The Sweet Shop (UES)

This is a tiny old-fashioned candy shop full of candy you love, candy you’ve never heard of and candy you probably can’t figure out how to pronounce. But you’re going to love it. You might leave this store with bags… or pounds… of candy, but it’s okay, because you’re going to be really happy and nostalgic… and it’s all very high quality. Every candy you remember from your childhood – and didn’t believe was still in existence – is alive and well at The Sweet Shop.

The Sweet Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: It’s everything you could possibly want in one storefront: a candy store and an ice cream shop. There is something for everyone here, from super modern ice cream and gelato flavors to retro sweets, including sugar, nut and gluten free items.
  • Vibe/layout: The shop has whimsical boutique-y vibe to it that makes it a gem on the UES, a downtown-y shop magically transported uptown. Outfitted in all things candy, including a handmade candy chandelier (by the owner) and a commissioned candy mirror, The Sweet Shop is decked out from ceiling to floor in personality.
  • Ideal meal: Everything.
    • Sweets: Jars of chocolate covered bacon and Oreos, sour watermelon and designed marshmallows, in addition to imported sweets from England and Sweden
    • Ice cream: Ice cream, gelato and sorbet from Oddfellows in Brooklyn and Il Laboratorio del Gelato; vegan ice cream (yes we said vegan ice cream) from Alchemy Creamery
  • People behind the ‘straunt: This shop is owned and operated by family man, Kelly Jamie, who makes all the in-house goods, his wife, Glyn, who designed the shop, and their son, Matt, who works and socializes by his parents’ sides.
  • F.Y.I.: This is more than just a candy shop; this is a home base. So much so, that one man, who consistently gets in “trouble” from his significant other for sneaking down to the candy store for an evening snack, proposed to his fiancé in the shop! …We should also mention that 3KT (Terese Giudice’s daughters’ band) featured this shop in their music video Season of Joy.
  • Address: Upper East Side, 404 East 73rd St (between York & 1st)
  • Prices: Dependent on items purchased. Watch out, they have a loyalty card.

The Sweet Shop on Urbanspoon

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Chalk Point Kitchen & Handy Liquor Bar (Soho)

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  • Why it’s worth it: The perfect day in Manhattan consists of brunching and shopping…in Soho of course. If you’re looking for a pretty restaurant serving pretty food to pretty people, and more specifically, a charming, market-to-table venture, with an adjacent vintage cocktail bar, we’ve got you covered: Chalk Point Kitchen.
  • Vibe/layout: This 70-seat ‘straunt bolsters the country-in-the-city scheme, in an airy and lush space with white-washed wooden plank walls lined with vintage mirrors and tchotchke-packed shelves. The farmhouse feel of CPK complements the locally sourced and organic menu; however, the most defining aspect of CPK is its downstairs bar, the Handy Liquor Bar, which is a classic, sophisticated and timeless cocktail bar with a fun twist: a fireplace and every 90s childhood game you can think of… yes we’re talking Hungry Hungry Hippos and Operation.
  • Ideal meal…brace yourself: Start with smashed avocado on toast ($6) & homemade blueberry muffins ($6); feast on the banana croissant french toast ($11); wash it all down with the  Collect Pond ($13), a refreshing mixture of pear vodka, St. Germaine, apple juice and ginger beer
  • F.Y.I.: The full-fledged piano bar below CPK, the Handy Liquor Bar, is named after Thomas Hardy, one of the first expert barmen in the US in the 1800s.
  • People behind the ‘straunt: Nightlife operator Matt Levine (Sons of Essex) and Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori (Arthur on Smith) teamed up to open CPK, one of our favorite brunch spots in the city.
  • Address: Soho, 527 Broome St. (between Sullivan & Thompson St)
  • Price: $6-$21

Chalk Point Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Heidi’s House | By the Side of the Road (UES)

Heidi's House

  • Why it’s worth it: There is nothing fast here. Every dish, every moment is prepared one at a time. Nothing fancy. Nothing large. Just right. Heidi’s House is a charming UES gem, perfect for simple, well-made comfort food, a glass or two of wine or beer and/or a round of Battleship, Chess or Scrabble.
  • Vibe/layout: This narrow watering hole draws locals in with its original tin ceilings, frayed cloth napkins, Robert Frost quotes, jazz music and simplicity. Made up of just four tables and twelve bar seats, Heidi’s House maintains a quiet glow of friendly conversation.
  • Ideal meal: The Macaroni & Cheese ($13) is melt in your mouth delicious. The gluten-free and homemade spiral pasta is a cheesy, carby overload, served piping hot in an individual black skillet. Just. Simply. Terrific.
  • F.Y.I.: All dishes are prepared individually by Chef Cipriano Pita to one’s liking and all the ingredients are from local vendors – meats from Ottomanelli’s, bread from Orwasher’s.
  • ‘Straunt tip: No reservations, but call ahead to put your name on the list!
  • Address: UES, 308 East 78th St (between 1st & 2nd)
  • Price: $11-$24

Heidi's House on Urbanspoon

Pearl and Ash (Nolita)

