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 February 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best neighborhood restaurants in New York City?

    If you like an assortment of cuisines, one of the best neighborhoods to eat in is Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Here, you have an array of foods from all over the world. From American bistro, Venezuelan, Thai, French, and more, it’s the place to be to get just about anything. Here are my five favorite places to eat there, and most of them lean towards the inexpensive side.

    1. St. Anselm: At this steak joint, you can get a superb piece of butcher’s steak for under $20. Pair that with their pan-fried potatoes with truffle oil and grilled cauliflower, a glass of wine or one of the many craft beers they have on tap, and you have a perfect carnivore-centric meal. Also, if there is a wait, and often there is one, you can dip into Spuyten Duyvil, their sister bar next door and sample even more craft and rare beers both on draft and in the bottle.

    2. Tarbaré: I recently stopped into this three-year-old Uruguayan restaurant and was wowed by their innovative rustic décor. On bite of the fresh tuna empanada and the farmer’s cheese and potato gnocchi by chef Ella Schmidt, and they had sealed a place in my heart. They also have a list of South American wines and cocktails made with mate-infused vodka, and about 10 other reasons to go.

    3. Maison Premiere: For a Francophile, this New Orleans-style restaurant and absinthe bar is a necessary destination. They have an extensive list of oysters, and Monday through Friday from 4 to 7pm they only cost $1 apiece. Aside from those bivalves, the chef prepares delicate dishes of fish and seafood including turbot with chanterelles, and sea scallops with foie gras mousse. In the summer, their backyard turns into a lush garden full of cozy iron tables perfect for stealing secret kisses in.

    4. Brooklyn Star: While this American food joint isn’t on the main Williamsburg strip, it’s worth a slight trek just to try their fried Brussels sprouts with duck confit and burnt onion chow chow, or the perfect buttermilk biscuits. The space is large and good for groups, and of all the times I have eaten there, it’s never disappointed.

    5. Caracas: Also specializing in South American food, this Venezuelan restaurant offers guests some of the tastiest arapas I have had this side of equator. The best thing to do is order a michelada to chase it down; they are made with sugarcane, hot sauce, and lime juice, and end up being a sweet and spicy affair that goes brilliantly with the food. It’s fun, casual, and great for a first date or group outing.
  • On February 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington is now following the question:
  • On February 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best restaurants in New York City?

    Mission Chinese by Linnea Covington Last year a lot of buzz surrounded the rustic Italian restaurant il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, brought to NoHo by the owners of il Buco on Bond Street. But after all the hype, the real question remains, is it worth it? The answer—yes, 100 percent, and, if you can go, make sure to try chef Justin Smillie’s roasted gnocchi with forged mushrooms, seared octopus with black garlic, and his classic salt-baked branzino with caramelized lemon.

    Another great restaurant from 2012 can be found at this little shop in Brooklyn called The Pines. Aaron Lefkove and Andy Curtin, who run the fish eatery Littleneck next door, own it. Here, fish takes a back seat on the menu, and chef Angelo Romano focuses more on seasonal and innovative fare, and names the dishes based on the main ingredient. For example, “jicama” will get you a dish lace with the root as well as sea urchin, coconut, and smoked jowl; and the “agnolotti” comes with duck, pine nuts, and mushroom brood. How it’s prepared is a mystery, but a delicious one to dive into.

    For classic Chinese food lovers, San Francisco transplant Danny Bowien opened a NYC location of his popular East Coast shop last summer in the Lower East Side. Enter, Mission Chinese, where the restaurant façade looks like a cheap Chinese take-out joint, and the back feels more like an opium-den-meets-nightclub. It’s here you can get inexpensive plates of Szechuan-peppercorn-spiked green peas, tingling mapo tofu, and sizzling cumin lamb. The wait is long, but well worth it.
  • On February 26, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best restaurants in New York City?

    Mission Chinese by Linnea Covington Last year a lot of buzz surrounded the rustic Italian restaurant il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, brought to NoHo by the owners of il Buco on Bond Street. But after all the hype, the real question remains, is it worth it? The answer—yes, 100 percent, and, if you can go, make sure to try chef Justin Smillie’s roasted gnocchi with forged mushrooms, seared octopus with black garlic, and his classic salt-baked branzino with caramelized lemon.

