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, chef Todd Villani prepares fusion cuisine that combines Latin and New American traditions. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
Open since 1947, Millers Bakery offers a wide array of freshly baked goodies, from seasonally themed cookies to decadent cream cakes. Early-morning risers can wake up with a ring or filled donut ($0.85 each), with tempting varieties such as oat bran, cinnamon, powdered jelly, and chocolate French. Gift a special someone a frosting-laden hazelnut cream or carrot cake specialty cupcake ($1.95 each). Pumpkin, apple, and blueberry pies ($8.50 for 8-inch pie) will be hot commodities for those looking for dessert on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Three Stooges reenactment day. Those who reject sugary pastries can simply stock up on Irish soda bread ($3.50 for 1.2 oz.) or grab a 20 oz. cup of house-blend coffee to go ($1.75).
Tast Eatery's grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and organic and locally sourced produce merge with unexpected flavors to populate a menu with innovative burrito feasts. Diners can choose from white or whole-wheat tortillas or carb-free bowls to entrench one of seven stuffings—one for each side on an almost properly made stop sign—from shredded chicken to meat-free tofu. Chefs then set Tast's burritos and bowls apart from others by introducing globally influenced flavor schemes, such as the peanut-sauce-soaked Thai twist with asian pickles or the hummus- and feta-packed Mediterranean. Burrito constructors also infiltrate mouth caves with a host of preconceived pockets, including the Southeast coconut-curry-shrimp creation and the classic skirt-steak version, which is decorated with rice, beans, and pico de gallo. Throughout meals, munchers can wash away crumbs with Zico coconut water or fruit-enhanced Hint water, both of which come in convenient bottles ideal for taking on the go or stacking into climbable pyramids as an extra fitness challenge.
Globetrippin, a culture-conscious coffeehouse, bookstore, and Kazbah-inspired community hub, fills patrons' stomachs with international foods and beverages while cultivating their minds with books and ideas. The panoply of fresh-baked cookies regularly rotates according to the owner's whim and Mike Tyson's moods, and items can come specially tailored in kosher, gluten-free, or sugar-free varieties by request. Feel free to pucker lips with a lemon-flavored confection, or reward hands used to stealing from governors' cookie jars by legally pulling from the multitude of chocolate-chip, chocolate-walnut, and sugar cookies.
Branson Got Juice proprietor Branson B. has been featured in press from Forbes to Fast Company for his dual connoisseurship of both hip-hop and fine champagnes. A veritable New York legend in the hip-hop and rap community, Branson's storied past includes work as a talent manager and on his own record label, but his curiosity, knowledge, and love of champagne are what's earned him immortalization in numerous lyrics by hip-hop artists and friends—such as the Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool J., and Elmo. As Fast Company puts it, “Fab 5 Freddy and other industry insiders credit Branson with having triggered rap's champagne craze in the first place.”
In his Sugar Hill juicery, he shifts focus to fresh-pressed juices and healthy smoothies that deliver a potent nutritional punch. Veggies, fruits, and roots relinquish their liquid after a run through the juicer to become elixirs such as the Super Green with kale and spinach, or B's Wellness with carrot, beet, ginger, cayenne pepper, and a dash of magic potion. Smoothies and juices alike benefit from the addition of supplements such as bee pollen, whey protein, and spirulina, and wheatgrass shots let patrons knock back liquid health on the go.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.