Tag Archives: outdoor dining

Summer Cocktails in New York Are Spilling Over Everywhere

Evolution of the Speakeasy, Barney Gallant’s “Speako de Luxe,” 1933. From the collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

Evolution of the Speakeasy, Barney Gallant’s “Speako de Luxe,” 1933. From the collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

Cocktails are very of the moment. Everyone, it seems, is rediscovering Prohibition-era drinks. At the Museum of the City of New York, which is launching Speakeasy at 1220 Fifth, they’re offering up a free drink with your paid admission.

Did you know that from 1926-1932, the city’s speakeasy count topped 32,000 establishments?

Then, there are new concoctions being shaken (or stirred) all the time.  Take the Plaza Hotel’s Pomona. I haven’t tasted it yet, but with honey, wine and other ingredients culled from producers within 100 miles of New York City, this drink sports all the trappings of sustainability.

Here’s how to get your  free drink at the City Museum:

What: The Speakeasy at 1220 Fifth

When: Wednesdays, July 15 – Aug.  26, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

What: Listen to the music and drink the spirits of the era on the Museum’s  Fifth Avenue Terrace.  Admission includes one free drink and access to the Museum’s first-floor galleries. No reservations, tickets sold at the door

What’s It Cost? Museum Members: $10, Non-Members: $12

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NY Outdoor Dining: New Bar/Lounge Opens in Palace Hotel

I stopped by the Palace Gate last week, the new 75-seat outdoor spot that’s been set up in the courtyard of New York’s Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue.

The Palace Hotel has outfitted the space as a lounge/cafe offering up cocktails and small bites. I’m sure it’s a lovely spot for a drink and a sit down.

But the night I was there, it was raining cats and dogs. So the whole scene moved inside the hotel, the former Villard House, an over-the-top pile that’s festooned with carved moldings and lots of gold leaf.  You might have thought an Italian palazzo had plopped down in the middle of Midtown.

Palace Gate, Palace Hotel, New York.

Palace Gate, Palace Hotel, New York.over-the-top 19th century pile adorned with intricate ceiling moldings, plush furnishings and lots of gold leaf.

Still, even with Palace Gate’s temporary weather-induced indoor locale, I got the basic idea. Or at least I got the idea of the food and the drinks, which are supplied by Gilt, the high-end eatery at the hotel. There were cocktails–many of the classic variety. I sipped a Pimm’s Cups No. 1, which is a refreshing drink made with lemonade, Granny Smith apples, ginger beer, and cucumber. Very tasty.  As I later learned, the English aristocracy imbibe this particular concoction at Wimbledon and at regattas and such.  It was all very posh.

My favorite small plates were French fries laced with truffles. To be honest, with the economy in the doldrums and so many people out of work, the idea of a snack food made with pricey delicacies was a wee bit off putting.  Still, who am I to turn down a truffle? I scarfed down a bunch of fries, and they were yummy.

Even with the upscale ingredients, you don’t have to break the bank to take a seat at a table in this new courtyard lounge.  If you limit yourself to a couple of dishes–other items include a Gilt burger and thin crust pizza– and a drink or two, the tab isn’t stratospheric, especially for a Midtown spot.  Prices are mostly in the low teens for the small plates.

And if I’m looking for a place for nibble before hitting the 70 percent off sale at Saks–one can only hope!–Palace Gate would be a great place for a rest stop.

Palace Gate
Palace Hotel
455 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 888-7000

Related

New York City Outdoor Dining Options Abound

New York Outdoor Dining Blooms on Upper West Side

Outdoor Dining NYC: New Leaf Cafe Opens for the Season


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New York City Outdoor Dining Options Abound

A few days ago, I listed some Upper West Side spots where you can eat outdoors in the warm weather months.  Elsewhere around New York, sidewalk cafes and garden terraces also abound.  Here are a few choices:

What are your favorite outdoor dining spots?

Alto
11 East 53rd Street , 212-308-1099

This is the first summer that Alto has offered outdoor dining. You can sit outside and tuck into lush dishes like tortellini con ortica e ricotta, porri e aglio verde (buffalo milk ricotta and nettle tortellini, baby leeks, green garlic puree).

BLT Market
1430 Avenue of the Americas, 212-521-6125

While gazing at Central Park from the 40-seat sidewalk patio, you can sample seasonal fare like pea & ricotta ravioli with spicy sausage and mint.

Convivio
45 Tudor City Place, 212-599-5045

Even at night, the lush plantings and gardens adorning Tudor City are calming.  If you’re seated at Convivo’s cobblestone patio, you can savor this touch of greenery as well as dishes  like maccheroni alla carbonarain.

