I want to start out by saying that I have incredible people in my life. They make me feel so special and loved year round, so of course they went above and beyond for my birthday.
The festivities began the night before with two of my closest girlfriends (Nicolette and Courtney). It had been a while since the 3 of us had gotten together, so it was time for dinner and drinks. Since it was almost my birthday, they let me pick the location. Birthdays mean indulging, so I picked an Astoria favorite: Sugar Freak.
If you’ve never been, Sugar Freak is a NOLA restaurant on 30th Ave. The menu is full of fried and yummy southern treats!
We ordered a ton of food! We began with the Beignet Fried Chicken Sliders. Yes, it’s basically fried chicken on a fried donut covered in powdered sugar! Yes, it is amazing!
Nicolette opted for the Crawfish Mac and Cheese as her main, while Courtney and I shared Fried Okra, Charbroiled Oysters (Herb Butter, Special Chef’s Seasoning, and Parmesan Cheese), and Oysters Rockefeller (Roasted with Creamed Spinach, Bacon, Onions, and Parmesan Cheese).
For dessert, they surprised me with the fried hot chocolate and the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to me. It was both embarrassing and wonderful. Oh and the fried hot chocolate is INCREDIBLE! We aren’t sure what’s in it, but we assume it is beignets stuffed with chocolate mouse. It’s warm, cold, and satisfies a serious sweet craving.
Once home, Tom decided to give me my birthday present since we had to go to work the next day. No one likes to open an awesome birthday present and then head to work. He handed me a smallish box that contained my new camera, so we could continue to grow our blog and share our adventures. He made me cry. It was the most thoughtful gift. Also, the card told me bacon was healthy.. best birthday ever!
I thought the next day at work would drag on and on, but thanks to all the sweet treats from my coworkers it turned out to be a very sugary and productive day.
After work was the greatest treat of all. Tom made reservations for M.Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City! M.Wells is a super fancy and delicious restaurant in an old warehouse. The atmosphere is fancy with a funky flare. The perfect combination of hip and elegant.
On top of this place just being really cool, the food is awesome! We both started with the Wedge Salad (charred iceberg, blue cheese, bacon, and candied nuts).
For our entrees, I had the Lobster Steamed Buns (pickled kohlrabi and herb mayo) and Tom ordered Wagyu Flank Steak (pommes sarladaise, sauce au proivre). My mouth is watering just writing about this food. Every bite made us want more.
Review of M.Wells: 5 out of 5 stars! This place has everything you look for in a special night out. If you’re coming to NYC from out of town and want to try something different, definitely check this place out. It’s away from all the crowds, but has all the quality of a famous NYC restaurant.
We continued my birthday celebration on Saturday because Tom and I love any excuse to get our friends together.
I decided The Strand Smokehouse on Broadway was the perfect location. It’s a huge space with craft beer, moonshine, and a BBQ counter. It reminds me a little bit of being in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. Here are some pictures from our gathering.
If you’re looking for a fun place to just spend the day and hang out, The Strand really is a great location for that. Oh and the food is really good too!
Tom ordered the Brisket with a side of Mac and Cheese. I opted for the Smoked Kielbasa with a side of Mac and Cheese.
Moral of the story is I love food and I love my people! Thank you everyone for making my birthday really special.