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Nizza by Andrea Strong
April 27, 2008, 11:52.14 am ET

Nizza may be a place that many of you have heard of but shrugged off. It didn’t open with a frantic wave of posts on Eater or Grub Street, and that’s probably because it’s really just an unassuming modest slip of a restaurant and bar—a casual place that’s bathed in blond wood like some prototype for a wine bar from Ikea. But what it lacks in sizzle it makes up for in substance. There’s some serious talent in the kitchen and the food here has yet to be given the praise it deserves.  more

                                                                               Photo: Cititour

Sleep by Pamela Grossman
April 27, 2008, 11:50.03 am ET

I wandered into Williamsburg's sleek, chic Sleep thinking, "Ah--a shop dedicated to sleeping. Cute idea." But wait. Here were sexy, lacy bras. Who sleeps in a bra? And here was delicate jewelry--lovely to look at, but wouldn't it tangle while you dream?  more

               Photo: Sleep

Grayz by Thomas Rafael
April 27, 2008, 11:47.28 am ET

It was time to kick off my vacation and what better spot to kick it off than with a drink at Grayz, Chef Gray Kunz's tapas spot across from the Museum of Modern Art on West 54th Street. And the place is a work of art, tucked inside a townhouse with its swirling ceiling, leather banquettes and a sturdy wooden bar.  more

A Brownstone Dies In Brooklyn
April 22, 2008, 6:27.17 pm ET

It seems unbelievable that in this day and age when Brooklyn brownstones are selling for millions in Park Slope, that in nearby Sunset Park they're being destroyed with the city's blessing as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission looks the other way.

This is the scene on 54th Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn where a row of turn-of-the-century brownstones with stained glass windows and fireplaces are being destroyed bit by bit.  It began with the ground floor of one home being converted into a protruding brick laundromat.  Bars were then placed on all of the windows on the top two floors.   That apparently drove out the residents of the adjacent house where the whole front has now been gutted to again make way for a retail shop on the ground floor, only this time the entire brownstone facade has been literally ripped off the building.

Witnessing this destruction should make the case for giving the area landmark status before it's too late.  The neighborhood has been seeing an all-out assault on row houses in recent monthsas real estate prices remain fairly high.  Some are being torn down to make room for condos, others are having additional floors added, and still other two-family homes are being converted into 4-families, again with the city's blessing, and a total disreguard to the neighborhood.  It's a crying shame.


Cherry Blossom Time at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
April 20, 2008, 10:47.24 am ET

                                                     Photos: Cititour

The Moxie Spot by Thomas Rafael
April 20, 2008, 10:36.57 am ET

The Moxie Spot is a wonderful new spot in Brooklyn Heights. It's a true child-friendly restaurant with a tasty menu to match. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the door. It's actually three doors; one for adults, one for kids and an even smaller one for dolls. The kids just love it, along with the pipe fittings and gauges that line a nearby wall.  more

                                                                          Photos: Cititour

Olana by Andrea Strong
April 20, 2008, 10:32.06 am ET

I had pretty managed (read: low) expectations about dining at Olana, a new restaurant in the lower Madison Ave neighborhood  of A Voce and Country. I had never heard of the chef, Al Di Meglio, who apparently  most-recently was the chef at Osteria Del Circo.  I was pleasantly surprised.  more  

                               Photo: Olana


John Varvatos
April 20, 2008, 10:26.50 am ET

CBGB is gone and in it's place is designer John Varvatos' swanky new boutique with just a bit of grunge. Some of the original posters from the home of the Ramones still exisit, as does some of the graffiti, alongside stylish duds, designer shoes and old LPs.  more

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

Brooks Brothers by Tanya Benedicto
April 20, 2008, 10:22.55 am ET

A woman who says a shirt and tie is never a thoughtful enough gift for a man has never shopped at Brooks Brothers. Their finest selections make it possible for her. The slightest variation in style or color can turn a button up into an emblem of personality or a thematic symbol of a particular chapter in his life.  more

