Posts Tagged ‘The Plaza’

Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving: Dine, Stay and Watch

If you’re like many of us, you might still not know where you’re celebrating Thanksgiving.  Procrastinators can relax – there are plenty of restaurants in New York City where you can enjoy a full celebration with or without turkey. And, because it’s New York City, there are many non-traditional versions to sample as well.  So, don’t worry if you haven’t bought a turkey to cook yourself or if you missed the deadline to order from a catering house. Just watch the Thanksgiving Parade and chill; your Thanksgiving dinner awaits you at one of these wonderful restaurants.

MIFUNE New York, the progressive Japanese restaurant in Midtown East, is offering a very special Thanksgiving menu. Think turkey and sweet potatoes, of course, but with a Japanese/French spin to it.

Crafted by Head Chef Yuu Shimano (previously of Guy Savoy’s eponymous three Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris), the menu is available on Thanksgiving Day with dinner seatings at 5pm and 8pm, and is priced at $90 per person. Add a wine or sake pairing for an additional $60 per person.

The Thanksgiving menu is an exciting Japanese feast with kabocha pumpkin soup with bacon cream espuma, six varied amuse bouches, sashimi, Saikyo miso sea bass en croute with vin blanc yuzu sauce, organic turkey truffle pie with turkey foie gras gravy, turkey soboro ginger rice and Okinawa kibito caramel ice cream. I’m not sure you’ll want to eat plain turkey, stuffing and gravy ever again!  45 East 44th St.  212-986-2800. www.mifune-restaurant.com

There’s still foliage to be seen at The Pandering Pig located in Upper Manhattan in Hudson Heights, overlooking the Hudson River. So hop the B train to 181 Street and explore a new part of the city as you enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner for the heart.

Chef/Owner Nicole O’Brien will be serving a prix fixe dinner from 4-9pm with main courses such as dindon au vin (turkey braised in wine sauce) or wild pan-seared salmon with Cointreau gastrique, cranberries and toasted walnuts. Each is served with sides including garlic mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, dried apricot and herb stuffing.  Dinner starts with a velvety butternut squash soup. The three-course $56 prix fixe menu also includes coffee, tea, root beer and pumpkin pie or pecan pie for dessert.

To accompany the meal, The Pandering Pig offers an expertly curated rotating wine program as well as a single malt whiskey collection and artisanal beer list.  And, in this very private, cozy restaurant, kids eat for half price on Thanksgiving. 209 Pinehurst Avenue, 212-781-3124, https://www.thepanderingpig.com/

Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side celebrates the holiday with their annual Thanksgiving dinner. From 5:30-8pm, it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner that mixes American favorites with traditional deli treats. The turkey and mashed potatoes are a given. But have you ever thought to add Jewish specialties like tsimmes (carrots, dried fruits and root vegetables) or latkes (potato pancakes)?

Katz’s also lets you bring the meal home if you prefer to watch a football game indoors while you eat. Their take-out menu enhances the festivities with the likes of pastrami, noodle kugel and matzoh ball soup. The traditional turkey dinner (gravy, sides, stuffing, and more) is a given. But, in my opinion, it’s probably more fun to eat at the deli and look at the photos of all the notables who have visited there over years (in addition to Meg Ryan).  205 East Houston Street, 212-254-2246, https://www.katzsdelicatessen.com

Also downtown, Harold’s is all about tradition and comfort with a prix fixe family-style dinner for $62 per person. The first course features a holiday antipasto followed by roasted turkey, Italian sausage, ham steak, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, traditional stuffing and more. For dessert, Harold’s will be serving traditional pumpkin and pecan pies as well as apple cobbler and cranberry cheesecake. You may not be staying at the Arlo SoHo hotel where Harold’s is located, but you should definitely explore its public spaces before you leave: the courtyard has been transformed to mimic an apple orchard in the city with pick-your-own apples, hay bales, corn stalks and pumpkins for sale. 2 Renwick St., 212-390-8484, https://www.arlohotels.com/arlo-soho/eat-and-drink/harolds/.

