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 April 11, 2013
  • On April 11, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the best time to visit New York City?

    Photo by Linnea Covington Anytime you come to New York there is always a reason to be here. In the summer, though it can get very hot and humid, there are a ton of free shows and movie screenings in parks, on roofs, and on the piers. If you come in the winter, you get to see the city decked out in all its holiday glory and go ice skating in Central Park and Rockefeller Center. Spring brings new life to Manhattan, as all the trees blossom and there is a buzz in the air as layers are shed, and subsequently put on as the flash rainstorms run rampant this time of year.

    Over all, the fall is my favorite time to be here. The air is crisp and smells of roasted apples and wood chips, and there isn’t much rain or wind, so you can stick to a light jacket. But perhaps my favorite part about this time of year is the changing of the leaves, from bright green to a glorious display of yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s the time to take a walk around the city with a cup of spiced cider, and take in the best aspects of New York.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best hotels in New York City?

    NoMad Hotel After a busy day trotting around the dusty, hot streets, it’s nice to tuck into a comfortable suite and kick back. Luckily, New York has plenty of high-class options all over the city from historic hotels, shiny and new establishments, and even an haute hideaway in Brooklyn. Want to know more? Check out these five amazing stays.

    1. The St. Regis New York: As far as historical hotels go, the St. Regis is one of the best, and one of our Star Award winners. Here, you can sip their famous Bloody Marys at the King Cole Bar, have a fine dining experience at Astor Court, and then head to your room to rest in lavish comfort. The furnishing in each room is custom made, the sheets are Egyptian cotton, the pillows goose down, and the bathroom done in Italian marble. As if that wasn’t enough, you also get to watch the world go by from floor-to-ceiling windows, and take advantage of a complimentary shoeshine and suit pressing; perfect for a businessman, or woman, visiting the city.

    2. Wythe Hotel: This new boutique hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is the first luxury accommodations in the area, and so far, they have got a great handle on it. Each room tips the hat to the industrial side of the neighborhood’s past, while keeping the style clean and chic. The floors are heated, they offer complimentary wifi, and, in true Brooklyn style, the minibar features seasonal ingredients. You also get the added bonus of dining at the popular Raynard, where the changing menu features chef Sean Rembold’s skill with game meat and local vegetables.

    3. The NoMad Hotel: Inside the turn of the century Beaux-Arts building, French designer Jacques Garcia has outfitted this new Midtown hotel with European-style décor, masculine furniture, original artwork, and handmade, vintage Heriz rugs. Most of the rooms have freestanding, clawfoot bathtubs and tantalizing bath amenities by Côté Bastide, so bathing just got even more opulent. Once you leave your temporary palace, head to the dining room where each menu was created by award-winning chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, and make sure to try his roasted chicken for two. It might be expensive, but in this town, it’s the best bird around.

    4. Mandarin Oriental: There are plenty of reasons why this grand hotel in the Upper West Side garners accolades, including our Star Award, but perhaps the best reason to stay here is because of the killer view, which, towering 54 stories up, looks over Central Park, the Hudson River, and beyond. Though the view brings guests, the service and amenities keeps them coming. They offer a luxurious spa, sleek and modern rooms, lush bathrooms, and friendly, professional guest service.

    5. The Crosby Street Hotel: Each room and suite of this boutique hotel mirrors the artistic bent guests can see in the lobby. One room features a black and white modish approach, and another one has a personal terrace garden that pairs well with the textile foliage inside. Choose from single bedrooms to multi-room suites. Either way, you can take advantage of the gym, guest lounge, DVD library, their sculpture garden, and the close proximity you have to SoHo, the Lower East Side, and the East Village. Make sure to take high tea in the bar, the last time I was there I saw Meg Ryan with her pinky in the air.
  • On April 2, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What would be a perfect date night in New York City?

