Cittanuova – A Great Treat At The Beach, Good Food & TVs with Sports

Cittanuova Italian Restaurant East Hampton New York Long Island

Do you recommend Cittanuova for:
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

 

Summer is over, not officially yet, but Labor Day has passed. We had a very nice bar meal outside of our usual locales. Here is an East Hampton review of one of my favorite bars to eat and watch sports or engage with a very friendly crowd. Trying to remember the good summer and extend it just a bit with this edition of BarTaste.

Out in the East End of Long Island in East Hampton I am enjoying a relaxing weekend with friends. I decide to break off to walk around the village when I come upon Cittanuova, a place where I have had many good meals and spent several Monday nights watching Monday Night Football in one of the few places with large televisions tuned to sports, Rowdy Hall is another. This being East Hampton, this contemporary Milanese Italian’s menu is higher end than others places televising sports, just another reason why I was pleased to be walking in the door to find a seat at the bar.

Cittanuova Experience: No, not another burger. I can hear the sighs of relief, no worries, more burger reviews to come. On a cool, drizzly Summer Saturday I walk in and and find a couple of open seats at the bar which handles about 12 people. The restaurant and bar are full but not crowded, it is later in the afternoon, giving it a nice vibe. Lots of people in the Village today because of the weather and many have come to Cittanuova for a leisurely lunch, hang out or wait for friends. I take a seat near the right side. The bar faces the wall with three large televisions, all tuned to sports. Behind me the restaurant opens to a very inviting patio facing the street bringing the sidewalk activity into the restaurant.

Checking my phone I realize there is a Mets game on, not the Phillies, but the National League East will do. This is New York after all. I ask the bartender to change one of the channels from ESPN and Golf to the baseball game. The bartender is having difficulty finding a listing for a live game and the guy next to me thinks this is an encore game. We quickly realize this is a rescheduled rained out game. This guy, being a Mets fan, is quite happy. I am pleased as well and settle in for lunch.

I order the Sopressata Frittata special from the very nice and extremely hardworking bartender. The meal, spicy sopressata with spinach, provolone and piccante was delicious and the perfect late lunch/brunch cure for a somewhat dreary afternoon at the beach. They mistakenly tried to at first serve me the Chicken Milanese which looked delicious as well.

Business Travelers: Cittanuova is a mix of weekenders from New York City, a business crowd, and local residents. While it is away from regular business centers this is The Hamptons where business is  being done all weekend so having a good place to meet with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues is cool. I know that there can be a wait at times and reservations are not accepted. An excellent place for women traveling alone on business. The location right on Newtown Lane, in the center of East Hampton Village, is ideal for a before or after meal stroll. The stores are very high end so prepare for lots of window shopping or big credit card charges. Parking in the Village parking lots is free but on days like today many have to cruise around the lots waiting for an open spot. Parking in the lots is limited to two hours and strictly enforced. Street parking may be more restrictive. Park on the perimeter of the Village, with less restrictions, and take nice walk into the center. Walk or ride to the beach. All beaches require East Hampton Village or East Hampton Town parking permits which are not issued for short periods. Some paid beach parking is available at Main Beach.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Cittanuova
29 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
(631) 324-6300

Cittanuova Menu

Cittanuova on Urbanspoon

Ainsworth Park – Mad for March, Absolutely Terrific Crowd, Food and Sports

Aisworth Park high-end Sports Bar New York Flatiron Manhattan Business Travelers: Do you recommend Ainsworth Park for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.1/5 (5 votes cast)

It’s March and I am mad for college basketball. Three of my hometown teams are in: LaSalle, Villanova and Temple. Three of Philly’s Big Five, not bad. (half of the City Six if you are a Drexel fan.) Unfortunately tonight one of these teams will disappoint but Ainsworth Park more than made up for it. Ainsworth is a great place for sports and food but the big, big plus was the crowd, they were terrific.

Ainsworth Park Experience: On Friday, March 22, 2013 at about 7:30 P.M. I  am walking toward Ainsworth Park, yikes a velvet rope. No problem, no line, and a very nice guy at the door who waves me in. Ainsworth is a large multilevel place, beautifully decorated with large televisions everywhere and a couple of bars, lots of seating and multiple areas for standing and connecting with everyone. The place is packed, of course, it being Friday happy hour with several NCAA Championship Tournament games going at once. I move into the crowd surrounding the main bar, scoping out the televisions looking for the Villanova – North Carolina game. I find it and settle into the crowd. No seats but I am able to find a little space and watch, keeping my eyes open for a seat.

