Food and the City

August 23, 2016

Cocktails + Eats North of 96th Street

by Lu Daley

Downtown used to be the only option for “going out” with friends.  In the mid to early 2000’s if a friend invited me to “party uptown” I knew that we were going to a house party. No longer. I’ve been out a few times in the past month, and I don’t usually venture below 96th street. It’s a new day in upper Manhattan.  

Uptown eateries have increased in number so dramatically that Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Blvd (8th Avenue) between 112th and 120th streets has been dubbed ‘Restaurant Row’. Now when I party uptown, I could be heading anywhere from Camaradas in East Harlem, Mess Hall or Silvana in Central Harlem, or Heights Tavern in Washington Heights.

Spoiled for choice in a new world of options, how do you know where to go for an outstanding cocktail? Here are a few of my favorites uptown locations and the cocktail experiences you deserve.

Mess Hall
2194 Frederick Douglass Blvd (118th Street on Restaurant Row)

You can’t limit Mess Hall to the “Bourbon Bar” title. They feature creative and artisan crafted seasonal cocktails. They also host their own “Mess Hall's Annual Cocktail Throwdown”. Stop in for a past season cocktail, or your bartender
Make sure to try:

  • Campfire Manhattan – Maple Infused Bourbon, hickory smoke with a house made beef Jerky Garnish.
  • Mess Hall Mash – Bourbon shaken with fresh lemon, simple syrup and orange with a red wine floater.
  • Garden Party – Mess Hall Infused Citrus Vodka muddled with fresh lime and basil.
  • The Ginger Pearl - Olmeca Altos Tequila, Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur, Triple Sec, Fresh Lemon and Lime, Agave Nectar and tiki bitters served with a cayenne salt rim. (created by Mess Hall Bartender Cheryl Mullings).  According to co-owner Shanna Sharp, "It's like the freshest ginger margarita with a kick you've ever had."

They have outdoor space.
Bartender Lana Vesselova just won the 2016 Uptown Battle of the Bars (a multi-bar cocktail making competition and all around great time).

"Life is Too Short to Drink Bad Bourbon" -Mess Hall Harlem instagram.

August 10, 2016

How To Throw A Tapas Party

Supersize me? No thanks. Overstuffed plates and comically large foods are a thing of the past. These days, the hottest trend in food is going small, serving well-executed plates of tapas that are perfect for sharing. Throughout New York City, tapas restaurants are popping up and winning over customers with their less-is-more approach to eating. You don't have to go out to enjoy this trend, however — here's how to create amazing tapas that will wow your friends at your next dinner party.

Get the right dishware
When you order tapas at a restaurant, it would be pretty off-putting to see a few bites of food come on an enormous plate. The same thing is true at your dinner party — a tiny amount of food on a huge dish doesn't look elegant anywhere. To make sure your strange choice of plating doesn't become a topic of conversation among your guests, grab some colorful small plates to serve your small bites on.

Create a menu
One of the most fun things about eating tapas is the variety of foods you can enjoy in a single meal. However, if those flavors don't complement one another, it can feel like you don't know what you're doing. Especially if it's your first time preparing tapas, create a menu that tells your guests what's on each plate and which combinations to try together; this will also serve as a reminder for you about which flavor profiles worked together the next time you decide to host a similar event.

Start with what you know
You don't need to be an expert in Spanish cuisine to pull off a few plates of tapas. Even if you don't feel like sticking solely to Latin-influenced fare, you can still pull together some great plates by using your favorite recipes. Dishes like mini quiche, meatballs, and prosciutto-wrapped melon are easy ways to create small plates that have plenty of palate-pleasing and aesthetic appeal.

Take inspiration from the pros
If you have a favorite tapas spot in the city, don't be afraid to try to copy some of your favorite dishes. The internet is full of copycat recipe ideas for virtually every type of cuisine, so if you want to create a cohesive meal, don't be afraid to borrow a little inspiration from your favorite chefs.

Get creative with it
Don't feel constrained by what you see other chefs doing when you're hosting a tapas party. The beauty of preparing small plates is that you can make your dishes a little whimsical without having anyone get sick of your style. Try out fun menus like dessert tapas, holiday-themed tapas, or vegan tapas for a creative culinary challenge that your guests won't soon forget.

You don't have to be a professional chef to create praise-worthy plates for your next party — start small and wow your friends with a few rounds of tapas, instead. ¡Buen provecho!

