Memories of New York: Food, Wine and Photography in the Big Apple


A week of cabs, skyscrapers, lots of walking and more people than I ever knew existed in the world and I would do it all over again!

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OK. I have to make a confession. Until this summer, I have never been to New York! I know! Can you believe it?  Thanks to my daughter, Layla, who had set up model photo shoots in New York, we decided to make this a mother-daughter vacation. What better reason to go!

Times Square is so beautiful at night with all of the hustle and bustle of tourists. This spectacular view you will see when you watch Good Morning America.



St.Giles, The Tuscany IS the perfect hotel to stay while visiting New York!

Although I had never been to New York, Layla had already visited once with a friend and they stayed at a The Court, a St. Giles Hotel in Midtown Manhattan so we decided to stay at the St. Giles Tuscany which is the sister hotel to The Court next door. This modern boutique hotel was just perfect and convenient  for a mother-daughter getaway.

Read more at Wine With Lisa!


Please follow this link to read more about St. Giles Tuscany Boutique Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.


The first two days in New York City, I followed Layla and her team around while she was shooting. Layla is taking photos on the streets of Bushwick in Brooklyn outside in the warehouse district. The graffiti made a perfect background for this photo shoot. I was so proud of Layla and how far she has taken her talent and skills as a photographer.

IMG_6624  At the stylist’s apartment in Bushwick, the crew is putting on the finishing touches on the model.


 behind the scenes during the shoot

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The second day, another photo shoot took place at Vandervoort Studio in Brooklyn in Williamsburg with two models. The roof top view was stellar!




A fabulous end to two days of shoots. Please check out Layla’s Photography website for more of her beautiful work.


Crispy Suckling Pig Face is on the menu!

 Maialino’s Fine Dining in NYC  is just a quick cab ride or brisk walk to the St.Giles Tuscany Luxury Boutique Hotel!

On a friend’s recommendation we dined at Maialino’s  , a new-fashioned trattoria just perfect for present day New York City overlooking Gramercy Park. Whether is breakfast, lunch or dinner, the menu is packed full of rustic cuisine of Rome and it’s surrounding areas. Their pasta dishes are amazing and I truly loved the warm Bagna Cauda with fresh vegetables. But, I have to tell you, the pig face was a treat! PORK LOVER’S REJOICE!  Testarella, which is Crispy Suckling Pig Face with Market Greens was all that and more! If you are into pork, this is the ultimate in “pigging out!” The very crispy skin and ears encased the sweet and succulent pork underneath. Nothing was left but the bones. And, the tiramisu was a delicious finish to a unique meal!

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The Chelsea Market has something for everyone. Lovers of food MUST GO NOW! The crab sandwich, lobster and all of the seafood choices were endless.

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If you love meatballs, The Meatball Shop is your place! I have made several recipes from their cookbook, but go to the restaurants for the ultimate meatball experience. Meatballs with marinara over warm and creamy polenta and the Buffalo Chicken Meatball sliders with creamy blue cheese sauce were just a few of my favorites. The Meatball Shop has several locations around the city so they make it very convenient for you!

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Bubby’s  Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes in the High Line District is another great find. The Chew with Carla Hall did a segment on this decadent blueberry pancakes breakfast last season and we just had to try this Americana restaurant right in the middle of this historic part of NYC. Check out the menu and old-timey soda fountain, you’ll be there all day!

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Recently, The Nashville Kroger Grocery Stores became home to Murray’s Cheese! We attended a  Mozzarella cheese-making class compliments of our Nashville District Manager for Murray’s Cheese and we had a blast. If you haven’t been to the Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker St., be sure to go on your next trip to NYC!

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We dined on Spanish paella, sangria and tapas at Socarrat Paella Bar located in the Chelsea District in NYC. As you know, I am a local Paella Chef with a business in Nashville, TN. We ordered all of our favorite tapas including pan con tomato, juicy sizzling chili shrimp and two paella,  fresh scallop paella and an earthy lamb and mushroom paella both with the perfectly formed socarrat. The sangria was refreshing with lots of fresh fruit slices.

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 Coffee and Wine

La Colombe Coffee in Soho is one of the best coffee shops ever. We discovered this just by chance and glad that we did! This coffee shop is amazing and if you don’t go there while in NYC, you are missing out!

How could I resist this wine? It was “calling my name, literally!”

While waiting for the cheese class to begin, I sipped on a tasty glass of an Argentinian blend  2009 Bodega Noemia, A Lisa, Rio Negro Valley, Patagonia. This wine is 90% Malbec, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot.

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We were happy campers on this trip! I can’t imagine why I waited to so long to go, but it was the right time for a mother-daughter getaway. This was my first but will not be my last. You see, Nashville has non-stop flights to NYC daily! I’m hooked!









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