Tag Archives: Greenwich Village

Celebrity-Owned Restaurants in NYC

Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Jay Wennington Behind the Scenes NYC

Check out some of the coolest celebrity-owned restaurants in NYC! There are so many amazing places to eat, so let us help you with some top recommendations!

Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Jay Wennington Behind the Scenes NYCToday we will share with you 5 amazing celebrity-owned restaurants in NYC for you to check out!

We all know that New York is one of America’s top culinary capitals boasting of a variety of cuisines and many Michelin-starred restaurants.

Whether you fancy traditional dining or want to try avant-garde dishes, there are many places in the metropolis where you can go.

It’s no wonder that celebrities also dabble in restaurants, for very few places in the world can compare to the culinary scene that unfolds in the city that never sleeps.

Here are celebrity-owned restaurants that you should try the next time you’re in NYC.


Joanne Trattoria

Joanne Trattoria Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Behind the Scenes NYC

NYC has its share of old and historic restaurants that you can explore to appreciate the city’s incredible food scene.

However, for those who just want a traditional eatery, the Italian American restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, is a place to consider.

It is owned by the parents of celebrity Lady Gaga and cookbook author Art Smith. The latter was the former chef of American talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

The restaurant itself is named after Gaga’s aunt, Joanne. Located just a short walk from the American Folk Art Museum, the homey trattoria features traditional Italian dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, gnocchi, and pizzas.

The aim of the restaurant is to offer classic and delicious Italian fare in a family-style place.

Location: 70 West 68th Street, Upper West Side
http://www.joannenyc.com

 

Nobu Downtown and TriBeCa Grill

Nobu Downtown Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Behind the Scenes NYC

Japanese chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Hollywood actor Robert de Niro, and businessman Meir Teper are the forces behind the success of 50 gourmet restaurants and 13 luxury hotels.

The men were at the helm of their ventures since 1994.

Thanks to the fusion cuisine that combines South American ingredients with traditional Japanese recipes, the renowned brand has won the hearts of diners all over the world.

Chef Matsuhisa is famous for his black cod with miso sauce and Hokusetsu premium sake

Location: 195 Broadway, Financial District
https://www.noburestaurants.com/downtown

Tribeca Grill Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Behind the Scenes NYC

In addition to the high-end brand, de Niro has also a stake in Tribeca Grill, a barbecue restaurant with an award-winning wine list and a great spot for people-watching.

His partner in this venture is Drew Nieporent, a famous NYC restaurateur.  

Location: 375 Greenwich Street, TriBeCa
https://www.tribecagrill.com

 

The 40/40 Club

The 40 40 Club Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Behind the Scenes NYC

Just a stone’s throw away from Madison Square is the luxury sports bar, The 40/40 Club. Co-owned by American rapper and hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z, the club features gigantic plasma screens and private lounges.

It first opened in NYC in 2003 and since then has expanded to other locations including Brooklyn and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The club borrows its name from baseball’s 40/40 club which is composed of player who have hit 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in one baseball season.

To date, only four Major League Baseball (MLB) players belong to this exclusive club.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning to check out the joint, expect scrumptious appetizers, sliders, and salads.

Location: 6 West 25th Street, Flatiron District
https://the4040club.com

  

Mermaid Oyster Bar

The Mermaid Inn Celebrity Owned Restaurants in NYC Behind the Scenes NYC

For oyster lovers, Zach Braff’s restaurant is the place to go because it features 16 amazing and delicious varieties of oysters.

Chef Laurence Edelman who is a friend of Braff since he was 13 years old co-owns the place with the American actor and filmmaker best known for his role as JD in Scrubs.

The joint is also known for its lobster rolls and ‘oyster happy hours.’ You can find the upscale seafood place at Greenwich Village.

Whether it’s for fame, money, or simply passion, celebs who opened restaurants on their own or with partners in NYC are offering diners different dining experiences.

It’s also an opportunity to see other luminaries who patronize their eating places.

Location: 89 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village
https://www.themermaidnyc.com


Credits: Courtesy of Jay Wennington and all restaurants

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC

So no one told you life was going to be this way…  That said, we decided to share with you the Ultimate Guide to Planning your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC! Check it out!

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC
Little Owl restaurant in the West Village. Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Any fan of the hit sitcom Friends will immediately sing along to these lines and find themselves clapping reflexively.

