Dine

Tucked into the tree-lined streets of the Hamilton Park neighborhood of Jersey City, The Hamilton Inn is a sunny restaurant with a full bar and varied menu. Throughout the day, light pours in through the windows of the corner space, while the evening brings cozy, warm lighting from dimmed overhead lamps.

In the Meatpacking District, The Standard High Line Hotel’s Après Skate Hut is the perfect place to cozy up with a cold-weather cocktail and some creative comfort food.

Looking for a pizza made with unique, local and high-quality ingredients? Try a pie at Jersey City’s Razza. The restaurant’s personal-sized pizzas are perfect for one, or good for sharing along with an appetizer or salad. I’ve dined there twice and tried two of their frequently changing specials: gnocchi with pork and a sausage-and-mushroom topped pizza.

A charming French bakery and café with locations in Hoboken and Jersey City, Choc O Pain offers a variety of pastries and hot drinks. Choc O Pain’s Hoboken location is more spacious with two floors of seating, while their Jersey City café is much smaller and cozier.

Find upscale French food on the Upper East Side at Le Périgord. The restaurant features elegant décor and warm lighting. Mirrors, booth seating and small sculptures surround the spacious dining room. I visited recently to try a few appetizers and was seated in their private back room, which can be rented out for small parties.

New Yorkers move to New Jersey for larger houses, so why not visit our neighboring state for larger bars too? When I first walked into Zeppelin Hall, I was amazed at the height of the ceilings, the multitude of picnic table seating and the fact that there were two enormous rooms plus a spacious backyard, each with their own bar.

Last week, I got to try a delicious slice of cake from BeBe Bakes, a custom-cake bakery owned and operated by Beth Bennett. I recently attended a party where one of Bennett’s creative desserts—a three layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and vanilla buttercream frosting—was served after dinner and it seemed unanimous that this was one of the best cakes any of us had eaten.

Although new restaurants are always popping up in NYC, there’s much to be said for the city’s older establishments—many of which have pleased hungry patrons for more than 50 years. One such place, Moran’s Chelsea, has a storied history that includes all walks of life—from longshoremen to movie stars.

I started my journalism career writing the New York City hotel scene, so I still have an affinity for the topic—often keeping a look out for new hotels popping up throughout the city, as well as updates and renovations to old favorites. This past November, I had the opportunity to take a look at The St. Regis New York’s recently renovated and expanded King Cole Bar.

A lot can be said for aimlessly walking around New York City. A few years ago while taking a stroll around the Upper West Side, my curiosity was peaked when I stumbled past a shop called Beard Papa’s.

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