October 2019 - ciaooo!

This is a sponsored post thanks to our friends at THE SPIRITS NETWORK, a new video and subscription box service for the modern-day spirits enthusiast. You can sign up for an Explorer Base Membership for just $1 using the code “ciaooo30”. Right now you can enter to win a free whiskey tasting for you and 6 friends at The Brandy Library HERE. (EDIT: Event Ended)

This whole story starts out as any great modern-day millennial story does. It starts with a DM.

It was a choppy, amateurish video at best. Taken POV style, similar to a dad haphazardly trying to figure out Instagram stories for the first time when I stumbled across it on my Discover page.

The content, my friends, was pure beauty.

Seared steaks ladled in a bath of buttery, thyme goodness. Perfectly portioned nests of homemade tagliatelle dropping into a boiling pot of salted water. Golden brown crisps of Chicken Parm sizzling in a pan. It was a saliva-inducing dive into the life of an incredible, seemingly 5-star chef and I needed to know MORE, so I slid the anonymous chef a DM. 

“Hey. I need to eat whatever your cooking”

The person, in fact, was NOT a professional chef by trade, but, Adam Mignanelli, the VP of design for VICE, North America (yes, he sets the “lewk” for one of THE world’s largest media companies). On top of that, he’s also a curator of contemporary art for Ballast Projects and chef de cuisine at his catering startup, SIZZLE VISION. 

At only 34, Adam seems to be holding it all together. This month, we’re collaborating with Adam to launch the first of a series of intimate dinners in Williamsburg’s newest photo studio, Mi Casa. The curated menu will feature a Friendsgiving menu created by Adam, where he and his brother will cook, prepare and host with a spirits menu curated by The Spirits Network. The series of dinners are meant to inspire others to take a step back, lighten up and have fun around having seriously elevated food, but casually while meeting and making new friends in what feels like…home.

“Welcome to my humble abode”.

Adam lets me into his studio apartment in Gramercy and it is everything I imagined it would be. If he were a character in a movie, he’d play the eccentric uncle who throws outlandish multi-course meals at his home while discussing art in so detailed a way that it’s clear he knows his shit and isn’t making things up. Throw in an endless supply of wine hidden in a treasure trove somewhere (most likely hidden by Taschen Artbooks), and the multitudes of art (framed and signed!!!) all over his home and you’ve got the makings of a hybrid Martha Stewart/Salvador Dali/Williamsburg-ish designer that is Adam.

All while being the most laid back person ever. 

Along the rest of the apartment, a floor to ceiling wall is plastered with a deep green wallpaper (from The Royal Tenenbaums), “It’s called SAFARI, and was a huge trend back in the day. That’s all the zebras and arrows being thrown at them… Not the most politically correct, but I still love the design”, a Salvador Dali cookbook sits on the coffee table “It’s a rare one. Most people don’t know he was a chef, but it’s got a lot of weird interesting recipes in there”, and in the middle of all the fine art, a one-wheeled skateboard balancing concoction meant to stimulate balance, “I got it as a kid back in Rhode Island”.  He stands rocking back and forth effortlessly on the contraption while pointing out all the art in his home.

“That one was really peculiar”, he points to a framed speckled art piece dotted with colors reminiscent of a heat map, “This artist John Knuth uses flies and he fed them colored sugar water and when they poop it out, they leave these tracks on the paper. This whole design was made entirely by flies. It’s kind of gross, but I mean…unbelievable, right?” 

Perhaps the piece de resistance, however, is Adam’s kitchen. When I walk in, he’s already got a pot of homemade stock bubbling on the stove, with a pressure-cooked veal shank cooling on the cutting board. It falls right off the bone, and within minutes, Adam is searing it in his grandmother’s cast iron pan until it’s perfectly crisp. He throws it in a bowl with olive oil and some Parmigiano Reggiano and my tastebuds immediately shrink into the recesses of my mouth, asking me why the f*** I haven’t treated them to this ecstasy before. Oh and did I mention, Post Malone is playing in the background? He’s by far the artsiest, most cultured person I know, and yet, I don’t feel intimidated one bit.

