Hello, Atlanta 👋🍑

We are thrilled to share that last week, we became an official Atlanta resident with a brand new store in Buckhead Village. This is our first store in the South and third current store (our others are both in New York: at Rockefeller Center and Cobble Hill, Brooklyn). As a New York brand, we are excited to branch out and have this new space, our largest one yet. You have to see the magic of the space, decked out in–what else–stripes! There will never be a substitute for in-person shopping, and our stores fill the experience with warmth and smiles 🙂

KULE Atlanta store interior

The most remarkable feature of the store — one you cannot miss — is the stripes across the ceiling and down the wall of the space. Nikki wanted you to feel encapsulated in stripes, a feature inspired by The Beverly Hills Hotel during a trip to LA this past summer.

Beverly Hills Hotel Inspo
Nikki at The Beverly Hills Hotel this past summer
Nikki Kule at KULE Atlanta store
Makes you want to paint stripes on your ceiling, huh?

The store is a labor of love starting with Nikki’s design conception of the space; the largest KULE storefront she’s taken on yet. With the help of Debora Cicchini and her sketches, they worked on the space from New York and when they arrived in Atlanta is somehow all came together 🤪

KULE Atlanta store sketch
KULE Atlanta store interior

To customize the space, Tracy Morgan made all of the striped paintings and colorful sculptures, we adorned the walls in many of our favorite KULE editorial images shot by Mei Tao, and Debora Cicchini made that ginormous KULE tee in the window by hand (while en route to Atlanta)!

KULE Atlanta store interior shelf
The store features more than a dozen striped paintings by artist Tracy Morgan
KULE Atlanta store big tee shirt in window
Debora Cicchini hand-made this ginormous KULE tee for our window

The store has so many personal elements to Nikki such as the knickknacks and art that are items she has collected from each city we have previously had a pop-up (the Mr. Santa Barbara painting from our Montecito pop-up now resides in Atlanta). Nikki also loves to find local store owners and artists. Also included is another new painting from her favorite Buckhead discovery and neighbor in the village, Bella Cucina, and its amazing owner, Alisa Barry (she provided the greenery for the store as well).

KULE Atlanta store interior collage
KULE Atlanta store interior collage

Special thanks to the KULE team lead by President Jim Kuerschner and Head of Retail Kara Love for your hard work in making this space come to life 💪

Our captains 🚢

If you couldn’t make it, we’d love to have you come check out the store at 247 Buckhead Avenue Atlanta, GA 30305. It’s just peachy 🍑.

Where should we go next? 🤔

A Night with Jenna Lyons at KULE Rockefeller Center

Last week, KULE friend Jenna Lyons hosted a night of shopping, sipping, and lots of laughing at our Rockefeller Center store. Guests included Jenna’s fellow Real Housewives of New York City cast members Brynn Whitfield, Jessel Taank, and Ubah Hassan. They shopped the latest collection of KULE just in time for fall.

Nikki first met Jenna through mutual acquaintances (hi Sarah Clary! 👋) and being in the same business. Jenna recommended KULE as one of the shops at Rockefeller Center in 2021 when she worked with them to reimagine the retail mix.

Jenna wears the Lucca sweater styled around her waist

Also in attendance that evening were designers Carly Cushnie, Rosie Assoulin, Roxanne Assoulin, and Jac Cameron; fashion director and street style influencer Chloe King; photographer Mei Tao; stylist Tracy Taylor; and model/jewelry designer Renata Zandonadi Quagliaenata.

Did we mention The Housewives were there?

Nobody wears a stripe like Jenna! Thanks for hosting. Come back with your friends anytime 🙂

An Early Summer Getaway

Nikki recently traveled on a two-part vacation to the South of France and Ischia, Italy, to kick off the summer season. We always look to Nikki for packing tips because she often visits more than one place when she travels and needs to be smart about how she packs. She also has excellent advice on where to eat, shop, and stay. Read below for a peek into Nikki’s early summer getaway and her travel tips.

