Tag Archives: Vegan

5 Healthy Food Spots In NYC To Eat Well Or Splurge

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

We shared a few NYC restaurant tips exclusively for the Brazilian fitness blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi. Take a look at 5 healthy food spots in NYC where you can go to eat well or even, break your diet.

Today’s post today is a delicious one!

There is nothing better than talking about travel and food, right!?! So, if you’re coming to New York City, we’ve shared 5 great restaurants with the Brazilian Fitness Blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi, that should be added to your To-Go list!

Some are very healthy, and some are great places just to go when you feel like breaking your diet for the day!

A macrobiotic organic restaurant: Souen

Many will read “macrobiotic” and be immediately intimidated by the words. Don’t be!

In a nutshell, macrobiotic cooking is simply a term for identifying a food that is rich in whole grains, very healthy, that teaches us to be aware of what we eat. Why? The food we eat will become part of us – yes, it has ancient Japanese teachings behind this cuisine too! Plus, they do not use industrialized products. Moreover, there is still an explanation of macrobiotic food related to Ying-Yang, but we’ll not get into this now.

Well,  this cuisine is made up of whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, beans, fish and soups.

Whoever liked the brief description above, will love the Souen. With on location in the East Village – the restaurant was founded in 1971 and offers some of the city’s best natural organic and vegan foods.

It’s hard to say what to try, since anyone who enjoys healthy food will probably come back a few times to order different dishes. But, some of our suggestions are: the dishes with Seitan (wheat protein), the wheat noodles are delicious, the salmon and the cod are divine too. You can still add to your order a salad and other side dishes.

Ah! Be sure to order the gluten free desserts! It will certainly be a different experience.


Chic Vegan Spot: Pure Food & Wine

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erica Graff

Located at 54 Irving Place, Pure Food & Wine celebrated this year, 10 years!

Considered the 1st high-end vegan restaurant in New York, the menu is entirely based on vegetables. They do not use processed ingredients and nothing is heated above 118 degrees – thus it is possible to preserve the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the ingredients.

This restaurant is a great option for the lovers of healthy, vegan food, and also great for those who can’t eat gluten or lactose – neither of which are used on the menu.

In addition to the great take-out menu and an amazing presentation of the dishes, the ambience is super stylish with an outside area – certainly difficult to find in New York.

The waiters are very friendly and you certainly won’t stay for only 1 drink.

Farm to table: Market Table

Launched in 2007 and a huge success to date, Market Table is a restaurant with a farm-to-table menu.

Located on 54 Carmine Street, in the West Village, the restaurant is small, cozy, with impeccable service, giant windows and brick walls with that rustic feeling, serving healthy food. Their menu changes according to the season, so you’ll be sure to always have something new to try.

The kitchen is open, which gives the chef the pleasure of seeing the customer’s expression at their first bite! Certainly a thrill!

Dishes are simple, yet tasty and delicious. In the summer you can expect a menu with burrata, salads, seafood, vegetables and vegetables. In the winter, the food is a bit more full-bodied, like the pork rib dishes, but New York’s cold days call for these dishes too, right?

It’s a great place to go for dinner, or just go for a quick lunch. The wine list is very good too!


More than a restaurant, a lifestyle: M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi Maimonide of Brooklyn by Raven Crow Studio
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Raven + Crow Studio

Brooklyn has got a new vegetarian restaurant called M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn. M.O.B. it’s not only a restaurant, but the story of this project is pretty cool too!

Before we speak of this place, we’ll quickly explain the name. Moses Maimonides, from which came the name “Maimonide”, was a Jewish physician, philosopher and religious man, born in Cordoba in 1135. One of his great studies was to understand the health benefits of various combinations of fruits, vegetables and seasonings.

The French restaurateur, Cyril Aouizerate, Founder of M.O.B., studied for many years the philosophies of Maimonides and the HipHop movement, until he decided finally open a store at 525 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Cyril joined forces with Michelin-starred chefs, Alain Senderens and Jerome Banctel, and American chef Neal Harden to create the menu.

The main course, called the M.O.B., of course, is kind of tart with vegetables, fruits and spices, and is served on a tray and is shaped liked the Brooklyn Bridge. Must haves on the menu are: burgers, hot dogs, mac&cheese. Plus, the desserts are to die for.

