Tag Archives: West Village

Sweet Corner Bakeshop: A 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

I cracked open New York’s most famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart at Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village, and got chocolate all over me. But, then again, it’s Nutella!

Even before I moved to New York in April of 2015, I already had a favorite spot in the West Village I visited every time I visited to NYC. It’s not only loved by visitors, but also certainly, by locals.

So, today I have a surprise for you, so you might as well continue reading and watch the video above. Why? I cracked open their famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart.

The result? I had Nutella all over me. Hahaha!

Before we start, if you love New York, want to be posted and in tune with all the hidden secrets, new spots and the coolest brands, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Located on a street corner in the super trendy West Village, Sweet Corner Bakeshop is known for their Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I don’t need to prove how good it is, because everyone who’s tried it, will agree!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart West Village
Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

But, in case you’ve never been there, I want to tell you that it’s even won the title of “Best Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie” in town. It’s hard to properly describe and put into words, but I can guarantee that it’s definitely worth ALL the calories, lol!

Plus, it’s made with 4 kinds of chocolate and Sea Salt directly from France, perfectly balanced per cookie!

To pair the cookie, you might want to order their coffee made with beans from Honduras, Brazil and Columbia. The killer combo for any time of the year.

Oh! And that’s not the only highlight. This neighborhood gem is also known for having countless desserts overflowing with a super delicious and rich Nutella filling, like their red velvet Nutella cookie.

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Red Velvet
Photo Credit: Courtesy

And, come on, who in the world does not like Nutella?

Sweet Corner’s founder, Rodolfo Gonçalves, is also known for being a spectacular cake designer, with a creativity many other professionals might envy. Since he was a very young boy, he was always drawing and expressing his artistic gift in school.

The result? Well, you might want to pass by sometime and check out their cake boutique window at the store. You’ll certainly be amazed with what he’s been creating with his team of experts. Some cakes can even take up to 2-3 days to be completely finished!

Plus, as we know, every man has a powerful partner beside him, right? In Rodolfo’s case, his wife, Patricia, is his right and left arm. Such a beautiful, kind, smart and determined woman that is responsible for big part of their well-deserved success.

I told Rodolfo that I’d heard him saying that his mom thinks he’s a super star, and I found that adorable! I mean, moms are moms, but I told him…that maybe she’s right! I heard a few rumors of a quite exciting project coming in early 2019 that might prove her statement! I can’t it share now…but do keep your antennas on! This will be pretty amazing!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts
Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

I also asked him about a “big dream” he’s always had! Something about a F1 car!?

Well, it appears that, as a huge fan of Formula 1 race car driving, Rodolfo dreams to one day be able to design and bake a life sized replica cake of a Formula 1 race car. And….tchan tchan tchan tchan…this might happen earlier than we expect! So exciting!

Now, straight to the point! I had seen this surreal 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart they were selling during the 2018 Valentine’s Day. Oh, and it’s painted with this super beautiful edible gold paint! It’s went viral on Social Media, especially because only 300 special hearts were produced. Apparently, people were calling and begging to get at least one for them. Quite a commotion! So, I decided to head there, invade their kitchen and help create this huge piece of delicious art. And, of course, crack it open! As Rodolfo said:

“It’s the only heart you can break!”

I was able to do it all, get in action in the kitchen, but I had a bit of a hard time cracking it properly. And, it ends up that I got Nutella all over me and, with the help of Rodolfo, I even had it on my face! But then again, it’s Nutella, so it’s ok!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Fernanda Paronetto
Fê Paronetto preparing the 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart – or trying. Photo Credit: Renata Meirelles for BTSNYC

I’m a chocoholic and I do believe that chocolate is love, and so is Nutella. So, there’s no better gift, in my opinion, regardless of the time of the year. After all, Nutella needs no reason!

Keep your eyes open for the upcoming super star moment and also for the next Valentine’s Day, where they told me, they’ll have another big, viral surprise!

If you need any help to cater your private event, or if you need assistance for a corporate gathering, let your experts help you!

Finally, if you like our video give us some love subscribing to our channel and be ready to be part of our Behind the Scenes NYC World! Come explore and uncover New York in a different way!

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 8am –7pm
Thursday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am – 8pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 8pm

Location: 535 Hudson Street

www.sweetcorner.com


VideographyRenata Meirelles
Photography
Renata Meirelles and ©Behind the Scenes NYC

BeautyLeila Soldeira

This Is How New Yorkers Like To Eat Out!

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

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

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Façade

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

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

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

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


First stop: Olive Tree Cafe – Mediterranean, Middle Eastern food

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Photo Credit Jimmy Kuang

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 117 MacDougal Street

www.opentable.com/OliveTreeCafe


Second stop:La Lanterna di Vittorio – Italian food

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Inside

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

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

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

My friends had canolis, fruit pie and the gelati.

