Tag Archives: Dinner

NYC Food Trends Taking The City By Storm

Dining NYC Food Trends Insects Black Ant

Yes, New York has every possible cuisine you can desire or imagine on Earth. That said, take a look at the NYC food trends taking the city by storm. Some are not super new, but probably came to stay!

Dining NYC Food Trends Insects Black Ant
How about a pair of crunchy insects in your dish? Lol! ©BlackAntNYC

New York is the restaurant capital of the world – just consider there are 24,000 eating establishments in Manhattan alone. So, we decided to talk about the upcoming NYC food trends!

It has been estimated that you if you ate at a different restaurant every day, it would take you over 22 years to dine at them all.

One of the reasons that NYC is so diverse for dining, is that there are influences and cultures from all around the globe. This means that there are always great new NYC food trends, which you can even try cooking at home.

Take a look at a few of the food trends below and let’s see how adventurous you are when trying new cuisines! Lol!


Glorious Grasshoppers

Dining NYC Food Trends Grasshopper Croquetes Black Ant
Croquetas de Chapulin: yucca-manchego Grasshopper croquetes with avocado and Chapulín salsa. ©BlackAntNYC

As we think more about sustainability and food ethics, insects are hitting restaurant tables in a big way. They are actually an excellent source of protein and delicious with a little spice.

If you head to Toloache, the Mexican restaurant headed up by Julian Medina, you can sample them in tacos, hot with chili and cooked with crunch.

The Black Ant, in the East Village, is another great eatery that is embracing grasshoppers. In fact, almost every item on their menu uses insects. The grasshopper-crusted shrimp however are a triumph.

If you want to have a taste at home you can easily buy grasshoppers online, they may even become a household staple.

Locations:
205 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village
166 East 82nd Street, Upper East Side
251 West 50th Street, Midtown

www.toloachenyc.com

Location: 60 2nd Avenue, East Village

www.theblackantnyc.com


Beautiful Baogels

Dining NYC Food Trends Baogel Black Seed Bagels
Baogel at Black Seed Bagels. ©BlackSeedBagel

The baogel is another wonderful cultural hybrid, featuring a soft pork belly filling, usually found in a bao bun, and of course combined with a soft, bagel.

It is the creation of Black Seed Bagels and Chinese restaurant Nom Wah Kuai, and usually served with a chili cream cheese on the side for ultimate dipping.

To try this at home, the pork belly cooks best in a sous vide machine, a beautifully gentle slow cook that will leave the pork tender and succulent, ready to be folded into bagel dough.

You can then return the bagel into the machine, to make a really soft baogel. This trend just goes to show how versatile water bath cooking is.

Locations: Several locations, see their websites!

https://www.blackseedbagels.com
https://nomwah.com


Raindrop Cake

Dining NYC Food Trends Raindrop Cake
The peculiar Raindrop Cake. ©RaindropCake

The raindrop cake is a thing of simplistic beauty. Originating from Japan, it is a beautiful dessert that is made from water, agar and sugar.

It is served in bamboo, alongside a flour that is made from roasted soybeans. The dessert is vegan, has very few calories, but it a textural delight in the mouth.

It’s all about feeling that sweet burst of liquid on the tongue. Darren Wong, who originally brought this cake to Smorgasborg food fair said that he wanted the raindrop cake to be reminiscent of the Asian jelly desserts he ate as a child.

You can now buy kits to have a go at making the raindrop cake at home. They are delicious with a little syrup and some fresh mint on the side.

Locations: Smorgasburg has 4 locations.
Thursdays: BK Bridge Park, 6pm
Fridays: WTC, 11am – 7pm
Saturdays: 90 Kent Avenue, 11am – 6pm
Sundays: Breeze Hill, Prospect Park, 11am – 6pm

https://www.smorgasburg.com


New York is a special place for dining – if you can imagine it, the likelihood is that there is a restaurant serving it. These fresh, new ideas and NYC food trends are also changing the way that we consider our home cooking.

So, come explore New York with us and don’t forget to share your discoveries in the comments below! We’d love to hear about them, so we can also check them out!



Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Black Ant, Black Seed Bagels and Raindrop Cake

*Last Updated on Feb/2020.*

Sushi by Boū: Secret Japanese Restaurant Inside A Hotel Suite

Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Stairs

Uncover the new Sushi by Boū location! They opened a secret speakeasy Japanese restaurant inside a hotel suite in Manhattan! How cool is that?!

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“A unique 30minute omakase speakeasy experience by sushi chef David Bouhadana, Michael Sinensky and Erika London.”

That we are into super secret spots around New York City, you’re all tired of knowing, right? But, these secret spots don’t stop popping up (and we love sharing them with you)!

