Just as any sane person in this country should, we get the majority of our news from The Daily Show, which might be better right now than it ever has been. That's saying a lot, and it's due in no small part to the work of one of our favorite correspondents, Aasif Mandvi. If you missed it this summer, you need to watch this segment he filed during the height of the Ground Zero mosque controversy. Genius.
In addition to his duties as a Daily Show regular, Aasif is currently starring in a new movie that he co-wrote called Today’s Special, a “heartwarming comedy” about a sous chef who has to dump his big time career plans to take over his family’s Indian restaurant in Queens. His food-centric film is getting some great reviews, and it provided us the perfect opportunity to hit him up for a Friday Fives.
Check out Aasif’s “Perfect For” picks below, and be sure to go see Today's Special during some of your free time over the holidays. What were you planning on seeing? Burlesque? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Aasif's "Perfect For" Picks
Impressing Out of Towners
Las Esquina Brasserie (114 Kenmare St.) - "I love La Esquina because you enter from a hot dog/pizza stand you go down a dingy stairway, you walk thru the actual steamy kitchen with prep cooks and waiters running past you and at this point your guests think you are either Batman or you are taking them to some place where they will be killed...and then you enter into a lovely lounge and restaurant. It feels like a secret lair even though thousands of people know about it in NY, but don't worry, you are with out of towners, they will be duly impressed...there is nothing like this in Dayton! Also, I know the chef and that never hurts!"
Bar Centrale (?????) - "I like to begin a date night at the Bar Centrale in Midtown. You would never know of it's existence and I'm not gonna tell you where it is cos not too many people know about it, but its up some stairs and behind a curtain...and the rest is up to you!"
Barcibo Enoteca (2020 Broadway) - "A great local place on the UWS of Manhattan called Barcibo, where I sometimes go to chill with neighborhood friends and have a glass of wine and the food is great....and it's convenient enough so that after having fallen into a drunken abyss I don't have to hail and pay for a cab...my friends can simply carry me home."
Classic NYC Establishment
Olive Tree Cafe (117 MacDougal St.) - "I love the Olive Tree Cafe in the Village. I have been going there for Middle Eastern food for years. They play old Charlie Chaplin movies and you can draw on the tables. It's a great place for the silent movie loving, hummus craving, graffiti artist that lives in all of us.
Late Night Eats
Employee's Only (510 Hudson St.) - "Late night food and hands down some of the best cocktails in New York City. if you are drunk and it's late and you want to get more drunk and more late...then this is the place."
Aasif's Twitter People
@timcarvell One of the writers for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He tweets, I always laugh. We have a beautiful thing.
@todaysspecial My very own tandoori comedy. Shameless plug. You should all see this movie, 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. You will love it!
@oliviamunn Sometimes she sends me secret coded racist jabs over Twitter...it's very romantic.
@DeepakChopra It's like if God had a Twitter handle.
@sanjayguptacnn Because if I ever need medical advice and all the members of my Indian family are busy...I have Sanjay!