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

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

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

Location: 129 MacDougal Street

https://lalanternacaffe.com


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

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

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

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

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

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


Text by our ContributorRafaela Azevedo
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Jimmy Kuang for Olive Tree Café and courtesy of venues

Insider’s Guide To 30 Vintage And Thrift Stores In New York

Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Fernanda Paronetto

In the spirit of the New York Fashion Week, we decided to shoot this video for the fashion-lovers! We shot at 3 vintage stores and listed another 27 for our insider’s guide to 30 vintage and thrift stores in New York.

New Yorkers are known for loving thrift shops and spend hours browsing for the most unique pieces!

Today, I will show you 3 of my favorite spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a huge variety of brands, styles and prices. Plus, I I’ve listed below another 27 stores you should add too you list! So, get read to explore our insider’s guide to 30 vintage and thrift stores in New York.

Oh! And before I forget, like our video and subscribe to the channel!


Madame Matovu

Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Fernanda Paronetto Rosemary Wettenhall
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Hats
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Jewelry
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Clothes
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Details
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu Head Accessories
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Madame Matovu
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Madame Matove is definitely one of the best kept secrets in the West Village. It’s even hard to spot it, since it’s hidden behind a tiny door and small façade.

The owner, Rosemary Wettenhall, is originally from Uganda and travels the world curating some of the most amazing pieces you’ll ever see. Her keen eye is surely what makes her store so special.

Many of her favorite spots to scout new findings are in France and Italy. And, some pieces have even been found here, in New York City.

As she says, you only have to have your eyes open.

On this day, I actually found a fantastic 1980’s embroidered dress, that had a 1920’s vibe, and costed $300.

Oh, and the selection of accessories – from jewelry items, to bags and eyewear are also incredible. So, as I mentioned, take your time to explore this tiny store, that will change your close!

Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 7pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5:30pm

Location: 240 West 10th Street, Manhattan

Instagram Page


Pippin Vintage

Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Corner
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Fernanda Paronetto
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Clients
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Paintings
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Necklaces Bags
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Interior
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Façade
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Home
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Home Entrance
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Home Dishes
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Pippin Vintage Home Bags Decor
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As we’ve said before: “Walking into the quaint jewelry shop feels just like being transported to a different age. From classic and timeless diamonds in the Roaring Twenties, to bright and colorful stones in the Swinging Sixties, Pippin Vintage Jewelry is sure to satisfy your curiosity for every decade.”

Their selection ranges from $5 charms to engagement rings that cost thousands of dollars. They do have the widest range of products. The jewelry come from as early as the 1800’s and as current as the 1980’s.

So, you’ll be able to find pieces from the Mexican Renaissance from the 1940’s and 1950’s, item from the Georgian Period and still, Native American jewelry.

In addition, in the back of the store, through a long mirrored corridor, you can find Pippin home. There, you’ll find countless vintage furniture and décor items, to vintage clothing.

So the next time you’re in Chelsea or New York City, be sure to visit this treasure box of vintage jewelry and home goods!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday & Holidays: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 112 West 17th Street, Manhattan

https://pippinvintage.com


Narnia

Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Clothes Details
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Fernanda Paronetto
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Racks
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Chinese Items
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Bags Shoes
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Bags Sales Area
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Details
Shop Ladies and Gents Vintage Stores Narnia Façade
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After the 1st time I pass by Narnia, walked in and left the store with a beauty Oscar de la Renta black leather skirt for $95, I became obsessed with them. Every now and then I pass by and go crazy with all the new pieces they carefully curated.

We’ve written about them before and we continue begins surprised by their fantastic work.

As we’ve mentioned, their prices range from $75 – $250, but of course you can find some lower priced goodies, as well as more expensive and special items.

During this last visit, I bumped into a few very special finding and it was hard to control myself! I found a beautiful Missoni dress, a Marni shorts, a flowered Dries Van Noten skirt and a to-die-for Lanvin trench coat that almost brought tears to my eyes! Hahaha!

In addition, they have some beautiful accessories and if you’re into the boho style, this is the place you should go to! And, do go with time, because vintage stores should not be visited if you in a rush!

Hours: Open daily, 11am – 7pm

Location: 672 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://narniavintage.com


Finally, as I mentioned, there are countless vintage and thrift stores in New York.

I’ve selected a few others that I really enjoy, so that you can also add to your list to visit while you’re in New York. If you live here, well, then you have time to enjoy them with no rush!

Manhattan Stores:

Brooklyn Stores:

I hope you enjoyed our insider’s guide to 30 vintage and thrift stores in New York and had a great time exploring them with me.

So, subscribe to our channel, like our video below and send us suggestions of what you’d like to see next, to continue uncovering NY with me! See you on my next episode!