Years after its ten-year run, Friends continues to strike a chord among old fans and generations of new ones.

Although the series was filmed on a sound stage in California, the show will forever be associated with New York, where all the misadventures took place.

If you are planning a trip to New York and want a one-of-a-kind tour, why not dedicate a day to crafting your itinerary around some famous Friends locations to experience the city through your favorite characters’ shoes.

Enjoy our tips below to the Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC and have fun!


The one with the fountain

While singing those lyrics, you might have pictured a certain fountain with the whole cast playfully splashing around in their coordinated black and white outfits in the opening credits.

Although this was also shot on the Warner Bros back lot, debates abound on whether it is based on the Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park or the Pulitzer Fountain in Midtown West’s Grand Army Plaza.

While you can choose which of these locations you prefer, feel free to dance around as much as you want as it’s a public space, after all. Just be sure that you don’t jump in!

Although the memorable orange couch won’t be stationed in front of the fountain as in the credits, you can still sit around, people watch, and perhaps even whip a guitar out and belt out ‘Smelly Cat’ à la Phoebe Buffay.


The one with the apartment building

Much of the Friends action takes place on the corner of Grove and Bedford Street in the West Village. It’s better known as the destination of the kitschy Central Perk coffee shop as well as majority of the clique’s apartments.

This little corner destination is also a spot on the NYC TV & Movie Tour, but sadly, you’ll have to use your imagination to visualize the Central Perk logo.

Instead, you can actually walk into the Little Owl restaurant in its place and have a cup of coffee or even a full meal. Don’t expect Gunther to serve you – just pretend you’re at your own cozy little neighborhood joint and enjoy the distant chatter.


The one with the bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge and Friends have inevitably become intertwined because of how prominently it is featured on the show – including many scenes of the gang driving along it.

Just last year, fans of the series congregated on the Brooklyn Bridge for a special reunion called the “Friends 25th Vegas Takeover” with Lego replicas of its sets, live performances, and an appearance of Ross’s former pet monkey, Marcel.

The landmark is often used to promote merchandise from the series and has been featured on traditional games like Scene It! and Trivial Pursuit.

The iconic bridge is still being used to promote Friends across digital mediums with a dedicated title among the selection of slot games on Cheeky Bingo putting the Brooklyn Bridge front and center.

This not only shows how Friends is reaching new fans, but how the Brooklyn Bridge has come to symbolize the show. Fans who want a tangible memento of this image can look into the array of merchandise, as the collectible box sets feature the main cast in front of the iconic bridge.


Friends has become a pop culture phenomenon and its memory continues to live on 25 years later.

As a reunion is in the pipeline and the series and all related things are within arm’s reach, all you have to do is plan your trip. No matter when you schedule your visit, know that these places will be there for you!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

A NYC TV & Movie Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going NYC TV Movie Tour Friends Apartment Thumbnail

Let’s explore New York City in a different way! If you’re a TV and movie fan, this NYC TV & Movie Tour is the perfect one for you! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!


BOOK NOW!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going NYC TV Movie Tour Friends Apartment
The famous Friends apartment. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Take a guided bus for the NYC TV & Movie Tour to the sites of your favorite movies and TV shows!

New York is the most filmed city in the world, and this tour will allow you to see the New York your favorite TV and movie stars saw. You’ll even see a few celebrity homes.

Your tour is guided by a local New York City actor or actress who will share some tidbits about his or her experience on a film set.

This tour also provides a fun, unique way to explore Manhattan, for those that want a sightseeing tour with an entertainment twist. We start out at a central location in Times – Square, but along the way we visit locations in Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Chelsea.

BOOK NOW!

This tour is equally fantastic for tourists and locals, families and groups of friends. Your guide will entertain and inform you as you visit over 40 locations, including:

  • Pass the Oscorp and Daily Bugle office buildings from Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man
  • Visit the Park featured in Glee, The Mindy Project, and When Harry Met Sally, etc
  • Catch a glimpse of the hotel s featured in Modern Family and American Hustle
  • Spot The Original Soup Man, along with other Seinfeld locations
  • Visit popular spots from Friends including the gang’s apartment building
  • Stop at McGee’s Pub, the bar used as the inspiration for the one used on How I Met Your Mother
  • See new locations from Younger, Girls, Mr. Robot, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and more!

