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For anyone that reads Socially Superlative, you know that Secret Summer is one of our favorite events of the year. So imagine our excitement when the Team behind the event announced they were opening a restaurant, Festivál on the border of Midtown East and Upper East Side, across from the Roosevelt Field Tram and a stone’s throw from Bloomingdales. We imagined a night like the parties that would take place at the Foundry and we were not disappointed.

Helming from the dynamic duo Chef Andrew Maturana from Rapt Hospitality and General Manager Tyler Hollinger from Highlife Productions, this is a match made in heaven and a venture that could not have happened soon enough. Taking their experience of the best in best examples of food, cocktails and hospitality and incorporating their farm to table cocktails that have made Secret Summer so popular, the pair brought their expertise and put it into a brick and mortar cafe for NYC to enjoy year round.

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The cafe varies from breakfast pastries and caffeine from Brookyn’s Sey Coffee in the morning to innovative dishes and masterly crafted cocktails in the evening. We visited during opening night and tried some of the offerings for the latter.

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We began our night with the Lust and Doc Brown, Chipotle-enhanced Verde Mezcal, passionfruit and fresh lime and Glyph Whisky and Festivál Sarsaparilla respectively. The cocktails were well balanced and appropriate for Instagramming!

We snacked on the Salmon Sushi Tostadas, with green apple ponzu, avocado, togarashi spice, radish and ice plants and Local U10 Scallop Sashimi with a broth of clam butter, caviar and herb blossoms. Both dishes were uber fresh and flavorful, but we did not expect anything less.

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For our nightcap we tried the Churchill Downs, which is on draught, made with Jim Bean Black Bourbon and Barefoot Tulsi Basil Honey and the Uncle Buck (which is usually frozen), a combination of Glyph Whisky, house ginger  and Barefoot Triple Mint. Both were very fresh and herbaceous.

We were not surprised, but the night we were there a brass band played on the street and secret portraits being done, much like their cocktail parties that would happen at their yearly event. Also like the events the energy of the restaurant is just electric with an exceptional staff and is just a place you want to be at.  We would suggest dining there often to see what adventure you get to experience. Stop by for Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday from 5pm-7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. We’re sure we’ll see you there as we can’t wait to go back!

– Stephanie Carino

1155 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Festival Cafe