Roberta’s Pizza Without The Wait? Find Out How To Do It

 

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No question, Roberta's in Bushwick, which began life as an obscure pizza place in 2008 and has since evolved and grown and expanded into so much more, is one of New York City's best, most beloved, even iconic restaurants. Rave reviews, including two stars in the New York Times; a fine-dining sister spot Blanca (three stars in the Times), which offers one of the most ambitious and expensive tasting menus in town; pop-up pizza booths at venues like Mad Sq Eats that always attract the longest lines; and a major presence at the forthcoming Vanderbilt Market, which is set to open this fall in Grand Central… yup, pretty much an empire at this point. And all of that is great! Except if you're trying to eat at Roberta's proper anywhere close to prime time, and you're told the wait for a table will be about 90 minutes. Then? Not so great! But now there's a solution: Roberta's Takeaway and Bakery, located right next door. Here's what you need to know… 

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Mr. Brainwash: Life Is Beautiful Pop-Up Opens Under Highline

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The artist known as Mr. Brainwash became instantly famous in 2010 when the already-hugely-famous artist Banksy released his Academy Award-nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. This is a fantastic, often very funny film–if you've never seen it, give yourself a Netflix treat soon–that tells the supposedly true story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles who turns his obsession with graffiti and street art into… well I won't reveal the ending, except to say that in real life Guetta becomes the smashingly successful Mr. Brainwash, who is right now hosting yet another big pop-up exhibition here in New York City in the Meatpacking District. Adding to the excitement, as always: the persistent (though false) rumors that Mr. Brainwash is, in fact, Banksy himself! And with Banksy's amazing-looking "theme park" Dismaland opening in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, UK, and generating an enormous amount of hype, it seems likely that the Mr. Brainwash show will only get more popular.  

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The Best New Pizza in NYC Is the East Village’s Bruno Pizza

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It hardly seems like news when a new pizza restaurant opens in New York City, already home to dozens of the best pizza places in the country. But then along comes a spot like Bruno, which just started serving in early August on 13th Street in the East Village, and it's time for everyone–or, at least, everyone who loves pizza, which should be everyone–to get excited again. Bruno Pizza is an ambitious venture from three total pros, Demian Repucci, and Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino, who have cooked to much acclaim at places like Roberta's, Acme, and, most recently, Box Kite, where they created an insanely good tasting menu "pop-up restaurant" in a minuscule coffee shop on St. Marks. Of course, none of that would matter if the pizza (and everything else) at Bruno wasn't any good, or interesting, but I'm here to tell you that the opposite is true. Bruno Pizza is a terrific, even thrilling restaurant that's already packed nightly and will become an even tougher table once fall begins and everyone gets back from the beach/mountains/lake. Basically, the time to go here is now.    

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JumpIn: The Enormous Ball Pit For Adults That’s Coming To Soho!

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How are you going to celebrate the end of the silly season–aka summer–this year? Like, before fall's full slate of serious culture offerings really kicks in sometime towards the end of September? Eating enormous amounts of the city's best ice cream is always an excellent activity, and screaming on a few rides (and checking out the Art Walls and snacks at Smorgasburg) at Coney Island is also a summertime must if you haven't already gone. But here's another idea, and it could be the most ridiculous one of all: there's a giant ball pit, designed with adults in mind, coming to Soho on August 21, and it's open to the public, one month only, by reservation only, through September 21. The best part: there are still a few slots left on multiple days, so be sure to click through immediately if it sounds at all appealing to play in a pit with EIGHTY ONE THOUSAND white plastic balls.

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A Small Place For Big Ideas: Find Out About Tribeca’s Mmuseumm

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Proof that there is something potentially wonderful and amazing around every corner in this town, even if that corner leads you down an actual back alley, I give you Mmuseumm, the "modern natural history museum" featuring the city's strangest collections of objects, all lovingly displayed within an abandoned freight elevator. I mean, it's not a scary alley, nor is it any more or less grimy than the rest of our streets, but it is within one of those Tribeca zones that feels especially desolate on summer weekends when the locals are all in the Hamptons. Which, of course, just makes the whole thing even more cool, especially if you're dragging along a friend (or a date!) for the surprise.    

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The Big Scoop: The Best NYC Ice Cream [Summer 2015]

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I had the great pleasure of wandering around the Brooklyn Flea's Ice Cream Bonanza on National Ice Cream Day, where some 14 frozen treat purveyors were serving smallish, sample-size cones and cups of their signature flavors. It was a exceptionally pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a hot afternoon, and it reminded me how many amazing ice cream parlors there are in neighborhoods all over the city, a few of which are mentioned below in my annual, high-summer "Best Ice Cream in NYC" roundup. And because I eat a bowl of the stuff every single night before I go to bed (highly recommended!), I also threw in a couple of my favorite store-bought pints. It's just the tip of the (delicious and creamy) iceberg, I know, but everything here is pretty much a must for true ice cream believers.

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Welcome To Faro, Bushwick’s Newest Hot Spot

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Between now and, say, mid-September is traditionally the best time to check out NYC's hottest restaurants, as tables (and bar stools) are much easier to snag when everyone is still away and/or trying to get their nightlife-bearings back right after Labor Day. This is generally true of established crowd-magnets such as Charlie BirdRoberta's, and The Dutch (though more neighborhood-ish spots in densely residential areas–like Parm and Jin Ramen on the Upper West Side–will likely be as packed as ever), as well as just-opened, critically-hyped restaurants that haven't been completely overrun yet. For example: Faro, in Bushwick, less than a block away from the Jefferson stop on the L, and one of the most exciting new restaurants I've eaten at all summer.         

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Art In The Park: New Digitally-Created Sculptures Fill City Hall Park

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Artistic explorations around and over the boundaries between the virtual, digital universe and the actual, physical world are nothing new in museum and gallery exhibitions these days–the entire 2015 Triennial at the New Museum was devoted to the theme–but as the subject of a public art exhibition in a heavily-trafficked park outside of City Hall? Definitely, and refreshingly, unusual. We have the great (and increasingly busy!) Public Art Fund to thank for this latest show, titled Image Objects and featuring specially commissioned sculptural works from seven international artists, all scattered throughout City Hall Park. On display from now into November, Image Objects is certainly worth a look if your regular rounds take you anywhere near this Financial District oasis.  

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Glenwood NYC’s Guide of the Best NYC Events In August

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The dog days of NYC Summer 2015 are officially here! You've somehow survived that miserable stretch of 95-degree high-humidity afternoons, most of your friends are away on fabulous vacations or lounging poolside at their Hamptons estate, very little work gets done even if you do show up at the office, and the city has settled into that annual dead zone known as… August. But wait! Because this really is the city that's always on, never takes a break, is always there for YOU, there are still plenty of fun events happening this month, such as the following list of the Best 5 NYC Things To Do in August.  

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Is El Colmado Butchery The Best Restaurant In The Meatpacking District?

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Here's the thing about the Meatpacking District: as far back as I can remember (late nights at Florent in the 1980s), it's always been a cool place to walk around, with that great industrial architecture and those cobble-stoned streets. Even as it filled up with high-end boutiques, chain stores, ridiculous clubstaurants and other unappealing nightlife options, there was still plenty of sensory pleasure to be had just by wandering these beautiful old streets. And recently there's been a bunch of good news coming from the neighborhood, especially for those of us who like to eat, drink, and, of course, look at art, including openings of the fantastic new Whitney Museum; the festive (and apparently delicious) Mediterranean restaurant Santina; the crowd-pleasing (though way overpriced) Bubby's; and a few months ago, the excellent, meat-centric El Colmado Butchery.

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