NYC’s Most Festive Fall-Inspired Cocktails

Moga Bar Drinks-76 (2)
The Harvest Sour // Bar Moga

As New York City says goodbye to the sweltering heat of summer, restaurants and bars throughout the city launch their autumn-inspired menus, which are always accompanied by seasonal libations.

From apple and cranberry to ginger and coffee, the flavors of the season meet their match with wines, ciders, bourbons and more.

So when you decide you’re over the classic pumpkin spice latte, here’s a roundup to help you find the perfectly spiced, warming drink substitution.

The Campbell

Situated within Grand Central Terminal, The Campbell is a masterfully restored New York institution with a luxe, swanky atmosphere. Warm up with a coffee old fashioned with Suntori Toki Japanese whisky, coffee syrup and coffee bitters, garnished with a citrus twist.

The Flying Cock

A Murray Hill gastropub, The Flying Cock is a popular hotspot that offers a pretty epic boozy brunch. However, if you want to swing by for just the boozy part, you won’t be disappointed. Order the seasonally appropriate Pants On Fire, which is a mix of bourbon, root beer liqueur, cinnamon, angostura bitters and ginger beer.

Mr. Purple

On the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side is Mr. Purple, an ultra-chic rooftop bar and restaurant. Enjoy panoramic views of the city as you sip on The Blood and Sand, a stiff libation with Macallan 12 year scotch, vermouth, Cherry Heering and orange juice.

Loews Regency New York Hotel

Upscale, art deco inspired Loews Regency New York Hotel is featuring two fall cocktails that highlight favorite autumn flavors.

For a strong cocktail, check out the Autumn Old Fashion which incorporates orange, cranberry nectar, bourbon and Angostura bitters in a glass, then garnished with an orange peel and finished with a cinnamon sugar rim.

Interested in a sweet treat? Order the Baked Apple Pie cocktail. With muddled apple, cinnamon sugar syrup, mezcal, bourbon and cider, this cocktail is the ideal dessert substitution for a slice of apple pie.

If these two drinks don’t do it for you, take advantage of Flavor by Loews Hotels, a newly launched experience giving guests the chance to try out local flavors, by tasting one of the many Brooklyn Gin cocktails offered.

Dullboy Bar

If you’re looking for something that feels seasonal without the usual coffee and pumpkin spice flavors that dominate October, check out The Bold & Smokey by Gabriel Rieben of Dullboy Bar in Jersey City.

With Paul John Bold Whisky, Stolen Smoked Rum, Gran Classico bitter liqueur and St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur, it’s a fun twist on the typical brown spirit cocktail.

The Stanton Social

Known for chef-owner Chris Santos’ menu of eclectic tapas, The Stanton Social is offering the Fall to Pieces this autumn season. This libation has a nice tropical twist thanks to its splash of Coconut Oil Washed Monkey Spiced Rum and is accompanied by lime and cinnamon flavors.

SUGARCANE raw bar grill Brooklyn

Old Havana-inspired SUGARCANE raw bar grill in Brooklyn is offering a Tobacco Rum Old Fashioned with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, maple syrup, Angostura bitters and homemade cigar bitters. Between the maple syrup and the tobacco-infused flavors, it’s akin to sitting next to a fireplace in Vermont.

Hudson’s at Pier 81

Want to cozy up with a warm drink while admiring views of the Manhattan skyline? Take a seat aboard Hudson’s at Pier 81, a lounge and rooftop situated on a 3-story, 160 ft. yacht.

While cruising on the river, why not take in the unobstructed views of the city with a hot Hull of a Mulled Wine in hand? With spices, a hint of lemon and red wine, this beverage is all sorts of comforting.

Bar Moga

Bar Moga is a hip, newly opened “1920s Japanese cocktail bar,” that features Japanese-influenced libations in a retro, glam setting.

A fall specialty that can’t be missed? The Harvest Sour which is a potent concoction of lemon, applejack, rye whiskey, egg white and Angostura and Peychaud bitters.

Runner & Stone

Local favorite Runner & Stone is a neighborhood restaurant, bakery and bar in Brooklyn. If you find yourself in the Gowanus area, pop in and order the inventive Build Me Up Butternut with Old Overholt Rye, butternut squash syrup and allspice dram.

Saxon + Parole

The East Village’s Saxon + Parole is an equestrian-themed American eatery offering a menu full of meat-centric dishes in a lively atmosphere.

For a caffeinated cocktail to get your evening started, order the Take That, Dark & Storm. With espresso-infused rum, ginger beer, lime juice and candied ginger, it’s a sweet zinger of a cocktail.

P.S. Kitchen

Whisky and hearty autumn vegetables go hand in hand. Curious about how roots complement the spirit’s peaty notes? Then head to P.S. Kitchen, a vegan restaurant where 100 percent of profits go to charity, to try The XO. This libation is made with smoked single malt whisky, fresh beet juice, orange juice, muddled raspberries and maple syrup.

Gloria

This Hell’s Kitchen locale is a cozy, contemporary restaurant dedicated to sustainable seafood plates. For a cocktail that showcases the herbal earthiness of a good gin, pair your meal with the Featherbottom. This libation combines gin, cardamaro, bonal and spruce, creating a minimally sweet, crisp drink.

Mastro’s Steakhouse

In the mood for creamy, indulgent after dinner cocktails? Mastro’s Steakhouse is your best pick with two dessert-like cocktails to choose from.

The salted caramel martini features vodka, Gabriel Boudier liqueur de caramel and whipped cream served up with a sea salt rim. The espresso martini consists of Patron XO Café, Svedka vanilla vodka and fresh espresso shaken cold and served up.

