The New Picksie Experience

Haven’t you ever been at a place and wanted to instantly know what’s going on there? Who has been here, what has happened here, how have people experienced this place? Have you wanted to share your experience at the places you’ve been?

Picksie 3.0 is a brand new experience where you can create customized visual stories at the places you visit. Take multiple pictures, pin a place, and personalize it with a unique layout. Then post your story for all your followers to see!

Build your network through followers and share your stories at any particular place – now you can get more interactive about the things you do at the places you go. You can post any location in the U.S. and explore different places to see all the stories people have created there.

Picksie lets you share your stories on Facebook and Twitter, too!

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MNF: Monday Night [Vegetarian] Food

Feature Article by Chef Vid, one of our Picksie conoisseurs

Where: 103 W 77th St
(between Amsterdam Ave & Columbus Ave)
New York, NY 10024
Hours:  Mon, 5:30pm-10pm; Tue-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm
Note: nice decor, near Museum of Natural History, Monday Night vegetarian menu.
Price:$$$

Dovetail is one of those classic white table dinner spots with a striped almost homelike gate at the entrance. Located on the Upper West side, it has formed quite a rapport with its neighbors and I can say that with a bright smile having trekked across from Jersey.

The Monday night vegetarian menu at this cutely candlelit venue truly lets you have your cake and eat it too at the cost $46 per person! Talk about a deal worth experiencing.

On being seated we were greeted politely and immediately served with some freshly baked sweet cakey corn bread. It was moist and steamy, crumbled at the touch, and breathed out a gush of hot air. The first couple bites sent you into a sort of gaze imagining how many treats were in store for the night. But, after a while you’ll want to hold off on the grease for the rest of the courses.

The first course was a turnip ceviche with the new trademark trend setter quinoa sprinkled across, snippets of habarnero peppers and a sourish plum. It wasn’t worth screaming out loud for, but was light on the stomach and well constructed in terms of hues and textures.

Coming on to the plate that could easily hold the tag of being the star of the show was the ricotta gnudi. The pasta balls were as soft and airy as moist cotton sitting on your tongue which were brought to life with gooey butternut squash, softened leeks and a truffled brown butter sauce. Worth every morsel.

As I took a swig of my dirty martini, along came the hen of the mushrooms entrée. These woodsy mushrooms oozing with earthy flavor were set on top of a greenish squash and herb-bubbled foam with a somewhat chewy serving of barley and squishy runny adorable looking quail eggs. Unique to the pallet, this is a must-try!

 

 

To end the feast, we were served caramel white chocolate, coffee and rosemary milk chocolate truffles. I couldn’t take these down without a cup of coffee for contrasting flavors. A sip of the hot freshly brewed medium roast mingled with rosemary and milk chocolate coating the interior of my mouth ended the the night perfectly.

The vegetarian menu doesn’t even make you feel like you need to see any sort of poultry on your plate. So non-vegetarians can give it a try also.

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Beauty & Essex: Pricey Vintage

Feature Article by Jennifer Laxmi, one of our Picksie reps

Where: 146 Essex St (btwn Rivington Street & Stanton Street) New York, NY 10003
Reserve Now: (212) 614-0146
Hours:  Mon – Sun, 5pm-1am; Fri – Sat, 5pm -2am; Sat-Sun 11:30am – 3pm
Note: gets busy on peak nights, great ambiance, good for groups and dressy attire.
Price:$$$

As you make your way into the entrance, you’ll realize that this is not just a trendy restaurant but starts off as a pawnshop. This gives guests kind of an old school original 1920s feel before making their way upstairs to the beautiful venue. Now, the place is certainly an eye-catcher, but we’re here to talk about the food! Unlike our previous entry, Beauty and Essex should place its pride in its aesthetic beauty over anything else. The food’s presentation and quality were great, though served in conservative portions.

Kobe Beef Carpaccio shallot crisps arugula & grand salad, black olive oil.

Straight from the raw bar, this quick delicate starter will get you excited for all the entrees to come. With just the right about of balsamic & parm, this is a must-try for meat lovers.

Oven Braised Chicken Meatballs sheeps milk ricotta, wild mushroom, truffle.

Though the portion size might have you wondering if it’s an entree or appetizer, you’ll feel satisfied before you know it. Dig into the succulent meatballs and dip in the accompanying ricotta to get a savory bite of this popular dish.

While waiting for the entrees you can sip among many a strong cocktails, or enjoy their tasty champagne choices which Beauty & Essex is often known for. Though priced a bit high, it’s all for the experience of the “VIP” feel. So now, onto the next one.

