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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weekly NYC Blog Post - 5.7.2012

This week's blog I made it on my first trip to Queens and found a true NYC speakeasy.


Found a new hidden gem!  This tiny restaurant bar looks like an apartment complex from the outside so that you'd almost miss the front door if it weren't for the sign.  The inside is an adorable Cuban restaurant where you sit in over-sized chairs and drink alcoholic punch out of mismatched tea cups.  The food is also pretty good although I only had one plate of empanadas.  This place is dark, cozy and fun although I highly recommend sticking to the weekends.  I went back on a Monday and there was NO ONE there.  Also you have to sit at a table you can't just stand at the bar so you may have to wait a little bit but it's worth it!



Dark Room
I ended up here late night on a Friday and I'd be lucky if I could find it again.  It's at 165 Ludlow St between Houston and Stanton.  It's pretty much a basement dance party.  Awesome!  The DJ was great and the crowd was good to although definitely the type of place to go only go late night. 

Photo Credit: 

The Meatball Shop (Stanton St.)
Pretty sure I've written about the Meatball Shop back in the day before I even moved here but I didn't actually get the meatballs!  So I made sure to change that.  The place is crazy busy at the Stanton St location (not sure if it is the same at the others).  However, on a Thursday night we didn't have to wait long since we were cool standing at the tables by the window.  Really not that bad.

 Photo Credit: Meatball Shop Website

The special for the evening was buffalo chicken meatballs with blue cheese and Franks red hot sauce. Basically you can then order them anyway you like them.  So I got the "smash" which is two balls smashed on a toasted brioche bun with your choice of sauce and then you can choose mozzarella or provolone cheese.  It's served with a small side salad.  I went provolone.  It was kind of soupy.

Since we'd already done the special with the smash we went with spicy pork meatballs and Parmesan cream sauce regular style which is four meatballs and a piece of Focaccia bread in the sauce.  These were DELICIOUS.  I think it was mostly the combination because dipping the meatballs in the cheese was like dipping strawberries in chocolate.  YUM!

And of course I had to have dessert seeing as how they are also very well known for their ice sandwiches.  I went with the special cookie flavor, oatmeal almond, on one side and chocolate chip cookie on the other with espresso ice cream smashed in between.  Messy but also amazing.


Taverna Di Bacco
My friend's birthday this last weekend was here.  Cute place, although nothing that stands out decor-wise.  I had the special penne which was delicious.  Thought I'd mention it as a great place for Italian food and a great place for a casual birthday.  The staff was awesome and brought her free dessert.

Photo Credit:


Lovely Day
I had never heard of this place and ended up there on a weeknight and it was crazy busy and sooo cute.  It's at 196 Elizabeth St between Prince and Spring St.  I feel in love immediately with the decor which is super homey and kind of kooky.  The wait was crazy but it was slightly chilly outside so we offered to sit outside and were able to sit immediately.

Upstairs - Photo Credit:

Downstairs - Photo Credit: David H. on

I wasn't super hungry so I stuck to appetizers and they were so tasty!  The food is Thai even though the place doesn't look Thai at all.  I ordered the homemade vegetable dumplings which were perfectly cooked and nice and juicy on the inside.

I also ordered the ginger fried chicken with spicy aioli and lime sauce and was pleasantly surprised that it was more chicken than bread!  The spicy aioli was a nice addition too although they were good enough without sauce.  I will definitely be back here!



Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
I'd heard about this place but always thought "when am I ever going to be in Queens?"  That was solved thanks to a ticket to the Mets game at Citifield, also conveniently in Queens.  It was fine but kind of scruffy crowd.  Glad I saw it but probably don't need to go back unless I had a giant birthday crew or something.  Lots of smoking which was also gross.  The food was also only okay.


Not sure what else to say then it's a really nice stadium and I'll be back a lot of Sundays this summer for baseball!



Came here late night after a concert.  Lots of first come first serve seating which is nice but the drinks were unnecessarily expensive in my opinion.  A $24 glass of wine is ridiculous.  I like the atmosphere but not into paying that much for drinks.

 Photo Credit: Anfora Facebook Page 

This place is YUMMY!  The restaurant itself is pretty standard in terms of decor but the food is delicious.

 Photo Credit: Corsino Website

The ricotta and orange honey crostini was a small portion for two people to split (only one piece) and could've used a little more honey but the bread was perfectly crisp!  Very good.

Nothing like brussels sprouts with chili, bread crumbs and lemon to perfect a meal!  Also good.

And the pork ragu pasta was perfect - lots of meat, well seasoned with noodles that tasted like they'd just been made within the hour.

Little Branch
This place is SO cool.  You've seen all the posts about "speakeasy" places in NYC but they all seem so fake.  This place is located at 22 7th Ave between Carmine and Leroy and feels like a true 1920s speakeasy.  The drinks were delicious and come with ice cubes that are custom tailored to the glass the drink is served in.  Cool!  The bartenders were really nice and patient with helping create a drink from scratch - not pretentious at all.  It didn't take too long to get a table and each table is secluded so you can have some privacy.  Lastly, the bar is underground so you can feel the place shake when the subway goes by which makes it feel ancient.  LOVED this place.  Only annoyance was waiting outside in a line to get in on a Wednesday.  A little ridiculous but once you get inside and see how small it is it makes more sense.  There was even a live band!  Definitely going back.

Photo Credit: Jaye V. on