Halstead Property

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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25 posts tagged restaurant

COMING SOON TO CARNEGIE HILL!

By: Liz Yu Chiang, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Halstead Property Park Avenue Office. 

Carnegie Hill has always been a desirable neighborhood because of its historic architecture, proximity to Central Park, easy access to Museum Mile, and its convenient location near elite Manhattan private schools.  As a Carnegie Hill resident for the last 10 years, I have seen the neighborhood slowly evolve and recently revamp many of its store fronts. The neighborhood continues to maintain its charm and intimacy while also adding many luxury conveniences.  Now, there are even more reasons to love this neighborhood! I am excited to share with you a list of the best new attractions to check out in Carnegie Hill: 

Via Quadranno - One of the best cappuccinos in the city can soon be found here on Madison Ave between 88th and 89th Street in the heart of Carnegie Hill. 

Maison Kayser - Paris has arrived in the Carnegie Hill area and brought the finest croissants! Located at 1294 Third Avenue. 

Whole Foods Market - Finally! The Upper East Side will get its own Whole Foods coming to the corner of Third Avenue and 87th Street in December 2014. 

Ristorante Morini - No need to head to Midtown Manhattan anymore to have Michael White’s delicious pasta dishes. Located at 1167 Madison Avenue. 

Blue Mercury - You can soon get all of your make up and skin care products right here in the neighborhood instead of making a trip to one of the midtown department stores. Located at Madison Ave and 88th Street.  

Juice Press - A great place to pick up a healthy, refreshing drink after running around the reservoir in Central Park. Located at Madison Avenue and 92nd Street.

Alice & Olivia - Pick out a fabulous outfit on your way home today! Located at Madison Ave and 87th Street. 

Eli Zabar - Soon, it’ll be even easier to bring home a loaf of Eli’s artisanal bread. Located at Madison Ave and 91st Street. 

Connect with me over email or visit my agent website to learn more about Carnegie Hill and for all of your New York City real estate needs.

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Liz Yu Chiang and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

WHY I LOVE LIVING IN YORKVILLE

By: Ingrid Johnson, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Halstead Property. 

One of the reasons I love living and working in the neighborhood of Yorkville, a charming section of the Upper East Side neighborhood in Manhattan, is most notably the restaurant and dining landscape. There are many diverse cafes, restaurants and bars, but I’d like to share my Top 3 favorite places with you:

DTUT Downtown-Uptown -This cozy neighborhood spot doubles as a as café during the day and a bar in the evenings. Enter and take a seat on the comfy and charming mismatched furniture, sip a cup of delicious Irving Farms coffee from the Hudson Valley. They also offer great wines and a lengthy craft beer list. The repurposed wood interiors, Edison bulb chandeliers, and scattered literature lend a familiar feel. There’s also plenty to look at, as local artwork adorns the walls.

The Writing Room- In the former space of the legendary Elaine’s, restaurateurs Michael & Susy Glick have created The Writing Room, a formidable new American staple while still paying homage to its iconic history. It’s fun and relaxing to sit at the bar or in the dining area, however my favorite room is the “Study” with vintage black and white tile floors and a sleek fireplace with built in bookshelves offering up a large collection of handpicked hardcovers and paperbacks. Executive Chef Lucas Billheimer has created a seductive & delicious menu with a focus on regionally driven American cuisine.

Brandy’s Piano Bar- For over thirty years this friendly and intimate bar has showcased live talented performers every evening. Patrons are invited to participate and sing along to old classics and show tunes. Best of all, no cover charge! A truly fantastic spot to end an evening in Yorkville.

To ask me a question of your own, or to discuss your favorite neighborhood spots follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Connect with me over email or visit my agent website to learn more about New York City neighborhood escapes, and for all of your real estate needs. 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Ingrid Johnson and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: Silvana-NYC

By: Ann Deane, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Halstead Property Westside Office. 

