20
Aug 2012

 

If you’re looking for a great way to keep cool this summer while soaking in some fantastic skyline views, look no further than Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Perched on the East River, the park offers perfect views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Partially opened in 2010, with several phases of construction completed since then, the park is a multi-cultural and multi-generational centre, complete with several play areas for children.

Aside from the usual views and picnic possibilities, the park has a great programme, with concerts and film nights taking place regularly.  Here is just a taste of some of the upcoming events:

Yoga; Daily at 7:30am. An hour-long yoga session each morning on the expansive lawn. With experienced instructors from Dodge YMCA, this class integrates postures, breathing and meditation, catering to all skill levels.

Jazzmobile; Tuesday, August 21 at 7pm. The second annual jazz concert in the park, this one featuring the fantastic trumpet player Jeremy Pelt, a veteran on the New York City jazz scene. Not to be missed for jazz lovers!

Volleyball Clinic; Wednesday, August 22 at 3pm. Taking place on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer, this clinic, with Metro Beach Sports, will have you spiking with the best of them!

Pilates; Daily at 7pm. A group Pilates class taking place daily throughout the summer and hosted by Michael Feigin. Registration begins at 6:30 pm.

{Lime&Tonic Tip: Looking for a more private park? Check out these pocket parks!}

07
Aug 2012

Top Summer Music Picks

Category: Explore

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New Yorkers looking to hear some great music this summer would do well to check out some of these fantastic summer concert series, featuring world-class performers in a number of genres. There are dozens to choose from throughout the city, but here are a few of our favourites.

Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
This free outdoor concert series is the oldest in the U.S. Taking place on select Mondays and Tuesdays in Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, the series includes classical and symphonic music from an international selection of groups. Whether you’re a classical buff or you don’t know Handel from a door handle, this is a great chance to hear some wonderful music in open air.

Mostly Mozart
Until August 25, this summer concert series at Lincoln Center features fantastic classical groups playing the best of Mozart’s music. Typically catering to an older crowd, this series is a great way to hear some of the best music ever composed. Mostly Mozart has become very well-known over the years, so early reservations are recommended.

Central Park SummerStage
Located at the SummerStage in Central Park, this summer music series in the center of Manhattan features a wide array of genres, from rock to classical. Many of the concerts are free and those that aren’t are reasonably priced. Bring a blanket to sit on and a picnic basket and make an evening of it with friends or that special someone.

Celebrate Brooklyn!
Taking place each summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell, this summer series is a great place to hear some of the best indie bands, like Balkan Beat Box and Dirty Projectors. Picnicking is allowed, but wine and beer is available for purchase and therefore not allowed from outside. A great way to hear what’s new!

 

 

30
Jul 2012

 

Summer has hit the city and there’s no better time to while away an afternoon with an ice-cold cocktail. Here are our picks for some of the best cocktail joints around New York. These cocktail bars go beyond the usual vodka and tonics and martinis, using recipes that are both refined and adventurous. So go ahead, quench your thirst, because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!

Louis 649; 649 East 9th Street; Google Map If you can find a seat in this tiny bespoke cocktail lounge, hold on to it. Mixing some of the finest original cocktails in the city, Louis 649 is a hip hole in the wall with jazz on the speakers and ice in the shaker. Try The Last Word!

King Cole Bar; The St. Regis New York, 2 East 55th Street; Google Map A legendary high-class watering hole that has seen the likes of John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe grace these booths to quench their thirst, King Cole Bar has been around since 1948 and has the stylish decor to prove it. The Red Snapper, an early take on The Bloody Mary, is their speciality. A legend among New York City cocktail bars.

The Drink; 228 Manhattan Avenue; Google Map Opened in Williamsburg in 2010, The Drink caters to a younger clientele with a hip, eclectic decor and a strong menu of craft cocktails, wines and beers. This cocktail bar regularly hosts live music, so if you’re looking for a quiet conversation, be sure to check their events schedule before you go.

