Fairly sure that Fairfax is the all day cafe you've been looking for

Fairfax is a new all day cafe in the heart of the West Village. The place is cozy, unassuming and decorated with all the things you love to look at in West Elm. You have many options to sit at whether it's the communal tables, the leather quilted bar chairs, lounge chairs and those cushy leather sofas. Centering the restaurant is the sprawling bar where you can choose to day drink or order that espresso to get you through the day. And the food is just as good as the vibes. I appreciate that the menu is designed to make any restaurant goer happy- whether they are famished or if they're in the mood for something lighter. You can get anything savory, sweet or better yet both. Fairfax is the all day cafe I wish my neighborhood had. This place is ideal for catching up with friends, dining solo while doing some work, or an intimate meal with that person you can't stop thinking about. 

Fairfax lunch and dinner menu

Fairfax lunch and dinner menu

Foccia with olive oil

Foccia with olive oil

Chicken leg with za'atar stuffing

Chicken leg with za'atar stuffing

Cubano with roast pork, shaved ham, swiss cheese, pickles

Cubano with roast pork, shaved ham, swiss cheese, pickles

Favorites:

I am a fan of everything here! My fiancé did say that his Cubano could use less horseradish; it was very strong and dominated the other flavors in the sandwich. 

The Lisbon Diaries

Lisbon should be on everyone's travel list. The hilly neighborhoods, the fresh air breezing along the Tagus and the promise of fresh and consistently delicious food will make this city a place you frequent whenever time allows. Below are a few of my favorite spots around the city (and one in Sintra). Enjoy!

Tapisco- Traditional Portuguese food with a refined modern twist. You can expect unexpected textures, rich flavors and big portions. 

Salted Cod "à Brás" with confit egg yolk

Salted Cod "à Brás" with confit egg yolk

Garlic prawns

Garlic prawns

Squid Ink Paella with prawns, cuttlefish and alioli

Squid Ink Paella with prawns, cuttlefish and alioli

Manteigaria- This might be my favorite egg tart in the city. While I do love the ones from Pasteis de Belem, the custard in these egg tarts had just the right amount of sweetness. Get them when they're fresh out of the oven and you'll find it hard to resist eating 3 or 4 more

Egg Tart

Egg Tart

Time Out Market Lisboa- The Time Out Market for me was well worth the visit. You can try different stalls that range from classic Portuguese foods to modern takes as well as other cuisines. It's a great place to stop for lunch or a midday snack. Below are three recommendations at the market: the duck confit at Monte Mar, the tuna tartare at Tartar-la and the eggy custard at Nos E Mais Bolos. 

Duck Confit with parsnip puree

Duck Confit with parsnip puree

Tuna tartare

Tuna tartare

Eggy custard

Eggy custard

A Cevicheria- This was a highlight of our Lisbon trip. True to its name this restaurant is a celebration of seafood and all the flavors that Portugal has to offer. If you're hungry then definitely do the tasting menu as it's a steal for how delicious each dish was. We ordered individually and were impressed with how harmoniously all the dishes went together. Though they don't take reservations this restaurant is worth the wait (yes, you should expect one).

Complimentary corn bread and squid ink chips

Complimentary corn bread and squid ink chips

Portuguese ceviche- codfish, octopus, mashed lupin beans and tomato cream

Portuguese ceviche- codfish, octopus, mashed lupin beans and tomato cream

Mixed Causa- Mashed potato, smoked mackerel, horseradish mayonnaise, salmon tartare, scallop, kimchi and wasabi

Mixed Causa- Mashed potato, smoked mackerel, horseradish mayonnaise, salmon tartare, scallop, kimchi and wasabi

Sea Quinoto- quinoa, shrimp, cockle, mussel,White Fish, seaweed, oyster foam and kambu

Sea Quinoto- quinoa, shrimp, cockle, mussel,White Fish, seaweed, oyster foam and kambu

O Talho's Tartare Taco- beef tartare, horseradish cream and taco

O Talho's Tartare Taco- beef tartare, horseradish cream and taco

Chocolate, peanuts, banana and aji panca- Brownie and cream chocolate, peanuts, aji panca meringue and banana

Chocolate, peanuts, banana and aji panca- Brownie and cream chocolate, peanuts, aji panca meringue and banana

Tascantiga (Sintra)- Firstly you should take the 1 hour 10 minute train ride to Sintra. The Moorish Castle and Pena Palace is unlike anything else. Grand, regal, breathtaking are a few words that come to mind when I think of these places. Secondly if you do find yourself in Sintra then stop by this great local restaurant, Tascantiga. The meats and fish are so fresh. I loved their simple flavors full of lemon, olive oil and vegetables. It felt so homey and welcoming.

Garlic large prawns in lemon broth and beef with vegetable stew

Garlic large prawns in lemon broth and beef with vegetable stew

Pasteis de Belem- It won't be a trip to Lisbon if we didn't come to this iconic pastry shop. The egg tarts are delicious especially the pastry. The line moves quickly (especially in the low tourist seasons) and it's worth the euro!

