What’s On… Lafayette Street (btwn Spring and Kenmare)

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

What’s On… Lafayette Street (btwn Spring and Kenmare)
Soho

In uber trendy Soho, there are plenty of places that are all trend and no substance. Fortunately for us, Lafayette Streethas some can’t miss food finds – a welcome break to the plethora of shopping in the area. Stop by the Cleveland Place park for a second (that’s all it’ll take to check out this small piece of green), named for President Grover Cleveland who was also at one time the governor of New York City. Other noteworthy, if not morbid, places of interest on the block include former bar, The Falls, where graduate student Imette St. Guillen was last seen leaving with the bouncer who later raped and murdered her and the home of famed NYC DJ, DJ AM who was found dead in his apartment at 210 Lafayette.

Linguine with Clams at Café Select

212 Lafayette Street – Cafe Select
This European style bistro attracts the European style hipster set. The pleasant atmosphere complements the solid menu and carefully selected wine list, making Cafe Select a hot spot no matter what the time of day. Stop by for brunch and try the Croque Monsieur, but don’t forget your reservation or you might be in for a long wait!

Café Select on Urbanspoon

 218 Lafayette Street – Osteria Morini

This upscale Italian is the brainchild of talented chef Michael White . The rustic Northern Italian fare pays homage to Chef White’s time spent under his mentor, Gianluigi Morini in the Emilia-Romagna region ofItaly. Don’t leave without trying the pasta (any dish is worth your time), or any one of the antipasti and leave full – very full.

Osteria Morini on Urbanspoon

222 Lafayette Street- Subway
This sandwich chain is slowly taking over the city. Where there was once a Starbucks on every corner, there is now a Subway on every block!

222 Lafayette Street – Ed’s Lobster Bar
The lobster roll at Ed’s Lobster Bar rivals most that can be found on the New England coastline. It’s a bold statement, but when you take the first bite you’ll surely understand. Chef/owner Ed McFarland creates other New England Summertime favorites such as clam chowder and whole bellied fried clams at this flagship location as well as two other smaller outposts (Battery Park City and Lower East Side).

Ed's Lobster Bar on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

224 Lafayette Street – Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda’s cuisine can only be understood by looking at where husband and wife team, Dean and Maya Jankelowitz have come from. The menu blends Israeli and South African food in a way that only your grandmother could. The understated, simple (yet not cold) decor lends itself to the young and beautiful who romp Soho, but should be enjoyed by all. Great for brunch (try the Shakshuka), but go for dinner if you want to avoid most of the crowd.

Osteria Morini on Urbanspoon

62 Spring Street – Spring Street Natural
While this sprawling restaurant calls Spring Street home, its windows and outdoor seating take a good chunk of real estate fromLafayette. Established in 1973, Spring Street Natural has been a fixture in the diets of Soho residents for longer than most can say – which is a good thing; Spring Street Natural focuses on minimally processed, organic whole foods (a step ahead of its time, I’d say) with reasonable prices to boot. No wonder why this place is always crowded.

Spring Street Natural on Urbanspoon

What’s On… Tenth Avenue? (between 24th and 25th Streets)

What’s On… 10th Avenue? (between 24th and 25th Streets)
Chelsea

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

With such a close proximity to the London Terrace apartments – a full block of almost 1,000 apartments opened in 1930 featuring a private 1 acre garden and an indoor pool- 10th Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets has long been a bustling neighborhood of its own.  The Chelsea gallery scene as well as the opening of the Highline in 2009, has begun to transform this neighborhood even further from a once, mostly industrial area to a warm, thriving community.  Restaurant stops, especially on this block have a pleasant familiar feel due to the high sense of pride residents exude in their neighborhood, making everyone feel welcome.

242 10th Avenue – Trestle on Tenth
Stop by Trestle on Tenth for a relaxing brunch before hitting the highline or visiting the many art galleries in the area.  Chef Ralf Kuettel  imparts his personality into the menu, offering a refreshing alternative to the standard eggs Benedict brunch. Get a seat in the charming back garden – just don’t make Trestle on Tenth your choice if you’re in a hurry as service tends to lean toward the relaxed European side of the menu!

