Posts Tagged ‘Harlem’

Enjoy the Last Weeks of Patio Dining and Drinks in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Now that Hurricane Florence has finally passed and glorious weather is upon us, it’s time to dine outdoors again while the temperatures are still lovely. Here are some wonderful restaurants and bars with patios perfect for people-watching and soaking up the rays in these last few months before fall hits.

Brooklyn

Pig Beach, 480 Union St. Gowanus; www.pigbeachnyc.com

Pig Beach is the critically acclaimed outdoor barbecue restaurant located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn from Chef Matt Abdoo (Del Posto) and award-winning barbecue teams, Salty Rinse and Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe. The all-star team here brings an eclectic barbecue-focused menu to the Gowanus waterfront showcasing barbecue varieties from around the United States. If you’re chilly, there’s also a large indoor space, now open year-round. Come here, first, for a canoe trip on the Gowanus – it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget.

Gran Electrica, 5 Front St. DUMBO; http://granelectrica.com

Another Brooklyn favorite, Gran Electrica is the Bib Gourmand Mexican restaurant located underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO. Gran Electric offers an authentic and market-driven Mexican menu inspired by traditional Mexican street fare. From hand-pressed heirloom corn tortillas made daily stuffed with lengua, cilantro, onion and radish, to day boat scallops marinated in aguachile, the cooking shows diversity of the many regions of Mexico. The beverage program incorporates Mexican flavors with seasonal ingredients and also features an expansive agave list with more than 50 types of tequila, mezcal, racilla and sotol. The large outdoor area has a breathtaking view of the Brooklyn Bridge. To get here, rent a Citi Bike from Chinatown and bike over the Manhattan Bridge.

Sauvage, 905 Lorimer St, Greenpoint; www.sauvageny.com

Sauvage, meaning wild in French, is a neighborhood restaurant in Greenpoint, founded by the team behind James Beard Award-winning oyster bar and cocktail den Maison Premiere. The decor, cocktails, and wine all add to the restaurant’s distinct dining experience, creating an outdoor “natural” environment with a lush profusion of planted herbs and botanicals filling the restaurant. Facing nearby McCarren Park, the sun-filled restaurant has a lovely outdoor seating

Manhattan

The Smith Restaurant & Bar, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side; https://thesmithrestaurant.com

The Smith offers a wonderful choice for patio dining after an evening at any of the ballet, music and theater venues at Lincoln Center or Jazz at Lincoln Center on Columbus Circle. Under the direction of Executive Chef Brian Ellis, The Smith’s menu features bistro classics and seasonal fare from local farmers and purveyors. The restaurant has a popular craft cocktail program with house-made ingredients featured and an extensive wine selection which includes more than 20 wines by the glass or carafe.

Bowery Road & Library of Distilled Spirits, Union Square;

www.boweryroad.comwww.libraryofdistilledspirits.com

Taking its inspiration as well as ingredients from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, Bowery Road is an all-day restaurant serving market-driven fare from Chef Ron Rosselli.  Some of the seasonal appetizers include pinto bean hummus with mole spice, seeds and flatbread; roasted carrots with pine nut cream and garlic-honey vinaigrette; marinated beet salad with avocado cream, pomelo, hearts of palm, and almond dukkah. Main courses mix vegetarian with meat-centric choices such as the Union Square Market grain bowl with farro, quinoa, lentils, avocado, broccoli, mushrooms, and sunflower; or Niman pork adobo with mango, radish, onion and corn crepes.

Together with adjacent craft-cocktail destination Library of Distilled Spirits, where more than 1200 different spirits are offered, Bowery Road gives a Manhattan sidewalk-patio dining experience that’s unusual in its spaciousness. Happy hour is popular here as a stop en route to the nearby subway hub, serving up a menu of well-priced cocktails, wines , beer and a shareable bucket and beer filled with fried chicken, two draught beers and snacks.

Vinatería, 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd., Harlem; www.vinaterianyc.com

At this beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant, market-driven and vibrant dishes celebrate the rich culinary traditions of Italy and Spain. Cult favorites like spicy veal meatballs with creamy parmigiano polenta, or fresh rosemary pappardelle with lamb ragu attract a clientele of both locals and visitors. Vinateria’s expansive wine list is chosen from small producers and is full of surprising yet accessible finds, while the artisan cocktail program uses house-made tinctures, seasonal produce and fresh-grown herbs from the restaurant’s own garden. A large outside patio wraps around the restaurant (a corner building), seating 40.

