March Hit List

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBS- WHAT TO DINE, DRINK AND DO COME SPRING.

We spent the better part of March dancing with photographer Cass Bird, discussing the merits of bodega store candy with Cosmopolitan Fashion Director Aya Kanai, uncovering a lesser-known Brooklyn with Sweet Editor-in-Chief Luke Crisell and chatting Warhol-filled family holidays with the Art Production Fund’s Executive Director Casey Fremont. All in all, we have to say it’s been a pretty good month, but what were the recommendations that stuck with us most? We’ve rounded up this month’s highlights in our can’t-miss March Hit List below.

Dine

Clockwise:

Clockwise: Nix’s mezze spread; Selamat Pagi; Turtle soup and olive oil cake from Mimi

Gang’s All Here | Kings County Imperial
*Recommended by Luke Crisell
In the age of “gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, etc.,” finding a place where all of your squad can and wants to eat at can be exhausting. Thankfully though, there are neighborhood gems like Kings County Imperial (MAP IT, x). Brought to our attention by Sweet EIC Luke Crisell, the low-key restaurant has all of the makings for a good night out no matter your diet: be it vegan, vegetarian, paleo or foodie. “The mock “eel,” a mixture of shredded, breaded and fried shiitake mushrooms, is absolutely delicious,” says Crisell (who is a vegan himself); it’s just one of the dishes under KCI‘s featured vegetables list. Then, there are noodles for carb enthusiasts, wok fish and meats for carnivores and, most importantly, excellent cocktails that seem to act as culinary “Switzerlands”– a place where all of us can agree. “They’re carrying the torch for tiki drinks, a Brooklyn trend that doesn’t seem to be going away,” adds Crisell. “These ones are not too sweet and, if you’re only having one (a mistake BTW), it should be the Shanghai mule made with vodka.” Culinary harmony.

Date Night | Selamat Pagi and Mimi
Selamat PagiRecommended by Luke Crisell
Let us preface this by saying we’re not sure we’ve crushed this hard on a menu since ABC Kitchen first opened. That being said, just inside Brooklyn’s Greenpoint, Selamat Pagi (MAP IT, x) is a Balinese restaurant that’s ABC-by-way-of-Indonesia-like– think seasonal small plates of kohlrabi carpaccio with cashew-turmeric vinegar, charred carrots with lime and fish curry in a lemongrass-coconut milk. “The food is really unique; it feels special for some reason,” says Luke Crisell. ​Glance at Selamat Pagi‘s brunch-time Bali Bowl (a cauliflower lentil pancake topped with barley, parsley pesto, cashew cream, pickles, spicy sambal tomat and a soft-poached egg), and we think you’ll get why.
Mimi | Recommended by CITIPHILE
If cozy meals out, Paris’ Le Marais or beautiful bottles of Bordeaux are your kinds of things, then Greenwich Village’s Mimi (MAP IT) is your new date night go-to. Run by 25 year-old chef Liz Johnson (who has already worked kitchens in the US, Denmark and Japan BTW), the small French spot features a handwritten, daily menu of bistro classics including a
 bibb lettuce salad with champagne viniagrette and olives, truffled bone marrow, venison au poivre and dover sole with king crab. With only 25 seats, it’s the sort of place that feels intimate and local, and, yet at the same time, worlds away.

Clean, Lean, Green Machine | By CHLOE and Nix
By CHLOE
| Recommended by Luke Crisell and Casey Fremont
If there’s one name that’s been resurfacing among our contribs lately, it’s Chloe–by CHLOE (MAP IT, x) to be exact. The Bleecker Street restaurant opened its doors only nine months ago, but already there are two new locations in the works. Touted as the vegan’s answer to fast food, by CHLOE serves fresh market salads, cold-pressed juices and roasted vegetables alongside comfort food favorites like burgers (vegetable and grain-based), fries and mac n’ cheese. “My go-to is their kale Caesar salad, sweet potato fries and a chocolate chip cookie,” says Fremont. “Honestly, I eat lunch there every day.”

Nix | Recommended by CITIPHILE
While we’re on the topic of vegan fare, we’d be remiss not to mention Nix (MAP IT, BOOK IT), the new vegetable-centric restaurant from John Fraser (of Narcissa and Dovetail fame). Just opened in Union Square, the eatery specializes in shared plates of seasonal vegetables. At the moment, that means clay-oven beets with yogurt and pistachios, wok-roasted cucumbers in jerk spices and grilled avocado with tomato water and mozzarella. On the more substantial side, a cauliflower tempura comes sandwiches between steamed buns and decorated with house pickles (Nix‘s riff on the steamed pork bun), shiitake mushrooms are prepared “cacio e pepe” style and a Greek-inspired spinach pie features dandelion greens, sorrel and feta. Though the restaurant is vegetarian and not strictly vegan, most dishes can be made to accommodate either.

Do

Clockwise: Hotel Il Pellicano; The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu; Barneys New York's new Chelsea outpost.

Clockwise: Hotel Il Pellicano; The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu; Barneys New York’s new Chelsea outpost.

Got to Get Away | The Beverly Hills Hotel, Il Pellicano, Kripalu and The Ranch
*Recommended by Casey Fremont, Cass Bird and Aya Kanai
We always associate those first tinges of spring with city escapes to the sea, hills or country so this month’s wealth of getaway standbys particularly struck us. Like us, famed photographer Cass Bird swears by Hotel Il Pellicano (MAP IT, BOOK ITx), a luxury resort on the Tuscan coast of Italy, while Aya Kanai sung The Ranch in Malibu’s (MAP IT, x) praises: “I love The Ranch for a hiking retreat; I’ve been there a few times and always feel like I’ve had a full reset when I return.” Casey Fremont had the West Coast on her mind too, admitting her frequent stays at The Beverly Hills Hotel (MAP IT, x) make up some of her best weekends away. Closer to home, Kanai recommends Kripalu in the Berkshires (MAP IT, BOOK ITx), a retreat she ventures to once a year for a serene, yoga-filled getaway.

Spring Cleaning | Barneys New York and Zoe
*Recommended by Casey Fremont
There’s nothing quite like a change in season to remind us that our closets could use a little “sprucing” up. For art-minded wardrobe pieces that pack that extra punch, Casey Fremont swears by Barneys New York (MAP ITx) and Zoe (MAP IT, x). Given Barneys New York‘s new Chelsea annex, a bonafide trove of best-in-season designs, we’re not sure there’s anywhere better to shop, though Zoe‘s current Phillip Lim selection and Chloe mules are certainly tugging at our heartstrings.

Outside Over In | LeFrak Center Lakeside
*Recommended by Cass Bird
When it comes to family hangouts this time of year, Cass Bird takes her kids to LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park (MAP IT, x). It’s a welcome respite from the winter months spent in: not only are you outside, in the sun and surrounded by flowers freshly bloomed, but if you take a cue out of Bird’s playbook, you can take it all in by roller skate. CP

Shop

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