New York City Bars With a View

21 May
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC Best Guide Book

Cantina Rooftop

Bars With A View in NYC.

Everything in Manhattan is about location, location, location. But without a great view, it’s just not as exciting to me. My picks this week provide great views with food and drinks to match, all offering specials to make the view even sweeter.

Pergola (36 West 28th Street) Pergola creates incredible views inside by completely transforming the restaurant decor with the calendar. On my last visit, Pergola felt like Central Park in bloom, with fresh cherry blossoms lining the walls. From 5-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, the upscale Mediterranean menu offers many budget- and belly-friendly options. Take advantage of $6 appetizers like goat cheese poppers, wings and lemon garlic fries; the drafts, wine and sangria are the same price. Be sure to check out the hookahs at the swanky lounge upstairs that overlooks the floor below. Bring a group of friends and stay the night.

Cantina Rooftop (605 West 48th Street) Once the elevator doors open on this new rooftop bar, you’ll be torn between the Mexican vibe and the endless Hudson River views. The open-air venue is surrounded by lush greenery, banquettes and tables for two or a party. During the week, specials include $5 beers, $6 cocktails and taco appetizers for $7. The fresh guacamole ($10) is delicious and made to order. I like to add the tropical salsa. If the clouds roll in, don’t worry because they have a retractable roof.

Death Ave (315 Tenth Avenue) Spread out over 2,000 square feet of courtyard under a retractable roof. From 4-6:30 p.m. through the week, enjoy $5 beers including cask selections, $7 wines and $9 cocktails like fig juleps and jalapeno margaritas. Appetizer specials include $1 oysters and $6 truffle fries and fried pickles. If you stay for dinner, the Greek-inspired feta burger with fries ($17) is enormous and deliciously stacked with cheese and greens. The restaurant is right off the High Line, so plan to make this pit stop after your scenic stroll.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Flavorful French Food in Manhattan

14 May
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City French Restaurants NYC

Rouge et Blanc

Best French Restaurants NYC.

French restaurants have a reputation for great food, rich sauces and pricey menus. These bistros deliver delicious French cuisine without the costly entrees. They dish out nothing but savory food and leave the high prices overseas.

Rouge et Blanc (48 Macdougal Street) The French-Vietnamese tapas menu at Rouge et Blanc is perfect for sharing, especially on date night. It may sound weird, but the fried Brussels sprouts ($9) are nutty, spicy and completely addicting. Make those $9 go even further on Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30-7 p.m., with The Aperitif, which includes a glass of wine and a choice of three appetizers. They offer an extensive French wine list starting at $39, and if you’re unsure about which one to choose, just ask Tom the owner to help you. He knows wine!

La Mediterranée (947 Second Avenue) The only way you could get more French is if you were actually in a bistro on Rue de Rivoli. This restaurant is a step back in time, with live piano music seven days a week (and no cover charge). There are many ways to dine affordably and deliciously at La Mediterranée every day of the week: Score $5 cocktails and wines from noon-8 p.m., a two-course lunch for $19.95 until 4 p.m., or a $42 prix-fixe dinner menu. And for the very early and very late diners, stop by 4-6:45 p.m. or 9:30-10:30 p.m. for a $29.95 prix-fixe deal.

Pigalle (790 8th Avenue) If you’re in the Theater District or planning to catch a show, try this French bistro for a change of pace. From 3-6 p.m. & 10 p.m.-close Sunday through Friday embrace $5 beers, $7 wine, 30% off well drinks and $5-$9 bar snacks. You can make a meal of them. If you’d like to stay for dinner try the burger ($15) or a pizzette ($13). They open the windows in nice weather so you can relax and watch the world go by.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Mother’s Day Brunch in NYC

8 May
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Mother's Day NYC

Courtesy: Davio’s

Best Mother’s Day Brunch in NYC.

I like to treat my mom to a stress free meal on Mother’s Day. Brunch is a great choice and often includes free drinks to keep your wallet full. I chose three different types of cuisine to help you pick a place to suit your mom. If you don’t mention that you got a deal, she’ll never know!

