Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Thumbs Up For American Nouveau

First off, sorry for the fuzzy iphone pictures, it has become my "go-to" camera when I go out.
In contemporary cuisine the term "New American" has become a standard. It's a nice mix of traditional american food with an added twist of ingredients and cooking techniques that takes the meal to another level.

Last night 10 Downing Food & Wine did not disappoint. It is located on the corner triangle of 6th avenue and Downing St. in the West Village which happens to share the London address of the British Prime Minister, so it's got to be worth the visit, right? Our reservation was for 7:30pm. My friends and I arrived 20 minutes early to this chic, hip restaurant. Coatcheck was to the right as you enter. We settled in at the bar while we waited to be called for our table. The bartender whipped up a nice cocktail for us which he hadn't named made of Khalua, rum and cream which was a nice alternative to Bailey's for a light drink. We noticed that jeans are welcome here.

Great vibe, great attentive service from the staff. We decided to mix it up a bit so two of us ordered from the Restaurant Week prix fixe menu ($35 for 3 courses) and 2 of us ordered from the regular menu. To keep things short and sweet, there was nothing we didn't enjoy! The food was well prepared and properly cooked, beautifully plated and most importantly delicious! The meals went as follows:

  • House bread infused with rosemary, side of butter and a tasting cup of carrot soup- This was a nice touch (pic #1).

  • Potato Leek Soup (olio nuovo, charred leeks)-Goodness gracious, garnished with sprouts, each spoonful was packed with flavor!!!(pic#2)

  • Baby Mixed Lettuces (fennel, apple, radishes)- This also had bite sized wedges of citrus and a sprinkle of sprouts (pic#3)

  • Shoestring Fries (truffle salt)- We ordered this for the table and we all gobbled it up-yummy! (pic#4)

  • New York Striploin & Braised Shortrib (trio of winter vegetables, red wine-shallot butter)- Not shown because the picture came out too blurry-sorry! As described by my friend Lynn, "fall off the bone, melt in your mouth goodness." I tasted and I concur!

  • Herb Roasted Lemon Chicken (buttermilk pomme puree,, brussel sprouts)- Served with beans, Amina and Judy enjoyed it. Also not shown because the picture came out too blurry.

  • Garlic Basted Cod (brussel sprouts, guanciale, stewed flageolet beans- This was my meal. It was served in a white wine broth with a hint of lemon and a touch of dill. Delicious! (pic#5)
Desserts included:

  • Four Chocolates (milk chocolate cream, cocoa nib shortbread, brownie, shunas famous hot fudge sauce)- This came with small marshmallows. (Not shown)

  • Butterscotch Pot De Creme (dulce de leche, brown sugar-cumin roasted pecans)- This was rediculously good! The Dulce de leche had a layer of creme and was accompanied by the pecans and a smear of butterscotch spread. The cumin gave it a nice spicey bite at the end.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Channel Your Inner Vegan

For those of you that are concerned about leaving less of a carbon footprint and utilizing sustainable, envionmentally friendly materials, this is the shopping spot for you...

WHAT: Cri de Coeur, Olsen Haus, Vaute Couture and Lara Miller Sample Sale

WHY: These four eco-friendly brands have teamed up to offer end-of-season green gear at up to 85% off. But one coat–including windproof satin-lined jackets for $279 (were $506)–get another free. Satisfy your trendy shoe fetish with a pair of faux-suede peep-toe oxfords (dwindled from $335 to $80) or shiny faux-leather over-the-knee boots (slashed from $340 to $140). Organic cotton dresses that can be worn six different ways are also marked down from $242 to $169. Complimentary vegan drinks and snacks will be provided.

WHEN: 1/29 - 1/30, Fri (11–7), Sat (noon–6)

WHERE: 1133 Broadway (between 26th and 27th Sts, suite 1020)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Busted Heel, Restaurant Week & A Sake Lounge

A couple of noteworthy points...

