Hey everyone, hope you’ve all been having a great week and a great weekend. This week for me has been all about one thing – being as stress free as possible…and it’s been working out quite well.
Really when you think about it, the whole point of life is to enjoy it as much as possible, not just by yourself but also by being around good company and even better friends. I may write, and write….and write about a lot of great places to go and things to see – but really in the end it all boils down to seeing (most of) those things with the people who matter most in your life. Enjoy.
For The Weekenders: NoMad Bars, Raising The Roof, Japanese Street Food
Lately I’ve been craving something that you just can’t get unless you’re actually there – Japanese street food.
But wait – actually, you can, over at Azasu – the one place in NY you can honestly say has legit J-land street food, sometimes with a twist. This is the place to go when you’ve got four or five friends who want a good night out, with good food, and even better drinks.
So what kind of street food are we talking exactly? Oh, you know, the usual – Karaage, gyoza, sukiyaki, and of course, my personal favorite, takoyaki. Here’s what I suggest ordering though:
It’s gonna go like this – first things first, book a reservation for said friends. Ask for a big table if you’re doing it up proper. Start simple – order of gyoza (pork – or tofu, for those vegetarian friends), bit of egg salad (doused in Japanese mayo and spicy karashi mustard), and some asazuke – pickled vegetables (much tastier than you may think.
If none of those suit your taste buds, they’ve got loads of loads of other options. Next thing – for Christ’s sake, order a drink and take a load off man. Check out the variety of different Chuhai they have – Chuhai is very much like a wine cooler but stronger, in a can – and really packs a wallop, with some pretty tasty flavours, such as oolong tea, ume plum, calpico, orange, grapefruit, and many more.
I recommend no more than a couple of these though, as they also provide a killer hangover if not careful.
Then comes the main meal – hopefully you’ve not filled up too much on appetizers and drink, and are ready to try some of Azasu’s delicious dishes. My advice? Stuff your face as much as you can – though the menu is straightforward, there are many tasty options to choose from.
If you want something light and fried, go with J-style fish/chicken and chips – nanban – aka tempura-fried (a light coating of breading) fish or chicken complete with crinkle cut fries and tartar sauce.
If that doesn’t suit you and you feel like a bit of spice, be sure to check out their curry and rice dishes, with choices of additional toppings sukiyaki beef and menchi katsu. Hint – always go for the sukiyaki beef, as it melts in your fucking mouth.
Finish off with some chocoyaki or dororich coffee jelly, and you’ve got yourself a full stomach, nice buzz, and plenty of laughs with plenty of friends – some new and old.
But let’s say you wanna catch some fresh air with friends instead, or just really want a stunning view of the city with an excellent alcoholic drink consisting of gin.
Roof at Park South‘s got you covered with this one.
I know, another roof top bar, but hear me out – every time I recommend a rooftop bar – they only get better. I’m one that’s all about great atmosphere, excellent food, and hangover free drinks – I’d never steer you wrong buddy.
So here’s the deal, bring a large group of friends and make sure you dress decent – this is one of those places you won’t mind looking snazzy at. Order up a round of Mint Billys, casually followed by some Airmail – that last one’s a drink, by the way.
The drinks here are pretty stiff, so you’ll wanna order up some proper bar food to maintain a nice even “buzz” – what makes Roof’s bar food different from the rest? Each dish is specifically made to complement each and every cocktail on the menu – meaning an epic blend of flavours experienced each visit. If you’re a fan of red meat (like myself), go with the Wagyu beef or Lamb Polpetta and watch as each bite melts in your mouth.
If you’re not a fan of red meat – there’s always plenty of other alternatives with seafood, vegetables, and dairy (like Vermont Goat Cheese Al Forno). Lastly – sit back and enjoy around the fire.
If you haven’t been here yet, you’re missing out on a very important part of your life.
This last one’s for when you’ve finally landed that date you’ve been vying for with that perfect 10 you met at a pretty upscale social function. The NoMad is the go to spot for when you want to impress, without looking like you’re even trying.
How so? Well – this fucking thing breeds class – and it outright gorgeous.
Seriously – and I use the adjective gorgeous rather sparingly. The care and detail put into this place you notice the minute walking in – right down to the staircase – will have you thinking you stepped into your very own custom made lounge by the designer named…..name a famous person.
Now hang on – don’t let the looks of this place fool you – you won’t be walking into some pretentious snob fest. The atmosphere is incredibly laid back and the food selection is just as humble as it is tasty, with classic choices that have a unique spin like chicken pot pie with black truffle and foie gras, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and dry aged cheddar atop perfectly made burgers.
But if your date’s not into that, that’s okay too – they have some more “upscale” options like skirt steak, striped bass, and scotch olives (a must try).
…and for dessert? The list goes on, from candy bars (literally) to cookies and cream ice cream.
Where the real fun begins is skimming the drink menu and noticing all the interesting names. If your date is the innocent type, order up Satan’s Circuit, and if they like a bit more of the wild side, get them to try out Berry “Danger”ous Fix. Either way picking any of the drinks you can’t go wrong – they’re all made with top shelf ingredients and leave you wanting more.
Once you’ve got your drinks be sure to settle down at one of NoMad’s many luxurious seating options while you wait for the best food of your life to arrive, and continue in conversation as you non-chalantly explain how you found this little hideaway in the first place.
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