TOUR DETAILS:

  • Price: $51 / person
  • Duration: Tour runs Approximately 3 hours
  • Features over 40 TV & movie locations and is our most popular tour
  • Features the most recent locations used by TV shows and movie, but also includes classic sites from Friends, Seinfeld and Ghostbusters
  • All our tour guides are local actors who share insider information about filming in NYC
  • Features three stops for photo opportunities
  • Tour takes place on a comfortable, clean and air-conditioned bus
  • Gratuity: Gratuities are not included in the price of the tour ticket. A tip for exemplary service is always appreciated, but never required. 🙂

BOOK NOW!


To organize a behind the scenes tour for your team or a special group of clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Tours & Experiences.

If you enjoyed the NYC TV & Movie Tour, be sure to check what the Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour is all about and the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting.

Also, see the YouTube Video we shot and a list of 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Greenwich Village Coffee Tour McNultys

New York is know for its countless coffee shops and we all know true New Yorkers love a great coffee cup. So, come explore the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting experience.


BOOK NOW!

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Drink your way through the surprising history of coffee in NYC on the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting.

Discover the surprising history of coffee in New York City while exploring Greenwich Village, its iconic birthplace.

On this unique walking tour we will learn how New York and coffee go hand-in-hand both in cultural and economic development. We will hear the story of one of the most successful coffee entrepreneurs of the early 20th century, who’s first shop was in Grand Central and who was a woman!

In between sampling coffee at some of the retailers that popularized America’s favorite beverage, you’ll get a crash course in coffee history from its ancient discovery in Africa to its sustainable farming movements of the past few years.

We will also highlight many of Greenwich Village’s hidden historical gems, like the Minetta Brook, and explain their connection to coffee.

By the end of this experience you will have tasted: an espresso, a drip coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans and a cappuccino… so you will be caffeinated!

BOOK NOW!


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Drink a cappuccino from NYC’s oldest cafe
  • Discover the former cafe that became the unofficial birthplace of the off-off Broadway theatre movement
  • Taste coffee treats from New York City’s oldest whole bean retailers
  • See NYC’s first espresso machine
  • Learn how NYC coffee culture played host to the first Stock Exchange and was considered to be the world’s first internet

TOUR DETAILS:
Price: $40 / person
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes. This tour is happening rain or shine so please dress appropriately for the weather.
What to know: The tour is 1.5 hours long; the group meets at the Minetta Triangle, N/e Corner of Ave. of Americas and, Minetta Ln
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


To organize a behind the scenes tour for your team or a special group of clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Tours & Experiences.

If you enjoy the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting, be sure to check what the Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour is all about!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of our partner

6 Boutique Hotels In NYC For The Cool Crowd

The High Line Hotel Entrance

 We contribute with Glamour Brazil  magazine with posts about the hottest spots in town. In this posts we listed 6 Boutique Hotels in NYC that attract some of the coolest guests.

We’ve translated the original article, that is originally in Portuguese, so everyone can understand! We selected some boutique hotels in NYC to share with you. Some newer, some older but still great!

Unlike traditional hotels, these boutique hotels in NYC attract a young, modern crowd, who appreciate art and like to have fun.

Therefore, they offer great restaurants, hype bars, a fantastic décor with art works and design pieces, plus a bustling nightlife!

Take a look at our selection:


Paramount Hotel

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Built in the 1920’s, the hotel was considered one of the best in town. At the time, everyone passing through Times Square (between 1938 and 1951) would certainly enter the hotel to go to Diamond Horseshoe – a club / theater serving dinners in the basement of the hotel.

After being sealed and closed for 62 years, the hotel was repurchased by a millionaire by $20 million and reopened in the New Year’s Eve of 2014.

One of the great attractions at the hotel is the show Queen of the Night, which takes place inside the famous Diamond Horseshoe which was also revitalized. Giovanna Battaglia is the Creative Director of this “theatrical dinner” that mixes theater, music, circus and design. The Dress Code? They ask you to “Dress for the Queen”, so only formal attires, cocktail dresses or luxurious costumes are accepted.

The hotel is also the home of a restaurant called Paramount Bar & Grill and the Corso Coffee, an Italian bar with coffee, cakes, pastries, sandwiches and salads.

