NYC Hotspots

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Reviews , Travel

Every big city has its share of tourist attractions, famous restaurants and clubs. But in most cases, the best places arn’t found in a guide book.; they’re places you stumble onto.

During my recent three week trip back to New York City, I returned to some of my favorite spots around town.

Morandi

If you want an Italian brunch, lunch, or dinner — or just a good bar with trendy people to hang out at on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, Morandi on the corner of Waverly and 7th Ave. is a good bet.  The decor is rustic trattoria; the food is excellent, and the coffee is as good as you’ll find.  For brunch be sure to try the egg-topped pizza.

Over on Houston Street, stop into Arturo’s for great coal-oven pizza, and a slice of jazz on the side. The jazz plays nightly, the place is authentic New York — and worn –,  and the service friendly and competent.  Squeeze up to the bar, or wait for an inside or outside table. Its a trendy spot, and popular, so arrive with enough patience: it’s wroth the wait.

Mimi’s is a neighborhood bar/ restaurant located on the corner of 52nd street and 2nd Ave.  The Italian food is very good, but the real attraction is the piano bar when Chicken Delicious is playing.  Whether he is singing seriously — or infusing his regular comedic flair –, or letting patrons have a go at the microphone, it’s always a good time, and memorable experience.  And it is one of those places where tourists mixing with the neighborhood regulars is what makes every night seem new.

House Band at Arthur's

My favorite spot however, is Arthur’s Tavern, located on Grove Street just west of 7th Ave.  There is a two drink minimum, and the band earns its living via a tip bucket they pass around after each set: don’t be a cheapskate; if you have a good time, throw a fiver in the bucket.  The club itself is a narrow hole-in-the-wall, with a long bar and tight seating along the opposite wall.  At the far end of the narrow space is the bandstand. There is a bar with seating that wraps around three sides of the pit where the band plays.

Friday and Saturday nights feature the house band’s high energy R&B, funk music.  If this group doesn’t make you want to dance, check your pulse … because you’re likely dead.  For the best experience at Arthur’s, don’t arrive before 1: am.  Prior to that, the bar is overcrowded, filled with tourists and the bridge and tunnel crowd [from New Jersey, NY boroughs and Connecticut].  Not that that is a bad thing, but the secret to this nightspot is after its thinned out, and the combination of energy generated from the band and the regulars [that hang out there], mixes for a magical and unforgettable good time.  And it doesn’t much matter if there are fifteen people in attendance or fifty: it’s still the most easy-going best energy in New York City.

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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