When my friend Tina and I get together we tend to do alot of walking around the city. Whether we're in heels or flats part of our entertainment agenda is to walk and talk, I call it "walky talky" time. Last week when we last saw each other we walked from 34th St and 5th to St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue. Crazy? Perhaps. Fun? Definitely!

In the process I had worn down the taps on my favorite heeled booties. The boots themselves are still in great shape except for the heels so the only thing it needed was a little TLC. Subsequently I spent the last 2 days trying to find a shoe repair near my job that I could drop off during my lunch break. Apparently the shoe repair business, along with other mid -town businesses, is a dying breed. The shoe repair shops near my home are non-applicable because by the time I make it home to my hood, it's usually past their closing time. So I opted for a drop off service during my lunch hour near work. I finally found one on 39th St. btwn Mad and 5th and they only charged me $10 for the heel taps and a shine. More than it being a hassle to find one, it saddened me because these are small privately owned businesses that have suffered because of the economic downturn. Hopefully the shop owners have found another place or another skilled business to keep themselves afloat. Meanwhile I have to do my best to keep this one repair shop in business! I got alot of shoes to fix!

On the upside, since it's Restaurant Week I'm taking full advantage and rounded up a couple of friends for Friday night. Although I should've booked a restaurant on Monday instead of yesterday. I tried about a dozen places yesterday couldn't get a reservation at my favorite spots within 2 hours of the 7:30 time slot. I finally made one at 10 Downing Food & Wine, a new place for me. The menu looks good and the location and time are perfect! I'll be sure to post some food pics soon.

Saturday night will be another fun filled night. I'll be celebrating a friends birthday starting the night off at Susie Wong Saki Lounge on 27th St. btwn 10th and 11th Ave. This place serves up bottle service saki, comfy lounges, swanky patrons, a DJ booth and fruit infused saki's all night long! Good times to be had!

Boutique On 57th Sample Sale

I was walking home from work one day and decided to take the 5th Avenue route. I passed a corner building in the mid 50's with big windows on the ground floor level. As I strode past the windows I caught a glimpse of what looked like racks and racks of clothing bearing signs above with designer name brands and thought to myself, "What is this? Is this a warehouse sale?" Well lo & behold it kind of was!!! Sales are still going on but they've moved their location a few steps away so check it out...

WHAT: Boutique on 57 (Cavalli, Pucci, Gucci, Chloe, Valentino, D&G) Sample Sale

WHY: Blow out designer sale. All up to 75% off. Take additional 10% off on selected Fall Winter Collections. Women’s ready to wear, handbags, shoes, and jewelry. Sizes 0-12. Try-ons permitted. Boutique on 57 guarantees 100% of all items authenticity. All issues concerning authenticity must be directed exclusively to Boutique on 57.

WHEN: 1/28 - 1/29, Th-F (10-7)

WHERE: Boutique on 57, 12 West 57 Street, (5-6 Avenues) Suite 807

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Downtown NY Flair...

Yep, this is the same Daryl Kerrigan that collaborated with Barney's New York once upon a time...

What: Daryl K and Kerrigan Store Sale

Why: The winter collections from Daryl K and Kerrigan are up to 60 percent off.

When: Through 2/22. M-S (11-7), Su (noon-6).

Where: 21 Bond St., nr. Lafayette St. (212-529-8790).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yes ladies and gents, it's that time of year again. Restaurant Week is happening and while you probably made a resolution this year to lose weight that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat out. You can be picky about what you choose from the menu and you can always excercise a little extra. Make it a good year with good restaurant choices and less fast food!

Restaurant Week officially started yesterday Jan. 25th and runs through Feb.7 with Saturday's excluded.
Check out the list of participating restaurants here:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chocheng Sample Sale

What do you do with your life when your an established fashion designer from Hong Kong and you've aleady designed for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Sonia Rykiel? Well you come to New York and open up your own shop! That's just what Chocheng did and now he's having a sale at his namesake store...

