Linnea Covington

Correspondent

  • New York City, NY, USA

Linnea Covington is a correspondent who lives in New York and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Covington moved from Denver to Brooklyn 10 years ago, and has been eating, drinking and exploring the city ever since. From gourmet pizza, to the best place to get fresh pasta, to the hottest cocktail bar, she hunts and conquers them all. Also keen on travel, Covington has flown around the world, tasting her way through the cuisines of India, Israel, Europe, Canada and, of course, the United States. She also writes for BlackBook magazine, Tea Magazine, Zagat and Today.com, among others.

  • On July 24, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best seafood restaurants in New York City?

    A great thing about living on the water is you get some of the best seafood around, and one of the best places to go and indulge in oysters is at Mermaid Inn in the East Village. Here they have a great happy hour oyster deal from 5:30 to 7pm, and though their dinner menu is simple, it’s worth checking out. Try the roasted local skate or the fish tacos, and pair that with a glass of cool Red Tail Riesling, made right here in New York, and call it a night.

    For the best clam chowder in the city, head to Rebecca Charles’ Pearl Oyster Bar. Since 1997, this Greenwich Village staple has been churning out this dish, and other great ones including whole grilled fish, bouillabaisse, and a fine Caesar salad. If you are in SoHo, head to Aquagrill, a neighborhood institution since 1996 where you can get tasty plates seared diver scallops with Dungeness crab risotto, a delicious and spicy tuna tartare, and miso glazed Chilean sea bass.

    Another stalwart in the city seafood scene is Oceana in Midtown. At this posh joint, they have an excellent raw bar, and in the kitchen, chef Ben Pollinger cooks up a mean stuffed branzino, blackened mahi mahi, and gin-cured gravlax. Make sure you save room for dessert though, because here, pastry chef Joseph Gabriel has a way with sweets, especially when they’re in baked goods form.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best seafood restaurants in New York City?

    A great thing about living on the water is you get some of the best seafood around, and one of the best places to go and indulge in oysters is at Mermaid Inn in the East Village. Here they have a great happy hour oyster deal from 5:30 to 7pm, and though their dinner menu is simple, it’s worth checking out. Try the roasted local skate or the fish tacos, and pair that with a glass of cool Red Tail Riesling, made right here in New York, and call it a night.

    For the best clam chowder in the city, head to Rebecca Charles’ Pearl Oyster Bar. Since 1997, this Greenwich Village staple has been churning out this dish, and other great ones including whole grilled fish, bouillabaisse, and a fine Caesar salad. If you are in SoHo, head to Aquagrill, a neighborhood institution since 1996 where you can get tasty plates seared diver scallops with Dungeness crab risotto, a delicious and spicy tuna tartare, and miso glazed Chilean sea bass.

    Another stalwart in the city seafood scene is Oceana in Midtown. At this posh joint, they have an excellent raw bar, and in the kitchen, chef Ben Pollinger cooks up a mean stuffed branzino, blackened mahi mahi, and gin-cured gravlax. Make sure you save room for dessert though, because here, pastry chef Joseph Gabriel has a way with sweets, especially when they’re in baked goods form.
  • On July 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the most convenient beaches to New York City?

    Despite the havoc Hurricane Sandy caused, the New York Parks Department rallied and got most of the state’s beaches up and running, and, for the most part, they are all easy to get to. One of the most fun beaches to visit is Rockaway Beach, heck, the Ramones even wrote a song about it. While the boardwalk isn’t as glorious as it was before the storm, and they are working on it, you still get to enjoy the sun, sand, and Rockaway Taco, a cult stand located a couple blocks away that serves some of the tastiest tacos around.

    Another convenient beach to head is Jones Beach on Long Island. It’s about an hour train ride from the city, and a short bus ride, but well worth the jaunt. There they have 6.5 miles of nice sand, a great boardwalk, and plenty of things to do besides swim and sun. Long Beach is also a good bet, and even easier to get there than Jones, you just take the Long Island Rail Road.

    Now, if you really want a beach party experience, head to Montauk. It’s about two hours on the train, but once there, it’s like being in a different zone all together. On the weekends there are tons of things to do, from parties to beach bonfires to biking around the island.
  • On July 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington is now following the question:
  • On July 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best cocktails in New York City?