Trestle on Tenth on Urbanspoon

 246 10th Avenue – Bottino Takeout
A takeout annex of our next stop on 10th Avenue, Bottino.  It’s a staple for those who work in the galleries for a lunchtime salad or sandwich.  Grab one of their freshly made sandwiches if you’re in the area and head for the Highline to dine in style!

248 10th Avenue – Bottino
The airy Bottino dining room is the perfect post-gallery hopping spot to enjoy classic Italian fare.  Although basic, the menu sports something for everyone and most agree Bottino is a solid find where art galleries reign supreme.
Bottino on Urbanspoon

250 10th Avenue - Subway
If you’re not in the mood for a fresh sandwich from Bottino, or just short on cash, stop by this Subway locale for the sandwich that made Jared famous!

252 10th Avenue – Smoke Shop
Not much more than your average bodega, Smoke Shop offers all the necessities plus a nice selection of magazines!

 

Fusilli @ Pepe Giallo

253 10th Avenue – Pepe Giallo
Families with young children feel comfortable at this neighborhood spot that’s always crowded due to its reasonable pricing and something-for-everyone menu.  The portions are large and the outdoor garden can’t be missed, but if it’s being waited on you want – try your luck elsewhere.

Pepe Giallo on Urbanspoon

254 10th Avenue – Chop-Shop
This brand new Chop-Shop (so new it’s barely on the map!)  features gourmet Thai fare.  While a liquor license is still currently in the works, the minimalist atmosphere is certainly a pleasant place for an under-the-radar type of date – just make sure you head there before everyone else finds out about it!

 

Chop-Shop
Chop Shop on Urbanspoon

256 10th Avenue – 10th Avenue Pizza
A neighborhood standby, 10th Avenue Pizza has been delivering hot slices (gyros, sandwiches, and breakfast) for as long as most anyone in the neighborhood can remember.  Regulars tout the service is great and the prices superb, however food can be hit or miss.
10th Avenue Pizza & Deli on Urbanspoon

What’s On… East 1st Street? (Between 1st and 2nd Avenue)

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

by Carolyn Onofrey

What’s On… East 1st Street? (Between 1st and 2nd Avenue)

East Village

East 1st Street between First and Second avenues has only recently become the block of wonderful brunch spots and restaurants it is today.  Mostly a residential block, once with a public school and a smattering of shops has had a history ranging from a mirror company specializing in non-reversing mirrors, a gambling themed store, and Justus Schwab’s Saloon; a watering hole owned by socialist Justus Schwab whose regulars included famed anarchist Emma Goldman.  Justus Schwab’s was the go to hangout for the radical movement of the late 19th century.  Now, we can enjoy this block as the edge of the East Village and the start of the Lower East side both known for their rich histories and restaurants and nightlife of today.

43 East 1st Street – Cozy Cafe
Although the staff is pushy and the music blaring, the selection of hookah is wide and chances are, you’ll have a rowdy good time.  Probably best set for the NYU crowd, Cozy Cafe delivers when you want some unique hookah in a pinch.
Cozy Café: Hookah Bar & Lounge NYC on Urbanspoon

Joe Sr’s Bacon Scramble @ Joe Doe


45 East 1st Street – Joe Doe
Fried Matzo, anyone?  While their famous fried Matzo put them on the map, Joe Doe is full of many other delectable bites – all your favorites re-created with a menu that changes seasonally.  Service can be on the harsh side, so mind your manners.  *Try the ‘prepared beers’ for a unique treat and check out the newly opened JoeDough sandwich shop!

54 East 1st Street – Prune
Chef/owner Gabrielle Hamilton packs ‘em in (especially for brunch) at Prune.  Be prepared for a wait (a no res policy for weekend brunch) to taste her menu, comprised of comforting yet simple and inspired American.  The bone marrow is the winner for dinner, but for brunch every menu item is better than the last.  Check out her new book, ‘Blood, Bones, and Butter’.

