Mac n’ cheese ice cream is good for both dinner or dessert.
While we’re pouring one out for the shuttering of the last KMart in Manhattan, we have plenty else to cheer you up this weekend. Not only is there a new bakery offering an eye-popping array of croissants, but one of the city’s most famed bars has also debuted outdoor seating (with a brand-new menu to match). And if you’re looking to keep your body active with activities other than chewing and sipping, there’s also French lawn games and a superb flea market in the Bronx.
Read on for nine actually fun things to eat, see, and do in NYC this weekend
Few watering holes in NYC have risen to the lauded status of PDT, a modern speakeasy hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog joint. This summer, the bar will get a little easier to find with the opening of PDT Tropicale. This outdoor area located outside the bar’s entrance on St. Mark’s Place pays homage to the East Village’s rich history of Caribbean and Latin American immigrants. Think refreshing tropical drinks like frozen gin and tonics, watermelon margaritas, and pina coladas, plus large umbrellas to keep everyone cool.
Cost: Cocktails from $17
Anytime pastry chef Dominique Ansel opens a new concept, you should run, not walk, to sample his latest creations. This Friday, the creator of viral treats like the original Cronut welcomes guests to Dominique Ansel Workshop, a croissant counter located inside his production kitchen. Aside from the classic version, made with rich beurre d’Isigny (a type of French butter), there are also savory olive oil croissants, brioches filled with huckleberry jam and rice pudding, and pains au chocolat stuffed with three batons of chocolate.
Cost: Pastries from $4.50
National Macaroni and Cheese Day may have been on July 14, but we see no reason why you can’t keep celebrating the holiday all week. And while, sure, you could just eat a bowl of it, wouldn’t you rather try it in…ice cream form? The mash-up you never knew you wanted arrives this week at Van Leeuwen through a partnership with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to create neon orange pints of mac and cheese-flavored ice cream. Will this be summer’s biggest food trend? Who knows, but it’ll certainly make for a fabulous photo on the ‘gram.
Cost: $12 a pint
Friday, July 16 at 5:30 pm
NYC’s own Spanish Harlem Orchestra is producing some of the best salsa and Latin jazz music around, so if you haven’t seen the Grammy winners live yet, this Friday is your chance. Bryant Park Picnic Performances will host the group as part of this season’s Carnegie Hall Citywide Series, and tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis with room for about 2,500 visitors. Bring your own blanket and food, or grab a meal from one of the park’s many vendors while you groove to the orchestra’s salsa dura beats.
Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18 from 12 pm–4 pm
If you’re looking to swap out your usual BEC for something more exciting this weekend, may we suggest eating brunch accompanied by live Bollywood jazz music instead? At Baar Baar, a modern Indian restaurant helmed by chef Sujan Sarkar, head over on Saturdays and Sundays for some sweet live tunes served alongside a menu that includes unique dishes like Bombay chili-cheese toast and Malai chicken mac and cheese, made with chicken tikka, cheddar and parmesan cheeses.
Cost: Entrees from $18
Saturday, July 17 at 8 pm
If you need a reminder of why this remains the greatest city in the world, head to the Brooklyn Army Terminal this Saturday for Rooftop Films’ New York Non-Fiction short film program. Every piece screened tells a story that falls under that classic “only in New York category,” from subway passengers reunited with lost items to the perils of super-cheap apartments. Stick around after for a post-screening reception with a live DJ set from Pleasure Jams.
Cost: $16 a ticket
Sunday, July 18 at 12 pm
If you didn’t get around to celebrating Bastille Day earlier this week, never fear: Carreau Club is keeping the party going this Sunday with their first annual La Brooklynaise open pétanque tournament. In addition to the lawn game competition, there will also be an oyster cart and classic jambon-beurre sandwiches from M. Wells, plus a “pastis patio” sponsored by Ricard. And if you need motivation to win: prizes will include swank charcuterie boxes from D’Artagnan.
Cost: $75 per group of three players
Sunday, July 18
Looking to pick up a unique gift or maybe you just need a little retail therapy this weekend? Head to Fordham Plaza in the Bronx for the Fordham Flea, an event featuring dozens of local vendors and thousands of items, including lip glosses from LaLian Cosmetics, henna tattoos from Sabrina’s Henna, and soy candles from Yonkers Wax. And if all the shopping makes you hungry, there are flavorful tacos from Tacos El Guero, decadent cake jars from Cupcake Me!, and many others.
Cost: Free to enter with a ticket
Creativity is all around us in this city, and no exhibit showcases that as beautifully as You Are Here, a new installation from choreographer Andrea Miller at Josie Robertson and Hearst Plazas at Lincoln Center. The work consists of sculptures made by Tony Award-winning scenic designer Mimi Lien, each of which houses a speaker that plays “audio portraits” of different New Yorkers curated by sound artist Justin Hicks. Those included in the recordings include artists who perform at Lincoln Center as well as ushers, security guards, and educators.
If you are looking for some of the best info on food and drink, restaurants and eating in New York City, then you want to head to New York magazine’s Grub Street.
Right now you want to check out: The Return of Restaurants
“Make up for lost meals. No takeout, no pasta kits, just 66 of the best new (or newly relevant) places to eat.”
Edited by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, Photographs by Dina Litovsky
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Find Singapore in Sandwich Form
Native Noodles / 2129 Amsterdam Ave.
Amy Pryke, who opened Native Noodles in February, has gifted a rare Singaporean restaurant to the city — great news for workers at nearby New York–Presbyterian Hospital and the Washington Heights neighborhood in general. On a recent weekday, two silver-haired folks slurped thick rice noodles in a shrimpy yellow curry as the scent of coconut-jam waffles perfumed the air. Others went for the roti john, a squishy sandwich stuffed with ground beef, soft omelet, and sweet-spicy chile ketchup. If the small dining room is full, take your lunch over to nearby Highbridge Park. —R.P.S.
Conduct an Impromptu Pasta Tasting
Forsythia / 9 Stanton St.
Mark Coleman (Rezdôra) and Jacob Siwak (Olmsted) are the captains of this snug little establishment, which began life as a pop-up many months ago and is crowded now with a rabble of Italophiles, off-duty cooks, and carbonara loons, all clamoring for a taste of the city’s latest haute-pasta menu. The small, blond-toned dining room is nice, but if you want to feel like you’re dining on a side street in Bologna or Rome, ask for a table in the sidewalk cabana, which is strung with lights up in the rafters, lined with baby pine trees, and filled, on temperate evenings, with the bouncy sounds of Italian pop tunes. Pay special attention to Coleman’s elegant interpretations of the old Roman classics, like eggy tangles of tonnarelli pasta tossed alla gricia with pecorino, little chunks of guanciale, and plenty of black pepper.—A.P.
Work Your Way Through the Brand-New Menu at Brooklyn’s Best Thai Restaurant
Ugly Baby / 407 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
At Ugly Baby, New Yorkers exchange glances and ask their neighbors for recommendations — yes, even during a pandemic. The great unifier? The incendiary cooking of southern Thailand. After a winter restricted to delivery, the neighborhood rejoiced when chef-owner Sirichai Sreparplarn reopened for indoor dining in April. Even more exciting: His new menu was nearly three times as long as the original, comprising mostly new dishes like peek gai (ground-pork-stuffed chicken wings over green beans) and kang leung (sour sea-bass curry). While on a recent visit, the restaurant’s laab ped, labeled “stay away duck salad” on the menu, lacked some of the promised heat, Ugly Baby remains a place where napkins are reserved for wiping noses, not hands. —L.F.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.