    Another great restaurant from 2012 can be found at this little shop in Brooklyn called The Pines. Aaron Lefkove and Andy Curtin, who run the fish eatery Littleneck next door, own it. Here, fish takes a back seat on the menu, and chef Angelo Romano focuses more on seasonal and innovative fare, and names the dishes based on the main ingredient. For example, “jicama” will get you a dish lace with the root as well as sea urchin, coconut, and smoked jowl; and the “agnolotti” comes with duck, pine nuts, and mushroom brood. How it’s prepared is a mystery, but a delicious one to dive into.

    For classic Chinese food lovers, San Francisco transplant Danny Bowien opened a NYC location of his popular East Coast shop last summer in the Lower East Side. Enter, Mission Chinese, where the restaurant façade looks like a cheap Chinese take-out joint, and the back feels more like an opium-den-meets-nightclub. It’s here you can get inexpensive plates of Szechuan-peppercorn-spiked green peas, tingling mapo tofu, and sizzling cumin lamb. The wait is long, but well worth it.
  • On February 25, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best bars in New York City?

    For a great craft cocktail, New York City has plenty of options all across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Here are five of my go-to places for innovative tipples made with care.

    1. Pegu Club: Though on first glance, it doesn't appear that this SoHo bar is a hot ticket in the cocktail scene, but, looks can be deceiving as the drinks here are high class and expertly prepared. Stop in for an Earl Grey Mar-tea-ni and their smoked trout deviled eggs.

    2. Milk and Honey: The original incarnation of this bar in Lower East Side started the wave of the modern speakeasy in the city. Last year it left that spot and reopened in Flatiron. Though the building changed, they still maintain a focus on fresh ingredients, good booze, and a solid staff.

    3. Dutch Kills: One of the best cocktail bars in New York can be found in Queens. At Dutch Kills the drinks run around $11, less expensive than its Manhattan kin, but 100 percent as tasty.

    4. Booker and Dax: Right next to David Chang’s momofuku ssam in the East Village, you will find a cozy bar that serves craft drinks like gin with clarified grapefruit juice. You can also sample drinks from their experimental menu with cocktails that bubble, smoke, and solidify. The space is small, but worth squeezing into.

    5. Huckleberry: At this Williamsburg bar they whip up fantastic seasonal cocktails like this winter’s Foreman Twig with rye and homemade beet syrup and The Zimmermann Plot with mezcal, blood orange, and maple syrup. It's laid back too, something one expects when heading to Brooklyn.
  • On February 25, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best bars in New York City?

    For a great craft cocktail, New York City has plenty of options all across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Here are five of my go-to places for innovative tipples made with care.

    1. Pegu Club: Though on first glance, it doesn't appear that this SoHo bar is a hot ticket in the cocktail scene, but, looks can be deceiving as the drinks here are high class and expertly prepared. Stop in for an Earl Grey Mar-tea-ni and their smoked trout deviled eggs.

    2. Milk and Honey: The original incarnation of this bar in Lower East Side started the wave of the modern speakeasy in the city. Last year it left that spot and reopened in Flatiron. Though the building changed, they still maintain a focus on fresh ingredients, good booze, and a solid staff.

    3. Ditch Kills: One of the best cocktail bars in New York can be found in Queens. At Dutch Kills the drinks run around $11, less expensive than its Manhattan kin, but 100 percent as tasty.

    4. Booker and Dax: Right next to David Chang’s momofuku ssam in the East Village, you will find a cozy bar that serves craft drinks like gin with clarified grapefruit juice. You can also sample drinks from their experimental menu with cocktails that bubble, smoke, and solidify. The space is small, but worth squeezing into.

    5. Huckleberry: At this Williamsburg bar they whip up fantastic seasonal cocktails like this winter’s Foreman Twig with rye and homemade beet syrup and The Zimmermann Plot with mezcal, blood orange, and maple syrup. It's laid back too, something one expects when heading to Brooklyn.
  • On February 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington is now following the question:
  • On February 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best New York City brunch spots?

    Brunch is the sort of meal that rules New York, and some places have a cult following and lines two hours deep. Of course, there are plenty of under the radar places you can get your weekend grub on too, so, here is a list that combines them both.
     
    1. Prune: At author and chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village eatery, brunch is queen, and the lines here can run into the two-hour range. For most, the decadent Bloody Mary menu and food options like handmade lamb sausage with oysters, fresh ricotta with sun-dried figs, and fluffy Dutch-style pancakes, keep brining them back.
     
    2. Clinton Hill Baking Co. & Restaurant: This is another brunch spot that has a lot of hype and a long line, but for a good reason. Namely, their pancakes, of which they serve with warm maple butter and, in February, they offer different flavors every day, all day. 
     
    3. Molyvos: In Midtown, close to the park, this large Greek restaurant has reinvented the idea of brunch and given it a Mediterranean twist with ouzo-cured salmon on their version of a bagel, a hearty egg casserole with feta, and a heaping plate of lamb and eggs. Their version of Bloody Mary is made with Mastic, a unique liquor made from tree bark that gives the Bloody Cretan a special kick. Also, since they don’t carry the buildup of some of the downtown locations, you don’t have to wait for a table.
     
    4. Buttermilk Channel: In Brooklyn, this delightful Carroll Gardens café offers one of the best brunches around, and based on the lines that form after 11am on the weekends, other people agree. They serve classic southern-style brunch fair like fried pork chops over cheddar-waffles and pecan pie French toast, you will want to get both.
     
    5. Parish Hall: Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this simple eatery is the calmer, less busy sister to George Weld’s bustling Egg nearby. That doesn’t’ mean their brunch, filled with red flannel hash and Johnny cakes, is any less good, it just has a shorter line, which means you get to eat sooner.
  • On February 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best museums in New York City?

    No matter what you are into, New York City has a museum for everyone. Science lovers can revel in the American Museum of Natural History, where you can wander around their halls and discover rooms chock full of plants, animals, culture, and science. They have a whole area dedicated to dinosaurs, an underwater exhibit complete with a 94-foot-long model of a blue whale, and a whole space exhibit with a planetarium.
     
    For art fans the options are endless, but one of the best museums to check out an array of methods, time periods, and styles is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Upper East Side. There, they feature rooms lined with turn of the century American art, restored and replicas of ancient Greek statues, a modern art section, photography, and more. You can spend days there and never see it all.
     
    Another museum that doesn’t get a lot of press but is excellent is the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. Here, they have taken over an old subway station, and you actually get into it by walking down the steps as if you were talking the train. Once inside, the museum is dedicated to the history of transportation in New York, especially the trains. On the second layer, they have old subway cars that you can wander in and out of and fantasize about what it was like to be on an outdoor, elevated track thirty years ago. Plus, this is a great spot of kids and adults alike.
  • On February 21, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best museums in New York City?

    No matter what you are into, New York City has a museum for everyone. Science lovers can revel in the American Museum of Natural History, where you can wander around their halls and discover rooms chock full of plants, animals, culture, and science. They have a whole area dedicated to dinosaurs, an underwater exhibit complete with a 94-foot-long model of a blue whale, and a whole space exhibit with a planetarium.
     
    For art fans the options are endless, but one of the best museums to check out an array of methods, time periods, and styles is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Upper East Side. There, they feature rooms lined with turn of the century American art, restored and replicas of ancient Greek statues, a modern art section, photography, and more. You can spend days there and never see it all.
     
    Another museum that doesn’t get a lot of press but is excellent is the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. Here, they have taken over an old subway station, and you actually get into it by walking down the steps as if you were talking the train. Once inside, the museum is dedicated to the history of transportation in New York, especially the trains. On the second layer, they have old subway cars that you can wander in and out of and fantasize about what it was like to be on an outdoor, elevated track thirty years ago. Plus, this is a great spot of kids and adults alike.
  • On February 19, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

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

    Brooklyn Bowl by Linnea Covington New York City is a great walking town, but, when there are still traces of winter and the possibility of snow, you don’t want to walk too long. Here are two cold weather jaunts perfect for seeing a bit of the city, but with a warming finish.
     
    Brooklyn Heights Promenade: You may recognize this iconic location from classic movies like Moonstruck and Annie Hall, but on a day-to-day basis, plenty of non-film folk are found strutting along this waterfront walkway. The journey isn’t long, just a third of a mile, but on this leisurely stroll you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a great view of the Manhattan Skyline. Afterwards, the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is chock full of charming restaurants and old school bars that allow you to shake the chill off with glass of wine and a bowl of steaming pasta.
     
    Brooklyn Bridge: For this walk, you can choose which way to go based on what outcome you want at the end. To get the famous Grimaldi’s pizza at either Juliana’s or Grimaldi’s (the former is run by a Grimaldi, the latter was bought from the same Grimaldi, both are great) or a cup of spicy hot cocoa from Jacques Torres in DUMBO, start in Manhattan. If you are feeling the ethnic pull of dim sum at Nom Wah Parlor, the oldest dim sum restaurant in New York, or want fresh noodles at Sheng Wang, start in Brooklyn and head to Chinatown. No matter what path your take, you still get to walk across an amazing historical bridge and marvel at the New York landscape, just make sure to bundle up.
  • On February 18, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is public transportation like in New York City?

