Mango with Sticky Rice Season

17 Jul

Monica_DiNatale_365_Guide_NYC_Mango

Mango with Sticky Rice Season.

I love Thai food and every year I wait for mangoes to ripen so they are turned into one of my favorite desserts, mango with sticky rice. If you’ve never tried mango with sticky rice, you are in for a treat. I love the commitment of a culture that won’t serve a dish until the season is just right. The time is now! Form June to August all of your favorite Thai places will have this simple yet delicious treat. Sometimes I must admit I order it for dinner! It’s that tasty. Sticky rice is made with coconut milk and sugar. The rice is soaked overnight and steamed giving it a transparent color. The rice is served slightly warm and the mango is simply sliced on top. They perfectly compliment each other. In addition to this gem, these are a few places to satisfy your Thai craving.

Wondee Siam www.wondeesiam.com This portion of mango is huge. Always a good thing! Leave extra room for dessert. The Tom Yum soup is deliciously spicy. If you are a fan of spice order the Yum Woon Sen Salad. This rice noodle cold salad with chilis, chicken and peanuts is a classic dish. Order it “Thai Style” and they will even kick it up a notch for you. The decor is nothing special but there is always a line.

Der Krung www.derkrung.com Der Krung is the perfect date place. There are only a dozen tables in this dark wood candle lit find. The steamed dumplings and the beef Thai basil are some of my favorite dishes. During the week they do a three-course lunch special for $7.95. The mango is perfectly fresh with a little extra coconut milk.

Lime Leaf www.limeleafnyc.com Unusually large for a Thai restaurant, Lime Leaf has plenty of seating and is good for groups and families. They do an amazing green curry that includes pineapples. The Pad See Ew hot flat rice noodle dish is full of Chinese broccoli. This mango dessert is served very warm and moist. Yum.

www.365guidenyc.com

 

Best Craft Beer Bars in New York City

10 Jul

craft_beer_365_Guide_NYC

I like beer. Whether it’s a Corona, a stoudt or a seasonal beverage I enjoy the flavors and the suds. I find that people either like “hoppy” beers or “wheaty” “dark” beers. I love wheat beers and stoudts. The infusion of caramel, coffee, malt or fruit flavors is always something that I look for in a beer. With each season comes a new crop of flavors as well. My current picks for the year are: Winter: Left Hand Brewing Milk Nitro Stoudt www.lefthandbrewing.com Dark like chocolate, this beer is smooth as silk. Spring Hacker Pschorr Weisse www.hacker-pschorr.com  I love the hints of banana and clove. Summer: Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale www.foundersbrewing.com Finally a raspberry beer that isn’t too sweet and smooth enough to drink all night long. Fall Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale www.weyerbacher .com This beer is like fall in a glass with pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon flavors.

In New York City there are several places I visit to get my fill of craft beer. They all change taps often and offer tasting nights from visiting breweries.

Rattle n Hum www.rattlehumbarnyc.com They offer 40 beers on tap and delicious burgers and wings. They have the best thai chili wings I’ve ever had. Their beer events are listed on the Event page on their site. If you visit Monday through Friday from 11am-7pm, you’ll score $5 select drafts, wine and well drinks. They are also a great choice to watch sporting events with plenty of tables and a large bar area.

The Pony Bar www.theponybar.com The Pony Bar offers $6 craft beers daily. From 4:20pm-5:20pm daily beers are only $5. I usually order the veal meatball sandwich and the large soft pretzels. The Hell’s Kitchen location is better for conversation and the Upper East Side spot is great for larger groups. They often have breweries that take over all the taps so you can really learn all about a new producer. They offer 20 taps and a cask selection.

The Dive Bar www.divebarnyc.com Of the three locations I prefer the Upper West Side spot. They make absolutely unbelievable homemade sweet potato chips with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The bartenders are always knowledgeable and they often have live music and tasting events.

