On Our Radar

Friday, February 28, 2014
It's A No Brainer, Dum Dum
Business/Location: Dum Dum Donutterie
Address: 2-4 Bethnal Green Rd
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: E1 6GY
Website: www.dumdums.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Courtesy of Dum Dum Donutterie
   Dum Dum Donutterie
Dum Dum Doughnuts opened this week in London and boy are we glad there's a tastier, healthier alternative. That's right, healthier, because Dum Dum Doughnuts are baked not fried. Owner Paul has spent years perfecting his technique with stints in France and Italy, and the patissier's craftsmanship shows. The hardest part is choosing which one to have. You can't beat a good old regular jam doughnut but when vying for attention amongst cronuts (croissant-donut hybrid if you didn't know -- where have you been?), and something spectacularly called Peter Andre's Yum Yum Dum Dum, your brain may explode. I was thrilled to bits that they had a crème brûlée doughnut after eating one in Chicago last year and being transported to another dimension. Of course, the Americans will be laughing at us as they are way ahead in their doughnut creations. Dum Dum's unique selling point though, is baking rather than frying, and baking fresh every day (when they're gone, they're gone). It seems that baking does make for a better doughnut, who'dathunkit? While I was there they had a call from Selfridges so these guys are definitely in demand. Get down there now!

Monday, February 24, 2014
Tea & Sympathy In The West Village
Business/Location: Tea & Sympathy
Address: 108 Greenwich Ave
City: New York
State: NY
Zip Code: 10011
Phone: 212-989-9735
Website: www.teaandsympathynewyork.com

Posted by:  Kari Dimmick
Photo:  Kari Dimmick
   Tea & Sympathy
In a city that's just as well known for its indelicate disdain as it is for its incomparable allure, there lies a little morsel of sweet sympathy tucked between the bites of bangers and mash. NYC offers plenty of places for high tea paired with high toit, but here it's all about comfort. From your first step into this delightful, little tea room to your initial taste of authentic, British fare, you'll swear you've walked straight into a delicious daydream with your best friend, Earl Grey, where you'll dance among the cozy clouds of clotted cream. What's better, they offer the most pleasant of care packages to send to fellow mates who may be longing the Land of the Rose. Inside these gifts of goodness coined "tuck packages" is an array of savory splendor ranging from chocolate bars to marmites and all the British essentials in between. They've got your spot of tea and you've got a world of reasons to visit. On you go! Chop Chop!

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Napping at Midtown's YeloSpa
Business/Location: YeloSpa
Address: 5 East 57th Street
City: New York
State: NY
Zip Code: 10022
Phone: 212-245-8235
Website: yelospa.com

Posted by:  Sarah Enelow
Photo:  Sarah Enelow
Only in a high-octane city like New York can you buy a luxury power nap, because you just can't HANDLE this 21st-century urban stress anymore! Scream at your assistant to get the f*** in here, book a nap at YeloSpa, summon your driver, and before you know it, relaxation is yours. But you don't even have to be a wealthy sociopath to enjoy a YeloNap, because it only costs $1 per minute with a 20-minute minimum. If you can wrap your brain around paying for something that's naturally free, you won't be disappointed. Not only will they greet you in their plush interior with fruit-infused water, you'll select your own soundscape and aromatherapy scent. Then you'll step into an intimate room with the world's most comfortable, deeply reclining "zero-gravity" chair accompanied by a cashmere blanket. If you don't manage to fall completely asleep, you'll at least feel deeply relaxed, and you'll wake up to an artificial sunrise. In this city, I can think of much worse ways to spend $20.

Monday, July 15, 2013
Le Diplomate: Stephen Starr's First Foray Into DC
Business/Location: Le Diplomate
Address: 1601 14th St NW
City: Washington
State: DC
Zip Code: 20005
Phone: 202-332-3333
Website: www.lediplomatedc.com

Posted by:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz
   Le Diplomate
Acclaimed Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr has brought a taste of France to Washington, DC. In only a few months, "Le Diplomate" has established itself as the newest "it" restaurant. The wait for a reservation is long, but worth it. At Le Diplomate, one is transported to a Parisian café through an ambiance that is classic, avoiding cheesy Parisian stereotypes. There was no more festive day than Bastille Day to try out the restaurant's brunch for the first time. Mimosas and rich French brewed coffees were a given. The strawberry-elderflower French toast was fresh, light and airy, with just the right amount of butter and flavoring. The bacon was crispy, if a bit overdone. Also receiving strong reviews were the omelets and the side potatoes which were salty, cooked and flavored to perfection. Le Diplomate has been receiving rave reviews from critics throughout the city. Since an establishment can't be judged on its brunch alone, I will certainly have to make a return visit. You know, for the sake of NFT readers, but of course.

Monday, June 24, 2013
Coney Island's Mermaid Parade
Business/Location: Coney Island Museum
Address: 1208 Surf Ave
City: Brooklyn
State: NY
Zip Code: 11224
Phone: 718-372-5159
Website: www.coneyisland.com/museum.shtml

Posted by:  Sarah Enelow
Photo:  Sarah Enelow
   Coney Island Museum
Coney Island's Mermaid Parade (est. 1983) almost didn't happen this year due to increased costs and damage from Superstorm Sandy (the parade's home base on Surf Avenue was destroyed). However, a successful Kickstarter campaign saved the day with over $100,000 and brought us the glittered, topless sea creatures we needed! Along with an array of bearded Neptunes, crusty old pirates, flowing jellyfish, and talented marching bands. Among my favorite costumes was a duo: a father dressed as a sushi chef with his daughter as a piece of mermaid sushi. This is New York -- a regular old mermaid costume won't cut it! Let's keep this parade going, before our quirky, ever-nostalgic Coney Island gets "revitalized" into something we don't recognize.

