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Best of – Fourth of July Dining in NYC

july4Planning for July 4th has gotten a little bit tricky these last few years.  Ever since Macy’s moved its annual fireworks display from the East River to the Hudson, it’s difficult to see the show from most points in Manhattan, or for that matter, anywhere in Brooklyn or Queens.  But this is New York and we don’t let much get in our way of having a good time.  So we’ve compiled a list of ultimate places to eat your way through Independence Day this year — from a rooftop BBQ at Pera Soho to an all-day food fest on Coney Island, and even an out-of-city jaunt to this year’s sleeper, Thirty Acres, in New Jersey.

Pera Soho

Pera Soho
54 Thompson Street
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 878-6305

Fourth of July packages at New York’s best rooftop restaurants and bars tend to command a pretty penny, but a mere $35 buys access to the sexy small plates spot Pera Soho, and their Independence Day Barbecue & fireworks viewing party.  A Mediterranean-inspired spread will include Eggplant Dip and Lavash Chips, Lamb Adana, Fire Roasted Chicken Shaslik, and Black Cherry Crisp with Ice Cream, accompanied by $9 glasses or $35 pitchers of Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bellinis, Sangrias and Margaritas.  It sure beats fighting for a spot in the crush along the waterfront, or angling for a view of the fireworks from the window of your fifth floor walkup!

Red Rooster Harlem

Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Avenue
Harlem,New York 10027
(212) 792-9001

Marcus Samuelsson concentrates on classic comfort food at his expansive Harlem restaurant, so it’s no surprise that this Fourth of July, he’s paying homage to that all-American favorite, the Hot Dog.  But don’t expect your garden variety ketchup and mustard from the celebrity chef.  Try “The Midsummer,” a dog topped with shrimp salad, chili sauce and crispy onions, “The Banh Dog,” accented with sriracha mayo, cucumber, carrots and cilantro, or “The Mac,” loaded with cheese sauce, jerk bacon beans, cornbread crumble and pickles.  And since Red Rooster is within walking distance to Riverside Park (a prime spot for firework watching), we recommend ordering up a bunch of dogs to go, and having an impromptu picnic.

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Thirty Acres

Thirty Acres
500 Jersey Avenue
New Jersey,New Jersey 07302
(201) 435-3100

It’s not often we recommend abandoning New York for the Garden State.  But a fifth straight year of fireworks over the Hudson River means the very best views are in New Jersey.  So why not make the most out of the situation by reserving a table at Thirty Acres, the buzzy new restaurant in Jersey City?  Former Momofuku Noodle Bar chef, Kevin Pemoulie, serves market fresh dishes, like Octopus with Rhubarb and Garlic Scapes, and Pork Loin with Zucchini and Summer Peppers.  After dinner, you’d be wise to take a 10-minute walk over the Exchange Place, a 200-foot long pier and walkway at the foot of the Hudson, with killer views of the fireworks.

Nathan's Famous

Nathan's Famous
1310 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn,New Jersey 11224
(718) 946-2202

Why not make a day of   With the exception of  Spend a fun and food-fueled day on the boardwalk, starting with a plate of Dutch Pancakes at Tom’s, a sunny outpost of the famous 70-year-old diner in Prospect Heights.  Once satiated, elbow your way into the crowd to check out the 98th annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest (and feast on a frank of your own, if you can still stand the sight of one).  Once you’ve worked up an appetite again, head to the 100-year-old red sauce palace Gargiulo’s, for platters of Spaghetti Sorrentino and Crispy Veal Milanese.  And end the evening back on the boardwalk, for Coney Island’s very own fantastic fireworks display.  Take that, Macy’s!

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508 GastroBrewery

508 GastroBrewery
508 Greenwich Street
Soho,New York 10013
(212) 219-2444

This relaxed gastropub in Hudson Square will get you as close as possible to the Fourth of July action without having to pay hundreds of dollars on a ticket to a fancy viewing party.  In fact, they’re offering especially wallet-friendly Fourth of July specials, like unlimited Nachos, Wings and Beer for $48.  If you’d rather avoid crowds, you can always watch the fireworks on one of their flatscreen televisions, but you might as well pop your head out the door and view them from the street.

Recette

Recette
328 W 12th Street
West Village,New York 10014
(212) 414-3000

There’s no reason your Independence Day fun has to end once the lights fade over the Hudson.  Jesse Schenker is offering a celebratory, “After the Fireworks” menu at his West Village gem, Recette.  Try Salt Cod Fritters with Lamb Sausage Ragu and Curry Aioli, melty “S’mores” with Graham Cracker Ice Cream, Toasted Marshmallow and Hot Chocolate Ganache, and a Victory Prima Pils beer, all for only $18 — a holiday steal.

Distilled NY

Distilled NY
211 West Broadway
Tribeca,New York 10013
(212) 601-9514

Inspired by historic American Public Houses, this brand, new Tribeca spot serves fare that’s absolutely custom-made for Independence Day.  Try elevated comfort classics, like Dry Aged Beef Burgers with homemade Tater Tots, Country Fried Duck & Waffles, and Glazed Pork Ribs with Watermelon Salad, followed by throwback desserts, including Strawberry Cheesecake, Lemon Meringue Tarts and Apple Pie Soda Floats.

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Dream Downtown

Dream Downtown
355 W 16th Street
Meatpacking District,New York 10011
(212) 229-2559

Scene-y Meatpacking District hotels are not generally associated with particularly noteworthy eats.  Unless you’re talking about Marble Lane, a surprisingly legit steakhouse in the lobby of Dream Downtown.  It’s hard to imagine socialites and models feasting on Romanian Skirt Steak with Veal Glaze and Duck Fat Soufflé Potatoes, though you’re sure to spot some at the July 4th party at Dream Beach.  Situated between the North and South Towers of the hotel, the 4,800 square foot beach boasts a glass bottomed pool, imported sand, and a variety of specialty cocktails just for the holiday, like the “Stars and Stripes,” a blend of rye, zinfandel syrup, lemon, blackberry and soda water.  Afterwards, hop the elevator to PH-D, the bi-level rooftop lounge for a panoramic view of the fireworks.

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