A New York City destination since 1998, Cafe Lalo is perhaps most well known for being the backdrop in the movie "You've Got Mail". This upper west side eatery has a bustling energy and some amazing pies, cakes and cookies, as well as a full cafe menu. Fig and dark chocolate truffle ganache, maple pecan pie and Grand Marnier cake are only the beginning! I am also told their sugarless pie which come in cherry,blueberry and apple are scrumptious. Whole cakes and pies are also sold ( give them 2 days notice please). Cafe Lalo attracts all kinds of folks out to enjoy a good time, couples sharing a dessert on date night sit side by side with kids and parents enjoying decadent sweets. I must say… service is spotty, sometimes slow and on weekends it is packed. Avoid going on Friday or Saturday evenings (or Sunday brunch). Instead opt for late lunch on a weekday or a late nite cappucino or cocktail. The bar was expanded recently to include a wide selection of fine dessert wines,aperitifs& cognacs. Cafe Lalo has a charming decor with exposed brick, vintage posters and chair backs shaped like little hearts.
This American treasure is amazing for adults and children alike. I love having a free day or more to enjoy the spectacular things one can find right here in New York City. The American Museum of Natural History www.amnh.org is one of those things. Founded in 1869, it enlightens all who visit about human cultures, the natural world around us and the universe with its ever changing exhibits and scientific collections. Ocean life, dinosaurs, meteorites, rare gems, fossils and the amazing Hayden Planetarium are just a few examples of the wonders found in these walls. There is also a kids’ discovery room for children ages 5-12 which is a very hands on, behind the scenes look at science. The museum is open 10-4:45 everyday. Plan to spend the whole day if you possibly can. They do have a coat check, but do not allow large backpacks or luggage in the museum, nor can they be stored in the coat check.
Parking is very expensive, so take public transportation. From Ivy Terrace, take the E train uptown, switch to the C at 59th Street and get off at 81st Street. There is a subway entrance which is less crowded to enter, but the main entrance on Central Park West displays the amazing dinosaur skeleton as you first walk in. This truly impresses the kids! If the weather is beautiful, consider a picnic in Central Park after your visit.
For a kid-friendly restaurant nearby, try Good Enough to Eat, 520 Columbus at 85th Street, 212-496-0163. They are open from 8 am -10:30 pm.
119 MacDougal Street
New York NY 10012
Cafe Reggio is an excellent relic of cafe society in Greenwich Village, NYC. After a long morning of sightseeing, if guests at our New York bed and breakfast need a little more caffeine or a inexpensive snack coupled with some great people watching Cafe Reggio can’t be beat! This place has history, atmosphere and the oldest cappuccino machine in the country. Many classic New York movies, TV shows, and celebrities including Al Pacino, Next Stop Greenwich Village, and Law and Order have used Reggio as their backdrop. In 1927 New York got it’s first taste of cappuccino when Dominic Parisi spent his life savings of $1,000 to import the chrome and bronze cappuccino machine from Italy to MacDougal Street which is still on display. Served on tiny marble-topped tables with iron-backed chairs and some carved wooden benches, the menu is simple and the coffee is grand! Ivy Terrace’s guests have enjoyed the desserts, crepes and simple pastas offered at this cash only cafe. Two of my favorites are ravioli al pesto and the apple-walnut salad. Cappuccinos here are excellent and lingering is allowed which is unusual for Manhattan.
Locals, students, and tourists alike enjoy sitting outside in the warmer weather with an iced cappuccino and a great book. On chilly or snowy days snuggle inside with a hot chocolate before or after a movie.One downside of Reggio is the bathroom, it is the smallest, poorly lit toilet I have yet to experience, but hey, it’s clean. I personally have been here more than 500 times! If you just get a hot drink to go, make sure you tip the guys who make it, they have worked there more that 20 years.
Unlike most things in New York, Cafe Reggio hasn’t changed since I started going there in 1979.
