When in New York This Summer


By Alex Starace

susan-largerIs this the new ping-pong? Susan Sarandon thinks so. Inspired by attending private ping-pong parties in Tribeca lofts, she opened SPiN, a ping-pong social club in New York’s Flatiron District in 2009. The idea: create an inviting place for people to relax, have fun and bond over a cocktail and a game that’s surprisingly addictive.

Sarandon’s SPiN franchise takes care of the problems most would have hosting a ping-pong soirée at home. There’s plenty of space for playing and lounging, and no one has to chase down errant shots. Instead, under-the-radar staff members breeze past, picking up balls rattling around the floor with a special hopper, while players can just grab another ball out of the always-full baskets by the courts. Attendees don’t have to play ping-pong to enjoy the club, but if they do play, they don’t feel like the party’s crowding in on their game.

Cheers to Susan Sarandon for putting a new “SPiN” on ping-pong!



Nosh with Conant In NoMad

By Adriana Villasuso

conantAs a Food Network junkie and a big Scott Conant fan, in particular, I was really excited (possibly excessively so) when I learned he was launching his first new venture, Impero Caffè … and even more so that I would get to dine in one of its 73 coveted seats.

Impero is Conant’s first new restaurant stateside since leaving Scarpetta and, based on what I was blessed to taste, his empire (Impero) is not just striking back, it is taking prisoners. Located in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood in the INNSIDE New York NoMad Hotel development, Impero was a welcome respite from the busy streets outside. The high ceilings gave the place an airy feel and right away made me feel like I could take my time — not a feeling you get often in Manhattan, but one that worked really well with the soulful Italian cuisine and the refined hospitality.


Braised Short Rib with spaetzle and baby vegetables


Pasta al Pomodoro with chef’s signature ragu


Burrata & Salsa Verde with fava beans and peas

From my first bite of Burrata & Salsa Verde with its vibrant colors and mad flavor, straight through to the luscious Salted Caramel & Gianduja Crumble Budino, I wanted for nothing … but more! Throw in the melt-in-your-mouth Roasted Chicken in a decadent rich fegato sauce, the cut-it-with-a-fork Braised Short Rib with spaetzle, and the not-to-be-missed Conant-classic Pasta al Pomodoro with his signature ragu, Impero Caffè is sure to have a cultlike following.

If the food does not lull you into a state of bliss, the twinkling lights from the candles set throughout the space just might … so start trying now to secure your dinner reservation. Don’t get me wrong, though, lunching on the Impero Burger or Porchetta Sandwich will surely give you that “Oh thank goodness he is back” feeling too.

Impero Caffè
132 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001

When in New York This Summer