Tag Archives: Restaurants

Her Name Was Carmen: A High-End Peruvian Restaurant

Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin

This high-end Peruvian restaurant called Her Name Was Carmen was really an unexpected surprise! About to celebrate their 1st year, they have some new dishes coming out and we went to try them.

Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Inside
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Hamatchi Tiradito
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Cafe Cocktail
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Steak Tartare
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Cornere
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Full Table
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Tuna Mojama
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Tables
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Panna Cota
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Peeking In
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Dessert
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Cocktail
Dining Her Name Was Carmen Peruvian Restaurant Soho Gabriel Barreto Bentin Drinks
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About to celebrate their 1st year, Her Name Was Carmen, a two-floor upscale Latin American restaurant located in West SoHo, will soon celebrate their first anniversary, this coming December. But the idea actually started almost 10 years ago.

Their extremely talented Chef, Omar Ben Hammou, is originally from Peru (but is half Moroccan, as well). He’s worked at renowned restaurants in New York like Le Bernardin, with the French Chef Eric Ripert and in Switzerland, at Le Floris with Chef Claude Legras. Both Michelin starred restaurants!

Now, if you’re Brazilian, you’ve probably heard of Chef Alex Atala. He runs D.O.M. restaurant, a two Michelin stars restaurant, in São Paulo. Chef Omar worked there before coming to New York.

His story at the stove begins in his early childhood when he flourished from learning at his mother’s restaurant about the flavors of Northern Peruvian cuisine. He eventually graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Lima.

Her Name Was Carmen offers a unique experience where guests dine on a simple menu that showcases fresh seafood.

And, during specific nights, after dinner you can make your way downstairs for some eclectic music and their creative artisanal cocktails.

“The idea was to mix an upscale dinner experience with a NYC nightlife. We wanted to immortalize a young Latin American woman that grew abroad, eats healthy, is eclectic, likes dancing Reggaeton, but also travels to Ibiza.

We wanted to offer a different proposition and interpretation of Latin American food mixing 4 elements: design, high-end cuisine with a minimal contemporary style, combining a drinking menu with oceanic wines and mezcal, all paired with great music (deep house, disco, latin)…” ~ Andres Diaz, Managing Partner

The décor was made also by, Maurizio Bianchi Mattioli, a Venezuelan-born architect with the challenge of “no white walls”. So, you’ll see a beautiful mural at the entrance designed by Simon Vargas, fun floors, striped ceiling, an energetically lit full bar! All very…Latin!

We tried 6 different delicious dishes, paired with 3 white and 3 red wines throughout the courses, that you can also see on our IGTV.

Everything was perfectly paired by the extremely kind and knowledgable Wine Director & Sommelier, Yuval Bar-Kokhba. He was sure to find the perfect wine for us!

Curious to see what we ate?

  • #1: Fresh Oysters from Boston
  • #2: Tuna Mojama on toast with avocado, tomato and oregano
  • #3: Hamachi Tiradito, one of the best sellers, with avocado, japaleño, olive oil emulsion and rice crackers
  • #4: Beet Salad is a new vegetarian option on their menu
  • #5: Brussel Sprout salad is vegetarian as well
  • #6: Halibut
  • #7: Dessert – White Chocolate Panna Cota

Some of their other new dishes added to the menu are:

  • Sea Bream Crudo
  • Truffle Pasta
  • Arroz com Pato (rice with duck)
  • Short Rib

In a few weeks they are starting brunch where you can also expect a simple, but delicious menu.

Some of their dishes will be a calamari sandwich, the famous avocado toast and some of their best sellers, like the ceviche! And, to set the mood, a live band will be playing.

Be sure to make your reservation and don’t forget to share you experience with us! And, if you need assistance to plan a Corporate Even with your team or clients, let our expert assist!

Hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday: 6pm – 12am
Thursday: 7pm – 2am
Friday & Saturday: 7pm – 3am
Sunday & Monday: Closed

Location: 527 Broome Street

www.carmennyc.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gabriel Barreto Bentin

Citrico: Mexican Restaurant In Brooklyn

Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Doll

It’s taco time! Citrico is a Mexican restaurant in Prospect Heights, in Brooklyn! We went there for a night filled with traditional tacos and cocktails and had a great time!

Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Food Drinks
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Cocktails
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Vegetable Blue Taco
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Aguacate Frito
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Full Table
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Chocolate Mousse
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Who likes Mexican food!? I definitely do!

I don’t know about your guys, but I certainly do!!! So, that said, I decided to explore a bit a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Prospect Heights and try a restaurant called Citrico!

They are a traditional Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn that you should try any time you’re around!

Well, to start off Noor, the owner, is Mexican so obviously the food, authentic Southern Mexican, is super traditional. The restaurant’s décor is simple, but very inviting and low-key with some typical Mexican objects and frames that set the mood to the place.

When we got there, I always like to ask what are the bestsellers and what are the most unique and different dishes on the menu.

So, take a look at what we had:

  • Guacamole (of course): Served with chips and topped with fresh pomegranate
  • Tostada de Betabel en Mole: beets cooked in homemade mole made from scratch, over rice and a crispy corn tortilla and then topped with crema, queso fresco and lettuce
  • Agucate Frito: Fried avocado with shrimp ceviche
  • Taco Gordita Combo: vegetable taco on a blue corn tortilla topped with avocado and queso fresco + a handmade corn gordita stuffed with black beans, crema, queso fresco and lettuce. Comes with pickled habaneros and homemade salsa roja.
Obviously, we’d never miss dessert:
  • Chocolate Mousse: Homemade semi-sweet chocolate mouse garnished with a strawberry and a Mexican cookie
And finally, the cocktails we ordered:
  • Passion Fruit Margarita
  • Tropical: Bruxo mezcal, coconut purée, and pineapple topped with toasted coconut flakes

Plus, Prospect Heights is a neighborhood with exploring. It’s just a few blocks from Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, that are also super charming areas in Brooklyn!

Have fun exploring and eating tacos!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 12am
Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 12am

Location: 681 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn

http://citricobrooklyn.com


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

XYST: Breaking All The Myths About Vegan Food

Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Beet Hummus

This Vegan restaurant in New York City is breaking all the myths about Vegan food. XYST is truly an experience worth exploring that will change all your misconceptions of this cuisine!

Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Meze Plates
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Beet Hummus
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Avocado Toast
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Wild Mushrooms
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Veggies
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Pancake
Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant
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If you’ve NEVER been to XYST, it’s about time you go!XYST is one of the amazing creations by the renowned Chef Matthew Kenney and it one of my favorite spots in New York! We’re even done a short and sweet IGTV about it!

Their menu is Mediterranean inspired, their décor is beautifully rustic and home-cozy, the cocktails are great to pair with the food and the dishes? Well, they are to-die-for (and Vegan!).

Yes! This is a restaurant that I take all my non-Vegan friends and they a-l-w-a-y-s want to go back for more. I mean, I truly love showing people what Vegan cuisine is all about and break all the myth there is about it!

In addition, people that don’t understand the cuisine think that vegans only eat vegetables and salad. Hahaha! Well, that’s totally wrong and the cuisine is super rich in flavors and creations!

Now, pause for “awe”! Chef Matthew has restaurants in almost 20 cities across the globe, some of them being: São Paulo (my home town)! Buenos Aires! Sydney! Los Angeles! Dubai! Costa Rica! Bahrain! And other corners of the globe!

Now, let’s get to some details on the dishes!

Here is what we had this last time, but I’ve tried almost everything from their menu:

  • White, Rose and Red Wine, just to start off in grand style
  • Mese Plate: Beetroot Hummus. Smoked Hummer. Muhammara. Market Vegetables. Warm Pita
  • Wild Mushrooms + Muhammara. Red Pepper. Caramelized Onions. Herbed Focaccia
  • Avocado Toast. Za’atar Avocado. Cherry Tomato. Sourdough Bread

Unfortunately, this time we didn’t have dessert, because we were super satisfied with what we ate, but I’ve tried them all:

  • Blood Orange Cheesecake with Citrus Curd and Basil Syrup
  • Sunflower Seed Baklava with Rose Water
  • Chocolate Cake with Orange Blossom Gelato and Candied Salnuts

As Chef Matthew says, he’s “crafting the future of food” and we have to agree!

