Top 10 NYC Indulgences: David Chang, Shellac Manis, Del Posto, Amarcord, Warren Tricomi, Highlands, Flywheel, Etc.
Top 10 of 2010: NYC's Best Splurges
We're 10 days away from saying goodbye to 2010 — and in the spirit of "onward and upward," here's one last look at this year's best, most fun, most repeat-worthy splurges. I can only hope 2011 will bring another round of new and exciting experiences worth a pretty penny. Knowing NYC, that won't be much of a problem.
- David Chang Mania Chow down in a very serious way, courtesy of chef David Chang's Korean-inspired Bo Ssäm feast (207 Second Ave., 212-254-3500). The multicourse gastronomic experience comes at a hefty price, but temporary insanity/food coma blackout will make the bottom line seem like an afterthought. If you can't stomach the Bo Ssäm dinner, you can choose from an array of equally indulgent Chang choices, including Momofuku Milk Bar's (207 Second Ave., 212-254-3500) crack pie and compost cookies.
- Shellacked Nails Yes, you may have to shell(ac) out a little more money for this Creative Nail Design specialty manicure, but its long-lasting awesomeness makes it worth every extra cent. For a good shellac mani, book an appointment at one of the city's 13 nail salons that currently offer this service; try Jin Soon (421 E. 73rd St., 212-249-9144; 23 Jones St., 212-229-1070) or Escape Skin Care Salon & Day Spa (101 W. 55th St., 212-581-3343) and prepare yourself for at least two weeks of no-chip freedom.
- Bastianich-Batali Bliss Only two months ago, Del Posto (85 Tenth Ave., 212-497-8090) received four well-deserved stars from The New York Times food critic Sam Sifton. Aside from the Italian fare that convinces you that you've tasted a piece of heaven, the West side restaurant is a design enthusiast treat. The decor is modern, decadent, and does what a four-star restaurant should: sets the mood for haute dining.
- Expensive Facials (Worth Every Dime) There are some fabulous facials in this city, but none compare to the Super Active Toning, Lifting, and Firming facial treatment at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA New York (700 Fifth Ave., 212-956-2888). The 90-minute facial is deeply relaxing but also manages to work its advanced anti-aging magic in the process. At $295, expect star-quality results.
- Single Liquor Spotlights Why have an ordinary scotch on the rocks? Why settle for a just average gin and tonic? With the popularity of top shelf single liquor watering holes here, you can order your favorite aprés-work drink, but this time, the bartender is actually a Scotch expert and that drink is going to be out of this world. Order the Blood & Sand at Highlands (150 W. 10th St., 212-229-2670). Opt for the Perfect Manhattan at Brandy Library (25 North Moore St., 212-226-5545). Or for a classic gin cocktail, head to the back of Double Crown's restaurant, now called Madam Geneva (4 Bleecker St., 212-254-0350).
- Vintage Excellence If you thought shopping for vintage equaled less money spent, I'm here to tell you you thought wrong. Especially when there's some of the best vintage thrifting you'll find on the Eastern seaboard. Don't even try to restrain yourself next time you head to Amarcord (252 Lafayette St., 212-431-4161; 223 Bedford Ave., 718-963-4001), Tokio 7 (83 E. 7th St., 212-353-8443), and Beacon's Closet (88 N. 11th St., 718-486-0816; 92 5th Ave., 718-230-1630).
- Designer Overstock Heaven While we're on the subject, designer overstock is a great way to buy brand names, indulge your retail habit, and save (a little). For the best in top label finds, try Change of Season (341 E. 9th St., 212-420-7770) or Century 21 (22 Cortlandt St., 212-227-9092; 472 86th St., 718-748-3266). More likely than not, you will encounter Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, and Balenciaga at extremely slashed prices. Go to town.
- Haircut Investments A life-changing haircut — every girl needs more than one in her life. I read somewhere recently that if you can splurge on a pair of Louboutins, then why not a fabulous cut? You'll wear the coif everyday, which is more than I can say for the Loubs. It's 100 percent worth it to get yourself to the best salon or stylist pronto. I'm in love with Aurora from Warren-Tricomi (1 W. 58th St., 212-262-8899) at the Plaza. She donned her shears on my long mane, and the subtle layer effect has been nothing short of life changing.
- Classes Meant Make You the Next Barefoot Contessa Butter Lane (123 E. 7th St., 212-677-2880) offers cupcake making classes every Saturday, The Randolph at Broome (349 Broome St., 212-274-0667) gives a custom coffee class, and The Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost St., 718-389-2982) teaches a full course meal cooking how-to. These classes are useful, optimistic, and fun, but at the end of the day, they are indulgent at best. Why? Because let's be honest: we're creatures of the "eating out" order.
- Killer Workouts Full body workouts that simultaneously kill you, inspire you, and whip you into shape. Never before have there been so many fitness class options that beat you down but give you the best body you've ever had. This is more of a sadomasochistic indulgence; stick it out and you won't regret the results. Try Flywheel (39 W. 21st St., 212-242-9433) or Equinox's (897 Broadway, 212-780-9300) Tabata 2010 class.