Guests could dine at Park Avenue Bar & Grill multiple times, and yet leave each visit feeling as though they'd never been there before. Behind the restaurant's historic façade of red brick and arched windows await six distinct areas, each welcoming diners into a different experience. Downstairs, bartenders mix drinks at a traditional wooden bar, and upstairs, a modern lounge fills glasses amid tomato-red walls and zebra-patterned tile. After they dine on white tablecloths in the refined second-floor dining room, patrons can wander out to the private courtyard for drinks, or head up to the rooftop to watch New York's mayor give the skyline its nightly spit shine.
To match the atmosphere of each space, chefs prepare fusion cuisine that is American continental. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
The casual bistro setting of Cafe Divan makes for a cozily delicate landscape. Between the textured ceilings, the dark hardwood floor, and the green and gold coloring, patrons unroll their napkin-swaddled silverware, remove their mascot heads, and tuck into an artfully crafted, Turkish-American selection of meals: hearty breakfast platters, burgers with halal beef patties, personal pizzas, and flaky Turkish cheese pies. Though these savory offerings make for instant favorites, some skip entrees altogether, choosing instead to press their noses against the bakery case. Inside that case, Turkish coffee cr?me br?l?e neighbors mango pies, and red velvet cake slices groan beneath the weight of thick cream cheese frosting dollops.
Now an international brand of premium ice cream, H?agen-Dazs began as a humble, family-owned business in the Bronx. In the 1920's, Reuben Mattus sold his mother's fruit ices and ice-cream pops out of a horse-drawn wagon. For decades, the family business thrived, and around 1960, Reuben officially founded H?agen-Dazs. He chose the name to evoke Old World traditions and quality craftsmanship, the bedrocks of the brand. Originally, the ice cream came in just three flavors?vanilla, chocolate, and coffee?made from fine ingredients gathered from around the world, such as Belgian dark chocolate, hand-picked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and ice shaved from lunar glaciers. The resulting confections so delighted sweet teeth that the brand grew exponentially, leading to the creation of dozens of flavors and forays into sorbets and frozen yogurts.
Though H?agen-Dazs ice cream was immensely popular in grocery shops, their first parlor didn't open until 1976. Not far from the Mattus family's original ice-cream beat, the Brooklyn store sold ice cream as well as treats such as sundaes, shakes, and cakes. Shops eventually dotted the country and globe, wherein friendly ice-cream scoopers fill waffle cones, blend frosty coffee and ice-cream drinks, and wrap ice-cream cakes in bright ribbons.
At Bing?s Burgers, cooks focus their grilling talents into crafting flavors not found at a typical drive-thru joint. While diners at the newly opened Fort Lee location can indulge in four types of slider and Bing's own beer-battered fish and chips, the menu centers around a lineup of burgers topped with combinations of unique ingredients. The Cali Burger sports a dollop of fresh, homemade guacamole and low-fat ranch dressing, and Bing's Signature Burger layers sauteed onions, gouda, and garlic aioli while also signing for incoming shipments.
Wall Street Bath & Spa knows its market: when patrons enter, they see a mosaic that depicts a bull and a bear wrapped in a spa towel. Though the men and women's spa is inspired by Old-World bathhouses, modern touches such as this mosaic saturate the environs. Even the sauna selection pits the traditional against the contemporary: visitors can lounge in either a russian sauna that’s encased in 16 tons of rock or an infrared sauna that heats the body without affecting the surrounding air temperature. They can also work up a sweat in the eucalyptus steam room, which hosts body scrubs, Platza treatments, and bachelorette parties for koala bears. Once sufficiently heated, guests cool off in a 52-degree cold-plunge pool or a full-sized pool, whose softly illuminated waters glint off the blue tiles that line the bottom. A VIP lounge sequesters groups of up to 20 in a private space equipped with a jacuzzi, side-by-side massage tables, a plasma TV, and a pool table.
Like napping in a cotton-candy spinner, relaxing tends to work up an appetite, so the facility also has a juice bar and an on-site restaurant brimming with European fare and a selection of infused vodkas.
Piccolo Café fills the boot-shaped hole in New York City’s edible heart, offering casual diners and coffee imbibers fresh, inventive lunch fare and organic Italian brews. The Gramercy menu differs slightly from Midtown’s, but both locations feature authentic Italian cuisine such as the prosciutto, baby spinach, and parmigiano salad ($7), which is served alongside garlic olive oil bruschetta. The parmigiano cheese egg sandwich ($6.50 at Gramercy, $6 at Midtown) is a hearty addition to meatless diets, and unlike fast food chains’ morning meatballs or dusk-till-dawn deep-fried sugar cubes, it’s served all day long.