Where can you go to escape the heat and enjoy a cold beer and ceviche, a view of a garden, some lovely bubbly, spread out at brunch, or slurp some oysters? Read on.
THE HOT SPOT
Who To Take: A friend who loves staying on trend or a foodie/cocktail person. The new Ian Schrager hotel Public offers a myriad of escapes. Snag a seat in the garden on one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoy the lush foliage that feels like it’s been there forever. Or, head up one flight where you can overlook the same space in the lounge, or go uber sexy with cocktails in the Diego Room, which features a mural by Diego Rivera that was digitally rescued, and originally intended to be in Rockefeller Center, so you can also check off the culture box. There’s also a roof bar, and Public Kitchen, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, so this could be an ongoing pursuit.
Public Hotel, 215 Chrystie St (btw Houston/Stanton Sts)
CEVICHE + CRAFT BEER
Who To Take: The craft beer aficionados in your life or a date who digs Latin cuisine. Cravings for ceviche and a cold brew will be satisfied here. We recommend you start with a tasty Peruvian number—a combination of fluke, leche de tigre, hearts of palm and choclo (Peruvian corn) that comes with a side of fried plantains for dipping. Also enjoyable are the Grilled Zucchini and Squash Rolls which were stuffed with goat cheese and pistachio and set on a marinara sauce. As for the beers, the selection may be a little overwhelming to those not in the know, or extremely appealing to those who are. The menu features beers from around the world, including some surprise locations, like Sri Lanka, Russia, and Lebanon. There’s a lager from Kenya and one from Singapore, and ten Latin varieties to whet your whistle. But, if American craft is what you crave, then you’ve hit the jackpot with a choice of 46 different beers from all over the states. Start sippin’.
La Cerveceria, 65 Second Ave (btw 3rd/4th Sts)
Who to Take: Bubbly lovers or someone craving a taste of Spain. Bar Jamon hosted The Spirit of Cava, a sparkling-filled multi-day event hosted by CitySip. That’s where we learned that cava is a bit more complex than prosecco, it’s aged and fermented twice, and is a blend of Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo grapes. (Learning is fun.) Try the Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva, which is quite bright, creamy, with nice bubbles and hints of apple. Or if rosé is your preferred category, then go for the Campo Viejo Cava Rosé made with 100% Treppat, and was the crowd favorite. Creamy, ripe berries, lovely. Campo Viejo, is one of the most popular Spanish brands in the world, and offers fantastic, affordable wines that we insist on making your summer party staple. Match the wines with more tastes of Spain and Olive Oil Poached Bonito.
Bar Jamon, 125 e 17th St (btw Third Ave/Irving Pl)
Who to Take: A large group to luxuriate in the space or your chum before shopping at Barney’s. Summer weekends in NYC can be so hassle-free and uncrowded if you know where to go. If you are looking for a nice brunch spot that’s not crazy, do what my friend Amy and I did, head to The Gander for a noon rendezvous. The place was getting warmed up just as we were leaving, and that’s when the first stroller came through the door. (Then we went off to see Barney’s revival on 17th street.) We kept our dining choices to the healthy end of the spectrum and were lovingly cared for by the just-starting-to-work staff. Our fave of the meal: the frozen watermelon tequila cocktail. (Though after two of these, it may have caused over-purchasing at the Barney’s shoe department!)
The Gander, 15 w 18th St (btw 5th/6th Aves)
Who To Take: A Francophile or someone looking for some interesting cocktails with just as interesting French fare. Sel Rrose, named in honor of Rrose Sélavey, the female alter ego of artist Marcel Duchamp is a true downtown original. Go for the fresh-fruit cocktails that come with plenty of crushed ice, and are mildly sweet. The pretty white drink Velvet Morning featured chamomile-infused pisco, coconut-orange blossom syrup, pineapple, lime, and sparkling mineral water. Tastes as refreshing as it looks. Balance this with selections of oysters from their daily changing repertoire. If they have the Newish Pearls from Samish Bay, Washington—GET THEM. They are probably the sweetest, meatiest, and creamiest oysters I have ever tasted—a texture in a class all by itself. Other plates range from light snacks, like radishes with butter and seaweed to more substantial offerings like confit duck leg and white truffle fries.
Sel Rrose, 1 Delancey St (SE corner of Bowery)