Restaurant Week Suggestions in NYC

26 Feb


Abboccato Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC Restaurant Deals


Restaurant Week Suggestions in NYC.

I love when Restaurant Week hits New York City. From five-star classics to casual neighborhood gems, restaurants offer $25 lunches and $38 three course dinners. Days of the week will vary so be sure to check the website. It’s one of my favorite ways to try new restaurants at a discounted price. The schedule varies depending on the restaurant, so read the fine print on (The event continues through March 6.) Check out these places that will fill your belly without emptying your wallet.

Abboccato (136 West 56th Street) Located near Carnegie Hall and New York City Center, this is a good choice for an affordable option if you’re seeing a show. The Restaurant Week menu includes my favorite, the tagliatelle Bolognese, and pan-seared salmon with saffron broth. Happy hour is from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and includes half price appetizers, wines, cocktails and $5 beers.

Ammos Estiatorio (52 Vanderbilt Hall) If you’re coming through Grand Central, give this Greek eatery a whirl. The menu offers seven or eight choices per course and includes the grilled fish of the day. I recommend the keftedes ground sirloin meatballs. Take advantage of the $5 glass of wine special to complete your meal. They do specials like no corkage fees on Mondays and have live Greek music on weekends.

Park Avenue Winter  (360 Park Avenue South) Park Avenue changes it’s entire décor and menu every season. It is truly an amazing feat. Definitely try the roasted butternut squash soup while it’s still around — just perfect for our chilly weather. For dessert, popcorn ice cream is definitely something new. You’ll feel like a king with this five-star meal at dive bar prices. Most entrees are around $30, so this is a real treat.

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

Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas NYC

10 Feb

Valentine's Day Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Restaurant Deals

Valentine’s Day in New York City.

If you’re still looking for a romantic option to impress your sweetie, I have a few ideas for you. These gems are perfect for a quite date on Valentine’s Day weekend. They scream romance and show great attention to detail.

La Laterna di Vittorio (129 MacDougal Street) Nothing screams romance like a roaring fireplace and La Laterna has two. The indoor greenhouse garden is perfectly quaint. The casual menu is reasonable with a large selection of thin crust pizza and paninis with home made focaccia. For Valentine’s Day they are offering a $50 per person special menu that includes their delicious lasagna, soup, salad, dessert and a cocktail. Their Bar Next Door, which is downstairs, also features live music after 6pm.

Uva (1486 Second Avenue) This small romantic Italian restaurant delivers outstanding homemade pastas. I usually start with the burrata and the veal meatballs followed by either the gnocchi or the cavatelli with pesto. Definitely make a reservation as they do attract crowds. The back room offers a greenhouse like vibe with dim lighting although the brick lined ding room is equally as charming. Join them on Meatball Mondays for a $32 prix-fixe meatball extravaganza.

Lavagna (545 East 5th Street) Cozy and inviting, Lavagna’s fresh menu never disappoints. The staff is very friendly and are willing to answer any questions or make suggestions. The best deal is to dine between 6pm and 7pm Monday through Saturday or 5pm to 7pm on Sundays. They offer a $35 prix fixe menu that includes three courses. The monkfish and any pasta special is worth trying.

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

Best Super Bowl Bars in NYC

29 Jan
Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Times Square NYC Restaurant Deals

Source: The Pinnacle List

 Best Super Bowl Bars in NYC.

If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl at a bar this year, your options are plentiful. There are some places that cater to the NFC/AFC champs and will offer that hometown vibe. Every sports bar will be showing the game but these bars offer a little bit extra.

McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue) Carlow East, a Seahawks bar (1254 Lexington Avenue), is already selling overflow tickets for Seattle fans to celebrate at McSwiggan’s. From 6pm-11pm bask in an open bar and buffet wearing your Seattle green. Tickets are $125 through Paypal or $100 cash. Seven days a week McSwiggan’s offers $3 drinks from 4pm-7pm and 12am-1am plus tons of other discounted drink deals.

Professor Thom’s (219 Second Avenue) Patriot’s fans NYC home base is at this popular sports bar. This is the place to be if you want to root for New England on Sunday. The doors open at noon. There will be tons of specials, giveaways and madness. Get there early for bar seating or be prepared to stand. The Go Blue Burger starts at $7.95 but if you’re with a group go for the massive triple nachos for $26.95.

Beer Authority (300 West 40th Street) So if you’re not vested in the game but just want a place to have a good time with plenty of space, Beer Authority delivers. With three floors, 80+ beers on tap and great bar food, most of your friends will find something to like. You can find a spot at the bar or they are offering open bar packages that include a free buffet starting at $100 per person.

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

Be Lean in 2015

22 Jan

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC Haru Sushi

Get Lean with Sushi in NYC.

It seems I’m not the only one trying to get back into shape after the Holidays this year. Since everyone is craving advice of the healthy variety, I decided to give you a few more sushi places to keep you lean and happy.

