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With indoor dining at 35%, Peter Luger uses wax figures to fill empty tables
February 26, 2021, 10:19.24 am ET

Peter Luger uses wax figures to fill empty tables, Audrey Hepburn

Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the greenlight for New York City restaurants to increase occupancy to 35 percent beginning as of today and Peter Luger Steakhouse is bringing in a bit of star power to ensure guests continue to follow social distancing safety measures. The iconic steakhouse has teamed up with the world’s greatest wax museum to fill empty seats with A-Listers and offer patrons an unforgettable dining experience. Diners are invited to toast with Jon Hamm at the bar, enjoy a moment of elegance with Audrey Hepburn, or share a laugh with Jimmy Fallon. Al Roker is also waiting to direct diners to the second floor.

Peter Luger uses wax figures to fill empty tables, Jimmy Fallon

“The restaurant industry is vital to New York City's economy, and it's been particularly hard hit this past year”, said Vice President of Peter Luger, Daniel Turtel. “We're excited to welcome diners back indoors at 35%, and thought this would be a fun, safe way to fill some of the seats that need to remain empty as we continue to fight the pandemic. It has been wonderful working with the fabulous team at Madame Tussaud's New York."

Peter Luger uses wax figures to fill empty tables, Michael Strahan

The New York City icons wax figures will remain at Peter Luger Steakhouse through Monday, March 1.

 Peter Luger uses wax figures to fill empty tables, Al Roker
Photos: Peter Lugar/Madame Tussauds                                                                   

For reservations, please visit peterluger.com. Madame Tussauds New York is also ready to welcome guests back to the red carpet. Star-studded safety measures have been introduced including timed and dated tickets, social distancing guidelines, contactless payment, enhanced cleaning and employee health screenings. Madame Tussauds New York is offering a special-priced $29.99 ticket specifically for “locals” looking to explore. Guests are encouraged to visit madametussauds.com to purchase tickets and review safety protocols ahead of their visit.  Local ticket eligibility is limited to residents of New Jersey, New York's five boroughs, Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties.

 

LINCOLN CENTER TO LAUNCH RESTART STAGES
February 25, 2021, 6:12.30 pm ET

 
Illustration: Ceylan A. Sahin Eker                                                                        

On April 7, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts will launch Restart Stages, a sweeping initiative that will create 10 outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces as well as other outdoor civic venues to help kickstart the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City. All offerings will occur outdoors with safety protocols in place for artists, audiences, and staff.

The Restart Stages venues will include a cabaret-style stage on Hearst Plaza, a dedicated family and kids' areas with arts activities for young people, a space for public school graduations, and an outdoor reading room, created in partnership with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Artistic programming will feature Lincoln Center’s world-class constituent organizations, including outdoor performances by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, film screenings from Film at Lincoln Center, a concert and cabaret series by Lincoln Center Theater, and dance workshops from New York City Ballet.

In addition, the project will include a wide range of cultural and community partners and guest curators, including the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Harlem Week and the Harlem Arts Alliance, Korean Cultural Center New York and Weeksville Heritage Center.

For more information, visit www.restartstage.org

 

Around Town - Texas Relief Pizza, Barista Scholarships, Georgian Cheese Bread and more...
February 25, 2021, 6:12.30 pm ET

 
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                          

Slice Joint at Market Line is offering a Texas Relief Pizza.  Starting Friday, Feb 26,  Slice Joint will be featuring the Coach Taylor Pizza for all of you Friday Night Lights lovers out there. With each purchase, Slice Joint will be donating a portion of each pizza to the Slice Out Hunger organization. The organization uses the donations to provide hot food and clean water for those who need it most. The Coach Taylor is a square pie with a Texas Style chili, Mozzarella, cheddar, sour cream, and scallions- YUM. The pies are available online and beneath the grand staircase in the Mini Market

 
 
Coffee Project New York is offering six African American coffee professionals access to a comprehensive Barista Training Program, professionally certified by the Specialty Coffee Association. The scholarship initiative launches with support from Chobani, and in honor of Black History Month, with the goal of promoting a more diverse and inclusive coffee industry.

As a partner, Chobani is covering 100% of the tuition costs for the program, and is also providing a welcome kit, as well as 25 cases of free Chobani® Oat Barista Edition. The program is for baristas who are currently in the industry, and/or have some experience working in coffee, and are interested in advancing their skills.  Interested candidates can find more information and apply here.
 
 Photo: Mifune                                                                                                   

MIFUNE New York is now open for al fresco dining and launched a new Bistro Patio menu. The menu has been created by Executive Chef  Yuu Shimano and his team. The patio, which is set in the front of the restaurant, feature 32 seats and canopies for rain or shine.
 
The curated menu begins includes Black Angus Beef Tataki, Octopus Frites, Squid Ink Seafood Bouillabaisse Rice, and Black Angus Skirt Steak in a Béarnaise sauce with pomme frites maison.  Finish the meal with one of the rotating dessert creations. MIFUNE New York is located at 245 East 44th St. New York, NY 10017 between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Phone: 212-986-2800.
 

Photo: Senza Gluten                                                             

Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery is launching dinner for the first time (Friday, 2/26; continuing Wednesday through Sunday), with a newly-renovated, heated outdoor space. The dinner menu featurs  comforting baked pasta dishes including wild mushroom ravioli, baked rigatoni, and manicotti, in addition to bakery signatures like chef’s favorite cheese bread (Georgian-style baked cheese bread, feta, fresh mozzarella & blue cheese, centered egg yolk & butter) and margherita pizza. Outdoor Dining in Senza Gluten’s newly renovated covered outdoor space features overhead heat lamps and plexiglass dividers, creating a warm and safe outdoor experience during the cool winter months.

 ~~~
Kimika, the recently opened Japanese-Italian restaurant in Nolita, is bringing awareness to mental health needs brought on by the pandemic with a special  three-course Pick Me Up pre-fixe dinner ($46 per person) from February 24-28th, with 50% of all proceeds donated to Vibrant Emotional Health. The menu includes:
 
The menus includes  Pan-fried Linguine with miso bolognese, edamame and scallions;  Broccoli Broccoli Broccoli with rabe, di ciccio, and Chinese broccoli cooked in dry aged beef fat and topped with golden furikake; Budino di Cornetto with yuzu, coconut, and mascarpone; and London Fog with earl grey, sesame milk, vanilla, and clove
 
Additionally, On March 5th [from 10AM - 4PM, or until sold out], Kimika will host Finding Hope Again, a Donut Pop-Up with flavors like Salted Maple, Yuzu Coffee, and Kinako Graham. Donuts will be available for $4 each, 6 for $24, or $48 for a baker’s dozen, with a portion of all proceeds donated to Vibrant.


Photo: Bao Teahouse                                                                 

BÀO Tea House (IG @baoteahouse) and Moon Man (IG: @hellomoonman) are dropping their first collaboration item drops as of Friday, Feb. 26, and will last for one month. This simple yet sophisticated bao is made from BÀO Tea House's Bao Bread, its signature crust, and Moon Man's buttery and aromatic Pandan Kaya Jam creating a mash-up of Southeastern flavors and the classic dim sum textures.

 ~~~
La Goulue, the Michelin-recognized French bistro on the Upper East Side helmed by Executive Chef Antoine Camin, is offering some winter weather favorites like Coq Au Vin, dark meat chicken dressed in a red wine sauce and adorned with carrots, pearl onions, bacon, and spaetzle; La Goulue Burger, 6 oz. Angus beef on a homemade bun with French fries; Lobster Cobb Salad with Maine Lobster, bacon, avocado, New York Cheddar and citrus dressing; and Profiteroles Croquantes, Choux puffs with vanilla ice cream, drizzled in a warm chocolate sauce. 

Check us out next time we head Around Town! 

 

OH K-Dog is a favorite of Instagrammers on the Lower East Side
February 25, 2021, 12:21.47 am ET

OH K-Dog is a favorite of Instagrammers on the LES

There aren’t many things we’d wait on line for in the dead of winter, but Oh K-Dog on the Lower East Side is actually worth the wait. At times the line can stretch around the block. Here’s why.

 OH K-Dog is a favorite of Instagrammers on the LES
Oh K-Dog Premium Dog

While it’s a favorite of Instagrammers keen on taking a photo of its heavily sauced dogs, they actually taste great. The person behind the counter was sincerely friendly, and helped us sauce up our creations. And the price was amazingly cheap for what is undeniably an internet sensation. Try about five bucks apiece.

 OH K-Dog is a favorite of Instagrammers on the LES
OH K-Dog Mozza Potato Dog

The Korean rice hot dogs, similar to a corn dog, come with a choice of classic, premium beef, cheddar, mozzarella and even squid ink. The dogs are then drizzled in a zigzag pattern with a variety of sauces, including mustard, ketchup and sweet chili and gochu sauce. The result is funky, yet delicious dog. The Mozza Potato Dog  takes it one step further with chunks of potato protruding from the sides with molten mozzarella stretching from its center. It’s really delicious!

 OH K-Dog is a favorite of Instagrammers on the LES

The restaurant also sells egg toast, similar in texture to a light French toast, filled with things like bacon & egg, ham & egg and teriyaki.  The inside is slathered with mayo and topped with egg slices. There's also an OH K avocado toast. Be prepared to wait about 20 minutes or so for your order to be prepared. You won't be disappointed.

Oh K-Dog is located at 159 Ludlow St, New York, NY (646) 448-4836

 

Bartering for pizza in New York City
February 24, 2021, 7:37.02 pm ET

 Rome native Gabriele Lamonaca came to New York in 2008 to study chemistry, but today finds himself making pizzas out of his Harlem apartment. But there's a hitch. According to the New York Post, which broke the story, Lamonaco only offers 3 to 4 pizzas per week with a crust that leavens for 96 hours.  But to get one, you'll need to barter for it via his Instagram page [unregularpizza] with one of your favorite dishes or a bottle of wine. Lamonaca reportedly plans to open his own restaurant this spring.





Instagram Posts: @unregularpizza                                                                                 

 

RENT CAST TO REUNITE AT NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP GALA
February 24, 2021, 7:10.25 pm ET


Photo: Sophie Thomson                                                                                

New York Theatre Workshop’s annual gala will be held virtually on Tuesday March 2, 2021 at 8PM and will remain available to stream through March 6. The evening’s program will be directed by Andy Señor Jr. and feature musical supervision by Stephen Oremus and musical direction by Will Van Dyke 

The highlight of the evening will include a reunion of cast members of the original cast of “Rent,” including Jesse L. Martin, Fredi Walker-Browne, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, and Daphne Rubin-Vega. The evening will also feature a special segment with over 130 “Rent” alums from productions around the world, including Jordan Fisher, Josh Grisetti, Brennin Hunt, Amber Iman, Amy Spanger, Taylor Trensch and Mike Wartella 

The evening will also feature performances and appearances from Sebastian Arcelus,Annaleigh Ashford, Martha Banta, Adam Chanler-Berat, Linda Chapman, Nicholas Christopher, Paul Clay, Wilson Cruz, Brandon Victor Dixon, Wendy Ettinger, Stephen Graham, Michael Greif, Janet Harckham, Jeremy O. Harris, Neil Patrick Harris, Victoria Leacock Hoffman, Joe Iconis, Christopher Jackson, Mariko Kojima, Kristen Lee Kelly, Julie Larson, Tamika Lawrence, The Lazours, Telly Leung, Kamilah Marshall, Kevin McCollum, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anaïs Mitchell, Shakina Nayfack, James Nicola, Eva Noblezada, Dael Orlandersmith, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Carlina Rivera, Jai Rodriguez, Jeffrey Seller, Rona Siddiqui, Leigh Silverman, Ali Stroker, Ephraim Sykes, Bernie Telsey, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Tracie Thoms, Ivo van Hove, Tom Viola, Tim Weil, Angela Wendt, Marlies Yearby and more.