The rooms have contemporary decor and modern design with flat-screet televisions, internet, iPod docking station…and your floor tells you what is the temperature out there to help you get dressed.
Interesting, right?!

Location: 235 West 46th Street

www.nycparamount.com


The Refinery Hotel

Refinery Hotel Guest Room
Refinery Hotel Guest Room
Refinery Hotel Rooftop
Refinery Hotel – Rooftop

The hotel was built inside a former hat factory of the early 20th century. Located in Midtown, it has 12 floors with 197 rooms and offers a really cool entertainment.

Parker & Quinn, the restaurant with seasonal foods offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and for those who want a good cocktail, its nostalgic décor recalls the early 1900’s in NYC. They offer live music with pianists, jazz singers and even DJs in certain week nights.

The Winnie’s Wine Lobby Bar recalls the era of the US Prohibition when the production, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages was prohibited. With a beer and wine menu for every singular possible taste, the bar also offers live music.

Since all true New Yorkers love a rooftop, the hotel did not forget to make its own! The Refinery Rooftop is cozy, with a rustic space and an amazing view of the Empire State Building. The cocktails created by Alex Ott are made from natural ingredients and certainly will make a difference in your night!

Location: 63 West 38th Street

www.refineryhotelnewyork.com


Marlton Hotel

The Marlton Hotel Façade
The Marlton – Entrance
The Marlton Guest Room
The Marlton – Guest Room

Located in Greenwich Village, The Marlton Hotel is a hotel with small rooms, yes. But, it did become one of the most hip spots in the city where the cool gang hangs out.

In the past it hosted poets, artists and writers such as Jack Kerouac, Julie Andrews, Carmen McRae seeking work in New York and that enjoyed the neighborhood.

After a revival, it was reopened in September 2013.

The restaurant called Margaux, has a menu with influences blending cuisines from California, France and some of the countries bordering the Mediterranean. It offers dishes with fresh seasonal ingredients.

The Cocktail Bar is opened from 7pm through 2am. It attracts the cool local NYC crowd we mentioned above, for after hours. Something that is pretty common in the New York nightlife scene.

Location: 5 West 8th Street

http://marltonhotel.com


Ludlow Hotel

Ludlow-Hotel-Garden
Ludlow Hotel – Garden

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The Ludlow Hotel, inaugurated in 2014 in the Lower East Side, instantly became one of the coolest boutique hotels in NYC to stay at.

The hotel has 184 rooms and 20 suites – that can cost up to $2,000/night. But, the other suites do have good, affordable prices, so don’t worry!

The very unique décor has marble tiled floor, handmade silk carpets, handcrafted lamps from Morocco and giant industrial windows.

We guarantee the hotel has everything you might want…even a mini bar with gluten-free products. WOW!

The restaurant, Dirty French, is also a “must-go” when you come and visit. Be sure to make a reservation!

Location: 180 Ludlow Street

http://ludlowhotel.com


The High Line Hotel

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Located on a terrain where apples were once cultivated, the hotel offers 60 rooms in a beautiful brick building bordering the High Line Park – an old train track that was turned into a suspended park, in Chelsea.

The rooms are large, with beautiful décor mixing American and European styles, vintage looking furnitures. In addition, generous windows overlooking the High Line Park and the private garden of the hotel.

Unlike other boutique hotels, it does not offer famous restaurants or bars, but it does host the 1st Coffee Bar in New York, Intelligentsia. They have a wonderful coffee that you can enjoy in their garden area.

In front of the hotel you can find a coffee truck with coffee and delicious sweets that are perfect to enjoy during the summer.

In the evening, Champagne Charlie’s, their outdoor lounge on the hotel’s patio, is a great option to have some appetizers and a great selection of beer, wine and champagne.

Location: 180 10th Avenue

www.thehighlinehotel.com


Viceroy New York

Viceroy Hotel The Roof
The Roof at Viceroy Hotel
Viceroy Hotel Guest Room
Guest Room at Viceroy Hotel

Located in Midtown, the Viceroy is one of New York’s hotel that blends the cool Downtown style, with the luxury of Uptown, in a subtle and intelligent way.

The rooms have amazing views of the city, mainly of Central Park. The design was created by the renowned duo called Roman and Williams, famous for decorating other luxury hotels too.