Tavern on the Green, Outdoor Courtyard, Upper West Side; www.tavernonthegreen.com

Tavern on the Green’s outdoor courtyard is the perfect Central Park location for brunch, lunch, and dinner under the soft glow of string lights. Seasonal dishes from Chef Bill Peet include seared yellowfin tuna nicoise salad, miso marinated glazed marrow bone, wild mushroom toast on brioche, and smoked salmon tartine, with trout caviar. The bar at the top of the courtyard offers a separate setting for beer, wine, and cocktails such as white peach sangria, and the refreshing Hot as a Cucumber craft cocktail made with vodka, jalapeño, fennel, and cucumber. Enjoy a wonderful walk in the park to get here – the restaurant is located off Central Park West at West 67th Street or via the interior roadway encircling the park.

Really Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Reservations Still Available

If you’re like me, you often forget to book a reservation until the last-minute, or suddenly guests appear and you need more space so dining out works better. For all who find themselves in situations like these, here are a dozen great choices in New York City still offering Thanksgiving meals, with choices reflecting the wonderful ethnic diversity of our city.  Happy Turkey Day!

The East Pole on the Upper East Side offers a full American-inflected Thanksgiving menu. For just $85 per person, you’ll enjoy a three-course meal along with sides for the table and an optional four-course wine pairing for $45. Starters include options like Wild Mushroom & Ricotta Crostino with Truffle Oil & Herbs; or Black Barley Risotto, Autumn Squash and Goat Cheese Sage.  Entrees include Heritage Turkey Breast, Roasted Chestnut Ragu and Butternut Squash, or Seared Diver Scallops with Carrot Ginger Mash and Fig Salsa.  Dessert are traditional Pumpkin Pie as well as Goat Cheese Cake. http://theeastpole.brinkleyspubs.com/

Moving East, Tikka Indian Grill in Kew Gardens (Queens) and Williamsburg (Brooklyn) is serving an Indian-inspired version of traditional American fare with a prix fixe, three-course menu for $16.95.  The meal begins with a plate of savory street food. The main course features Tandoori-grilled Breast of Turkey, infused by Indian spices together with sautéed pumpkin and zucchini, and garlic cilantro rice. For a sweet finish, dessert is a traditional Saffron Zarda, a rice dish infused with sweet spices.  BYOB. http://www.tikkaindiangrill.com/

Michelin-starred Rebelle takes you to Paris with a menu referencing classic French dishes and techniques with a nod to Chef Eddy’s time at Spring in Paris. The $78 per person prix fixe menu includes a choice of Kale, Apple and Walnut Salad or Roasted Squash with pears and brown butter for appetizers; Roast Beef, Pan-seared Halibut or Roasted Turkey as a main; and a section of appropriate side dishes such as Foie with fat, Stuffing; Traditional Stuffing; Green Bean Casserole; Sweet Potato Brûlée, Brussels Sprouts with lardons, or roasted mushroom. Served family style, desserts include traditional Thanksgiving favorites, apple, pecan pie or pumpkin pie.  http://rebellenyc.com/

At beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant and wine bar Vinateria, owner Yvette Leeper Bueno and Executive Chef Joshua Bedford will bring a  three-course menu featuring dishes like Roasted Baby Pumpkins stuffed with lamb sausage and farro; Grilled Sardines with lemon and olive bagna cauda, Whole Grilled Dorade with bitter greens; Roasted Leg Of Lamb with saffron cous cous and port reduction; Roast Pennsylvania Duck with toasted chickpeas, red watercress and warm spices; Warm Fig Tartlet; and Lemoncello Tiramisu. www.vinaterianyc.com

We’ll toast with Margaritas this Thanksgiving at the Thanksgiving Fiesta at Rosa Mexicano. It’s a three-course Thanksgiving Fiesta  for $40/person, featuring Sope de Calabaza: pumpkin soup garnished with pomegranate and toasted pepitas; a choice of two entrees: Chile ancho-roasted turkey with choice of mole xico or traditional gravy served with four sides, including Cranberry Salsa, Sweet Plaintain-Huitlacoche Stuffing, Mexican Chorizo Potatoes and Fall Roasted Vegetables, or Enchiladas de Pavo with pulled roasted turkey, topped with mestiza crema and orange-spiced crispy Brussels sprouts; and Empanadas de Manzana for dessert, filled with apples and cranberries and topped with vanilla ice cream. Guests can imbibe a special Thanksgiving cocktail: Blood Orange Cranberry Margarita with housemade cranberry bitters.  www.rosamexicano.com