What: Sale at Chocheng

Why: Suits, jackets, and coats are up to 75 percent off at the Chocheng sale

When: 1/28-2/28. (212-967-5044); call for hours.

Where: 51 E. 63rd St., nr. Park Ave.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Piece of Morocco in Hell's Kitchen

If you ever find yourself in Midtown West or in the Theatre District or just near the Westside Highway within the 50's there's a restaurant you should definitely try out. The Moroccan inspired menu at Taboon is sure to please your appetite. Taboon is located at 773 10th Avenue on the corner of 52nd St. It is open for dinner on weekdays & saturdays and also for Sunday brunch. It is a great spot for dinner if you're meeting friends, family or are on a date. The name Taboon means "oven" in Arabic. The wood fired taboon with it's cone-like top is the heart of the restaurant. The Middle Eastern cuisine which is prepared using French techniques and Mediterranean spices is really quite flavorful and delicious.

I arrived a few minutes early on friday night, as usual. I sat at the bar which was busy with a handful of patrons and ordered an $11 glass of Italian pinot grigio. It was about 6:30 as I surveyed the restaurant, it has a contemporary vibe, the tables were set with dark table clothes and votive candles. There were a few diners seated eating their meals. I found out that with reservations and with bigger groups you can sit in the large open dining area. My party of 4 arrived soon after and since we didn't have reservations we were seated in the front corner area near the taboon oven. Still a nice spot for dining, private and intimate. The service was just as good in the front area as it was in the larger dining area.

We started our meals with the House Focaccia bread ($4.50), an absolute must try. It is baked in the taboon oven, brushed with olive oil and finished with rosemary, sage and fleur de sel (a hand harvested sea salt). The bread alone was delicious and warm. We ordered hummus and tzatziki sauce to accompany the bread ($8 & $4.50).

Appetizers, soups and salads followed. A garden salad for me (mixed greens, haricot verts, asparagus, olive oil and lemon juice) at $10. The others ordered Shrimp Kadayif off of the Meze menu (baked shrimp wrapped in filo, served on chopped vegetables with tahini) $11 and chickpea soup which was the soup of the day (not sure of the price). The Entrees we ordered were: Branzino- a fish baked with rosemary in the taboon and served whole with cauliflower, tahini and grilled asparagus $28; Chicken Taboon- organic free range, french cut breast with leg & thigh roulade wrapped with fresh oregano pesto & preserved lemon served with a mujadarra rice cake $24; Lamb Osso Bucco- tender braised colorado lamb shank with faro, glazed carrots and green peas $24; my meal was the Heraime- halibut, taboon baked in a ragout of roasted pepper, tomato, cilantro, moroccan spices, artichokes and hot paprika oil. It is served "in padella" which is the metal pan it is roasted in (very hot), with a side of couscous $30. To sum up the meals, all the portions were a moderate size, it was filling and everyone's plates were empty.

We decided to skip dessert at Taboon and walked to 9th Avenue near 48th St. to a Japanese dessert place called Kyotofu. This spot has gotten good write-ups and it's a great place if you're in the mood for something different. Kyotofu now serves hot foods and winter meals, where once they only served japanese desserts which are paired with various sakis and teas. They still hold tastings for those of you that are into trying new things.

We ordered up our desserts: Warm Sweet Potato Cake- a miniature bread topped with caramel and powdered sugar, served with vanilla bean ice cream and pecan tuile $10; Warm Mochi Chocolate Cake- a tasting size of  creamy semi sweet dark chocolate cake topped with green tea shiro-an $10; Kyotofu Dessert Kaiseki Prix Fixe- a tasting of 5 different desserts served in 3 courses $17. Since I was pretty full from dinner I can only speak for my dessert, the Warm Sweet Potato Cake. Though I consider myself to have an adventurous palette, I found that this is the perfect dessert to satisfy a mostly western palatte. It's alot like a miniature bread pudding with a hint of sweet potato flavor, really yummy. The crunchy pecan tuile and the vanilla ice cream make a nice accompaniment to the cake so you get a little hot and cold. I paired it with a cinnamon rosehip rooibos tea (decaf, mildly sweet tea). The total bill came to about $64 not including tip.
Overall a fun friday dining experience.

