BEST OF
Dinner at The Park

It’s no surprise that The Park in Chelsea is dubbed as one of Manhattan's trendiest restaurants. Helmed by Eric Goode and partner Sean MacPherson, this West Village eatery is a restaurant and night club hybrid — it is a culmination of five different worlds: the garden, the penthouse, the red room, the atrium and the main room.

Each area has its own distinct charm and character — the garden is complete with Japanese maple trees and vines of Wisteria; the penthouse is capped by a glass ceiling and displays a gorgeous view of the High Line (perfect for sunset-watching too); the red room impersonates an old Asian speakeasy with wicker scoop-backed chairs and banquettes covered in raw silk; the atrium is a glass-enclosed area backed by a glazed brick fireplace and the main room is the typical dining room furnished with a 900-year-old red wood root bench and a 30-foot-tall cluster of bamboo.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Restaurant Review: Pounds and Ounces

This past week, Joonbug had the opportunity to sample the new Late Night Until 3AM menu at Pounds and Ounces. Located at the corner of 18th St. and 8th Avenue in the perenially trendy neighborhood of Chelsea, Manhattan. P&O serves up quality American fare in a fashion-forward setting. Their late night menu offers a wide variety of excellent dishes, perfect for famished club goers returning from a night in the Meatpacking District looking to fuel further nocturnal adventures.

CULTURE CLUB
Inside the Dream Palace

In 2013, you can no longer obtain a room key to the legendary Chelsea Hotel. And let's face it, if you did, it wouldn't be very useful. But a new nonfiction book, Inside The Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins is almost as good as holding a brass key in your hand to one of the largest and longest-lived artists’ communities established during the famous decades of the Chelsea Hotel's operation. Gossip, intrigue, passion, and creativity lie in the lines of Tippins' catchy prose, and chapters read like a literary Page Six rather than any type of dry history.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Junoon Kills It with New Brunch Menu

Junoon, the highly regarded Indian restaurant in Chelsea, recently expanded their menu to include brunch. Indian food is known for its bold and spicy flavors, so apart from a Bloody Mary, you might be wondering how they manage to pull off a brunch as good as their lunch and dinner. Executive Chef Vikas Khanna wows all with his modern take on traditional Indian dishes and incorporating Indian versions of American classics.

Feel free to take your pick of dishes from Junoon's many choices of brunch fare, or smartly opt for the prix fixe, which includes an appetizer and main dish, along with unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Marys or Bellinis for just $35. Trust us, you'll leave the restaurant both full and with plenty of leftovers for later. To start, try their innovative Naan French Toast, served with house spice-infused maple syrup or the Indian-Style Masala Omelet, made with onions, garlic, chilies, and cilantro.

RESTAURANT 101
El Quijote: Some Places Just Never Lose Their Touch


New York can be charming, classy, and unpretentious all at the same time --if you know where to go. El Quijote in Chelsea has been operating since 1930, as it proudly states on their menu and their matchboxes. Serving some of the best lobster dishes in the city, the restaurant has seen it all, untouched by time the restaurant sticks to authentic Spanish cuisine.

The old world look and feel lingers around every table, every booth, and every stool along the old, dark wood bar. There's character here that is understated because it’s real and not re-created from last centuries interior designs.

RESTAURANT 101
Pierre Loti Wine Bar: Good Enough to Share

It just happened that my first experience dining at Pierre Loti Wine Bar was shared with a group of people I had just met. And for such an intimate spot, with candles illuminating the exposed brick walls and the slightly cramped tables which caused me to virtually rub shoulders with my neighbors, I got to know everyone pretty well.

The menu is inspired by Mediterranean flavors, including the favorite grilled halloumi cheese served with a frisee salad of dried Turkish apricots and cherry tomatoes. The burger patties with grounded lamb, pine nut, black currents and walnuts were a lovely little starter for the other meat items on the menu including grilled lamb chops,poached beef dumplings (that everyone at the table couldn’t stop forking at), soft marinated baby lamb ribs, and the delicate cornish hen.

ART
Christopher Boffoli Brings Food to Life

Seattle-based artist, Christopher Boffoli is famous for the mini food landscapes he creates. The photographer beautifully tranforms food into the picturesque world that tiny people live in. His series made a big splash and is now headed to New York with a solo photography show, "Edible Worlds," which will opened June 21st at Winston Wachter Fine Art in Chelsea through August 24th.

The inspiration for the work came from the strong, culturally recurring theme of visual size disparity which was common in the movies and TV shows he saw as a boy, such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids and The Incredible Shrinking Woman. But it is a theme that goes back to the social satire of the 18th century’s Gulliver’s Travels.

THRILLS & DEALS
Yes, Please: Pounds & Ounces Introduces Double Happy Hours

The Chelsea hot spot Pounds & Ounces is kicking off a new Happy Hour from 4-7pm on weekdays, as well as after 11pm on Sundays through Thursdays!

Dine at the bar or a communal table and choose from a selection of bar bites, including lobster corn dogs, battered fries dipped in Gunpowder sauce (yes, that is the lingo for homemade BBQ sauce with Pop Rocks - we're psyched too), and more.

The rockin' bites range from $4-$5, which is practically free by New York standards.

And if you've ever been to Pounds & Ounces, you know it's always popping --the perfect spot for late night eats and cocktails.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Smithfield's: How About A Beer With Those Games?

The second floor, dubbed, The Market Bar, boasts a more intimate atmosphere, ideal for private parties and events and even has its very own beer menu. Then there’s the mezzanine, aptly named The Wallace Room, not because Stringer Bell is hiding bodies, but for William Wallace, the Scottish rebel where you’ll find features mahogany and leather couches.

Delicious beers on each floor, and a personalized menu fit for every meal and all occasions, Smithfield’s isn’t just for the sports fanatics, but for anyone looking for n exceptional place to grab some grub with pals or throw a private party for someone special.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Foodie Alert: Today is National Hummus Day!

Hummus is a healthy culinary staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine that has been enjoyed in the area for a millennia. Used as either an appetizer dip or as an addition in many popular dishes, hummus is simply prepared from the same ingredients used in the earliest hummus recipes recorded in 13th Century Egypt. Hummus is prepared from cooked and mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a dash of salt. In Lebanon, they love hummus so much that in May of 2010 they set the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest dish of hummus ever prepared. 300 chefs came together in a village near Beirut to make a batch of hummus that weighed approximately 23,000 pounds!