Alphabet City’s relative isolation fosters a unique quirkiness and sense of community, and Casimir fits the surrounding landscape perfectly. I got a chance to check out their $19.99 bottomless mimosa/bloody-mary brunch over the weekend.

Now, if you’re like me, you’ve always associated French cuisine with snobbishness (which may be related to the fact that you never bothered to learn how to pronounce anything in French), but this restaurant has figured out a way to blend Francophilic food with a relaxing, laid back atmosphere. A walk through the medium-sized dining room accented by weathered chairs and tables will bring you to a sunny back patio where you can enjoy the shade of an umbrella or sit in the sun.

A friend and I chose patio table in the sun. In addition to (several) mimosas, my friend chose a dish featuring baked eggs and feta with potatoes on the side while I went with a bagel with salmon, tomato, onions and capers. We both opted for a side of bacon from the a-la-carte menu. My friend had nothing but good things to say about his dish, and the potatoes I poached from him (he’s a carbophobe) were perfect! I had my doubts as to whether a salmon bagel would satiate, but my selection was perfectly portioned and delicious! Oh, and the bacon: excellent.

Our waitress convinced us to try dessert, which isn’t an easy feat when you’re serving French to a lactose-intolerant consumer (which I happen to be). My friend got pistachio ice cream with a shot of espresso on the side, which he loved. And my black currant sorbet with fresh blueberries and strawberry slices was a silky-smooth pallet cleanser.

If you get a chance, definitely check out this brunch. The prix-fixe menu along with the a-la-carte menu has a bit of something for just about everyone. The staff is laid-back yet helpful, and a good portion of the customers around us seemed to be regulars (always a good sign). Plus, there was no wait for our table!

The combination of the relaxing atmosphere, the service and the quality of the food makes this $19.99 bottomless brunch one of the best deals in the city!

103 Avenue B

Mar 19, 2012

Upcoming Events: March 19 - 26

Posted by ricebird |

Here are a few events and sales coming up that look like a fabulous way to spend the week. Hope you've all recovered from the St Patrick's Day madness!

Thrillist MARTINI WEEK. Eat drink and be merry with Martini specials across the city.

THE A|X POPDOWN SHOP! Now through April 20th, get 40% off Armani Fashions.

Hugo Boss Friends and Family Sale, up to 70% off retail. Through Friday.

Dec 15, 2011

Free Stella Artois Chalice

Posted by ricebird |

If you've got some extra time today, get a free Stella "chalice" (not a glass).

The line is often busy (invest in a waiting hotline, Stella!) but according to Hey It's Free it only took him a couple tried to break through to a rep.

Stella is one of my favorite beers and brands, and I love their chalices (glasses!) Since a roommate broke my first one, and then my boyfriend broke my second when he was drunk, I'm ready for my third.


Get some use out of that ugly Christmas sweater in the back of your closet by wearing it proudly to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Pub Crawl. Start out at Village Pourhouse and hit up some of New York's best bars, all offering pub crawl participants $2 drafts and 2-for-1 well drinks from noon to 8pm!

Bring friends or come alone and make new ones. After all, it won't be hard to meet people with Christmas sweaters as an icebreaker.

11:48 AM

FREE Megabus Trips Jan 4 - March 1, 2012

Posted by ricebird | is having a sale, giving away FREE bus tickets with the code "GOFREE" on their booking site. Have @ it, friends.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 @ 7:30pm at a Manhattan Theater.

To RSVP: E-mail your full name, your group’s name (Michael James), age and number of guests to:

You will receive an e-mail confirmation when your name has been added to the list. Seating is first come, first serve so please arrive early. Location of event will be included in your confirmation e-mail.

Synopsis: Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.

“Young Adult” reunites Jason Reitman, Academy Award© nominated director of “Juno,” and Academy Award© winning screenwriter, Diablo Cody.

Thanksgiving Eve Special French & English karaoke sponsored by Radeberger Beer!

Wednesday November 23rd

9pm until 3am
lina frey
201 E Houston street

Sing in many languages and pick from a 40,000+ songs list!

The sponsored open bar by Radeberger Beer is from 9pm to 11pm with fingerfood such as truffle fries, caviar, goat cheese baguette, cold cut and cheese platter available as specials.

Due to the limited capacity, please make your reservation in advance by emailing or by calling 212.995.5546.

Brace yourself, because today marks the launch for GrubHub's Digital Food Festival! Translation: free Restaurant Week.

