Hotel Delmano (Williamsburg): Speakeasy

This is not a hotel bar. We repeat, this is not a hotel bar. According to Eater, there is a vague and long off plan to rent out the rooms above the bar, but at present, the name is strictly for effect.

Hotel Delmano | Williamsburg | Speakeasy

  • Getting in: Although Hotel Delmano is nondescript from the street with no signage, once inside, one finds oneself in a quaint, mysterious and enchanting room. The front door is barred by a chain as the main entrance is blocked by a bouncer on the side. Don’t be alarmed if they ask you to wait outside.
  • Vibe/layout: The elegantly curved marble bar serves as the centerpiece for this picture-perfect two-room hideaway, adorned with opulent chandeliers, smoky vintage mirrors and black-and-white portraits of old, important-looking people. The bartenders sport suspenders and frequently climb up the wooden ladder behind the bar to fetch bottles on the high up shelves. The cushy banquettes and secluded nooks make this saloon the perfect place for a date night or for catching up with a friend or small group.
  • Drinks: Delicious, beautifully made cocktails for well under $15? We’re in. The Gentle Julep is our favorite (rye, maple, mint, lemon, angostura bitters) ($11). The Pink Cloud (gin, lemon, house-made cranberry shrub, egg white, shaken and served up) ($12) serves as a seasonal runner-up.
  • F.Y.I.: Alyssa Abeta and Zeb Stewart, the Union Pool owners, and Jeff Hansen, the cocktail man, form the team behind this speakeasy.
  • Address: Williamsburg, 82 Berry St (N 9th & Berry)
  • Prices: $12-$14

Delmano Bar on Urbanspoon

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Stanton Social (LES)

Stanton Social LES

  • Why it’s worth it: Small plates served in a chic, swanky setting are a major trend in NYC, and The Stanton Social capitalizes on it. The Stanton Social doesn’t have designated entrees or apps, but instead has scores of dishes to be shared, offering ‘straunters a chance to taste a plethora of items. A glitzy and trendy spot, The Stanton Social is a place to see-and-be-seen.
  • Vibe/layout: The first floor of this ‘straunt’s posh three-tiered space boasts a vast, tall and dimly lit dining room with brown banquettes, romantic dark wood and suspended glass lamps. Not in the mood to eat small plates, and just want a drink in the setting? No problem, the upstairs lounge is a shrine to wine.
  • Top three sharing dishes: French onion soup dumplings ($14), old school meatballs ($14) and potato & goat cheese pierogies ($10)
    • The French onion soup dumplings are out of this world. The nice doughy-dumplings with French onion soup oozing out will not disappoint.
    • Be sure to save room for the warm balls of yummy goodness dusted in cinnamon sugar…aka the warm doughnuts.
  • F.Y.I.: Chef Chris Santos is also the owner of Beauty and Essex, another clutch LES brunch and dinner hot spot.
  • Address: Lower East Side, 99 Stanton St (Stanton & Ludlow)
  • Prices: $7-$26

Stanton Social on Urbanspoon

Good Enough to Eat (UWS): Brunch

Good Enough to Eat UWS Brunch

  • Why it’s worth it: Good Enough to Eat (GETE) is the perfect brunch spot for a family outing on the UWS before exploring the American Museum of Natural History or spending the afternoon in Central Park. The atmosphere is fun and loving and the American comfort food menu is expansive.
  • Vibe/layout: GETE rocks that small country kitchen feel, with exposed brick and wooden tables, chairs and shelving, filled with random tchotchkes, Vermont farm paraphernalia and children’s drawings. The rustic farmhouse decor is warm and welcoming and GETE has all sorts of seating options, including booths, breakfast nooks, bar seating and outdoor seating.
  • Ideal meal: Good Enough to Eat French Toast ($10.75)…Did we mention that they make their French toast with cinnamon swirl bread (a third-grader’s dream)?! Also, don’t miss the buttermilk biscuits and luscious strawberry butter, which come with an eggs dish!
  • F.Y.I.: You can’t miss GETE’s cow theme…so be sure to notice the portraits of cows in the restrooms, Angus Warhol and Henri Mootisse.
  • Address: Upper West Side, 520 Columbus Ave (85th & Columbus)
  • Prices: $8-$14

