Setai Spa special offer for Waterside residents only


When we think Spa, we think aaaaahhhh… especially when it looks as lovely and luxurious as the new spa within the Setai Club condominium down on Broad Street. And even MORE especially when we’re offered an exclusive 20% savings just for being a Waterside resident! 

Here’s how the Waterside-only Setai Club Spa sale works: 

1. Chose any of the Setai Spa’s therapies before March 31–the Honey and Citrus Renewal; the Couples Massage; the Gentleman’s Facial, to name just three from the extensive menu–and instantly save 20% off your entire bill!  

2. Make your reservation by calling 212 – 792 – 6193, and mention the code "Waterside Plaza 2010". 

3. Exclusive Waterside BONUS! Setai Spa will also give Waterside residents a FREE Refresher Facial with any 90-minute Sports Massage, or Setai Signature Massage, or Couples Massage. 


For lots more information on the Spa at the Setai Club, as well as a look inside the supremely relaxing Aqua Grotto, please click through the Setai Club website, here.  

Two-star Italian alert!


Sam Sifton, the still-newish restaurant critic for The New York Times, surprised many restaurant-watchers this week by filing on the 16-year-old Novita, an unassuming Italian trattoria right near Waterside Plaza on 22nd Street between Park and Lexington. Former Times critic Ruth Reichl had bestowed a single star on Novita back in 1994, and that, we all thought, was that. Sifton had other ideas though, and blew the cover off of this Gramercy Park spot by giving Novita a two-star love-fest. "In any other metropolis in North America" Sifton says, "it would be well known among that city?s best places to eat. In many cities, it would sit atop the heap." 

The pasta is the way to go here, it seems. Again, from Sifton: 

"The pastas are just ridiculous: perfectly prepared, full of flavor, a rejoinder to low expectations.

You might try a bright and floral pesto over the long cavatelli pasta known as strozzapreti, or priest chokers, studded with pine nuts and salted with Parmesan. Or a plain penne with roasted tomatoes, basil and mozzarella that tastes of triangular perfection, summer on a midwinter plate. Black spaghettini with mixed seafood and a spicy tomato sauce is worth a mini-fad in itself, with pasta that is toothsome and a sauce made rich with lobster.

Three more: little ears of orecchiette with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe in tomato sauce; papparadelle with lamb ragu and earthy porcini mushrooms; rigatoni with seared tuna, black olives, tomatoes and oregano. These are like postcards from an Italy of the mind, color swatches to recolor your world." 


Sounds amazing. And, like we said, it’s just a few blocks away from Waterside, so this "perfect neighborhood trattoria" is, in fact, YOUR neighborhood trattoria. 

For menus and reservations, go here. And Sam Sifton’s complete review is here

Waterside Sharks Swim Club: Sign up your child today!


They amazing thing about learning to swim–about becoming really, truly comfortable and confident in the water–is that it often just takes one relatively brief period of immersion when you’re young, and then it stays with you for the rest of your life. We remember when it happened to us, the summer between third and fourth grades, when he had access to a pool several times a week for a month or so, on some otherwise long-forgotten family vacation, and how we went from, you know… keeping our head above water to really being swimmers. And then years and years later, we had the extreme pleasure of watching our children go through the same thing, at about the same age, though with them it was a city pool.




Right now you can give your child a lifetime of security and aptitude in the water with The Waterside Plaza Swim and Health Club’s Waterside Sharks, a swim club for kids ages 7 – 13, meeting two afternoons a week. During these fast-paced 45-minute sessions, Coaches Radenko and Jorge take the kids through all sorts of games and exercises designed to teach proper breathing techniques and body positions, as well as racing starts and turns. The ultimate goal of the Waterside Sharks is create several swim teams that will compete in the Metro Zone league starting next September, but for now it’s all about learning, confidence and, of course, tons of fun.  

To sign up your child today, or simply to receive more information about the Waterside Sharks, please stop by the Health and Swim Club or call 212-340-4225. 

See you in the pool!


It’s Pancake Month at Clinton Street Baking!


