On Saturday night, after some delicious small plates at the bar in Faustina, my group wanted to find a nice spot to casually enjoy some good drinks and conversation. Being that we were on the Bowery, we tried Double Crown first, which was a huge mistake. The restaurant and bar were completely packed with a line formed INSIDE the restaurant to get into the back bar – awful idea for the comfort of the patrons trying to eat or get to the bathrooms. So, we left and my husband mentioned Temple Bar as a good option.
I had never been to Temple Bar, and I realized why I never noticed it when I saw the only sign was a small name plate sticking out from the side of Noho Star (see picture above). Once we entered, we were in a very prohibition-lounge vibe bar with red velvet and mahogany wood tables. It was full, but not so full that we weren’t able to find a table for six people. The drink menu was great (including SAKETINIS) and they brought out popcorn with dried beets and carrots mixed in – very nice!
The only downfalls were our waitress and the mojito that one of my friends ordered. The waitress had an odd attitude about the waters we wanted in addition to our beverages and the fact that one of our friends only wanted a club soda – not good. The mojito that my friend received was more like a soup of limes and mint leaves – it was not drinkable.
We still found ourselves having a good experience – we couldn’t have asked for a better location to feel like we were free to enjoy our company as opposed to being force-fed some ‘experience’ that the venue is trying to accomplish. ♥
332 Lafayette Street
(between Houston and Bleecker Streets)
Last night I had another fantastic dinner at Faustina – Scott Conant’s new restaurant in the Cooper Square Hotel. I was with my husband, my Italian in-laws and another couple of friends. My in-laws are in town for a week from Milan, and we have been wining and dining them all over the city, but Faustina definitely stands out as one of the best dinners – service, food, and experience.
The service was impeccable and the atmosphere was very comfortable. Regardless of the distance to the bathrooms (which seems to be most critics’ complaint) I think that we couldn’t have asked for a better evening to introduce our family to our friends. We were able to order about 2 to 3 dishes per person plus the amazing bread and feel completely satisfied yet not heavy. Everything was the perfect portion and it was all very reasonably priced for the quality of the ingredients.
I am happy to add Faustina to my list of favorite restaurants in the city – keep ’em coming Scott. Let those critics struggle with the walk to the bathroom – they could probably use the exercise after all of their restaurant reviews! ♥
Last night, my husband, another couple and I had dinner at Faustina…delicious…doesn’t get much better than Scott’s cooking. The bill was a shocker considering the small plates, though – we’re thinking they’ll be revising their menu prices as the restaurant settles in…hopefully.
Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, John Varvatos
After dinner, we went to a party for L’uomo Vogue at John Varvatos on Bowery. It was a madhouse outside – people begging bouncers, bouncers having power trips, celebrities, socialites…the usual. Thankfully, my husband was on the guest list, so we walked right in. I was quite surprised at the ambiance of the party. It was much more hardcore rock than I would have expected – with performances from Alberta Cross and Guns N’ Roses. The crowd, which included Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, brought down the house until 3 am…although we didn’t stay the whole time – we have jobs that require some effort even on Fridays…
Guns N'Roses performing
Rachel Hunter, Kelly Cutrone, Mick Rock, Sean Lennon, Sebastian Bach, Nur Khan, and Robert Fowler rounded out the rest of the stylish guest list, with DJ Francesco Civetta manning the music and sister Cristina Civetta running the event.
Kelly Cutrone, Brent Bolthouse
Alberta Cross was the first group to take the stage, after which the audience waited over an hour for Axl Rose to finally get up and sing. I thought those days of making everyone wait were over for Rose, but he made it up to the crowd by performing a spectacular set of 17 songs. The crowd was ecstatic when the band played Welcome to the Jungle and Sweet Child O’ Mine.
Let Fashion Week begin… ♥
Drinks and Dinner at Chow Bar with my husband – started with a saketini and finished with a romantic toast of sake. I had tuna carpaccio and vegetables while he had calamari and steak – both of us left very happy and content.