Videography and PhotographyRenata Meirelles 
BeautyLeila Soldeira
Styling:
 Camilla Adão

Exploring A Bit Of New York: 3 NYC Hidden Gems

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 NYC Hidden Gems Roosevelt Island Tram by NoelYC

In New York City, overcrowding is just something to get used to. However, with a bit of insider information, it’s easier to find a place shrouded in a bit of obscurity. Check out 3 NYC hidden gems!

We love New York City (durr, obviously…), and exploring the behind the scenes city secrets and gems is what keep our eternal curiosity going and fiercely alive! Every door you open can take you into an entire new universe and experience.

You’ll feel like you’re in on some kind of secret when you head to one of these destinations below.

Here are three NYC hidden gems, part of the best spots in New York City!


The Garret West

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 NYC Hidden Gems The Garret West Bar

The Garret West is a bar hidden on top of Five Guy’s, over on Bleecker Street, in the West Village.

A white, rustic atmosphere with tons of artwork welcomes you to this speakeasy-style bar.

The craft cocktails have unique names and flavors such as the “Hey Girl” accented by mezcal, elderflower liqueur, prosecco and strawberries. The intimate atmosphere will make this place one of your go-to bars.

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 5pm – 1am
Thursday & Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 2pm – 2am
Sunday: 2pm – 1am

Location: 296 Bleecker Street

www.thegarretwest.com


La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 NYC Hidden Gems La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden

Located in the East Village, La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden community garden is the perfect spot to unwind and take a deep breath.

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, this is a fantastic destination or meeting spot. They partake in urban agriculture like composting and rain water collection, which is great to see.

There are even a few events held here, and the vibrancy is sure to guarantee your return.

Hours:
Public hours are 10am – 7pm, Saturdays & Sundays, April 1st – October 31st, and when the gate is open and members are present.

Location: 9th Street & Avenue C

http://laplazacultural.com


Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 NYC Hidden Gems Roosevelt Island Tram by NoelYC
By: Courtesy of Noel Y. C.

Since the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram services is mostly for residential area, it isn’t super popular with tourists. However, it offers a great view of the Manhattan’s breathtaking skyline, and a bit of a thrill at the same time.

It uses the MetroCard system and has a comparable fare to the subway at around $2.75 per ride.

Have a bit of fun 3,100 feet above the city! Oh, and be sure to have you iPhone or cameras ready!

Location: East 59th Street & 2nd Avenue

https://rioc.ny.gov


Moreover, transportation in the city can be chaotic. That goes without saying, right?!

You can flag down a taxi, try your luck with ride share services or do the smart thing and reserve a form of professional transportation when you’re planning out your adventure.

With a limousine, party bus, or car service, you aren’t going to have to worry about finding a designated driver or navigating the streets. One of the services you can hire is the NY Party Bus, which will make a big difference!

Elevating your experience in the city is easy to do when you keep this arsenal of tips handy, so enjoy!

Finally, if you’re coming to NYC and you’re looking for Concierge Services, see how our we can help you out! Now, if you’re a company looking for Corporate Concierge Services, contact our experts to assist you.

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel. Y. C. and the venues

Cheryl Wat: From Marketing & Finance To A NYC Food Influencer

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat went from Marketing & Finance to becoming a NYC Food Influencer! Take a look at her 7 secret New York City tips and be sure to add them to your To-Go spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat was born and raised on Long Island, but now lives in Queens. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing and Finance and has 10 years of marketing experience working in the Finance industry as an Analyst in Marketing Research and Product Management.

During this time, Cheryl’s boyfriend wanted to open a restaurant. She became interested in learning about influencer marketing and using social media as a means to build his restaurant’s brand awareness and anticipation of its opening. To do this, she realized that she had to open up her own Instagram food account.

In July 2016, Cheryl established Book of Eats on Instagram and as a site, with the initial focus being restaurants, food, and beverages primarily in NYC area.

As she shared her dining experiences, she realized a community of people was being built who share the same interests. Since then, Book of Eats has expanded to travel, food around the world, and interesting food/travel related news.

See below her 7 secret New York City tips:


Trademark Taste & Grind

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Entrance
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Sween N Salty Granola
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Pistachio Ice Cream
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Coffee
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Cookies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Chocolate Popcorn
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Burrata Knots
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Avocado Toast
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Squash Ricotta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Fried Chicken Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Office Hero
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“I love how this Midtown restaurant, called Trademark Taste & Grind is hidden behind a coffee shop. It’s one of the few places near Penn Station that I can think of with good food, isn’t touristy, and that I would want to bring someone.”

Yup! They are known for their delicious food, coffee and cocktails. The front area of the restaurant – Trademark Grind – is a coffee shop with a great selection of pastries and coffees. Walking towards the back area, you’ll find Trademark Taste serving new American comfort food.