Open since last June, Silvana in Harlem features live music 7 nights a week and is the sister club of Shrine that’s located further north on Adam Clayton Boulevard and 133rd Street. These two venues represent the last of a dying breed of night clubs featuring  live music in what used to be a rich culture. When I was at Silvana I had the treat of hearing Afro-pop music of Timbila that featured sounds from Mali and Madagascar. They jammed well and featured the Kora, a finger guitar-harp instrument from West Africa.  Afterwards, Feedel, an Ethiopian band that hails from Washington, DC took the stage and played a full hour and a half set. 

In addition to enjoying great music, we ate falafel with a creamy tahini sauce that was light and airy, and Sabich which is a traditional egg sandwich that features a fluffy potato chip as a Silvana touch (pictured above). Another must try is the lamb shawarma, every bite was tasty and juicy. The venue also  features a boutique and café upstairs. 

Connect with Ann on her agent website to learn more about her and the neighborhood. 

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 Find Halstead Property on Foursquare to learn more about the best of dining in Harlem, and for hundreds of other neighborhood tips. 

Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Anne Deane and do not reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

BEST EATS NEAR OUR NEW HARLEM OFFICE

By Sandy Wilson, Director of Sales, Halstead Property Harlem Office

We are so proud to show off our new office on 117th and FDB that we want to share what is so amazing about what surrounds us. No need to venture too far if you’re a foodie, like exploring International Fare, or if you just like to eat! The following are some of my top choices for Harlem “Eats”:

Lido Harlem - Perfect for fine Italian cuisine. Try the yummy Burrata Crostino (roasted red peppers, currants, agro dulce, and fresh oregano, other home made fresh made pastas or indulge in the crisp short ribs that are to die for. Mangia!

Located at 2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd. Harlem, NY 646-490-8575 

The CecilCreated by the NY Businessman, Richard Parsons, and noted restaurateur, Alexander Smalls.  This fabulous new entry on the Harlem stage is noted for it’s eclectic Afro/Asian/ and American Cuisine. Start with the Afro/Asian Oxtail Dumplings, or a collard green salad with spicy cashews and coconut dressing or the grilled vegetable roti platter! Lots to choose from but better make a reservation!

Located at 210 West 118th Street, Harlem, NY 212-866-1262 

CedricLove this French Bistro. When you go, start with the freshly made Tuna Tartar which is a house favorite, the classic mussels, and the fish and chips are all very popular.  Stop by Mon-Fri, from 4pm-7pm for Happy Hour where drinks are buy 1 and get the 2nd one free.  Also, indulge in the fresh oysters during that time which are $1 each.  Cie la vie! 

Located at 185 St. Nicholas, Harlem, NY 212-866-7766 

Floridita - Caribbean, Latin American and Cuban restaurant that is known for their house special Mofongo, which is mashed plantains, with your choice of chicken, cheese, or shrimp, or the Paella Marinera (seafood).  Muy delicioso!

Located at 2276 12th Avenue, Harlem, 212-622-0090. 

Sylvia’sThe late and great Sylvia Wood was the Queen of Soul Food, and her tradition lives on. The family, with sons, daughter’s and  grand children have been at the world famous location for over 50 years.  Try the ever famous fried chicken, mac and cheese, corn bread, and a mouth watering selection  of house specialties.  Rub shoulders with NY politicians, and an international blend of people coming to experience what Harlem is known for.

Located at 328 Lenox Avenue, Harlem, NY 212-996-0660 

Corner Social -  Relaxed, hip, and lots of fun, try stopping in to Corner Social for brunch.  Try the Chicken and Pancakes, the shrimp grits with sautéed spinach, creole butter, and eggs.  Don’t forget the bottomless mimosas for $15.

Located 321 Lenox Avenue, Harlem, 212-5100-8552 

If you are interested in learning more about this vibrant neighborhood or making it your home, feel free to stop in at our new location at 2169 Frederick Douglass Blvd and I have an office full of local expert agents that will assist you.

Your Guide to Valentine’s Day 2014 

New York City might not be universally known as the city of Love, but the Big Apple certainly doesn’t fall short on offering an endless number world-class activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Many spots throughout the city have served as a backdrop to the most iconic romance films in American history - and you have the chance to recreate these storied scenes; Or if you choose to create your own memories, let our Neighborhood Expert Agents do all the planning. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic who’s content with a walk through Central Park, or you prefer a more avant-garde approach like a costume affair to show your love and affection - the city that never sleeps offers something suited for virtually everyone.

