Best of Manhattan from 2018
December 28, 2018
While the number of days left on the calendar is counting down as the year draws to a close, there’s one thing that won’t be in short supply around the holidays — retrospectives on the wonders that 2018 held for us. No matter which of the apartments for rent in New York City you call home, there’s a good chance you’ve got at least a passing interest in what ranked as the “best of the best” on the island of Manhattan. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, because we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite picks from various categories for your reading pleasure.
Best Dining Around Town
Picking out the best eateries in Manhattan can often be a hotly contested topic, perhaps even a fool’s errand to some, but we’ll give it a shot nonetheless. When it comes to quick lunchtime favorites, we’ve got to throw a nod to Momofuku Noodle Bar. They’ve got two locations around town — one at Columbus Circle and another in the East Village. No matter which you choose to frequent, though, we can assure you the noodles will be quite tasty, and the extensive range of appetizers and other options on the menu, you’ll not be wanting for choice.
For a fun twist on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, our go-to is Balaboosta, on Hudson Street. Helmed by chef Einat Admony, the name of this establishment comes from a Yiddish term, meaning, “the perfect housewife and mother.” there’s rich history and a family story woven into this eatery, not to mention some amazing food options like lamb, dates, and a fabulous wine selection picked by Admony’s husband, Stefan Nafziger. There’s really no way you can go wrong with a meal in this stunning location.
Lastly, when it comes to classic Italian fare, we suggest heading to the Upper West Side to check out Leonti. Inspired by the Northern-Italian tradition, Chef Adam Leonti brings all the pastas, braised meats, and delicious seafood you can handle, in a location that’s been entirely reimagined from its former life as the highly-acclaimed Dovetail.
Best of the Comedy Scene
You want to bust a gut during a night out on the town? Manhattan’s the perfect place for that, as the city plays host to both homegrown stand-up talent and well-known traveling acts on a regular basis.
For our money, we like to hit up Gotham, on West 23rd Street in Chelsea. If you didn’t already know, the club has been a giant on the comedy scene since its inception in 1996, and they’ve been rolling strong ever since. It’s been a driving force in developing the careers of well-known names like Tom Papa and Jim Gaffigan, and regularly features greats like Bill Burr, Roy Wood, Al Madrigal, and the like.
Make no mistake, though, there are other great options for comedy beyond the confines of Gotham, like the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. It’s not uncommon to see the best of the best in the comedy world to drop in here, and a quick peek at the lineup reveals guests like Judah Friedlander, Keith Robinson, and Michelle Wolf.
Finally, we’ve got to throw a mention to Caroline’s on Broadway. It’s one of the elite names in the comedy circle, and a trip here almost always guarantees a rip-roaring good time. Name a hot comic you want to see — Dave Attell, Jay Pharoah, Bill Burr — chances are you’ll be able to catch them at Caroline’s at some point or another, so this venerated comedy haven will always be part of our “best of” listings.
Best of the Stage
The performing arts and Manhattan go hand in hand, and there are so many great theatres around town it makes it difficult to choose just a few. We’ve got to tip our hats to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, however, for its extensive handiwork in cultivating talent on stage. Be it dance, music, operas, or good old-fashioned stage plays you want to see, there’s always something on the docket to fit your fancy, and talent that graces this famed complex is almost always of the highest caliber.
Smaller theatres deserve some love too, however, and one of our favorites is the Ensemble Studio Theatre, now in its fiftieth year of putting on outstanding shows. Seeing as this outfit only had 20 theatre artists at its inception, and has now blossomed to a robust number of more than “600 actors, directors, playwrights and designers,” that’s a commendable achievement indeed. What’s more, EST has long been dedicated to dedicated to inclusion in all its forms, making this one of the more diverse stages you’ll see among the city’s offerings.
Then there’s the always outstanding WP Theater (once known as the Women’s Project), a vital city institution since the late 1970s. Their dedication to pushing the boundaries of the artistic landscape is always appreciated, and some of the shows they’ve been putting on lately, like the tragic-but-humorous Natural Shocks, really force viewers to put on their thinking caps, and serve as a reminder of the importance of powerful female playwrights like Lauren Gunderson.
The “Best of” Culture Doesn’t End There
All that, and we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the numerous cultural, entertainment, and dining options Manhattan holds for its citizens and visitors. Don’t forget that there are also great music venues to discover, like The West End Lounge, outstanding museums to get lost in, like Neue Galerie, and plenty of places to dance the night away, like Iguana and the Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar. There’s always more to discover, and here’s hoping that 2019 offers as much richness as 2018 did.
Guess Which of the Apartments for Rent in New York City Ranks Among the Elite?
When talking about the best in Manhattan, there’s not a conversation that can’t include The Cole. This luxury apartment paradise, located right in the majesty of the Upper East Side, brings the very best of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods well into focus. Thinking this is your kind of spot? Be sure to check out what The Cole has to offer, and make this your choice for Upper East Side living done right.