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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Garage Restuarant – Live Jazz

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Picture 11

Is Greenwich Village’s best casual American restaurant, outdoor cafe, and Jazz Venue; featuring the rich tones of exposed rafters, brick walls. inlaid wood floors and a double story stone fireplace. Multi-level dining allows everyone to have the best seat in the house.



Friday, December 18th, 2009

Emphasizes the history of the Village – from wealthy Victorian neighborhood to 20th century bohemian center– and its personalities, from Washington to Bob Dylan. Historical stops include the Washington Square Arch, Minetta Lane, Patchin Place, the Jefferson Courthouse Library and Grove Court. Along the way, a sampling of desserts, from Lilac chocolate to Italian saviodi. Come prepared with an appetite for history and things sweet.
Private tours available by appointment.
Schedule subject to change.

Public tour rate: $22

Reservations and Meeting Place: 212-465-3331

Best New York Iconic Food

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Everybody who visits New York knows that they have to try: pizza, hot-dogs, falafel and dumplings. These are iconic dishes that you absolutely cannot miss while staying at L-hostels. And, besides, in recession times, they are a great way to keep your wallet thick not thin…and you not hungry and satisfied!!!


Dumpling Man
100 st. Marks Place (East Village)


Have them steamed or seared. They are absolutely delicious. Try sweet version, golden coin with bananas. Price range : 1-8$. Personal recommendation. (I can eat them everyday and never have enough!!!)

Surprisingly or not (It depends whether you support food chains, organic or just purely commercial) Whole Foods on Houston (between Bowery and 1st street) has amazing vegetable dumplings (6 for 6 $). What is more, you can sit upstairs and have a magnificent view of Lower Eastside and legendary poet area Bowery.

Joe’s Pizza
Dough technician Joe Pasquale has perfected the thin-crust slice ($2.50). It’s well charred, with zesty tomato sauce and a blanket of fresh mozzarella. 7 Carmine St between Sixth Ave and Bleecker St.


Shake Shack
Instead of a burger, opt for the Shack-cago Dog ($4.25). The plump Vienna beef frank is placed on a poppy bun with cucumber, onion, tomato, celery salt and relish from local outfit Rick’s Picks. Madison Square Park, 23rd St at Madison Ave (212-889-6600, shakeshack.com) • 366 Columbus Ave at 77th St (646-747-8007)

Katz’s Delicatessen

These all-beef wieners ($3.10) swell and crisp till taut on a well-seasoned grill, requiring little more than a mustard smear. 205 E Houston St at Ludlow St.


This category, in my New York-focused opinion, nothing can beat Mamoun’s.
No fancy toppings here: Moist, perfectly seasoned fritters don’t need more than cool tomato, lettuce and onion, milky tahini and a squirt of hot sauce. Best part? It’s $2.50. 119 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-674-8685, mamounsfalafel.com) • 22 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves.
(Sometimes you have to wait and wait but it is so worth it!!!)

Best Touristy Dates

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Last edition of Time Out magazine offers some great options for dates with tourists and people who live in the city. Some suggestions are pretty handy but I would like to add my own few words to that whole idea being a long time tourist, as well.
Times Square
Shed your sense of shame and head to Hershey’s Times Square (1593 Broadway at 48th St; 212-581-9100, hersheys.com) to purchase the sweet stuff and post a saccharine message to your beau on their outdoor scrolling marquee, just ask a shop assistant and they’ll direct you to the counter where you can display your love in bright lettering for 15 minutes for only $1.95. (Hershey – an icon of American chocolate goods, do not miss that).

Eat your sweets in the pedestrian area’s garden chairs (Broadway between 42nd and 47th Sts) and compete to spot the most tourist faux pas–loser buys the drinks at the Marriott’s View Lounge (1535 Broadway at 45th St; 212-704-8900, marriott.com). (I highly recommend not to order food there because it is super overpriced and massively disappointing. You can meet your date, and just kidnap her few blocks away from there where prices fall and everything becomes more and more authentic.)
However, Euro-cheese karaoke lounge Pulse is an interesting cultural melange (135 W 41st St between Sixth Ave and Broadway; 212-278-0988) and sing your favorite songs in your favorite foreign accents.

Chelsea Hotel
Chelsea Hotel which was a theme in Leonard Cohen’s songs, place where Sid Vcious used to wander, Eric Clapton had his one night stands, and Andy Warhol dwelt with his factory people (222 W 23rd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves) recently revived monthly tour (July 30 11am, $40). Grab some Beat lit from Skyline Books (13 West 18th Street between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-759-5463; skylinebooks.com) and read to each other in Chelsea Park (W 27 to W 28 Sts between Ninth and Tenth Aves; nycgovparks.org). Once your thumbs are sore from clicking, head back to the basement of the Chelsea Hotel for a drink in the Star Lounge’s Room 100, named after the suite where Sid and Nancy’s love ended. Maybe it’ll be the place where yours begins. And if not at least you can show off to your friends that you inhaled the air of rock&roll era that is gone…

Central Park

Strap on your fanny pack and do Central Park tourist-style. New Yorkers rent rowboats, outdo them with by making a reservation for a Venetian Gondola tour of the Central Park lake (212-517-2233; $30 for 30 minutes). Grab yourself a hot dog from a vendor, pay no less than $3 and announce loudly “this is so New York.” Flee your embarrassment and take a long meander south (tourists get lost y’know) and hop in a horse-drawn carriage (they line up along Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; $34 for the first 30 minutes,$10 for each additional 15 minutes), make sure you heckle the joggers. Get a memento of the day with a cheesy caricature in the south-east corner of the park.