We’re here to make sure you and your sweetheart don’t find yourselves stuck with mediocre take-out and a bad Netflix marathon for the big occasion. We’ve got you covered with our Valentine’s Day 2014 Guide with plans for both kindred souls and singles alike. 

Neighborhood Dining Guide - Midtown East and Upper East Side 

Fresco by Scotto - Don’t let a prix fixe menu frighten you any longer. Fresco by Scotto on the border of Midtown and the Upper East Side will have you drooling not just over your date, but over their heart-shaped Margherita pizza accompanied by, what else, a Love salad. What exactly does a love salad entail, you ask? Made of baby arugula, frisée greens, goat cheese fondue served at just the right temperature, fresh strawberries and champagne vinaigrette. We promise you’ll never judge heart-shaped food the same way again. 

Sarabeth’s - Put on something dapper and head to one of the most respected restaurants in Manhattan. And why not build up the suspense with a little pampering from a Madison Ave Shopping spree before you indulge in a very special Valentine’s Day cocktail menu featuring Cupids Arrow or a glass of Chocolate Lovers. After an entree of osso bucco or Chilean sea bass, Sarabeth’s recognizes the value in keeping things simple so enjoy the delicate chocolate covered strawberries and each other’s conversation for dessert. 

Ristorante Morini - Gentlemen, beware, Michael White will have your date swooning over his famous pasta medley’s for the rest of the evening. Known among the who’s-who of foodies for his legendary dishes at Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori and Marea - he’s done it again, and created a Valentine’s Day feast fit for a King (and his Queen). Your palate is in for a refined treat with marsala-braised snails and porcini mushrooms with fresh black truffles complimented by pressed white sturgeon Caviar seasoned with chives and lemon creme fraiche. If you’re still salivating for more, go ahead and make a res already to find out what’s for dessert. 

Villard Mansion -  As if anymore attention needs to be given to make sure your loved one feels extra special tonight, the intimate (read: exclusive) newly opened saloon inside the historic Villard Mansion boasts a limited number of 25 seats and is reservation only. So you can imagine the sky high demand for landing a table at this legendary restaurant inside The Palace New York Hotel. An evening of French American cuisine sounds regal enough, but add a gilded age setting like this for an unforgettable special occasion. 

Juni - The adventurous duo will fall weak in the knees at first sight of this eclectic 5 course menu. It all sounds like fun and games, but we know the chef means business despite his use of dainty ingredients that sound like an ancient herbal remedy, like Foie Gras sprinkled with Hibiscus Almond Dust, Feather Ridge Farm Egg cloaked in ethereal Sunchoke Espuma and New York Squab strewn with Rose Petals and drizzled with Lovage Oil. 

Enduro - A complimentary bottle of Brut is a great start to the evening. One bite of the Lobster Bisque or New York Strip with shallot marmalade drizzled with black truffle sauce and you will already be scheduling your next reservation.

Visit Halstead Property on Foursquare to learn more about the best of dining in NYC, and for hundreds of other neighborhood tips. 

Stay tuned for more recommendations from our neighborhood expert agents with Your Guide to Valentine’s Day 2014. 

(Pictured above are Sarabeth’s Baked Sweet Heart Cookies and Profiteroles from Villard)

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE BIG APPLE - VALENTINE’S DAY SUGGESTION

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, but it’s not time to panic just yet! If you are drawing a blank on how to impress your date on February 14th, then Halstead agent Victoria Vinokur has some great ideas to jump-start your romantic plans.  Below, Victoria shares her suggestions on how best to pamper your Valentine this year:

Indulge your date with a gift of a massage at the truly luxurious and romantic Cornelia Spa at the Surrey Hotel.

Call ahead to reserve a table for dinner at La Grenouille.  With its corner banquette red velvet seats, dimmed lighting, discreet service & extravagant flower arrangements…Need I say more?  Every day is Valentine’s Day at this East 52nd Street institution.