It’s located in the Hotel Le Soleil.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Location: 38 West 36th Street

www.trademarktaste.com


Fry Guys

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Pulled Pork
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Chicken
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Avocado
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Mural
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Fry Guys is a super cool retro looking French fry spot in the East Village with vinyl records all around the floors, walls, and ceiling. There’s even disco balls hanging from the ceilings. If you come here get the Drunk Guy, its fries are loaded with guacamole, bacon and cheese.”

These guys are really experts when the subject is “fries”. Their food is gluten-free fries and made from delicious Idaho Russet potatoes. How do they make it? They hand-cut everything, season it and perfectly fry it to get that crunchy texture.

The décor of the place is also fantastic and it’s vintagy look will take you back decades. It’s most certainly a nostalgic feeling.

This is the place to splurge and forget your diet! Forget about calories and just be happy! Ha! After all, as they say ‘Every day is FryDay!’.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 12pm – 2am
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 4am

Location: 150 East 2nd Street

http://fryguysnyc.com


Gaijin

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Outdoor Patio
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin 6 Pieces Omakase
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Uni Ikura Donburi
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Kamasu Japanese Baracuda
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Tuna
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Toro Uni Caviar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Mixed
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Robata Binchotan Grill
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bone Marrow
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Gaijin is the only place in Astoria that I know of with a legit omakase sushi menu. I love the whole experience of sitting at the counter, interacting with the Chef, and being told the preferred way of eating the sushi is with my hands like in Japan. I can’t think of any other restaurants like this in Astoria, but in the city I definitely can.”

Chef Mark, a Chicago-native, is the artist behind it all. His outstanding culinary career gave him enough experience to open Gaijin – the result of his take on modern Japanese food.

Moreover, he blends his traditional Japanese cooking technique with a personal touch and inspiration. It’s known that his signature nigrizushi toppings are outstanding!

Nigirizushi (“hand-pressed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball.” ~ Wikipedia

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 37-12 31st Avenue

www.gaijinny.com


Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake Pops
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Nutella Donnoli
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Sawdust Pies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Minnie Mouse Cupcakes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Apple Pie
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Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café is a bakery in Astoria, Queens, that has the most delicious donnolis. It’s basically a cannoli wrapped in a donut. It’s the best thing ever.”

This authentic Italian bakery was founded in 1981 and has been one of Astoria’s to-go spots. Loved by locals, they sell everything from delicious cakes, desserts and pastries, to breads and breakfast specials!

It will be hard to pick only a few things to try. But, remember you call always buy more and take home!

Hours: 6am – 9pm, daily

Location: 28-05 Steinway Street

https://vaccarosbakerycafe.com


The Last Word

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word The Fat Monk
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Rakish Jaunty
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Posada Punch
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“A speakeasy in Astoria, called The Last Word, serves really good cocktails and is hidden behind a hardware store. I know in Astoria it’s well known, but I’m not sure about the general public.”

So, if you enjoy oysters paired with a good cocktail, this is the place for you! They still have a great menu with beer, wine and a few bites to nibble on.

They explain that:

“Our name comes from the gin-based prohibition-era cocktail called, The Last Word.”

And still, if you enjoy Soul, Rhythm and Blues, they have it live, every Thursday night. It’s definitely a place to got more than once! You’ll love it!

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 3am
Sunday – Monday: 5pm – 1am

Location: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd

https://tlwastoria.com


Shuraku

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root

“Of course I have to mention my boyfriend’s restaurant on here. I’d be a terrible girlfriend if I didn’t, I’m also a bit biased, but read his Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me! Shuraku is a hidden Japanese Grilling restaurant without a sign on the building. You would only know it exists if you walk up close to the building and see a menu hanging from the window. This is the only place that I know of in NY that serves gyu-katsu (deep fried breaded steak).”

We love Shuraku too and we’ve recently visited and written about them.

They are certainly a new place to have in your To-Go places in New York, especially if you’re into high-end Japanese spots with unique tasting menus!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm 

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com


Jason Naylor’s murals

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Jason Naylor Murals
Jason Naylor, in action!

“The murals all around the city by Jason Naylor. Offhand, I can only think of the one on 60th and 2nd Ave and the one on 16th and 6th Ave. I’m amazed by his graffiti work. The colors he uses are so vibrant. It’s so distinct that you don’t even need to see that it’s his work, you’ll just know.”

Jason is not only an artist, but he’s also a designer, writer and creative director. In addition, his colorful art works certainly make the city look even more beautiful and the quotes are very inspiring!

He was born in Salt Lake City, but fell in love the NY at an early age. His works can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as magazine, footwear and even in tattoos. We personally love the Statue of Liberty in his left arm!

http://jasonnaylorcreative.com


Thank you, Cheryl, for participating in our Insider Interviews and sharing with us these 7 amazing secret New York City tips!

Stay tuned for more upcoming interviews!