All fall GrubHub has the hookup to a number of essential New York restaurants; places you simply have to try, places with lineups down the block, and places that don’t normally deliver. On a number of days throughout the season, GrubHub will feature a New York restaurant that will offer a certain number of diners an exclusive entrée. The restaurant designs the dish, GrubHub receives the order, the restaurant makes the dish, and GrubHub delivers it to the diner.

Today enjoy free ice cream from their first restaurant partner, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. Just use to order a free scoop of ice cream and pick it up between 12pm and 10pm from either their store (E. Village) or the truck (Little W. 12th and Washington).

Program Calendar:
• Van Leeuwen (September 21)
• DuMont Burger (September 22)
• Peanut Butter & Co. (September 26)
• Katz’s Delicatessen (September 27)
• Foodswings (September 28)
• H & H Bagels (September 29)
• Artichoke Basille’s (October 4)
• Smashburger (October 5)
• Spoonbread (October 6)
• Miss Lily’s (October 11)
• The Smoke Joint (October 12)
• A Salt & Battery (October 13)

Keep up on all the action online!

Twitter: @GRUBHUB
#Hashtag: #DigitalFoodFest

Thanks to the awesome folks at Scoutmob, we bring you this deal for half off at Gristle Tattoo & Art Gallery in Williamsburg. This place is not your typical tattoo parlor. Forget neon blinking signs and dated designs hanging on the walls- Gristle is in a league of its own.

Gristle is a lot more like an art gallery, the art being the impressive work of their tattoo artists. Another cool thing about the place? It's vegan, and "one of the only shops in the area capable of a tattoo process that's completely animal product-free."

Head on over to check out the deal for half off at Scoutmob, and remember, you only have until the end of today to grab it. It expires on 12/18/2011 and the deal is free, so why the heck not? 

Sep 13, 2011

CHARITY EVENT: Kicking the Spectrum, Sept 15

Posted by ricebird |

Via NY Social Agenda:

Our friends at Kicking the Spectrum are hosting a fundraiser Thursday that you wont want to miss! To give you a little background check – Kicking the Spectrum is a martial arts inspired program developed to teach and motivate students with special needs. This innovative program incorporates fitness and wellness into the fundamentals of Japanese Shotokan Karate.

Most recently Kicking the Spectrum won a grant courtesy of The Pepsi Refresh Program and to show their sincere thanks to their supporters, they are hosting a Thank You & Fundraiser Event. Please join them for amazing drink specials, free food, raffle for some incredible prizes (including two one night stays at an NYC hotel…staycation, anyone?!) and of course it wouldn’t be a party without some beer pong action!

Date: 9/15/11
Time: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Location: Mad River Bar, 1442 3rd Ave
There will be a $10 cover at the door, which will be donated entirely to charity.

Even during the coldest of months, I never, ever, deny myself ice cream. It can be 12 degrees outside, but if there is a carton of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (or Half Baked) in front of me, you'd better believe I will consume it. As it's getting a little chillier outside, and as the Fall kicks off, Cold Stone Creamery is celebrating Make-A-Wish Month, which happens to be September.

On Tuesday, September 27th, they'll be hosting "The World's Largest Ice Cream Social" to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Between 5-8 pm, customers will be treated with a free sample of their Sprinkled with Wishes™ Creation™ , which consists of Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Brownie, Rainbow Sprinkles and Fudge. You can stop by any Cold Stone Creamery to make a donation any time this month and buying a Make-A-Wish paper star to show your support costs just $1.

10th Annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social
Cold Stone Creamery Locations
September 27
5-8 PM

-- Samantha Chin, NYCRD Contributor

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If you're looking for something different to do next weekend, the National Academy is celebrating their opening weekend with free admission and free art classes!

The National Academy
Experience America's Art
Fri-Sun, Sept 16-18, 11AM-6PM

Free Admission: On view in the newly renovated exhibition galleries, Will Barnet at 100, a retrospective of Barnet’s figurative and abstract paintings and prints and An American Collection, exhibitions from the permanent collection including great artists’ portraits from the 19-20th century, American post-war architecture, contemporary art and works by our National Academicians then and now.

Free Art Classes: Led by an outstanding faculty of professional artists and art educators, we are offering free art classes during the reopening weekend, Fri-Sun from noon to 5:00 PM. Bring out the artist in you and join our drawing, painting and printing sessions. Learn how to copy and recreate an old masterpiece, sketch from a live model or still life tableau. Enjoy art, make art. For artists of all ages.

