Insider Guide: Make Believe’s New York City

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When it comes to sourcing recommendations when you’re traveling somewhere, there are no better than those provided by those who know their city best. And so, for this edition of SIXTY’s Insider Guide, we’ve tapped Thatcher Shultz and Jack Mulqueen, the nightlife power team behind rooftop social club and concept lounge Make Believe at SIXTY LES. Below, the two offer their local go-tos for everything from hidden gem sushi spots to where to score grown-up takes on s’mores.

It’s 7 a.m. and the only thing that’ll pry your eyes open is a cup of coffee. You hit:

JM: The kitchen! I keep about a kilo of MatchaBar matcha in my apartment at any given time for when I am in need of a jolt.

TS: The gym! 7 a.m. is pushing it but I do love getting an early start.

When you need to soak up last night’s sin with a bagel and/or preferred carbohydrate:

JM: J.G. Melon. The original location on the Upper East Side has been my go-to for this type of atonement since I was in high school. On Sunday morning, the waiters know what kind of weekend I’ve had based on if I order Angostura bitters in my club soda.

TS: Vic’s or The Smile in NoHo. Really good.

How about you haven’t eaten since 5 p.m. the night before and you’re ready for breakfast with a capital “B”:

JM: Lately my move has been Frenchette. They have an incredible scrambled eggs with escargot, and if I’m in the need of a little hair-of-the-dog, I’ll grab a carafe of their Pét-Nat.

Bodega you hit when you’re out of gum/candy/seltzer/whatever it is you run out of as a New York human:

JM: The one on my corner, no idea what it’s called, but it’s open 24/7 and their options are pretty robust. Can’t say I’ve ever opted for their hot plates, though.

Is there a cat there: YES / NO

JM: If there is isn’t a cat then it can’t be considered a bodega. It’s just a deli.

For a civilized lunch:

JM: Cafe Mogador, Le Coucou, and Via Quadronno, to name a few.

For a less civilized lunch:

JM: Miznon at Chelsea Market. Their minute-steak pizza is a sloppy delight. And with the lack of seating, you’re guaranteed to get some on your shirt.

TS: For a casual lunch, I’ll usually grab something quick at Mimi Cheng’s in Nolita.

It’s the afternoon and you maybe need another coffee but you don’t want to hit your a.m. spot:

JM: Devoción in Williamsburg has such a strong ambiance about it—that would be high on my list.

TS: Almond milk latte at SoHo House or Ludlow House. They have great coffee.

Juice. Do you do juice?

JM: Not really. For that much sugar I’d rather have a tiramisu.

Fro-yo? Just kidding. Don’t answer that. Or do. Ice cream, maybe?

JM: OddFellows for sure. Their Lemon Meringue Pie ice cream is one of the most divine foods I have ever tasted. Peanut Butter S’mores is up there too. Generally, I call in beforehand to see what flavors they carry, since they change every day.

TS: Van Leeuwen.

You’re having dinner with your friends, you’re going to:

JM: There are three exceptional and diverse sushiyas in my neighborhood that I frequent. Tanoshi is my hidden gem. A reasonably priced, casual, 12-seat edomae bar that is BYOB. Sushi Ishikawa is omakase without rules. Chef Don Pham has a decadent flare, adding shaved truffles, caviar, and other exquisite fare to his pieces. The cream of the crop is Sushi Noz. To me, it is the closest you can get to a three-Michelin-star sushiya without a ticket to Japan. Out of this world.

TS: I like having my friends for dinner at Her Name Was Carmen. It feels like I’m entertaining in my own kitchen/dining room.

Okay, now you need to impress someone. Maybe it’s a date. Where you eating?

JM: Le Bernardin is a classic. Chef Eric Ripert is a seafood wizard; every plate so delicate and simply prepared, with pristine ingredients, and cooked to perfection. He has this desert—it’s a banana s’more with coquito, a traditional Puerto Rican delicacy. That’s two of my favorite things: s’mores and Puerto Rico. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is a recent discovery that I am dying to return to.

TS: La Mercerie in SoHo, or il Buco Alimentari for really good Italian food.

What about dinner alone? It happens.

JM: Somewhere I can sit at the bar so I don’t look like a serial killer. Our restaurant, Her Name Was Carmen, has bar seating and a lively ambiance, and a friendly and attentive staff I can chat with so I’m not just staring at my phone the whole time.

It’s your off-night and you’re not at Make Believe. What are you drinking and where is that happening?

JM: Banzabar, the reservation-only bar above Freemans, is one of my favorites. Intimate setting, delicious bites, and the cocktails are out of this world.

TS: I hop around a lot, especially on the weekends. My location cannot be pinpointed at any given time, but if I’m drinking, it’s usually a nice tequila or mezcal rocks.

Photo courtesy of Jonas Brief

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