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues

Africa Miranda: A Multi-Talented Beautypreneur From Harlem

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda NYC Streets

Africa Miranda, a multi-talented beautypreneur born in Harlem, shared with us her journey and her favorite secret 7 NYC spots! Be sure to add them to your list!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Street Style

Today we share a fantastic interview with a beautiful woman called Africa Miranda! Many of you probably know her already, but if you don’t, you should!

What are her talents? Countless! As she briefly states on her Instagram: “Beautypreneur. Performer. Travel Maven. Speaker. Host. Black Girl Magician.”

We love it!

Read below her journey and countless accomplishments throughout her career, as well as her 7 best secret places in New York!


Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Morning Sun

“Africa Miranda is a dynamic speaker, host and spokesmodel, with distinctive style and quick wit, that won the hearts of many across the US, and around the globe, as the breakout star of Bravo TV’s ‘The New Atlanta’.

Her unique personal style, sparkling personality, and glorious, attention-grabbing mane, have made Africa an in-demand beauty expert and event host.

Whether she is visiting exotic locales – #AfricasAdventures – representing major brands, or sharing her take on hair trends and celebrity style, Africa brings her brand of accessible glamour to any setting.

A sought after travel and lifestyle influencer, Africa was recently featured in Vanity Fair as one of the VF500 tastemakers to watch and has also been part of major campaigns for Macy’s, Coca-Cola, Revlon, and Kia Motors.

A rising star in the digital media world, she was a Shorty Award Finalist for “Periscoper of the Year,” host of the inaugural Periscope Summit, a keynote speaker at Summit Live, and is a regular podcast guest and panelist for various entertainment and tech platforms, marrying her knowledge of pop culture with her considerable tech savvy. Phiuf!

Africa can now add “beautypreneur” to her list of growing accomplishments.

Her newly launched beauty and lifestyle brand “Beauty by Africa Miranda” , marries her love of travel and her extensive beauty industry experience.

Her first two offerings, the Facial Elixir and Luminous Body Mist, have garnered rave reviews and are fast becoming cult beauty favorites.

“The first offering, the Facial Elixir, is born of Africa’s special connection to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. Lovingly called “Brazil in a bottle,” the Facial Elixir helps to recapture the vacation “glow” using Brazilian ingredients Maraca Oil and Cupuacu Butter.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Facial Elixir
Facial Elixir from Beauty by Africa Miranda.

Some highlights:

“A trip last year to the south of France with Kia Motors was the inspiration for my latest product the Luminous Body Mist. Plus, I hosted a travel show pilot in Curacao called “From Soil to Shore.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Kia Stinger
Africa Miranda at the Kia Motors America #StingerRunway.

In addition, my company ‘Beauty by Africa Miranda’ has been featured on Yahoo Beauty, Ebony.com, Bet.com, MadameNoire.com, HelloBeautiful.com.”

Current & Upcoming projects:

Just shot a campaign for Coca-Cola that will be in US, Mexico and Canada – I’m also a commercial model & actress.

I’m the co-host and co-executive producer of the digital series “Beautifully Driven” powered by Kia Motors and Harman Kardon.

This new interview series highlights “Women You Should Know” in the world of art, science, and entertainment.

Finally, I will host of Parlour Magazine’s Travel Fly Solo Weekend to Greece (June 2018).

And, I will be the host of Parlour Magazine’s annual solo trip – hosting over 50 women on an epic bucket list adventure to Mykonos.

Here are my secret 7 favorite NYC spots:


The Edge

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Bagel
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Pastry
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Burger
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Veggies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Seafood
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Pasta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Jerk Chicken
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“The Edge is my go to spot in Harlem for brunch, lunch, and everything in between! I was turned onto this great little spot by a friend and fell in love. A great blend of Jamaican and American dishes.”

Located in Hamilton Heights, in Harlem, The Edge is a great spot to visit. Their kitchen opens Mondays through Fridays at 10am, and as they say, they serve “flavors of Jamaica and England, with a little New York attitude”.

Their menu is also divided by these locations. So, you can expect everything from Jamaican jerk chicken, to English grilled cheese sandwich and New Yorker bagels with smoked salmon.

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

Location: 101 Edgecombe Avenue

www.theedgeharlem.com


The Back Room

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Entrance
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Seating
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Teacups
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Fireplace
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Drinks
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“The Back Room is speakeasy that takes you back to “old New York.” Once you get past walking underground and through a tunnel you will find this hidden gem. Perfect for a late night drink or a get together with friends. My favorite touch is that all of the drinks are served in teacups!”

Located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, this speakeasy is certainly a secret spot we love. It’s known to be one of the only two speakeasies in New York City that actually operated during Prohibition Era, in the 1920’s, and is still in existence today.

You’re wondering “Why teacups?” Well, back in the Prohibition Era, that was how alcohol was served, so no one suspected and people could enjoy their drinks.

