QuangNhat Swing Jacket & Wai Ming Evelyn Pants
In our third Uncoverd City Guide issue we usher in the fall with two highly anticipated premiere events to open the ballet repertory season: Benjamin Millepied debuts new work at the American Ballet Theatre starring the likes of Misty Copeland, and Justin Peck for New York City Ballet. We recommend bites at Chinatown gems and a restaurant that cares about sustainability run by three UK women, a couple small shops to brighten up your home, and more.
ARTS & EVENTS
Justin Peck is a soloist and the first-ever and current Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. In addition to his choreographic work for NYCB, he has also created ballets for a range of companies including Miami City Ballet, L.A. Dance Project, and more, with upcoming premieres for San Francisco Ballet and Paris Opéra Ballet.
The first of his two premieres during the 2017/18 Season at NYCB will take place in the fall gala, marking his fifth time participating in the Company’s annual event, which pairs choreographers with fashion designers.You can see the calendar and purchase tickets here.
New Yorker Festival | October 6 - 8, 2017
The annual New Yorker Festival is back this month for its eighteenth installment, with an incredible line-up featuring leading names from the arts, politics, and everything in between. Scheduled over two short days, the Festival has ambitiously put together close to fifty events.
While some of the events are sold out, there are still quite a few sessions with tickets still available. You can see the full line-up and purchase tickets here.
Benjamin Millepied World Premiere | American Ballet Theatre | October 25, 2017
Benjamin Millepied, who was a dancer, soloist, and choreographer for NYCB from 1995-2011, Director of Dance for the Paris Opera Ballet from 2014-2016, and the founder of LA Dance Project, returns to American Ballet Theatre for the fourth time with a new work premiering this month.
The piece, which is set to music by Philip Glass, features a robust cast with the likes of Devon Teuscher, Hee Seo, and Misty Copeland, among others.
You can purchase tickets here.
Fairfax | 234 W 4th St.
A sister restaurant of Bar Sardine, Jeffrey's Grocery, Joseph Leonard, and Fedora, Fairfax opened its West Village doors quite recently. Nestled in a snug corner and adorned with beautiful greenery by its entrance, it is a lovely addition to one of the most stereotypically "New York" blocks in Manhattan.
Even though you can see into the small, warmly lit dining room through the large windows surrounding both walls, stepping into Fairfax feels a little like stepping into the closet that leads into Narnia. Seating is pretty tight and so the dining experience is an intimate one.
The menu is short, simple and tapas-style, so you can easily share 4-5 items between two people. Each dish is as simple and elevated as the menu itself; there's not a single ingredient more than what is absolutely necessary on the plate, and each one is treated with the respect it deserves.
Overall, Fairfax is a lovely gem worth checking out.
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The Good Sort | 5 Doyers St.
The Good Sort is located just a couple of doors down Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street, and unless you are actively looking for it, you could easily walk past it and never know it's there.
A tiny vegan coffee and tea shop that opened very recently in the heart of Chinatown, The Good Sort is adorned with maneki-nekos, flowers, powder pink countertops, colorful teapots and mugs. Their menu has some of the most intriguing items I've ever seen (or even heard of), such as beet, charcoal, and turmeric lattes (as pictured above). I remained pretty traditional in my order and went with a cortado, and therefore plan to go back on a day when I'm feeling more adventurous.
One thing to note is that the store itself is quite tiny, and is therefore not the sort of place you can spend hours working on your laptop or hanging out with friends.
Chinese Tuxedo | 5 Doyers St. (yep, adjacent to Good Sort, owned by the same people)
Chinese Tuxedo, which opened at the end of 2016 inside a former opera house and right across what used to be the finest eatery in Chinatown, is home to one of the most delicious meals we’ve had in New York.
The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations for parties under four, but you can be seated on the upper level (depending on the day of the week) if you don’t have a reservation for the main dining room.
The menu is ideal for sharing, and a few items we recommend are the oysters, spicy cucumbers, chilled snow pea leaf salad, and the vegetarian Furikake fried rice. Everything arrives individually, in a ceremonial manner quite fitting for the restaurant’s theatrical legacy, which gives you the time and attention span to appreciate the beauty of each dish separately. They hit the nail on the head with finding the right balance in contrasting flavors (sweet & sour, sweet & spicy, etc) and amount of spices used in each dish, where nothing tastes over-spicy or pungent, but rather harmonious and balanced on the palette.