Monday, May 27, 2013
Chicago's Elks Veterans Memorial Building
Business/Location: Elks Veterans Memorial Building
Address: 2750 N Lakeview Ave
City: Chicago
State: IL
Zip Code: 60614
Phone: 773-755-4700
Website: www.elks.org/memorial

Posted by:  Sarah Enelow
Photo:  Sarah Enelow
   Elks Veterans Memorial Building
Though it was renovated this spring, few know that the Elks have their National Memorial (and Headquarters) in Chicago. You may never walk by this stately building, which sits opposite Lincoln Park, but you might have zoomed past it in a bus many times. It reminds me of Ulysses S. Grant's tomb in New York with its grand columns, muscular sculptures, and incredible dome. The Elks basement has a few medals, letters, and miniature parade floats in glass cases, and there's something about those relics that feels a little haunted... You may have no connection to, or interest in, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, but the building itself is free to explore and it's a surprise worth seeking.

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Five Guys Comes To Boston
Business/Location: Five Guys
Address: 58 Summer Street
City: Boston
State: MA
Zip Code: 02110
Phone: 617-482-2244
Website: fiveguys.com

Posted by:  Jon Mael
Photo:  NFT
   Five Guys
Have you ever been out in the city, desperate for some good eats, but have no idea what the trendy, or legendary spots are? If that's your Sunday, than national burger chain Five Guys is the best spot for you. Your burger is never frozen, it is only cooked after you order it, and toppings include everything from grilled onions to A-1. The double stacked Bacon Cheeseburger is orgasmic, as are the Cajun fries. Everything in this fast-rising chain is of the utmost quality, so much so that you forget that you're eating "fast" food about two bites in. Five Guys just recently made its way into Boston. There are now three restaurants nearby. Franchises costing $2 million each have been established on Summer Street, Huntington Avenue, and Braintree. While everyone wants to go to that one secret spot that's been frequented by locals since 1746, there's something to be said about knowing where a great chain is and keeping it in your back pocket just in case. Five Guys is the best burger chain around, and now that it's in Boston, we can finally get in on the action.

Monday, May 13, 2013
San Francisco's Nopa
Business/Location: NOPA
Address: 560 Divisadero St
City: San Francisco
State: CA
Zip Code: 94117
Phone: 415-864-8643
Website: www.nopasf.com

Posted by:  Carolyne Rohrig
Photo:  Carolyne Rohrig
Nopa's Custard French Toast is so spectacular you'll want to skip the main course and go straight for that. A full order is plenty for two people, or just you if you don't want to share. Believe me you won't. It comes bathed in warm butter, grilled kumquat slices and drizzled with warm syrup with a hint of orange. Other items on the brunch menu include the wood grilled garlic sausage, slow cooked pork, and the grass fed burger. The cocktails are gems. And they serve Blue Bottle Coffee. Nopa is a palate explosion on Divisadero.

Monday, May 13, 2013
San Francisco's Absinthe
Business/Location: Absinthe
Address: 398 Hayes St
City: San Francisco
State: CA
Zip Code: 94102
Phone: 415-551-1590
Website: www.absinthe.com

Posted by:  Carolyne Rohrig
Photo:  Carolyne Rohrig
Before you go to the opera and the ballet have a bite at Absinthe. The Croque Monsieur is a toasty delight filled with Black Forest ham, Gruyere, Dijon mustard, and bechamel. The Cheddar grilled cheese is not your mother's recipe, but is filled with pickled red onion, jalapeno-sun-dried tomato jam, and go ahead, add bacon for that extra zing. The cocktails are delicious. The decor is tres French. And you'll be off to an amazing start before the show.

Monday, April 15, 2013
On A Street Full Of Touts, A Milon Stands Out
Business/Location: Milon
Address: 93 1st Ave
City: New York
State: NY
Zip Code: 10003
Phone: 212-228-4896
Website: www.milonny.com

Posted by:  Leigh Raynor
Photo:  Leigh Raynor
Hey New Yorker, feeling overlooked? Just another face in the crowd, cog in the wheel, body on the 6 train? If you are in need of some attention, head over to First Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets. Stacked one on top of the other and side-by-side, you'll find the most festive quartet of Indian restaurants in the city. Each is strung with an epilepsy-inducing amount of party lights, and each is super eager to win your service. At this spot you'll feel anything but overlooked; instead, you'll be sweet-talked, coerced, or even, personally escorted into any of the four restaurants. In fact, my friend who was meeting a group of us for dinner was tricked into the wrong restaurant and promptly shown to another table of girls where the waiter tried to convince her that these girls were in fact the friends she’d been waiting to find. In other words, your entrance will be overwhelming, but a dinner out at Milon NY is entirely worth the experience. Brimming with color, you’ll have a unique dining experience without spending a fortune (entrees range between $10-$15), and it’s BYOB. Be sure to get there early as this small spot fills up quickly.