Friday, May 29, 2009

Studio Square- Astoria Beer Garden

I don't go to Astoria very often but every time I do I have a great time. This past weekend a group of friends and I checked out the brand new beer garden- Studio Square.

Until now I've only experienced beer gardens in Germany where there are hundreds of communal tables lined up outside with a very small indoor space, if any, and bars that only serve beer, bratwurst, giant pretzels and radishes. So you can imagine my surprise when I entered into the huge modern warehouse space on 36th St. in Astoria. There are three indoor areas to escape the rain or the cold if that's the case but there is also a large outdoor space with rows and rows of communal tables and a square fire pit.
Not a beer lover?- not to worry, the bars at Studio Square are fully stocked with all kinds of liquor, beer, wine and sangria. The menu puts an American twist on traditional German beer garden fare, offering bratwurst, hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, and keeping vegetarians in mind by offering a portobello sandwich, jumbo pretzels, french fries and more!

I definitely recommend you visit this fabulous beer garden- it's perfect for big groups or even for a party of two! It's located at 35-33 36th Street and is open Monday - Friday: 4pm-4am and Saturday - Sunday & Holidays: noon - 4am.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts of Studio Square!
To see more photos of Studio Square check out Yelp

Thursday, May 28, 2009

L'Orange Bleue

L'Orange Bleue is a Moroccan restaurant on the corner of Broome and Crosby Streets in NYC. And it's hard to miss with it's royal blue exterior and outdoor seating.A few girl friends and I met for a Sunday afternoon brunch. The prix-fixe menu is $12.95 and includes orange juice, mimosa, coffee and a choice of special brunch dishes like different types of eggs, sandwiches, crepes, and salad.
Besides brunch L'Orange Bleue offers fun evening events like Monday Drums with live Brazillian bands playing every Monday night at 8:30pm and again at 10pm. Monday Drums prix-fixed menu is $35.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Nearly eight weeks ago the owners of Zampa (Anthony Briatico, Danny Emerman and chef AlessandroProsperi) opened another wine bar, this one in Chelsea. Barocco is nestled in on 9th Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets, down the street from the Maritime Hotel. Barocco is similar to Zampa- it's a small wine bar with a menu much like Zampa's in that they have amazing cheeses, homemade fresh pastas and an assortment of Italian sandwiches.
Much like my experience at Zampa, my friends and I shared three bottles of wine and an assortment of tapa-style plates to share. We started with a basket of bread (baked daily at Zampa), and a cheese plate consisting of dolce gorgonzola, truffle pecorino and tres creme. For our main course we shared the fava bean and snow pea puree crostini, roasted artichokes served with sea salt, and mushroom lasagna.
The girls (myself not included) passed around a plate of golden calimari, compliments of the chef which, I was told, was delicious!

What's your favorite NYC wine bar or favorite wine bar experience?

Monday, May 25, 2009


Some time last year I was lucky enough to dine at Peasant, a Soho hotspot located on Elizabeth St. and Spring St. Peasant has the same sort of modern rustic feel as Stanton Socialwith exposed brick giving it that intimate touch but somehow it also feels very exclusive and chic. The food at Peasant carries on the rustic setting with artisan bread and hearty-sounding entrees like the mushroom gnocchi and four types of wood oven pizzas.
Interesting fact I read on was that Peasant's Italian cooking method uses fires fueled by different fruit woods and Hardwood charcoals. It's definitely a great spot for friends or on a date as it is a bit romantic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Medieval Times Giveaway!

Did you read my recent review of my Medieval Times experience last month? Whether you've been to Medieval Times before or not I definitely recommend you experience it at least once in your life! So to help you get there I'm hosting a Medieval Times Giveaway! The prize pack will include two complimentary tickets to any Medieval Times location in the US (there are 9 different locations) and other Medieval Times goodies including a DVD!

To enter to win leave a Medieval Times-themed comment below, either explain who you would take with you and why, share a story from your Medieval Times experience, etc. You have until June 1st to enter, at which point I will select one winner.

And for all the other Gossip Street readers Medieval Times would like to offer you a free Royalty Upgrade for your next visit. From now until 8/31/09 enter this promotional code [ROYALB9] upon checkout and you'll bumped up to Royalty status for free at any show (any location)!
You can purchase your tickets HERE.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

El Parador Cafe

This Murray Hill establishment was founded in 1959, making it the oldest Mexican restaurant in Manhattan, according to their profile on OpenTable. Typically I would have walked passed the aged red awning on East 34th St. thinking the restaurant would be old and gross inside but to my surprise the decor inside is quite charming. The rustic lanterns casting dim light against white stucco walls.
The chips, salsa and guacamole are all homemade (as they should be). Their salsa is definitely unique, seasoned with undertones of cinnamon was an unexpected but delicious twist on traditional salsa!
Three friends and I shared two vegetarian entrees and two bottles of wine for a very reasonable price and loved our dishes. After reviewing the main menu we asked to see the vegetarian menu, which unfortunately isn't available so you'll just have to trust me that it features some amazing dishes. We ordered the spinach and cheese enchiladas served with a thick black bean sauce and sweet potato tostadas- two flat tostadas served with a sweet potato mash that was sweetened with honey and citrus. I would definitely recommend trying the sweet potato tostadas but I think it would be too sweet to eat the whole thing as an entree so consider sharing it either as an appetizer or an entree.
Besides the food, El Parador Cafe also offers an extensive wine list that's primarily Spanish wines, white and red sangria and an encyclopedia of tequilas.
As you've noticed from my reviews, Mexican cuisine is always one of my favorites... what's your favorite Mexican restaurant in NYC?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sanctuary Tea

I recently went to Sanctuary Tea for brunch with five other ladies and found it to be absolutely lovely. Located in Soho, near Novecento, this little tea house was the perfect brunch spot. And I have to say, I was actually quite impressed with the menu that included a light yogurt parfait, Farmer's Omelet, Eggs Benedict, Tahitian Vanilla Bean Pancakes and much more!
Sadly I didn't order a brunch cocktail but their tea infused-concoctions did sound absolutely delicious- Blood Orange Martini, Lavender Cosmopolitan, and Rise & Shine (pear, green tea, vodka and lemon). And of course, their massive menus of teas did not disappoint.

Monday, May 11, 2009


For quite some time I have been tempted by this Upper East Side's relaxed outdoor seating and finally had the chance to experience it first hand. On a beautiful Saturday evening a friend and I decided to enjoy the fresh air with a glass of crisp white wine and a fresh green salad. Mediterraneo seemed the best solution.Sitting outside really made the experience. The starters menu offered a long list of salads and several that were completely vegetarian (not vegan) which was nice to see. I ended up with the Insalata Arobaleno- fresh arugola with yello and red roasted peppers, grilled with zucchini and mozzarella.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Mediterraneo if you're looking for a quiet Upper East Side dinner outside.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Results Are In!

The results are in from my first poll, "What info is most important to you when reading a restaurant review?" [Poll #1] It turns out that the majority of Gossip Street readers (48%) like to have suggested menu items when reading restaurant reviews.
I have just posted the second poll, see to the right- let me know what outing you most prefer with a group of friends: brunch, lunch, dinner, or drinks. [Poll #2]
Thanks for voting!