Archive for category City Secrets

Toy in the Hotel Gansevoort

In a city full of cool neighborhoods and bustling boroughs, New York City’s Meatpacking District continues to be one of Manhattan’s most fashionable spots. It’s a place where old meets new, savvy travelers meet locals, and shopping meets the city’s best dining and nightlife.

Hotel Gansevoort continues to be one the Meatpacking District’s best hotels and features an incredible new spot that’s sure to change the landscape of the area. TOY is the brainchild of legendary NYC party planners Daniel and Derek Koch. The twins have been throwing some of the Big Apple’s best bashes, and never do anything half-heartedly.

TOY’s cuisine is best described as modern Chinese with Japanese influences, and is already garnering rave reviews. Executive chef Doron Wong’s dishes reflect the incredible space itself―transition, adventure, and the spirit of New York City. The bi-level main dining room features a private room if needed, while there’s an indoor/outdoor raw bar right in the hotel lobby. But the best view of all is courtesy of the outdoor dining terrace that looks out over Hudson Street.


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Perfection? PER SE, Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant overlooking Central Park has been drawing the moneyed and gastronomic élite in droves for a reason. Perfection may be it. Recently named the Sixth Best Restaurant In The World and the Best Restaurant In North America, gastronomes globally have given a nod to the near perfect execution and flavour experience Thomas Keller offers at PER SE. As stated in its mission statement, PER SE is an urban interpretation of The French Laundry, Keller’s California restaurant long-touted as the finest in the United States. So, the accolades really come as no surprise. Nor does Keller’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Faultless delivery and relentless scrutiny of each dish ensures that the daily-changing menu never grows flaccid or stale. The service, wine list and quiet luxury of the space is impeccable and deeply considered, as is the remarkable food. In the end, all the marvelous views, plush pews, sharply tailored wait staff, blue-aproned kitchen staff, roaring fireplaces and foxtail lilies mean nothing unless the food comes through with flying colours. And it does, in a big way.

The nine-course vegetable tasting features such sublime creations as Armando Manni Olive Oil “Royale”, a vivacious blend of pale green almonds, tender herbs and Meyer lemon “aigre -doux.” Other vegetable delights include a Green Tomato Sherbet served with a pumpernickel tea sandwich, and Austrian White Asparagus Veronique. The brilliant nine-course chef’s tasting includes the famous Oysters and Pearls (one of the mercurial menu’s mainstays), and Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster, a dish that should be served in Heaven if it isn’t.

Designer Adam Tihany has moodily toned the main dining room in muted gray and browns. There’s also a salon, bar, wine cellar, and a private room for 10 and another that accommodates 60 people. The wait staff wear stiff dark suits and Armani ties, and perform as silently as mimes. There’s nothing reticent about the food, however, which is beautiful, elegant and polyglot. That said, the Coffee and Doughnuts (when listed) are loud and proud.

PER SE 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019 (212) 823-9335 (We suggest you book at least 2 months in advance)

If You Love Decadent Dining Then Stay at,

At the Trump International Hotel New York, a culinary feast awaits at 5 star and 3 Michelin starred international restaurant, Jean-Georges. This 5 star hotel is the pinnacle of modern luxury, combining beautiful accommodations with intuitive service. Located near Lincoln Center and Fifth Avenue shopping, the 5 star Trump enjoys the best of east and west.

The Setai Fifth Avenue is sculptural lines and a modern aesthetic, combined with an Asian-inspired simplicity that brings out the “Zen” in guests. At the 5 star Setai NYC, guests are moments from world-class shopping on Fifth Avenue, which hosts retailers ranging from Macy’s to Tiffany’s, and everything in between. Enjoy exquisite Mediterranean cuisine at Ai Fiorim, a Michelin star restaurant.


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The speakeasy conjures up scenarios of dark alleys and discrete doors with secret passwords and tuxedoed doormen with misshapen noses. The stuff of history books and old movies, perhaps. But leave it to New York City to keep the speakeasy mystique and exclusivity alive. Make no mistake—not everyone will get to sample some of the city’s best cocktails in these venues. Getting to and gaining entrance into these hideouts requires some savvy and persistence (connections help), but is well worth the effort.

Milk and Honey, 134 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side. You’ll miss it if you blink. It’s the battered steel door next to a storefront with a suit hanging in the window and a sign that reads, “M&H, Tailors.” Celeb cocktail artist Sasha Petraske runs the show, offering invention and nuance. The place to go for a radical cocktail experience. Be warned: you must call ahead to reserve a table, but the number can be hard to find. Now and then the owner publishes it on the web. Otherwise tracking it down may be adventurous.

Little Branch, 20 Seventh Avenue S. Another metal door, this one rusted, with no giveaway but a bouncer outside. Yes, it’s another joint by Sasha Petraske. The bartenders are wizards, concocting elixirs and bewitching potions. Almost. Don’t know what you want? Ask for one of the specials, sure to make the eyes glassy for more. Access is almost as difficult as its sister bar, but persistence pays off.

