What's New

This week we’re sharing where to catch the coolest holiday movies in the city, highlighting 2 cool new restaurants, and introducing you to our cool new friend: Allie Chernick of Allie's Banana Bread.

Culture Corner


The Wesley

This new plant-focused restaurant in the West Village has A LOT going for it. In addition to the stunning interiors and a chef whose CV includes Le Bernardin and Daniel, The Wesley features a wine and spirits list of predominantly female producers curated by Gabriel Maldonado. We’re excited to check it out soon as our new spot to celebrate all the good things!  

l'Ami Pierre

With more of us returning to our Midtown offices, might we suggest a classically-French jambon buerre sandwich instead of another $13.99 grain bowl? l’Ami Pierre is a casual place to grab a Parisien lunch in the neighborhood, and like The Wesley, has connections to Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin (he served as a menu advisor here.) Stop in at 149 W 51st St for breakfast, lunch, and an early to-go dinner every day except Sunday.


If you thought Dimes Square had mellowed out after the end of the Summer, think again. New restaurant Casino just opened at 171 East Broadway and is serving up seaside Italian fare in whitewashed interiors that look straight out of the Amalfi Coast…you almost wouldn’t know it used to be the home of Mission Chinese Food. Casino is accepting reservations Tuesday-Saturday.

Bleecker St. Block Party

There are still so many ways to celebrate the holidays and shop small before you start your travels this year. Tomorrow, Bleecker Street is hosting their annual block party full of sweet bites, sips, holiday tunez & ofco…shopping. Cross ur luved ones off your gifts-to-get list with some of our fave brands like Naadam & Goodlife. All happening this Saturday from 11a-4p :) Sign up for an RSVP and get more info here!

Hand Made Holiday Pop-Up

Head over to the East Village for more holiday shopping at the Hand Made Holiday Pop-up. The market will feature a range of  gifts from ceramics, crocheted hats, knitwear and screen printed shirts all made from local artists in NYC. One day only, Saturday December 17th from 6-11pm at 434 E 9th street in Manhattan, just a few blocks from the L at 1st Ave.

LOOK (at art)

Marria Pratts at The Boiler / ELM Foundation

Barcelona-based artist, Marria Pratts, has made her NYC debut at The Boiler / ELM Foundation in Brooklyn, with Melted With U. The exhibition features a series of mixed-media canvases using bright colors mixed with blank hues. There are also hints of neon and traces of burned material, a nod to Miró. With these elements, along with ghostly figures, Pratts has built her own identifiable language, where reality and hope collide to embrace a new dream. Stop by 191 N. 14th St. in BK to see the show until Wednesday, December 21.

Agnes Barley at Sears-Peyton Gallery

A coolstuff fave artist, Agnes Barley, is currently showing her bold & whimsical contemporary work at Chelsea Gallery, Sears-Peyton. We love her use of color and paint strokes…stop by to see it all IRL at 210 11th Ave. Up until TOMORROW!


If you’re looking for a fun winter read, or just for things to do between now and when warm weather returns in March, check out our new guide for our friends at Papier:’s guide to New York in Winter. Click the big ol’ button below to hear our rec’s for cozy winter restaurants,  love notes to NYC, and more! 

Guide to New York in Winter

We’re v excited to share about a new Korean food pop-up happening rn in Korea Town! OkDongsik NYC pop-up – in partnership with HAND Hospitality – is all about the single menu item: dwaeji-gomtang (pork bone broth) served in the style of gukbap (rice soup). This pop-up in NYC will be the first time ever that OkDongsik has been available in America…so RUN! The pop-up will be happening all winter & early Spring until April 1. Snag those resys here :)


This week we’re very excited to welcome back Elissa Suh of MOVIEPUDDING as a guest contributor. Here is Elissa’s list of what-to-watch this holiday season →

- The Hollywood classic: It’s A Wonderful Life at IFC Center

- A cult classic for horror fans: SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT at Nitehawk Williamsburg

- The highbrow pick: FANNY AND ALEXANDER, an epic family saga and sumptuous feast for the eyes, at Museum of the Moving Image

- Anything and everything in Metrograph’s Holiday series, but especially, and always, EYES WIDE SHUT. Take a shot every time a Christmas tree graces the frame, and I promise you’ll be properly sozzled. 