Ageha Sushi (767 Ninth Avenue) Ageha offers an excellent lunch special. Daily from 11:30am-4pm take advantage of the two roll ($10) or three roll ($13.50) specials. Both include miso soup and a green salad with ginger dressing. I like their yellowtail scallion roll ($6) or splurge on the spicy heaven specialty roll with white tuna and spicy salmon ($14). The rolls are packed with fresh fish and a great bank for your buck.

Haru Sushi (5 locations) Haru is located throughout the city making it easy to find a location and start eating better today. The yellowtail jalapeno roll ($6.50) was so good I had to order another one. Specialty rolls start at $13 and they always offer creative additions to the menu nightly. While the décor is modern, the pricing is reasonable and the seafood very fresh. Be sure to sign up with your email address on their website to get $20 off on your birthday.

Sushi Yu 2 (827 West 181st Street) The tuna avocado mango roll ($7) is delicious and worth the trip uptown. Rolls start at $6 and specialty rolls $11. The $13 lunch special includes two rolls, miso soup and salad ($13). It’s a small place that would be perfect for a quite casual date. They actually make the rolls so big, you can barely fit the lobster roll in your mouth. Not a bad problem to have!

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

Get Lean with Sushi in NYC

8 Jan

Sushi NYC Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City

Get Lean with Sushi in NYC.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved eating out and going to parties non-stop for the last month, but at this point the train has to stop. With Speedo season just around the corner, it’s time to eat healthier and get back into shape. Sushi is the perfect way to start eating lighter while maintaining great taste and satisfaction. Yes, there are tons of sushi restaurants in NYC, but some don’t leave me craving more. These are the gems that make me dream about sushi for days.

Amber  There are 4 locations in New York City and are tops for consistently fresh fish at reasonable prices. Rolls start at $5. I recommend the spicy tuna and avocado salad ($8) which includes a huge helping of tuna and if you want to splurge, try the dragon roll ($17). The main dining room is modern and sleek and would impress a date or accommodate a group. From 5pm-7pm at the bar during the week you’ll find $6 cocktails.

Sushi Damo  They are my favorite high end sushi restaurant and are conveniently located at Columbus Circle. Take advantage of happy hour for drinks at the bar Monday through Friday from 5pm-7pm with $5-$7 wine and cocktails. Go for the lychee martini. The specialty rolls are all above $20 but they are glorious. Try the passion and neo rolls. Sushi Damo is a great for any special occasion.

Hane Sushi From the outside Hane Sushi looks like any old sushi joint. Not. They have a large selection of rolls and hot dishes. Everything is reasonably priced and the sushi is delicious. Rolls start at $4. I love the spicy yellowtail roll. Specialty rolls start at $11.95.

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

Need New Year’s Eve Plans in NYC?

30 Dec

New Year's Eve Times Square NYC New York City Monica DiNatale

New Year’s Eve in NYC.

New York City is known for it’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. While watching the ball drop from Times Square is fun (I’ve been there), it’s not for everyone. If you want a party atmosphere without Ryan Seacrest, I would try one of these events.


Café Wha (115 Macdougal Street) One of my favorite bands in the city is the Café Wha house band. They are a funk/soul band and play everything from Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson. They are performing two shows on New Year’s Eve; 9:30pm for $50 and the late show at 12:15am for$15. If you want to dance the night away and have a great time, this is the place. They play for free most weeks Wednesday through Sunday nights.

Midnight Run (between 66th & 72nd Streets) This run is sponsored by the New York Road Runners. Think of this event as a “fun run” where you’ll see everything from costumed characters to Upper East Siders drinking lattes. The course is the four-mile Central Park inner loop and ends with fireworks and a band at midnight. To join in on the fun it’s $55 in advance and $60 day of event. The pre-race and post-race festival at the Central Park Bandshell from 10pm until 1am is free and fun for all ages. There will be a dj and live performances. Even if you’re not a runner, walk it and then go to dinner.

Webster Hall (125 E 11th) If Times Square is too tame for you, the father of all parties is at Webster Hall. The 40,000 square feet of party space offers something for everyone. Tickets start $99 per person and go up to$150 with six hours of open bar until 2am.  VIP tickets are $200 and include gift bags and two bottles of liquor. They’ll be hors douvers, dj’s, live performances and breakfast. The party starts at 8pm and ends at 12 noon on New Year’s Day. If you’re a night owl, show up at 3:30am for the after party for $99 with four hours of open bar.

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

Christmas Day Dinner in NYC

23 Dec

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC Rock Center Christmas Tree

Christmas Day Dinner in NYC.

The big day is almost here! Get ready for giving and getting presents, smiles, food, more food and cookies. Lots of cookies. It’s not too late to go out and treat yourself to a delicious dinner in New York City. Consider a spontaneous meal at one of these Christmas gems. Let the only mess in your kitchen be from wrapping paper.