    On of the best dates I went on started at the Mermaid Inn for their $1 oyster happy hour, after all, what food is more of an aphrodisiac than oysters? We chased those briny bivalves with a $7 Hot and Dirty vodka martini and continued on toward Brooklyn and our next stop for date night, Nitehawk Cinema. Here, you can cuddle up to your cutie, watch a movie, and pair it with specialty cocktails and nibbles, for example for the movie Spring Breakers they offer Fried Chicken and Grilled Cornrows and a classic Sex on the Beach in cocktail form.

    Next, head to the nearby Diner for a late night bite and drinks inside of a low-lit, old train car. This charming spot is located next to the Williamsburg Bridge, so, if the night is nice, take a walk across and marvel at the lights in the city. You will end up in the Lower East Side, which give you the perfect opportunity to kiss and dance the rest of the night away to Eastern European music at Mehanata, otherwise known as the Bulgarian Bar.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best coffee shops in New York City?

    by Linnea Covington Sure, New York is no Italy, but for a non-European coffee culture, the city has a ton of great options brewing. In a land of many options, these five are my top to-go places.

    1. Cafe Grumpy: You saw it in the HBO show Girls, and yes, the hipster vibe is strong with this one. But, for any coffee geek wanting to have a single-brewed cup of fresh roasted Copo Mico from Honduras, you have to check it out. Luckily, they have expanded beyond their original Greenpoint, Brooklyn shop, and now have locations in Chelsea, Lower East Side, and Park Slope. 

    2. Joe the Art of Coffee: At the eight locations of this funky shop, you can sit down and have a beautiful latte graced with a foam flower, or take a cup of hot brew to go. They know their beans here, but aren’t pretentious about it.

    3. Ninth Street Espresso: The original incarnation of the coffee shop is in Alphabet City, and it still exudes a comfortable charm that you should check out. You can also hit up their shop in the Chelsea Market or near Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Either way, you will leave happily caffeinated.

    4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Head to this stylish shop in Flatiron and take your coffee to go, or sit down in the Ace Hotel lobby and savor a sweet cappuccino. The latter is a great way to people watch and get a pick me up at the same time.

    5. Café Pick Me Up: When I first moved to NYC I used to come to this quaint shop in the East Village all the time. They have a great tea selection, make a mean espresso, and sell tasty baked goods. Plus, in the summer, they open the windows so it’s the perfect place to get a breeze and read a book.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are some things to know before visiting New York City?

    by Kaysha via Flickr Even after living in NYC for 10 years, I still find the city to be a little daunting. For visitors it can feel down right chaotic, but, with these tips, I hope you find exploring the area a little easier.

    Wear comfortable shoes: New York is a walking town, and using your legs as transportation is one of the best ways to see the city.

    Dress in layers: Unless it’s the dead of winter, you will find the city comes in varying degrees of temperatures. The subway can be freezing cold, while the subway station is sweltering. The same can be said for some stores and restaurants, in the summer, they tend to blast the AC while the outside air is hot and muggy.

    Navigate the subway: There is no reason not to take the subway; it’s safe, cheap, and often the quickest way to get around in the car-choked city. Get a week pass, it costs around $30 and lets you take the subways and busses as much as you would like. Just beware; you can’t swipe the card more than once every 20 minutes at the same station. Also, if there is a glitch in the card, for example you swipe it and it says “just used,” take it to an agent. Often times they understand.

    Directions: On this note, a helpful trick I used when I first moved to NYC is to remember, if you are going up in numbers, you are going “uptown,” and if you are going down in numbers or from Manhattan to Brooklyn, you are going “downtown.” And don’t forget, the subway map is your friend, and, most people are happy to point you in the right direction if you just ask.

    Don’t block traffic: I know it’s hard not to stop and stare; there are some amazing things to see in NYC. But, if you don’t want to get shoved or yelled at, try to pull over to the edge of the sidewalk to take pictures. That way, busy New Yorkers can bustle by.