First 3 photos are Taboon
Last 2 photos are Kyotofu

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Small Cash For Cashmere

So this past thursday, after work I stopped into the J.Crew sample sale and picked up a couple of items off the racks.

My latest purchase included a cropped cashmere pullover sweater and a twill skirt. The sweater is a rust brown color with pintuck pleated front, and rhinestone button detail on the sleeve cuff, pretty and feminine. The cost was $30 which is great considering cashmere sweaters of this quality that have interesting details usually cost over $150. I wore it to work and to dinner yesterday because I couldn't wait. I paired it with a black pleated miniskirt, opaque tights and brown booties. Got alot of compliments on it.

The twill miniskirt I bought is a khaki grey stretch cotton blend that I plan to wear in the spring. It cost $15.

I also picked up a dark brown cashmere cotton sweater with half zip front with leather pulltab for my better half, cost $30, a very good price. Total spent about $105.

So far their best selection was in the womens tops, sweaters and dresses. I wasn't that impressed with the selection of handbags and the same goes for the mens shirts since there wasn't a variety of sizes, mostly mediums. Shoes and boots were nice looking and priced well but I couldn't find anything that didn't look like items I already had. If I have time today I'll stop by again and see if they've brought in anything new, today is the last sale day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

See the Model...Be the Model

I once knew a young woman who told me if she had only $500 left in her pocket she wouldn't hesitate to spend it on some fabulous coat or outfit in lieu of her rent. Now while I personally like having a roof over my head and your landlord may not appreciate your dedication to fashion, I suppose that sometimes the inner fashionista in you has a hankering for some Euopean designer duds and I do understand this. So here is yet another sale this time it's on Temperley London Garb.

I urge you to please spend responsibly...

What: Temperley London Sale

Why: Select styles from pre-fall and fall/winter 2009 are up to 75 percent off at Temperley London. The Biker jacket is $660 (originally $2,195), the Mini Cocoshell dress is $460 (originally $1,525), and the Heaven tunic is $330 (originally $1,095).

When: 1/27-1/31. W (8–8), Th–S (11–7), Su (noon–6).

Where: 453 Broome St., at Mercer St.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Shoulda Put A Ring On It...

Just in time for Valentine's Day...

If you're a man and the woman in your life tells you, "I don't like jewelry", tell her to get off the stand before she perjurs herself. If she tells you she likes or loooves jewelry then this is what you need.

For you women out there that have a weakness for the finer things check this out...

What: Judith Ripka Sample Sale

Why: Eighteen-carat-gold and silver jewelry is 50 to 70 percent off at Judith Ripka's annual sample sale.

When: 1/21-1/23 Th (10–8), F (10–6), S (10–3).

Where: The Carlton Hotel, Seville Room, 88 Madison Ave., nr. 28th St.

And You Thought The Sales Were Over...

What: Cole Haan Sample Sale

Why: Men's and women's shoes and handbags are up to 75 percent off at the Cole Haan sample sale. The black leather Village hobo is $100 (originally $250), the gold lambskin Phoebe triple-zip satchel is $239 (originally $598), and the stretch Joana Air tall boots are $200 (originally $498).

When: S–T (9–6:30), W (9–6).

Where: Soiffer Haskin, 317 W. 33rd St., nr. Eighth Ave. (718-747-1656); S–T (9–6:30), W (9–6).

Never Too Pedestrian...

All sneaker fanatics unite....

What: Sale at Classic Kicks...word

Why: Sneakers and clothing from Nike, Vans, Puma, Converse, New Balance, Sixpack France, and more are 40 to 60 percent off at Classic Kicks.

When: 1/22-1/24, F-S (11-7), Su (noon-5)

Where: 298 Elizabeth St., nr. Houston St.