The Kingside restaurant brings the creations of Chef Marc Murphy. In addition, the famous and always crowded rooftop, The Roof, is definitely an attraction.

With a lounge and outdoor terrace, the drink menu is great and offers handcrafted local beers, wines from every corner of the world. The cocktails are made with fresh ingredients and the food menu offers small snacks and dishes – the most popular dish is surely their burger.

Enjoy any time of the year to visit the Viceroy. Go up to the The Roof to be “awed” by one of the most beautiful views of Central Park and Manhattan!

Location: 120 West 57th Street

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com


We are sure you will enjoy any of these Boutique Hotels in NYC. And, even more, your experience in the city will be unforgettable!

Do you need help with something? Take a look at our Concierge Services and countless ways we can make your vacation even more memorable!

Are you a Company needing assistance in NY for your executives? Contact us to learn how our Corporate Services can make their work trip seamless!



Photo Credits: Courtesy of Hotels
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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.*

Frevo: A Restaurant Hidden Behind An Art Work

Dining Frevo Restaurant Fernanda Paronetto

You all know how much we enjoy finding secret spots around New York, right? So, take a look at Frevo, a restaurant hidden behind an art work inside a tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village. It’s the new hot spot!

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Yes, so this is exactly what you read: a restaurant hidden behind an art work!

Frevo is one of the newest restaurants in town that officially opened its doors on May 16th, but the fun thing is that it’s actually a hard to find spot. Just like we like it and how our story began!

The contemporary French restaurant is hidden behind a beautiful art work inside a tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan.

Created by the talented Brazilian Chef Franco Sampogna and his Portuguese business partner and General Manager Bernardo Silva, the restaurant’s launch was far from being an “easy one”. What I mean is, we all know that many of the restaurants out there are backed up by these big money investors, making the entire endeavor easier.

But, Frevo went down another path and was self-funded by the duo. Certainly, a challenge that brought its own characteristics, the main one being the idea of being a secret spot.

The concept of it being discreet and offering a unique experience had been thought out. But, a restaurant hidden behind an art work, happened by occasion based on a challenge they had.

Bottom line: the place they found was amazing, but too big, too expensive and above their budget.

Dining Frevo Restaurant Fernanda Paronetto Franco Sampogna
Our Founder, Fê Paronetto with Chef Franco.

So, after analyzing and deciding exactly what size restaurant they’d actually need, the remaining space was offered to the French painter Toma-L, which draws inspiration from Joan Miró and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Voilá! There, he’d be able to show and sell his art pieces, while creating the beginning of, what they call, “a unique cultural and culinary dining experience”.

As soon as you arrive at the tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village, you’re greeting by a hostess. Note: If you’re early, you might have the pleasure of being greeted by Chef Sampogna himself!

When the time comes for your reservation, you get a bit curious to know exactly where the entrance is.

Then, the moment comes when you’re just in “awe”! The biggest painting in the gallery opens up like a door, and you’re taken inside to your seat. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming, plus you’re able to actually meet and talk to the talented duo behind it all.

There are 18 counter seats where guests can enjoy and see their dishes being carefully prepared. In addition, there is also a more private table for up to 6 people as an option.

Frevo offers a 5-course pre-fixe menu with: 2 appetizers, 2 main courses and 1 dessert. Oh, and you do get an amuse-bouche to wake up your taste buds!

This tasting menu costs $148/person and is definitely worth every cent! You can also request wine pairing, at an additional cost, of $96/person, tip included! Frevo is a non-tipping restaurant.

I’m vegetarian and at the time of my reservation, I was asked for any dietary restrictions or allergies. So, they were able to perfectly accommodate my request. (Note: They are just not able to accommodate vegan diets, as of now.)

So, this is what we had:

  • Lump Crab with Broccoli and Curry
  • Green Asparagus with Pistachio and coconut
  • Halibut with Fennel, Mushroom Marmalade
  • Long Island Duck with Spinach, Raisins and Potatoes
  • Chocolate mousse with Oreo crumbs, ice cream with a side of dulce-de-leche (aka caramel)

For me, the dished slightly different:

  • Quinoa Salad
  • Green Asparagus with Pistachio and coconut
  • Fennel, Mushroom Marmalade with a small bread soaked in the marmalade
  • Onion, Pear and Carrot, on top of a Carrot cream
  • Lemon pie with Vodka, Lime and Almond

And, to finish it off in grand style, and to celebrate the Brazilian culture (since I had mentioned that Chef Sampogna is Brazilian), we had a good strong espresso.