Service is equally enjoyable, with friendly waiters and managers personally checking in a few times throughout the meal. The only odd thing about our entire experience is the crowd, which is not necessarily the typical demographic you would expect to see in Chinatown, but rather more like what you would find in touristic parts of town like Chelsea, Murray Hill, Midtown, and maybe even Times Square. Good news is that the restaurant is so dimly lit and the food is so delectable that you can easily tune out the people around you if necessary.
We left Chinese Tuxedo feeling incredibly satisfied, but not lethargic, sleepy, or uncomfortable (which usually tends to be the case after eating Chinese).
Cafe Altro Paradiso | 196 Elizabeth St #A
Cafe Altro Paradiso, while technically in SoHo, is located off the beaten path, which is why it has remained under the radar.
The first thing we suggest is to get a table outside (weather permitting) because the atmosphere inside is not as inviting as outside, especially for a restaurant that serves cozy Italian food. The second is to try the butter/oil combo served with your bread, even if you have gluten and/or dairy intolerance. Suffer the consequences later because it truly is that good. A few items off the menu worth trying are the nectarine salad, which is simple, yet complex and elevated simultaneously, the tile fish (forewarning to those sensitive to smell: tile fish is very smelly), and any of the pasta dishes.
Overall, we recommend giving Altro Paradiso a try if you happen to be in the area.
King | 18 King St.
Dining at King feels like something familiar and easy; like walking home with some good music or good company on a beautiful, breezy, lukewarm summer evening; without having to pay attention to the streets and just letting your feet take you where they'll go - because they know their way by heart.
It's the perfect place for many occasions: friendly client dinner, outing with parents, or slow evening intended for catching up with a friend.
The crowd is mostly in men and women in their 50s and 60s, many of them couples enjoying a date night away from their kids. The ambiance is decidedly mellow and light; the restaurant’s tone is set by its decor: bare white walls, simple white tablecloths and plates, and unfussy furniture.
King, the brainchild of three awesome ladies who moved to New York from London, opened its doors September 2016. It offers a brief, daily-changing menu with Southern French and Northern Italian influences with items that are simple and comforting, while still elegant. Chef Shadbolt refers to their way of cooking as “subtle”, which she--in our opinion--correctly observes is rare in the United States.
After several minutes of deliberating we ordered two branzinos, and promptly told they were out of their day’s supply of it, and offered sea bass as an alternative. In a day and age when we can eat strawberries during winter and oranges in the summer, it is refreshing to dine at restaurants where seasonality is respected. Even if it means you can’t have something because the restaurant has a limited, fresh supply that has just run out, you’ve just done your small part to protect our environment.
Otherwild | 35 E 1st St.
Founded in Los Angeles in 2012 within a community of artists, craftspeople and designers, Otherwild is a graphic design studio, store, gathering, and event space.
Its New York location in the East Village serves mainly as a retail space that features a curated selection of goods from jewelers, ceramicists, perfumers, artists, cooks, designers, farmers, photographers, publishers, and more, all with the aim of showcasing “goods made with care.”
It is a great spot to visit if you are looking for a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member, to give yourself a little treat, or just to take in the Palo Santo-scented space with all its little knick knacks and calming music in the backdrop.
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Green Fingers Market | 5 Rivington St.
Green Fingers market is the brainchild of Japanese plant artist and creative director Satoshi Kawamoto, who is known for turning indoor spaces into secret gardens, having worked on installations for the likes of Madewell, Filson, and Le Turtle. Located in the Lower East Side, which is his only store outside of Tokyo, he presents a selection of succulents and ferns, accompanied by an array of wooden boxes, bookshelves, vintage clothing, jewelry, home accessories, and fragrances.
While Green Fingers is a great option if you are looking to add a new member to your family of plants, it is also a small gem to gather inspiration and find some green in the midst of downtown Manhattan’s concrete jungle.
Naz Özbek, Uncoverd Contributing Editor, is our New York insider with unique perspective and experiences establishing and developing community and cultural programs such as film and music programs, talks, workshops, and more given her work for clients like Netflix, and at creative hubs like Neuehouse and Mana Contemporary. Since April 2016, Naz has been writing a subscription based weekly newsletter titled b (y) t e s i z e, where she features a new or under-the-radar restaurant, event, article or video, film, and artist, album, or podcast she has recently discovered. You can sign up for b (y) t e s i z e through this link.
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