From hole-in-the-wall hideaways to blowing up on BuzzFeed, StyleBlend Mag is searching far and wide to bring you the best locations in NYC and Milan. Each week, U.S. Editor Alana and Italian contributor Chiara will scout out the most enticing eats and places to play in their respective cities. This adventure is intended not only to unearth the hidden gems in our own hometowns, but to explore the lifestyle differences between our two cultures. Let’s dig in.

 

NYC Experience

Springing for aperitifs, whether going solo or diving in with friends, is (almost always) a low-maintenance experience. What more do you need than a glass of wine and a few appetizers?

 

Photo Credit: VinoTapa

 

At VinoTapa, a tapas bar tucked away in Kips Bay, the experience of Spanish food and drinks is only heightened by subtle red lighting and rustic-meets-lounge-y decor. It’s exactly the kind of spot you imagine when you’re off to your fourth date, or you’re simply meeting up with girlfriends to catch up.

It was the latter for me as my girlfriends and I met up for drinks and tapas. It was the white sangria for me, while my friends went for red and white wines. Light and smooth with a hint of citrus flavor, the sangria went perfectly with the appetizers.

 

Photo Credit: VinoTapa

 

Who knew Brussels sprouts, the bane of everyone’s childhood, could be so savory? At VinoTapa, they’re given the sweet treatment with honey and mustard. Next came the cheese platter, my favorite portion of every tapas outing. Cheese is cheese is cheese, but there’s something about enjoying it with drinks and good conversation that makes it a sophisticated experience. Undoubtedly, VinoTapa understands that.

Wine and apps, aperitifs or whatever you want to call it is an occasion that’s more about the people you’re with rather than the food and drinks in front of you. Sometimes, however, it’s encouraged to indulge, wind down and let an evening be more than you expected.

 

Article written by Regina Vilenskaya

 

Milan Experience

One of the things that unite the population of Milan is the need to relax after a busy workday.

Even the simple fact of being out of the office provides every reason to have a party. And what better place to celebrate than with the best cocktails at Milan’s Mag Cafè?

 

Photo Credit: Mag Cafè

 

A historic place on the famous Naviglio, Mag Cafè offers a unique experience of spending an evening in the company of good music and beautiful people.

The interiors are furnished almost entirely of wood; the bar that stretches across the side of the room is deep mahogany, carved by time and experiences of passersby. Tables and chairs are arranged around the forecourt, and the canopy accommodates hot summer nights.

 

 

Mag Cafè looks just like a student house, serving up tasty appetizers, interesting dishes and filled with passionate people. During cocktail hour, the place is crowded and the dishes that accompany the cocktails are full of traditional tastings! 

 

 

At Mag Cafè, you can enjoy the best cocktails in Milan: ones that are brightly colored and garnished with fresh fruit!

Simple dishes enrich every aperitif experience; at Mag Cafè, you can find the freshness you’ve been looking for.

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