Monthly Archives: October 2014

American - Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Brunch at Elephant & Castle in Greenwich Village

October 27, 2014

I’m actually starting to venture out more and try new places, which was kind of the spirit of how this blog came about when I first moved to NY. I’ve found some gems (more on that later this week), but every once in a while I come across a complete disappointment. Elephant & Castle in Greenwich Village is one of them.

I arrive there on a Sunday morning with my friend Priya and her two-year-old daughter Madina. When we walked in, they said it’d be a 20 minute wait — pretty standard, if not, even a little better than most popular brunch spots in NY. We said no problem, and walked around to get Madina something to eat. We come back 15 minutes later, and I walked in to ask for a menu to peruse while we want but before I even say anything, the host barks at me, “I told you 25 minutes!” Woah.

Madina insisting on feeding me her avocado while we wait outside :)


I try once more to ask for a menu, but he interrupts me again by waving his hand and shaking his head, “Come back in 20 minutes.” Again I try a third time to ask and when he finally let me get a word in, he realizes his mistake and hands me a menu. You might wonder why we didn’t leave at this point (actually, I wish I had) but brunch on a Sunday in the W. Village with a hungry child would mean another hour wait, so we decided to stick to it.

We wait outside for another 15 minutes and then are promptly seated in a table with three chairs. Whoever led us in apologized, and we were hoping the experience would improve.

Madina continues feeding me butter inside the restaurant


The place is small and buzzy. The waitress finally comes and I give my order for the Canyonland Poached Eggs which comes with balsamic jus, fresh tarragon, tomatoes, avocado, wild mushrooms and a side of a toasted English Muffin. Priya was stuck though, so I ask the waitress, “What do you recommend?” She curtly answers, “Well, I don’t know what kind of things you like…” No help there. I try to rephrase, “OK, what’s your most popular dish here?” She answers, “What you just ordered.” Nothing more. Priya was quickly scanning the menu as the waitress stares on without any indication of assistance. Priya hurriedly picks a sandwich and immediately regretted it.

We asked the man who yelled at us earlier if he could grab our waitress, which again, he shakes his head and mumbles something and brings her to our table. We tell the waitress we want to change half our order, and she huffs back to the kitchen, and comes back to take our new order for their Eggs’n Apples Benedict on French toast, with maple syrup. While we were waiting, the man shoves an extra chair next to me from a party that just got up — no apologies, no explanation. There was no concern for the comfort of their patrons is basically what I was picking up on.

Spanish Latte


I ordered a Spanish latte (which came out in a big bowl)….and tasted like a regular latte. When I was done, I noticed some cinnamon and spices at the bottom but it did nothing for the taste. I was thinking maybe because the bowl was so big, the taste got lost in the portion.

Canyonland Poached Eggs


Canyonland Poached Eggs and Madina's poor avocado


I was hoping there would be some redemption in our food. When it comes out, it looked beautiful — but that was about it. The vegetables from my poached eggs were very fresh and the egg was perfectly cooked in a not too solid, not overly liquid consistency. But the taste was bland.

Egg's n Apples French toast


Priya thought her eggs with apple slices and french toast tasted interesting on the first couple bites but the curiosity didn’t stay with her to the last one — she got sick of it halfway through.

In summation, the experience sucked. Anyone else been and have a different experience? Otherwise I say save yourself the trouble — definitely won’t be coming back.

REPORT CARD
Meal: Brunch

Occasion: Celebrating the AMAZING Fall weather
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: *
Food: *
Service: no stars.
Would I go back?: Doubtful.


Restaurant Info:
Elephant & Castle

68 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-1400
Greenwich Village


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Shy
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BATF Giveaways - FOOD - "The Delicious"

JCPenney, Jets + Chefs Tailgate for NYCWFF (plus a giveaway!)

October 20, 2014

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

Jets + Chef at NYCWFF


I moved to NYC eight years ago, yet despite its ubiquity, I can’t seem to commit to becoming a fan of NYC sports. My inner Midwesterner will not allow it. But what I CAN root for is a tailgate party of any kind, even better if it’s hosted by the one and only Mario Batali, alongside Hall of Famer Joe Namath.

Guess who...