We then headed over to Bowlmor Lanes on University and 13th Street to meet our friends for a friendly game of bowling. I, unfortunately, didn’t help my husband at all with our score – I like to blame it on a-a-a-a-al-co-hol and the fact that the only ball that fit my fingers weighed about 50 pounds! I nearly threw myself down the lane every time…
HAIR APPOINTMENT at the Whittemore House Salon! 3.5 hours of grooming and pampering with some of the coolest people I’ve met in awhile. The salon is amazing – from the warm welcome to the amazing massage when washing my hair to the cucumber water – I could have stayed for another 3.5 hours. I was lucky enough to have my color done by Larry, one of the owners, and he used an amazing “painting” technique that he is well-known for. He and his partner travel around the country training other salons in the technique – he’s considered a “hair guru” and I will be happy to only let him touch my locks from now on. Jamie cut my hair, and she added such amazing layers to create a healthier look that frames my face – I even trusted her to give me LONG BANGS and I love them! Very happy, definitely going back!
Dinner at Faustina at the Cooper Union Hotel for Family & Friends night. It’s always an honor to be invited to Scott Conant’s restaurant openings to have a chance to try the food and see the restaurant before the public is allowed. Faustina does not disappoint! The decor of the restaurant is perfect for the hotel. The small plates allow you to try lots of different things while still feeling content yet not stuffed in the end. They’ll be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, which I think is amazing and opens Scott up to a new realm of dining. Faustina feels like it may turn into the next spot to dine for the young, jet-setters – and having the hotel rooms right upstairs makes it even easier!
After a busy and COLD weekend, my husband and I wanted to do something good for our bodies and minds – so we decided to try YOGA for the first time! We went to a yoga and pilates studio on 3rd Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets. The place was great – very zen. We didn’t realize that the class we went to was intermediate level yoga, but the instructor was so patient and sweet with us. I think we did pretty darn well considering we didn’t know any of the poses and the class was an HOUR AND A HALF of fluid movement through the poses. I thought I might die when I found myself standing on one foot with my other foot straight out in front of me holding my big toe with my other arm straight up in the air – forget about the breathing I was supposed to be focusing on! My husband was a whole other story… 🙂 In the end, we were so happy to have survived and the meditative portion at the end brought us down to a calm place we never reach post-running. We’re going to continue with the yoga on Sundays, but today I am feeling that darn pigeon pose!
We cooked dinner at home with my brother – we made polpette di zucchini (meatballs stuffed with zucchini). It was my first go at this recipe, so there were some hiccups – brother burning is hand on the pan, husband burning his elbow on another pan, me getting testy when my husband made a comment about my polpette not looking like the ones he’s used to in Italy. hahaha. In the end, we all thoroughly enjoyed the dinner, and I am confident I will only perfect it the next time I try. That’s my method of learning to cook – the first time is a trial and the second time I have it pretty down pat!
Wow – that was a full weekend now that I look at it…I hope you enjoy my weekend updates – I think this is the best way to sum it all up each Monday! ♥
If you’ve been to Scarpetta and tried Scott Conant’s food, you’re going to want to try his new restaurant opening next week in the Cooper Square Hotel – Faustina!
Promised to have the same modern and simple ambiance and (more importantly) the same delicious Italian dishes as Scott’s other restaurants. Faustina is named after the Roman empress whose monument is the only building inside the Roman Forum dedicated to a woman. The restaurant reflects chef Scott Conant’s simple, soulful approach to Italian cuisine coupled with his knack for pairing the casual with the refined.
They’re already accepting reservations on OpenTable – but expect to be angled more toward the 6:30 or 9:30 time slots. It’s Scott Conant…what do you expect?!?!?
I’ll be trying Faustina with my husband – Scarpetta is his favorite Italian restaurant in NYC – which is not an easy accomplishment… ♥