Best Craft Beer Bars in New York City. www.365guidenyc.com

 

4th of July in New York City

3 Jul

Macys_Fireworks_NYC

4th of July in New York City

It is great to spend holidays in New York City when most people leave for beach destinations. The city is noticeably more calm and it is easier to get tables at some of the most popular restaurants. I usually hit Nobu! http://www.noburestaurants.com There will be crowds at the “touristy” spots but there is still an air of relaxation. If you’ve never seen the Macy’s NYC fireworks you should try and catch them. They are spectacular and television doesn’t do them justice. If you are going to the fireworks I recommend having dinner at The South Street Seaport. I like Cowgirl Sea-Horse http://cowgirlseahorse.com/ for Mexican food or the wine bar Acqua http://www.acquarestaurantnyc.com/at Peck Slip. Enjoy the weekend!

Macy’s Fireworks www.macys.com If you’re staying in New York City this weekend, you shouldn’t miss the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks.  The display will return to the East River instead of the West Side. The best viewing spots will be from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and along the east side of Lower Manhattan. It is best to get there early and bring a chair or blanket. The magic starts at 9pm.

The Press Lounge at Ink 48 http://www.thepresslounge.com/ You’ll need to take the elevator to the roof and find this hidden bar. Ink 48 offers sweeping views of the Hudson and the Empire State Building. You are paying for the view so be prepared for $15 cocktails. It is a wonderful place to catch a drink and then wander to Ninth Avenue for a casual dinner. Try Nizza http://nizzanyc.com/ for homemade pastas and al fresco dining.

 The Half King http://www.thehalfking.com/ If you are in search of the perfect burger without going to a backyard, look no further than The Half King. They offer sidewalk tables, a backyard garden and an air conditioned pub atmosphere. The burgers are seriously good. I like the plain burger and the lamb gyro style burger. The jalapeno poppers and the sweet potato fires are also worth trying.

www.365guidenyc.com

World Cup Viewing in New York City

26 Jun

World Cup viewing NYC, 365 Guide New York City, restaurant deals, bar specials, Monica DiNatale

World Cup Viewing in New York City

World Cup fever has taken over New York City! We may not call it football but soccer is growing as a sport. I am fascinated by their stamina. Running six to eight miles a game and making plays at the same time is incredible. Soccer also unites countries instead of teams which brings all Americans together. Hey, it’s  a good excuse to go out as well! You’ll have a great time at any of these bars. Go USA!

Midtown 1015 http://midtown1015.com This is one of the best rooftops to enjoy a game. Midtown 1015 offers four floors of viewing pleasure. There are tons of TVs so everyone has a great seat. Get there early to score a seat on the roof. They also have great bar food. I love the beef sliders and sweet potato fries. The servers are friendly and the crowd is electric.

Village Pourhouse http://www.villagepourhouse.com/ There are three locations and they will take reservations for a table with a $25 per person minimum. They all are great sports bars and offer food specials, beer specials and discounted shots based on the event. They have awesome wings with sauces like sweet chili and chipotle. Guinness is always $6.

Terminal 5 http://www.terminal5nyc.com/ Get ready to party on the rooftop of Terminal 5. They put in a huge screen and bench seating for all games. It’s free to get in but get there early to get a wristband. They do fill up. They don’t serve food but you can bring in your own. Pick up a pizza and enjoy the atmosphere. Be prepared for singing, face painting and cheering. It’s very fun.

www.365guidenyc.com

 

Restaurant Deals in New York City

19 Jun

Flex_Mussels_365_Guide

Restaurant Deals in New York City

The main reason I wrote 365 Guide New York City was to save money on food and drinks while still being able to eat out eight days a week! Yes, Manhattan is expensive but I realized that there are options to make it more affordable. I found 365 discounts and visited 400+ restaurants. Sometimes I am in the mood for a cold beer for $3 and sometimes I want great food at a great price. The restaurant deals below are some of my favorite upscale and mid-priced restaurants that offer tremendous discounts on incredible food.

Barbounia www.barbounia.com They have the best hummus! From 3pm-7pm daily you can sample half price appetizers and $6 cocktails. Barbounia is sleek and sexy with an upscale menu. Take advantage of the affordable options at the bar and don’t leave without an order of the iron skillet shrimp. Amazing. They do a great job of keeping you full and comfortable. I usually have so many many appetizers that I don’t have room for dinner.

