A Romantic Getaway In New York

It is no surprise that countless romantic movies use the Big Apple as their backdrop as there’s nothing quite like New York City. That’s why it isn’t surprising when couples fly out to New York for a romantic getaway. However, most of these couples all experience the same problem. That is, what do we do in a city that has pretty much everything? Worry not as we’ve got you covered. After checking in in your hotel, drop by these spots to get the most out of your vacation. Continue reading

Chola Indian Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan NYC

If you have always been curious about true, traditional Indian cuisine, Chola should be your first stop. Chola NYC is a midtown Indian restaurant waiting to be (re)discovered. Located in Midtown Manhattan’s NYC, this popular destination recently revamped their menu and interior.

Chola’s new interior evokes a touch of old world charm with grey and gold tones throughout. Old black and white photographs are hung throughout that feature coastal scenes from Southern India. This gives a warm and welcoming sense of the history behind the cuisine. Just past the entrance, a bar with gold lamps and an old-fashioned typewriter greets guests. Modern and traditional accents bring everything together while paying homage to Indian culture.

The Menu

The current menu includes several new additions. New to the menu is the bread station with Indian Flour Breads, which are freshly baked every day in their Tandoor oven stuffed with Old Delhi Butter Chicken and Onion Green Chili.

New starters include the Cafreal Paneer Tikka, a house made fire grilled cheese fresh from the Tandoor oven that comes out smoking with green masala. Karela Karare is a fried bitter gourd with smoky paprika for a sharp bite.

If you love seafood, try Khekda Nariyal. This is a sautéed crab dish with coconut and mustard seeds that will have guests fighting over the last spoonful ($18). Another is the perfectly spiced Scallops Caldin in a Goan yellow coconut curry ($17).

The menu is extensive and takes some time to review. Surely, you will find at least a dozen of so dishes that you would want to try. Highlights include Meen Moilee, a light and flaky Branzino with turmeric, coconut and curry leaves, topped with green banana chips ($26). The Savitri Amma’s Moru Kulambu is a great choice for vegetarians. It is a bounty of white pumpkin, okra, and coconut buttermilk curry ($14).

Traditional Indian desserts can also be found with choices such as a homemade rice pudding, and Indian-style ice cream known as kulfi. I ordered the Gulab Jamun, which is my typical dessert choice.

Favorites

My particular favorites were the Kori Gassi, a creamy Mangalorean coconut chicken curry with red masala ($22); and Allepy Konju Pappas: Kerala style shrimp curry, kokum, coconut milk ($27). For side dishes, I loved the Coconut Rice: fried appalam, red chilies, coriander ($10); and Kolkata Amm Chutney: sweet mango, panch phoran, black salt ($3).

Certain dishes are noted with a thumbs up symbol, or ones you must try. Gluten, spicy, and very spicy dishes are also noted with symbols. There are several vegan dishes including Adrak ki Gobi Keema, minced cauliflower with green chilies and ginger; and Jeera Methi Alu, home style fresh fenugreek potatoes with roasted cumin.

All dishes on the menu incorporate special in-house oil infused with select herbs and flavored ghee. This creates a perfect opportunity to mix and match your favorite dishes, knowing that they will all pair beautifully together.

Beverages

The cocktail program is designed by Allen Katz, Owner of the New York Distilling Company. His selection of cocktails includes Himalayan Sunset: Spring 44 vodka, King’s Ginger liqueur, mango puree and fresh lime juice ($13); and East of Manhattan: Ragtime rye, La Copa sweet vermouth and saffron syrup ($14). The restaurant also boasts a curated international wine list.

For non-alcoholic beverages, the Lassis or sweetened yogurt drinks are classics. One to try is the Moru: salted yogurt drinks, spices, and garden herbs ($7). There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this very traditional beverage. Moru is made with kokum, a souring agent from the tamarind family. It is also made with green chilies, garlic, and a coconut milk base.

View their full Chola menu here.

Location & Hours

Places of interest nearby include Bloomingdales, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and Chola is in within easy walking distance. to Central Park. Also nearby is the tram to Roosevelt Island.

Their unlimited lunch buffet is a great deal. The buffet is served Monday-Thursday ($17.95), and Friday-Sunday ($18.95).

Chola Indian Restaurant in NYC is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Lunch is served Monday-Sunday from 12-3pm. Dinner is served Monday-Saturday from 5-10:45pm, and Sunday from 5-10pm. Takeout and delivery are available.

http://cholany.com// 212-688-4619

Where to Celebrate Halloween on Long Island & in NYC

Whether you choose to spend Halloween in NYC or on Long Island this week, you are sure to stumble upon a scary good time. This week is already off to a great start with plenty of dinner specials, ghoulish cocktails, and fright-filled parties. With plenty of opportunities to wear your costume all week long, below are our favorite spots to celebrate Halloween across Long Island and in the city.

