There is nothing like the summer in New York City. It can be one of the most entertaining places on earth. Ladies in sexy sundresses, rooftop and pool parties pumping, packed clubs, sweltering subways, beer gardens, stinky taxis, sticky tar and peachy pink sunsets around 9 p.m. make it the perfect place for anyone wanting fun in the sun with some concrete.
The Big Apple is one of the best places to be in the whole world during the summer months. It’s also the location where the new Starz show, Power, is set. Executive produced by Queens native and hip-hop superstar 50 Cent, Power takes a look at the good times and dark side of Manhattan’s club scene and drug trade, through the eyes of its lead character, James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a man with the plan to build an empire.
In honor of this beloved season and the launch of Power on Saturday June 7 at 9P, three other big-time New Yorkers offer city guides to their favorite hot spots and must-attend events going down in NYC this summer. Poughkeepsie-born and famed chef Roble Ali, Queens native and reality star Angela Simmons and Def Jam Recordings executive vice president Shawn “Pecas” Costner of the Bronx, all weigh in on where to go and what do when you’re in the city that never sleeps.
SHAWN PECAS NIGHTLIFE PICKS:
SHAWN PECAS BIO:
Being a record exec in hip-hop is no joke. Sure you might live the good life, but there’s a lot of work to be done. Shawn “Pecas” Costner knows a thing or two about that. The executive vice president at Def Jam Recordings has a lot to deal with at the famed label, home to some of the biggest artists in hip-hop, R&B and pop. Pecas, 43, has been with Def Jam for eight years, and being a New York native, he knows how to make the most of the summer and unwind away from all the drama. He even has his own restaurant, S Prime, which serves as one of the trendiest hot spots. Here Pecas offers the eight most chill places to check out this summer in NYC.
Location: 35-15 36th St., Long Island City, NY 11106
Phone: 718) 707-0660
Best Steak in NYC. Lobster mac and cheese is to die for. Three amazing private dining rooms equipped with large-screen TVs and surround sound. Celebs that frequent: Nas, Victor Cruz, D Wade and Gabrielle Union, Usher, Ellen Pompeo, Fabolous, Justin Tuck and Rick Ross.
The Garden At Studio Square NYC
Location: 35-33 36th St., New York, NY 11106
Phone: (718) 383-1001
Over 20 different beers on tap from around the world, and one of the most unique outdoor spaces in NYC. Home to some of the best intimate live concerts NYC has to offer from artists like Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Nas, Afrojack, Busta Rhymes, Slick Rick, Fabolous and Rakim. It’s one of the few locations that hosts the New York City Wine And Food Festival in the summer. And it holds one of the largest LED screen TV walls.
Location: 348 Dyckman St., New York, NY 10034
Phone: (212) 567-6300
It’s a restaurant and resort with two outdoor lounges and the finest waterfront dining facility. The only place in NYC that you can dock and dine. Frequented by Jay Z, Beyoncé, Carmelo Anthony, LaLa Anthony, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, New York Giants and Jets. Great live music events in the summer from some of the biggest Latin and hip-hop artists around.
Location: 181 Thompson St., New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 254-3000
NYC’s greatest Italian restaurant. Best meatballs, veal Parmesan and wine list NYC has to offer. Owned by renowned chef Mario Carbone, nominated for the prestigious James Beard award. Incredible décor as well as the finest art money can buy on the walls. Frequented by the world’s biggest celebrities, such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Lady Gaga and Kanye West.
Location: 114 Kenmare St., New York, NY 10012
Phone: (646) 613-1333
Best Mexican restaurant in NYC. They have a great selection of tequilas from around the world. They also have the best corn on the cob topped with queso that is to die for. There’s a secret walk way down into the coolest dining room through the kitchen. Great music and vibe. Frequented by Janet Jackson, Derek Jeter, Cameron Diaz, Adrian Grenier and Charlotte Ronson.
Up & Down
Location: 244 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 242-4411
This is one of the best lounges and bi-level clubs in Manhattan. Richie and crew bring in some of the world’s biggest and best DJs. Also one of the go-to spots for some of the biggest celebrities in the world. Frequented by Rihanna, Leo DiCaprio, Jay Z, Kanye West, Prince, Cara Delevingne, A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman.
Location: 28-18 31st St., New York, NY 11102
Phone: (718) 274-7474
This is home to some of the best Puerto Rican cuisine in The Bronx. After 11 p.m., world-renowned host and owner Jimmy Rodriguez moves the tables for a night of salsa, merengue and fusion hip-hop dancing. There’s bottle service, hookah smoking and a raw clam bar to die for. And it’s in an outdoor facility overlooking the water.
Flor De Mayo
Location: 484 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 787-3388
Best rotisserie-style chicken in the world. Chinese/Latin fusion theme. Creator and home of the world-famous “Nutcraker.” Two of those and it’s a wrap. Also the best steak, french fries and tomato mix you’ve ever tasted named Lomo Saltado. Frequented by all of NYC’s rap scene and industry insiders.