So, enjoy (and I’m sure you’ll be back for more!)

Hours:
Lunch + Brunch: Monday – Friday: 11am – 3:30p
Brunch: Saturday + Sunday: 11am – 3:30pm
Dinner: Sunday – Wednesday: 5pm – 10pm | Thursday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 44 West 17th Street

www.matthewkenneycuisine.com/xyst


Photo Credits: @BehindTheScenesNYC

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 4/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats

I compiled the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, there are a few things you should know before visiting!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4
©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, it also has a few particularities you should know before visiting!

So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC. There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable.

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below the final, Part 4! And check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, if you haven’t already!


#13 Don’t yell if you see a rat or a cockroach!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats
Photo Credit: Courtesy

This had to be #13! Hahaha! This will certainly identify you as a “tourist”.

Why? Well, let’s start from the basics! Did you know that there are more rats in New York, than there are people?

Ok, let’s do the math! It’s estimated that within the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), there are around 8.5 million residents. The number of rats is around 5:1, adding up to over 42 million rats below our very own feet!

Now, let me tell you something about cockroaches. They are smart little bastards! I was LITERALLY chased by a human-eater-roach back in 2014 when I came to visit New York before moving, in the middle of a subway station. I was running away from it in circles (no lie!) and the roach was running after me in circles too!

It was comic not to say, ridiculous! I was screaming and laughing desperately – as were all my friends – instead of helping me out. So, don’t do as I did. Try to chill and act as if nothing is wrong! That is…if you can!


#14 Shoot! I need to “pee” and can’t find a bathroom!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Bathroom
©Behind the Scenes NYC

The story of our lives! Manhattan is definitely not a bathroom-friendly place and you might get into some trouble if you don’t know where to run to in an emergency.

I do recommend going to every bathroom you pass by, just in case you don’t at some point! Also, I’ll give you a tip, there is a great APP called SitOrSquat that shares all the public bathrooms in New York. Might be good to downloaded to your phone, right?

Hint, hint! Some places that you’ll find bathrooms: Starbucks, Barnes & Nobel and department stores!


#15 New York is NOT synonymous to Manhattan!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Brooklyn
©Behind the Scenes NYC

And I’m tired of telling people this! I mean, most tourist are stuck between Central Park South and SoHo – which I call “the comfort zone”. But, all the other boroughs in New York are growing and you have just so much to see! It’s just great when you free yourself from Manhattan, and dive into exploring other corners of NYC!

We all know that Brooklyn is now the new “hot spot” with so much going on. So, you might want to start from there. The trendy neighborhood now, is Williamsburg and I love Greenpoint that is close to it. Queens is a paradise for foodies and each borough has its own charm.

And still, there are countless amazing places to visit upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beaches.

Ok, so let’s start slowly just by crossing the bridge into Williamsburg or DUMBO? I guarantee you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!


#16 Last by not least: When in doubt, just walk in!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Secret Restaurant
Secret Japanese restaurant hidden behind these doors. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

What I mean is, if you pass by a weird looking door, but apparently people are discretely walking in and out…you might just want to walk in too. I know…the first thought that comes to mind is: “This is part of a horror movie, and if I walk in, I’ll never walk out…” Hahaha!

You never know what you can expect and 99% of the time, you’re not crashing into anyone’s home. On the other side of that door, there might be something extraordinary happening for you to check out or a delicious secret restaurant.

What I mean? Well, secret speakeasy bars are spread all over town, like Patent Pending – that I always love going to, or high-end hidden restaurants with a hidden door tucked behind a hanging art work in a gallery, like Frevo. Regardless, these spots will create some of the most memorable moments of your New York experience!

Be brave…and walk in!