The lovely and talented Manami Konishi, a Japanese actress and singer asked the weekly travel documentary program, “Another Sky” to feature Ivy Terrace as her favorite New York Bed and Breakfast ! Ms. Konishi is well known in Japan for her many movies, and her song Sunny Dayamong others. Along with our Manhattan bed and breakfast, she loves the Brooklyn Bridge, Magnolia Bakery, Pastis, andTimes Square. Manami and the crew ofNHK filmed for a few hours at Ivy Terrace in June. The show “Another Sky” airs weekly in Japan and features celebrities who introduce the audience to where they like to go in their private time. TheGreenwich Room is Manami’s favorite. The entire episode was about New Yorkand aired nationally in October 2010. Anyone who stays at Ivy Terrace can view a copy of the aired show on DVD, just ask……
Greenwich Village is one of my favorite area’s in Manhattan. I recommend our guests at Ivy Terrace B&B visit
“the village” as it is called, and spend at least 1 full day walking the charming streets of one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods. While there, visit the Grey Dog’s coffee, a West Village eatery with heaps of character, chalkboard menus, and well brewed coffee. I have been a regular at the 33 Carmine Street location since it opened in 1997. This independent coffee house is a neighborhood favorite offering hearty, creative sandwiches and freshly prepared homemade soups. The food here is great, and it is always packed. Substantial muffins ( my favorite is blueberry, banana, bran), sandwiches, ranging from BLT ( bacon lettuce and tomato) to tuna melt and other choices like Cobb salad, and yummy quiche, round out the menu. Grey Dog also serves beer and wine! They are normally open ’till 11:30 pm. Okay, the music is a little on the loud side when you enter, but once you order, pay and finally take a bite of your food, the music isn’t an issue at all…. it fades into the background somehow. Waitstaff is fast and during busy hours they will ” keep it movin’ ” so to speak, but I have never had a bad experience either food or service wise in over 100 visits! I highly recommend the loose leaf teas and hazelnut coffee. While in the area also check out what is playing at the Cherry Lane Theater and be sure to visit Murray’s Cheese, 254 Bleecker Street, New York’s oldest and best cheese shop.
Truth be told, I haven’t been lucky enough to take a Real New York Tour yet! Our guests at Ivy Terrace bed and breakfast rave about Luke Miller and his gang. Here you can see the city through the eyes of real New Yorkers. Here, you will ride the subway and pound the pavement to get the insider experience of New York City. They offer tours for different budgets,desires and abilities. From the Big Apple, a 6 hour private tour, to the Baked Apple, a pub crawl which may include the infamous White Horse Tavern and the Ear Inn, it seems Real New York Tours is keepin’ it fun and interesting. Luke was born and bred in New York City, and has chosen 18 good-looking tour guides ( pix are on the website). Of course, they offer tours of Harlem and all the standard favorites like Central Park and Times Square, but seeing it with a real New Yorker is a whole different thing. Like staying at New York bed and breakfast vs. a hotel, Real New York Tours give you a more behind the scenes view of N.Y.C Tell them Vinessa sent you!
Chez Napolean at 365 West 50th street is a classic French restaurant in the theater district. The decor is homey and reminds me of a grandma’s dining room. Completed jigsaw puzzles adorn the walls! The food is delicious, escargot, leeks in butter, and duck l’orange just to name a few dishes I have enjoyed over the years. Often our guests at Ivy Terrace bed and breakfast are seeing a show and want to eat in the area. The cozy French ambiance and reasonable prices make this one of the few places I would recommend in the theater district. Service is quick, attentive and often humorous. The legendary chef is Grand-Mere Marguerite and she is in her late eighties! This is family owned and run establishment which is another reason I love it! Of course, make a reservation, and don’t expect to “see and be seen” but do plan on an evening of authentic French cuisine.
Jules Bistro is a New York City restaurant featuring live jazz 7 nights a week. This is not the place to go for a quiet, romantic dinner for two. However, if you enjoy great music, very good food, and happen to snag an outdoor table in the summer, you will be in East village heaven! Jules is not cheap, but there is no cover for the music and it does boast a bustling scene with a friendly laid-back staff.
I have enjoyed great French wine and a delicious beer collection. Frites are amazing, so is the merguez omlette if you are there at brunch. The only 2 negatives to be aware of: they accept cash or Amex only and they do not have a full bar, only beer and wine and some lovely champagne cocktails!
The pace of service is very European as no one is rushing you to get in or out. Food may take a little while (by New York standards), but one can listen to the music,enjoy your company and relax. I also like being here alone at times, it is a fine choice for that. Be aware that the music inside is a little loud at times.
When you are staying at Ivy Terrace, checking out Jules Bistro is a must.