Egg Tart

Egg Tart

A Praca- A Praca is located in LX Factory which is a very Brooklyn type space with converted warehouses and rooftop bars. You'll feel all the Brooklyn feels when you spend the day in LX Factory. While there are a lot of great food options in the area, A Praca was where we stopped for a late lunch and a strong pitcher of sangria. Great food with some Americanized dishes just in case you miss home (which I doubt).

Baked goat cheese with honey

Baked goat cheese with honey

Cafe Principe Real- We had a the pleasure of staying at the Memmo Principe Real Hotel in Lisbon which not only came with luxurious amenities, first class service and sweeping views of Lisbon but also a delicious restaurant a few feet away from our room. The restaurant is gorgeous and decorated in bold colors overlooking Lisbon. Regardless if you're a guest at the hotel or if you just want delicious seafood you can count on Cafe Principe Real to deliver

Grouper, shrimp and coconut curry with basmati rice, papadum and mango chutney

Grouper, shrimp and coconut curry with basmati rice, papadum and mango chutney

São Tomé Chocolate 70% Chocolate with banana and salted caramel praliné

São Tomé Chocolate 70% Chocolate with banana and salted caramel praliné

O Asiatico- The brilliant chef that brought you A Cevicheria, Check Kiko, brings you into a world of Portuguese Asian flavors at O Asiatico. There is a wide range of Asian influences here from Thailand, Japan, Korea to Nepal. And while you can still order ceviche and other seafood dishes you will be happy to devour some of the delicious meat dishes here. 

Coconut tuna ceviche with tapioaca 

Coconut tuna ceviche with tapioaca 

Vietnamese noodles with lobster and coconut

Vietnamese noodles with lobster and coconut

Thai rice with piglet: belly of piglet, Thai rice and vegetables.

Thai rice with piglet: belly of piglet, Thai rice and vegetables.

Dumplings in Tom Yum soup

Dumplings in Tom Yum soup

Thai roast beef, wasabi crema, lotus root chips and mushrooms

Thai roast beef, wasabi crema, lotus root chips and mushrooms

Black chocolate cake and wasabi, cream cream and red fruit

Black chocolate cake and wasabi, cream cream and red fruit

Sticky Rice, grilled banana and Vietnamese coffee ice cream

Sticky Rice, grilled banana and Vietnamese coffee ice cream

Society Cafe perfects farm to table brunch to a tee

Society Cafe is unassuming and easy to miss if you're not paying attention. But if you go through the entrance of The Walker Hotel past the wood burning fireplace in the lobby, you'll find yourself in this gorgeous chic restaurant somewhat reminiscent of the retro 70s with navy blue booths and minimalist leather bound seats. Since I had my bridesmaids brunch reveal at Society Cafe, we were able to enjoy the gorgeous rays of sunshine that peers through the greenhouse ceiling glass which made for an intimate and warm brunch. During brunch service the coffee is nonstop already making it a great way to begin your morning. The brunch menu contains some classics like goat cheese frittata and eggs florentine but you should feel brave enough to wander the menu because it's all so delicious!  The mushroom flatbread with creme fraiche comes with generous amount of mushrooms but is light enough so you can order that stack of pancakes which, you must! The olive oil pancakes were a standout dish for me. You can smell the aroma of warm olive oil and fresh creme as soon as the plate is presented to the table. Each pancake is fluffy, flavorful and perfectly soaks up the syrup. I loved every minute of brunch at Society Cafe. I'm looking forward to coming back to review the rest of the items on the menu!

Wild mushroom and creme fraiche flatbread

Wild mushroom and creme fraiche flatbread

Olive oil Pancakes, mixed berries, chantilly creme, vanilla brown butter and maple syrup

Olive oil Pancakes, mixed berries, chantilly creme, vanilla brown butter and maple syrup

The DeBruce is your ultimate Catskills getaway

The DeBruce will always hold a special place in my heart because there's where I got engaged!!! Every part of that moment was surreal and luckily my fiancé timed it so well that after we got engaged there was a 9 course dinner awaiting me in the glass windowed dining room at the DeBruce. The DeBruce offers much more than just impeccable farm to table food. This place meets all the criteria of a luxurious Catskill getaway complete with your own hiking trails, streams of water, an incredible chef on call, pool side lounging, flyfishing and a bar just steps away from your room. Your per night cost covers breakfast every morning and a special 5 course dinner on Friday night as well as the signature 9 course tasting menu on Saturday night. Chef Aksel Theilkuhl lives on the property and cooks every night with his close knit team based upon the items they forage in the woods right behind the property. This luxurious B&B is a dream come true. 

The photos below are from The DeBruce's signature 9 course tasting menu-

Foraging: fiddleheads, daisy, berries, yarrow flowers

Foraging: fiddleheads, daisy, berries, yarrow flowers

Chicken Liver- country rye, pickled wild strawberries, sweet & sour onion

Chicken Liver- country rye, pickled wild strawberries, sweet & sour onion

Summer Garden

Summer Garden

Trout- cured & cold smoked, last season's pickles

Trout- cured & cold smoked, last season's pickles

Corn- empanada, pork belly, nectar

Corn- empanada, pork belly, nectar

Mushroom- clover & timothy hay, blueberry wood

Mushroom- clover & timothy hay, blueberry wood

Rabbit- in a meadow

Rabbit- in a meadow

Display of after dinner cheese and desserts

Display of after dinner cheese and desserts