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DIY Drinking

Posted on Jun 29, 2006 in Gizmo Girl

Top it Off The world as we know it is about to change – seriously (at least the world of liquids).  Just screw a (coming soon to a store near you in 2007) Flavor Tops cap on a bottle of water and design your own beverage on the spot.  Having just developed the technology to store powders or liquids in bottle tops, the Innovation Fund can turn water into juice, tea, soda or even a cocktail!  Think of the possibilites – vitamins, medicine and did I mention cocktails – all with just a bottle of water.  I’m no banker, but I’d buy stock in bottled water if I were you. Sipahh Way Straws are making a comeback with Sipahh, the greatest thing to happen to milk since chocolate.   Filled with Unibeads, these flavor straws turn milk into an experience...

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Cheese 101 – Accompanied

Posted on Jun 28, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Just as I was about to snack on cheese straight up, Cheese Girl returned to give us a quick lesson in cheese condiments… With the rapidly increasing popularity of all things cheese, it can be difficult to sort through the maze of accompaniments out there. So here are some words to shop by: Bread is a no-brainer – a fresh French baguette is my first choice.  Bread should always play the supporting role, so festive breads, over-laden with dried fruits and nuts, are distracting (let’s reserve those for butter).  Dense breads (can we stop at 12 grains please) tend to fill you up too quickly and we need to maximize room for cheese. Crackers are controversial. My business partner Waldemar has sworn off them entirely, deeming them “unnecessary”.  Me, I like my crackers plain and dry (like Italian baked...

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The Laundry

Posted on Jun 27, 2006 in Reviews

341 Pantiago Road East Hampton, NY 631-324-3199 TYPE: Contemporary American VIBE: The city takes the Hamptons. OCCASION: A family outing. GO WITH: Grownups (parents or family). DON’T MISS DISH: BBQ baby back ribs DON’T BOTHER DISH: Laundry chowder PRICE: $45 & up RESERVATIONS: Recommended (It’s the Hamptons). HOURS: Dinner, Monday-Sunday, 5:30-11 PM. INSIDE SCOOP: Walk-in dining at the bar. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 5 FINAL WORD: New & not-so improved Losing its lease after twenty-five years, The Laundry, practically a Hamptons restaurant insitution, has moved into the former home of the Farmhouse (an alluring country chic space).  What could’ve been a potential blessing in disguise, has been sadly undone by the recent renovations.  The newly modern Laundry lacks all of the charm of not only the old Laundry, but also the now defunct Farmhouse.  It’s been transformed into a...

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Enoteca Barbone

Posted on Jun 27, 2006 in Reviews

Enoteca Barbone 186 Ave B, between 11th & 12th Sts. 212.254.6047 CODE.TV Video (With Restaurant Girl) TYPE: Modern Italian VIBE: Backyard garden party OCCASION: Summer in the city GO WITH: A dine-by-moonlight date or group (the patio’s big enough for everyone!) DON’T MISS DISH: Short Rib pappardelle DON’T BOTHER DISH: Porcini-crusted halibut PRICE: $30 & up HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday, dinner 6-11:30, Sunday, 5:30-10:30.  Closed Mondays. INSIDE SCOOP: Get Alberto to rattle off his impressive & lengthy resume (he’s worked everywhere from Italy’s Le Gavroche to midtown’s Cellini) RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 7 FINAL WORD: Take me down to the Alphabet City. QUICK CHEAT SHEET: Drink – A bottle of white Verdicchio Marche ($26) with summer starters; red Nero B’avika Donnata ($32) with pasta & meat ; cap the night off with a glass of Richoto D’Amarone ($14 a glass) dessert...

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The Little Owl

Posted on Jun 22, 2006 in Reviews

90 Bedford St. (at Grove) (212)741-4695 TYPE: American-Mediterranean VIBE: Quaint quarters OCCASION: Scene-scape GO WITH: It’s got date place written all over it. DON’T MISS DISH: Broiled tile fish DON’T BOTHER DISH: Hamachi appetizer PRICE: $35 & up RESERVATIONS: Recommended (A week in advance). HOURS: Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday, 5:30-11 PM, Closed Mondays.  Lunch/brunch, Saturday & Sunday, 11:00-3:00 PM (starts this Sunday). INSIDE SCOOP: Brunch starts this Sunday, 11-3. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 7 FINAL WORD: Perfect summer block party QUICK CHEAT SHEET: Start with – Ricotta cavatelli Eat – Broiled tile fish Side – Butter beans and escarole Finish with – Sorbet trio Amidst the continuous barrage of elephantine-sized restaurants, The Little Owl has quietly moved onto the restaurant scene, modestly emerging as an overnight neighborhood success.  After helming the kitchen at The Harrison and now defunct Pace (currently home...