This is a guest post by Candice Schaffer from Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands including

August 08, 2016

The Top 5 Attractions for Tourists AND Locals in NYC

No matter where you look in NewYork City, there's an exciting activity to participate in, a great meal to eat, a show everybody's talking about, or a view so breathtaking that you can hardly believe anyone who sees it can get his or her work done. With so many expensive and ultimately uninspiring tourist traps to avoid, the real question isn't "Where should I go?" it's "Where do real New Yorkers go?" 

So, we've rounded up the five real must-see sights in NYC:

Homelessness amongst is on the rise, here's how you can help!

Back in May, I spoke about my experience being involved with the launch of The Period Projects by U by Kotex, which is a program designed to help spread awareness and create change, both big and small. Today, I'm excited to share the news of their second installment of the series, The Power To The Period Donation Drive

Did you know that 3.5 million Americans are currently homeless? And out of that 3.5 million, many are women who have nowhere to turn for period products or feminine support. It's a highly upsetting number, and there needs to be a shift within our communities to help knock that number down. After learning of these alarming statistics, Holly Sanchez decided to do something about it. She teamed up with U by Kotex, as well as to bring you the very first nation-wide period products drive.

How can you get involved? Easy-peasy-lemon squeezy! From July 14th - September 30th, we encourage you to start your very OWN Power to the Period drive, or donate new/unopened packages of period products to a drive in your area. Visit,, or text PERIOD to 38383 to learn more details on how you can help change the lives of many women across this nation. 

This campaign is solid proof that, as women, we can join forces and help change the way we both talk about and support the period needs of the homeless within our communities. Change the dialect to a positive one, and help make an impact today! Every box counts.

July 28, 2016


While 12 years (wut!) may have already passed since Carrie left Paris and came back to her New York roots, fans of the series still freak out over all things Sex and the City. I myself, as a young aspiring writer, looked up to Carrie Bradshaw as if she was God herself. Every episode left me doodling words in a notebook somewhere, because I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to have a column in a newspaper and live in a gorgeous brownstone where I kept my high heels in the oven. (I've actually kept them in my dishwasher before but don't tell.)

I was pretty young when Sex and the City was still on the air (only 13/14 when it ended!), but that didn't halt the many lessons that I learned from the show. It taught me about love, it taught me about friendship, it most certainly taught me about fashion, and above all else, it taught me that sitting around a table with your best girlfriends while enjoying a good meal was all you needed to get through a rough day. The sexual innuendo's may have gone over my head at the time, but there was something about the show that I knew I'd keep with me for life. 

When I caught wave that my friends over at CableTV came out with the Ultimate Sex and the City Dining Guide, I knew I had to share the news. They spent countless hours making the guide as accurate as possible, fact checking with restaurants and pin-pointing exact moments in each episode. 
After all, Sex and the City was the inspiration behind Food and the City, so I felt it was my duty to feature the guide on here. This website may have never come about if it wasn't for that OG #squad of fearless, strong women.

If you want to dine like the original 4 best friends that anyone could have, check out the list below and find out exactly where and when it was featured in the show or films.

July 21, 2016


Coming in strong with our 3rd edition of the where to eat in NYC series, prepare yourself for an intense sugar rush. I'm probably one of the only people that seriously indulges in sweets during the summer time, because, well, #summerbody. But to me, if I haven't already gotten my desired summer bod by July, it ain't happening, so why deprive myself? Also, what exactly is a summer body? Is is just like, a body that's placed in a summer setting? How does that work? WHY DO WE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT SUMMER BODIES? Sorry for yelling.

But alas, as I mentioned above, if you're look for some awesome sweets to indulge in over the weekend, DEFINITELY stop into 1 or 2 or 5 of the places listed below. I promise your tasty-buds will thank ya.

1) Doughnut Plant: I first discovered Doughnut Plant a couple of months ago while ordering my groceries via Max Delivery. Max Delivery is a service here in Manhattan that delivers your food within ONE HOUR. I'm legit one of the laziest people that you'll ever meet when it comes to food shopping, so when a flyer for this company was tossed under my door by my mailman, I knew it was meant to be. Actually, I probably shop on there way too often because it's so easy and convenient. ANYWAY - back to donuts - there's a section on Max Delivery's website that allows you to order from the "best of NY." Being as I am who I am (v important food critic obvi), I had to see for myself if these were indeed the best doughnuts in New York City.

Well, let me tell you. They just might fucking be. I have never had a doughnut literally melt in my mouth before. Like, actually disintegrate into my salvia. I ordered the chocolate and the glaze, and both were so soft, so fresh, and so god damn delicious that I'm actually about to order another dozen right now. I have yet to go to their actual storefront, but if their delivery is this good, I can't imagine how incredible they are the second they leave the shop.