PDT; 113 Saint Marks Place;  Google Map The name of this bar means “Please Don’t Tell”, and with a huge list of cocktails and an ambience that crosses club with rustic barroom, this is the type of place you might get into trouble. But at least you’ll have a good time doing it! Reservations are suggested.

Apotheke; 9 Doyers Street; Google Map This award-winning New York cocktail bar that knows what it is doing. From classic drinks like gin martinis to new concoctions that Apotheke’s trained mixologists come up with regularly, there is something here for every thirsty soul.

 

 

18
Jul 2012

NYC Restaurant Week

Category: Wine&Dine

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New York foodies looking for their fix this summer are in luck: the twice-annual Restaurant Week NYC is back, with more than 300 restaurants offering fixed price menus until August 10. Here are just a few of the highlights. For a full program, click here.

Abboccato Ristorante; 136 West 55th Street; Google Map

Taking hearty Italian cuisine into the 21st century, Abboccato Ristorante has a little bit of everything on their eclectic menu. House-made pastas, risotto balls and a fantastic array of decadent deserts make this the type of place that is difficult to leave with an appetite.

Atlantic Grill; 1341 3rd Avenue, 77th street; Google Map

For upscale seafood on the Upper East Side, try Atlantic Grill with its Jack-of-all-trades kitchen, serving fresh ocean favourites like lobster and clams, as well as a pan-Asian selection of sushi. As if the menu wasn’t enough, the restaurant also boasts an amazing view of the beach and boardwalk.

Fig & Olive; 10 East 52nd Street; Google Map

This Mediterranean eatery offers fresh and flavourful cuisine ranging from pea and mint soup to paella del mar, and grilled fillet mignon skewers. With hearty market decor and a warm European atmosphere, Fig & Olive has the attitude to match the menu.

Lure Fishbar; 142 Mercer Street; Google Map

With one of the best raw bars in the city and a huge selection of seafood, Lure Fishbar also offers an elegant setting and friendly staff. The wine list is substantial and the bar’s selection of craft cocktails goes well beyond the vodka martini.

Tribeca Grill; 375 Greenwich Street; Google Map

In the heart of downtown Manhattan, Tribeca Grill has been a city mainstay since it opened in 2002. The co-owners, renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent and actor Robert De Niro, have created an award-winning restaurant offering fine wines and hearty contemporary cuisine including grilled Atlantic Salmon and seared sea scallops with butternut squash, chanterelles & smoked bacon risotto.

21
Jun 2012

Sweet And Cool

Category: Explore

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With summer officially here and the city broiling in temperatures above 90 degrees, many New Yorkers are looking for a way to cool off – and with good reason. For those with time (and car keys) on their hands, the beach is the only answer. But for those stranded in the city, there are plenty of artisanal ice cream shops and gelaterias using the finest and freshest ingredients and offering a cool scoop or three to make the heat more bearable.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck; 632 Manhattan Ave between Bedford and Nassau Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; Google Map

Using only hormone- and antibiotic-free milk and cream, locally produced eggs, cane sugar and environmentally friendly cups, the brothers Van Leeuwen have been serving ice cream in New York since 2008. With a Greenpoint shop and also a fleet of yellow refurbished mail trucks parked on street corners throughout the city dispensing fresh ice cream in flavours like roasted banana, Ceylon cinnamon and Earl Grey as well as the ubiquitous chocolate and vanilla, Van Leeuwen offers something for even the most discerning tastes.

Griff’s Gelati; 157 Duane St, between West Broadway and Hudson St; Google Map

A walk-up gelateria that puts a haute-cuisine spin on the traditional neighbourhood ice cream shop, Griff’s Gelati offers a distinctively high-class selection of flavours, including chocolate-orange, lemon meringue, sesame brittle, Devonshire clotted cream and strawberries, and, for the kids, smores, bubblegum and peanut butter-malted milk balls. But make no mistake, this is Italian-style gelato. Lighter and fluffier than ice cream, it just might be the perfect summer treat.

