Chances are if you’re hosting for the holidays you’ll be schlepping to see the Tree and maybe even cramming in to watch the Ball drop. Of course, you should always be an affable host, but you should also do some things for yourself just to keep your sanity. Mixing in some new experiences with the classics should keep things interesting. Here are some fresh ideas for entertaining during this festive time of year.
- SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill, 55 Water St., Suite 1A, Brooklyn, NY 11201
For an impressive view and a lively vibe, head to DUMBO. The Miami-based SUGARCANE saw its New York opening in November in an expansive space right on the Brooklyn waterfront. The restaurant serves pitchers of beer, sangria, mojito, and Caipirinha for happy hour alongside snacks like Shishito peppers and sushi rolls. It’s also a good brunch destination with live Cuban music on Sundays. Either way, your guests will love the Brooklyn Bridge photo op right outside.
- Bar Gonzo, 511 9th Ave., New York, NY 10018
Regardless of when your visitors were born, they’ll have reason to enjoy the 70s-inspired Bar Gonzo, which also opened in November. Along with a nod to Hunter S. Thompson, the new Hell’s Kitchen lounge offers a raw bar and small plates like the Latchkey Kid Pizza, a classed-up take on the frozen after-school treat. Where it really shines, though, is with its tasty cocktails, like the Peacock in Hand, a spicy concoction made with mescal, pineapple, Campari, lime, agave and Tabasco.
- Vapiano NYC, 113 University Pl., New York, NY 10003
Reopened in June, the Union Square location of this Italian food chain is a perfect spot for lunch when you’re trying to make a lot of people happy. Guests receive a card upon entering, then proceed to the stations of their choosing for pasta, pizza or antipasti. Since everyone has their own card, there’s no awkward bill splitting at the end of the meal to put a damper on your holiday fun.