Flex Mussels www.flexmussels.com The mussels here are in a whole different category. They offer 20 different sauces that are steamed and sauteed to perfection. From 5:30pm-7pm daily at the bar and counter order the $25 special of two pots of mussels (3 different flavors), fries and one glass of beer or wine. I have converted several people who told me they don’t like mussels by bringing them to Flex. I never leave hungry!

Mermaid Inn www.themermaidnyc.com The discounted appetizers from 5pm-7pm range from$3-$6. Oysters and clams are only $1. For oyster fans this place is a must. I like the fish tacos and the shrimp sliders. Try an Aperol Spritz for $7. The Mermaid Inn reminds me of a comfortable fishing village restaurant. It is family friendly.

www.365guidenyc.com

Father’s Day Restaurants in NYC

12 Jun

fathers_day

Best Father’s Day Restaurants in NYC

It seems like moms get all the credit for a child’s accomplishments. Let’s face it, moms are great. This weekend it’s time to thank the guy who brought home the bacon and taught me how to be strong and driven. He taught me what to look for in a partner and to treat people with love and respect. What better way to thank him than taking him out to eat! I also have my dad to thank for my fast metabolism. As someone who eats for a living, it has come in quite handy.

Hill Country Barbecue Market http://www.hillcountryny.com/locations I have blogged about them before but it bears repeating. They have the best brisket I’ve ever had! It is so moist that it melts in your mouth. You don’t even need a knife. The jalapeno and cheese sausage is also off the charts. Hill Country is perfect for a dad that loves meat. They can handle any size family in a fun and casual atmosphere.

B.B. King Blues Club and Grill http://www.bbkingblues.com/bio.php?id=3957 If your dad like music, B.B. King’s is a perfect spot to catch live music and good food. On Saturday you can treat dad to a Beatles Brunch at noon for $44 including a buffet. On Sunday at 1pm they are featuring the music of Louis Armstrong. Tickets are $20 and a full menu is available. At 7pm and 9:30pm you can enjoy Decade of Soul and their Motown hits for $15 with a full dinner menu available.

Barcibo Enoteca http://barciboenoteca.com/content/kitchen For the foodie in your life give Barcibo a whirl. The vibe is rustic Italian with a wine list to match. Plates are perfect for sharing. I like the meat and cheese plate with five selections for $25. They usually have a homemade pasta and the baked veal meatball crostini is a must have. The servers and owner are very knowledgeable and will guide you through a lovely meal.

Mets Game http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/schedule/?c_id=nym#y=2014&m=7&calendar=DEFAULT It’s always great to catch a ballgame with dad. Citi Field has a ton of great food options. Shake Shack http://www.shakeshack.com/location/citi-field/ burgers are supremely tender and juicy. If your dad has a sweet tooth, try a “concrete” with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter and bananas. Blue Smoke http://www.bluesmoke.com/citi-field/ serves up delicious ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. El Verano Taqueria http://unionsquareevents.com/index.php/sports/view/el-verano-taqueria makes authentic tacos. My favorite is the chili marinated skirt steak tacos.

 

Best Waterfront and Floating Restaurants in NYC

5 Jun

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide Book NYC Restaurant Deals Bar Specials

Best Waterfront and Floating Restaurants in NYC

Most people think of heading to the beach during Summer. There is something about seeing the ocean that is instantly relaxing. I actually like to stay in NYC and search out my own “water views.” The best water view activity in New York City is also FREE. Take a ride on The Staten Island Ferry and catch magnificent views of The Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. http://www.siferry.com/SIFerry_Schedules.aspx For sightseeing tours on the Hudson River I recommend Circle Line Tours. http://www.circleline42.com/new-york-cruises/home.aspx A two and a half hour cruise is $40 and a one hour cruise is $29. There are several restaurants and bars that offer vacation type views of The Hudson and The East River. If you can visit during the weekdays, you’ll certainly get a better seat with less crowds.

