Tag Archives: Restaurant

Visiting NYC This Summer? Enjoy the Restaurants, Concerts and Shopping

In the summer, New York really shows off! In the warm weather, dining, concerts and shopping virtually explode into the great outdoors. Suddenly streets, parks and alleys are transformed into romantic restaurants, star-studded concert halls and sunny, breezy shopping areas. But, where do you start?

First, you will need to look for New York hotels that fit your location, style and budget needs. That won’t be a problem! There are more hotels in New York than you ever imagined, and they range from small and intimate to the most grand and lively in the city. Then, once you have secured the New York hotel that is right for you, it is time to start thinking about how to best enjoy New York in all its summer glory! Here are a few New York City attractions that are only around while the weather is warm:

Dining in New York City

New Yorkers love to dine al fresco. That is why so many restaurants move tables out of doors in the summer. Some have lovely gardens and rooftops, while other just grab a piece of sidewalk. No matter how they do it, their guests love it! Here are a few of our top outdoor New York City restaurants:

The Blue Water Grill offers a romantic European feel for guests dining on the mezzanine. It is located at 31 Union Square West at 16th St. Its phone number is 212-675-9500.

The Chelsea Brewing Company, located in the Chelsea Piers complex, offers cool breezes off the Hudson and views of the marina. It is located at Pier 59, 23rd St. and the Hudson River. Its phone number is 212-336-6440.

A charming garden that feels like a Tuscan courtyard is what you will find at Va Tutto. Hailed as Gourmet Magazine’s “favorite NYC garden for outdoor dining,” this is gem of a restaurant is sure to please. It is located at 23 Cleveland Place on the corner of Lafayette and Spring. Call for reservations at 212-941-0286.

Concerts in New York City

When the temperature rises, New York’s parks are transformed into concert halls without walls. From Central Park to Lincoln Center, there are live musical concerts scheduled throughout the summer – many are free! For example, the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic come to Central Park annually, and perform on the Great Lawn.

Be sure to visit Lincoln Center’s website as well, for their list of concerts and events.

Shopping in New York City

Put on your comfortable shoes and a little sunscreen and get ready to shop! A few favorite destinations are Columbus Avenue (between 66th – 76th). In this residential neighborhood you will find the highest concentration of up-scale boutiques as well as many nationally known names.

You won’t be disappointed with your shopping trip to Broadway (between 63rd – 86th). This high-energy strip offers a wide variety of stores from locally owned boutiques to Barnes and Noble, Sephora and Gap.
If you are looking for a something more relaxed with mostly locally owned (non-chain) stores, Amsterdam Avenue (between 72nd – 86th) is your place to shop.

Really See New York City

There are many ways to see New York City, but a tour is still your best bet. Enjoy a tour then go back to the destinations that caught your interest. There are many different tour options, from walking to bus to amphibious vehicles. A sure crowd pleaser is the NYC Ducks Tours. You will see New York City from a half-boat, half-bus, amphibious vehicle!

Summer in New York City doesn’t last for long. Make those reservations and be a part of this New York summer!

Menu Design – Winning Customers Into Your Restaurant

The first thing most potential visitors to your restaurant will do, before they even walk in the door, is examine your menu. They’re looking for good food at an affordable price. If you’re to get them to walk through that door, you make the best of this first opportunity to build confidence in the quality of your restaurant.

Menu Descriptions

There are a number of ways a menu can build such confidence in a potential customer. Clearly, your selection of meals, and the way you describe them is a critical element. Instead of a simple menu listing for “Boeuf Bourgignon”, use compelling adjectives to build desire in the customer for your offered meal. Instead, try the following:

Beouf Bourgignon

Seared cubes of select-cut succulent beef served in a marinade of creamed country mushrooms.

Most restaurants worth their salt of course have taken at least some steps in this direction. However, there is much more to you can do to engage your customers and deliver your unique brand experience before they open the door.

Menu Listings

I was recently invited to a restaurant by a friend, and when I sat down to read their menu, I found that it was very difficult to choose a meal. After some thought, I realised that this was due to the cluttered menu design, such that it was hard to parse one meal description from another. This made it very difficult to build a set of options in my head, and to narrow these down to my final choice.

The first lesson I took away from this experience was that while of course it is important to maintain a diverse selections of meals on your menu, you shouldn’t have so many that your customers forget the first options they looked at by the time they reach the last. If you refer to studies of memory from the field of psychology, you’ll find that our short-term memory is effective up to about 7+/-2 items, and is effective at processing chunks of related information. Applying this to menus, you can make your customers more likely to engage with your menu if you group your meals under meaningful headings such as ‘Beef’, ‘Chicken’, ‘Fish’, and ‘Vegetarian’, and offer no more that 8 or 9 options under each heading.

The second lesson I took from my experience with this restaurant’s menu was to exploit design principles effectively to help customers parse your menu. For example, consider the following two excerpts, and decide which is the easier to read.

Boeuf Bourgignon Seared cubes of select-cut succulent beef served in a marinade of creamed country mushrooms.

Beef Stew Braised chunks of tender beef stewed with garden vegetables in a thick, home gravy.


Boeuf Bourgignon

Seared cubes of select-cut succulent beef served in a marinade of creamed country mushrooms.

Beef Stew

Braised chunks of tender beef stewed with garden vegetables in a thick, home gravy.

The same information is available in both versions, but I’m sure you’ll find that the second view, which employs whitespace to separate the menu items, bold text to emphasise the name of the meal, and a new line and italic text to capture the longer description, is a much clearer presentation of the menu items.

The objective of this article was to offer a basic introduction to menu design to help ensure that you exploit your menu so as to engage restaurant-window-shoppers before the even enter your restaurant. If you found this advice of value, search for our follow-up articles on how to better apply your brand experience to your menu design and on the design of menu cover and wine-list covers.