The menu is seasonal, so you can be sure to go back and re-experience this delicious secret journey into a contemporary French cuisine.

They do not accept walk-ins and even if you pass by the gallery, you’re not able to give that sneak-peek inside. So, be sure to get your reservation done in advance to explore this restaurant hidden behind an art work!

To get a sneak peek inside our experience, take a look at this IGTV Video!


Dining Frevo Restaurant Chef Franco Sampogna Bernardo Silva

More about the Co-Founders:

Chef Franco Sampogna and Bernardo Silva met at the age of 17 in France, even though they are from Brazil and Portugal, respectively.

They spent most of their early years studying in France and working at renowned Michelin-star restaurants. This, eventually, built up great knowledge and experience of the hospitality industry, bringing them to explore New York and start their journey away from France.

They duo is well-known for their former Long Island based restaurant, Jema. It won Newsday’s Best New Restaurant 2016, was listed among Best Long Island Restaurants 2017, and won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2017.

Chef Franco Sampogna entered the international San Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 competition, along with another 3621 candidates. Selected amongst ten French Chefs for the semi-finals at only 24 years old, he went on to win second place on February 10, 2015.

“The James Beard Foundation featured Jema and honored the culinary talents of Chef Sampogna at the Beard House. Dining on his food is a real pleasure.” — Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.


Frevo is by reservation only, so be sure to get yours done: reservations@frevonyc.com.

And still, we work with corporate clients coming from all over the world that need local assistance in event planning and leisure experiences. If that is your case, contact us with your request! We are able to organize an amazing time for you and your team / clients in New York.

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm – 11pm

Location: 48 West 8th Street

www.frevonyc.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of Charissa Fay for Frevo
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour

A NYC tour, not to be missed! The LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village is truly fantastic with countless stories that will amaze you!


BOOK NOW!

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I had a fantastic experience on a new tour we’re featuring! I mean, we always attend all tours we share with you guys, but this one is surely something special and different!

Why? Well, because it talks about one of the most amazing stories and moments in New York’s history: the LGBTQ+ movement!

So, come explore with us the famous LGBTQ+ history of Greenwich Village with a local NYC guide by your side.

See Stonewall Inn, the place where the gay rights movement kicked off in 1969 and let to an unexpected riot, enjoy a drink in the city’s oldest known gay bar and grab an ice-cream covered in rainbow sprinkles at the city’s sauciest ice-cream parlor!

I’m sure you will have a great time and have lots of fun learning more about this super important moment in the history of New York City!

BOOK NOW!

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Drink at the oldest gay bar in NYC and sing with the locals at a café where many Broadway stars go to croon at the piano
  • Visit the location where ‘the shot glass that was heard around the world’ was thrown: Stonewall Inn, the gay bar that launched the civil rights movement for LGBTQ+ people back in 1969
  • Tour the iconic West Village where celebrities, writers, provocateurs and social justice warriors used to call home (and see where they used to live and work)
  • Learn about renowned people that were gay and fighting for their rights in the 60’s and 70’s
  • Plus, find out which First Lady dated a women and had a 3-decade-long love story
  • Celebrate gay history at Big Gay Ice Cream; a fancy cone is included in your tour!

TOUR DETAILS:

  • Price: $71.10 – $79/person
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Meeting point: Washington Square Arch in Washington Square, NYC
  • Ending point: Marie’s Crisis Café, 59 Grove Street
  • Language: English
  • Advanced Purchase Required

OTHER INFO:

  • Inclusions: Local, English-speaking guide, one drink at an iconic gay bar (beer, wine or cocktail), Ice-cream cone.
  • Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
  • Dress standard: Comfortable walking clothes. Please check weather on the day.
  • Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
  • Child Policy: Travelers under 21 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.
  • Dietary Notes: We can accommodate vegetarians and other dietary restrictions. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests.

BOOK NOW!

In addition, if you are looking to book a private tour of the LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village, please submit a request. Furthermore, for corporate requests, let our experts help you out.

