Friday, 25 November 2011

Flossie's Guide to Eating and Drinking in New York

I'm back from New York and was almost in tears on the flight because I was so sad to leave...and then I was in tears from watching really emotional movies.
I will miss the funny buskers on the 6 train with their dance routine to 'signed sealed delivered', the 24 hr availability for anything you want. The constant attention of "Oh my god...SUCH a cute British accent". Randomly walking past movie stars. Not getting lost. Going out for dinner on a schoolnight and ending up out in bars you couldn't find again if you tried. Brunches in Brooklyn. Being an uptown girl and all the amazing restaurants and food oh and of course..the shopping!
So since I did little work and lots of play I thought I would share with you the best places to eat and drink in my opinion.

135, North 5th at Bedford
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A French Brasserie style atmosphere and Paris inspired menu. Very hip, buzzy and fun on a Weekend.
Rooftop terrace for warmer months.
Amazing chicken sandwich and poached eggs.

5 Leaves
18 Bedford Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

This nautically themed cafe/restaurant was designed by Heath Ledger. Casual cozy spot with a homely and seasonal menu. They don't take reservations and get packed at dinner

The Smile
26 Bond St just off Bowery

I think this is my favourite brunch spot, it's really cozy, great to go for just a coffee too, very homely for Sunday breakfast with magazines and papers.
Their hot chocolate is yummy and they have tasty granola and berries as well as a really good sandwiches and smoked salmon.
It is just below street level so don't miss it.

9 Ninth Avenue

One of Keith McNally's greats in the trendy Meatpacking District. Featured in Sex and the City! Parisian Brasserie with distressed mirrors, brass railings and a newspaper rack, outside terrace...perfect weekend destination and people watching. But be prepared to queue if you don't have a reservation.

Grey Dog Cafe
90 University Place
242 West 16th St
244 Mulberry St

The Grey Dog is one of my favourite places to go. With 3 locations there is normally one not too far away. Always busy but a table free. Very homely, great atmosphere, menu that caters for every need. Perfect for meeting a friend for brunch lunch dinner or just a coffee.

The City Bakery
3 West 18th St

City Bakery is a very popular spot as it is part bakery, café, coffee bar and cafeteria. It has a great selection for lunch with delicious seasonal salads, soups, sandwiches and a weight pricing policy so you can pick and chose whatever you fancy. The hot chocolate is insanely good but very rich and they have lots of lovely pastries and coffee. Perfect for a quick lunch or coffee break.

Blue smoke
116 E 27th St Between Park and Lex

This authentic barbecue joint is mouth wateringly good. Sit in red vinyl booths and eat ribs, pulled pork, brisket and much more all smoked in a pit barbecue..delicious! If your a fan of soulful live music then the Jazz Standard club is below.

2 Lexington Avenue near 21st St

At the Gramercy Park Hotel, the Roman Trattoria Maialino (little pig). I did a trial shift here and was fed a little of everything on the menu and it was all totally delicious. From the pasta menu the best I tried were the Garganelli and the Malfatti al Maialino. It's busy and dimly lit with a salumi staion in the restaurant with a dining area as well as more casual seating on rustic wooden tables. Book ahead!

Pizzeria 28
28 Carmine St (West Village)
176 2nd Avenue (East Village)
196 Spring St (Soho)

Pizza in New York isn't very good, so when I met an Italian man who had lived here for 23 years I had to ask where the best pizza was in town. Well this is it, proper thin based, crispy crust, real tomato sauce and buffalo Mozarella. He was right, and its in 3 locations! Go go go.

The Fat Radish
17 Orchard Street and Canal St

British restaurant with delicious food. The one place in NY you can eat lots of vegetables. The menu is British inspired, fresh, seasonal from local produce. One of the best dinners I had! All dishes are created around the vegetable. Also a super trendy spot filled with beautiful people and a great atmosphere. Book ahead.

131 Rivington St

I LOVE Schillers! I have eaten there now many times and going again tomorrow night. It's very New York cool, trendy, noisy and fun! Busy every night so make a reservation. Inside the interior is white tiles, pillars, little tables and well stocked bar. The Mac 'n' Cheese is delicious as are the Moules frites and steak sandwich.