Space for the classes is limited and will be offered on a first-come basis.

Season of Savings, Broadway’s seasonal guide for New York theater discounts, is one of my favorite times of the year. I honestly can't think of many better holiday or birthday gifts than a pair of tickets to a show!

The program offers all different types of Broadway and Off Broadway shows for up to 50% off along with exclusive deals on parking and Times Square favorites such as Madame Tussauds. The goal of Season of Savings is to make sure the district remains busy while allowing theater to be affordable for every wallet.

Here's a SAMPLE from the Fall 2011 list (some with tickets as low as $26.50):
  • Adam's Family
  • Spiderman
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Mary Poppins
  • Follies
  • Billy Elliot
  • Chicago
  • Sister Act
  • Zarkara
  • Rock of Ages
  • Blue Man Group
  • Stomp
  • Avenue Q
Scoop up your tickets before they sell out!

Also, if you're looking for a delicious bite before or after your show, Tony's diNapoli is an EXCELLENT family style Italian restaurant (with delicious sangria). Season of Savings kindly hosted myself and other NYC bloggers at Tony's for a special reception in honor of Season of Savings last week and honestly, I ate a few too many crackers beforehand (I was trying to kill off my unnecessary Hurricane Irene food stash) but I still managed to stuff myself with more food than was reasonable. And I liked it.

-Katharine Ricci, NYCRD Executive Editor

If you have not yet noticed, NYC is crawling with fashionistas of all sorts this week. Fashion's Night Out is tonight, and New York Fashion Week has also kicked off at Lincoln Center. The fashion-saavy have come out to play, and even if you don't know consider yourself in the know, there are plenty of fun events that don't require any exclusive invites.
From today until Sept. 15, the Allure Lounge will be open inside the Empire Hotel. Open to the public from 9am-7pm, guests can enjoy free samples, hair & makeup consultations, mini-makeovers, and other goodies.

Happy New York Fashion Week!

Allure Fashion Lounge at the Empire Hotel
63 Street (Broadway and Columbus)
Sept. 8-15
9 am-7 pm

-- Samantha Chin, NYCRD Contributor

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4Food is celebrating their one year anniversary today with a plethora of cheap and free goodies. Stop by starting at 5 pm, end time unknown.

BONUS: Read our review of the delicious 4food HERE. Dejunking fast food is delicious.

From time to time, we bring you art gallery openings & parties, but this is definitely unlike anything we've ever brought you before. From September 1-8, visit R.I.P.N.Y.C. for an entirely new experience:

"R.I.P.N.Y.C. gestures to rip down the opaque veil that institutions such as Chelsea hide behind. We are concerned with the framing of our works in a context that speaks directly to floundering contemporary circumstance. Neither interested in increasing our market value nor bolstering the value of our investors’ collections, we are concerned with making Art that captures the energy of Now.

R.I.P.N.Y.C. features drawings, paintings, videos, photographs, prints, soundmixes, and performances by Andrew Birk, Solyi Suh, and Robert W. DeBois.

R.I.P.N.Y.C. is not a gallery, it is a store that sells artwork following retail-based protocol. The artists will be employed during store hours to answer questions and assist clients. There is no hierarchy between the space, the work, the artists, or the viewers."

R.I.P.N.Y.C. will continue for a week from 12pm-8pm each night, and visitors are also invited to attend the opening party on Sept. 1st, from 8-11 pm with live music by R.I.P.

33 Canal Street
New York, NY
September 1-8

Opening Party
September 1

For more info on R.I.P.N.Y.C., check out their Tumblr or click here.

See you there!

-- Samantha Chin, NYCRD Contributor

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We all felt that - a little rumble in our office buildings some mistook for aggressive typing, until some skimmed their Twitter feed and realized ZOMG, WE'RE IN AN EARTHQUAKE!

First reaction: everyone checked into Earthquakepocolypse on Foursquare (17,000+ NYCers strong!)

Second reaction: any earthquake bar specials?

[Loves it! Photo via]

YES -- to celebrate our wholistic survival (NYC reported 0 deaths, 0 damage, 0 real sensationalism) bars, restaurants and bakerys across the city are latching on to the newscycle and celebrating with #QUAKESPECIALS!