Monday’s are known to host great live Jazz music, while during weekends, they bring in DJs to entertain the night.

Hours:
Mondays – Thursday: 7:30pm – 3am
Friday & Saturday: 7:30 – 4am
Sunday: 7:30pm – 3am

Location: 102 Norfolk Street

http://backroomnyc.com


Champs Diner

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner BBQ Burger
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Menu
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Full Table
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Veggies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Burgers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Pancakes Sandwiches
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Waffles
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Donuts
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“Champs Diner is off the beaten path in Brooklyn, but if you make the trek you will get some of the best Vegan comfort food ever! My faves: The Cubano, The Soltero Bowl, and the Girl Scout Milkshake.”

Oh! We l-o-v-e this place. It’s located at the very tip of East Williamsburg, and it’s always pretty packed. They definitely serve some of the best and tastiest vegan American comfort food in New York, hence the huge success.

We recommend not arriving there too hungry, since the waiting time can be crazy.

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 12am

Location: 197 Meserole Street

www.champsdiner.com


The Crabby Shack

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Appetizer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Hot Dog
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Cheesy
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Balls
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack
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“My go to for a seafood fix is The Crabby Shack. This family owned business serves up some of the best crab dishes I’ve ever had. The stand out – the crab roll (of course!) and the crab grilled cheese. The IG-worthy decor is a plus.”

Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this is one of the to-go spots if you enjoy seafood. They are well-known for their tacos, rolls and sliders, besides, of course, their different crab dishes.

Don’t forget to try their dessert of the day!

Hours:
Monday: 3pm – 10pm
Wednesday – Thursday: 3pm – 10pm
Friday: 3pm – 11pm
Saturday: 1pm – 11pm
Sunday: 1pm – 9pm

Location: 613 Franklin Avenue

http://thecrabbyshack.com


The Groove

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Band
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Live Music
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Illustration
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“Long standing live music spot: The Groove. Great place to get turned on to new soul and jazz artists. Fun fact – my first NYC live performance was here!”

Have you ever wanted a place that played live R&B, Funk and Soul music 7 nights a week? Well, this is the place! Located in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, The Groove started back in the 1990’s and showcases some of the best musicians and performers in the city.

They serve a few appetizers like nachos, quesadillas, mozzarella cheese sticks. Plus, you’ll also find buffalo chicken wings, salads & veggies, sandwiches, a few side dishes like French fries and onion rings. And still, bigger entrées like the chicken kebab and the steak frites.

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the hot fudge brownie sundae or their vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Perfect place to splurge on your diet-day-off!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 4pm – 3am

Location: 125 Macdougal Street

http://clubgroovenyc.com


Vin Sur Vingt

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Guests
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Cheese Platter
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Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Wine
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“Very cozy. Very Romantic. V-e-r-y French. Order escargot and champagne and fall in love with Vin Sur Vingt.”

Africa’s preferred location is the one in the West Village, in Manhattan, but they have other 3 spots around the city, besides having a place inside The Plaza Hotel’s famous Food Hall.

Vin Sur Vingt is a classy, French bistro bar perfect for all wine lovers that live or come visit New York City. Their wine list is pretty extensive and the ambience will take you to Paris in a blink of an eye!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 4pm – 1am
Saturday & Sunday: 4pm – 2am

Locations: 201 West 11th Street
They have other 4 locations – Nomad District, Upper West Side, TriBeCa and inside The Plaza Hotel Food Hall. See website for locations and hours.

http://vsvwinebars.com


Sugar Hill Market

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Robes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Pottery
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Hats
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Fashion
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Candles
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Jewelry
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Boybeads
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Indoors
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“The Sugar Hill Market is a great monthly market that showcases local designers and artisans. I live in Harlem and it is a great way to learn about and support my fellow local entrepreneurs.”

We also love exploring local markets around the city and seeing what local vendors are selling.

You are able to find some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind items at these spots, so be sure to go there will enough time.

Hours: 12pm – 5pm

Location: 259 West 132nd Street

www.sugarhillmarket.com


Thank you, Africa, for sharing with us your fantastic journey and your 7 favorite NYC spots! Cheers!

If you enjoyed this interview, you might want to check out some other spots in Harlem, recommended by Kevin Herson, founder of the absinthe, Doc Hersons!

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of all the venues

Shuraku NYC: A Hidden High-End Japanese Restaurant

Dining Shuraku NYC Aburi Kinme Dai

If you enjoy a high-end Japanese tasting menu, Shuraku NYC is the place for you! With the finest seafood, meats and poultry from around the world, they prepare it all on their binchotan grill.

Dining Shuraku NYC Private Counter

We recently had a delicious experience at the recently open Shuraku NYC, located in the West Village.