In addition, there will be an original composition by “Dear Evan Hansen” composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

For more information, visit www.nytw.org

Jackass Burrito pops up inside El Vez at Battery Park
February 23, 2021, 11:48.44 pm ET

Jackass Burrito pops up inside El Vez at Battery Park
Photos: SJS for Cititour.com                                                                                              

In the age of COVID, restaurants are finding innovative ways to keep their businesses afloat. In a growing number of cases it is an innovative pop-up located within an existing restaurant. It's a symbiotic relationship that allows both to survive and hopefully thrive. Not too long ago we introduced you to Evil Katsu located inside Pretty Ricky's on the Lower East Side. And just the other day we were delighted by the positive energy being generated by ZaZa Lazagna which is working closely with Kelsky's in Cobble Hill.  The latest to pop up is Jackass Burrito tucked away inside El Vez in Battery Park. All three are hoping to turn their small ventures now into larger, successful standalone businesses. 

Jackass Burrito pops up inside El Vez at Battery Park

We were impessed with Jackass Burrito's slick packaging. The burritos arrive in an octogonal-shaped cardboard container that keeps it from bouncing around. It's bright blue and flashy, and sure to grab your attention. The burritos come fully loaded are quite the handful. If you're hungry you will want to keep one to yourself, or it can can easily be shared.

Jackass Burrito pops up inside El Vez at Battery Park
Jackass Baja Shrimp Burrito

We tried two of the Jackass burritos. Baja Shrimp comes with crispy shrimp, cilantro lime rice, cabbage, baja sauce, fried onions, pickled jalapenos and pico de gallo. The shrimp are large and plentiful, and the burrito has a nice spicy kick.

Jackass Burrito pops up inside El Vez at Battery Park
Jackass Burrito Pie Burrito

The other - a Frito Pie burrito - is filled with ground beef, cilantro lime rice, black beens, jalapeno queso, salsa roja, pickled jalapenos and fritos. It too makes for a filling meal. Both sell for $14 a pop.

Other options include a Mission Style burrito which comes with a choice of grilled chicken, carne asada, carnitas or grilled vegetables. You can also add double meat. If you are not intro a burrito, Jackass is also doing bowls.  Either way, we're sure you'll be bowled over. 

Jackass Burrito is located at 259 Vesey St, New York, NY (212) 233-2500

 

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Jing Fong surprises fans by closing its Chinatown location
February 23, 2021, 12:50.56 am ET


Photo: Jing Fong                                                                                                     

Jing Fong, one of the city's largest dim sum houses, is closing its Chinatown location after being hurt by the pandemic.

The restaurant left this messsage on its Instagram feed:

To the Jing Fong family, friends, and loyal fans from all around the world.

First and foremost, THANK YOU everyone for the endless support this past year, it truly means a lot to us and we really appreciate each and every one of you all, from the bottom of our hearts. We are heartbroken to announce that our Chinatown location at 20 Elizabeth Street, will be permanently closing its indoor dining operation on March 7, 2021 at 8:00pm. We will continue to operate from the 2nd floor kitchen for our outside patio, take-out, and delivery until further notice.

Classic comfort foods at ZaZa Lazagna in Cobble Hill
February 23, 2021, 12:27.41 am ET

Classic comfort foods at ZaZa Lazagna in Cobble Hill
Photo: Lauren Volo and Maeve Sheridan                                                                      

Sometimes it’s the comforting things we enjoy the most. A nice glass of wine, some friends and a large slice of lasagna. Zahra Tangorra is tapping into our inner lasagna obsession at ZaZa Lazagna, a pop-up inside Shelsky’s in Cobble Hill. Here lasagna is made fresh to order each Friday with a menu that also changes weekly.  

Classic comfort foods at ZaZa Lazagna in Cobble Hill 
Photo: ZaZa Lazagna                                                                        

There is the classic Meatless Lasagna with ricotta, mozzarella, provolone and red sauce.  Or, amp it up with some Green Lasagna with pesto, chard, broccoli and ricotta, or how about Carbonara Lasagna with pancetta, parmigiana and black pepper.  Each week there is a new adventure.

Italian soups like "pasta fazool" are offered, and traditional meatballs in red sauce. Or, maybe some Chicken Saltimbocca Meatballs?  Add garlic bread with tomato butter and you’ve got an entire Italian feast. Don’t skip out on dessert. The Cannoli Cake looks simply dreamy.

 Classic comfort foods at ZaZa Lazagna in Cobble Hill
Photo: ZaZa Lazagna                                                                   

As Zahra puts it, “Can’t go see your beloved family, and feeling overwhelmed with anxiety about the world smoldering around you? Well there’s no better solution then to eat an entire lasagna in the closet of your home and wash it down with some meatballs while crying in the bath!”

Classic comfort foods at ZaZa Lazagna in Cobble Hill
Photo: ZaZa Lazagna                                                                                            

The lasagna can be purchased by the tray (serving 4 to 5 people) for $40 to $45 or a big slice for $14.  A new menu is posted each week (this week’s is already sold out) and can be pre-ordered by DMing @zaza_lazagna a very Brucie pop up. Orders are picked up at Shelsky’s of Brooklyn (141 Court St) across from Trader Joe’s. 

Mangia!

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JOSH GROBAN TO RELEASE HARMONY DELUXE ON FEBRUARY 26
February 22, 2021, 10:27.04 pm ET


Photo: Josh Groban Harmony                                                          

Tony Award nominee and global superstar Josh Groban will release his newest album, “Harmony Deluxe” on February 26. The album includes 18 classic tunes such as “The Impossible Dream,” “Angels,” “I Can't Make You Love Me,” “Celebrate Me Home,” “Both Sides Now,” “Nature Boy” and many more standards. 

The record also features guest performances from Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr., Broadway composer and Grammy Award-winner Sara Bareilles and Grammy Award-winner Kirk Franklin.

Groban starred on Broadway in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which he received a Tony nomination, Drama League nomination and a Theatre World Award. He also appeared in the acclaimed London concert production of “Chess,” alongside Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal and Kerry Ellis. 

For more information, visit www.joshgroban.com

 

El Toro Taqueria opens in Brooklyn
February 22, 2021, 10:02.41 pm ET

There can never be enough taquerias in New York City and El Toro on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is worthy of a visit, especially if you are into oversized tacos topped with onion, cilantro and a healthy dollop of guacamole.  They come in assorted flavors like Carne Asada, Carnitas, Chorizo, Al Pastor, among others. There are shrimp and fish versions, along with pig ear.

The menu is quite extensive with chilaquiles, sopes, burritos, tostadas, chalupas, quesadillas and more. Larger plates include chilles rellenos, charcoal grilled pork chops and cecina (salted beef) with onions. Traditional juices like Horchata and Tamarindo are also available. Start with a healthy portion of guac and chips. 

El Toro is located at 7302 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY (718) 333-5200

 
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Movie Theaters to reopen in New York City on March 5
February 22, 2021, 6:03.14 pm ET


Photo: Shutterstock                                                                                               

With coronavirus cases in New York City going down, movie theaters are the latest to get the go-ahead to open up. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo giving the greenlight for theaters and billard halls to reopen at 25 percent on March 5th.

Cuomo said, "Thanks to the hard work and commitment of all New Yorkers, our infection rate is now the lowest we've seen in three months, and accordingly we will now be reopening various recreational activities across the state including billiard halls, weddings and movie theaters in New York City. As our infection rate continues to fall, and the vaccination rate continues to climb, we will keep reopening different sectors of our state's economy and focus our efforts on building our state back better than it was before."

Movie Theaters in New York City

Venues are restricted to 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen at a time.

- Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking

- Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.

- Social distancing between parties will be required at all times

- Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance

- Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters

- This action brings New York City movie theaters in line with movie theaters throughout the rest of the state.


Billiard/Pool Hall

- Halls are restricted to 50 percent capacity outside of New York City; 35 percent capacity in New York City

- Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking

- Mandatory social distancing must be enforced, or physical barriers between parties of patrons/players must be installed.

- Each party must be assigned to a table to avoid comingling.

- Staff must rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment between use           

For more information click here  

 

Coney Island Amusements are set to reopen on April 9th
February 22, 2021, 1:34.07 am ET

 
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                               

New York Governor Andrew Cumo says outdoor amusement parks can open at 33 percent capacity beginning Friday, April 9th. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and customers will be required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry

Governor Cuomo said, "With continued decreases in the infection and hospitalization rates, we have been able to take steps toward beginning our post-COVID recovery and we are excited to now be in a place where we can bring back our recreational industries with safety protocols in place. As we've said time and time again, our success will be dictated by our actions and as long as we stay united and keep carrying this momentum forward in a positive direction, we will be able to see more and more sectors of our economy reopen."

Here are some of the guidelines:

- Contact information must be collected from each party to inform contact tracing, if needed

- High-touch areas, attractions, and rides must be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day  

- Attractions must close if they cannot ensure distancing and be frequently cleaned/disinfected 

- Sufficient staff must be deployed to enforce compliance with rules, including capacity, distancing and face coverings

- Tickets should be sold in advance, and entry/exit and waiting times should be staggered to avoid congestion

For more information click here

Dinner at The Fulton as indoor dining returns to NYC
February 22, 2021, 12:08.38 am ET

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC
Photos: Cititour.com                                                                                             

We had been looking for an excuse to go to The Fulton, Jean-Georges' tribute to the sea at Pier 17. We found it with the resumption of indoor dining as we took in the sweeping views of the New  York City skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Here a look at our meal:

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Seafood Plateau
A Seafood Plateau for two with shrimps, oysters and sashimi

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Cocktail
A fruity Prosecco driven cocktail

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Ceviche
Red Snapper Ceviche with melon and cucumber

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Calamari
Crispy Calamari

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Shrimp Risotto
Shrimp Risotto with black truffle

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Longevity Noodles
Longevity Noodles with Maine lobster in a green chili and ginger broth

The Fulton, Jean-Georges, Pier 17, NYC, Black Sea Bass
Black Sea Bass with Swiss chard


Green Apple Cobbler with cinnamon ice cream

The Fulton is a perfect spot for a romantic meal. Try to score a table near the window, although any spot on the second floor offers fantastic views.  Service was quite good and we'd give the food 3-1/2 out of 4 stars.

The Fulton is located at 89 South St, New York, NY (212) 838-1200  Reservations via Resy

 

Cuomo to let NYC Restaurants open at 35 percent capacity
February 20, 2021, 8:35.18 am ET


Photo: The Ainslie in Williamsburg, Brooklyn                                                               

Governor Andrew Cuomo announces plans to allow New York City restaurants to reopen at 35 percent of capacity starting next Friday. Here's what the Governor said:

"Reopening New York City, restaurants are now 25 percent. They are 50 percent statewide. They're 50 percent in Connecticut. They're 50 percent on Long Island. New York City was closed. New York City is now 25 percent. In one week we will go to 35 percent in New York City restaurants which is consistent with New Jersey. What's happening now is people in New York City, Staten Island, Manhattan, are going to New Jersey to those restaurants. So it's not really accomplishing a purpose. So New York City restaurants will go to 35 percent next Friday. That will be consistent with New Jersey. Connecticut is still 50, Long Island is still 50, we understand that, but we're responding to the data. Obviously we're more sensitive to New York City because of the density, the concentration, the history. But we're headed in the right direction. We're making progress. The numbers continue to be good, we'll continue to make progress."