I mean, there is obviously just so much to experiment in NYC, with so many creative minds and talented people, that these businesses just continue to flourish.

Sushi by Boū is known for being a to-go spot for people craving a delicious 12-piece Omakase menu served in only 30-minutes and for $50. In addition, there is a 60-minute option as well for those that want to have a longer experience.

But wait, let’s go back a step! The idea of these spots came to life when the 3 partners, Chef David, Michael and Erika decided to get underutilized spaces inside existing venues and transform them into “sexy sushi speakeasies”, as they call them.

Chef David fell in love with sushi at the age of 18, in Boca Raton, Florida. After deciding that what he wanted to do was become a renowned chef, he hopped on a plane to Japan. There, he was taught by the top Omakase chefs in the Kansai regions.

After mastering his craft, he flew back to New York with his journey began and his reputation grew quickly.

And, after working in renowned restaurants like Morimoto, he ventured on his own recreating the Japanese fast-casual Omakase concept, tweaking it around and blending in his own particular style. The result: Perfection!

Today Chef David is an expert in his field, has won countless awards and even won a New York Emmy Award for his web series “Shokunin, An Eater Series Hosted by David Bouhadana”.

That said, there are currently 3 Sushi by Boū. One found underneath the Sanctuary Hotel in Midtown Manhattan and a second one inside Jue Lan Club, in Chelsea. The 3rd and most unexpected location just created roots inside Suite 1001, at Hotel 3232, in the in the heart of Flatiron-Murray Hill neighborhood.

Suite 1001 offers a 60-minute Omakase for $125/person inclusive of service and tax. ​

In addition, they do not accept phone calls, and reservations are for parties of 2 or 4 only. Plus, they do take advanced and day-of reservations, space permitting. For private events, please contact us.

And, this past summer they followed Jue Lan Club to the Hamptons and the team announced that some news spots are set to open in 2019, so lets wait and see inside which unexpected spot it will be in!

So, stay tuned and if you need any help in NYC (for private or corporate events), remember to contact our experts!

Locations:
Sanctuary Hotel – 132 West 47th Street
Jue Lan Club – 49 West 20th Street
Hotel 3232 – 32A East 32nd Street, Suite 1001

www.sushibybou.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sushi by Bou
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Boutique BK: A Private Dining Experience in Brooklyn

Dining Boutique BK Ginger Braised Short Ribs

Boutique BK is a private dining experience in Brooklyn, hosted by the Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Matthew Ricketts. Uncover this hidden gem with your friends and have fun!

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Have you ever dreamt of a private dinner party? One where you’re away from the hustle and bustle of a crowded restaurant, with the joys of an unbelievable chef exclusively for you!

Or, maybe even a chef to cook (and clean!) during your home dinner party? Shhh, don’t tell your guests…

In walks Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Matthew Ricketts and his private dining concept Boutique BK.

Nestled in the heart of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, Boutique BK is a private dining room available by reservation only, for parties 2-14 in size. The intimate setting, offers a curated multi-course dining experience, featuring elevated American fusion cuisine, and locally sourced food when possible.

Chef Matt, as he likes to be called, will personally work to craft menus tailored to guests’ tastes and event needs. He typically offers 3 or 5-course set menus, and can accommodate dietary restrictions within your party.

While reservations are required, this is no ordinary restaurant. In fact, it’s not a restaurant at all!

Picture a beautiful dining room, exclusively for you to enjoy, celebrate and watch Matt cook. There is a peak through to the kitchen from the dining room too! In addition to cooking, he hosts and serves as he walks you through your meal, oh-so-perfectly!

The addition of Boutique BK to Carroll Gardens, where your favorite old Italian staples live, is a welcomed complement to this beautiful neighborhood.

In addition to the dining room, this superstar chef is also available for private parties. He caters up to 150 guests at the venue of your choice.

Chef Matt hails from Pittsburgh originally, but has spent more than a decade around the country training with Michelin Star restaurants to hone his craft. He saw white space in the market for private dining and personalized experiences and decided to venture into this space.

His passion for food and unique service come through the second you connect with Chef Matt. It’s truly a one of a kind experience.

So run, don’t walk to Boutique BK – space is limited and it’s suggested to book in advance! This allows optimal time for space reservation and menu curation.

You can easily get to this hidden gem through the F train in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Location: 187 Sackett Street

www.boutiquebk.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Boutique BK and Drica Pinotti
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

This Is How New Yorkers Like To Eat Out!

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

Do you know how New Yorkers like to eat out? We will show you how Olive Tree Cafe & La Lanterna di Vittorio together, make the perfect night out! This incredible duo will make you travel to Middle Eastern to Italy in a blink of an eye.

