RVD Blog

Rekorderlig Midsommar Soirée- A Swedish Affair

We recently hosted a chic Swedish Midsommar Soirée with our friends at Rekorderlig Cider and Tictail - we had an absolute blast celebrating the Summer Solstice, Nordic-style.

In true Swedish Midsommar fashion, we donned festive wildflower floral crowns crafted The Wild Bunch and sipped on delicious Rekorderlig Cider cocktails made by Michael Belasco of the Grey Lady, which awakened our tastebuds to the bright and fresh flavors of summer.

With seasonal bites culled from the farmer's market and an off-the-cuff singalong led by the Swedes at the helm of Tictail, the night was spent savoring the season's golden hour with beautiful views of downtown Manhattan. A dreamy and delightful evening was had by all. Skäl!

Photos by Jess Nash

Best Restaurant Programming in NYC

Working in hospitality PR, it’s easy to fall prey to restaurant and bar fatigue. Drinking and dining out on the regular can make it difficult to truly be “wowed”, and most of our team typically flock to our old standby, under-the-radar spots.

In an effort to up our games, we went on a search for the most unique bar and restaurant programs - from trivia to B.Y.O vinyl nights to oyster deals! We can’t promise that the lines will be any shorter, but you’ll definitely spend your nights out in a whole new way.

The Garret East | East Village

B.Y.O.V. (Bring Your Own Vinyl) Mondays

7 PM - 11 PM

Kiss Monday blues goodbye with your new after-work spot for drinks. Bring your own record, and you’ll get a free cocktail. And if you’re the type who never lets your precious collectibles see the light of day, don’t fret. There’s pizza provided by Williamsburg Pizza, on the house!

Mermaid Inn | East Village, Upper West Side

$1 East Coast Oysters
$5 Beers, $7 Wine, $8 Cocktails

5 PM - 7 PM

If you haven’t already, you need to try the happy hour offerings at Mermaid Inn. It’s the perfect place to relax, kick back and still feel like the classy, cultured New Yorker that you are. Plus, they offer a free shot of chocolate mousse and a fortune-telling surprise. There’s no sweeter way to end your boozy meal.

Videology | Williamsburg

$5 Midnight Screenings, TV Hangover Series, Trivia Night + More

Despite its standing as a beloved local staple, Videology surprisingly flies under the radar. This low-key saloon not only screens everything from Roseanne episodes to American Psycho, but also has a fully-stocked bar--it brings Netflix and chill to a whole new level.

Apotheke | Chinatown

Live Jazz

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays

Nestled one of the most photogenic streets in New York (Doyers Street in Chinatown), this off-the-beaten-path cocktail bar is staffed with mixologists in lab coats. They’re extremely proud of their concoctions, so unless you’re ordering an Old Fashioned or Martini, avoid their judgy stares by ordering from the menu. Once you’re set with your perfect drink, relax in one of their velvet sofas and enjoy the live (and actually good) jazz performances.

The McKittrick Hotel | Chelsea

Supercinema Dance Party

Saturday, April 30

You might know this hotel as the home of Gallow Green or The Heath, but it’s also the host of an extravagant Vegas-esque, role-playing dance party. It keeps it classy, in a Chelsea type of way. The April edition is called, “The Mad Hatter’s Ball,” inspired by Alice in Wonderland. If dressed-up clubbing is not your thing, go for the open bar and trippy people watching.

 

Best Wine Lists in NYC

Wine is always in season. Now that it's spring, the only difference from winter is that we indulge in our favorite reds, whites and rosés outside of our homes. To kick off alfresco wine-ing season, here are our favorites restaurants to enjoy wine and light bites:

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Grey (greylayers.com)

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Grey (greylayers.com)

Wallflower | West Village

235 W 12th St., New York, NY 10014

We love the attitude that wine director and co-owner Jason Soloway has toward wine:

“If it tastes great, who cares how much it is, or if it’s the right season? It’s only rotten grapes after all.” He travels frequently to sample wines and varietals from around the world, and only the best land on Wallflower’s wine list. Our current favorite is the Chateau de la Presle Touraine (2014), a Sauvignon Blanc from France's Loire Valley, best enjoyed outside at one of Wallflower’s alfresco tables. 

June | Cobble Hill

231 Court St., New York, NY 11201

June is a richly decorated bar that will transport you to a luxurious weekend in Upstate New York. The entire staff is equipped to lead you through the bar’s European-focused wine list, which even includes orange wine (a must-try).

Lilia | Williamsburg

567 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222

Although we highly recommend tasting Lilia’s highly-acclaimed Italian fare, we also suggest checking out the intimate bar in the back. The attendant will help you pick the perfect pre-dinner wine. Our favorite is the X.

Pylos | East Village

128 E 7th St., New York, NY 10009

Pylos is mostly known for its elevated Greek cuisine and the terra-cotta pots hung from its ceiling, but it also has one of the most unique selection of varietals in the city. We suggest going for the blends.

Epistrophy | Nolita

200 Mott St., New York, NY 10012

Romantic and simple, Epistrophy is a no-brainer for any occasion. Its wide-ranging, global wine list will please both oenophiles and novice wine drinkers.

Flapjacks and baking hacks

By Junnie

I have no problem judging a restaurant by its bread service. That's how much I put carbs on a pedestal in my (non-existent) diet. So when we started working with The Invisible Chef, I was ecstatic.

Started by two female entrepreneurs, The Invisible Chef is an all-natural, artisan line of baking mixes. The former stay-at-home moms threaded their years of experience cooking and baking for their loved ones into their products, so you know you're getting from-scratch quality.