The place still offers a complimentary Comic Books, created by Cyril himself. You’ll find children puzzles, M.O.B.’s story, texts and poems and a comic book where the protagonist is a boy that discovers that his power comes from a pill he takes, made of vegetables and fruits. Very cute!

In addition, every detail of the place was carefully thought about and the result was amazing.

Cyril hired the duo of punk architects, Kristian Gavoille and Valerie Garcia.

The tables are giant and communal, with several drawers, where you find chalk for children, cutlery, etc. One of the walls has a giant United States flag and on the other wall, hunting trophies with a short description of what was “hunted”, such as: “Miss. Banana, June 2008-August 2008, died for banana bread”, or “Mr. Avocado, 2009-2010, died for guacamole” and even “Mr. Potato, May 2009 – July 2009, died for french fries”!

They also have a great bar and a gift shop. Anyway, it’s surely a unique experience in Brooklyn!

Who says eating healthy can not be fun ?!

For the Burger-holics: BareBurger

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

Do you ever crave and just enjoying breaking your diet with a juicy hamburger or cheeseburger? Most likely, yes! But, can you eat it free of guilt?

BareBurger has countless different locations and is an organic & all-natural restaurant serving burgers, snacks and shakes.

The menu has their famous burgers, delicious salads, other types of sandwiches, some snacks and incredible shakes. The cool thing is that, unlike some places where only the meat is organic, Bare Burger works with all organic products from eggs, dairy, cheese, etc.

Plus, their organic options range from chicken, turkey and lamb to exotic meats like bison, elk and ostrich.

These exotic meats are considered leaner and have more protein than traditional meats. Just be careful if you have cholesterol issues.

To accompany any of the dishes, you can still choose a wine or a beer. Also organic!


If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read about a post about wellness and trendy lifestyle in NYC that we also wrote for Gabi Pugliesi.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Erica Graff and Raven + Crow Studio
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Jenna Rice: 10 Great NYC Tips From A NYC Blogger

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice

The NYC Blogger, Jenna Rice, from the Blond Well Traveled, shared with us a mix’n’match of 10 great NYC tips! From restaurants, hotels and bagel spots, to upstate trips, art galleries and beauty salons.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice

Jenna Rice was born and raised in Florida, and currently lives in New York City.

She told us: “I followed my heart around the globe and landed in New York City.” Definitely a great place to land, right?!

She launched her passion project: a travel and lifestyle blog called Blonde Well Traveled, in 2015. Plus, she’s visited over 15 countries and doesn’t stop counting.

Since she moved to the “City that Never Sleeps”, she’s been sharing a glimpse into her experiences both within the city and beyond. All this, in addition to working full time in Public Relations.

Such a busy bee!

Take a look at her 10 favorite NYC spots and in nearby towns:

Brooklyn Flea

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Brooklyn Flea

“Brooklyn Flea is basically the cooler younger sister to Chelsea Market. There’s something for everyone, from vintage rings and designer bags to viney plants and eclectic home decor. Not to mention, they have some of the most popular food vendors from Smorgasburg minus the lines.”

We love Brooklyn! We’re Brooklyn-based and even though the Brooklyn Flea can get a bit touristy, we still love it!

In addition, you’ll find 75 vendors with everything from clothes and accessories, to furniture and jewelry, plus 25 food vendors with the most delicious dishes.

During the winter they have only one location and it happens during the weekends: Saturday + Sunday from 10am – 6pm – called Winter Flea + Smorgasburg.

Location: 1 Hanson Place, Fort Greene


Mile High Run Club

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Mil High Run Club

“Mile High Run Club is probably my favorite place to break a sweat in the City. It’s essentially a treadmill class with dimmed lighting, bumpin’ music and strobe lights…with a coach cheering you on through a series of intervals and hills. I recommend Dash 28 because it finishes with strength training utilizing kettle bells and core exercises.”

Do you like “the burn”? I mean, REALLY like it? Well, if your immediate answer was “YES!”, then this is the place for you!

Mile High Run Club’s running program is uniquely designed to challenge your body and get the best results you’d ever imagine. Go to one of their 2 locations to try it out.

Plus, they offer indoor and outdoor classes, with amazing coaches! We’re sure it’ll become your newest addiction!

