NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

NYC Restaurant Week 2016 is upon us July 25th- August 19th. 3 course meals for lunch $29 and dinner $42. For the frugal yet fabulous..Exclusions do apply.. gratuity and beverages not included.

Saturdays are excluded and Sundays are optional You can check out all the participating restaurants here. You can book reservations conveniently at Opentable.

These are my picks. Foodies Rejoice..

Sabbia located In Eataly  (which I still have yet to visit)hosted by La Birreria rooftop bar and restaurant..Since it’s Summer you had me at rooftop bar. Stunning views of the Flat Iron and Empire State building await. Here you can check out the lunch and dinner menu. I like to look ahead of time to be sure that there are things that I like.

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200 Fifth Ave.
Manhattan, NY 10010
Flatiron District

Spice Market  located in the Meat Packing District.I have yet to dine at this pretty lil eatery with an attached terrace. I’m hoping that changes soon. Lunch and Dinner menu here.

403 W. 13th St.
Manhattan, NY 10014
Meatpacking District

Bodega Negra at  Dream Hotel downtown.. You enter this location thru a Tudor Styled Tequila Wearhouse! No menu listed however they serve upscale Mexican fare (expect ceviches and Tacos).

 

Also Participating in Restaurant Week are a few of my  go to spots…

Scarpetta I read in a magazine over five years ago that Beyonce and Jay Z dined here for the Spaghetti..Start it off with the Creamy Polenta in a mushroom truffle sauce. I have been in love with Scott Conant’s tasty dishes ever since!

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That F*in Spaghetti Tho!

355 W. 14th St.
Manhattan, NY 10014
Meatpacking District

Lupa (lunch only) I hope they have Bucatini All Amatriciana on the menu.. That’s my fav .. Thank You Mario Batali !

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170 Thompson St.
Manhattan, NY 10012
Greenwich Village

Beauty and Essex is always a good time… hang out in the ladies room where they serve champagne. Or grab one of my fav drinks the beauty elixir.

146 Essex St.
Manhattan, NY 10002
Lower East Side

Don’t forget to post up your pics on “the gram” to win a shot at a $50 gift certificate for a future dining experience! Use the hashtag #NYCRESTAURANTWEEK !

 

 

 

Vandal NYC

  

Vandal NYC : There’s a lot of hype surrounding this new trendy hot spot on Bowery in Manhattan… Now I know why!

You enter through a Flower shop (reminds me of Beauty and Essex where you enter through a Pawn Shop).


The Drinks… I went for the (Spicy) Las Palmitas and PushCart Wars and my friend opted for the (Sweet) Double Dutch… Drinks are on the pricey side but they were nice and strong.


The Food… It’s Tapas Style and as per the waiters suggestion, we ordered 5 dishes to share (typical for a party of two). Our picks were the Blackened Shrimp Arepas (delicious!), Grilled Avocado (love love love avocado) tossed with salad and candied pecans, Ceviche (my first time trying),  Chicken and Chorizo Paella served in a skillet with roasted tomato sofrito (that was yummy), and at last, The Vandal S’mores  Desert (heaven in my mouth!). It’s a warm S’mores pie with a scoop of graham cracker ice cream.

 


  

The Decor… There’s an icy, grape colored, break dancing bunny. Graffiti covers the walls throughout, and there’s tons of artwork to take in… The ambiance is amazing and the space is stunning! I’m happy we went on a Sunday evening to explore the two level space. The restaurant consists of a bar/lounge, full dining room, garden dining area, private dining room, and cellar bar/lounge.

AND…

Before you leave, don’t forget to take a video strutting your stuff on the “Vandal Cam” so you can send it to yourself via email; perfect for your social media accounts!


  
  
  

Service was also on point! Shout out to our waiter Kameer!

My friend made reservations using the Opentable app, which I love (highly recommend it)! Reservations do book out weeks in advance, so plan ahead.