La Maison du Chocolat will create a custom truffles box for your Valentine.  Pair it with a bottle of champagne and your year will be off to a good romantic start.

An old fashioned AND elegant hand written card from Oblation Papers & Press or Mrs. John L Strong Fine Stationery will surely impress.

Of course you will never go wrong with a romantic walk, getting lost in the streets of our beautiful city.

Connect with Victoria on twitter or visit her webpage.

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Thoughts of Victoria Vinokur do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC 

Your Guide to Holiday Treats in NYC

Among the many reasons to be thankful during this time of year, the encouragement to over indulge in savory sweets is one of our favorites. The holiday season is a rare time of year where get-out-of-jail-free cards for ditching your diet are handed out on the daily, so why not make the most of it and try the best holiday desserts you can find in New York City. We rounded up our top 10 listed below, with so many more included in our Foursquare lists with hundreds of tips from our neighborhood expert agents.

Melt Bakery - You’ll say anything but ‘ba humbug’ to the Fezziwig - 2 of their famous sticky toffee “meltcakes” wrapped around hot buttered rum ice cream, so decadent and rich even Scrooge would be pleased.

 Treat House - You’d never guess these delicious confectionery pieces of heaven were created accidentally. Gourmet rice krispy treats sans holiday touch is great but the Sugar Cookie-Snowflake rendition is priceless.

Magnolia Bakery – They might be the reigning King of Desserts regardless of the season, but a holiday favorite is the sno-cap cupcake- devils food cake topped w/peaks of savory meringue icing dusted with coconut flakes.

Doughnut Plant – Give us a donut any time of the year and we’ll be happy, but our expectations were exceeded when we tasted the roasted chestnut cake holiday special. It was almost a welcomed sensory overload.

Three Tarts – We were pleading for s’ more of the savory spin on salty and sweet with a gourmet s’more oozing with rosemary marshmallow melted between 2 chocolate chip graham cookies.

My Sweet Brigadeiro -  You can thank us later for introducing you to a traditional Brazilian dessert, think of it as the lovechild from a piece of fudge and a chocolate truffle into a bite sized treat. With a base made from dark chocolate then smothered with crunchy toppings like coconut and pistachio, try eating just one of these. 

Spot Dessert Bar – When you crave an innovative and unique dessert, this place is like a tapas bar filled with innovative creations such as the Green tea lava cake. We’ve never seen an explosion of green tea like it, and we loved it.

Arlington Club – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life with the best figgy pudding you can find stateside; rich, sticky date pudding is served warm with buttery-sweet toffee and ginger ice cream.

The Dutch – A true foodie is no stranger to the Dutch, and we’re happy to report we were pleased yet again. This time we opted for the mouthwatering Peanut butter ice box pie with salted caramel ice cream.

ABC Kitchen – Talk about dessert porn, a slice of the rich chocolate layer cake with malted chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallow icing to add texture is as heavenly as it sounds. It’s not at all overindulgent. 

Meet our agents to learn more about them, and their endless neighborhood Foursquare tips

Top Truffle Spots in New York City

At first glance the “word” truffle conjures up images of decadent pieces of chocolate, but a slightly more expensive truffle is that of a rare mushroom. Technically speaking, this highly coveted delicacy is categorized as a fungi and the most sought after ones are black truffles from Perigord, France and the white, or Alba truffle from the Umbria and Piedmont regions of Italy. Their unique taste and limited availability result in a rather expensive treat perfect for winter’s most savory dishes found only at the finest restaurants in New York City. The segue from Autumn to Winter is prime White Truffle season, and our neighborhood expert agents know where to go for the best truffles in town; so grab your appetite and see the full list of recommendations  below.