 

Guy Fieri's Flavortown ''Ghost" Kitchen Arrives in Times Square
February 20, 2021, 8:12.27 am ET

Guy Fieri's Flavortown ''Ghost Kitchen'' Arrives in Times Square
Photo: Guy Fieri                                                                                                      

Guy Fieri’s Flavortown "Ghost Kitchen" has arrived in Times Square, not too far from the site of his former restaurant. But you won’t find any sign of the celebrity chef. Located in a storefront, that also houses Il Buco and Planet Hollywood, the only sign that the place even exists is a  fold-out table with some brown paper bags on top and delivery people picking up.

While you won’t find any sign or cutout of the celebrity chef. You will find things like Jalapeño Pig Poppers ($12.99) Bacon-wrapped, fire roasted jalapeños, stuffed with andouille, pimento, S-M-Cheesesteak Egg Rolls ($14.99) shaved ribeye, SMC (super melty cheese), provolone & sriracha ketchup, Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Wings ($13.99) Guy's Award-winning Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sauce, buttermilk ranch dip, and the Real Cheezy Burger, 80/20 ground beef, SMC, LTOP, Donkey sauce, garlic buttered brioche with an option to add bacon. There’s also Flavortown Fried and Mac Daddy Mac ‘n Cheese. For dessert, there is the Cheesecake Challenge, NY-style cheesecake topped, salted potato chips, crushed pretzels + fudge sauce, and Chocolate Whiskey Cake.

Open from 10am th 10pm, Delivery only.

The Cauldron NYC Launches #FreeBritney Bingo Nights
February 20, 2021, 7:59.25 am ET

The Cauldron NYC Launches #FreeBritney Bingo Nights
Photos: The Cauldron NYC                                                                               

To honor the pop-star sensation as we go into Women’s History Month, The Cauldron NYC is launching #FreeBritney Drag Bingo Nights every Thursday from 7PM - 9:30PM starting next week, February 25th through March 25th.

The Cauldron NYC Launches #FreeBritney Bingo Nights, Holly Box Springs

The exuberating, nostalgic evening will be hosted by The Cauldron's reigning drag queen, Holly Box-Springs, and feature Britney's biggest tunes, themed prizes including #FreeBritney masks, complimentary 'Toxic' welcome shots made with Mezcal and Strawberry Liquor (Non-Toxic options available), and specialty dishes including:

Oops, I Hummus Again (w/ Classic, Beet or Carrot)

I’m Not A Girl, Nachos A Woman (Plantain chips w/ choice of beef or lamb)

I’m a Slave, for Smoked Street Corn (w/ Chilli Butter or Sumac)

10% of beverage sales will go to TranslatinX Network and social distanced tables will be available both indoors and outdoors in our ventilated and heated snow globes with individual speakers.

For reservations: Call 917-635-1960 or e-mail leah.s@thecauldron.io. Entry is free but guests are strongly encouraged to book due to limited capacity.

 

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is coming to New York
February 19, 2021, 7:07.46 pm ET

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is coming to New York
Photos: Immersive Van Gogh                                                                            

Following a sold-out run in Toronto, Immersive Van Gogh will be making its mark at a secret New York City location, soon to be announced. The exhibit is a strikingly spectacular digital art exhibition that invites audiences to "step inside" the legendary works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, evoking his highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement, and imagination. Featuring towering projections that illuminate the mind of the artistic genius, the exhibition features a curated selection of images from Van Gogh's 2,000+ lifetime catalog of masterpieces, including Mangeurs de Pommes de Terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889). Paintings will be presented as to how the artist first saw the scenes, based on an active life and moving landscapes turned into sharp yet sweeping brush strokes.

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is coming to New York

The hour-long, timed-entry, walk-through experience is designed with health and safety as a priority. Additional safety precautions include touchless ticket-taking, temperature checks upon arrival, hand sanitizer stations, social distancing markers throughout the venue, and digitally projected social distancing circles on the gallery floors to ensure appropriate spacing. All guests must wear a face covering at all times during their visit. 

 Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is coming to New York

Designed by Creative Director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi, Immersive Van Gogh contains original, mood-setting music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi and Vittorio Guidotti as the Art Director. Siccardi immersive productions in Paris have been seen by over 2 million visitors and were featured on the Netflix TV show "Emily in Paris," episode 5.

 Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is coming to New York

For more information about Immersive Van Gogh, visit https://www.vangoghnyc.com call 844-307-4644. 

 

Asal Yemen brings coffee and honey together in Brooklyn
February 19, 2021, 6:44.01 pm ET

 Asal Yemen brings coffee and honey together in Brooklyn
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                    

Asal Yemen on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is a unique spot for Yemeni coffee and pastries with a spacious dining area equipped with cafe seating. On the coffee side look for specialty lattes with honey and flavors like cardamom, ginger and saffron. Pastries include assorted cupcakes, cheesecake and honey buns. Don’t pass up on the pressed cookies, called Mamool, that are filled with dates and nuts. The ones we tried were truly exceptional.  The shop is also roasting its own coffee and sells four different types of honey - Sedr, Mountain, Somer and Almarai - some of which offer nutritional and therapeutic properties.

 Asal Yemen - 7616 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (347) 560-6329

 

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station
February 19, 2021, 5:29.01 pm ET

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

The $1.6 billion transformation of the James A. Farley Post Office Building into the new Moynihan Train Hall offers a stunning new transit options for New Yorkers and visitors alike. 

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

A spacious atrium will be become a major food hub with restaurants and bars set to open this Fall. 

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

During the day, the Moynihan Train Hall is bathed with natural light from 92-foot-high skylights.

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

Travelers will also find dedicated waiting areas, complimentary WiFi, and accessibility for customers with disabilities.

Inside the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station
Photos: Cititour.com                                                                                               

Moynihan Train Hall is open to the public daily from 5 am through 1 am and closed to the public between 1 am and 5 am. Between 1 am and 5 am.

Hole in the Wall finds a new home at Hotel Hendricks
February 17, 2021, 7:17.05 pm ET

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC
Photo: The Hendricks Hotel                                                                                          

The expansion of the Hole in the Wall brand continues with a new location of the Aussie cafe and restaurant opening at Hotel Hendricks (West 38th St) on February 18th. Led by Barry Dry, CEO of Parched Hospitality Group, Hole in the Wall has expanded rapidly during the pandemic with openings in Flatiron and Williamsburg. In 2014, Parched Hospitality acquired the tiny boutique coffee shop and Hole in the Wall was introduced to New York City. Since then, it has emerged as one of the city's most iconic and experience-driven cafe brands.

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC
Photos: Hole in the Wall                                                                                         

Hole in the Wall is known for dishes like OG Beef Burger, a 6oz patty with crispy double smoked bacon, miso onions, American cheese, lettuce, pickles and special sauce served with a side of fries.

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC, OG Beef Burger
The OG Beef Burger

Shrimp Pappardelle, a mix of shrimp and crab with shaved garlic, Calabrian chili, lemon and fried parsley. 

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC, Shrimp Pappardelle
Shrimp Pappardelle

Burrata Salad with baby peas, edamame, mint, shaved zucchini, parmesan and salsa verde. 

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC, Burrata Salad
Burrata Salad

And brunch items ranging from sunny side up eggs with bacon to Pulled Pork Benedict with poached eggs, burnt butter hollandaise and beet relish on sourdough.

Hole in the Wall, Hendricks Hotel, NYC, Brunch
Brunch at Hole in the Wall

Parched Hospitality has also signed a management deal with Fortuna Realty Group’s Hotel Collection to take over Hotel Hendricks' Rooftop and Sir Henri Penthouse Rooftop at Hotel Henri. Executive Chef Brent Hudson will helm the kitchen at each of the three venues.  His fine dining approach to cooking will be showcased in these two elevated destinations. The penthouse space at Hotel Henri in Flatiron will be as much a cozy winter escape as it will be a breezy, open-aired oasis in summer, making it the ultimate year round cocktail bar and restaurant. The Hendricks Rooftop boasts two bars, one for sultry summer nights and one for year-round cocktails and conversation.

Hendricks Hotel Rooftop, NYC
Hotel Hendricks Rooftop

With multiple concepts taking inspiration from Australia, South East Asia and Europe, Parched Hospitality Group, has established itself as a major provider of unique experiences in the New York market. Parched Hospitality says its focus is on putting customer experience and innovation at the core of everything they do. Whether it’s lounging poolside at The Sentry 40 stories high, sipping espresso by the Flatiron building or tasting the flavors of South East Asia a stone's throw away from Central Park when their newest concept Ms. Alice opens in 2021, Parched Hospitality says they have you covered.

 

GLORIA ESTEFAN TO LAUNCH “BROADWAY BABY” BOOK
February 17, 2021, 5:24.00 pm ET

 
Photo: Gloria Estefan                                                                                                   

Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan will help launch the new book “Broadway Baby,” by participating in a special reading to take place on Sunday, February 21 at 3pm. A portion of the reading’s ticket sales will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event is being held in conjunction with One Grand Books.

The work, which is written by Russell Miller with Judith A. Proffer, takes readers on a truly theatrical journey from Miller’s crib to the playground to the heart of New York City and Broadway.

Join the online launch joining are Broadway stars Santino Fontana, Caitlin Kinnunen, Laura Osnes, Ruby Lewis, Telly Leung, Kara Lindsay, Ann Sanders, Adam Pascal, Kevin Spirtas, Nik Walker, Kevin Massey and Astrid van Wieren.

Estefan has earned three Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, an American Music Award and numerous other honors. A biomusical of her life “On Your Feet,” ran on Broadway from 2015 to 2017.

Tickets are $25 and include a signed copy of the book. To reserve tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-star-studded-reading-of-broadway-baby-tickets-138958545751

 
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Winona's highlights wine list for National Drink Wine Day
February 16, 2021, 8:01.10 pm ET


Photo: Winona's                                                                                    

Winona’s, the modern European café-restaurant and natural wine bar in Williamsburg, recently opened its doors to the public in November 2020.

The wine list was curated by Executive Chef and Owner Cressida Greening, who is a certified sommelier with The Court of Master Sommeliers. Her list, which features a select number of reds, whites, sparkling and skin contacts by the glass and bottle, places a supreme emphasis on low intervention, natural and biodynamic wines from small producers. These include Occhipinti, Cellar Frisach, Meinlang, La Stoppa, Antonio Madeira, Cantina Giardino, Pheasant’s Tears and Anita & Hans Nittnaus.

The list serves as a wonderful complement to signature dishes including the Scotch Egg with mustard and cornichons, as well as the Lamb Meatballs with tomato harissa sauce, parmesan polenta, and herbs.

Bottles are available for pickup through their website, as well as delivery via Seamless and GrubHub. Winona’s is located at 676 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206, and reservations can also be made via Resy.
 

