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LABOR DAY WEEKEND Dining – Your Summer Staycation in the City

LABOR DAY WEEKEND Dining – Your Summer Staycation in the City

Staycation alert! If you're going to be in New York City over Labor Day weekend, there's a lot of fun events happening. And here are some food and drink experiences that you can work into your schedule Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. From long lazy brunches, go-to lunches and drinks to rooftop experiences, and superb dinners, there's something for everyone.

The Woo (SoHo) This premier modern Korean restaurant has a sleek, modern bi-level space. Highlight dishes include Kimbap Sushi Rolls with choices such as sea bass tempura, soft shell crab and bulgogi beef; Yook Hwe, a delicate sesame and soy marinated steak tartare with quail egg and Asian pear; Kalbi Jim, tender beef short rib braised in a sake ginger soy glaze with kabocha pumpkin; and Bi Bim Bap, a sizzling hot stone pot mixed rice and assorted marinated and fresh vegetables with a fried egg on top. The main event at The Woo is the Korean Barbecue, where guests can choose from options like Kal Bi (beef short rib), Bulgogi (thinly sliced beef rib eye), Hyaw Mit (thinly sliced beef tongue), Yang (lamb), Samgyupsal (lean pork belly) and many more. The seasonally rotating cocktail list includes the Lychee Martini (vodka, pineapple, lychee juice and cassis berry) and Green Smoke (anejo mescal, cucumber, Korean green chili and pineapple). Visit:

The Wilson (NoMad) Labor Day Weekend is your last chance to indulge in The Wilson's Summer Staycation menu. Available Saturday and Sunday, the Staycation Menu includes summer specials like the Surf & Turf ($44), Lobster Roll ($23) or the Lobster Boil ($35). Wash it down with a $35 Bucket of Beers or $50 Carafe of Rosé. Need a Monday morning brunch to cure the weekend's hangover? The Wilson will be running the weekend brunch menu into Monday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Visit: Reservations can be made by emailing

Mondrian Terrace (NoMad) Rosé Terrace is celebrating Labor Day with Bottomless Rosé all weekend long. Enjoy a live DJ while sipping unlimited Rosé. Soak up the last of the summer sun on the terrace. The event will run all weekend Friday-Monday. There are two, two-hour sessions on Friday and Saturday; Sunday and Monday each have one, two-hour session. Tickets include bottomless still and sparkling rosé, Live DJ, and an exclusive taste of "la vie en rose" for just $59. Visit:

HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails (Murray Hill) The popular eatery is helping us extend the relaxed summertime vibe with all-night Happy Hour on Labor Day. Enjoy $6 beer, wine, prosecco and well drinks along with a $3 discount on select HandCraft cocktails from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. You can sip your beverages while enjoying the restaurant's outdoor patio. HandCraft will be open regular hours on Saturday and Sunday, serving a boozy brunch from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and dinner from 5 p.m. until midnight. Happy Hour on both days is from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Visit:

My Friend Duke (Kips Bay) Brought to you by Attaboy alum, Zachary Pease, My Friend Duke brings a welcoming environment to the neighborhood with a cocktail menu fit for each individual's palate. With tons of natural light, high ceilings and plant decor, the space brings sophistication and a local neighborhood spot together offering delicious, fresh food and a cocktail menu is on par with some of the best in the city. Visit:

Boulton & Watt (East Village) In celebration of the long weekend, Boulton & Watt is adding an extra day to their signature brunch service. Swing by the Lower East Side watering hole on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday to indulge in outdoor seating, $7 brunch cocktails, and that perfect blend of breakfast and lunch. Doors open Saturday and Sunday at 10am, Monday at noon. Visit: For reservations call 646-490-6004.

Mister Paradise (East Village) Opened February '19 from Nomad alum, Will Wyatt, this playful cocktail bar serves thoughtful drinks (think a Dirty Martini made with Shochu and tomato dashi) alongside elevated 80's style shooters, and a food menu featuring gourmet hot pockets and a burger with house-made, bacon-flavored American cheese. An inmate private room in the space, aptly named The Red Room, can host 12-15 comfortably in its all red surroundings beneath the glow of wall-mounted Toucan sconces. Visit:

TSISMIS (Lower East Side) The recently opened Filipino bistro in the Lower East Side by Executive Chef/Owner Jappy Afzelius (Chez Allard Bistro, Paris; Benoit Bistro, New York; David Burke Fabrick; and the Michelin Bib Gourmand Manila Social Club) is plating up exciting innovative dishes. They include Kale Liang with local kale sautéed with shrimp paste and coconut milk; Ensaladang Pampagana featuring fresh mangoes, ripe tomatoes and a salted duck egg in a Calamansi vinaigrette; Adobong Manok Dilaw, Frenched cut roasted chicken in a turmeric soy sauce served with smoked eggplant; Reggie's Pasta Aligue, al dente angel hair pasta tossed with crab fat sauce and lump crabmeat; and Kare Kare, Buntot tender beef oxtail in a ground peanut-rice sauce with bok choy, eggplant and green beans, served with rice, bagoong and mangoes on the side. For a sweet finish, guest can dig into the standout traditional Filipino dessert, Fruity Halo Halo with coconut sorbet, coconut milk and fresh tropical fruits. The specialty cocktails are not be missed and include the Baguio Passage with Yatsushika Junmai sake, cucumber, olive juice, infused basil and celery bitters; Dama de Noche with Paul De Coste sparkling, Kuroushi Junmai Ginjo sake, Lillet Red, Hakutsuru Plum sake and vanilla; an earthly and spicy Pickle Pepper Punch made with Hakutsuru Organic Nigori sake, pineapple, pickle juice, ginger, Thai chili pepper and mint. Visit:

Burger & Lobster (Midtown and Flatiron) The restaurant is always a must for burger and/or lobster lovers. This British born chain now boasts Thrillist's Best Summer Dish for 2019 - the BLLT, a lobster roll riff on a BLT with lobster, bacon, tomato confit and lettuce dressed in a mouth-watering lemon mayo and served in a warm toasted potato brioche roll. At $20, with salad and fries, it's available only through September. So Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to experience it. Visit:

Refinery Rooftop (Midtown) The best part of a three-day weekend is that rare Sunday party. Refinery Rooftop is pairing al fresco day drinking with a live DJ from 3 p.m-8 p.m on Sunday. To help ease that Monday hangover, Refinery Rooftop will open at noon, serving light bites, brunch, and more DJ beats. Visit: Reservations can be made by emailing

Parker & Quinn (Midtown) Labor Day Weekend is better known as "Lobster Day Weekend" at Parker & Quinn. Celebrate the long weekend with a quintessential Lobster Boil ($35) that includes a whole Lobster, corn, heirloom petite potatoes, chorizo and can of Montauk Beer. This special will run all weekend from Friday-Monday, so come by once, twice, or every day. Visit: Reservations can be made by emailing

Atto Prime Meats and Seafood (Midtown West) The recently opened classic NYC steakhouse showcases a delicious array of seafood and meats featuring USA Prime dry-aged beef. One of the restaurant's distinctive differences is their crudo bar serving up intriguing creations and sushi rolls. The stylish lounge boats two daily happy hours, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. and 9 to 11:30 pm, a rarity in NYC. They also offer a captivating collection of $9 bar bites that are in play all day. Atto is a destination during Labor Day weekend or any day of the week. Visit:

Boqueria (Multiple Locations) From Saturday, August 31st through Monday, September 2nd at all four of its NYC locations, the vibrant Spanish tapas bar and restaurant will offer its bottomless brunch and a la carte brunch menus. For $42 per person, guests can enjoy a 2-hour boozy brunch feast of unlimited sangrias and mimosas, along with a choice of 4 classic tapas such as Patatas Bravas, Pan con Tomate (grilled bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil), Croquetas de Setas (creamy croquettes of mushroom with black truffle aioli) or Tortilla Española (traditional Spanish omelet of organic eggs, potatoes, Spanish onions) or a choice of 2 brunch classics like Torrija (caramelized French toast, seasonal fruit, caramel sauce) and Huevos con Chorizo (chorizo, fried eggs, french fries, Manchego cheese, salsa verde) or opt for a decadent brunch Paella, with a base of rice, succulent pork belly, roasted chicken, Piquillo peppers and kale, all topped with farm fresh eggs poached to sunny perfection. All dishes are portioned to party size, served family style, and are sent from the kitchen as they are prepared, making for a festive, lively feast. For an end of bikini season finale, guests can end the meal with Boqueria's signature churro sundae (churros, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, whipped cream, walnuts, and sprinkles). Boqueria's four restaurants are located at 171 Spring Street, SoHo; 53 West 19th Street, Flatiron; 260 West 40th Street, Garment District; and 1460 2nd Ave, Upper East Side. Visit:

ICHIRAN (Multiple NYC Locations) An expert in Tonkotsu ramen, the restaurant is perfect for a Labor Day staycation meal! Tonkotsu ramen is comprised of the Hakata-style homemade thin noodles, which are prepared daily factoring in the humidity and temperature that day; the classic Tonkotsu broth made with purest filtered water and pork bones and the Original Spicy Red Sauce (Hiden no Tare), a togarashi pepper-based sauce aged and cooked slowly with more than 30 different types of spices. Each ramen bowl can be tailored with the diner's choice of dashi flavoring, richness levels, garlic, scallion, Chashu (sliced pork), Hiden no Tare and noodle textures. Other toppings include marinated pork loin, Kikurage mushrooms, soft-boiled egg, dried seaweed, white rice and Osukaran vinegar. For dessert ICHIRAN serves up a light and airy Matcha pudding with Kuromitsu (brown sugar), providing the perfect sweet finish to the meal. Visit:

THEP (Upper East Side) This traditional northern Thai style restaurant is plating up an exciting summer menu with seasonal dishes including Watermelon Furikake (diced watermelon with brown sugar, sesame and bonito flakes), THEP Crab Fried Rice served in a hollowed out coconut (jasmine rice, onion, scallion, egg, jumbo lump crab meat, soft shell crab tempura) and a Gigantic Pad Thai with Lobster Tail that is presented in a large golden bowl and weighs in near 8 lbs. Signature dishes include Volcano Chicken (a whole Cornish hen topped They herbs and tangy barbecue sauce) with a fiery table side presentation, and Khao Soi (northern Thai egg noodles and chicken in a creamy coconut curry broth, pickled mustard greens, red onions, fried shallots and crispy egg noodles.) Sip on summer with the Loco Coco with Malibu coconut rum, pineapple juice, coconut water, lime juice, lemongrass ginger syrup, and the Melon Madness with Captain Morgan spiced rum, fresh watermelon juice, fresh orange juice and lime juice. Visit:

Burke & Wills (Upper West Side) The popular modern seasonal restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Jonathan Perez has launched a seasonal, market-driven menu. Perez is a creative young chef who has been immersed in the culinary world for almost two decades, with previous credits that include Daniel, Balthazar, Petrossian and Kingside. His menu spotlights original dishes inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean and Australia. Highlights of Chef Perez's new seasonal menu include Bone Marrow (salsa verde, toast), Kangaroo Carpaccio (tonnato), Fresh Rigatoni (Australian lamb ragu, pecorino romano), Arctic Char (Sicilian olive tapenade, haricot vert, hazelnuts), Barramundi (broccolini, Easter radish, yuzu cream, Aleppo), Grassfed Petite Filet (triple cooked chips, watercress, ramp butter) and for a sweet finish, Sticky Date Toffee Pudding (thick slices of brioche soaked in caramel, fried dates, topped with mascarpone cream and toffee sauce). Visit:

Dizzy's Club (Upper West Side) The city's most glamorous jazz club presents world class live music on a stage backed by a massive window wall overlooking Columbus Circle, Central Park, and beyond. Dinner and late night menus shine the spotlight on southern fare infused with New York City flair. There are two musical sets nightly, with a third Late Night Session on Friday and Saturday. Some Saturdays, there is a swinging Late Night Dance Session, but not on Labor Day Weekend. Visit:

Roasted Masala (Upper West Side) The hidden culinary gem offers Northern Indian dishes and Indian street food. The restaurant is helmed by Chef/Owner Jawad Rehman, who uses recipes passed down from his grandfather, his personal culinary inspirational figure during his childhood. Entrees include Chicken Xacuti, cooked in roasted spices pureed with coconut; Beef Meatball Curry, meatballs cooked in a special sauce made with yogurt, onions and split chickpeas; Goan Fish Curry, with melt in your mouth Chilean sea bass in a flavor packed coconut sauce and Xec Xec Crab meatballs infused with a specialty Roasted Masala sauce. Visit:

De Mole (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) The authentic Mexican family-owned and operated restaurant serves a storied Mole sauce which is a secret family recipe. The sauce takes three days to make and includes 26 different ingredients. The restaurant uses time-honored family recipes, with some dishes having a Mediterranean and French flare. The Executive Chef/Co-owner, Jose Luis Flores, is an authority in Neuvo-Latin fare and has authored Dulce: Desserts in the Latin American Tradition a cookbook that gives readers a look inside the unknown Latin-American dessert world. Visit:

Gemelli (Bushwick, Brooklyn) The impeccably designed new Bushwick restaurant was recently opened by Daniel Cipriani (of Sea Wolf) and designed by famed Lorraine Kirke. The new all-day Aperitivo Hour officially launches this week (Monday - Friday from 11am - 8 pm) offering a new line-up of spritzes and small plates, designed to transport guests to Italy's coastline. Enjoy dishes on the main floor or head up the secret stairwell for rooftop dining and views of Manhattan. Spritz + small plate, $10: highlights include the Bicicletta (Campari, Verdicchio, soda water), Lemon Spritz (limoncello, Prosecco, fresh lemon), and Crispy Chili Oil Shrimp. Bottle of wine + meat or cheese board, $30: house sparkling, rosé, red, or white. Visit:

Amylos Taverna (Astoria, Queens) The modern Greek restaurant is serving up authentic cuisine. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Arvanitis family. The family's storied history begins when patriarch and immigrant, John Arvanitis who opened the pioneering and now iconic Omonia Café (as seen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) in 1974. Signature dishes include Sushi Grade Octopus, a well textured and chargrilled starter with a fava puree, pickled onions, with a yogurt beet sauce and a modern take on a classic dish and Dark Ale Lamb Shank with smoked eggplant puree and herb infused extra virgin olive oil. Visit:

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From This Author Marina Kennedy