Aureole -  If you’re looking for an entire evening of truffles, head here for An Evening of Black and White Truffles on November 15th. To celebrate the restaurant’s 25th anniversary they’re preparing a 5-course menu consisting of truffles to please every type of palette, pairing it with everything from fresh yellow fin tuna tartare to a heavenly truffle tortellini with burrata cheese topped with shaved black truffles to a white truffle ice cream and nougat. And of course you can expect an equally as impressive wine pairing for each entree. Find our more info at Charliepalmer.com. One Bryant Park, 135 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Juni – Nestled in between Flatiron/Gramercy and NoMad, Shaun Hergatt’s restaurant inside Hotel Chandler is practically still an infant. A little over 2 months old and there isn’t a menu around as anticipated as Juni’s white truffle selections. It features pommes puree topped with homemade gold potato crisps and white truffles, in addition to a beautifully crafted dish of shaved white truffles over salsify agnolotti enhanced even further with parmesan cheese and nutmeg. However, we must admit that we only have eyes for the homemade vanilla ice cream made with truffle oil and smothered in Alba truffle shavings. 12 East 31st St., New York, NY 10016

Le Cirque – Everyone knows truffles prepared in combination with any and every type of carbohydrate is a match made in heaven. Being a traditionalist has never been more enjoyable with their timeless and classic Italian white truffle dishes. Take your pick of Alba truffle shaved over risotto or try them on top of a bed of delicious tagliatelle. 151 East 58th St., New York, NY 10022

Babbo – Have it your way here as the famous Italian enoteca and Greenwich Village neighborhood favorite will add truffles to any dish of your choice. When we heard all the rumors we had to try it for ourselves, and we fully concur that the sunny-side up duck egg with guanciale and white truffles lives up to the hype. And of course when added to any of Babbo’s now infamously amazing pasta dishes like pappardelle with fresh parmigiano, the taste only gets better. The white truffle lunch tasting menu is also the perfect excuse for a midday treat. If you’re looking for a more lax truffle experience head to Babbo's sister restaurant, Otto,and try the white truffle pizza. 110 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10011

Tocqueville – Get it while it lasts as supplies are limited, but if you’re lucky enough to try the homemade gnocchi that’s not too heavy but not too light either (a real goldilocks pleaser) laden in white truffles, and an unintimidating balance of parmesan with chanterelle mushrooms – then you should feel blessed. Another crowd pleasre is shaved white truffles served over cavatellie with cato corner farm-aged comte. 1 East 15th St., New York, NY 10003

Sirio – We admit the Alba truffle has been the star of the list so far, but all is about to change with Sirio’s black truffle risotto. So simple, yet oh so satiating. It’s not quite accurate to describe the entrée as a  “no frills” selection when it consists of a heafty price tag worth of truffles, but the ingredients are presented in a straight forward manner for 100% full-flavor. Located inside The Pierre Hotel 795 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10065

Colicchio and Sons – If you crave even more simplicity, you’ll be easily pleased with Colicchio and Sons spaghetti and white truffle dish. For the bolder, sassier truffle purveyor much like us, we recommend the lasagna served with white truffles and coddled eggs for an explosion of flavor. 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 

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Content Provided by partners at Gotham Magazine along with our local expert agents.

Your Neighborhood Spotlight: Westfield, NJ

by Peggy Tsirigotis, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker and Westfield, NJ resident.

Westfield, New Jersey is an “all-American” picture perfect community located in Union County, New Jersey.  Its Norman Rockwell attributes and New England style homes serve as a welcoming backdrop that offers a charming life-style experience just outside of Hoboken and Weehawken. With a strong sense of neighborhood pride, residents are very involved in a plethora of community activities, and many are attracted to Downtown Westfield for its diverse retail establishments and urban flare.  With over 50 restaurants and casual dining destinations plus more than 450 businesses; it’s no wonder the area was just recently acknowledged by the American Planning Association for having one of the three best downtowns in New Jersey. Foodies can seek refuge at places like Chez Catherine, whose Parisian cuisine has been deemed “close to perfect” and “fantastic” by Zagat. Downtown Westfield Restaurant Week just wrapped up where many of our favorite restaurants participated, including The Brick Oven, Theresa’s, and a Splash of Thai. Don’t let the end of restaurant week steer you away from visiting them year round, see the full list of participants here.