Lucky Strike
59 Grand St (btw Wooster and West Broadway) Soho

This casual shabby chic downtown bistro serves American, Continetal and French food. Good for parties, open all day, trendy for dinner or brunch. Generous cocktails and homely hangout spot

The Spotted Pig
314 West 11th and Greenwich St

English chef April Bloomfield has created an English and Italian influenced menu in this hip michelin starred gastropub. Their Gnudi is incredible as is the famous burger with roquefort and shoestring fries with fried garlic and rosemary. No reservations are taken so expect to queue, best to go on a weekday.
145 Avenue C at 9th St

Brazilian, South American restaurant. They make their own herby, salty oil which is served with bread when you order and its sooo delicious.
The menu has lots of light fresh tasty dishes and killer caipirinhas. Very friendly waiters and great atmosphere with live music some nights. Makes you feel like your on holiday.

775 Washington St and West 12th St
(West Village)

Casual neighborhood Italian Restaurant in an open garage space. Brick walls, open kitchen and delicious food. I ate the gnocchi with autumn squash which was incredible. One of the best Italians in New York, it gets busy so book ahead.

La Esquina
114 Kenmare between Kenmare and Lafayette

A 3 part Cafe, Taqueria and Brasserie. Reservations for the brasserie are made 3 weeks to the day in advance and you enter through a secret door in the cafe and are sent through the kitchen to enter the restaurant. Tequilicious cocktails and market fresh mexican food.

The Standard Grill
848 Washington St at 13th

Under the highline and part of one of the trendiest hotels in the Meatpacking district, this place is normally sprawling with celebs.
Busy American bistro...trendy trendy trendy!
325 Bowery

Cute restaurant, the pretty exterior brings you in and it's always busy with a great atmosphere. Perfect for lunch on a sunny day or dinner before a night out in the buzzy East Village. Very good deserts and I had delicious labne yogurt and granola for breakfast.

284 Grand Street (Between Roebling St and Hayemeyer St, Brooklyn

Inexpensive Italian home cooking in Brooklyn. Rustic, cozy atmosphere. Fantastic menu and delicious food. Great service from very friendly waiters.

Wilfie & Nell
228 West 4th between 7th Avenue and West 10th

Really cozy pub, serving proper pub food too. Great spot for a drink on any night or a casual dinner. Gets a bit raucous on the weekends.

Boom Boom Rooms
Standard Hotel
848 Washington St

Lounge bar and club. Famous for it's views, especially from the bathrooms where one wall is glass and you can pee while observing the bright lights of the city. Downside is that is extremely exclusive and you quite often need to be on a list to get in. Best to call ahead and find out or go for a drink before the masses arrive.

Dream Downtown Hotel
355 West 16th

This 12th floor bar is like a giant penthouse. Very swanky and incredible views of the city while you sip on cocktails. Expect to see very glam people rocking around with bottles of champagne and Jimmy Choos.

The Bowery Hotel
The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel
335 Bowery at 3rd St

Very cool Hotel = very cool bar. Velvet covered sofas, outside terrace, beautiful trendy people. Lots of fun on the weekends. See and be seen.

Blind Barber
339 E 10th

Barber Shop by day Barber Shop with a bouncer by night. Another NY speakeasy, walk through the Barber Shop and through a sliding door into the parquet floored bar with 20's style sofas and booths. Very good cocktails and Johnny Depp lookalike barmen. And up until 9pm you can get a haircut and a drink from the bar!

147 1/2 Mercer St at Prince St

Walk past the Mercer Hotel at 147 to 147 and a half and you will see two bouncers and a door coming off the street. This will lead you into an industrial elevator where you go down two floors. You then walk through small corridors with cleaning supplies, turn left past the boiler room then go through the big red door, one more corridor of wine and you into the promised land. Crazy dungeon style club, exposed brick. Busy and very surreal. Good luck finding your way out.

The Back Room
102 Norfolk st near Delancy
Lower East Side

Walk through a door, down some steps outside...up some more steps and you arrive at the door for the Back Room. Giant mirrored bar where all your drinks come in tea cups unless you have a beer then you get a brown paper bag around it. Good for an after dinner drink and if your very special the  back room has another secret back room which is fairly difficult to get into.

The Jane
113 Jane St between Washington and West St

Crazy Ballroom with staircase to upper bar, interior   is a bit like a cluedo murder mystery location. Fun music and always busy. Doormen can be tough so dress to impress .

75 Clarkson St

The Westway is an old strip club. It's slightly dive bar meets gentlemans club. It has stages around the place with poles for impromptu dance performances. Great music. Cool crowd and I saw the Olsen twins there so it must be cool.

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