PLAN DATE: FRI / SEPT. 13
Of course America’s first Japanese cat café and sake bar found a home downtown. Koneko Cat Cafe’s central mission is finding homes for at-risk cats and kittens. And, what better way to find your new best feline friend than spending an hour of quality time with 20 of them? Koneko has three closed off designated play spaces for you and the kitties to get to know each other, including an outdoor space. And don’t worry, for those who aren’t huge cat lovers but do love your partner, there are a few tables upfront in a people-only café area. On Thursdays and Fridays there’s even a happy hour starting at 5 p.m.offering one free beer, wine or sake per guest. They also serve Stumptown coffee drinks and a selection of In Pursuit of Tea options, as well as homemade pastries and Japanese-inspired snacks.
Plado Tasting Bar, which recently opened to rave reviews, offers a packed menu of international tapas and a familiar welcome from chef and owner, German Rizzo and his wife. The seasonal menu is influenced by Mediterranean flavors which are on strong display in chef and crowd favorites like the charred octopus with cous-cous and mango chutney, lamb meatballs with yogurt-cucumber sauce, taro gnocchi with oyster mushrooms and truffle cream, and the quinoa arancini. This warm nook of a restaurant, with exposed brick, a large bar for drinking and eating, and a few private wooden tables is open weekdays at 4 p.m., and 11 a.m. on the weekends, with brunch served until 4 p.m.
Cuddling with kittens and heartful tapas
Comfy in the neighborhood
Thirsty Fridays at Koneko
26 Clinton Street, Manhattan
idk tip: The Koneko Cat Café recommends booking a time slot online in advance as you’re not guaranteed time as a walk-in.
Plado Tasting Bar
192 East 2nd Street, Manhattan
idk tip: Plado’s owners also run the popular Vite Vinosteria Italian restaurant in Astoria.