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Cheese Girl

Posted on Jun 21, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Even a Restaurant Girl can’t possibly dine out every single time hunger strikes.  On that rare occassion when I entertain at home or get hungry during a snowstorm, I have a friend with a cheese addiction, who’s eager and willing to share her shopping secrets and teach us Cheese 101 every Thursday.  So without further ado… My name is Nadia and I’m a cheesaholic.  Thankfully, I live in New York City – home to some of the best cheese shops in North America – so I don’t have to look far for my next cheese fix.  Two of my favorites are Murray’s Cheese Shop and the newcomer Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Market.  People often ask me what my favorite cheese is, but I don’t like to pick favorites (between you and me, Spanish sheep’s milk cheeses are my...

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Cafe D’Alsace

Posted on Jun 17, 2006 in Reviews

1695 Second Avenue (at 88th Street) (212)722-5133 TYPE: French with a German twist VIBE: Breezy neighborhood bistro OCCASION: Summer is here & outdoor seating’s aplenty GO WITH: Friends or family – it’s a casual affair DON’T MISS DISH: Baeckeoffe (a meaty Alsatian stew) DON’T BOTHER DISH: Asian or Americanized fare PRICE: $30 & up HOURS: Dinner, Monday-Thursday, 5:30-11 PM, Friday & Sat. 5:30-12, Sunday 5:30-10:30.  Lunch/brunch Monday-Friday, 11:30-3:30 PM, Saturday & Sunday, 10:30-3:30 PM  INSIDE SCOOP: Take Beer 101 – tableside with Aviram (the beer sommelier) RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6 FINAL WORD: Eat outside your comfort zone. QUICK CHEAT SHEET: Drink –  If you don’t have too big an ego, let Aviram order for you.  If you do, experiment with the beer menu.  Of course, you can never go wrong with a bottle of Red Wine Start...

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Food Trend Watch

Posted on Jun 9, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Some of us just aren’t morning people: now you can say it with toast, using one of six interchangeable kitschy design plates from Pop Art Toaster.  So whether you want to toast Happy Birthday or the phrase “Luv U”, you can communicate via bread and you don’t even have to put two syllables together. Don’t beat around the bush with the Stupid Art Toaster ($24.95), which comes with four interchangeable design plates that declare, “I’m toast”, “Chicks Rule”, “Boys are Smelly”, & “Drama Queen”.  There’s even a Pop Art Toaster of fewer words with two plates ($34.95) – “Bite me” & “I’m hot” – short and to the point – both available at Broadway Panhandler. Oh, and it’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas gifts ($24.99) – the Christmas Pop Toaster with images of Santa, Snowman, and...

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Chinatown Brasserie

Posted on Jun 6, 2006 in Reviews

380 Lafayette (at Great Jones St.) New York, NY 10003 (212)533-7000 Chinatown Brasserie TYPE: Cantonese-style Chinese VIBE: China chic OCCASION:  Any – Besides, dim sum’s the new brunch GO WITH: A date or a group (Chinese is Chinese for sharing) DON’T MISS DISH: Mushroom dumplings with sweet corn DON’T BOTHER DISH: Ginger Dragon cocktail PRICE: $35 & up (Dim sum is less expensive) HOURS: Monday-Friday, lunch 11 AM-5 PM, Dinner 5 PM-1 AM Saturday & Sunday, dim sum, 10 AM-5 PM, dinner 5 PM-1 AM INSIDE SCOOP: Dining lounge open until 2 AM every night RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 7 FINAL WORD: Chinese that’s too damn good for a take-out box Nothing like Chinatown, this dramatically vibrant space possesses more opulence than all of the gritty Canal Street haunts stacked together.  Set in a generous space (formerly Time Cafe),...

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Burgers & Cupcakes

Posted on Jun 2, 2006 in Dessert, Reviews

458 Ninth Ave. (btwn. 35th & 36th Sts.) (212)643-1200 VIBE: Cafeteria cool OCCASION: Breakfast or your lunch break GO WITH: Co-workers or go it alone DON’T MISS DISH: Beef Burger DON’T BOTHER DISH: Fresh squeezed lemon Fizz PRICE: under $ 10 INSIDE SCOOP: Will deliver anywhere in the city if you pay the cab fare HOURS: Monday-Saturday, 8-9 PM, Sat. & Sun. 10-9 PM RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6 FINAL WORD: What could be better? You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven at Burgers & Cupcakes if only it weren’t in Hell’s Kitchen with a window view of Lincoln Tunnel traffic.  This simple, but perky cafeteria-style luncheonette with pink & brown painted walls invites you to rediscover your inner child, bringing you back to a time of blissful naivete when calories and carbs didn’t matter.  I took the...

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