Creamy Parsnip Ravioli smoked butter, wild mushrooms, torn herbs, crispy parsnips.


Lobster Tacos
 beer battered maine lobster, red cabbage slaw, jalapeno crema.

The tacos and a few many other entrees were a bit overrated and under-portioned. But again, if you want to come here for a birthday dinner, “pre-dinner” before going out for a special occasion, this place is worth the try. If you’ve dined before, let us know your favorite dish! And if not, which are you eager to try?

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Panna II: The chili isn’t just in the food.

Feature Article by Jennifer Laxmi, one of our Picksie reps

Where: 93 1st Avenue # 5  New York, NY 10003
Reserve Now: (212) 598-4610
Hours:  Mon – Sun  12pm – 12am
Note: gets busy on peak nights, BYOB, cash only, you might have to duck.
Price: $

Let’s cut to the chase. Cheap Indian food in a whimsical/hilariously tacky BYOB spot in East Village? We’re sold. Plus, the menu includes a lot more fish/seafood options than your typical Indian fare. Upon entering, you will be coaxed by the two other nearby Indian restaurants to enter their humble abodes. Pay them no attention and make your way up to the real deal that is Panna II Garden.

The lights, the lights, the lights! A fusion of chili pepper lights, Christmas lights, dinosaurs (yes), random Fanta beach balls, and Halloween decorations – the decor is truly one-of-a-kind. You can’t beat the tacky lights that almost hit your head (unless you’re 5’1″ like me) as soon as you walk in. Not to mention the crazy disco ball that goes off if there’s a birthday in the house. Oh, and mango ice cream (melting from the lit candle) on the house for your special day.

THE KICK-OFF

Most the appetizers are typical. Ranging from samosas to chaat and the like. Of course you have the staple chutney’s to go along. One of the unique dishes are the “XYZ with Poori” dishes, of which you can pick a meat or veggie portion to go along with a not-too-greasy accompaniment of poori. The crab with poori was ultra tasty. And remember it’s BYOB – so feel free to bring along a wine, and despite the super busy atmosphere they’ll chill it for you if need be. A few people in line had popped open some good ol’ PBR while waiting for their table.

BEEF BIRYANI & BUTTER CHICKEN


You can order any type of meat (inc. seafood), egg, or veggies to go along with this staple dish; it’s a bit on the oily side but very good and definitely not too try. This went extremely well with our next staple dish – butter chicken. The meat was cut well and certainly the best of “white meat,” though the sauce was nothing to write home about. Not bad, but not extraordinary. We obviously put aside the token slab of butter (we think they were trying to pay tribute to the dish’s name, but we were good without it).

It’s the ambiance that wins us over with this spot. Bring a big group of friends (as this place is great for groups, however cramped) and some booze and you’re good to go. Make sure none of them are too sensitive to spice – though you can indicate the level of heat you’re willing to stomach.

Are your eyes hurting yet?  Let us know in the comments!

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Sip in Style: Middle Branch

Where: 154 E 33rd St (between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave) New York, NY 10016
Neighborhood: Murray Hill
Hours:  Mon – Sun 5:00pm – 2:00am
Price: $$ (cash only)

The most enticing aspect remains Middle Branch‘s hush hush policy, so only those aware of it will be able to find their way up. High tables were spread across intermittently. Skillful bartenders shaking and stirring their alcoholic concoctions worked hard to meet the expectations of the eager and thirsty.

Early enough, the waitress by my side made an enquiry of my flavor preferences and I spoke fondly of mango, ginger and spice. Thus the process of crushing and blending began. Fresh fruit with a gigantic amount of ice, a medium jalapeno, a dash of bitters and Patron were swirled together and poured into a stout glass. Not to forget the gracefully peeled strings of ginger floating around.

As my glass began to empty out, I was asked to plan out my next one. In this case I wanted to go the herbaceous route. Sparkly green mint was paired with a fizzy lemon soda and tippled into a smaller sipper. To decorate the same, a ball of ice shavings was dropped in which somewhat resembled a globe. A dark rum of superior quality and cinnamon honey formed the base of this drink.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the mojito lookalike, I ordered something limey again. Case 3 was mixed with an orange mixer and garnish with a fat wedge too. A pear infused Grey Goose was poured callously into a tall tumbler to form a powerful mélange of citrusy tastes. A relaxed evening with soft musical notes well complimented the slow sipping. Give this place a try for a low-key evening out with your SO or closest friends.

This feature was covered by Chef Vid, one of our Picksie Connoisseurs.