Volunteering opportunities, community events and festivals abound all year long, too.  One of the premier events of the season  is the Westfield Historical Society’s Annual Apple Fest recently held at the historic Reeve House to kick off the fall season. October also holds the annual Halloween parade and store-to-store trick or treating. Currently the 9th Annual Jewish Film Festival is underway with daily screenings at the Westfield Rialto where the winner of the 2013 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival “Best Film” award will make its New Jersey debut on Monday, November 4th.  The fun doesn’t stop at Halloween festivities and film festivals though, less than an hour away lie some of New Jersey’s best beaches in one direction and the Poconos in another.

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To network with Peggy, visit her website here

THE BIG APPLE’S BEST SLICE OF PIZZA

We have all grown to love that foldable, classic New York-style slice of pizza. No matter what time of day, it can always be there to satisfy your hunger or craving. Not only have we gathered a list of some of the best slices around, but we have also looked into places where you can consume great pizza while having an intimate meal with friends and family. Check out these places our local expert agents have picked as their favorite pizza places located near our offices! 

Lombardi’s Pizza

It comes to no surprise that the legendary Lombardi’s would be making the list of one of the must have pizza places in the city. The white pizza is a combination of mozzarella, ricotta, and romano cheese and is prepared to have that thin, crunchy crust we all love. Don’t just stop at the white pizza, though, because there are a variety of toppings to choose from that adds that extra something to the pizza. We loved combining two of our favorite Italian foods– pizza and meatballs – into one delicious bite. The meatballs were homemade and just the right thickness and juiciness to add to the cheesy slice. 

32 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 

Grimaldi’s

Ranked New York City’s #1 Pizza, believe the hype. Since they don’t sell by the slice, we went with a group to taste the large regular pizza. With the first bite, anyone could see it in our faces that we were in heaven. It was all about the freshness and quality of the ingredients. The homemade dough was so perfectly chewy with a crust that was crispy, but not in the slightest burnt. The sauce was delicious and was accompanied by the perfect amount of the freshest mozzarella on top. We will be back to add some of their toppings to the pie!

1 Front Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery

Whether some of us were or were not artichoke lovers, we all knew it was a must to order a legendary slice of artichoke pizza. The bread was so incredibly doughy and topped with a mind blowing creamy sauce that had a garlic artichoke flavor. On top of the thick sauce was a bed of cheese perfectly melted to balance out the sauce and thick crust. If you’re ever in East Village, Greenwich Village, or Chelsea make sure to go and taste the magic.

328 E 14th St. New York, NY 10003

 Pulino’s

With high energy and a cool atmosphere, we can always guarantee a great dining experience at Pulino’s. Once awarded New York Best Pizza, we knew exactly what type of food we were going to order when coming. We decided to go with the Prosciutto Arugula – a pizza topped with fresh arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella, and garlic. We loved this classic combination and the garlicky flavor on the melted mozzarella and prosciutto. A trip to try one of their breakfast pizzas will definitely be happening in the future. 

282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

Posto

As you enter the front of the pizza place, it screams loud and clear on the window what you’re about to get – some delicious thin crust pizza. We went for the shroomtown pizza, which was absolutely scrumptious. The variety of mushrooms was covered by a white truffle oil, marinara sauce, and cheese that all went flawlessly together. We loved the guilt-free feeling we had after eating the tremendously thin pizza almost as much as we loved the taste.

310 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003 

Joe’s Pizza

We love our traditional New York slice from Joe’s, now offered in both the East and West Village. In just one hot, crunchy bite you can see that this is one of the freshest pies around. There aren’t crazy topping combinations, like many other pizza places like to create, but that’s why we love it – it is a simple slice of pizza prepared to perfection.

150 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003

 Luzzo’s

When eating pizza at Luzzo’s, it’s definitely easy to believe that you’re on vacation in Italy. This pizza is not the classic type we are familiar with because it is the most authentic Italian pie you will get in the city. With an incredible selection of great toppings to accompany the thin crust, we went for the Diavola which had the perfect ratio of fresh mozzarella, sweet tomato sauce, and spicy salami. We’re ready to return soon to try the other 20 creative pizza concoctions.

 211 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Motorino

Ask anyone who goes, and they will all tell you the same thing – you must order the brussels sprouts pizza from Motorino because it is heaven. Be adventurous with your friends and try that garlic flavor that goes great with the cheese, brussels sprouts and smoked pancetta. All the pizzas are a brick-oven style, so enjoy these awesome toppings with the bubbling, yet thin crust.

