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Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.

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6 posts tagged Top 10

The Figurative Welcome Mat

By: Erika Larsen, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Halstead Property Westport Office.  

The entry way and the foyer are the first voyage into a home for a new buyer. They are the figurative “welcome mat.” Whether your house is located in city or the suburbs, first impressions count. Both grand and modest design schemes present opportunities to leave a lasting and memorable impression, starting with the entrance followed by the foyer.

Today, we all have a general idea of what to expect when we first view a property from looking at it online. However, that is more the reason to properly address these areas when you are listing your house. The entrance is important for sure. It’s the moment you unlock the door that usually yields anticipation for a buyer and can help them imagine if this is their home sweet home, after all. Upon opening the front door the buyer gets a second first impression as they enter the foyer which acts as another figurative welcome mat

While urban dwellers have fewer options to change the outdoor entrance since the lobby and outdoor are maintained by the building, more emphasis may be placed on the interior foyer and entryway.  

To ensure your entryway is as appealing as possible to buyers with a broad range of tastes, designs ideas, and budgets, follow the simple and easy list of my top 10 tips below:

 Checklist for the outdoor entrance: 

1. Use fresh seasonal flowers along with an evergreen like boxwood in two planters on each side of the doorway.

2. Put out a fresh welcome mat.

3. Repaint your front door so the paint is crisp and fresh.

4. Clean the glass from your light fixtures so it is bright and clear.

5. Remove excess clutter always.

 Checklist for an interior foyer and/or entryway: 

1. Make sure your foyer rug is inviting and new or get a new one.

2. Place a mirror above your foyer table if you can to create light and space.

3. Have one or two lamps on your entry way table.

4. Make your paint colors inviting and soothing and neutral.

5. Always have a fresh crisp seasonal bouquet of flowers on the foyer table.

6. Remove excess clutter always.

Generally, the same rules apply for the city or the country. Make it inviting, fresh, streamlined and seasonal. For the seller, it is a simple, quick and relatively inexpensive to do and can give added value to the seller.

Remember, from the city to the country, when you unlock that door, it could be the buyer’s potential new home, sweet, home. 

Visit Erika’s agent website to connect with her, and discover more from all of Halstead Property’s Connecticut Neighborhood Expert agents. 

 

Best Brunch in Connecticut

Summer has officially arrived, and there isn’t a better way to kick off the first weekend of the season than with a delightful and leisurely Saturday brunch. It’s the perfect prerequisite for those lazy summer afternoons spent lounging by the pool or seaside at any of Connecticut’s pristine beaches. No need to rack your memory for which restaurant to choose though, we’ve already rounded up our favorite brunch spots in Connecticut and here are our local expert agents top picks:

Sugar Bowl –The Sugar Bowl is the perfect place for a comfortable and small-town vibe brunch with friends and family. The delicious, homemade Canadian bacon and egg sandwiches and a famous muffin on the side are favorites amongst many.

1033 Post Rd, Darien, CT 06820

Rosie –Rosie is a great place to enjoy a leisurely brunch every day of the week. Its available outdoor seating allows you to eat an enjoyable meal on a beautiful summer day. The Huevos rancheros, a vegetarian dish consisting of well-seasoned beans and fresh avocado, will absolutely not disappoint. Be sure to grab one of Rosie’s well-known carrot cakes with mile-high frost and fresh coconut at the end of the meal.           

27 Elm St., New Canaan, CT 06840

Splash Restaurant & Bar –Splash gives a delightful Sunday brunch at one of New England’s best waterfront dining. Its beautiful views, tasty food, and complimentary champagne cocktail make this a desirable place to start the week with friends. The brunch buffet has a variety of stations such as the hot food station, made to order your way station, chilled seafood station, and more. The extravagant desserts, such as the peanut butter mousse cake and chocolate covered strawberries, are only a few ways to end your meal perfectly.

260 Compo Rd, South Westport, CT 06880

Dressing Room –Dressing Room gives the customer an old and friendly, rustic weekend brunch experience. It has a very comfortable feel with local organic food that is sustainable and healthy. Its Woozie Wickfors’ Eggs Benedict served with a warm, homemade biscuit is exceptionally tasteful.

27 Powers Ct., Westport, CT 06880

Café Oo La La –Café Oo La La is the ideal place to enjoy Modern European food with friends and colleagues. Its great food, efficient service and comfortable atmosphere make the customers always coming back for more.  The crunchy French toast has a savory cinnamon taste that is unlike others. Café Oo La La also goes beyond the food by having one of the best cappuccinos in the area.

2325 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905

Lakeside Diner –Lakeside Diner gives you the experience to eat breakfast with a beautiful view by sitting next to large windows directly facing the lake. Its incredible homemade sugar coated doughnuts are reasonably priced with a taste that blows everyone away.

1050 Long Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT 06903

Green Leaf Organic Bakery & Café –Green Leaf Organic Bakery & Café, named “Best restaurant 2013” by the Connecticut magazine, provides the freshest and healthiest organic food in all of Connecticut. With its outdoor seating, anyone can enjoy a beautiful summer day eating a deliciously prepared meal at this café. The fruit explosion is the perfect combination of a fruity, light taste with a satisfying chocolate hazelnut spread on top.