58 East 1st Street – Prima
Opened about 2 months ago, Prima is all about the seafood.  A set-up reminiscent of a steakhouse, allows you to choose your fish and its preparation along with a selection of vegetable sides.  Ask the bartender to mix you one of their stellar cocktails to complement your fish – or ask your waiter what might pair superbly with your cocktail.

Prima on Urbanspoon

64 East 1st Street – La Vie
At La Vie restaurant and hookah lounge, stick with the dancing and hookah and skip the restaurant.  Though more club than laid back hookah lounge; La Vie delivers if you’re looking for a stress free night out.  *Try the reasonably priced bottle service with your hookah for the best experience here.

La Vie Lounge on Urbanspoon

68 East 1st Street – Tuck Shop
Tuck Shop, the go to Aussie Bakery for a different kind of pie.  Meat pies abound here, fresh or frozen to take home and cook later.  Try the traditional for a real taste of Australia and don’t forget to wash it down with one of their homemade sodas. *If you can’t get to Tuck Shop on 1st Street, try one of their other locations – St. Mark’s Place and Chelsea Market!
Tuck Shop on Urbanspoon

70 East 1st Street – The Juice Press
For serious juice heads (the good kind) and smoothie fanatics, the Juice Press is the place to be.  Although it’ll cost you, it’s completely worth it – say fans of the cold pressed juices, smoothies, and raw food which are also available for delivery.

72 East 1st Street – Bluebird Coffee Shop
It’s all about the coffee at Bluebird, a neighborhood cafe where although ownership has changed, the coffee still remains.  If it’s a good cup of joe you’re hankering for while meandering around the East Village or Lower East side, then Bluebird is one of your best bets.

Bluebird Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

1st Ave @ 1st St – Juicy Lucy
This stand at the corner of 1st Ave and 1st St needs no other introduction.  Juicy Lucy has all the juiced delights you could ever want plus a can’t miss cafe con leche.  Cheaper than other spots around (probably due to its lack of a brick and mortar rent to pay for), a line can form at peak times so plan accordingly.


What’s on… East 9th St.?

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

What’s on East 9th Street? (Between Stuyvesant Street & 2nd Avenue) – East Village, NYC

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables at Tsampa

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables at Tsampa

In the heart of the East Village lies this sleepy stretch of 9th Street once home to the Hebrew Technical Institute (1884-1939), a school that was the first of its kind in the United States and Orchidia (closed in 1984), a restaurant and landmark for the Ukrainian immigrants of New York City.  Today, the block lives in a thriving area fondly called “Little Tokyo” for it’s many authentic Japanese stops.
Running parallel to the busy St. Mark’s Place, this stretch of East 9th Street is easy to overlook if you don’t have a proper heads up.

210 E 9th Street – Hasaki
Fresh, top quality fish prepared simply is the name of the game at this sushi restaurant.  Portion sizes can be small for the price, but most have no complaints when the ingredients speak for themselves so articulately.

212 E 9th Street – Tsampa
In the mood for something a little different?  Check out Tsampa for Tibetan cuisine, one of only a handful of Tibetan restaurants in the city.  Its Zen like interior is welcoming and cozy and its food is simple and reasonably priced.  A cross between Indian and Indonesian, this is a solid place that is a natural choice to wind up at again and again.

Tsampa on Urbanspoon

214 E 9th Street – La Paella

Established in 1995 La Paella now seems somewhat out of place on a block where Japanese surrounds you. This Spanish tapas restaurant is to most, a welcome interlude to the seemingly endless array of Japanese food in the neighborhood.  The comfortable, relaxed atmosphere is good for groups and the food is well prepared.  If it’s not sake you’re after, then sangria it is!

