Tokyo Record Bar: If you’re looking for something fun and off the beaten path to spice up your Friday night, Tokyo Record Bar is just the place to go. This restaurant experience is unlike anything you’ve ever been to as it relies on its diners to curate the perfect playlist to pair with their constantly changing $50 omakase menu. There are 2 seatings Mondays-Wednesdays (6:30 & 8:30) plus an extra 10:30 seating Thursday-Saturday, with only 18 seats available per seating. Because of the limited space and exclusivity, reservations are very hard to come by, but luckily @yourweekendplans has tested this out for you and we are here to share some tips! The Resy app opens up reservations exactly 1 month and 1 day before your desired date, so plan accordingly (Example: If you want to go on May 30th, reservations open up on Resy April 29th!)! Now onto the fun stuff! At the time of your reservation, enter through the bar on top called Air’s Champagne Parlor. Everyone in your seating will go down to Tokyo Record Bar together. The room is super small and dark, but decorated beautifully with flowers all along the ceiling. When you sit down, you are immediately greeted by the friendly and enthusiastic staff with some spiced popcorn and a complimentary glass of sake, along with a pamphlet of songs to request. As you eat your delicious 8 course meal, the DJ plays everyone’s song requests. The whole experience is 1.5 hours of eating, drinking, and singing some hit throwback tunes including everything from Michael Jackson, to Elton John, to Madonna. The Japanese themed courses do change every day (we do not recommend this for picky eaters as it’s a set menu!), but the one constant is the final course: a homemade slice of pizza! The chef explained that most omakase tastings leave you super hungry and you usually end up grabbing a slice of pizza on your way home. Here, they are saving you that step by bringing the pizza to you! Pro Tip: The sake is super expensive for the amount that you get, so if you want some liquid courage to enhance your singing voice, we recommend drinking before!
Marinara Pizza: Marinara Pizza is an Upper East Side neighborhood newcomer that can simply be described as fantastic! Don’t expect your usual grimey pizza joint; the Marinara space has a super fresh and clean feel to it. The pizza is definitely “New York” style, but the options are endless and everything we tasted was beyond amazing! Let’s start with the MVP of the meal (literally the called the MVP on the menu), which crisscrosses marinara, vodka, and pesto sauces for a visually appealing and incredibly tasty grandma slice. The combination of all 3, with mozzarella cheese underneath was one of the best slices we have ever had (and that’s saying a lot!). They have a bunch of grandma style (thin square) slices to choose from and the crust is nice and crunchy. We also had a Sicilian pepperoni slice with cheese stuffed crust and a personal margarita cauliflower crust pie. The stuffed crust will give you the cheese pull of your dreams, and for our fellow cheese lovers out there, it will satisfy your cheesy cravings for days! The crisp pepperoni cups on top really seal the deal; don’t skip this slice! The cauliflower crust, which is the healthier and gluten free option, was crispy and flavorful. You would never know you’re eating cauliflower and we’re always happy to save some extra calories! Pro Tip: The cauliflower crust only comes by the pie, which has 6 smaller slices, and can easily be shared or ordered individually. Plus, you can put whatever sauces and toppings you’d like on top! If you couldn’t already tell, Marinara is now on our weekly rotation of where to get our pizza fix and it should be on yours too!
Shape House: Shape House, only a 7-minute walk from Marinara Pizza, is the best place to spend your Saturday afternoon, especially after all that pizza! This literal house on the corner of Madison and 94th street has a bright orange awning at the bottom of a quaint brownstone, so you can’t miss it! Get ready to burn calories, walk out with better looking skin, and sweat out all of your toxins by fully embodying the phrase #Netflix&Chill. Upon entering this urban sweat lodge, we changed into thick socks and comfy matching Shape House sweats, provided by Shape House. The outfit was actually so cute that we wanted to take it home with us! We proceeded behind one of the individual curtained off areas, consisting of a sweat bed, a flat screen TV with a Roku attached, and a large bottle of alkaline water. The staff was so friendly as they explained the process and tucked us tightly to our heated nylon sleeping bags. We turned to our favorite series (Friends, duh!) as we laid down and snuggled in the warmth. You will know when you’re about 15 minutes into the process, as they give you a nice, cold, lavender infused towel for your forehead. Up until that point, we felt warm, but not stifled. However, towards the end of the 55-minute session, we really began to drip and as soon as we stood up, our clothes were completely soaked. When you’re done, they take you to a relaxation room for some more water (it’s important to hydrate!) and a small plate of oranges to cool down. The overall experience was just the quiet break from reality we needed, and losing a pound or 2 didn’t hurt either!
St. Tropez Wine Bar: We all search for that “low key Saturday night spot” where you can enjoy a glass of wine in a cozy environment with good food and a fun atmosphere. We found another one to add to your list nestled in the West Village! Whether it’s a date or a night out with your girlfriends, this is the quintessential place to enjoy a chilled glass of rose. We will admit, it fills up fast on the weekends, so always try to make a reservation if you can. The tapas selection is surprisingly filling; our biggest pet peeve with tapas is leaving hungry when the person across from you wants to share everything! You will see every table order their well known tuna and beef tartares alongside their drinks, so make sure to add that to your tab. Channel those vineyard vibes and take a chance by asking the knowledgeable staff to just serve you their personal favorite wine on the menu!
L’Adresse Bistro: L’Adresse, located to the right of Bryant Park, is the first non-touristy restaurant destination that we have actually enjoyed in this area. Since you’ll need to get to Grand Central for your next activity, this is the perfect place to fill up on brunch beforehand. The restaurant is expansive, unlike most of our brunch favorites, so definitely know you can spread your feet out and invite your extended group of friends this time! There are great classics on the menu such as avocado toast and eggs benedict, but live on the edge this Sunday and go straight for the matcha french toast. The matcha infused soft bread with seasonal berries and maple syrup is the brunch item that we didn’t know we were missing out on! The matcha makes the french toast sweeter, but not too sweet, and adds a ton of flavor to the dish. Add a coffee to your order (it was previously named Coffeemania, after all) and you’ll be set to go!
The Orchid Show (NYBG): The Orchid Show, located at The New York Botanical Gardens, is the best way to celebrate springtime. Coming in handy this weekend, since the weather hasn’t felt like spring in years, make sure to get tickets here to see thousands of beautiful tropical blooming orchids! The easiest way to get here is by taking a short 8-minute walk from brunch to Grand Central and taking a quick 24-minute train ride to the NYBG train stop. The Orchid Show happens every year, but this year is especially interesting because of the collaboration with Belgium artist, Daniel Ost. Ost created 3 different pieces of art in the exhibit that are connected through orchids including one with bamboo, one with plastic tubing, and one which is a combination of both. It’s actually the largest number of plants that the NYBG has ever had on display, reaching almost 7,000! It’s open only until April 22nd(next Sunday!), so make sure to get here while you still can!