Sophia Eugene Bargains

Beautiful women's clothing at a fraction of the cost. Keep it young, keep it fresh...

WHAT: Sophia Eugene Sample Sale

WHY: Pick up something sexy and slinky, plus a warm layer to wear over it, at this boutique owned by designer Christopher Crawford (he’s also the man behind label Christopher Deane). Silk wrap dresses are sheared from $264 to $100, wool cocktail coats are snipped from $399 to $150, and tweed trousers are lowered from $215 to $80.

WHEN: Through 2/4, M-S (noon-8)

WHERE: 37 Cornelia St (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

H Williams and Krizia Sample Sale

WHAT: H Williams and Krizia Sample Sale

WHY: NY based shoe designer H Williams ( is partnering with high end Italian fashion design house Krizia for a sample sale, kicking off with a VIP sale preview at the Krizia store on Wednesday, Jan 20th.

Elise (leather and suede) - $350
Rueda (suede) - $290
Gracyn (leather and suede) - $280
Millburn (leather) - $380

WHEN: 1/20 - 1/24

WHERE: 769, Madison Ave

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

J.Crew Sample Sale

WHAT: J.Crew Sample Sale

WHY: The reasonably priced wardrobe staples from this mass retailer are available at below-wholesale prices. Stock up on essentials like women’s cashmere cardigans for $60 (as opposed to $158) and cotton trench coats for $70 (normally $168). Men can pick up wool blazers for $149 (usually $365) and suede boots for $60 (instead of $135).

J.Crew for Women
Sample Clothing / Sample Sizes. Sample tees, blouses, sweaters, skirts, pants, dresses, blazers, outerwear & more. Stock Footwear / Sizes 5 - 12. Lots of boots, limited quantities of shoes, but more are on the way

J.Crew for Men
Sample Clothing / Sample Sizes. Sample tees, shirts, knits, sweaters, pants, ltd. blazers & outerwear. Stock Footwear / Sizes 7 - 13. Limited selection of Men’s shoes.

Madewell for Women
Stock Denim / Sizes 25 - 31. Stock Bags - messenger, totes & more.

Crewcuts for Boys & Girls
Sample* Clothing / Sample Sizes - tees, polos, knits, sweaters, skirts, pants, dresses, blazers, special occasion, outerwear & more.

* crewcuts samples cannot be worn by children under 3.

WHEN: 1/19 - 1/23, T-F (10–7), Sat (10–5).

WHERE: 261 West 36th Street, 2nd Floor. (between 7th & 8th Ave)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Food Fest Continues...


So yesterday, January 17th was my better half's birthday. We had a nice quiet celebration with family, had a delicious italian dinner and some yummy ice cream cake after. We were slightly comatose by nighttime but we were happy and then the JETS won! What a Sunday! I slept like a baby and so did he!

Today we decided to extend his birthday celebation in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day by having lunch at Blue Ribbon Bakery & Cafe on 35 Downing Street in the West Village (first photo, outside corner view). We arrived at about 1:30 in the afternoon. It was busy when we got there with 3 couples waiting ahead of us and some people eating at the bar. Our preference is to sit downstairs because its more private, much cozier with the smaller dining rooms and brick walls so we waited 30 minutes for a table. We took seats at the bar and ordered up some bloody mary's(second and third photos). WOOHOO, were they spicey! Got horseradish anyone???

We were pretty hungry after 20 minutes and eventually got seated. On the way downstairs I spied a big plate of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and greens and my choice was made before we even got the menu! It's been a long time since I indulged in fried chicken and this looked too good to pass up. I did glimpse at the menu once were seated just to make sure there wasn't something on there I would rather get but the chicken was engrained in my brain. For the record the greens were Collard Greens. My better half ordered the Grilled Steak sandwich cooked medium(sixth photo). It comes with horseradish cream, tomato and onion rings on ciabatta.

