instead of five random things i am loving this Friday, i’m going to make this week the Friday Five in places — five spots i’ve been to around NYC in the past week.
1. Om Factory. in case you missed my first NYC yoga experience, you can read more about it here. i started off the week on a high note by attending a Foundations yoga class with one of my besties at Om Factory’s midtown location. even after just one experience there, i would recommend this studio: the staff was friendly, the space was really cool and clean and inviting, and they offer a wide variety of classes. i plan to go again this coming Monday…and once i start getting a little more comfortable with this whole yoga business, i def would like to try acro and aerial yoga classes.
2. Biergarten at the Standard. located at the bottom of the see-and-be-seen Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking district, this trendy biergarten is a fun, loud, laid-back after-work spot that attracts a super diverse crowd: you’ll share a picnic table with suits guys and groups of girls in flip flops and tanks and people coming right from the gym or yoga all at the same time. it’s always a fun spot (especially if you get there early enough to grab a table), almost always crowded, and makes for some great people watching. they practice segregation, too: there are two bars, one solely serving beer and another for the non-beer drinkers, serving just wine and hard alcohol.
it’s a fun place to go with groups, which is what we did last night for one of my close friend’s “leaving our workplace” drinks (so sad!). you can play ping pong, or try to name all the flags of the world, or try to convince the bouncer you’re not Zooey Deschanel. the possibilities are endless.
3. Ambrose Hall and Beer Garden at the South Street Seaport. one of my fave things about NYC is that you can walk down a street you’ve been down countless times before, and suddenly you discover something entirely new. (and a line from a Beauty and the Beast song just immediately popped into my head: “there may be something there that wasn’t there before”…brrrppp Disney fan). walking around the South Street Seaport downtown yesterday, which is such a charming, quaint part of Manhattan, we stumbled upon a brand-new outdoor bar over looking an open square of picnic tables where they were setting up for a concert.
directly across the street is Ambrose Hall, the affiliated restaurant. it’s a fun addition to the Seaport, and i see many after-works potentially happening her. this is one perk of working downtown — i love being near the Seaport and definitely need to take advantage of it more often.
4. Amélie. a girlfriend and i got all European last Friday after work and hit both a French and an Italian wine bar on the same evening. this was my first time at Amélie, a modern French wine bar & bistro in Greenwich Village. it proved to be a bright, lively little spot with a nice wine assortment, good happy hour prices, and a staff who all speak French. can’t hate any of that.
it strikes me as more of a hang-out-with-the-girls-after-work place than a good date spot, as it’s not the coziest or quaintest of places, but it’s got a fun little charm of its own and the bartenders were really friendly. i think my favorite part was that little wooden sliding ladder behind the bar and all the wines displayed.
5. Virgola. i definitely have saved the best for last, purposefully. this little gem of a “blink-and-y0u’ll-definitely-miss it” wine and oyster bar was one of the best surprises i’ve stumbled upon in my city as of late — or possibly, as of ever. after leaving Amelie and putting our names in for dinner at Rosemary’s next door, we decided to walk down the street — and my friend saw a cast iron gate that reminded us of Paris, so we had to stop and see what that was all about.
first of all, it wasn’t an actual “restaurant space” — it was a former 6-foot wide alleyway, which owner Joseph Marazzo bought and creatively turned into an intimate little restaurant with only a few tables and a wonderfully dark, cozy appeal. the painted black walls, the assortment of locks, the attentiveness of the waiters, and the quality of the wine and seafood all combine to make Virgola a truly darling and unique experience.we couldn’t stop proclaiming how happy we were to have found this spot! it was the perfect little place for a girls’ date on a Friday night.
and now, after a very fun but extremely busy week of traipsing around the city every night, i’m more than ready for a relaxing weekend upstate at the lake. hope you’ve all had a great week!
Preference: beer garden/noisy fun hall or a little wine bar? wine bar for me, unless with a big rowdy group!
Favorite type of wine? i love me a good dry rosé champage.