North River Lobster Company http://www.northriverlobsterco.com/ New to Pier 81, North River is already one of my favorite places to enjoy an outstanding raw bar and a cruise on the Hudson River. The floating restaurants goes out for a forty five minute cruise four times a day (noon, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm) for FREE. At $29, the lobster dinner served with potatoes and a vegetable is among the best I’ve had. I usually get “The Acadia” which includes six shrimp, twelve oysters, six littlenecks and six Jonah Crab Claws for $59 if I want to snack and share. The raw bar is top notch and the staff is super friendly. It’s a great way to get out on the water. I was lucky enough to be there on opening day when it was empty but by the first weekend, the word was out.

The Boat Basin Cafe http://www.boatbasincafe.com/ I like The Boat Basin because it offers Hudson River & Marina views, a covered patio and an open air picnic area for large groups and overflow crowds. The atmosphere is laid back whether you are enjoying a cold beer on the steps or a sandwich at a table. The menu includes mostly sandwiches and tasty burgers but you’ll also find interesting items like Mahi Mahi Tacos. This is the perfect spot to plan a reunion or birthday party. They are family and dog friendly. From 4pm-7pm Monday through Friday you’ll save $2 off drinks. On weekends you can expect to wait an hour for a table outside.

The Frying Pan http://fryingpan.com/site/ I have spent many lazy afternoons on The Frying Pan. Located on the water, The Pan is a collection of ships parked on Pier 66. The views from the rooftop balcony are georgous. I always feel like I’m on vacation when I’m visiting. The burgers and fries are great but they also offer seafood items and specials. They make a mean margarita and have buckets of Rolling Rock (6) for $34.

Chelsea Brewing Company http://www.chelseabrewingco.com/ Chelsea Brewing combines an upscale brew pub with marina views on Chelsea Piers. The 12,000 square foot restaurant offers two story windows for beautiful views of the Hudson River and twenty microbrews. I like to watch the golfers on the driving range next door and sit outside. They can handle groups of any size. I recommend the tequila grilled shrimp with pineapple salsa and the blackened tuna.

The Crow’s Nest http://thewaterclub.com/the-crows-nest The Crow’s Nest is the upper deck bar of The Water Club upscale restaurant. http://thewaterclub.com/ If you are in the mood for a special occasion dinner with $30-$40 entrees, The Water Club has an absolutely stunning dining room with East River views. I like to visit The Crow’s Nest for a casual salad ($12) or a bucket of beer (6 for $35).

Best Mouth Watering Barbecue in New York City

29 May

365 Guide NYC Restaurant Deals Bar Specials Barbecue New York City Guide Book Monica DiNatale

Best Barbecue in New York City.

Now that Summer is here my mind thinks about barbecue. Living in the city means it’s time to find that perfect restaurant. These guys do barbecue so well, you’ll never want to cook again. Barbecue takes tons of time, patience, spices and preparation. Let them do the work! Plenty of restaurants have ribs on the menu or a pulled pork sandwich but to find the pros is a real treat. I base my opinion mostly on whether I need utensils for the meat or if it falls apart in my hands. These are my top three picks for New York City.

Hill Country Barbecue Market www.hillcountryny.com They have the best brisket I’ve ever had! It is so moist that it melts in your mouth. You don’t even need a knife. The jalapeno and cheese sausage is also off the charts. Hill Country is a Texas Roadhouse in the middle of Manhattan. Take advantage of $5 drinks from 4pm-7pm and start ordering. If you need somewhere to host an event, there is a private room downstairs and they offer free live music from Tuesday to Saturday. Be careful: the bartenders are so friendly and attentive you may loose track of time.

Daisy May’s www.daisymaysbbq.com I love the Sweet Potatoes with bananas and brown sugar and the Kansas City Sweet and Sticky Ribs. Daisy May’s offers great takeout for your next barbecue. Their delivery is quick and the food delicious. The dining room is no frills but the food is top notch. Do not leave without trying the Baked Beans with Burnt Ends. I can eat them for dinner.

