Chit Chat: The Lower East Side is one of my favorite neighborhoods on the island. It attracts trendy and cool people in their late twenties and thirties. Musicians and artists hang out downtown, making this area exciting and unique. Restaurants and bars are like their crowds, original and hip. LES is considered an up and coming neighborhood making it still somewhat affordable for Manhattan. Definitely jump on this cool bandwagon before rents skyrocket, you won’t regret it.
Beauty and Essex: I love this place. I really do. I mean, what girl wouldn’t love a place that gives you a pretty pink glass of free champagne in the bathroom? That’s right, complimentary champagne in the ladies lounge! Hidden behind an antique pawn shop, is a very large two story restaurant, complemented with two oversized bars. I say this because it is definitely a restaurant with a bar, not a bar with some seating to eat. Come here to start your night off with fabulous drinks and some delicious small plates of food. The décor of this place is to die for. Velvet, leather, chandeliers, soft blush lighting; it’s like every girl’s dream room. Grab a seat at the bar if you can, because before you know it, you will be packed in like a sardine in a can, but a very very chic can at that. Next time you are thinking about going to the LES, get dressed up and mingle with New York’s beautiful crowd at Beauty and Essex.
Schillers Liquor Bar: Restaurateur Keith McNally opened up this lower east side establishment in 2003, and it’s been a popular spot for LES dwellers ever since. Truthfully, I have never eaten anything that was memorable here, but it’s their blended jalapeño margarita that keeps me coming back for more. Schillers is located in the heart of the lower east side, with tons of bars and other places to eat at just a hip skip and hop away, so stop in and grab this delicious cocktail before you head to dinner. What I love about the margarita is the texture of it. Nothing turns me off a margarita more than when it has crunchy bits of ice in it. Schillers blends their tequila delight to a sorbet, making it the perfect concoction to drink on a hot sticky summer Manhattan day. Salute!
Prune: Being that I am a massive fan of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, I was eager to dine at a place he recommended! On one of his episodes, he took his audience to a number of different places in Manhattan, Prune being the one that “all of the chefs go to after work.” About a week after I saw the show, I headed down to check it out for myself. Mr. Bourdain described the food as simple but done to perfection. Honestly, there is no other way to describe the food than just that, simple and perfect. None of the dishes are over done. There is no fluff or silly herbs garmenting the plates. Every morsel is meant to be enjoyed. This place is all about the quality of the ingredients, and letting them speak for themselves. Small, but personable, the dining room is basically the mirror image of the food, clean, pristine, and delightful.