I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of New York City lady bloggers this week!
Big shout out going to Ashley who has kept up with Scott and I’s crazy journey enough to invite me to join, now that we live in her neck of the woods.
Our group of healthy and wellness bloggers was treated to a complimentary evening of special (healthy) dishes and drinks put on by Gilt City and La Palapa. Their goal was to show that Mexican food doesn’t always have to be unhealthy and indulgent, and the chef put together a stellar one-of-a-kind menu filled with authentic, healthy Mexican dishes just for us.
La Palapa Cocina Mexicana is located in the East Village (St. Mark’s Place), and is highlighted as one of the best Mexican restaurants in NYC.
Before we arrived, we were sent a detailed preview of the dishes that were going to be served. I was really looking forward to diving into all of the unique pairings and samplings!
I arrived close to 7 p.m. and was immediately greeted by friendly smiles from both the owner and chef, Barbara, along with our contact from Gilt City. They set us up in an intimate dining area in the back of the restaurant and didn’t waste much time in explaining the menu.
Barbara had an interesting story! She moved to New York City over twenty years ago to attend business school, started serving at a couple of restaurants, fell in love with the restaurant culture, and eventually decided to pursue her calling to become a chef. She has a clear passion for her work and a genuine Mexican background, as she grew up in Mexico!
We were told to come hungry, and I only wish I had more room to put all of the delicious food that landed in front of us. Servings were plentiful, that’s for sure.
Kicking things off on an adventurous note, we started our dinner with fried crickets on the side of chips and guacamole with Sangrita Verde y Tequila, or tequila and fresh mint with a cilantro jalapeño chaser. I wanted to at least sample everything, so I did my best to try it all.
I’m sure Scott would have been disappointed, however, to find out that I didn’t go for the crickets. Maybe next time after more tequila?
Next up was a fresh bowl of Gazpacho Moreliano with mango, jícama, and pineapple with chile piquín. It tasted extra fresh with a punch of unexpected flavor from the chile powder. Yum!
My favorite part of the meal was the chalupas.
They were labeled Chalupas de masa verde, cactus masa boats with three fillings (Rellenos: Huitlacoche, Canarios, Plátanos con mole negro), and each one had a completely different flavor and texture. The red sauce in the middle was especially fantastic!
One thing we weren’t short of throughout the night was beverages. It felt like every time I looked in front me there was something new to sip. We started dinner with a hibiscus refresher, quickly followed by a pineapple and nopal margarita (pictured below).
I remember being completely stuffed for the tacos (fish tacos with achiote and Mexican squash tacos with mint), but of course, I took a few generous bites while chatting with the table.
We were offered a round of Mexcal Jolgorios before dessert, and at that point we were wishing it was a Friday night instead of a Monday! I think all of us skipped the drink, but no one could say no to dessert. First came Guayabas al Azafrán, or guavas with saffron. Oh my goodness. The guavas were drenched in something magical and seemed to melt right in my mouth. So good!
Finishing things of strong was the Nieve de Jamaica, or hibiscus sorbet which tasted completely homemade and the perfect palate cleanser to leave with a full, content belly.
I had a wonderful time getting to know other healthy living bloggers in the area, and I am looking forward to attending more gatherings in the future!
Thank you so much, La Palapa and Gilt City, for hosting an incredible dinner!
La Palapa + Gilt City Special Offer
If you’re going to be in the area in the near future, I’d love to share an awesome deal going on at Gilt for the next week.
Click to choose between a weekend brunch for two, a four-course dinner for two, or private dining package for ten at a discounted rate!
Sorry if all of this wonderful food made you hungry.
(I know my mouth is watering over here …)
I hope you are all having a great day so far, and I’ll see you back here early in the morning with Friday Favorites!
• What is your favorite type of food?
• What would you want to try the most on this menu?