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MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB LAUNCHES ''CURTAIN CALL'' SERIES
February 16, 2021, 7:02.12 pm ET

 
Photo: Ron Cephas Jones                                                 

Manhattan Theatre Club will launch its virtual “Curtain Call” series with Richard Wesley’s “The Past Is the Past,” which will stream on demand from Thursday, February 18 through Sunday, February 28.

The reading, directed by Oz Scott, stars Emmy Award nominee Jovan Adepo (“Watchmen”) and two-time Emmy Award winner and Obie Award winner Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”). It is set in a pool hall, where a man in his mid-40s shoots a solitary game until a college student he has never met challenges him to play. As their game goes on, it becomes clear that the men realize they have a deep connection to each other.

Upcoming readings in the monthly “Curtain Call” series, which is focused on new readings of previously produced productions, will include “Three Days of Rain,” written by Richard Greenberg, directed by Evan Yionoulis, with Patricia Clarkson, John Slattery, and Bradley Whitford; “Neat” written and performed by Charlayne Woodard; and “Beauty of the Father,” written by Nilo Cruz and directed by Michael Greif.

Tickets to the reading are free and can be reserved at www.manhattantheatreclub.com/events/mtc-curtain-call-series.

 

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Gage & Tollner reopens with two new takeout concepts
February 16, 2021, 5:56.22 pm ET

Gage & Tollner reopens with two new takeout concepts
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                                    

Eleven months after opening under its glowing chandeliers, Gage & Tollner located in Downtown, Brooklyn is launching two new delivery only concepts tomorrow: Gage & Tollner at Home and the Sunken Harbor Club. 

Gage & Tollner at Home offers meal kits, prepped and ready to cook and prepare at home. Two selections are being offered to start: Braised Heritage Pork with Seasonal Vegetables and Fresh Biscuits, which comes with drinking chocolate and housemade marshmallows; and a Dry-Aged New York State Grass-fed Ribeye Dinner. The ribeye kit includes French onion soup with croutons, broccoli gratin, wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese dressing, and chocolate-walnut brownies with salted caramel sauce. Both kits come in charming packages complete with instructions. A selection of wine chosen by sommelier, Étienne Guérin, is available, as are classic cocktails in 375ml and 750ml bottles.

Sunken Harbor Club is offering a selection of tropical drinks, and a menu of craveable global bar food. Cocktails include tiki classics like the Jungle Bird (blackstrap rum, pineapple, and Campari) and the Mai Tai (rum, orange, almond, and lime), and Sunken Harbor Club originals like the Long Nine (italian amaro, sherry, coconut, lime, and cacao). The food menu features yuba spring rolls, glazed pork spareribs, fried rice okonomiyaki, and other goodies. For spirit aficionados, there is the Commodore's Collection — 2 ounce bottles of "rare and extraordinary" spirits, like Ak Zanj, a 15-year-old Haitian rum aged in French oak. 

Both menus are available for pickup or delivery starting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 17. 

St. John Frizell, one of Gage & Tollner's co-owners, writes, "As you know, off-site dining was not part of our original concept. We wanted every Gage & Tollner meal to take place in our landmarked dining room. But the world has changed, and demands that we change with it. We truly believe that our new delivery concepts carry the original spirit of Gage & Tollner into the pandemic age, and we hope you agree. "

Gage & Tollner plans to resume indoor dining once the state gives the goahead for 50 percent capacity. 

Gage& Tollner is located at 372 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201

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There's nothing evil about Evil Katsu on the LES
February 16, 2021, 12:21.41 am ET


Evil Katsu Pork Sando

Don't let the name Evil Katsu intimidate you. The only thing you'll need to feel guilty about is the pure satisfaction it brings from indulging in a premium katsu sandwich.  The shop is actually a pop-up located in the back of Pretty Ricky's on the Lower East Side with dreams of becoming a full-scale restaurant. Life in the pandemic has created a number of interesting relationships like this one where restaurants benefit by  helping each other navigate through difficult times.

What Evil Katsu has going for it is the food. We stopped in for a Pork Sando which was amazing. The marinated center cut pork cutlet is double-fried until the outer shell is nice and crispy and the meat inside is tender and juicy. The pork is sandwiched between thick slices of milk toast with two types of slaw, red cabbage and carrot, with a nice slather of nori kewpie. It's indulgent and delicious. Chicken and portobello versions are also available.


Evil Katso Box Set

If you are looking for something a bit more substantail, you can order a box set complete with cutlet, rice and two sides. Choices include potato or egg salad and marinated mushrooms.  The sets and sandos each come with a portion of house-made pickles served in a little boat that you won't want to pass up.


Photos: Cititour.com                                                                                               

Right now, Evil Katsu is strictly takeout and delivery, but who knows, maybe sometime in the near future you'll be able to dine in.  

Evil Katsu is located at 101 Rivington St, New York, NY (973) 255-0255

 

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Black Seed Bagels Does Pizza
February 15, 2021, 6:45.31 pm ET

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC  
Photos: Shay Harrington                                                                                            

What do you get when you combine dough that's fermented for 36 hours, stone ground flour from Wild Hive Farm in Hudson Valley and a 100-year-old sourdough starter - Black Seed Pizza - from the bagel folks who are known above and beyond. The sauce is made using certified organic Bianco DiNapoli San Marzano-style tomatoes from California. 

For now the pizzas are being sold out of their East Village location (176 First Ave) where Chef Bobby Hellen is taking over the kitchen for part of the day to create a series of custom Sicilian-style pan pies, both square and round. The founding partners of Black Seed (Noah Bernamoff, Matt Kliegman, and Dianna Daoheung) have been friends with the former GG's chef for many years, and are "thrilled" to collaborate with him to utilize their existing shop and beloved wood-fired oven in this way. Black Seed Pizza is also more than just a "virtual concept" launched during the pandemic. It will be a full-fledged, standalone business alongside the bagel operation, poised to grow and potentially operate out of more Black Seed locations with wood-fired ovens.

Here's a look a some of the creations:

 Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, Cheese Pie
Cheese Pie

Cheese Pie - Mozzarella blend, tomato, grana padano, pecorino romano & fresh basil (add Pepperoni) 

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie - Tomato sauce, pecorino romano & garlic (add Anchovy) 

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, White Pie with Chili Crunch
White Pie with Chili Crunch

White Pie - Fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, oregano, grana padano, pecorino, sweet onion & chili crunch 

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, Green Pie
Green Pie

Green Pie - Marinated kale, pesto, fresh mozzarella, scamorza, grana padano, pecorino, garlic, artichoke & pickled pepper

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, Bob's Pie
Bob's Pie with Sopressata

Bob's Pie - Sopressata, mozzarella blend, grana padano, pecorino, tomato sauce, red onion, castelvetrano olive, banana pepper, oregano & homemade chimichurri

Other add-ons include Castlevetrano olives, artichoke, pesto, chimichurri, chili crunch, pickled peppers and more.  Also on the menu, an Antipasto Salad and Everything Spice Cheesy Bread with tomoato dipping sauce, in a nod to Black Seed Bagels.   

Black Seed Pizza, East Village, NYC, Cheesy Bread
Everything Spice Cheesy Bread

The pizza will be available to be ordered for pickup (at 176 First Ave) and delivery to the surrounding area through Black Seed Pizza's own ordering site (www.blackseedpizza.com), and also via third party delivery platforms including DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats. The shop will operate open nightly, seven days a week, Sunday - Thursday from 4pm - 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 4pm - 11pm.

 

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ITNY PRESENTS CITY SKATE POP UP CONCERTS
February 15, 2021, 5:48.25 pm ET


Photo: ITNY                                                                                                                   

Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) presents “City Skate Pop Up Concerts” as part of Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park's Kids Week on Thursday, February 18 and Friday, February 19 at 10:45am at The Rink at Bryant Park.

ITNY performers include Ella Bauer, Gage and Oona Brown, Val Levine, and Sally Jean Watkins, with choreography by Joel Dear, Tanya Douglass, Jody Sperling, and Douglas Webster. 

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is open daily through March 28, 2021, and in addition to The Rink, the annual winter event features fun, outdoor activities including The Shops, delicious food offerings at the heated Lodge Deck, the Curling Café and Cozy Igloos.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://bryantpark.org/programs/kids-week.

 

CHARLAYNE WOODARD'S ''THE NIGHT WATCHER'' GETS ENCORE VIEWING
February 15, 2021, 5:34.13 pm ET


Photo: Primary Stages                                                        

Primary Stages is offering a special encore viewing of “The Night Watcher, an auto-biographical, one-woman play by Tony-winning actress-playwright Charlayne Woodard, from February 17-28.

Simultaneously a best friend, advisor, confidant and sage to the many young people who call her “Auntie,” Woodard beautifully weaves together stories of the ordinary and extraordinary ways she has mentored the children in her life in this remarkable show.

Woodard won the Tony for her work in the original production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Her many stage credits include “Pretty Fire.” “Daddy.” “Fabulation” and “Hamlet.”

Tickets are free but advance registration is required. To register and for more information please visit www.59e59.org/shows/show-detail/the-night-watcher-encore-viewing.

 

La Dolce Vita Tel Aviv Style at Dagon on the UWS
February 14, 2021, 10:00.38 am ET

Dagon Middle Eastern Restaurant, UWS, NYC

Dagon brings Middle Eastern flavors to the Upper West Side.  Located at 2454 Broadway (90th and 91st St), Dagon serves food from "somewhere in the Mediterranean”, a phrase that prolific restaurateurs Simon Oren and David Sasson know well from growing up in Israel.  This motto was inspired from the Voice of Peace, the offshore radio station that broadcasts in the Middle East for 20 years from the former Dutch cargo vessel MV Peace.

Dagon Middle Eastern Restaurant, UWS, NYC

Helmed by Chef Ari Bokovza (formerly Claudette), whose roots are also Israeli, Dagon takes diners on a food ride with stops in Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. The menu features traditional shareable mezze dishes such as Muhammarah, Moroccan Carrots, and Sasson Chicken Liver. There are small plates like Moroccan Cigars filled with ground lamb, potato, dill, and amba; Charred Eggplant with buttermilk vinaigrette, tomato jam, shabazi bread crumbs; and Shisha Barak, Lebanese mushroom filled dumplings warm yogurt, pine nuts, spicy herb sauce and more. A hearty Harissa BBQ Chicken, Crispy Lamb Shawarma, and Pan-Roasted Salmon along with fresh salads are some of the highlights in Chef Ari’s menu. Kubanehs, Jerusalem Bagels, and Laffas baked fresh daily in a pizza oven are also offered.

 Dagon Middle Eastern Restaurant, UWS, NYC

The menu isn’t the only thing that’s exciting. Cheerily decorated, Dagon has a homey feel with 70's vintage wallpapers, light wood tables, and chairs and banquettes with ivory colored cushions. Think La Dolce Vita Tel Aviv style. The whole restaurant can seat 135, there's a main dining room for 100, and up a few stairs two rooms, one semi-private for 20, and another for 10. But clearly now it'll be 25 people inside plus their outdoor area.

