Thursday, March 25, 2010

prix fixe: vatan

To the readers who follow this blog for the crazy eating sprees, I'm sorry for the lack of food posts as of late. If you've ever wandered over to my 30 Before 30 blog, then you already know that I'm currently on day 25 of my vegetarian month, which explains the lack of foodie posts. I have to say, the vegetarian experiment has thrown me into a bit of conflict. On one hand, I get so much joy from trying all sorts of food and it's been sad turning away from a majority of dishes because I can't eat meat. On the other hand, I've never been happier with the way my body feels and looks. The past 25 days of shunning meat and doing Bikram yoga everyday has allowed me to get rid of so much pesky flab, and I'm happy with how toned I've gotten. Moreover, I've never felt so clean and light. My digestive system is definitely much more pleased with me this month than say, last month (see bone marrow madness, Fatty Crab insanity and GETE food coma).

Last night, however, I learned that pigging out is not limited to carnivores. I went for a vegetarian Indian dinner with Amanda and Zoe at Vatan. I knew about the $25 prix fixe dinner, but I had no idea that a meal for one would be hefty enough to feed a family of three. I'd glanced at the menu briefly and thought, oh great, such a great variety of choices. Uhm there are actually no choices to be made because they serve you every single thing on the menu. See that loaded up tray on the right? That was just the appetizer thali. (Apologies for the poorly-taken-with-an-iPhone picture but you get the idea) They served us eight different appetizers: chana masala (chickpeas with onions and coriander), muthia (steamed flour with spinach), khaman (puffed cream of wheat flour cakes), mirchi bhajia (fried hot pepper with garam masala), sev puri (potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt and chutney in crispy bread), mini samosas, batatavada (fried potato balls in chickpea flour batter) and ragda patis (potato cutlet in white bean sauce). My favorites were definitely the sev puri and those little samosas. I loved the flaky crunchiness of the sev puri against the creamy yogurt. The baby samosas had a nice spicy kick and just totally satisfied my yen for something fried and crunchy. 

I didn't finish my appetizers because I wanted to leave room for entrees, but it didn't really matter because I was still incredibly stuffed by then. I mean, that platter of apps is already way more food than what I normally consume in one meal. So I was extremely intimidated when they laid down the entrée thali. There were also eight different dishes on this platter! My favorite, hands-down, was kheer, a mildly sweet rice pudding flavored with saffron and dry fruits. In conjunction with the kheer, I ate a whole lot of puri, the puffed whole wheat bread (can you say carbo load?). The slightly spicy papadams were extremely addictive, as well. I just kept  dipping the puri and papadams into the various bowls that contained toor dal (boiled lentils in Indian spices), ful-cobi (sautéed cauliflower and green peas), batakanu sak (potatoes in red gravy), chole (chickpeas in tamarind and garam masala), and bhaji (sautéed spinach and corn). I probably didn't take more than 3 bites of each because I was so full. I did wipe out every bit of the kheer though—it's that yummy. Oh and did I mention that they also served us complementary pulao (basmati rice with peas), khichdi (lentils with rice and vegetables), and kadhi (soup with yogurt and chickpea flour). Just in case that platter wasn't enough.

Dessert was a relief because there was just enough stuff on the platter. The homemade mango ice cream was just delicious and that masala chai tea was just what I needed after all that food. There was some crumbled sweets on the side too, though I'm not entirely sure what it was. I pretty much stuck to the ice cream and tea because that was all I had room for.

It was just what I needed on a day when a few co-workers commented that I looked tired and pale. I realized I hadn't been getting enough protein and iron. Coupled with my daily Bikram practice, my energy was just fully depleted. This feast of protein-rich dishes was just what I needed. When I went to Bikram this morning, I definitely felt the difference. I was stronger and had so much more energy.

I would definitely recommend this place to vegetarians looking for a truly satisfying meal. You definitely get your money's worth at Vatan!   

Vatan is located on 409 Third Avenue (between 28th and 29th Streets). Tel. (212) 689-5666

Monday, March 22, 2010

bar none's take on health reform

I recently realized that I shouldn't really talk about politics too much because of my line of work (that and I'm sure you'd rather read my thoughts on sales, happy hour and food trips anyway). So all I'm gonna say about this Healthcare Reform issue is that I wholeheartedly concur with this sign that I saw outside Bar None today.

Cheers to that and happy hours that start at noon!

Bar None is located at 98 3rd Avenue between 13th and 14th Street

Saturday, March 20, 2010

get your groupon: $12 for a singles dating event

Is Groupon stalking my 30 Before 30 blog? Yesterday there was a pole-dancing Groupon and today there's a speed-dating one! I bought both of course, since I'm more than happy to check items off my list at a discount! I really wanted to try out On Speed Dating, in particular (see my post on it at 30 Before 30) because of their hysterically themed nights ... "Playing with Fire" (date a New York fireman) anyone?

