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Posted on May 30, 2006 in Reviews

250 Park Avenue South (at 20th St.) (212)995-0242 TYPE: Mediterranean VIBE: Festive oasis OCCASION: Take a Mediterranean vacation GO WITH: A group (birthday) or date DON’T MISS DISH: Octopus meze DON’T BOTHER DISH: Dessert PRICE: $50 HOURS: Lunch & Dinner, Sun & Mon 5:30-11:30; Tu-Th 5:30-12; Fri-Sat. 5:30-12:30 PM RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6 FINAL WORD: Sink into a pillow & go fish. Even a gourmet junkie, like myself, can get tired of eating foie gras foam and other molecularly-altered edibles night after night, which is why Barbounia may be the perfect vacation not only from post-modern fare, but also from the city itself.  In fact, Barbounia seems to embrace a “recline & dine” Mediterranean philosophy. Upon entrance, waves of creamy fabric draped from a soaring ceiling evoke a dine-by-the-sea feel.  From an oddly feathery chandelier to pillow-stuffed banquettes,...

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Food News

Posted on May 30, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

The French may just start a revolution on American soil with their innovative new wine packaging that renders a cork obsolete.   French Rabbit packages their vintage-dated French wine (it actually tastes good) in Tetra Packs which will change the way we drink: Lighter than glass Holds 2 more glasses than a normal bottle of wine Easily screws shut Squeeze air out after every use & reseal Lasts up to seven days in the refrigerator 100% recycleable packaging 50 cents from each package goes to a habitat for wildlife fund in Ontario Pick your poison — French Rabbit features Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir & Merlot (my favorite was the Merlot;), $12.95...

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The Future of Food

Posted on May 24, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Stove Top Table After standing in painfully fashionable footwear all day, the last thing I want to do is hover over a stove and pretend I know how to make dinner.  Now I can kick off my shoes and cook right at my Cook N Dine table.  It’s like your own Korean barbecue, only the center of this futuristic stainless steel table conveniently sinks into a concave bowl to catch simmering sauces when heated (goes up to 430 degrees).  As if dinner never happened, the table reverts to a flat surface.  Now I just pray they invent a robotic chef that can cook for me.  A girl can dream, can’t she? Got camel’s milk? Forget about soy milk, a camel latte just might be the newest addition to the Starbuck’s roster.  The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has recently...

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Mr. Chow – Tribeca

Posted on May 19, 2006 in Reviews

Mr. Chow Tribeca 121 Hudson Street (at North Moore) (212)965-9500 VIBE: Downtown Swank OCCASION: Stargazing GO WITH: A group – Dishes served family style DON’T MISS DISH: Signature Chicken Satay DON’T BOTHER DISH: Beijing Duck PRICE: $ 60 & up (But 10% cheaper than midtown outpost) INSIDE SCOOP: Pricey takeout before 7 pm HOURS: Monday-Sunday, 6-11:30 PM RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 5 FINAL WORD: Go for the show, stay for the satay There’s no place like Tribeca for Mr. Chow, the culinary wizard who has managed to open gourmet doors around the world to Chinese food, once not even considered haute cuisine by the dining elite. Having always attracted a fabulous downtown artsy crowd to his 57th street flagship for nearly three decades (from Andy Warhol to Puff Daddy), it would have seemed like a no-brainer to set up...

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Pimp My Snack

Posted on May 18, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Forget about pimping your car, the latest craze is pimping America’s favorite junk foods. From Doritos to Hot Dogs to Snickers bars, these homemade and gi-normous calorie-ridden snacks will make your pocket-sized candy bar pale in comparison. Pimped out snacks can even square off against each other for the “Title Snack” at Pimp My Snack, where America’s Next Top Chef or Junk Food Addict can swap recipes for their favorite colossal snacks. I took a stab at the oreo. After a long night of slaving away in the kitchen, I filled the bathtub with milk and took my oreo for a swim...

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Posted on May 12, 2006 in Reviews

85 Tenth Avenue (at 15th Street) (212)400-6699 RESTAURANT: CRAFTSTEAK VIBE:  MEATPACKING ELEGANCE OCCASSION: CLOSING A DEAL (BUSINESS OR PLEASURE) DON’T MISS DISH:  WAGYU BEEF (ANY CUT WILL DO!) DON’T BOTHER DISH:   ROASTED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE PRICE: EXPENSIVE RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6.5 As the dirt continues to settle from the onslaught of mega-restaurants fashioned with sky high ceilings, super-sized Buddhas and Asian fusion fancies, the Meatpacking District has overnight become a Vegas-like restaurant row.  A disappointing visit to the much-anticipated opening of Buddha Bar (official American outpost of the infamous French hotspot) which included less than mediocre sushi, out of place lamb chops that spoke to neither my French nor Asian sensibilities, and an offensively microscopic droplet of tasteless tuna tartare, caused me to dismiss the Meatpacking District as an aural amusement park with very short culinary legs to stand...

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Quality Meats

Posted on May 3, 2006 in Reviews

  In a midtown littered with pre-theater menus and mega-delicatessans (Carnegie Hall), Quality Meats emerges as an unlikely dining destination that may just revolutionize the concept of The American steakhouse.  After an impressive 22 year seafood-stint as the Manhattan Ocean Club, Alan Stillman, legendary restaurateur of The Smith & Wollensky group, has decided to do what he does best — steak.   He’s even handed the restaurant’s reigns over to his son, Michael Stillman, who has magnificentally transformed the space into a butcher shop chic steakhouse with a greenmarket vibe.           Teaming up with AvroKo (designers of Stanton Social & Public), they’ve stripped the restaurant down to its original exposed brick walls and steel columns, adding authentic meat locker accents by way of butcher block stairs and chandeliers fashioned from meat hooks, pulleys and Edison bare bulbs.  Oh,...

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