Nikki Kule in South of France
Nikki in Ischia, wearing KULE silk stripes.

Packing for a vacation any longer than five or so days is difficult because everything must be multifunctional. Nikki says she wound up wearing almost everything she brought on her recent trip, a success that comes from a sort of formula, which she shared with YOLO Journal earlier this year. “When it’s a beach vacation, I pack fun patterns, prints (stripes), and some basics.” She also mentions packing fewer shoes/ones that only take up a little space and keeping enough room for workout wear, as she likes to run. Wearing an outfit for the plane that you can also incorporate into your vacation wardrobe is an important part of packing, too.

Nikki Kule travel look
Nikki says the Finn sweater was perfect for travel because it’s versatile and soft, and great to layer with. She wore it on the plane with her High Sport pants, which are her go-to for travel because they are stretchy and super comfortable. Here she re-wears the sweater with the Suki pants, Hereu sandals, and a pouch from The Row
The Finn Sweater

The Finn Sweater

The Suki Pant

The Suki Pant

Hereu Sandals

Hereu Sandals

The Row Bag

The Row Bag

High Sport Pants

High Sport Pants

Nikki and her husband started the trip in the South of France, with three nights in Saint Tropez, where Nikki hadn’t been in over 20 years.

Nikki Kule in Lourmarin
Nikki matching with a Ugo Rondinone sculpture at Le Pre de la Mer, Saint Tropez. Wearing K. Jacques sandals, a brand that happens to be based in Saint Tropez!
Nikki Kule at La Colombe d'Or at Saint-Paul de Vence
Near Saint Tropez is Saint-Paul de Vence. Nikki went to dinner La Colombe d’Or and is here on the property with an Alexander Calder mobile from the 1930s. Highly recommend for the sights and food.

Wearing the Suki pant

A packing tip from Nikki is to have small bags that are versatile. Pouches with long straps in neutral colors are best for traveling around because they easily go from day to night.

Loewe Bag

Loewe Bag

The Row Bag

The Row Bag

Inès Bressand Bag

Inès Bressand Bag

Chanel Micro Bag

Chanel Micro Bag

Nikki Kule at Le Club 55
One of Nikki’s favorite places to eat was Le Club 55 in Saint Tropez.
Nikki Kule at Le Club 55
Always an eye for the stripes 😉

The Row sandals
Nikki Kule at Le Club 55
Pattern inspo at Le Club 55
Port Bleu Saint Tropez
Nikki loved the Port Bleu shop in Saint Tropez, which hosts three independent brands in one boutique.
Port Bleu Saint Tropez matisse pants
Nikki is here wearing a pair of Matisse-inspired Saint-Martin sur Mer pants. The brand has female designers hand-paint motifs on vintage work jackets and trousers.

They then went to Villa La Coste, a historic town of Aix-en-Provence, where they stayed for two nights. The hotel is 500 acres of vineyards mixed with art by great modern artists, including Louis Bourgeois and Richard Serra.

Nikki next to a monumental stack sculpture by Annie Morris on the grounds of the Villa La Coste.

Wearing the Baja featherweight tee and Suki pants
Don’t you wish there were more things as quaint as this? A perfect copper pot-embossed stationary at Francis Mallmann, an Argentinian Restaurant at Villa La Coste
Nikki at Villa La Coste
Nikki and the view at Villa La Coste wearing her current favorite Wynn baby tee, and Finn sweater
Cezanne Studio
They drove into town and visited the Atelier de Cézanne, located in the hills of Aix-en-Provence. This is where Cézanne worked from From 1902 to his death in 1906.

They then drove to Lourmarin and Saint-Paul de Vence, which, Nikki says, are postcard perfect and exactly how one would imagine the South of France to look.