Ai Fiori 

Altamarea Group’s Ai Fiori is rolling out “Fall Fridays” this season. Every Friday, after 3 p.m., guests can come in and enjoy a NY Whisky Flight and select ciders and fall cocktails.

In addition, it’s offering Apple Cider Madeleines paired with Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Ten66 Red Label Pommeau.

The Late Late

Located in the Lower East Side, The Late Late is a retro, Irish-inspired pub that prides itself on being a “local” establishment. Start your night with an almost traditional Irish coffee with Irish whiskey, mezcal, espresso liqueur, whipped cream and Cadbury chocolate dust.

The original article is featured in Travel Pulse and can be read here.

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The Ultimate Guide to New Year’s Eve 2017 Parties in NYC

IMG_7572.jpgNew York City never sleeps, and definitely not on New Year’s Eve!

New York City is known for throwing over-the-top celebrations on New Year’s Eve, so don’t miss out on all the excitement! Grab your crew and welcome 2017 with a night you won’t soon forget (hopefully!). Here’s everything you need to know about parties, dining and drinking on New Year’s Eve in New York City.

Troy Liquor Bar
675 Hudson Street, New York City
Ring in the New Year in style at Troy Liquor Bar, a high-energy lounge and an ideal venue to party without the bougieness of a lot of nightlife spots. Troy has top-notch cocktails as well as billiards, arcade games, and a photo booth to capture your memories. This event features a two hour premium open bar and a Champagne toast at midnight. With DJs, dancing, VIP tables and caves, a New Year’s Eve countdown and more, this is the spot to be.

Click here for more information.

Hammerstein Ballroom
311 West 34th Street, New York City
Ten fully stocked bars. Over thirty bartenders. Multiple DJs. Head over to The Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom to celebrate the New Year with a five hour premium open bar and a night of dancing to the most poppin’ music spun by NYC’s top DJs. Countdown to midnight as you watch the ball drop live from projection screens and cheers at midnight with bottles of Champagne.

Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of Hammerstein

Apotheke
9 Doyers Street New York City
Apotheke is hosting a black and white masquerade ball, inspired by Truman Capote’s notorious masquerade ball that he threw in the Plaza Hotel (which incidentally just celebrated its 50th anniversary). Get festive in black and white attire and bring an animal mask — it’s going to be a crazy night. Ticket includes open bar all night, Champagne toast, live music from our house band Broadway Brassy and the Brass Knuckles, burlesque and a DJ.

Click here for more information.

The Roof
120 W 57th St. New York City
Guests of The Roof will get spectacular views of the fireworks over Central Park this New Year’s Eve. DJ Tim Martell will be spinning throughout the night. Look forward to dancing, bites and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Click here for more information.

CATCH NY
21 9th Ave. New York City
Dine like a star at CATCH NY by reserving a table as part of an early seating or a late seating this New Year’s Eve. With an a la carte menu and a few tasty specials (think: five pound Maine lobster with Champagne brown butter), guests can watch the ball drop while eating in style! Who knows — you may even be dining next Mariah Carey or Kate Hudson — just a couple celebs who’ve been spotted there.

Click here for more information.

Best New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
Photo Courtesy of Catch NYC

Marea
240 Central Park South New York City
Go all out with an elegant seven-course grand tasting menu. Get the night started with a live band and hors d’oeuvres on the dance floor before and after dinner.

Click here for more information.

VANDAL
199 Bowery New York City
After 10 p.m. enjoy a family style dinner including items from the regular VANDAL dinner menu along with New Year’s Eve specials. Guests will also enjoy party favors, a live DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. Or step in to the trendy lounge where the party starts at 9 p.m. and includes passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

Click here for more information.

Best New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
Photo Courtesy of Vandal

Blue Fin & Dos Caminos
1567 Broadway (at 47th Street), New York City
Blue Fin and Dos Caminos Times Square restaurants are hosting a multi-floor New Year’s Eve party inside the W Times Square Hotel just steps away from the world-famous Ball Drop countdown. The event will feature open bar, passed canapés and custom food stations including a Carving station, Guacamole station, Mexican Candy station and more by Executive Chefs Sam Hazen, Juan Carlos Ortega, Boo Lim, Reed Osterhold and Ivy Stark.

Click here for more information.

The Bowery Hotel
335 Bowery New York City
Head over to the Bowery Hotel for a premium open bar, live performances, a DJ, a Champagne lounge, whiskey bar, and an outdoor terrace cigar lounge. Into the night, enjoy special after midnight snacks “NYC” style (think: pizza and pretzels) and infused premium chocolate treats.

Click here for more information.

Ascent Lounge
10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor, New York City
The super glamorous Ascent Lounge will host a Va Va Voom New Year’s Eve Celebration overlooking Central Park from the fourth floor of New York’s Time Warner Center. Featuring entertainment from Lady Alcehmy, Christina Everett and DJ Tom Macari, the evening also includes a live a projection of the Times Square Ball Drop and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Click here for more information.

Photo Courtesy of Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Ascent Lounge

Haven Rooftop
132 West 47th Street New York City
This party is near all the excitement of Times Square without being a part of the stress. Just steps away from the ball drop, guests can see the confetti canons go off at midnight, but unlike standing in Times Square, Haven offers two bars and delicious food! Opt for a table with bottle service for the night and get your drink on at the four-hour top shelf open bar and munch on passed hors d’oeuvres.

For a classy, sit-down dinner to celebrate 2017, Tender Steak & Sushi will be serving a prix-fixe dinner with two seatings for the night. The menu includes an amuse bouche, three courses, and one glass of champagne. Dinner guests are invited to join the celebrations on the rooftop, as well!

Click here for more information.

