The Weekend Shortlist March 14 to 16
Friday March 14
Location: Union Square, NYC
Bands: Louis XIV + What Made Milwaukee Famous + Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective
Venue: Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
Food: Chat ‘N’ Chew
Drink: Pete’s Tavern
Miscellaneous: Whole Foods
While Louis XIV are the hot rock band right now, What Made Milwaukee Famous are the ones who know how to put a good rock album together. Either way, this one shouldn’t disappoint. For food with southern flair in Union Square, Chat ‘N’ Chew makes some kickass fried chicken, pork-chops, and meatloaf. In the running for oldest bar in NYC, Pete’s Tavern has been around since 1864 and was made famous by author O. Henry who wrote “Gift of the Magi,” in one of its booths. One good thing about the Union Square location of Whole Foods is that it’s not only a reprieve from this tourist heavy area, but with it’s huge windows, you can sit, get healthy organic food and drink, and watch the insanity like it’s a movie.
Friday March 14
One of John Zorn’s most accessible projects, Masada’s music is gorgeously arranged. The Masada String Trio, featuring violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Eric Friedlander, and bassist Greg Cohen, with John Zorn conducting, will undoubtedly take this music to another place. A favorite restaurant of mine, Supper has a dimly lit, all-wood interior giving it a rustic vibe. They even have what looks like a bar overlooking the chefs cooking for you to watch. The Italian menu offers some fantastic food too. Though it might sound like it has to do with Buddhism, Barramundi is actually an Australian owned bar that has infused vodkas, sangria, and a laundry list of mixed drinks like the Champagne Cocktail made with sugar and bitters with Courvoisier, topped with bubbly. If coffee and a snack is your thing, Kudos is an inexpensive place to get baked goods, a cup of coffee and chill before the show.
Saturday March 15
Put together by Nomadic Wax, a label that documents the underground hip hop scene throughout Africa, tonight they bring together some of Africa’s best up and coming MCs like Chosan, Blitz, Baay Bia, and Bamboo as part of their African Underground series. With one of the best looking spaces in NYC, My Moon offers delicious Turkish food like the Tuna Tartar-Yellow fin tuna, tomato jelly, avocado, purple potato chips, chili oil and soy sauce ($12), which makes this place worth the trip. For a drink at a local hang, The Abbey is what you’re looking for. With a TV playing and a pool table in the back, settle in, get one of seven beers on tap and relax. One of my favorite coffee shops to sit by a window and stare out into the sea of Bedford Avenue, Fabiene’s offers exceptional desserts and sandwiches on top of beer and wine.
Saturday March 15
What I like about Brazillian music is that it comes across as soft and sweet, while being intricate to play. Guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria brings his playful and well-versed take on bossa nova to the Jazz Standard in quintet form. Taking burgers to the next level, New York Burger Co. builds their burgers with high quality ingredients, delivering a better take on a classic. With a casual American and dim sum bar menu, the food is an excellent complement to the over 100 wines available by the glass from all the major wine-making countries in the world. With one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had along with the hot chocolate, City Bakery makes all sorts of high-end food that won’t send you to the poor house.
Sunday March 16
Late 70s English ska band Bad Manners return to the stage at Irving Plaza, having gotten back together and playing the last several years. Regardless, it’ll be good to see lead singer and showman, Buster Bloodvessel running around on stage again. A Japanese noodle restaurant that makes its own noodles, Sobaya makes traditional soba and udon noodles, while creating inventive dishes like Tuna Yamakake Soba, which blends soba noodles with raw tuna. With a name like The Thirsty Scholar, one might expect drunken professors reciting Dylan Thomas or Bukowski poems, but it’s actually a chill bar with an excellent happy hour from 5-8pm. For some of the sweetest desserts in the city, ChikaLicious offers a 3-course dessert menu for $12. Be warned, get there early. Due to its small size, there’s usually a line out the door.