Fresh Kills Bar: Dutch’s Sexy Sister 

Queens new school classic Cocktail lounge Dutch Kills opened a sister location in where else…but Williamsburg. The menu offers classic cocktails, revivals of drinks from way back and new sensations. 

A number of their drinks combine homemade Ginger syrup, fresh Lime juice, soda-water and your choice of poison (Gin, Vodka, Rum, Bourbon or Rye). I went Rye for a change of pace and the Rye with the spicy Ginger made a great drink. My bud had a twist on an old fashioned stating it’s the best drink he’s had in a while. I also enjoyed a White Negroni which came up while discussing variations on drinks with our friendly and rather knowledgeable bartender. 

The Bartenders here really are top notch and great. The interior is a very cool space with cocktail tables up front and a very long bar. A great spot for a date or drinks with friends. Of note,  they have an Ice House in Queens where they make their own ice and cut and saw it into different shapes(see pics) for different drinks. It actually makes more of a difference than you may think. When in Williamsburg, check out Dutch’s sister. 
Fresh Kills is located at 161 Grand Street 

Lena’s Italian Kitchen:Gino’s Wife Takes Manhattan  

Ever been to Gino’s of Long Beach for a slice of za or a full Italian dinner before jumping on the LIRR after a day at the beach? For those of you that have and those who have yet to…be psyched, because the family just opened a new spot in Kips Bay offering awesome old school red sauce Italian joint classics(though no pizza).  

The new spot is named after Gino’s wife Lena and offers heros, platters, pastas and soups to go(This location is for take-out only and catering.)You will have a hard time finding a better chicken Parm in New York. My vegan cousin raves about their Eggplant. This is heart and soul warming food priced right and in nice sized portions. The menu is below…is your mouth watering yet? 
Lena’s Italian Kitchen is located at 551 Second Avenue 

L.A. Burdick of NH Opens a Haute Chocolates Shop in Soho

I should have known better, I should have known that if I walked into a new Chocolate Shop in Soho I wasn’t going to walk out without breaking down and getting something.
What I didn’t know is the spot in question L.A. Burdick  isn’t from Europe but from New Hampshire in New England…and Mr Burdick makes some serious Chocolate treats. I tried a few of the bonbons including the Dark Chocolate with Pistachio and a like one with Lime, plus a Dark Chocolate with Orange Mini Mouse. Then I just had to try the Spicy Hot Chocolate which is one of the better ones I’ve had. I almost had a second but offered it to a Japanese woman trying to decide what to get.

Along with a large selection of Bonbons, Chocolate Animals, Chocolate bars(I took home the Dark Chocolate with Blueberries, Goji Berries and Cocoa Nib from the Healthy Bar collection), and a variety of Hot Chocolate mixes they also have some very tasty looking baked goods that I will have to go back for and enjoy with a cup of their delicious hot chocolate or a cup of coffee using Devion one of my favorite coffee roasters out of Colombia and Brooklyn. Treat someone special to these delicious Chocolates and yourself as well…

L.A. Burdick is located at 156 Prince Street 

Straight Outta Tel Aviv @BengaRabbit and @PlazmaLab #TheMarketNYC #Soho

I originally popped in here doing some recon for gifts for some of the excessively difficult to buy for femme familia(my Niece, Sis-In-Law, etc) in my life and though I did see some cool and cute stuff to potentially come back for…it was when I saw the laptop/day bags and cool T’s in the Benga Rabbit and Plazma Lab booth that really caught my eye. 

I’ve been looking looking for a smaller backpack for when I just want to carry my sketch book, pencils, a book, rechargers, and assorted small items and don’t need a full sized backpack. Though I wasn’t looking for something in a laptop like bag shape the Benga Rabbit bag(of note, it is not made of Leather, thus Vegan friendly)with multiple pockets inside hit the bill of what I was looking for. Plus I loved the Endless Summer like print on it(they have a number of cool prints to choose from)

I have way too many T-shirts…I recently donated dozens(many) to homeless shelters to make space…but like a girl who can’t have enough shoes…if I see a t I really like, sometimes I just gotta have it. The organic cotton ones from PlazmaLab come with some very cool prints from Israeli Artists that were like nothing I have, I held strong only getting one. Question is can I hold off from getting another one and maybe one of their awesome looking heavyweight sweatshirts…

BengaRabbit and PlazmaLab are available at The Market NYC at 290 Mulberry Street and On-Line 

Industry City Distillery: Top Shelf Crafted Vodka made in a Room with Quite a View

Do you like vodka and large spaces with amazing views? If so, I highly recommend doing a tour of the City Industry Distillery. From NYC it’s just jump on the N(e)RD Subway and a 5 minute stroll over. 

Ronak one of the founders a modern day “Mad Alchemist” greeted us and gave a great tour of the space and process where we all learned quite a bit. For instance you can make Whiskey and Vodka out of the same base materials. Turns out it’s how you distill it at the end that makes it one vs the other. The team at ICD use Sugar Beets as their base since they found it creates practically no waste which is a major factor when you Distillery is in a building vs on a farm. 

I was blown away by how small a space they actually start the process of fermentation and then go on to distill it in. It’s actually where they bottle and store that take up far more space. I was not expecting Vodka made in overgrown test tubes to be this smooth or good. It has a very slight burn, good mouth feel, and kind of a hint of marshmallow creaminess to it….don’t think sweet but more like a high end homemade marshmallow you get on better baked goods or in haute hot Chocolate. 

After the tour hit the Bar serving a variety of drinks. Our crew tried the following 

Purple Rain– one of the best drinks I’ve had in 2016. Not sweet at all like it sounded it might be,but refreshing with some punch to it. Lavender infused Gin based. 
Parkstrom – Nice and refreshing using  House-made Aquavit with Cucumber and Lime. 