Best New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
Photo Courtesy of Haven Rooftop

The Cannibal
113 East 29th Street New York City
Kick it old school this New Year’s Eve with the first ever The Cannibal Award Tour at The Cannibal Beer & Butcher and Liquor House. A tribute to 80’s and 90’s old school hip hop music, this event will include bites from chef Francis Derby’s menu, a whiskey bone luge and an open bar or draft beer, draft cocktails, wine and a Champagne toast. Tour around Beer & Butcher and Liquor House to explore six separate food stations.

Click here for more information.

Mastros Steakhouse
1285 Avenue of the Americas New York City
Mastro’s is a lively, high-end steakhouse and seafood restaurant in midtown. So, if you’re looking to go all out this New Year’s Eve, reserve a seat at this fine dining establishment, eat like royalty, and cheers to 2017 with a Champagne toast at midnight.

Click here for more information.

Supercinema: The King’s Winter Masquerade at The McKittrick Hotel
The McKittrick Hotel, 530 W. 27th Street, New York City
Supercinema: The King’s Winter Masquerade at The McKittrick Hotel — home of the immersive theater spectacle Sleep No More — is a bohemian-inspired soirée complete with live pop-up theatrical performances, scenic installations and open bar all night long. Each Supercinema party requires guests arrive in costumes inspired by iconic films — all gold, black, white, or red for The King’s Winter Masquerade. A decadent dinner option is available at the venue’s restaurant The Heath, with items like foie gras torchon, Maine lobster and NY strip steak, plus free flowing libations and entertainment from the Paisley Players and special guests. Revelers can also attend a Sleep No More performance as part of the night.

Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of The McKittrtick Hotel

Beauty & Essex
146 Essex St. New York City
Head over to Beauty & Essex after 10 p.m. for a prix fixe dinner featuring a family styled dinner with a Champagne toast at midnight. Guests will also leave with VIP party favors to start your 2017 off on the right foot.

Beauty & Essex is also offering a Rat Pack-themed ball that will take place in our Grand Dining Room that will include passed canapés, a five hour open bar and a Champagne toast at Midnight.

Click here for more information.

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette Street New York City
Get your tickets to Osteria Morini’s roaring 20s themed NYE event featuring a worldwide-inspired cocktail list. Get your Gatsby on with live music by Andrew’s Wild Tiger, an acoustic prohibition era jazz and blues trio drinks and dancing.

Click here for more information.

Squares
360 Park Ave S. New York City
Head to the recently opened hotspot, Squares for an open bar, music from DJ George Garcia and a live performance from Zak Downtown. Party in a stylish, sleek setting while you ring in the new year like a celeb.

Click here for more information.

Photo Courtesy of Squares

White Street: Winter Vibes 2017
221 West Broadway New York City
This New Year’s Eve, we invite you to the glamorous White Street in the heart of Tribeca. Soaring ceilings are adorned with crystal chandeliers which are sure to reflect off clinking champagne glasses and smiles the night of New Year’s Eve. Enjoy cocktails during the five+ hour premium open bar, classic hors d’oeuvres offerings, VIP table service available for small & large groups, Champagne toast at midnight, state of the art sound & light system and more.

Click here for more information.

Fogo de Chão
40 W 53rd St. New York City
Before you go dancing, treat yourself to a fabulous Brazilian steakhouse experience at Fogo de Chão. This all-you-can-eat feast of 16 fire-roasted meats and full Market Table is a perfect way to start the night. In addition, new holiday menu includes include: seasonal beef roast, sweet potato casserole, and roasted butternut squash and pear and endive salads.

Click here for more information.

The Jane Ballroom
113 Jane Street New York City
Head over to the West Village favorite, The Jane Ballroom to celebrate the New Year. Highlights of this trendy event include a four hour open bar, midnight balloon drop, music by world-renowned DJs and New Year’s Eve Party Favors. VIP and table packages available as well.

Click here for more information.

We the People Presents: New Year’s Eve 2017 Party at The Time New York
224 West 49th Street, New York City
Celebrate the New Year’s Eve inside The Time New York Hotel in Times Square. LeGrande boasts an exquisite multi-room collection of chic décor, illuminating a range of sleek, ultra-modern, and glamorous interiors. The best of the New York’s DJ scene will be spinning today’s hottest tunes into the wee hours as you ring in 2017 in style.

Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of The Time New York

Little Frog NYC
322 East 86th Street, New York City
Take in a New Year’s Eve Special pre-fix menu at Little Frog NYC, with or without wine pairings. Bubbly champagne midnight toast, fabulous food and good company. What else do you need to ring in 2017?

We all know a good amount of us will be hung over New Year’s Day. So if you didn’t do dinner the night before, head over to Little Frog NYC the day after all the celebrations. This French bistro is offering a New Year’s Day Brunch special item, the Little Frog Hangover Platter with rosti egg benedict, boudin sausage, grilled steak, breakfast sausage, Vermont bacon, truffle egg en cocotte, jalapeño grilled cheese sandwich, and side of papas bravas.

Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of Paul Wagouicz

Rainbow Room’s New Year’s Eve Black Tie Event
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor New York City
Guests are invited to enjoy a premium open bar, passed canapés and magnificent views in The Gallery to start the night off right. This upscale event includes: cocktail hour with premium open bar, elegant four-course tasting menu, premium live entertainment and dancing, and of course a Champagne toast at midnight.

Click here for more information.

Bar Sixtyfive at Rainbow Room
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor New York City
Get festive with a Champagne and caviar bar, complimentary passed canapés, live DJ performance and dancing, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Click here for more information.

Best New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
Copyright 2016 © Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room. All Rights Reserved.