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Emirates Suite at the US Open 2019

On Sunday, September 1st, we attended the Men’s & Women’s Round of 16 Day Session at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at the US Open in Flushing Meadows. During the two daytime matches, I was hosted at the exclusive VIP Emirates Suite at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which offers premier views of the courts as well the utmost level of privacy and exclusivity. The air-conditioned Suite boasts the same highly sought after hospitality and luxurious detail as one would receive on a Business or First Class flight on Emirates Airline.

The Suite was at capacity that weekend, as two coveted matches were being played that afternoon: Roger Federer v David Goffin, and Serena Williams v Petra Martic. Everyone was at the edge of their seats while the matches were played; you could feel the waves of enthusiasm throughout the suite, especially when it was a close tie between Williams and Martic.

The week prior, my family and I attended Arthur Ashe Kids Day, and were invited to spend the afternoon at the Emirates Suite, which hosted a variety of activities and delicious treats including a create-your-own sundae station.

Food

Guests of the invite-only suite are offered cold towels, sunscreen, and the signature red Emirates baseball caps to combat sun’s rays. During the afternoon, a full buffet spread was served at 12pm, when the Suite opened. The buffet included salad, fresh fruit, pasta salad, crab cakes, steak, chicken, and a full sushi and sashimi bar. The Emirates Suite is also the only space to have a private sushi chef throughout the entire US Open.

Drinks

Drinks include soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer, wine, champagne, and a selection of top shelf liquors. For dessert, macarons, a carrot cake, miniature pies, fruit tarts, brownies, and cookies were served. One of my favorite conveniences of the Emirates Suite is that you are able to discreetly step away from your stadium suite and retreat for a beverage refill or some snacks.

If you prefer to stay inside and watch the matches, there are high top tables and booths, as well as two flat screen televisions for your viewing convenience.

Watching the US Open from the Emirates Suite is a one-of-a-kind experience. Lucky fans from the stadium were gifted with an upgrade to the suite, which the Emirates Airline team has done for ticket holders in previous years. Emirates also hosts a variety of giveaways and fan experiences throughout the grand slam event, including airline tickets to Dubai.

Photos courtesy of Emirates

Emirates is the official airline of the US Open. Emirates Airline is among the top sponsors of the US Open, alongside J.P. Morgan Chase, and American Express.

http://www.emirates.com // https://www.usopen.org

Arthur Ashe Kids Day Celebration at the Emirates Suite- US Open 2019

On Saturday, August 24th, my family and I traveled to Flushing Meadows, Queens to celebrate Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center just two days prior to the first day of the 2019 US Open. We spend the majority of the afternoon inside the Emirates Suite, which hosted a variety of games and interactive experiences for families. Lunch and snacks were served throughout the day, including a full bar of juice, soda, and water, as well as beer and wine for adults. Continue reading

4 Most Romantic Hotels in NYC Where You Can Get Cozy This Winter

Winter is fast approaching. And one of the best ways to stay warm is by snuggling up next to your loved one.

If you’re visiting New York City this magical time of year, don’t just pick any old hotel. Pick one that’s going to make the experience that much more memorable.

Not sure where to stay? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading and we’ll walk you through the most romantic hotels in NYC.

The Greenwich Hotel

Owned by New York’s most beloved actor, Robert De Niro, the Greenwich Hotel is both stylish and decadent. 

Get your romance on at the Japanese-style spa. It’s designed in timber and stone and is beautifully lit by glowing lanterns. 

And while you can find plenty of fancy restaurants in the surrounding Tribeca area, why not just stay. Here, you can enjoy some of the finest aphrodisiacs including wood-fired grilled chicken and squid ink linguini right by a burning fire.

The Lucerne

Looking for more budget-friendly hotels? Look no further than Upper West Side’s The Lucerne. The 202 rooms in this historic hotel are compact but also gorgeously designed.

For brunch, why not have a casual feast for two at Nice Matin, the hotel’s romantic French-Meditteranean restaurant. It’s a delicious cafe that feels more like Paris than New York.

The Beekman

If you want style, then The Beekman is the hotel for you. As you enter the lobby, the first thing you need to be sure to do is look up. 

There, you’ll see a 9-level atrium topped by a beautiful skylight, a remnant of its beginning days when the building first opened in 1883.