This crowd was wonderful. The place was full of 20 somethings through mid 30’s, well dressed after work crowd. Probably evenly distributed between men and women and amazingly super nice and polite! You see a crowded happy Hour, especially a sports bar full of basketball rivalries, and you expect some rowdy, maybe even a little obnoxious behavior, not here. Yes, it was loud with cheering rarely absent but walking through the crowd you were overwhelmed by the polite and well spoken (loudly) crowd. Ainsworth, the crowd and their parents should all be proud. Send your kids and even if you are not within the age range I described (me included), go too. You will feel very comfortable.

My lucky streak continues and a seat opens up in front of me despite the crowd and right in front of the ‘Nova game. My patience paid off. I sometimes think of leaving but never again until this lucky streak ends. Unfortunately Villanova disappointed and played a very poor game against North Carolina. I order the Park Burger and substitute the Bleu Cheese Tater Tots for the fries. The burger was great and the Tater Tots were nothing like I had had before. Not the small things I remember from my childhood but large hot pockets of potato and bleu cheese. I ate two and took the rest home, still eating them now. The staff were very attentive, engaging and working hard to keep the crowd happy. There are two bars on the first level. the bigger one faces the wall in the center and has about 11 seats facing four large televisions. The other is to the left and has less seats but a nice area for standing and mingling. Great crowd, a good place to come with friends and meet new ones. The televisions were closely managed, I really like this, so that channels were changed based on customer preference and the tournament schedule.

Business Travelers: I strongly recommend this place. Don’t let the age group I talked about above be a deterrent. All are welcome and I fit in fine. Many tables available for a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues.  I don’t see a bad spot where a view of a television is not available. If there is a specific game you want to see I’m sure the staff would be happy to change one of the televisions for you. There is also a second level with limited access. Ainsworth is in the center of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, right in the middle of of New York City’s burgeoning high tech Silicon Alley business area. You are close to Union Square, with many things to do and see, check out Madison Square Park and Eataly, the huge Italian Market with restaurants and a cooking school. The Gramery Park neighborhood is a great place for a stroll Close to the bars and Restaurants along Park Avenue South. A comfortable Sports Bar for women traveling on business with an extremely polite clientele.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Ainsworth Park
111 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
212-673-2467

Ainsworth Park Menu

Ainsworth Park on Urbanspoon

South Philly Bar & Grill – One Of Philly’s Best Sports Bars

Philly Sports Bar BarMeal Reviewed Business Traveler

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend  South Philly Bar & Grill for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 2.7/5 (2 votes cast)

 

South Philly Bar & Grill is all about location, you guessed it: South Philadelphia, next to the famous Geno’s and Pat’s cheesesteak palaces.  SPBG is the quintessential Philadelphia sports bar and a great place to watch any Philly game with some of the most devoted fans anywhere.  The area is swarming with tourists so beware. One of BarTaste’s Top 10 Places To Watch The Phillies.

There are other good sports bars closer to the Center City Business District, Convention Center and hotels (see Top 10 Places to watch the Phillies) so is it worth the trip? It certainly is if you are walking the nearby Italian Market, which is worth seeing. Go ahead and do the tourist cheesesteak thing, I prefer Pat’s over Geno’s but really recommend foregoing both in favor of Steve’s Prince of Steaks (the original on Bustleton Avenue).  Remember, Cheese Wiz is for tourists, get provolone cheese.

The South Philly Bar & Grill Experience: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 about 6:30 P.M. I arrive with some friends primarily to watch the Phillies but the Sixers and Flyers are both in the playoffs and on tonight.  It is a big night for Philly sports. Surprisingly, few people here now although it does fill up later but certainly never became crowded.  There was some confusion about not being able to have all three games on at once but with some prodding from customers all three games were finally on. Center bar, my favorite, almost a triangle with about 5 seats and 3 seats on the two shorter sides and about 13 seats on each of the two longer sides. Televisions everywhere so pick your game then select a seat.

We order appetizers to be followed by sandwiches but they all come at once.  Order separately if you don’t want them all together.  The Onion Rings and Italian Sausage and Peppers were good.  The sausage is made locally in the nearby Italian Market.  Both the Phillies and Sixers win, making me happy.

Business Travelers: No business people around and if you are a woman business traveler I’m sure the very nice and friendly bartenders (sisters?) would make sure you were comfortable at the bar.  Worth the trip from Center City if you are looking for a real Philly sports bar experience away from Center City, are visiting the Italian Market or are being touristy with cheesesteaks.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

South Philly Bar & Grill
1235 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-334-3300
South Philly Bar & Grill Menu
CNN 101 of the Best Sports Bars in the U.S.

