This past weekend, I was in an empire state of mind. Yup that’s right – another visit to NYC! It was a fantabulous two days – not only did I get to catch up with two of my best friends, I also got to test out my new NYC Tapas Experience Vivabox – a win/win situation!
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Sodexo and was asked if I wanted to try out one of their Vivaboxes, which is basically a super cool giftbox that comes in twenty or so themes ranging from a spa day to gourmet at home. Since I knew I was going to be in NYC at the beginning of August, I chose the NYC Tapas Experience Box.
So the creative part (and you know how much I love products with a WOW factor!) of the all the Vivaboxes lie in their two layer bundling. The first layer is a gift in the box that familiarizes the recipient with the theme (i.e. for the Tapas box, it was a bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette). The second layer is the gift card redeemable for the said theme. Since my set was for tapas in NYC, my giftcard was good for a meal for two (worth $100) at any participating tapas restaurant in the City (the box also comes with a handy guide to all the participating restaurants – including sample menu items and location). After pondering for quite sometime over all the quality choices, I decided to go with Boqueria, a chic and lounge-y eatery located in the heart of SoHo.
It’s always tricky to figure out the right number of tapas to order, but knowing that both of us get full easily and remembering the hearty dim sum lunch during the day, we decided to order 4 tapas for the two of us, plus a dessert to round off the meal. In the order of most liked to least favorite, the four dishes were:
Arroz de Tomates y Gambas (grilled prawns, crispy bomba rice, heirloom tomatoes, cheese, garlic, basil) My favorite of the night – the gigantic prawns were plump and juicy and the rice had a risotto like texture with the cheese. I loved the crispy crunchiness of the rice, which was perfectly cooked, and all the flavors meshed well together.
Churros with Chocolate Sauce (Dessert course: fried dough covered with cinnamon sugar) I love these crispy with a soft filling Spanish donuts. I thought the chocolate dipping sauce was a bit too rich but the churro can stand alone and be delicious
Calabacitas y Fresas (grilled petit squash, bacon, strawberries, basil). The flavor combinations rocked my socks! The sweet tartness of the mini strawberries contrasted nicely with the bacon pieces. Only qualm was that the grilled squash was as slippery as a snake, and kept slithering off the plate and onto the table (we lost 3 out of the 5 due to the uncooperative nature of the vegetable)
Bunuelos de Bacalao (salted cod fritters, served with citrus dressing) These deep fried fulsome fish balls were a bit heavy –and rather bland on the inside. The citrus dressing was a bit too tart for my tastes but it did give the fritters flavor.
Overall, I would say the experience was pleasant (ex-mushroom dish). The service was extremely friendly and attentive, the portions generous, and the price not outrageously high for NYC standards (our meal was about $70 before tip). I probably wouldn’t return for the food, but would definitely stop by for another round of the peach Sangria!
New York, NY 10012
Congrats #59! - carrisa
"Movie Experience since I am a movie buff"
Please email financefoodie [at] gmail [dot] com with your mailing address so I can send your prize!
Vivabox has generously offered to give one Finance Foodie reader their very own Vivabox! The winner can chose from the NYC Tapas Experience, NYC Museum Experience, L’Occitane Experience, Movie Experience, Coffee Time or Tea Time.
You can enter up to FIVE times:
1. REQUIRED: In my comments section, tell me you what box you want to try. (I’ve already tried the NYC Tapas Experience, but as a coffee lover, I think the Coffee Time sounds really rad too)
2. Follow Finance Foodie on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me this)
3. Follow Vivabox on Twitter (leave a separate comment telling me this)
4. Reblog / Retweet this giveaway (leave a separate comment telling me this)
5. Stumble Upon or Digg this giveaway (leave a separate comment telling me this)
Contest ended Wednesday August 18 at 5pm EST. Winners will be chosen via random integer generator on random.org announced on the financefoodie.com site shortly afterwards that night!