126 Old Ridgefield Rd., Wilton, CT 06897

Schoolhouse at Cannondale –The moment you walk into the Schoolhouse at Cannondale, you instantly know that you will get an elegant, quaint, and intimate Sunday brunch. The frittata has a satisfying, slightly sweet taste accompanied by a generous portion of caramelized onions and duck confit. If you are not too hot on one of these summer days, you must try the greatest hot chocolate mixed with homemade marshmallows.

34 Cannon Rd., Wilton, CT 06897

L’escale –L’escale is known for its extraordinary Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine and bar; however their elegant Sunday brunches give people the chance to experience an elegant brunch with a beautiful view of Greenwich Harbor. Their Parisian Omelet, Lox Omelet, and Florentine Omelet are perfectly cooked with the freshest vegetables, fish, and meat.

500 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, CT 06830

Winfield’s –Winfield’s, Greenwich Hyatt Regency’s fine restaurant, was named the “Best Sunday Brunch” in Fairfield County. With its remarkable dining experience of eating in the Hyatt’s atrium, you can have a romantic meal with a true vacation-like feel. The waffles are impeccably light and fluffy with the appropriate amount of fresh fruit to accompany them.

1800 East Putnam Ave., Old Greenwich, CT 06870

Sails American Grill –On Sundays, Sails American Grill provides the community with a delicious brunch in a private yacht club atmosphere. By ordering any of the brunch classics, such as blueberry pancakes and huevos rancheros, you can enjoy a complimentary glass of Prosecco. 

148 Rowayton Ave., Rowayton, CT 06853

(Image Courtesy: Cafe Oo La La)

BON APETIT MAGAZINE CHOOSES TWO BROOKLYN RESTAURANTS IN IT’S TOP 10 US RESTAURANTS

The New York Post released an article today covering Bon Apetit Magazine’s selection of two Brooklyn restaurants in their annual list of the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America.” The two selected restaurants that have critics raving are Blanca in Bushwick and Battersby in Carroll GardensConsider it a Brook-WIN-WIN situation…(sorry with Jeremy Lin gone all we have left is to play with the second syllable of one of our NYC boroughs).  This honorable distinction reaffirms the notion that Brooklyn is quickly solidifying itself as one of the premier restaurant destinations, not only the five boroughs, but in all of the United States. This borough’s food revolution has even inspired it’s own genre of cuisine that people are calling “New Brooklyn.”

The Halstead Blog was eager to talk to our local Brooklyn expert agents and get the lowdown on these two popular establishments.  Here is what they had to say…

Battersby

255 Smith Street (between Douglass Street and Degraw Street)

This intimate space, tucked away on Smith Street, does not stand out for its décor or ambiance or novelty, only for it’s delicious, master-crafted cuisine. The two chefs are Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern, who worked together at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, are as talented as they are hard-working. They don’t take reservations, the menu changes daily and is constantly evolving, and a spontaneous tasting menu is available upon request. Offerings such as fettuccine with short rib ragu, parmesan, and tomato, the black bass with marinated cucumber, cilantro, and Greek yogurt, and the hake with piperade, mangalica ham, and espelette are all distinctive and divine. But, the item that has all the critics going crazy is the crisp kale salad, served with green papaya, radish and peanuts, which is being lauded as the dish of the year.

Blanca

261 Moore Street (between White Street and Bogart Street)

The little sister of Roberta’s, this gem of a restaurant takes dinner theater to new heights. Seats are available by reservation only and the price is steep ($180 per person, not including beverage, tax, or tip), but that hasn’t stopped a steady wave of foodies from waiting their turn to experience Blanca’s tasting menu. Chef Carlo Mirarchi crafts a 28-course tasting menu that has critics heaping on the praise. The experience can last up to four hours, and each dish is just a couple of bites, but the flavor and plating of every single offering lingers and leaves you excited. Some of the dishes you may or may not see include glass shrimp with celery flower, celery juice, and poppy seed, ravioli stuffed with fiery nduja sausage, and 85 day dry aged Wagyu beef with hearts of palm, ramps, scapes and vin cotto.

Photo Credit: Robert Wright (The New York Times) of a dessert from Blanca of passion fruit, orange guava ice, house yogurt, hemp coffee crumble and passion fruit meringue.

