FRI-YAY for our very first e-mail newsletter! Get ready for some awesome plans.
Many of you may have seen my experience at Aunt Jakes on Instagram, because it was one of the best activities I have ever done in New York! Aunt Jakes is an Italian restaurant nested in Little Italy. As soon as you walk in, the staff could not be friendlier! The restaurant is modern, bright, and inviting. Aunt Jakes serves dinner (and takes reservations!). But, I recommend their Pasta Lab. The Pasta Lab is a hands-on pasta making class upstairs in the restaurant’s open kitchen. The class is lead by Chef Carmine, who offers every participant a glass of wine before you start cooking and whose welcoming personality is contagious. Throughout the class you learn about the different Italian ingredients and make their pasta dough from scratch. My favorite part was making the dough into the various kinds of pasta shapes such as bow ties, pappardelle, and linguini. At the end, you get to take your dough home (make it within 2-3 days!) and Chef Carmine already has a full meal waiting for you in the other dining room. He served us his famous spicy pasta, artichoke avocado toast, and Bolognaise sauce. The best part is—the class and dinner is only 25 dollars! It’s the perfect activity to do with family, friends, or a date. SIGN UP here and continue reading as we have the rest of the night planned out only steps away!
Conveniently located next door (and owned by Aunt Jakes) is the Mulberry Project, which is best, described as an outdoor garden slash speakeasy. I would definitely recommend coming here in the summer (good timing!) because the patio is the main focal point. The patio features a small garden, strings of lights, and quaint tables. Every drink served is customized to your liking – while you just explain flavors or fruits you like. Love grapefruit? The best grapefruit mint alcoholic concoction will be arriving your way shortly.
You’ve (made) & eaten dinner, had some drinks but the night isn’t over without dessert! Luckily, around the corner, Milk & Cream Cereal Bar has just opened their doors. When you walk in, you will immediately notice a huge neon sign that says “TREAT YOURSELF” – as if they are prepping your Instagram picture for you. Their menu is pretty expansive, ranging from actual cereal and milk, to any cereal ice cream combination you can think of. I asked for their favorite and got a brownie, cookie, chocolate masterpiece. After having been to Kith (a similar frozen yogurt shop downtown) – I thought this was way better.
Bortolami Gallery is located in Tribeca. Their latest exhibit is by Artist Daniel Buren. For this show, Buren transformed the space using colored filters, lights, and stripes. Daniel Buren is best known for transforming bland environments into new and exciting visions. Buren’s exhibits are mostly temporary and range from being featured in subway stations to museums. This show, specifically, is free and open until June 24th.
Two Hands, which first location opened in the Lower East Side, is an Australian Café. After their original location got so popular, they eventually expanded into this spot, on Church Street. The menu does differ, but both locations have delicious, healthy, and well-priced options. I would highly recommend getting the banana bread starter. The banana bread is just the right consistency with espresso cream on top that makes for the ultimate brunch treat. We also ordered the yogurt parfait and avocado toast. Both were delicious! This restaurant does get busy, but this location is larger and the wait goes faster. Also, if you see any seats at the bar, grab them because the service is equally as good.
The Arlo Nomad has a brand new rooftop bar with an all glass floor! This reminds me of Sky Deck in Chicago (incase anyone has been there!) since you can see right through the glassed floor through your shoes to the streets of the city. Enjoy your wine or cocktails with view of the skyline and midtown by your feet. They claim that the glass is thicker then concrete, so no need to be worried about falling through!
Upland is a restaurant located right near the Arlo Nomad Hotel. When it first opened, it was almost impossible to get a reservation, but now it is definitely easier to get in. Every table is covered with a picnic tablecloth and inspired by true California cuisine. Some of the dishes that stood out to us were the Kale Salad, Beets Appetizer, and any the pasta dishes. Even though reservations are easier to obtain, this place is always packed. This brings us to one of @yourweekendplans rules. If somewhere is getting a lot of hype, and maintains that hype over a certain time period (a year or so), then we always recommend it. There are many New York City places that do not last long because the place is not worth revisiting after you tried their one outrageous specialty. This is not one of those places!
The Magician Show at the Nomad Hotel is an evening of magic and mystery in a very intimate setting. The show performs every weekend, but you must get tickets in advance. If you love this Saturday Night plan, I would try to get tickets as soon as possible because I cannot recommend it ENOUGH! Every part of this show, from the moment you walk in, is unique. As you sit down at your seat, you are given popcorn, a drink menu, and a deck of cards. They encourage you to order lots of drinks since the show is a little bit long and they want the audience to constantly participate. I don’t want to ruin any more because this show is truly special and completely mind blowing. Ever walk out of a room and think about something for an ENTIRE day afterwards? THAT WAS ME!! I could not stop questioning how Dan White (the magician) was able to pull off SO many incredible tricks. I could go on for a while here so I will stop myself while I’m at it….but PLEASE buy tickets here. It is worth every penny!