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Façade

That NY is a really diverse city, we all know. But do you know how some native New Yorkers like to eat? I mean, how would be a perfect dinner for them? I’m sure the opinions are divided. But, according to a group of friends I’ve got, all of them “native New Yorkers”, have an interesting and uncommon way of having a night out.

Ok, so the cool thing here is: having dinner at one restaurant and dessert at another. This is a tradition many New Yorkers keep since their college years. It seems curious, doesn’t it? And let me tell you, after being introduced to this New Yorker style meal, I can say it’s definitely fun and quite adventurous.

I’ll describe below my first experience trying out the combo:

It was a winter evening when my group of friends decided we’d have dinner at Olive Tree Cafe and dessert at La Lanterna Di Vittorio, both on MacDougal Street, located in the West Village. I didn’t know any of these restaurants at that time, so I was super excited about what that night would look like.


First stop: Olive Tree Cafe – Middle Eastern

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Photo Credit Jimmy Kuang

When we got into the restaurant I was immediately impressed by the tables.

They were like chalkboards. Yeah, we could draw, write or doodle on the table, while we were eating. I loved it!

As soon as we were seated I grabbed a chalk and started writing some silly, fun things to get entertained.

The place was cute, decorated with some lamps across the saloon, brick walls and some frames.

The menu offered Middle Eastern salads and main dishes, in addition to hamburgers and sides. As I’m really into Middle Eastern food I tried to order the best I could.

To start, we split a falafel dish. I’m a huge fan of falafel and thought it was great!

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

For the main course I had chicken kebob that was served with rice or mashed potato – I picked rice – and a salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and a few spices. It was really rich!

My friends ordered different dishes, all of them pretty tasty. But, one of them got my attention. It was a combination of falafels, baba ganoush, kefta kebob and a salad.

So, I couldn’t hold myself back from asking my friend to try a little bit of his dish, and what can I say, fantastic!

After eating and playing a lot with the chalk, we were ready to head for dessert.

Note: Olive Tree Cafe is part of the Comedy Cellar, a notorious comedy club located right below it.

Hours:
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 4am
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 2:30am

Location: 117 MacDougal Street

www.opentable.com/OliveTreeCafe


Second stop: La Lanterna di Vittorio – Italian

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Garden

First of all, the ambience of the place was extremely cozy. The dimmed lights made me feel as my simple dessert hunt with friends, was a real special occasion.

I highly recommend for a date, although it was not my case. I was just having fun with my friends.

It was winter so the fireplace was lit. My friend asked for a table in the back, which made me question: in the back??

Oh! What I didn’t know was they have a charming winter garden tucked away in their back area!

The space is decorated with some colorful and fun details like the lamps in a Greekish-Italian style.

Surely, a lovely place to spend the rest of a great night with friends.

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Inside

Time to order, and they had a great variety of desserts or dolci, like you’ll see written on their menu.

From American to Italian and other European cakes and sweets, I felt like Alice in “Dessertland”.

They also displayed the desserts close to the entrance so I decided to get up and chose mine, with my eyes. I chose a delicious chocolate mud cake and it was actually my first time having one. So delicious!

My friends had cannolis, fruit pie and the gelati.

The result: Every single one of us left extremely happy and satisfied! It was truly the perfect duo, specially considering they are located on the same street, just steps from each other.

Note: La Lanterna has a room downstair with live music, so do ask about it!

Hours:
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 3am
Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 2am

Location: 129 MacDougal Street

https://lalanternacaffe.com


That night was just the first experience I had in this “New Yorker” style.

I loved it so much that I’ve repeated it countless times, but in different restaurants. It’s a great way to also optimize your stay in New York and explore more places at once.

I do want to emphasize that both Olive Tree Cafe and La Lanterna di Vittorio serve really tasty food. I do eat full meals at both places too. Plus, I’ve always had a great time.

But, if you enjoyed this duo-restaurant adventurous night out, get ready! Have fun, meet different people after all, that’s what NYC is all about!

In addition, if you visit these restaurants, do tag us on your Instagram and let us know what you thought about your dish!

Lastly, to explore other restaurants in the West Village, you might want to check out: Shuraku, for a high-end Japanese option; and Hudson Clearwater, for a mysterious and secluded dining experience.


Text by our Contributor: Rafaela Azevedo
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Jimmy Kuang for Olive Tree Café, and courtesy of venues
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

My Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Brooklyn

Dining Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Restaurants Glasserie Thumbnail

I’ve chosen a few of my top food spots in Greenpoint Brooklyn to shoot a great video and share with you! Come see which are the spots that I love going to with my friends. I’m sure you’ll love them too!