The Raines Law Room, 48 West 17th Street. To get in here, find an unmarked stairwell, ring the doorbell at the bottom, and hold your breath. Each table inside the bar is outfitted with a button used to summon the server. Reservations accepted only Sunday to Tuesday. To make a reservation, email the ETA, number of people and a contact phone number to Otherwise, first come first served.

Please Don’t Tell (PDT), 113 St. Marks Place. Walk down a set of stairs into the Crif Dogs restaurant on St. Marks Place. Look for an old-timey phone booth. Step inside, pick up the phone and press the buzzer. A voice answers and, after approval, the phone booth wall opens into a cubbyhole centered by a bar. Enjoy fine cocktails and food from Crif’s kitchen. Reservations recommended. Call at 3 p.m. 212-614-0386.

Employees Only, 510 Hudson Street. Look for a red neon sign shilling a psychic and then for the live tarot card reader. A bouncer guards the entrance. He’ll lead you through a curtain, into the bar. Bartenders in white chef’s jackets also serve terrific food. The tarot card reader at the door does live readings. On weekends seating in the bar is tight. Show up early to ensure a table.

Death & Co, 433 East Sixth Street. A boarded up storefront, the name Death & Co. printed in metal on the sidewalk in front of the bar’s entrance. Inviting or what? Give your number to the bouncer at the door and he’ll call you when it’s time. Death waits for no one. And FYI: at Death & Co. to ensure perfection, each specialty drink is stirred 40 times and taste-tested by the bartender.

We Recommend You Stay at,

Hotel Gansevoort is widely credited with transforming the Meatpacking District from gritty to fabulous, and you’ll find it a short walk away to these secret bars. This chic and trendy 4 star boutique property reigns as one of Manhattan’s hottest hotels. Whether to dine at Tanuki Tavern, swim in the Plunge rooftop pool, or spend a blissful day shopping the cobblestoned streets of the Meatpacking District, guests continue to flock to Gansevoort New York. Enjoy complimentary upgrades on us, waived extra adult fees, and special amenities for suite reservations.

Located on Spring at Varick, the Trump SoHo is in the heart of the neighborhood. Visitors can wander the maze of streets and shop to their heart’s content. Towering over the SoHo neighborhood, this hotel is also close to many of the secret bars listed above. Enjoy a refreshing plunge on the 6,000 square foot landscaped pool deck on the seventh floor or decadent Italian cuisine at The Restaurant.

Eventi New York opened in May of 2010; since then, this new addition to the North Chelsea neighborhood is re-defining the modern-day luxury hotel. This 4.5 star Kimpton Hotel has all the features one would expect; soothing spa, fabulous fitness center, bustling bar, and a complimentary wine reception every evening!

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For a time Brooklyn was known as brewery central with brands like Schlitz, Schaefer, Piels, and Old Dutch operating at capacity. While some of the breweries have come and gone, Brooklyn Brewery has thrived and achieved status as one of the best in the borough. Why? Perhaps the proof is in the suds. Brooklyn Brewery makes good beer. Its award-winning selection of seasonal and specialty beers have gained the Brewery acclaim as one of the top craft beer producers in the world, reputedly exporting more than any other American craft brewery. Brooklyn beers are distributed in 25 states and 20 countries. Esquire magazine recently chose the Brooklyn Lager 16 ounce as one of the “Best Canned Beers to Drink Now.”

For the past two decades, the borough of Brooklyn has undergone a cultural and gastronomical renaissance that has made it a go-to place for foodies and culture hounds of every stripe. Brooklyn Brewery has contributed to the scene by paying homage to Brooklyn’s hop-heavy days of yore, and producing an uncompromisingly flavorful product. Founded in Utica in 1988 and installed in Williamsburg in 1996, it offers tours each Saturday through its modest brick building’s brewhouse, and an informative talk about the brewery’s history.

Throughout 2011 The Brewery underwent an expansion that doubled overall capacity in 2012 and will quintuple it by 2013. The Brewery boasts some serious beer-folks on its roster. Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, acknowledged as the world’s foremost scholar on beer, wrote The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering The Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food in 2003, a must-have compendium of beer and food pairings. In 2005, Co-Founders Steve Hindy and Tom Potter wrote Beer School, inspiring stories about starting a brewery from scratch.

Of course, after all the talking, you’ll want to wet your whistle with a cold one. They’re no longer free—though its hard to imagine that they were, once. The Brewery provides picnic tables in the tasting room for your sipping comfort. The Brewery opens its doors to the public Monday to Thursday from 5-7 p.m. for reservation-only Small Batch tours, Friday evening for Happy Hour, and Saturdays and Sundays for Tours and Tastings. If you’re traveling to New York visit the brewery and take a walk through the vibrant surrounding Northside neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Brooklyn Brewery 79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211  (718) 486-7422

Only a short ride away from Manhattan.

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