Restaurants

Featured Story

Chinatown, Features, Restaurants

Chinatown skyline

Image by Madhu Nair via Flickr

Back in March, we took a look at how Chinatown is predicted to undergo rapid changes within the next decade, transforming it into another haven for hipsters and real estate developers. As of right now, these changes are hard to see–luxury condos like Hester Gardens stand alone among the array of colorful shops and signs covered in Chinese characters. In fact, a past poll shows that readers are equally divided on Chinatown’s future.

As with all gentrifying neighborhoods, one of residents’ biggest fears is that the neighborhood will lose the cultural characteristics that make it unique. With this in mind, we’re taking stock of the iconic places that make Chinatown what it is. We’ve highlighted some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants and shops (think Economy Candy and Joe’s Shanghai), along with a few standout structures (the largest Buddhist temple in New York City, to name just one) that make this neighborhood unlike any other in the city.

See which places made the list here

Interiors, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown East, Restaurants

Four Seasons restaurant, Seagram Building, Philip Johnson

Photo via Le Travelist

Aby Rosen’s plans to update the Four Seasons has been squashed by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to Crain’s, the only upgrade that received a nod from the commission was a request to change the carpet. Bigger renovations, like replacing a non-original fissured glass partition with planters and to replace a fixed walnut panel between the public and private dining rooms with a movable one, were all rejected. “There is no good reason why they should make these changes,” said Meenakshi Srinivasan, the commission’s chairwoman, Crain’s reports. “There’s no rationale. The space could function perfectly well without these changes, so why do it?”

Find out more

Featured Story

Features, History, Midtown East, Restaurants

Four Seasons restaurant, Seagram Building, Philip Johnson

Photo via Le Travelist

As you probably already know, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the NYC landmarks law. And one of the ways the city is marking the historic event is with an exhibit at the New York School of Interior Design called Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, which focuses on some of the 117 public spaces throughout the five boroughs that have been designated interior landmarks. In conjunction with this exhibit, Open House New York recently hosted an interior landmark scavenger hunt (for which 6sqft took eighth place out of 40 teams!), which brought participants to designated interior spaces in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn over the course of seven hours.

One of the spots we visited was the Four Seasons restaurant inside the famed Seagram Building. Through our scavenger hunt challenges here, we learned just how groundbreaking this restaurant was for its innovative design and role as the quintessential Midtown “power lunch” spot. But the Four Seasons, despite its landmark status, is facing an uncertain future.

Learn about the past, present, and future of the Four Seasons here

Featured Story

East Village, Features, History, Restaurants, Union Square

For those of us who came to the city within the past decade, it’s hard to imagine East 14th Street without its stretch of bulky NYU dorms, big-box supermarkets, and mini-chain restaurants. But of course this wasn’t always what the area looked like. In the late 19th century, the area centered around Irving Place, was full of entertainment venues like the Academy of Music, the city’s opera house, Steinway Hall, Tammany Hall, and the City Theatre movie house. And at the heart of it all was a restaurant that catered to both the theater crowd and the German population of the East Village–Luchow’s.

Luchow’s was established in 1882 at 110 East 14th Street at Irving Place when German immigrant August Lüchow purchased the café/beer garden where he worked as a bartender and waiter. It remained in operation for a full century, becoming an unofficial neighborhood and city landmark, until it was replaced by NYU’s University Hall dormitory.

Read the full history here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Restaurants, Soho, West Village 

Maya Jankelowitz, Jack's Wife Freda

If you’re an Instagram-loving New Yorker, then you’ve likely seen, or maybe even posted, photos of the salads, egg dishes, and even the menus at the downtown restaurant Jack’s Wife Freda. Through the app, diners at Jack’s Wife Freda have been spreading the word about the establishment’s food and polished-yet-relaxed atmosphere. These sepia-toned photos certainly caught our attention, especially the beautiful meals plated on crisp white dishes.

