My CA friend, Julia, is having a romantic rendezvous in NYC this month and asked from some BK recommendations, this is what I came up with. I got, like, really into it.
GET READY FOR SOME FARM-TO-TABLE SEXINESS. Most of my recommendations are Brooklyn-centric, as that’s where I spend the vast majority of my leisure time. Additionally, I spend the majority of that leisure time consuming either food or drink, so this list is bar/restaurant heavy. I’ll organize by neighborhood:
Williamsburg (My Hood!)/Greenpoint/Bushwick
-Hotel Delmano Not a hotel, just a bar. But the sexiest bar in the neighborhood. pseudo speakeasy style, you can’t just hover at the bar, you have to be seated, which is intimate and nice for a date.
-Cafe Colette Cute cafe catty-corner to Delmano.
-Diner AND/OR Marlow & Sons These two are the best restaurants in Brooklyn/NYC in general. They are right next door to each other (same owner) and they never disappoint. A must hit for a good meal with great atmosphere. At Diner, people are religious about the burger. At Marlow I get the sea salt chocolate caramel dessert every time, it’s insane.
-5 Leaves My 2nd home, lively & great food/cocktails & staff, they get me tipsy on the regular. Right by McCarren park so it’s a nice walk from the L train to get there. Get the truffle fries, they’re perfection.
-Nights & Weekends Same owners as 5 Leaves, casual bar/restaurant with a Cuban theme. It’s great for a warm day, when they open the windows behind the bar.
-Selamat Pagi Balinese restaurant in Greenpoint, if you get sick of kale and truffle fries and want something a bit more exotic. It’s located around the corner from McGlorick Park, which is quiet, not touristy, and probably the most beautiful.
-Van Leeuwen ice cream. Same owners of the Balinese restaurant, (they serve their ice cream there as well), you won’t go back to Breyer’s after eating this stuff. They have multiple stores throughout the city, but keep an eye out for the butter colored truck if it’s warm enough.
-Ides, at the Wythe Hotel Beautiful bar on the 6th floor of a beautiful hotel. INSANE view of Manhattan. Get a classy cocktail and have a NY moment.
-Spectacle Theatre Very small very DIY space, play different very obscure movies every night. BYOB & snacks, $5 per flick, a great cheap/off the grid thrill.
-East River Ferry. A festive & fast way to get from North Brooklyn to South Brooklyn, links to Midtown and Wall Street of course, so could be convenient from your lodging. Also if you just want to take in the skyline, I think it runs hourly in winter & schedule is very reliable.
-Blue Bottle Coffee You’re probs are familiar because it started in SF, but there’s a beautiful Williamsburg space. Also one in Chelsea, 15th Street, good for fueling up before gallery hopping, which I imagine you will do!
-Nitehawk. Lux movie theatre, with booze. Get there early for good seats & to watch the relative clever short films that precede the flick.
-Samurai Mama. Bad name, good japanese restaurant.
-Transmitter Park. Greenpoint waterfront park with killer view of city. I like to go to Ovenly first and grab a coffee and a sweet treat and take it all in.
-Isa. Restaurant with a fireplace & open kitchen. Some simple & great carpentry.
-Music venues (throughout the borough) that could have some good stuff going on when you’re here: Glasslands, 285 Kent, Cameo Gallery, Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Flat, Littlefield, Union Hall, Union Pool (a bar that generally has a young drunk crowd, but sometimes there’s good music in the back room).
-Roberta’s Why non-Brooklyners go to Bushwick. Recently made papers because the Clintons ate there and if you watch Girls this is where Marnie & Charlie got in a fight/made up in the latest season finale (ugh, who am I?). Unassuming from the street, great pizza, great space
-The Narrows Cocktail bar just around the corner from Roberta’s, in case there’s a wait
(THIS LIST IS GOING TO GO ON FOREVER, I FEEL LIKE SUCH A FAT ASS)
Dumbo/Prospect Heights/Downtown Brooklyn/Fort Greene/misc.
-Vinegar Hill House/Hillside. A darling restaurant on quiet cobblestone street. Hillside is right next door and is more a wine bar/lunch sort of spot. Around the corner from them is an old 1800’s mansion that you can peak at through a tall iron fence. If I remember correctly the neighborhood used to be mostly military housing and sort of a red light district, back in the day.
*Vinegar Hill are the same people that do Freeman’s in the Lower East Side, which is also a great dinner date spot, with good beautiful people-watching
-1st Thursdays, DUMBO Lots of galleries in DUMBO as well, I don’t know if it starts in the spring or if it’s year around, but it’s a festive night where they stay open late and serve free booze
-Brooklyn Flea In winter they do the Flea market in a gorgeous old bank in downtown Brooklyn. Even if your not into antiquing, it’s a cool space and leisurely afternoon activity
-Weather Up. Unmarked cocktail bar. Went here for a nightcap after my sexy date at James.
-Rucola Northern Italian inspired menu. Never been disappointed dining here.
-Brooklyn Botanical Gardens at Prospect Park. Self-explanatory I think? Prospect Park is beautiful and apparently early Saturday mornings everyone brings their dogs and they run around off leash and there are just hundreds of dogs running around. A spectacle of sorts.
-Olea Mediterranean, amazing Sangria.
-No. 7 I eat too much/often, no wonder I’m broke.
MANHATTAN (this is a short list)
-Fort Tryon Park. It’s at the very top of Manhattan (like 181st Street far) but take the A train and it’s only about a 30 minute commute. Views of the George Washington Bridge & non-Hoboken Jersey with beautiful floral gardens. More manicured and garden-y than Central or Prospect Park. Good for strolling. And there’s the The Cloisters Museum located within it, if you’re into Medieval stuff.
-Staten Island Ferry. It’s lowbrow, but, it’s free. $4 beers and you get a good look at the Statue of Liberty, some open sea fresh air and photo ops.
I’M SO TIRED AND HUNGRY FROM WRITING THIS. I hope it’s helpful. There’s definitely more where this came from, so don’t hesitate to ask if you want a specific genre recommendation. For better or worse, this is as sexy as I get, full & drunk.
You know you’re a next level 5 Leaves regular when you call the bar to see who’s working (because one of the bartenders makes a delicious spiked mexican hot chocolate that isn’t on the menu yet), and they recognize your voice.
|Kelly:||"Well, it's important to have your practical, everyday bras, some festive ones, a couple sexy ones, you know like that black lacy one you have..."|
|Server:||(a sweet babe overhearing, giggles)|
|Kelly:||"Yes, we're close, I know her lingerie"|
|Me:||(while looking down my shirt) "As a matter of fact I'm wearing my sexy black lace one right now..."|