Grom Gelato; 233 Bleecker St; Google Map

The New York branch of an authentic Italian gelato maker, Grom Gelato is perhaps the most authentic gelato in the city, as the lines of customers often stretching onto the sidewalk attest. With a list of seasonal flavours, including red grapefruit, tiramisu and pistachio, Grom’s doesn’t offer the wacky flavours of many of the city’s other artisanal ice cream and gelato shops, but instead specialises in classic flavours based on real fruit and other fine ingredients.

{Lime&Tonic Tip: A good place to relax and enjoy these ice creams is to check out these parks and gardens.}


12
Jun 2012

Mezze Me

Category: Explore

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Lebanese/Armenian fusion cuisine may sound like a new concept restaurant birthed here in the city but, in fact, the combination of the two cultures on the plate has a long history in Beirut. That’s where, in 1996, the Alexandrian family tried the formula at their very first Almayass Restaurant. It was not only a hit there, but the rest of the world seems to like to like their self-described “Lebanese á l’armenienne mezzé recipes and specialties” as they’ve since expanded to Los Angeles, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi (and soon Qatar and Riyadh). April of this year finally brought the family-run empire to Manhattan and, as you might imagine, the mostly small mezze plates that are the signature at Almayass have been a big hit with New Yorkers.

There are, in fact, about 50 different mezze-style offerings to choose from, along with a handful of mains. But we advise skipping a formal main course, getting a group of friends together and sharing the night away. Standouts include any of the five types of hummus; the meat-filled, yogurt topped dumplings known as manti; and the kibbe tartar. Or come at lunch, where a $22 special lets you choose two mezzes and one kebab served with rice. That’s pretty cheap considering that it’ll take your palate to two culinarily rich countries in just an hour or so.

Almayass; 24 E 21st St; 212.473.3100; Google Map

31
May 2012

“Still” Waters

Category: Explore

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In 2007, New York’s Farm Distillery Law was revised to lower the licensing fee aimed at booze makers from $50,000 to $1,500 per year. This has opened the tap wide on the creation of new distilleries in the city, which is now home to about 26 different production facilities. One of the most “buzz-worthy” of these is Williamsburg’s New York Distilling Company which opened earlier this year, because in addition to creating their own rye and gin, the operation allows visitors to enjoy creative cocktails at their onsite bar known as The Shanty.

Here, while peering up through a glass wall at the still where the alcohol alchemy takes place, drinkers who want to get in on the “farm to glass” movement can enjoy such cocktails like the deceptively named Innocenti (Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin, Noilly Prat, Lillet Blanc and Benedictine), The Acerbic Mrs. Parker (Dorothy Parker Gin with lemon and hibiscus syrup), or The Lonesome Hero (rye whiskey, Becherovka, Combier cherry liqueur, orange bitters and a lemon twist). If you prefer to keep it simple, you could go for a Beer and a Shot, which is a can of Brooklyn (of course) Lager served with a shot of the house-made Pink Gin served from the antique still behind the bar.

There’s live music on Wednesdays and Sundays and two tours of the facility are run daily after 5pm, (so go easy on the ordering until you’ve at least had a chance to look around—without anything spinning other than the liquids in the stills!).

The Shanty, 79 Richardson Street; 718.878.3579; Google Map

30
Apr 2012

Russo/Franco/Yummo!

Category: Wine&Dine

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If you think Russian food is all boiled potatoes and sour cream, think again—preferably while sitting in the plush surrounds of midtown’s newly opened Brasserie Pushkin. Here your preconceived notions of dreary carb-heavy Soviet-era fare will be banished by such creative dishes as Telnoye, pan-fried cutlets of pike-perch and salmon served with salmon-mashed potatoes, warm mushroom salad and green pea mash … or the Burger “Pojarksy”, a combination of veal and chicken crusted with golden cubes of croutons to make the ‘bun,’ served with lettuce, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, onions and parmesan sauce between each half.

