Let me set the scene, I’ve been home for about a month now. Haven’t done an ounce of travel and have basically been shacked up at home for most of it.
I figured Columbus Day weekend was a great excuse to take a weekend trip. Where to? I have a good friend living in NYC so that was my cheapest option (well, for travel purposes, when you factor in expenses, that was probably not the case, but meh…)
Anyways, one train ride separated me from a weekend gallivanting around the city. This friend I have in the city, happens to also be a really good time and has a never ending amount of energy. Ha, I assumed I’d be chugging copious amounts of caffeine to keep up with her 5am lifestyle.
Well, my first evening was certainly not what I expected but I can’t recommend it enough.
She said, “We are going to this weird Italian restaurant that does unlimited wine and food for 3 hours with like a dinner show.”
Still envisioned something very New Yorky, ya know?
Oh how I was wrong.
Puglia is an experience not to be missed. I woke up the next day with a monster wine hangover, my cheeks in severe pain from laughing too much, and my calves on fire from dancing on my chair in heels.
It’s a little mom and pop Italian restaurant featuring such Italian classics as chicken parm, Caesar salad, and vodka sauce, lol. (Catch my drift?) We walked in, and our eyes were bombarded with red and green. The walls are painted with murals depicting the real side of Italy and the tablecloths are red checkered.
The tiny room was filled with rows of tables set up for groups of 20, there were pictures of the ‘band’ with celebs like Leo Dicaprio and random lesser known Italian singers.
We were shown to a table right in front of where the ‘band’ would be playing. If only we knew at the time how lucky we were.
The evening started with the serving staff bringing out 8 bottles of wine, all chilled, all without labels. When the wine doesn’t have labels you know it’s going to a) be a good time b) hurt badly the next day.
Then came the food. I can’t say I was able to sample much of it, but they did have GF pasta and made me my own plate when everyone else was getting served family style. Impressive.
There was everything from stuffed mushrooms to Caesar salad to veal marsala. All of which, I heard, tasted like it came from a jar of Prego sauce.
You didn’t come for the food though.
About an hour in, the fun started. People were starting to see the bottom of their second or third glass of wine, voice volumes were getting louder, and people were starting to forget about their stressful days or weeks.
Then, Debra came on the mic.
Oh man, Debra was something special. Her stage name is Debra Broadway, so you know she’s a professional. Her and her main man accompanied only by a keyboard, started into some great American classics like Sweet Caroline and Timber. Eventually this led to the highlight song of the night, “Shake your napkin.”
What?? You haven’t heard of ‘Shake your napkin?” I’m sure it’s bound to be a platinum hit.
Debra was a mastermind at getting the crowd up and on their feet. It helped so much that the words were so easy to pick up!
“1, 2, 1, 2, 3….
Get up, get up,
Get up and shake your napkin.”
Repeat x a million
By 10pm the entire room was on their feet if not on their chairs shaking their napkin above their heads.
Now, a little about the crowd. They were mostly self respecting adults. Our table alone, were all in their mid to upper 20s, with respectable careers in finance or other legitimate New Yorky type jobs (yeah, I was out of place lol)
But every single one of them was dancing around and shouting shake your napkin at the top of their lungs.
This place is a gold mine.
For $50 I had a blast in an environment that I won’t be able to duplicate again anytime soon.
I can’t recommend this enough for a funny, quirky, entirely different than the norm night out with friends!
Here’s what you need to know:
Located in the heart of little Italy
189 Hester Street NY, NY 10013
Make a reservation! 212.966.6006
I can’t find information about what we did on their website but it seems like the all you can eat and drink deal is every night! Whoa. Just call! Ours was $50 before tax and gratuity. They were very accommodating for my gluten free allergy, something I did NOT expect from the outside. I think they can accommodate vegetarians as well, our waitress thought one of the girls at our table was a vegetarian and kept bringing her eggplant and salads so I think they can do that as well. You’ll never know unless you ask!