Greenpoint has some pretty amazing places to go for lunch, brunch and dinner! As we’ve previously mentioned, the neighborhood is growing rapidly and new businesses are opening all the time.

One of the great things of Greenpoint is that, since the neighborhood is relatively small, everything is walking distance from each other and along the way you’ll probably find other amazing stores, cafés and happy hour places to go back to.

So, this time, I decided to list a few of my top food spots in Greenpoint that I truly love going to:


Glasserie

Dining Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Restaurants Glasserie
Photo Credit: Glasserie

Glasserie is super unique restaurant and quite an experience too!

Why? Well, to start, it’s inside a former glass factory dated back to the 1860’s, which I personally think is pretty awesome. We do love exploring spots with interesting stories behind it.

It serves Mediterranean food with a few dishes inspired in Egyptian street food. They have a fantastic full bar and yes, the décor is simple but cozy.

Oh! It’s also a great spot to celebrate an important day with your loved ones, or impress on a date!

Location: 95 Commercial Street

www.glasserienyc.com


The Brooklyn Barge

Dining Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Restaurants Brooklyn Barge
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Barge

The Brooklyn Barge is one of my hidden gems and sometime not even locals know about it.

I’ve written about this place before and mentioned that it has one of the best views of Manhattan, since it’s right by the river.

Getting there is an adventure on its own, since you’ll probably think you’re lost. You’ll pass by old warehouses and abandoned cars, but just continue walking. You’re going on the right path.

They serve food and drinks and it does get quite busy, so be sure to arrive early.

Location: 3 Milton Street

www.thebrooklynbarge.com


Milk & Roses

Dining Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Restaurants Milk and Roses by Kayoko Ogawa
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kayoko Ogawa

Milk & Roses is also one of my favorite spots and it will make you feel like you’re in Italy!

I love to take people that have never been to Greenpoint, to start their experience here.

The result: they always love it and want to come back for more!

The place is beautiful, the décor is quite special with a beautiful piano in the center of the main dining room, big red leather couches and a priceless garden in the back – where I always prefer sitting during the warmer months.

If you decide to go there on a weekend, you might take a while to sit down. So, try making a reservation, or just relax at the bar with a drink, until your table is ready!

Location: 1110 Manhattan Avenue

http://milkandrosesbk.com


Le Fanfare

Dining Top Food Spots in Greenpoint Restaurants Le Fanfare
Photo Credit: Le Fanfare

Still in the spirit of Italy, Le Fanfare is another great option! The owner, Luca, is also the owner of Epistrophy, located in Soho!

Here, you can expect live music on weekends Jazz nights, large communal tables and a beautiful bar in the front.

Oh, they also have a small private patio in the back open during the hot months. As about the special nights where Luca plays Jazz for everyone there!

Have fun!

Location: 1103 Manhattan Avenue

www.lefanfare.com


If you enjoyed this short list of my top food spots in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you’re now probably craving a coffee and pastry, right?

And, you should also see which are the coolest bars in the area, if you decide to take the day and just explore this neighborhood! There are great options there if you’re a night owl in search of fantastic signature cocktails!

Have fun exploring!


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photo Credits
: Renata Meirelles and courtesy of Diamond Big Co., Ltd/Kayoko Ogawa
Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

Original Buddha Bodai: My Favorite Restaurant in Chinatown

Original Buddha Bodai Mott Street Most Popular Dishes

If you’ve never been to the original Buddha Bodai, a Kosher Vegetarian restaurant, you should start planning for it! Located in the heart of Chinatown, this is literally one of my favorite restaurants in New York City!

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I’m completely in love with the restaurant Buddha Bodai, in the heart of Chinatown, and could go there EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE!

Truly! I’ve been to the original Buddha Bodai so many time and every time I go there, I love it more and more, and MORE!!

It’s a Chinese Kosher Vegetarian / Vegan and Buddhist Restaurant, but DON’T let these words haunt you! You will have one of the best experiences of your entire life! Hahaha! Yes, I really do l-o-v-e them! They are experts in serving the famous “imitation meat”!

They were founded back in 2004 and for only a couple of bucks, you’ll have a fabulous and delicious Chinese feast! Last time I was there with my friends that actually introduced me to this gem (last weekend, lol), we had a fully served table, and we only spent $12 each!!!!

We has the Dim Sum Menu – available every day till 4pm- and a few options from the normal menu.

How does ordering from the Dim Sum Menu work?

Well, you’ll get a paper menu with a huge list of options and you’ll just write, beside the dish, the quantity you want. If you order too much, no worries, just ask them to put the rest To-Go.

