Stepping into Duane Park is like stepping back in time. Inside the turn-of-the-century dining room, chandeliers from a Louisiana plantation sprinkle light on the scene below, where visitors sip on handcrafted cocktails and clean their invisible monocles. On stage, a roster of featured entertainers ranging from crooners to sultry sirens belts out ballads from the past seven decades?including tunes from the American songbook and current hits.
Of course, no show is complete without Duane Park's scantily clad burlesque performers, who sashay throughout the room to a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. Amidst the entertainment, visitors can dive into the venue's elegant cuisine, too, which ranges from grilled filet of branzino to southern ribs.
New York City is a long way from the Rio Grande do Sul region of Brazil, and the wait staff at Churrascaria Tribeca certainly don’t live the rough-and-tumble lives of gauchos—Brazilian ranchers who gathered around wood-burning fires after hard days’ work to slow cook prime meats. But don’t let these discrepancies fool you. Hunks of bare prime meat are still slow cooked above wood fires at this Brazilian steak house, a faithful nod to the gauchos of days past. And the waiters still carry knives in their belts, which they unsheathe at diners’ requests—via the flip of a colored coaster—to shave off perfectly tender cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Every day, amid a parade of skewered meats, waiters march out a specialty dish, such as a roasted suckling pig towed by cart from table to table. To enjoy this spectacular parade of slow-cooked meats, it’s best to have a ravenous appetite—which is trickier than it may first seem. Each meal begins with unlimited visits to the banquet-style buffet and salad bar, where a veritable garden’s worth of vegetables, salads, and seasonal casseroles await. During meals, waiters continuously replenish sides such as fried plantains, mashed potatoes, and cheese bread, and every meal ends with the appearance of a dessert cart full of sweet and decadent treats made in-house.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel, situated on Broadway in TriBeCa, understands that its guests want to be at the center of everything that gives New York City its unique character. That means culture, diversity and refinement without pretension, which the Cosmopolitan offers easily, thanks to its easy location between Chinatown the Financial District, Little Italy and the West Village. Visitors staying at The Cosmopolitan Hotel can enjoy the proximity while still returning to the hotel for a peaceful night’s rest, where amenities keep guests connected. Complimentary WiFi and daily copies of The New York Times ensure visitors are well-informed before they start the day, while work desks, flat-screen televisions and a Starbucks next door also help to make the stay a comfortable one for business and leisure travelers alike.
There may not be any actual mud in Mudville 9 Saloon, but there's still a good chance that you'll leave messy. The neighborhood bar and grill is known for its traditional and boneless chicken wings, which tend to leave trails of sauce-stained napkins in their wake. Both wing styles are served with a choice of 11 different sauces, ranging from sweet teriyaki to traditional buffalo, the latter of which is available in four levels of spiciness. Start with the mild before working up to the Super Wow, which the menu warns is for “professionals only.” Wings aren’t all that Mudville 9 has going for it. With 24 beers on tap at any given time and more than 76 others in bottles, the saloon has earned its reputation as a destination for craft brews. Local breweries, such as Brooklyn’s Sixpoint, regularly stop by for tasting events, and sometimes they even leave behind a keg or two for customers to enjoy or ride down Niagara Falls. The bar's rustic wood decor makes it the perfect spot to hunker down with a beer flight on a cold winter’s night or to take in the latest sports broadcast on one of 15 flat-screen televisions.
For 91 years, the Orwasher family helmed their eponymous bakery, situated in what was once a primarily Eastern European neighborhood. They worked in the basement, using a rustic brick oven to create handmade loaves and even inventing, as legend has it, the first slices of pumpernickel.
Today, the bakery’s locale has evolved into the Upper East Side, and the Orwashers have moved on. They sold their shop to baker Keith Cohen in 2007, who not only kept the name, but many of their old-world traditions. Using local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, Cohen makes nearly 20 varieties of his raved-about bread completely by hand. His long fermentation process ensures rich, complex flavors such as cinnamon raisin, craft ale, and New York rye, all pulled fresh daily from the oven. Cohen has even perfected what the Orwashers very well may have invented; his Russian pumpernickel is not only found in the flagship store and at the Orwashers shop in All Good Things Marketplace, but also on Saveur’s list of their 45 favorite loaves in America. And though Cohen has moved to a modern oven for the majority of his loaves, he makes weekly pilgrimages to that same basement oven for his challah and rustic breads.
Bread is what made Orwashers famous, but the bakery also houses many other goodies. Customers can stop in for cookies, pastries, fine cheeses, and jams. Additionally, slices of their breads can be found in restaurants across the city.
Blue Marble Ice Cream describes its flavors as “elemental,” a definition that reflects the choice to use the simplest, purest products possible. The dairy comes from cows raised in pastures and taught to just say no to antibiotics and hormones, and only pesticide-free fruits show up in each scoop. Blue Marble manufactures most of its ice cream in its certified-organic production facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with only a light touch of sugar that highlights the quality of the ingredients. Its ice cream has won Blue Marble plenty of praise, from earning Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema's Best Ice Cream award in 2010 to being dubbed one of New York's Eight Best Ice Cream Shops by Zagat voters in 2012.
Aside from just running their ice-cream shop, however, the founders of Blue Marble manage an organization called Blue Marble Dreams, which helped fund the foundation of an ice-cream shop in Rwanda. Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen were featured in the New York Times and on Oprah.com for their efforts. They trained an all-women drumming cooperative to build and run the shop, which generates jobs in the community for employees and regional dairy farmers alike. As Dundas and Miesen told the Times, they got the idea from a Rwandan acquaintance who suggested that her country’s people could use some extra moments of simple joy, encapsulated in the experience of eating ice cream.