Le Moulin de Lourmarin
They stayed at Le Moulin de Lourmarin for a night. The raffia hats are very KULE Summer 2023
Nikki drinking win at Lourmarin
Nikki et Le vin de Lourmarin
The hillside of Saint-Paul de Vence which is picture-perfect
Saint Paul de Vence flowers
Why are colors so much more vivid on vacation?
Colombe d'ore at Saint Paul de Vence
The homey menu at La Colombe d’Or Hotel and Restaurant, where Nikki stayed and highly recommends.

As for part two of the trip, they headed to the Italian island of Ischia for four days, where there was no shortage of beautiful architecture, bright blue waters, quaint little sea towns, and some great food and vacation cocktails to round out the trip.

view from Mezzattore hotel
The view from the Mezzatore Hotel, in Ischia, with only striped umbrellas separating you from the sea ⛱️
Mezzattore Hotel in Ischia
The Mezzatorre Hotel is a peachy castle up on a hill looking over, what feels like, infinite waters. Everyone sits outside by those umbrellas for cocktails in the evening.
Mezzattore Hotel in Ischia cocktail
View from the other side. La dolce vita!
Nikki Kule wearing striped KULE silks
Nikki says the striped silks were a staple day-to-day. She wore the Silk Ponza shirt and Silk Elba Pareo multiple times as beachwear and daywear. The new navy/cream color way is her personal favorite.
View of Ischia
Stripes with a view
The Silk Ponza

The Silk Ponza

The Silk Elba Pareo

The Silk Elba Pareo

The Silk Lido

The Silk Lido

The Silk Capri

The Silk Capri

Cavascura Ischia
The first day, they drove from the Mezzatore across the island to Cavascura, which is so picturesque it’s no surprise they filmed The Talented Mr. Ripley there.
Terme di Cavascura
There, they visted Terme di Cavascura, an area hollowed into the rock of a deep valley, to visit the thermal and mud baths it’s known for 🧖‍♀️.

They then met up with friends and visited the surrounding Italian Riviera by boat stopping at Nerano and Positano.

They met up with friends and ventured out exploring by sea, which is the best way to see the vertical hillside building of Ischia.
Nikki on boat in Italy Riviera
Traveling by boat in the Italian Riviera

Khaite x Oliver Peoples sunglasses
The boat trip lead them to Lo Scoglio in Nerano, which Nikki recommends for fresh, delicious food.
Nikki Kule at La Sirenuse
They also stopped at La Sirenuse in Positano for a drink. Nikki is wearing a Charvet striped shirt dress and yellow terry pouch she got at a gift shop in Ischia.
Le Sirenuse decor
La Siranuse interior was sho charming with cheery color combinations and patterns.
Michael Kors, Lance LePere, and Nikki on the mountainside, on the boat ride back.
Nikki Kule in blue striped dress in Ischia
The perfect end to an early summer vacation 🙂

Lovers Unite!

KULE is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community, and we are especially proud of our ongoing partnership with Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ+ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. Last month we were a sponsor of their annual gala, and this past week hosted a Pride Event at our Brooklyn store, donating 20% of all sales from that evening to AFC. Both events remind us of the importance of Ali Forney Center’s work and how much we love our community, whose dedication and support make a difference. Read below for some highlights from both events in support of Ali Forney Center.

KULE is proud to be a sponsor of Ali Forney Center’s A Place At the Table annual gala

Early last month, Ali Forney Center hosted nearly 1,000 people at Cipriani Wall Street to celebrate its annual A Place At The Table Gala. It was the Center’s most successful event to date, with a fundraising total of $1.8 million. We are proud to have been a sponsor of the event and grateful to our KULE friends for coming to support with us.

Attendees wore bold fashion to the gala, with no shortage of sequins, crystals, and color. We like to think the KULE table showed up, too 🙂.

KULE Table at Ali Forney Gala
The KULE table showed up to support and certainly came dressed for the evening. Nikki Kule, Jim Kuerschner, and Elizabeth Tamkin from the KULE team were joined by Jonathan Kratz, Chloe King, Sam Todd, Brian Solis, Lauren Wilson, Stefan Beckman, and Kris Togias. We thank each and every one of them for coming to support.

