Tag Archives: Restaurants

BK Block Party: The First Digital Block Party in Brooklyn

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Sunday in Brooklyn

Stay home. Shop small. Support Brooklyn. The BK Block Party is Brooklyn’s first digital block party ever and we’re excited to be part of it!

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Shop Small
Photo Credit: Courtesy

In times of Corona, it has become more important than ever to get together and help those in need. From friends, families and people around us, to the numerous small businesses that are struggling to keep the ball rolling.

So, with that in mind, Kirby Duncan, founder of KD & W Creative LLC started this amazing initiative.

This Saturday, May 23rd, from 10am – 1pm ONLINE, the BK Block Party will showcase Brooklyn’s first-ever digital live shopping event with some of the neighborhood’s favorite small local shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, chocolate and coffee shops, bookstores, liquors stores, independent designers, and community organizations.

You’ll be able to pop in and out of your favorite shops & restaurants to say hello and shop exclusive sales, menu items, and more to help the shops that make Brooklyn so great!

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Bedford Avenue Williamsburg

Plus, you can expect seeing and learning the craft with artists, listen to great DJs, meet drag queens, and more.

Now, a little about the great line up!

Some of the local shops are Kahkow, Odd Fellows Ice Cream, King’s County Distillery, I Made That Bag, the restaurants Sunday in Brooklyn and Lemon & Olives and still, Maha Rose Healing Center, the artist Dan DiFerndinando and other surprises!

Check the full line up!

So, be sure to register to receive the link for the online event!

It’s totally FREE and the idea is really to join us online and support these fantastic small local businesses in Brooklyn that make the neighborhood so much more special!

Register here!

In addition, don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family to enjoy the BK Block Party with your loved ones!

See you all there!

Date: May 23rd, 2020
Time: 10am – 1pm
Location: ONLINE

https://bkblockparty.live


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy
Art Work
: Mike de Angelis

Tramonti Fifth Ave: An Authentic Italian Restaurant in NYC

Dining Tramonti Authentic Italian Restaurant NYC Thumbnail

If you enjoy Italian cuisine, then you must visit Tramonti Fifth Ave, a family-friendly authentic Italian restaurant. Not only do they have century old secret recipes, but they are the only ones in NYC to have a specific Tramonti wine!

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Tramonti Fifth Ave is one of the newest additions to NYC’s vibrant restaurant scene! This family-friendly authentic Italian restaurant, located in the heart of the NoMad neighborhood, will take you on a journey to Tramonti, a small town in Italy.

To be more exact, Tramonti is a tiny town in the beautiful Amalfi Coast (southern Italy). They are mostly known for their vineyards, lemon orchards and chestnut woodlands. Tramonti’s current population is only a little over 4,100 people.

When we arrived at Tramonti Fifth Ave, we were greeted by a very friendly staff that led us to our table. We sat at the back area, near the wood-fired pizza oven, where we immediately noticed that Chef Giovanni Vittorio Tagliafierro was at full speed! Chef Leo Mele is the other, also world-renowned chef, part of Tramonti!

Chef Giovanni, born in Tramonti, was recently awarded by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce the Ospitalità Italiana Award.

This annual award is a seal of quality assurance for the authentic Italian restaurants around the world.

“Italian cuisine is the result of a centuries-old historical process of Italian society, always leading to significant moments of human civilization. For an innate inclination to the attention of the Italians to human relationships and the quality of life, the culture of the table has become in the course of time the symbol of hospitality and welcome, the food has taken on a value like art and music.

For these reasons, Italian food should be considered a contribution to the heritage of humanity and should be defended and protected from adulteration and falsification to preserve its history, culture, quality, and authenticity.” ~ Welcome-Italia.co.uk

As mentioned above, Tramonti is known for its fine vineyards and we had the pleasant surprise to actually try an authentic wine, the Giuseppe Apicella Costa d’Amalfi Tramonti. Such a delicious red wine!

As starters, we tried:

  • Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes
  • Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and burrata
  • And, the Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and prosciutto
  • Polpette Di Vitella – veal meatballs in tomato sauce
  • Parmigiana Di Melanzane – Parmigiana-style pan fried eggplant with tomato sauce and mozzarella

All really fresh and extremely tasty, but we were mostly surprised with the perfection of the Parmigiana Di Melanzane. This is definitely a must-have!

Pizza making is one of Chef Giovanni’s expertise. Their recipe has been in his family for over a century, so we obviously had to try it!

The pizza we decided on was a classic Caprese – Fiammante San Marzano DOP tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella DOP, arugula, cherry tomatoes and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

We asked what DOP meant. It’s “Denominazione d’Origine Protetta” (Protected Designation of Origin) – a certification guaranteeing the origin of the products and that “it has been produced, processed, and packaged in a specific geographical zone and according to tradition” (Source: DeliveryItaliano.com)

“We use special ingredients and classic recipes to create delicious pizza, spaghetti, salad, and more.”

It was delicious and the crust was as crunchy as a pizza crust should be!

Last, but definitely not least, dessert! We tried their cannoli, but we were really looking forward to their famous Chocolate Eggplant.

The recipe dates back over 400 years. It has passed through all generations of Chef Giovanni’s family – mother, grandmother, great grandmother. The process takes literally over 24 hours to prepare.

They fry the eggplant to perfection, twice, then it sits for around 6 hours. The chocolate sauce is delicious and, as every genius dish, there’s a secret ingredient. In this case, the Chef mentioned it’s an Italian liqueur, with 13 herbs (he did not mention details), made by local Monks!

