The Weekend Shortlist February 20 to 22
Friday February 20
Tim Fite easily switches between folk, country, and nonsensical hip-hop with ease, which makes his music so interesting to listen to. But you may not be prepared to see him perform live as he’s all over the stage and in the audience like a wild man. Joining him is Benjy Ferree and Deleon. While Mexican restaurants may be everywhere, not all are created equal. One that stands out, in that hood, is Los Pollitos II. Having gone several times, what makes me come back for more are the Chilaquiles for brunch and the gorditas for dinner. The guacamole is damn good too. Did you say you like beer? I like beer! Hooray for puppies! At Pacific Standard, the front bar has 16 beers on tap and the back room looks like a high school library. I think this is my new favorite bar. Don’t forget to ask about the frequent drinker card program! I’m totally serious. If you like your coffee black, Gorilla Coffee specializes in deep roasted flavors and provides it through fair-trade.
Friday February 20
Join some great Williamsburg designers as they show off what’s hot in the burg during this two-day fashion show. Tonight features designers Trisha Mcbride, Nettie Tiso/Racecar! Apparel, Mandate of Heaven, and Papusza Couture. With music by Begushkin, Services, That Handsome Devil, and DJ’s The Trilateral Commission. For veggie lover’s, Bliss Café is an excellent place for tempeh, tofu, and vegetables, with all menu items $10 and under. Right off the L train at Bedford, Spike Hill is a really nice Irish pub with a great selection of draft beers on tap and booths in the back to sit, drink, and even order off an Irish menu of food. While several new coffee shops have popped up in Williamsburg recently, Ella Café is not just the best designed, with it’s blond wood interior but the coffee is pretty good too.
Saturday February 21
Check out talented singer/songwriter Rami Dearest before he releases his first solo album full of soulful singing mixed with indie pop. Plus he’s the former frontman of LA based dance rock act Something For Rockets. 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 February 21
(le) poisson rouge hosts Nolafunk’s Third Annual Mardi Gras Ball. The night will feature performances by Anders Osborne, Eric Lindell, a DJ set by Mocean Worker, as well as a performance by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, who come straight from New Orleans. For an eclectic menu that mixes upscale and down-home food, this Blue Ribbon location, a wine bar and restaurant, offers lighter fare including foie gras, cheese plates, caviar, and steak tartare. The Village Tavern is a really comfortable neighborhood bar that’s great for catching sports games or just chilling for a drink, which is what I prefer to do when I’m in the vicinity. Also in the area is Bleeker Bob’s. It’s one of the oldest independent record stores in NYC and the selection is deep. The place looks a mess, but the staff is surprisingly friendly and extremely knowledgeable about what they have.
Sunday February 22
If you haven’t figured out where to watch the Oscars yet, then join comedian Murray Hill as he hosts his 8th Annual Oscar Party at Joe’s Pub. Along with Oscar ballots, trivia, and audience best and worst dressed awards, expect comedy from Neal Medlyn, Diane O’Debra, Kate McKinnon, and Erin Markey, as well as music from the cast of Our Hit Parade. With sushi that’s 50 percent off all the time, you might think, “Something’s wrong with that?” but the fish is good and the rolls are inventive, making this one of the best low-priced sushi joints in the city. Though St. Marks all of a sudden lost its charm, Grassroots Tavern hasn’t. This large dive bar has cheap drinks, darts in the back, and old men behind the bar, things a good dive bar should have. Excellent coffee served in a big mug and a healthy menu of food coupled with a year round enclosed outdoor backyard patio make Mud Cafe a great little coffee shop in the area.