Monthly Archives: May 2011

You Are What You Eataly

Greetings again!  Alicia here, one of New York Guest’s expert concierges!  Since it’s my duty to be familiar with the most popular city destinations, (especially ones that involve food!!), this past Sunday, I set out to visit the acclaimed Batali/Bastianich collaboration – Eataly!  I thought that it was time I experienced the Italian specialty mother-ship myself, considering the growing popularity as a lunch destination for so many our guests! 

Carbs Anyone?

Upon entering Eataly, I was instantly amazed at the size of the multi-level space.  In August of 2010 this Food Network trio took over the entire first floor of an office building creating an Italian food extravaganza!  Eataly includes a variety of full service restaurants, an Italian marketplace, a wine and cheese bar (live music on Sunday afternoon) a butcher, a world class bakery, a rooftop beer garden and even an Italian brewery.  It’s a place where New Yorker’s and its guests can sample and shop (with a glass of wine in one hand) the highest quality of Italian products while others relax and dine on Italian dishes – classic and reinvented!

The marketplace is clearly designed to inspire cooking and does not disappoint!  Every Italian grocery product you could imagine was there . . . fresh pasta,  gourmet meat, beautiful vegetables, cheeses, sauces, and even cookbooks, while the restaurants served up specialty dishes which included seafood, pizza, fresh pasta, meat and even Vegetarian Italian!  If planning a visit, it’s important to note that only one of the restaurants will accept dinner reservations.   So be prepared to wait for a table – it may be a while!  On the up side, while waiting, you can stroll the isles of the market or enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese plate at the wine bar while you wait.  It is most definitely worth the wait!

Veggie Heaven!

I opted to skip dinner and go straight for dessert (brilliant call on my part)! The espresso and gelato station was amazing!  After sampling every flavor of gelato and irritating all the people behind me in line, I decided on the classic chocolate gelato.  And it was worth it!    On my way out I grabbed an espresso to go and called it a day! 

Overall I really enjoyed my Eataly experience.  I could do without the crowd  . . . but hey, that’s New York! 

 My best advice to guests that plan on visiting . . . Enjoy!  However, be prepared to spend a fair amount of time inside.  This is not a place for a quick bite to eat.   Go on weekday afternoon and late evening as it is rumored to be less crowded.  (weekends are a madhouse! )

Next time I will be sampling all the “flavors” of the wine bar . . . stay tuned!

 

Want to know a secret? Eataly is opening a rooftop beer garden on the fifteenth floor! Rooftops and beergardens are ever so popular here in New York. Eataly has ingeniously decided to combine the two! Supposidly the highest brewery in the states, La Birreria boasts 8,000 square feet of drinking, eating and brew-watching. It opens June 3rd, so make sure to check it out and tell us all about it!

 

Have an upcoming trip to New York City this spring/summer???  Call us at (212) 302-4019 or email info@newyorkguest.com  Our expert concierge staff is here 24/7 to assist you with any arrangements such as restaurant reservations, theater tickets, airport transfers or any other questions you have about New York City!  

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Shawn: New York is on a ROLL!

Hello my fellow foodies! My name is Shawn and I am one of the newest members of the New York Guest team. I look forward to sharing my love and knowledge of food and travel with you!

Nestled amongst the streets and alleys of the world’s gastronomic capital, food trucks provide a tantalizing alternative for your taste buds.  If you’re traveling on a dime or in a rush these cheap eats will surely hit the spot! New York City is known for the typical hot dogs (or as I call them- dirty watah hot dawgs), pretzels, nuts, and of course Halal meat and falafel trucks (better known as “StreetMeat!”)

      

"Halal, it's nice to meet you!"

  Beyond the sizzling bits of lamb, crunchy cashews, and delectable dogs, exists a world of flavors that transcends the quintessential Big Apple food-on-the-go. These taveling trucks have truly given a new meaning to the phrase, “Fast Food.”

Oh how I love the smell of "Nuts 4 Nuts"

 Allow me to take you on an affordable, decedent journey that is just as diverse as the people in our multi-cultural city.

Gems of the streets and always on the go, my favorite trucks surpass the traditional eateries of my city. They can provide a one-of-a-kind voyage into the unknown world of NYC grub delight.

