Meet Cynthia.

Welcome to Thyme To, a Lebanese cooking blog featuring recipes that are easy to produce and enjoy. Cynthia has a passion for growing her own vegetables, providing amazing food and hospitality, and bringing different flavors and spices into her Lebanese and Armenian dishes. 

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New York City Mother Daughter Weekend

New York City Mother Daughter Weekend

This guest post is written by Pateel, my daughter's friend.

A few months ago, my mom and I joined Cynthia and her daughter Nicole for a mother-daughter weekend in New York! The primary focus of our trip, per usual, was food. We tried our very best to cram some of New York’s finest spots (and a couple of our favorites) into a few days. I think we did pretty well!

On our first morning there, I met up with one of my friends who was also in the city for the weekend. We went to Black Seed Bagels, a modern hand-rolled bagel shop. My friend and I shared a cream cheese & lox sesame seed bagel, and another with scrambled eggs, bacon & cheese on poppy. It was a very light breakfast, but I didn’t have too much time to enjoy my food coma — in a few short hours, our group had reservations at Momofuku Ssam to have the famous whole duck platter.

This beauty has to be ordered in advance for a minimum of 6 people. It is sliced and served with scallion pancakes, butter lettuce, hoisin sauce, and some of Momofuku’s special Ssam sauce. Even after all the bagels I had, I could not get enough of this experience. I would find 5 new friends in New York if I had to, just to be able to get a taste of this!

  The famous duck platter at Momofuku Ssam

The famous duck platter at Momofuku Ssam

That night, we had dinner reservations at ABC Cocina, a Jean George farm-to-table restaurant. The décor was beautiful and the restaurant was bustling. Some of our favorite dishes from the evening were the lentil salad (warm lentils served with some chorizo, chilies, and chives) and the mezcal-cured salmon (served with a cucumber-yogurt relish and golden potato flakes). Both of these dishes were simple, yet unique enough to stand out, both in flavor and texture.  We also tried some of ABC Cocina’s tacos — the mushroom taco, served with chopped kale was the unanimous winner. But our very favorite part of the meal was the little bottle of homemade hot sauce in the center of our table. It added a delightful kick to each of the dishes— an absolute must at any Latin-inspired restaurant.

Another standout dinner was Atoboy. Described as “modern Korean” cuisine, this is one of the hottest new restaurants in New York. The space was extremely simple, clean and clearly in line with the modern theme. The menu, inspired by the banchan dishes served at traditional Korean restaurants, is split up into three categories: diners choose one dish from each category at a set price. We tried plenty of winning dishes: the beef tartare served with oysters and crispy potatoes, leeks topped with doenjang, cheddar, and walnut, a dish with zucchini served two ways — fried and raw, scrambled eggs topped with uni and puffed quinoa, and finally, sunchokes with oyster mushrooms, black truffle and orange. We loved this spot so much, they practically had to kick us out of the restaurant! Altogether, this meal was a clear highlight of the trip.

The next day, though we were still stuffed from our Korean dinner adventure, our stroll through the city led us right to The Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village. How could you say no to one of the most well-known burgers in New York? We were lucky enough to snag some bar seats upstairs and wasted no time ordering 4 burgers with a side of shoestring potatoes. The meal, though a bit sodium-heavy, was a perfect mid-day treat after spending all morning walking around the city.

Before we left to return home, I had one more spot to cross off my list — Russ & Daughters. I had been impatiently wanting to try this century-old establishment since I first saw photos of their beautiful smoked salmon platter. We luckily bypassed the 40-minute wait by grabbing a few seats at the counter. Each of us ordered The Classic, a platter of the deli’s own smoked salmon, served with bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes, and red onions. But you can never just stop at one dish! We also ordered the Hot Smoke/Cold Smoke dish, a combination spread made of baked and smoked Scottish Salmon and served with everything bagel chips.

The most unexpectedly pleasant part of the meal, though, was dessert. When we saw halva ice cream on the menu, we knew we had to order it, no matter how full we were. Halva is a Middle Eastern sweet made of sesame paste. This dish was served like a sundae—sesame ice cream topped with pieces of chewy, nutty halva. We could not get enough of it. It was a perfectly sweet ending to a delicious trip!

How To Set A Table

How To Set A Table

Banana Bread With Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Banana Bread With Cinnamon Crumble Topping