The Weekend Shortlist December 26 to 28
Friday December 26
Part of Scorsese Classics, featuring six days and nights (starting tonight) of Martin Scorses’s finest films. Tonight’s feature is Mean Streets, with one of Robert De Niro’s earliest performances in this gritty story of a small time hood trying to move up in the local mafia in Little Italy. Dairy free, organic, and free-range are things that come up often on the menu at Josie’s, offering dishes like the Warm Macadamia-Crusted Natural Chicken Breast Dinner Salad ($17.75), several tofu and seitan specialty dishes and the Freshly Ground Char-Grilled Brandt Natural Beef Cheeseburger ($15.75), so everyone here will walk away happy. Comfortable and dimly lit, the Candle Bar has a pool table in the back and drink specials daily. For some of the best and most interesting ice cream in the city, Emack & Bolio’s offers some eclectic flavors like Deep Purple Cow (Black Raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chips and blueberries). This place thakes their ice cream serious.
Friday December 26
Anti-folk superstar Kimya Dawson, whose music many of you know from the movie Juno, recently put out a children’s album called Alphabutt and is touring in support of it. Collaborators include Third Eye Blind’s guitarist Kevin Cadogan and several other of her musical friends and their kids. For din-din, check out Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant. Serving up sandwiches, omelletes, and baked goods for breakfast and lunch, for dinner expect the likes of Pan Seared Halibut with sweet corn succotash, herb roasted tomatoes, and summer squash ($19). Named after the poet Paul Verlaine, the bar offers an asian food and drink menu. While you can’t order the absinthe that probably helped kill the poet, you can order drinks like the El Chupacabra, which is better tasting with a kick of its own. If you like pickles, Guss’ Pickles has been around since 1910, it’s a landmark spot, and still makes a great pickle.
Saturday December 27
Location: Union Square, NYC
Bands: New York Dolls Get Tickets Here
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
Food Chat N’ Chew
Drink Beauty Bar
Miscellaneous Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man
Though most of the original members have passed on, singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain soldier on bringing original late 70s New York swagger back home and even with a mostly new lineup, they still sound fantastic. A good drink spot that will be as interesting as this show is Beauty Bar. This former beauty parlor is one of the most happening bars in the city. Where else can you get a manicure with your drink (seriously, drink/manicure specials on weekends $10). Chat N’ Chew is a down-home comfort food spot with plenty of faves like meatloaf, Mexican, and milkshakes. If you’d prefer to just escape the cold, head over to Max Brenner and cool off with a variety of hot and cold chocolate drinks that will blow your mind.
Saturday December 27
Lead singer and provocateur Eugene Hütz leads this high-energy gypsy punk band that fuses theater, dance, punk, dub, and klezmer. Gogol Bordello shows are always audience interactive, meaning that at some point Eugene will be in your face singing. Not bad for a holiday weekend! Close by is the ramen noodle bar called Minca. After recently trying this place, I’d highly recommend it. The ramen noodles are made fresh and way better than those you’d buy and boil. What makes the soups here great is the broth. Take the Minca Ramen, a mild broth with pork, chicken and dried seafood ($8.50), it has impeccable flavor that hits the spot. Plus it’s way less expensive than other ramen specialty restaurants and just as good. Right across the street from Minca is the Ace Bar. Sort of divey, it’s also where you’ll find people playing skeeball and shooting pool, while drinking some decent beers on tap. For dessert and coffee, Le Gamin Café is the place for crepes.
Sunday December 28
Not your normal Led Zeppelin cover band, Bustle in Your Hedgerow (a line from “Stairway to Heaven”), is made up of Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Rana’s Scott Metzger and WEEN bassist Dave Dreiwitz who perform instrumental versions of Led Zep songs. One of my favorite places for food, Ear Inn is a 200-year-old bar with a small menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, and a chalkboard with specials including Jerk Chicken that’s under $10. With $3 pints Monday thru Friday 12pm to 7pm along with comedy and music performances, the Village Lantern is a great bar to chill at after work, especially now that it’s finally getting warm outside. Watch some of the best chocolate in the world made right in front of your eyes or browse through the store and sample for yourself the fruits of this master chocolatier’s labor.