are you guys reading? What should I read next?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Wayland | East Village, NYC

The final NYC brunch was at The Wayland in Alphabet City - a hip, artistic, bohemian, neighborhood of Manhattan's East Village. I only wish we had more time to explore around the graffiti imaged, community garden centered, up and come streets after our delicious meal! It started with their signature Garden Variety Margarita ($11) made with blue agave blanco tequila, ginger-kale juice, lime juice, agave nectar and smoked sea salt. A margarita + ginger-kale juice = a healthy, rejuvenating buzz; this cocktail should be the next brunch staple alongside The Bloody Mary. The boys went all out with a dish aptly named The Man Child ($14) a heaping plate of three eggs any style, bacon, sausage bread, fried fingerling potatoes + Brussels hash. Leah had the Breakfast Tacos ($8) - 2 fried eggs on corn tortillas w/ bacon, avocado, refried beans, cilantro, salsa + smoked pepper sauce. The eggs were superrrr runny which made for some messy tacos, but besides that she enjoyed them. I went for something totally different which was their Cauliflower + Egg Sandwich ($11) - crispy cauliflower, shishito peppers, soft scrambled eggs, pickled onions + clinatro on a baguette, and absolutely loved it.

700 E 9th Street
New York, NY 10009
The Wayland Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

the rundown | New York City

On our weekend in NYC we did more than brunch and wander the funky streets in the LES. I pretty much loved everything about everywhere we went and wanted to share those spots with you guys. So without further ado....

I was excited when we showed up on Friday evening at The Mulberry Project (149 Mulberry / btwn Grand + Hester St) a subterranean speakeasy accessible via a red door beneath a Little Italy souvenir shop. It was just cold enough that the patio wasn't a comfortable option, but I loved the hidden outdoor terrace vibes. Back inside, in the dark, clubby space the bartenders sling terrific bespoke cocktails and we noshed on really good tapas! Try the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sliders ($14) with harissa spiced apple and celery root slaw and the Artichokes + Avocado Toast  ($12) dusted with lemon zest, chives and pecorino.
Our next stop was The Aprés Ski Chalet @ Cafe Select (212 Lafayette St). Cafe Select itself is a charming Swiss fondue restaurant with tiny white lights blanketing the ceiling and retro fixtures like a big Rolex clock. We meandered out a door in the back, through the kitchen and into a hidden room crammed with straight skis and vintage winter paraphernalia. A little slice of aprés ski heaven in May in the big city. LOVE. 
On our walk home we passed right by Schiller's Liquor Bar (131 Rivington St @ Norfolk). I recognized it from A Cup Of Joe's NYC Guide so I made us turn around for a nightcap. It's a chic french-american bistro with a bustling party vibe. I drank a terrific cocktail called Le Simone ($13) with Absolut Vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, house made ginger syrup and sparkling rosé

The next day was complete bliss. After one of the best brunches at Russ & Daughters (127 Orchard Street / nr Delanceyand a visit to our friends-who-knew-all-the-speakeasys swanky new 19th floor pad + roofdeck on the Upper West Side, a stroll over to Central Park and napping on Great Lawn were in order. That sun felt amazing. 

Dinner on Saturday was with one of Bob's college buddies and his wife at their go-to Forlini's (93 Baxter St - Chinatown). It's a classic red-sauce Italian joint circa 1943 where dishes are inexpensive and made for sharing family style. We had a Chef's Salad ($10) and Clams Casino ($12.50) before I dove into a huge platter of Rigatoni Vodka Sauce ($15.50). So classic. It hit the spot. 

Sunday morning we awoke to dreariness and rain. Bob, Leah and Alex set out for their 40 mile Five Boro Bike Ride - only to return home after 8 miles because it was a slow moving, crowded course and very cold. In the meantime had I cleaned the apartment, read some of this book, and enjoyed an outstanding apricot pastry ($4) and latte ($3.50) from Tiny's Giant (129 Rivington St).
Full on brunching over at The Wayland (700 E 9th Streettook place and then it was back to Boston. I must say, I felt so rejuvenated and excited after this time spent. When I travel here I am reminded how much I love this city, vying to return sooner, especially given how close it is to Boston (why do I always think it is worlds away?!) I was even reminded that New York City doesn't have to be overwhelming and utterly exhausting, it's all in how you do it. So thanks NYC for such a fun, refreshing, really great weekend!! 

The Mulberry Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato