Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer translates into ~ Little White Dress in NYC ~

Summer is FINALLY here!!!! There are two things I am looking forward to when good weather finally starts rolling into the city:  Dining al fresco and replacing the Little Black Dress with the Little White Dress.

People-watching, sipping a chilled drink with dinner, and enjoying a warm breeze in the ultimate summer wardrobe staple–nothing could sum up a better summer day or night!

I have picked my favorite Little White Dresses under $500 and paired each of them with the perfect al fresco dining restaurant in which to show them off in :)

Let's start off with a New York Classic, which also happens to be one of mom's favorite spots in the city :)

Restaurant: The Boathouse at Central Park, Fifth Avenue at East 72nd Street inside Central Park, 212-517-2233    

The Boathouse offers gorgeous floor-to-ceiling open lakeside views from the dining room, where you might see a flock of swans gliding across the water or a couple float by on a romantic gondola ride. The menu features refined American classics like golden jumbo lump crab cake with a creamy caper remoulade, sirloin steak Cobb salad, and huckleberry cheesecake.

What to wear:
This floaty silk dress by Catherine Malandrino has an effortlessly graceful movement accented with an ornate, eye-catching cut-out detail along the hemline. Its timeless silhouette and breezy skirt is a winning match for this stunning venue.
Restaurant: Morandi, 211 Waverly Pl. (bet. 10th Street & Charles Street), 212-627-7575

Opened in 2007, this rustic Italian-style trattoria in is one of my favorite brunch and dinner spots. I love its wide sidewalk seating, which is dotted with a plethora of little wooden tables and chairs. The seafood is always fresh and I can spend hours there with a couple bottles of blush and good company. The bustling crowd comes for simple dishes like the hand-rolled spaghetti with lemon and Parmesan and the fritto misto di pesce, an assortment of delightfully fried seafood that feels like it arrived fresh from a fisherman’s daily catch.

What to wear:
DKNY – Stretch Cotton Poplin One Shoulder Eyelet Dress
This flirty one-shouldered white cotton eyelet dress with the scalloped hem strikes the perfect balance between dressy and casual. You’ll be sure to turn heads in this tried-and-true summer classic.

Restaurant: Imperial No. 9, 9 Crosby Street (near Grand Street), 212-389-0000

I am yet to pay Imperial No. 9 a visit but I have been hearing/reading good reviews about it so it's definitely on my short list. While technically not al fresco, dining in the glass-enclosed garden room of Sam Talbot’s latest restaurant in the new Mondrian Hotel makes you feel like you’re in an exclusive garden party tucked away in the backstreets of Soho. The lush flowerpots and glittering chandeliers, paired with the backdrop of the Manhattan night sky, is a magical formula. The inventive seafood-centric menu features dishes like fried oysters with sweet chow-chow relish, fluke crudo topped with a layer of frozen coconut milk, and king crab legs a la plancha.

What to wear:
Black Halo – Jagger Dress
Look like a vision in white in this form-fitting cocktail dress by Black Halo. The strong shoulders bring out a downtown edge that is tempered by the sexy metallic gold lace panel on the back

Restaurant: Gemma, 335 Bowery at 3rd Street, 212-505-9100 First time I have visited Gemma was on my birthday thanks to my gourmet friend Ekin. This bustling, eclectic Italian brasserie at The Bowery Hotel is a casual but stylish spot located at the nexus that connects to Soho, Nolita, and the East Village. Expect standard Italian fare with crowd-pleasers like prosciutto and arugula pizza, strozzapreti with spicy sausage ragu, and meat-and-cheese boards. Parking is somewhat challenging on Sundays so I suggest you park on Spring and walk to Gemma if you are like me and drive everywhere :)

What to wear:

Ella Moss – Sequoia Embroidered Bib Dress
This adorable little cotton gauze dress by Ella Moss has a peasant-inspired embroidered trim that would work with espadrille wedges or ballerina flats.

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