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Paint, Drink and Be Merry: Little Shop of Crafts

9 Dec

I Heart Little Shop!

I’m always looking for ideas to have a low key night activity that’s outside the norm, which is why finding Little Shop of Crafts made me so incredibly happy.  By now, I’m a repeat-offender guest at the UES location (73rd St btwn York/1st Ave) of this arts & crafts super spot.  I’m constantly coming up with new project ideas as an excuse to go back – you can never have too many mugs!   All you have to do is pick a piece of pottery, choose the colors you want to paint with and you’re ready to go.  The prices are reasonable (you’ll usually spend $20-30) and they’re on Groupon every now and again, so keep an eye out for that to save some moola.

My favorite part of Little Shop is that Wednesday-Friday from 6:30-10pm is adult night – translation: free glass of wine! While they could definitely be a little more generous with the amount of wine they give you, the fact that they offer it at all is nice, and you can always opt to BYOB as my friends and I usually do.  The party room in the back is also a great idea for a grown-up party – I did my 25th birthday there and the “kids” loved it.

No matter what the occasion, Little Shop is the perfect evening of relaxation and always a good time when you’re looking for something different to do – now head on over and get to work on your masterpiece!

Impressive Italian @ Eleven B(YOB)

19 Nov

Won't you join us for dinner?

Eleven B may be my favorite Italian joint in NYC.  Now don’t get me wrong; this place is not gourmet, nor is it going to find itself featured in the New York Times anytime soon.  But what this resto offers is better, in my book – a welcoming restaurant with great tasting classic Italian dishes, friendly wait staff, and LOW prices.  Oh, and did I mention?  If you’re drinking wine or beer – bring it in with you (no liquor, ya booze hounds).

Location?  You guessed it, East Village – Eleventh St and Ave B.  Walk inside; the tables are all candlelit and the walls are lined with shelves of books that give it a real rustic feel.  To add to the ambience, the guys serving you (often the owner himself) are straight out of the Sopranos, except instead of relishing in a life of organized crime, they love serving big portions of delicious Italian dishes.

Eggplant Extraordinaire

I’ve come here with a party of 2 and a party of 10 and either way they do a great job.  For larger parties, you can ask and they’ll make dishes family style for the table to match the size of the group – they also offer prix fixe options.

Last night, I was dining with the lovely Miss Aimee – we split the beet and goat cheese salad (LOVE it) and the eggplant parmesan, which is huge AND comes with a side of pasta or salad.  We also both managed to stop at Trader Joe’s Wine store beforehand so there was the issue of what to do with all that wine…

Bartender, I'll take a sparkling water!

Bottom line, whether you’re looking for a cheap date night or to do a group dinner/pregame extravaganza that’s NOT sushi, this place is legit.  Our total bill was $24 – yes, it is that great.  GO NOW!

Eleven B (on 11th and B) – make a reservation for large parties or if you’re going on the weekend – (212)388-9811.

Freakin’ Weekend Roundup

15 Nov

Soooo I got into quite a few things this weekend – some of which I would recommend to you, my dear friends, others which I will warn you to stay clear of.  So let’s get right to it…

Home on 8th – In the wasteland that is the area surrounding Madison Square Garden, this modest BYOB Thai/Chinese fusion resto on 8th Ave (btwn 29th/30th) is a great spot for a quick pre-concert dinner where you can get a little buzz on for cheap!  Must Try: Peanut Butter Lovers steamed veggie/tofu dish. YUM.

VAMOS! –Let me translate for you: GO!  This Mexican eatery on 1st Ave (btwn 20th/21st) has brunch menu items in the $10 mark and for just $6 you get unlimited frozen margaritas.  The Huevos Rancheros were a fiesta in my mouth and my dining companion (and brother) Ian had a Michelado (Bloody Mary Mix + Corona) that wasn’t included in the special but was so good that it had him at “HOLA”.

Idle Hands – This new Rock’n’Roll bar (on Avenue B btwn 2nd/3rd Sts) fell short of my hopes and expectations.  I guess I was thinking it would be more of a “Pour Some Sugar On Me” spot than a “Freak On A Leash” type joint… the music was rough.  The fact that bartenders could only pour your drinks and then the waitresses had to come over and hand them to you was as WEAK as the drinks.  Say it with me: “liquor licenses first, open the bar second”.  It made no sense but LUCKILY the fabulous Billy Hurricane’s Bar was just a few steps upstairs and that place was SO MUCH FUN.  I’ve never had as many friends walk away from a party having left their credit cards at the bar – you wouldn’t think it, but this was the indication of a GREAT time.

That’s all for now folks… enjoy the rest of your Monday, take two advil and call me in the morning!

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