New York City Avenues For Fun

Random art meets a heart attack in the Meatpacking.

11 March 2010

Graci to Urban Daddy for rightfully comparing the new spot at One Little West 12th, oddly called The Collective, to something the Mad Hatter might muster up. The giant warehouse space looks like someone stuck a bar at one end then sneezed out a hodgepodge of tables throughout. The Collective might have thought to call themselves “The Collection” as they appear to have “collected” random items from other city destinations like LES’ graffiti, and Urban Outfitter’s pendant lights and from Chelsea, some faux Eames chairs. (Or maybe they are real. How would I know?) But the windows are wonderful and the randomness somewhat endearing. It might be the perfect place for the city variety to gather, er…collect, for post-workday wine or a cocktail before a night on the town.

From the masterminds who brought you STK and Bagatelle (The ONE Group), The Collective is bottle-service free and serves cholesterol heavy American fare (see also: drunk food) that just might give you a heart attack. I still cannot figure out why they added soy kettle chips to a menu that has blue cheese tater tots and short rib sliders, and I gave up chips for lent, but apparently, they are amazing. The menu offers a “Taste of The Hoods” with different entrees from each city neighborhood. (The Harlem is chicken and waffles with gravy. The Upper West side is lamb shank with fruity couscous. And so on…) So you won’t emerge skinny or ready to mix with B&Ters at Meatpacking clubs; but you’ll emerge happy. And that’s all that really matters anyway.

The Collective 1 Little West 12th Street  212.255.9717

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:06 AM
bargain news , People , Restaurants |

West coast burger snobbery makes a home in Queens brining home the eternal burger battle.

4 February 2010

Partially because Danny Meyer is from my Midwest hometown, and partially because Shake Shack‘s frozen custard shakes rock my world, and partially because I’m a New Yorker, I vote east coast all the way. However, I enjoy a good In-And-Out burger every now and again. Do I wish they would franchise in Gotham? I hadn’t really thought about it until a rare trip to Queens had my taste buds caught in a burger battle.

Petey's Burger AstoriaPetey’s Burger, in Astoria, comes from two Cali-natives who aim to copy (for lack of better words) the infamous In-And-Out burger. Petey’s Burger serves just burgers cooked medium well and dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion and a splash of thousand island dressing. The hand-cut fries are for sure way better than In-And-Out, but not, in my humble opinion, better than my beloved Shake Shack. They are more generous with the cheese, and at least admit that their sauce is thousand island unlike SS, which touts special “shack sauce.” It all tastes the same to me.

Actually, Petey’s Burger rocks and if I find myself in Astoria again someday, I might even go for round two. However, I live in Manhattan; and if you have been living under a rock, Shake Shack has an iPhone app for cutting the line. Case in point that New York food battles are never solely about the food, but the convenience, creativity and the unmatched ability to complicate a rather simple concept in the way that only New Yorkers can.

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
bargain news , Restaurants |

The best Chinese on Christmas equals unrivalved Peking duck.

24 December 2009

So maybe it’s the oldest stereotype ever that Jewish people eat Chinese food on Christmas, but when we asked our friends, the stereotype held true about 50% of the time. A quarter didn’t eat Chinese food, and the last quarter celebrated with gentile friends. Where’s the best place? we wondered. Apparently for a cultural experience, you head to Peking Duck House in Chinatown and for a more posh version, eat at Tao on 58th Street.

peking duck

At Peking Duck House, a cozy elegant haven tucked away on the grungy part of Mott Street south of Canal, you have to order peking duck. Um, duh. The house made pancakes and eggplant in  garlic sauce are amazing. But take it from the website, it’s all about the duck. They slice it at your table, and it just might be the best peking duck in Manhattan. There is actually a midtown Peking Duck House too, but for some reason it doesn’t taste as good sans Chinatown excursion.

Peking Duck House 28 Mott Street  212.227.1810

At TAO, the Peking duck is also delicious. The vast former theater houses a coy fish pond, a third level private room and hands-down my favorite dessert in the city. But for the main course, the sea bass, lobster dumplings and short ribs are crowd pleasers. Keeping with Christmas tradition, the Peking duck rivals Peking Duck House. And afterward, enjoy the dessert tray (you only need the small) of mouse filled fortune cookies, Mochi, chocolates and sorbet. A small dessert tray feeds up to five. If it’s the weekend, go later because TAO has live roaming musicians on the weekend nights starting around ten.

TAO Asian Bistro  58th Street between Park and Madison  212.888.2288

And toast to a Merry, Merry Christmas.

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 01:07 AM
bargain news , Restaurants , STYLE/BEAUTY |

Different discounts on different services

5 November 2009 is an online resource with a directory of New York City spas. The site features reviews and has a side panel of categories including, but not limited to, medispas, hands & feet, and hair removal. But don’t expect their cyber-holding place to hold an aromatherapy candle to the serene spas they feature. The website is messy. The font is blue and white and highlighted and bold and underline. The featured spas on the front are all smashed in, and it spa treatmentis hard to discern why these are featured. Are they advertisements? Is getting commission if they refer customers to these spas? Regardless, the presentation is messy and unpolished. You would think after seven years, they can clean up their website.

But for November, it will be worth it to visit because they are offering 50% off all spa services as a “thank you” to their clients. (We think it might be conjunctive ploy with the spas to get people in the door; but either way, we’ll take our discount.) There are different discounts for different days that include half off of the following services: hair cut and color, massages, body scrubs, body wraps, Brazilian wax and laser hair removal. It says “Each day you can find different spas offering 50% off of something great.” (They also need new writers.) So you have to click through the specials to avoid misinterpretation, but when I called to book a few, each place confirmed they were offering the 50% off proving the deal solid.

We’ll get to with some feedback on their site. You just use your November discount to relax before the holiday rush.

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
bargain news , Spa Treatments , STYLE/BEAUTY |

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