A Drink With A View: NYC’s Best Bars On The Water

A drink with a view? Yes, please. When you can find a place in New York to sip a beer outside, gaze at the skyline on the rivers, and not pay $4,000+ rent for it – you hold on to that seat for dear life. Here are NYC’s best bars on the water.

The Frying Pan: this former lightship, now anchored by Chelsea Piers at Pier 66a, is a true "dive" bar, having spent years shipwrecked at the bottom of Chesapeake Bay. Resting right on the Hudson River, Frying Pan grants you crisp beers and cocktails, and some One World Trade Center, Empire State, and Hoboken eye-candy. 

Watermark Bar: new and just-opened, this bar on Pier 15 at South Street Seaport comes equipped with frothy strawberry margaritas, Vermont-cheddar bacon cheeseburgers, and a view of the crystalline-lit Brooklyn Bridge and East River. It’s a backdrop for falling in love, so enter with caution.

STK Rooftop: Do you like lobster rolls and Hudson River sunset views? At the Meatpacking’s most in-demand rooftop at the top of its sexy steakhouse, you get watermelon cucumber cocktails, and a view of the Hudson, the majestic Standard Hotel, and the cobblestone, stiletto-ridden streets below. 

Boat Basin Café: This circular bar on the Upper West Side is like a Shakespearean theatre-in the-round, offering stone, vaulted walls and ceilings, a fountain, and a far-off look at the George Washington Bridge on the stone terrace.

Beekman Beer GardenOh, for heaven’s sake. A bar in South Street Seaport with an actual floor of sand, white couches, ping-pong, and an up-close view of the Brooklyn Bridge? Let’s stay the night.

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Lobster Rolls & Sunset Views: The Meatpacking’s STK Opens Rooftop Tomorrow

The Meatpacking’s sexy steakhouse STK gets even sexier tomorrow when it opens its single greatest facet: the rooftop.

For its third year in a row, a seat on this rooftop on a balmy, breezy spring night at sunset promises not just watermelon salad, crisp watermelon cucumber cocktails, and a dish of mini lobster rolls, but also a view of the Hudson River, the majestic Standard Hotel, and the cobblestone, stiletto-ridden streets below. 

But remember: the rooftop only fits 150 people, so get the first seat at noon – and hold on for dear life.

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Burger Friday: NYC’s Best Mini Burgers

In honor of the national holiday that is National Burger Month, I’m devoting Fridays to the world’s love for the juicy, dripping beast that is The Burger. Today, I’m honoring NYC’s smallest burgers. While some say size matters, these sliders pack enough explosion of flavor, condiments, and lettuce & onion to convince even the most stubborn of burger purists. Take a look:

The Cheeseburger Sliders On Mini Mac N’ Cheese Pancakes from ShopsinsOwner and foul-mouthed chef Ken Shopsin  – known for saying,"there’s a sexual friction that occurs when you put the wrong food in the wrong dish," – arouses the tastebuds, serving three mini cheeseburgers with caramelized onions at his legendary LES spot. The fluffy mac’ n cheese pancakes- burger dish is a one of the top-ordered dishes from Shopsins 900-item menu. 

Lil’ BGRs from STK: This sexy Midtown & Meatpacking steakhouse gives you a lil’ taste of their burger by wagging a two lil’ bites of wagyu beef your way. The Lil’ BRG sliders at STK are stuffed with their special, mystery sauce, pickles, tomatoes, and sandwiched on a sesame seed bun. Upgrade the experience with truffles and foie gras.

Kobe Sliders from Koi SohoThis rainforest-inspired Japanese spot brings an Asian-Italian twist to their little burger dish, topping the kobe beef with melted-aged cheddar, creamy thousand island sauce, and sweet pickles on a brioche bun. Koi serves it with a side of crispy edamame gnocchi.

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Photo: roboppy.net

Because Size Matters: The Vegas-Style Party Launches Tonight

Whether size matters in the bedroom is still under debate, but the size of a party in a nightclub? Oh, the bigger, the better. And one party in particular is as big as it gets: Magnum Mondays. You know, like the large-sized condom company. Tonight, the party – which first began at STK Vegas by The ONE Group – is launching at its resident NY spot: STK Downtown, a restaurant in Meatpacking known for its ribeye dipped in truffle butter and creamed spinach.

Unlike the sparkler-filled brunch parties at Beaumarchais and Bagatelle, Magnum Mondays offers dinner and a party on the first day of the workweek – officially extending the weekend spirit to a three-day, DJ-filled affair. Beginning weekly at 7pm, the dinner parties start with steaks and celebrity DJs, and end with STK’s signature ménage a trios carnival dessert: a threesome of caramel corn, cotton candy, and a mini funnel cake.

Tonight kicks off with celeb DJ Ross One, who’s DJed with Jay-Z and Kanye, and continues each week after with talents like D-Nice (DJd for Stevie Wonder) and R&B, hip-hop DJ Reach.

Now if you can just recover from Sunday’s revelries and make it to tonight’s. I think you can do it.

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Where To Eat During Art Basel Miami Beach

When you head down to Miami Beach for Art Basel next week, dine at the spots where food is an art in itself. During those culture-filled four days, stick to our carefully curated list of the top Miami restaurants: Where To Eat During Art Basel Miami Beach. No matter what crowd you’re cruising with, you will find your place at one of these spots.

London Preview: ME London Hotel

With openings in Madrid and Barcelona, the ME by Melia imprint is making a sweep across Europe.Now here comes the UK version; in September, the West End will see the arrival of the new ME London, designed by the prolific Foster + Partners.