Personal Brunch Guide

Friday, June 26th, 2009

This week edition of Time Out New York presents a list of variety of brunch spots in NYC. I decided to present my own personal list of 10 places with brunch to die for. (Order the restaurants are presented in, is completely random.) It’s Summer, brunches outside are so nice and as I always say it is almost a religion for New Yorkers to have them. Be a New Yorker this weekend, enjoy your brunch!!!


253 W 11th St
That part of 11th st. almost until Hudson river bank is really magical. Reminds me of Paris. (Marc Jacobs store, Magnolia Bakery, Bookstore that is amazing and many more). Tartine is a small sense of France in West Village. When you sit outside, you never know who you can see on the street (few weeks ago I saw Willem Dafoe). It is simple French cuisine, big portions, very good coffee. Be ready to stand in the line, especially if you want to sit outside. (pastries are amazing).

Radegast Beer Garden
113 N 3rd St
(between Bedford Ave & Berry St) Williamsburg
Jumping to Brooklyn now, but it is only one stop from Manhattan by L train. I am from Easter Europe, so Radegast’s brunch is really to my liking: crispy dumplings, potato pancakes, French toast with such lavishness of fruit that it takes your breath away. Bloody Mary – amazing if bartender in charge is in good spirits, otherwise wasabi in it can kill Terminator:) Really nice vibe in the big room, especially from 1 pm – 3 pm, before the real crowd comes.

Greenpoint Coffee House

195 Franklin St
(between Freeman St & Green St)
From Williamsburg to Greenpoint, it’s just minutes away.
I would say, come there for two reasons, French toast which is absolutely something else that you might expect and its pure delicacy accompanied with compote. Music is always surprising, so even if the food does not meet your expectations, you will be waiting anxiously for the next song to come. Oh, one more recommendation eggs with avocado, DELICIOUS!!!

135 N 5th St
(between Bedford Ave & Berry St)
Back to Williamsburg. One of the reasons to be excited about having brunch is the opportunity to sit outdoors and have a nice view. There is no place better for that than Juliette with its beautiful interior separated from the street with only glass wall and the rooftop terrace. Food is so, so but it is the best opportunity to watch Hipster Wonderland from the above and feel the Summer breeze.



Continuing in Willyburg. This is one of my absolute favorite places. They have the garden, which is open even in winter. The owners are French, smiling and super friendly. Simple French food again, but super nice atmosphere, cheese plate absolutely worth trying.

Roebling Tea Room
143 Roebling St
(between Hope St & Metropolitan Ave)
This is one of my long-time favorite places in Williamsburg. Located in a spacious loft, high ceilings, bar in the middle of the room, one side tables, the other comfy couches, chairs, kind of lounge style. This place is super spacious, classic brunch with unusual elements. (pickles to die for). Interesting crowd, can get too crowded sometimes.

88 Orchard
Now, Lower Eastside. This place isn’t super cheap but it has a great modern cafe vibe, located in the heart of LES, very cozy corner. Great coffee, variety of sandwiches, cookies, eggs. Good salads, nice staff.

Cafe Colonial
Very convenient corner of Elizabeth st. and East Houston (border between Soho and LES). This place is so calming with its blue interior and nice exterior with tables outside:) They surprised me with the variety of food they offer for brunch. It is by all means so much more than eggs, eggs, eggs…Sandwiches – mouth watering, basil mayo so good.
Simple Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich – very good!!!! Coffee – Brazilian Paradiso. Just follow your inner Samba and come here.

Coffee with Alice in Rabbit Hole

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


The weather today, I would say without offending anyone, is very European but brings back fresh Spring vibe. There is no sign of torrential rain today. (Yesterday many people fell victim of it, with painful or rather super wet consequences), therefore I would like to convince you to take a ride to Brooklyn and visit a place just below Williamsburg Bridge; Rabbit Hole. It is one of those seemingly dark looking places which reveal their charm when you go inside. Unexpected music choices, hip people, plenty of laptop users (free WIFI), amazing coffee, really good Morning Glory Muffins, which are the base of healthy breakfast around NYC lately. You can smell that Alice and Rabbit might have visited the cafe recently. You get out, and here you are on Bedford Avenue with so many entertaining choices to have fun . So take a train, and enjoy the Willyburg.

The Rabbit Hole has a bakery in the basement, from which the scent of freshly baked goods will reach your senses and make you smile inside…and the taste…absolutely Wonderland…you may grow taller or be small enough to enter the keyhole. (Please re-read “Alice in Wonderland”, if you are getting confused.)

Rabbit HOLE
352 Bedford Avenue (corner of South 4th St.)
Take L train to Brooklyn, get off at Bedford Avenue Station and just walk south Bedford Avenue. It is a very enjoyable walk, lots of cafes, boutiques, bookstores and hipsters strolling around in their cool attire.