The Food-Focused Bride: A Food-Filled Bachelorette

By: Cameron Curtis

From cheap eats to refined dining, my bachelorette weekend was incredibly food-filled, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. After spending the day at Spa Castle, a low-key and well-priced day spa in Queens, my bridesmaids and I drove to Flushing, Queens, which is home to a wonderful array of Chinese and Korean dining options. We headed to the Golden Mall, a market of sorts, with a food court in the basement. Not minding how completely out of place we looked dressed in swimsuit cover-ups, we headed straight to Tianjin Dumpling for $3 for 12 dumplings. The dumpling casing was thin and soft and, for myself, there was a vegetarian option filled with egg, greens and onion. They have a ton of varieties, including lamb, chicken and sea bass.  All in all with a side dish and some waters, four of us had an amazing lunch for just $18.

Around the corner from Tianjin was a bubble tea vendor. As luck would have it, it was buy one and get one free. We opted for coconut milk bubble tea to cap off our meal.

The next stop was a surprise. My maids dropped me off in front of the Dream Hotel Downtown where, unbeknownst to me, my fiance had booked me a room for the night so I could get ready and go out in style. Another one of my bridesmaids surprised me in the lobby and after a quick tour of the room, we headed to The Beach.

Sadly, it wasn't awesome weather, so we huddled under an umbrella and soothed our lack-of-sun sorrows with a Kelvin Slush, an all-natural slushie made right here in New York City.

Dinner that evening was at a restaurant I'd been dying to try for ages: Barbuto. Chef and owner Jonathan Waxman has published two cookbooks, and he has worked in the kitchens of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael's in Los Angeles. The menu at Barbuto focuses on Italian-inspired cuisine made from the best of what is local and in season. I knew that with its reasonable prices and stellar reputation, my bridal party wouldn't be disappointed with Barbuto.

We ordered everything from panzanella and crudi di zucca to pollo al forno and striped bass. And it wouldn't have been my celebration without a cheese plate for dessert.

It's a miracle I woke up for brunch the next day, after a late night out at the Dream Hotel's rooftop club, PH-D, but I couldn't miss the final event of my weekend -- brunch at The NoMad Hotel. It's beautiful to dine in the Atrium room, where the entire glass roof lets in amazing light. Bloody Marys were essential, and we tried both the Traditional (tomato, Worcestershire, celery and spices) and the Caesar (tomato, shellfish, lemon and horseradish).  The Eggs Benedict with Crab was a table favorite, along with some quickly consumed shoe string fries. It was all I could do to stay awake during brunch, but I'm so happy I did.

Now I better get back to all of those tips from the nutritionist -- the two-month countdown is on!

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