                                                                               Photo: Cititour

Dovetail by Andrea Strong
April 13, 2008, 5:33.13 pm ET

In a time when menus are prone to ubiquity and repetition, here’s a kitchen that seems to approach every dish as a chance for reinvention with a distinct point of view. That point of view is America, as seen through the eyes of a chef, John Fraser, who’s cooked everywhere from Taillevent in Paris to Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California.  more

                                                                             Photo: Cititour

Natalie and Friends by Pamela Grossman
April 13, 2008, 5:29.58 pm ET

If your April showers are of the baby kind, the Upper East Side's Natalie and Friends will help steer you clear of the sixth-yellow-blanket-of-the-day gift rut. Nowhere else in my shopping travels have I seen the mini t-shirt that, from Natalie's window, drew me in off the street: a simple black top printed with "I [heart] My Gay Uncle" (also available in "I [heart] My Les Aunt").  more

                                                                              Photos: Cititour

Lounge by Tanya Benedicto
April 13, 2008, 5:24.52 pm ET

Lounge is not an after hours hotspot but a 16,000 square foot boutique for party boys and girls. CDs for sale and some authentic records surround the d.j. booth as a collection of classic rock or underground is played.  more

                                                    Photo: Lounge

City Market by Thomas Rafael
April 13, 2008, 5:22.39 pm ET

When there's a nip in the air, you'll find folks lining up for hot chocolate at The City Bakery on 18th Street. And with good reason. This frothy delight is a chocolate lover's dream and is accompanied by an ultra-sweet homemade marshmallow. But don't choke on the price tag. This baby goes for 5 bucks per cup. more

                            Photo: Cititour

The Iconic Cheyenne Diner Closing
April 6, 2008, 9:26.18 am ET

After a 68 year run, the Cheyenne Diner is serving its last burger today.  The greasy spoon had been a favorite for locals and tourists alike, and was often used for photo shoots for the fashion industry.  The diner, located on 34th St and 9th Ave, will reportedly be replaced with a nine story residential building, with commercial space on the ground floor.  more 

                                                                              Photos: Cititour

UPDATE: Cheyenne Diner is moving to Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood  more

Mia Dona by Andrea Strong
April 6, 2008, 8:50.16 am ET

I’m not usually one to take food home from a restaurant. Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed to ask for a Doggie Bag when it’s clear that I am the dog. Other times I know that while I may want to eat the rest for leftovers, it’s often best for me to eat salad at home, not restaurant food. But there are times when I can’t finish what’s in front of me (rare, but true), and when I also can’t bear to part with it either. It is in these situations that I relent and take the leftovers home for the “dog,” er, me. (And yes, Craig gets some, too.) I did this the other night at Mia Dona, and I’m so glad I did because I’ve just finished a most wonderful lunch of baked paccheri.  more

                                                                       Photo: Cititour

Southside Cafe by Brian Scott Lipton
April 6, 2008, 8:41.35 am ET

New York can be a funny town; you can walk the same block hundreds – maybe thousands of times – before noticing something that’s been there all along. Such was the case the day I spotted Southside Café on West 47th Street, a frequent destination.  more

                            Photo: Cititour

The Dessert Truck
April 6, 2008, 8:37.04 am ET

You've heard of eating on the run. How about dessert on the run? Just like the Mudd Truck offers gourmet coffee on wheels, the Dessert Truck specializes in fine desserts. You can find it near 8th St and University Place.  more

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

Gypsy by Lesley Alexander
April 6, 2008, 8:30.30 am ET

If there was ever any real doubt that “Gypsy” was, and is, the greatest musical of all time, the latest production with book writer Arthur Laurents now directing, and Patti LuPone at the helm, should silence the unenlightened. This transfer from the Encores Summer Series to the St. James Theatre is flawless.  more

                     Photo: Joan Marcus

Electric Fountain at Rockefeller Center
April 6, 2008, 8:09.40 am ET

                                                     Photo: Cititour