Secret Summer Aquarius
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Secret Summer NYC is doing it again. Later this month, they will host Secret Summer Aquarius. The event will take place at The Foundry, an event space in Long Island City, Queens with beautiful 19th Century architecture. The menu will include sustainable seafood, Bespoke Mixology and Artic Chic. Plus, a portion of the proceeds will benefit New York City’s sustainable fisheries and shellfish farms.

The Aquarius theme is a nod to the astrological sign Aquarius, the sign of fish and water. Secret Summer Aquarius is 4,000 square-feet of NYC’s best seafood restaurants gathered under one roof in support of farm-to-table meals and responsible seafood farming. Here are a few of the seafood purveyors, vendors and restaurants you can expect.

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

PAMA mixes the complex sweet and tart flavors of a pomegranate. The liqueur uses all natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a splash of tequila. It’s easily mixable in a range of cocktails that will always go down smooth and easy. Fruity cocktails not your thing? Blue Point Brewery, Elijah Craig Bourbon and Brugal Rum will all be at the event as well.

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
Photo by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur.

Wild Fish Direct 

Wild Fish Direct is all about fresh seafood. Their team works tirelessly to provide sustainable fish and shellfish to wholesalers. You will enjoy the tastiest, guilt free fish from across the nation at Secret Summer Aquarius. There’s no guessing with Wild Fish Direct, each package of seafood comes with a unique story, vessel information, landing details and catch method so customers know what they are getting. In addition to Wild Fish Direct, expect delicious eats from Mochi Ice Cream and the Billion Oyster Project.

Wild Fish Direct
Photo by Wild Fish Direct.

You’ll want to end the night with an Aquarius themed photo-booth courtesy of 4FivePhoto! Secret Summer Aquarius is Saturday, January 27. Tickets are on sale now and going fast! Enter code “FISHIES” at checkout for an exclusive discount. Let us know in the comments if we’ll see you there.

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Manzo Ristorante

So, you’re visiting New York City and have a list of things to see, but where are you going to eat? While you won’t be able to chew your way through the entire city, here are a few suggestions when you only have one day in the culinary capital of the world.

Brunch 

Your feet are going to get a lot of use during your time in the concrete jungle, so you’ll need to start your day with a healthy brunch. At Essex, located in the Lower East Side neighborhood, you can enjoy flavorful dishes including Lobster Benedict and challa bread french toast. They also have an ever-tempting offer of bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or screwdrivers. Don’t go too crazy though, since you still have the whole day ahead of you! Keep in mind that Essex is a popular spot, so be sure to book a reservation in advance if you can.

Brunch Meal Essex Restaurant
Don’t forget to toss on your walking shoes before you head out to this brunch spot. Essex is sure to give you a hearty meal to take on the day.

Lunch

During your visit, you simply must order some pizza. Period. The debate on New York’s best pizza spot is hotly contested. Traditionalists declare the city’s O.G. Lombardi’s as king. Die-hards sing praises to Joe’s, John’s, and Patsy’s. The list goes on, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind and put something a little unexpected on the table: &pizza.

&pizza is known for its outside-the-box pies in a signature oblong shape. Making it’s debut in NYC in 2016, the D.C. transplant has been largely considered one of the best new pizza spots in the city. You can choose one of their funky creations or have total control and create your own. Seriously. You have the choice of everything from toppings and finishes such as Italian sausage and hot honey, down to your choice of dough and sauces.

&Pizza
Even the pickiest eater will be able to create something they love at &pizza.

Dinner

After a long day on the go, slow down with a nice dinner. At Eataly NYC Flatiron, kill two birds with one stone by crossing a must-visit off your list and enjoy a delicious meal while you’re there. Inside its flagship Flatiron District location, Manzo Ristorante has one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten on its menu (the Bistecca alla Fiorentina) and a wide wine and cocktail selection for every palate. It’s worth an author’s note that I used to work here. Still, I’m always sure to recommend it to any friend coming to town.

Manzo Ristorante
In the mood for a nice, juicy steak with a glass of wine? Look no further than Manzo Ristorante!

Dessert  

Before you end your journey through the city that never sleeps, indulge in a slice of authentic New York-style cheesecake. There’s no better place to go than Junior’s, a restaurant and bakery that’s best known for its “World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake.” The cheesecake lives up to its name, as this dessert is hands down one of my favorites for its cake-like crust and its just right texture balance between creamy and firm. They also have a large selection of other desserts, from decadent red velvet cake to ginormous smoothies. There are a few locations including one in Midtown. You can head over after your Broadway show for a sweet end to your night!

Junior's Cheescake
The perfect night cap to a busy day in the bustling city of New York. You won’t be disappointed in your decision to indulge in this sweet treat!
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Los Tacos No. 1 in NYC

New York City is a foodie heaven because of how diverse it is. When it comes to food cuisines you can find a huge amount of options spread along just once city block. Still, most of us have our food favorites and tend to stick to what we know when it’s time to pick a lunch spot or dinner date location. But as a foodie, it’s your duty to venture out and find new places you love. Otherwise, you might miss out on some of these hidden gems right outside your door. Besides, are you a really a foodie if you don’t take advantage of all the great food NYC has to offer?

A plate of tacos from Locos Tacos
Los Tacos No. 1 is perfect for the foodies who loves a good taco. Photo by Los Tacos No. 1

1. Los Tacos No. 1

New York has no shortage of great Mexican spots to fulfill all of your taco needs. However, this hidden gem has sat on top of my best tacos list for two years running. Located inside of Chelsea market, Los Tacos has some of the most authentic Mexican tacos that I’ve tasted in the city. It’s a small shop located in a food hall, which means that if you’ve never ventured into Chelsea market, you probably have never heard of it. The set-up of this spot allows for you to watch your tacos being made and then they’re handed to you for your enjoyment.
Price: $
Location: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue. New York, NY 10011 (Multiple Locations)

2. Verde on Smith

Brooklyn’s restaurant industry has been booming over the last few years, but this cobble hill location has been around for quite some time. If you visit during brunch hours, you can try their thick cut brioche French toast or the rosemary potatoes, wash them down with unlimited mimosas and raspberry, mango, or peach bellinis. Outdoor patio seating means you can soak up some sun and fresh air during NYC’s warmer months. They even have big tables for those group brunches we love so much. If dinner is more your thing, their dinner menu is full of Italian goodness.
Price: $$
Location: 216 Smith St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

Verde on smith bubbly

3. Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar

Delicious Cuban food paired with Cuban inspired drinks? Yes please! Cuba is a quaint restaurant nestled among the busy streets of the west village, which is why many people may overlook it. The name says it all, as Cuba serves up some Cuban favorites such as vaca frita, ropa vieja, and of course mojitos! Upstairs is a bit tight, but no worries, they have another level downstairs with extra seating and its own bar. On some nights, you can enjoy your meal while a live band plays!
Price: $$
Location: 222 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012

4. Lemongrass Grill

I almost didn’t put Lemongrass Grill on this list because I love how low-key and chill even though NYC is always bustling. Located on court street in Downtown BK, Lemongrass Grill has everything that you need in a Thai spot: nice ambience, great appetizers, affordable entrees, and two-for-one cocktails. Yes, TWO-FOR-ONE! The drink special is just one reason you should be visiting Lemongrass Grill soon. The service is always prompt and the appetizers and entrées are delicious. You’re guaranteed to leave full and satisfied. They also have pineapple fried rice that is served inside of a pineapple, so you can eat delicious food in a new way and stunt for the gram (we won’t judge)!
Price: $
Location: 156 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

thai

5. El Jeffe

Have you ever been craving Mexican and Caribbean food, but had to settle on just one of the two? Well fret no more, because El Jeffe has created a menu and dining experience that allows you to enjoy both at the same damn time all without leaving NYC. Fried shrimp tacos, jerk pork nachos, and grilled fish rice bowls are just some of the dishes you can try here. They have frozen margaritas and Mexican beers available to wash down your food too. Don’t forget to order yourself some delicious Mexican corn!
Price: $$
Location: 1483 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11216

 

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Have you ever wanted to try new foods with others, or go on a tasting journey at various restaurants and bars in the city with a welcoming group of people who live in the same area? Now you can! Enter: The Before Love Club, our casual and engaging Meetup group for hungry folks who have no shame in putting food before love. We’re looking for new members.

As part of the club, you and fellow foodies will meet up multiple times a month to explore all the wonderful things this city has to offer, one bite and sip at a time. You can join The Before Love Club now for $9.99 per month, and automatically gain access to all official Food Before Love events in addition to the Meetups.

Two friends clinking drink filled martini glasses
Cheers to all the new friends you’ll make at our Meetup!

After you join, you can get your fill by attending every Meetup your taste buds desire, each with a mouthwatering theme. From exploring hotly debated classics like macaroni and cheese to discovering new trends like Poke, there’s a Meetup for every palate. If you prefer sips or sweets to savory bites, you’ll fit right in when we imbibe at the city’s most popular bars and dessert shops. Don’t forget your wallet though, as you’ll need to pay for whatever you order!

In addition to enjoying delicious food and drinks, one of the best parts of being a member is getting to know and building friendships with other like-minded locals in an intimate and approachable setting.

Calamari and Wings Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

During the Mac & Cheese Meetup at Brooklyn’s Mullanes restaurant, members sipped on sangria while trying a range of macaroni and cheese dishes — from classic plain that pleased the purists to buffalo chicken with jalapeños for the more daring members. Around the table, lively conversation began about everyone’s favorite ways to enjoy macaroni and cheese and soon evolved into a rich and genuine discussion about travel, life experiences and best places to visit around the area. Everyone left with smiles on their faces, and the next one will be even better with you there.

Not ready to commit on a monthly basis? Hey, we get it, test the waters with a 14-day free trial. That’s enough time to go to the next Meetup and get to know the other hungry members of the group to make sure it’s right for you (though we already know it is).

Two girls in a restaurant smiling at the camera.
Come meet your new foodie friend at one of our Meetups!

The benefits of joining don’t stop with Meetups. As a member, you’ll automatically gain access to official Food Before Love events as well. So, those awesome featured events you see in the works? Tickets will start at $10 for non-members, but as a member of The Before Love Club, all you’d need to do is RSVP and you’re in. Yes, that means in one night, your membership could pay for itself.

Join The Before Love Club today, and feast with us at the next gathering. We can’t wait to see you there!

A group of friends smiling outside of a restaurant in Philadelphia.
Picture yourself here with your new foodie friends. Join our Meetup today!
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