349 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

Want more expert recommendations for “the Best” of New York City? Visit our Foursquare page for hundreds of neighborhood tips according to our 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)

ENJOY SONO RESTAURANT WEEK

Home to some of the most innovative chefs and restaurant owners, the Historic South Norwalk area in Connecticut has become the premier location for cutting edge restaurants and bars serving up some of the best dishes, and latest food trends in Fairfield County. Ending this week, diners will be able to take advantage of the SoNo Restaurant Week and sample special menus of delicious restaurants for lunch and/or dinner.

Starting at only $9.99, diners can enjoy a 2 course lunch from select restaurants including Atlas, specializing in an international cuisine, or for only $5 more, diners can take advantage of the 2 course lunch menu at restaurants including authentic Greek cuisine from Estia and scrumptious bistro fare and decadent dessert from Chocopologie (see above the vanilla butter cream frosting being added to the Chocolate Cupcakes). For dinner, patrons have an even larger selection to choose from including SoNo’s highly acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant, Barcelona which will be serving up 3 courses of authentic Spanish dishes for $29.99. Additional restaurants offering a special 3 course menu include The Gingerman, Strada 18 and Match (a consistent winner of the Best American Restaurant & Best Service in Fairfield County by Moffly Publications). Be sure to take advantage during this time and visit these award winning SoNo restaurants and find out for yourself why this area has become the talk of Connecticut.

Here’s a quick look at the prices of participating restaurants:

Lunch                                                                                   

$9.99                                                                                    

-2 Course-                                                                          

Atlas                                                                                     

O’Neils                                                                                

The Brewhouse                                                               

$14.99                                                                                  

-2 Course-                                                                          

Chocopologie                                                                   

Estia’s                                                                                  

Strada 18                                                                            

The Gingerman                                                          

Dinner

$19.99

-3 Course-

Atlas

O’Neils

The Brewhouse

$29.99                                                                                                

-3 Course-

 Barcelona

Chocopologie

Estia’s

Match

The Gingerman

Strada 18

To view the special menus of the participating restaurants, click here.

SPOTLIGHT ON HOBOKEN: CUCHARARMAMA

If you try hard enough, you just might be able to smell the exotic aromas coming from across the Hudson at on one of the hottest new restaurants popping up in Hoboken. The restaurant’s name, Cucharamama (say it slowly, CU-CHAH-RAH-MAM-AH), literally translates to “mother spoon”- a name full of meaning to owner/chef, Maricel E. Presilla. As a symbol of women who reign over their kitchens, Cucharamama is an appropriate icon for this woman-run, pan-South American restaurant.

From the colorful décor, to the fresh ingredients, there is nothing artificial about this place. Cucharamama’s menu is strictly South American with flavorful dishes stemming from Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Brazil. Some of the delicious menu includes Jalea de Calamares (crunchy, Peruvian-style calamari served with a rocoto and tamarillo sauce), the Colombian classic plate, Bandejita Paisa (this comes with skirt steak, pork cracklings, Colombian sausage, arepa, rice and beans and ripe plantains) and an endless menu of small plate dishes such as empanadas, tamales, ceviche and so much more!

The Latin culture doesn’t only shine through here by its authentic food, but strong family ties are also present with personal touches such as colorful paintings by Presilla’s father displayed throughout the walls of restaurant. At the heart of the restaurant is a large wood-burning oven which you can feel the heat from as soon as you enter its doors. Centered in the main dining room, many of the tasty dishes are cooked from here.

From 5pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday, Cucharamama offers and early bird special for only $25 and on weekends has a special brunch menu. The restaurant has already received rave reviews and is even quoted by the New York Times as “remarkable and remarkably authentic.” You can experience the bold Latin American flavors of Cucharamama at 233 Clinton Street, Hoboken, New Jersey.

For more information and to view their full menu, click here.