The plate of fried chicken was pretty big (fifth photo)and our waiter probably had doubts that I, a petite female of small stature would have a big enough appetite to finish the whole plate. He guessed wrong! If there's one thing my friends and family know about me, it is that I do NOT eat like a bird. I can eat! I would have included an "after" picture of the descimation of my meal but I'll leave that to the imagination. The fried chicken was not only delicious it was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and not greasy. It's served with a side of honey for dipping, which I thought was a nice touch because with the salted collard greens, the crisp chicken and honey you get a little bit of sweet and salty altogether. The mashed potatoes were creamy and simply delicious.

I didn't bother tasting the steak sandwich off his plate because I wanted him to enjoy all of it, which he said he did. I did pick at a couple of the onion rings, needless to say, they were yums! We even ate a sampling of the bread and butter that accompanied our meal. Not that we weren't full just that we had to taste it. The bread was great...fresh crusty outside with nice nooks and crannies inside. We didn't order any additional alcohol or dessert because we would have needed a nap!
The total cost was $70.17 before tip and not including our bloody mary's. Not too bad!

(Fourth photo: large metal ice bucket with opened bottles of wine chilling, view of upstairs dining area in the background)

We started walking east on Downing Street and noticed a handwritten sign and colored baloons right outside a cellar door which read "Come in and get a 10 minute massage for $4". It turned out to be a chiropratic office so as a fun, spontaneous treat we went in, filled out a basic questionaire about our general physical health and then got our 10 minute massages. We each added an extra $4 so they would turn on the stretching bench (not the technical term for it). It's basically a massage bench in which the lower half below your waist moves, kind of like it's bucking! Yeah sounds weird but it works great at stretching the lower portion of your spinal column. It felt great! I could've fallen asleep but the masseuse kept me chatting.

Afterwards we did some quick shopping in the Bloomingdales men's department for a nice winter puffy jacket and we called it a day and went home. A good way to end the day!

Patti Smith at B&N

The legendary Patti Smith of the 1970's Bowery punk scene, The Grandmother of Punk and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will be at The Barnes & Noble in Union Square. She is a singer-songwriter, poet and artist. She befriended photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 60's and they remained friends until his death in 1989. She now has a memoir about their relationship entitled: Just Kids: From Brooklyn to the Chelsea Hotel, a Life of Art and Friendship.

What: Patti Smith will be interviewed by Journalist Katherine Lanpher and will read from her new memoir and discuss her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Why: Her recent art retrospective titled, Objects of Life, a joint exhibition with photographer Steven Sebring who followed her for 15 years has made you nostalgic for the punk years.

When: Tues., 7pm

Where: Barnes & Noble, Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., b/t Broadway & Park Ave. (212-253-0810)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NYC Low-Key Night-time Excursions

Friday and weekend nights can be a drag if you don't know where to go in NYC, so I wanted to talk about some neighborhood staples I've been to in the past and decided to revisit, all located in Soho. I'll probably touch upon different locations throughout the city from time to time. But for now...Soho...

My friend and I planned to meet up at Tomoe Sushi for dinner friday night. Tomoe is located on Thompson St. near Houston.  He was running about 20 minutes late so I decided to stop into Arturo's pizzaria on the corner of Thompson & Houston for a quick glass of wine. Since I was holding out for sushi  I propped myself at the end of the bar and only ordered a $7 house white. I subsequently ended up at Arturo's again on saturday night for actual dining.

Onto Tomoe Sushi. A note about Tomoe: if you get there before 6:30 you can avoid a line outside this place, although very non-descript on the outside and inside, Tomoe offers very fresh and delicious sushi and is considered the best in this location. It's so good the sashimi practically melts in your mouth. The staff is friendly and service is quick. We ordered Avocado salads, Shumai, Sashimi Regular Dinner (assortment of 12 pcs of sashimi, side of white rice), Tekka Avo Roll (tuna & avocado), and lastly Negi-Toro (fatty tuna & scallion). Of all the raw fish we had that night I think my favorite was the mackarel, which was exceptionally good. $66, before tip and not including saki.

