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  • Writer's pictureSusan Welsh

East Side, West Side, All Around the Town

This weekend we were lucky enough to be escorted throughout Manhattan by our friends Suzanne and Ali—consummate New Yorkers, fellow foodies, and dear friends. I feel compelled to share with you a sampling of all the wonderful places they introduced us to.

If you’re looking for a cozy, Bohemian chic room with a view, check into The Bowery Hotel, ask for room 1020, and gaze upon the marvelous skyline punctuated by iconic skyscrapers like One World Trade Center (formerly Freedom Tower) and The Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse with its gilded pyramidal roof that casts a warm amber glow against the night sky.

If you get the chance, go have a Lookfar cocktail at Up & Up on MacDougal Street in NYC. This perfect balance of tequila, rum, Aperol, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and honey is one of several dozen cocktails that have been created by the talented, whiskey-wise mixologists at this intimate establishment— once home of the Gaslight Cafe, and birthplace of Beat poets and Bob Dylan’s

1962 live album.

If a breakfast nosh of bagel and lox is what you’re after, you can do no better than Russ and Daughters, a 109-year establishment, and the first in the US to have “& Daughters” added to its name. This is an “appetizing store” which differs from a deli in that it sells fish and dairy products, but no meat—in line with Jewish kashrut dietary laws that specify that meat and dairy cannot be eaten or sold together in the same place. If you’ve got room, add a plate of latkes to your order. Next time I'm back, I'll be ordering some Halvah ice cream.

I leave you with this—Veniero’s, a bakery established in 1894, with pastries and cakes so good they earned awards in Rome, Bologna, and the New York World’s Fair. Hands down, THE BEST Italian butter cookies I’ve had since I was 10 years old and heaven knows I’ve sampled plenty. Folks, this is a pasticceria owned by the 4th generation descendants of founder Antonio Veniero of Sorrento, who immigrated to the US in 1894 where they still use fresh ingredients, nothing artificial, all handmade, and serve over 150 desserts. Standouts include the S cookies (perfection with morning coffee) and the signature Italian cheesecake. Our gracious hostess, Suzanne, who also once worked here has a favorite, too. It's the Regina, a biscotti coated with sesame seeds, and somewhere between barely sweet and savory. Suzanne is in good company, this was also a favorite of Sinatra's. Veniero's made them his way-- large and crunchy, the way he liked them.

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