Singapura

Feature Article by Chef Vid, one of our Picksie connoisseurs

Where: 106 Lexington Ave (between 27th St & 28th St) New York, NY (Flatiron District)
Hours:  Mon – Sat 11:30am – 10:30pm, Sun 11:30am – 10pm.
Price: $$

Asian always makes it to the top of the charts where restaurants are concerned and this particular one made my heart skip a beat just by looking at its name. It’s called Singapura and is located in the Flatiron District. From the very entrance, I was enamored by their dainty rainbow colored lotus shaped lights. Still seemingly undiscovered by locals, this simply-decorated place came across as a pleasant change as opposed to the high-flying chandelier-covered places. After all, crystals aren’t a reflection of what comes to the table!

TAMARIND SHRIMP
Tamarind Shrimp

For the appetizer course, we asked for the tamarind shrimp. For those of you who don’t recognize tamarind, it is a sweet-sour fruit covered in a hard brownish covering often found in parts of India and Thailand. These pieces of pink al-dente shrimp were covered in diced green and red peppers, caramelized onions and a pulpy mixture of tamarind and spices. The shrimp was far from rubbery with its crunchy tail on and drenched in this thick acrid yet candied puree. We wolfed down the entire plate in a matter of five minutes.

SZECHCUAN CHICKEN
Schezuan Chicken

Then came the entrée course where we called for the Szechuan chicken (above); wok tossed with chilies, bits of lime green celery in a dark colored pungent sauce. It had a dash of honey but was mostly tied together with a gush of vinegar and regular Szechuan aromatics. Definitely makes the checklist for a classic dish on a Chinese menu.

SINGAPORE NOODLES
Singapore Noodles

To go alongside we couldn’t pass up the Singapore Noodles - thin rice noodles mixed in medley of julienne vegetables in an aromatic curry powder. The curry came through distinctly and that’s when I came to the conclusion that the chef is a discerning one and did a stellar job. On the side a tray of condiments was kept in order to spike up dishes and for my level of spice, I could easily dip in two or three times. From the specials list we also picked out Singapore’s ultimate chilly crab. It was lightly coated in batter and fried crisply keeping its shape and orange hue intact with a sticky garlic-chili sauce. There were scallion snippets clinging on to its sides and a saline soy mixture scenting its body mildly. The crusty outside leading to the silky soft meat made the struggle of getting to it even more satisfying. Of course there was a fight to pull out its meat, but trust me to say the least we clawed him.

Did your mouth water? Let us know in the comments!

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Central Park Boathouse

Feature Article by Jennifer Laxmi, one of our Picksie reps

Where: E 72nd St & 5th Ave New York, NY
Hours: Daily 8am – 9:30pm
Price: $$$
Perks: Nice view, great location, fabulous food.

Central Park is obviously an NYC staple – especially in the summer. But let’s do a bit of coverage on one of the not-as-much-talked-about Boathouse Restaurant! Honestly, it was my first time going to the restaurant despite being at the actual park numerous times with visiting relatives, friends, or even alone. You get beautiful views of those riding boats outside.

The Boathouse has a spacious yet classy feel, and though you’re in a “touristy” spot the restaurant does New York City justice. The dishes are a bit on the pricey side, but the food and service is nothing short of excellent.

Shown above includes the Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb (left) and the Grilled Filet-Mignon (right). The free bread is fabulous. Not shown here but must-haves include the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and the Beef Carpaccio.

Vegetarian? Or not feeling the red-meat options? Try out the Organic Acquerello Risotto. Cooked to perfection with corn, oyster mushrooms, sartori stravicchio cheese.

So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t yet this summer, give this classic spot a try. You may dig a bit into your wallet, but you’ll be pleasantly satisfied with the food and experience.

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Walk the High Line

Feature Article by Jennifer Laxmi, one of our Picksie reps

Where: Along Chelsea, Gansevoort St to 31st Street, with entrances at 14th and 23rd (including those for handicapped).
Hours: Daily 7am – 10pm
Price: Free
Perks: Outstanding scenery, views of the Hudson and Empire State.

Out of most people I know that reside in NYC or have been there for a while, not too many have visited this little gem of a park. Like them, I’d heard of it and planned on walking it, and so I finally decided to haul myself up to the High Line this past weekend.

Running from Gansevoort Street in Meatpacking all the way up to 30th through the neighborhood of Chelsea, the High Line is truly a unique experience unlike any other. This 1 mile linear park along the lower west side of Manhattan was  redeveloped in 2004 through tons of community support.

