202/Nicole Farhi

202/Nicole Farhi

Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: Chelsea
Type of Place: Women's Clothing Restaurants

My friend Laura came to visit, and we had lunch in the Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue). It's a cool building that you should check out if you haven't—used to be a Nabisco factory, now a hub of shopping and food, but with lots of the old bricks and fixtures (as well as the overall structure) left intact.

I had fun browsing there; and one spot that combined eating and shopping in an interesting way caught my eye. At 202/Nicole Farhi, you can do both. Some great clothes, some lovely jewelry, and some gorgeous housewares are available...along with tables and chairs set for the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack menus. As we gear up for the winter holidays, what's more seasonal than an all-in-one place for gifts and a nosh?

Elegant and clever as the shop is, it's not especially cheap. Granted, it doesn't claim to be, and not everything has to be. But given these times, I decided to make it a challenge to find great items at more affordable prices. (I'll add that if you've got $300-$500 to spend on a beautiful piece, you'll find many options here.)

The houswares, especially, offered some deals. I loved a tall vase with a tapered neck, in rose or pale green glass (was $85, now $43; a gift for the elegant hostess, found!); a wide-mouthed glass vase in purple, pale green, or amber ($60); amber glass tumblers ($15 each) or taller glasses ($17); and a black ceramic sugar bowl ($20) and matching creamer ($25).

For clothes, I liked a men's grey and white striped polo shirt ($45); a woman's purple and grey striped cotton-knit turtleneck with buttons on the shoulders ($105); a chunky grey, beige, and brown wool-knit hat ($48) with a matching scarf ($88, male or female appropriate); a form-fitting long-sleeved black mini dress ($168), and a pretty-not-kitchy flower pin in purple or midnight blue (large $85, smaller $65; other jewelry looked great too, but it was in a case, and I didn't want to bother the sales clerk for every price).

Hungry from your shopping? I kept my bargain-hunting approach and found on the menu a quesadilla ($8) and chips and guacamole ($5, both in the "snack" selections). Brunch has a reasonable deal too: the $7 fruit-and-granola offering. Cocktails are a fairly standard (for fancy surroundings) $12—and might be a welcome expenditure in the holiday bustle. Happy shopping, bon appetite, and cheers!   - Pamela Grossman; Nov 28, 2010

202/Nicole Farhi
75 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(646) 638-0115