These lower Manhattan hotel rooms come with drink trolleys that include cocktail making ingredients. They also are decked out in the latest tech including flat-screen TVs and Bluetooth wireless radio.

The Mandarin Oriental

One of the most defining and romantic characteristics of the Big Apple is the skyline. And you find a better view than the one from this West Side spot.

Most of the rooms here sport floor to ceiling windows which either give you a perfect view of New York’s Central Park or of the Hudson River.

And if your room doesn’t come with a stellar view? Not to worry. You can head on up to the Aviary on the 35th floor. A trendy cocktail bar headed by award-winning Chicago chef Grant Achatz. 

Also, be sure to take in the panoramic view of the classic yellow taxis driving around Columbus Circle below.

The hotel also has a swimming pool, fitness center, and sauna. 

The Beauty of the Most Romantic Hotels in NYC

There’s a lot of reasons to visit New York. And checking out some of the most romantic hotels in NYC is definitely one of them. 

Do you plan on traveling anywhere else? Check out the website to learn more about the best places to eat and sleep!

The NYC Hamburger: Where to Find the Best Burger in NYC

When you think of New York City food, you’re likely picturing a giant greasy slice of pizza or a salty bagel piled high with whipped cream cheese, lox, and all the fixing.

While that’s all fine and dandy, you’re missing one of the best dishes New York Has to offer — the burger.

Keep reading learn where you can bite into the best burger in Manhattan.

The Best Burger In The West Village: The Fedora Burger At Bar Sardine

This tiny West Village spot is a go-to for first date drinks, so it’s possible you didn’t know it also serves up a pretty fantastic burger. You might think to go to Corner Bistro up the street, but that would be a mistake.

Instead, bite into the Fedora Burger named after the owner Gabe Stulman’s other spot a few doors down. This bite has easily the city’s most interesting burger combination of a juicy Pat LaFrieda patty, layered with smokey cheddar and drizzled with BBQ mayo, tangy pickles, crisp red onions, sandwiched between a toasted flat bun.

It’s smokey and sweet and it pairs perfectly with crispy delicate shoestring fries.

The Burger At Boilermaker

At this bar known for its beer and shot specials, you will also find an excellent burger at the fair price of $11 for a double or $8 for a single. It’s a dollar extra if you want to add some cheese or bacon.

It comes with pickled vegetables straight from the Philippines, adding a tangy sweet and sour flavor with the juicy meat.

The Burger At Raul’s

Thrillist’s National Burger Critic once called this burger the Best in Manhattan. And it’s a hard burger to get your hands on, as only 12 are made every night. You can only get these burgers at the bar, and you’ll want to get there a little before the kitchen opens at 5:30 p.m. to get a bite.

The brisket-heavy patty is perfectly seared and topped with rich triple-cream Saint-André, cornichons, tangy red onions, and peppery greens, wrapped in a soft challah bun.

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort At The Spotted Pig

This famous chargrilled burger with Roquefort is served up at April Bloomfield’s Michelin-starred restaurant. This is a real bare-bones cheeseburger. Meaning there is no lettuce, onion or tomato, and you don’t need those fixings.

Instead, you get a super thick organic beef patty topped with deliciously stinky cheese, wrapped in a freshly baked bun with criss-cross branded grill marks. Just make sure you don’t fill up with the mountain of shoestring fries that come with this tall burger.

Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger at Brindle Room

The menu here is full of comfort food like pork confit poutine, chicken wings, and spaghetti with meatballs. But what you can’t miss here, is the Steakhouse Burger. It’s incredibly simple with a patty that is a dry-aged blend of steak trimmings, ground beef, and the fatty part of a rib eye.

The patty is slightly charred and topped with sweet caramelized onions and salty American Cheese. You don’t need any extra sauces, just some ketchup and extra napkins.

The ShackBurger At The Shake Shack

While these burgers are now everywhere, and the lines are still long, this burger still remains one of the best in the city. Not only is the ShackBurger cheap by New York standards at $5.55 for a single or $8.95 for a double.

This simple burger is made with quality meat that beats fast-food expectations but is still greasy and cheesy.

Hook Burger at Red Hook Lobster Pound

If you find yourself in Red Hook, Brooklyn, you can’t miss this unexpected burger at this spot known for its lobster rolls. Red Hook Lobster pound butter and grills it’s buns on both sides making it the perfect setting for this dry-aged thick short rib and brisket blend patty.

The Emmy Burger At Emily

Another can’t miss Brooklyn Burger at an unexpected spot. Emily is known for thin-crust pizza, but the Emmy burger isn’t a throwaway addition to the menu. What you want to do is order your pizza on the side of your burger.