Mitchells Fish Market
541 River Rd, Edgewater, New Jersey
Although not located in the heart of NYC, Mitchell’s Fish Market in Edgewater has the best view of Manhattan. From the George Washington Bridge all the way to the Freedom Tower, you won’t want to miss on this view, not to mention the freshest selections of seafood around.

Click here for more information.

Refinery Rooftop
63 W 38th Street New York City
This New Year’s Eve enjoy insane rooftop views at Refinery Rooftop. Highlights of this New Year’s event include a premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and a midnight champagne toast.

Click here for more information.

The Roxy Hotel
2nd Avenue of the Americas New York City
Get into character at the Roxy Hotel’s The Surrealist Art Ball (Inspired by Rothchild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball) featuring live performances by the legendary Buster Poindexter, premium open bar and food service from 9:00pm – 11:00pm. Themed attire is a must.

Click here for more information.

Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel
145 East 50th Street New York City
Enjoy this luxe midtown hotspot this New Year’s Eve. This penthouse level lounge sits 30 stories high atop the Kimberly Hotel setting the mood for a great night. This event includes four hour premium open bar, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, assorted passed desserts and cocktails, DJ Greg Hansen spinning, and a celebratory Champagne toast at midnight

Click here for more information.

For more of my articles on the City That Never Sleeps, visit GRID-NY.

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NYC Spotlight | Sanatorium

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Sanatorium: a hospital for the treatment of chronic diseases or various nervous disorders. 
 If you’re over regular, run-of-the-mill, Lower East Side bars, then rejuvenate with innovative libations at Sanatorium — a new, hidden cocktail bar from Apotheke creator, Albert Trummer, also known as the “scientist of cocktails.” Truly one-of-a-kind, the theme of this upscale cocktail lounge is, you guessed it, a hospital.

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Though it might seem a bit off-putting to order drinks with names like Stitched Up (Turkish fig-infused rye whiskey) and In the Ambulance (thyme elixir, orange oil, and fresh rosemary), after one sip you’ll forget all about your former hesitations.
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The lounge, modeled after a 1930s medicine hospital, exudes cool with its green Venetian plaster walls and vintage furniture like blue velvet love seats, chandeliers, and chrome and steel accents. There’s also an operating table equipped with surgical lights that illuminates the bar, beakers, test tubes, bottled up elixir potions, and more hospital-ish décor throughout the space.
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Guests can request unique cocktails based on their own tastes, but some of the drinks on the menu might hit the spot, too: One option is Recovery Time (vodka, raspberry, earl grey, lemon, and hibiscus elixir), and another is the O.R. (rum, pineapple, lemon-infused sugarcane, cilantro, habanero, vanilla elixirs, and angostura).
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The charming bartenders are well-dressed, seasoned professionals. Special shout out to bartender Chris Norton for making our first time experiencing Sanatorium both educational and intoxicating.

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NYC Spotlight | Meatpacking District’s Newest Hot Spot Hybrid: Kola House

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The kola nut is a caffeine-containing nut of the kola tree. {Credit: Kola House}

Meatpacking District’s Kola House had a lot of expectations to live up to. Touted as one of the biggest and hottest openings of Fall, this 5,000 square foot space is the “first experimental kola bar, restaurant, lounge and event space to open in the U.S. market.” According to a recent press release. “The flagship location (in Meatpacking) will also serve as a transformative event space for pop culture moments in music, art, style, film, sports and more.” The Kola House pays homage to the kola nut, a nut that also drives the creativity and inspiration of its cocktails, elixirs and specialty plates on the menu.

PepsiCo owns this modern, oh-so-trendy hotspot, but you’d never guess it based on the atmosphere, décor and style of the space. You won’t see any iconic red, white and blue cans, or any other hint of product-pushing from the food and beverage conglomerate. What you will see are exposed brick walls, a shiny back bar and cocktail infusion area, copper accents, hard wood floors, a space for impromptu pop-up performances and an illuminated square sculpture hanging from the ceiling.

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{Credit: Kola House}

The cocktails and elixirs are some of the best we’ve ever had. Alex Ott is Kola House’s sensory ringmaster — the beverage magician, if you will. Upon reading his bio you’ll read the following about his skills which, “combine sensory dining/drinking psychology with his unique knowledge of hangover preventative elixirs, alcoholic and non-alcoholic functional and disease preventative beverages, nootropics, dietary supplements as well as deep space travel and fine fragrance.” If you’re a little confused as to what that actually means, we can help you. The drinks are out-of-this-world.

The intergalactic peace is described as “a stunning and memory evoking spectacle of beverage induced interconnectedness.” This cocktail comes in a glass dome which houses campfire smells of woods, tobacco, and sandalwood, and inside this dome of fragrance is your cocktail of spiced cognac/rum, tobacco infused honey, sandalwood, vanilla, pear and lime. Before you imbibe, you can inhale the incredible mix of smells which enhances the entire drinking experience.

If you’re looking for something calming, get the Mind & body, which is described as a “resort like elixir with mood regulating and anti-inflammatory properties.” Think: mild bitters, white cranberry, levigated pearl garnished with a delightful spruce pillow of forest scents. Absolutely lovely.

Bottom line: make sure to get some cocktails.

On the food side, Kola House’s Executive Chef, Jon Feshan draws from his Persian heritage to create New American cuisine that highlights purity of flavor and freshness of the ingredients used.

We ordered a nice selection of dishes which began with a fresh fig toast with sweet, crunchy maple-glazed hazelnuts and cheese; the unique wild salmon tartare which came atop crispy sticky rice, and a scallion crème fraiche; and the very filling pork shoulder carnitas which was seasoned with a kola spice rub served with warm tortillas.

