DAILY-BITES

FIRST COURSE
Cuba Brings Old Havana to the West Village

Story by Rachel Montella

Photography by Shiri Lara

It’s summertime in the city, and let’s be honest…we’re all secretly longing for an escape to some faraway paradise where we can relax with a mojito in our hand. And while we may not be able to jet down to Havana for the weekend, we can definitely experience its cuisine, culture, and music at Cuba in the heart of the West Village.

From the moment we stepped through the door, we were instantly amazed by the vibrant atmosphere. The rhythmic beats of salsa music filled the air, and at a small table in the front, there was a man hand-rolling cigars. The aromas of traditional Cuban cuisine wafted through the dining room. It felt like we had been transported, and Thompson Street had somehow become a street in Old Havana.

FIRST COURSE eggslut.com
LA's "Egg-citing" Lunch Spot: Eggslut


Ready for something “egg-celent”?

Traveling into downtown Los Angeles might be a hassle, but once there, you’ll find an astonishing restaurant that’s worth sitting in traffic for. We’re talking about Eggslut (317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013), the superstar breakfast and lunch spot of Grand Central Market where the food is just as fantastic as the name.

FIRST COURSE
NYC's Trendiest Go-To Cafe


Located within the quaintness and charm of the West Village, Presstea™ is a staple to this trendy neighborhood. Not only do coffee lovers willingly convert to tea fanatics at this café; Presstea™ completely revitalizes and changes the way we look, taste and think about tea. The unique signature tea drinks are made with a creative modern technique, comparable to an espresso machine: “it presses the tea leaves to release concentrated shots, extracting more of the tea’s flavor than traditional methods.” Say goodbye to bland teas and sugary coffee drinks from chain cafes…because once your taste buds meet Presstea™, you will never want to go back!

FIRST COURSE
Cooling Down At Eight Turn Crepe

Has the summer sun got you beat, yet? July is officially in full swing, and as the temperature keeps rising, people all around Manhattan are looking for ways to cool off and chill out while still enjoying the city’s sights. Well, if you have a big sweet tooth, Eight Turn Crêpe (55 Spring St., New York, NY 10012) is serving up some perfect desserts decked out in rich, creamy gelato.

When we say “gelato and a crêpe," the first thing that might come to mind is “gelato inside of a crêpe?" Quite the contrary, this business has created a new style of ice cream cone without changing a single thing on their menu. By stuffing one of their freshly made crêpes full of fixings and rolling it into a tube, the scoop of Il Laboratorio del Gelato ice cream sits comfortably on top, ready to be enjoyed! Originally from Japan, their Asian-inspired ingredients put a new twist on this French dessert, bringing the dessert scene into a whole new light with their fresh, housemade ingredients.

FIRST COURSE huntingfortheverybest.wordpress.com
A Modern Makeover at Caffe Dante

Move over, old-timer — we’ve got some sprucing up to do!

New York City is home to some of the most well-known, historical restaurants in the country. In order to make it in Manhattan, restaurants are constantly battling rent increases, stiff competition, and, of course, the clientele. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many businesses struggle to make it through just one year of service. This year, Greenwich Village’s own Caffe Dante (79-81 Macdougal St., New York, NY 10012) is celebrating its 99th birthday! For decades, customers have flocked through the doors in search of a strong cup of espresso or freshly made gelato, as this Italian-style eatery has built up an incredibly loyal fan-base. It’s no surprise, then, that eyebrows were raised when the restaurant shut down for renovations earlier this year.

FIRST COURSE
Millie's Old World Meatballs & Pizza!

Located 30 miles northwest of the Big Apple, Morristown is well-known in New Jersey for their restaurant and bar scene. The town's most prized restaurant is Millie's Old World Meatballs & Pizza, a gourmet pizza experience you will never forget. Millie's philosophy is all about tradition Italian food made with passion. All their pizza selections are exciting, mouth-watering, and handmade with fresh and homemade ingredients. You can easily see what the cooks are up to since the kitchen is open and part of the modern decor of the restaurant. The kitchen is super hot thanks to the coal oven and the impressive Neopolitan wood oven imported from Naples.

FIRST COURSE
Crêpes And Galettes Made By Suzette

New York City is a melting pot of culinary greatness and wonder. Given this fact, we know it is bold to suggest that anything be “the best,” but when we tell you that By Suzette's French crêpes are the real deal, we mean it. By Suzette aims to fill the void in an oversaturated American fast food market by providing something different and healthy to mix of chain restaurants that compose the bustling metropolis of New York City.

FIRST COURSE
Meet Parla, Boston's New Italian Speakeasy


In Italian, Parla means “speak.” Seems very fitting for this recently opened, trendy speakeasy joint located in the heart of Boston’s North End.

Word on the street is this savvy, exclusive venue has a secret menu full of delicious specialty surprises. The interior is small and quaint; a copper-wrapped bar makes a stylish statement, sporting vintage mason jars serving as candleholders. The list of luscious cocktails will certainly make you go wild, and break the flapper mural’s cultural rule of conduct, “Omertà,” which stands for ‘code of silence.’

FIRST COURSE
Celebrate National Pretzel Day on April 26th

This Saturday is National Pretzel Day, and while you're celebrating by stuffing your face with the warm, carbalicious snack, we'll celebrate by dropping some knowledge! Since pretzels are considered to be the world's oldest recorded snackfood, there are a whole lot of facts and legends bout them. Here are some of our favorites!


*The word "Pretzel" comes from the Latin word "Pretiola", which means "Little reward. The snack was created by a monk as a treat for students who learned their prayers. The unique shape is supposed to represent arms folded across the chest in prayer.

FIRST COURSE
Best Outdoor Patios in Boston

It’s that amazing time of year when the city comes full circle. Everyone is out and about, colorful flower boxes begin to sprout, sailboats make their way along the Charles and every city-goer has a refreshing Starbucks Frappuccino in their hand, accompanied by a chic pair of shades, of course. And the best part of Beantown’s phenomenal spring fever? Outdoor patios! Urbanites crave this time of the year when outdoor patios come alive once again. What’s better than an afternoon wine and dine while soaking up spring?

Here are a few of our favorite venues where outdoor patio dining offers an awesome taste of springtime in Boston: