New York City is truly the hottest and spiciest melting pot in the world when it comes to cuisine.
That’s why it is a grand surprise to find something to ignite your fire in a way you may never have tasted. Treat yourself today with a passionate journey of Lebanese food at Balade. Located in the heart of the East Village (208 First Avenue) you will find this truly phenomenal food experience.
From the moment you walk into Balade you are enchanted by a casual, yet sophisticated vibe. Lively servers greet you with warmness and lead you to indoor or outdoor seating. Once you take a look at the menu you know the only bad thing might be is the challenge of what to actually select. YES, it is ALL that good.
Everything here is a delight. Start your night with the house wine, which embodies the soul of the restaurant with bold richness and bright notes. From here you will find appetizers to take you down further on the road of one amazingly memorable night. Shareable plates called Mezze are just what the heart desires. As you indulge in dishes you realize everything here is made with love from the heart.
Fresh and divine plates created by Executive Chef Micheline Wakim are blissful forms of art. Almost any guest at the table will love Manakeesh. These pizzas are fantastic and come without the guilt since everything is done with the freshest ingredients around.
Both vegetarians and meat lovers will find options. Vegetarians will adore the tasty vegetable presentations with a side of Balade Falafel, stuffed with with onions, sumac, crushed peppers and olive oil. And for a savory option try the truly divine Balade Lamb Chops presented with chargilled New Zealand baby lamb chops and served with rice and grilled vegetables.
And, be sure to leave room for dessert. To highlight your heavenly dining experience here try the Ashta, which is homemade white pudding with honey, pistachio and fresh fruit.
Reservation information can be found here. Be sure to visit today for a whole new New York City experience. Dinner here on weekdays is going to be just as enjoyable as a weekend seating.
Happy Foodie journey at Balade.
Ubah Hassan and Serafina Launch the Sizzling Hot Pizza of the Season
Oh, bring on the heat! We got to try the new amazing UBAH HOT Pizza at Serafina. And we can say with ease it will sizzle your senses and make you soar with delight! If you like sexy, saucy, and spicy all served up in one dish this pizza was made for you!
“Real Housewives of New York” star and founder of UBAH HOT, Ubah Hassan, teamed up with Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato of Serafina Restaurant Group to launch this incredible dish. Using a superb habanero infused san marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, finely sliced habanero and basil julienne, this divinely constructed margherita pizza is the one you will have on speed dial for deliveries or on you go to for lunch breaks at all 13 of Serafina’s New York City locations.
“Embracing gluten with gratitude, because honestly, pizza’s the reigning champ of mood-lifting eats!” said Ubah Hassan. “Whether it’s a solo munch session or a party with pals, no matter the temperature, the pizza vibe is HOT. And those primo ingredients at Serafina’s? They’ve turned me into an even bigger fan.”
Every bite is lovely and the spice is just right. Sometimes with innovative dishes like this the heat can overwhelm. But, here the carefully constructed balance pleases your taste buds and your appetite all at once. It’s not heavy – just super tasty and makes for a perfect meal.
Serafina Restaurant Group is known for high-energy dining, where you could find boldface names dining under the eye-catching yellow awnings throughout the world. Founded by Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato in 1995, the collection of eateries started with Serafina Fabulous Pizza on the Upper East Side. Following the success, the duo expanded across Manthan and into a global presence including its sister brands, Farinella, Brasserie Cognac and Tokugawa.
This partnership is a natural fit as Hassan is longtime friends of Serafina Restaurant Group owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato. Channeling her zest for life Hassan also created a hot sauce company in 2021 to elevate her healthy diet with African flavor. To pay homage to UBAH HOT, Hassan worked with the Serafina team to create a tomato sauce that included habanero peppers to spice up its flavor. To tie in her passion for healthy eating Serafina crafts their pizza dough with Italian doppio zero flour or “00” flour which is similar to a sough dough. The dough rests for 72 hours which results in a much lighter, crispier and easier to digest pizza.
“Fabio and I met Ubah several years ago when she first arrived in New York for her modeling career. We were both mesmerized by wonderful personality and contagious energy. We talked about her passion for food for hours and about her dream to develop a super spicy habanero sauce,” said co-founder Vittorio Assaf.
Visit serafinarestaurant.com to find out where to try UBAH HOT Pizza today!
