Over the past few weekends, I’ve had the pleasure to be able to hang out with my girls. We’re all busy so it’s nice when we can get together, catch up and do a little shopping, eating and drinking. See below for a few pics and if you and your girls are heading to NYC anytime soon, here are few ideas to include in your weekend plans:
dinner & music
If you love 90’s hip hop and R&B music and good food – check out Ricardo’s Steakhouse in Harlem. The place can get crowded but the vibe is cool, the food is good and the sangria is great! I don’t eat red meat so I can’t vouch for the steak, but here’s what I recommend: the avocado salad to start, make sure you get a basket of the garlic bread (it’s loaded with butter and pressed so it looks like an oversized crinkle cut french fry, but tastes even better) and for dinner I personally love the penne a la vodka with shrimp. It’s all Itend to order and it’s been great every time I’ve had it. I would highly recommend making a reservation otherwise the wait can be pretty long on the weekend (around 1.5 hours). Try calling the week before, or at least Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of the week you plan to go. If you can’t get through on the phone try the email address posted on the site. Oh, you might also spot a celebrity or two. During my last visit, I saw Tichina Arnold (yes, Pam from Martin) dining with a group of friends.
brunch & more music
Again, if you like music with your meal, check out PS450 on 30th & Park Avenue. They have a $29 Endless Brunch special – you get to choose one item from the brunch menu and unlimited mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys! A little tip, go with 3 or more people to get a table. They only seat parties of 2 at the bar and its first come, first serve which can take a while. There’s a sign that says there’s a 2-hour limit, but I can tell you it’s not really enforced so you can imagine people don’t leave their seats at the bar too quickly! If you’re a party of 2, I suggest going before 1:00pm or after 3:00pm.
shopping in soho & the village
Two of my favorite areas to walk around and shop are in Soho and the Village. There’s great people watching, places to eat and a million shopping options – vintage, independent boutiques, designer stores and mass retailers.
In the village, we always go by the Marc Jacobs stores (yes that’s plural), and then mosey down the street to this quaint café – Café Angelique. If you’re into candles and smell goods – stop by the Diptyque store or The Bathroom (this store smells amazing!). Need a makeover or a new look for the night? Go to the Nars store – the staff is SUPER friendly and helpful. I particularly love Cynthia and Joey.
In Soho, I just love to walk around and pop into the gazillion stores. Now that Piperlime has a brick and mortar st
ore, I do shop in there and two jewelry lines I like also have locations there – Jennifer Fisher and Uno de 50. If you’re in the mood for a real bookstore, stop by McNally Jackson. Wanna grab a quick bite? Soho Park and Bari never disappoint.
Like cupcakes? Check out Molly’s Cupcakes in the West Village. The owner is the winner of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” competition. I’m not a cupcake type of girl (brownies and pies are my thing) but my girls said the cupcakes were amazing. You get to create your own which is kind of cool and I will vouch for the place itself – it has character and a bit of nostalgia (old school lunch boxes serve as artwork and my personal favorite quirk – swings for bar seats!
Speakeasies are the most well-known secret in NYC. In prohibition-era New York, speakeasies served a practical function: they were a discreet place to consume alcohol. Today, they serve as a place to escape the typical noisy, jam-packed bar or club scene. If that’s what you’re into, then by all means go for it, but if you want a less crowded, sophisticated and stylish option, check out Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side. You can make reservations ahead of time (again, highly recommend you do that) and when you arrive to the place you’re in for a surprise! Let’s just say you may think you’re in the wrong place at first. But I can tell you once you make it through it’s well worth it. The drinks are wonderful and the atmosphere even better! I mean they have champagne in the ladies room for goodness sake!
check out a day party
It’s still technically winter so the outdoor parties are not yet in action. However, over the weekend I had a chance to go to a day party at the The Shrine in Harlem. They apparently do this once a month. It’s only $5 to get in and the music is a mix of soca, hip hop, african and world beats.
There are a million more ideas but these are just a few to get you started.