Have a special occasion to celebrate? Panna II in East Village is one of our go to’s. Not only is the ambiance fabulous – there are tacky Christmas lights hanging from the ceilings and fun celebratory signs everywhere – the food is super affordable and delicious and the restaurant is BYOB – so you can bring as much champagne as you want!
The first time we tried Panna II was when Erin’s little brother was in town from Atlanta celebrating his birthday. We were looking for something different that he couldn’t experience at home – and it didn’t hurt that Indian is his favorite cuisine. We ordered a yummy birthday cake from Momofuku Milk Bar and asked Panna II to hold it in the back until we were finished eating. When they presented the cake it was an elaborate and festive ordeal – the lights began flashing, the music bumped up a beat and the whole restaurant started cheering and clapping. It was obvious this was the place to go for birthdays because this show happened about every ten minutes, and it kept the energy high!
A few weeks ago Steph’s sister was in town looking for her new apartment in NYC. She just graduated from college and will begin her new life here in June. looking for a celebratory spot worthy of the monumental moment of signing her first lease in New York City, we once again turned to Panna II. Steph’s sister and her new roommate could not have been more pleased with our choice. They were raving about the food and atmosphere, and to top it off – ironically- we were seated right next the “go grad!” sign hanging charmingly crooked by a staple on the wall.
We figured that after shoveling down the last piece of garlic naan and finishing off our second order of saag panner, we would be ready to go out and continue the celebration. Panna II is in a great location near tons of bars in East Villlage, and we decided to head over to Blind Barber, where the dj started at 10pm. Steph’s sister and her roommate loved the speakeasy entrance through the old barber shop. The night went on from there, but the celebration at Panna II really kicked off the night.