Who's your edamame?

 I recently had the pleasure of stumbling upon this mouth-watering stop. I have heard about it through the grape-vine and just had to try it out!

They definitely lived up to their reputation.

The service was warm and friendly. Yes, you heard me right. Good customer service from a TRUCK in New York City. The  food was even better. Just under 300 calories for a box of 6 dumplings for $6, I savored a guilt-free lunch of pork and Chinese chives accompanied by a spicy basil dipping sauce that balanced the flavors perfectly. The best part was that I didn’t even break the bank! If you’re a little piggy like me and can’t get pork off the mind, try their braised pork belly sliders with Asian slaw! Mmmmmm.

 If meat is not your thing, then try their edamame dumplings! The whole wheat wrap holds pureed whole beans with a soy dipping sauce.  

Always fresh and always on the move: find out where the closest Rickshaw Dumpling Truck is by following them on twitter or you can visit their website.

So, where do you plan on satisfying your mid-afternoon sweet fix? How about The Big Gay Icecream Truck?! This truck provides creamy, twirled castles of goodness with a unique spin. Have you ever had ice cream topped with wasabi pea dust? Perhaps some olive oil and sea salt? Or pumpkin butter? How about coconut curry? Chocolate and cayenne pepper? Of course you haven’t! If you’re in New York and looking for a true unique, New York experience, go and try it out for yourself!

What’s more New York than a fat, juicy hamburger? If you don’t have the money this week for the ridiculously over-priced hambuergers, the line at the Shake Shack is too long (what else is new?) and you don’t have time to sit down, then Frites ‘n’ Meats has your back! One of my personal favorites, this truck has incredible,  juicy grass-fed Angus burgers for only $5.50!

I know what you’re thinking…What about the cheese!?! Well how does choosing from gruyere, brie, cheddar, blue or goat cheese sound? Not convinced just yet? You will be when you top off your burger with one of their unique toppings like savory onion jam, apple wood smoked bacon or garlicky guacamole, just to name a few.

Delicious!

As if that’s not enough, you can then accompany your burger with a side of hand cut Belgian-style fries. Enjoy yourself a succulent, satisfying meal all under $10! That’s unheard of in the world of Big Apple burgers!

What's that smell?

Are you nuts for Nutella like me!?! Then you have to check out Waffels & Dinges. Imagine warm, fresh waffles smothered in dulce de leche, nutella, bananas, whipped cream and much more to choose from for only $5!!!!! You seriously need to check this place out. What makes this place so desirable is that you can enjoy these little golden beauties for lunch or as a sweet treat with their savory pulled pork waffle. Find out where your next waffle craze will be on their website!

 

Sometimes, it's just worth the calories.

These trucks are just some of my favorite places for a quick snack or a tasty, cheap meal.

If you’re coming to New York for the lights, the fame, the beauty or just plain old adventure, don’t forget that the true spirit of New York City can be found in our streets, in our people and most importantly, in our food! Get out there and take a bite out of our city! It’s waiting for you!

If you need any assistance in finding the local eating experiences or anything else, give me a call at (212) 302-4019 or write me an email at SFleitman@Newyorkguest.com. I look forward to speaking with you!

 

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Summer Time Sizzlers!

We asked our New York Guest Staff what their favorite summertime activities  are. See what they have to say!

A Typical Day at the Green Market in Union Square

My favorite Saturdays in the summer are those that I start at the Green Market in Union Square and peruse all those things green and fresh from all our local farms.  Laden with all my bags, I head over to Raffetto’s for some of the best homemade pasta in the city.  Armed with pasta, I needed to complete my other pantry items, so I head over to Bleecker Street and stop at Murray’s for cheese, Faico’s for pork products and Ottomanelli Brothers for meat and poultry.  Lastly, I head over  to Da Silvanos on 6th Avenue to sit outside and enjoy some of the best Tuscan cuisine in the city!!  I have even had a few celebrity sightings there from time to time.  After my morning of shopping coupled by my 4 hour lunch, it’s time for me to head home for a long awaited siesta! Aren’t you full from reading that?

-Michael

Just a Pretty Day in a Boat at Central Park. Ahh This is the Life!

