Tag Archives: cocktails


Dining Room, Chumley'sIn the dead quiet of Bedford Street at night, without even a sign to guide you, you might ring the wrong buzzer in your attempt to find Chumley’s, the historic NYC speakeasy just reopened as a full service restaurant. But just push the door of number 86, and it will open into a dark, wood-paneled dining room filled to the rafters with vintage book covers and portraits of the writers who wrote them – many of whom were Chumley’s patrons of years past.  (more…)

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Gooseneck Barnacles, Lupulo

Of all the cuisines available in New York City, Portuguese was probably not something you realized you were missing. Yet like the Eventi hotel it occupies, Lupulo, a new restaurant by Portuguese chef George Mendes, has sprung up on the overlooked corner of 29th and Sixth Avenue where seemingly nothing was before. The open space, defined by an a huge marble horseshoe-shaped bar under a hatchwork of interlocking metal bars and lights suspended from the ceiling, has a very European feel, as if you had suddenly stumbled into Les Halles on the way to Penn Station. Kitchen staff shuck oysters plucked from large piles of ice, the place buzzes with conversation at the packed bar, and the smell of saffron is in the air. (more…)

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Prolific restauranteur Stephen Starr has created many restaurants that loom large in our collective New York memory, but most are not memorable for the food. If you ever had a girlfriend who wanted a “Sex and the City” type experience when visiting New York, all you had to do was book a table at the latest Stephen Starr place. They were all consistently glitzy, sleek and populated with pretty young things. But now Starr has made an interesting match with chef Justin Smillie, who’s just as serious about food as Starr is about setting the scene.  (more…)

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Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Open Kitchen view 2, Chefs Club

There’s something to be said for good bones. Restaurant decor can go a long way in transforming an odd space into a good one – see Claudette, for example – but when you start with something as architecturally impressive as the interior of the Puck Building, you have more leeway in what you can hang on the walls – and put on the menu. It’s an unusual concept to open a restaurant that’s not the vision of any one particular chef or restauranteur but a magazine. Fortunately Chefs Club by Food & Wine Magazine gets a certain gravitas from the surroundings, whereas otherwise it might seem utterly newfangled. (more…)

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Brooklyn Crab

Dozen Medium Crabs, Brooklyn Crab

In Maryland, you have not had a true taste of summer until you’ve eaten blue crabs coated in Old Bay and served with a pitcher of cold, cheap beer in a shack right on the water. You get to this place by boat (often the fastest way), and spend the better part of an afternoon picking chunks of crab meat out of cracked shells. And yes, it is worth the effort.

Could there be a place like this in New York? (more…)

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Peche New Orleans

Fish Print, Peche New Orleans

So what is it like to dine at the best new restaurant in the country? Thanks to our New Orleans in-laws, we paid a visit to Pêche in New Orleans just before it won the James Beard Award. Book your dinner reservation around the same time you book your plane tickets to New Orleans, and you too should have no problem getting into this friendly, democratic but still fabulous institution.  (more…)

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The Elm

Interior, the Elm

There’s a certain sort of meal you expect to have in Paris – white tablecloths, foie gras, beautifully plated food and bespoke service – that unfortunately I rarely get to have. During fashion week I am too busy running around taking photos, and at the end of the day I often emerge rain soaked and generally unpresentable for fine dining.  (more…)

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Pizza Vinoteca

House Pizza and Nduja Meatball Pizza, Pizza Vinoteca

As restaurant names go, Pizza Vinoteca isn’t the most memorable. It’s the Italian equivalent of naming a restaurant “Restaurant.” But as restaurants go, it’s one worth remembering, because it’s an oasis of pizza- and wine-induced calm in the hectic Union Square area.  (more…)

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Back Dining Room, Narcissa

Narcissa is the new restaurant in an odd, L-shaped space that they said couldn’t be saved. When Sam Sifton reviewed the old tenant Faustina here in 2010, he praised Scott Conant’s food but said “no matter the meal, you will eat it uncomfortably…in what is unmistakably an institutional setting.”  (more…)

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Distilled Sign, Distilled NY

A popular, relatively new place on the main drag of Tribeca, Distilled fills up on a weekday night with people who seem to have made it their neighborhood canteen. Indeed, Distilled’s motto is “redefining the public house.” With its soaring ceilings, big glossy dining room set with casual four-tops and a bar that runs along the entire side wall, it has the feel of a modern day dining hall. But this isn’t just the place to load up on drinks and grub on your way to somewhere else. Distilled has the kind of food that merits a special visit.  (more…)

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Charlie Bird

Olive Oli Cake, Charlie Bird NYC

Charlie Bird: the name is like a catchy tune that everyone is humming. You hear it on the streets, you see it in the papers, until you too are thinking Charlie Bird, Charlie Bird, I’ve got to get there. And once you’re inside the place, the song keeps going, this time as actual music, not Charlie “Bird” Parker’s bebop but hip hop with a beat. Even the Conde Nast editor sitting next to me was bobbing her head in time, as were the post-production guys at the next table. This is a place that brings together New Yorkers from all walks of life.  (more…)

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Santaella, San Juan, PR

Dining Room, Santaella

On our second trip to Puerto Rico, we stayed in San Juan, where you have not just the beautiful beaches of Isla Verde but also the sophisticated restaurants that are part and parcel of a life in a big city. San Juan, founded by the Spanish in 1521, is a rambling mash up of old and new. In the Santurce neighborhood surrounding La Placita, a crowd comes out to drink and dance salsa on a Friday night, spilling out of the Taburna Los Vazquez and onto the streets, where you can go buy a mojito or a greyhound made with freshly squeezed grapefruit and stroll through the plaza.  (more…)

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Atrium Dumbo

Of all the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Dumbo is perhaps the most radically changed since the bad old days of early ’90s New York. Where there once were abandoned factories, artist squats and dark, deserted streets, there’s now a buzz of pedestrian activity, luxury condos and even a fancy florist taking up two storefronts. Atrium Dumbo is a sign of the times, bringing artisanal food and $13 cocktails to a once forlorn area right by the river.  (more…)

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Quality Italian

Returning to New York after a long trip can be a shock to the system, like stepping out of a perfectly ordinary afternoon and into a Baz Luhrmann movie. It’s the world as you know it, but bigger, louder, shinier, like an advertisement come to life.

Quality Italian is not just an Italian restaurant, it’s a very New York Italian restaurant, with a brashness that can wow you in small amounts or turn you off in excess. It’s helmed by Michael Stillman of Quality Meats, who opened this Italian spin-off in a bi-level space smack dab in the land of big business: 57th and 6th, home base for many financial firms, talent agencies and luxury brand headquarters. Many of these banking and business power players are already in the house, probably drawn to an upstairs dining room that’s hidden to any tourists ambling by on the street, where only the small downstairs wine and espresso bar are visible.  (more…)

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It’s hard to believe that Estela, the bright and airy new wine bar and seasonally-inspired tapas place on Houston Street, used to be the Knitting Factory, the alternative music space whose soundproofing consisted of sweaters stapled on the ceiling. All traces of grunge are gone, replaced with white marble countertops, globe lighting and brown leather banquettes more suited for a tête-à-tête than rocking out.  (more…)

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