South Philly Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Westbury – Longtime Neighborhood Standby

Westbury Bar and Restaurant Philadelphia

Photo by DoctorWho via flickr.



Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Westbury for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 2.6/5 (2 votes cast)

 

Some friends and I were looking for a place to sit at the bar and watch the Phillies game.  Our first choice, while not crowded, had no seats available at the bar so we decided to go to the nearby Westbury, a predominately gay bar which bills itself as a sports place.  Tuesday, May 23, 2012 about 7:30 P.M we sat down and ordered drinks and I was looking forward to doing a Westbury review.   There have been some improvements to the Westbury over the past few years including many large televisions making a TV visible from every seat at the bar.  Also there are about 16 taps with plans to soon take that number to 20 making for a very nice beer selection.  Food is basic bar food.  I had the Fish & Chips and loaded fries.  Why did I ordered so many fires? Food was good.  Menu is basic sandwiches burgers and salads.  Westbury is participating in Philly Beer Week 2012.

The Westbury Bar Experience:  The Westbury has my favorite bar setup, a center bar.  There are a couple of pillars which are part of the bar which do obstruct some views but not significantly.  The two longer sides of the bar have about 12 seats each while the two shorter sides have about 6 seats.  Bartender and wait staff are very nice and attentive and service was good.  No credit cards accepted at the bar and the drinks and food are handled separately by the bartender and waiter respectively.  Credit cards are accepted for food.  Not particularly crowded on this night.  Music is handled by a jukebox and we were not particularly happy with the selection this evening didn’t go well with the game. Maybe we should have selected the music ourselves. No game sound on tonight, just the jukebox music.

Business Travelers:  As I mentioned the Westbury has a predominately loyal, male, gay clientele from the surrounding neighborhood.  It has been part of Philadelphia’s gay scene for a long time and is not particularly close to the hotels or business district.  There were a couple of business people having drinks and food at the bar. The staff and patrons would certainly make any visitors feel welcome and comfortable. We like that there is always a sporting event on the televisions, good basic bar food and nice beer selection.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Westbury Bar and Restaurant
261 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-546-5170
Westbury Menu
Westbury at Philly Beer Week 2012

Westbury Bar on Urbanspoon

Restaurants: Manage Thy Televisions or Take Them Away

While writing for BarTaste I have seen one trend which can be a big minus for restaurant bars yet can be so easily fixed.  There is widespread lack of attention to what is playing on televisions hanging over restaurant bars.  I am not advocating more televisions nor knocking those places which have none, if you have them you need manage them!  Wisely decide what to show and when.

Restaurants are carefully created with attention to the most minute detail of food, linens, service and bars, too many to list.  Include a bar in your restaurant? Do you include televisions?  Many do not as it does not fit with the concept, the experience they are creating and the targeted customer.  Some of these television-less places are my favorites and I will go again and again.  I don’t need the TV.

You’ve selected the paint and things on your wall with great care yet you have the giant screens which are extremely prominent playing anything and everything without any planning or targeting.  It is a huge missed opportunity to gain and retain a customer, create the environment and experience you desire.  Keep the customer there and get them to spend more money.  Everything counts and the televisions are part of this.

Who is your customer or your targeted clientele?  Perhaps general news, business news, financial news, sports or a movie is best. Maybe it’s game shows on the night you have your Quizo contest.  Experiment, ask your customers what they prefer to see or better yet ask the clientele not coming to your restaurant what they would like to see on television.  You pay attention to every last detail of your business yet let the televisions manage themselves, why?

I’ve seen it done well.  Restaurants in business districts showing financial news channels alongside general news switching to sports as the evening progresses.  They have a plan to keep the customer engaged and spending.  Sports Bar Restaurants immediately changing the changing the channel from the post-game show because they’ve determined no one wants to watch it.  Another is cleverly trying to have the best of the have and have not television world.  A discretely placed television high in the corner, big but barely noticeable which I have never seen turned on.  I asked and was told that it is rarely on and only for that big, very important game or event.  Nice plan, where is your plan?

The bad is really bad.  Televisions which are turned on and the channel is left all day from the cleaning crew the night before.  The financial news channel changes to paid programming selling vacuum cleaners, really?  You want your customer buying vacuums while they eat?  A sports bar restaurant with bartenders too busy and oblivious to put the hometown baseball team game on when there are no other games on, you wonder why no one is there?  Another “sports bar” restaurant showing Wheel of Fortune on every television!?  What is going on, wagering on Vanna White’s dress?  Finally Jeopardy on a HD television tuned to the non-HD channel cutting off the answers, why bother?