The visionaries behind the restaurant are husband-and-wife team Dean and Maya Jankelowitz. The pair opened Jack’s Wife Freda three years ago on Lafayette Street in Soho, and just opened a second location on Carmine Street in the West Village. Together, the two restaurants are designed for New Yorkers to sit down and enjoy simple dishes that remind Dean and Maya of their families and respective countries, South Africa and Israel. For the couple, it’s only a perk that they are getting so much attention on social media, as their primary goal has always been the two H’s: hospitality and happiness.

We recently spoke with Maya at the new Carmine location to find out about running two restaurants in the city with her husband and what it means to give New Yorkers a restaurant to call “their spot.”

Read the full interview here

Interiors, Nolita, Restaurants

chefs club restaurant by food and wine, puck building, 295 lafayette, puck building restaurant

There’s been plenty of talk about the luxurious penthouses that top off the historic Puck Building. But just below these spectacular homes is an equally stunning space that’s sure to take your breath away—or at least get your stomach rumbling. Archdaily brings us on a tour of the Chefs Club, a brand new dining experience dreamt up by the folks over at Food & Wine magazine. The sleek eatery opened just last fall to rave reviews, and it’s no surprise; the Chefs Club by Food & Wine is exactly what you’d hope it is: the magazine’s “Best New Chefs” and an international roster of rockstar cooks whipping up meals unlike any you’ve had before.

Take a tour of the spectacular interiors here

Architecture, Restaurants, Williamsburg

relish diner williamsburg ny

Image by Avagara via Panoramio

Amongst Williamsburg‘s ever-growing, rapidly-rising new developments remains a neighborhood icon that has managed to stick around in the face of change. However, it looks like time has finally caught up to this tiny 1950s treasure, as Brownstoner reports that permits were filed today to replace the classic metal structure with a six-story, 10-unit apartment building. The replacement may not surprise too many given the transformation of the area, as well as the restaurants taking up space—from a diner in ’52 to a beloved burger joint from ’97 to 2010 to today providing a somewhat less fitting location for upscale La Esquina’s satellite Mexican restaurant/cafe—but without a doubt it’s still one that we’re sad to see happen.

More details here

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Neighborhoods, Restaurants

cafe grumpy brooklyn, cafe grumpy, brooklyn coffee shops

Photo: Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint by Premshree Pillai cc

From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.

Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.

Get a fleeting glimpse of old New York City cafe culture in the West Village, meet the future of coffee distribution in Red Hook.

Architecture, Design, Hotels, Places to Stay, Restaurants, Upstate

There’s so much talk these days about the happenings up in Beacon, New York, from the Dia:Beacon, undoubtedly the area’s biggest attraction, to the locally sourced restaurants lining the Hudson. And if you’re hoping to make this upstate getaway longer than just a day trip, the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls can accommodate much more than just your overnight stay.

Aryeh Siegel, unofficial “architect of Beacon,” was enlisted by developer Robert A. McAlpine to restore and adaptively resue the buildings on this 9-acre, 19th century industrial site located on the Fishkill Creek. They were transformed into a complex including a hotel, restaurant, and event space. Historically appropriate, modern private residences were added, and the former power house is being reconstructed to provide hydro-electric power, which will account for 60% of the hotel’s energy. The Rockwell Group outfitted the hotel and restaurant interiors with a contemporary yet rustic design esthetic, incorporating pieces from local artisans.

Take a tour through this gorgeous getaway

Hotels, Restaurants

NYC ROOFTOP BARS

Summer is in full swing, and while some of us get to plan far flung escapes, others must endure the heat amidst the concrete towers. Rooftop oases are a great way to beat rising temps, especially when the foliage of a hidden garden can cool us naturally.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite lush rooftop havens around the city, all sure to help soothe your soul when a trip away from city life just isn’t in the cards. From an ultra verdant “secret garden” to a rooftop escape with the Empire State Building in view, check out these these five urban retreats offering an elevated experience.

Five wonderful lush rooftop escapes here

Archtober

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