My favorite New York City getaway year round is Central Park. But during the summer there are so many more activities available to you. The one I most enjoy in the park are the row boats in the lake by the The Loeb Central Park Boathouse. If you enter the park on 72nd street on the east or west side of the park it will lead you right to the lake. This is the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and a great place to hang out on a hot summer day. If you are afraid of the water and/or boats you can also rent bicycles at the lake and bike. The park offers a trail complete with bike lanes so there is no need to worry about those crazy cab drivers weaving in and out of traffic! Either way spending time in Central Park is always a nice getaway from the busy city lifestyle and highly recommended! I like to think of it as my own personal backyard (that I happen to share with just a couple of people)!

-Karissa

The Rooftop at the Standard Hotel


There is nothing that I love more than the summer time! My friends and I love to be outside enjoying the sun every chance we get on the weekends. At least once a month in the summer we meet up at the Standard Beer Garden in the Meatpacking District to de-stress from the week and catch up. The Beer Garden is a Bavarian Style rooftop bar, offering 3 German Beers on draft as well as typical German fare like (my favorite) a giant pretzel with delicious mustard dipping sauce. With gorgeous views of the Hudson River, there are even ping-pong tables on the rooftop for some friendly competition. This is a perfect spot to visit to enjoy some good drinks, food, laughs, and sunshine!

-Beth


Don't you want to hang out with him?

Summer Friday’s in New York mean 2 things for natives:  Either a chance to hang out in city without the crowds that are normally here or heading out to Long Island or the Jersey Shore where you join thousands of fellow city folks for some beach and after sun fun!

One of my favorite places to spend a weekend is in East Hampton.  Known to be a little less wild then it’s sister town (South Hampton),  East Hampton and Amagansett have shopping, beaches, restaurants and après beach happy hour venues.  My most absolute favorite summer spot is a beach bar located off of dusty Montauk Highway called Cyril’s.   The owner sits center stage every Saturday and Sunday, greeting old friends and meeting new ones. Dogs run freely and children are welcome at this afternoon party that reminds me of giant tailgate parties from my past.   On any given Saturday, you can find me, my friends, and some dogs, with Lobster Rolls in hand, while enjoying the Cyril house specialty, BBC (Banana Baileys Chocolate) with a rum floater.  There it is; my version of a little weekend paradise!

-Jeannette


  I like to think of summer as the time to enjoy things you can’t do year round. I love being outdoors. Luckily, my city has tons of outdoor activities to keep me busy all summer long. Have you ever been to one of the many free concerts NYC offers? SummerStage, New York’s largest free performing arts festival, brings over 100 performances to eighteen parks throughout the five boroughs. I have seen my fair share of concerts: Black Crowes, All Points West, The Black Keys and much more! Did I mention that they are free!? Of course, you can buy tickets to get the better seats. Or you can just bring a blanket, find some grass and enjoy the tunes! Check out their website for the 2011 lineup.

Do you have Bieber Fever? He will be performing here on June 4!

The Today Show also has many free performances all summer long. I have never had the guts to line up on the streets at 4 AM with thousands of people waiting to get a glimpse of the performing pop star. BUT I have watched it comfortably from home. If you are coming to town and want to check out some free music you can check out the Summer Concert Series schedule here.

-Lora

Spend Your Summer Days at the Met!

My favorite summer activity is going to the many amazing museums NYC has to offer.  While many people are out in the hot sun at the beach or park, I am usually taking the opportunity to meander my way around New York City’s vast cultural houses of art, history, and science.  I like to go to the museums in the summer because they are not as jam-packed with school and tour groups, making it very easy to spend as much or as little time as I want at each exhibit. The free air conditioning never hurts either! 

-Kelly



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New Favorite Long Island Restaurant!

Did you ever find a restaurant that just felt right? A place with nice people and good staff who care about your business and serve very good food?

It was a normal Saturday night and we were looking for an alternative to stale places when we found Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails,  a new (3 months old) place on the South Shore of Long Island.

It is  2 minutes off the Meadowbrook Parkway at 1810 Merrick Road Merrick, NY 11566  

p: 516.868.5338  f:  516.868.5337   www.lckny.com   www.facebook.com/lckny.

It’s a friendly place with gastro pub food far above average. They offer very interesting Belgium Beers and others on tap and wine priced just right.  The space boasts an original tin ceiling, 3 cute booths in the  front space and a dozen tables in the rear.