This high-end spot opened on mid November. “Shu” means place of gathering, but its small door and façade makes it a gem hidden in one of Manhattan’s busy Avenues. We love it, of course!

As they explained:

“Chef Joe and Head Chef Ryunosuke Satoh met working at Tori Shin. Chef Joe says, ‘We learned from the best. I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant in New York and asked for a job.’ They recruited similarly disciplined colleagues from Ushiwakamaru and began testing their menus in Joe’s home kitchen. The result is a shared vision that is at once very Japanese and very NYC.”

The front part of the restaurant hosts clients interested in having the a la carte menu but, the back room is where the magic happens!

To start, the private 12-seat wooden counter permits you to be inches from the chefs. The experience starts when you witness the magic happening in that small kitchen area.

But, don’t underestimate it though, for they make miracle charcoal-grilled dishes in that space.

“Our simple preparations are meant to enhance and complement the natural flavor of our choice ingredients.”

There, they offer their famous Tasting Menu, that changes seasonally.

The food is prepared on a traditional Japanese binchotan grill, and served on dishes made in Japan specifically for each item on the menu. Cool, right?

Binchō-tan, also called white charcoal or binchō-zumi, is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius).

Although it is often thought that binchō-tan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period, making it preferable by a number of chefs. Because it does not release unpleasant odours, it is a favorite of unagi (freshwater eel) and yakitori (skewered chicken) cooks.” ~ Wikipedia

Dining Shuraku NYC Aburi Kinme Dai
Dining Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root Crab Shrimp
Dining Shuraku NYC Sashimi
Dining Shuraku NYC Botan Ebi Kobujime
Dining Shuraku NYC Grilled Jumbo Carabineros Prawn
Dining Shuraku NYC Gyukatsu
Dining Shuraku NYC Tenderloin Ichibo
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Moreover, their current Winter Tasting Menu is an 8-course meal that will challenge all your taste buds with different textures, tastes and flavor combinations. The creativity is evident in all the dishes!

Take a look it:

  • 1st course: Sakizuke – Oboro tofu with dashi soy & wasabi
  • 2nd course: Oshinogi – Miyazaki beef sushi with nappa cabbage Ohitashi
  • 3rd course: Zensai – Fluke kobujime with karasumi and mentaiko monfish liver with ginger soy sauce
  • 4th course: Yakitori – Chicken oyster with lemon, Magret duck with Tokyo scallion and Yuzu kosho pork jowl with hibiki miso
  • 5th course: Hashiyasume – Japanese turnip in white miso soup
  • 6th course: Grilled Entrée – Washu beef (culotte) with cipollini onion, carabineros prawn with cherry tomato, hokkaido scallop
  • 7th course: Noodle – Inaniwa Udon, Ume Tororo
  • 8th course: Dessert – Satsuma sweet potato ice cream

Sounds amazing, right?

Well, we did try a few of these dishes during our visit and a couple additional ones! They were fantastic!

Dining Shuraku NYC Entree
Dining Shuraku NYC Sakizuke Oboro Tofu
Dining Shuraku NYC Edamame
Dining Shuraku NYC Sea Eel Anago
Dining Shuraku NYC Karaage Marinated Fried Chicken
Dining Shuraku NYC Cipollini Onion
Dining Shuraku NYC Grilled Aspargus
Dining Shuraku NYC Hashiyasume Miso Soup
Dining Shuraku NYC Yakitori
Dining Shuraku NYC Desserts
Dining Shuraku NYC Sake
Dining Shuraku NYC Winter Tasting Menu
Dining Shuraku NYC
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This is what we tried during our visit:

  • Entrée dish with veggies
  • Sakizuke – Oboro tofu with dashi soy & wasabi
  • Edamame
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Marinated fried chicken – Karaage
  • Hashiyasume – Japanese turnip in white miso soup
  • Cipollini onion with sake and soy
  • Sea Eel-Anago – white grill sea eel from Tsukiji
  • Yakitori – Chicken oyster with lemon, Magret duck with Tokyo scallion and Yuzu kosho pork jowl with hibiki miso

And for dessert, we tried a bit of each option:

  • Yazu cheese cake
  • Black sesame ice cream
  • Satsuma sweet potato ice cream

We definitely loved all 3 dessert options, but the black sesame ice cream is surely the most unique one!

The chef that took care if us, was Chef Sho, and he was fantastic! Super friendly, perfectly explained every dish and made us feel part of the experience – not only customers on the other side of the counter.

In addition, for their 1st Christmas Dinner they created another super unique tasting menu – the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” omakase.

FYI, “omakase” means a chef-curated meal, so the chef choses it all! Definitely a thrill!

“Christmas is coming, so in late December we’ll also let just a little bit of Italian-American heritage shine through. Chef Joe Conti’s Brooklyn Italian roots have inspired our Feast of the Seven Fishes omakase. Chef Sato and Chef Joe have put together a special 8 course tasting menu.”

