So Rosa’s been a staple restaurant of mine since I began coming to NYC when I was a toddler. Something about the no frill, amazing guacamole, ridiculously strong Pomegranate Margaritas and friendly staff has always brought me back time and time again. I will say, watch out for the drinks, they are secret killers to say the least. I recommend absolutely ordering the guac tableside, you won’t regret it.
I personally am not a big Japanese fan, so it’s uncommon for me to pick Tanuki Tavern, a Japanese restaurant, when girlfriends want to meet me for dinners lately. They have too fast of service for my liking, but in reality, what Japenese joint believes in slow eating? Anyway, they have one of the sickest presentations of entrees I’ve ever seen. I order the Black Cod — while they give you nothing but the physical baby sized piece of white fish? It’s brough out over a barbeque pretty much with hot coals underneath which keeps it scorching hot. LOVE IT.
So I promise I don’t only eat at high brow restaurants — in fact, I tend on a day to day basis to prefer the hole in the walls, BY FAR. I stumbled, literally, upon Benny’s Burrito’s in the East Village a few weeks ago. While the area isn’t theee safest it really is a great little “neighborhood gem” as the Opentable website likes to classify things as. I have a FETISH (yes, you heard correctly) for Chicken and Turkey Chili so when it’s on a menu? There is no option what I’m ordering for an appetizer. Their chicken chili was different because it had huge pieces of white shredded chicken — so delicious. The chips that come with it are perfectly salty and crisp too. I have to say, that the extremely raw white onion at first confused me but then once I mashed in with the rest of my dish? It added SO MUCH FLAVOR.
TRESTLE ON TENTH
This little cozy joint is one I have walked by COUNTLESS upon COUNTLESS times on my treks from Hell’s Kitchen to Meatpacking (a trip I do bi-weekly, I know I’m obsessed). Anyway, I love the bustling nature of the restaurant at both dinner and especially brunch time. I had a wonderful yet unusual appetizer of Golden Beets/Jumbo Lump Crab for appetizer, a spiced Apple Cider Martini and Bricked Chicken with Broccoli Rabe. I was a happy camper and would definitely go back — probably for brunch the next time around.
DOS CAMINOS — MEATPACKING
So this is my absolute go to restaurant — it is always crowded, semi decent food and good company. Do I think the dishes are ever phenominal? No. But the pricing is reasonable if you really don’t know someone yet let’s say on a first date or your best guy friend from home it’s a lively non creepishly quiet spot to take them. And plus, who doesn’t love Mexican? Let’s be serious.
OLIVES AT THE W HOTEL (UNION SQUARE)
Very creepy people are usually found at Olives NYC located in W Hotel, but I have to admit, as much as I bitch about it? I’ve gone more than a handful of times. The drinks are great — seating is comfortable and not over the top. I also love the location in the center of Union Square. I would definitely go there before a nice dinner out or before you head to a club and want some drinks.
THE PUBLIC HOUSE
I went to dinner here recently, unaware before I walked inside that I had been there before — but for a birthday party at a “bar”. I was surprised at the very solid dinner I had there. They also offer a really cool deal I believe on Wednesday nights? Where you can get an appetizer, dinner, dessert and ENDLESS WINE FOR $35. SHEER PANDEMONIUM.
So when I was asked to meet someone at Apotheke in China Town I was wary — very much so. Once I was told “Oh shit” by the cab driver my fears CLEARLY intensified. After being plopped on a random street corner with all signs only in Chinese? Full fear set in. Once I got inside the bar, however, I had a blast. The concept of create your own sig cocktails applied here — not the strongest drinks by any means but the handlebar mustaches and lab coats were pretty neat.
So I did an amazing 4 hour Mixology Class here at Ward III last month. It was amazing! I learned how to make every “commonplace drink” — count me in. The staff was so knowledgeable and helpful with our whole food and beverage team who was clearly unable to even stir a drink properly prior to taking the class. Our team went back for dinner and whiskey tastings weeks following and that was even better of an experience. TOTALLY make your way down there — it’s a trek but totally worth it.
WATERFRONT ALE HOUSE
I first went to Waterfront when my old intern boss got married in Central Park — after the wedding we all had a crazy fun down to earth celebration at the Ale House, located next door to their apartment. While I have yet to try the food, you can always find some fun people to talk to and inexpensive/unique beers to try. I think it’s definitely an after work spot not meant to be a weekend plan.
From what I remember this place was very fun. I don’t think I am the best nightlife reviewer to be honest with you guys. I don’t like the scene in the first place, so in order for my ass to be dragged there? Drinks are pouring heavily. I loved the innovative cocktail menu and esoteric drink names, definitely for the more foodie/winos not as much people looking for a normal sports bar night out.
Eh, not the best experience here to be honest. We were short changed a menu due to sampling for Food Week in the city. The appetizer of a plain dinner salad should be passed over and the fish I got (which I can’t remember currently) means that it wasn’t memorable. I wouldn’t go here for dinner, however, they have a beautiful outdoor space so possibly over the summer for sangria it would be a much better idea. Great location, not great food, great scenery.