To some, that may sound like a full meal. Not for us. We continued the feast with a light dish of braised beets with lemon yogurt, pistachio granola and chunks of pickled strawberry. The grand finally was the roasted & fried chicken with collard greens and a side of house-made Fresno hot sauce butter. Similar to a buffalo sauce on steroids. The roasted chicken was juicy, while the fried chicken had a satisfying crunchy coating surround the also tender meat. This dish is meant to be shared and is a must-try for lovers of buffalo chicken wings.

For dessert we recommend the s’mores bowl – no need for explanation on that decision. It’s indulgently sweet.

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NYC Spotlight | Cinco de Mayo Specials

spongebobCinco de Mayo is just around the corner and is conveniently on a (thirsty) Thursday — a great excuse to have one or two more drinks than usual. For those of you that don’t know, this holiday, “commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867),” according to History.com. That said, you don’t have to travel far to get your fiesta on, so, what are your plans to celebrate? Find out where to go this 5th of May for the best drinks, food, and atmosphere New York City has to offer.

Beauty and Essex & Stanton Social
These two popular Lower East Side spots will be offering Mexican themed cocktails that are sure to be both delicious and strong. Beauty and Essex will be featuring a melon mojito with rum, melon nectar, mint, lime and cava; as well as a spicy twist on an old fashioned with mezcal, tequila, chile liqueur, a hint of orange, and Angostura and chocolate bitters. Stanton Social is also getting in on the fun with its drink, Lost in Polanco, which uses a jalapeño-infused tequila, blood orange juice, lime, and triple sec.

Bonnie Vee
Still a relatively new spot, Bonnie Vee has an old school 1930s and 1940s. If you find yourself wanting to go out, but not get too rowdy, swing by and try its Cinco de Mayo special, which features Santera blanco tequila, muddled cilantro, honey, along with lime and grapefruit flavors.

Hardings
For top-notch cocktails in a beautiful bar setting, head to Hardings where head bartender an one of Time Out New York’s top bartender finalists, Derrick Turner, will be mixing classic and original cocktails and more all night long. Be sure to order the night’s spicy Cinco de Mayo special, the Mula de Mexico, which is comes with 1800 Silver tequila, chipotle peppers, ginger beer, sweet cane sugar, and lime.

Agave Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, this May 5th, but continue the party Friday and Saturday nights too, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Agave Restaurant & Tequila Bar. It will be offering patrons at the bar free and unlimited chips and guacamole, $5 classic “House” margaritas, and $5 chicken quesadillas.

TAO
Both TAO Uptown and Downtown will be adding special drinks to their menus for this holiday. TAO Uptown will be serving its own twist on the classic mojito with a lemon-infused rum; a refreshing Pama Sutra which comes with tequila, a pomegranate liqueur, and lime; and a TAO-tini shaken with a mango passion fruit vodka, rum, and cranberry. TAO Downtown will be kicking up the spice with its mango chile martini that has tequila, house-spiced mango purée, and chile oil, as well as its TAO-garita which is created with tequila, TAO sour, and wasabi salt.

Pod 39 Rooftop
Another rooftop favorite is Pod 39 Rooftop, which will have both tequila-infused cocktails and live entertainment. April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco will be serving special food and drink pairings for the event that include the carnitas duo, chicken tinga duo, and chorizo tacos with all of the fixings, and a draft Negra Modelo for a perfect $10. If you are looking for bar snacks, you can’t go wrong with the homemade Chicharron for $5. Dance to the Mariachi Tapatio De Alvaro Paulino all night while drinking in a beautiful sky-high setting. Drink specials will also include a $10 Frozen Hibiscus Ginger Margarita and a $14 Mezcal Mule.

The Daisy
Begin Cinco de Mayo (and continue the fiesta through Saturday) by enjoying $5 braised short rib tostadas and $5.00 “The Daisy” margaritas, featuring tromba blanco tequila, st. Germaine black pepper, egg white, and lime marmalade.The Daisy will also be serving free and unlimited chips and guacamole to all those at the bar from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.

Beautique
The Cinco de Mayo party at this lounge starts at 6p.m. featuring tequila cocktail specials (obviously) including the house special of the night, the Cadillac Margarita, with Santera Reposado, grand marnier, and lime. There will be DJs and dancing all night, so get ready!

LAVO
For the beginning of what is most assuredly to be a crazy night at LAVO, start the evening with its Mexican themed special, the pompelmo, a libation that mixes jalapeño tequila, grapefruit, and fresh lime.

Vandal
For a festive night filled with art and flare, check out the recently opened Lower East Side’s Vandal. For Cinco de Mayo, it will be offering a spicy, refreshing Las Palmitas which comes with a Thai spiced illegal mezcal, Thai basil leaves, grapefruit bitters, and grapefruit beer; and a cocktail called the Pushcart Wars, with a jalapeño-habanero tequila, currant tea, rosemary, and lime.

Gansevoort Park Avenue
In the mood for Mexican fare, in addition to cocktails? Head to Gansevoort Park Avenue which has a lovely rooftop 20 stories high for views of the Empire State building. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, Gansevoort Park will be offering both drink and cocktail specials that include $15 for your choice of 3 tacos, $10 margaritas, and $6 draft Coronas. Tacos offered include the carne asada served with charred shishito peppers, salsa verde, and cipollini onion; and the rock shrimp taco with spicy aïoli, smashed avocado, and radish.

Ward III
With an extensive libations menu, this more casual watering hole will be commemorating the holiday with a drink called the Cuchi Cuchi Baby, which is a spicy mix of Santera blanco  tequila, serrano pepper cordial, cucumber, as well as basil and lime.

