A Night at the Ritz Carlton

Posted by in Brunch, Desserts, Macarons, Travel

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of spending a night in a Ritz Carlton.  This dream began after my dad took me for Sunday brunch at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta to celebrate a momentous occasion (of which I can’t recall).  All I remember about the experience was the lavish food; I’m talking about caviar, smoked salmon, sushi, lobster, charcuterie, antipasti, and French pastries.  I may have been 10 years old at the time.  And as you can imagine, my parents began refining my palate at a very early age.  I know very few children that would be delighted with a spoonful of caviar, but I was one of the few.  Even though I was young, I caught onto the fact that a meal at this hotel was not cheap, and a night at this hotel, would be exponentially more costly.

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My dad and me around age 8 about to cook some fresh lobsters.  I have fond memories of not only dining out with him, but also cooking!  Both of my parents heavily influenced my outlook on food today.

The idea of spending a night at the Ritz was a distant idea until I started traveling for work.  As most of you know, I’m in management consulting and I live 3-4 nights every single week in a hotel.  Yes, this lifestyle can be exhausting and I often times find myself questioning my career decision because I’m away from home so often, but one of the perks of this career are the myriads of points you receive.  I’m talking about airline miles, Amtrak points, and of course, hotel points.  It’s an incentive that keeps me going and allows me to afford vacations that I could never take otherwise.  As a Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite Member, I can use my points at any Marriott hotel AND any Ritz Carlton’s!  I can now “afford” to spend a night at the Ritz!

Since I live close to New York City, I recently decided on a whim that I would stay at THE Ritz Carlton Central Park Hotel that over looks the park.  The original plan was to take the boyfriend during my birthday weekend, but earlier in the year he got assigned to a project in Seattle so I ended up visiting him there during that weekend instead.  He’s there until the Fall and I really just wanted to do a fun weekend trip!  (Don’t worry B, I’ll still take you to a Ritz!).  So I called my friend Samantha who lives in DC and asked her if she’d join me with my first experience at the Ritz.  She agreed and here is our trip to the NYC, the Ritz, and some of our food in pictures!

I apologize in advance for the brightness of the photos.  I didn’t realize until the end of the weekend that I had turned up the brightness on the camera and it was hard to tell on the little camera display screen until I actually pulled up the pictures on the computer.  Since I’m in my hotel room with no photo editing software, these will have to do!

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Chocolate on the bed!

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When we walked in the room, there was Andrea Boccelli playing in the background! Talk about classy

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The bathroom was gorgeous!

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Samantha reading Vogue magazine in her bathrobe

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Posing in the hotel’s lush bathrobe

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Sam’s drink, which I believe was a Kir Royale

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Pim’s cup!

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A trip isn’t complete to New York without a fresh bagel with lox, capers, red onions, tomatoes, and cream cheese

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Piano man in the subway

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Weird dried fish in China Town

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Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant. I highly recommend it!

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Soup dumplings! We had to look at the locals around us to figure out how to eat them

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Scallion pancakes

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Taro pastry

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Red sesame ball

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Fresh frogs anyone?

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Sampler at La Maison du Chocolat on Madison Ave. Chocolate cake, raspberry macaron with chocolate ganache filling, and a delicate piece of chocolate.

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We were seriously such fatties. This is an afogato, which is essentially a scoop of gelato topped with a shot of gelato. Seriously delish!

Some of you may be wondering if I actually got to eat brunch at the Ritz in New York.  Unfortunately, they didn’t offer brunch service and the food was so ridiculously expensive there that Samantha and I decided we would eat elsewhere.  I think we ended up being happier grazing around the city trying different things out!