28 East 4th Street, NoHo
24 West 25th Street, NoMad



Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Heyday

“Heyday is easily one of my best NYC finds. My skin went nuts when I moved to the City in the heart of winter from Florida, and this place introduced me to several natural products that I now swear by.”

The weather in NYC can be pretty crazy and will test your skin to the limit!

And, summer can be burning hot, hot, hot, while the winter can be pretty damn harsh where we feel our skin will rip with the cold.

Yeah, we know, it sounds terrible, right?

Well, we are IN NEW YORK CITY of obviously that helps make it easier to accept, LOL.

HeyDay is a great place to go if you’re looking for the perfect facial, with a good price, at the time that’ll suit you best. Carly Heitlinger also loves it!

1130 Broadway, NoMad
92 Reade Street, Tribeca


Harriman State Park

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Harriman State Park Kanawauke by Mwanner

“For those who need a breather from the City, Harriman State Park is your sanctuary. It’s just a quick train ride from the city and much less crowded than some of the other hiking spots like Breakneck and Bear Mountain.”

Harriman State Park is located in Rockland and Orange Counties, Upstate NY – a little over 1h drive from Manhattan. The drive is actually a very quick and surely a gorgeous car ride up there.

They have almost 52,000 acres of mostly forested landscape and over 23miles of hiking trails.

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab (or rent here) a car, and have fun!

And, more about them:

At 47,527 acres (192.33 km2), Harriman State Park is the second largest state park in New York. Located in Rockland and Orange counties 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City, it is a haven for hikers with over 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails. The park is also known for its 31 lakes, multiple streams, public camping area, and great vistas.”

“The Jane is easily my favorite spot to go out in the City. It basically feels like you’re at a mansion party where your favorite songs are always playing and dancing on the furniture is encouraged. Every time I have a friend visiting, I take them there and they’re never disappointed.”

Yup! It’s one of our favorite spots too!

The Jane Hotel, is located in the West Village and is certainly a destination for the cool NYC crowd.

In addition, the hotel was launched in 1908 and has rooms that replicate luxury ship and train cabins. On the other hand, rooms are pretty small, but come on, “Who” comes to NYC to stay in the room, right!?

Location: 113 Jane Street, West Village


Rockwood Music Hall

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Rockwood Music Hall

“For an intimate live music experience, hit up Rockwood Music Hall. A friend introduced me to this venue and it was everything I could’ve hoped for. While there are shows that require cover, there is a smaller room to the left of the main entrance that is free of charge.”

Rockwood Music Hall is known for having hosted performances of great artists like Lady Gaga, Gary Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Mumford & Sons.

It’s one our favorite spots to have a cool night out and listen to some of the best emerging NYC bands and musicians.

Plus, musicians from other nationalities are a big hit too, like Aline Muniz and André Vasconcellos.

They have 3 stages, full bars for all tastes, drinks aren’t so pricey, like expected in Manhattan. We love it, and we are there quite a lot!

Location: 196 Allen Street, Lower East Side


Black Seed Bagels

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Bagels Daniel Krieger
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger

“After a night out, nothing compares to Black Seed Bagels. Option #11 always satisfies! Another favorite is Tompkins Square Bagels if you’re in the mood for trying out a new cream cheese flavor like birthday cake or one of their French toast bagels.”

Bagels! We just love Bagels!

And, New York’s bagels are said to be one of the best on this planet, since our water is so fantastically clean and tasty!

Black Seed Bagels is certainly one of the most famous in town. In addition, Tompkins Square Bagels’ are hand rolled, kettle boiled and baked over wood planks….yum!!!


Black Seed Bagels:
170 Elizabeth Street, Nolita
200 Vesey Street, Battery Park City
176 First Street, East Village


Tompkins Square Bagels: 164 Avenue A.


Original Buddha Bodai

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Original Buddha Bodai is an incredible vegetarian spot in Chinatown. The food is delicious (you can’t even tell there’s no meat) and the atmosphere is so authentic. I highly recommend the sesame “chicken”.”

OMG! When our Founder, Fê Paronetto, went with a very good friend to Buddha Bodai, she became c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y addicted to it!

She’s vegetarian, but loves Vegan food too, and she couldn’t believe how amazingly tasty everything was!

The dumplings are to-die-for, but everything is remarkably good! But, it’s actually hard to know what exactly to order, so you might just have to go there multiple times to try it all.