La Paella on Urbanspoon
218 E 9th Street – Yakiniku West
It might not look like much from the outside, but this no-shoes-allowed Japanese barbecue restaurant that specializes in Kobe beef is sure to please.  Try the Kobe beef short ribs (half price on Sundays) or one of the many other cuts of beef with a price point for every budget.

Yakiniku West on Urbanspoon

229 E 9th Street – Soba-ya
Specializing in homemade soba and udon noodle soups, Soba-ya is the place to stop if buckwheat noodles are what you can’t get off your mind.  Prices may be a bit steep, but for believers, it’s worth every penny.  For an extra treat, try the tempura.

Soba-Ya on Urbanspoon

Cha-An Tearoom – Courtesy of Paul H. on Yelp.com

Cha-An Tearoom – Courtesy of Paul H. on Yelp.com

Cha-An on Urbanspoon

230 E 9th Street – Cha-An
You’ll feel like you’re in Japan at this wonderful Japanese tea house located up a narrow flight of stairs.  This serene tea house is a popular stop for many, so reservations are suggested unless you have an hour or more to kill before sitting down to sip your tea.  Serving small savory bites as well as sweets, expect not your average cup of Lipton.

231 E 9th Street – Robotaya

Select your own fish and vegetables and watch the chefs grill it right in front of your eyes at Robotaya.  The atmosphere at this Japanese small plates restaurant is great, the staff polite, and the service attentive yet not overbearing.  Sitting at the bar area in the front room is the only way to enjoy this restaurant, but reservations are a must as waits are close to the two hour mark most nights.

232 E 9th Street – Solas
One step above dive, this nicely sized bar/dance club provides NYU types the chance to go out early for drinks and games or late for a laid back dance scene without the hassle of a tough door.  The music selection may be a bit tired, but with drinks as cheap as these ($4 and $5 specials) no one is really complaining.

 

Solas on Urbanspoon

Making Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki at Otafuku

Making Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki at Otafuku

The finished product - takoyaki

236 E 9th Street – Otafuku
For those who are homesick for real deal Japanese street food, Otafuku is the place to go.  Specializing in takoyaki (octopus balls covered in a barbecue-like takoyaki sauce and mayo), this true hole in the wall is about a big as a shoebox and turns out takoyaki as well as wonderful okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake) at record rates. $5 gets you six large balls perfect for snacking, however combo plates are also offered if you’d like to make a meal out of it.

Hookahs waiting to be smoked at Cloister Cafe

238 E 9th Street – Cloister Cafe
While the faux stained glass interior may be a little hard to swallow, the outdoor garden area is the perfect place to chat with a few friends over dessert and coffee while passing the hookah.  Stop by on a warm night to offset the chilly service.

Cloister Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wall of sake at Decibel

240 E 9th Street – Decibel
Hidden in the basement of the building at #240 East 9th Street is Decibel.  A dingy sake bar that dons so much graffiti on the walls that after a few selections off the impressive sake list, you could swear you were in Tokyo in a secret gang lair.  Decibel also has a selection of munchies which are best to try when you’ve found yourself one too many sakes deep.

 

Wall of sake at Decibel

Decibel on Urbanspoon

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What's on… East 9th St.?

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

What’s on East 9th Street? (Between Stuyvesant Street & 2nd Avenue) – East Village, NYC

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables at Tsampa

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables at Tsampa

In the heart of the East Village lies this sleepy stretch of 9th Street once home to the Hebrew Technical Institute (1884-1939), a school that was the first of its kind in the United States and Orchidia (closed in 1984), a restaurant and landmark for the Ukrainian immigrants of New York City.  Today, the block lives in a thriving area fondly called “Little Tokyo” for it’s many authentic Japanese stops.
Running parallel to the busy St. Mark’s Place, this stretch of East 9th Street is easy to overlook if you don’t have a proper heads up.

210 E 9th Street – Hasaki
Fresh, top quality fish prepared simply is the name of the game at this sushi restaurant.  Portion sizes can be small for the price, but most have no complaints when the ingredients speak for themselves so articulately.

