The Weekend Shortlist Feb 8-10
Friday Feb 8
At 50, Siouxsie Sioux is still cool. On her new first-ever solo album Mantaray, she still sounds as good as she did back in the 80s. While the big hair is gone, the attitude, substance, and eyeliner are still there. For fans of the vegan lifestyle or if you want to try something new, Souen is one of the best places to go for macrobiotic food. With a menu offering mostly tofu and seitan, the closest you will get to any meat is fish if you can’t handle a meatless meal. Speaking of revivals, Revival is a two story bar nearby with a lounge up top and a cozy garden in the back open till midnight on weekends. If you’re feeling dangerous, step into Trader Joes. Once you get over the insane shoppers and lines, the very moderately priced gourmet goods will make you understand why the lines here are never-ending.
Indie-rock band Fountains of Wayne have been writing catchy songs like “Stacy’s Mom,” the video featuring former supermodel Rachel Hunter (Me-ow!), since 1996. On tour in support of their new album Traffic and Weather, they stop off at the Highline Ballroom. If French cuisine is what you’re after, Pastis a French bistro run by Keith McNally offers some of the best classic French food and bistro fare in the city. Usually crowded, it’s not known for its intimacy. Also not known for being quiet, Red Rock West Saloon is a biker and blue collar bar where you can throw back a beer and listen to some Southern rock. What’s a night in NYC without a great cup of coffee in a low-key café? Ninth Street Espresso offers that kind of setting on top of a well-chosen and executed selection of coffees.
Saturday Feb 9
Beat the Devil, a Brooklyn based three-piece band comprised of Mishka Shubalay on bass, Mitchell King on drums, and singer Shilpa Ray are amazing live. Shilpa’s hypnotic voice belts out dark and brooding lyrics as the band creates beautifully warped songs. For dinner, get your Chinese food cravings under control at Shanghai Lee. Though serving your standard Chinese fare, the atmosphere here is fun and the cocktails drinks come in special tiki glasses. Black Rabbit, the newest bar in Greenpoint, with its dark wood and dark lighting make this place look like a pub transported from somewhere deep in England. With a great vibe and even better beer selection, grab a booth and hit a button when your cup is empty. Genius! If you like donuts, then Peter Pan will be your downfall. Making huge donuts stacked with creams and jellies, they are well-worth the stomach ache to come.
Blending blues and experimentation, Nathan Bell and Dave Heumann create a beautiful landscape of instrumental music. Catch them at this FREE show before they get BIG. What used to be the club Red & Black not too long ago, is now the French restaurant Juliette. This 2 floor (the second being an open air terrace) outdoor restaurant is quite impressive. The food, though not cheap is excellent. The Moules Frites ($16) are some of the best steamed mussels in white wine, shallots, and thyme I’ve had. An Irish Bar right in the heart of Williamsburg, Spike Hill has a pretty tight selection of single malt Scotch and beers on tap. You can call it the Kim’s Video of Williamsburg, but Reel Life is the best video store in the hood with a great selection of everything from new releases to cult classics.
Sunday Feb 10
Combining afrobeat with dance music, Nomo is a horn heavy electronic band that will make you dance till dawn. Tonight they play Zebulon for FREE, so go check them out! What looks like a diner from the 50s is actually far from it. With a menu classified as “New American,” Relish also takes its culinary cues from European, Spanish, and Middle Eastern cooking creating dishes like the Pork Tenderloin Mignonette, made with Spanish rose wine, pear, honey and rosemary sauce, served with garlic roast potatoes and watercress salad ($21). For drinks, the recently opened Radegast Hall is a beer garden in the heart of Williamsburg with a wide selection of German, Austrian, and Belgium beers. For one last drink of the night, head over to Iona, a bar with a bit of local flavor mixed with the occasional live DJ spinning records into the wee hours of the night.