Weekly Wrap-Up: Food, Food, Food & New York ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Food, Food, Food & New York

I am RIDICULOUSLY tired and this weekly wrap-up can shed some light on why...



My family and I had dinner at a really nice, quaint Italian restaurant in Venice called Ado.  It must have been converted from a house because it was a tiny yellow building squished between large apartment complexes (almost like in the movie Up!).

Most of the first floor was taken up by the kitchen, so all six of us sat upstairs on the tiny second floor with about 40 seats all crammed together.  The tables were packed tightly together and the only light was provided by candles, which made it super cozy!

Now to the food!  Excuse the pictures because phone + candlelight doesn't make for the best pictures.

Update: I Photoshopped a bit, to make the pictures turn out just a little lighter!

First up, duck carpaccio.  It was so super thin, and perfectly balanced with a pile of sweet caramelized onions.  We also ordered beef carpaccio, but I thought this was much, much better.

Then, the scallops with fondue.  They were super huge and expertly seared with a delicious, creamy sauce underneath.

Also, the table shared a Tuna Tartare, which definitely didn't photograph well.  :(

For my entree, I ordered the Spaghetti a la Chitarra, which consisted of a square-shaped pasta (the cross-section) and fried zucchini.  Oh ... my... gosh...  This was ridiculously good.  Some thought it was TOO al dente, but I said there's no such thing!  Maybe too raw, but never too al dente!  I like have a tiny bit of bite to my pasta instead of having it be supermushy.

Then we had a few desserts, which were ALL amazing.  The ricotta cheesecake up front (good) and a chocolate and hazelnut layered something-or-other (amazing)!

A panna cotta topped with pistachios, which I didn't get to before we started to devour.  Really good too!


There weren't too many plans for the day, but I got so much done!  First, I baked two recipes of carrot cake for comparison, which will be blogged about later!  Then we went on an errand marathon: Costco for groceries & glasses, the tailor for some hems (I'm too nervous to hem his expensive pants), Ikea, Home Depot, and the grocery store.

While waiting for his hemming to be done (in 20 minutes for only $7!), we decided to stop by Bruxie.  I had heard of it a while back, but I was rarely in the neighborhood.  Although, I was interested in trying it, I wasn't expecting too much.  Why?  I had eaten at The Waffle on Sunset in L.A., and I figured that nothing could come close.  Well, Bruxie is definitely a challenger!

Their menu consists of waffle sandwiches, with the waffles replacing the bread.  Even the sweet menu items are done this way!  I ordered the Fried Chicken and waffle and he ordered the Prosciutto and Gruyere.  Mine was soooooooo good!  The fried chicken was juicy, crispy and light without being greasy.  And even though the waffles don't look especially fancy, they were super scrumptious!  Crisp and light, not too sweet.  Just perfect really.

The other item we shared was the Creme Brûlée waffle.  At first I thought it was creme brûlée flavored (hence the boring picture) but all the magic was in the inside!  There were a few berries, but it tasted just like someone scooped out a bit of creme brulee (including some of the crunchy top) and slathered it between the waffles.  A little bit messy, but great!

Then, the travel planning marathon began.  It lasted until 2 am, and then I woke up at 8 am the next day until we booked the flights at 1:30 pm.  Tiring...


After the marathon travel planning session, I was not in the mood for doing anything at all.  However, I was happy to be done with the bulk of the flights!  I frosted the cupcakes my man was taking to his friend's house for the Superbowl and got ready to pack and rest up before my trip.

Then all hell broke loose.

I attempted to check in on my phone, which didn't work because I didn't have an e-ticket.  I tried from my computer which also didn't work.  I figured that since I called to change my itinerary, perhaps it was not eligible for online check-in.  Even though I thought it was still an error, it nagged at me and I ended up calling customer service.

Apparently, I had an itinerary with my correct flight information for all three legs of the journey BUT only tickets for the last 2 legs.  Why would this make sense?  No idea.  Anyways, it was all taken care of 3 hours of phone calls and $200+ later.


I spent most of the day flying, and then had a mini misadventure.  I took the AirTrain at JFK the wrong way and ended up catching the subway at the wrong station.  No big whoop because I just needed to take a different line into the city, right?

Wrong!  First, the trains ended up not being able to run because someone was stabbed a few stops down, and they were investigating.  Welcome to New York!  So, through the window the information desk employee tells me to walk down to here and catch the F train instead.  Simple, right?

Wrong!  I didn't understand what streets because her voice was muffled through the glass and she pointed vaguely to the direction I needed to walk.  For some reason, no one knew where this street or subway stop was and I was roaming the streets of Queens with my pink suitcase.  I finally reached the F train, and thought to myself "Great, all I need to do is transfer to the 6, which should be easy!"

Wrong!  This would have been fine except this simple transfer included going up and down 6 sets of stairs and a 4 block walk on a super busy street with my suitcase and bag.  Luckily, my hotel was near the last stop and I got ready for a informal business dinner at a little bar.  Bad day over.  :)


I woke up to snow on the ground, and due to the previous day's insane subway ride I ended up being 45 minutes early to the meeting by leaving extra early.

For lunch, I ate at the Shake Shack and it was super yummy.  :)

Walking + phone camera = Blurry picture :(

I just got the single burger, but the sauce was so yummy!  I would have been up for a shake but like I said: snow on the ground!

Then I started on my mission to buy food souvenirs for my family in the few hours I had before my flight!  My own souvenir?  Rice pudding from Rice to Riches!

It's so cute inside, see?  Also, dieting is definitely optional here.

So many flavors to choose from!

I also sampled coconut, caramel, and cinnamon with raisins but I ended up choosing:

Hazelnut Chocolate Bear Hug!  Tastes like Nutella and rice pudding had a baby.

And Man-Made Mascarpone with Cherries!  Easily, my favorite with the creamy, luscious tang of mascarpone and the bright sweet cherries.  Mmmm!  Luckily for me, I told myself that I had to bring them home for my family so the little samples were enough for the moment.

Such a cute container & spoons!

Then, I headed to S'MAC to pick up food for the airport/plane ride.  Certainly beats overpriced old pizza!


No interesting picture here.  Just the box, but believe me both flavors were ridiculously good!  I chose the 4 cheese & Lite Garden (definitely not light).  I ended up keeping most of it in the fridge in Nashville, and headed home with yummy macaroni & cheese for my family to try!

Enjoying luscious cheesiness at home!

Then an early dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar right around the corner!

Spicy miso ramen with chicken.  Hot, spicy, salty, and almost a completely balanced meal: veggies, protein, and carbs (+ seaweed and a poached egg)!  No wonder I wasn't hungry later on.  :)

Then, I had a soft serve swirled with two flavors: Ritz Cracker & Peanut Butter.  At the bottom, fruit preserves!  Unexpected and yummy.

Before scooting to the airport, I headed to Zabar's and Jacques Torres Chocolates for bagels and chocolate (duh).  Just a little bit of yummy goodness for my family back home, as requested by them.  :)

And to the airport for a flight to Nashville!

To be continued...

P.S. - I'm lucky that I work out 6 days a week with weights and cardio because lugging that suitcase up and down subway stops has to be done fast or else you risk angering the crowd behind you!  Try at your own risk!


  1. Replies
    1. I told you to work your way up from the bottom! Oh well, you pay the price for scrolling through my food pictures. :) Just kidding!


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