A great selection of beer is always a plus!

You can expect a warm greeting from everyone: the passing wait staff, the owner’s wife, Heather the hostess, and even the ever so present chef, Chris.  He cooks, he serves, he smiles and you feel good. On a Saturday it can be noisy but in a fun way. The wait may have been 15 minutes, but it was 15 minutes on the dot! The food is truly amazing- from the crab cakes (95%  lump crab) to the short ribs to the scallops ….one thing tasted better then the next!

 This restaurant is totally worth a trip from the North Shore, Garden City,  Rockville Center, Oceanside and Point East. It’s a great place to stop on the way back form the beach. The crowd ran from the mid 30’s to the early 50’s ; just a lot of people having fun. When you see the wait staff smiling in the middle of a busy night, you know the kitchen is on its “A game“, the food is coming out as ordered and on time and the customers are happy. Sounds like a winner to me!

Join them for Ladies Night-why not!?

 It’s the kind of place you want to see around for years and years, doing things right.

If you are coming to New York City or the surrounding areas and need a recommendation for a meal give us a call! Our sales representatives and New York natives would be happy to suggest the best of the best places our eclectic city has to offer. We look forward to hearing from you! info@newyorkguest.com or (212) 302-4019

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Wholesale Heaven! A Look inside Beth’s Recent Shopping Experience

 I can’t say I have ever minded living in the fashion capital of the world. Shopping has always been one of my favorite things to do (just ask my mom) and I will find ANY excuse to buy something new! With the bitter cold winter that we had coming to an end,  I have been anxious to shed my parka and snow boots in exchange for sundresses and wedges. Always looking for new and fun designs, I decided to go on a women’s shopping tour of the Garment District. The Garment District is a large section of the city, spanning from 34th and 42nd Streets to Fifth and Ninth Avenues. The area is home to many of the world’s best designers, as well as fabric and accessory stores. With an area so big and samples sales everywhere it can be hard to navigate through it all on your own. Luckily, my colleague Lora and I got the opportunity to take a guided tour.

Fashion Avenue

Our tour started out at the world’s largest trim store, where we met our tour guide, Sarah. The store had any accessory or trim you can think of stocked to the ceiling! My mind was racing with ideas for new and fun do-it-yourself fashion. The walls of accessories went on for miles and I settled on some cool feathers. I think I will use them on an upcoming headband creation! I will definitely be back there soon to pick up some more pieces. After the trim store we went to seven different sample sales. A sample sale is when you get to shop designer discount racks and save a ton on your purchases. We got the chance to shop vintage jewelry pieces, new season furs and last season clothing and accessories up to 75% off! It was truly amazing and we would not have known about these sample sales if we hadn’t been on this tour. Lora and I both bought  great necklaces that were custom made by a private label firm that makes pieces for some IT designers like Escada and Tory Burch.

Giant Needle & Button in NYC’s Fashion District

Aside from the women’s tour there are also men’s tours of the Garment District, Soho boutique tours, upscale stores like Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman and private tours as well (all complete with a personal shopper). I highly recommend these New York shopping tours to groups as well as individuals looking for a bargain or an upscale experience. I even booked the Soho Boutique Tour for my girlfriend’s birthday. You can never do enough shopping, right?

A Typical NYC Wholesale Showroom

Coming in to scratch that shopping itch? Let us help you by booking a New York shopping tour! Call me at (212) 302-4019 or email me at Blenowicz@newyorkguest.com. I look forward to helping you find the best clothes and deals in the Fashion Capital of the World!

— Beth

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New York City: Off the Beaten Path!

Many think of glitz and glamour when they think of New York– especially Manhattan. The bright lights, fancy restaurants, luxurious hotels and posh nightlife are some of the main reasons travelers visit this great city!  There are so many other reasons to visit as well. New York City is the capital of self expression as well as diversity. There are so many interesting activities and attractions that sometimes get lost in the glitz of this city; some are also FREE! Are you looking to experience the city a little differently on your next trip to NYC? Looking for something other than the regular sightseeing and hotel options? This post is for you!

