Salon Ruggeri

SALON RUGGERI

115 East 37th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues 
212.229.2094

Salon Ruggeri is one of those places that you'd only know about if a beauty insider tipped you in. That's how I found this jewel-box hair salon in the first place--from my very good friend Georgina.

This salon is just a chic slice of heaven, fashionably outfitted with gorgeous objets d'art and stylish furniture. The glossy big-name hair salons with their celebrity stylists and private label haircare lines have lost their appeal on me. I crave a personalized and more private experience: here, there are only two styling stations. Call and make an appointment with Cassie Harwood--you won't regret it. She knows what she's doing. (And only share this place with girlfriends who are worthy! Let's keep it special!)

Treehouse Bar at David Burke Kitchen

TREEHOUSE BAR at DAVID BURKE KITCHEN

The James Hotel
23 Grand Street near Sixth Avenue
212.201.9119

Dining al fresco on a beautiful night at Treehouse Bar feels like such a treat: it's a casual urban oasis that serves the same menu as David Burke Kitchen downstairs. True to David Burke's form, he adds little unexpected twists to dishes that we may already be familiar with. Tuna tartare is stuffed into mini taco shells with whipped avocado, the crab cake is encased in a pretzel stick-crust, and even a standard brick chicken dish is crowned with a "milanese" egg--a soft-boiled egg that's been rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried to a golden crisp.

Raoul's

RAOUL'S

180 Prince Street bet. Sullivan & Thompson Streets
212.966.3518

Raoul's is a classic French bistro that's been a mainstay on Prince Street since the 1970's. I love the SoHo chic vibe sans trendiness. Try to snag a table in their garden room, which is tucked in the back behind the kitchen and feels like a secret bohemian hideaway. I've had the seared scallops with sea urchin butter, which was very nice, but they say the way to go is with the more traditional dishes, like steak au poivre.

Kelly & Ping

KELLY & PING

127 Greene Street bet. Houston & Prince Streets
212.228.1212

Kelley & Ping serves Pan-Asian fare on a cobblestoned street in SoHo--not in the gritty alleyways of Chinatown, so don't expect 100% authenticity. However, the atmosphere is stylish and lofty, the menu features a nice variety of curries, noodle soups, and small bites, and the prices are decent. Just order at the counter and pick a seat.

As a plus, it was featured in one of my favorite scenes in Great Expectations: Finn finds Estella's table and asks her to dance. The two start slow-dancing in the middle of the restaurant, then rush out the door, into the rain, and start kissing. She's wearing a Donna Karan evening dress and there are Chinese lacquered roast ducks hanging on hooks by the open kitchen. I mean, how amazing is that?