Made Nice: Made Nice is a casual take out restaurant (with a seating area) in Flatiron brought to you by Chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, famous for their restaurants Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad Hotel. However, this is not your typical place to grab-and-go during your lunch hour! Finally, we can feast on inexpensive dishes that taste just as good as the best places to eat in New York City! The goal was to “create a restaurant that customers would want to visit every day of the week,” says Humm. Many of the dishes originate from their other restaurant’s menus, but have their own Made Nice flair to them. My favorite dishes on their menu are the Summer Chicken Salad that comes with an amazing red pepper vinaigrette and their most popular dish, the Salmon Rosti Salad. The Salmon Rosti Salad includes fresh smoked salmon, potato latke croutons, and a dill and caper relish that creates a different and exciting lunch option. Since we know dessert is always my favorite part of any meal, I was beyond excited to try the Milk & Honey soft serve. The soft serve is based on Humm’s Milk & Honey, a dessert recognizable to anyone who has dined at their above sister establishments, but this was the first time I had tried anything like it! For a reasonable $6, I no longer feel like I have to go spend the big bucks! Between the milk ice cream, honey brittle, oat shortbread, and buckwheat honey, this was a truly special dessert. Prepare for your quick work or Summer Friday lunches to be fully revamped!
Refinery Rooftop: Refinery Rooftop (about a 12-minute walk from Made Nice) is a great rooftop bar located on 38th Street. I have never had an issue with long elevator lines or terrible crowds, but I do think it would be best to take advantage of your Summer Friday here because it’s definitely a popular happy hour spot in the summertime. The venue is decorated extremely cute with dangling light bulbs and a clear direct view of the Empire State Building! Right now, you can get their signature rosé, while supporting a good cause at the same time! Each frosé (which comes in a “I Give A Sip” plastic cup) will support Breast Cancer Awareness! Plus, the punny Instagram caption is already included ;)!
Emporio Armani Pop Up: Italian fashion brand Giorgio Armani has decided to increase awareness of their newest fragrance products Because It’s You (for women) and Stronger With You (for men) by creating a temporary pop-up shop at The Oculus- Westfield World Trade Center! Here you can fully immerse yourself in their infinity star room complete with a ton of little white lights, which reminds me exactly of the infinity room by Yayoi Kusama! Instead of waiting for that exhibit to come back, you can come here, take an epic selfie, and get complimentary engraving with any perfume purchase! It’s only open this weekend (ends Sunday August 27th) and is open from 11:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. See you there!
Sea Glass Carousel: The Sea Glass Carousel is located in Battery Park, about an 18-minute walk from the Oculus. When the Battery Conservancy was designing the park’s interior, they decided the southern end of the park needed more light. Therefore, the team came up with the idea of an aquatic carousel to give memory to Battery Park’s history, which was the first home of the New York Aquarium. Although probably meant for children, the carousel features iridescent fish that glide through the sights and sounds of an indoor aquatic experience for all ages! When I walked up to the carousel, I felt like I was fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Seriously though, this carousel is BEAUTIFUL with light-up pastel blue, purple, and yellow giant fish of all shapes and sizes serving as your seats on the ride! Admission is only $5 per ride and will give you yet another trendy self-portrait of the day!
The Drug Store: The Drug Store, a new pop-up shop on Elizabeth Street, is best described a mix between a non-alcoholic cocktail bar and a fancy lemonade stand. Dirty Lemon, a previously online-only delivery company for detox drinks, decided to take these celebrity endorsed drinks to the streets by opening this temporary bar in NYC for the summer! Here you can find veteran mixologists who create handcrafted lemon-based elixirs made with fun and interesting ingredients such as activated charcoal, marine collagen, and shavegrass. They’ve also featured live DJs and celebrity bartenders throughout the summer. I wanted add this to @yourweekendplans because it’s only open through Labor Day, so put this at the top of your list! The decor is super cute featuring neon signs that say “drugs and tonics” in old-school soda shop writing. I opted for the rose lemonade (lemon, Bulgarian rose water, chamomile and orange blossom honey). The Drug Store is only open during the day from 10am to 7pm, so this is a great place to stop for a refreshing treat to enjoy on your walk to your dinner reservation!
Sessanta: Sessanta (about a 12-minute walk from The Drug Store) is an Italian restaurant located in the Sixty Soho Hotel. After coming here for brunch, I peaked at the dinner menu and decided I needed to go back! The restaurant is an adorable space and I especially love their outdoor patio area. If you have been here before it was taken over by Adam Leonti this past May, you have to give this place another try! The most memorable dish was the Artichoke Lasagna, which has quickly become one of the most publicized dishes here. Chef Leonti fries a whole Roman artichoke and caramelizes it into thin layers on a cast-iron pan. I love that Sessanta takes reservations on OpenTable and it’s not one of these crazy restaurants you have to set an alarm to wake up at 5 A.M, 32 and a half days before you want to go to get in! I can always rely on Sessanta for a last-minute, guaranteed good meal waiting for me when I arrive!
Chelsea Market: Chelsea Market may sound familiar to some native New Yorkers as a staple for shopping and eating on the west side. I wanted to add this to @yourweekendplans for 2 important reasons! The first one is the Pineapple Express shop that’s only open until September 30th. Where else can you find tropical soft serve that is completely vegan and delicious? As we continue the search for absolutely anything served inside a fruit, we landed here! Items on their menu include a La Croix Pineapple Soda, which is a dairy-free pineapple soft serve over La Croix (the newest trendy sparkling water) and an Orange Creamsicle soft serve, that comes in, you guessed it – a scooped out orange! All of the soft serves are free of processed ingredients or white sugars! Instead, they simply whip up pineapple (or any fruit) puree, fresh pineapple juice, organic coconut milk, and agave nectar together in a soft-serve machine, before swirling the concoction into one of her signature sundaes or floats! Time to eat your treat and walk over to the Artists & Fleas section of the market. Artists & Fleas is a daily market (inside Chelsea Market) that displays over 30 independent vendors showcasing anything from art, to jewelry, to vintage clothing. I find that in the summer some of my favorite vendors such as Rhea Kulcsar and Pamela Barksy are there more often, which makes it a great outing!
NOT WORTH THE HYPE:
City Vineyard at Pier 26: City Vineyard caught my eye when I was doing my usual @yourweekendplans research for everyone! I had to check it out since it was advertised as a great spot can guests can enjoy both inside at their restaurant and outside in their Wine Garden (located on the pier). On the pier, you can sip on your favorite drinks while sitting beneath the decorative sweeping grapevines while enjoying views of the water! It sounded like this was the closest I was going to get to the North Fork in a short(ish) Uber ride! I came for lunch, so this review may vary depending on the timing of your visit. I will admit, the scenery was really nice, however, we were extremely disappointed with the overall service (our order came completely wrong), the food, and the drinks! Some expensive places are worth it because of the atmosphere and are good places to get together with friends, but I really didn’t think this place was worth the hype! The entire vibe here seemed very touristy and not one part of our expensive meal was memorable. Maybe on a summer night, if you're close by, just drinks outside could be a fun activity if you are looking to get out of your neighborhood. Personally, I do not think it’s worth the schlep!