Endless treats


Any party hosted by Batali is serious business. And graciously sponsored by JCPenney (with all profits going to feed the hungry in NYC), this was a food festival to end all food festivals. First off, Tito’s and Blue Moon were offered in endless supply. Then there were the booths upon booths of high-end food being offered in small-plate format. Gluten-free diet be damned.

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JCPenney’s role was crucial, because the place felt comfortable and cool, thanks to the comfy seating and the decor. Even the stage where Mario and Joe were set to present was decked in JCPenney’s new collection, whose focus is on bright colors and modern design. I left the full, a little tipsy, and very content.

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Even better, there’s a giveaway :). In the spirit of a tailgate party, JCPenney is giving away one reader a Charcoal Companion 3-piece Grill Set ($30 value).

Giveaway! Charcoal Companion 3-pc Grill Set


Just leave a comment below to enter, or follow and tweet at @BeautyNDFeast and @jcpenney to enter! For those of you more interested in shopping JCPenney’s collection, they’ve offered a 15% discount code for Beauty and the Feast readers. Text JCPNYC to 527365 to receive a 15% off coupon on select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry & home.



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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails

Paintbox nail studio in Soho

October 13, 2014

Paintbox has been getting a lot of buzz lately. The manicure-only nail studio opened its doors in the SoHo just earlier this year in May, and sets itself apart simply by staying on top of it.

Paintbox in SoHo


Want a menu of trendy, curated colors and designs? They have it. A portfolio of different colors and formulas? Done. They’re not brand snobs either, rather they have careful and well-thought out colors so you step out with a gorgeous stand-out manicure. I was invited to check it out, and the design I ended up with was easily one of my favorites ever.

Paintbox reception area


I was greeted with apple tea and a lookbook of their Fall 2014 collection, a spread of different nail designs and color combos. My manicurist Elissa (who rocks, by the way — find her on Insta at @nailme.e) helped me narrow it down to their Hot Shot design — a canvas of glossy black topped with gold and green metallic foil.

A selection of Paintbox's Fall collection


Apple tea :)


Each station has charging docks for your phone (a lifesaver for me, I didn’t charge my phone the night before and it was already dying when I got there). Elissa carefully cleaned up my cuticles and applied two coats of Floss Gloss black, then (“the fun part” she said), slithers of glue which she then dabbed the foils on, and finished with a clear top coat. She moved me to their bar area for my nails to dry, added some quick-drying drops, and I was good to go. I was in and out in 45 minutes and my manicure held up beautifully.

Bar/drying area


Fall design in Hot Shot


I normally get so bored with nail polish that I rarely venture in nail designs, but I’m obsessed with this combo. It’s dark for Fall, but the foils keeps it from looking dull. I already got so many compliments on it. If you’re looking for an elegant salon that doubles as a relaxing oasis in the city, make a stop here. You can look at their current collections and even book ahead online at paint-box.com.

Regular polish manicure, $35. Manicure with design, $55.

Salon Info:
Paintbox

17 Crosby St
Manhattan, NY 10013
btw Grand St & Howard St
(212) 219-2412
SoHo


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Teeth

The best Rembrandt commercial ever…

October 9, 2014

…mostly because my cute Ms. Marvel cuz is in it, and they definitely captured how funny/awkward she can be (totally saying that out of love :D). Check it out:


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair

At-home keratin treatment — does it work?

October 7, 2014

There’s a reason keratin treatments are so popular. Women shell out hundreds of dollars every few months to soften the frizz and tame the kinks and cut their drying time in half (to read more about what keratin treatments do exactly for your hair, check out my post here and here). I’ve read about at-home keratin treatments and was wondering if they compare. Rio de Keratin was one of them. The brand is DIY 100% formaldeyde-free (a carcinogen-emitting ingredient found in many salon treatments of the same kind) at-home keratin treatment, and its key ingredients include keratin, vitamin E, and jojoba and coconut oils. I met the founder, Nadine Ramos, at an event for the products recently and she has the most stunningly glossy head of hair, so I decided I needed to know if this worked.

Rio de Keratin (their new packaging is so pretty!)

I feel my hair is still pretty smooth from the last keratin treatment I did, so I enlisted the help of a friend to test it out instead. My friend Q has wavy, sometimes-frizzy, and dry hair mostly from heat damage (self-described…I like to say she’s an off-duty model).