Rolf’s (281 Third Avenue) Think of Rolf’s as the Disney World of Christmas decorations. The garland and lights hang so low they hit your head. Their eggnog and hot mulled wine drinks are off the charts. Rolf’s is a German restaurant with every type of schnitzel and sausage. They throw in a few seafood dishes for non-sausage types as well. It does get crowded but it’s worth the wait. You can’t be in a bad mood at Rolf’s. The decorations will be up through February 28th.

La Mela (167 Mulberry) For families of any size, La Mela is a great spot for dinner. They offer prix-fixe family style menus starting at $25 for three courses or $37 for four. I recommend going for it to experience all appetizers, pastas, meats and seafood. The food just never seems to stop coming. I’m always amazed what a great value they offer even with wine. The atmosphere is supremely festive and laid back.

Serafina (4 locations) For a fine dining experience sure to please, try one of Serafina’s homemade pastas. They are perfect for any special occasion and can handle large groups well. Pastas and appetizers start at $14. I recommend the gnocchi “di momma” and the tuna del principe. If you choose the West 55th Street location, fill up and then walk it off by seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center (50th & 5th). What could be more in the Christmas spirit?

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

Christmas Eve Dinner Deals in NYC

18 Dec

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City NYC Christmas

Christmas Eve Dinner in NYC.

Are all your presents wrapped and lights on your tree? It’s hard to get everything done in time to enjoy spending time with family and friends at Christmas. There is one chore you can leave to the pros; Christmas Eve dinner. In my house this is one of the biggest meals of the year with several courses of food and desserts. It you’d rather let someone else do the cooking this year, book these reservations.

Fresco by Scotto (34 East 52nd Street) For many Italians Christmas Eve is the night of the “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” a celebration in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. As you can imagine doing seven different dishes at home is a ton of work. For $80 per person you’ll share assorted pizzas and antipastos and then have a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. If everyone orders something different you can taste many “fishes.” There are non-seafood dishes on the menu and children 12 and under are $45 per person.

Coppola’s (206 West 79th Street, 378 3rd Avenue) Coppola’s brick lined walls and friendly staff will make you feel right at home. I am in love with the jumbo meatballs and brick oven pizzas. It’s nice to start with a pizza as an appetizer and then order an entrée. The wine list starts at $32. The homemade pastas are wonderful and the fish dishes like grilled branzino are a good choice. Think of them as an extension of your living room. They will be offering both a prix-fixe menu around $50 in addition to their normal menu. Pastas start at $15.

I Trulli  (122 East 27th Street) For $72 per person I Trulli is also offering a traditional Italian menu that includes four courses. Each course offers several different seafood choices like pasta with lobster sauce and wood-oven roasted oysters. An assortment of desserts for the entire table will complete your meal. For non-seafood lovers they are offering a special a la carte menu complete with chicken, pork and beef dishes. This place reminds me of an Italian villa.

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

Fox News – Best Holiday Restaurants in NYC

15 Dec

Monica DiNatale Fox News 365 Guide New York City NYC Holidays

Fox News interviewed Monica DiNatale about the best restaurants in NYC for the Holidays.

365 Guide New York City is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC. A perfect gift for anyone that lives or travels to New York City.

Neighborhood Restaurants Make The Holidays Bright

11 Dec

Monica DiNatale 365 Guide New York City Book Polpette NYC

Visiting a neighborhood restaurant during the Holidays is like visiting family. Every year I look forward to seeing them. Forget about being annoyed by Aunt Mable and try one of these places for cheer.  While larger restaurants are efficient at handling the crowds at this time of year, these gems will make you feel at home with great food in a casual festive setting. Make a reservation to secure your spot.

Nizza (630 Ninth Avenue) Located near the theater district, Nizza is a nice choice for a good meal if you’re going to see a show. Try the burrata appetizer and one of their many homemade pastas. All of the pastas are tasty but I love the pansoti with walnut pesto. They offer a dozen thin crust pizzas starting at $13. Brunch is served on weekends from 10am to 2pm and starts at $10.

Polpette (483 Amsterdam Avenue) Polpette is all about meatballs. I love their “stolen meatballs” without sauce that remind me of my grandmother. Their homemade pastas start at $17 and are bursting with flavor. Try the gnocchi or the papardelle bolognese. I recommend starting with a few orders of meatballs and the sausage and broccoli rabe sliders to share. Monday through Friday take advantage of 2 for 1 drinks from 5pm-7pm. On weekends from 11:30am-3pm indulge in the “bottomless brunch” which includes your entree and the beverage of your choice for $30.

Langan’s (150 West 47th Street) Langan’s is one of my favorite Irish Pubs. They have a large bar area with high top tables if you’re looking for a place to meet friends for drinks in addition to a spacious dining area. There is always a great vibe at Langan’s and they offer seasonal beverages like $5 eggnog shots. The flat bread pizza of the day and the angus beef sliders are nice to share. The menu has something for everyone and the mostly Irish staff is friendly and attentive. On Sundays from 11:30am-4pm enjoy their Jazz Brunch for $15.95 that includes one free drink.

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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