New Beginnings

OK! Time to really kick this blog into gear. So much has happened over the last three months, the biggest being my departure from my role asĀ a buyer at Quality House Wines to transitioning to a full time writer (!) and client manager at VinePair, with two and a half weeks of pure bliss spent in France between the transition. The past five weeks at VinePair have been a whirlwind of positivity, surrounded by new bosses and colleagues with whom I jive perfectly, a staff retreat out to the North Fork (shoutout to Shinn Estate and Paumanok for being incredible hosts!) and my first press trip to Louisville, Kentucky to become more informed aboutĀ Bourbon. I find myself learning and writing more and more with each passing day, curiosity growing in unison with knowledge acquisition. Finally settled into my new roles, I am ultimately ready to sit back and enjoy the ride, always with a glass of something in my hand, and of course, my computer in the other, to document this journey each step of the way. Who’s with me?


Freshly Harvested Grapes at Paumanok Vineyards, 07 October 2016.


Happy Hour at Ilili

Working until 7PM poses frequent happy hour problems in my weekday schedule, being that most of them are just ending when I’m finally experiencing my workday freedom. Living in NYC, happy hours are crucial for those of us on a budget, especially when the desire strikes to try one of the classier bars/restaurants in town. I had plans all week to get a drink with my friend Ana Sofia, who works in Flatiron (I work in Midtown East.) While attempting to stumble upon a good spot in between our two workplaces, I found a plethora of hot spots I’d been wanting to try for awhile; Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, and Ilili, just to name a few. I checked out the Ilili website first, and to my utmost surprise, happy hour is until 7:30. I didn’t even bother going to the other websites– this was our choice.

Ilili is located on 27th and 5th, just a few blocks away from the Flatiron building. I’d heard a lot of buzz about this restaurant, specifically their delicious cocktails and eccentric twist on Middle Eastern cuisine. While the waiting area to be seated was a bit packed, I had no problem getting a seat at the bar at 7:15, just in time to get one round of happy hour drinks. The seasonal cocktail menu was brimming with some obvious summer favorites, including basil cilantro infused vodka, minty cocktails, and gin/elderflower creations. I settled on the Arabian Julep, bourbon based cocktail mixed with St. Germain, squeezed lime, and mint. The magenta colored drink was both tangy and refreshing; a perfect summer cocktail. Despite not being hungry, I ran my eyes over the small plates menu, which included Lebanese classics like hommus and falafel croquettes.

The trendy, bustling ambiance of Ilili is a definite must-try for any foodie or cocktail lover in New York. For those on a budget, stop by Monday-Friday between 5:30 and 7:30 for $9 cocktails and $7 house wine. Add a few bucks more for a Lebanese inspired small plate.