We’ve certainly had some bigger names for Friday Fives, but Ben Feldman may be the one we’re most proud of on a personal level. You may recognize Ben as Michael Ginsberg, the breakout character from the current season of Mad Men, but we recognize those rosy Jewish cheeks as Steinthal’s good friend from school. Ithaca College, represent.

Although Ben will tell you that the last decade he’s spent in Hollywood has eaten part of his soul, we’ve sure enjoyed watching his rise to fame from the comfort of our couch. Pre-Mad Men, you ladies of Infatuation Nation were probably familiar with Ben from his role as Fred the guardian angel on Drop Dead Diva. You may also recognize him from Cloverfield (remember when that was a thing?), or maybe you recently saw him in this awesome College Humor Sluts, Bitches and Whores sketch. Next up, Ben stars in a short film called Departure Date, which was shot at 35,000 feet on three separate round trip flights to Australia, London, and Dallas over the course of a week.

Aside from being a great actor and all around good guy, Feldman also owns a boutique winery called Angelica Cellars based in California. They make stellar small batch red wines, and although they are not available anywhere in NYC, you can purchase them by the bottle or by the case online. We highly suggest the 2007 Syrah. It’s delicious.

Ben has always been a man of good taste, so it’s not surprising that he picks some of our favorite restaurants for his Friday Fives. He believes he’s too old for the internet (which is bullsh*t considering he’s our age), so you won’t find him on Twitter or Facebook. But you will find him on the season finale of Mad Men, one of our favorite shows ever, this Sunday at 10pm EST on AMC. You know you’ll be watching.

Ben’s “Perfect For” Picks

Celebrity Sighting

Locanda Verde (377 Greenwich St.) – “My buddy is a bartender over there and every time I’m in the area, I stop in and it’s always packed with celebs. And when I’m not there, my friend is always texting me with updates of who he’s pouring drinks for, because he thinks that because I’m an actor, I probably know them (but I really don’t). Last time through, I had an awesome cherry and almond dessert. If I didn’t have a girlfriend, that would be the first thing I bought the lonely girl sitting at the bar.”

First/Early in the Game Dates

Levain Bakery (167 West 74th St.) – “The ultimate “just to let you know I’m not an asshole, I’m the sensitive guy who can treat you right” kind of date. Get a big cookie at Levain, a cup of coffee at Joe and take a stroll into Central Park. It’s in the bag.”

Guys Night Out

The Spotted Pig (314 W. 11th St.) – “Spotted Pig has been my go-to for years. You can’t go wrong here. My favorite time to come is during winter. When there’s snow on the ground, Spotted Pig is there to warm you up. Even though it’s not a Classic NYC Establishment per-se, it’s got some old NYC charm and an incredible vibe. I had my 30th birthday up on the semi-secret third floor, it was a great time.”

Special Occasions

Marea (240 Central Park S) – “Love this place. Whether you’re celebrating a special day or you’re just in an uptown, sport coat, want to impress kind of mood en route to Lincoln Center, Marea is as good as it gets. It’s one of the most impressive restaurants in Manhattan.”

Action At The Bar

Mother’s Ruin (18 Spring St.) – “I’m not quite sure why exactly, but every time I’ve come here, I’ve have a great time. It’s got a sleeper party vibe that’s hard to explain. It’s the perfect place to get rowdy for the kind of person who doesn’t want to go to the typically rowdy bar.”

Wine Consumption

Txikito (240 9th Ave.) – “You can find great wine everywhere, but when you’re looking for something specific, this is a great place to go. I recently came here with Eduardo, who I make wine with and we sampled all kinds of incredible Basque style small plates and wines.”


Ten Bells (247 Broome St.) – “$1 oysters until 7pm everyday = the best oyster happy hour in town. Go with a group of friends and get a magnum of muscate. That’s a great Tuesday night.”

Pre-Dinner Drinks

The Dove Parlour (228 Thompson St.) – “If you’re going out in the West Village and want a spot to jump off the night properly, you should hit The Dove. One of my favorite hangs in New York. Walk down the stairs and enjoy killer cocktails amongst pretty people who aren’t obnoxious, douchy or pretentious.”

Post-Dinner Drinks

The Library Bar @ The NoMad (1170 Broadway) – “A classy late night spot. Even though you’re not reading them, you look intelligent because you’re surrounded by tons of books.”

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