When the eggplant is ready, they dip it into the chocolate sauce, sprinkle with dark chocolate and place into the oven for another 2 minutes. But, it’s still not over. Finally, they place it inside a refrigerator for another 24 hours! After this, the dessert finally ready to be savored! Result: Utter perfection!

You’ll also find other options on the menu like pastas and a variety of seafoods from lobster, crab and shrimp, to fresh oysters.

They can also accommodate dietary restrictions and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes as well!

We can’t wait to go back for more!

Oh, and while you’re in the neighborhood, you might want to explore it a bit. So, go for a drink at Patent Pending, one of our favorite speakeasy bars! If you want to stay in the area while in NYC, take a look at the HGU New York Hotel.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 12:30am
Sunday: 11:30am – 11pm

Location: 2 West 28th Street

www.tramontififthave.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Piccola Cucina: A Charming Italian Restaurant in NYC

Dining Piccola Cucina Italian Restaurant SoHo

The smaller, the better! That’s how we like our restaurants to be! Piccola Cucina Enoteca is a charming Italian restaurant with a few locations around New York.

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I remember the very first time I went to Piccola Cucina on Prince Street. The place was not new – it was founded back in 2008 – but I only had a chance to visit them on September 2014.

Behind the Scenes NYC was just starting its journey uncovering the local New York scene, I had just hired my immigration lawyers to kick off my Visa process, so I wanted to start our explorations in grand style!

As soon as you walk in Piccola Cucina, you’ll be surprised on how tiny the place is.

There are maybe only around 10 tables, all pretty packed up together. But, no one really seems to mind, nor pay attention to what’s happening with their neighbor.

If you’re a visual person like me, the good thing is that you can peek around to see what the dishes look like.

I went there with a friend that I’ve known since we were 3-4 years old, that studied with me back in school and eventually in college. He’d been living in NYC for quite some time, working for a renowned bank, and knew about all my life changing plans of moving to New York City.

Since then, everything ended up well: I moved to New York and properly started my business. There is just so much to see in this city that, even though I do go to places I love multiple times, I always tend to look for new places to explore. It’s always good for new content for you guys!

That said, I hadn’t found a good opportunity to go back, until a few days ago with 2 good friends that also live here and have never been there.

We did a reservation for Sunday, at 2pm. The place is so tiny that if you don’t have a reservation, you’ll probably have to wait a while for a table.

I woke up a little later than normal, since Sundays are my lazy days. I had a light breakfast to actually arrive hungry at Piccola Cucina. I wanted to know how Chef Philip Guardione, a true Sicilian raised, would surprise me this time!

We all ordered different dishes:

  • To share: Bruschetta ai Pomodorini e Basilico – Classic Cherry Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
  • Cavatelli ai Funghi Porcini – Cavatelli with Porcini Mushrooms
  • Lasagna al Ragu – Lasagna with Meat Ragu, Tomato and Bechamel Sauce
  • Pasta alla Norma – Eggplant Rolls Stuffed with Tomatoes Spaghetti and Ricotta Cheese
  • Red Wines by the glass: Divus Ciavolic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Cembra Pinot Noir

All the dishes are super well served and came in beautiful pans that was pretty unique! I actually ordered the rest of mine to go. I literally was able to eat only half!

“I only came to New York for a visit, but the energy and vitality of the people bewitched me. Today the Big Apple has become my city, where this unexpected adventure all started, and my goal is to bring the joy and flavor of my country here”. ~ Chef Philip Guardione

We decided not to order dessert, but we did see the Cannoli with Ricotta Cheese and the Tiramisú at the neighbor tables. They looked delicious and the people eating them, seemed very happy with their order! Ha!

So, after some coffee, it was time to go! We had a fantastic time! The staff was ultra-friendly and solicitous, music was pleasant, and guests came from all over the globe. We could listen to them speaking multiple different languages.

Piccola Cucina is a perfect place for a brunch with friends. It’s also a fantastic idea to surprise your date on a trendy, intimate New York spot! But, not really fun for small kids though…

If you’re in SoHo, you can just take more time to explore.

So, go grab a drink at a speakeasy bar called The Ship, have fun at the famous interactive exhibit called Color Factory, or go for dessert and coffee at Sweets by Chloe. I love their Red Velvet cupcake – it’s vegan, but if I hadn’t told you, you’d never notice!

Hours: Please check details for each location on website.

Locations:
Enoteca – 184 Prince Street
Sicilian Osteria – 196 Spring Street
Estiatorio – 75 Thompson Street
Upper East Side – 106 East 60th Street

www.piccolacucinagroup.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Piccola Cucina

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.

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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
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Citrico: A Mexican Restaurant In Brooklyn

Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Doll

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

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Who likes Mexican food!? I definitely do! Today we want to share about a small traditional Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn we visited.

I don’t know about your guys, but I certainly do love Mexican food!!! That said, I decided to explore a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Prospect Heights and eat at a restaurant called Citrico!

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
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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!

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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
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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 day trips upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beach resorts.

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 some delicious secret restaurants.

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 Free NYC Condoms.
  • 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 let’s 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
*Last Update on March/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 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 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.*

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!

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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.

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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-a-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 Vessel 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
*Last Update on March/2020.*

All the images used on this website are the property of BTSNYC or used with proper credit.
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