    Street food can be good: All over the city there are halal carts serving up gyros, kebabs, and falafel. A lot of these are good, but a tip to pick out the best is to look at the crowd. If there are two near each other and one has people waiting, that one is a safe bet. As for hotdog carts, well, those are fine, though there are plenty of really good hotdogs to be found, like at Crif Dogs in the East Village. Oh, and stay away from the pretzels at those stands, I have yet to have one that wasn’t stale and bland.
  • On March 30, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best sports bars in New York City?

    In a place filled with people from all over the world, it stands to reason there is a sports bar for every fan. Here are some unique places to go, and what team, sport, or event they are best for.

    If you are a soccer lover, Woodwork in Brooklyn has all you need to watch the games, and the company to watch them with. Plus, they have plenty of draft and bottled beer to choose from, plus, buckets of beer for $15, pulled pork sliders, and a tasty sandwich menu.

    For Green Bay Packers fans, head to the West Village and catch the pigskin at Kettle of Fish, where no only can you expect to see every football game with Wisconsin transplants, but down a few cheap brews in the meantime.

    Baseball fanatics can't go wrong if they are rooting for the Yankees or Mets, but for those looking to catch the game and not get pummeled for liking another team, then The Pig ‘n’ Whistle in Times Square is a good bet. This Irish bar has 12 plasma TVs, and they serve tasty nibbles including shepherd’s pie, fish n’chips, Gaelic sirloin steak with a peppercorn flambé whiskey sauce, and plenty of burgers and sandwiches. Chase that down with a draft beer or fancy cocktail and settle in for the game.

    For a more high-class sports viewing experience, head to the Chelsea Brewing Company on Pier 59. Here they not only serve up whatever big game that might be on, but they have two craft brews on tap, Checker Cab Blonde Ale and Sunset Red Ale, and plenty of food to pair that with.
  • On March 29, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What festivals are going on this weekend in New York City?

    This Saturday, March 30, you can celebrate the NYC Craft Beer Festival at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Kips Bay. Here, you can sample the spring releases from about 75 craft breweries across the United States, including Bronx Brewery’s Pale Ale, Clown Shoes’ Tramp Stamp, Ithaca Beer Co.’s Apricot Wheat, and Ticket Rye by Magic Hat. They will also feature food from New York purveyors, which includes sausage sandwiches from Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Monsoon Curry pies and banger rolls by The Savory Pie Guy, and gluten-free macaroni and cheese from Tavern 29.
    Get tickets at nyccraftbeerfest.com.

    On Sunday, March 31, celebrate Easter at the annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival; taking place at Fifth Ave. from 49th St. to 57th St., from 10am to 4pm. Don any sort of hat, the more elaborate the better. Previous years have seen constructions shaped like the NYC skyline, airplanes, and even egg-laden holiday baskets. It’s supposed be a beautiful day, so, in the spirit of Irving Berlin, put your hat with all the frills on, and you can be, “The grandest lady in the Easter parade.”
  • On March 28, 2013
    Linnea Covington is now following the question:
  • On March 28, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the most romantic restaurants in New York City?

    Romance comes in all forms, some people think a tiny, quaint restaurant is the key to love. Others find romance in tall, airy windows that steam up in the cold weather; and some lovers like to make eyes over a dinner table in a dark, secret space. Given these credentials, here are some under-the-radar romantic spaces for all gourmands.

    Mono+Mono: This darling Korean joint in the East Village has a hip, yet cozy vibe due to the dark, wood-paneled sidings, wall of records, and jazz music wafting through the open room. It’s a great place for a second or third date, plus, their spicy twice-fried chicken wings are amazing—just make sure to cool down the heat with plenty of soju cocktails.