If this doesn’t sound like standard Russian fare to you, it’s not. There is a generous serving of French haute cuisine woven through the menu, which was designed by Andrey Makhov, the executive chef of the Maison Dellos Group—a powerhouse conglomerate of Russian eateries. Dellos Group founder and owner Andrey Dellos is the son of a French architect and Russian singer, and lived in Paris for a time as a boy. For him, the fusion of French and Russian fare is completely natural. He was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “Russian cuisine was once sophisticated and noble, but it was often interpreted and adapted by French chefs working for aristocratic families … The French chefs made it lighter than traditional Slavic cuisine. Then the Soviets came and ruined Russion food.”

Perhaps the place where the French influence is most clearly noted (except, of course, for the wallpaper artwork inspired by Versailles’ Hall of Hercules) is in the dessert selection. French executive pastry chef Emmanuel Ryon has developed such luscious creations as the Hazelnut Meringue Dome, two meringues filled with cinnamon ice cream, apple-caramel foam and braised apple, covered in apple chips and decorated with vanilla bean, apple-saffron marmalade and edible gold. And there’s nothing dreary about that!

Brasserie Pushkin; 41 West 57th Street; 212.465.2400; Google Map
16
Apr 2012

Pick a Pocket Park

Category: Discover

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Photo courtesy of Creative Little Garden

Even though, for many New Yorkers, the outdoors is that strange space we must pass through to get from the office to the gym, or from the gym to our apartment, or from our apartment to the restaurant … (OK, you get the idea) … the city does offer some attractive fresh-air spaces that are worth a visit in their own right—especially in Spring. You of course know about the big parks, but here are three smaller spaces that are perfect for catching a quick breath of fresh Spring air …

Paley Park; 53rd Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues; Google Map
What this small space lacks in grass (there isn’t any) it makes up for with a large wall of water at its far end. Grab a chair, bring a book and pretend you’re deep in the jungle. That is, until a honking horn brings you out of your reverie–at which point you can take in the color graffitti-clad sections of the Berlin wall that call the park home.

Tudor City Greens; 42nd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues; Google Map
While Paley Park is right off the street, Tudor City Greens are a little harder to find, as they’re up easy-to-miss staircases on 42nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue. Your effort in making the climb is rewarded by glades of trees and pretty paths that give you the feeling of walking through a private garden owned by one of the charming tudor homes that guard the park. The park can be found on both sides of 42nd street so if you can’t find a seat on one side, try the other!

Creative Little Garden; 530 E. 6th Street; Google Map
Since the 1970‘s, New York’s GreenThumb program has turned lots left vacant by the economic downturn of that decade into attractive spaces. Today, the program helps support 500 community gardens in the city and is the largest community gardening program in the nation. One of the most alluring parks in the program (although with 500, it’s hard to pick favorites) is the Creative Little Garden at 530 E. 6th Street. It’s a leafy green fairytale enclave wedged between two drab boxy buildings that gives new meaning to the word “oasis.”

{Lime&Tonic Tip: Another way to get a little peace and quiet in the city is to check out these off-the-beaten-path cemeteries.}

 

29
Mar 2012

Everyone likes to color eggs for Easter, but how many people really like to eat them? Just witness the leftover eggs that invariably sit on the counter for months after all the much yummier chocolate eggs and jelly beans have been devoured. Now, thanks to Eleni’s Bakery, you can have your colored eggs and enjoy eating them too.

Eleni’s is offering two unique collections of hand-iced cookies for the holiday that come complete with edible-ink markers that let you decorate the bunny-white surfaces with any design you and the kids choose.

The first collection, called (appropriately), “Color Your Own Eggs,” consists of 20 assorted-size egg-shaped sugar cookies covered in white frosting and costs $42.50. The second is entitled “Color Your Own Easter Sunday” which also consists of 20 cookies and adds a few different Easter bunnies into the mix. It retails for $48.50. Both collections come with five edible-ink markers in various colors.

If you’re not feeling creative (or just want to get your sugar fix without the work), there is also a full range of other Easter-themed pre-decorated cookies sure to make any basket special for Sunday morning.

Order online at Eleni’s Website; phone 1.888.435.3674; or visit them at one of their two stores:

Chelsea Market Store
75 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10011
Google Map

Madison Ave. Store
1266 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10128
Google Map

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