GAL APPROVED! Cool NYC Dining Spots Pre Oscars. Plus: What’s In The Oscars Gift Bag!

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Start your Oscar weekend with a fabulous meal and cocktails. Plus, see what’s in the nominee gift bag! THE RENWICK. The Oscars are all about perfecting the art of the silver screen, so why not have a cocktail at a hotel that celebrates artists? The renovated residency, which once housed authors John Steinbeck, Thomas Mann and F. Scott Fitzgerald, boasts original works from contemporary artists. It’s onsite restaurant Bedford & Co., offering long banquettes and artistic cocktails, is perfect for discussing who should take home the Best Picture trophy. Ready to take it a step further? Why not book one of The Renwick’s gallery rooms or residency style suites for the night? The writing’s on the wall here – literally – with famous sayings from authors etched on walls, stacks of books from legendary authors in every room and 48- to 55-inch TV screens to watch those golden trophies get handed out. The 88th Annual Academy Awards airs live, Sunday, Feb. 28, starting red carpet coverage at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.

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OSCARS GIFT BAG! Distinctive Assets has done it again, producing an insane gift bag for Oscar nominees. There are trips to Japan, Israel and Italy up for grabs, as well as an escape to Golden Door Spa Retreat. This year’s swag includes Haze Dual V3 Vaporizers; MY M&M’s personalized chocolate candies; Silvercar rentals; Fit Club TV: Live VIP retreat, supplements and apparel; Harriet’s Cheesecakes; Rouge Maple gourmet foods and hundreds of other fun items, adding up to a hefty sum of more than $232,000! In addition, Halo Purely for Pets has partnered with Freekibble.com, and nominees can make a $10,000 meal donation to the animal shelter of their choice! Even though the gift bag isn’t officially associated with the yearly ceremony, we wouldn’t mind winning one ourselves!

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CHINA FUN. We’ve all been seduced by Asian fusion and its derivatives. How about an evening of good ole Chinese cooking at its best? China Fun is located on NYC’s Upper East Side. Enjoy cocktails and traditional fare that include Peking Duck roasted to perfection, superbly cooked rice, scallion pancakes and traditional stir fry of chicken and string beans. China Fun also offers a wonderful variety of sushi to please your palate.

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GENTILLY RESTAURANT. Love New Orleans as much as we do? Gentilly will soothe your homesick palate. This gorgeous spot opened up in the West Village during New York Fashion Week. The menu includes signature cocktails, fresh oysters topped with freshly made house sauces, mac and cheese, crab cakes, seafood gumbo and our favorite comfort food of all time shrimp and grits! Yes lawd !!!

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