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NYC's Most Unusual Restaurant Restrooms

Posted on Oct 18, 2010 in Best Of

Whether restaurateurs realize it or not, a restaurant’s restroom is an integral part of its appeal. It’s true. Women visit the restroom more frequently than men to “reapply their face,” take a little break from an unbearable first date, or well, go to the restroom.  But we all go. And depending on its level of cleanliness, comfort and charm, the restroom can make or break a dining experience.  Some are social experiences, while others are just plain entertaining.  Here’s a few of our favorites…. The Hurricane Club Address: 360 Park Ave. Phone: (212)951-7111 How often do you go to the bathroom and return with your shoes shines and a little bottle of rum?  I’m tempted to visit this new Gramercy tiki lounge just for the restroom experience, which happens to include a rum fountain with pretty decent rum.  But...

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New York's Best Beer Gardens

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 in Best Of

I don’t know about you, but I always associate fall with football and tall, frothy glasses of beer.  Luckily, the weather’s been nice enough to sit outside (or inside) and do just that.  New York not only happens to have great food, but also some terrific beer gardens with  an interesting variety of brews on tap and by the bottle.  Besides, it’s almost Oktoberfest and German-bent Radegast Hall & Biergarten and Zum Schneider, are two great e great places to celebrate the occasion. But we also love the rare Asian beers at Bia Garden and all the regional, Belgium beers at  Williamsburg’s Spuyten Duyvil, to name just a few.  Here our some of our favorites… Spuyten DuyvilAddress: 359 Metropolitan Ave nr. Havemeyer Street (Brooklyn)Phone: (718) 963-4140 If you’re a beer freak, this is a destination beer garden worth visiting. ...

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NYC's Best Late Night Eats

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 in Best Of

One of the many things that sets New York apart from any other city in America is its feast of late night eats and we’re not talking about dumpy, 24-hour diners. Only in New York can you get your favorite slice of pizza or impeccably fresh oysters until 6 in the morning.  Whatever your midnight craving, chances are somebody’s open for business and serving an admirable, and often creative, rendition til the wee hours of the morning.  There’s everything from chocolate fondue at Cafe Lalo to Matzoh Ball soup and oysters at Blue Ribbon to pork meatballs and homemade ice cream sandwiches at The Meatball Shop.   These are some of our favorites; each specialized in one simple dish with delicious results. This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef Address: 149 1st Ave, btwn. 9th St & St Marks Place...

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New York's Best Fall Dishes

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 in Best Of, Fall Foods, Summer

Fall doesn’t offically begin until September 22nd, but it’s starting to feel like summer’s already gone.  Many restaurants have changed their menus with an eye on fall.  That means plenty of pumpkin, zucchini, apples, brussel sprouts and meat.  There’s roast chicken with pumpkin pie, dinner and dessert in one, at Park Avenue Autumn, and exotic pumpkin soup in Queens.  For Oktoberfest, we recommend you head to Prime Meats in Brooklyn to feast on their vast array of sausages,  homemade sauerkraut and beer. Turkey Leg Sandwich – Henry Public Address: 329 Henry St., btwn. Atlantic Avenue & Pacific Street Phone: (718) 852-8630 You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to get your roast turkey fix.  Henry Public makes a turkey leg sandwich that just might be better than the turkey your family serves every November.  In keeping with tradition, the...

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Best of – New York's Summer Eats

Posted on Aug 15, 2010 in Best Of, Summer

What’s not to love about summer?  Of course, there’s the beach and the sun, and more importantly, all of the season’s fruits and vegetables.  Summer is practically synonymous with grilled corn, lobster rolls, citrusy ceviches and soft shell crab and the city’s filled with great ways to seize the last few weeks of summer. Red Hook Lobster Pound – Lobster roll
Address: 284 Van Brunt St., nr. Verona St. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (646) 326-7650It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago lobster rolls weren’t easy to come by in New York.  Lucky for us, there’s plenty of places serving terrific renditions of this choice seafood sandwich.  Our favorite is made by the Red Hook Lobster Pound, which uses fresh-caught lobster, literally right off the boat.  And it happens to be a bargain at $15, compared to some of the other...

