Eating + Drinking

Off the Eaten Path With Jess: Where She’s Eating in NYC This November

Beyond-good bites and foodie events in NYC you probably wouldn’t find on your own, from our expert foodie, Jess Bender.

Raw Wine, Brooklyn 2016; photo credit: Tom Moggach

Now that bikini season is over, let the stuff-your-face race begin! We trust our in-house foodie, Jess Bender, to point us in the right direction for hearty hit-the-spot dishes and drinks. This month, she’ll have you slurping the city’s best ramen on Bleecker Street, catching some major meat sweats in the East Village, and sipping artisanal, biodynamic wines in Williamsburg. Get your stretchy pants out of storage—you’re going to need them.

Must-Try Eateries

1. Italy-to-NYC Hand-Rolled Pasta

Little Italy is not the place to be during San Gennaro season, but I was grateful to stumble upon Aunt Jake’s, a cozy, rustic nook, in the midst of all the rowdy crowds and deep-fried rainbow cookies. Working inside were pastamakers hand rolling every noodle, a rarity in most urban trattorias nowadays. Order the beet pappardelle (hand-rolled pasta made with beet juice) and the chicken parm. 151 Mulberry Street (between Hester and Grand Streets), Little Italy

2. Seasonal Bar Fare and Cocktails in Brooklyn

Those lamenting the demise of neighborhood mainstay Franny’s can rest a little easy knowing that the laid-back, down-home bar Rose’s is run by the same team. The drinks menu may be limited, but everything served is wholly original and perfectly shaken and stirred; when I stopped by on a 96-degree day, the special of the day was a chilly Moscow Mule topped with a pile of snowy ice cubes. The wood-grilled burger is truly one of the best in Kings County, but don’t count out its seasonal BLT with thick-cut green-market tomatoes and buttery lettuce. 259 Flatbush Avenue (between St. Marks and Sixth Avenues), Prospect Heights

3. The Village’s Best Noodles

On a quiet side street off Bleecker is the only ramen shop in Manhattan designed like a radio station: The “On Air” sign might be flickering, but you won’t be disrupting a broadcast…especially with floor-to-ceiling amplifiers blaring ’80s gems all night. Also a first? Mew Men has a short list of rules to enjoy your free-range-chicken–broth’ed ramen successfully (slurp quickly or your noodles will get soggy; spend 10 seconds tops taking pics of your food). Some things never change for this sloppy eater, though, as I found myself splattering warm remnants of my spicy, nutty Tori Tantan all over my white blouse. Perhaps I slurped too quickly. 7 Cornelia Street (between Bleecker and West 4th Streets), Greenwich Village

4. Premium Meats at EV’s Butcher Shop

Once upon a time, the East Village was prominently known for its close-knit Eastern European community. While there’s more reason to say “There goes the neighborhood” with every niche new restaurant opening, a few long-term mainstays are determined to keep their heritage alive. Case in point: The Ukrainian East Village Meat Market—opened by Julian Baczynsky in 1970—remains as busy as ever. Give yourself a proper Euro-cation with thick kielbasa and pierogi (only available on weekends!) that fly out the store almost instantaneously…or order as my dad would and slather a slice of ham off the bone with nose-clearing mustard. 139 Second Avenue (between East 8th and 9th Streets), East Village

5. My Big, Fat, Greek Restaurant in Queens

Chances are this will be the only Greek bistro you encounter that blares country music from its speakers. Don’t focus on the inauthentic sounds; instead, focus on Nick’s Bistro’s Greek isles flavors and generous portions (they managed to fit my luscious chicken kebab, pita, tzatziki, and lemon potatoes on one plate). 104-20 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills

6. LIC’s 15-Barrel Taproom

This neck of Long Island City may be crammed with unremarkable-looking warehouses, but waiting inside are some of the city’s most ambitious businesses serving up ambitious products. Fifth Hammer, a small-batch brewery specializing in ales and IPAs with clever names like Tactical Panic and Gravy Stout, is the neighborhood’s newest resident. Stop by this industrial-chic, dog-friendly taproom to befriend the passionate brewers…and perhaps a four-legged friend. 10-28 46th Avenue, Long Island City

7. Live Music and Classic Cocktails in Queens

Those living outside of Queens County probably only know this watering hole because a coyote was once stuck on its roof. But I fondly remember the casual garden at Long Island City Bar as my unofficial hideout after really bad days at work when I was living in the borough. I may have moved on (literally; I live in Inwood now), but I still try to venture here every now and then for cheap beers, live music nights, and the outstanding reading series45-58 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City

Must-Go Foodie Events

1. Dinner With Friends: State Bird Provisions

Food mag Bon Appétit is considered the bible of choice for gastronauts across the country, but the editors behind the scenes give that honor to cookbooks. To celebrate the release of some of the magazine’s upcoming favorites, it is hosting a collaborative sit-down dinner at Wythe Hotel’s Reynard restaurant with specialty cocktails and wine pairings. The participant I’m personally looking forward to is State Bird Provisions, the San Francisco–based modern dim sum hall, making a long-awaited visit to the East Coast. Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg; Wednesday, November 15, 6 p.m.

2. The Politics Food Festival

If you think your culinary choices and access to food aren’t political, think again. This inaugural festival dives into the history and future of food—and its social and economic ramifications—at the storied Museum of American Finance. Acclaimed chef Wylie Dufresne hosts. Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall Street (between William and Pearl Streets), Financial District; Thursday, November 16, 7–9 p.m. (VIP entrance 6–7 p.m.); Tickets start at $95

3. Raw Wine: The Artisan Wine Fair 2017

Classic Napa Valley wine this isn’t. Instead, this two-day fest focuses on the au naturel, biodynamic varietals that are currently popping up at your local wine stores. Things might get a little weird—some natural wines appear cloudy or taste funky at first—but at least the 100-plus artisanal purveyors participating are being transparent about it! 99 Scott Avenue, East Williamsburg; Sunday, November 5–Monday, November 6, 10 a.m.–6 p.m; Tickets start at $55

where to eat in nyc november
Go au naturel at Raw Wine / Photo by Tom Moggach

Get in touch with our experience advisers for reservations or tickets to any of Jess’s picks.