And for those of you that don’t feel like getting too wild on a weeknight, have your own fiesta in the comfort of your home. Just don’t forget the tequila. For ridiculously easy-to-make margaritas check out Jose Cuervo’s ready-to-drink margarita jugs which come in a slew of yummy flavors. Just take your Jose Cuervo margarita (flavors include classic, white peach, pink lemonade, watermelon, strawberry lime, and coconut pineapple) and blend with ice. Boom. Instant party.

Lastly, I know there are some people (not me) who really dislike tequila. Totally fine. For a cocktail that’s less liquor, but still delicious and alcoholic, grab some fruity beers like Traveler Beer Co.’s Grapefruit Traveler and shake it with ice, a splash of tequila, grapefruit juice, pinch of salt, and a bit of simple syrup. For the adventurous, add some hot sauce. Time to party.

Cinco de Mayo turns NYC into a fiesta one day a year — don’t miss out!

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NYC Spotlight | Rock & Reilly’s Gastrobar

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This upscale gastrobar and restaurant has now opened up shop on the east coast. {Credit: Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel}

With locations in both Los Angeles and Park City, this upscale gastrobar and restaurant has now opened up shop on the east coastJust in time for sunshine, warm nights, and summer Fridays arrives New York City’s latest rooftop destination, Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub. Located in the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel, this beautiful bar and restaurant is massive. As in it’s a 10,000-square-foot venue with an 8,000-square-foot terrace. If you don’t feel like getting hot and sweaty in a club — but still want to be out with your crew, drinking mighty fine cocktails, while chilling on a rooftop taking in views of the Empire State Building — this is your new spot. Oh, and if New York weather takes a turn and decides to almost literally rain on your parade, this spot has a retractable patio roof.

With swanky locations in Los Angeles and Park City, Rock & Reilly’s isn’t your average watering hole. While it prides itself on being an upscale bar and restaurant, this establishment goes beyond that by combining LA style and flair with splash of NYC exclusivity to create a classy gastrobar that is modern, chic, and celebrity-status cool. With industrial, rich design elements that include exposed brick, distressed metal, three handcrafted mahogany bars, and leafy, climbing-vine trellises separating jewel toned booths, this pub gives off a Prohibition-era speakeasy vibe.

Something I particularly found humorous is the selection of Reilly’s quotes that can be found through the bar. Examples include: “You look like I need a drink,” “Recent study showed that the leading cause of drinking was sobriety,” and my personal favorite, ““Blackouts are God’s way of saying ‘don’t worry ‘bout it.’”

Aside from the aesthetics and atmosphere, Rock & Reilly’s friendly — and surprisingly attentive — bartenders make absolutely delicious cocktails. The kind that are dangerously tasty and begging you to order another, even though you’ve already had one too many.

My favorite drink of the pre-opening event was the Rock & Rye Smash, served in a Moscow mule copper mug. This cocktail included Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye, Domaine de Canton Ginger, shiso, and yuzu. It was super refreshing thanks to the combination of the ginger liqueur and citrusy notes from the yuzu, a popular Japanese fruit, and the hint of shiso, which was a pleasant, herbal surprise. Normally I don’t drink rye, but clearly that wasn’t the case here!

Though I couldn’t try every single one of the signature cocktails — mainly due to my desire to stay at an acceptable level of sobriety — I did enjoy the Ancho Mango, which had Tito’s vodka mixed with a chile liqueur, mango, and a hint of basil, as well as When Doves Cry, a sparkling tequila and grapefruit cocktail that came with a pink peppercorn and Himalayan sea salt rim (much better than my usual, less complicated go-to: tequila and pineapple).

I look forward to conquering the rest of its innovative concoctions such as the Tea Thyme which incorporates vodka, rooibos and chamomile tea, and thyme; the Wake Up Call, a vodka-espresso drink with vanilla and chipotle flavors; the Red Head Redemption, a rum, orange, raspberry, and jalapeño blend; the Rebel Rebel, a tequila-red bull, pineapple cocktail; and the Make It There, a whiskey, vermouth, and bitters drink. If cocktails aren’t your thing, don’t worry. In addition to a large variety of beers and wine, Rock & Reilly’s features an enormous whiskey selection, including Scotch and bourbon lists, and whiskey flights for those who want to try them all.

I haven’t tried the food — yet— but I did manage to catch a bite of one of the biggest desserts I’ve seen in awhile from a sly young lady, Lauren, who managed to have this behemoth vanilla bean-peanut butter ice cream burger delivered to her table. If you’re having trouble envisioning what that is, let me help you. It’s an ice cream sandwich that’s fit for a giant, or more realistically, 3-4 of your friends. Enclosed in a huge, fresh, glazed doughnut is a treasure trove of vanilla bean ice cream, crunchy peanut butter, peanut brittle, and peanut butter cups, luring you to dig in fast, before it melts!

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CCC | Urban Putt

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With indulgent food, craft cocktails, beer and wine, big desserts, and games, Urban Putt is guaranteed to be a good time for all ages {Credit: Urban Putt}

Have you ever canceled plans to get drinks with coworkers or a love interest thanks to your budding anxiety of whether hanging out — while staying relatively sober — at a bar would become lame or awkward? If you’re anything similar to some 99 percent of the population, then the answer is most likely yes. Luckily, the solution to quelling any boredom or social ineptness while continuing to drink and be merry is simple: Go to Urban Putt.

Urban Putt is a one-of-a-kind venue in San Francisco’s Mission District. As San Francisco’s first and only indoor miniature golf course, this unique venue has entertainment, a slew of creative house-made cocktails, a selection of West Coast craft beers, outstanding bar bites, and a full-service restaurant that serves California style comfort foods.