 Dagon Middle Eastern Restaurant, UWS, NYC
Photos: Dagon                                                                                                        

Dagon is located at 2454 Broadway, New York, NY (212) 873-2466  Menu


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A 10-course Wagyu tasting menu to-go
February 12, 2021, 6:20.15 pm ET


Photo: Mifune                                                                                             

MIFUNE New York, the Michelin-recognized Japanese restaurant in Midtown, has partnered with the House of Japanese Wagyu to create a tasting menu entirely of Japanese Wagyu beef. The 10-course tasting menu comes in the form of a Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu A5 Premium Omakase Box Set, and is available for takeout and delivery. Highlights include:

- Wagyu Shiso Squid Ink Katsu

- Japanese Style Wagyu Meatballs

- Wagyu Tartare & Caviar

- Wagyu & Black Truffle Takikomi Rice

The box serves two people and is available for $180. Add-ons are also available in the form of desserts and champagnes, including Brut Extra NV1er Cru Blanc de Blancs. The full offering can be found here.

 

Dhamaka brings ''unapologetic'' Indian cuisine to Essex Market
February 12, 2021, 5:48.45 pm ET


Photos: Dhamaka at Essex Market                                                                                   

Chef and Partner Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar, of the critically acclaimed Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen, are bringing Dhamaka, a new “Unapologetic Indian” restaurant to Essex Market. Dhamaka (which means “explosion” in Hindi) is a deep dive into the cuisine that encapsulates the heritage and vibrancy of the subcontinent's rich culinary history.


Paplet Fry

Foods from unrepresented regions of India dominate the menu at Dhamaka. An ‘explosion’ of flavors is present in every dish with help from the country's collections of ancestral spices, migrational culinary patterns, and the traditional methods of preparation which include open fire cooking, clay pots, pressure cookers, and grills.


Murgh Kofta

Dishes include Paplet Fry - pomfret fish, ginger, cumin and green curry; Doh Kleh – pork, lemon, cilantro, onion and ginger; and Murgh Kofta – chicken mince, egg and poppy seeds.  

 
Doh Kleh

The casual 42-seat restaurant with floor to ceiling windows onto Delancey Street includes a 10-seat bar and 40-seat sidewalk patio. The decor by architect-designer Wid Chapman is vibrant and colorful with hand-painted murals and industrial accents reflective of the Indian culture and local neighborhood.

Dhamaka at Essex Street Market, 88 Essex Street (212) 204-8616




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Kimika to showcase Japanese Wagyu Beef
February 11, 2021, 6:25.30 pm ET

 Kimika to showcase Japanese Wagyu Beef
Photo: Kimika                                                                                                        

Kimika, the Japanese-Italian restaurant in Nolita, is partnering with a Japanese organization, to showcase Japanese Wagyu Beef. The House of Japanese Wagyu campaign features more than 60 restaurants in New York and Los Angeles with the addition of exclusive Wagyu dishes.

Kimika’s Shabu Shabu menu ($250) features a variety of cuts including, A5 wagyu strip loin, 100 day dry aged ribeye, short rib & bone marrow tortellini, among others. It is accompanied by such things as uni, yaki onigiri, fresh noodles, and mixed mushrooms such as nebrodini, maitake and enoki. A selection of housemade shabu saucesare also being offered. Mochi bomboloncini with nutella, toasted sesame, and hazelnut for dessert.

Reservations, beginning Friday, February 12th are available on Tock with two seating per night. Happy to share additional information or images if interested.

9 Spacious spots to keep in mind as indoor dining resumes
February 11, 2021, 5:29.30 pm ET


Photo: Brooklyn Chop House                                                                                   

Brooklyn Chop House (150 Nassau Street) in FiDi offers seating for 40 indoors at 25 percent capacity. Menu items include everything from French Onion Soup Dumplings to a Dry-Aged Porterhouse, or feast on L.S.D., lobster, steak and duck for the entire table. The restaurant also employs a 40-point safety plan, including temperature checks.

Ainslie (76 Ainslie Street) in Williamsburg is a massive 10,000 square foot, multi-level Italian restaurant, wine bar and biergarten complete with a rooftop. They have indoor seating capacity of 281 seats, so at 25% capacity, 70 seats are available to add to their ample outdoor seating. Ainslie's Executive Chef John DeLucie and lead pizzaiolo Erasmo ‘Mino’ Lassandro offer a menu of wood-fired pizzas, pastas, free-range chicken, NY Strip Steak, Atlantic Salmon and Wood-Fired Rosemary Wings. 

 
Photo: Kissaki at JACX&CO                                                                                    

Kissaki, the culinary experience honoring Japanese tradition, is available at 25% percent capacity at their JACX&CO (28-17 Jackson Ave) location in Long Island City, Upper West Side location and Bowery locations. Kissaki’s year-round menu includes a premium omakase from Executive Chef Mark Garcia. To ensure safety, Kissaki’s two robots, their Maki Maker and Nigiri Maker are used for delivery and take out orders. 

Clinton Hall’s FiDi location (90 Washington St) is open at 25% capacity for indoor dining and cocktails. Executive Chef Darryl Harmon is known for his Double Smashed Burgers, Buffalo Cauliflower, Crispy Chicken Wings, Giant Pretzels and more. Clinton Hall's FiDi and Bronx locations are open as well for indoor and outdoor dining.

 
            Photo: Willow                                                                                                     

Willow (199 8th Avenue) in Chelsea is offering vegan bistro fare.  Beyond Sushi's Executive Chef Guy Vaknin and his wife Tali are putting a new spin on American classics and comfort foods. Willow launched with takeout and delivery in mid-January and will now offers indoor dining at 25 percent capacity.  Reservations can be made via Resy.

Hole in the Wall is opening at 25% capacity indoors at Hotel Henri (37 W. 24th St.) in Flatiron, with the ability to host 21 guests indoors and more outdoors underneath the hotel's awning. Chef Brent Hudson signature dishes like Avocado Toast, Pulled Pork Benedict and a Brekky Roll with Applewood smoked bacon. Indoor dining is also available at Hole in the Wall’s other locations in Murray Hill, FiDi and a new spot in Williamsburg.

Loulou (176 8th Avenue) in Chelsea is offering indoor seating for 30 diners, with the ability to book out their private dining room as well, while safely distanced.  Executive Chef Jarett Brodie is serving up Duck Leg Confit with apple rosemary puree and gala chutney, Steak Frites featuring a 7oz skirt steak and béarnaise, among others. The restaurant is also known for its craft cocktails.

  
Photo: Noir Supper Club                                                                                         

NOIR Supperclub (357 W. 16th Street) in the Meatpacking District is a multi-leveled 1920s-inspired lounge with seating for 38 diners at 25 percent capacity, including VIP seating. The menu draws from the flavors of Asia with dishes like Miso Glazed Salmon, BBQ Pork Belly with baby bok choy, along with a selection of sushi, sashimi and rolls. Tasting menus are also available.

Nerai (55 E. 54th Street) offers a contemporary twist on sophisticated Greek dining in the heart of the city. It features two elegantly appointed dining rooms in addition to Cava Nerai, providing two distinct private dining spaces.  Plexiglass separates the banquettes throughout the restaurant.  Nerai’s flavorful fresh seafood dishes and cocktails can be enjoyed indoors. A new Jasmine garden from Floratorium can be found on the restaurant's second floor.  Reservations can be made via www.nerainyc.com

Cuomo announces events at major stadiums can reopen
February 11, 2021, 12:24.02 am ET


Photo: Shutterstock                                                                                             

Governor Cuomo just announcing that sports and sntertainment svents in major stadiums and arenas can reopen with limited spectators starting February 23. The Governor citing the success of the Buffalo Bills pilot program as a model.  Facilities will be required to follow similar operational guidelines in order to re-open.

Barclays Center is already approved to reopen on February 23 for Brooklyn Nets home game against the Sacramento Kings. Success of the new initiative could lead to the future reopenings of smaller venues, including Broadway.

Here are the guidelines:

- Obtain DOH approval for both venues and events

- Institute a 10 percent capacity limit in arenas and stadiums

- Ensure all staff and spectators receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event

- Mandate face coverings, social distancing and temperature checks for all those in attendance

- Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating

- Collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts

- Meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards

- Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all state-issued guidance

For more details click here

 
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Ootoya Onigiri Pop-Up Window Opens in Times Square
February 10, 2021, 10:31.25 am ET

Ootoya in Times Square now has an onigiri window open to the public celebrating onigiri, also known as the japanese rice ball. Choices include Salted Pork Scallion, Shisho Hijiki Seaweed, Beef sukiyaki and Shrimp Ebe-Fry. Prices range from $3.50 to $5 per piece. sets range from $9 for a two piece set with one side to $35 for a 10-piece "Souvenir" set. The onigiri is being sold daily from 11:30am to 2pm through early March.


Photos: Cititour.com                                                                                           

Ootoya is located at 141 W 41st St, New York, NY (212) 704-0833

 

Sweet Valentine's treats for your sweetie
February 9, 2021, 6:54.47 pm ET

Kissaki, Valentine's Day

Kissaki is offering a beautifully packaged Omakase Primi, Midi, and Maxi option in addition to a decadent Raspberry Rose Chiffon Cake sourced from Taste Crème in Long Island City for dessert. 

Senza Gluten, Valentine's Day

For a gluten-free Valentine’s Day treat, the Greenwich Village bakery, Senza Gluten, is offering an assortment of lovingly-made baked goods from executive chef and owner Jemiko L. Solo. Look for red heart shaped shortbread cookies, ed velvet cupcakes and more. 

Mochidoki, Valentine's Day

Mochidoki is offering a special Valentine’s Day Creations Collection, including Black Forest (cherry chocolate mochi, chantilly cream, dark chocolate gateau, dried Morello cherries), Cinnamon Mocha (espresso mochi, cinnamon meringue, dark chocolate glaçage, edible silver leaf), and Chocolate Strawberry (strawberry mochi, chocolate glaçage, white chocolate curls, strawberry cream).  

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American Brass is offering a special prix-fixe meal for Valentine's Day
February 9, 2021, 6:37.59 pm ET


Photo: American Brass                                                                                      

American Brass is offering a special 3-course prix-fixe menu for Valentine's Day. Diners will have a choice of appetizers including Seared Foie Gras "Terrine" and Tuna Crudo.  Entrees include Roast Beef Strip Loin, Scallops with Lobster Sabayan and Angolotti with Butternut Squash. Chocolate Passionfruit Tart and Lemon Trifle area among the desserts. The $90 meal starts with a glass of champagne. Indoor dining and outdoor greenhouses are available.


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Gray Hawk Grill arrives on Manhattan's Upper East Side
February 9, 2021, 6:14.35 pm ET

Gray Hawk Grill arrives on Manhattan's Upper East Side

Gray Hawk Grill is a New American restaurant located on the Upper East Side. The neighborhood grill sources only the best ingredients from New York's finest purveyors (including Master Purveyors for beef, Pierless for fish, Orwashers for bread and The Little Pie Company for desserts) to give guests a memorable dining experience in a comfortable, yet chic, atmosphere.

Gray Hawk Grill arrives on Manhattan's Upper East Side

Owner Steve Millan is a native New Yorker who currently resides on the Upper East Side right by his newest restaurant endeavor. Steve has managed restaurants all over NYC and has opened 12 restaurants in other major markets including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami. To fully understand how a kitchen works and how to produce great food, Steve, a CIA graduate, cooked for two years at the New York Times four star rated Le Cirque. Millan also worked for six years with Steve Hanson’s BR Guest Restaurants, managing Blue Water Grill, as well as Fiamma, and the Upper East Side institution Atlantic Grill. Gray Hawk Grill is Steve’s first solo owned restaurant.