212 E 9th Street – Tsampa
In the mood for something a little different?  Check out Tsampa for Tibetan cuisine, one of only a handful of Tibetan restaurants in the city.  Its Zen like interior is welcoming and cozy and its food is simple and reasonably priced.  A cross between Indian and Indonesian, this is a solid place that is a natural choice to wind up at again and again.

Tsampa on Urbanspoon

214 E 9th Street – La Paella

Established in 1995 La Paella now seems somewhat out of place on a block where Japanese surrounds you. This Spanish tapas restaurant is to most, a welcome interlude to the seemingly endless array of Japanese food in the neighborhood.  The comfortable, relaxed atmosphere is good for groups and the food is well prepared.  If it’s not sake you’re after, then sangria it is!

La Paella on Urbanspoon
218 E 9th Street – Yakiniku West
It might not look like much from the outside, but this no-shoes-allowed Japanese barbecue restaurant that specializes in Kobe beef is sure to please.  Try the Kobe beef short ribs (half price on Sundays) or one of the many other cuts of beef with a price point for every budget.

Yakiniku West on Urbanspoon

229 E 9th Street – Soba-ya
Specializing in homemade soba and udon noodle soups, Soba-ya is the place to stop if buckwheat noodles are what you can’t get off your mind.  Prices may be a bit steep, but for believers, it’s worth every penny.  For an extra treat, try the tempura.

Soba-Ya on Urbanspoon

Cha-An Tearoom – Courtesy of Paul H. on Yelp.com

Cha-An Tearoom – Courtesy of Paul H. on Yelp.com

Cha-An on Urbanspoon

230 E 9th Street – Cha-An
You’ll feel like you’re in Japan at this wonderful Japanese tea house located up a narrow flight of stairs.  This serene tea house is a popular stop for many, so reservations are suggested unless you have an hour or more to kill before sitting down to sip your tea.  Serving small savory bites as well as sweets, expect not your average cup of Lipton.

231 E 9th Street – Robotaya

Select your own fish and vegetables and watch the chefs grill it right in front of your eyes at Robotaya.  The atmosphere at this Japanese small plates restaurant is great, the staff polite, and the service attentive yet not overbearing.  Sitting at the bar area in the front room is the only way to enjoy this restaurant, but reservations are a must as waits are close to the two hour mark most nights.

232 E 9th Street – Solas
One step above dive, this nicely sized bar/dance club provides NYU types the chance to go out early for drinks and games or late for a laid back dance scene without the hassle of a tough door.  The music selection may be a bit tired, but with drinks as cheap as these ($4 and $5 specials) no one is really complaining.

 

Solas on Urbanspoon

Making Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki at Otafuku

Making Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki at Otafuku

The finished product - takoyaki

236 E 9th Street – Otafuku
For those who are homesick for real deal Japanese street food, Otafuku is the place to go.  Specializing in takoyaki (octopus balls covered in a barbecue-like takoyaki sauce and mayo), this true hole in the wall is about a big as a shoebox and turns out takoyaki as well as wonderful okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake) at record rates. $5 gets you six large balls perfect for snacking, however combo plates are also offered if you’d like to make a meal out of it.

Hookahs waiting to be smoked at Cloister Cafe

238 E 9th Street – Cloister Cafe
While the faux stained glass interior may be a little hard to swallow, the outdoor garden area is the perfect place to chat with a few friends over dessert and coffee while passing the hookah.  Stop by on a warm night to offset the chilly service.

Cloister Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wall of sake at Decibel

240 E 9th Street – Decibel
Hidden in the basement of the building at #240 East 9th Street is Decibel.  A dingy sake bar that dons so much graffiti on the walls that after a few selections off the impressive sake list, you could swear you were in Tokyo in a secret gang lair.  Decibel also has a selection of munchies which are best to try when you’ve found yourself one too many sakes deep.

 

Wall of sake at Decibel

Decibel on Urbanspoon

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