Fun NYC Weekend Plans That Have Nothing to Do with Santacon
Fun things to do in NYC this weekend.
This latest stunner from Quality Branded—the restaurant group behind some of the city’s top spots (think Don Angie, Quality Eats, and Zou Zou’s)—has got all of the city abuzz. Located at The Shops at Columbus Circle and overlooking Central Park, Bad Roman serves up contemporary Italian dishes within a gorgeous and spacious dining room featuring playful design elements that are as fun as the creative menu. Signature dishes include starters like the Black Truffle Honey Whipped Ricotta and ‘Roni Cups & Ranch; as well as raw bar items, house-made pastas, seafood, and more. Pair it with innovative cocktails like the Tequila Granita (tequila, Calabrian honey, and habanero shaved ice).
For the acclaimed restaurateur and author, Kwame Onwuachi, Tatiana marks the Bronx native’s first NYC restaurant. Named after his sister and helmed in collaboration with chef de cuisine Kamat Newman, the menu is rooted in flavors of Afro Caribbean cooking, the American South, and New York City. New menu items include the Andouille Sausage with Creole mustard; Cornbread & Cod with smoked jerk cod; Curried Snow Crab; and Shawarma Roasted Chicken with turmeric lamb rice. Dessert options like Strawberry Shortcake made with strawberry sorbet are a must.
Located on the ground floor of the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg and as part of Bar Lab Hospitality (Broken Shaker), at Mesiba, chef Eli Bulli offers Eastern Mediterranean flavors of the Levant. The eye-catching dining room is spacious with high ceilings and plants, and features a cool design aesthetic that’s also showcased in the branded staff wardrobe. Dining here is all about shareable plates with signatures like Eli’s Baba Ganoush 2.0, Mushroom Shawarma, Charred Octopus, and the namesake mesiba in varieties like Lamb Neck.
Founded in Jackson Heights in 2019 by brothers José and Jesús Moreno—who’ve worked at spots like Lupa, Parm, and Del Posto—the food-truck empire of Birria-Landia is steadily taking over each NYC borough, with locations now in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The Lower East side set of wheels at the cross section of East Houston and First Avenue is the latest addition, and what you’re here for is the signature Birria, a Tijuana-style beef combo of brisket, shank, and top round that’s been cooked for 5 hours. It’s available in Tacos, Tostadas, and Mulita—all of which should be dipped in the Consome broth of the same Birria flavor.
At this gorgeous project helmed by chef Santiago Astudillo (Le Bernardin, Daniel), The Wesley’s vegetable-centric (and dairy-free) menu also offers a select number of stellar meat options. Within separate dining spaces with names like the Red Room or Blonde Room, go for signature seasonal and produce-driven plates such as the Mushroom Ceviche with coconut leche de tigre, Artichoke Pasta with saffron cashew cream, and Amish Chicken Roulade with Brazilian chili oil. For drinks, bar expert Gabriel Maldonado (Jean-Georges, Le Coucou) whips up house cocktails and zero-proof creations while the wine selection spotlights organic, vegan, and women-led producers.
Growing up in north central Thailand within a restaurant family had chef Ohm Suansilphong immersed in kitchens from an early age. And after stints that include Nahm (Bangkok) before eventually co-founding the NoHo favorite, Fish Cheeks—where he’s currently still a partner—Suansilphong has now teamed up with his wife, Kiki Supap, for KRU: a hotspot offering modern takes on old Thai recipes once designated for the country’s royal family. In a moody dining room, the incorporation of elements discovered in historical texts from the 19th century, in addition to an overall masterful command of Thai cuisine, make for an exciting meal here. Must-try dishes include the Cauliflower “PLA” with Scallop; “LON” with Crabmeat; “Kaeng Pa” Beef Tongue; and Rice Omelette that’s especially great for balancing out any spice.