And that’s a wrap for our list of the 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC! There are so many other tips, but I guess that starting through these 16, you’ll be fine!

There are just a few things that we remembered along the way, that we just have to share, and that are FREE:

  • Water in NYC is FREE! Yes, NYC’s tap water is known for being some of the best in the country, and there is even the rumor that our bagel is one of the best, because of the water! So, when you arrive at a bar or restaurant you might automatically receive cups with water that will be refilled all the time, or you can ask for still or sparking water, that comes in a bottle – and these are paid for!
  • Condoms in NYC are FREE! Yup, that’s what you heard! They are Free, so check out where to find them here.
  • Fitness classes for FREE! The City of New York created the “Shape Up NYC Classes“, where you can find everything from Yoga in the Park and Hip Hop Fitness, to Zumba and Aerobics classes!

If you want a post about all the FREE things to do in NYC, leave your comment below and we’ll get right on it for you!

I hope we were able to help a bit more on your understanding of how the city functions!

Also, as mentioned, feel free to use the information we gave that makes more sense for YOUR trip! When we talk about tipping for example, we know that many people are traveling on a budget, so lets just be reasonable, right? The idea was just to share a bit how things work!

And, if you’re looking for assistance for a corporate group coming to New York, don’t hesitate to contact our experts! We organize everything from dinners, cocktails to corporate events and unique experiences.


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

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!

Dining Frevo Restaurant Photo Charissa Fay
Dining Frevo Restaurant Entrance Gallery
Dining Frevo Restaurant Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Lump Crab
Dining Frevo Restaurant Quinoa Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Aspargus
Dining Frevo Restaurant Halibut Fennel
Dining Frevo Restaurant Duck
Dining Frevo Restaurant Veggie Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Dessert
Dining Frevo Restaurant Lime Pie
Dining Frevo Restaurant Counter
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Yes, so this is exactly what you read!

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 $124/person and is definitely worth every cent! You can also request wine pairing, at an additional cost.

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 expresso.

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! We are able to organize an amazing time for you and your team or 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

Pescatore Restaurant: Italian Memories Made in New York

Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Façade

Pescatore Restaurant is an Italian eatery and wine bar that will make your tastebuds as happy as they can get, so be sure to add it to your dining options!

Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Façade
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Pizza Slices
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Pizza
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Pasta
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Full Table
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Fettucine
Dining Pescatore Restaurant Manhattan Tables
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Pescatore is a beautiful and elegant Italian restaurant and wine bar located on 2nd Avenue, in Manhattan. It’s always a good idea, for lunch or dinner.

I have been there many times in the evening and once in the afternoon. The menu is pretty similar. The differences are basically the price – a little more expensive for dinner and on the pre-fixe menu they offer for lunch. But, you will find high quality no matter the time. They have great specials for dinner, as well.

Let’s get started with the flatbread – always!!! It’s amazing! But they have lots of good options for appetizers such as bruschettas made with fig compote, ricotta, pine nuts and pomegranate glaze, and meatballs, called Polpette. So, delicious, and it’s served with garlic bread.

Now let’s talk about about the pastas. I do love all the options.

They have a large selection of Spaghetti, Pappardelle, Ravioli, Fettuccine… accompanied by different, rich sauces. For me, the Spaghetti Carbonara is the best. Now, for lunch they serve the regular dish, but for dinner they make it their signature dish, mixing the pasta with all ingredients in a parmesan wheel. Rise your hand if you love cheese like me! Oh, they also have gluten-free and whole wheat pasta.

The main course is a difficult choice if it’s your first time eating there. Under the Secondi part on the menu you’ll find different meat options like chicken, beef, fish and if you like seafood the Scampi di Gamberi is a winner.  The shrimps served with saffron risotto and green beans. Mouth watering, right?

Italian desserts are always welcome. The Chocolate Pizza served with Nutella, hazelnuts, bananas and salted caramel gelato, is one of the desserts you must try.  If you prefer, you can order a Tartufo or maybe a Gelato…it’s up to you. Finally, pair any of your choices with a wine: perfection!