But if international is more your thing, Boqueria still has reservations available for their Spanish-influenced Thanksgiving feast. For $70 per person, the Barcelona-inspired tapas bar will serve Thanksgiving dinner family-style in true Catalonian fashion, offering Iberian twists on the classics like turkey with mushroom stuffing and olive oil mashed potatoes as well as traditional Spanish favorites like pan con tomate (grilled Stirato bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil), fideua negra (squid ink noodle pasta, shrimp, Manila clams, garlic aioli), and Turrón (almond and hazelnut cake, honey, dulce de leche ice cream, chantilly). Book now at the three Boqueria locations, 171 Spring Street, 646.760.3867; 1460 2nd Avenue , 646.845.9726; 260 West 40th St, 646.233.4078, https://boqueriarestaurant.com

Feeling decadent? You don’t have to go to a restaurant or stay at home to enjoy the holiday. Instead, a staycation at The Plaza brings with it reserved-seat viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Between November 21 and November 23, celebrate a quintessential New York Thanksgiving with two iconic institutions when you book the Carnegie Suite at this storied hotel. You won’t be “home alone” for long!

You’ll begin your day of decadence with breakfast in the Palm Court (or in your room, if you prefer) before joining the throngs with a Plaza thermos and blanket to keep you nice and warm (it’s supposed to be very very cold this year). You won’t have to worry about standing up among thousands of people watching the floats; The Plaza has two confirmed seats at the Central Park South bleachers for you. 768 5th Ave, 212-759-3000, http://www.Fairmont.com/ThePlaza

Dinner after the parade?  Well, you’re on your own for that. But first, take a holiday-inspired stroll from The Plaza down Fifth Avenue to look at the Christmas windows at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue and to check out the skaters at Rockefeller Plaza (the tree’s not up until Wednesday, November 28 so plan to return for the tree lighting and live performances from 7-9pm). https://www.rockefellercenter.com/whats-happening/2018/11/28/2018-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree).

Happy Turkey Day!

12 of the Sweetest Treats and Special Menus in New York City This Easter

Evelina, the charming Italian restaurant in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, offers a special lunch menu to celebrate Easter created by Executive Chef Lanfranco Paliotti (Daniel, Boulud Sud). Highlights include braised Salt Meadow lamb with parmesan grits, flash fried squash blossom with buffalo mozzarella, rabbit loin porchetta, and ricotta, lemon, and vanilla pancakes with orange flower.

Nearby Miss Ada gives  you both a charming outdoor space and a holiday brunch menu with sweet and savory dishes inspired by the streets of Israel. Featured are include Yemeni such as the jachnun, a flaky dough coated with a date honey that has been slow-cooked in an oven overnight and topped with brown egg, tomato and schug; malawach, a layered pan-fried bread paired with a hard-boiled egg, tomato and schug; and ziva a flaky pastry with layers of the malawach filled with sweet potato, fontina cheese, asiago and mushrooms.

Another Brooklyn favorite, Greenpoint’s Sauvage – from the team being the wildly popular Maison Premiere in Williamsburg — will be serving a special brunch menu for Easter with dishes like the decadent almond French toast with persimmon, coconut and mascarpone; or an egg white frittata with tomato confit, spinach and raclette .Melding the outdoors with the indoors in a manner true to its “wild savage” name, the restaurant is a lush profusion of planted herbs and botanicals with large windows facing nearby McCarren Park.

Add a little taste of Paris by visiting Le District, the French market place located in Brookfield Place. At atmospheric Beaubourg, you’ll enjoy Sunday brunch outside on the terrace with beautiful views overlooking the Hudson River, while sipping on mimosas and enjoying entrées such as Fresh Ham Benedict, with smoked tomato, poached eggs, béarnaise, and baby field greens. In keeping with the French esprit, a pastry basket with assorted croissants, a cookie plate and a cocktail are included.

For a Spanish-inflected Easter brunch, Basque-inspired Ortzi by Jose Garces in the new LUMA Hotel Times Square will offer a 3-course Easter Brunch with dishes including tortilla Española, a Spanish potato omelet with spinach, roasted peppers and tomato jam; and Spanish shrimp Eggs Benedict with asparagus, English muffin, and Nora Chile hollandaise. Dessert treats include Crema Catalana with cinnamon and citrus custard, topped with brûléed sugar.

Feeling like something sweet for the holiday? Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer’s Easter CrazyShake The Peeps Shake is a cherry shake with a vanilla frosted rim with Easter M&Ms, topped with yellow chick Peeps, whipped cream, Easter sprinkles and a cherry.