On the entertainment front, Urban Putt offers a state-of-the-art, San Francisco themed 14-hole mini-golf course. The intricately designed course skillfully highlights iconic San Francisco presenting earthquakes, the Transamerica Pyramid building, cable cars, and The Painted Ladies (a row of famous Victorian homes in the city), and more. In addition, there are arcade games such as Skeeball and basketball Pop-a-Shot for those who aren’t into mini-golf.

As if mini-golf and arcade games aren’t reasons enough to check out this hotspot, Urban Putt also serves fresh, internationally influenced American cuisine, placing the emphasis on taste rather than flare. Chef Dane Boryta’s menu offers innovative starters such as the rich and filling duck confit Poutine; the sweet and savory fried chicken and waffle skewers; and the spicy yet flavorful roasted pumpkin and queso fresco empanadas. For those who prefer lighter fare, chef Boryta also has a nice selection of salads such as the Sweet Gem Caesar with pickled beets.

A favorite among patrons are Urban Putt’s cheesy deep dish corn meal crust pizzas. Mushroom-lovers will enjoy The Gimme which has both smoked mozzarella and gorgonzola cheeses and marinated mushrooms atop a classic seasoned tomato sauce. Fans of Mexican food may like the Back Nine, which incorporates a black bean sauce, a cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto, a variety of fresh toppings, and, of course, cotija cheese. Other pizzas showcase specialty toppings such as the hearty chicken merguez and fennel pork sausage and chicken meatballs.

Urban Putt has an entrée menu perfect for any palate. Being the carnivore that I am, I’m a fan of the juicy grilled hanger steak, which comes with rainbow chard and mashed potatoes. The restaurant also offers a pork chop that pairs well with its mustard barbecue sauce. Moreover, the restaurant delivers seafood options like the almond-crusted Petrale sole and the Southern classic: shrimp with cheesy Carolina white corn grits. Standout sides include the flavor-packed Brussels sprouts, biscuits with jalapeño honey butter, and the always indulgent mac and cheese (which you can add bacon to!). Urban Putt also serves a signature UP organic beef burger which comes with melted onions and the works.

If you came to drink, then get ready for some fantastic artisanal cocktails. While it does offer a good list of beers and wines, Urban Putt’s cocktails steal the show. My personal favorites are the Hibiscus Paloma with tequila, elderflower, grapefruit, and hibiscus soda; and the Apple Shrub with cider, thyme, vodka, and a sprig of rosemary. The bar also concocts exceptional classic drinks made with inventive twists. Examples being the coffee old fashioned, the vodka tea sour, or the Marmalade Collins, which actually has marmalade in it.

The bar even has a creative list of shots to order from. Adventurous drinkers can down shots like the pickle back, the Rojos Ojos (a Bloody Mary-type shot), and a homemade sweet tea vodka shot. In efforts to stave off any chance of a hangover, Urban Putt’s addictive Bar Bites feature smaller portions of its entrées, as well as fun appetizers like its bacon deviled eggs, chipotle pork bites, and beef or pork hotlink corn dogs.

Finish off your night with a delectable treat off the venue’s self-proclaimed scrumptious dessert menu. Indulgent choices such as the Challah Bread Pudding[10] with the option of rum butter sauce or caramel sauce; graham cracker crusted lemon cream pie; and the candy bar bites (think Rice Krispies meringue and Applewood-smoked bacon crumble), make the decision tough.

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25 Things

As my last hey-I-just-turned-25 posts, I wanted to share 25 Chelsea fun facts! And a birthday celebration recap because honestly this past bday was an awesome one- thanks to my wonderful bf and homies 🙂 I’m so lucky to be living in NYC with a group of fantastic people surrounding me! This year is going to be a good one. I’m no longer considered right out of college- weird- and I’m a mature-ish, mid-twenties young woman! June will be the start of lots of new things: a new job at Konnect PR (whoop whoop) and I’ll be moving into a new apartment! 25 is going to be a year of transformation I’ve decided. I want to actually make the changes in my life I’ve been talking about for forever. Now’s the time for doing- not just talking. Cheers to 25!

[Bday dinner and drinks at Dos Caminos!]
[Bday dinner and drinks at Dos Caminos!]
[Blowing out a bday churro sundae!]
[Blowing out a bday churro sundae!]
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[Bday celebration at Troy Liquor Bar in Meatpacking! Awesome place- not pretentious like most Meatpacking nightclubs… and there’s pool, yummy dranks and space to dance!]
[Pool hustling got pretty intense...]
[Pool hustling got pretty intense…]
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[Poppin' bottlezzzzz]
[Poppin’ bottlezzzzz]
[Pre-bday celebration with my boys at The Heath!]
[Pre-bday celebration with my boys at The Heath!]
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[Rooftop drinks overlooking Manhattan. Cheers!]

[All good nights, end with cake. HOLLER. Coconut lemon? Yes, please!]
[All good nights, end with cake. HOLLER. Coconut lemon? Yes, please!]

25 Things…

5 random facts

  1. I spent a year training in Florida at tennis academies my freshman year of high school- back in the day when my main goal was training to be a pro tennis player
  2. I’m terrible at ping-pong
  3. I have never had a traffic violation or have gotten any tickets! (knock on wood)
  4. I was home schooled from 7th grade up to college. Shocking, I know.
  5. I have had almost every “pet” animal you can imagine: hermit crabs, snakes, birds, hamsters (17 at one point,) a guinea pig, a dog, snails (my sister was an avid collector when we were young,) fish, a bearded dragon… what else am I missing?

