Located in the heart of the Flatiron District, Prandial is a charming newcomer to the area. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by a rustic bar serving refreshingly delicious cocktails, like the Prandial Standard, which is made with Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lime juice, cucumber and mint. Weekdays at the bar feature happy hour from 4-7pm with half price beer, wine, and house cocktails. You can also order some unique dishes from their bar menu while you booze.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of eateries focusing on healthy, clean-eating dishes, as more and more people are forming dietary restrictions and adapting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. With so many health-conscious eateries around the city, you no longer need to settle for tofu, bland veggie burgers, and "facon" to have a healthy, satisfying meal. Opening right before Hurricane Sandy, Table Verte in the East Village offers diners of all kinds, an approachable, flavorful meal consisting of market-fresh vegetable dishes using French culinary techniques. Even the most carnivorous meat-eater you know won’t be looking around for a burger after a dinner at Table Verte.
Pennsylvania 6 is a new hot spot parked right near Penn Station (go figure), giving commuters an alternative place to booze and dine. But it's so damn good that we have a feeling locals will be flocking here, too. Hailed as a cross between Oak Room and Oyster Bar, owner Chris Coco brought on Culinary Director Brian Cooke and Chef Scott Swiderski to oversee the creation of the menu. Executive Chef Humberto Leon (formerly of STK Downtown) serves patrons classic American cuisine such as beer braised short ribs and succulent organic roasted chicken. The menu also emphasizes the raw bar, which shells out fresh oysters and shellfish. Pair any dish with their out-of-this-world side dishes, like the sweet corn pudding, and prepare to be in heaven.
There are few things as satisfying to a hungry palate late at night than pizza. While Miami definitely has its share of late night pizzerias ranging from the more creative to the very traditional, local foodies can now savor gourmet versions of what some consider to be the 5th basic food group at The Dutch’s after hours pizza popup, PieSanos Pizza. Starting this Saturday, February 2nd, and continuing every Saturday throughout the month of February this year, Chef Conor Hanlon will be dishing out personal pizza pies from The Dutch’s wood-fired oven.
From midnight to 3:00 AM on Saturdays, Miami’s noshing night owls can partake in a variety of Chef Hanlon’s hand-crafted pies that include more traditional options like a simple Margherita or an Italian Stallion topped with house made sausage, peppers, and onions. Other pizza creations allow Chef Hanlon to flex his culinary muscles with options like The Roc-a-fella topped with east coast oyster, spinach, bacon, parmesan, and garlic crumbs. Fans of more international flavors will instantly gravitate towards the Mediterranean
It appears as if the new hotspot for foodies on Miami Beach is the South of Fifth neighborhood. Once known for being a quieter, more residential area with only a few venerated classics like Smith & Wollensky and Joe’s, it seems as if more and more restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and bars are forgoing the more popular - and populated - Lincoln Road, Washington, Collins, and Ocean for the southernmost tip of South Beach. To add to the increasing roster of drinking and dining destinations in the neighborhood is The Flat, deemed a “before experience”, slated to open mid February.
Once upon a time, I lived in a faraway land called Kendall. For those who are unfamiliar with that unincorporated part of Miami-Dade County, Kendall can seem like a faraway land with it’s own culture, expressions, and rules of traffic. For those who know Kendall but have been away for a while, a recent visit will make it seem like it has been “once upon a time” since you’ve last been there. It seems as if every time I return to Kendall, something old has been replaced with something new that is a dramatic improvement from what used to be there. Take Town & Country Mall, for instance. It was a fun hangout in the early nineties, but by the time Y2K came around, it was dead. After the AMC movie theater closed, there seemed to be little hope for reviving what had once promised to be a thriving commercial and nightlife center...that is until the mall rebranded itself as The Palms at Town & Country Mall, polished its image, and invited more upscale retailers like Loehman’s and Nordstrom Rack to move in (trust me, that’s light years ahead of what used to be there). Dining in Kendall is also improving, especially at the new and improved mall, with Devon Seafood + Steak set to open its doors tomorrow.
Midtown Miami, besides offering nearby residents much needed retail venues like Target, Home Goods, and Petsmart, has come to be one of the most exciting dining districts in Miami right now. It seems as if almost every restaurant that has opened its doors in Midtown has offered locals and visitors, alike, nothing short of delicious food whether it’s at Sugarcane, Sakaya Kitchen, Mercadito, 100 Montaditos, or several ofthe other newer restaurants that seem to be sprouting like mushrooms after a rainstorm. It goes without saying, then, that any restaurateur who’s really serious about food would be looking to have a spot among Midtown Miami’s roster of great eateries, which is exactly what George-Eric Farge has done. The gregarious French owner of George’s in South Miami and Coconut Grove is opening the doors to his newest venture, George’s Kitchen, today in Midtown, and he promises to make it not only an unparalleled dining destination, but also a mecca of nightlife for the area.
Three new restaurants are debuting in South Beach this December, and two of them not only carry pedigrees to get excited over but are also suggesting that perhaps Miami Beach is becoming America’s newest - and most stylish - Little Italy. SoBe has been attracting models, artists, and entrepreneurs from Italy ever since their paesano, Gianni Versace, put the southernmost part of Miami Beach on the map, and the resulting migration is making South Beach a veritable mecca for Italian-from-Italy cuisine representing everywhere from Sicily and Sardinia to Piedmont and Venezia. The other restaurant, while Italian by way of its designer from Bologna, is a departure from the pizzas and pastas of the other two and promises to offer a farm-to-table concept with an international flair. Just in time for Art Basel!
One thing about NYC that always stays the same: when it comes to restaurants, it's out with the old and in with the new and they don't waste time! Check out some of the exciting new restaurant openings, as well as some big changes for places that have already won our hearts!
Benares Downtown: Famed Indian spot in Midtown is catering to the crowds and opening up a second shop in Tribeca. Although that devilish Sandy delayed construction, the new restaurant was able to open up on November 21st. The new Benares location will feature a bar with specialty cocktails, as well as an elegant dining room overseen by Executive Chef Peter Beck.
San Francisco has many different types of Italian cuisines. Perhaps you’ve gone for the Tuscan cuisine of Locanda or Ligurian pastas at Farina both in the heart of the “foodie hot spot,” the Mission district. I recommend venturing further north to the Marina and popping in for your fill of carbs at Ristobar. If you want to soak up a quick bite and a nice cocktail, snag a seat at in the bar area. You can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas; the crust is chewy and firm with the right amount of flavor. I suggest giving the Vesta a taste; ricotta, fennel sausage and wild arugula compliment each other without overwhelming your palate with one flavor. Don’t shy away from the sides either. Order the broccolini piccanti if you want to give your mouth a little kick, the heat is a good night ender.