Virgil’s Barbecue www.virgilsbbq.com Definitely order the Memphis Style Pork Spare Ribs. The dry rub is perfect. Virgil’s is a huge restaurant which makes it great for families. For me, no barbecue experience is complete with Banana Pudding for dessert. Don’t miss it. They have an extensive appetizer menu as well. The Trainwreck Fries and the BBQ Nachos are almost a meal. They also have a nice selection of craft beers.

 

An Affordable Memorial Day in NYC

22 May

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide Book New York City NYC Restaurant Deals Bar Specials

An Affordable Memorial Day in NYC

There is something special about Memorial Day and the start of Summer. I always reflect on veterans and the sacrifice they make for us. This year the winter was long and cold so New Yorkers are anxious to relax and play. I like to stay in the city and enjoy my urban beach. Wouldn’t it be great if we had off every Monday?! My favorite place to pack a picnic and a cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is The Sheep Meadow. http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/sheep-meadow.html If you want to relax, this is the place. I’ve decided to get my bike ready and ride across The Brooklyn Bridge to visit The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. http://www.brooklynicecreamfactory.com/ Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite things to do. The views of Lower Manhattan are amazing and free! These are a few other places to consider when planning your weekend.

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/ Let me start by saying that ice cream is my favorite food. If you’re looking for a downtown outing on Memorial Day, visit The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. My favorite flavors are Black Sesame, Ginger and Lychee. They offer a full array of regular flavors and specials like Chocolate Bacon. Trust me, this stuff will make you melt. I usually stop by after hitting Shanghai Cuisine http://www.yelp.com/biz/shanghai-cuisine-new-york for soup dumplings. This combination makes for a perfectly satisfying and affordable day.

The Frying Pan http://fryingpan.com/site/ Want to impress your friends? Spend the afternoon on The Frying Pan. Located on the water, The Pan is a collection of ships parked on Pier 66. The views from the rooftop balcony are stunning. I always feel like I’m on vacation when I’m visiting. The burgers and fries are great but they also offer clams, mussels and lobster. They make a mean margarita and have buckets of Rolling Rock (6) for $34.

ilili Restaurant http://www.ililinyc.com/ If you’re looking for an upscale treat, take advantage of the specials at ilili. From 5:30pm-7:30pm enjoy $5-$9 appetizers and $7 specialty drinks. Try the Poison Sumac Margarita with pomegranate juice. It’s a special occasion restaurant and high end menu that you can enjoy for half the price! I always feel like I’ve discovered one of the best kept secrets in New York City.

Celebrity Cafe Reviews 365 Guide NYC

15 May

’365 Day Guide To New York City’ Review

By Patricia Streeter,
Author Rating:

5.0 Stars – I Loved It!

New York City is one of the most expensive vacation states in the United States. Often, visitors complain about the amount of money they spent on food and beverages. Sometimes, food cost come out of funds designated for shopping and site seeing. Fear not, someone has developed a fool proof way to enjoy New York City year round.

Monica DiNatale, author of 365 Guide New York City, understands how expensive night life can be. In addition, she understands that the city has many cost friendly places that are hard to find. To save you time and frustration, DiNatale has written a detailed guide to help you navigate the city.

The book is truly a well thought-out plan to concur New York. The layout is neat, clean, and easy to navigate. Each day provides a location with specials, times, and much more. The contact information for each establishment is a perk. The contact information includes a phone number and website. In addition, DiNatale shares what she likes to do at each location. Plus, people planning events in the city can see what amnesties the location has.

Though we live in a tech savvy society, technology is only as knowledgeable as its user. That being said, there is a good chance that people are missing out on these locations, because they do not know how to find them on the web. You could always walk aimlessly around the city and find these places on your own. If you can save the time, why would you? Experience something new every day with 365 Guide New York City.

You can grab your copy from Amazon today. Remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read an eBook. Most laptops, tablets, and smart phone allow you to download a Kindle App. Also, you can connect with the book on Facebook, Twitter, and the website. If you want to know more about the author, check out her video.

 http://thecelebritycafe.com/reviews/2014/05/365-day-guide-new-york-city-review

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