Pearl and Ash

  • Why it’s worth it: For an elegant and vibrant small plate menu with global influences and designed for communal consumption, one should head to Pearl and Ash.
  • Vibe/layout: Pearl and Ash occupies a long, sexy and relaxed space on the ground floor of the Bowery House and features a causal wine bar with backless stools, as well as an open kitchen, which faces a communal table, bare wooden tables and benches dressed in blue velvet. The asymmetrical wooden box-wall design separates this ‘straunt’s design from the rest in its flight. The wood compartments host trinkets, dried flowers and candles, which illuminate the all black and dimly lit room.
  • Ideal meal: Four dishes for two hungry people is the perfect amount; therefore, our top four recommendations are below:
    • Raw: tea cured salmon, goat cheese, tamarind, seaweed ($14)
    • Small: quail eggs, focaccia, trumpet royale, dandelion greens ($12)
    • Meat: duck, sweet potato, brussel sprouts ($18)
    • Vegetable: long beans, kale, peanut, bbq sauce ($9)
  • People behind the ‘straunt: Fluent with spices and Asian flavor, Chef Richard Kuo, a Taiwan-born Australian, logged time at Corton and wd~50 before starting his first solo ‘straunt, Pearl and Ash.
  • Conversation starter: The building in which Pearl and Ash resides was first opened in the 1920s as a “flophouse” or cheap hotel, called the Prince Hotel. Although the Bowery House has since transformed the upper levels of the building into an upscale hostel, there were still guests paying $10 a night to sleep in the cubicles on the second floor in 2013.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Check out the latest exhibition at the New Museum on Thursdays from 7-9 for pay-what-you-wish entrance and then dine at Pearl and Ash.
  • Address: Nolita, 220 Bowery (between Rivington & East Houston)
  • Price: $12-$18

Pearl & Ash on Urbanspoon

Trattoria Il Mulino (Flatiron/Gramercy): Mangia Monday

TrattoriaIlMulino (1)

  • Why it’s worth it: Trattoria Il Mulino is the twelfth addition to Il Mulino New York’s global network of elite dining venues. This ‘straunt is the more casual, affordable and louder sister to Il Mulino New York, and is therefore an ideal intimate Italian ‘straunt for your next small or large dining party, date night or girls night out.
  • Vibe/layout: This spacious 140-seat ‘straunt baits a young demographic, and is unique in boasting an industrial chic atmosphere. Decked out with industrial accents, including concrete walls, exposed piping and light bulbs and a large NYC-themed mural by Vancouver artist, Tim Barnard, this ‘straunt offers an intimate dining setting for both small and large parties. The front section features tables for two, while the back section presents a sleek and sexy bar, which offers wood-fired pizzas as part of its late-night bar menu, and circular and rectangular dining tables for larger parties.
  • Ideal meal: Ricotta meatballs ($17) to start and ravioli ($26)
  • ‘Straunt tip: Grab dinner at Trattoria Il Mulino and then check out nearby speakeasy, Dear Irving.
  • Address: Flatiron/Gramercy, 36 East 20th St (between Park S & Broadway)
  • Prices: $10-$38

Trattoria Il Mulino on Urbanspoon

Friedman’s Lunch (Midtown West)

Friedman's Lunch Midtown West

  • Why it’s worth it: Although the name of this casual eatery promises lunch, Friedman’s Lunch also serves brunch and dinner with a focus on seasonal comfort food and an extensive list of great gluten-free items.
  • Vibe/layout: Despite the noisy neighborhood, the ‘straunt is clean, modern and spacious and the atmosphere is warm and cozy . The ‘straunt sports a rustic, brick-and-wood theme with a large bar and a number of booths and table seats available for large groups.
  • Ideal meal: Grilled cheese sandwich (Gruyère and white cheddar with caramelized onions and bacon on ciabatta) ($13) & tomato soup ($3)
  • People behind Friedman’s Lunch: Vanessa Phillips and Tryg Silverson are the husband and wife team behind this ‘straunt and because Vanessa has Celiac Disease, Tryg set out to create as many gluten-free, yet delicious, dishes as possible.
  • Address: West Midtown, 132 West 31st St (between 6th and 7th Ave)
  • Prices: $5-$16

Friedman's Lunch on Urbanspoon

Jeffrey’s Grocery (West Village)

Jeffrey's Grocery West Village

  • Why it’s worth it: Jeffrey’s Grocery is enjoyable and bumping at any time of day and is the perfect place for your next date, dinner with your parents or solo-dining experience.
  • Vibe/layout: Although this ‘straunt can get loud and rowdy at times, it sill feels like a charming, intimate, neighborhood diner,  featuring a handsome wooden L-shaped bar that seats a dozen overlooking a minuscule kitchen, while high communal tables and smaller dining tables add an additional dozen seats. This homey corner space exudes a worn rustic-chic ambiance with high pressed tin ceilings, wooden floors, exposed brick and cookbooks scattered on distressed wood shelves.
  • Ideal meal: Crispy salmon ($25) – The salmon filet comes in a corn broth with shrimp and a ton of vegetables. Trust us, order it.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Grab a drink at The Garret (speakeasy above Five Guys), feast at Jeffrey’s Grocery and then enjoy some ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream to end the evening.
  • F.Y.I.: Gabriel and Gina Stulman, Jeffery’s owners, are also the couple behind Joseph Leonard (across the street) and Fedora (close by). When Jeffrey’s Grocery first opened, it was a kitschy little cafe that also tried selling groceries. Since then, they ditched the faux store-front, upgraded the chef and made the most out of the space.
  • Address: West Village, 172 Waverly Place (on the corner of Christopher St)
  • Prices: $5-$37 (average dinner main is $25)

Jeffrey's Grocery on Urbanspoon