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A Night at Populares NYC

by xoJohn

Alphabet City has a new watering hole, full of signature cocktails, delicious Mexican fare, and artistic flair. Populares NYC has been open for less than 90 days and has already become a neighborhood favorite. We wandered by on a rainy Monday night and found the place jumping, filled with happy bar flies and diners enjoying the jovial atmosphere. The bar area is flooded with ambient lighting which compliments the beautiful imported tiles on the bar itself.  The tiles came from Mexico adding to the authenticity, an intentional homage to the homeland of Populares’ cuisine. The windows are adorned with a railing of various cacti, adding a homey touch.

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The biggest date night of the year is slowly approaching.  With just a little under 2 weeks before the main event it is time to start making some reservations or at least exploring options.  If you and sugar lips have a sweet tooth we suggest you indulge that urge with a trip to the Sugar Factory.  We ventured to Times Square and sampled their Valentine Day menu. This year the menu is full of fun flirty nostalgic options that will satisfy the sugar obsessed kid in you and the booze loving adult.  The assortment of items include quirky cocktails with cotton candy and theatrical dry ice, adventurous appetizers with sexy cheese pulls and spicy Cheeto dust, hearty beefy entrees and a selection of decadent sweets.
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Where to Brunch: Allure Restaurant and Lounge in NYC

by xoJohn

Allure Restaurant and Lounge emerges as a beacon of sophistication and gastronomic delight. Nestled in the vibrant landscape of NYC, this establishment has quickly become a hotspot for those seeking an elevated dining experience that seamlessly fuses modern elegance with culinary excellence. From the moment you step through the doors of Allure, you are transported into a world of refined luxury. The ambiance is a harmonious blend of contemporary chic and classic opulence. The interior design, characterized by sleek lines and plush furnishings, exudes an air of sophistication, creating an inviting space that is both stylish and comfortable. The soft lighting adds to the intimate atmosphere, making it an ideal setting for a romantic dinner, a celebratory gathering, or a business rendezvous.

Allure’s menu is a carefully curated masterpiece, featuring a fusion of international flavors that cater to diverse palates. A few friends and I stopped on a Sunday morning for a brunch experience. The brunch menu consists of items like Pastries,  French Toast, Croque Monsieur, Korean Chicken Sandwich, and Steak and Eggs, to name a few.

I love good libations and my personal go-to is an Old Fashioned. This sophisticated cocktail never disappoints. You should always stick to what you know, especially in new environments. In true nature, I opted for the Smoked Old Fashioned. Designed with Pistachio Infused Angels Envy Bourbon, Maple Syrup Aged in Bourbon Barrel, Angostura Bitters, and Woodford Spiced Cherry Bitters. Fashioned with a Dehydrated Orange Wheel and Brandied Cherries. It was a great top-off to my dining experience and made for quite an impressive presentation (@xojohn on Instagram). The cocktail will run you a hefty $26 but it’s worth the experience and presentation.

Allure Restaurant and Lounge in NYC is a testament to the city’s dynamic culinary scene, offering an experience that transcends the ordinary. With its exquisite ambiance, culinary delights, and impeccable service, Allure has carved a niche for itself in the hearts of food connoisseurs and those seeking an unforgettable dining experience in the city that never sleeps.

Allure is located inside the Hotel Belleclaire, for more information, visit allureloungenyc.com.

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New York City’s iconic Empire Steak House added a new jewel to its crown with the grand opening of its third location in Midtown Manhattan, hosted by the Sinanaj brothers – Jeff, Russ, and Jack. The glittering event on Wednesday, October 25th, was attended by over 100 special guests, including the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams. The location at The Pearl Hotel, 233 W. 49th Street, was chosen as the stage for this grand celebration.
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As usual I was running late. My dining companion texted me a picture of his refreshing Margarita to make me feel even worse as I was making my way to Brooklyn. When I finally arrived, I was greeted by our spunky waiter, an annoyed friend, and the delicious scent of Mexican food. All was right in the world.

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In the bustling heart of Manhattan, where the city’s vibrant energy meets a culinary adventure, a new restaurant has opened its doors. Butterflied Chicken, the home of Greek Chicken, celebrated its grand opening at 18 West 45th Street. The grand opening of Butterflied Chicken kicked off with an after-work party that set the tone for what this restaurant is all about—good food, great company, and a dash of Greek flair. Live music filled the air, creating a joyful ambiance that resonated with the spirit of celebration.

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I’ve now been lucky enough to experience Restaurant Pearl’s dinner menu and the newly launched brunch. Let me tell you, you can’t go wrong with either! Restaurant Pearl is a new addition to the South Street Seaport neighborhood, attached to the 33 Seaport Hotel. The hotel’s lounge, Jewel Bar, prioritizes an elevated cocktail program with tableside mixology and highly curated drinks in unique glassware paired with small, shareable plates.

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Once again, Citi Taste of Tennis served up a culinary evening that is hard to match. Gotham Hall was the venue for this year’s much-anticipated event that brings together the culinary and tennis world with leading chefs and top players ahead of the US Open. The one-of-a-kind experience takes place across major cities including Miami, Washington DC, Indian Wells, and London, and concludes in NYC. Created by AYS, a women-owned marketing and events agency founded in 1995, it’s a unique combination not to be missed.

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