Just last week, we also hosted our Pride Event at KULE Brooklyn, donating 20% of all sales from that evening to Ali Forney Center.

The KULE team wearing the Pride collection, rainbows, and smiles

We will also continue to donate $20 from each tee and $10 from each hat sold online and in-store from the new Pride collection, a collaboration with illustrator Grace Miceli.

The Modern Pride

The Modern Pride

The Pride Kap

The Pride Kap

The Archie Pride

The Archie Pride

You will always meet great people at a KULE party! Our community is the best, and it knows how to have a good time. With some fuel (sips and sweets) and lots of KULE (it’s a ryhme!), we were ready to party for Pride.

If you couldn’t make the event, you can shop online and in-store!

Mareike Nebel and the other party-goers shopped the Pride collection, rainbows, and stripes
Mary Ellis in the Pride tee and Serena romper
Shop the Pride Collection in store or online

Thank you to Ali Forney Center for its hard work. We ask that you donate directly to Ali Forney Center so they can continue making a difference.

KULE Pride Collection 2023 party Ali Forney Center Donation Sign

ONE/OF (a Kind) with Patricia Voto

This past week we launched our collaboration with ONE/OF, an NYC-based brand that creates elevated, one-of-a-kind pieces using reclaimed materials. Founder Patricia Voto, whose extensive experience in fashion and keen eye for detail is evident in each design, combined KULE’s happy and playful designs with ONE/OF’s whimsy and romance, creating a truly special collection. 

We had the pleasure of talking with Patricia about her background in fashion, what inspires her, her love of Italy, and the best place to spend a fancy night in NYC. Without further ado: meet Patricia!

Patricia Voto, Founder of ONE/OF in her NYC Studio

I am a New Yorker born and raised. I studied at Parsons and received a BFA in Product Design. In 2009, I developed my senior thesis just as sustainable practices and climate discussions were gaining traction across many industries. The concept was a timely closed-loop manufacturing process of luxury goods in developing countries. This idea coincided with the emergence of brands like Suno and Alabama Chanin. At the time, only a few companies were implementing responsible practices, so I pursued working with emerging brands at the designer level. While our practices were better than in the mass fashion market, we still had leftover fabrics at the end of each season, and they started to add up. It dawned on me that something could be done with the fabrics aside from collecting dust. That’s when I decided to ask our creative directors if I could take some [of the leftover fabric] and make something out of it for myself. And the idea of ONE/OF was born. – Patricia Voto

Left: ONE/OF x KULE Trench Coat with Collar, Floral Jessica Skirt, Small Tote with Flowers, Vlinder Slides
Right: ONE/OF x KULE Trench Coat with Cuffs, Small Tote with Flowers, Patchwork Hooded Dickey
Photographed by Louisiana Mei Gelpi

I love seeing these precious fabrics become something our clients can cherish and wear forever. I want to create pieces that fit a body perfectly and be the first thing you reach for in your closet – it’s surreal to see people embracing what we make and how we make it. Our creative process starts with the fabrics. It’s an emotional process for us. We fall in love with the materials we find throughout the world. Knowing they’re finite, we carefully and creatively pair them with the perfect silhouette.

Left: ONE/OF x KULE Floral Jessica Skirt and Small Tote with Flowers, and Vlinder Slides styled with KULE Fede Cardigan
Right: ONE/OF x KULE Rachel Pant, Raleigh Sweatshirt with Flower Brooches, and Vlinder Slides styled with KULE Hutton Shirt

Now for some tea 🫖 with a quick round of questions!

What is your favorite piece from the ONE/OF x KULE collection? Where would you wear it? 

The Jessica Skirt in the yellow floral warp printed taffeta. I would wear it any day with an oversized sweater. I love KULE’s “The Betty ” sweater, and it would look amazing tucked into the KULE striped waistband on the Jessica Skirt. 