Don’t forget to explore all our other Tours & Experiences! We’re sure you’ll enjoy them all! 


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of our partner
*Last Updated on Feb/2020.*

Immersing Yourself In The Rich History Of Greenwich Village

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Come immerse yourself in the rich history of Greenwich Village!

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village Sixth Avenue Wiki Commons
Greenwich Village’s Sixth Avenue. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Albeit usually remembered as a haven for artists, its historic roots actually run deeper. Before it was anything else, Greenwich Village in the 1630’s was a marshland where Dutch settlers fed their livestock. It was initially developed into a village separate from New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons
Greenwich Village, 1900. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

But as the urban sprawl consumed the area, Greenwich Village took on a new identity in 1857 at the founding of the Tenth Street Studio Building. It housed the first architecture school in the US and attracted artists from all over the world.

It was also the place where the so-called “bohemian” movement began, a subculture which was described in an 1858 article on The New York Times as “either an artist or an author, whose special aversion is work, and whose ambition is to excel in some particular walk.” The Village’s affinity to bohemians of all sorts has since defined its identity.

Curiosities City Secrets The Albert Hotel Wiki Commons
The Albert Hotel. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Decades later, the Hotel Albert opened in 1880 and attracted the best artists and writers of that particular time. A long list of creative people stayed here including Mark Twain, Anais Nin, Walt Whitman, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.

In addition, the Village also saw the birth of American experimental theater pushed by Eugene O’Neil and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and it was integral in the transition of the global art capital from Paris to New York in the mid-20th century.

Various American art movements including Abstract Expressionism, emerged out of the Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Stonewall Inn NY 2008 Wiki Commons
The Stonewall Inn. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Village has significant contributions to music and self-expression, too. It’s the place where the first desegregated nightclub in the country, Cafe Society, was built. The venue dedicated itself to the cutting-edge music of its time, bebop jazz. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz giants graced it with their presence during its heyday.

The ferocious sound of bebop and Jazz also lured the Beat Generation artists to the Village, with writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others gaining the literary spotlight. In the 1960s, the Beats became an inspiration for different forms of counterculture. The progressive ideas of the Beats and the hippies informed the eventual rise of the LGBT movement and other civil rights groups. The LGBT movement found expression in the 1969 Stonewall Riot, which also happened in Greenwich Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Grace Church from the North
Grace Church. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grace Church

Popular structures such as Grace Church and the Jefferson Market Library tower over the Village as reminders of the place’s creative tradition.

Another structure, The Westbeth, which was a former Bell Telephone Labs office, also became a popular residence for artists. It eventually housed the studios of choreographer Merce Cunningham, musical arranger Gil Evans, Robert De Niro Sr., and Vin Diesel.

Curiosities City Secrets Jefferson Market Library Greenwich Village NY Wiki Commons
Jefferson Market Library. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

While the Greenwich Village of today has none of the rustic and bohemian charm of its past, it remains one of the most renowned places in New York, thanks to the preservation of its iconic buildings.

Greenwich Village’s longevity can be attributed mainly to local laws that help maintain its historic buildings.

In fact, a section of the Village made up of more than 50 blocks has been established as part of a Historic District, thanks to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Development in this area follows very strict rules, such as the requirement to preserve a historic building’s main facade if it is to be renovated.

NYC also implements Local Law 11, which indirectly contributes to the Village’s preservation. Local Law 11 is explained by real estate expert James McGrath in an article on Yoreevo. He states that the law mandates regular facade inspections of buildings higher than six stories to ensure their structural integrity. Although it’s primary purpose is for safety, the law also helps ensure that old buildings in the city are maintained. The excellent condition of most structures in Greenwich Village is a good example of how a bustling metropolis should take care of its historic buildings.

Just knowing the history of Greenwich Village and the people who have called it home are enough reasons to give this neighborhood a visit. To explore other interesting places in the Big Apple, check out our previous post about Astoria, a commercial neighborhood in Queens.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The Must-Try Italian Restaurants In NYC

Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Pasta

In this YouTube episode, we show you which are the must-try Italian restaurants in NYC! So, lets do it how Italians say: “Mangia Che Te Fa Bene!”


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“Mangia Che Te Fa Bene!” or… “Eat, that it’s good for you!”…as Italian love to say before starting a delicious meal at Italian Restaurants in NYC and around the globe!