Chef Matt Hyland has made the perfect dry-aged burger using different butches and different ways of preparing it.

Today this burger is made with a dry-aged Fleisher’s patty, dripping in Grafton Cheddar, topped with sweet caramelized onions, and buffalo-like Emmy Sauce, sandwiched in a Tom Cat pretzel bun.

Only one thing, both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Emmy locations serve up a limited amount of these burgers every night, so you want to get there early.

The Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern

This $33 Greenwich Village burger is cheeseless, but it’s still a favorite. It’s made with nine juicy ounces of prime-grade, skirt streak, dry-aged rib eye, and brisket. Topped with caramelized onions and on a seeded Balthazar brioche bun.

Cheeseburger at J.G. Melon

This uptown burger is an oldie but a classic. This corner tavern has been making the best burgers in town in 1972. Each eight-ounce medium-rare patty is griddled diner-style on a flat top.

The burger is served open-faced topped with melted American cheese on a lightly toasted bun with all the classic fixings.

Cheeseburger at Burger Joint

This midtown west burger can be found at the hidden spot in the upscale Parker Meridien, This burger is a perfect re-creation of patties served in 1972.

You’ll feel like you’re in 1972 as you slide into this spot’s vinyl booths and take a bite of this burger topped with iconic ingredients like Arnold’s buns and Heinz ketchup

These burgers are perfectly juicy but still charred and they’re one of the more affordable burgers in the city.

Plan Your NYC Burger Trip Today

Now that you know where to get the best burger or shall we say burgers in Manhattan, it’s time to plan that trip. Take yourself on a Manhattan burger tour and enjoy some of the best beef patties this city has to offer.

To discover more delicious NYC food, make sure you check out our website!

Roasted Masala in NYC’s Upper West Side

Roasted Masala is a Northern Indian restaurant tucked away in the Upper West Side on Columbus Avenue that serves authentic dishes with bold flavors and spices. These dishes are created from time-honored recipes passed down from the Executive Chef’s grandfather. Restaurant patrons can experience the true tastes of India to New York City while being surrounded by glistening gold and red accents inspired by the lavish Indian palaces with its high ceilings. Chandeliers hang overhead, creating an elegant aesthetic with greenery incorporated throughout to pay homage to the lush gardens these palaces are known for in India.

My guest and I felt very relaxed during our dining experience. When visiting Roasted Masala, allot at least two hours to really enjoy your time here as each dish is so unique and tasty. I, for example, would never forget our appetizer, the Lasooni Gobi, pictured below, that is made with crispy cauliflower, tomato & garlic sauce ($7.95). It quite literally tasted like chicken, and it was hard to take a break between each bite. This is a dish you will order again and again.

Lasooni Gobi

At Roasted Masala, it is encouraged that dishes be shared and served ‘family-style.’ The expansive menu has several main courses featuring a variety of choices, including chicken, beef, goat, lamb, seafood, vegan, and vegetarian (separated in these categories on the menu). To accompany your entrees, there is also the classic Indian rice selections and sides such as mango chutney and cucumber raita.

The menu also includes several types of traditional breads, such as dosas or naan, and a wide selection of starters like Spinach Chaat and Recheado Shrimp.

Our favorites included the Chicken Malai Kabab ($9.95), Beef Meatball Curry ($17.95), and the Tandoori Chicken. As starters, we recommend the Sesame Naan ($3.95), and Baadshah Pulao with cashews, almonds, raisins, saffron, and basmati rice ($6.95). You will fill up fast, so arrive hungry and always be prepared to take some food home with you.

View their full menu here. What I appreciate about their online menu is that it provides a photo of exactly how the dish is plated while clearly noting the level of spice and if it is a gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian dish.

Roasted Masala is BYOB with no corkage fee, but their specialty drinks provide a unique glimpse into some specialty Indian sips that I highly recommend. These include their own on a bubble tea with their Falooda Milk, a pink lightly sweetened strawberry milk shake with basil seeds that is irresistibly refreshing ($5). Others include a variety of Lassis such as Rose, Salted, Mango, and Sweet. I ordered the Rose and would order it again in a heartbeat.

Indian desserts are some of my favorite and Roasted Masala has covered all of the bases. I recommend trying the Gulab Jamun: golden dough puff topped with organic honey ($4.95); and Rabri Jalebi: golden pretzel, creamy cashew, almond, saffron milk ($6.95).