Dimes is a great place for brunch in the Lower East Side/Chinatown. I will warn you in advance to not go here with a lot of people! The place is delicious and has a very calming vibe, but is TINY. There is VERY limited seating, so the best time to go would either be on the earlier or later side of the Sunday crowds. However, once your there, every plate that comes your way is beautiful. The ACAI and breakfast bowls here are the way to go. We really just want you to have something substantive before the next stop!
Sweet Moment is a new café also located in Chinatown. You will notice it immediately, because it is much larger then any of the other surrounding stores. It’s brand new with wood walls and modern silver stools. There are multiple reasons to come here, so let’s begin! Sweet Moment first became known for its Matcha lattes, which are absolutely some of the cutest designs of coffee foam. Were not talking your typical heart from your morning barista, these designs reach new levels. Each one is artistically designed as adorable animals, faces and colors! Get your camera ready because this is the picture of your coffee shop dreams. In addition to the drinks, Sweet Moment has insane (yes, insane!) shaved ice dessert sundaes. They come in a variety of flavors, such as mango, strawberry, and Oreo. We obviously had to go for the Oreo, and it exceeded all our taste bud expectations. Between the chocolate shaved ice, brownies, chocolate ice cream, actual Oreo crumbs, and white chocolate sauce, I don’t know what more we could ask for.
Trending Attractions NOT worth the hype:
*Disclaimer: I love trying new plans in New York City (obviously!) so I get so excited when new places pop up. However, with limited time on your weekend, I want to make sure you know what’s really worth your time & money.
The Boba Room is a Bubble Tea Museum. Yup, you heard that correctly! Bubble Tea is such a big trend these days that they decided to open a museum (or more like a room) dedicated to it. You had to buy tickets in advance (not very expensive) but still had to pay and pick a time slot to go. This exhibit only took 20 minutes to explore, and I have to admit, I thought it was fun because I got free bubble tea and took pictures with balloon floats, neon signs, and a colorful wall. If I had to be picky though, this would not stay on the list. Some Instagram pictures and Facebook videos make this look like an entire daylong event. It definitely is not. The balloon room has regular balloons and some balloon floats that serve no purpose besides a photo opportunity. The rest of the museum is mostly wall décor and a bubble tea stand. Unless you’re in the area (its near the bowery hotel), this is something that was not up to our @yourweekendplans standards!
I wish that sometimes I could record myself when I sit down to write plans/itineraries for you guys! The expression on my face when I talk about the chocolate museum is a funny one. This is one of my favorite parts of starting @yourweekendplans. Social media is amazing, but can really fool you into thinking that places are much better in the three second boomerang than when you get their in real life. We decided to go to the Chocolate Museum after seeing articles titled “FIRST CHOCOLATE MUSEUM in NYC” everywhere. Honestly, it sounds great. Again, we bought tickets (not expensive, around 15$) and picked a time slot to go on a Saturday afternoon. The Chocolate Museum is inside the downtown location of the Jacques Torres shop. Let me start by saying, that I am a HUGE personal fan of Jacques Torres. His chocolate, gifts, and cookies (ask for them warmed up) are truly delicious. However, this attached museum was a huge disappointment. As we walked in, we saw some brief history and artifacts of Mayan Culture. All were in glass cases and hard to read about. There were chocolate “samples,” but these were really just discs of white, milk, and dark chocolate. We waited fifteen minutes for the chocolate making (?) demonstrations to begin, which lasted only five minutes. No part of this captured our attention or was the least bit exciting. Save yourself some time and just go to the store to buy a chocolate caramel instead!
Tipsy Scoop is a new ice cream shop in New York City. I know what your thinking…there’s purple ice cream, shaved ice cream, and giant sundaes at every corner, what’s the twist? Well, Tipsy Scoop is an alcoholic ice cream shop. Each one of their flavors has a certain alcoholic component. They say about 5% of the ice cream is actual alcohol, but it should be noted, that they ask everyone for ID at the door! We got on line around 7pm to get into the store. They say they close at 8pm, but to their credit, they served the entire line instead of closing their doors! We were ready to order the “flight,” which is described as mini sprinkled cups filled with four samples of any of the flavors. We thought that would be great for a group and a new place, since we could choose a variety. However, when it was our turn to order, they were sold out of the flights and a many flavors. Our options were limited, so we choose the ones that sounded the best. We got Spiked Mint Chip and Raspberry Limóncello. Neither impressed me. I have heard from some followers to give it another chance because some of the sold out flavors are really good. Unfortunately, both of these flavors did not taste very good (actually worse than the real flavor of ice cream) and had horrible after tastes.