This Thanksgiving, Michelin-starred chef Eduard Frauneder is serving an Austrian-inspired Thanksgiving feast at the Village’s Edi & the Wolf for $63 that includes. Choose Blue Hubbard Squash Ravioli, Salad with Boursin and acorn squash, or Potato Leek Soup to start. Your entree will be either a traditional Roasted Turkey with stuffing or Braised Short Rib with pommes puree, chanterelles and garlic brown butter. For the table, you’ll enjoy maple whipped sweet potato and roasted Brussels sprouts. Desserts are the restaurant’s wonderful apple strudel or a traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. http://www.ediandthewolf.com

Remember New York City’s Oystering Prowess with a special Thanksgiving and Oyster dinner at Maison Premiere the James Beard Award-winning oyster house and cocktail den of Williamsburg has Chef Lisa Giffen, who has worked under such esteemed chefs at Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse, at the helm. This Thanksgiving, Maison Premiere offers a three-course prix fixe turkey dinner for $75/person A selection of fresh-from-the-sea oysters will be available à la carte, a wonderful starter to Butternut Squash Veloute with truffle whipped cream and balsamic; or Foie Torchon with fig compote and pistachio appetizers. The mains offer a seafood choice, Turkey Breast with a less-traditional turkey leg roulade with liver and Mirliton stuffing, or Housemade Pasta with chicken liver, Treviso and Fresno chilies. Desserts are both French and American in spirit, with a choice of Pumpkin Pecan Tart or Rhum Cannelles. www.maisonpremiere.com

Harlem MeatUp!

Harlem is a great place for dining. Going well beyond traditional soul food places like Londel’s, Sylvia’s, or Amy Ruth’s, the neighborhood now tempts with a variety of eating establishments that compete on many levels with their downtown counterparts.  The Harlem EatUp! Festival invites you to travel uptown to try some of these fine establishments, with dinners sponsored by many organizations and often in conjunction with guest chefs from around the country.  Organized by Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster fame, the first annual Harlem EatUp! Festival takes place May 14-17.

While many of the dining events are sold out (they booked out in a flash!), there are still seven to choose from for May 15. Take a look at these one-time, special-menu events, and jump online before it’s too late.  Book your tickets at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/harlem-eatup-tickets-15321833015?aff=Website

Vinateria

VINATERÍA

VINATERÍA
I love this wine-centric restaurant, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the evening’s international menu by Owner Yvette Leeper-Bueno, Chef Gustavo Lopez, Guest Chef Linton Hopkins and Co-Host Ted Allen, May 15, 6pm $85, 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd.

The Cecil
Afro-Asian specialties are served in this cool space at 210 W 118th St.  The dinner features the pairing of Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson and Guest Chef Nick Anderer, May 15, 7pm, $125. Minton’s Jazz Club is just around the corner.

Dinosaur

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Who doesn’t like the BBQ at this mammoth Harlem institution? On May 15 Chef John Stage joins Guest Chef Ludo Lefebvre at 7pm for a rollicking feast.  $85, 700 W 125th St.

Jin Ramen
There was no way Harlem could escape the Ramen craze.  Jin Ramen’s third restaurant is located at 3183 Broadway.  The evening features Owner Richard Kashida, Chef Mark Viloria together with Guest Chef Preston Clark, May 15, 6pm, $85

Madiba Harlem

Madiba Harlem

Madiba Harlem
The May 15 dinner at this South African restaurant is hosted by South African Tourism, with a special meal by Chef Mark Henegan and Guest Chef Ken Oringer, 7pm, $85, 46 W 116th St.

Settepani
Although desserts are the specialty, the cuisine here is Mediterranean and Italian in focus. The evening showcases the trio of Chef Antonino Settepani, Guest Chef Angelo Sosa, and Mixologist Karl Franz Williams of 67 Orange Street. May 15, 6pm, $85, 196 Malcolm X Blvd.

Bier International
You can keep it casual at Bier International, a beer hall with a menu of brats, beers from around the world and other German bites. The special evening pairs Partners Chris Pollok and Ousmane Keita with Guest Chef Amanda Freitag, 2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd.  May 15, 6pm, $125

The 5 and Diamond
Now five years old, The 5 and Diamond serves New American food in Lower Harlem.  The May 15 evening features Chef Joseph Hayes III and Guest Chef Marvin Woods. 6pm and 8:30pm seatings are available. $85. 2072 Frederick Do

5 and Diamond

The 5 and Diamond

Harlem Jazz and Soul Food at “The Post”

Harlem is the spot for dining and jazz.  The Lenox Lounge may be changing, the Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club are a bit sceney, and Minton’s is a pricy evening, but there’s another spot that conveys the real spirit of Harlem’s jazz tradition at a fraction of the cost.