Pescatore unites people with different styles and from countless parts of the globe. You will see many UN workers there, friends catching up, couples during date nights…it’s definitely a place to make happy memories.

We want to hear about the memories you’ve made at Pescatore so please tag us and share your moments with us!

If you’re celebrating a special occasion and need helping organizing a bigger dinner, or for any corporate requests, contact our experts.

Hours:
Daily: 12pm – 11pm
Happy Hour: 12pm – 7pm

Location: 955 2nd Avenue

www.pescatorerestaurant.com


Text by our Contributor: Rafaela Azevedo
Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Pescatore

Hudson Yards: The Newest Neighborhood in NYC

Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards The Vessel

I’m an international contributor for Glamour Brazil magazine and I recently wrote a post about the newest neighborhood in Manhattan that has become a must-see spot: Hudson Yards!

You can see the Portuguese version and below, the English version:

During the last couple of years, people who live in New York have seen the daily growth of a mega-development along the Hudson River.

Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards Interior View of the Vessel Courtesy of Forbes Massie Heatherwick Studio
Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards Special Events Plaza Courtesy of VisualHouse Nelson Byrd Woltz
Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards Plaza View Courtesy Related Oxford
Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards The Shops and Restaurants Courtesy Related Oxford
Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards From Far
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Hudson Yards, New York’s newest neighborhood, opened on March 15, near Chelsea and is attracting a huge ​​curious crowd of locals and tourists.

The area has become a paradise for shop-to-holics and those looking for a full dining experience. Plus, of course, the opportunity of seeing Manhattan’s for high up! Now, a moment of “awe”: this development had an investment of 25-billion-dollars.

The various towers were divided into residential and commercial developments. The two main towers facing the river are the residential ones. Lucky future residents, right? They will certainly have one of the best views of the city and of the sunset.

Now, anyone who knows New York knows that the city does not have shopping centers. Until recently The Shops at Columbus Circle was the only one in town. But The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards became the newest destination.

With over 100 stores and 20 restaurants, my suggestion is to visit the place with time. There’s plenty to see from delicious shops like Dylan’s Candy Store, Dallas’s Forty Five Ten, the 2-story Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos and Little Spain Market with several different vendors, the immersive art space called Snark Park, the big fast fashion shops like Zara, H&M, and the  sweethearts of the luxury world like Cartier, Kenzo, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Patek Philippe, amongst others.

And still, you’ll find other stores that are worth visiting like: The Conservatory with an incredible curation of fashion brands, wellness, décor and a delicious tea room, 3den that offers a space to relax, work, have a coffee and even sleep a bit on their famous pods and Atelier Cologne where you can customize your own fragrance!

Phiuf! I can stay here forever telling you all the novelties!

In addition, be sure to visit the spaces with popup art exhibitions, art works by renowned names such as Roy Lichtenstein and Alexander Calder scattered throughout the place and a giant interactive sequin wall where you can play with.

If you would like to find an accommodation in this area, the Equinox Hotel will open in June with 200 rooms, a gym, spa and numerous other amenities.

Finally, to finish in grand style, The Vessel is probably the greatest attraction of the place created by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio.

This hive-shaped steel structure, with 2,500 steps, 154 flights of stairs, and 45 meters of height, became the newest tourist spot of the city that is now registered throughout all social networks.

To walk up, you can get your ticket online, or risk getting a ticket on spot. You can visit from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm. Oh, and it’s free!

If you want a few other ideas of the top touristy must see spots in New York, take a look at our 1st Cheap NYC Guide, with top 40 attractions, and the 2nd Cheap NYC Guide, with another 30 other spots!

For corporate groups experiences, contact our experts!

Have fun!

Location: 10 Hudson Yards
Subway: 7 line is literally steps away, but the A/C/E or 1/2/3 lines are also walking distance

www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Forbes Massie Heatherwick Studio, Related Oxford and VisualHouse Nelson Byrd-Woltz

2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park

Our 2nd cheap NYC guide features 30 top attractions that you must-see! Touristy or not, these are some the classics spots and neighborhoods that have changed New York’s history. Come uncover New York with us!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide The Cube Astor Place
The Cube at Astor Place. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

Today, for our 2nd Cheap NYC Guide, I’m going to take you through some of the best spots located in Lower Manhattan.