    There are a variety of ways to travel in New York City, the most popular and convenient being the subway system. Run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, or MTA, the subways are coded based on color and number or letter. For example, the blue train line has the A, C, and E trains on it. These trains stop at most of the same stations, but they have some differences once you get out of Manhattan and into the other boroughs. Luckily, the MTA provides maps in all the stations, as well as an application for smartphones. It’s pretty easy to navigate once you start using the system.

    The crowds in the subway vary based on rush hour (about 5pm to 7pm) and late at night. After 10:30pm, the system runs slower, though it does run 24 hours. If you are coming home between 2 and 4am, chances are you will be surrounded by the bar crowd. On the weekends, the subway system can get a little wonky, and it's best to check online, or look for offical fliers in the station for information on changes in service.
     
    Another mode of transportation is the MTA’s bus system, an invaluable utility in Brooklyn and Queens, or when trying to go East and West in Manhattan. The bus system is a little trickier, but the MTA also provides maps online. Sometimes, the bus is the quickest way to travel.
     
    At some points, you can also use the ferry system. This mode offers free transportation between Manhattan and Staten Island, and for $4, you can take the East River Ferry from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Kips Bay in Manhattan (about 30th Street). There is also ferry service to and from the South Street Seaport to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and ferries that shuttle passengers down the Hudson River and to New Jersey.
     
    Finally, one can always take a cab. This is a sure fire way to get where you are going, but, it’s best if you have some idea of where that is. I suggest taking a Google map and following the route on your phone. This way you get a sense of how the streets work, but also you can make sure you don’t have that rare shady cab driver that wants to rack up the meter. Most cab drivers know what they are doing, especially in Manhattan. In Brooklyn and Queens, it’s easier to get a car service, also called gypsy cabs, and each area has it’s own number to call, which most locals can give to you.
  • On February 18, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What is public transportation like in New York City?

    There are a variety of ways to travel in New York City, the most popular and convenient being the subway system. Run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, or MTA, the subways are coded based on color and number or letter. For example, the blue train line has the A, C, and E trains on it. These trains stop at most of the same stations, but they have some differences once you get out of Manhattan and into the other boroughs. Luckily, the MTA provids maps in all the stations, as well as an application for smartphones. It’s pretty easy to navigate once you start using the system.
     
    Another mode of transportation is the MTA’s bus system, an invaluable utility in Brooklyn and Queens, or when trying to go East and West in Manhattan. The bus system is a little trickier, but the MTA also provides maps online. Sometimes, the bus is the quickest way to travel.
     
    At some points, you can also use the ferry system. This mode offers free transportation between Manhattan and Staten Island, and for $4, you can take the East River Ferry from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Kips Bay in Manhattan (about 30th Street). There is also ferry service to and from the South Street Seaport to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and ferries that shuttle passengers down the Hudson River and to New Jersey.
     
    Finally, one can always take a cab. This is a sure fire way to get where you are going, but, it’s best if you have some idea of where that is. I suggest taking a Google map and following the route on your phone. This way you get a sense of how the streets work, but also you can make sure you don’t have that rare shady cab driver that wants to rack up the meter. Most cab drivers know what they are doing, especially in Manhattan. In Brooklyn and Queens, it’s easier to get a car service, also called gypsy cabs, and each area has it’s own number to call, which most locals can give to you.
  • On February 18, 2013
    Linnea Covington is now following Erica Firpo
  • On February 14, 2013
    Linnea Covington answered the question: Linnea Covington

    What are the best attractions in New York City?

    When love is in the air, New York City is one of the best places to be. The number one reason for this can be seen in Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ romantic movie that climaxes on top of the Empire State Building. Lucky for us, this landmark is open to the public so you can visit anytime and relive that tale, or numerous other films and shows that have had a heartfelt moment 102 stories up.
     
    On the subject of cinema’s best romantic duo, Central Park is another wonderful attractions in the city, and a place where you can pretend you are in When Harry Met Sally while dining at the iconic Loeb Boathouse or walking down the promenade. In fact, walk straight through and towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art, another place from the movie and a wonderful way to find out why NYC attracts lovers and love stories.