Dine, Wine and Spirits Show Interview with Monica DiNatale

18 Jun

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

Listen to Monica DiNatale on http://wgso.com/?powerpress_embed=52648-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio” target=”_blank”>WGSO 990 radio in New Orleans with Tim McNally. His show Dine, Wine and Spirits highlights the best in dining across the country.

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

Father’s Day Restaurants That Impress

18 Jun
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC The Late Late

Jason Malihan, The Late Late

Best Father’s Day Restaurants NYC.

Dads are always there to give fatherly opinions and advice. From the easy-to-impress to the hard-to-please my restaurant selections this week will leave dad wanting more. I’ve included three choices off-the-beaten-path sure to make dad, and you, smile.

The Late Late (159 East Houston Street) If your dad likes pub grub, The Late Late will blow him away. The menu is an American/Irish mash-up that makes typical Irish fare anything but ordinary. The Irish cheddar and Ballymore sauce burger ($10) takes burgers to a whole new level. Treat dad to the perfectly grilled and tender hangar steak for $14. From 4-8 p.m. daily score $6 drafts, well, wine and drink specials like the $5 beer and shot deal. Ask about the Guinness 2.0 menu or try one of the specialty cocktails like the honey pot with whiskey and prosecco.

Cleopatra’s Needle (2485 Broadway) Does dad like jazz? Cleopatra’s schedules free live music daily with a $10 minimum per person. Monday through Saturday from 3:30-7 p.m. and Sundays from 3-6 p.m. enjoy $2 to $6 savings on all beer, wine and cocktails. The large Mediterranean menu includes fish, steaks and pastas. The “everything appetizer” is full of  favorites like hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves and is perfect for sharing ($15.95). I like to sit around the large bar and enjoy the tunes.

Punch Restaurant & Wined Up (913 Broadway) These bistros are double the fun for dad’s who like wine. At Punch from 12-7 p.m. daily take advantage of $5 beer, wine and cocktails. Brunch on weekends is $34.95 and includes homemade muffins, an entree and one and a half hours of unlimited brunch cocktails. Upstairs at Wined Up wine bar and lounge relax with $5 beer and $7 wine and cocktails from 4-7 p.m. daily. They offer thirty wines by the glass and a tapas menu that includes pizzettas, sandwiches and seafood.

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

Great Meals at South Street Seaport

3 Jun
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC guide book

Jeremy’s Ale House

South Street Seaport in NYC.

When summer arrives and everything slows down enough to take in the sights while idly browsing for where to eat, I often find myself visiting South Street Seaport. I feel like I’m in a beach town, except the food is better — especially with the reopening of Seaport Smorgasburg. Find your way to the tip of Manhattan this summer and stop by three of my favorite places.

Fresh Salt (146 Beekman Street) Blink and you may miss this hidden gem. A casual pita, sandwich and salads menu is waiting inside the rustic brick-lined dining room. Prices are always reasonable, and daily from 4-8 p.m., relax with $4 drafts and well drinks. Pitas start at $7 and homestyle sandwiches, like housemade meatloaf, are $10. This is a low-key place and doesn’t accept reservations, so plan on having a drink at the bar while waiting for a table.

Jeremy’s Ale House (228 Front Street) Jeremy’s is a styrofoam cup kind of place that has stood for more than 40 years. Splendid fried food and amusing artwork make for a delightful crowd at happy hour and beyond. Feast on onion rings ($3.95), mozzarella sticks ($4.95) and a burger ($5.75) to complete your night. But if those prices aren’t rock bottom enough for you, from 8-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. during weekdays, bask in $6 wines, $6 for 32-ounce beers and half-price well drinks.

Acqua at Peck Slip (21 Peck Slip) You’ll be delighted to savor oils, cheeses and meats imported from Italy at Acqua. The Italian wine bar and restaurant is perfectly picturesque and inviting. Try the gorgonzola and pear pizza ($15), or one of the delicious housemade pastas like the gnocchi with eggplant ($17). They are a nice choice for a romantic date as you take in the sunset at the Seaport. Start your evening from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday with $3 beers and $6 wine and cocktails.

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

Free and Fabulous Food in NYC

28 May
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Restaurant Deals Bar Specials


Free and Fabulous Food in NYC.

I’m researching restaurants all the time, so when there are whispers of free food I listen. I’m also a fan of great-tasting cuisine, so stale chips at a bar aren’t going to cut it. This week, discover delicious food on the house and maybe fall in love with a new restaurant.

Florian (225 Park Avenue South) The food at Florian Trattoria is anything but ordinary and from 5-7 p.m. during the week you can enjoy $5 wines and complementary appetizers at the bar. You never know what you might get to taste. If you want to stay for dinner, treat yourself to the lasagna ossobuco ($23). I guarantee you haven’t had lasagna like this. For wine lovers, order two bottles of wine and get your second one for half off. I also like that you can sample three veggies form the antipasti bar for $13.95 so you can taste and share. If you order the vanilla ice cream for dessert ($20), they literally make it fresh for your table. It could feed a small country so be sure to leave room for this unique treat.

Crocodile Lounge (325 East 14th Street) Beer and pizza are my idea of a made-for-each-other pairing. From 12–7 p.m. daily, take advantage of $1 off drafts, $4 Yuengling and $5 well drinks — then, prepare yourself for a free personal pizza. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, so I am a sucker for this deal. On Sundays have a $5 mimosa or Bloody Mary and get a free omelette. Now that’s an affordable brunch.

Cucina Di Pesce (87 East 4th Street) Every day from 4-8 p.m. score BOGO drinks and appetizers at this Italian seafood haven. They are so confident that you’ll love their food that they offer free mussels marinara at the bar. You can’t argue with free mussels. Try the black seafood ravioli ($17) bursting with shrimp, scallops and crab, or the monk fish in lobster sauce ($17) for dinner. Plan a date night and arrive hungry.

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

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


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.


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