A festival dedicated to hard seltzer, Olympic viewing spots, and more.
“We’ve got sunny skies on tap for this weekend, which makes the weather especially ideal for New York City’s Summer Streets. In Manhattan, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, there will be seven miles of car-free streets that are perfect for running, biking, or simply admiring our beautiful home. Also on tap for the end of the week? A hard seltzer festival (we know), plenty of places to grab a drink (in addition to the city’s best bars), and free, live theater performances. Read on for nine actually fun things to eat, see, and do this weekend in NYC.”
If you can’t quite make it to the rainforests of Central or South America this weekend, we’ve got the next best thing: Jungle Summer. This pop-up at The Garret Cocteleria features an immersive, floor-to-ceiling tropical plant installation, music from Latin-leaning DJs like DJ Milkyshake, and, of course cocktails garnished with palm leaves, flowers, or served in ceramic coconuts. We like the refreshing Tamarind Tambourine made with saffron, pineapple, tamarind, mezcal, gin, and guava.
Cost: Cocktails from $13
Lower East Side
New York noodle lovers fondly remember Republic, one of Union Square’s most iconic restaurants that sadly closed in 2017. It’s very good news, then, that restaurateur Jonathan Morr is back with Mother Duck: a casual spot slinging bao buns, noodles, and rice bowls (and with everything on the menu under $20). Make sure to try the duck confit yellow curry, made with fresh rice noodles, lychee, orange, and Malay curry sauce.
Cost: Entrees from $16.75
Isn’t it time you upgraded your ice cubes from plain water? Don’t answer that until we tell you more about Philomena’s, a new cocktail lounge opening this week from brothers Kyle and Sean O’Brien of Den Hospitality. The drinks here, created by beverage director Kyle Dailey, are unique because of their intricately carved or infused ice cubes. The Felix, for example, consists of mezcal, expressed orange, and a cucumber-lime-tajin cube. Light bites to complement the booze include semolina pita and spreads like hummus and bottarga onion dip.
Cost: Cocktails from $13
Friday, August 6, 4:30 pm
The New York theater community has always been known for its creativity, but we’re still always impressed when they come up with innovative ways to bring live theater to everyone. This weekend, head to the South Bronx for The Public Theater’s free performance of Mobile Unit’s Summer of Joy. The three-part show will include the interactive Stage for Healing and Resilience from the National Black Theatre, VERSES @ WORK – THE ABRIDGED MIX by Mobile Unit artist Malik Work, and SHAKESPEARE: CALL AND RESPONSE, conceived by Patricia McGregor.
Saturday, August 7
Love it or hate it, hard seltzer has cemented its place in the alcoholic beverage canon. So, whether you’re a White Claw aficionado or simply want to see what the big deal is, head to Greenpoint this Saturday for Seltzerland, the first nationally touring hard seltzer festival. Over 30 seltzers will be available from the big names (Mike’s Hard Lemonade seltzer) to the artisanal (Willie’s Superbrew).
Cost: Tickets from $39
Since we had our dreams of attending the Games this summer in Japan dashed, come drink away your sorrows at a Tokyo-inspired pop-up bar. The country’s leading shochu producer, iichiko, has created the perfect spot (located in the downstairs area of bar Katana Kitten) to watch the US win all the golds. The space is kitted out with international flags, a large projector showing the events, and specialty drinks like Meguroni #2 made with iichiko Saiten, Old Simon Genever, aged umeshu, and caffo red bitters.
Cost: Cocktails from $16
Saturday, August 7 starting at 6:30 pm
One of the greatest joys of a New York summer night is stumbling across outdoor music. This weekend, we’ll make it a little easier for you to find: starting this Saturday, the Meatpacking District is bringing back Music on the Cobbles. The program pairs local musicians with area restaurants to serenade diners as they eat. For the first installment, jazz musician Benny Benack III will swing by Simo Pizza (6:30 pm–7:15 pm), Serafina (7:30 pm – 8:15 PM), and Kobrick Coffee (8:30 PM – 9:15 PM).
Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8, 1 pm–3 pm
Brendan Fernandes is a contemporary visual artist and choreographer whose works have appeared at The Whitney, The Guggenheim and MoMA, among other major museums. But this weekend, you can see him in action at the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, where he will be workshopping his new piece “Together we are.” The performance brings together dancers from major institutions like American Ballet Theatre in a piece that asks viewers to ponder the connection between isolation and intimacy.
We’re sure you got pretty good at filling your pantry during 2020, but there is more to a well-stocked kitchen than enough yeast to last a lifetime. Explore a wonder of shelf-stable options at the newly opened Romero Delicatessen, which has a dizzying array of international products like jarred olives, chocolates, and tinned fish. And if you’re hungry right then and there, you’re in luck: owner Monica Muzzo Romero will also be serving house-made sandwiches on Balthazar bread, decadent desserts like lemon bread pudding, and cheese and charcuterie boards.
Cost: Prices vary
Thrillist, a site with tons of food, drink, travel & entertainment info, introduces folks to the coolest things to do in NYC (and other places when you are traveling). I like to check them out regularly. You should, too.
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:
Eat All Your Chinese Vegetables
Fat Choy / 250 Broome St.
It’s one thing to offer a $335 meat-free menu for the one percent (see Eleven Madison Park 2.0). It’s another to charge $10 and under for veggie-centric Chinese food for everyone: the curious carnivores, the certified vegans, and the dedicated superfans like Deborah from the Upper West Side, who loves the food and the vibe so much she literally hiked down the West Side Highway from 88th Street to Broome and Orchard one recent Saturday afternoon just to tuck in to paper-boatloads of chewy rice rolls topped with gai lan and juicy bok choy showered with crispy fried garlic. We know she did this because Fat Choy is the kind of place where diners who have navigated the scrum of Lower East Side streeteries — bars, vegan-cupcake shops, more bars — start conversations with strangers to recommend dishes, offer bites, and generally share communal moments of vibrantly flavored, inventively conceived culinary bliss. —Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
Sip a Sazerac in a Secret Garden
Villanelle / 15 E. 12th St.
This elegant Greenwich Village establishment has flown so far under the radar that many regulars (ourselves included) were afraid it would close forever when disaster struck. Miraculously, unlike with the still-shuttered Gotham Bar & Grill across the street, the opposite has happened. Owner Catherine Manning fitted the space out back with tables and little enclosed “garden rooms” that have become a hit during the outdoor-dining craze. The Sazeracs we enjoyed on a recent summery evening were exceptional, and you can also addle yourself with $9 cocktails during the new happy hour. The talented young chef Tyler Heckman (Ferris, Le Turtle) took over the kitchen last fall, and he’s slowly added the kind of variety and style to the aggressively seasonal menu (braised spring lamb on our visit, white-asparagus velouté, gnocchi with escargot) that threatens to turn this sleepy local favorite into a proper big-city dining destination. —Adam Platt
Sample the Latest Fusion Cuisine on New York’s Original Open Street
The Migrant Kitchen / 45 Stone St.
Long before 2020 brought alfresco eating to every corner of our city, Stone Street was a pedestrian paradise, and it still is, a cobblestoned car-free wonderland for outdoor pints, pizza, and mozzarella sticks. The Migrant Kitchen, which opened last fall, brings Middle Eastern–Latin fusion to this Fidi pub-grub zone. Owner Nasser Jaber, who operates out of the Dubliner bar’s kitchen, sends out sumac-butter-slicked fried-chicken-and-falafel waffles, mariquitas (fried plantain chips) nachos, and pastelon mahshi, a Dominican-style maduros-and-beef riff on the traditional Palestinian stuffed gourd. And since many office workers are still Zooming in from home, Stone Street feels distinctly chiller and less suits-y these days. —Ryan P. Sutton
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.