Gray Hawk Grill arrives on Manhattan's Upper East Side

The dinner menu includes Baked Clams, Butternut Squash Soup and Fresh Burrata Salad as starters. Look for entrees like Chicken Milanese with arugula-tomato-fennel salad, Atlantic Cod over whipped potatoes and herb white wine sauce, Cacio e Pepe with Bucatini, Pecorino Romano, fresh cracked pepper, GH Burger with a Dry-Aged Beef Blend, cheddar cheese, crispy shallots, brioche roll and fries, and Filet Mignon with herb butter. Gray Hawk Grill also offers Family Style Dinners which serve 2-3 people on Sundays for dine in guests and for takeout and delivery daily.

Gray Hawk Grill arrives on Manhattan's Upper East Side
Photos: Gray Hawk Grill                                                                                           

Gray Hawk Grill has an extensive wine list in addition to champagne, beer and cocktails.  Indoor dining is available starting on Friday will be 20 guests, which is at 25% capacity. Tables are all 6+ feet apart.  There is also heated outdoor dining for 24 guests.

Gray Hawk Grill is located at 1556 2nd Ave, New York, NY (646) 669-7376

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Maison Yaki is reopening in Prospect Heights for takeout and delivery
February 9, 2021, 5:45.20 pm ET

Maison Yaki is reopening in Prospect Heights for takeout and delivery

Maison Yaki, the French yakitori restaurant in Prospect Heights from chef-owner Greg Baxtrom is reopening for takeout and delivery.  The restaurant closed less than a year after opening due to the pandemic.  Baxtrom temprarily used the space to host a number of pop-ups from rising local talent, like Lani Halliday’s Brutus Bakeshop and Jared Howard’s Honey Bunny’s Chicken, and SuperSonic, a hot dog pop up from Olmsted’s longtime chef de cuisine Taylor Hester.

Now, Maison Yaki is reopening with its signature yakitori menu and starters like Cauliflower Okonomiyaki with yuzu kosho mayo and Japanese BBQ sauce; Duck Rillette with wasabi hollandaise, pickled ginger and toasted brioche; and Mimosa Salmon Tartare with fried capers, lemon creme fraiche and white pepper crackers.  Signature yakitori includes King Trumpet Mushrooms [grown above Maison Yaki’s bar] a la Grecque; Shrimp with Sauce Maltaise; and Duck Meatballs A L’Orange, among others.

                      Photos: Maison Yaki 

New menu items include sandwiches like Super Crunch Fried Chicken with Japanese BBQ sauce, cabbage and pickles; and a Wagyu Burger with squid ink and ginger hollandaise.  Also new to the menu, Beef Short Rib yakitori with sauce bordelaise and bone marrow butter; Grilled Chicken Wings with espelette and sansho pepper; and Tempura Fried Onion Rings with rouille and fresno chili pepper.

Maison Yaki’s new menu [each dish priced under $20], will be available for takeaway and delivery via Caviar, Uber Eats, Seamless and Grubhub.

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Kusama: Cosmic Nature is coming to the NYBG this Spring
February 9, 2021, 12:29.04 am ET

The New York Botanical Garden has announced the dates for its 2021 exhibition Kusama: Cosmic Nature, featuring new works by pioneering artist Yayoi Kusama. The exhibition will be o view from April 10-Oct 31 highlighting the artist's lifelong fascination with the natural world. The exhibit will take place across the NYBG's 250-acre landscape. Tickets go on sale March 16th. 


Kusama with Pumpkin 2010 © Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai


Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity, 2017/Collection of the Artist


Summer Flowers 1988/Collection of the Artist


Hymn of Life 2007/City of Beverly Hills


Narcissus Garden 2016/Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai

 

Grand Slam hits a homer with its children's shirts
February 8, 2021, 11:39.25 pm ET

Grand Slam New York is more than just a spot for New York City souvenirs and tchotchkes.  There's plenty of sports memorabilia as well, including New York Yankees and Mets shirts and caps, including a Cooperstown collection. There's also a lot of "I Love New York" gear. But what caught our eye was a collection of children's shirts in the front window that are simply irresistable.  Here's a look at some of them.


Photos: Cititour.com                                                                                              

Alright, so we're suckers for a cute face.  Grand Slam New York, which describes itself as the "largest New York City gift shop, is located at 1557 Broadway, in the heart of Times Square. (888) 395-0515

 

Cuomo moves up NYC indoor dining to Friday before Valentine's Day
February 8, 2021, 7:06.29 pm ET


Photo: Governor Andrew Cuomo                                                           

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announcing today that New York City indoor dining can reopen at 25 percent capacity on February 12, Lunar New Year Day. The reopening was previously scheduled for Valentine's Day, but restaurants requested an earlier reopening date to allow staff to prepare and the request has been granted. The reopening is subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here.

"We're in a footrace with COVID, and the footrace is clear--it's rate of vaccination versus rate of infection and we're continuing to make progress on both fronts," Governor Cuomo said. "Not only have we administered more than two million doses of the vaccine, but the infection rate continues to decrease and New Yorkers should feel good about that. After all, this was possible because of their actions, their discipline and their sacrifice. As we move forward, we're continuing to respond to the facts and data every day, and when the enemy changes tactics, we change with the enemy. We were planning to open the restaurants in New York City to indoor dining on Valentine's Day, but they've made the point that they'd like to open a couple of days earlier so they can prepare for Valentine's Day. That's a reasonable request."  

Indoor dining has been shut down in New York City since December 11th, right before the holidays.

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STARS SET FOR ABC DAYTIME: BACK ON BROADWAY
February 8, 2021, 6:53.07 pm ET

More than two dozen stars will take part in “ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway”, a one-night-only streaming concert benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, beginning at 8 pm on Thursday, February 11. Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg will welcome the audience to the event.

The star-studded concert lineup is set to include performances by Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Vincent Irizarry, Eva La Rue, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Tonya Pinkins, Eden Riegel, Chrishell Stause, Walt Willey, Kristen Alderson, Melissa Archer, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, BethAnn Fuenmayor, David Gregory, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Mark Lawson, Hillary B. Smith, Jason Tam, Brittany Underwood, Bree Williamson, Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Steve Burton, Anthony Geary, Finola Hughes and Laura Wright.

In addition, dedicated fans also will have the opportunity for one-on-one virtual meet and greets with their favorite soap stars on Saturday, February 13.

For more information, visit BroadwayCares.org 

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NYPOPS UP TO REINTRODUCE LIVE PERFORMANCE TO NYC

NYPOPS UP TO REINTRODUCE LIVE PERFORMANCE TO NYC
February 8, 2021, 6:43.46 pm ET

NYPOPS UP TO REINTRODUCE LIVE PERFORMANCE TO NYC
Photos: NYPopsUp                                                                                                  

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of live pop-up performances that are intended to revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens while jumpstarting New York’s struggling live entertainment sector, which has been negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID crisis. Events will begin this month and continue throughout the summer.

Events will begin on Saturday, February 20 with a performance at the Javits Center as a special tribute to our healthcare workers that will feature Jon Batiste, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Ayodele Casel, along with additional special guests. Throughout the day, these performers will travel around New York City, meeting audiences at various locations throughout all five boroughs in courtyards, workplaces, parks, and street corners. Saturday’s events will conclude with one of Jon Batiste’s signature “Love Riots” beginning at Walt Whitman Park and ending at Golconda Playground in Brooklyn.

https://cititour.com/NYC_News/NYPOPS-UP-TO-REINTRODUCE-LIVE-PERFORMANCE-TO-NYC/5186
Among the many confirmed artists who will perform throughout 2021 are Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Isabel Leonard, Nico Muhly, Joyce DiDonato, John Early and Kate Berlant, Patti Smith, Mandy Patinkin, Raja Feather Kelly, J’Nai Bridges, Kenan Thompson, Gavin Creel, Garth Fagan, Larry Owens, Q-Tip, Billy Porter, Conrad Tao, Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, Tina Landau, Rhiannon Giddens, Aparna Nancherla, Anthony Rodriguez, Jonathan Groff, Savion Glover, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chris Celiz, Christine Goerke, Kelli O’Hara, Dev Hynes, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Mearns, George Saunders, Caleb Teicher, Danielle Brooks, Jeremy Denk, Idina Menzel, Sondra Radvanovsky, Gaby Moreno, Davóne Tines, Jerrod Carmichael, Taylor Mac, Sutton Foster, Jessie Mueller, and Courtney ToPanga Washington.

NY PopsUp will also include the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival, to run June 9 through June 20. With over 300 ticketed and non-ticketed events, the film festival will have screenings, panel discussions, concerts and more in parks, on piers, on buildings and on barges. The Festival will also host a closing night celebration of Juneteenth

Finally, NYPopUps will include the opening of one of New York’s most highly anticipated projects, Little Island, a first-of-its-kind public park on the Hudson River that merges nature and art. The Island was dreamt up as a solution to repair and reinvigorate New York’s West Side after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Little Island will host its own festival, The Festival at Little Island, from August 11 through September 5. It will host an average of 16 events per day, for a total of 325 performances by approximately 500 artists.

For more information, visit NYPopsUp.com

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Navy cancels Fleet Week in NYC, plans virtual event instead
February 8, 2021, 10:48.21 am ET

Navy cancels Fleet Week in NYC, plans virtual event instead
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                                 

The Navy today announced the cancelation of in-person events associated with Fleet Week New York 2021 due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19.

For the second year, the Navy will host Fleet Week New York in a virtual environment on social media May 26-31.

Videos posted on social media as part of Virtual Fleet Week New York 2020 were viewed by more than 170,000 people, allowing the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to show off their capabilities to at least 66,000 more people than they were able to through in-person ship tours and aircraft demonstrations the previous year.

In 2019, about 103,000 people took tours of ships moored throughout the city or saw aircraft displays at various parks and schools. 

 “The Navy is committed to doing everything it can to defeat the coronavirus. Keeping our Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen at home is the best way to ensure we protect the health and safety of New York and our force so we can return to normal as soon as possible,” said Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.  

Virtual Fleet Week New York content posted across all platforms, including photos, graphics, videos, Instagram stories and text, reached more than 2 million people in 2020 and resulted in more than 4.4 million impressions. 

“We’re excited to once again connect with people online in New York and around the world,” Rock said. “No matter where you are, people will be able to find us on social media and watch whenever it is convenient for them so they can see how the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard safeguard our nation and how incredible the men and women who serve in uniform are.”

This year’s schedule of events is still under development, but will occur on Fleet Week New York’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.  