    Given everyone’s different tastes in drinks and the constant seasonal changes to menus, it’s impossible to determine what the best cocktails are in the city. However, there are plenty of places to go that make superb drinks that anyone, no matter if they like sweet, bitter, strong, or bubbly can get behind.

    Right now, the recently opened Greenwich Project has a stellar list of cocktails, including the refreshing BKLYN 76’, a winning combination of gin, rosemary honey, house-made lavender bitters, and sparkling wine. On the darker side, they make a drink using clove-infused bourbon and a spicy syrup to create the Brick House, and equal deviance is found in the Mister Three Step, a beer cocktail made with Campari, bourbon, celery bitters and sweet vermouth.

    For drinks that not only taste good, but are served with panache, head to Booker and Dax in the East Village. Here, the team chills their glasses with steaming liquid nitrogen, adds fizz to their Gin and Juice by carbonating the actual cocktail, age and bottle Manhattans, and incorporate a plethora of unique flavors into the drinks. Give the licorice-tinged, bubbly Chartruth a whirl, or take your tea in the form of booze with the Tee-Time, a beverage made with milk-clarified tea vodka and lemon.

    On the strange spectrum, I recently had a pickle and gin cocktail at the Italian joint Sorella, and it was darn tasty. With that, you can also head to Do or Dine in Brooklyn and try the Spherical Back, consisting of a shot of George Dickle whiskey and a sphere of gelled pickle juice you pop in your mouth as a chaser. Don’t question why, just try it.

    At Dale Talde’s restaurant Talde in Park Slope, they offer some great cocktails too that rift on classics. For example, the smoky BBQ Negroni, made with Brokers gin, smoked sweet vermouth, Campari, and burnt orange. I am also partial to the Nine Roses, a drink made with Four Roses bourbon and Chinese five-spice powder. Also in Brooklyn, Hawkers Bar just opened in Prospect Heights, and aside from traditional south-east Asian eats, they are mixing up some superb drinks. Try the No. 4, a concoction of smoky Sombra mezcal with lemon and pepper bitters, which you actually sip though a straw of lemongrass.

    Heading back to Manhattan, in Tribeca the recently opened Distilled has been churning out craft cocktails worth checking out too, like the fresh-tasting Derby Shrub, made with mint, apricot shrub, and chamomile-infused rye. The Sparkle & Shine is also a good bet, especially for a hot day since it incorporates cherry moonshine, vanilla, rhubarb shrub, and sparkling wine. 

  • On July 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the newest shows in New York City?

    Magritte at the MoMa This August you can look forward to the American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe show at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) featuring their collection of pieces made by American artists from 1915 to 1950. The museum also will debut new photography from eight international artists starting September 14, and an exhibit featuring the work of surrealist painter Rene Magritte from 1926 to 1938, which starts September 28.

    Also coming to the modern art world September 24 is the Body & Soul show at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD), which showcases bodies done by ceramic artists from around the world. At the Whitney Museum of American Art, starting September 19, guests can enjoy a panoramic film installation by New York-based artist T. J. Wilcox, as well as Robert Indiana’s pop art show, Beyond Love, beginning September 26.

    If you head to the Museum of the City of New York September 13 through January 5, you can see Janet Ruttneberg’s paintings of Central Park, and starting November 13, they will highlight costumes, jewelry, portraits, and other objects from New York’s Gilded Age. For those who want even more unique clothing, the Brooklyn Museum will bring Jean Paul Gaultier’s work starting October 25, and on October 11, they will also include the show Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, the first survey ever of this Brooklyn-based artist.

    On the theater end, you can get ready to check out the stage version of the fantastical Big Fish, a novel and book, that is coming September 5 at the Neil Simon Theatre. For something more serious, The Snow Geese debuts on October 1 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, and stars Mary-Louise Parker. On October 1 the Ethel Barrymore Theatre gets an all-star cast for the production of Betrayal, which features Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, and Billy Crystal takes the stage at the Imperial Theatre on November 5 with the show 700 Sundays.