What is your go-to outfit, and how does that differ from the pieces you design for ONE/OF?

Nowadays, I am in a sweater and jeans because we are running around from place to place, but if I had it my way, I would probably have an oversized sweater tucked into a high-waisted voluminous skirt. I love our Jessica Skirt (part of our KULE collection) and Thais Mockneck Sweater. For everyday jeans, I love Jeans No. 2 from Commission. I bought them in two sizes since they’re unisex. One for a more relaxed look and the other for more tailored. The wash is a beautiful indigo and then their signature back detail is so special.

ONE/OF x KULE Floral Jessica Skirt, Vlinder Slides, and Floral Brooches styled with KULE Hutton Shirt
KULE Betty Sweater

KULE Betty Sweater

ONE/OF Jessica Skirt

ONE/OF Jessica Skirt

ONE/OF Thais Mockneck Sweater

ONE/OF Thais Mockneck Sweater

Commission Jeans No. 2

Commission Jeans No. 2

What would you do if you didn’t work in fashion?

I would have my own gift-giving websites with all different combinations of gift boxes. I love giving gifts: a beautiful soap set from a trip I took, a set of lotions, or a uniquely scented candle. These small things make up how we live our lives and bring so much joy into our lives. While studying at Parsons, I used to work at Kate’s Paperie and learned all of the Japanese gift wrapping styles: mixing papers, pleating, and beautiful knotting. I find the presentation is equally as important as the gift itself!

What are some specific gifts you would recommend?

– Soap: I love Laguna Cyprien’s Soaps. They come in beautiful shapes and beautiful packaging. I gift them and use them daily. 

– Lotion: Nature of Things makes the best body creme.

– Lipstick: Folk Orange is my go-to color from Dries Van Noten in the Spring/Summer. It looks great with a tan. I love the refillable cases, too. 

– Candles: We are obsessed with Maison D’Etto. We carry the candles in the studio. I love all the scents, but Karat EG and Canaan are the studio favorite.

Laguna Cyprien Soaps

Laguna Cyprien Soaps

Nature of Things Body Creme

Nature of Things Body Creme

Dries Van Noten "Folk Orange"

Dries Van Noten "Folk Orange"

Maison D'Etto Candle

Maison D'Etto Candle

What does a work day look like for you, and what do you do on the weekends for pleasure? 

Work days are busy! We have clients in our studio all the time for fittings, we have meetings with fabric mills and our factories. It is really non-stop and we are so lucky to have such incredible clients who are really supportive of our mission. Weekends, I like to go visit my family, especially my niece and nephew, in New Jersey. Reality TV shows are a true guilty pleasure that I love to indulge in during our moments of downtime.

Left: ONE/OF x KULE Cydney Dress and Vlinder Slides styled with KULE Spaghetti Tank
Right: ONE/OF x KULE Bettina Dress and Vlinder Slides

Where is your favorite place to travel? Where would you live if not NYC?

Italy. Definitely Italy. Rome has to be my favorite city. 

Where in NYC is a favorite place to get breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks?: 

– Breakfast at Lodi. They serve the best maritozzo con panna (I live for cream fillings) and make the perfect cappuccino. 

– Lunch at Le Botaniste. The best place to go for something healthy, flavorful, and fast. 

– Dinner for a fancy night: Majorelle. Dinner for a casual night: We’ll pick up from Burger Joint.

– Cocktails at The Carlyle. This is right near my apartment uptown, so when it is the end of a long day, we pop over there for a quick drink.

ONE/OF x KULE Striped Jessica Skirt with Flowers, Vlinder Slides styled with KULE Len Tank

Thank you to Patricia for your time to talk and for creating this collection we are so proud of with us! To shop ONE/OF x KULE, visit KULE Rockefeller Center, where it is exclusively sold. If you can’t make it to the store, click here to make a virtual shopping appointment.