We ended the night at a wine & beer bar called "The Room", located on Sullivan St. near Houston St. During the summer days the large grey metal framed doors and windows are opened up but on a cold winter night like Friday night you could walk right by this place and not notice it as the windows and doors are closed and heavily draped inside with thick dark velvet. It's got a long narrow bar as you walk in with a great selection of wines, the bartender is knowledgeable and helpful at picking out wines & beers if you tell him "surprise me". The space is surrounded by exposed brick, it's very dark illuminated only by votive candles and pendant lights here and there. There is additional plush velvet seating in the (also dark) adjacent lounge and the music genre is non-pop and very loud. We heard the following tunes among many in the time we were there:
One Chance (Modest Mouse)
Mama (Stephen Malkmus)
Missed the Boat (Modest Mouse)
That's When I Reached for My Revolver (Mission of Burma)
Mrs. Robinson (The Lemonheads)
Hearts of Oak (Ted Leo)
Moral Kiosk (R.E.M.)
Straight to Hell (The Clash)
Barbarism Begins At Home (The Smiths)

The crowd is described as business-casual. It's a great place to bring friends or to bring a date (if they don't mind having to talk over the noise of the music and chatter). An interesting note: while we were there, the party of 6 that was sitting next to us ordered a pizza pie from Arturo's nearby and it was delivered to them without any hassle from the bar's staff and they ate happliy in the darkness. Pretty cool I thought!

Saturday night with pizza on my mind from the night before, I returned to Arturo's. It is an italian pizzaria which has been around for years. It has a small bar in front and table service in the back. The decor is probably from the 70's (dark wood paneling and gold framed artwork on the walls) not much has changed. They are especially known for their coal oven pizza so when deciding on what type of italian fare to get it's best to order up a pizza pie that you can customize to your liking! They have a small jazz ensemble that plays nightly. We ordered a couple of beers, house salads, a small pie (8 small slices) topped with fresh mozzarella, sauce, fresh basil and meatballs. Total cost about $38. The pizza crust is thin and since the pies are cooked in a coal oven the edges of the crust get dark, crisp and slightly charred which adds to the flavor. The staff and bartender are friendly and talkative as are the locals who frequent the place. It's always busy so don't be surprised if you have to wait about 20 minutes for a table. It's most fun at night and the crowd ranges from NYU students to small families.

After our pizza we headed west on Houston and stopped at XR Bar. It's inviting with a chill, laid back atmosphere, cheap drinks and it welcomes a mixed crowd. Good for friends, not a date. It features a live fortune teller who reads your tarrot cards for a small fee. the bartenders are known to get a little drunk too. They play all sorts of music from 90's R&B, current and old pop to heavy metal, and really depends on what the staff is in the mood for. It's not loud and is conducive to conversation, doesn't get very crowded. Comfy seating towards the back. Overall a good neighborhood bar.

First photo: Arturo's bar
Second photo: entrance to Arturo's
Third photo: line forming outside of Tomoe Sushi
Fourth photo: overhead sign of The Room
Fifth photo: glass of beer and candlelight at XR Bar

A quick review of thursday nights outting...
It ended up being just 2 of us. We went to Bar Carrera on 2nd Ave. and 11th St. in the East Village. It turns out that Bar Carrera is right next door to Bar Veloce, it's sister bar which is a slightly more upscale wine bar I'd forgotten was there. Bar Carrera served spanish wines and a variety of tapas. A note: there are 2 doorways, one that looks like the main entrance to the dining area but is locked and the other to the right which is the actual entrance to the bar and dining space. You should use the doorway to the right, we found this out the hard way! My friend and I really enjoyed this bar. The staff was very helpful and nice. We each had 2 glasses of wine- I wanted a dry, crisp, not too fruity white wine and got (Fefinanes'07, an albarino white) and my friend got a red wine of which I don't recall. We ordered 3 types of tapas: Egg In a Blanket (truffled egg in a mini brioche with serrano ham & melted manchego cheese); Morcilla Bocadillos (traditional spanish blood sausage served with mushroom and yellow mustard); Plato Combinado (assorted spanish cured meats & cheeses, manzanilla olives and guava paste served with a mini baguette drizzled with olive oil.) We ended up asking for another mini baguette because there was more meat & cheese left which we wanted to gobble up. Overall price was a little over $100, including the wines, before tip.