Here's the NYCRD running list, admittedly a ton are from my pals WinedandDined's Twitter feed because no one thinks to tell me. Add your found earthquake specials into the comments, I'll include!:
  • THE DELANCY: 2 for 1 Vodka on Rocks with crushed lime and Cranberry, 9:30pm-11pm
  • BUTTERLANE: Buy-One-Get-One cucapkes, cakepops & Blue Bell ice cream
  • SUSHISAMBA @ Park Ave South: early Happy Hour specials, now through 7pm
  • SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: 50% off all shaken cocktails at Southern Hospitality until 5pm
  • THIRD AND LONG:$1 Bud/Bud Lights in Murray Hill
  • MACERELLERIA: 2-for-1 Ty-Ku Shochu Martinis all night.
  • HOP DEVIL GRILL: Earthquake Party tonight, $1 tacos
  • : $3 chang beer bottles or $2 Coors Light drafts all night
  • MAIALINO: $5 birre & vini from 5-7:00 pm
  • on Park Ave: $5 caipirinhas and mojitos, $4 oyster sampler, $3 spicy tuna roll, $2 tempura
  • ODPARC: Free Tanoreen Spread
  • DESTINATIONBAR: 1/2 off all drinks until 8
  • ATLANTIC GRILL: $1.50 oysters all day & night, 5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • BLUE FIN: $1.50 oysters all day & night, $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • BLUE WATER GRILL: $1.50 oysters all day & night, $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • OCEAN GRILL: $1.50 oysters all day & night, $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • PRIMEHOUSE NY: $1.50 oysters all day & night, $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • DOS CAMINOS: $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • WILDWOOD BBQ: $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • BILL'S BAR AND BURGER: $5.90 specialty drinks starting @5pm
  • FULL CIRCLE BAR (Williamsburg): $1 off all beers with 5.8 or 5.9 % ABV
  • Wheeler’s Bar (1707 Sheepshead Bay Road): BOGO Bud, Bud Lights and well drinks @ the bar (via Brokelyn!)
  • ACQUA AT PECK SLIP: Free Glass of Prosecco with dinner

HOTEL SPECIAL: If you're stuck in NYC due to the earthquake, GansevoortPark has got you covered with a secret deal. Tweet them!

Email specials to:
Tweet specials: @ricebird @nyc_rec_diary

[Me +my office all tweeting about being in an earthquake, photo via Melanie Kwong]

If you're sick NY transit's limitations and the expense of renting wheels in the city, I'm excited to share that it's not necessarily "expensive" to lease a car. says inventory of its under-$199 per month vehicle category is at its highest point in history, meaning there's a plethora of cars available making your hunt easy. You'll find mostly Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Volkswagen cars, along with the occasionally Mini Cooper (my fav!) sneaking into their available lease offerings.

After a reasonable downpayment (a few thousand dollars), you could have wheels for LESS than what it costs to take out a
Zipcar twice a month, as 6 hours in a hourly rental can run you $150+ (not accounting for insurance, which depends on how wonderful/horrible of a driving record you have).

Take a look for yourself if you don't believe it!

Volkswagen Jetta S for $125 per month, Staten Island.

Nissan Altima 2.5 for $154 per month, Staten Island.

Nissan Maxima 3.5 for $199, in Staten Island.

Volkswagen Tiguan S for $199, in Brooklyn.

Do you have a dog? Does it only wear duds from vintage stores and thrift shops? Does it wear thick-rimmed glasses...not because they need them but just because? Does it hate anything that is considered "mainstream"? Does it only drink PBR... out of its vintage dog bowl? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you may have a hipster puppy. In which case, it would be perfect for Thursday's Hipster Puppies Pageant.

On Thursday, dress your pup up in the very best hipster gear and celebrate Hipster Puppies, a book by Christopher R. Weingarten. Weingarten will be there to sign copies and guests can enjoy free PBRs (naturally).

The Hipster Puppies Pageant
Thursday, August 25
The powerHouse Arena
37 Main St. (at Water St.)
7-9 PM

“Special” is a minimalist term to describe how I felt being one of 150 social influencers, mediatypes, VIPs and sweepstake winners nationwide who jetted off for a weekend-long showcase for Hotel Thrillist LA.

I spent a couple hours deciding on what to pack. I weighed the options of small carry-on bottles vs. paying a $25 baggage fee until I recalled how I went home with a full size Bacardi Cherry from Hotel Thrillist Miami. If I was to re-live that win, I obviously needed to check my bag. Goal set, full size toiletries, packed.

