FOOD: Your Holiday Staycation Food + Drink Guide [NYC]

bungalow bar nyc

The view from Bungalow Bar on Jamaica Bay

This holiday season, whether you’ve got time off from work, school, or just because, take the time to try something new! A “staycation” is the perfect opportunity to try that new restaurant you read about that just opened up on the other side of town. Here’s some ideas to help you start planning your holiday-staycation-restaurant-bar-hop!

For the destination brunch:
Located right on Jamaica Bay, dining at Bungalow Bar feels more like being on a real vacation. Classic brunch fare is available Saturdays and Sundays until 3pm. Highlights include the Texas French Toast with bacon and the Pulled Pork sandwich with slow cooked pork and homemade BBQ sauce. Bonus: for an extra $10 you can get 2-hours of unlimited brunch cocktails.

Bungalow Bar
377 Beach 92nd Street at Jamaica Bay, Rockaway Beach, Queens

For the fancy night out:
First-season winner of Top Chef is behind this new restaurant, which boasts contemporary German and Italian fare, including almost 400 wines.  The Marrow is elegant but casual and is a cozy spot on a winter night, nestled between West Village brownstones. There’s no dish on the menu that will disappoint, but I recommend the Grilled Wagyu Culotte Steak with fingerling potato-corned beef hash, local chicory & caraway mustard vinaigrette ($33).

The Marrow
99 Bank Street, Manhattan

For the budget date:
Buttermilk Channel in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood is best known for its comfort food brunch, but the restaurant also offers a fixed price dinner menu on Mondays for $28. A delicious selection from the modest menu would include the Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato soup with rosemary and apply butter toast, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with cheddar waffles and cabbage slaw, and the Mini Pecan Pie Sundae.

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn

Settled in a rustic Fort Greene brownstone, Ici offers local and seasonal french country cuisine and provides a fixed price dinner menu on Wednesdays for $25. Highlights include the Butternut Squash soup, Seared Gnocchi with butternut squash puree, roasted mixed squash and crispy sage, and the Chocolate Mousse.

246 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn

For entertainment with your drinks:
This dimly lit speakeasy can be found behind an unmarked door inside the Stone Street Coffee Company in Chelsea. Bathtub Gin specializes in elaborate cocktails, with the gin and whiskey drinks being the standout best (each drink around $15). I recommend the Vieux Carre with bulleit rye whiskey, carpano antica vermouth, remy martin 1738 accord royal cognac, benedectine, and the Sloe Gin Ginger Sling with beefeater gin, plymouth sloe gin, cherry heering, creme de apricot, lime juice, ginger extract, cane syrup & chilled perrier. Wasabassco Burlesque performs every Sunday courtesy of the restaurant.

Bathtub Gin
132 9th Ave between 18th St and 19th St, Manhattan

For the sweet tooth:
Crumbs has been a staple of the cupcake world for years, but this location of the chain that just opened in October offers gluten-free sweets. Crumbs Gluten Free Bake Shop features cupcakes, cookies, brownies and pastries that have been baked at a gluten and peanut-free bakery. The shop also features gluten-free breads, quiches, pies, tarts and more.

Crumbs Gluten Free Bake Shop
37 E 8th St, between University and Broadway, Manhattan