But wait! If you haven’t seen my 1st Cheap NYC Guide, take a look at it and see how you might want to start exploring our beautiful city!

I have created my own touristic route to take my friends and family around the most iconic highlights in the city. These are all entertaining, fun and CHEAP routes that I want to share with you.

Second Route: Lower Manhattan

Before I start, it is necessary to give you some tips. First, NYC food stores and restaurants are not required to offer restroom services, so I have included this item in my tour routes. Second, you can access the WIFI networks in all subway stations, NYC Parks and Starbucks for free (which also have restrooms. YAY!). Finally, if you like something you want to buy and you can afford it, just BUY IT. You probably won’t have time to go back or even remember where you saw that precious item.

This route explores 6 areas of Lower Manhattan: Union Square, Astor Place, Washington Square Park, SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy. It starts off at Union Square – where our 1st guide ended – located between 17th and 14th Streets and Union Square West and East Avenues.

Union Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Union Square Market
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Union Square Greenmarket

Here you can enjoy a year-round farmers market every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 8am – 6pm, called Union Square Greenmarket. During the peak seasons you can find regional farmers selling their products like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, teas and countless gifts, a profusion of cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, maple syrup and much more. Shop early because the vendors sometimes leave, once they have sold out their products.

Around this area you can also find all type of stores including the largest Barnes & Noble store if you are looking for books, toys, music and more. A cereal store at Kellogg’s NYC where you can mix your favorites breakfast cereals for just $2 – milk not included. Also, a delicious Jewish Chocolate Rugelach pastry at Breads Bakery and Dylan’s Candy Bar, home to the largest selection of candies and candy-related gifts from around the world. And if you are into sports, your to-go spot is Paragon Sports.

If you’re traveling during the Winter holiday season, and you want to take home some unique gifts, visit Union Square’s Holiday Market that happens through December 24th. You’ll find local craftsmen and artists, open Monday to Friday from 11am – 8pm, Saturdays from 10am – 8pm and Sundays from 11am – 7pm.

*Restroom Spots: Around here you can find restrooms at Whole foods, Burlington, Best Buy, Starbucks, Barnes & Nobles, among others.

Astor Place & Washington Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

If you are starting to feel hungry, I recommend you walk downtown through Broadway and at 8th Street, turn left (East) towards Astor Square until you hit St. Marks. Here you will find delicious cheap Asian food including Japanese BBQ, Thai Food and Ramen. During this trajectory, you will find one of New York City’s most iconic pieces of public art—and heck, one of its most iconic landmarks, period—The Astor Place Cube. I dare you to push it to make it turn around!

Just a few block from this iconic landmark, you’ll find the theatre where the Stomp has been performing for years. If you haven’t heard about them, it’s about time! Founded in the UK, back in 1991, today they are world famous, creating the most impressive percussion acts with unexpected objects and body parts!

Get ready to feel your bones shake!

After you are done, return to Broadway, walk to 4th Street and turn right (West), walking all the way to Washington Square Park. The park is dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the Northern gateway and the fountain. It’s one of the city’s popular spots for residents and tourists and you might recognize it form the movie August Rush.

Once a cemetery, now is a parade ground, a gathering spot for avant-garde artists, a battleground for chess enthusiasts and a playground for canines and children.

*Restroom Spot: Available public restrooms in the park.

If you were not temped by St. Marks food options, check MacDougal Street, located at the Southwest corner of the park. This area is NYU’s Students favorite food spot and therefore, very affordable. If you are into Italian food, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza offers huge pizza slices for less than $5. If you prefer Asian food, Saigon Shack has cheap Vietnamese food, but is a very popular spot so be prepared to wait. And if you prefer vegetarian food, try by Chloe.