 

NYC Restaurant Openings 2021
February 6, 2021, 7:00.29 am ET

Zazzy's Pizza, West Village, NYC

Zazzy's in the West Village is more than just a pizza spot. It's also cooking up comfort foods and plant-based items. Among the pizzas are square and round pies, including pepperoni and another with sauteed broccoli rabe and cherry peppers. Custom pies are also available. Meatless Meatballs, Cauliflower Buffalo Wings with vegan ranch, and Pepperoncini Poppers are counted among the plant-based options. Nutella Panzerotti, similar to a calzone, is offered for dessert. 75 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY

Louie's Gyros is now open Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The gyros made with meat or chicken are sold as sandwiches or platters with choice of rice or fries. Pork, chicken and shrimp souvlaki is also offered along with burgers, including a Greek Burger topped with feta. Greek sausages, called Locanico, are also offered. An assortment of salads are sold along with falafel pita and other vegan options. 7720 3rd Ave, Brooklyn

Kitchen Paradise is a new spot in Midtown specializing in nooodle dishes, including house-made pulled noodle. Soups include beef brisket, lamb, beef tendon and vegetable. Fried noodle dishes are also available along with Chinese classics like General Tso's Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, Hot & Spicy Ribs, Dumplings and more. 48 West 48 St, New York, NY


Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                             

Za-Ya Ramen has arrived in Bushwick. The restaurant features signature gyukatsu-style ramen soups, along small plates for sharing. The ramen comes with choice of beef bone marrow broth, chicken broth or vegetable. The restaurant is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 5pm to 10pm.  321 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 

Impasto Pizza is back on the scene. The pizza place in Clinton Hill is known for its square pies, like Potate & Rosmarino, Burrata E Peppers, and Pepperoni. Pizzas can be purchased by the slice or pie.  373 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, New York (718) 789-1520

Followsoshi in Queens is a Chinese spot selling roasted cold noodles, assorted Jian Bing and dumplings. The cold noodles come with sausage, spicy garlic crayfish and vegetabe with a number of different  toppings. 135-34 40th Road, Queens, NY (347) 654-6466

787 Coffee, started by two coffee enthusiasts (Sam & Brandon), now has another location in the East Village.  787 grows its own coffee beans on 103 acres in Maricao, Puerto Rico and take it straight to the consumer.  319 East 14th St, New York, NY 

Photo: Cititour.com/Tortilleria La Malinche                                                                

Tortilleria La Malinche is the place to go for freshly-made tortillas. They are light and delicate, and arrive warm.  The tortilleria in Sunset Park, Brooklyn sells them by the pound. We got a nice stack for a buck fifty. The space also serves as a Mexican grocery. Add some sauces and fillings and start making some tacos! 4202 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 

Geena's Cucina is a full service trattoria serving al forno pizza, along with with pastas, salads and homemade desserts. About a dozen pies are offered including the Three Dog Night with sausage, soppressata and capicola, and Picasso topped with roasted peppers, spinach and gorgonzola. 36-21 Review Ave, LIC

Mimi Cheng's, known for its flavorful dumplings, now has a location on the Upper West Side. The dumplings are made from scratch daily with locally sourced organic meats and vegetables.  Open from 1pm to 9pm, or until sold out.  309 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (646) 344-1030

Davidovich Bakery is branching out. It now has a third location on Avenue A and another planned for Turnstyle Market at Columbus Circle. Look for things like bagels in assorted flavors, along with muffins, cookies and croissants. 36 Avenue A, New York, NY (646)-559-2553

I Like It Black coffee shop arrives in Harlem. The shop is open from 7am to 3pm and highlights black and Latinx roasters, according to Eater.  409 West 125th Street, New York, NY 

FEBRUARY 

Dhamaka, Essex Market, Indian, NYC 
Photo: Dhamaka/Cititour.com                                                                                    

Dhamaka is putting a new face on Indian cuisine at Essex Market. Chef Chintan Pandya and Owner Roni Mazumdar are cooking up dishes like Don Kleh (pork, lemon cilanto and ginger) and Lasooni Prawns (tiger prawns, roasted garlic and black pepper). Larger plates include Macher Jhol made with shark, tumeric, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.  88 Essex Street (212) 204-8616

Dagon, a new Mediterranean spot on the Upper West Side, is opening just in time for the restart of indoor dining. Dishes include a taste of Africa with the "Moroccan Cigar" filled with ground lamb, potato, dill and amba, along with several types of mezze. Elaborate desserts are also on the menu. 2454 Broadway (212) 873-3466

Cafe Calaca - A new cafe serving coffee drinks, pastries and empanadas by the Calaca owners and baristas from the previous shop called Daily Press.  505 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn  

El Toro Taqueria is a new spot for soft tacos in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  They come in flavors like Carne Assada, Carnitas, Chorizo, Al Pastor, among others. There are shrimp and fish versions, along with pig ear. 7302 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY (718) 333-5200

Jackass Burrito has arrived in FiDi. The pop-up is located inside El Vez in Battery Park. Jackass burritos and bowls are offered. They include Baja Shrimp with crispy shrimp cilantro, lime rice and baja sauce, and Frito Pie with ground beef, black beans, fritos and jalapeno queso.  259 Vesey Street, New York, NY (646) 540-9740. 

Crab Du Jour, West Village, NYC

Crab Du Jour Seafood Market and Cajun Restaurant is located on 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Assorted baskets come with things like fried catfish, shrimp and oysters. Boils include crawfish, Dungenese Crab, Cing Crab and lobster tail. 316 6th Ave, New York, NY  (212) 837-1234

Crab Bros in Bedford-Stuyvesant now has an outpost in Crown Heights.  The restaurant is known for its Cajun-style cuisine including Fried Soft Shell Crab and Oyster Po'boys, Fried Shrimp and fries, along with seafood boils.  770 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 

Soup Shop is on a mission to help restaurants and New Yorkers struggling through the pandemic.  Participating restaurants include Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg, Tanooreen in Bay Ridge and The Islands in Crown Heights. Together they plan to offer different soups each week that are picked up at various locations.

Vanessa's Dumplings now has an outpost on West 82nd Street in Manhattan. Pan-fried and boild dumplings are offered along with homemade noodles and sesame pancake sandwiches. 452 Amsterdam Ave (646) 559-2887

Black Seed Pizza is now available in the East Village. The pizza is in collaboration with chef Bobby Hellen, formerly of GG's. The Pizza is available for pick-up and delivery from 4pm-10pm  Sunday through Thursday and 4-11pm Friday and Saturday. 176 First Avenue, New York, NY 

Ace's Perfect Pizza on Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg is striving for perfection. Detroit-style pies come with assorted toppings including Pepperoni, Cheese Burger and Supreme with sausage, green bell pepper and raw onion. Wings and salads are also on the menu. 637 Driggs Ave (347) 725-4366

Blank Street Coffee has set up shop along Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. Started as a cart, Blank Street has grown into a brick-and-mortar location serving assorted coffee drinks and pastries provided from local businesses like Parlor Coffee, King Street Baking, Pain D'Avignon and King David Tacos.  225 Wythe Ave (646) 532-8772 


Photo: FIELDTRIP/Cititour.com                                                                               

FIELDTRIPChef JJ Johnson's Harlem spot where "rice is culture" expands to the Concourse at Rockefeller Center.  FIELDTRIP is known for its sustainable rice bowls, including Crispy Chicken with Carolina Gold fried rice with sticky barbecue sauce, and BBQ Brisket with Texas brown rice & chipotle black beans. 30 Rockefeller Plaza 

Red Tacos Grill in on Myrtle Avenue Bushwick is turning up the heat with Taco De Birria, special corn tacos dipped and grilled with slow smoked beef, melted cheese, onions and cilantro. Other options include slow-cooked chicken, steak, carnitas and baja fish tacos. 1264 Myrtle Ave (917) 336-9269

Aunts et Uncles is a plant-based cafe on Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush. Dishes include Wild Flower Salad with roasted purple cauliflower and wild rice, Lobster Roll made with hearts of palm and The Roots, a mix of roasted beats, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cocktails are also served. 1407 Nostrand Ave (347) 295-0001

Brooklyn Hero Shop located on Vanderbilt Avenue in Clinton Hill is owned by longtime Brooklynite Vito Randazzo. The shop is offering 30 different signature hot heros, soups, salads and panini sandwiches. Think Shrimp Parm, Nashville Spicy Chicken, Turkey "Philly" and more. 270 Vanderbilt Ave (718) 576-3958

Coco Pazzeria is offering pizza, oysters and bubbles on in SoHo.The menu features open faced mini calzone with toppings like nudja, bomba and trevigiano.  Rustic breads are also offered along with pizza ranging from a traditional margherita to the Pazza with thinly sliced potato and black truffle paste. 307 Spring St, New York, NY (646) 850 1003

JANUARY

Tamam Falafel, East Village, NYC
Photo: Tamam/Cititour.com                                                                                

Tamam Falafel near Union Square is a vegan plant-based eatery where chickpeas are the star attraction. Aside from falafal served three ways (sandwich, platter and salad bowl), a cauliflowe schwarma is offered along with Sabich made with crispy eggplant slices served with warm chickpeas. 

Debajo describes itself as a neighborhood hangout in NoMad at the Made Hotel. Tapas like Txistos, a crispy chistorra sausage roll, and Boquerones, anchovies with fennel pollen, garlic and parley on bread, are offered along with raciones, or rations. Think pulpo with roasted sweet potato and pork belly with a shrimp vinaigrette.

7 Elephants is spicing things up on East Broadway on the Lower East Side. Look for traditional Thai cuisine like Massaman Curry or Red Curry with choice of protein and small plates of gyoza (dumplings), chicken satay with peanut sauce and curry rolls stuffed with chicken and potato.

Up in Smoke at Estela on Houston Street is a new take-out concept offered every Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm.  The outdoor barbecue is cooking up skewers "yakitori-style" ranging from grilled chicken wings with miso and chili to Foie Gras in grape leaf. 

Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen on Harrison Place in Bushwick is a cultural mash-up run by Chef/Owner Eric Tran. Dishes range from Confit Duck Necks where diners are urged to "roll up your sleeve" to Weekend Lamb "Bun Bo Hue," a spicy lamb soup with lemongrass and aromatics.

Peppa's, Lower East Side, Jerk Chicken

Peppa's is spreading its wings. The popular jerk chicken spot in Brooklyn now has a location on Stanton Street on the Lower East Side. Aside from the jerk chicken, the restaurant is also serving up oxtail, escovitch porgy and fried chicken.

Evil Katsu on the Lower East Side isn't evil at all. Instead, diners will discover a house marinated Pork Katsu Sando featuring a twice-fried cutlet with nori kewpie, carrots, radish and cabbage on milk bread.  A chicken version is also offered along with a Pork Katsu Set served with a choice of egg salad or potato salad.

Check back soon for more opening!

 

Where to celebrate the Lunar New Year in New York City
February 5, 2021, 6:08.41 pm ET


Lotus + Cleaver "Prosperity Salad"/@thechefsconnection

Lotus + Cleaver, the newly opened Chinese fast casual restaurant in Long Island City, is offering a Prosperity Salad ($28) to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It serves serves 2-4 people and includes salmon sashimi, house marinated ikura, oishii shrimp, shredded vegetables, house-made pickles, candied peanuts, and crispy taro tossed together with a salted plum dressing.  Pick-up only, with pre-order via RESY required at least 24 hours in advance.


Tteokguk Rice Cake Soup/Soogil

While Lunar New Year is typically associated with China, other Asian countries like Korea also celebrate it. Korean Chef Soogil Lim of Soogil will serve complimentary Tteokguk, the traditional Korean soup eaten to welcome the new year, to diners on Thursday 2/11 and Friday 2/12 who order the restaurant’s tasting menu for outdoor dining. Tteokguk is a beef-broth based soup (guk) served with a thinly sliced rice cakes (tteok), as well as seasoned beef, julienned boiled eggs and seaweed. The dish is traditionally eaten in Korea on (Lunar) New Year’s Day for good luck in the new year. 