Cookshop
156 Tenth Avenue, 212-924-4400

Sit outside in this Chelsea spot and tuck into homey fare like a grilled grass-fed burger with twice-smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, chipotle ketchup and mayonnaise or Hudson Valley rabbit with creamy polenta and spring onion salsa.

Studio Square Beer Garden
35-33 36th Street, Long Island City, 718-383-1001

This 18,000 sq. ft. beer garden boasts communal picnic tables and iron fire pits. To accompany the beer garden’s 15 imported domestic and craft beers, there are beer hall favorites like  German bratwurst and pub grub like pulled pork sandwiches.

Table 8
Cooper Square Hotel, 25 Cooper Square, 212-475-3400

This new outpost sports a second-floor terrace as well as a 40-seat garden patio for chosing from a menu that’s primarily comprised of small plates.

Related

Upper West Side Outdoor Dining Blooms with Warmer Weather

New Beer Garden to Open in LI City

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New York Outdoor Dining Blooms on Upper West Side

79th Street Boat Basin Cafe

79th Street Boat Basin Cafe

Finally, this past weekend, summer arrived! So that means it’s time to scout out some outdoor dining options on the Upper West Side.

This is the time of year when the Upper West Side shines. The neighborhood brims with outdoor cafes, hidden gardens and other warm weather dining spots.

Later this week, I’ll list some outdoor eateries elsewhere in the city. But here are some of my favorite summertime hangouts in the neighborhood:

1.  Hudson Beach Cafe. This verdant spot at 105th street in Riverside Park has simple pub grub like burgers, a cold shrimp platter and beer and wine. It’s a relaxing place to watch people stroll in the park or to catch a glimpse of dogs frolicking in the dog park across the way. Plus, if you sit on the top level of this bi-level eatery, you can glimpse the shimmering Hudson River through the trees. For sports enthusiasts, there’s almost always a volley ball game going on at the adjacent athletic field.

105th St. in Riverside Park.

2.  Boat Basin Cafe. If you want more action in Riverside Park, then this is the place for you.  Here, the bustling scene is more important than the food. There’s great views of the boat basin—and if you’re lucky of smashing sunsets over the Hudson River.

W 79th St in Riverside Park

3.  Café du Soleil. It’s unbearably noisy inside.  That means the sidewalk café—yes, there are blaring car horns and the roar of the M-104 bus—is by comparison an oasis of tranquility.

104th St. and Broadway.

4.  Bello Giardino. There’s a charming backyard patio adorned with a grape arbor.

71 W. 71st St., nr. Columbus Ave.

5.  Henry’s. For well-prepared American fare like burgers, salads and steaks, Henry’s fits the bill.  You can sit on the patio and watch the usual mélange of Upper West Side types walk by—from moms pushing strollers to packs of Columbia students.

2745 Broadway, at 105th St.

6.  Isabella’s. It’s the scene at this neighborhood Italian. Sit yourself down in their sidewalk cafe across from the Museum of Natural History if you want to see and be seen.

359 Columbus Ave., at 77th St.

7.  La Rural. The steaks are surprisingly tender and affordable at this Argentine grill which sports a garden for warm weather dining.

768 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 97th St.

8.  Nice Matin. This is where the famed five napkin burger originated, and there are Provencal themed choices as well. The sidewalk cafe is always bustling at this busy Upper West Side corner.

201 W. 79th St., at Amsterdam Ave.

What’s your favorite Upper West Side outdoor dining spot?

Related

Outdoor Dining NYC: New Leaf Cafe Opens for the Season

New Beer Garden to Open in LI City

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Outdoor Dining NYC: New Leaf Cafe Opens for the Season

trees

Finally, spring appears to have arrived!  One way to spend a lazy weekend morning is to trek up to Ft. Tyron Park and have brunch at the New Leaf New Leaf Restaurant & Bar.

As you know, all proceeds from New Leaf support entertainer Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit that helps restore the city’s parks and open spaces.

Though New Leaf’s food is just fine and the eatery is open year round, it’s the spring and summertime sylvan surroundings that make the schlep uptown especially worthwhile. With trees leafing out and the weather warming, what could be more relaxing than tucking into eggs or a salad on an outdoor patio?  If you want a culture fix, you can wander next door to the Cloisters.

Brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; service will start daily as the weather turns warmer.  Lunch and dinner are also served.

New Leaf Restaurant and Bar
Fort Tryon Park
1 Margaret Corbin Dr.
New York, NY
nr. Arden St.
212 568 5323
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