In the name of "product research," we decided to invite our friends--both new and veteran bakers--to try The Invisible Chef mixes with us. All we needed were a few pantry items (thanks to the mixes), and before we knew it, we were throwing a Bake-And-Brunch party, complete with cocktails with Made Real Vodka!

Jeremy Jacobowitz, whom you might know better as the face of Brunch Boys, was stationed at the stove to flip lemon blueberry pancakes. Carly Petrone, contributor for CBS Local, baked breakfast puffs, which we took turns dipping in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. And the RVD team made cherry chocolate and almond creme tea cakes. It was bread service at its finest.

New York is a hubbub for eating out, so it had been a while since I last spent time in the kitchen with friends. It was a reminder that great conversation can happen outside of a restaurant or coffee shop, especially when you're standing over fresh and warm homemade baked goods.

First Date Haunts

By Junnie

It’s hard to find your "someone special" here in New York. And in this city, where time is money, the first date can dictate the rest of your relationship. You can go to the sexiest, vintage-adorned cocktail lounge, but if the music is too loud, you're stuck lip-reading your entire conversation. Or worse, you can't pay attention to the conversation at all. You're too consumed with wondering who's going to pick up the tab, because you can barely afford the appetizer. We’re here to make sure this never happens. We've picked the best venues for almost every type of first date. Good luck!

coffee

Whynot Coffee.jpeg

Whynot (LES location) | 175 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002

With high ceilings and an open-floor concept, Whynot coffee will impress your date. The mid-century-modern-inspired decor provides a clean, comfortable feel, and the coffee bar is almost always graced with an experienced barista.

LUNCH

Ruby’s | 219 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10012

Australians know how to have fun, and Ruby’s lives up to that expectation. The staff is friendly, and the decor is relaxed. You wouldn’t mind sharing a table with another couple here. With simple fare and solid coffee, Ruby’s is a Nolita staple.

casual dinner

Chavela's | 736 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238

At Chavela's, the tacos, Mezcal and festive lights will make you feel like you’re in the heart of Mexico. Take your date here, and there won’t be any confusion about what you’re looking for: finger foods, strong drinks and entertaining conversations.

foodie dinner

The Eddy | 342 E 6th St., New York, NY 10003

This hotspot nestled in East Village takes you to the coast with its luxe nautical decor and vibe. There’s always a soft bustle inside, so you won’t feel too alone with your date. That, plus the small plates, close seating and cocktails served in an array of goblets and teacups promise a cozy get-to-know-you chat.

carefree drinks

Piano’s | 158 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002

Piano’s is not a secret haunt anymore, but it still delivers a locals-only vibe. With colorful, dim lighting and a hearty crowd, it’s easy to get along with anyone here. When you get to two or three drinks in, share a helping of nachos. You’ll both be so swept by the carefree feel that you won’t notice the cheese hanging from your chins.

intimate drinks

House of Small Wonder | 77 N 6th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211

Late at night, this treehouse-like cafe attracts an older crowd. If you’ve wasted too much time with throwaway first dates and are looking for something more serious, suggest House of Small Wonder. It’s whimsical, but approachable--the perfect place to discuss your favorite Murakami novel.

Brunch Has Arrived at Wallflower

Great news - our talented friends at Wallflower in the West Village are officially launching brunch! 

They'll be testing out brunch on a "soft launch" basis for the rest of the summer (Saturdays + Sundays from 11am - 3pm), and officially kicking off service on Saturday, September 12th. Make a reservation here.

The restaurant will offer a killer menu of market-driven french fare, like the Omelette Provençale (tomatoes, olives, basil, roasted fingerling potatoes, wilted spinach) and Bacon Quesadilla (fried egg, jalapeño, tomato salsa, pepper jack cheese) paired with speciality cocktails like the Rose Royale (raspberry puree, pimm's, raspberry eau de vie, sparkling wine).  

You should NOT miss the sweet morning bun (pictured below). The chef only bakes a few buns per seating, and we can't overstate their deliciousness!

Check out the full menu here. All photos are courtesy of Ethan Covey.

Homemade bread basket + sweet morning bun

Homemade bread basket + sweet morning bun

Omelette Provençale (w/ egg whites) + Frittata Romana

New Southern Hits Brooklyn

One of our newest RVD clients is The Heyward, a marvelous new(ish) restaurant on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg - just a few doors down from Pilgrim Surf + Supply and Mast Brothers.  Named after South Carolina poet DuBose Heyward, the restaurant serves “New Southern” cuisine inspired by the classic regional cooking of Charleston and Savannah. Think grown-up, reimagined shrimp & grits, spicy fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, fresh seafood and pastas, and an absolutely killer raw bar... all paired with pre-prohibition era classic cocktails and an impressive wine list. Boasting gorgeous interiors and an oval open kitchen, The Heyward manages to be both laid-back and sophisticated without breaking a sweat.

In an effort to introduce The Heyward to some of our favorite food writers and social media mavens we hosted a weekday lunch soiree a week or so ago - suffice it to say that we all ate (and drank) a little too much. We'll let the pictures (taken by Ethan Covey) do the talking.  

Chilled Seafood Salad 

Chilled Seafood Salad 

Bloody Mary + Dos Gardenias Cocktail

Bloody Mary + Dos Gardenias Cocktail

Summer Melon Salad

Summer Melon Salad

B.L.F.G.T (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes on broche toast w/ buttermilk ricotta fries)

B.L.F.G.T (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes on broche toast w/ buttermilk ricotta fries)

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich 

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich 

The Kitchen Gods at Work

The Kitchen Gods at Work

Make a beeline for The Heyward at the next available moment! You can thank us later.

Owned and operated by Select Hospitality & Design, The Heyward is affiliated with Hudson Clearwater in New York’s West Village and Hinterland in Santa Monica.