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We rather love The New York Times’ T magazine over here in Smith HQ. So I was honoured when they asked me to write some posts for their blog, The Moment. In the first post, I chew over that beloved of Mr & Mrs Smith boutique-travel topics, weekending – which to us, is boutique travel gold.

I actually spent two months in NYC at the end of last year, which was edifying and entertaining as you’d expect from that fine city. And it was mighty appetising too. So I thought it would be rude of me not to share some of my highlights starting with a celebration of some of my favourite places to eat, should you be weekending in Manhattan any time soon…

Breakfast Skip the queues for their bigger mealtimes at Balthazar and hit this French brasserie SoHo institution for an elegant fresh-pastried start to the day. Or if you’d like somewhere more intimate, pop to Café Gitanes for the best Café Creme and baked eggs. Both on the doorstep of the Crosby Street Hotel and the Mercer.

Brunch The artichoke dip alone is a reason to join LES hipsters and Village sophisticates alike at  Freeman Alley (pictured,right), a short walk from Cooper Square Hotel and the Bowery.

Coffeebreaks Grab a cup of Joe from Ninth Street Espresso in food emporium Chelsea Market – a fantastic winter rendezvous for food ogling. Or head to Stumptown Coffee in the Ace hotel. The stuff of legends and the hippest barristas in the world, surely? If you see a La Colombe on your walkabouts their capps and lattés are first-class too (pictured, left).

Linner OK, we made that one up for the window between lunch and dinner. But if you want a snacky late-afternoon meal, it’s dum sum all the way, baby. The soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant in Chinatown have to be up there with the best morsels I’ve ever eaten (pictured, right). To avoid having to stand on line to share a table, get there around 5pm. Not so far from the Greenwich Hotel.

Lunch or supper If you’re feeling carnivorous, it’s hard to beat a juicy lamb burger and thrice-fried fries at the Breslin, the rough-luxe Spotted Pig sister at the Ace Hotel. That’s if you haven’t tried the pork cheeks at Locande Verde in the Greenwich Hotel. Vegetarians if you’re blanching at all this, be assured that the Fonduta Ravioli with wild mushrooms and parmigiano reggiano and Pumpkin Agnolotti with brown butter, sage and amaretti were just as mouthwatering. To really live the Nu Yawk dream, head to secret restaurant du jour La Esquina. It may look like a Mexican diner from the outside (pictured, left).

We’ve also covered some top recommendations before, in our Inside NYC series of posts.

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