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Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly NYC Blog Post - 3.5.2012

It's was my birthday weekend so I hit up some of the places I was most excited about trying.


Nai Tapas (174 1st Avenue)
This was the Friday night hotspot with very authentic Spanish tapas. Unfortunately the service was terrible and even though we had a reservation it took them forever to get us seated, get our drinks and even get our food. They were also out of a bunch of stuff which is a little more forgiving since we were there at like 10pm at night. Once the food finally came out it was pretty good though. We had stuffed red peppers, spicy potatoes, meatballs, etc. I thought the peppers and the meatballs were the best but overall I've had better tapas. It wasn't too expensive which made it worthwhile and was close to the karaoke bar we were going to so overall not a waste but I don't need to go back.

Sing Sing (the other one)
Boy does it take a lot to get me to write a terrible review of something but the Sing Sing Karaoke bar on Ave A is one of the worst run places I have ever been. We asked for a room and the lady was SO rude to us we finally just asked her to leave. After that we had a great time until it came time to pay when yet again they caused a bunch of problems. Let me just say that I will NEVER go back here or recommend it to anyone. It's a shame because I like the other location and will probably boycott that one too just because I hate the management so much.


Bondi Road
Bondi Road is owned by a larger group called MooLife Group that also owns the Sunburnt Cow in the East Village and a few other locations throughout the city. I desperately wanted to do my birthday brunch at Sunburnt Cow but the only reservation was for 3pm because it is notorious for being the best all-you-can-drink Sunday brunch in the city. So, we opted for Bondi Road so that we could do 1:30pm. We arrived on time and still waited 30 minutes for our table which annoyed me a little but after that we had a great time.

I ordered the burger which was far better than I was anticipating. Also the Moomosas have sake in them making them extra dangerous. The brunch includes a plate and then unlimited drinks. You can switch between beer, moomosas, bloody marys, etc. The atmosphere wasn't quite as "crazy" as I was looking for but still good. Our waitress was very attentive, Australia, and fun. They even gave me a birthday treat at the end. Overall I'm headed to the Sunburnt Cow next time and probably won't be back here now that I've been but I would still highly recommend it!

Hotel Chantelle
For those of you who routinely follow the blog you know that this is one of my favorite places in the city other than Bounce. I literally love everything about it. The owner is a really cool guy who makes sure you have everything you need, they aren't super annoying or pretentious about letting people in and the music/venue is amazing. This was my first time up on the rooftop bar which is enclosed during winter and open during summer. The owner let me select my own table and comped me a free bottle of vodka (this is where I had my birthday party if you haven't caught on). Yet again I had an awesome time there and will continue to return to this place and very much recommend it to you!

A friend of mine selected this place for my birthday dinner on Saturday night and it easily ranked among the best meals I've had in the city thus far. The place is small but still made a big effort to accommodate eleven people and the food was just amazing. We ordered a ton of food and shared and literally everything I tried was incredible. Some of the few I really enjoyed were the Tuscan kale and squash salad (bobolink cheddar, marcona almonds and balsamic), the broccoli fritto (pickled hot pepper aioli, grana padano and basil), the Tajarin (lamb ragu, black pepper ricotta, pistachios and mint), crostini with salami and goat cheese and the brussel sprouts with bacon and apple. You literally can't go wrong here. I will DEFINITELY be back.

So this place is down the street from Bondi Road and apparently has an amazing brunch. We hit it up after brunch so we just had drinks but I liked the laidback atmosphere, the giant shared wooden tables and the extensive beer list. Nothing super special about it but I would definitely come back if I was in the neighborhood again. Only downside is that they have an actual rule against balloons in the bar so I literally had to "check" my birthday balloon at the front desk. Hilarious.