    For some classics, take a gander at Orlando Bloom in a rendition of Romeo and Juliet at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, previews start August 24. For more Shakespeare, the Belasco Theater opens up on October 15 with the Twelfth Night and Richard III, staring two-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance. But wait, as if that wasn’t enough of the bard, on October 24 Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff star in Macbeth at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
  • On July 19, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best Pilates studios in New York City?

    Pilates is a great way to build strength and flexibility, and whether you are visiting or live in the city, here are some places to bend and stretch.

    Body Tonic: Since 1999 this Park Slop studio has been teaching truly energetic Pilates classes to Brooklynites. Heck, owner Jennifer DeLuca even wrote a book on the subject, Pilates for Wimps: Total Fitness for the Partially Motivated. So, you know she is legit.

    Re:AB Pilates Studio: There are a lot of great classes at this NoHo studio, from mat classes to the Wunda Chair. The studio was founded by Brooke Siler over 10 years ago, and sense then, not only have residents made it their hot spot to go to, but they have a fair celebrity base too.

    Erika Bloom Pilates Plus: In the world of Pilates, this studio is the cream of the crop and Erika Bloom knows what she is talking about. The former dancer uses her training in ballet, yoga, and holistic body methods to create the classes taught in her Upper East Side studio.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best places to hear live music in New York City?

    Depending on what you like, there are many places to go to hear live music, and right now, one of those places is outside; it’s summer after all. First up, Lincoln Center has plenty of events this season both inside and out, but no matter what the weather is like they always offer amazing live shows in all four main venues, the David H. Koch Theater, Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Plus, it recently got renovated so they now have an elegant grove of trees complete with benches and chairs, a reflecting pool, a slope of grass that covers the restaurant Lincoln, and a beautiful fountain. Come here to listen to opera, symphonies, experimental music, ballet scores, and other classical forms of sound.

    For jazz, the place to go is the iconic Village Vanguard. Not only can you hear great tunes, but also it’s interwoven with a bit of history. After all, this is where greats like John Coltrane recorded in 1961, and there is something about knowing that someone that good saturated the walls. Another big jazz place is Smalls, a 48-seat venue that has hosted celebrities like Norah Jones, Joshua Redman, and Roy Hargrove Brad Mehldau.

    If you want to get down and sweaty, Barbes in Brooklyn hosts live bands nightly in their small and charming venue. Head there on Tuesday nights for the Balkan-style band Slavic Soul Party, or check out the psychedelic Latin band Chicha Libre on Mondays. Another great place to hear a range of live tunes is at Union Hall in Park Slope where they do rock, 80s tunes, and whatnot.
  • On July 15, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best bakeries in New York City?

    Dough doughnuts by Linnea Covington Right now the hottest bakery has to be Dominique Ansel Bakery, in part due to the owner’s famous cronuts. In case you haven’t gotten hip to the trend, a cronut is a mix between a doughnut and a croissant, and the bakery only makes a few hundred each day. This means people start lining up to get their fix at about 6am, so, if you want join and try this treat, be my guest. However, the bakery offers a lot of other delicious French-style pastries that don’t come with the hype, or with the line, so I usually choose that route.

    On a totally different scale, another awesome bakery is Clementine, a tiny shop in Clinton Hill in Brooklyn. At first glance, it doesn’t appear there is much going on, but once you realize all their baked goods are vegan, the feat they have accomplished is astounding. With biscuits that taste buttery and rich, delicate lavender-chocolate cupcakes to crave, and delightful Danishes—it’s well worth the journey. Plus, if you go to this neck of the woods you can also grab some of the best doughnuts in the state at Dough, a decidedly not vegan bakery, but so good, it’s become a destination spot. Here, they have fresh baked flavors including sea salt with chocolate and caramel, blood orange, cheesecake (a personal favorite), and dulce du leche.

    If you want to stay in the city, try the rustic breads and to-die-for walnut chocolate chip cookies at Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side. They also sell uber flaky and buttery brioche, the ultimate sticky buns, and a fruit tart that will make you think you are visiting the countryside in France rather than NYC. If France isn’t your things, try a little taste of Italy and head to Grandaisy Bakery, also on the Upper West Side, for soft ciabatta, Danish stuffed with fresh ricotta, and a handful of biscotti perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee. Each item is baked to perfection with that special New York state water that people swear by. 
  • On July 15, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best tours of New York City?