SoHo & Chinatown

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Chinatown
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

By now, I’ pretty sure you’re full and in the need another good walk. Walk back to 4th Street towards (East) until you hit Broadway again and start walking downtown. After a few blocks, you will cross Houston Street and enter SoHo (a.k.a. South of Houston). This area is known for its designer boutiques, fancy chain stores and high-end art galleries, making it a trendy top shopping destination. I invite you to walk around the smaller streets and explore their uniqueness and secret little businesses.

Once you have absorbed all SoHo’s vibes, walk back to Broadway until you hit Canal Street, where you will be officially in Chinatown.

There is just so much to see here, that if after the tips below, you’re still curious to explore more of the food scene, book your tickets for the Tenements Tales and Taste Tour! You’ll enjoy the story of the millions of immigrants and taste several delicious dishes like pretzels, dumplings, potato knishes, waffles, homemade cheeses and even beer, of the many groups that have lived there.

At Canal Street turn left (East) and start walking through it. You will encounter several NY gift shops which are perfect to get some cheap souvenirs back home. While you’re walking you will be approach by several Chinese people offering “handbags and watches”.

Just be aware for they are all fake and illegal!

Among the treats I recommend around Chinatown are Taiyaki NYC, where you can try their fish-shaped waffle ice cream and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory where you will find my two favorite flavors: black sesame and lychee ice cream. If you like pastries, go to Taipan Bakery and try the delicious Coconut Bun for only $1.25, cash only. It is very popular, so hopefully you are lucky enough to get a warm one. And if you want to have an authentic Chinese meal, go to Great NY Noodletown on the corner of Bowery and Bayard Street. Remember that they’re cash only.

To find several food options in one place, there is a “hidden” food market called Canal Street Market. It’s located on the corner of Canal Street with Lafayette.

*Restroom Spot: The restaurant Great NY Noodletown has available restrooms as does Canal Street Market.

Little Italy

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Little Italy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

In the middle of Chinatown, at Mulberry Street with Canal Street facing North, you will find the entrance to Little Italy. This couple of streets welcomes a heavily touristy crowd to its high concentration of souvenir shops and traditional Italian eateries and bakeries. Tenement buildings, once home to the immigrants who settled the area in the late 1800s, line the narrow streets. Mulberry Street, the main thoroughfare, turns into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends and each September they celebrate San Gennaro Festival.

One of the store that I love visiting every time I’m there is Mulberry & Grand, founded by Emily Guggino. There is always something new to tempt you into purchasing it! A lovely curated collection of inspired accessories.

By now, you have visit almost a third of the city, all the way from 59th Street at Central Park down to Canal Street, in Chinatown. And, the good news is: it has only taken you two days. YAY! And, there is still so much more to see!

Did you enjoy the 1st and 2nd Cheap NYC guides with the top NYC attractions? If so, stay tuned for our 3rd Route, where we’ll explore the West Side. Spots like the famous Highline, the delicious Chelsea Market, the Meatpacking District and one of the coolest neighborhoods in Manhattan, the West Village.

See soon!


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Noel. Y. C. (@NYCLovesNYC) and Union Square Greenmarket

Thompson Brooke: A New England Tapas RestoBar

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Oysters

Thompson Brooke, a New England tapas RestoBar in the heart of Williamsburg, is a must-try! We love tapas, so be sure to go with a big group and try a bit of everything in the menu!

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Full Table

As one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is always offering a diverse food culture in its streets. So, it’s not a surprise that Brooke Costello, well-known food expert and catering business owner chef, decided to open his new restaurant Thompson Brooke on Grand Street, in the heart of Williamsburg.

Inspired by Brooke’s grandfather name, Thompson Brooke is a cozy and lovely RestoBar that welcomes you with the perfect music, scents and a great staff ready to serve you their delicious creations.

It offers a unique variety of traditional New England dishes with a modern twist: New England Tapas. If you are not familiar with the concept of Tapas, it comes from the Spanish cuisine. It’s basically small sharable portions of any kind of food – cold or hot.

