June 22-25

Welcome back everyone! Aren’t Thursday’s the best? Let’s see what we have planned for you.

Thursday Night: 

Thursday Kitchen: What better way to start a Thursday night than at a place called Thursday Kitchen? Thursday Kitchen, located in the east village, is a small Korean restaurant and bar. I use the word “bar” lightly, since there were only two stools, so be prepared to eat an appetizer, or two, in order to get a table. They are most well known for their “Capri Thursday” drinks, which are like the adult version of a “Capri Sun”; they even glow in the dark! The drinks are served in clear pouches with a small straw and light up ice cubes inside! The drinks are made with sojou, a Korean liquor similar to vodka. All of the flavors are a little on the sweet side, but The Pure Jeremy (strawberry flavored) was by far our favorite. We also tasted the Lemonie Anne (lemon flavored) and Ms. Cutetini (cucumber flavored). The drinks were super cold, refreshing, and sweet; just the kind of drink you want for summer! There are a couple of things to note before visiting this spot. I would recommend arriving as close to 6/6:30pm as possible. The wait started to get long right around 7pm. Also, they don’t sit incomplete parties (my biggest pet peeve!) so tell your group chat to be on time! Since we wanted to sit (and obviously Instagram/Boomerang) our colorful drinks, we ended up ordering some dishes off the menu: The Angry Sweet Potato- sweet potato fries with a spicy sriracha goat cheese and Soft Shell Crab- fried and served with a wasabi dipping sauce. Both were delicious and would order again. Sometimes the most simple dishes are the most memorable!

Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings:  Mimi Cheng’s is an authentic and delicious home-cooked Taiwanese cuisine dumpling restaurant. Also located in the East Village, (about a 4-minute walk from Thursday Kitchen) it is an easy and great place to grab a bite after your drinks. What makes Mimi Cheng’s so exciting is that each month, Mimi Cheng’s delivers a “dumpling of the month”, so you can get something new every time you go! These special dumplings are usually collaborations with famous chefs or other yummy restaurants around NYC, using their ingredients and recipes as delicious fillings and sauces. We tried their June special, blue crab dumplings with a lime, avocado puree on top; perfectly light and refreshing for the warmer season. We also got the Super V which has carrots, chives, sweet cabbage, and mushrooms. It’s completely vegan; and coming from someone who loves their vegetables, it was the perfect combination of healthy veggies wrapped inside! Their special homemade sauce is available as well. It was really good but very spicy; so if you’re looking for an alternative, just ask for soy sauce and they can grab you some from the back! You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a spot to sit and enjoy; there are some tables and stools inside and a few tables outside. However, I wouldn’t recommend this place for large groups!

Bing Box Snow Cream:  Bing Box Snow Cream is a modern take on Korean shaved ice cream (and about a 2-minute walk from Mimi Cheng’s). The “snow cream” tastes very sweet, but also very creamy. My favorite soft serve was the lychee, which tasted like vanilla with a hint of lychee flavoring. If you have ever been to Snowdays, this is better in my opinion. I recommend customizing your own BingBox because some of the suggested combinations didn’t go together that well (the preset taro with caramel popcorn and strawberry toppings wasn’t very complementary). Bingbox is a great alternative to traditional ice cream if you're craving something on a 90-degree day and want a pretty shot of your bright purple, green, or orange swirl!

(Summer) Friday:

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum: Although no one thinks there are many “trendy” things to do on the Upper East Side, this summer Friday agenda will quickly change your mind! The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has been a staple uptown attraction for a long time. One of their main on-going exhibits is what I always recommend: The Immersion Room. While using a giant digital pen, you can play designer by creating your own drawings and seeing them come to life on all four walls surrounding you. Draw your name, favorite food, or whatever you wish!

Blue Stone Lane:  Although they are mostly known for their Australian style and coffee, Blue Stone Lane also has amazing food. The Upper East Side location is about a 1-minute walk from the museum on 5th avenue, but there are multiple locations around the city, so feel free to visit them all! This is the perfect place for a light, healthy, and fulfilling lunch. Honestly, everything I’ve had on the menu has been great, but the highlights for me were the banana bread topped with fresh ricotta and toasted pecans and the Golden Latte, which is a turmeric spiced blend served with almond milk.  There are a bunch of tables outside and a few booths and stools inside, so no need to worry about seating! The staff is friendly, the food is reasonably priced, and it’s always a delicious meal.

Central Park: I don’t have a whole lot to say about Central Park, because, it’s Central Park! But you are RIGHT at the 90th street entrance when you leave your lunch at Blue Stone Lane. Take a walk across the pond or a stroll downtown through the trees and pathways. I think it’s a great way to end your afternoon! If you stumble upon an ice cream stand, that’s not a bad way to end the day either! Just another quick tip about the park that I recently learned: from dawn until 9 a.m. and from 9 p.m. until park closing, dogs can be off-leash in any area of Central Park that is not off-limits to dogs during other times of the day. Whether you are a dog owner, or just a dog lover, this is super exciting news! Let those puppies run free!