What’s better than naturalized plantings with fresh grass offering spectacular, unexpected views of the city and the Hudson River? Be prepared to spend a few hours here reading, people-watching, or napping while listening to some tunes.

More recently, the park features some local businesses, too – with food, snacks, drinks, art, and the like. How awesome is that? The Taco Truck seems to be the most popular option, while the Blue Bottle Coffee stand is an absolute must visit due to their unique brewing style. Opt in for the macchiato if you need an afternoon kick!

So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t yet this summer, grab your friend, significant other, or family and walk the High Line – you’ll be glad you did.

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

New Jamaican Jem: Kingston Hall

Feature Article by Chef Vid, one of our Picksie Conoisseurs

The new hangout: Kingston Hall
Neighborhood: Lower East Side / East Village
Where to find ‘em: 149 2nd Ave 2nd fl. New York, NY
Price Range: $$ Moderate
Deals: Buy 1 Get 1 for Beer & Well Drinks until 8pm

IN A FEW WORDS: Kingston Hall on the lower east side is a Caribbean and Jamaican-inspired bar done up extremely aesthetically with a fair share of antiques involved. Yet, it has a young den-like vibe with its pool table and island-ish drinks.

AWESOME AMBIANCE: Walk in and immediately find a bar area in the front. Get your drinks asap without the long-walk into an abyss. Charming cultural paintings and greenery adorn the dimly-lit corners. Their very own stairway to heaven might be the right place to step out and find a charming balcony to catch a glimpse of the bustling city.

FOOD: Their grub menu releases in a month, so stay tuned.

 TOP 3 DRINKS:

1. The Drunken Coconut (left, in case you couldn’t tell) : Their signature cocktail, the Drunken Coconut can easily sway you away to the beaches of Hawaii. It has the ideal combination of rum, pineapple juice and coconut water lightly stirred to form a nectarous easily sip-able drink with cherries afloat.

2. The Skyfall (right): More potent than the others, pace yourself with this glassful of crème de banana, tangy grapefruit juice, Gin and a shot of Galliano.

3. The Sucker Punch (below): Order the sucker punch filled orange and pineapple juices, at least a couple ounces of rum, grenadine and a layer of cream of coconut to create a frothy top for every sip. Please let this one be your last unless you have plans of sleeping here.


Which of these suckers is luring you in? Let us know your thoughts!

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!

Why Vai? Here’s why.

Feature Article by Chef Vid, one of our Picksie Conoisseurs

The Upper West Side’s charming Vai gives the vibe of a dim, cozy date-night spot, so my husband and I chose a corner table along 80th street on a pleasant Friday night – with a glass of prosecco to share. The menu had a contemporary Mediterranean twist on it which we loved from the very first morsel. Near the candlelit lantern on our table was a complimentary bread bun served with somewhat of a creamy eggplant spread and garlic confit shortly after the evening began. Pleasantly surprised by the newness of the condiments, I dipped in quite an amount of times.

Amongst important conversations and tons of passersby , we ordered our first course at our own pace. After glancing through the menu and making fickle decisions, our appetizer picks for the night were the immaculately charred octopus with a sweet half cut golden potato with bits of micro greens, a jalapeno pesto and drops of red chili oil spluttered across the oval shaped platter. There was somewhere also a hint of lemon in between. Then we were brought the red shrimp served in a warm fondue dish sitting in a pool of pure cold pressed olive oil and teeny pieces of chorizo sausage alongside umpteen bits of garlic. Soaking bits of the crusty bread in the juices enlivened my taste buds even more than before.

We asked our server to make recommendations for our entrees; of which we chose the lightly seared scallops with a firm yet slippery texture. They were most definitely showered in clarified butter for oomph and then propped up on a white cloudy parsnip and truffle puree with capers strewn across for beauty. We could have ordered seconds of this plate if it hadn’t been so full of sin and decadence.

Since there had to be a staple carb at the table, we went for the angel hair pasta with oodles of sliced garlic and pops of actual chili and cockles. For those who have never tasted cockles, they are almost clam and mussel like — mushy with little or no aroma. Intertwining bits of garlic, chili, pasta and cockles kept me quite entertained.

For dessert lovers or seafood haters, this may turn into a comme-ci comme-ça affair. But after my experience, I’ll say be ready to wipe your plates clean!

Picksie is a location-based discovery app that helps you figure out what to do based on where you are and WHO you are. Restaurants, bars, movies, clubs, concerts, activities, and events – we’ve got you covered. Download Picksie for your iPhone or Android today!