After a long holiday, it’s time to open bottles and get merry with some of your closest friends — plus, you’re probably beat from shopping all weekend for
yourself your friends. So, don’t opt for another bottle of wine at home with just you and your cat, we’re here to come to your rescue. Whether you want to just chill at a stylish bar with a couple of cocktails or check out a Nordic spot in the East Village, here are our must-taste picks for the month.
Name & Title: Dana DeLaski, Contributing Editor
Restaurant – N’eat: I’m really excited to check out this new Nordic spot in the East Village — its light, bright, veggie and fish-centric venue is a welcome respite from all the holiday eating. Scandinavian/Nordic cuisine is all about being clean and simple but then surprising with flavor, so I’m excited to taste uncomplicated items like ‘sunchoke soup’ and ‘raw mackerel’ mixed with things like ‘cheese foam,’ ‘burnt garlic cause’, and ‘squid noodles.’
Bar – Karasu: I love Japanese anything, so a hidden Japanese izakaya serving cocktails consisting of ‘rum, honeydew, mint, and aloe,’ is right up my alley. Plus, there’s food — and not just bar foo but a full menu by Shuko alum Yael Peet — so if anyone wants to share a bowl of sake steamed clams, please let me know.
Name & Title: Vanessa Granda, Head Photographer
Restaurant – Lalo: I’m a sucker for good design, so Lalo was an obvious choice, but of course, branding is the last of it. Classified as New Age Mexican, the menu is a Latina’s dream. Oh, and did I mention, the lovely, Lexi Smith (hello, Boss Babe alumni) is the pastry chef? Sign me up for the sweet plantain pie.
Bar – Sisters: Since I’m rarely in the mood to leave Brooklyn (for Lalo, I’ll make an exception), I usually gravitate towards bars in my borough. Sisters has been on my list for a while; with an Instagrammable decor, fun DJ sets and a drink named Pink Orpheus, it’s so on.
Name & Title: Casey Walsh, Editorial Intern
Restaurant – Chalk Point Kitchen: Inspired by recent events (the Thanksgiving bloat), I’ve decided to go on more of a health kick. Chalk Point Kitchen offers a lot of healthy alternatives featuring super foods like cauliflower. For a vegetarian in the city, it’s often hard to find a meal that is both filling and tastes good, and their cauliflower steak is the next up on my hit list.
Name & Title: Cyndi Ramirez, Founder & EIC
Restaurant – Hart’s: Will.travel.for.great.food. Bed-Stuy newcomer, Hart’s, is one to put on your radar immediately before the masses catch on. Formally Willow, this 30-seat space has been reopened and reimaged by Andrew Tarlow alum, Nick Perkins and Jay Wolman. You can expect a fresh, seasonal Mediterranean menu whose flavors will likely blow you away, and a unfussy setting that’ll put you at ease. You can also except to see me there the second I get back from Miami.
Bar – Chumley’s: As a West Village resident, no reopening has gotten me this excited in recent years. If you’re an NYC native, you probably know about Chumley’s, the OG speakeasy pub that closed over 10 years ago. Now, having been taken over by Sushi Nakazawa’s Alessandro Borgognone, the space is completely revamped while keeping some of its former charm. Though currently it’s mostly marketed as a restaurant (our guess is the community board would’ve made it impossible to have reopened as a pub), you can bet your ass you’ll be seeing me treat this as my local Cheers and making it the place where everyone knows my name and they’re always glad I came.
Name & Title: Raven Ishak (that’s me!), Managing Editor
Restaurant – Massoni: For me, winter = fully-loaded carb meals. All. The. Time. And this Italian restaurant is the answer to all of my pasta prayers. Called “inauthentic Italian,” the menu features classic Italian dishes with a multi-cultural twist. While the space has an artistic flair to it (which so happens to be located in the Arlo Hotel), the menu sounds just too awesome not to check out. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into a mushroom, French onion mascarpone and smoked mozzarella pizza pie? You can bet I’ll be there this weekend.
Bar – The Cannibal Liquor House: Not gonna lie: I instantly fell in love with this place because of its decor. Pee Wee Herman photos? YES! But when I heard about their speciality cocktails, I knew I found m y spot. Their Brandy Alexander cocktail has Morgenstern’s vanilla ice cream, brandy, cardamaro and Oreos. Or if you prefer something a little less sugary, their El Diablo Blanco (Blanco tequila, pomplemousse, ginger, lime, soda) sounds fantastic.
Written by Raven Ishak
Feature image via Eater