“I’m a painter and designer. I get more likes and discussion around me frying a chicken cutlet than any painting I posted”

“Well, I came from a large Italian family. You know, I grew up cooking with my mom and my aunt and every Sunday we’d make these incredibly humongous meals. My parents weren’t really chefs, but they loved to cook. When I moved to NYC, I kind of missed it, and my brother eventually came as well and together we decided to start up the tradition again. And now – we do it every Sunday”

They’re multi-course, multi-hyphenate flavor explosions of intricate recipes and concoctions reminiscent of a madman, or reserved for a 5 star restaurant, but in this case, they’re just Sunday dinner.

The dishes are far from the amateur chef. They’re multi-course, multi-hyphenate flavor explosions of intricate recipes and concoctions reminiscent of a madman, or reserved for a 5-star restaurant, but in this case, they’re just Sunday dinner. For a full-time designer, empresario of an art curating company and now, a catering business, it’s difficult to understand where Adam finds the time to do it all, let alone, be good at it all. 

Sizzle Vision is Adam’s way of sharing his love for design, food, and art in a way that makes it easier for people to understand, sans the pretentiousness, the nerves, all the BS. ” I learned doing art fairs and shows and watching viewers behavior that, people love museums and such, but they don’t know how to respond to the emotions when looking at or buying art. But food, it’s healing, it’s cultural, it’s literally necessary, and easy to evoke emotion in a comfortable way to others while exploring.”

Since then, his little IG entree into his life has grown his own line of dried salts (Moroccan lemon cured salt that he sat with for 6 months) and has gone on to host his own dinner parties. “Every year, we have a huge party for the holidays at our house, and we cook pasta for nearly 200 people. It’s insanity” and now, with the start of Sizzle Vision Dinners, he hopes to continue it here in NYC, one perfectly seasoned porchetta at a time.

The first dinner series takes place on November 7th, sign up for our email list HERE to get the next date.

This article was brought to you by our sponsors at The Spirits Network, a new content channel and subscription box company for the spirits enthusiast. You can sign up for $1 for the first month to sample using the code “ciaooo30”.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

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Whether you are cleansing your system for a few weeks, days, or forever — that shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on New York City’s nightlife. Mocktails are increasing in popularity and flavor. Here’s a list of ciaooo! mag’s favorite places to drink when we’re in the mood for a sober night out.



Frequent readers know I already love this place. Located in the subterranean level of Rivington Street, Nitecap offers mocktails mixed with the same skill, love, and finesse as their regular cocktails. Check our the “Virginz” section on the menu. Their booze-free delights also change with each menu edition!  Cheers to originality! 


Mother of Pearl

Affectionately nicknamed by me as the classy lil’ sister of Otto’s Shrunken Head, I firmly believe that Tiki bars are the latest of returning trends. When Mother of Pearl was born in 2015, I knew my hypothesis was correct. Mother of Pearl has such a breezy, carefree feel to it. Once you walk in your stress palpably melts away. They’re known for their completely vegan menu and their Instagram friendly cocktail menu (Shout out to the SharkEye!). But they have also started serving Virgin Isles, my favorite being the Forbidden Fruit.  Place a rezzo before heading in or expect a 20-30 minute wait.


Existing Conditions

Existing Conditions is pretty well known for their offbeat drink combinations. I’m talkin’ nitro infused or carbonated cocktails, and even drinks you can order from a vending machine. Their non-alcoholic section is just as unique — try their “Millions of Peaches” which they describe as a “Bougie Snapple.” Or my personal favorite, “Spruce Mousse” made with Champagne Acid. Call ahead to make a reservation, it’s a no-standing bar.


The Honey Well

Hanging out in Harlem? Head down to the ultimate 70’s fever dream basement bar, The Honey Well! Our favorite mocktail to try is the Monday Hooking. 


Clover Club

Clover Club not only has amazing brunch, but also poppin’ mocktails! The retro bar located in Cobble Hill has a great zero proof selection. Those in love with sugar snaps (like myself!) will adore the Sugar Snap! Seedlip Garden, sugar snap peas, tarragon and lemon! Come for the mock, stay for the vibe. Head in on a Wednesday night for live jazz with Michael Arenlla!



If you want some Korean with your mocktail, check out Atomix. Head to the ground floor of 104 E 30th St and grab a seat. Atomix bar is cozy and even has an a la carte snack menu. Don’t sleep on YukPo, Korean style beef jerky. For a drink suggestion, try the Dang Jun — Yuzu, Honey, Sesame Leaf and Soda. No need for a reservation on this one. The bar is walk-in only. Hit them up on a weekday or cross your fingers and head in.



If you want a complete alcohol free environment, get away to Getaway! (It was too easy, we had to!) Getaway is Greenpoint’s first-ever alcohol-free bar. Try one of their hilariously named cocktails such as Daters Gonna Date, That’s Just My Face, and my ultimate favorite — A Trip to Ikea which contains Lingonberry, Lemony, Vanilla, Cardamom, and cream! If you’re taking a temporary break from the booze train, try their version the cocktail classic Paper Train! They’re open Tues – Sun from 5pm to Midnight.


Listen Bar

Coming soon! Listen Bar was originally a pop up in Manhattan during the winter. They did so well they’re sticking around permanently! Their crowdsource campaign recently ended with an extra 25k!

Tessie Viola

Tessie Viola is a native New Yorker from Queens. When she's not writing for ciaooo!, she can be caught eating dirty water dogs near Lincoln Center.

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(EDIT: This event has passed. Check out our EVENTS page for more.)

If you’re looking for the denim rocking Britney to your Justin – come join us for the THIRD “Friend of a Friend” Party! The party takes place on October 24th @drinksweetwater at 7:30 PM! We want to see all your 2000’s celebrity #tbts, slutty cats, and PUN-tastic costumes. The wilder the better!!! Our special guest judge @missmollywhop will be picking the winners! Music by @delunarr.

•SUBMIT yourself or a friend to be featured as our TOP 8 MOST ELIGIBLE SINGLES in NYC and be matched LIVE for a date ⚡️

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

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(EDIT: This giveaway has ended, but sign up for The Spirits Network newsletter below to get updated for new chances to win!)

How well do you REALLY know your alcohol? Can you tell the difference between a Bourbon or a single malt Japanese Whiskey? Don’t worry, we have no e**ing clue either. That’s why we’re partnering with our friends at The Spirits Network to give YOU and 6 of your friends a PRIVATE whiskey tasting ($2,000 value) at Tribeca’s infamous Brandy Library. To enter you must:

  1. Sign up by entering your email below
  2. Follow @spiritsnetwork and @ciaooomag on IG
  3. Enter your email BELOW! The more you tell your friends, the more submissions you get!

The Spirits Network is a revolutionary new content channel and subscription box company for the spirits enthusiast. Watch hours of original entertainment and buy directly from any device with on-demand home delivery or taste monthly hand-picked spirits selections and curated boxes delivered to your door.

Inclusive of a private whiskey tasting, Hors d’oeuvres and lesson at The Brandy Libray for 6.


By signing up for this, you are automatically entered into the weekly ciaooo! email newsletter and to receive emails from The Spirits Network. Winners will be announced on November 8th at 12 PM EST. Applicants must be US residents and over the age of 21.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

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(EDIT: These events have since passed, but check out all of ciaooomag’s upcoming events HERE.)

Oh, Halloween.

You’re our favorite holiday, and yet, having a great time in the city is so hard to have. Much like New Year’s Eve in New York City (AVOID midtown at all costs), there WILL be the ill-fated long lines of people ready to pounce over watered-down vodka sodas. But alas, here’s a few of our favorite things to do in NYC which are fun and won’t cost you an ARM AND A LEG. See what I did there?

But first, hold up. How did Halloween even start?

Oooooh spoooky aside. The first Halloween was celebrated in Ireland over 2,000 years ago with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. As part of the New Year, the holiday was meant to usher in the “the dark half of the year” and families all across Ireland would burn bonfires in their front yards to ward off ghosts and monsters. Randomly, the original Jack O Lanterns were actually carved using turnips, and not pumpkins. It was rumored that this time period was the entryway for spirits to cross over from the underworld to the living world.

The original celebrations included six days of drinking alcohol and multiple feasts. That doesn’t seem TOO far off from today, in my opinion.

In the mid-1800s, the tradition followed Irish immigrants to the United States where trick or treating, and dressing up, turned from a pagan, spiritual holiday, to a cultural one and thus, the concept of Halloween turning into America’s most beloved “Let’s get fucked up” tradition turned alive. But alas – there are a few ways to enjoy your Halloween this year. Continue reading below for the scoop.

Walk the 46th Annual Greenwich Halloween Parade

If there’s anything that we love more this Halloween, it’s WALKING the Village Halloween Parade. I’m often surprised how many New Yorkers opt OUT of this. Usually, people are quick to find a bar or house party or haunted house on Halloween to check out, but there’s something SO incredibly New York about this parade that it’d be a RISK to miss this.

The Parade started off as a tradition over 46 years ago when a puppeteer decided to start his own little tradition walking with the children of the neighborhood to go trick or treating. Today it is the LARGEST Halloween parade in the world with over 60,000 marchers and more than a million spectators.

Now, we’ll be real with you – this is like New York’s version of Carnival. You’re not going to want to stand on the sideline for this. You’re going to WANT to be in costume roaming the streets with some of THE MOST INCREDIBLE costumes you’ve ever seen. Imagine walking the streets with a 6-foot woodland monster on stilts to your left, and an ornate AF chandelier costume to your right. Throw in a bunch of spooky floats along the way, and waving to all the sideliners — it is truly an experience trying at least ONCE in your life. Expect an impromptu flash dance of THRILLER at some point, but if you’re lucky, you might find some OG New Yorker slinging some “nutcrackers” – a homemade liquor cocktail out of a plastic cooler. We definitely recommend grabbing a few of these for the road, or packing yourself some White Claws or nips. Nothing more New York then drinking in public out of a good ol’ paper bag.

What you should know:

It’s no fun standing on the sidelines tiptoeing over the tall person in front of you, plus navigating the streets are super annoying since only certain streets have exits. Going to pee WILL be difficult and some restaurants and bars won’t even let you in to use the bathroom. Best believe that all the venues located on 6th Avenue WILL be crowded.

ENTRANCE: You can only enter this area from the EAST and SOUTH. That is Sullivan, East Broome and Canal Streets. If you come from the West, enter ONLY from Canal Street and make sure to enter between 6 – 9pm to walk. We recommend coming in around 730 / 8pm.

Spooooky Night Tours at Greenwood Cemetary

Visiting the Greenwood Cemetary is probably one of the most beautiful experiences in NYC. Built in 1838, the cemetery was so popular, that it served as the inspiration behind Central and Prospect Park! With over 600,000 graves and 7,000 trees the park is definitely filled with some sort of spooky shit for you Halloween lovers. A few of the famous who call this home are famous mob leader, Boss Tweed, William Poole (aka, “Bill the Butcher”), and Harvey Burdell whose famous murder in 1887 was the MURDER of the century. Visit their page.

The Halloween Dog Parade

Dogs in costume. It’s ridiculously adorable and you’ll get to pet ALL of them. Need we say more? Sunday, October 20th from 12PM – 3PM at John V. Lindsay East River Park.

Iqram and the Immigrant Groove at Citizen M Hotel Times Square

Best Costume wins $100 Open Bar for the night!!! Citizen M Hotel Times Square at 7PM! Get your pregame on with one of New York’s finest up and coming bands!

A Friend of a Friend Party Halloween Edition

And last but not least, check out our Halloween Party Thursday, Oct 24th. No, Britney and Justin won’t be there, but maybe you’ll find someone who will want to rock a Canadian Tux with you one night : )

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

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