Location: 5 Mott Street, Chinatown


Dia: Beacon

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Dia Beacon

Dia:Beacon is the perfect day trip for anyone craving a little artistic adventure, especially if you love installations! Be sure to purchase a round trip ticket with museum entrance included at Grand Central Station.”

Dia:Beacon is surely a highlight if you’re into Art.

Located only 1.5h from Manhattan, it’s a beautiful place to visit and the trip there, is pretty easy too. And, if you’re not sure how to get there, and would like help, contact our concierge experts.

In addition, if you need assistance for any corporate activity with your team or clients, let our experts cater to all your needs and make the experience memorable.

Location: 3 Beekman Street, Beacon


“One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is pop into galleries in the LES and Chelsea. It’s a great alternative to hitting up a crowded museum, plus they’re completely free to enjoy: David Zwirner, Paul Kasmin, and Richard Taittinger are a few of my go-tos.”

David Zwirner

David Zwirner is one of the top contemporary art galleries, with another location overseas, in Mayfair, London. They currently have 2 great exhibitions: “Yun Hyong-keun” up through February 18th and “Drawn Together”, up through February 18th.

“The David Zwirner gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale paintings by Yun Hyong-keun (1928-2007) from the mid-1970s through the 1980s. The exhibition includes an unprecedented selection of paintings in the artist’s unique style of monochromatic abstraction, several of which are shown here for the first time. The exhibition marks the largest solo presentation of Yun’s work in North America to date.” ~ Read more here.

David Zwirner is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition of the collaborative work of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and R. Crumb. Both pioneers of underground and alternative comics, Kominsky-Crumb and Crumb have created a groundbreaking portrait of their shared lives and creative collaborations over the past four decades. In their ongoing “Aline & Bob” comics, the two artists have rendered their innermost thoughts, fears, and fantasies alongside the day-to-day realities of family life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, each in their own distinctive style.” ~ Read more here.

Paul Kasmin Gallery

Paul Kasmin Gallery works and supports influential Modern and Contemporary artists. They are showcasing two exhibitions: NATURALIA” up through March 4th and “WILLIAM N. COPLEY: WOMEN”, up through March 25th.

Paul Kasmin Gallery and Sotheby’s Old Masters Department will present their first collaborative exhibition, Naturalia, curated by Danny Moynihan. The show will be comprised of works spanning six centuries which share a fundamental focus on the examination of natural science and its myriad presentations in art.” ~ Read more here.

COPLEY: WOMEN unites a selection of paintings that highlight the late artist’s preoccupation with the opposite sex, which he employed as an endless source for inventive figurative and narrative paintings that explored eroticism, sexual politics and the pursuit of pleasure. Originally defying painterly trends of the 1950s by making personal and narrative works, the self-taught artist developed a radical fusion of European Surrealist vernacular and a rogue, humorous American sensibility. Sex, eroticism and cultural critique were mainstays in Copley’s oeuvre of paintings that embraced idiosyncratic figuration, candy-colored palettes and Matisse-like decorative patterning.” ~ Read more here.

Richard Taittinger Gallery

Richard Taittinger Gallery works in Presenting works by contemporary artists with significant global recognition. Stop by their gallery, in the Lower East Side, to see their current exhibition: “The Wsanderers: Contemporary Painting From CLUJ”. It will be on through February 19th.

For this exhibition, the curator has endeavored to make visible that, beyond the ascribed label of the Cluj School by way of international media, there is much more to be explored when considering this group of artists. Therefore, this multigenerational exhibition tracks a shared dialogue between masters and students in order to define certain Romanian traditions. Traditions, that has within the last decade, projected the painters of Cluj-Napoca, into the limelight, astounding the international art world.” ~ Read more here.

If you are an art lover, you’ll most certainly be fascinated by our art tours and experiences, so contact us. In addition, see how our corporate experiences related to art works.

David Zwirner: 525 West 19th Street, Chelsea

Paul Kasmin Gallery: 293 10th Avenue, Chelsea

Richard Taittinger Gallery: 154 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side

Lastly, to wrap up this great interview and a beautiful selection of hot spots in New York, we asked Jenna:

What does NYC mean to you?

“I could honestly answer this question so many ways, but I think NYC means being able to wake up each morning with every possibility in the world at your feet.