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NYC's Gourmet Picnic Baskets

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 in Best Of, Summer

The dog days of summer are upon us, so we might as well take full advantage of them.  While everyone else is picnicking in the Central Park, why not throw a picnic on the High Line or even Lincoln Center?  Several of the city’s best restaurants and chefs have packed a basket full of homemade treats for you, some of which even include Frisbees or corkscrews to guarantee a fun afternoon outdoors. RG writer – Sam Dangremond Blue Ribbon Bakery Market Address: 14 Bedford Street, nr. Downing Street Phone: 212-647-0408 This Greenwich Village shop has packed up picnic feasts, designed to feed four. There are two feasts to choose from, including the Westsider ($175,) filled with an assortment of country pate, pork rillette, aged manchego, a choice of house-smoked red trout or smoked salmon, honey banana bread, maple-flavored sheep’s...

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Best Spots to Eat Oysters in NYC

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 in Best Of

There’s something enchanting about oysters: They’re elegant, sexy and undeniably summery.  Nothing embodies summer, like oysters and a glass of Chablis or rose.  And just like wine, no two oysters taste alike: The flavors vary depending on season and which waters they’re from.  Fortunately, New Yorkers have their pick of oysters from all over the world,  including our own backyard.   With last year’s fish shack trend, there’s never been more places to sample this year’s crop — everywhere from old school spots, like Grand Central Oyster Bar and excellent newcomers, like Marea and Marlow & Sons, serving up their own unique twist on the oyster. Mermaid Oyster Bar Address: 79 MacDougal St. btwm. Bleecker & Houston streets Phone: (212) 260-0100 We’re fans of the first two Mermaid outposts, so we were excited when Mermaid Oyster Bar opened in the...

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New York’s Best Iced Coffee

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 in Best Of

Most New Yorkers need their daily dose of caffeine, and nowadays there’s so many different drinks to wake us up. But in the summer, that blue & white paper cup of piping hot coffee is too much to bear on a scorching summer day.  This is high season for iced coffee.  The city has a slew of shops that raise the classic iced coffee to new heights. Our favorite newcomers & go-to spots roast internationally sourced beans, use the latest brewing gadgets and even make an espresso-laced drink out of horchata, one of Latin America’s favorite sweet beverages. Stumptown Coffee Address: 18 West 29th St., btwn. Broadway & Fifth Ave. Phone: (212) 679-2222 Stumptown is artisanal coffee at its finest.  This West Coast roaster opened its first New York outpost in the Ace Hotel last year and quickly gained a following of...

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Best of Summer's Frozen Sweets

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 in Best Of, Dessert

We all love frozen sweets, but often warm weather desserts are better fit for a kid’s palate.  But this summer, there are a slew of New York City shops crafting grown-up versions of all our childhood favorites. There’s everything from gelato on a stick to slushies-on-wheels and frozen hot chocolate.  The city can get scorching hot, so we’re thrilled to find these delicious, frozen escapes. 

People’s Pops Address:75 Ninth Ave. (inside Chelsea Market) Phone: (850)322-6071 Most people think of popsicles as those overly sweet treats stacked away in the back of the freezer, but the founders of People’s Pops want to change that notion.  Their ice pops (pictured right) are all handmade from fresh, locally grown fruit and sold at their shop in Chelsea Market and The Brooklyn Flea.  We love their creative combination flavors, especially the blackberry...

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July 4th Eats

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 in Best Of

Technically, the fourth celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but these days, the holiday is about the food and there’s plenty of ways to eat patriotically in New York.  Restaurants are getting in the spirit with   everything from red, white & blue potato salad to barbecue, pies, and of course, the grand daddy of all eating competitions – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. Nathan’s Famous – Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest Address: 13-10 Surf Avenue, at Stillwell Ave. (Coney Island) Phone: (718)946-2202 While it’s not quite the World Series or The Super Bowl, Coney Island’s 95th annual hot dog eat-off is an American athletic tradition too.  If you want to see for yourself, head over to this historic eatery on the boardwalk to watch competitors scarf down more than 60 franks in 10...