Harlem Jazz and Soul Food at "The Post"American Legion Post 398 on 248 West 132nd Street was organized in 1922 by Colonel Charles Young with a mission to honor and serve veterans, their families and their community. With 200 hundred members today, it still actively attends to its mission of service. “The Post,” as it’s known, is run by its members as perhaps the most authentic jazz/blues bar in Harlem, with live jazz on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and a DJ on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

You’ll “hear” your way to the brownstone with the music. Head downstairs, ignore the sign that says “Only Members and their Guests Allowed,” and enter this special place. There’s no cover charge, but you must sign the guest book.

Sunday night is the best night for live jazz. You might hear the amazing sounds of the Harlem Groove Band, including a tenor sax that will blow your mind and an electric guitarist who really smokes. Surprising guests may be top musicians from Europe or local singers, all great – and loud, of course.

It’s cash only, and the drinks are cheap and strong.  Airline mini bottles served neat, beer or mini wine bottles are the way to go. It’s also a soul food joint. $10 gets you a meal cooked up in the kitchen in the back. I recommend the “fish fry” if it’s available: a big piece of whiting plated with a couple of sides like greens and mac & cheese. There’s a feeling of community in these tight quarters. Old timers from the neighborhood and actual veterans mingle with “new friends” who have made the trek from Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan to hear the jam. Everyone’s there for the same reason, to have a good time, together.

Definitely meet Commander Eddie Randy Dupree, the host and spirit of the place; the veterans who keep the place humming; and Karen the bartender. You’re so close to the band that you’ll be able to chat them up as well.

48 West 132nd Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave.) and Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave.), 212-283-9701. http://colchasyoungharlempost398.com/

Celebrate Veteran’s Day All Year Long with Harlem Jazz and Soul

Today is Veteran’s Day, so in honor of our country and our veterans, I suggest you travel to Harlem to celebrate with the vets at a place that’s one of the most special in New York City. For an evening of pure, basic food and music, The American Legion Post 398 on 248 West 132nd Street, organized in 1922 by Colonel Charles Young, is your destination. The organization has a mission to honor and serve veterans and their families and their community. It has 200 hundred members today and it still actively attends to its mission of service.  http://colchasyoungharlempost398.com

Col. Charles Young Post #398

Why go? “The Post” is run by its members as perhaps the most authentic jazz/blues bar left in Harlem, with live jazz on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and a DJ on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Surprise guests are frequent.  Take your chances, and just pick a night to visit.

Travel to Harlem any way you can (take a taxi or take the A, B, C, 2, or 3), “hear” your way to the brownstone with the music, go downstairs, ignore the sign that says “Only Members and their Guests Allowed,” and enter this hidden gem of a place. There is no cover charge, but you must sign the guest book. (If you go regularly, you’ll soon realize that everyone is a guest).

It’s cash only, and the drinks are cheap, and strong: airline mini bottles, neat, or beer or mini wine bottles are the way to go. It’s also a soul food joint. $10 gets you a meal cooked up in the kitchen in the back.  Meals vary but you might be lucky and get one of the best, the fish fry, a big piece of whiting, a couple of sides of greens, and mac and cheese. Enough to fill you up and then some.

What’s special is the feeling of community in these tight quarters, the fact that the old timers of the neighborhood and the veterans mingle with the young hipsters who have made the trek from Brooklyn to hear the jam. Everyone’s there for the same reason, to have a good time, together, and listen to some phenomenal music.

They say it’s one of the last great music institutions in New York.  The crowd is warm and welcoming and you’ll have an experience you won’t forget.

How to get home? Call for a car from Hi-Class – 212 -926-1111 – and they’ll pick you up in two minutes and take you almost anywhere for about $15 cash.   American Legion Post, 248 West 132nd Street , 212 283 9701, http://colchasyoungharlempost398.com

NYC Museums and Parties: the Summer Schedule

Mix culture and some cocktails and what do you get? A dreamy night out in New York City. Last summer we introduced you to the food & drink programs that the city’s museums were offering.  This year we kick it up a notch with even more music and dancing. Grab a friend and spice up your week at these museum parties.

More on NYC Museums and Parties: the Summer Schedule

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