There is always something to do, someone to meet, something to see. To me, personally, it means perseverance. The people who live here are tough. For the most part, we all struggled in some way to get here, and continue to struggle now that we’re here. But somehow, it’s all worth it.

There’s no place in the world that can offer up this kind of experience to a person.”

Thank you Jenna for being part of our Insider Interviews and sharing these 10 great NYC tips.

Plus, don’t forget to check out her blog named the Blond Well Traveled.

Credits (Text and Photos): Courtesy of Wikipedia (Harriman State Park), Mwanner, Daniel Krieger, Jenna Rice and all the venues
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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

Dining Avant Garden Vegan Restaurant Interior

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

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

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

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

Their mission?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 130 East 7th Street, East Village


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

Vaute Couture: Vegan Fashion Is The New Hype in NYC

Shop Ladies and Gents Vaute Vegan Fashion Leanne Maily Mural

Vegan Fashion is the new hype in NYC! Vaute Couture is shaking the fashion industry in New York City and has been called “the next Stella McCartney”. We are one of their biggest fans, for sure!

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The other day, our Founder, Fê Paronetto, was talking to a very dear neighbor and friend of hers that is Vegan about how hard it is to find sustainable, cruelty-free winter coats in New York. Most of the brands use some type of animal product in their products: fur, feathers, leather, etc.

So, her neighbor mentioned about a brand that is getting more and more attention over the past few years.

Vaute Couture, founded in 2008 by the gorgeous Leanne Maily, stands for “Haute” + “V” for Vegan.

They explain that they are:

The ethical fashion house for animal lovers: 100% vegan + eco + made in New York City”!

For a start, Leanne stopped eating animals at the age of 10 and, after that, her passion for sharing the Vegan lifestyle grew exponentially as the years went by! She also felt it was quite impossible to find beautiful, hot, “animal-free” winter coats in Chicago, where she lived before moving to NYC.

Subsequently, for a full 8 months, she researched all the fabrics in the market and all her possibilities. Some time after starting the brand, she moved to New York City, where she opened a first store in Williamsburg.

Then, on February of 2013, during the NYFW, she was named the “rebel of fashion week”. Plus, she received the title of the “next Stella McCartney”.

Obviously, this catapulted her brand helping her break out to the main stream audience.

In addition, the materials used come from recycled organic plastic bottles, organic fabrics and other cruelty-free materials. For example, the sweaters contain recycled cotton from the fashion industry.

The store, located on the cool Lower East Side of Manhattan, offers a huge variety of items. For the Ladies: basics, tops, sweaters, bottoms, dresses, shoes, gowns, body suits, swimwear, to the perfect winter coats – snow and wind proof, hats and jewelry. Today, they focus primarily on winter coats and sweaters.

Eventually, they more recently started the Gentlemen’s collection, so it has a smaller variety. It’s always been only winter coats and sweaters!

Additionally, the brand recently collaborated and threw a great party inside the store for Project Chimps. This project is a new sanctuary for 200+ chimps retiring from biomedical research.

They partnered up with other brands like: Vegan Treats, Kat Von D Beauty, Blossom Du Jour, Mother of Pearl, Querciabella, Kombrewcha, Urban Vegan Kitchen and Fresh & Co.

The Dodo debuted a video of the first 9 chimps first few weeks of freedom, and Vaute Couture designed a benefit tee that you can buy, to support them!

Pretty cool initiative, right?

Wanna know one of the coolest perks at the store?

Lastly, the 12 first customers that walk in every day are lucky to get a huge – and to-die-for – doughnut from Dunwell Doughnuts! We are completely addicted to them, by the way! One of the best doughnuts in New York City!

So, come explore this new hype in NYC!

Location: 114 Stanton Street, Lower East Side


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Vaute Couture
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The 7 Best Food Spots By Alexa Mehraban From EatingNYC

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexa Mehraban EatingNYC

There is nothing better than exploring the city with a top NYC food blogger. Alexa Mehraban, also known as EatingNYC, shares her 7 best food spots in New York City!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexa Mehraban EatingNYCNew York City is known as one of the best cities to explore the food scene!

So, our Founder,  Fê Paronetto, interviewed one of the most renowned NYC food blogger that shared her 7 best food spots in New York City! They are the top restaurant tips for several different occasions, from a girl’s night out to an affordable group dining.