The dinner menu consist of 8 traditional dishes including Sam’s Lobster Roll, Beer Batter Fish & Chips, Smoked Clams Mac’N’Cheese or Buddy Cianci style calamari, if you are into seafood. And still, Grand St. Burger if you prefer a 5oz beef patty or Safe Harbor Dog, Shaker Squad Salad and Yankee Whaler if you prefer vegetarian/vegan alternatives.

Among the sides, you can enjoy Cumin Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots, French Fries, a cup of Vegan Chili and Yankee Queso for dipping.

Based on Brooke’s recommendation, we started our dinner with the Buddy Cianci style calamari – squid, pickled chilis, bread crumbs, spicy mayonnaise and a Yankee Whaler – baked russet potato boats with yankee queso, bacon, sour cream, scallions and pickled chile.

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Oysters

We then tried one of the specials of the night: fresh Oysters.

Every week they have Wednesday Oysters’ Night where you can enjoy as many oysters as you wish, for only $1.

And, if you are a book lover, don’t miss “Pour Writers”. On special days, local writers visit Thompson Brooke not only to share insights of their books and publications, but to charm you with their bartender skills and specially prepare you their best cocktails. Pretty awesome, right?

In addition, we ordered a delicious Shaker Squash Salad with butternut squash, celery root, dried cherry, toasted squash seeds, pickled mustard seeds and maple vinaigrette; and one of their top dishes, the Smoked Clams Mac’N’Cheese. If I had to describe the flavor, imagine the best New England Clam Chowder you ever had, add cheese and macaroni pasta. Perfection!

Obviously, we needed some drinks to pair with this marvelous feast. Thompson Brooke offers a variety of drinks including local beers, selected wines from Italy, France, Spain and California. And still, hard drinks and soft drinks if you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.

We tried one of their soft drinks called Lizzie’s Shrub Bucket – plum tarragon shrub & soda, a Sixpoint Crisp Pilsner locally brewed in NYC and a Mainsheet Mule. All a 100% recommended.

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Toasts

To finish our meal, we tried the 3 desserts.

Hester’s Banana Cream – torched banana, vanilla wafers and heavy cream; Maple French Toast Doughnut – cinnamon glaze and roasted apples and Little Nibbler’s Chocolate Pudding – peanut bourbon fudge and candied peanuts. You should try them all, since it’s hard to recommend which one is best.

If you are more of a “Brunch Person”, during the weekends they offer a special menu of dishes and drinks.

Thompson Brooke also has the space for private events like engagement parties that can be accompanied with the food from their original menu or by Red Table Catering services, also owned by Brooke Costello. And still, contact our experts for any corporate event you’re working on!

Prices are very reasonable, especially if you come with a group of friends giving you the chance to try the entire menu.

If you enjoyed everything we said about Thompson Brooke, this New England tapas RestoBar, be sure to make your reservation!

Supporting the Local Community with a Discount for YOU!
“The Grand Street Savings Card” is a free card that aims to support small local business and gives you access to discounts and deals in stores and restaurants located in Grand Street. You can get it at Grand St. BID Office on 246 Graham Avenue, at events or request it by mail, by filling the form in this link.
In the case of Thompson Brooke, if you have a card you get 10% off food on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 12am
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 3pm
*Regular Sunday supper hours coming soon

Location: 631 Grand Street, Brooklyn

www.thompsonbrooke.com


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Thompson Brooke

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!”

“Mangia Che Te Fa Bene!” or… “Eat, that it’s good for you!”…as Italian love to say before starting a delicious meal!

And 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

Dining Italian Restaurants in NYC Joes Pizza Façade
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Joes Pizza Slice
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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 de Caprio, Selena Gomez, Kevin Bacon, Steven Tyler, Trey Burke basketball player from the NY Knicks, and even the Kardashians loooove it!

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


Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s

Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Signature Trio Pasta
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Pasta
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Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Butter Sage
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Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Pesto
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Lasanha
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Burrata
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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!


And, 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 page for more fantastic restaurants like Palma in the West Village and Lilia in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photography: Courtesy of venues
Beauty
Leila Soldeira
Styling
Camilla Adão

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