Welcome to our last food episode of the Season! I invited, of course, my dear friend Jared Zuckerman, one of NYC’s top food and travel influencers that tirelessly explored with me the local NYC food scene! We had a fantastic time uncovering some of the top food spots in town, like the best desserts, cocktail spots and vegan restaurants for meat eaters!

So, to finish in grand style and because of our Italian roots, we selected 3 Italian spots to share with you!

To start, we headed towards one of Joe’s Pizza spots, where his pizza is loved not only by all locals, but also countless celebrities. Then, we went to Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s – the 1st spot serving only gnocchis . Last, but certainly not least, the relatively new Scriptum Brooklyn, serving food by passionate Italians in a pretty cool place!

And, before we start showing you all these Italian gems, be sure to subscribe to our channel, like the video and help spread the love for our beautiful New York City!


Joe’s Pizza

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Joe’s Pizza is one of the most famous pizza spots in town, loved by locals and countless celebrities. The business was born in the Greenwich Village in 1975, and today has 4 locations, so it’s easy to find one close to you…

Today Joe is 75 years old and is still running the business! It’s certainly a place with no b*llshit, plus it’s not fancy, not uptight…just right, for the perfect slice of pizza.

Do you know which celebrities you can bump into?

Lucy Liu, Bradley Cooper, Lenny Kravitz, Leo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez, Kevin Bacon, Steven Tyler, Trey Burke basketball player from the NY Knicks, and even the Kardashians love it!

This time, I ordered a slice of the spinach and ricotta pizza, while Jared got a traditional pepperoni slice!

So, let’s go to our next spot: Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s!

Hours: Check website for different hours.

Locations:
7 Carmine Street, Greenwich Village (The original spot!)
150 East 14th Street, Midtown
1435 Broadway, Midtown
216 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://www.joespizzanyc.com


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Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s

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Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s is the 1st gnocchi only spot  in the city and is relatively new too!

The Luzzo family is known for being in the restaurant business for years and years and having truly authentic Italian food!

So, what to expect? Delicious, home made gnocchis perfect to pair with your favorite wine!

“Having already mastered the fine art of the perfect pizza dough the next logical step for Executive Chef Michele Iuliano was to master the art of perfect gnocchi. Every style of gnocchi served at Gnoccheria is inspired by Chef Michele’s upbringing and home cooking, and is freshly made by hand every day. From the spinach gnocchi to the amazing stuffed gnocchi all of the dishes are prepared with tremendous variety, taste, and love.”

I had their signature dish: Tris Signature Dish (for 2), made with the classic potato gnocchi and 3 different sauces – pesto genovese, quattro formaggi and sorentina. No joke, I think this one of the best gnocchis in my life. Super light, incredibly fresh, the 3 sauces are extremely tasty and well balanced!

Jared had a green ravioli pasta with tomato sauce, spinach, filled with fresh burrata! He loved it too and said that the burrata, that usually is a bit on the saltier side, was just perfect. In addition, the spinach was amazing!

And of course, we paired it with a red wine. Their wine list is truly impressive and you can see all their tables decorating the restaurant’s walls. Very unique cellar!

I can’t wait to go back there! Really! It’s truly one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in NYC!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 11pm

Location: 234 East 4th Street

http://www.gnoccherianyc.com 


Scriptum Brooklyn

UNFORTUNATELY THIS AMAZING PLACE CLOSED DOWN JUST A FEW DAYS AGO!

Just a few days before posting our video, we were told that the restaurant unfortunately had permanently closed down on November 17th.

Their food was truly amazing, the decoration of the place was fantastic and super cozy, the service and staff were all very nice and attentive…

We wish the entire team the best and that they hopefully decide to reopen at another location to make all our Italian cravings go away!


Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYCAnd, it’s a wrap! We hope you really enjoyed these fantastic places. And if you did, like our video and subscribe to our channel!

I’m sure you’ll love being part of our behind the scenes NYC, world!

If you enjoyed these Italian restaurants in NYC, take a look at our Dining selection for more fantastic restaurants like Palma in the West Village and Lilia Ristorante in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Videography: Black3 Agency
Photography: Courtesy of venues
Beauty
Leila Soldeira
Styling
Camilla Adão

*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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