The Palm Court at The Plaza will be having an Easter Grand Buffet that mixes sweet with savory, seasonal favorites. Choose from holiday specials such as strawberry spring salad with dry aged goat cheese, pine nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette, a carving station with herb-roasted rack of lamb with mint chimichurri sauce and bourbon, and apricot-glazed ham with violet mustard. Don’t miss the special holiday dessert, a Gianduja chocolate egg with a banana cream center and hazelnut sable.

All-day brasserie Bowery Road from Chef Ron Roselli (Locanda Verde, The Standard Hotel Meatpacking) takes its inspiration from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, serving up a seasonally appropriate Easter special of Green Eggs ‘n Ham with salsa verde and spring pea deviled eggs alongside LaQuercia prosciutto.

For Easter at Marco Canora’s East Village restaurant Hearth, guests can celebrate brunch and dinner by arranging a medley of small dishes or choosing the “Family Easter Feast.” Starters spotlight spring flavors like the stracciatella with ramps and shoots, or sourdough bruschetta with peas, Feta and chile. Also featured are charred Norwich Meadows carrots with lemon confit and sunflower, and gnocchi sardi with pancetta and peas. The family dinner skews more traditional with roast lamb leg roulade, potatoes, spring vegetables and broccoli casserole.

Riverpark offers brunch with views of the East River. Tom Colicchio brings out the best of spring with brunch specials such as grilled bread and ricotta with rhubarb and thyme; smoked brisket hash with fingerling potatoes, spring onions, asparagus and poached egg; and Nashville hot chicken with skillet corn bread, honey butter and house-made pickles. Desserts are ingredient-driven as well such as the restaurant’s signature “Cereal & Milk” with chocolate ganache cake, caramelized rice puffs and vanilla malt.

Temple Court in the Beekman Hotel features old and new classics, reinvented with Colicchio’s signature, seasonal touch. This Easter, guests can enjoy a two-course brunch with family-style appetizers such as doughnut holes with banana caramel or citrus-cured salmon with bagel crostinis, followed by mains including pork belly hash with roasted Brussels sprouts, apples and eggs; or a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon , gruyere, spicy aioli, arugula and a roasted tomato on a poppy seed roll.

The exclusive Polo Bar in midtown will serve a classic Sunday brunch to celebrate Easter with dishes such as popover Benedict with poached eggs, creamed spinach, ham and gruyère; Ralph’s corned beef hash with sunny-side up eggs, sautéed kale and cayenne hollandaise; and challah French toast with fresh berries and Vermont maple syrup. Reservations must be made by phone.

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

Everyone needs some laughs this year and starting off the New Year with a smile sounds like a very good thing.

The place to be in NYC is Caroline’s, where headliners routinely let their comic superpower loose, and on New Year’s Eve, it’s one big laughfest. The late show at 10pm carries into the wee hours after you watch the Ball Drop live on their TVs and 10-foot screen.  It’s close enough to Times Square to let you sense the excitement without being in the middle of the crowds, a nice benefit. 1626 Broadway. http://bit.ly/2pOlMNu

Near enough to view the light show and the Ball Drop if you choose to head outside, two restaurants offer special evening meals.

A favorite of the Broadway community, Bond 45 New York Italian Kitchen and Barin its new 46th Street location — invites guests to ring in 2018 with a seven-course prix fixe menu, live music, Champagne toast and party favors. Or celebrate like a Tony Award winner with a seven-course dinner, a bottle of Champagne and a private escort to view the LIVE Ball Drop from the heart of Times Square.  221 West 46th Street. https://www.bond45ny.com/

In the mood for a Chinese feast instead? Hakkasan New York also sits to the west of Times Square and is offering  a six-course festive meal with luxurious twists on Cantonese favorites such as scallop shumai, roasted duck with truffle dumpling, braised abalone salad and stir-fry Boston lobster with black pepper and honey. 311 West 43rd Street. http://hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-new-york/

Tradition and nostalgia rule on New Year’s Eve at several beloved locations.

The Palm Court’s Black Tie affair is an annual glamour-fest in the iconic restaurant at The Plaza with dancing, raw bar, dinner buffet and craft cocktails recalling days of Trader Vic’s. Black tie required. Fifth Avenue at Central Park South. http://www.theplazany.com/dining/the-palm-court/.