The instructions were less intimidating than I thought. It says to first shampoo your hair (no conditioner!) with the shampoo in the kit and do a rough blow dry until hair is completely dry. Next, section off hair, spritz the keratin spray on the first section and flat iron. Do this section by section until you finish all of your hair. Lastly, don’t wash for another 24 hours. Afterwards, continue using the kit’s shampoo and conditioner for best results.

The kit comes with the aforementioned shampoo, conditioner, spray on treatment (which has a nice coconut scent), and a pair of gloves to use when treating hair. I wish it came with clips too because I was scrambling looking for one when I was doing Q’s hair. I followed the instructions, spraying each section of Q’s hair with a very light hand because her hair isn’t super curly and I didn’t want it to fall flat — my greatest fear — before the wedding she had to go to a couple days after that.

The results? For starters, her hair was definitely a lot more, noticeably shiny (other people who didn’t even know she did the treatment commented on it too). She said she could notice the difference in the first few days as well. After a week, I asked her again if she feels a difference in the frizz, and she said slightly (her hair wasn’t that frizzy to begin with so there’s that caveat). She mentioned her hair still felt a little dry as it had felt before from heat damage, although she also hadn’t continued using the enclosed shampoo and conditioner as well so that could have been contributing to that. Also, as I mentioned I was light handed with the spray which could be another factor.

Before and after

Is it worth it? For $39.99 which they say spans about two treatments (maybe more if you have thinner hair), I think it’s definitely worth trying if you’re trying to save on cash and get similar results at home, or even as a stepping stone to salon keratin treatments. I was amazed at the shine, but it does require some maintenance to keep it up. It is supposed to be a DIY kit, but I think it’s a lot easier to enlist the help of someone else when using the spray on treatment, especially for the back of the head.

Who is it meant for? I’d probably recommend it for people hair that is often frizzy or hard to manage, and also to ease the curl if your hair is unruly. Or if you live in more humid conditions where your hair poofs up (you know what I’m talking about). If you have straight-to-wavy hair you probably don’t need it, and especially if you feel like your hair already falls flat.

Another after


Anyway, those are just my thoughts. Anyone else try a DIY keratin treatment? What did you think?


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Fashion - Men - Male grooming

Styling Bonobos Menswear Fall Pieces for women

October 3, 2014

Menswear line Bonobos just came out with their Fall suit collection, and gave me the fun task to take some of their pieces to style for women. I love adding a men’s piece to an outfit — big watches, oversized button-ups…I may even be guilty of wearing cologne sometimes (what? NO ONE has heard of Burberry Touch?). Anyway, thought it might be fun to try something out of the norm here and see what I could come up with.

Bonobos Fall 2014 collection


First, floral pants adds a feminine twist to a formal tuxedo blazer. Throw in a fun nailpolish shade to brighten up dull days:

Look 1


Bonobos Tuxedo Blazer (new!), $460 (similar here) / Zara linen t-shirt, $19.90 / Anthropologie Neoprene floral pants, $138 / Zara Leather Court Shoes, $99.90 / Gigi New York White Uber Clutch, $145 / Essie nailpolish in I’m Addicted, $8 / ShahThreads Hamsa necklace, $20

I love simple streamlined looks so I paired this plaid navy/green blazer with a plain jersey top and skinny jeans. The blue strappy heels play off the blue in the blazer and the look is finished with turned up lips (Ruby Woo is my favorite red):

Look 2


Bonobos Capstone Slim Tuxedo Blazer, $695 / Splendid Very Light Jersey Tee, $48 / J. Brand Low-Rise Skinny Leg, $218 / Ray-Ban Flash Lenses, $170 / BCBG Harlow Envelope Clutch, $88 / Pierre Hardy Mucha Kid Suede Pumps, $423 / Bauble Bar Zodiac Constellation Pendant Necklace, $38 / M.A.C. Lipstick in Ruby Woo, $19

I had a little more fun with their gray tweed blazer, matching it with black tweed shorts (add black tights on cooler days), and a grungy heel to toughen it up. A statement necklace like the one from Dannijo pulls it together:

Look 3


Bonobos Nottingham Tweed Blazer, $398 / Madewell Silk Spotlight Shirt in Deep Plaid, $118 / Rag & Bone Em Speckled Tweed Shorts, $350 / Dannijo Lilith necklace, $488 / Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Leather Ankle Boots, $525

Which look would you rock? I may need to start shopping in the men’s section more…

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Shy
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