So, take a look here a book your spot! Seating starts at 5:30pm!

For all other reservations, click here. If you’re organizing a Corporate Event, let our experts cater to your needs!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy

The Hidden World Of Hudson Clearwater In The West Village

Dining Hudson Clearwater Bar

The hidden world of Hudson Clearwater, a mysterious and secluded dining experience is impossible to find, unless you know exactly where to look!

Dining Hudson Clearwater Bar
Dining Hudson Clearwater Outdoor Area
Dining Hudson Clearwater Cappuccino Cinnamon Buns Brunch
Dining Hudson Clearwater Burger
Dining Hudson Clearwater Biscuits Lox Poached Eggs
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And the good news? We do!!! HA! So you came to the right place for the most unique NYC spots!

As you walk down Hudson Street in the West Village, you might see a common restaurant façade that doesn’t say much. When you walk in, and head to the back of the restaurant, you’ll find with beautiful courtyard, nestled in the middle of Manhattan.

We all know how crazy about outdoor areas New Yorkers are, and even though, we’d love to keep this spot a secret, it’s our job to share it! Lucky you!

The food can be characterized as American Nouveau with Chef Wes Long and Chef Peter Phillips at the helms.

Therefore, do try the seared duck breast; the ricotta gnocchi with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, herb romesco, charred leek vinaigrette, piave cheese; their lunch time sandwiches are a great option; and during the weekends, for brunch, we love the poached eggs & roasted tomatoes with crème fraîche and grilled country bread; and the hudson scrambled eggs with cheese, tomato, avocado, chives, mushrooms and grilled country bread.

Aren’t you already salivating, just reading about the dishes above? Well, we are, just by writing!

In the warmer months, tables are set up in the courtyard for al fresco dining and cocktailing, as we mentioned above.

Oh! You can make a reservation for the even-more-hidden private dining room downstairs. A perfect option for a private event.

Do you need help in organizing your private party? Take a look at our Concierge Services.

Wait! Are you a company, and need help in putting together a dinner for your team? Read about our Corporate Services!

We are sure you will enjoy exploring the hidden world of Hudson Clearwater!

Hours:
Mondays: 7:30am – 12am
Tuesday – Thursday: 7:30am – 1am
Fridays: 7:30am – 2am
Saturdays: 9am – 2am
Sundays: 9am – 11pm

Location: 447 Hudson Street

www.hudsonclearwater.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Hudson Clearwater, GrandLife Hotels, the-e-list, H.L., Smita S., Ryna D.

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

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma

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

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

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

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Amra BeganovichAmra Beganovich

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

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

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

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

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Elma Beganovich

Elma Beganovich

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

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

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

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

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

Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Ralph Lauren Cafe by Habituallychic
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Habitually Chic

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

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

But, not many people know about a tiny coffee shop inside it.

It’s certainly a great space to escape the Manhattan chaos!

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

Location: 711 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Midtown


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma John Frieda Serge Normant

Manhattan is not only the center of fashion, but also a center for beauty!

With so many amazing spots, it’s definitely hard to pick one!

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

Together, they founded Serge Normant at John Frieda.

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

http://sergenormantatjohnfrieda.com


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

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

As they explain:

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

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

www.viaquadronno.com


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Exhale Spa Yoga
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Exhale Spa Barre
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Exhale Spa Weights
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Exhale Spa Massage
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Exhale Spa
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Exhale is one of our favorites spas to frequent because of the barre classes and the studio’s relaxing ambiance. One can also make it an all around experience by opting for a spa treatment after a rigorous exercise.”

Yes, Exhale is located in a bit touristy location.

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

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

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

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

Location: 150 Central Park South, Midtown

www.exhalespa.com

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

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

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

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

If you love art, you can read more about them.

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

Location: 1 Museum Road, New Windsor

www.stormking.org


Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Frick Collection Room
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Frick Collection with Mitchell Owens Architectural Digest
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Frick Collection
Curiosities Insider Interviews Amra and Elma Frick Collection Guests
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The Frick Collection is like a little oasis secluded from the business of Manhattan with its marvelous art and majestic garden spaces and sculptures. I would suggest going here to catch a break and for a little time travel into the early 1900s.”

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

In addition, we know that it’s always tempting to visit all of them when you’re visiting the city.

That is, if you’re interested in art, of course.

The Frick Collection is surely one of these great spots.

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

Location: 1 East 70th Street, Upper East Side

www.frick.org


The West Village is surely one of the top 3 restaurants we most love in Manhattan.

We are always there exploring new spots or just roaming around the beautiful streets.

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

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

Location: Bleecker Street, West Village


To wrap up,  we asked them two fun questions:

What does NYC mean to both of you?

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

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

What would you girls tell a 1st timer in NY?

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

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

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


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

 

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