Perrine at the Taj Pierre is equally glamorous with a balloon drop and a Champagne aerialist highlighting the New Year’s celebration. The restaurant will serve a five-course menu, with a musical trio accompaniment. Dancing follows in The Rotunda into the New Year with the Antonio Ciacca Orchestra playing Big Band standards as well as contemporary favorites. 2 East 61st Street.  http://www.perrinenyc.com/

Located in the middle of Times Square, The Edison Ballroom revisits the days of the Fitzgerald’s, flappers and the heyday of jazz with a gala night of dinner and dancing. Show off your jitterbug and foxtrot moves surrounded by New York opulence and musical stylings provided by Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band. 240 West 47th Street.  http://edisonballroom.com/new-years-2018/

New York City also offers a choice of parties so you can bring out your inner actor and enjoy some crazy entertainment at a range of prices.

Dinner runs into the party at Bedford & Co in the Renwick Hotel with a special prix fixe menu and a Masquerade Ball. Late night festivities also include passed canapes, specialty cocktails and dancing to DJ tunes. Various packages and prices are available. 118 East 40th Street. www.bedfordandco.com. Masquerade Ball tickets at http://bit.ly/2zZtdVN

Modern Mediterranean restaurant Green Fig will ring in the New Year with The Brothel Carnivale, a lavish party with a five-course dinner, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and open bar. Entertainment is non-stop with Burlesque performers, sword swallowers and giant boa constrictors. 570 10th Avenue. http://www.onfournyc.com/new-years-eve.html

Befitting the melting pot that is New York City, several restaurants show off New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.

Socarrat is offering a special tasting menu for the evening, featuring their acclaimed paella and tapas, with sangria, beer and an open bar. Guests will celebrate New Year’s in the Spanish tradition with a Cava toast and the eating of 12 Lucky Grapes. At midnight, each guest will receive 12 grapes, one for every month. At each clock stroke, celebrants eat the grapes which are said to bring good fortune throughout the new year. 259 West 19th Street, 284 Mulberry Street, 953 Second Avenue. https://www.socarratnyc.com/

Greek steakhouse Merakia rings in the New Year with a prix fixe dinner and a Greek ceremony of the cutting of the cake at midnight. On New Year’s Eve, families cut the Vasilopita (bread or cake), hoping to find the hidden coin inside to bless the house and bring good luck. If you’re the lucky person who orders the chocolate lava cake and finds the lucky coin, your meal is free. 5 West 21st Street. https://merakia.com

At recently opened Shuka, it’s a Night in Marrakech with a Feast Menu of mezze plates, dips and kebabs. To welcome the New Year, entertainment will be provided a la Mediterranean  including Glenda’s Gypsy Palm Readings (from Employees Only) and Salit the Belly Dancer.  38 MacDougal Street.  https://www.shukanewyork.com/

And what would New Year’s Eve in a city of skyscrapers be if it didn’t offer the chance to view the celebration from high above.

Rooftop lounge Bar 54 hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration with an exclusive live viewing of the world famous Ball Drop. Located on the 54th floor of Hyatt Centric Times Square, Bar 54 kicks off the evening with an indoor party with open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, with guests moving outdoors to view the Ball Drop on the bar’s terrace with a Champagne toast in hand. 135 West 45th Street. https://timessquare.centric.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/bar-54.html Tickets at http://bit.ly/2gkhvdT .

Right in the heart of Times Square, the New York Marriott Marquis lets guests take advantage of its premier location with a five-course dinner, unlimited premium open bar and entertainment at The View Restaurant & Lounge on the 47th and 48th floors, with 360-degree views revolving completely every hour and overlooking Times Square.  1535 Broadway. https://www.theviewnyc.com/new-years-eve/

How about a view of the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks downtown instead of the Ball Drop at Times Square?

Conrad New York invites you to a downtown celebration with a view. Begin the celebration with open bar and canapes at ATRIO Wine Bar and Restaurant, followed by a four-course prix fixe dinner accompanied by tunes by a live DJ. Just before the end of 2017, guests will head to Loopy Doopy, the 16th-story rooftop bar, for a Champagne toast with views of the Statue of Liberty and fireworks along the Hudson River. 102 North End Avenue. http://www.conradnewyork.com/

Cruise into the New Year on board Hudson’s at Pier 81 for a music-filled, open-bar celebration in the middle of the Manhattan Harbor under the fireworks in the presence of the Statue of Liberty. Pier 81, 12th Avenue and West 41st Street.  https://hudsonsnyc.com/offers-events/new-years-eve/

Where to Drink Like a “Mad Man”

Mad Men doesn’t resume for a few months, and I’m in total withdrawal.  I couldn’t tell you if it’s the smoke-filled offices of Sterling Cooper, the vintage ads and campaigns, the mischievous plots of Pete Campbell, or simply gorgeous Don Draper that I miss most, but I think I’ve finally found a cure. You, unfortunately, can’t actually join Don and Roger over oysters at The Oyster Bar or drinks at The Roosevelt Hotel, but you can find some cocktail fixes throughout Manhattan that will make you feel as if you are.

