Chef Mario Batali and his partner Joe Bastianich oversee a vast, worldwide empire of Italian eateries these days. In New York City alone they mangage six different restaurants, all of which pack in the faithful night after night, PLUS another at-least six within the sprawling Italian-food theme park that is Eataly. But back in 1999, when the rustic, reasonably-priced osteria Lupa first opened on Thompson Street, Batali and Bastianich were still new to the juggling game, with their flagship Babbo the only other place competing for their attention. Obviously they were up to the task, as Lupa, and the rest of the duo’s NYC Italian restaurants (Otto, Casa Mono, Esca, and Del Posto rounding out the six-pack of stand-alones) not only continue to thrive, covers-per-night-wise, but don’t seem to do much coasting back in their respective kitchens, either. (more…)
Residents in the waterfront neighborhoods of DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and the Columbia Waterfront Area have received nothing but good news of late regarding that great long stretch of neighborhood public space, Brooklyn Bridge Park. For decades a bustling industrial waterfront, then mostly neglected for decades more, the area we now call Brooklyn Bridge Park is enjoying an extraordinary run of short-term creative energy and projects (the pop-up-pool at Pier 2; the new No. 7 Sub and Luke’s Lobster at Pier 1) as well as long-term development (the Picnic Penninsula at Pier 5; the cool new Pedestrian Bridge connecting Squibb Park to the river). From barren no-man’s land to city-wide recreation destination in just a few short years. Remarkable. (more…)
Admittedly, Staten Island doesn’t get much attention here on the Urban Edge blog. Don’t misunderstand… we actually think there are a lot of hidden gems on the island (Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, anyone?). But much of the borough remains pleasantly spread out and suburban, and with so many cultural events, culinary thrills, and mega-developments clamoring for our attention across the NY Harbor in Manhattan and Brooklyn, we honestly don’t get over to the SI that much. Which I’m sure is fine by them. (more…)
If you’re a Fort Greene resident, you probably already know about No. 7, a lively, welcoming restaurant/bar nestled behind the C train entrance on Greene Avenue. The menu’s interesting and appealing, the prices gentle, the crowd convivial and slightly more grown-up than other nearby places… in other words, No. 7′s a terrific neighborhood place for a certain segment of Fort Greene locals. (more…)
Remember when you could smoke pretty much everywhere in NYC? At the office, in restaurants and bars and movie theaters, on subway platforms, in airports and train stations (you couldn’t even see the constellations on Grand Central’s ceiling, so thick was its coating of the tar!); in my lifetime–and as late as mid-1990s–all of the above was fair game for smokers. And while exactly no one is clamoring for a return to public indoor smoking, the giant real estate developer Related sparked quite a bit of debate last week when it announced that, as of next month, all new leases at their NYC rental apartments would come with a no-smoking clause. (more…)
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