On the road in NY and DC

Thursday, 5 February 2009 | Tags:

We've been on the road for the last couple of weeks, travelling to New York and Washington DC. I will be so happy to get home to my own bed, my cat, and all my stuff.


In New York, we shot a couple of upcoming episodes of our kitchen-based smart shopping show, Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag (on W Network). We tested home smokers (which are kind of like barbecues) for use in a smoked fish recipe, and then got cake decorating lessons from a cake-decorator-to-the-stars for an episode on making wedding cakes. You won’t want to miss that one – we’re baking the cake for someone’s actual wedding! Poor souls. Their budget must really be tight.

Eating (NY)

On this trip we discovered a few really great restaurants. In New York, if my next couple of visits to Elio’s (1621 Second Ave.) are anything like my first, we will definitely add it to our list of favourite places. The food is Italian, and by all accounts from our group of 5, absolutely divine. The prosciutto with melon was shaved razor thin and the melon perfectly ripe. The veal scaloppini was pounded to perfection. I wanted a simple fettuccine with spicy tomato sauce, which wasn’t on the menu but the waiter didn’t blink or roll an eye. I got exactly what I wanted.

The vibe at Elio’s is hustle and bustle, and somehow the place seems appropriate for both a family celebration as well as a date. And when I called to make the reservation, the man on the other end of the phone treated me like a respected guest, a refreshing change from the typical treatment you get from so many other popular New York establishments. (An example: “You want a reservation for THIS Friday? Oh madam, I don’t THINK so.”) I can’t tell you the number of times I have been treated like I should send a thank you note to a restaurant just for allowing me to pay to eat there.

Shopping (NY)

I did do some shopping and found a few deals here and there. Bought some pants for 50 bucks! But the racks with the deep discounts are thinning out at Scoop, Intermix and Henri Bendel, where I do a lot of my NY shopping. Spring stuff is coming out now, at full retail price. Of course, that didn’t stop me from asking for a discount!

More Eating (DC)

When we arrived in Washington, DC, we spied a magazine cover that featured “Washington’s Top 100 Restaurants”. My favourite we tried was a wine bar called Cork (1720 14th St., NW). It was jammed and the mood was laid back. They have a great wine list and have a simple but good charcuterie menu. There’s nothing wrong with a night of wine, bread, cheese, and meat!

We did have to wait an hour before we were squeezed in at the bar though – and only after we let a couple of 20-somethings know there wasn’t a chance in hell they were scooping our seats. When it comes to wine and cheese, there’s no butting in front of me, honey!

Two other spots worth trying are West End Bistro (1190 22nd St., NW), where the beef and pulled pork sliders shouldn’t be missed, and The Source (Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, 575 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW), where we ordered a delicious chicken salad. I could hardly resist licking the bowl afterwards, but Kristina might have been embarrassed.

The Travel Effect

Travelling for work can really suck the life out of me, not to mention dry out my skin. On this trip, I went through an entire tube of my coveted Qtica Solid Gold cuticle oil!

I also discovered a great new (to me) face cream from Kiehl’s called Anti-Oxidant Skin Preserver. If you’ve got dry skin, it’s worth the $60 and can be used in the morning or at night. It goes a long to way to keeping dry, tight skin at bay.

Travel comfort tip: Bring along a scented candle forthe hotel room. It helps create a nice mood (and gets rid of any strange smells) in your home away from home.

Upon returning home after traveling, I always try to get a facial since my skin is usually in need of a deep exfoliation. But, if I don’t have time, an at-home exfoliator is also good. I like Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini Peel.

And now, off to the airport to jump on a plane back to Vancouver. Let’s hope Air Canada is on time.

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