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.
Guy & Gallard doesn't mind where people choose to savor its menu of more than 70 breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, and pastas. Diners also get to design their own sandwiches out of diverse ingredients that range from albacore-tuna salad and grilled vegetables to tandoori chicken and prosciutto. To sate health-minded stomachs and hungry treadmills, the menu uses a green leaf to denote the meals that have less fat and fewer calories.
When Toby’s Estate Coffee, an Australian-based coffee chain, made its way to Williamsburg, they brought along founder Toby Smith’s tried-and-true business model: roast sustainably sourced coffee from Colombia, Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil. The space they chose for this café and roastery was a former meatpacking factory, though it now gives off a light, airy feel with tall windows and warm wood accents. A long, communal table and Chesterfield sofa lend an affable charm as patrons sip steaming cups of coffee or sample weekly single-origin offerings with a coffee flight. Toby’s also serves a smattering of seasonal food, crafted by food consultant Katy Sparks. Past menus have included whole-grain toast topped with Vegemite, a favorite Australian food spread, as well as arugula salads and rotisserie chicken sandwiches. To quell sweet-tooth cravings, try the pistachio agave cookie or the brioche cinnamon-cacao French toast topped with Vermont maple syrup.
At D'Vida Health Bar's two locations, customers approach an enticing spread of delicious, health-conscious foods with low glycemic index and high nutritional value. Frozen yogurt and cookies, coffee and juices, and a selection of build-your-own shakes eagerly await hungry patrons. The Smooccino combines espresso with a smoothie that can be served hot or cold and provides an excellent, non-GMO source of fiber and protein. The probiotic-rich fro-yo boasts a low glycemic index, and shake designers can choose to dose their sips with supplements like ginseng and spirulina. Cookies and juices are designed to be as nutrient-rich as they are sweet tooth-satisfying. Samples are available daily.
Cannoli: crisp, cookie-like tubes stuffed with generous heaps of sheep ricotta cream. Cassata: ricotta-filled, liqueur-laced sponge cake embraced by a blanket of marzipan. Both desserts originated in Sicily?and so does chef Giacomo d'Alessandro. His pursuit of the perfect cannoli began when he couldn't find a cannoli in New York that measured up to the ones he knew from home. So he decided to make his own and now ships pastry ingredients in to his bakery from the Sicilian village of Agrigento. Thanks to his skills and those ingredients, his cafe diners now get to experience authentic flavors and textures from Sicily on the streets of New York City.