A KULE Guide to the Best New York Happy Meal

As an NYC-based brand, we love trying new restaurants and food trends in our amazing city. We fell in love with the “New York Happy Meal” concept–a martini + fries–from Grub Street’s Newsletter, The Year I Ate New York, by E. Alex Jung. We also happen to know some pretty kule people who know where to find this perfect combo, so we got their takes on where to find the absolute best—no surprise toy required. Read on for your next very, very happy meal 🍸🍟.

KULE french fries for guide to New York Happy Meal
From KULE Spring/Summer 2022, photographed by Mei Tao

We asked some of our friends who know their way around the NYC martini + fry scene to recommend the absolute best:

Susie Park, Creative Consultant and Martini Connoisseur

via @susels

Currently, my martini order is basically like someone ordering at Starbucks: Titos martini, dry, slightly dirty — the opposite of catholic school girl dirty, and no garnish (it takes away from the alcohol in my glass). My original is Kettle One martini, dirty, with extra olives.

The first time I had a Martini was at Pastis, the original location, at the communal table (which was filled with all of my friends). As a result, Pastis will always be one of my go-to Happy Meal spots, even at the new location. French fries are always ordered with aioli. JG Melon is my favorite NYC restaurant. They need to be mentioned. That said, their new fries are not my jam. Is there still a shortage of cottage fries? My order at JG Melon is a martini, fries (extra crispy) with a side of mayo, and bbq sauce. The back lounge at Greenwich Hotel, which is usually for hotel guests only, has fries on its menu. A cozy couch seat by the fire with a martini and fries, and a side of mustard is the perfect way to end a day. Polo Bar and Bemelmans Bar are honorable mentions. While not technically a “Happy Meal,” their snack caddies cannot be ignored. Plus, Bemelmans martinis come with a little sidecar.

At Pastis, I would wear a shapeless dress with puffy sleeves and KULE Betty striped sweater over my shoulders. At JG Melon, I would do jeans and a button-down, a KULE leopard cardigan, brown 20-year-old Gucci loafers from college, and heart socks. As for Greenwich Hotel: anything that looks like I’m coming from work, but really am coming from working on my couch. I’d throw one of the big striped totes in to complete my “work” look.

Zach Weiss, Head of Brand at Outerspace 3PL and Man About Town

No matter how fancy a restaurant or watering hole might be, I think the ultimate compliment you can pay to any fry is that it’s exactly like a McDonald’s fry, particularly regarding the width and crispiness. With that in mind, I think some of my favorite spots that get this right in New York are Raoul’sThe Standard GrillJojo, and The Polo Bar. On the martini front, I used to be a strict dirty-vodka martini, but these days I’ve been favoring the purity of the gin twist, probably due to spending too much time with some Brits this winter. If I’m feeling bold, I go for the Vesper, a combination of both gin and vodka with a bit of Lillet Blanc, or a Gibson with the little cocktail onions, provided it’s my last stop of the night, and my breath won’t be offending anyone I come across. 

As for the outfit, I’ve got no hard and fast rules there. This is always dictated by the chosen venue, the present company, and, frankly, whether I feel like putting on a tie. 

Alex Hill, Recipe Developer and Cooking Instructor

First is The Smith in The Flatiron. Let’s never hate on a chain restaurant with great bartenders! When I worked close by The Smith, my coworkers and I would go all the time for the mussels & fries and a good cold extra dirty martini with extra olives! I also like DUMBO House in Brooklyn. Although Dumbo House is membership-only, their fries are pretty slamming, be sure to get all the dips, including the garlic aioli, and their martinis are A++++! I mean, the rooftop overlooking the Brooklyn bridge while sipping on dirty martinis and eating hot fries is a win-win Friday night for me! 