Dahi Batata

Executive Chef Jawad Rehman grew up in the kitchen helping his mother with different recipes, but his real inspiration for pursuing his culinary dreams came from his grandfather. Chef Rehman’s grandfather loved to try new dishes, and as a child he would watch his grandfather help craft lavish Indian wedding feasts using elaborate recipes to create one-of-a-kind dining experiences at these large-scale events. These recipes are the ones he is plating up at Roasted Masala to inspire his diners.

Gulab Jamun // Images courtesy of Roasted Masala

The restaurant features a 50% off lunch special as well as weekly specialty Indo-Chinese and tandoori dishes, which rotate throughout the season.

Roasted Masala provides catering services and can be found on popular service sites including Seamless, GrubHub and DoorDash. During my dining experience, I noticed several takeout orders being picked up for delivering. At least ten to twelve in a two hour time-frame.

They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Lunch begins at 11:30am, and dinner begins at 5pm during the week (closed between 3-5pm Monday-Friday). They are open straight through from lunch to dinner on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 11:30am.

https://www.roastedmasala.com // 917-388-3586

The Chillhouse x Ketel One Botanical Montauk Pop-Up

Throughout July and August, Ketel One Botanical is partnering with Chillhouse, a modern self-care destination, as they pop up at New York Pilates in Montauk. The Chillhouse and Ketel One Botanical Pop-Up is offering manicures, pedicures and special retail experiences on the first floor of the fitness studio. 

Chillhouse services include manicures, with the option to add nail art, three of which are inspired by the Ketel One Botanical varietals – Peach & Orange Blossom, Cucumber & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rose- and pedicures.

Vanessa Gordon gets her nails done at Chillhouse

Along with each service, guests 21+ will receive a complimentary Botanical Spritz, and will have the opportunity to book special packages, inclusive of a Ketel One Botanical-inspired manicure, Botanical Spritz, and a New York Pilates class in one, with the option to bring a friend along as well. For those who can’t make it out to Montauk this summer, Chillhouse is also offering guests 21+ the Botanical manicures at their LES flagship on Essex Street, with a Ketel One Botanical Spritz on the house.

Services will include manicures (The Full Rodeo $30, The Gel Rodeo $45), with the option to add nail art from their curated look book. Pedicures include Chill Toes ($50), and Fancy Feet ($75). 

Click here to check out their range of nail art designs.

The modern selfcare destination is in good company, co-mingling with activewear brands featured in New York Pilates’ retail shop such as Year Of Ours, Live the Process and APL Sneakers, all hand-picked by New York Pilates founder, Heather Andersen, as well as New York Pilates’ merchandise and new technical sportswear line.

Chillhouse Montauk is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday from 10am-6pm and Friday from 12-8pm.

https://chillhouse.com/pages/montauk

A Taste of The Governors Ball Music Festival

The Governors Ball Music Festival took place last weekend on Randall’s Island Park in New York City. The festival drew in over 150,000 attendees over the span of three days for a full lineup of Indie, Alternative Rock, and Hip Hop artists performing at one of three stages at each section of the festival.

Center stage throughout the entire three day weekend was the food, and there was certainly no shortage of it. With plenty of options, including vegan, vegetarian, and options available for VIP guests only, there was something for everyone to enjoy (and Instagram about of course)!

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Announcing Cat Camp NYC with Jackson Galaxy

Jackson Galaxy, renowned cat behavior expert, and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” will host Cat Camp NYC this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 1st and 2nd at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Hosting as “Head Counselor,” alongside Christina Ha, co-founder of Cat Camp and co-owner of NYC‘s first cat caféMeow Parlour, Cat Camp will be a weekend full of fun and educational activities for those of all ages.

Now in its 3rd year, it will be a weekend adventure for cat lovers of all stripes aiming to spread the message that anyone could be a cat advocate. Educational activities and workshops on topics such as how to play with cats, classes to make cat toys led by the internet’s most beloved cat experts, a dedicated adoptable cat area showcasing kittens and cats from Meow Parlour as well as nearly a dozen local adoption organizations, cat yoga, cat café bingo, and a vast array of cat merchandise for guests to peruse and purchase.

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25th Annual Taste of Tribeca: An Interview with Gigino Trattoria

Taste of Tribeca will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary on Saturday, May 18th from 11:30am-3pm. which will be held on Saturday, May 18. The annual food festival that draws between 3,000-4,000 ticket holders brings together more than 60 of Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants to benefit arts and enrichment programs at local public schools PS 150 and PS 234. Ticket holders are entitled to six tastes and two pours on the Beer & Cider Tour.

In anticipation of this Saturday’s event, I sat down with Gigino Trattoria’s Special Events Manager, Julia Barker.

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