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New York's Best New Sandwiches

Posted on Jun 21, 2010 in Best Of, Sandwiches

Americans love to eat with their hands, especially in summer.  Warm weather lends itself to hot dogs, ice cream cones, milkshakes and fries.  No utensils required.  While the lobster roll holds first place as the quintessential summer sandwich, we’ve noticed plenty of new, inspired options this season.  And in a city as diverse as New York, you can expect lots of diversity.  Why eat another ham & cheese when you can try The Spotted Pig’s cubano sandwich at lunch?  New York offers everything from an Indian grilled cheese to General Tso’s tofu sandwich at No. 7 Sub in the Ace Hotel. Mile End – Smoked Brisket Sandwich Address: 97A Hoyt Street bet. Atlantic and Pacific avenues (Brooklyn) Phone: (718) 852-7510 Let the tourists flock to Katz’s, we think Mile End’s got the best “pastrami” sandwich in town.  This new,...

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Best Of Al Fresco Dining Around the Five Boroughs

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 in Al Fresco Dining, Best Of

Summer has finally arrived.  When you sit inside at a desk all day, the last thing you want to do is sit inside a restaurant at dinnertime.   Besides, one of the pleasures of summer in the city is dining outdoors under the stars or sunning yourself at brunch.  There’s a variety of atmospheres and options; everything from Crispo’s charming garden with cobblestones and a a running fountain to quirky tenement spots.   Take Max’s – an Italian haunt in Alphabet City that’s been around forever – with its charming backyard, complete with a laundry line hanging overhead.   There’s plenty of old & new restaurants to take advantage of the warm weather and fruits of summer all over New York. Motorino Address: 319 Graham Ave., nr. Devoe St. (Brooklyn) Phone: (718)599-8899 Most New Yorkers are used to dining elbow-to-elbow with strangers,...

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New York’s Most Prized Pies

Posted on Jun 6, 2010 in Best Of, Fall Foods

When it comes to desserts, New York boasts everything from organic ice creams to artisanal whoopie pies.  But we’ve never been known for our pies until just recently.  A new crop of shops & bakers have emerged from around the five burroughs with inspired, old-fashioned pies.  Not only has Pies & Thighs finally resurfaced after two, long years with their trademark, banana cream pie encrusted in chocolate shortbread, but also the Elsen sisters and their strawberry balsamic vinegar pie with a buttery crust at Four and Twenty Blackbirds and Alison Kave’s first-prize S’mores pie at Fatty Cue.   There’s plenty of quaint, new shops and eateries embracing the genre of thick-crusted American pies Two Little Red Hens Address: 1652 2nd Avenue, near 86th Street Phone: (212)452-0476 Better known for its artful cakes and elegant tarts, this Upper East Side bakery...

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Best of NYC — Lamb Crawl

Posted on May 24, 2010 in Best Of

Every meat has its moment and right now, it’s all about lamb.   April Bloomfield’s just as famous for her lamb burger at The Breslin as she is her beef burger at The Spotted Pig.  Walk into almost any  New York restaurant these days and you’re bound to find a lamb dish on the menu.   Newcomers like Balaboosta in Soho offer tastings of “lamb three ways” or BBQ lamb shoulder & ribs (pictured right) at Fatty Cue in Brooklyn.  We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites… No. 7 Sub – Braised lamb sandwich varieties Address: 1188 Broadway Phone: (212) 532-1680 No. 7 Sub is anything but your average sandwich shop.  For starters, the chef worked in one of Jean-Georges’ kitchens at Perry Street before opening his own restaurant in Fort Greene.  Now, he’s reinvented the “sub” sandwich...

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Best Soft Serve In The City

Posted on May 16, 2010 in Best Of, Summer

You never get too old for soft serve. There’s something about the sight of the ice cream truck and the snowy white swirls of vanilla soft serve on a sugar cone.   Nowadays, there’s a lot more options that just Mister Softee.  Soft serve’s gotten an artisanal makeover and places like Chickalicious are upping the ante with real, vanilla bean-specked version.   This spring, there’s everything from from ginger and passion fruit soft serve at Bar Breton to blueberry muffin at Momofuku Milk Bar, and even white sesame at Kyotofu. Kyotofu Address: 705 9th Ave Phone: (212) 974-6011 You don’t have to suffer a soft serve-less life because you can’t eat dairy.  This Asian dessert bar, located in Hell’s Kitchen, performs both savory & sweet wonders with tofu.   But their finest work is soy milk soft serve (pictured right.)  The...