Alexa Mehraban is a born and raised New Yorker with a love for food that expands far beyond her food photography and witty captions. Alexa started EatingNYC in 2014 to share and track her dining adventures with friends and family.

Since then, Alexa has utilized her industry expertise and social media and marketing prowess at PR firm Bullfrog and Baum. Now, she’s the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Tacombi Restaurants.

Today, over 288,000 people look at EatingNYC to make their next dining decision and to learn about the hottest restaurants in New York.

Alexa was listed as one of the top 30 people in food by AdWeek in 2016. Plus, she’s also been featured by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan and Zagat, amongst others.

Take a look at her 7 best food spots in New York City, for all occasions:

For Brunch: Sadelle’s

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“Sadelle’s epitomizes everything that defines brunch in NYC. They’re doing Jewish appetizing in ways that the world has never seen before. If it’s your first time, go all out and get the smoked fish tower.”

We all know that bagels are one of New York City’s most traditional food.

There are countless places that sell them, but the best bagels are not so easy to find.

Sadelle’s is a bakery and a restaurant located at the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Their kitchen offers a daily selection of fresh hand-rolled bagels, pastries and breads, and at night, they completely transform into a cute brasserie serving candle light dinners.

In addition, their dinner is well known for the fish dishes, so do try it out.

Location: 463 West Broadway, Lower East Side


“L’Artusi has been one of the best Italian restaurants for a while now. It’s a charming, no-frills spot that really knows how to make great pasta. It’s also now my favorite restaurant because I just got engaged there.”

One of our favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan is the West Village.

It’s definitely one of the places with the biggest concentration of restaurants and bars, in the city.

There are so many, that choosing one is literally a hard feat. Plus, everything there is extremely charming and it has some of the best spots in the city, like L’Artusi.

The restaurant has a modern approach to the traditional Italian cuisine, with very creative and unique dishes.

Location: 228 West 10th Street, West Village


“The Happiest Hour is the perfect post work spot. The specialty drinks are awesome (like the Pineapple Express), but I really come here for the happiest burger. Pretty self-explanatory!”

Yup, this is yet another place in the West Village.

We’ve written about this spot before and it’s surely one of the top hot spot, with a very high end and stylish crowd.

In no time, they became “the place to go”, hosting some of the hottest parties during the NYFW’s (New York Fashion Week).

The Happiest Hour is known for having gorgeous guests like Joan Smalls, Giovanna Battaglia, Poppy Delevingne, Karen Elson and Alexa Chung.

Location: 121 West 10th Street, West Village


NYC Cooking Class: Vegetarian Dishes from “My Korean Home”

Events Up Coming Vegetarian Dishes Cookbook NYC Cooking Class

Come celebrate the flavors of Korean vegetarian cuisine with the release of Chef Shin’s cookbook “Vegetarian Dishes from My Korean Home”! Plus, explore the thrill of a NYC cooking class!

Events Up Coming Vegetarian Dishes Cookbook NYC Cooking Class

Chef Shin, Founder of Banchan Story, will demonstrate the making of vegan delights from her newly launched cookbook. The book is called “Vegetarian Dishes from My Korean Home: Flavorful Korean Recipes in Simple Steps“.

For dishes like the Cauliflower Popcorn in Sweet Gochujang Glaze, Shin will explain the importance of sauces in Korean cuisine.

Plus, she’s tell you how to create Korean flavors with any sort of ingredients, through a few basic ratios of foundational Korean sauces.

Furthermore, you will also taste samples from the cookbook fitted for the holiday season and get new ideas to incorporate Korean flavors for your holiday menu.

Each participant will receive a copy of the cookbook, listed at $23. Also, additional copies will be available for sale at a special discount, for that night!

Plus, non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. This will be a demo class with light hands-on participation.

So, Sign up for this super exciting demo/class!

A little more about Banchan Story:

“At Banchan Story, we bring fun Korean culinary experiences led by Shin Kim, founder of Banchan Story. It combines cultural stories and tasty dishes of Korea.

We believe each little dish (called ‘banchan’ in Korean) has a story to tell and deserves its own little spotlight. Be it a home favorite, interesting historical background, or a feature in a popular Korean drama. We want to share them with you!

So, together with our team of passionate Korean food enthusiasts, we are excited to share the delicious fun of Korean cuisine with you. Get ready for an exciting Korean culinary event!”