When I met my friend Maridel at JFK to get on our Virgin flight, she asked me “Are you ready for this”? I was not so much ready as willing.

Five hours and three time zones later, we arrived in the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles lobby to be greeted by a grinning Thrillist staffer with an over-stuffed gift bag for each of us. Why, thank you. When we ravaged the bags later the clear winners were the Nivea beach towel (so luscious!) and the well-made Bacardi cocktail shaker.

After some primp and prep, we took the elevator to the Ion Rooftop Pool Bar for the first event, “Dine-Around L.A. Live,” which featured delectable cuisine from some of the best restaurants in Downtown LA, including Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Katsuya L.A. Live, LA Market Restaurant by Kerry Simon, Rosa Mexicano, Trader Vic's Los Angeles, WP24 Restaurant & Lounge by Wolfgang Puck and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. We quenched our thirst with BACARDI Arctic Grape and BACARDI Rock Coconut, smartwater, Corona Light and Wines of Germany.

Post-feast we had the opportunity to have our faces read by the latest party trick, the Bumbys, brought to us by Nivea and their “Look Like You Give a Damn” campaign. Yes, I said “faces read.” Think palm reading, but based purely upon your tan, smile and hair. Whispers around the rooftop said they’re not always so nice, but thankfully Maridel’s biggest criticism is that they want to rename her “Gidget” and if I decided to be a restaurant manager, it would be of a “beautiful people” only establishment. Small success?

[The Bumbys]

Belly’s full and drinks on, the next piece of the night took place at the Club Nokia VIP Lounge nearby. We rubbed elbows with a man who claimed to be “Supreme” from the Wu-tang Clan. I remain skeptical of his identity. I wonder what the Bumby’s would have said?

The next morning Maridel awoke from her Bacardi Arctic Grape dead-induced hangover to attend Yoga for Athletes from YAS Fitness Center (presented by smartwater®, my new favorite water brand). I remained dead and only awoke after she returned and yelled “KATHARINE.” Apparently it was time for the mansion pool party.

Yes – that’s right, I said mansion pool party. Our next adventure entailed boarding a tour bus and heading for Hollywood Hills where Thrillist rented out a Spanish-inspired looking home that could be worth more than 500x my salary.

Needless to say, added décor included scattered Nivea beach towels (yes, I went home with like 5 of them), more smartwater than you could shake a hose at and plenty of Thrillist branded beach balls.

To “top” it off (hah), Top Chef Alums Marcel Vigneron and CJ Jacobsen were our featured celebs for the afternoon, with Marcel concocting delicious BACARDI cocktails using liquid nitrogen while CJ served roasted pig, succulent, thinly sliced melon and hot dogs you wouldn’t believe were hot dogs, among other earthly delights.

However, my favorite part of the daytime extravaganza was when synchronized swimmers, the Aqualillies Flash Mob, came out of nowhere with their flirty umbrellas, waterproof mascara, bright red lipstick and washboard abs. Can you tell I’m a fan / jealous?

[Click video to watch]

Before we reboarded the tour bus back into LA traffic, I was able to sneak a back massage from the Ritz Carlton Spa as part of the smartwater® Relaxation and Hydration Station. Even though I was a bad girl and didn’t sign up for the list, the kind spa staff still made it happen right before they closed shop! Three cheers for 5 star service.

Maridel and I catnapped when we got to our room, because before we knew it we were back to boozing at the newly vamped LA Production Studios where we danced hardcore to Deejay Reprise.

[Brain Sussman, Thrillist Staff]

[Drunken Bus Ride]

Things didn’t end there however, because the party continued on the bus back to the hotel and then in one of the suites where some of the Thrillist staffers has stashed up Bacardi Arctic Grape and kept pouring the drinks. Mingling at the after party, I caught up with Brian Sussman and recounted tales from Hotel Thrillist Miami just before I acquired my full-size bottle of Bacardi Arctic Grape (FTW, bitches!) and peaced out for my room no shorter than 6 a.m.

When I awoke a few hours later, I nuzzled my Bacardi between two Nivea towels in my suitcase, and tended to my bitter sweet hangover by chugging three smartwaters before the airport security checkpoint. The weekend clearly was, in a word, epic.

Thank you, as always, Thrillist. If dating a brand was possible, I’d choose you.

*Photos by Kat Goduco & Colin Young-Wolff