This is what we had from the Dim Sum Menu:

  • Bar-B-Q Vegetarian Meat – this is MY favorite dish on earth! If you’re a meat eater, you won’t believe this!
  • Vegetarian Shrimp Dumplings
  • Vegetarian Meat Buns
  • Shrimp Rice Roll
  • Fried Eggplant Stuffed with Vegetarian Meat
  • Spring Rolls
  • and Hot Tea, of course

And what we had from the Normal Menu:

  • General Tso Chicken – meat eaters also DIE for this one!
  • B.B.Q Meat Fried Rice

Yup, for only 12 bucks each + tip!

Oh! And they are a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) restaurant, so bring whatever makes you smile! If you forgot your bottle, ask anyone from the restaurant the way to the closest deli! They’ll know the way!


Meet the Chef

“Chef Dong has been delighting his patrons with exquisite vegetarian meals for over 45 years. He and his staff have created dishes and ensured that it reached the highest standards of quality and freshness.

His passion and desire to share the delicate flavors that he creates is a driving force that has kept his customers, old and new, coming back time and again.”


If you’re into vegetarian options, feel free to explore our Dining suggestions!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 11am – 9:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 9:30pm

Location: 5 Mott Street
Note! There are TWO Buddha Bodai in NYC, but the one we’re talking about is the original one on Mott Street!

www.buddha-bodai.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Buddha Bodai
Text Experts: Buddha Bodai website
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Dinner & Discussion: Good For Your Life, The Planet & Your Belly!

Events Up Coming Get The People Vegan Dinner and Discussion

Clear your calendar! Get The People presents an intimate evening of friend making, 4-course vegan food magic, and an eye-opening discussion with a health and wellness speaker and advocate!

Events Up Coming Get The People Vegan Dinner and Discussion

We are proud partners of yet another fantastic event with Get the People, a New York based purpose-driven digital creative agency!

Get The People presents an intimate evening of friend making, 4-course food magic, and an eye-opening discussion as we lift the curtain to the harmful toxins lurking in our daily lives and learn how to bring health into our homes.

Plus, the dinner is a farm to table, vegan food and we just love these types of private events and restaurants in New York!

Take a look what it’s all about:


The Dinner: 4-Course // Farm to Table // Vegan

You know those dining experiences that are so delicious it completely takes over your body and you start doing a little food dance? Well if that’s your thing, this dinner is for you.

We’ll experience a 4-course vegan dinner prepared by culinary’s best kept secret Ashley Frunzi, Culinary Futurists & Nutritionist – a creator of truly magical food.

For over 9 years Ashley has been influencing the tastes and diets of many fashion industry leaders and icons. She understands that, sustainable living is the best way to nourish their body for a lifetime of health and happiness.

The Discussion:

Health and wellness speaker and advocate, Christine Dimmick, Founder/CEO of The Good Home Company and author of Detox Your Home, will guide us through a deep and eye-opening discussion around sustainable living, our environmental footprint, and how to limit our exposure to harmful toxins and take back control of our health.

From food, water, fashion and kitchen goods, to personal care and cleaning products— even common household items like phones and children’s toys. We’ll learn their impact on our health and how we can be the change for wellness.

Christine pioneered the movement to natural home cleaning products more than 20 years ago in her NYC kitchen. She and Good Home products have been featured on O Magazine, Instyle, Dr. Oz, and House Beautiful, and she has made appearances on the Today Show. You can learn more about her incredible work and story on her website.

Ticket includes:

  • Speaker & Rich discussion
  • Magical 4-course vegan dinner, prepared by Culinary Futurist, Ashley Frunzi
  • Evening of delicious wine provided by social impact wine company, One Hope Wine
  • Your very own copy of Detox Your Home, written by our speaker Christine Dimmick CEO/Founder of The Good Home Company
  • A portion of the proceeds will be donated to RAICES, which provides free & low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees.

The Schedule:

6:30 PM / Networking & Wine
Rub elbows with other awesome people who love food, their bodies, life, the planet and building businesses for good.

7:30 PM / Seated for Dinner & A Word from The Chef
We’ll be seated for dinner and get a personal walk-through of the vegan menu from our featured chef and culinary futurist, Ashley Frunzi.

8:00 PM / Speaker & Discussion
Listen, learn, ask, discuss. We’ll learn about the toxins, products, food, fashion, and how all of these effect our lives, health and the planet. We’ll dive into open discussion and discover key takeaways for building health into our lives and homes.


Date: July 18th
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Habitas NYC – 240 West 30th Street

https://getthepeople-dinner-lifedetox.splashthat.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Get The People

Seasoned Vegan: A Harlem Restaurant That Will Change Your Life

Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Raw Lasagna Featured Pic

We love Harlem and everything about it! Seasoned Vegan is Harlem’s very 1st full-service Vegan restaurant and is truly a hidden gem in the neighborhood.