We walked south on 2nd Ave and ended up walking through St. Mark's Place where we reminisced about how much it has gentrified since the NYU students have taken over. Trash & Vaudeville however is still there as is The Continental and we noticed that Sea Monsters is still on their performance list. We ended up at Cooper 35 Asian Pub, located at 35 Cooper Square. We had licheetinis (I ate both our lichee fruits). They were $4 each. We didn't want to stand at the bar so my friend asked one of the bus boys in spanish if we could sit at one of the tables and drink our licheetinis quickly, he said yes and we ended up scoring free yummy fried nachos with homemade salsa all because she spoke spanish to the bus boy! We didn't order any food and I've heard that the food there is average at best. We had a good time none-the-less! By the end of the night I couldn't remember what the name of the pub was :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekend Sample Sale

Join Samantha Pleet at the Dossier Store for some ginger snaps & hot cider and a great winter sale!

WHAT: Dossier & Samantha Pleet Weekend Sample Sale

WHY: Merchandise from Samantha Pleet and Patrick Pleet is up to 80 percent off at Dossier. Sample and select vintage pieces for men and women.

WHEN: 1/15 - 1/17, F–Su (noon–7).

WHERE: 244 Dekalb Ave., nr. Vanderbilt Ave.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Small Indulgences

My latest score is a brand new "Angel" messenger bag in dark grey by Francesco Biasia pictured above (pardon the fuzzy iphone pics). It is part of the Biasia fall/winter 2009-2010 collection. Found this gem at the Shoe-Inn Warehouse Sale today. Details include:
  • genuine polished italian calf leather
  • gunmetal colored hardware
  • 2 exterior side slip pockets
  • 1 large exterior zip pocket
  • top zip closure
  • dual handles
  • cross body strap for versatility
  • lined with a graphic print material
  • 1 large interior zip pocket
  • 2 interior slip pockets.
On the Francesco Biasia website the original retail cost is over $478.00, marked down to $286.80. On Zappos' website the original retail cost is $482.00 marked down to $347.00. I paid just under $200.00, with no shipping costs. Well worth it in my opinion.

The reason I chose this one? I've been thinking about getting a messenger style bag for some time because as the cold weather remains and as February snow days and the threat of icey sidewalks loom, I wanted a bag that would keep my hands free when I'm navigating around the city. It has nice detailing and has a touch of "slouch." Not to mention that longer hangbag straps are back in vogue. This was exactly what I needed. The grey leather works well with just about any color, the leather is soft and the bag is spacious enough for all my necessities, a magazine, paperwork or an extra sweater. I'm excited to wear it to work tomorrow!

Also find it here:
And here:

Life's A Beach

I like the beach life and I love the warm weather. I love being near the water. Is it because I'm Pisces or because I have island blood coursing through my veins? Maybe a bit of both. Summer is when most of us feel healthiest because we tend to be more active.  Since we haven't past the february cold weather mark yet, it's time to bring a little inspiration and warmth with the Summer 2010 Swimwear Trends.

Some styles to keep an eye out for are belted waists, lace-up details, a-symmetrical straps and retro prints. See above photos.
First photo: Loeffler Randall 2 pc. lace up swimsuit, Yunhi cotton shirt, Zadig & Voltaire hat, Subversive jewelry, Clarks shoes
Second photo: Eres belted 1 pc swimsuit, Rayban sunglasses, Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi necklace
Third photo: Zimmerman 2 pc. swimsuit, Frye sandals
Fourth photo (my fav): Poko Pano monokini, DemyLee cashmere cardigan, Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi bracelet, Converse Jack Purcell sneakers