Monday, July 23, 2012

Brunch: Il Bastardo

This place was completely crazy on a stick.  And I totally loved it - well I probably would have loved it if I was five years younger.  Silly me, I went expecting a nice relaxing brunch in Chelsea but what I got was an AYCD brunch in the middle of Vegas (I can confirm flashblacks). 

AYCD option for $20 with your brunch entree!
As you can see from the menu above, you can add $20 to your meal for the All You Can Drink unlimited Mimosas, Champagne, Screw Drivers, or Bloody Marys option.  At $10-12 for an individual drink, why not go for the unlimited?  When you get the drink, it comes in large wine glasses instead of the usual skinny champagne glasses. And these drinks are constantly refilled - I never ever had less than half in my glass at any time.  Definitely get your $20 worth!!  These drinks were definitely strong though, so go easy.

The drinks are huge and always refilled
As you're sipping your drink and perusing the menu, you won't be able to ignore the music and energy around you.  There's a DJ booth with a DJ spinning club music - yes during brunch!  When a particularly good song comes on, fellow diners get up and dance in the aisles and occasionally free shots get passed around!  It's definitely a carefree happy-go-lucky atmosphere, but if you are trying to catch up with a friend don't expect to hear any conversation here. 

DJ Booth setting the party mood at brunch

Friday, July 20, 2012

The House

This place serves the best Truffled Mac and Cheese - hands down. 

Outside of The House (sad there is a scaffolding blocking part of the front!)
What used to be a carriage house in its previous life, The House has been beautifully restored and now serves as a great spot for a wonderful meal!  The main floor features a little bar area with a fireplace and big windows - you feel like you are dining in someone's (super elegant) dining room.

Big windows in the dining room
Gorgeous fireplace

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cask Bar + Kitchen

Lately, I've been drawn to Cask Bar + Kitchen for Happy Hour, for dinner, for snacktime, for everything.

Located on 33rd Street and 3rd Ave, it's great for after work Happy Hours (well, for those who work
in Midtown East).  There's a bar area in the front with lots of seating, but during happy hour (4-8pm Mon-Fri) space may get a little tight.  For dinner (or drinks that roll into dinner) there's a decently sized dining area in the back.  There's lots of wood everywhere and the whole place is softly lit - great to take a load off after work or relax with a nice dinner!

Great wooden bar area in the front
Dining room in the back (pic from yelp)
There's a great selection of beers, wines, and cocktails.  My personal favorites would be the white sangria and the St Murray cocktail (both of which happen to be on the happy hour menu!).  The St Murray is especially excellent - at my last dinner here I converted the whole table and we all ended up with St Murray's by the end of the night!

Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita and the White Sangria
St Murray cocktails for the table!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Brunch: Pastis

Yes, one of my favorite brunch places in the city is Pastis.  I just can't get enough!  I know I's in the Meatpacking district, has this pretentious reputation, and is always super packed, but I have yet to have anything less than a stellar experience there (plus the Sephora next door is phenomenal).  If you haven't given Pastis a go yet, definitely go for brunch!

Concerned about a wait?  No worries - you can usually score a reservation even a couple days before or just walk-in on the earlier side.  Even better if you can snag one of the great tables outside - great for people watching and brunching in your fabulous sunglasses!  Hopefully the scaffolding is gone by now...

Outside brunching is the best here (sadly it's been covered by scaffolding lately)
If you grab a table inside, that's not a bad deal either.  You just can't help but enjoy the energetic Parisian brasserie-ish energy inside!  And the hostesses have never been anything but gracious (I've showed up super late and super early for reservations and they've been accommodating on both occasions).

Great energy inside Pastis!

Friday, July 13, 2012


I just can't seem to get enough of Bianca lately.  This great little Italian restaurant is perfect for any occasion - girls night, date night, dinner with out of town guests, everything!  With it's reasonably priced menu and great wine list I already can't wait to go back.

As you approach the restaurant, usually you'll see a small crowd mulling around outside.  Sadly Bianca does not take reservations so if you arrive during prime eating time there will probably be a wait.  But definitely put your name down because it's worth the wait!  And if its hot or rainy outside the restaurant will usually direct you to the bar next door and they will come get you when your table is ready.  Talk about entertainment while you wait!

As you step inside to your table, you'll notice that it's not a large restaurant.  The space is a touch tight but the brick walls and soft lighting create a warm and cozy feel.

Inside of Bianca - cozy and cute!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Brunch: Untitled (at the Whitney Museum)

Did you know that you can brunch at the Whitney Museum?  And it's a Danny Meyer farm-to-table restaurant to boot!  A fellow brunch junkie and I were looking for a new spot to try and decided to scope out the situation on a recent Sunday morning.

Brunching at the Whitney Museum!
Located in the bottom level of the Whitney Museum, just let the ticket takers know that you're headed to the restaurant Untitled below and you are allowed to pass.  Head on down and you'll realize that this is no dark basement restaurant!  On one side is a great breakfast bar.  On the other side is an entire wall of glass and you can look up to Madison Ave.  It's definitely a great space filled with light and extremely tall ceilings.  I loved the feel in there!

Breakfast bar
Entire wall of glass made the space feel bright an spacious

Monday, July 9, 2012

Brunch: David Burke Kitchen

Fellow Piggys...can you believe it's already July??? As Piggy KL said in an earlier post, we've been on a bit of a summer break the last couple weeks. And during those last couple weeks, I've eaten A LOT and can't wait to share with you where I've been!

Summer break or not, the one thing I'm always on a hunt for is a great brunch spot without the crazy crowds. I'm an anxious person and last minute brunch plans without any reservations always send me into a tizzy.  However, my recent discovery of David Burke Kitchen have laid the anxiety aside - I've found a fantastic brunch spot with no crazy line! 

Located right above Tribeca, David Burke Kitchen may not be the easiest place to get to but I promise you will love it!  Its a decently large space with an outdoor patio dining area upstairs (if you watch Bethenny, she had lunch on the patio in one of her episodes!).

Inside of David Burke Kitchen

Looking at the menu, there are a lot of items and options to choose from.  Being the Piggy that I am, I decided (along with my other brunching buddies) went with the $29 brunch Prix Fixe which comes with either a starter and entree, or entree and dessert. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hell or High Watermelon

Hell or High... what?!  Yes, watermelon!

I stumbled upon this seasonal wheat beer at Finnerty's bar on 2nd Avenue in the East Village.  Produced by 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, this is a great light beer for the summer.  The best part is the hint of watermelon at the end of each sip!  I've never had watermelon beer, but I'm loving this one:

How awesome is that can too? It's Miss Liberty sitting on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Love!

Piggy KL