Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

Category Archives: Food

New York City Dinner

I started with a breakfast post and now I’m moving on to dinner. Here are some amazing restaurants for dinner in the city.

ABC Kitchen – This shabby chic style restaurant is absolutely divine. The decor and ambiance reminded me of something you would find in a trendy California town, where fresh food is top priority. Everything was exquisite from the wine to the dessert. If you’re looking for a dining experience with a breezy romantic vibe, this is it.

Narcissa – Located in The Standard Hotel in the East Village, rather it’s more next door, it has a creative outdoor patio with greenery and eclectic art. The restaurant features seasonal organic produce from chef and co-owner Andre Balazs’ Hudson Valley farm. It’s California cuisine, which I love {of course}, in the city.

Narcissa NYC

Park Avenue Spring – I’ve been to restaurants that have seasonal menus or seasonal items added, but I’ve never been to a restaurant that changes its name, decor and menu with the seasons until I went to Park Avenue Spring. When I went to Park Avenue last week they had just changed everything from winter to spring the week before. This is another top notch dining experience, again both for the ambiance and the food. Everything was amazing and well thought out from the complimentary chef appetizers to the decadent desserts.

Betony – It takes months to get a reservation at Betony, so if you know you will be traveling to the city make a reservation now. Again, another superb place for dinner. The ambiance is a little bit more dark, moody and modern, compared to the others, but the food it unique and oh so good it can’t be missed.

Note: Some of the best restaurants are in New York City.

New York City Breakfast

There are so many great restaurants for breakfast in NYC. Luckily, I got to experience a handful of them. Here the just some of the best New York City breakfast spots.

Gemma – Located inside The Bowery Hotel, a celebrity hot spot, Gemma sees just as many famous faces. Even if you grab a window seat you can watch the fashion icons walk past in the trendy East Village. I started breakfast with a croissant that was flaky and perfectly folded, served with smooth butter and berry jam.

Gemma Bowery Hotel

The NoMad Hotel – A popular power breakfast spot for business meetings for those staying at the hotel and local visitors. Breakfast is served in the atrium, where natural light shines down from the glass ceiling. The coffee is strong, which gives you nice jump start for the day.

Little Park – A seasonal restaurant with a cozy ambiance, that made me want to curl up and take a nap on the cream colored booth after breakfast. I’m a sucker for anything with goat cheese, so I went with the garden herb omelet. It was perfectly cooked and I wasn’t overly stuffed. Like Goldilocks, it was just right.

Maysville – Located in Flatiron, it’s a Southern style restaurant with a large bourbon collection, making it a great spot for a boozy brunch. Although, bourbon may not sound like the best choice in the morning, it mixes well in a spicy Bloody Mary. The staff is nice and helpful, so they can always help you choose the right dish and drink.

Maysville NYC

Bluestone Lane – Serving some of the best coffee and teas I’ve ever had, Bluestone Lane is modeled after the coffee culture in Melbourne Australia. I’ve never been to Australia, but if Bluestone Lane is modeled after their coffee cafe experience, where you linger over a nice cup, then I need to pack my bag!

Note: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

coconut shrimp recipe

This is one of the easiest things to make for a quick dinner. Well, depending on how many people you plan on feeding. For a family of four I would suggest 1.5 pounds of fresh shrimp. I used coconut flower syrup for dipping, which was amazing and I highly recommend. It was in the Try the World Thailand Box subscription box.


  • 1-1.5 lbs of shrimp
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweatened or unsweated)
  • Cooking oil (canola, vegetable or coconut oil)
  • Coconut flower syrup or dipping sauce of choice


  1. Start with three medium bowls. In one bowl mix the flour, salt and pepper. In the second bowl beat the eggs. Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.
  2. Dip the shrimp into the flour, then into the eggs and then dip into the coconut mixture. Press the coconut onto the shrimp, so you have a lot on there. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you work on coating all of them.
  3. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet or medium pot, about 2 cups should work. Fry the shrimp in batches on medium heat. I say batches because otherwise it will be too hard to turn them over. Flip after about 2 minutes and fry on the other side for 2 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
  4. Serve with the Coconut Flower Syrup or your favorite dipping sauce.


Note: If you love trying new foods I would definitely suggest signing up for Try the World!

plum raspberry granola gratin

I’m now officially in a ladies brunch club. There wasn’t an official initiation, but it kicked of last weekend and will be held every quarter. For this first meeting I made Plum Raspberry Gratin. This brunch dish isn’t too sweet, so you can still enjoy syrup covered waffles and cinnamon rolls. It would be perfect for an upcoming Easter brunch.

fresh plums


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 ripe fresh plums, halved, pitted and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup low-fat granola
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons honey



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a 8 or 9-inch baking dish with butter
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Whisk in the flour, both types of sugar, butter, vanilla and sea salt until smooth. Pour the batter into the baking dish and arrange the plum slices and raspberries on top. They will sink into the batter and will be layered.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with granola and almonds and bake until the batter is light brown and set, and the fruit is tender, about 5-10 minutes more.
  4. Mix together the yogurt and honey.
  5. Let the gratin cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve the honey mixture over the warm gratin.


Note: Gratin means it was topped with a browned crust.


This is one of my favorite snacks to serve when friends are coming over. It’s easy, quick to make and always impresses. The spicy cashews recipe is from one of my favorite cooks, Ina Garten. Everything I’ve ever made from one of her cookbooks has always been amazing.



  • 1 1/4 pound cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for ten minutes until they are warm all the way through.
  3. While those are baking, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl.
  4. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated.
  5. Serve warm.


Note: The key is to serve them warm, so they may need to be reheated before guests arrive. Perfect for an Oscar party this weekend!