So, if you want to organize a private session with Chef Shin or have her cater at your event, let our experts take care of it all. On the other hand, for corporate dinners and receptions, we can fully assist you, your team and/or clients.

Date: Thursday – November 17th, 2016
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Basement Kitchen Studio – 306 West 51th Street


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Banchan Story

Indie Beauty Expo: 6 NY based Vegan, Organic, Natural Beauty Brands

Fitness Health Indie Beauty Expo 2016 Violets are Blue Ingredients

We’ve been observing a trend around the world: people are changing their values about lifestyle. Behind the Scenes NYC attended the Indie Beauty Expo that took place in New York and found some amazing NY based Vegan, Organic, Natural beauty brands.

Indie Beauty Expo New York City 2016

During the last couple of years, the number of organic products have grown exponentially and more people started to practice physical activities as part of their daily routine. Today, we will tell you what we found at the Indie Beauty Expo in NYC.

There is a clear concern about the origin of every beauty product that we use. Even Netflix has launched a Series called Broken that shows the terrible things that happen in this industry.

People are now choosing to live in the most natural way possible. It’s not a surprise that this new lifestyle also includes the concern with cosmetic products we purchase.

Hence, we see so many new brands in the market, with different proposes, offering vegan and organic formulas.

We attended the Indie Beauty Expo, that took place in New York a while ago.

“IBE’S mission is to provide a platform to recognize, showcase and celebrate independent beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands. Indie brands are among the fastest growing product categories.”

They have become a ‘must have’ in almost every retailer’s collection and are now directly influencing key trends in their markets. We can see this in New York, with several stores specialized in brands that offer natural cosmetics.

Here are some brands that called our Contributor’s, Laura Peruchi, attention at the Indie Beauty Expo 2016:

We Are Addicted To The Little Cupcake Bakeshop In Brooklyn

Dining Little Cupcake Bakeshop Food Cart

A while ago, we passed by The Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Brooklyn. With 3 locations (Manhattan and Brooklyn), it’s a great place to stop by to sweeten up your day.

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The Little Cupcake Bakeshop was launched in 2005 and they explain that their desserts are produced by “using only the freshest, sustainable ingredients, predominantly sourcing locally, from farms in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Vermont, New Jersey, and in strides, seasonally, with all baking done in small batches on-site, everyday. No shortening. No preservatives.”

Plus, they continue by saying that their milk comes from “grass fed cows and the espresso bars serve organic teas and Non-GMO illy caffe.”

At every store, they are awesome in supporting the local community and having “a green architectural design”. They work in different sustainable projects locally, nationally and even internationally.

We do love their well known favorite Brooklyn Blackout Cake, but the Carrot Cupcake was also very tasty! And, of course, like every good New Yorker, we love the Red Velvet options too!

If you’re thinking they only sell cupcakes, wait! They have also layer cakes, half sheet cakes, cookies, bundt cakes, cheesecakes, ice creams, puddings, pies, sweet bars and even breakfast options!

If you are vegan, they have some really tasty options, so you certainly won’t feel left out!

We love businesses that incentivizes the vegan lifestyle and helps to show that vegan food is just as heavenly and temping…so why not try!

Speaking of which, you should try By Chloe and their sweet store in Soho. All vegan! All amazingly tasty!

You have to agree, it’s a real temptation!

Want to know a super cool thing about them?

Their “goal is to create a new business model that works for people and the planet. Each Little Cupcake Bakeshop institutes energy efficient practices, appliances, equipment and tools.”

How amazing is this? We definitely need more businesses that have this type of conscious business model.

The store we typically go to is the Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Brooklyn, on Vanderbilt Avenue. You’ll be just a few blocks from Prospect Park, so grab your cupcake and go eat it on their lawn!

Oh! Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Steve Tyler love the spot too, so keep your eyes opened when you go there…maybe you’ll bump into an undercover Hollywood Star.

New Yorkers! Don’t roll your eyes to our comment above. Come on! If you favorite actor was having a cupcake beside you, we know you’d be tempted to talk to him. Why not break down your pre-conceived ideas of “what’s cool” and just ask for a picture!

