Trattoria Il Mulino (Flatiron/Gramercy): Mangia Monday

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  • 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

Marta (Gramercy/Flatiron): Mangia Monday

Marta

  • Why it’s worth it: Marta, Danny Meyer’s new trendy rustic Roman pizzeria inside the Martha Washington Hotel, serves Italian appetizers in a way that can’t even be imagined. Marta is a hot spot for grabbing drinks with friends or a celebratory dinner with friends or family.
  • Vibe/layout: This two-leveled ‘straunt has a mezzanine with a bird’s-eye views of the main dining room below, which is anchored by an energetic open kitchen featuring two wood-burning ovens and an open-fire grill and surrounded by a big marble bar. Marta exudes warmth and communal energy,  and boasts soaring ceiling and wooden tables.
  • Ideal meal: Polpettine di tagliatelle (fried pasta “meatballs,” tomato, pecorino – think fried mac and cheese balls) ($9) & Suppli alla terrazza (green risotto, mozzarella – think risotto mozzarella sticks) ($6) to start; Capricciosa pizza (mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, olives, egg) ($15)
  • F.Y.I.: Danny Meyer, the restaurateur behind Union Square Cafe, Maialino, Shake Shack, etc, has teamed up with his Maialino chef, Nick Anderer to enter into the pizza game.
  • Address: Gramercy/Flatiron, 29 East 29th St (between Park & Madison)
  • Prices: $6-$29

Marta on Urbanspoon

ABC Kitchen (Union Sq)

So, your parents are visiting you in NYC in 2 weeks and instruct you to make brunch, lunch or dinner reservations… what do you do? Immediately go to Opentable and make a reservation at ABC Kitchen.

ABC Kitchen

  • Why it’s worth it: This ‘straunt is located at the ABC Carpet & Home department store, which means you can browse trendy chandeliers and other items before heading to the bar…but back to the restaurant, this is how I would like to eat at my fancy country house, if I had a fancy country house.
  • Vibe/layout: The vibe is organic and Hamptons, airy, open and relaxed. The theme is sustainability, as most things on the menu come from local suppliers; the menus are made from recycled paper, the dun-colored place mats are compostable and after closing time, all leftovers are sent off to the compost heap. Everything, including the antique armoires, reclaimed-wood tables, clay dishware, chandeliers and wildflower table settings are gathered from local artisans in CT, NY and NJ.
  • Ideal meal: House made ricotta ravioli, herbs and tomato sauce ($15) or akaushi cheeseburger ($24)
  • F.Y.I.: We recommend making reservations 10 days in advance, as this is a Jean-George Vongerichten ‘straunt.
  • For the artsy ‘straunters: Among the local artists and artisans who contributed to this ‘straunt’s decor are Jan Burtz (handmade porcelain plates), Jim Denney (recycle-wood tables), Eric Slayton (steel and concrete art installations) and Elena Lyakir (abstract nature photography).
  • Address: Union Square/Flatiron/Gramercy, 35 East 18th St (between Broadway and Park)
  • Prices: $8-$39

ABC Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friend of a Farmer (Gramercy)

Friend of a Farmer

  • Why It’s Worth It: If all you think about is retiring in the country, head to Friend of a Farmer, which transfers you from the hustle and bustle of NYC to a pleasant country kitchen.
  • Vibe: The dimly lit interior has exposed rafters, Mason jars filled with lentils, walls decked with floral print fabric and wicker baskets brimming with fruits.
  • Layout: This ‘straunt has ample seating, but still provides a cozy and intimate layout with three main areas: outdoor seating terrace, indoor bar and sitting room with a fireplace and armchairs, and upstairs dining area with about 15-20 wood tables for parties of all sizes.
  • F.Y.I.: The ‘straunt’s vibe recalls the farmhouse inns of upstate New York, where co-owner Tony Morabito grew up.
  • Ideal meal: Down Home Mac & Cheese (bacon and four cheese) ($13) or the Shepherd’s Pie ($21)
  • Address: Gramercy, 77 Irving Place (between 18th & 19th St)
  • Prices: $7-$28

Friend of a Farmer on Urbanspoon

Maialino (Gramercy): Mangia Monday

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  • Why it’s worth it: Maialino‘s bustling ambiance, solid repertoire of Roman dishes and backing from one of the world’s best restaurateurs, Danny Meyer, makes it a perfect choice for any special occasion (whether your parents are in town or it’s a friend’s birthday).
  • Vibe: Maialino explores the Roman trattoria feel with a country-style interior that elicits a casual yet trendy vibe. When you walk into the well-lit ‘straunt you notice the wood furnishings, the plaid dining table clothes and the large bay window view of Gramercy Park.
  • Layout: This ‘straunt has open bar seating facing Gramercy Park, rectangular tables for intimate dining and circular tables for larger parties of 5 or 6.
  • Ideal meal:
    • To start: Prosciutto e Mozzarella (Salumi) ($17) and Carciofini Fritti (fried artichokes and lemon) (Antipasta) ($14)
    • To dine: Tonnarelli a cacio e pepe (pecorino and black pepper) (Primi) ($16) and Pesce alla Piastra (seared cobia and braised celery) (Secondi) ($29)
    • To add: Funghi Trifolati (mushrooms, white wine & anchovy) (Contorni)
    • To indulge: Torta di Olio d’Oliva (Olive oil cake with vanilla bean marscapone) ($8), Assorted Cookies ($8), Gelati e Sorbetti (three scoops) ($9)
    • On a budget: Carciofini Fritti, Tonnarelli a cacio e pepe, Torta di Olio d’Oliva
  • F.Y.I.:
    • In English, Maialino means Little Pig, which makes sense considering they are known for their suckling pig.
    • Make a reservation! If you can, make it at least 2 weeks in advance.
  • People behind Maialino: Danny Meyer, the NYC restaurateur and Trinity grad (shoutout for NESCACs!), is the mastermind behind Maialino. His other ‘straunts include Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke.
  • Address: Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Ave (Corner of 21st and Lex)
  • Prices: $11-$29. It’s not cheap, but it’ll make you happy!

Maialino on Urbanspoon