    Tabare: With low lighting, comfortable banquets, and wood-lined walls, this tiny Uruguayan restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a great spot for love. It’s also a great spot to eat. Here, they serve Latin American eats with a Brooklyn twist, including baked empanadas stuffed with grass-fed beef and olives, and a handmade ravioli of the day. Just avoid getting the Chivito Completo, it might be an amazing sandwich/burger, but it’s so messy to eat, unless you have been with your partner for years, it’s better left to solo dining.

    The Vault at Pfaff’s: For clandestine romance, this basement cocktail lounge and small plates joint is the place to be. Cozy up to your lover over a plate of duck confit rillettes and Arctic Char tartare, and make eyes over Turf, a Nolet’s gin and absinthe cocktail, or Toot’s Rob Roy, a drink lovingly mixed with Famous Grouse Scotch, Pernod, and house-made citrus bitters. The setting is dark, the nooks and crannies many, and the servers are dressed in classy costumes designed by Christian Siriano.

    L’Amant: Paris is for lovers, so, it stands to reason a French-owned bar and restaurant is as well. At this newly revitalized spot in the West Village, the owner has added a 1940s feel to the intimate space, as well as a slew of solid cocktails like the bright Mekong River made with house-infused apple and ginger Wodka vodka. They also have an array of savory nibbles like the duck confit shepard’s pie with foie gras, truffle-laced French fries, fresh oysters, and Peking pork buns. The space is small, perfect for getting close to your date and listening to Nina Simone while dining.
  • On March 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the weather like right now in New York City?

    As spring approaches, New York City is getting a dose of cool, wet, and partially sunny skies. It’s not all together unpleasant, though we have yet to hit that crisp, sunny glory of true spring.

    However, as March did come in a like a lion, it is also going out like a lamb, and come April, the temperature is not supposed to go below freezing. In most cases, it will be in the 50s and 60s.

    Despite the projected nice weather, it’s smart to always carry an umbrella at this time. A torrential down pour can happen at the drop of the hat, so it’s good to be prepared. It’s also an excellent idea to dress in layers. As the weather warms up, you will find many buildings and the subways have yet to figure out if they want heat or air conditioning, both which tend to be too much for spring weather. But the good news is, summer is coming.
  • On March 25, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the one must-do activity when visiting New York City?

    When I first came to New York City, I had no idea how big and interesting Central Park would be. In fact, I mistakenly thought it was a tiny block of green—not the behemoth of lush life, native vegetation, secret paths, and surprising stages that it actually is. Though it’s best to visit on a spring day or during the fall when all the leaves turn brilliant shades of red and orange, you can head to Central Park at any time and find plenty to do. But, in case you need some ideas, here are five fun ways to experience the 156- year-old park.

    1. Grab a picnic lunch and people watch on the Great Lawn.

    2. Head to the Bethesda Terrace in the center(ish) of the park. Here, you can marvel at the beautiful angel fountain, lounge on the terrace’s elegant steps, and, if you’re lucky, catch a musician, actor, or in one instance, a whole troupe of swing dancers, performing in the open air.

    3. Take a horse and carriage ride around the park and pretend you are in a romantic comedy.

    4. Wander through the 80 acres of woodlands and take note of all the New York natives growing.

    5. Catch the view from the historical Belvedere Castle, then gander over to the nearby Shakespeare Garden.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best activities to do in New York City?

    Brooklyn Bowl by Linnea Covington No matter how old you are, there are plenty of places in New York to bring out the kid in all of us. Plus, some of these places are great for kids too, like visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum off Pier 86 in Midtown. This decommissioned air craft carrier opened to the public in 1982, and it's perfect for showcasing some of the planes that landed on it, life on a ship, and military history. Also, they now have the Space Shuttle Enterprise on board, as well as a real submarine that you can walk through, just watch your head!

    On a more adult level, Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg offers tons of entertainment featuring their large, flashy bowling alley. Even if you don't want to done the shoes and aim for a strike, there is still plenty to do from downing fresh strawberry margaritas, to shaking your tail with their resident DJ ?uestlove, to pigging out on the elevated bar fare by Blue Ribbon. If you go on the weekend before 6pm it’s all ages, but after that, only 21 years old and up.