STK-MeatPacking District

So I have wanted to try this restaurant out for a while. I love a good Steak! I wanted to enjoy the rooftop bar/restaurant they have but weather was not good the night we went! WAH! We went on a Saturday night to celebrate my hubby’s birthday. I made a reservation on Opentable for 8pm and we were a few minutes late because of the weather and trying to find parking not too far (didn’t want to mess up my hair in the rain). The hostess was very friendly and cute! We were promptly seated. I ordered a Cucumber Stiletto Martini that consisted of St Germaine Ketel One Citron and simple syrup. I always try to order a cocktail when I go out because I can always drink wine at home. Our waiter was awesome, very attentive (and he asked for my ID which I now love since turning 30). They serve you warm sourdough bread with melted blue cheese butter on it and it comes with a green chive oil to dip it in. (Yum!) We ordered the Shrimp Rice Krispies for appetizer. Then for entree I ordered the Filet medallion that was cooked to perfection. We ordered a side of mashed potatoes and Mac and cheese. Hubby ordered the beef short ribs. For dessert we chose the Birthday Cake – Almond Torte, Cookie Dough Ice Cream, and Vanilla Butter Cream (since it was hubby’s birthday).They put a candle in it and wrote happy birthday in chocolate. Everything was excellent! And I can’t think of any thing to complain about. We enjoyed our dining experience and I am looking forward to returning in the new future! craftytaramarie.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/img_5469.jpg”>IMG_5469.JPGIMG_5472.JPG

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Beauty and Essex

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Ok, so I wanted to check out Beauty and Essex for awhile, so I made a last minute dinner reservation on Opentable because I felt like getting all dolled up. I read some really solid reviews and I was very excited for date night. First, let me say this place is pricey, it’s a NYC trendy hotspot so we were prepared. I would usually wait for a special occasion such as an anniversary or Birthday to check this place out but I really didn’t want to wait. Also, I get nervous going to new places on a special occasions, just in case we are left disappointed.
We made 8pm dinner reservations and we arrived just in time. We were super lucky and found parking right out front! The place is a Pawn Shop from the outside, which is pretty cool and different. They have security that opens the door to let you into the restaurant and they have security outside the Pawn shop. (the area the restaurant is in is kind of sketchy). The restaurant is gorgeous, I tell the hostess my name and she gives us a buzzer that will let us know when our table is ready. I have to tell you the staff did not seem pretentious at all, even though a lot of reviews suggested it. She tells us we can wait at the bar, so we go to the bar on the main floor and have a seat in the lounge area. It was a nice crowd with lots of pretty, trendy people. The bar and lounge area was not overwhelmingly busy which I liked. I ordered a Beauty Elixir(oxley gin, cucumber, strawberry,sparking rose’)cocktail which was good(it was nice and strong just how I like it). FYI, cocktails are a whopping $16. Hubby was boring and got a beer(or manly as he calls it). After about 20 minutes we were brought to our table on the first floor of the restaurant. The waitress came over right away and she was very sweet. She gave us the run down of how the dishes are meant to be share. She said 2 people usually order and share 4-6 dishes. We ordered the Grilled Cheese Smoked Bacon and Tomato Soup Dumplings(which is a must). It is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. I then ordered the Oven Braised Chicken Meatballs with Fresh Ricotta(suggested by the waitress and now my fav dish!), Chile Relleno Empanadas(good),Ginger Teriyaki Glazed Ribs(very good, fell right of the bone), and Salt and Vinegar Fries(awesome). I was pleased with our choices and the food came out promptly. I ordered a second Beauty Elixir and I was on cloud 9. Of course we had to have the full dining experience so we ordered dessert. We picked a couple of the Maker’s Mark Milkshake Shots(awesome) and the Petit Cupcakes (red velvet with cream cheese frosting and guinness cake with bailey’s frosting) which were also good. The table next to us ordered the box of donuts and they looked delicious. Before I left I had to check out the ladies room, of course. I heard they served complimentary champagne so I def had to check it out. FYI, it is in the downstairs bathroom, I made the mistake of going into the wrong bathroom on the main floor and there is only one stall with no champagne! Next time I will make a few trips to that bathroom instead of just one. As long as you leave the girl a tip and bring your ID(the girl serving the champagne did ID me) it should be fine. She told me to come back as many times as I wanted but I did tip her well. I will definitely return, I have nothing negative to say.
If your looking for a trendy place with great ambiance and amazing food this is the place to go. I’m also eager to check out their brunch so I can try the red velvet waffles.

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@ The Lounge sippin on my Beauty Elixir

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My Date

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Teriyaki Glazed Ribs

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My champagne from the Ladies room

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Maker’s Mark Milk Shake Shot and Cupcakes

 

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My cocktail The Beauty Elixir

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The Bar

 

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Drink Menu