Davio’s (447 Lexington Avenue) Does mom like homemade pasta? Seven days a week take advantage of a three-course $38 prix-fixe dinner from 5-10 p.m. and on Sundays wine bottles are half price. Yes, every Sunday! To further impress mom, on Mother’s Day Davio’s is upping the ante with an upscale Italian three-course prix-fixe option from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. that includes beef carpaccio with truffle and parmesan, pan seared halibut, spaghetti with Dungeness crab and an eight ounce filet for $59 per person. Monday through Friday from 2:30-7 p.m. at the bar you’ll find free hors d’oeuvres, half price wines and specialty cocktails.

Maple Restaurant & Lounge (157 West 47th Street) If mom wants to be near the hustle and bustle of Times Square or Rockefeller Center, this is a great choice. For $29 you and mom can enjoy unlimited Bloody Mary’s and mimosas for 2 hours while enjoying one of ten brunch entrees between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. from their American comfort food menu. Located in The Night Hotel, the dining room is absolutely beautiful and if you’re still thirsty, from 4-7:30 p.m. daily at the lounge they serve rotating half-price cocktails.

Paradou (8 Little West 12th Street) Paradou will give your guests the “wow” factor due to it’s gorgeous enclosed backyard garden with a retractable roof. The menu is French and brunch starts at $30 including champagne cocktails for 2 hours. Tuesday through Friday form 6-8 p.m. try $5 appetizers and $20 unlimited wine selections. It’s certainly cheaper than flying mom to Paris.

hop devil grill

calle ocho

barraca Spanish restaurants

diablo royale mexican

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Best Cinco de Mayo Restaurants in NYC

30 Apr

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Restaurant Deals Bar Specials Margaritas

Best Cinco de Mayo in NYC.

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner I decided to give you some Mexican restaurants with sweet deals to make your celebration even happier. Enjoying a margarita in nice weather just seems to make the world a better place. Feast at these cantinas on May 5th and beyond.

Arriba Arriba (762 Ninth Avenue) I like that you can order three different sized margaritas when you visit any day of the week. You will always find a four ounce margarita for $4 if you’re not too thirsty. The real score is the twelve ounce margarita for $5 from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you like to dine early go for the $15.95 prix-fixe dinner form 4-7 p.m. weeknights. It includes 2 courses and one drink. Your first basket of chips and salsa is free as well. Lunch specials are $10.95 with one complimentary drink.

Agave (140 7th Avenue South) $2 tacos and empanadas will keep you coming back to Agave. Daily from 4-7 p.m. wash down your taco with $6 margaritas. The popular weekend brunch for $28 includes two hours of bottomless drinks and entrees like breakfast quesadillas and southwestern eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise. They offer plenty of seating, large portions and speedy service.

Cilantro (2 locations) From 4-7 p.m. sangria and margaritas are $5 during the week. I always get the fresh guacamole ($10) made table-side. Extra jalapenos, please. I dream about the fajitas at Cilantro. The best time to go for them and get a deal is on Mondays after 4 p.m. when they run a cash-only $10 special. Complete with sizzling peppers and onions and rice and beans, they are delicious. Both locations offer huge windows and ample outdoor seating perfect for Spring.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Best Live Music Deals in NYC

24 Apr
Prohibition NYC Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City

Prohibition

Now that we’re waking up from our winter hibernation, spend this weekend exploring live music at a discount. All these places not only offer drinking and eating deals but free entertainment. I don’t know about you, but I always order at least one more appetizer if I’m enjoying great music. Check out their websites to view the music calendars which offer an amazing variety of acts. You’re sure to find something you like.

Prohibition You’ll find tremendous live music seven days a week and never a cover charge at Prohibition. They book everything from acoustic guitar players to jazz trios and country music.  From 4–7 p.m. daily enjoy $4 drafts, $5 well and frozen drinks and $6 wines. If you’re hungry, order the $4 mini-cheeseburgers or $6 wings, calamari or guacamole and chips. They offer a full menu including steak frites and wild mushroom ravioli. Prohibition has outdoor seating if you’d rather just hear the vibes from the sidewalk. (503 Columbus Avenue)

Pianos DJ’s, guitar players and jazz trios perform at the upstairs bar for free every day at this gem. Downstairs they book bigger bands that usually have an $8–$10 cover charge. From 2–8 p.m. daily savor $4 beer, well, wine, and margaritas; $5–$7 appetizers; and $7 burgers. They offer a basic menu of sandwiches and appetizers always making Pianos an affordable stop. (158 Ludlow Street)

The Red Lion  I love seeing bands at The Red Lion because there is consistently a perfect view of the stage with good food and drinks. Cover charges range from free to $20 and you’ll catch some top-notch cover bands and original acts. From 3–8 p.m. Monday through Friday enjoy $3 drafts, $5 well drinks and ½ price appetizers. On Tuesdays from 6 p.m.–12 a.m. (with a two drink minimum) pig out on $.10 wings. Definitely take advantage of the ½ price appetizers like fried pickles, beef sliders and nachos. (151 Bleecker Street)

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Dumplings To Die For

16 Apr
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC best dumplings

Shanghai Cafe

Best Dumplings in NYC.

I am a sucker for dumplings. I can easily make a meal of them and tend to burn my mouth before letting them cool due to my excitement. The real bonus is that dumplings are always a deal. They are inexpensive and completely satisfying. For me a great dumpling has a thin wrapper that is perfectly uniform, piping hot and full of the many varied fillings. These are some of my favorite places that are sure to make you a dumpling fan.

Shanghai Cuisine (89 Bayard Street) On the outskirts of Chinatown lives this tiny cash-only gem. The soup dumplings are perfectly juicy and full of soup. Beware not to burn your tongue. The pork are my favorite ($5 for 6) with a close second for the shrimp and pork dumplings ($6.25). If you’re a veggie fan try the steamed vegetable dumpling for $6.25. I usually get the chow fun noodles with chicken ($8.95) to compliment the dumplings.

Shanghai Cafe (100 Mott Street) Spicy, spicy, spicy. I can’t get enough of their wonton Szechuan-style filled with pork ($5.95). They offer 8 dumplings per order for your hungry friends. The sauce is very light yet a little nutty, deliciously spicy and slightly sweet. You will get hooked on these. The crab and pork soup dumplings are delicious as well ($6.25). To round out the spice fest, get the Singapore Mai Fun noodles with meat or vegetables.

Dumpling Man (100 St. Marks Place) The name says it all! The Dumpling Man makes homemade dumplings with every stuffing. They are my pick if you crave variety. I love the steamed pork dumplings ($4.95 for 6 or $3.55 for 4) and for something sweet, banana dumplings ($4.25 for 4). Spend the day and taste the chicken, soup, veggie and pumpkin dumplings. They also offer a few sauces like spicy green curry to make them even tastier. It’s fun to order the sampler ($3.95 for 4) first to figure out which dumpling is your new favorite.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Easter Brunch in NYC

2 Apr
Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive

I know I’ll be knee deep in chocolate covered peanut butter eggs on Easter Sunday. They are my weakness. With all that extra energy, I’ll be craving a big brunch to wash it all down. Even if you’re not heading to the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, be sure to take advantage of the brunch specials throughout the city.

Fig & Olive (3 locations) Feel elegant and pampered at this $40 per person brunch on Easter Sunday. The menu includes three courses with delicious selections like lobster bisque, crab cake egg benedict and rosemary lamb. The rest of year from Sunday through Thursday they offer a $45 prix-fixe dinner as well. Meals usually start with a selection of three olive oils and freshly baked rosemary olive oil bread. Try a cucumber cosmo for an instant taste of Spring.

Orsay (1057 Lexington Avenue) I like that Orsay’s $42 per person brunch starts with something sweet. Temptations include a raisin and chocolate croissant, carrot muffin and house made bread. Next you’ll have your choice of an appetizer and main that includes vanilla scented french toast, New York steak and house smoked trout. The Spring Blossom cocktail is perfectly named bursting with grapefruit juice, cranberry and gin. They are a gem on the Upper East Side with quality food and white glove service.

La Cerveceria (65 Second Avenue) If a boozy brunch is in your Easter plans, check out La Cerveceria. $29.95 includes one entree and an hour and a half of open bar brunch drinks. I like the Mexican ceviche and the huevos rancheros. Visit during the week from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday for half off the entire bar. The yuca fries and empanadas are great bar snacks. They offer an intimate setting and an extensive craft beer selection.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

High End Restaurants At a Great Price

27 Mar
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Barbounia NYC Restaurant Deals

Barbounia

Best High End Restaurants at a Great Price.

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! Sometimes I’m in the mood for a cold beer at a sports bar and other times I want delicious opulent food at dive bar pricing. The restaurant deals below are some of my favorite upscale restaurants that offer tremendous discounts on incredible food.