    Grand Central by Linnea Covington Honestly, skip the giant, double-decker tour bus, it’s cheesy, and it doesn’t give you a real sense of the city. Instead, book a tour with Levys’ Unique New York, a family run business that not only educates clients on punk rock history on the Bowery, Irish Heritage, and pizza, but they will tailor a biking or walking tour to your group if you want.

    Another fun way to see the city is by boat, and Classic Harbor Lines teamed up with the American Institute of Architects to offer a great water tour of NYC’s grand edifices. They cover bridges, historical buildings, and skyscrapers.

    To learn more about the fabulous Central Park, a New York icon that residents take for granted, the parks department offers free daily tours, plus on their website, they have a downloadable, self-guided tour. Choose expeditions focused on horticulture, history or design, and walk away knowing more than most New Yorkers. You can also get a self-guided tour in Grand Central Terminal, a place that I personally find surprising and is one of the most unique places in the city.

    Of course, in tandem with the growing food trend, a grub walking tour is a fun and tasty way to get a sense of the city. You can always go for one of the food-focused tours by the Levys, from sandwiches, pizza, and beer, all catered to you, what you like, and how much you want to eat. Or, check out Foods of New York, a company who has been doing walking food culture tours in Little Italy, Chinatown, and Greenwich since 1999.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best comedy clubs in New York City?

    One of the best places to catch some laughs and tasty bites is at The Stand NYC in Gramercy. Chow on indulgent dishes including waffle fries with truffle gravy, tater tot nachos, and tuna tartare cannolis while watching Judah Friedlander and other talented funny men and women take the stage.

    You can also head to Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade, a theater that has culled talent from across the country and launched many successful careers. The Chelsea space isn’t fancy, and you won’t get any gourmet eats, but it’s well worth the visit for any comedy lover.

    For a late night show in the heart of Greenwich Village, Comedy Cellar is the place to be. Here, talents like Chris Rock and Jim Gaffigan have been known to pop in and test out new material, but even if you don’t see someone famous, they have plenty of other good comics taking the stage.  Another old-school comedy joint is Dangerfield’s, owned by, you guessed it, funny man Rodney Dangerfield. For 40 years, this Upper East Side venue has brought a lot of talent and a lot of laughs to the stage.
  • On June 28, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best Italian restaurants in New York City?

    With so many great Italian restaurants in the city, choosing which one to go to can be a challenge. We have two Little Italys, one in Manhattan in the Lower East Side and on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, an Italian section in south Brooklyn, and hundreds of Italian eateries (some under the radar) scattered throughout all five boroughs. Of these, here is my top seven.

    1. L’Artusi: One of the stellar restaurants by Gabe Thompson, this bi-level West Village eatery serves small plates to go with their well-curated wine list.

    2. Babbo: Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich have been rocking this eatery for 15 years. Yet, despite the big names, the space is modest and nestled in a quaint carriage house.

    3. Del Posto: Another from the Batali-Bastianich team, with live piano music, marble and mahogany décor, and plush booths, this Chelsea spot maintains elegant class while churning up superb plates of pasta and other Italian specialties.

    4. Marea: Michael White knows his Italian, and at this Midtown spot, fine dining, fine house-made pastas, and fine wine go hand in hand.

    5. Torrisi Italian Specialties: Head to NoLita for a taste of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s Italian-American fare. Here you can get a seven-course, $65 prix fixe, just make sure to stop at Parm, their sister café next for a slice of ice cream cake.

    6. Scalini Fedeli: Michael Cetrulo’s Northern Italian food joint in TriBeCa serves a stellar $70 prix fixe.

    7. al di la Trattoria: In Brooklyn there are a lot of Italians, so it goes to reason one of the best Italian restaurants would be there. Here, owners Emiliano Coppa and chef Anna Klinger serve up Northern Italian fare to hungry visitors and Park Slope residents.
  • On June 28, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best Italian restaurants in New York City?