5 long term ambitions/ goals

  1. Become the go-to professional in my chosen career path- public relations
  2. One day have enough money saved up to travel to one new country each year
  3. Be in a position to have fresh flowers weekly- one of the signs in my head that you’ve made it in life!
  4. Run a full marathon without dying
  5. Moved back to SF and married in 5 years

5 things I’ve learned

  1. Never buy fruit from the chain grocery store. I once *almost* paid $9 for grapes. FOR GRAPES. I said nope and returned them. It’s all about those fruit men in NYC (the fruit stands.) Amazing deals.
  2. Never commute to work in your heels. It’s dumb. And you’ll break your ankles. And- if you’re like me- you will smell up your nice work heels with foot stank.
  3. Never ever ever stop for those cons in NYC who complement your hair and ask you where you get it done… it’s a scam man. And their hair stylist are no good! NOT worth the “discounts.” And if you’re wondering- yes. Yes, I did learn this the hard way.
  4. Things never go exactly as planned- so roll with it! And don’t dwell on those unimportant things that didn’t go perfectly.
  5. You can’t change the past. As in accept what has happened, understand and comprehend the situation… and finally… MOVE ON.

5 things I want to improve

  1. Consistently live in the present. Seems easy, right? Well, let me tell you it’s the hardest thing I’ve tried to do!
  2. Be less critical of myself. I am the way I am and I can only evolve in to a better Chelsea one day at a time! Sh*tting on myself because I couldn’t keep it together one day, I didn’t plan for something no one could have foreseen, or calling myself fat after indulging on the exact foods I wanted does no one any good!
  3. Pray and read The Good Book more.
  4. Be less quick to anger. *I swear being in NYC has turned me in to a no-nonsense, get-at-me, “you-wanna-go?!” type of person… at least more so than I used to be… or was I always this confrontational? (*partial exaggeration)
  5. Say “like,” “actually” and “um” lots less.

5 jobs I’ve had since college

  1. Segment producer at Fox Business Network
  2. Financial Adviser at Merrill Lynch/ Bank of America
  3. Account Manager at Fresh Digital Group (a tech start up that didn’t pay me. F that.)
  4. Tennis Teaching Pro and Pro Shop manager at The River Club
  5. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE AT KONNECT PR!!! THAT’S RIGHT Y’ALL- YA GIRL GOT A NEW JOBBBBBBBBB 🙂

The Empire Hotel Rooftop

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I’ve always thought the massive neon red “Hotel Empire” sign was really iconic and cool and so I was super pumped when I found out I I had the opportunity to throw a party here for all of my friends! It seems like a very New York-y thing to do- throw a party on a rooftop bar & lounge- and so, I felt a little funny hosting, since I certainly don’t consider myself a New Yorker! Not to mention, I’ve never really hosted a proper party. I give party planners soooo much credit! Can you imagine wedding planners, for example? Hello anxiety central! I honestly didn’t do much to “plan” this out. I was like- hey guys just say my name at the door! And yet, I still had anxiety about numerous things… the weather, too many people coming, too few people coming, if the music was going to suck, what if the crowd was whack… WHAT IF NO ONE HAS FUN?! It was a long, ridiculous and unnecessary list of “what ifs”. But once the night started, all of that silly anxiety dispersed. I realized as long as I’m here with my friends, what could really go wrong? It turned out to be an awesome night. Drinks, dancing, lounging at our table, catching up with everyone, taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful views from the roof. It was a grand time!

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My outfit for the night! Look- I’m actually wearing heels! For those of you that don’t know, this is a rarity. Because, uh, hello? How am I supposed to get down on the dance floor when I can barely walk?!
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Enjoying our space- a rarity when going out in NYC!

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[After party drinks at Tao :)]

Life Snaps 5.2.15

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[Happiest 51st birthday to my beautiful role model of a mommy!!! How cute are they sharing an adventure in Pescadero, CA?]
This past week was a good one- very well rounded and definitely less work than play. Just how I prefer it! Hah. I did, unfortunately, get sick mid-week which culminated in a 20ish hour sleep-a-thon Wednesday. I was a literal zombie and my eyes just hurt. Like they hurt to move. Anyhoo, I bounced back, and now that May has arrived I’m once again enjoying walking through NYC on foot. There’s nothing I love more than stumbling upon a new delicious bakery to try on my morning commute or grabbing froyo and devouring it in the sunshine on my way back home. Did I indulge a bit too much this week? Maybe… but can’t say I regretted it. And hey- I managed to get my ass to 7am kickboxing! BAM! So I treat mahself.

P.S. Most people don’t know, but I consider May an ENTIRE party month. 🙂 It’s my mom’s bday the 1st, my sister’s the 8th, my boy friend’s the 10th and MINE the 14th!!! WHOOP WHOOP! PARTAY TYMMMMEEEE!

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[Okay guys. What if all of NYC smelled like cake… instead of hobo pee and garbage… WHAT IF??? Btws- amazing coconut cake from Buttercup Bake Shop. YES.]
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[I threw my first big girl NYC party for no particular reason- other than to celebrate my friends, of course- at The Empire Hotel Rooftop Friday Night! Whoop whoop! A solid night with my home gurlzzzz!]

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[Officially decided I do not take enough advantage of the superb museums NYC has to offer! So, my friends and I casually strolled through the MET Saturday afternoon 🙂 I’m a big fan of the Impressionists <3]
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[By far the best bagel I’ve ever had… Coconut Bagel with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese. RIDIC.]
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[See how happy I look after 7am kickboxing?!?!?]
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[So guys. This is what a $7 froyo experience looks like. Worth it? Yes, absolutely. Duh. But $7? Really Yogurtland? My theory is they’re messing with those scales…]