I would def wear The Sinclair cardigan (in black, of course). It gives cute and casual, but you can dress it up or down! I’m definitely also a sneaker girl, and pairing them with statement socks adds a nice little touch. So, I could also do biker shorts, a crop top, and socks for cute for a martini & fries type of night.

Brian Solis, Head of Fashion at Dora Maar

I love having the NYC Happy Meal at two places in NYC and with Edward BarsamianBemelmams Bar at The Carlyle and The Nines. When ordering at the table at either establishment, they bring a small vessel of the remaining martini from the shaker to refresh as you sip. I am a vodka martini, preferably Grey Goose, shaken and slightly dirty with olives and, if possible, with shards of ice floating in the glass. No condiments with my fries in a NY Happy Meal. The martini balances the salty fries and makes the perfect pairing. My other go-to pairing with my fries is a side of mayo, but sans martini.

As for New York Happy Meal dressing: Bemelmans wear a classic three-button fitted blazer, wide-leg pants preferably pleated (maybe with texture), a classic white button down, and monk strap shoes with a chunky sole. At The Nines, I wear an oversized coat, great knit, straight-leg clean pants, and a sleek loafer.

Chloe King, Fashion Market and Editorial Director

I love a very dirty vodka martini, and for fries, I like ketchup, mayo, AND mustard (condiment fiend). One of my favs for this happy meal has to be The OdeonCorner Bar is also delish. 

You know I don’t need much of a reason to get dressed up; last time I met up at Corner Bar for a martini, I wore a printed Helmstedt nightgown dress, striped (KULE!) socks, loafers, and a ski hat made out of raffia.

Jim Kuerschner, President at KULE

100% without a doubt, the answer is Edward’s in Tribeca. It’s a little hole in the wall (across from the more popular Odeon). It’s a neighborhood spot that always has a seat for you but with just the right amount of people to always feel cozy. When I was working in Canada, Jon and I would go there every Friday night when I flew home. They make a killer Pat La Frieda burger, cobb salad, and martini. And the fries are off the charts. For a martini: vodka, dirty, bone dry. For fries: gotta have ketchup. What more do you need? We had our wedding dinner at Edward’s there after getting married at City Hall in 2018. We are Edward’s’ #1 fans.

Dress code: everything from tuxes (i.e. my wedding) to tees (i.e. my daily life).

Sam Todd, Social Media and Marketing Consultant

My perfect NY Happy Meal is a dirty Hendricks martini with a few olives. (If I’m feeling indulgent, stuffed with blue cheese.) And for the fries, ketchup and nice grainy mustard are great, but mayo is absolutely required. As for the best spots to find one: Balthazar! Owner Keith McNally is up to his usual antics, and this will always be a no-brainer. I also love Fanelli Cafe, which has been one of the best places for an ice-cold martini (paired with a cheeseburger and fries) for decades. Then there’s The Odeon, another classic from Mr. McNally and one that has never let me down. Located right across the street is Edward’s, a lowkey spot that a certain gentleman by the name of James Kuerschner introduced me to years and years ago. I also love Julius in Greenwich Village. This one’s for the gays (although I recommend everyone visit Julius at some point while in NYC, no matter their persuasion) and especially for those who like their martinis very strong and very inexpensive. In The West Village are Jeffrey’s Grocery and its across-the-street sister (brother?) restaurant Joseph Leonard, which are some of the best spots to sit at the bar, chat with a bartender (who will most likely be the kindest person you speak with all day), and have a fantastic ‘tini. Last but not least is Soho Grand! As a former employee of this New York mainstay, I could never leave it out. It’s home away from home for me and many of my friends in New York and an ideal place to grab a “NY Happy Meal.”

And what am I wearing? I’m so glad you asked. A nicely structured coat (a friend once equated coats in NYC to cars in LA — it’s our place to put everything, and you’re pretty screwed without a decent one) over a worn-in white Oxford shirt, my favorite pair of APCs, and white sneakers paired with a fun pair of KULE socks (the “OMG” ones are my current fav).