The Best Summer Party Not on a Beach

Last night, De Mikele by Luzzo’s felt more like a swank club than an Italian restaurant as DJ Dove spun vintage Italian beats mixed with bright, summery pop songs. While he provided the music the cooks at Luzzo’s churned out plates of hot, crisp pizzas and piles of fresh salads, meats, and cheese. To drink, the Italian aperitif Aperol took the reigns and passed out refreshing cocktails made with the orange spirit and prosecco, as well as jazzy orange sunglasses, shirts, and glow sticks. The space filled with the European set, leggy models, and tan guys in crisp white T-shirts. It was 7pm on a Tuesday, and the party had just started.

The best part is that this party, dubbed Sapore di Sale, continues for the next month. This summer aperitivo party at  Da Mikele officially starts on July 31 and continues every Tuesday from 6 to 10pm until August 28. And, it’s absolutely free. Each week the team at Luzzo’s prepares the traditional—and frankly fantastic—aperitivos to pair with a liquor sponsor, which include Moretti, Averna, and Campari, among others. They will have various DJs too, and, while I can’t promise a bevy of chic Europeans and models will be lounging about and mugging for the photo booth, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become a staple. Really, you have no reason not to be there.

Spasso Launches Aperitivo Menu Full of Small Bites and $5 Cocktails

Five dollar fruit-infused cocktails are hard to find in New York. So are $3 crostinis, prosciutto, and stuffed eggs. So when a homey Italian restaurant in the West Village launches a daily aperitivo menu offering all of these things from 4-6pm, we take note. We listen. And we RUN there. To Spasso. Where limoncello and foccacia await.

Spasso’s Milanese-style menu features up to eight seasonal $2-5 snacks and $10 cocktails. But if you check in on Four Square, the drinks are actually 50 percent off  for the first round.

The cocktails feature such drinks as the limoncello and lime-based Maserati; the prosecco and peach Alfa Romeo; and the bourbon and orange twist Lamborghini. Yes, these deliciously-filled flukes are “driving” you and your night in the right direction. Most likely in the direction of THE SMALL BITES.

These bites are more than bites: when put together, they form an assorted platter of all the pre-dinner nibbles your grandmother served that your mom never let you have seconds of. But you’re an adult now, so go wild on such offerings as sliced mortadella and prosciutto, marinated eggplant, seafood salad, and sweet and spicy nuts.

If you’re still hungry when the clock strikes 6pm, stay for one of Spasso’s full meals that are equally as satisfying and three times the size. Or just sleep outside and come back in the next day at 4pm for some more sweet and spicy nuts. Whatever works.