For years now the good folks at Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant, led by Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, have been cooking up one the best brunches in town. In fact, pretty much everything is superb, all day and all night, at this cozy spot on the Lower East Side’s "restaurant row", from the baked goods (obviously) and the full, fluffy omelets, to the spicy shrimp and cheese grits, the veggie sandwiches, and the burgers, shakes, and salty russet fries. Basically, you can’t go wrong at the Clinton St. Baking… but you can go extra-special-RIGHT by ordering a stack of Kleinberg’s ethereal, game-changing pancakes. 


It’s Clinton St. Baking’s pancakes that gets us standing on line during prime brunch-time, and showing up at night, or, when we can, during the week, when the scene is a lot less hectic. And now in February, Kleinberg ups the ante by offering a special pancake plate every weekday, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all month long. We stopped by tonight for… er… "dinner" to sample his first new flavor, Chocolate and Blood Orange, and it was truly spectacular, the moist, airy cakes topped and layered with melty dark-chocolate chunks and candied orange peels, sitting in a pool of candied orange glaze, accompanied by a crock of warm maple butter. Unbelievably good. And just about every table in the place was devouring a stack of their own!     


And that’s just the first of Kleinberg’s concoctions for Pancake Month! We’ll definitely be back on February 8th or 9th for his Fresh Coconut, Passion Fruit and Banana stack… and on the 16th or 17th for the Brown Sugar Pecan and Cinnamon Maple Butter variety… and, what the heck, on the 25th or 26th for a plate of the insane-sounding Crunchy Banana and Cinnamon-Chili-Chocolate Sauce Pancakes. For a complete calender listing all of Clinton St. Baking’s Pancake Month specials, click here.

The Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant Pancake Month details 

Clinton St. Baking is located on Clinton Street between Houston and Stanton Streets. Special pancakes are served Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and then again from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., all month long. For lots more information about Pancake Month and the Clinton St. Baking, please see Kleinberg and Lahman’s website, here.  

L.A. Burdick Cafe and Chocolate Shop NYC



L.A. Burdick –purveyors of fine edibles, all involving chocolate–has something of a cultish following in its native New England. Now, we will wolf chocolate-anything quicker than the next two guys, so when we heard that the Burdicks (it’s a husband and wife team) were opening a branch right here on 20th Street, it quickly moved to the top of our must-try dessert spots. Because although Walpole, New Hampshire, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, are undoubtedly lovely little towns, New York City, with its many firmly established, supremely delicious chocolate (hot and otherwise) shops already in place, is a different story altogether. Basically, quaint decor and just-serviceable sweets is not going to cut it here in the big city. Can Burdick deliver more?  




The good news: the chocolates we tried were excellent, on par with some of the city’s best at Roni Sue’s and Bespoke Chocolates. And those three shades of mice, and the flock of penguins? Cute as a button! The prices are a little high at the main counter, but the approximately 15-piece, $8 bag of "seconds" we found over by the hot chocolate bar may have looked a bit scruffy, but tasted just fine. Whether filled with pistachio or caramel or raspberry or ganache, in dark, milk or even white, this is rich, honest, sweet-but-not-too-, chocolate. 




The less good news: Burdick’s chocolate in cake and warm-beverage format was only just OK. The baked goods all looked pretty ordinary (and pretty pricey), and the chocolate-raspberry "Birthday Cake" we tried didn’t rise above expectations. The hot chocolate, too–frothy on top, sludgy below–was fine, but nothing to get too excited about either. And with the amazing City Bakery just a couple of blocks away, it seems unlikely that we’ll be back to Burdick for more from this section of the shop. Again, we did like that bag of "seconds" though. 




L.A. Burdick Cafe and Chocolate Shop details

L.A. Burdick Cafe and Chocolate Shop is located on 20th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, and is open from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; until 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays; and until 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. The decor is unashamedly New England-quaint, creating a more dowdy feel to the proceedings than we wanted for our Saturday night sweet-stop.  For more info, see the Burdick’s website, here