Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday Weekend: Food Discoveries

This past weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday, which was full of fun with friends and family - and also full of delicious food! I visited three new restaurants and one lounge (all in Greenwich Village), and I was so impressed with all of them that I decided to share these great places with you.nyc restaurants, new york city dining, greenwich village best restaurants, dove parlour, best lounge for birthday party, sevilla restaurant, malatesta, left bank, west village dining, nyc food recommendations
On Friday night, my boyfriend Joe and I decided to go on an adventure around the Village. What do I mean by an "adventure"? Well, just wandering around one of NYC's many distinctive neighborhoods with an eye out for new places to discover. It's always so fun - aimless, carefree, and romantic! That's exactly how we discovered our favorite local Italian restaurant, Saggio, in Hudson Heights, so we were hopeful to find some nice spots in the Village. We definitely made a couple of circles around the area, taking in all of our dining options, before we settled on Left Bank. This place is self-described as an American tavern inspired by its Greenwich Village surroundings and is committed to serving locally-grown and wholesome food. When we first arrived around 9pm on Friday night (without a reservation!), we were seated by a large bay window overlooking a quiet side-street and started to enjoy a bottle of wine. Less than a half-hour later, we were welcomed into their main dining space, which had simple but comfortable decor. Their menu is not huge, but, based on our experience, everything is extremely delicious. I can tell you that the first bite of my swordfish entree definitely made me stop and close my eyes for a second - so, so good! I had to savor the moment. The service was excellent, and I would highly recommend this place both for a romantic date and a group outing.

The next day, we started our evening off right with some Spanish food at Sevilla Restaurant. I immediately fell in love with this place: its old-school vibe, courteous staff, and special character. It was a perfect place for a group of close friends to enjoy dinner, complete with several choices of tasty paella and tons of fresh seafood. And sangria! Oh, let me not forget the dessert: guava with cream cheese, lemon sorbet served inside a real lemon, rice pudding, and so much more. Simply delicious. You really get treated like a family here; on the way out, we shared kisses on both cheeks (European-style!) with the host. It felt like we had just stopped by for a family dinner. I still can't get over the amazing atmosphere, which was delightfully retro, and I will definitely return. Tip: arrive before 7pm to get a table fast, as they don't take reservations.

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After our delicious dinner, The Dove Parlour was our next destination for lounging around and celebrating with friends. Spiced Peach Cobbler, Cherry Tart, or French Lavender cocktails anybody? Add to that an excellent selection of cheeses and boutique wines, decoration that exudes old-world elegance and luxury (while maintaining a laid back atmosphere), and there you have a chic lounge perfect for birthday parties and romantic dates. Did I mention there is a fireplace? This place was just perfect for my celebration.

And last but, of course, not least is a new brunch spot for you brunch-loving New Yorkers and visitors. It's called Malatesta - an Italian trattoria on the west side of the Village. A very cute place with big windows and rustic decor, the relaxing atmosphere of the brunch hour was matched by their delicious homemade pasta. Paying the bill is cash only, but it's extremely affordable and very tasty! Definitely worth venturing to this side of the Village.


I hope you get to visit some of these places! If you do, I would love to hear about your own experiences in the comments section.

Images from nymag.com, leftbanknewyork.com, thedoveparlour.com, sevillarestaurantandbar.com

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