EXPERIENCE THE BEST PLACES TO EAT IN THE HAMPTONS

 After a long day on the beach, what better way to treat yourself than with a delicious meal from one of these top rated Hamptons restaurants? From Montauk to East Quogue and all that is in between, Zagat has released its list of Top 10 Restaurants from their 2012/13 Long Island Restaurant Guide. Whether its fresh seafood you’re seeking or a fine steak, the below list of restaurants is sure to not disappoint:

10. Palm: Cuisine-Steak House, Zagat Food Rating- 26 

      94 Main St., East Hampton; 631-324-0411

9. Harvest On Fort Pond: Cuisine-Northern Italian, Zagat Food Rating-26

    11 South Emery St., Montauk; 631-668-5574

8. Noah’s: Cuisine- Seafood, Zagat Food Rating- 26

    136 Front St., Greenport; 718-230-0221

7. Stone Creek Inn: Cuisine- French, Mediterranean, Zagat Food Rating- 26 

    405 Montauk Highway, East Quogue; 631-653-6770

6. Plaza Cafe: Cuisine- Seafood, Zagat Food Rating- 26

    61 Hill Street, Southampton; 631-283-9323

5. Mirko’s: Cuisine- Eclectic, Seafood, Zagat Food Rating- 26

    670 Montauk Highway, Water Mill; 718-230-0221

4. Star Boggs: Cuisine- Seafood, Zagat Food Rating- 26

    6 Parlato Drive, Westhampton; 631-288-3500

3. Dave’s Grill,: Cuisine- Continental, Zagat Food Rating- 27

    468 West Lake Drive, Montauk; 631-668-9190

2. La Plage: Cuisine- Eclectic, Zagat Food Rating- 27

     131 Creek Rd.; Wading River; 631-744-9200

And the winner is….

1.  North Fork Table: Cuisine- Seafood, Zagat Food Rating- a nearly perfect 29!

     7225 New York State Route 25, Southold; 631-765-0177

 

Don’t forget after the meal, stop by our office at 3 North Main Street in East Hampton to find your next primary or vacation home!

What Makes NYC Work? 

You read that right, what makes the Big Apple work? Not, what makes it the best, greatest, etc, but what is it about this place that makes life flow seemingly along for millions of people to call home? Popular media and news aggregator BuzzFeed shared results from a recent “What Works Project” NY style, and listed the top 10 reasons people say New York City works for them. Coming in at number 1 (believe it or not..) is the Subway.  All jokes and gripes aside, there aren’t many other metropolises whose public transportation system is as efficient, reliable, timely, and continuously running. So what else makes the city “work”? The coffee? The abundance and plethora of bodegas? The culture?? The answer is d, all of the above with the top 10 reasons listed as:

1.      The subway system

2.      The water – cleanest, highest quality around. And that’s a fact.

3.      The coffee – While every corner store may boast a sign that reads “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” to entice passing pedestrians to come on in, the city really does offer a unique cup-of-joe culture not found anywhere else. Whether you prefer a cup from the local corner deli, or an artisan and skillfully prepared brew from a specialty coffee shop, there’s something for you.

4.      The 24/7 everything – Everything means legitimately everything and anything. All the time. For a city that never sleeps, doesn’t get more convenient than that.

5.      Unique culture – One walk down any major avenue and you will require no further elaboration on this point. Everything else on this list may make the city “work”  but this is what makes the city great.

6.      Craigslist – the world is your oyster with the variety of things one can find with one scroll through New York’s Craigslist, but be sure to remember Buyer Beware and shop with caution.

7.      The street vendors – On both the high and low ends of the spectrum offering everything from food to candles, some people visit solely for the unique shopping experience the streets of New York City offer.

8.      Cabs – The signature yellow taxis have become a universal symbol for the city.

9.      The bridges – historic and beautiful, some say there’s no place on earth like standing on the Brooklyn Bridge looking out to the horizon at the New York City skyline.

10.  The greenery –  Central Park, Washington Square Park, Tompkins Square Park are just a few of the city’s 1,900 public parks.   

Since those are just a few of the traits that fuel this city, tell us, what makes NYC work for you?

As you know, we love New York Magazine as their critics power Halstead Property’s Neighborhood Section on Halstead.com.  So it is a surprise to few to see that we are excited to see the release of New York Mag’s Ten Best New Restaurants of 2011 courtesy of Adam Platt.  The list is made up of many expected establishments led by acclaimed chefs but a few refreshing newcomers are mixed in there.  

One top restaurant we felt that was worth mentioning is Michael White’s fruition, Ai Fiori.  Set inside The Setai hotel, it is infinitely more grandeur and opulent than White’s charming and cozy venture Osteria MoriniWith multiple private dining room options to accommodate various size parties, Ai Fiori is an ideal spot for business luncheons.  It’s midtown location is also quite convenient.  Among the pictures above is the Vitello Amish Veal Chop “au four” served with sweetbread-choux farci and perigueux sauce. Ai Fiori is located at 400 Fifth Avenue.

Another one on the list that is a must see is Daniel Boulud’s 6th restaurant opening in Manhattan and quite possibly his best, Boulud Sud.  Mediterranean cuisine in its finest form lives here.  The dining room itself mirrors the attention to detail found on the menu, with amazing art adorning the walls to make it feel almost like an art gallery, or museum.  Authentic Mediterranean dishes like creative renditions of octopus and lamb as well as sea urchin and crab tartine brighten up the menu.  Boulud Sud is located at 20 West 64th St. between Broadway and Central Park West.

(Images Courtesy: Boulud Sud and Ai Fiori NYC)

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