Winter in New York has been a frosty metropolis of jaw-clenching citizens all desperately trying to avoid the sub-zero temperatures whenever possible. But this is NYC and somehow the show still goes on! The combination of apartment living and ancient heating systems can be relied upon to serve up an attack of ‘cabin fever’ to even the most sedentary of homebodies. People literally HAVE TO GET OUT!
New Yorkers have found some great spots in which to curl-up communally – places that were designed for these very moments with lazy couches, fireplaces and belly-warming suppers. Here are some of NYC’s finest refuges to escape to this winter – from midtown Manhattan to Harlem and down to the Bowery, we have our favorites for you.
1) Bar Boulud, 20 E 76th St, Upper East Side
A modern take on a farmhouse feel, Bar Boulud offers a wine list to make the vineyards of Burgundy and Rhone blush, charcuterie, sausages and terrines scented with North African spices. Chef Gavin Kaysen is a James Beard rising star, and if you’re there around lunch-time, delve in to a gooey croque – your choice of Madame or Monsieur.
2) The Breslin, 20 West 29th St, in The Ace Hotel, Chelsea
This vintage-chic pub with large window panes is a perfect spot to admire the cold from the inside whilst dunking parmesan toasts in onion and bone marrow soup, followed by milk-braised pork ribs. If there is any chill left in you (though I highly doubt it!), be sure to try the warm clementine cake.
3) Freemans, End of Freeman Alley, nr. Rivington St, Bowery
In a foreboding alley, this seemingly tiny restaurant sprawls into several rooms and nooks, making it the perfect place to play hooky. Amongst taxidermy and a colonial past, enjoy The Freemans Cocktail of pomegranate molasses, and chivey Hunter’s Stew with potato dumplings, amongst many other American comfort classics.
4) Jones Wood Foundry, 401 East 76th St, Upper East Side
This real-deal British pub and one of the Upper East siders’ favorite haunts. It is so welcoming that you will not want to leave. Jason Hicks brings to this Upper East Side food-driven pub dishes from his home in the Cotswolds, like pukka savory pies, bangers, mash and onion gravy, fish and chips and little mason jars of home-made pickles. It’s easy to get carried away here – just make sure you leave some room for the oh so very sticky toffee pudding!
5) Forgione, 134 Reade Street,Tribeca
The Iron Chef, Marc Forgione, certainly knows how to create a companionable vibe with his cedar knotted walls and candle illuminated pendants. Anything and everything on the menu will appeal to your winter-warming soul, from oysters in Cajun béchamel to Singapore-inspired lobster in chili sauce.
6) Park Avenue Winter, 100 East 63rd Street, Upper East Side
A restaurant that reinvents itself with its décor and menu to celebrate the season. Well now it’s winter, so enjoy the full breadth of seasonal produce with dishes like maple coffee-glazed pork chops with roasted quince or roast chicken, parsnip puree and spiced raisins.
7) Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Avenue, Harlem
Head up to Harlem for a rich historic experience that only shines brighter in the presence of Winter. The Red Rooster captures Harlem’s comforts with their take on mac and cheese, fried chicken and oxtail stew, whilst embracing cold winter dishes from Sweden with Grandma Helga’s meatballs. The walls are dedicated to Harlem’s artists, the shelves are lined with books and trinkets and treasures from the neighborhood and personal memorabilia of the Chef Samuelsson’s journey, and the air is aromatic with warming spices of nutmeg and cinnamon.
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