The Lobby of the Ace Hotel in Chelsea

The Ace Hotel defines diversity as this is not your cliché New York property!  The hotel’s decor is comprised primarily of works from local designers and artists creating a more urban/hip style. When you enter the hotel, the lobby is reminiscent of a HUGE Living room. Guests are drinking tea, coffee, “beverage of choice” and mingling in this common space. The rooms at the Ace Hotel are elegant, but simple. The Ace Hotel is not fussy, but fun!  There is a really nice shop in the hotel selling clothing that is designed by local up-and-coming designers; another one-of-a-kind aspect of the Ace!

In regards to touring the city there are many unique activities from which to choose:

If you are into Movies and Television there is a great tour that I personally took that is a great way to experience New York City from a different perspective.  The New York TV and Movie Sites Tour is 3.5 hours of fun and loaded with awesome information. Not only do you visit the actual sites, but you learn facts about the films/shows and the filming process as well. You don’t realize before you take this tour how many TV shows and movies feature gorgeous New York City.

The Graffiti Tours of New York are also different way to see the sites. The tour will teach you the history, techniques, visuals, and vocabulary needed to understand graffiti as an art form. This new tour option is a great way to see another side of the city that is truly unexpected– email me directly for more tour information and pricing.

Hudson River Skate Park

The Hudson River Skate Park is FREE! If you enjoy Skateboarding or even just watching it this is a great place to go.  I also suggest visiting The STRAND Bookstore. There are so many rare finds and interesting reads; more than 2.5 million used, new and rare books, a renovated main store and a growing author events program.

For those who like a thrill, why not take a New York Helicopter Tour over the Island o f Manhattan? It is really thrilling and the views are unlike any other! This is an eclectic way to see the “regular” but spectacular NYC Landmarks!

The Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour is also exhilarating! Pedal over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn Heights, considered to be America’s first suburb, boasting amazing skyline views across the water and then head back across the river on the Brooklyn Bridge, gliding peacefully above vehicular traffic and stopping to take amazing panoramic photos of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and more. You explore downtownManhattan, the hub of the American financial system, plus Battery Park, South Street Seaport, Wall Street and more!

Shopping in New York Citycan range from Upscale 5th Avenue Stores, department Stores and of course VINTAGE! There are many great Vintage shops from which to choose. My Colleague Lora enjoys BEACON’S CLOSET in Williamsburg Brooklyn; read her post on vintage shopping! I enjoy What Goes Around Comes Around located in SoHo where the clothing and accessories are retro and unlike no other!

Whatever your interests may be, I am happy to customize your trip! Please contact me for assistance with your travel plans toNew York City. Call me at (212) 302-4019 or email me at JUrban@newyorkguest.com. I look forward to help you with a great, unusual itinerary of New York City!

–Jana

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The Passing of a Broadway Legend

Hello Everyone!  It‘s Alicia here, one of New York Guest’s concierges.  Today is a going to be a bittersweet day here in New York City.  Beautiful weather with temperatures that will hit the 70’s (Boy has it been a long winter!) but at the same time we are mourning the loss of the great Arthur Laurents who passed away yesterday.  He was 93. 

Arthur Laurents in 1984 outside the Broadway theater where "La Cage aux Folles" was staged. (Oliver Morris / Los Angeles Times)

Arthur was a theater and film superstar.  He is responsible for great works that include the screenplay The Way We Were and the books to Gypsy and West Side Story, two of the most successful musicals ever written.  

 I had the pleasure of working with Arthur when I was cast in the most recent revival of Gypsy, which he directed.  As I spent time with him, it was obvious that he brought out the best in every actor within a 5 mile radius.  Put him with Patti Lupone and Boyd Gains, and you have the most amazing acting class an actor could ever take!  During my short year with him, I absorbed everything I possibly could . . . his stories . . . his notes . . . his presence.   I thought Arthur was a kind and gentle creative soul . . . who ran a tight ship! 

Me and Arthur at the closting of Broadway's "Gypsy"

When I attended Arthur’s 90th Birthday party in the attic of City Center in the summer of 2007, he spent his party posing for pictures and signing Gypsy posters for all the cast and crew – how generous.   I have such wonderful memories of Arthur, for he gave me my Broadway debut and for that I am very grateful.  This news makes me sad . . . however the memories do not.

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