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Not Your Average Delivery

Posted on May 10, 2010 in Best Of

One of the great advantages of living in New York is the fact that you can get anything delivered to your doorstep.  Whatever cuisine you’re craving can be on the table within the hour.   But dinner’s just the half of it.  What New Yorkers is the delivery possibilities are endless.  There’s local ice cream, farm produce, milk, and even seltzer. Milkmade Homemade Ice Cream The thing about ice cream cravings is you never know when one will hit.  Oftentimes, it happens late at night when everything’s closed and you’re in your pajamas, so you end up eating some generic brand that’s been sitting in your freezer for way too long.  Not anymore.  Milkmade is homemade ice cream, hand delivered to your doorstep.  Even better, membership-based company uses local ingredients in every batch of ice cream.  Every month...

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New York's Finest Ice Creams

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 in Best Of, Summer

New Yorkers take everything edible seriously.  We're just as passionate about ice cream as we are about burgers and French fries.  Ice cream shops come up with inventive, new flavors and combinations every year.   With all the ice cream-ologists on wheels, Mister Softee's got competition.  Chickalicious - Best Gourmet Soft ServeAddress: 203 East 10th St., btwn 1st & 2nd Aves.Phone: (212)995-9511Vanilla soft serve is one of life's simplest & most gratifying pleasures.  Mister Softee has lots of competition these days, but the one we'd watch out for is Chickalicious.  This is a whole new level of vanilla soft serve, specked & with vanilla bean.   I haven't even gotten to the unique toppings.  Forget sprinkles and peanuts.  Chickalicious has homemade hot fudge, shredded kataifi, pistachios, & dark chocolate pearls.   Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - Best Exotic Flavors Address:...

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Spring Menus & Al Fresco Dining

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 in Al Fresco Dining, Best Of

One of the best things about spring is dining outdoors.  Everyone has finally come out of hibernation to feast on spring produce, like ramps and rhubarb.  While some restaurants have to make the best of  seating on highly trafficked sidewalks, others have the luxury of beautiful gardens or outdoor patios.  We’ve scouted out a few of the best places to linger over ramps, asparagus, and citrus. Locanda Verde Address: 377 Greenwich Street, at North Moore Phone: (212) 925-3797 This Tribeca Italian not only has fantastic food, but also a stunning outdoor garden & patio that nearly rival the piazzas of Italy.  If Andrew Carmellini and Karen DeMasco’s cooking are reason enough to visit, now you can enjoy the spring sunshine with a huckleberry bellini or a citronata cocktail made with aperol, lillet, and aranciata.   The menu features grilled Mediterranean...

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Last Licks of Winter's Best Dishes

Posted on Mar 21, 2010 in Best Of, Summer, Winter Eats

Spring officially kicked off on Saturday, but it often takes a couple weeks for restaurants to switch modes and menus.  Which means that there’s still time to savor hearty stews, braised meats, and bistro classics.  We recommend you get your last licks of winter before spring vegetables replace root vegetables at the Greenmarket.  Sure, some dishes are menu fixtures, but we’d rather devote springtime to the short-lived season of asparagus and ramps while we can.   Bar Boulud and DB Bistro Moderne 1900 Broadway, between 63rd and 64th Streets 55 West 44th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues Phone: (212) 595-0303  Last Licks: Coq Au Vin or Braised Oxtail Consomme with Root Vegetables The French have always had a way with hearty, bistro classics, like cassoulet and tarte tatin.   And nobody does French better than Daniel Boulud.   Cafe...

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New York’s Best Tables for One

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 in Best Of

We all eat alone.  Whether it be delivery on the couch or lunch at your desk, sometimes foodie calls aren’t an option.  You can’t always grab a friend every time you’re hungry.   Unless it’s a burger at the local bar, most people still don’t feel comfortable dining out alone.  Some of of the best restaurants in the city are near impossible to get into, but for a party of one, take that seat at the bar and enjoy the people watching . By RG writer – Caitlin Decker Cafe Ino 21 Bedford st (corner of Downing) (212) 989-5769 Unlike the the majority of Jason and Jennifer Denton’s buzzing restaurants, this Greenwich Village eatery is a quaint escape from the stir of the city.   In true Denton style, there’s an impressive wine list and casual, yet creative Italian food.   Having been open more than...

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