I got some more good laughs from reading the discussion board for this Groupon. Speed dating sounds completely kitschy, but I think that with a bunch of single girlfriends it could be such a hoot. A few of my girlfriends also bought Groupons so we're gonna make a night of it. You have two more days to get your Groupon if you're up for  it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

get your groupon: $20 intro pole dancing class!

Did you see today's Groupon deal? It's a good one! $20 for an intro pole dancing class at S Factor. It's not as cheap as the Groupon deal I got for New York Pole Dancing two months ago ($24 for 2 intro classes) but it's still pretty good I think. S Factor has been featured on Oprah, Martha Stewart, Conan O'Brien, and numerous other shows because of its celebrity clientele. If you watch the press reel on their website, you'll see Teri Hatcher doing a demo of the "stretching exercises" done at S Factor.

You have about 4 1/2 more hours to get your Groupon, just click here.

I'm totally gonna try it once Bikram month is up and April rolls around! I've heard that it is a tough workout so I don't want it to get in the way of my completing my 30-Day Bikram Yoga challenge. But I'm sooo excited to try it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

emma watson makes me want a new trench

It's the same thing every year. When Spring rolls around, I find myself wishing I had a really good trench coat. I have a cute one from Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff's line for Bebe last year. But nothing really measures up, in my opinion, to a Burberry trench. That's the dream. One day, I will invest in one ...

In the meantime, I will salivate over Emma Watson's outfit in this Burberry ad. So adorable. And damn. So YOUNG! Isn't it amazing how designer brands are aiming younger and younger these days? Or am I just getting old?


Monday, March 15, 2010

today i'm loving: sprouse + above allen

If you liked this:

Then I'm guessing you would love to sip a cocktail and shake your booty in this place:

We partied here last Saturday to celebrate my dearest friend Céline's birthday and it was pretty fabulous! My designer friend Kate and I spent a chunk of our evening hatching diabolical plans to smuggle out the Stephen Sprouse couch covers ... well until "Sexy Bitch" came on and distracted us, at least. It was a dreadful night to be out in New York, what with whipping winds and constant rain ensuring everyone got good and drenched. But it made our stay at Above Allen pretty great. The bar was nicely full without being overly crowded, just perfect for swigging G&Ts and dancing our butts off. This terrace bar is on the 7th floor of Thompson Hotel on the Lower East Side, and has some pretty stunning views of the city:

It is however, only open to members, hotel guests and whomever the doorman deems suitable, so look your best if you're going. I'd leave the Sprouse Neverfull at home though. You wouldn't want to blend into the upholstery.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

today i'm loving: sock theory

It's been raining and freezing all weekend, and all I've wanted to do is stay curled up under my duvet, all warm and cozy. That could be why I am just loving Sock Theory today and all the cozy, adorable socks they have for sale. The ones I ♥ the most are these zip-up over-the-knee socks. They're just $5! Shipping might be more expensive. Must stock up on about a dozen then?

How cute are these pencil socks? It would be such a giggle to wear these under my staid black boots at work.

I'm also just enamored with these Japanese arm/leg warmers. Only thing is, I don't quite know how to wear these with shoes! Scrunched up over Maryjanes?

Man that last picture has me pining for green grass and sunshine. Spring, hurry up already!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

get your groupon: $79 sailing lessons

I love today's Groupon deal: $79 for two sailing lessons with Hudson River Community Sailing (valued at $180)! I think this would be such a great summer activity for couples and families. I zipped around the Hudson a few summers ago on my buddy Randy's speedboat and it is just amazing on a summer day. I can imagine that sailing would be sheer bliss!

I have to skip this deal because I have to focus funds on my 30 Before 30 Project. But I wanted to pass this on to my dear readers since it seems to be a pretty fabulous deal. Purchases are limited to two per person but you can buy multiples as gifts. It would be such a perfect gift for a boyfriend, hubbie or son, don't you think? Groupon has gotten enough buyers for this so the deal is definitely on, you just have to whip out the credit card and get yours! If you haven't signed up for Groupon yet, click here. I will have to be content with daydreams of sunning myself on a sailboat on this frigid and rainy New York Saturday!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

alice in wonderland

I spent a nice chunk of change to take my niece Nikki to see Tim Burton's Alice and Wonderland last Sunday, and truth be told, the only thing that thrilled me about the movie were Alice's outfits. I adore the blue, ruffled up, frothy concoction below. And I really loved the Vivienne Westwood-esque red dress she wore when she was working the court at the Red Palace. I was so obsessed I must've spent an hour scouring the Internetz for a picture but all I found was a sketch on WWD, as well as an interview with costume designer Colleen Atwood. Hats off to her!

Speaking of hats, I really badly wanted to like Johnny Depp's portrayal of the Mad Hatter. But I just couldn't. My friend Anne-Cecile put it best when she said he pretty much acted the same in Sweeney Todd, and I'd imagine it wasn't too different from Willy Wonka (if you just took out that lispy, Scottish accent). And that futterwack was just whack. Other than the amazing outfits, I found the movie rather dull to be honest. The most gripping character for me was the Queen of Hearts, portrayed wonderfully be Helena Bonham Carter. She still has me wanting to yell, "Off with his head!!!" at pretty much anyone who ticks me off.

