Gnoccheria By Luzzo’s: We had been dying to try Gnoccheria, located in Alphabet City, after seeing and hearing about an entire menu basically dedicated to gnocchi (the best of all pastas!). We went with just a party of 2, and to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend much more than 4 people (tops!) to dine out here. The restaurant has a cozy feel but it is also very small and has teeny tiny tables! They don’t take reservations online, but do by phone, so we would recommend calling ahead of time due to the size. If you get there early you should be fine, as there were a couple of tables still open on our Friday night adventure. A major plus is that they have gluten free and dairy free pasta sauce and pasta options, which many Italian places do not have! We ordered some appetizers, which were fine, but we would just stick to ordering gnocchi here! The Tri Gnocchi dish (located as a special on the very bottom of the menu!) was truly delicious! It comes with 3 different kinds of sauces (plenty to share with another person!) and comes out looking like the Italian flag since the sauces were Sorrentina (tomato, mozzarella and basil), Quattro Formaggi (four cheeses) and a classic Pesto. All of them were equally as good and the combo together was the perfect way to experience this meal. Make sure you’re in the mood for these small doughy creations and you will not be disappointed!
Stuffed Ice Cream: When there’s a line out the door of an ice cream shop and it’s the middle of winter, you know you're entering a solid spot. Take a brief stroll from dinner (9-minute walk) over to Stuffed Ice Cream to complete your night of full on indulgence. Stuffed Ice Cream has been on our list after seeing pictures of their crazy creations such as ice cream stuffed glazed donuts, a literal ice cream bouquet of 7 flavors, and an edible snowman! The actual shop is pretty narrow, but when you reach the ice cream counter, make sure to try as many flavors as your heart desires (since the staff encourages it!!). Some of the flavors that stood out to us were the red velvet cookie dough, vanilla swiss almond, and white chocolate lavender. Since we wanted to have our very own Olaf, we ended up going with the edible snowman with the vanilla swiss almond (for the white color - always thinking of the #gram!), which came with cereal toppings, caramel sticks, and chocolate chips to make it come to life with arms, buttons and a cute smile! Not only did our 3-scoop friend end up looking adorable, but it tasted delicious too! There aren’t a ton of seats, so be prepared to stand or take your dessert on the go; but first, snap a photo of any of the insta-worthy treats on the menu in front of their ice cream neon sign or exposed brick walls!
Paul Kasmin Gallery: Start your Saturday off right by heading over to Paul Kasmin Gallery for some *new* Robert Indiana installations that we really loved. The exhibition, which honors the artist in his 90th year and celebrates over 15 years of representation by the gallery, includes 2 iconic works: the “Love Wall” and “One Through Zero.” Love Wall consists of 4 O’s joined at the center, constructing an impressive 12-foot high steel monument. You’ll definitely want to pose with this one! The One Through Zero articulates the artist’s fascination with numbers, “Numbers fill my life,” he has said when constructing his work. The giant numbers are placed on large shelves, with fun colors that scream out to you! The exhibit will be on display until March 3rd, so check it out while you still can!
2 Doughboyz: A raw cookie dough pop-up shop that has no massive wait times AND is only a 15-minute walk from the gallery? It’s true! Dō, the first one in the game to bring us cookie dough that’s safe to eat on demand (best invention ever), now has a competitor with 2 Doughboyz opening up at our beloved Gansevoort Market. They have 5 flavors, including a vegan and gluten free chocolate chip. Personally we enjoyed the Candy Cane in the Brain, which is the ultimate sugar high. Dark sugar cookie dough is mixed together with holiday sprinkles, white chocolate, and candy forming a super sweet treat to enjoy on the spot or bring home for later!
The Ludlow Hotel: The Lobby Bar at The Ludlow Hotel serves guests both indoor and outdoors year-round in the Ludlow's garden courtyard, which is home to twinkling lights, hanging ornaments, and giant peace sign wreath. Right in the Lower East Side (on Ludlow street), it’s one of the best gems to know about and a perfect place to start or end your evening. The cocktails all sound very fancy, but don’t worry, the combinations all made for great drink options. Even we didn’t know that banana black chip rum existed before this outing!
Minnie’s: A Sunday at Minnie’s includes a cute atmosphere, very quiet surroundings, and a good but healthier style brunch. The Sheep and the Peach dish stood out to us the most, which was ricotta, caramelized peaches, bee pollen, and pistachio all on grilled sourdough bread – SO GOOD!! They also have a delicious Minnie’s bowl, which included quinoa and salmon (get your protein in!) and the traditional buttermilk pancakes were great as well. With so many brunch places in our rotation, we think this one is a great spot to check out if your looking for a low key morning, minimal crowds, and catching up with friends where you can actually hear them talk about their struggle at work from the previous week!
Squish Marshmallows: We first discovered Squish Marshmallows when they were served as a topping on an Ice & Vice ice cream cone last summer! Since then they have opened their own store (just a 12-minute walk from brunch), which serves up an abundance of great treats. This winter, their hot chocolate has become one of our favorite ways to warm up! The hot chocolate is amazing on its own, but add their handmade marshmallow on top and let it melt into the chocolate to really make it unforgettable! They even have emoji-designed marshmallows that make your cup that much more photogenic and can even match your current mood *Insert Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes Here*. If you would prefer to just try some of their unique marshmallow flavors, they also have a bunch that they torch right in front of you. The banana pudding, spiced pear, and apple pie were some of the best ones we tried that day!