Good Enough To Eat on Urbanspoon

The Garret (West Village): Speakeasy

The Garret Speakeasy West Village

  • Getting in: Do your best to make it past the delicious wafting scent of french fries and burgers, as you must walk into the Bleecker St Five Guys, go past the tables, the condiment stand, and the burger ordering station and make your way to the back staircase.
  • Vibe/layout: This impossible-to-find-unless-you’re-looking-for-it cocktail bar is hidden above a Five Guys, and features two massive vaulted skylights, a glass chandelier, several couches and vintage hourglasses. In addition, The Garret has a sunken private party room decked out with a taxidermied rhino head and copper ceilings. The best part about The Garret…besides the cocktails and the fact that you can snag a burger at literally any time: the pop-in breeziness…no reservations are needed.
  • Drinks: Signature cocktails are made from fresh ingredients right before your eyes, but we highly recommend the Sunken Santa (rum, pineapple, velvet falernum, St. Elizabeth allspice dram, angostura) ($14).
  • F.Y.I.: This speakeasy proudly displays the artwork of NYC based artists, including Bradley Theodore (the swans and skull paintings), Nick Bakita (the rhino head), Philip Mortillaro (the door) and Nathan Driver (painting).
  • ‘Straunt tip: Grab dinner at Jeffrey’s Grocery and then grab a drink here!
  • Address: West Village, 296 Bleecker St (7th Ave S & Bleecker)
  • Prices: $7-$14

Garret 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

Il Buco (Noho): Mangia Monday

Il Buco Noho Italian

  • Why it’s worth it: Il Buco has it right; it’s slinky and seductive while still maintaining a charming accessibility and air. The seasonal food is extremely fresh and executed with skill and perfection. In short, Il Buco is perfect for a date night, ladies night out, after-work drink or family gathering.
  • Vibe/layout: This charming rustic Italian ‘straunt comprised mostly of wood and brick throbs with energy. The dimly lit main dining room has pottery-laden shelves, scattered with wine bottles, and copper pots hanging from hooks or stuffed in the corners. The eclectic wall art and light fixtures transform the rather cramped room with low ceilings into a fabulous authentic Italian ‘straunt. The wine cellar is more relaxed and private, and reminiscent of a room that you would expect to find in the basement of an old Italian estate.
  • Ideal meal: Cannolicchi (artisan dried pasta, brussels sprouts, pancetta, pecorino romano) ($22)
  • People behind Il Buco: The owners, Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle, first opened the hole-in-the-wall (Il Buco literally means the hole in Italian) as an antique shop in 1994 and gradually transformed it into a full-fledged restaurant.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Enjoy a delicious, romantic and relaxed dinner at Il Buco and then check out the Invader’s graffiti on the side of The Wren, where you should grab a drink.
  • F.Y.I.: Reservations are a must, especially on the weekends.
  • Address: Noho/Greenwich Village, 47 Bond St (between Bowery & Lafayette)
  • Prices: $10-$38

Il Buco on Urbanspoon

Gato (Noho)

Gato Noho

  • Why it’s worth it: Bobby Flay’s “New-Mediterranean” Noho hot spot has received rave reviews, and we’re here to add to them, but in our own special way of course. Here’s the low down: if you want spectacular appetizers (bar selection) in a trendy, intimate and energetic ‘straunt, go to Gato. We’ll be honest: the portions are small, but they are bursting with flavor!
  • Vibe/layout: The front of this bustling ‘straunt boasts a U-shaped bar counter for walk-ins, while the back dining area is dimly lit and set with spare wooden tables. The high ceilings compliment the brick and dark varnished wooden walls and colorful geometric floor tiles, making this ‘straunt perfect for an intimate date or a friendly dining experience.
  • Ideal meal: Bar (choose 3): Artichoke heart, lamb tenderloin, eggplant ($17); Vegetable: Crispy potatoes (poached egg, smoked paprika, Parmigiano) ($12); Entrée: Kale and wild mushroom paella (crispy artichokes, eggs) ($28)
    • The lamb tenderloin, crispy potatoes and kale entrée are must orders; the flavors are bold and assertive and are perfect for splitting between two.
  • Address: Noho/Greenwich Village, 324 Lafayette St (between East Houston & Bleecker)
  • Prices: $12-$39

Gato on Urbanspoon