Dining in New York, NY
When a French bar in Manhattan dedicates an entire menu to chocolate, you know the ladies will be present. Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is an irresistible treat for chocolaholics, but there’s more to this place than 20-layer crepes cake brulee, New York style cheesecake, and silky mousse. The cozy, European establishment is ideal for a last-minute get togethers, especially when you have a hearty appetite. Sure their dinner menu is petite, but it isn’t short on providing several options to quiet down your rumbling tummy. Some of Ayza’s highlights include BBQ pulled pork Panini, medallions of filet mignon, roasted wild sea bass, and even chicken lollipops with crispy rice noodles. Of course, if you just order Belgian chocolate covered strawberries, we wouldn’t blame you.
The Lower East Side is known for its famous Bar District, but there are also culinary delights to be found here. One restaurant that’s just too good to pass up is Back Forty, a comfort food haven for busy New Yorkers looking to wind down. Enter this dimly lit eatery and you’ll be transported to a familiar setting where oversized family tables are filled with candles, juicy grass-fed burgers, spiced pumpkin pancakes, and creamy stout floats with slivers of candied pear. Enjoy a cozy gathering with mouthwatering grub as throwback hits from the ’60s faintly play in the background. After brunch or dinner, simply explore the neighborhood and you’ll quickly find yourself at a local jazz club or art gallery opening. Back Forty is the ideal sport where you’ll kick back with a brew…or a basket of freshly baked doughnuts.
Bobo may appear like a hideaway for Parisian bohemians of the Latin Quarter, but it’s actually a two-story townhouse that also serves as a West Village French eatery. Imagine having an authentic European dinner where guests feast on duck breast, platters of mussels and clams, as well as apple torte prepared with mulled cider. Patrons mingle around a long mahogany table and raise their glasses of Chardonnay to the night. Wine and dine at Bobo’s lush garden or better yet, find your new favorite dish at this charming, familial dinner party. After all, there’s nothing like eating at home.
Enjoy a taste of Paris without leaving Manhattan at Chez Josephine, a loving tribute to one of one the most iconic performers of the 20th century. Chez Josephine, owned by Josephine Baker’s son Jean-Claude, is a glamorous restaurant that’s fit to give nearby theaters some competition in the crowd department. Experience a “cocktail of human beings,” as residents, tourists, and even a celeb or two unite for hot jazz and tantalizing soul food. Enjoy “Josephine’s favorite,” also known as spaghetti Bolognese or some good ol’ fashion fried chicken with blueberry cornbread and a glass of bubbly. As the pianist provides soothing tunes, enjoy Chez Josephine’s décor, a feast for the eyes that embodies its larger than life muse.
Forget the fact that this ritzy Italian restaurant is located in TriBeCa, the celebrity playground of New York City. You may even want to overlook the fact that it’s co-owned by Hollywood actor Robert De Niro. Why? Because Locanda Verde’s dishes are so downright amazing that you just won’t care. The breathtaking décor and surprisingly boisterous crowd is laid back enough for any picky patron and the long wait is worth it every time. Locanda Verde’s Italian-influenced tavern cooking easily fills you up, especially if you order spice-glazed duck with pomegranate, wood-fired pork chops, or “my grandmother’s ravioli.” However, the sheep’s milk ricotta has a cult following, making it a must-have meal for any New Yorker. Who knows, you may just spot a star or two dining right along with you!