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The food you love, veganized.

A while ago, we were invited by a dear friend of ours, to go up to Harlem and try this amazing local vegan restaurant.

Our answer immediately was “Yes! Of course!”. Our Founder is vegetarian, going on vegan and we just love everything we can learn about this growing lifestyle.

We really enjoy Harlem and everything about that neighborhood, from the restaurants, to the vibe, to the shops and nightlife. Everything there has a special taste. The uniqueness is hard to describe.

Getting there was, of course, super easy and in no time, we dropped off 110 Street Station Central Park North, on the 2/3 (red line).

Just a 5-minute walk from there, we arrived at Seasoned Vegan, Harlem’s very 1st full-service Vegan restaurant.

We were very lucky to be hosted exclusively by the owner, Brenda and her son Aaron Beener.

Our restaurant specializes in preparing a very unique type of cuisine: gourmet vegan soul food. We use the term “soul food” loosely because we are not referring exclusively to the typical cuisine of the Southern region of the United States.

This sounds great and extremely normal, right? Now, imagine back in the 1980’s, when Brenda decided to go vegan with her family! The entire community judged them and didn’t really get what they were doing, nor why.

In the beginning of this journey, during Thanksgiving celebrations, no one would invite them over after this dietary decision. Brenda even mentioned that they literally felt as if they were aliens.

But, as time went by, little by little people from their community started to open up, tried her dishes and now, every-single-person wants to be invited to her Thanksgiving parties! Haha!

The restaurant was finally founded in 2014 and is quite spacious, with great natural light that certainly give it more life! You can see through inside the kitchen and peek in to see how everything is prepared.

The dishes are organic and 100% vegan! If you’re the carnivore type, we truly recommend you to give it a chance and stop by. We are certain they won’t disappoint you.

It’s incredible how all the dishes we’ve tried are extremely flavorful and clearly made with love.

So, you might want to try:

  • Lemon Crusted “Chicken” Nuggets: fermented soy chicken nuggets breaded and fries
  • Stuffed Avocado: one avocado sliced, pitted and filled with almond meat and topped with cashew “cheese” and pico de gallo. Seasonal and Gluten free
  • Raw Lasagna: raw zucchini sliced and cashew “cheese” layered into shredded spinach, topped with homemade raw marinara. Gluten free

In addition, for dessert we ate one of the best Red Velvet cupcake of our lives!

And still, if you’re not able to go there, or if you need to schedule a quick pick-up, you can do it all online, though their website. Also, take a look at an IGTV Video we did during one of our visits!

For the master chefs out there, stay tuned! Brenda has had plans of launching her own vegan cook book with yummy recipes. We hope it comes out soon!

Be sure to enjoy and explore the neighborhood before or after going to Seasoned Vegan!

So, if you’re also a fan of Harlem, you might enjoy some of the places that the beauty Africa Miranda shared with us!

Finally, to try some cooking at home and be sure how to stay fit and healthy, take a look at these bodybuilding meal plans for vegans. And try the handcrafted, dairy-free and SO delicious bite-size vegan cupcake flavors at Baked By Melissa!

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 11am – 2am
Sunday: 11am – 9pm

Location: 55 Saint Nicholas Avenue

www.seasonedvegan.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kim-Julie Hansen
*Last Updated on Feb/2020.*

Amra and Elma: A Duo That Is Rockin’ the NYC Influencer World

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma

The NYC Influencer world adores this stylish duo called: Amra and Elma Beganovich. They shared with us their 7 Favorite Spots in NYC, so check them out below!

We recently interviewed a super talented duo that is changing and rockin’ the influencer world in New York City!

Amra Beganovich, a former Economist and Elma Beganovich, a former Lawyer decided to dive into the Social Media universe and today are considered two of the top Digital Influencers in NY, with a successful influencer led marketing agency.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Amra BeganovichAmra Beganovich

“After toiling away as an economist on World Bank projects for a few years, my sister and I realized that our calling lied elsewhere – like many of our millennial peers, we started dabbling in the digital space.

We began blogging in late 2012 on our website Club Fashionista and that quickly grew into our own brand Amra & Elma, which now is the only influencer lead digital marketing agency. With our own 2.3M following and a network of over 300,000 consumer influencers, we specialize in making brands explode in the digital space.

Our services include photo production, no-fee blogger program, social media management and media outreach. We have also contributed to some of the most prominent publications such as ELLE, InStyle, Marie Claire, Business Insider, and Bloomberg.

Some of our high-profile clients include: Uber, SmartWater, Johnson & Johnson, Avon, Make Up For Ever, E S P R I T, and Dr. Marten’s. I currently reside in New York City but make an effort to escape and travel as often as I can as I find a great deal of creative inspiration in all corners of the world.” 


