Eat uP: Favorite Meatpacking Dining Spots

31 10 2009


The Meatpacking District is a tricky beast: so trendy you want to hate it but so bare boned you want to love and reminisce about the early 90’s Meatpacking–chock full of bad kids, tranny hookers and meatpacking factories; where the coolest (and only) bars were Hogs and Heifers (still there) and Hell (sadly, not).

I started my career in the Meatpacking District and continue to work there today and I love everything about it except the prices, which in some cases are completely justified and in others, completely not.  Clients ask me all the time about the best dining spots and I’ve compiled a list of my faves.  While they may not be Zagat top rated or Time Out trendy, they are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of tastes.

Bonsignour (35 Jane Street @ 8th Avenue)- Perhaps a bit more West Village than Meatpacking, this small café offers the freshest, most interesting lunch at the most reasonable price. Offering everything from curry chicken salad to jambon et beurre (ham and butter) sandwiches on a delicious baguette, Bonsignour caters to many tastes and budgets. While it’s primarily a takeout place, it does offer limited seating (3 tables). Recommended: timbales, paninis, curry chicken salad, cous cous salad.  Price Range: Under $20. Alcohol: No. Reservations: Not needed.

S’nice (45 8th Ave @ West 4th St)- Do you know how hard it is to plan a meal that includes meat eaters, a vegetarian and two vegans and ensure that everyone is happy with their lunch? Incredibly! Until I found S’nice, which is one of the best vegetarian places in New York, satisfying even the pickiest of meat eaters and vegans alike. Recommended: sesame chicken wrap (aka Thai “chicken” wrap), triple-decker tofu club, quinoa salad. Price Range- Under $20. Alcohol: No. Reservations: Not needed.

Zampa (306 West 13th St)- Zampa took over our beloved Costantino, which made some of the best salads in New York, so we were immediately skeptical, but three years later, it proves to be a Meatpacking staple for both lunch and dinner, offering the freshest salads and sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese plates, and specialty plates. The wine list is impressive and the coffee is always fresh. Recommended: salmon and lentil plate, chicken and avocado sandwich. Price Range: Under $30. Alcohol: Beer and Wine only. Reservations: No.

Standard Grill (848 Washington St @ West 13th)- God, I wanted to hate the Standard Grill, I really did.  It’s super trendy, super hyped and somewhat annoying but it’s so damn delicious. Situated on the Washington Street side of the Standard Hotel, the Grill offers a reasonable and delicious wine list, scrumptious parmesan and radishes served at every table and the most incredible roast chicken I’ve had in years. The desserts are also not to be missed, in particular the cheesecake with seasonal fruit.  Recommended: oysters, Million Dollar Chicken, cheesecake, white burgundy. Price range: approx $150 for 2. Alcohol: Full bar. Reservations: Recommended.

Fig and Olive (420 West 13th bet 9th and Washington)- I’m not going to lie, they are kind of bitchy and uptight at Fig and Olive, but I love going for wine and crostini. If you can put up with major attitude and a staff that thinks they’re God’s gift to the west side, Fig and Olive definitely offers tapas with a flair. Pretend you’re important, order small plates at the bar and don’t expect your wine glass filled very often. If you’re in for uninterrupted conversation, staring at good looking people and lite fare, this is definitely the place. Recommended: crostini, wine, specialty drinks. Alcohol: Full bar. Price range: $50 for 2. Reservations: Not needed at the bar. Recommended for dinner.

Fatty Crab (643 Hudson Street )- Fatty Crab looks like a total dive from the outside but offers some of the best Southeast Asian food in the city.  I don’t love the wine list, but the short ribs are to die for and the pork buns are the closest I’ve come to Momofuku. Recommended: short ribs, pork buns, watermelon salad. Price Range: Approx $30 per person. Alcohol: Beer and Wine. Reservations: No.

Craftsteak (West 10th @15th Street)- I am a huge fan of Tom Colicchio and his Craft empire, so it’s interesting that I’ve waited until tonight to try out Craftsteak. While it lacks some of the charm and sophistication of Craft and Craftbar, Craftsteak offers front room dining without reservations at half price with their Halfsteak menu. Although I’d recommend skipping the $9 and $10 wine lists and opting instead for a $48 bottle of Languedoc, the half menu is pretty solid and far less formal. Recommended: chicken wings, half steak with fries, lavender-infused Prosecco, pumpkin cheesecake. Price Range: Approximately $120 for 2 with alcohol. Alcohol: Full Bar. Reservations: Not at Front. Recommended for Dinner.

Del Posto (85 10th Avenue)- The crème de la crème of the Meatpacking District, Del Posto is a throwback to old school glamour. Pricey, dressy and completely delicious, Del Posto is not a place to cut corners but to order a little bit of everything. Pastas are hand made and in my opinion trump the secondi menu; the wine list is extensive. Recommended: pastas, lobster salad. Price Range: $25-30 main courses. Alcohol: Full Bar. Reservations: Recommended.

Ara Wine Bar (24 9th Avenue)- Although not technically a restaurant, Ara is one of my favorite places to grab a drink and a few bites after work. The food is limited to cheese plates, charcuterie and tandoori pizza, but the wine selection and ambiance are first rate. Go to the back for ultimate relaxation. Recommended: tandoori pizza, mediterranean plate. Price Range: $8-15 wines/food. Alcohol: Full Bar. Reservations: Not necessary.

Let’s face it, there are hundreds of places to hit in the Meatpacking District, but why deal with places that are overpriced, overhyped and underwhelming when you don’t have to? Happy Dining!


Wise uP: The Glossiest Locks in Town

30 10 2009

Even as a professional colorist, I tend to be very skeptical of in-salon deep conditioning treatments. They are often meant to boost a stylist’s sales and are good for 2-3 shampoos before the hair returns to its original dry and frazzled self. But like many things, there are always exceptions to the rule and when I find something that really works, I will shout it from the rooftops. Here are three in-salon deep treatments that I would easily give up the commission for.

I.S.H. Ionic Rescue Treatment

Hair Type: Dry and/or damaged hair
Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Cost: $100
The pH: All the benefits of the popular Keratin treatment without the cost, commitment and formaldehyde. Although time consuming, this is the most advanced deep conditioning and smoothing treatment available and the secret is in the “crystals” of aloe and jojoba that penetrate the hair when combined with thermal heat.

We start by shampooing the hair with the color-safe ionic shampoo, blow drying 50% dry and applying the HRC crystal conditioning treatment section by section, roots to ends. We then flat iron each section, which opens the cuticle and allows the crystals to penetrate into the hair shaft. After the entire head is flat ironed, the hair is rinsed and the conditioning sealer is applied. The hair is then formally blow-dried into the softest, silkiest hair you’ve ever had. Best of all, the I.S.H. treatment lasts six weeks and can be done right after a color service. ionic_rescue_product_03

Concentre Vita-Ciment by Kerastase
Hair Type:
Fine, weakened and/or damaged hair
Time: 5-10 minutes
Cost: $40
The pH: I’ll be honest, I find Kerastase a bit “culty” as a brand, but when stuff works, it REALLY works. This express treatment is like a protein shot for the hair. For those with hair that has been weakened by hormones, over-processing or age, this is for you. It comes in a vial that is sprayed on to towel-dried hair and is massaged into the scalp and ends for 5-10 minutes. It’s then rinsed out and hair is left feeling stronger and silkier. I recommend this to anyone who highlights, straightens or perms their hair in order to prevent breakage.


Nioxin Scalp Renew Natural Dermabrasion
Fine and/or thinning
Time: 15 minutes in salon combined with nightly take-home treatment for 14 days
Cost: $100-150
The pH: As someone who experienced major hair loss a few years ago, I’m both fascinated and completely skeptical of anything that promises hair restoration and density. So when we got this combination treatment in at the salon, I was naturally the first one to try it out. And I’m extremely happy with the results.
Although there are various reasons for hair loss and thinning, many people don’t realize that clogged follicles are often the cause and scalps need to be exfoliated regularly. The in-salon exfoliation takes approximately 15 minutes and is massaged into the scalp. It’s then shampooed out and the client is sent home with part 2 of the combo pack: The Density Restoration Treatment, which is massaged into the scalp each night for 14 days to reduce hair loss.
After two weeks, I’ve noticed a big difference in my hair with shine, density and what comes out in the shower. It also did not affect my color, so extra points for that.

I’m sure there are many other in-salon treatments that are blog-worthy, but for me, these really stand above the rest and are worth the time and money spent in the salon.

Dress uP: The Best Strapless Bra Ever

26 10 2009

I hate Victoria’s Secret. I don’t know if it was the sweatpants with PINK written across the butt, the inbox overload of emails, the same clothes they’ve been trying to pawn off on us for 5 seasons now, or the fruit and alcohol explosion perfumes that officially did them in, but over the years I’ve developed a true dislike for this company. Which is why it’s so hard for me to admit that the best strapless bra on the planet comes from none other than Vicky’s Secret.

I won’t get into the details of what originally led me to the Very Sexy Plunge multi-way bra with Gel-Curve®, but now that I’ve found it, I will never let another strapless bra make it’s way into the underwear drawer. So what sets this bra apart? Where do I even begin?

One of my biggest problems with strapless bras, besides slipping, is the terrible “double bubble” or “big orange cone breasts” they create, especially under more form fitting clothes. With this bra, there’s not a DB or rocket ship in sight. The shape is so natural, it rivals a regular bra, even under the thinnest T-shirt. The band is wide and strong, with extra elastic that keeps the bra from slipping, even through the maniacal dancing I did at my friend Kathryn’s wedding. And the plunge front makes this bra work even under the lowest cut shirts.

Fuller busted ladies afraid of the gel inserts? Don’t be. They come out. And for those of us who need a little extra lift, this bra provides it without making us look like porno clowns.

I will always give credit where it’s due and VS- I thank you for this strapless. Now if we can only fix the 75 catalogs a week situation…


What’s uP: Introduction on the Edris Blog

15 10 2009

My first week at Edris has been a pure delight and clients have loved the relaxed and professional vibe of the salon.  Here’s the latest from the Edris Salon blog:

Thanks to everyone at Edris for making this a seamless transition!


Wise uP: I Heart Shu Uemura!

11 10 2009

Changing salons means getting to know new product lines and at my new home, Edris Salon, they place a major emphasis on styling. I’ve begun to familiarize myself with Shu Uemura and I’ve fallen in love with their entire line of products, from makeup to finishing. Here are the top 5 Shu Uemura products that have rocked my world this week.

1)   Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil- So new, it’s not even on the Shu Uemura website yet. Known in the industry as liquid gold, this essential oil is worth every penny (retails around $60). Used on wet hair, it helps create that perfect blow dry. On dry hair, it gives a bit of moisture and shine on frazzled ends. A true essential oil, it doesn’t leave a silicone buildup on fine hair but is strong enough for even the frizziest of locks. This truly is a miracle product. For fine hair, ½ pump. For dry, frizzy hair, 1-1 1/2 pumps. 090619-cheveux-dange.aspx68483ImageLarge

2)   Fiber Lift Protective Volumizer- For my fellow fine-haired ladies, this volumizing product ensures a multi-day blowout.  A little dab will do ya though—no more than a quarter-sized amount applied to damp roots is more than enough for a glamazon blowout.

3)   Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler– It was mentioned in “The Devil Wears Prada” for a reason…this $18 eyelash curler will make you wonder why you ever wasted time with anything else.

ShuEyeCurlerL4)   Shu Uemura Eyeshadow- I used to think MAC was the end all, be all of eyeshadow until I tried the Shu. Incredibly pigmented, this eyeshadow lasts all day long. I recommend using good makeup brushes for best results because this is truly a no-nonsense shadow.

5)   Liquid Fabric- For my curly girls, I recommend a blast of liquid fabric. Best sprayed on damp hair and then diffused or used under a dryer, liquid fabric brings out the best in textured hair. It’s light and soft to the touch, making curls look their absolute best.

Change is good! And I think you’ll love the Shu Uemura line as much as I do.

Change it uP: I am Moving!

2 10 2009

As we’ve all learned this year: Change is GOOD!

I’m thrilled to announce that as of Tuesday, October 6th, I’ll have a new home at Edris Salon. I started my career on the west side and can’t wait to return to the Meatpacking District full time with this incredibly talented group of stylists.

Edris Salon is conveniently located at 430 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor (between 9th and Washington) and is one block from the A-C-E-L trains at 14th Street. For more information on the salon please visit  To make an appointment, please call (212) 989-6800.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Edris SalonEdris_Salon.0.0.0x0.400x300

430 W 14th St, 3rd floor

New York, NY 10014

(212) 989-6800