    At Full Circle Bar in Brooklyn, everyone must be at least 21, but despite that, you will leave feeling like a kid. Here, aside from an awesome selection of craft canned beer, they offer four Skee-Ball lanes, perfect for reliving seaside carnival games. Unfortunately, they don't dispense tickets, but you can take home the pride of scoring higher than your friends.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best activities to do in New York City?

    Brooklyn Bowl by Linnea Covington No matter how old you are, there are plenty of places in New York to bring out the kid in all of us. Plus, some of these places are great for kids too, like visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum off Pier 86 in Midtown. This decommissioned air craft carrier opened to the public in 1982, and it's perfect for showcasing some of the planes that landed on it, life on a ship, and military history. Also, they now have the Space Shuttle Enterprise on board, as well as a real submarine that you can walk through, just watch your head!

    On a more adult level, Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg offers tons of entertainment featuring their large, flashy bowling alley. Even if you don't want to done the shoes and aim for a strike, there is still plenty to do from downing fresh strawberry margaritas, to shaking your tail with their resident DJ ?uestlove, to pigging out on the elevated bar fare by Blue Ribbon. If you go on the weekend before 6pm it’s all ages, but after that, only 21 years old and up.

    At Full Circle Bar in Brooklyn, everyone must be at least 21, but despite that, you will leave feeling like a kid. Here, aside from an awesome selection of craft canned beer, they offer four Skee-Ball lanes, perfect for reliving seaside carnival games. Unfortunately, they don't dispense tickets, but you can take home the pride of scoring higher than your friends.
  • On March 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is the best new restaurant in New York City?

    It feels like at least one new restaurant opens up every week in New York, and this past month has been no different. Based on what I have sampled so far, these three top my list as the best new restaurants to try right now.

    1. Pearl & Ash: Chef Richard Kuo, formally of the popular pop-up Frej, has lived and traveled all over the world, and you can see his exploits in the inventive ingredient pairings at this new small plates restaurant in NoLita. There, while seated at the community table or one of the wooden banquettes, try the raw hanger steak with rich cocoa nibs and egg yolk; it’s fresh, earthy, sweet, and there is a pleasant bite at the end. Make sure you also order the long beans, they might sound average, but Kuo coats them with buttery uni, which gives them a velvety richness I couldn’t stop sampling. The wine list shines too, and, helmed by the adorably nerdy sommelier Patrick Cappiello, it’s worth going again and again to see what he might be offering.

    2. Nightingale 9: After exploring the food in Vietnam, chef Rob Newton of Seersucker came back to Brooklyn and decided to open his first Asian joint in Carroll Gardens, right near his southern food space. Given that the Arkansas-raised Newton gives his pho and fried rice a southern kick with collard greens, Berkshire pork, and catfish, the dishes aren’t 100 percent traditional, but that’s totally fine. Plus, Newton works at sourcing all his ingredients from local farms, so, the dishes become a southern-meets-Vietnamese-meets-Brooklyn sort of deal. It’s as if he discovered the best of both worlds, married them, and they live happily ever after on the plate and in your mind. Take a seat at one of the community tables, dose your pho with homemade hot sauce or Red Boat fish sauce, and enjoy.

    3. Le Philosophe: This French restaurant recently opened in NoHo under the tutelage of Matthew Aita, formally the sous at Jean Georges and a corporate chef at Sullivan Street Bakery. Here, you can order classic dishes with a modern snap like the butter-steamed lobster thermidor, a lightly glazed duck a l’orange, and sliced trotters stuffed with truffles and an array of luscious meats including foie gras, chicken liver, and pork belly. Dine under the watchful eyes of dozens of French philosophers, hence the name, and if someone asks you to dissect your feelings over a certain dish, the correct response is, “C'est délicieux.”