Monday, November 23, 2015


{ Alas, this little boite came in a close #11 on my list... }

I don't have to tell you guys at this point how very much I love eating and drinking through this fair city. When it's warm and breezy, my friends and I seek out sidewalk tables and relatively uncrowded rooftops to set up camp and while away the hours. But when it starts getting dark at 4 p.m. and Panama hats give way to beanies, the perfect spiked cider becomes even more coveted than a patio table at The Butcher's Daughter.

Whether you're narrowing down options for an upcoming date or trying to figure out where to gather your brain trust for a Sunday brunch, it's nice to have a shorter list than, you know, every bar and restaurant in New York. For your benefit and mine, I rounded up a few of my favorite (downtown, obviously) locales to cozy up at with a big bowl of pasta, a brilliantly simple burger or a piping-hot toddy.


{ @suppernyc }

This little spot on East 2rd Street is part of the Frank's restaurant empire, and my favorite of them all. If there's a wait for a table, try the tiny wine bar annex right next to the main restaurant. It's even cozier, and a great spot to settle in with a date for a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo—get the gnocchi and spaghetti al limone and live happily ever after.

Again, this is a terrific date spot. It's also a great place to come with a girlfriend, sibling, parent—you name it. But, it's also a place best saved for parties of two due to it's size and shortage of 4-top tables. You can sit at the bar and watch the owner and chef prepare every single thing, and try not to let yourself drool too much if you are in fact on a date. The specials change frequently, so bring an adventurous appetite with a hankering for French food.

{ @houseofstang }

Inexpensive burgers and beer that are delicious. A laid-back atmosphere and a friendly crowd. There's nothing more you could really ask for, and you get it all at Corner Bistro.

It always sticks out in my mind that the last drink I had before Superstorm Sandy arrived in NYC, on my 28th birthday, was at Shoolbred's. Tully and I snagged the very VIP club chairs next to the fireplace and avoided going home before we were forced to take shelter. Even if you can't get the best seats in the house, anywhere you settle in at this Second Avenue staple is a great place to have a hot cocktail and quiet chat.

{ @gramercytavern }

If you're feeling fancy, and your idea of cozy comes with the crush of an upscale crowd jockeying for a prized seat at the bar, Gramercy Tavern is the spot. I have a longstanding tradition of having a holiday season drink (or three) here with my friend Alex every year. We snack on the bar nuts (they're ridiculously good) and take in the quintessentially New York scene.

{ @aboyce18 }

For its own sake, I wish this place were more popular than it is, but selfishly I love that it is relatively unknown. Tucked away between Avenues B and C on 6th Street, my friends and I come here for both brunch and dinner because the food is excellent, there's always a table available, the staff is awesome and they play great music.

Irving Street, that little stretch just below Gramercy Park, is stuffed with cool little spots, from Bedford Cheese Shop to Pete's Tavern. Friend of a Farmer is amazing for brunch (if you're willing to wait) but also has a really intimate evening atmosphere. Grab a couple of stools by the window and watch the world go by—by candlelight.

{ @shutupilovethat }

This swanky little outpost of The Garret just opened across the street from my apartment, serving up craft cocktails, excellent mood lighting and BYOV nights once a week. (That's bring your own vinyl, by the way.) The scene on the weekends is exactly that—a scene—but on weeknights you can pop in for a ridiculously good $7 cocktail before 7 p.m. and take your pick between a banquette booth near the bar or the cozy, dimly lit den in the back. 

Tiny tables, low lighting, live jazz. Need I say more? Oh, their cocktails are excellent, too. Rue B is one of those amazingly unpretentious little neighborhood spots that's so lovely you're sure you should even tell anyone about it. So if you go, you didn't hear about it from me...

{ @loisbarnyc }

If you like wine, low lighting and alcohol on tap, you will like Lois. It's a sister ship to neighboring spots ABC Beer Co and Alphabet Wine Co, and serves up a rotating array of wines on tap—which is a draw in and of itself, but the selections are also really good. The atmosphere is low-key but definitely stylish, and be sure to order whatever cheeses are available that night—they come with the most delicious rosemary jam and crostini. I know what you're thinking and yes, this is another great date spot.

What are some of your favorite winter hideouts in NYC?


  1. I haven't been to most of these and that is a tragedy. Let's go to all together TOUT SUITE

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