BONUS: Non Christmas Picks

- Check out Yung Ben Affleck in GOING ALL THE WAY DOWN at The Quad 

- Witness the hot pink angora sweater in PARIS TEXAS that unwittingly inspired a dozen fashion inspirations at Film Forum

- If you're a Sofia Coppola fan, try CORSAGE (Vicky Krieps! Lilac cigs! Ahistorical pop music and slow-mo!) at Lincoln Center


Ok, we know we just put out perhaps our greatest gift guide yet, but for all the procrastinators out there, we have one more suggestion: get a portrait of your pet painted in watercolor at Grand Army Bar. Local Brooklyn watercolor artist Matt Timms, aka @allthebadcats, will set up at Grand Army Bar on Sunday 12/18 starting at 4pm to paint his signature "brutally honest" pet portraits. Get one for someone you share a pet with, and keep in mind all pets welcome (cats, yes, but also dogs, birds, hamsters, chinchillas, you name it!) 

Cool friends: Allie Chernick

Meet Allie of Allie's Banana Bread. We mean it when we say Allie makes the best banana bread we have ever had. When a friend was having a rough month we gave them a loaf of Allie’s baked magic and…kind of regretted it? Okay, we didn’t regret making a friend feel better, but we did sit down with Allie to hear more about her banana bread bizzzz.

How did you start your banana bread biz, Allie's Banana Bread?

So…here’s how it goes: I’ve been making this banana bread my whole life. It’s my grandma’s recipe. Growing up, I would bake it for middle school fundraisers and post-soccer game snacks, pot lucks with friends, use it as a thank you gift, etc. And I really never stopped making it! I quickly became known as the banana bread girl in college, as well. It was just…my thing. 

Fast forward to post-college life, my friends started asking me to bake them loaves for their office events, holiday parties, etc.. People would try it, become obsessed (of course), and ask where they got it. I started making it for these friends of friends, and eventually made an instagram for the bread to start taking orders. Before I knew it, I was getting more orders than I could handle, so I decided to start taking it a bit more seriously. 

I started out by making Allie’s Banana Bread a legal business. I figured out all the licenses I needed, rented a commercial kitchen, and so on. And to my surprise, the orders just kept coming in. I made a website to take NYC based orders, and once a week, I’d go to the commercial kitchen after work and bake as many loaves as I could. I’d put them on sale, they’d sell out in just a few minutes, and the next day I would commute to work with a suitcase full of banana breads. Once 5:00 hit, I got on the subway and hand delivered everyone. I eventually started shipping nationwide, and quickly came to realize I was getting enough orders to make pretty much the same amount of money I was making from my 9-5. 

Come September 2020, I decided to quit my full time job and start doing this full time, and now here I am!


What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

I love how everyone really lifts each other up and is genuinely interested in your work. Every time I speak to someone else in the creative, small business community, they’re always trying to figure out ways to collaborate to make both of our ideas better, or put me in touch with another creator that can help me improve. Everyone is also very transparent about how difficult it can be sometimes, which is really nice when social media makes it seem like it all comes very easy to everyone. The truth is, it’s not, and this community is very willing to talk about it and share their experiences.


What's inspiring you right now?

Everyone in the food industry. I know that’s a broad group of people, but coming into this space without really having any knowledge of what it was like, I had no idea how hard it was going to be. The amount of pressure put on chefs, line-cooks, or anyone owning a business in the industry is insane. I really look up to these people, especially the ones I see going through it first-hand, like my friends from Edy’s Grocer and Cafe Panna. They all work so hard and I’m inspired every day to follow in their footsteps.


Follow along
Instagram: @alliesbananabread

Read more Best Of articles, Cool Friends interviews, and past Newsletter editions on our website: 

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This week's contributors: Elissa Suh

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