Sophie Pachella is a nutrition and fitness consultant based in New York City. She has written for numerous publications and appeared on several TV programs regarding nutrition, exercise, weight loss, and health. She is the co-CEO and founder of EatStrong and the creator Sophie Yogurt (thick Greek-style yogurt without the heavy sugaring). This is her take on four places she likes, and one place she doesn’t.
Little Brown Chocolate Bakery & Coffee – "A chocolate-themed coffee shop launched by the same wizard (Max Brenner) who brought us Max Brenner’s in Union Square. Nutella hot cocoa, pretzels dipped in melted chocolate, and a killer egg and bacon sandwich, with excellent coffee too. This relative newcomer to the Upper East Side is a welcome burst of fresh air into the world of stale, same-old coffee shops. Free wifi, great music, giant windows, and open late for those who wish to dine on decadent treats (salads are available too, but why?!). Free samples are handed out regularly. This is my favorite go-to spot for snacks and meals, and my daughter loves it too. If you’ve been searching for a new spot to fuel up before heading into work…or decompress after a long day, make a point to stop by Little Brown.
Christian Louboutin Boutique – "Four-inch heels so comfortable you can jog in them, they’re addictive and ought to be illegal. Sexy, pricey, but worth the splurge, their attention to detail is so perfect as to make it impossible to find a reason not to go back for more. I’ve walked 20 blocks in my Louboutins, with ease. The heels even doubled as life-saving brakes when those on my Vespa failed me — remaining intact. Oh, Louboutin, must you make a shoe so perfect that no other will do? I was perfectly happy in my Asics until I fell in love with you."
Make – "Grab your little one, borrow someone else’s, or bring a bottle of wine and a date to this fun ‘make your own anything’ on the Upper East Side. From candles to dishes to cakes, you can decorate whatever your mood desires. At night, there’s a BYOB policy which futher enhances the creative process. You can waste hours in here. As luck would have it, each item takes a while to complete, keeping little ones engaged and happy. It’s a playdate locale for both kids and adults. You might end up with a few too many bars of soap with superheroes and/or mermaids trapped within, or scented candles topped with ducks/Spongebob/mistletow, but you’ll have a great deal of fun in the process."
Mediterraneo – "I visit this delicious, cosy, Midtown Italian restaurant on a regular basis … it’s just one of those places you keep wanting to go back to, with the added bonus of outdoor dining when the weather permits. The waitstaff is friendly and attentive, and the food is fresh and consistently exceeds expectations. Each time I go with a friend, they seem to gravitate back on their own. Their carpaccio dishes are all excellent, but the very best dish is the linguine nere all’arrabiata: black linguine with shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce. Simple, but perfect. I tend not to favor pizza when I’m out but am told those are equally divine. Most importantly, you can go with a date …or with your little one(s) in tow … and receive equally respectful attention. As a single mother of one, this alone awards them the golden star."
NOT SO MUCH
Sushi Yasuda – "Often hyped as ‘the best sushi in Manhattan’ — I remain perplexed and underwhelmed as to why. Not that’s it’s terrible … it’s just tantamount to naming Switzerland the most exciting country to visit in Europe. On the two occasions I’ve eaten there, I left hungry having spent a small fortune. Perhaps the elegance of miniature portions is lost on me … and without a doubt my Phelps-like appetite is hard to satiate, but I’ll be eating a pizza beforehand if I ever go there again.