Martini – on the one hand a well made drink, but for me too much Vermouth and I’m not a fan of the Coup glass. It looks like a shot to me. The Kaffir Leaf really worked.

Chilli Bee -of the drinks the sweetest and least punch but tasty. Their Lemoncello the base. 

The Standard – if you want Vodka and nothing fancy the way to go. A nice pour of their superior vodka on the rocks(you can go neat or with a slash) and a …I think cucumber works best bit feel free to chose a citrus wedge. 
Commandeer a table by the huge windows and check out some pretty awesome views(Of note, They have live music and comedy nights). 

Due to the crazy laws of NY State you cannot purchase a bottle on site, but it’s available at plenty of sites in the city and boroughs. I will be adding a bottle to my bar at home. While it can easily be used for mixed drinks I don’t recommend it for that based on its flavor and price point approx $35-40 a bottle). This Vodka is best sipped on the rocks, with a high quality splash of tonic or club Soda and for Martini’s. I think with the right Sake this could make a great Saketini…

Industry City Distillery is located at 33 35th Street 6A, in Industry City Brooklyn 

#MissionCeviche Peruvian Cuisine @GansMarket 


Love Ceviche and Peruvian food? I couldn’t believe how good the food at Mission Ceviche’s kiosk in the the new location of the Gansevoort Market is. I’m talking delicious high end restaurant quality Peruvian food.

The menu is short and sweet. You choose from a number of different fish and marinades for your Ceviche or go cooked and pick a protein, sauce and beans or grain. Though I love or my fish raw for my first meal here I went with the Peruvian Seafood (octopus, shrimp, fish, mussels, roasted peppers and peas) in a creamy Aji sauce over Red Quinoa. There are a number of toppings you can add to your dish (they are listed as sides), I choose the Orange glazed Sweet Pepper purée. It was quite simply outrageous.

To drink they offer a number of beverages…their Yuzu Mint soda is one of the best non-alcoholic drinks I’ve had all year. There is seating at their counter and a community tables throughout the space. I so need to go back to try their Ceviche…

Mission Ceviche
is located at 353 West 14th Street

Nom Wha Nolita: All Day Dim Sum

One of Chinatown’s oldest Dim Sum restaurants Nom Wha (1920!)just opened a new fast and causal spot in Nolita to sate your Soup Dumpling and old school Chinatown dishes cravings during the week and at night. It’s a cool little space with community tables, cool Street like Art on the walls and tunes playing. 
The menu is limited but has more than enough to choose from. There are a number of Dim Sum to choose from, a few Slurp(soup) bowls, Rice dishes and what they call Sidekicks.If your paying with a credit card you place your order via the iPad on the wall(which reminded me of Ramen joints in Japan), with cash,at the counter.

I decided to go with the Pork and Chicken Siu Mai, Pork Soup dumplings and the Cantonese-smoked chicken leg with ginger to sample the goods. Everything was tasty and authentic. The chicken having more meat than I expected. Actually managed to not burn the roof of my mouth eating the Soup Dumplings. If you’re jonesing for Dim Sum during the week check this place out. 

Nom Wha Nolita
is located at 10 Kenmare Street 

HG Contemporary: Raphael Mazzucco “Ete Sans Fin”

Love photography of beautiful women and scenery with an artsy twist? The works of internationally renowned photographer(as in multiple Sports Illustrated covers) Raphael Mazzucco are beautiful multimedia photo centric collages of beautiful women and nature. His work is reminiscent of Peter Beard yet with his own unique style. 

HC Contemporary Gallery did an amazing job making you feel like you were in the home of Raphael Mazzucco going so far as to actually recreate a room from his home. The crowd perfectly matched Mazzucco’s works in being eclectic, colorful and rather photogenic. 

See below a selection of Mazzucco’s stunning works from the show. 

HG Contemporary is located at 527 West 23rd Street 

@LaNewYorkina Frozen and Baked Mexican Treats 

Delicious Mexican frozen treats and baked goods have arrived on Sullivan Street. I absolutely love their Paleta’s(frozen fruit and cream based pops). They come in so many flavors here. Think Pineapple Jalapeño, Cucumber Lime and Roasted Banana and the like. 

La NewYorkina also offers tasty Ice Cream, Brownies and Cookies. I’ve been eating Fany Gerson’s Mexican goodies at Pop-Ups and up on the High-Line for years now, I’m psyched she finally opened a brick n mortar. If you have a sweet tooth I highly recommend heading over…

La Newyorkina is located at 240 Sullivan Street 

@Timbuk2 Bags/Travel Gear arrives in Soho

Timbuk2 a SF based luggage company that started out making goods for Bike Messengers has recently opened up a sweet new store in Soho. Over the years they have expanded their line to day-packs, laptop bags and some great Travel gear. Of note, they do custom work and can turn it around within 24hrs in some cases.

While I was initially looking at their day-packs it was the Navigatior travel bag that caught my eye. It’s available in three sizes, very roomy and has zippered pockets on the outside to stow glasses, phones, books, rechargers, etc. It has not one(handle)not two(shoulder sling) but three(hidden backpack straps) ways to carry them. You can even stuff it into its own side zippered  pocket for storage. 

I went with the small one to use as both a weekend bag and as my “handheld” carry-on travel bag. I also went with their ultra packable light duffel bag for when I need something for the beach and/or pool  during the trip and to hold gifts/duty free goods on my way home. 

Timbuk2’s gear is very well made and built to last with guarantees to back their workmanship up. Plus there products have some style to go along with all the functionally that’s built into them. The staff is great, both friendly and knowledgeable. 

is located at 325 Lafayette Street