Prospect Heights:
Sunday – Thursday: 8am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 8am – 11pm

Bay Ridge:
Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 11pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Monday – Thursday: 7:30am – 11pm
Friday: 7:30am – Midnight
Saturday: 8am – Midnight
Sunday: 8am – 11pm

598 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
9102 Third Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
30 Prince Street, SoHo


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Little Cupcake Bakeshop
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Nix: A Manhattan Vegetarian Restaurant By A Michelin-Starred Chef

Dining Nix Vegan Restaurant Bar

We had dinner with a group of friends at an amazing Manhattan vegetarian restaurant, by a Michelin-starred Chef, called Nix. The location is not so “behind the scenes”, since it’s only a few steps away from Union Square, but we all really enjoyed it!

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Nix is a Manhattan vegetarian restaurant, founded by the Michelin-starred chef John Fraser and James Truman. The restaurant serves a huge variety of dishes with very fresh, seasonal vegetables (one of Fraser’s cooking passions). Plus, it’s vegan friendly!

The dishes we tried were all prepared in a way perfect for sharing which, for larger groups, is ideal. We love being able to taste a bit everything!

The flavors were fantastic, presentation was impeccable and the energy of the place is hard to describe, but very very welcoming and peaceful.

A few dishes you can try, that are our favorites:

  • Tandoor bread
  • House hummus, zaatar
  • Labneh & marinated cucumbers
  • Steamed tofu, smoky mushroom dashi & celtuce
  • Cauliflower tempura with steamed buns and house pickles
  • Artichoke and broccoli rabe sauté with preserved tomatoes
  • Pea dumplings, radish, ginger an& scallion

It’s a great place for drinks too, since they have a gorgeous full bar and some pretty cool cocktails! You can try some unique options like the Playa II with passionfruit juice, reposado tequila, champagne foam and the Honey Bee with thai basil, clover honey, gin, sake.

Chef Fraser’s believes “that eating vegetarian or vegan should feel more celebration than sacrifice”, and we couldn’t agree more!

It’s surely a lifestyle we love, and that our Founder, , is pretty much a part of. Plus, if you are a bit skeptic about it, how about opening your head and maybe just trying it out? Won’t hurt and it might surprise you!

Nix opens for lunch, dinner and weekend brunches!

Opening Hours:
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5.30pm – 11pm | Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 11pm | Sunday: 5pm – 10.30pm
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11.30am – 2.30pm
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10.30am – 2.30pm

Location: 72 University Place


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Nix

Le Botaniste: A Plant-Based Organic Food And Natural Wine Bar

Dining Le Botaniste Restaurant Full Table Close Up

How about eating and taking care of our Planet? Located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Le Botaniste is a plant-based organic food and natural wine bar!

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They are originally from Belgium and have opened their first store in NYC this past February.

This new concept restaurant was created by Le Pain Quotidien’s Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Alain Coumont and will surely grow!

His awareness of how we all need to take care of our bodies and consequently take care of the planet, drives his passion and this healthy entrepreneurial spirit that we love. Oh! And yes, it’s Vegan!

We tried a few different dishes which were delicious:

  • Tibetan Mama Rice Bowl – brown rice packed with coconut peanut curry and greens,
  • Make Your Own Salad” – greens, seaweed tartare, marinated carrots, onions
  • Quinoa Chili with sour cream

We didn’t forget the dessert, of course! We had the Coconut Chia Seed Pudding and the Key Lime Pie.

And, we also ordered their house-made juices (the lemonade, and two detox), which were amazingly refreshing.

As we always say, there’s nothing better than a plant-based organic food restaurant!

Do you want to explore the Upper East Side? Well, let us help you out! Try some of these spots!

If you want to go for a good coffee, pass by Padoca Bakery! You can also go to the super upscale and trendy Sant Ambroeus a bit North from Le Botaniste.

Feel like splurge-shopping today!? Well, pass by Jack Vartanian’s amazing jewelry shop. He’s a famous Brazilian high-end jewelry designer that dresses powerful women like Gisele Bündchen,  Kate Hudson, Rachel McAdams and Jessica Alba.

Want to feel even more pampered? Call our experts to learn about our Private Jewelry Shopping & Consultation, so we can arrange with you an exclusive visit to Jack Vartanian’s store and other extremely high-end stores and private ateliers!

And, for the ultimate VIP Experience, contact us to learn about our different Concierge Services and Corporate Services.

Come to New York City and feel what it is like to be a local!

Have fun!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 9pm

Location: 833 Lexington Avenue (btw 63rd & 64th)


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

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