Some highlights and new discoveries. I love my regular places (Franny's, Marlowe and Sons,etc.) but sometimes its good to branch out:
The Jane Hotel: There's been a gradual renovation and evolution over at The Jane Hotel and I am loving it. Gone is the lobby theatre where I saw the marvelous "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the laughed-so-hard-I-peed "Debbie Does Dallas (the musical)." Now the lobby has been carved up into an actual hotel lobby for the super cheap and tiny rooms upstairs, as well as into a wood paneled old-timey bar and a larger, cooler version of NoLiTa's Cafe Gitane. It's vintagearrific and they make a great cappuccino. Plus great light from the Hudson.
Co.: Have now been to Jim Leahy's Co. on 24th and 9th four times. Which is enough to say, for absolute sure, that it rocks. I haven't checked out every pizza place that everyone's buzzing about (Motorino, I'm coming soon, I promise) but I put forth Co.'s slightly more doughy crust as one of the best. Plus I love the space and the servers are so nice.
DiFara's: Oh, speaking of pizza, did I mention I finally got my ass to DiFara's? HOT. DAMN. It always surprises me when something so hyped is actually that good.
Hundred Acres: This really shouldn't count as a new place since I have been going to brunch here on a regular basis for the past 2 years (in fact I reviewed it in the NY Post magazine!) But it's turned out that when friends come to visit from out of town they say: OMG can we go to the brunch place near your house? And that reminds me for a sec that I shouldn't take it for granted. It's good. The food is good, the space is nice, the bloody mary rocks. And they take reservations, and they never give you lip.
Iris Cafe: I am so proud of Rachel! She opened this adorable little cafe deep in Brooklyn Heights a few months ago. It seemed like a modest endeavor, even if she was meticulously curating the menu, and training her baristas to be hardcore experts in the Stumptown style. Fast forward and she is being reviewed by the heavy hitters, including "Best Cafe" in NY Mag 2 weeks ago. Totally deserved. Get yer ass there for a homemade stickybun, or a ham and cheddar biscuit with a soft boiled egg on top.