Temple Bar: The glamorous oak bar in NoHo is known for its extensive drink list peppered with all the classics. Imagine yourself sitting with Don among the beautiful velvet curtains sipping an Old Fashioned or with Peggy Olsen as she tries a Brandy Alexander for the first time. (322 Lafayette St, 212-925-4242, http://www.templebarnyc.com )

Monkey Bar:  Enter the landmark Hotel Elysée (once known as the “easy lay”) where guests like Joe DiMaggio and Marlon Brandon used to stay and step inside this great piano bar just off the lobby with its iconic monkey mural.  You can just picture Roger downing a Manhattan or two before heading for a room upstairs. (Hotel Elysée, 60 E 54th St, 212-753-1066, http://www.elyseehotel.com )

King Cole Bar: Once a bastion of cigar-smoking power brokers or wannabes like Ken Cosgrove, the King Cole Bar in the elegant St. Regis Hotel is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary (known here as the Red Snapper). This classic bar also is known for its famous mural, “Old King Cole” by Maxfield Parrish. (St. Regis Hotel, 2 E 55th St, 212-753-4500, http://www.kingcolebar.com)

21 Club: Famous for its prohibition-era speakeasy status, this restaurant has attracted every president since FDR (except George W. Bush) to dine or imbibe. Come for a martini just like James Bond in 007 or try New York Magazine’s recommendation, a Southside, the rum and mint cocktail invented here. (21 W 52nd St, 212-582-7200, http://www.21club.com)

Campbell Apartment: This luxurious lounge in Grand Central Terminal will surely bring you back to another era. The space, once used as an office for New York financier John Campbell, still exudes the same sleek, refinement with its low lighting, rich woodwork and beamed ceiling. We’d recommend the Prohibition Punch for aptly named Pete Campbell. (15 Vanderbilt Ave, 212-953-0409, http://www.hospitalityholdings.com )

Bemelmans Bar: Some things never go out of style. Tommy Rowles has been the bartender here for 51 years and has even poured bourbon on the rocks for President Truman. Live piano music, enchanting murals of animals by Ludwig Bemelmans of Eloise fame, plus formally dressed waiters make this an Upper East Side landmark. The perfectly chilled and poured martini comes in a shaker with enough liquor for a potent drink and a half, and the banquettes are perfect for cuddling. (The Carlyle Hotel, 35 E 76th St, 212-744-1600, http://www.thecarlyle.com/dine4.cfm )

The Blue Bar at the Algonquin: Once the hot spot for literary geniuses like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, The Blue Bar is filled with Al Hirschfield’s artwork depicting a variety of Broadway shows. The cozy bar with its blue upholstery is known for its Algonquin Cocktail, a mix of whiskey, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice.  It’s reputed that the literary ghosts of times past will even sit with you to provide inspiration and absorb the black-tie service. (The Algonquin Hotel, 59 W 44th St, 212-840-6800, http://algonquinhotel.com/blue-bar )

Sardi’s: Since 1921, this legendary restaurant known for the celebrity caricatures adorning its walls has served as the spot to head to before or after theater. It’s also a favorite rendezvous spot for Don Draper and his lady friends like the sultry Mrs. Barrett.  To behave like a true “mad man,” book a table on Thursdays and Fridays for jazz and cabaret and skip the cocktail; a bottle of Dom Perignon is more in keeping with the mood. (234 W 44th St, 212-221-8440, http://www.sardis.com )

The Oak Bar at the Plaza:  Originally filling the entire Oak Room restaurant space in the Plaza Hotel, the Oak Bar was conceived as a men’s-only enclave when it opened in 1907.  Now restored to its original glory surrounded by impressive “frozen in time” murals, the bar serves up a Classic Sidecar to enjoy with a menu of bar items until the wee hours.  (Plaza Hotel, 10 Central Park South, 212-758-7777, http://www.oakroomny.com )

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