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Delicious Debut: Tre Stelle

New York always has Italian restaurants popping up, one more average than the next. That's why it's a breath of fresh air to dine at Tre Stelle, the new Italian restaurant located in the Flatiron District. This resto takes a departure from the norm with a classic, rich design, featuring Italian artwork by Andrea Rusin, modern oversized hanging lamps, and a unique slotted wooden garage door that separates the bar from the dining area and can be used to create a private event space. There is even outdoor dining available.

Contemporary Artists of Latvia Debuts at The National Arts Club

Monday evening saw the opening of the “Important Contemporary Artists of Latvia” exhibition at The National Arts Club in Gramercy. The exhibit, running in NYC until April 20th, also makes stops at Washington D.C. and Chicago, before returning as the final exhibit (before renovations) at the Latvian National Museum of Art.

Seeking largely to showcase the diversely rich palette of Latvian artists, and fortuitously coinciding with the 21st Anniversary of Latvia’s Declaration of Re-Independence, the opening was an affair rife with swank, beauty, and copious artistry. Of particular note was the fact that the exhibit was comprised of selections from mostly female artists. Such Latvian greats as Daiga Kruze, Ieva Iltnere, and Inga Meldere were but a few showcased in an evening positively saturated with talent.

Scenes from Tommy Lasagna

Resturants come and go in this city faster than Britney Spears has been putting on weight. Since places to eat are part of the life blood of NY, when a noteworthy spot opens, we should rejoice. Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to attend the soft opening of new italian Gramercy resturant, Tommy Lasagna. Guests included the owner's friends, family, press, and other high profile new yorkers, including designer Nicole Miller.

'inoteca: Italian Eatery in the Lower East Side and Gramercy

Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: Inexpensive

Lower East Side
98 Rivington Street
(at Ludlow Street)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 614-0473

No frills Italian food at surprisingly affordable prices is being dished up at 'inoteca. With two walls of louvered windows thrown open to the street, 'inoteca is the perfect place to people watch while munching on mortadella and pickled red peppers. Cream colored walls and dark polished wooden tables offer a homey feel. The wooden bar offers more than three hundred and fifty wine selections, presenting 'inoteca with much praise and a thirsty crowd. Your dining experience will be intimate, as the lights are low and the tables are close. If elbow room is essential to your pasta indulgence, reserve a table downstairs in the climate controlled wine cellar.

Boutique Rundown: Vintage Thrift Shop

Vintage Thrift Shop
286 3rd Avenue
(between 22nd and 23rd Street)
New York, NY 10010

The Vintage Thrift Shop has been known to be the home for all treasures used and gently worn. Their skillfully exaggerated window displays continue to impress and their kind and helpful staff are there six days a week (closed on Saturdays) to ensure you have an ideal day of vintage shopping. You can find a wide array of thrifty garments and purses, to home furnishings and vintage hats and boots - this list is simply endless.

Restaurant Review: SideBar

Cuisine: American Traditional
Price Range: Cheap to Moderate

118 East 15th Street
(at Irving Place)
(212) 677-2900

Commonly known as a sports bar, SideBar is changing the stereotypical sports bar vibe and replacing it with ambiance and style. One thing that won’t be changed though is the size of the crowd. With seven flat-screen TVs, two HD projection screens, a state of the art sound system, a dance floor, and two private rooms, this location tends to be a hot one seven nights a week. Party rooms are also available for those of you who wish to entertain in private and without the buzz of the crowd.

Cheap Eats: Shake Shack - You all know and love it!

Shake Shack
Cuisine: Hot Dogs, Burgers, Ice Cream
Pricing: "Famous" burger = $4.75

Madison Square Park
(Madison Avenue at 23rd Street)
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600

Restaurateur Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café) wanted to create an urban take on the classic roadside burger stand, so he plopped Shake Shack right down in Madison Square Park! Since opening in ’04, they have won numerous awards and accolades for their burgers and have since expanded to the Upper West Side. Thick, delicious frozen custard and Concretes, a dense mix of custard and ‘mix ins’ like chocolate and toffee, are a great after burger or between bites treat! They even have a vegetarian Portobello burger. The line gets super long at lunch, but you can visit their website and check out the wait on the Live Shack Cam!

Second Location:
Upper West Side - 366 Columbus Ave. (at 77th Street) New York, NY 10024

Featured Venue: Barna

Scene: Restaurant, Bar, Lounge, Rooftop

365 Park Avenue South
(at 26th Street)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 532-8300

Barna, located in the basement of Hotel Giraffe, seamlessly combines award-winning cuisine with a nightlife hotspot. Barna serves up tapas by day and at night transforms into a lounge that attracts an impressive crowd of young New Yorkers. The restaurant features an extensive Spanish wine list, and in the warmer months, a terrace on the 12th floor of the hotel.