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Elma Beganovich

Elma Beganovich

“When my career in law seemed to spiral into a rut and started looking like a dead-end job, I took a leap of faith (in myself mostly) and joined my sister Amra, who was working on her blog and digging deep in the social media and digital space.

Blogging soon grew into our careers as digital influencers, which then turned into our own namesake brand Amra & Elma – the only influencer founded digital media agency. We focus on social media and digital influencer marketing. We are proud of our own 2.3M following on social, and boast a network of over 300,000 consumer influencers, many of whom are our personal friends and colleagues.

As mentioned above, our goal is to help brands catch fire in the digital space, and our services include photo production with professional models and/or influencers, no-fee blogger program, social media management, and media outreach.

We have also contributed to some of the most prominent publications. I currently reside in New York City but enjoy traveling whenever possible in order to break free of the everyday and nurture my creativity.” 

Take a look at their Top 7 Favorite Spots in NYC:


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma John Frieda Serge Normant

Manhattan is not only the center of fashion, but also a center for beauty! With so many amazing spots, it’s definitely hard to pick one!

One of the leading hair stylist in NYC, Serge Normant, partnered up with John Frieda, famous for his signature Hair Care Line.

Together, they founded Serge Normant at John Frieda.

Locations:
30 East 76th Street, Upper East Side
336 West 23rd Street, Chelsea

http://sergenormantatjohnfrieda.com


Via Quadronno is a traditional Italian restaurant, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

It was founded in 1999. It’s known for being a paninoteca, serving truffled paninis and delicious homemade pastries paired with irresistible cappuccinos.

As they explain:

“Mankind trained dogs and pigs to sniff for white truffles, assisting in the quest for this heavenly treat. Wild boars don’t need training: they instinctively know how to locate truffles, for they have been enjoying them for millennia. It is the boar’s nose for truffles that helped fuel his reputation as the undisputed gourmet of the animal kingdom.”

Location:
25 East 73th Street, Upper East Side
1228 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side

www.viaquadronno.com


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“Exhale is one of our favorites spas to frequent because of the barre classes and the studio’s relaxing ambiance. One can also make it an all around experience by opting for a spa treatment after a rigorous exercise.”

Yes, Exhale is located in a bit touristy location.

But, it known for being an ‘award-winning flagship spa and boutique fitness studios with expertly created Barre, Yoga, Cardio + HIIT classes’.

Besides these classes, you can schedule treatments like: Facials, Massages, Acu-Healing, Scrubs, Manicure, Waxing and several other amazing services.

There is nothing better than finding some down time to take care of yourself!

Be sure to try them out! But, be careful, it can be addictive.

Location: 150 Central Park South, Midtown

www.exhalespa.com

“The Storm King Art Center almost seems magical with its outdoor sculptures, which are the best to experience during the spring and summer months. It’s a perfect place to observe art and absorb the refreshing outdoors scenery away from the concrete and the hectic energy of Manhattan.”

This outdoor museum will open again in a few days and we can’t wait to go there again!

You’ll find more than 100 gorgeous installations, spread throughout over 500 hectares of green landscape!

Art pieces by names like Roy Lichtenstein, Calder, Zhang Huan and Louis Bourgois are just the start!

If you love art, read more about Storm King.

Plus, if you want help to organize your trip upstate, contact our experts. For Corporate requests, don’t hesitate to find out more.

Location: 1 Museum Road, New Windsor

www.stormking.org


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“The Frick Collection is like a little oasis secluded from the business of Manhattan with its marvelous art and majestic garden spaces and sculptures. I would suggest going here to catch a break and for a little time travel into the early 1900s.”

We all know that New York City hosts some of the richest and most important museums in the world!

In addition, we know that it’s always tempting to visit all of them when you’re visiting the city. That is, if you’re interested in art, of course.

The Frick Collection is surely one of these great spots.

And, it showcases one of the most important collections of Western fine art today.

Location: 1 East 70th Street, Upper East Side

www.frick.org


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Ralph Lauren Cafe by Habituallychic
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Habitually Chic
UNFORTUNATELY THIS COFFEE SHOP IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“This is one of our favorite spots during NYFW as influencers all across the world gather here between shows to sip on their favorite coffee and tasty (and healthy) treats. The café is tucked away on the second floor of the store allowing one to catch a break during a busy day.”

We all know about the massive Ralph Lauren flagship store located in the heart of 5th Avenue.

But, not many people know about a tiny coffee shop inside it. It’s certainly a great space to escape the Manhattan chaos!

Their coffee ‘is certified organic, ethically and sustainably sourced’, which does make all the difference!