This is probably the easiest part of a restaurant to manage.  Just some simple planning is all it takes.  I really begin doubting the care put into other aspects of the restaurant, especially the food, when something as simple as a television is not managed well.  Just take them down if it is too much bother.

I have a nice restaurant bar meal review coming up next.

BarTaste Rating  ★☆☆☆☆ 

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

Misconduct Tavern – Good Food, Good Sports, Good Time

Photo Courtesy Misconduct Tavern



Business Travelers: Do you recommend Misconduct for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.3/5 (3 votes cast)

 

After so looking forward to the Phillies home opener, my friend and I found ourselves in a quickly emptying, very cold and windy Citizens Bank Park.  The Phillies offense was nonexistent (sorry Cole) so we left the park to finish watching the game and enjoy a meal at the bar at Misconduct Tavern.

We got to Misconduct about 3:45pm on Monday, April 9, 2012.  Drowning our sorrows after a sad start to the season, we did not order food immediately, instead we ordered beer. Misconduct was very empty with almost every seat available. We had prime bar seats, right in the middle with a clear view of the televisions.  It was a Monday and we had arrived during the gap between lunch and dinner.  I suspect Monday brings less people also and anyone who played hooky from work to see the opening game had long gone back. The bartender, in her Shane Victorino shirt, was extremely nice, talkative, engaging and very sports knowledgeable.  We were having a fun time even though the place was empty.

We began by ordering the Fried Calamari and the Avocado Fries. The fries were quite good, actually fried pieces of avocado with a terrific garlic aioli dipping sauce, I highly recommend.  The calamari was good as well.  Misconduct also has a rotating daily special selection of homemade hotdogs, an interesting idea but a challenge to execute while trying to present a wide range of novel ingredients.  The selection today

was Mahi, Duck and Spicy Pork.  These are not your normal hotdog prices but the size and ingredients justify a premium.  My friend and I go for one Mahi and one Duck. The hotdogs are good size and look delicious. We were disappointed in the Mahi, not really enjoying its mushy texture. The duck was better but I think we were expecting to be wowed but that did not happen.  I regret not selecting the Spicy Pork, I bet it would have been tasty, and I will be back to sample more of the dogs to get a better idea of how good they really are.

Misconduct is one place I enjoy tremendously.  It is number one on my top 10 list of places to watch the Phillies and eat at the bar.  It’s the excellent, friendly staff, nicely sized bar, engaging patrons and televisions which combine to make for a great experience.  The bar is long and faces the wall but is such a big presence within the total space that almost any seat is a good seat.  There are about 18 seats on the long side of the bar and about 5 on the short side.  Our fun waitress changed the channel from the postgame show once the Phillies game ended which was fine with us.  I asked about this and she said people have little interest in postgame show and they always change the channel.  After talking to her a little more it seems they pay close attention to what is on TV at any particular time, detail I find lacking in many bars which purport to be “Sports Bars”  You walk in and suddenly you are watching reruns of Wheel of Fortune on giant beautiful HD televisions and you can tell that the management just does not care.  Kudos to Misconduct for caring and saving me from Game Show Network reruns. I give a 4 star rating as I have been here many times and thoroughly enjoy the food and my time spent eating at the bar.

Business Travelers: Misconduct is a good place to come alone to sit at the bar and eat or to come with colleagues or customers.  Good for women business travelers traveling alone. It is a casual gastropub with food a good notch above typical bar food.  It can become too lively for some during a few peak times and significant sporting events so plan accordingly.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Misconduct Tavern
1511 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-732-5797
Misconduct Tavern Menu
TripAdvisor Misconduct Tavern Reviews

Misconduct Tavern on Urbanspoon

10 Best Restaurant Bars for Watching The Phillies

The Phillies opener is so close, I feel like a 5 year old waiting for Christmas. I’ve got my tickets for the home opener on Monday April 9th but where will I watch the season opener at the Pirates on Thursday April 5th?  I know its at 1:35 on a Thursday afternoon so boot camp will have to do without me this week. You will probably find me eating at the bar at one of these places:

1. Misconduct Tavern

It’s like the stars aligned: food, seats, TVs, bartenders and other customers, all terrific.  It’s the best.

1511 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA (215) 732-5797
Menu
Misconduct Tavern on Urbanspoon

2. Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse

Adult party place, super enthusiastic crowd and Tatter Tots!

1823 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA (215) 665-9500
Menu
Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse on Urbanspoon

3. Perch Pub

Really like the food, great staff and friendly crowd.  Could stay here, eat and drink for hours.  Second floor view can’t be beat. One of the TVs is too high and you have to crane your neck upward to watch.

1345 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA (215) 546-4090
Menu
Perch Pub on Urbanspoon

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