ROBLE ALI RESTAURANT PICKS:
Roblé Ali has provided his delectable services for so many prominent palates including but not limited to President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Jackson. The Brooklyn resident served as the youngest sous chef ever at Abigail Kirsch, an elite New York catering company and worked side by side with Chef Chris Santos as Chef de Cuisine of Mojo and on the opening of chic Lower East Side restaurant/lounges, Stanton Social as well as Beauty & Essex. After quickly being identified as one of the hottest up-and-coming chefs, nightlife mogul, Noah Tepperberg, hired Roblé as Executive Chef to open Avenue – a popular and exclusive gastro-lounge in Manhattan. Roblé launched his catering business, Roblé & Co with his unique team of talented chefs and event producers, which was captured in Bravo’s culinary docudrama, Chef Roblé & Co. He’s currently working on multiple projects including his fragrance Clique by Roblé, wine, restaurant, book, apparel line and philanthropy.
Location: 85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Excellent fine dining Italian food with an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. Chef Batali, Joe Bastianich and Chef Ladner really nail it! Ask for Massimiliano to recommend your wines.
Location: 211 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 953-7253
Delicious Japanese cuisine hidden away in the basement of an office building. Their small plate style grants you the ability to taste and share an array of amazing dishes. I hope you like sake.
Location: 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Phone: (718) 417-1118
Long wooden tables, drinks out of mason jars and a wood fire pizza oven are reasons enough to go, but go for the food! Simple, unpretentious dishes using local, seasonal ingredients, much of it coming from their own garden.
Location: 33-07 Ditmars Blvd, New York, NY 11105
Phone: (718) 545-8666
Greek seafood at its best. Grilled fish cooked perfectly every time, clean flavors and classic Greek dishes. I have yet to find a restaurant that prepares better octopus. Eating there makes me happy.
Soho Tiffen Junction
Location: 42 E 8th St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 777-0440
Great for a quick lunch or dinner bite. Their Indian dosa rolls are served with marinated, braised meats or vegetarian options. They really only make one thing and they do it well. Think Indian burrito. Automatic win!
Dinner on Ludlow
Location: 95 Delancey St New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 228-0909
A creative take on classic dishes plays to your imagination as well as your appetite. Hearty and comforting, there is something for everyone. Simplicity is the name of the game here, but it’s anything but boring.
Beauty and Essex
Location: 146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 614-0146
This sleek and sexy restaurant hiding behind a pawn shop is more than just looks. My mentor, Chef Chris Santos takes downtown dining to the next level. For drinks, the upstairs lounge is the place to be.
Location: 285 Grand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: (718) 638-9500
I fell in love with their blue crab spaghetti and have been going back ever since. Southern, seasonal and local all at the same time; they break all the rules. This is great American cuisine.
Location: 376 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: (718) 230-0061
An emphasis on Italian, creative, bad-ass pizzas along with wood grilled meats and seafood. This is a real Brooklyn neighborhood restaurant. Note: Everything in Speedy Romeo is cooked by wood fire (my favorite way to cook).
Location: 310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 792-9001
Chef Marcus Samuelsson hits it out of the park. Southern influenced cuisine with a touch of the Caribbean and a nod to Scandinavia sounds crazy but it really works. Quickly becoming a Harlem institution. Make your way up there or miss out.
ANGELA SIMMONS SHOPPING PICKS:
ANGELA SIMMONS BIO:
Angela Simmons is the star of two hit MTV shows: “Run’s House,” and “Daddy’s Girls.” The daughter of legendary rap artist Reverend Run of Run-DMC, Angela has quickly established herself as a fashion powerhouse and entrepreneur in her own right. Founder and fashion designer of the ultra-popular clothing, sneaker, and handbag/accessory line Pastry, Angela, alongside her sister Vanessa, have successfully marketed the brand to mainstream audiences where it has become a national hit. With international appeal, Angela has graced the pages of People, Seventeen and Teen Vogue. The High School of Fashion Industries graduate also co-hosted BET’s 106 and Park as well as appeared on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Extra. She continues to turn heads on A-list red carpets at such prominent events as the Emmy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and New York Fashion Week.
Location: 750 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 754-1120
I love Zara because they have cool and eclectic clothing at great affordable prices. You can find all the latest trends at Zara’s without breaking the bank.
Location: 640 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 489-0390
H&M is my go to spot for basic items. If you are off to an event and need a quick change, I know I can find it here.
Location: 478 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 966-9555
Topshop is a staple in New York City. They have a large variety of fashion items to choose from. With four floors of clothing, accessories and shoes at affordable prices, you will never leave the store empty handed.
Location: 22 Cortlandt St, New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 227-9092
I love Century 21 because they have good deals on designers clothes. You can always find me at Century 21 with my stylist going through the racks finding designer deals.
Location: 116 Wooster St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 965-9964
Barney’s is my favorite. I come here to find the hot trends and new designer pieces. You can also find amazing scented candles here.
Location: 655 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 257-4366
I am a shoenista and Schutz is where you come for shoes. They always have a wide selection of comfortable fashionable shoes.
Location: 306 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 966-4066
If you are looking for one of a kind pieces from Sex and The City’s fashion maven, Patricia Fields is the place to go. They have one of kind finds you can’t find anywhere.
Location: 162 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 375-1277
As a fashionista, my look is always changing. Urban Outfitters is where I go when I want to get the hipster look.
Location: 103 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 977-9683
I love the materials they use on their clothing and the way they mix materials. As a designer, I have an eye for fabrics and materials and Alexander Wang is excellent at creating masterpieces.
Location: 29 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 226-1565
I fell in love with SuperTrash when my stylist introduced me to their clothing. Super Trash is a hidden treasure, their pieces can work from day to night.