Friday Night:

Broadway Bites: Broadway Bites pops up in the summer at Greeley Square (right near Herald Square) from June 1st to July 14th. Run by Urbanspace, Broadway Bites showcases various food stands representing a diverse mix of cuisines from local chefs and vendors. The best part is some of the food vendors make special dishes and flavors exclusively for Broadway Bites! It’s open every day until 9pm with plenty of outdoor seating so it’s great for a midtown dinner after work. This year, Melt Kraft (amazing artisan grilled cheese sandwiches with different combos) and Squish Marshmallows (different flavored marshmallows torched right there for you!) were my winners! Click the link above to check out the entire list of vendors before heading over! 

Eataly Rooftop: SABBIA, which means “sand” in Italian is Eataly’s current pop-up rooftop restaurant inspired by the Italian seaside. Need to escape the hot pavement of Fifth Avenue? Head over to the top floor of Eataly (about a 9-minute walk) for an all-new bruschetta bar, an oyster boat, or some cold white wine. As you enter, you will be among festive umbrellas, cabanas and their retractable roof. It does get pretty busy; you have to wait at the downstairs elevator (by the pasta section) to get in. However, they do move the line quickly and there is an all-new rosé menu featuring more than 50 producers waiting for you up top!

Saturday Day:

Cyclones Group Ride Adventure: I wanted to make sure to share this activity with everyone because it’s a great way to be active, outdoors, and social all in one afternoon! This Saturday at 1pm, Cyclones (a social biking club) is hitting the streets with a huge group bike adventure. They will cruise through new neighborhoods and secret avenues, hit up a chocolate factory with fresh tastings, and explore a legendary outdoor art gallery. You might even make a new friend! Cyclones’ DJs will be playing on the “Sound Bikes” to keep the vibe strong during the ride. It all ends with an outdoor after-party near the meet-up location! I would grab tickets in advance to reserve your spot on the ride. Check-in is at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge on the BK side. Make sure to get your wristband here! The destinations are a surprise and don’t worry, they cruise at a slow-roll pace for riders of all skill levels. Need to rent a bike beforehand? Reserve in advance at Landmark. Tell them you're a Cyclone to get $5 off your rental (comes with helmet and lock). We have learned that no one wears workout gear, so the recommended attire is comfortable “cute” clothing. Be prepared for a full day of adventure, meeting new people, and discovering some cool spots along the way!

Saturday Night: 

North Fork Wine and Artisanal Food Festival: The North Fork Wine and Artisanal Food Festival is your chance to sample wine at a working vineyard this Saturday! I have to note, this is an hour and a half drive from the city, but there is a round trip bus ticket that you can purchase along with your ticket for the festival. It is definitely worth it on a nice evening (the second session is from 4pm-7pm at Jamesport Vineyards) because Long Island’s North Fork region is New York’s version of “Wine Country”. Also, the event gives you the chance to meet face-to-face with Long Island Wine Country’s most acclaimed winemakers, sample the 100+ wines on hand, and learn about the wines’ tasting notes, growth history, and other unique tidbits the public doesn’t normally get to hear! 

Sunday: 

Café Clover: Café Clover is located on a charming tree-lined street in the West Village. There is definitely a focus on pure, simple ingredients which makes this brunch spot deliver dishes that are both healthy and delicious! They hold many of the tables in their bar and outdoor terrace for walk-in guests, so drop by or make a reservation on OpenTable beforehand. The quinoa pancakes with strawberries and cashews were by far one of the most healthy and satisfying brunch meals of all time! The pressed juices and homemade puffed grain granola (with chia seeds, nuts, apricots and honey) are also HIGHLY recommended. The whole atmosphere of this restaurant is calming, with blue and modern furniture everywhere you look. This place will stay on my brunch list for a while!

City Cakes: City Cakes (about a 21-minute walk from Café Clover) is a great spot to know about for all your future friends/family birthdays. Besides the to-go area, they make beautiful custom (and great tasting) cakes for all occasions! The cookies are also incredible! Cookies are a hard category for me because Levain will always hold a special place in my heart, however, these are a close second. They are well known for their “stuffed” red velvet cookies. They are on the softer side, with cream cheese frosting “stuffing” oozing out with every bite. Right now, they even have a PRIDE rainbow doodle cookie. $2 from each cookie purchased goes to the Anti Violence Project (@antiviolence). They are beautiful, tasty, and support a great cause!

As always, feedback on our plans is welcomed AND encouraged. If you have been to any of these places and agree, disagree, or just want to share please e-mail yourweekendplans@gmail.com. We would love to hear your opinions!

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