Oh well. We'll always have the fashion ... 

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

thank you details

It's been awhile since I last obsessed about Robert Pattinson. I actually haven't touched the Twilight DVD in maybe half a year, and I didn't even cough up $14 to watch New Moon. I kinda forgot about him, really, while I went about with life. But when I saw this cover of Details magazine at a subway newsstand, it all came back full force. Sweet Jesus, he is one ridiculously good-looking kid. Though I'm still not coughing up the cash to watch his new flick, Remember Me.

Now, if you have nieces and daughters who are in love with Edward Cullen, I suggest you steer them clear of the Details shoot pictures. Quite risqué, definitely NSFW and styled to fascinate men, not teenage girls. The interview is actually a good read but I'm not posting the link here because I don't want my little sister clicking on it (I know you're old enough to know how to use Google, Katie, but DON'T DO IT). For all you adults out there, Google and read away.

Now to have sweet dreams of this bloody handsome fellow. Good night!

today i'm loving: sandra bullock

How can you not love a woman who can graciously accept an Oscar and a Razzie all in the same week? There are quite a few Sandra Bullock movies that I'm not too keen on (*cough* The Proposal *cough*) but I've always liked Sandra herself. And after seeing these two acceptance speeches for getting Worst Actress and Best Actress awards in the same weekend, I love her a little extra.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

today i'm loving: alice by temperley

I've long loved the exquisite clothes and accessories by Temperley but the prices are just too far out of my reach. Alice Temperley is a London-based, Central Saint Martins-trained designer who debuted her line back in 2000. Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightly are just some of her celebrity fans. Temperley's highly embellished creations cost a pretty little penny with dresses starting at about $895. To cash in on a younger, contemporary customer, Temperley has created a diffusion line called Alice by Temperley. While Temperley has a more feminine-vintage vibe, Alice by Temperley veers more towards a rock-and-roll meets vintage aesthetic.

I am seriously lusting over the red polka-dotted minidress and navy polka-dotted skirt from the collection but damnit, even the diffusion line's prices are out of my reach. The cheapest item in the collection (a jersey tee) ringing in at $95. Those with fatter pocketbooks might find these a bargain but I'm sadly not at that point yet.

I would love to have that entire outfit on the left to wear for a summer day at work that progresses into a night out in the city. And the red dress would just be lovely for a dressed-up Sunday brunch. A girl can dream right? 

Thursday, March 04, 2010

get your groupon: $45 for 4-week dance class + 4 dance socials

If I wasn't on a spending freeze, I would totally jump at today's Groupon deal: $45 for a four-week dance class and four dance socials at Dance With Me. I've been wanting to learn the Argentine Tango for years now but never took lessons. I was actually thinking of putting "Dance the Argentine tango in Buenos Aires" on my 30 Before 30 List but due to the lack of a dancing partner, I thought I'd save that for the 30 at 30 List that I'm almost positive I'll end up making!

As of 9:42 this morning, the deal is on with 100 people already. You have 6 hours to get your Groupon! You can only buy one for yourself but can buy multiples as gifts ... maybe for a potential dancing partner?

Have fun! 

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

must you rub salt into my wounds, vogue?

As if I wasn't already mourning my failure to purchase a perfect-fitting military anorak in Japan, now Vogue had to pepper its March issue with military fashion AND have that be the theme of the latest Vogue Shop the Issue at Gilt Group. B!tches.

"So, where to start is simple. Three things. First, you are going to see the color khaki (and it’s many other names and incarnations) everywhere this season (starting in March Vogue’s “Military Issue” spread shot by Mario Testino) and, second, it’s going to be fashioned for function in the form of military jackets, cargo pants and dresses that can do the day-to-night double time. Third, we are about to make it easy to add a few key pieces to your closet—right now. 
Starting tonight, you can shop the “Military Issue” feature from our March issue—and everything that goes with it—with the Gilt Groupe."
To borrow a quote from my friend Amanda: Somebody call the waaaaahmbulance.

To sign up for Gilt Groupe and shop the darn military-infested March issue, click here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

why i ever doubted military-style anoraks, i'll never know

This is reaching epic proportions. I seriously wanna whack myself on the head for not buying an anorak in Tokyo. These photos below taken by Jak and Jil's Tommy Ton for are making me want to implode with their fabulousness. Especially this first one. A military anorak and lace!!! I DIE, DIE, DIE.

And then there's this: anorak + fur fabulosity.

Seriously, there were so many fur-bedecked anoraks in Tokyo! Most of the time, over-thinking my purchases works pretty well for my bank account me. But on the rare occasion, it haunts me like this. *facepalm*

And now, a moment of silence to take in how Ms. Wintour deals with Winter.


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