The Pepsi 125 Diner
In celebrating its 125th birthday, Pepsi is opening a unique pop-up restaurant for a limited time in NYC.
The Pepsi 125 Diner will open at a location in Midtown Manhattan TBA on October 19 and remain open until October 25. The secret entrance promises to be “instagram worthy.” The Pepsi themed American diner will serve timeless diner inspired dishes alongside a vast selection of Pepsi inspired offerings.
This fascinating immersive journey will have you traveling back in time through every era of Pepsi and get a glimpse into the future! A 3-course meal will consist of delectable diner classics with an innovative Pepsi twist. Specially crafted cocktails and mocktails will also be available. This experience states it goes beyond food and drink but brings together the connection between Pepsi and the world of pop music and culture through spectacular performances and rare memorabilia.
The diner is open to all ages with a duration time of approximately two hours. Ticket prices are set to start at $50, this will include appetizer, entree, dessert, and unlimited Pepsi soft drinks.
Tickets went on sale to the public and were snatched up ASAP, however there is a waitlist at feverup.com.
White Wine for Summer Send Off
It is hard to believe that summer is officially wrapping up. But as days get shorter there is still plenty of time to toast the season in style with these favorite white wines.
This refreshing chardonnay crisp apple and crunchy peach flavors is electrifying and oh, so yummy! It brings out the feeling of velvet caressing you. This is simmply all of the best the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County has to offer.
Divinely balanced wine with zesty aromas and highlights of pink grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. It refreshing and perfectly sweet. Every sip will have you singing praises to the wonderful summer you just had.
Beatles Brunch at City Winery Where Strawberry Fields Lives Forever
I was taken to City Winery by Eli Marcus for the Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields.
This show plays every Sunday with an unlimited brunch buffet that includes coffee, tea and juice, starting at noon. A bottomless brunch cocktail package is also available and children get in free. Here tourists mingle with New Yorkers, eating scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, dried out French toast, spicy potatoes with onions and peppers, perfectly done chicken, salad and fresh fruit. What is so nice, is that everyone seems happy to to be here, to see and hear the Fab Four.
The show starts off without fan fare. The lights dim and four men enter, not quite looking like the originals. Tony Garofalo (John Lennon), Billy J. Ray (Paul McCartney), Ira Siegel (George Harrison), and Michael Bellusci (Ringo Starr) and their costumes and wigs have seen better days. Then the music starts. You can watch one of our video’s here.
From the early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Ticket To Ride” “Eight Days A Week” and more the first act is nostalgia at it’s best. It was adorable to watch the audience, especially the young ones “Twist and Shout.”
After a break in came the Sergeant Pepper era, clothing and all. From that we got “Nowhere Man,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “When I’m 64,” “Penny Lane” and songs that dig into your soul. They are done well and the Beatles live again. You can see our video here.
Then the later songs like “I Am The Walrus” and “Don’t Let Me Down” end a show that is almost two hour long of music, that is classic. I have to admit I wanted to hear “Blackbird” and “Norwegian Wood,” but what you get is a well rounded assortment of those songs that shaped several era’s.
Ira Siegel stands out with his guitar playing that is out of this world. I really loved all the songs he sang as well.
Michael Bellusci, gives Ringo a run for his money on the drums.
Tony Garofalo is the founder, creator and producer playing rhythm and lead guitar and singing lead vocals along with Alan LeBoeuf from the original Beatlemania playing bass guitar. Ray looks the most like the Beatle he is playing.
Strawberry Fields has been covering The Beatles for over three decades. They used to have a residency at B.B. Kings, but these days their home base is City Winery and it is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday. All four are consummate musicians and obviously have a love for what they do and that rubs off on their audience.
For a souvenir up a City Winery Strawberry Fields Rose Wine and have it signed by the cast. With its is its strawberry pink color, you get a combination of kiwi, watermelon and the taste of strawberry that lingers.
City Winery is right next to Little Island, Chelsea Market, The Highline, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and West Village. Everything is nearby to make a perfect outing for the whole day and this is one brunch where you definitely get your money’s worth. Click HERE for tickets
A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street
Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.
Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.
There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Michaela Paratore of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime
This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.
All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.
To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.
If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.
This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.
I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.
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