New restaurants, wine bars, art installations, and more.
“On top of all of the cool activities happening this winter, NYC has also pulled out all the stops for this weekend: there is a massive, glowing installation in Brooklyn, a new solo restaurant from one of the city’s best chefs, and a wine bar that is sure to become your favorite spot during these chilly months. Read on for everything fun you can eat, drink, and do this weekend in NYC.
And while Omicron seems to be on a—thankfully—downward spiral, don’t forget to be safe. Get boosted, wear a mask, and be kind to your fellow New Yorkers.”
In the last few years, chef Victoria Blamey has firmly established herself as one of NYC’s culinary stars. And, after stints helming the burners at legendary spots like Gotham Bar & Grill and Chumley’s, the chef is finally opening her own restaurant. Mena draws inspiration both from Blamey’s childhood in Santiago as well as her experience cooking in kitchens everywhere from Spain and Australia to the U.K. Standout dishes include a California squab served with buckwheat honey and fermented radicchio, and the hearty monkfish paired with adobo mezcal, wakame seaweed, and black quinoa.
Cost: Per person from $115
Since opening 10 years ago, Nai has been one of the most beloved tapas spots in the city. So beloved, in fact, that they recently outgrew their original space and have moved into roomier digs just a few blocks away. The menu has also gotten a refresh: look out for new specialities like mushroom carpaccio with marcona almonds and manchego cheese, and mussels escabeche with potato chips and lemon mayo. To go alongside, there is a robust menu of wine and sherry-based cocktails. We love the intriguing Filipino Cover Band made with rainwater madeira, ube, wild mushroom, brown butter, coconut, and mole.
Cost: Tapas from $12
One of the pandemic’s greatest success stories is Ursula, a New Mexican cafe and bakery that often draws a crowd for its overstuffed and excellent breakfast burritos. Unfortunately, the small space the restaurant rented for the past year-and-a-half will no longer be available soon, which will leave the restaurant without a home. You can support them by contributing to their GoFundMe, and, of course, by buying lots of burritos, pastries, and orders of arroz con leche.
Cost: Burritos from $10
Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29
Cozy Peasant has long been a favorite for date night, both for its candlelit ambiance and its stellar wood-fired cuisine. The space just became even more romantic, though, with the opening of Peasant Wine Bar, located in the restaurant’s former wine cellar. All of Italy’s 20 regions are represented in the wine list here, with special emphasis on “peasant” grapes of lesser-known varieties. You can also pair your tipples with plates of housemade charcuterie and ancient-grain sourdough breads.
Cost: Wines from $14 a glass
Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29
Lower East Side
Actual Australia Day may be January 26, but if anyone can appreciate extended celebrations, we think it’s the Aussies. Head to craft cocktail bar Sonnyboy this Friday and Saturday for the tail end of their Celebration of Australia event, featuring Oz-inspired bites like Bourke Street Bakery’s sausage rolls, grilled prawns, and fish and chips, as well as $10 cocktails made with Australian liquors. It’s all for a good cause, as well: Sonnyboy is donating $1 from every cocktail to the Bridging The Gap Foundation; a charity that focuses on reducing inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Cost: Drinks from $10
Now that the holiday tourists have left, it’s an excellent time of year to explore one of Midtown’s most famous quarters. And, if you haven’t been in a while, you probably haven’t seen its remarkable glow up. Start by cozying up in a heated apres-skate chalet, where you can sip hot drinks like apple cider and Mexican-style hot chocolate. But, if you’re looking for something a bit harder, you can also swing by Other Half’s newly opened taproom, which has 12 draft lines, grab-and-go cans, and an outdoor biergarten. End your day with a bite at Lodi, which recently unveiled dinner service and a full bar program; don’t miss their Rockefeller Martini served with a side of pickles.
Cost: Free to enter
In recent years, Industry City has become a hotbed of interactive art, live music performances, and innovative artists’ studios. And the newest installation to come to the area, Jen Lewin’s touch-responsive The Pool, is absolutely worth a visit to this Brooklyn creative hub. The massive outdoor art piece, commissioned by The Collision Project, is composed of 100 color-changing pads, on which visitors are encouraged to dance, jump, and twirl. After you get your photo for the ‘gram, swing by the Food Hall for dinner; the outpost of Burger Joint is our favorite.
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.
So many great things to see and do, places to eat and drink in NYC.
How to find them? Here are 6 more of my fave NYC suggestions: