East Pole (UES): Brunch

East Pole UES Brunch

  • Why it’s worth it: East Pole is the perfect combination of Upper East Side elegance and downtown fun, making it a great brunch spot for family or family friends. The ‘straunt is charming and the food is delicious and pretty to look at (which means the portions are small, but well-plated).
  • Vibe/Layout: This ‘straunt is housed in a historic brownstone and features outdoor tables and a dining room brightened by a skylight. The main dining room and bar are timeless, sophisticated and clean with whitewashed brick walls, vintage maps and subtle nautical accents. The tables, floors and ceilings are a mix of wood and plaster and lit with individual candles.
  • Ideal meal: Banana bread (and apple butter) to start ($10); Belgian corn & ricotta waffles, Phillips Farm Blueberries ($18)
  • F.Y.I.: Ben Towill and Phil Winser, owners of the Fat Radish, teamed up with Tom and Anthony Martignetti, proprietors of Brinkley’s, to open this UES ‘straunt. In addition, the nautical maps you see on the walls are from the Winser family’s personal collection.
  • Address: UES, 133 East 65th St (between Lex & Park)
  • Prices: $7-$25

The East Pole on Urbanspoon

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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

Tartine (West Village): French Brunch/Lunch

Tartine

  • Why it’s worth it: This corner-store sized, charmingly petite cafe serves simple, delicious and inexpensive French fare, not to mention the best croque madame we’ve ever had (and yes we’ve been to France). You’ll know Tartine by the green awning, sidewalk tables and notoriously long lines on the weekends.
  • Vibe/Layout: Tartine has all of about 15 seats and has been in the neighborhood for two decades, making it a cozy and homey go-to spot. Don’t expect much leg room though, especially if you score a table on the sidewalk.
  • Ideal meal: Croque madame ($14) or croque monsieur ($14)
  • When to go: If you have a random day off from work, or work in the area, head to Tartine for lunch or for a darling croissant.
  • ‘Straunt tip: BYOB alert! … But it gets better….there’s no corkage fee either!
  • Address: West Village, 253 West 11th St (corner of West 4th St)
  • Prices: $8-$25

Tartine on Urbanspoon

Jack’s Wife Freda (Soho)

Jack's Wife Freda

  • Why it’s worth it: Trust us. Jack’s Wife Freda is worth the wait. We’d agree with NY Magazine who dubbed the food “South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.” Helpful right? But after reading about the owners, you’ll understand why.
  • Vibe/layout: This quaint 40-seat restaurant rocks dark-green leather banquettes, marble counters and wooden tables. This is not a quiet, little date spot; this a fun-loving brunch and dinner spot for the young, the old, the trendy and the free-spirited…aka all people. The food is homey, delicious and satisfying.
  • Ideal meal: Fried zucchini chips ($8) to share & Madame Freda ($13) (pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar bechamel, gruyere & a fried egg)
  • The people behind the ‘straunt: Before Dean Jankelowitz and his wife, Maya met working at Keith McNally’s Balthazar, they both emigrated from South Africa and Israel, respectively. Together, they’ve created an amazing restaurant that is named after Dean’s grandparents, Jack and Freda. (FYI- Man Repeller, a popular fashion blog,  did an amazing piece on their fantastic love story. If you haven’t had time to check out this ‘straunt yet, then read this and fall in love with the owners first.)
  • Address: Soho, 224 Lafayette St (between Broome & Spring)
  • Prices: $5-$25

Jack's Wife Freda on Urbanspoon

North River Lobster Company (Hell’s Kitchen)

Yes, we have to ditch our white pants… and yes, we have to store our summer shoes… but, no, we do not have to stop enjoying the beautiful weather, just because it’s past Labor Day! Therefore, we’ve got your fall denying days covered with this waterfront spot… that actually leaves the dock: North River Lobster Company.

North River Lobster Company

  • Why it’s worth it: Not only does this place serve amazing seafood/drinks, but this floating lobster shack also sets sail on the Hudson for a half hour every two hours (fo’ free!), so be sure to check the sail schedule before you plan your visit so you don’t get left ashore.
  • Vibe/layout: Board the boat and you’ll find numerous seating situations, both indoor and outdoor. There are three decks, but head immediately to the top one for the outdoor action. There’s no wait service, so be sure to stake your claim for some open-air seating, and then find a counter to order from. You will receive a buoy with your order number on it and your food will be delivered in a matter of minutes!
  • Ideal meal: Pitcher of sangria ($34), lobster roll ($18), fries ($5)
  • The inspiration: New York Cruise Lines, Inc. CEO, Sam Cooperman, says he was inspired by two things: history and a lasting memory of Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco. The self-proclaimed “history buff” says he became fascinated by the lobster palace craze of the early 1900s, in which grand and ornate restaurants dotted 42nd St and served lobster as the main fare, as it was the most important food of the social time.
  • Straunt tip: Grab lunch or a drink at North River and then grab dessert (a funfettti cookie) at Schmackary’s.
  • Address: Hell’s Kitchen, Pier 81, 41st St and 12th Ave
  • Prices: $5-$29

North River Lobster Company on Urbanspoon

Supper (East Village): Mangia Monday

supper

  • Why it’s worth it: Supper is a Northern Italian-style osteria that serves the best chicken parm we’ve ever had, let alone dreamed about.
  • Vibe: This lively, yet intimate, space is dressed with brick walls, wooden communal tables, antique chandeliers and floral-pattern plates that elicit Sunday night supper at Grandma’s house. The real attraction though, is not the decor, but the food on the plates.
  • Layout: Supper is divided into three sections: a sidewalk area for outdoor eating (covered and heated in the winter), a rear dining room with a wine cellar and a front dining room which boasts a bustling open kitchen.
  • Ideal meal: Chicken cutlet alla parmigiana ($19.95); however, this ‘straunt has fantastic daily suppers and daily rissotos (the Wednesday evening pancetta, parm & mushrooms rissoto is divine).
  • F.Y.I.: Frank Prisinazo (Frank, Lil’ Frankies, Sauce) pretty much has a monopoly over the LES/East Village Italian game.
  • Straunt note: This ‘straunt is cash only.
  • Address: East Village, 156 East 2nd St (between Ave A & B)
  • Prices: $4.95-$23.95

Supper on Urbanspoon

Tipsy Parson (Chelsea): Belly Filling Goodness

Tipsy Paron Chelsea Southern Food

  • Why it’s worth it: Tipsy Parson is an adorable and charming Southern gem buried in the big city, perfect for friends, family or a date!
  • Vibe/Layout: This long, narrow ‘straunt has a beautiful marble-and-dark-wood bar taking up much of the space in the front, with a candle-lit dining room with smaller wooden tables and booths in the back. The small details of this establishment, including the bookshelf wallpaper and cushion window seats near the bar and the dark wooden tables set with mismatched flowered china, old-fashioned silver and farmhouse dish towels as napkins in the back, are what give Tipsy Parson its vintage charm.
  • Ideal meal: Corn dogs ($9), mac n cheese ($8), St. Louis pork ribs ($14, comes with 2 sides)
  • Straunt tip: Grab a drink before or after at the nearby speakeasy, Bathtub Gin, or the hidden bar below Chelsea Market, The Tippler!
  • F.Y.I.: Partners and owners, Julie Wallach and Tasha Gibson designed the space, worked on the build-out themselves and provided many of the featured knickknacks. This is their second ‘straunt, after Little Giant.
  • Address: Chelsea, 156 9th Ave (between 19th & 20th Sts)
  • Prices: $6-$34

Tipsy Parson on Urbanspoon