Built around a 11-story atrium, the ME features a 157 sleekly designed rooms and suites. But sleep will be the last thing considered here, with glamourous outposts of New York’s Asellina and STK (from The ONE Group), as well as rooftop bar Radio. ME…oh my.

Bye Bye Foie Gras: Good For Ducks, Bad For Foodies

Last Monday, I gleefully sat down to a rich plate of foie gras French toast at STK downtown. The lady-friendly steakhouse was packed with stylish people gorging on the same dish I had, plus chewing on steaks laden with creamy foie gras and foie gras butter. The scene was affluent and chic, and starting Sunday, July 1, will not be an experience you can have at STK in California. You also can’t have the foie gras terrine at meat-happy Animal in Los Angeles, or the popular foie gras au torchon at The French Laundry in Yountville.

“Like Chicago, I hope we can realize that the few ways we can enjoy ourselves is to sit around the table and enjoy food,” said French Laundry proprietor Thomas Keller to the Daily Meal during the James Beard Awards. “I hope our representatives in Sacramento realize that the enjoyment around the dinner table is sacred.”

While Keller and many other chefs feel this way, the law, which was passed in 2004 but had aseven-and-a-half-year grace period, aims to stop a practice animal advocates have deemed cruel for a long time—stuffing a feeding tube of fatty food down the throats of geese, ducks, and chickens. With the ban, the production and sale of food stuff resulting from any force feeding of birds that causes their livers to enlarge beyond the normal size, is illegal and comes with a $1,000 fine. That’s right, foie gras just got more expensive.

“That’s a lot of money to flout what is, in essence, a morals clause,” wrote Jonathan Gold in an article for the Los Angeles Times. He continues:

Which raises the question: In a period when New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pushed through a regulation banning supersize soda, California banned the sale of sharks’ fin soup and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia asked whether the federal government could force an individual to buy broccoli, can kitchen morality be legislated? Do the ban’s largely vegan supporters see it as a first step toward a larger ban on meat? Does a prohibition on products obtained from over-fattened ducks and geese protect animals or erode liberties — or both?

"It’s not just foie gras,"’ says Josiah Citrin, the chef and owner of Mélisse. "Most people don’t eat [it], so they think it doesn’t have anything to do with them. The problem is, what’s the next step, chicken?"

Lucky for me, I live in New York where places like STK can continue to dish out this luxury item, and eating a foie and jelly doughnut at Do or Dine and gorging on Marcus Samuelsson’s celebrated foie gras ganache at Red Rooster isn’t rebellious, but delicious. Despite how you feel about foie gras, just as Gold said, the real question comes down to morals and whether or not force-feeding a bird is cruel. Daily Meal’s Ali Rosen took this question to a duck farm upstate where farmers graciously let her tromp around and talked all about the process, which you can see below. It may surprise you to learn the difference between the way our throats an livers work vs. a bird’s. Readers, what’s your take on this ban?

BlackBook & Grey Goose Celebrate the Outside Insiders at STK Rooftop

Last night, while an anaconda of humanity snaked around the block on Little West 12th Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a lucky few were actually able to make to the rooftop of STK. There, BlackBook and Grey Goose were celebrating the Outside Insiders, a small brigade of bartenders selected for their ability to sling drinks under the sun.

Statuesque waitresses paraded around the premises, with trays featuring the three Goosed-up cocktails of the evening: the punchy Fresh Berry Lemonade, the soothing Grey Goose L’Orange Summer Tea, and our personal favorite, the fiery STK Green Intensity. But what are drinks without some decent nosh to soak them in? Anticipating this basic human need, the good people at STK provided some top-notch grub–ribs, shrimp, and lobster roll included–, courtesy of chef Humberto Leon and pastry chef Ashley Palma. For the full visual effect of what exactly went down, check out our exclusive gallery, courtesy of photographer Jason Malihan. Special shout out to the One Group, for making nights like this possible.

Hogging the Spotlight: The Cosmopolitan’s Summer Festival of Pork

No hotel in Las Vegas is bringing the proverbial heat quite like the Cosmopolitan this summer. Their club Marquee is luring the biggest names in dance music on a near-nightly basis, and they’ve even secured Adele to drop by next month for an intimate gig. But the hotel offers a lot more than pop icons and DJs. Later this month, the Cosmopolitan will host the rock stars of the food world at a new event, the inaugural All-Star Cochon.

On July 24, chefs such as Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura of Lindy & Grundy, Michael Sullivan of Blackberry Farm, John Sundstrom of Lark, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, Jeremy Fox and the 2010 “King of Porc” David Varley of Michael Mina, Alex Seidel of Fruition, and Stephanie Izard of The Girl & the Goat will descend upon the Strip’s hottest hotel to cook up all things pig.

As part of the three-year-old Cochon 555 competition, the chefs will dream up new ways to roast, chop, broil, and fry the swine in ways previously unknown to man. Not only will chefs fly in from all over the U.S., but the Cosmopolitan’s own dream team of pork participants will be in the mix as well. That means kitchen pros from restaurants such as Comme Ça, D.O.C.G, Estiatorio Milos, Holstein’s, Jaleo, STK, Scarpetta and more. While the series has toured before nationally, the July 24th event at the Cosmo is the first ever “all-star” event, with acclaimed butchers and 14 whole heritage hogs. Naturally, packages are available for those looking to pig out later this month, many of which also include special tastings of Domaine Serene reserve wines paired with Spanish pork variety Fermin Iberico de Bellota.

Watch a trailer for Cochon 555 to get a sense of why hogs have been all the rage recently.