Location: Gitano Garden of Love - 76 Varick Street, entrance on Grand St, New York 10013 As the sun started to set along the Manhattan horizon on a Mid-September evening, a cool breeze began to kick in indicating that Summer was coming to a near end. I parked my car directly across the street from the restaurant I had plans to dine in and filled the meter for an hour. Being blessed to snag the parking spot that I did on a Tuesday evening in SoHo Manhattan was like finding a unicorn; unheard of. As I made my way to the front entrance of Gitano Garden of Love, the pop-up restaurant along Varick Street, I stood in line with my mask on awaiting to get my temperature checked (Thanks, COVID) and to be escorted to table 205 to meet my friend who was already waiting for me.
On Lewis Avenue in Bedstuy, Brooklyn there is a gem located across the street from the Brooklyn Public Library that is nestled among the busy street of other eateries and establishments. The blue hue of the signage and front entrance is a signature welcome of Brooklyn Beso Restaurant & Bar. Though my recent visit happened in the span of twice in one month, my first experience with the Latin American fare with a Caribbean twist was back in 2016 and ever since then, I have been back for more whenever I am in the neighborhood.
On a Sunday afternoon, my friends and I arrived at the EnVue hotel in Weehawken, New Jersey and rode the elevator up to the top. On the sixth floor of the EnVue hotel, an oasis for outdoor dining overlooking a breathtaking view of the Hudson river greets you once you step off the elevator. With plenty of space inside to spread out (Especially important due to this socially distanced Summer) my friends and I headed to the bar to get cocktails to get our brunch experience started before being seated for our 1:15 PM reservation.