THESE AGENTS HAVE ALOT ON THEIR PLATES

The New York Times put out an excellent piece last week titled Real Estate Agents With a Lot on Their Plates. The article focused on real estate agents who have had successful forays into the New York City restaurant industry. These agents have used their keen eye for value, an intimate knowledge of Manhattan’s neighborhoods, an understanding of market trends, and an ability to match properties perfectly with people to open up outstanding restaurants. Halstead Property is proud to have four agents who were profiled in this piece, Christine O’Neal, Lauren Cangiano, Ari Harkov and Warner Lewis.

The entire article is linked above, but here are some excerpts:

Christine O’Neal:

Many brokers find their way to the restaurant business through a family member. For Christine O’Neal, the route worked in reverse. With her husband, Michael, and his actor brother, Patrick, she helped create such signature New York institutions as the Ginger Man, the Landmark Tavern and O’Neal’s Balloon, opposite Lincoln Center. But over time her family’s needs changed. “We had two young children, and we were running out of ready cash,” said Ms. O’Neal, who is 74. “Basically, I needed a job.” The city’s real estate business was booming, and in 1985 she became a broker, joining Halstead two years later.

Still, her first love never faded. Thirteen years ago she and her husband opened the West 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe, in a waterfront structure topped with a soaring Guastavino vault. The cafe is very much Ms. O’Neal’s baby. She was the one who found the space; cards on every table announce: “I found this great home for the Boat Basin Cafe. Now let me find a great home for you.” She does everything from cut tableclothsto paint clouds on room dividers.

From the real estate side of her life Ms. O’Neal has learned useful skills. “Halstead taught us about self-promotion,” she said. So she makes sure that the cafe aggressively uses social media to advertise itself and encourages waiters to Twitter — “200 people eating lobster rolls on the terrace right now!” And like many brokers who run restaurants, Ms. O’Neal sees parallels between the occupations, especially in New York. “What else do New Yorkers talk about except real estate and restaurants?”

Lauren Cangiano:

Lauren Cangiano, who has spent 26 years as a broker with Halstead, also came to the world of restaurants through her family. Her husband, Louis, had been in the food business for decades, notably helping run an Italian specialty food business on Staten Island that his grandparents had started. “But by 2008, business at the Staten Island store was winding down,” Ms. Cangiano said, “and we were looking for the next phase of the food chain.” That turned out to be Tre Otto, a 42-table Italian restaurant that opened in 2009 on upper Madison Avenue.

Although the Cangianos are the owners, Mr. Cangiano’s entire family is involved. His sister is the manager for weekday lunches. His brother does the accounts. His 83-year-old father can sometimes be found atop a stepladder fixing the air-conditioner.

When the place is busy, Ms. Cangiano has tasks every day — buying dishes, ordering menus, ferreting out new recipes. “It’s nice to be involved with both,” said Ms. Cangiano, who has sold many properties in the neighborhood and often recognizes clients stopping by for pasta and a glass of wine. “In real estate, you’re with strangers so much of the time, it’s good to see familiar faces. Plus, people are happy eating and drinking. Real estate isn’t always so happy. You don’t go out for dinner to celebrate being outbid on an apartment.”

Ari Harkov and Warner Lewis:

Some brokers become involved in restaurants as a way to become involved in their community. That desire helped prompt Ari Harkov and Warner Lewis, two 30-something Halstead brokers, to invest in Donna, a Brooklyn bar that opened in April under the Williamsburg Bridge.

Mr. Harkov, who lives on Ainslie Street, in the neighborhood’s Italian section, has a master’s degree in business administration and is the moneyman. He negotiated the lease and keeps the accounts. Mr. Lewis, who lives at the Edge and whose high school nickname was Super Host, thanks to the skill with which he organized events even at a tender age, handles the marketing and social-media end of things, “basically getting the word out and bringing in the bodies,” he said.

Both are passionate Williamsburg boosters. “We wanted a footprint in the neighborhood,” said Mr. Lewis, who shows off pictures of the bar with the same pride as when he shows pictures of his new baby. And listening to him wax eloquent about Donna’s hand-plastered cathedral ceiling, etched glass and hand-carved wooden touches, he sounds as proud as any first-time parent. “It’s not a retirement plan,” he said. “But we’re enjoying the journey.”

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!

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