Barbounia (250 Park Avenue South) They have the best hummus! Barbounia is sleek and sexy with an upscale Mediterranean menu but from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. daily you can sample half price appetizers and $6 cocktails.  Take advantage of the affordable options at the bar and don’t leave without an order of the iron skillet shrimp. Amazing. I usually have so many appetizers that I don’t have room for dinner.

ilili (236 Fifth Avenue) When you first walk in, you’ll think you’ve entered an exclusive club. Don’t let the high ceilings and modern décor scare you, the Mediterranean/Lebanese food at ilili is off the charts. Luckily from 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. you can taste the menu at a discount. Specialty cocktails are $7 and appetizers start at $5. I like the fried chick pea and fava bean dumplings ($5) and the kafta taco ($8). This would be a nice choice for any special occasion.

Ed’s Chowder House (44 West 63rd Street) Located across the street from Lincoln Center inside The Empire Hotel lives this lovely upscale seafood restaurant. The food is wonderful and unlike some places, they handle the crowds well. The bar area is just as pleasing and offers two times to save. From 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-Close Sunday through Thursday you’ll find real deals. Clams are $1, oysters $1.50, soups $4 and appetizers like salmon sliders are $9. Bottled beers are $3, wines $7 and cocktails $8.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Are You Craving A Steak in NYC?

20 Mar
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC NYY Steak

NYY Steak

Are you craving a steak in NYC.

This kind of in-between weather makes me crave a juicy steak with a full-bodied glass of cabernet. They warm the soul. We all know New York is full of “classic” steakhouses, but prime cuts can be found in many places. Yes, they are pricier than other entrees, but if you want to splurge, make sure it’s worth it!

NYY Steak (7 West 51st Street) Don’t let the pinstripes and tourists fool you, this Yankees-affiliated steakhouse delivers a home run for meat and seafood fans. My 8-ounce filet was cooked perfectly, tender and full of flavor. For seafood lovers, the ahi tuna tartare over avocado was amazing. Visit during Pinstripe Power Hour (weekdays from 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close, and Sunday from 5 p.m. onward) for $8 wines and cocktails, and half off the entire bar menu. Try the lamb lollipops or the tuna tacos.

Crispin’s (764 10th Avenue) I like Crispin’s for their homemade pastas but on my last visit I decided to try some new things. The 14 ounce ribeye with a Barolo reduction ($30) was outstanding. If you need a little meat with your carbs order the garganelli ossobucco. This small neighborhood gem delivers big flavors and great value. Perfect for a date night.

Sparks Steak House (210 East 46th Street) If you’re all about classic New York, Sparks is my pick. I always get the beef scaloppini, a sliced filet with peppers and mushrooms. It is heavenly. The lump crab meat appetizer is also wonderfully fresh. For dessert, order the fresh berries with homemade whipped cream. I don’t know how they get the freshest berries, but they are just delightful.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

Best St. Patrick’s Day Food in NYC

14 Mar

Monica DiNatale 365Guide New York City Restaurant Deals Bar Specials

Let’s face it, Irish Pubs will be packed on St. Patty’s Day. If you are heading out, follow my advice to find good food and cold beers. Great food will make the crowds melt away.

Molly’s Pub & Shebeen (287 Third Avenue) When I need a Guinness, I head to Molly’s. The sawdust on the floor, roaring fireplace and Irish staff keep this place packed. The burgers are huge and positively delicious. Definitely order the homemade mozzarella sticks or the onion rings. There is always a wait but it’s worth it. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

The Dead Rabbit (30 Water Street) The drink selections here are absolutely endless. The ground floor Taproom concentrates on craft beers and whiskeys of the world, while The Parlor offers specialty cocktails form the 19th century. I like “John The Baptist” with whiskey, green tea and apricot. There are so many choices it’s almost impossible to choose. The dining menu is more upscale with choices like seared tuna crostini and pork belly sliders. Yes, you can still get a burger.

Kinsale Tavern (1672 Third Avenue)  I love the hot buttered rum special for $5.75. There are tons of TVs and they serve a hearty full Irish breakfast all day. Kinsale is a neighborhood gem that is low key and offers twenty plus beers on tap. Appetizers start at $5 and sandwiches $9. The fish-n-chips is a winner.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC.

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