First off, thanks to everyone that reached out to wish me a happy birthday! It means so much to hear from people all over.
It’s my second year celebrating my birthday in the city. I am the worst at deciding where and how to spend my birthday (just ask anyone that’s ever asked me where I want to go to dinner) so it took a lot of reading Yelp reviews, stalking Instagram pages, and studying menus to decide where I would spend the weekend. In the process I discovered a few new New York gems so I thought I would share! Heres what I did:
Bobo – West Village // The small, hidden restaurants of NYC are something that make the city so special. For Friday night I was searching for a quieter restaurant in a neighborhood that’s a little off my beaten path with great food and a laid back atmosphere. Bobo is a quiet french restaurant on the corner of the West Village neighborhood. The cozy spot is in a hundred year old townhouse with every level giving you the most enchanting old french countryside vibes. We ordered the grilled octopus, the petit filet and the roasted chicken. Every bite of our meal was stuffed with so much flavor and love from the kitchen. If you’re looking for a cozy restaurant for a date night in one of the best neighborhoods in New York (personal opinion), Bobo is your spot. It also makes it perfect for bar hopping after dinner since it’s close to a lot of great spots. I suggest the Happiest Hour, Blue Note for some jazz, Employees Only if you like Speakeasy’s.
Esperanto – East Village // For Saturday night I wanted to get more friends together for a big birthday celebration. Group dinners in New York are definitely tricky. With that many people you usually have to end up splitting the check evenly. If you don’t drink, ordered one drink less than everyone else or ordered something that was less than the other meals, you’re kind of at a disadvantage since you will end up splitting the check evenly anyways. I’ve realized that prixe-fixed meals are the way to go for occasions like this. Esperanto in the East Village has an affordable fixed menu that comes with copious amounts of appetizers, an entree that doesn’t skimp on flavor or food, and a round of sangria for the table. The latin flavors and festive atmosphere was exactly what I was looking for. Everyone that celebrated with me couldn’t stop raving about the wonderful food and hospitality which is always a good sign after a dinner out in NYC. The staff there was even so sweet to make me my own 25th cake which they brought out as a surprise at the end. Definitely the cherry on top of a fun night! The restaurant was also close to multiple East Village bars that will make for a long night out. I suggest The Wayland right after dinner since you won’t have to go too far.
Black Tap – Chelsea // After recovering all day Sunday from a fun night at Esperanto and out in the East Village, it was finally my birthday on Monday. I felt like we had already celebrated my birthday to the fullest which was perfect given it was a long day at work. I kept going back and forth on where I wanted to eat dinner on my actual birthday. Did I want to go healthy and get back on the Whole 30 train or did I want to keep the celebrations going with a fun place for dinner. I had no idea! Once again, I’m the WORST at making decisions on where I want to eat. I was walking around after work with my dinner date and we were trying to come up with some ideas. We were in Chelsea and walked right by Black Tap. If you’re unfamiliar with Black Tap, its restaurant thats known to have really good burgers and over the top shakes. On the weekends there is usually a line out of the restaurant of guests waiting to be seated but on this Monday night, there was no line for a wait at all! We jumped on the opportunity to try this place out. We shared a burger with a peanut butter and chocolate shake. Both were amazing! I couldn’t have imagined getting our own meals so it was perfect to be split. The shake was covered in M&M’s, had carefully placed chocolate dipped pretzels and a peanut butter shake that was so smooth. If you have visitors in town or in need of a old sweet-treat with a friend, Black Tap is your place.
I had such an amazing weekend and felt so lucky to spend it with some great people. My quarter of a century looks like it’s going to be a good year!