    With so many great Italian restaurants in the city, choosing which one to go to can be a challenge. We have two Little Italys, one in Manhattan in the Lower East Side and on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, an Italian section in south Brooklyn, and hundreds of Italian eateries (some under the radar) scattered throughout all five boroughs. Of these, here is my top seven.

    1. L’Artusi: One of the stellar restaurants by Gabe Thompson, this bi-level West Village eatery serves small plates to go with their well-curated wine list.

    2. Babbo: Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich have been rocking this eatery for 15 years. Yet, despite the big names, the space is modest and nestled in a quaint carriage house.

    3. Del Posto: Another from the Batali-Bastianich team, with live piano music, marble and mahogany décor, and plush booths, this Chelsea spot maintains elegant class while churning up superb plates of pasta and other Italian specialties.

    4. Marea: Michael White knows his Italian, and at this Midtown spot, fine dining, fine house-made pastas, and fine wine go hand in hand.

    5. Torrisi Italian Specialties: Head to NoLita for a taste of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s Italian-American fare. Here you can get a seven-course, $65 prix fixe, just make sure to stop at Parm, their sister café next for a slice of ice cream cake.

    6. Scalini Fedeli: Michael Cetrulo’s Northern Italian food joint in TriBeCa serves a stellar $70 prix fixe.

    7. al di la Trattoria: In Brooklyn there are a lot of Italians, so it goes to reason one of the best Italian restaurants would be there. Here, owners Emiliano Coppa and chef Anna Klinger serve up Northern Italian fare to hungry visitors and Park Slope residents.
  • On June 28, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What new hotels are in New York City?

    New hotels always seem to be popping up in the city, and one of the latest happens to be inside a seminary school. Welcome the High Line Hotel in Chelsea, a roomy space that took over some of the seminary's buildings in May, and now offers guests quiet quarters overlooking the cloistered gardens. The rooms prove elegant with a touch of antique style to them, and the location is prime for anyone looking to enjoy the neighborhood and the nearby High Line Park. 

    The Jade Hotel in Greenwich Village is also new on the boutique side, and this small and charming edifice has a vintage 1920s Paris bent to it. Even their hotel restaurant Grape & Vine maintains this vibe while serving market-driven fare and craft cocktails.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Refinery in the Fashion District tips the hat to industrial New York, and in their 197 rooms you can write a note on the antique sewing machine desks, marvel at the bronze fixtures in the bathroom, and lounge on the soft Frette designed bedding. They also have a prohibition “tea” lounge and a magnificent rooftop bar that’s split into three sections.

    On the more commercial side, the Hyatt chain just opened a new branch in Union Square. With 178 lush guest rooms, it’s a nice addition to an area lacking in accommodations. The neighborhood around this hotel boasts an immense green market, close proximity to the East Village, a giant movie theater, a park, and nearby shopping. Plus, their restaurant The Fourth offers tasty American brassier bites, and the bar Singl has a great selection of single malt scotch.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the best way to see New York City in one day?

    Probably the most efficient way to see the city in one day is to take one of those giant, elevated bus tours around, like the ones they offer at Gray Line or City Sights. But, for the traveler who is looking to get a more in depth and special look into one of the greatest cities in the world, I suggest making your way through New York on foot with the aid of the glorious subway system.

    The first way to do this is to decide what you want to see. Is art your thing? Well get up early and make your way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, breeze though the exhibits, grab a snack or cocktail at their roof bar for a great view, then head to the Guggenheim or the Whitney, and then south to the Museum of Art and Design, which is open until 9pm on Thursday and Friday. From there, walk down to PizzaArte for an artisanal bite, and hop on the subway downtown.

    If you want to concentrate on the architecture of the city, break out your walking shoes and wander around areas rich with notable edifices, including the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Grand Central Terminal. Then, take an architecture yacht tour with Classic Harbor Line for another look, and one that truly gives you a vision of the city.

    Then, for the adventure some visitor who isn’t afraid to hop on a bike and jet all around the city, you can take advantage of NYC’s new Citi Bikes program, which rents bikes for $9.95 a day, and has kiosks all over the city. We also have plenty of bike lanes, and a map of these, as well as subway and busses, you can download off of the MTA’s website.