East Village

Make plans with a few friends to have a nice dinner in a cool, unique eatery at the East Village’s Panna II Garden Indian Restaurant.

Seeing the long-running percussion show STOMP is definitely one thing every resident and visitor to New York City should do. And now, after seeing the Off-Broadway performance a few weeks ago in its East Village home at the Orpheum Theater, I can finally check it off of my list.

Spies are known for their secrecy and evasion, but at Northern Spy Food Co.—a neighborhood-y East Village, farm-to-table eatery—the flavors are forthcoming (the name actually has nothing to do with the James Bond definition of "spy"—rather the joint is named after a type of NY-state heirloom apple—but that doesn't mean I can't pretend).

When you visit Wise Men, you may be surprised to find that the intimate East Village bar and restaurant is a well-kept secret set behind a facade featuring a full-blown vintage photograph of five Chinese women. In fact, Wise Men is full of pleasant surprises. Once you locate the place, which is at once obscure and obvious, subtly marked but with a striking storefront, you'll enter the windowless room to find a welcoming, intoxicating glowy-red ambiance not unlike what you may imagine a late-night Hong Kong hot spot to look and feel like.

Authenticity. It's harder to come by in a restaurant than I'd like. With so many kitchens trying desperately to cook up the next cutting-edge culinary trend—over-ornamenting traditionally simple dishes, sacrificing palatability for presentation, engaging in cross-continental fusion fiascos (the list goes on)—it is refreshing to go to a restaurant where food is just food.

This morning I found myself thinking about cheese—probably because I recently read a post on our sister blog, The Editor Is In, which was all about this delectable dairy staple. I started to think about my favorite foods that put the spotlight on cheese—grilled cheese, pizza; the list goes on and on.

Yesterday, my co-workers and I decided to take a little field trip for lunch. I’m making this sound like a much bigger deal than it really was, but in NYC most office workers never really venture outside of a two-block radius to forage for food. Our outing involved taking a short subway ride, ergo I’m calling it a field trip.

Back in 1993, I was a third grade student growing up in Akron, Ohio. I remember getting ready for school one morning and my mom busted out the most tragic thing to weaken my 10-year-old heart: A lengthy article in the Akron Beacon Journal that declared Saved By the Bell was going off the air.


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