 
BAO Tea House/Pork Buns

BÀO Tea House is offering a box of buns. The kit comes with six piece of pork belly and six rice buns to create some Chinese New Year treats at home.  The kits cost $25 and can be ordered via the company website. Homemade hot sauce is available for an additional $3 fee. The link to purchase will be live on 2/8. 

Sami & Susu hosts chef Spencer Bennett of Contra
February 4, 2021, 7:41.35 pm ET


Photo: Sami & Susi                                                                                                      

Sami & Susu – the Mediterranean restaurant from co-owners Amir Nathan and executive chef Jordan Anderson – are hosting chef Spencer Bennett of Chez Ma Tante and Contra.

Operating out of natural wine bar Ten Bells in the Lower East Side, Sami & Susu will be hosting chef Spencer as a guest chef for two weeks with two special menus, one for delivery throughout the city and one for heated outdoor dining. Chef Spencer's limited-time menus incorporate the cajun flavors from his childhood, and include dishes like:

• Chicken Boudin Hand Pie with dirty rice and pepper jelly

• Etouffee Dip with Creole trinity and labneh

• Grillades & Grits with red wine braised short ribs

• French Onion Salad with little gem, creamy onions and crispy shallots

• "Louisiana Lobster Roll" Pita with crawfish salad, aioli and pickled shallots

Delivery is available Wednesday - Sunday in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and orders must be placed one day in advance by 7pm via the website.  Reservations are available here.

Sami & Susu - 247 Broome St, New York, NY (908) 605-0826  Menu

 

Around Town - Super Bowl and Valentine's Day Edition
February 4, 2021, 6:51.34 pm ET

 
lil Sweet Chick's Red Velvet Waffles

For Valentine's Day, lil’ Sweet Chick, there's Red Velvet Waffles with cream cheese milk jam - with the option to add bone in or boneless fried chicken. The waffles are available from February 8th - February 14th. For the Super Bowl, lil' Sweet Chick is hosting a wings special that includes 50 wings for $75 with your choice of up to 2 sauces; Buffalo, BBQ, Nashville Hot, or Lemon Pepper, served with Celery and Carrots with Bleu Cheese and Ranch on the side.


Noreetuh's Mochiko Fried Chicken

Noreetuh is putting an Hawaiian spin on the Super Bowl. The restaurant is offering a half order of Mochiko Fried Chicken and a six pack of Sunday beer for  $35. Mochiko flour-battered fried chicken is marinated in a secret recipe and served with assorted pickles, Hawaiian style macaroni salad and King’s Hawaiian rolls.  Guests can take the special home or have it delivered through ChowNow and GrubHub.  Other appetizers include Tuna Belly Misoyaki, miso marinated tuna belly with pickles; Pineapple Braised Pork Belly with mustard greens and miso glaze; and Crispy Pork Potstickers with a ponzu dip.  


Jean-Georges Super Bowl Menu

Jean-Georges is also getting into the game with a "super" Super Bowl menu at JoJo and The Mercer Kitchen and more. It includes Build Your Own Crispy Salmon Sushi; Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Radish, Ginger Dressing; Guacamole (double portion); Crispy Organic Fried Chicken, Wild Rice, Brussels Sprouts, Habanero Butter; Mac and Cheese; Carrot Cake; Chocolate Cake, marshmallow frosting chocolate cake marshmallow frosting; and 2 Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies. The dinner ($148) serves 2-4 people and is available for pickup or delivery on Super Bowl Sunday. 


UN Plaza Grill's Tuna Pizza

UN Plaza Grill is offering a four-course Kosher Valentine's Day Menu. The romantic sharing experience is available to-go or dine in as Governor Cuomo lifts the ban on indoor dining to 25 percent. The meal is priced at $150 for two, $175 with a bottle of Sparkling Wine. The menu includes silky Porcinii Bisque to start and then choose from four appetizer options -including UN Plaza Grill's wildly popular Tuna Pizza with avocado crème, capers, red onions, black olives, serrano pepper, micro greens, teriyaki drizzle - to share. Entrees include Rack of Lamb with roasted Tuscan squash, plum tomato chutney, lime-mint-chimichurri and Grilled Salmon with asparagus, oyster mushrooms & artichokes - before sharing the Chef's Chocolate Valentine Surprise.

Catch ya next time!

 

Harlem's Fieldtrip expands to Rockefeller Center
February 4, 2021, 5:59.36 pm ET

Harlem's Fieldtrip expands to Rockefeller Center

Chef JJ Johnson's FIELDTRIP which got its start in Harlem back in 2019 continues its expansion with a new location on the Concourse at 30 Rockefeller Center.  FIELDTRIP is known for its sustainable rice bowls, including Crispy Chicken with Carolina Gold fried rice topped with sticky BBQ sauce, Shrimp with sticky rice, green curry sauce & toasted coconut, BBQ Brisket with Texas brown rice & chipotle black beans.

There's also salmon, fried fish and veggie bowls along with house-made Seafood Gumbo with shrimp, scallops, chicken sausage and red rice. Diners will also find salads, quinoa bao buns and crab pockets, among others.  The Rockefeller Center location is open for takeout and delivery Monday through Friday from 11am to 5pm.  To order click here

 

Brooklyn Kura teams up with Raaka and NYBG for Valentine's Day
February 4, 2021, 9:16.26 am ET

Sake brewery Brooklyn Kura is teaming up with the Brooklyn-based chocolate makers at Raaka to offer a NEW Sake and Chocolate Valentine’s Day gift set featuring Raaka’s just-launched flavors created in collaboration with the New York Botanical Garden. The NEW Chamomile Lavender Chocolate Bar is infused with the calming aromas of chamomile and lavender. You can also show your love of nature. A percentage of each bar supports NYBG’s work in plant science and conservation, horticulture and education.

 

Fandi Mata brings the flavors of Spain to Williamsburg
February 3, 2021, 8:17.15 pm ET

Fandi Mata brings the flavors of Spain to the streets of Williamsburg

Chef Javier Vazquez Marino, who honed his craft in Barcelona and more recently at The Aviary in New York City, is now bringing his passion for food to Williamsburg at Fandi Mata. Chef Javier's focus is on sustainability and using the fresh that "feed the soul." 

The menu runs the gamut from Spanish classics like Croquetas stuffed with bacon, date and manchego to Grilled Octopus with potatoes, mojo picon and hibiscus pickled onions.  Diners will also find the flavors of the Mediterranean with traditional dips like Muhammara made with roasted peppers and walnuts to lively Tzatziki and Black Hummus.  

Fandi Mata brings the flavors of Spain to the streets of Williamsburg

There’s also pizze and breads. The Bufalina is topped with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato and basil, while the Bresaola brings arugula, parmigiano, olive oil and lemon. A Fandimata Calzone gets a filling of octopus and chorizo.  Flatbreads include one with roasted lamb as well as focaccia with tomato, garlic, oregano and rosemary. Larger plates include a 22-ounce Bone-In Ribeye, Lobster Tortellini in saffron sauce and Black Garlic Risotto with bay scallops and parmesan crisps.  

 Fandi Mata brings the flavors of Spain to the streets of Williamsburg
Photos: Fandi Mata                                                                                   

Fandi Mata - 74 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, NY (718) 388-8877  Menu

 

Little Alley team opens Noodle Edition in Midtown
February 3, 2021, 7:27.12 pm ET

Little Alley team opens Noodle Edition in Midtown

Chinese fast-casual spot, Noodle Edition has opened on West 48th Street in Midtown.  This is the second collaboration between owner Yishu He and chef Yuchun Cheung who opened Little Alley in Murray Hill. He is also a partner in the polular MáLà Project and the recently launched Ghost Bar

Little Alley team opens Noodle Edition in Midtown

At Noodle Edition, look for noodle dishes representin distinct regions of China reflecting months of road trips. There are six noodle dishes to start: Scallion and Shrimp Noodles from Shanghai, Beef Offal Noodles from Xinjiang, Stir-Fried Udon from Shanghai, Dan Dan Noodles from Chongqing, Sizzling Sesame Noodles from Wuhan, and Tingly Pork Noodles from Chengdu. Soon to follow, Noodles with Gravy from Beijing, and Hot Oil Noodles from Xi’an, among others. Side dishes include Marinated Cucumber, Crispy Pork Cutlet, and Wakame Bone Broth.

Little Alley team opens Noodle Edition in Midtown 

Aside from a citywide delivery network, Noodle Edition boasts 1600 sq ft of contactless space. Customers can order from a self-service kiosk or at a windowed counter and pick up their food at a nearby station. The 25-seat restaurant was designed by Tal Schori and Rustam-Marc Mehta of GRT Architects, whose restaurant portfolio includes Bourke Street Bakery, Leonti, and Don Angie.

 Little Alley team opens Noodle Edition in Midtown

Noodle Edition - 18 West 45th St, New York, NY (845) 495-3559 and is open Monday–Friday from 11am–9pm, and Saturday-Sunday from 12–9pm.  Menu

FLUSHING TOWN HALL PRESENTS BLACK HISTORY TRILOGY
February 2, 2021, 7:10.50 pm ET

In celebration of Black History Month, Flushing Town Hall presents a Black History Trilogy, a three-part virtual series featuring outstanding Broadway performers showcasing the music and speeches of influential African American artists, scholars and leaders.

The series kick off with Alton Fitzgerald White in “John Lewis: A Pioneer for Justice” on Friday, February 5 at 7pm. It will be followed on February 18 at 7pm with a presentation of “Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan,” featuring Tony Award-winning actress Lillias White, who also wrote and conceived the show.

Finally, on February 26 at 7pm, the series concludes with “André De Shields is Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” in which the Tony Award-winning star explores the life and achievements of the great emancipator Frederick Douglass.

All shows are free, although donations are welcome. For more information, visit www.flushingtownhall.org.

 

Tantalizing Bahn Mi sandwiches at Bahn on UWS
February 2, 2021, 6:43.57 pm ET

Tantalizing Bahn Mi sandwiches at Bahn on UWS
Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                                  

If you are a fan of Bánh mì sandwiches, Bánh on the Upper West Side is the place to be. Located on Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, Bánh delivers on flavor with its traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. Our favorites is Bánh Mì Thit Nuong made with luscious BBQ pork belly on an warm, super crispy baguette topped with pickled vegetables, jalapeño slices and sprigs of cilantro. It’s an excellent bite. A traditional Bánh mì with house pate is also available along with chicken, brisket and vegan varieties. Diners will also discover thinsg like shrimp summer rolls served with a hoisin-peanut sauce, noodle bowls with sizzling beef and a variety of pho and noodle soups. Vietnamese iced coffee and other traditional drinks are also available.

Bahn - 942 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (917) 639-3151  Menu

 

Jasmine's adds some spice to Midtown
February 2, 2021, 6:08.03 pm ET


Photo: Cititour.com                                                                                                     

Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine on Manhattan’s Restaurant Row offers a true taste of the tropics. Whether it’s is spicy jerk chicken, oxtail stew, escovitch fish or chicken curry you can expect a flavor-packed plate. The dishes are accompanied by a healthy portion of jasmine rice or rice and peas.  For dessert there is carrot and red velvet cake. The inside of Jasmines is just as colorful with a rustic fish shack vibe. For now it’s takeout only, but keep it on your radar once indoor dining returns on Valentine’s Day.

Jasmine's - 371 W 46th St, New York, NY (646) 964-5337  Menu

 

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