Location: 711 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Midtown


The West Village is surely one of the top 3 restaurants we most love in Manhattan. We are always around that area exploring new spots or just roaming around the beautiful streets.

It’s predominately a residential neighborhood, but the small shops, coffees and restaurants give it a lively vibe!

We love what the guys at The West Village Life doing to share the neighborhood’s beauty – picture are all theirs.

Location: Bleecker Street, West Village


To wrap up,  we asked them two fun questions:

What does NYC mean to both of you?
“I believe New York City means opportunity. Opportunity to feed off of the bustling energy and to learn from some of the most talented people in the world. It is a city where trends are started and dreams made. At the same time, one must stay weary and escape now and then and to catch a piece of mind and put it all into a perspective.

I think it is important to stay grounded and humbled. And, not to let so many of the temptations this city has to offer distract and interfere with one’s core values. Whatever the end-goal – why you came to this city – don’t even forget to take one day per week to yourself. And, just let loose and have fun.”

What would you girls tell a 1st timer in NY?
“I would share with a 1st timer in New York to take it all one step at a time. Also, to be more observant in order to learn rather than dive readily into action.

Also, I would tell him/her to enjoy the variety the city has to offer. From different districts to spectacular sites, like the views from the top of the Rockefeller Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts.

Finally, as mentioned above, don’t forget to go away now and then to catch your breath. Plus, let it all sink in to gain a better perspective on life and to prosper personally and in your career.”


Thank you Amra and Elma for being part of our Insider Interviews and sharing your favorite spots in NY!

Take a look at their website: https://amraandelma.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of A&E, TheWestVillageLife and all the venues
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Avant Garden: Vegan Restaurant If You’re Skeptical About Vegan Cuisine

Dining Avant Garden Vegan Restaurant Interior

This East Village vegan restaurant called Avant Garden is a tiny fine dining spot, with delicious food, that you’ll surely fall in love with!

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We had always heard about how good this Vegan restaurant called Avant Garden, but not only by our Vegan friends! Our our non-Vegan friends loved it as well and this amazed us!

We love everything Vegan (food, fashion, beauty products, etc) and love sharing information on how true Vegan food can be delicious!!! It’s definitely a misconception that the food is “boring” or “tasteless.”.

That said, we didn’t take long to head to Avant Garden to try it out ourselves! The result: OMG! Hard to put into words how beautifully presented and delicious everything was. Plus, the restaurant itself is super small and charming, just like we love.

Their mission?

While it may not seem a revolutionary act to simply enjoy a meal in a restaurant, the elimination of animal flesh and animal byproducts in one’s diet not only eases or eliminates an animal’s suffering, it’s also the most effective way an average person can ease the unmitigated environmental disaster that we as a species are collectively creating.”

Chef Anthony Mongeluzzi, certainly does a great job recreating the Vegan cuisine and highlighting all the flavors of the ingredients he uses in his unique open kitchen.

With extremely original creations, the menu is divided into 3: Toasts, Cold and Hot….and offers salads, a great variety of very tasty vegetables, pastas and breads. The small, but curated wine list, balances out with their super generous serving.

We’re confident that anyone who feels skeptical about Vegan cuisine will experience a major shift in their convictions after one bite at Avant Garden, and we like to think that through this act of changing hearts and minds, we’re helping to make the world a little bit of a better place, one beautiful dish at a time.”

It’s surely a place to go for a different experience – from the food and ambiance, to this great lifestyle!

Plus, if you’re skeptic about Vegan restaurant, we are sure that this restaurant will break down all of your preconceived ideas!

This is what we’d recommend, but basically everything in the menu is great:

  • Avocado with carrot ginger dressing, crispy rice, miso glaze, blistered shishito
  • Artichoke toast with spinach artichoke puree, black truffle vinaigrette, jicama, cashew
  • Sunchoke toast with olive, pistachio, pickled pea
  • Hen of the Woods with mushroom puree, kohlrabi, pickled hon shimeji
  • Celery Root with shiitake veloute, mushroom gremolat
  • Paella with calasparra rice, merguez royal trumpet, almonds, red pepper cream

They have a few sister restaurants that you should also try!

Mother of Pearl is a Vegan Polynesian restaurant & tiki bar. They were chosen as one of the restaurants with the most Instagram-worthy cocktails. Exciting right? And, Lady Bird is just around the block with trendy vegetable tapas!

Yup, they are all Vegan restaurants, and truly delicious!

And lastly, we shot a super fun video named “Will a Meat Eater Survive In 3 Vegan Restaurants?“. Go check it out to see if he made it alive, lol!

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 5pm – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 12am

Location: 130 East 7th Street, East Village

www.avantgardennyc.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Venue
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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