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Frederick’s Downtown

Posted on Oct 29, 2006 in Reviews

637 Hudson St. (at Horatio St.) (212)488-4200 website LX.TV TYPE: Modern french bistro VIBE: Fashionably civilized dining OCCASION: A cozy date or group dinner DON’T MISS DISH: Creamy orzo with lobster & chanterelle mushrooms DON’T BOTHER DISH: Roasted codfish DRINK SPECIALTY: 28-bottle wine list; 16 by the glass; 1/2 and whole carafes also available. PRICE: $60 & up HOURS: Open seven days a week, 5:30 PM – 2 AM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations recommended, especially on weekends.  BONUS: Outdoor seating’s perfect for weekend brunch. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  8 (excellent) FINAL WORD: Retreat from the frenetic Meatpacking streets into this warm French bistro and dine in style on splendid Provencal fare. Owners Frederick and Laurent Lesort have decided to venture outside their midtown comfort zone (Frederick’s on Madison & Frederick’s on 58th St.), this time with a French bistro, safely situated...

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Posted on Oct 28, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Like plastic, Restaurant Girl membership has its privileges (again)!  In celebration of Restaurant Girl’s new, once-a-week email campaign (coming next week), I’m giving away a FREE DINNER for two at Picholine, which earned three stars from the New York Times, to a lucky subscriber.  So EMAIL me by Wednesday, November 1st, for a chance to win a four-course dinner for two with matching wines at Picholine, personally prepared by famed chef, Terrance Brennan.  No need to fret if you’re not subscribed,  simply enter your email in the SUBSCRIBE box at the right.  Don’t forget to forward this to all of your friends: that way even if you lose, you can still guilt your friend into taking you to dinner. Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl...

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Markt No More…?

Posted on Oct 25, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

401 West 14th St. (at 9th Ave.) (212)727-3314 Markt Rumor mill has it that Markt, Meatpacking’s trendy and ever-crowded Belgian brasserie, may soon be a distant memory.  Specializing in admittedly mediocre moules frites and a bevvy of Belgian beers, the airy, wood-decked restaurant, will be torn down to make way for an Apple Store when Markt’s lease comes up in January.   Likewise, Swatch will take over the adjacent space, formerly home to Western Beef Grocery, a purveyor in all things beef.  No one at Markt could be reached for official confirmation, but it looks like we could be saying dag, that’s Dutch for goodbye, to this haunt. Until we eat again, Restaurant...

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Posted on Oct 24, 2006 in Reviews

26 Little West 12th Street (btwn. 9th & 10th Aves.) (646)624-2444 website TYPE: Modern steakhouse VIBE: Meatpacking madness OCCASION: Trendy dining DON’T MISS DISH: Sweet corn pudding DON’T BOTHER DISH: Shrimp rice krispy’s DRINK SPECIALTY: 230-bottle wine list PRICE: $70 & up HOURS: Open seven days a week, 5:30 PM – 2 AM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations recommended, especially on weekends.  RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  5 (average with standout sides) FINAL WORD: The closest thing to Las Vegas without leaving Manhattan, the food seems besides the point at this see and be “scene” steak spot. After visiting Porter House New York and STK, two of New York’s newest steakhouses, I’ve come to the conclusion that some things are meant to be feasted upon in all its gritty glory, the sacred cow being at the top of my list.  Given its location,...

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The Russian Tea Room – Reservation Lines Are Open

Posted on Oct 23, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

150 West 57th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.)(212)581-7100 The Russian Tea Room’s phone lines officially opened at 9 AM this morning to accept dinner reservations, starting November 3rd.  At 2 PM this afternoon, I was able to snag a table for two people at 8 PM opening night.  I called back again and tried for 6 people at 8:30, but apparently they can’t handle parties larger than 4 on opening night.  However, they could do a four-top at 8:30 (someone should call & grab it).  Gary Robins (formerly of the Biltmore Room) still is in the process of designing a "pan-European menu", primarily Russian, with influences from every country that touches Russia’s borders, from Asia to Sweden.  Hmm, sounds like global cuisine to me. Until we eat again,Restaurant...

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Porter House New York

Posted on Oct 22, 2006 in Reviews

10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center) (212)823-9500 website TYPE: American steakhouse VIBE: Simple elegance OCCASION: A business dinner or romantic dinner DON’T MISS DISH: Porterhouse Steak DON’T BOTHER DISH: Ginger Carrots DRINK SPECIALTY: American-focused Wine List PRICE: $60 & up HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Thursday 5 PM – 10:30 PM; Friday & Saturday, 5 PM – 11 PM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations recommended. INSIDE SCOOP: Order a Diamond Cain RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  6.5 (good to very good) FINAL WORD: With a dazzling park view, Porter House manages to make a woman feel like she’s being taken somewhere special, while still being a steakhouse a man can sink his teeth into. Michael Lomonaco, of Windows on the World and The 21 Club fame, has inherited this park view space, formerly home to the Jean-Georges’ ill-fated V steakhouse, a garrulously over-the-top exercise...

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Restaurant Girl Rewards – Dinner at HQ

Posted on Oct 19, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

With so little time and so many great restaurants in New York City, I can’t possibly sample every food gem.  So, I’d love to hear your favorite restaurant, and in return, I’m giving away a FREE DINNER for two at HQ in Soho, awarded two stars by both The New York Observer and The Daily News.  HQ chef and owner Terrance Cave, formerly of Blue Ribbon & Metrazur, prepares refined American cuisine in a casually chic setting.  All you have to do is EMAIL ME by Wednesday, October 25th, for your chance to win a three-course dinner with matching wines at the Chef’s Table.  I’ll announce the WINNER and their favorite restaurant on Friday, October 27th.  Only SUBSCRIBERS have a chance to win the raffle, so if you’re not already subscribed, simply enter your email in the SUBSCRIBE BOX...

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Posted on Oct 18, 2006 in Reviews

53 West 19th Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.) (212)255-4160 TYPE: Regional Spanish cuisine VIBE: Sleek cervezeria OCCASION: A festive group dinner or low maintenance dinner DON’T MISS DISH: Paella Valenciana DON’T BOTHER DISH: Lamb shank with yogurt DRINK SPECIALTY: Exclusively Spanish wines PRICE: $35 & up HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 11 AM until midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 AM until 2 AM. RESERVATIONS: No reservations accepted. Get a drink at the bar and prepare for a surmountable wait.  INSIDE SCOOP: Order the cuttlefish special (when available). RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  7 (very good) FINAL WORD: Viva las tapas – Boqueria’s irresistible charm and contagious energy transcend both the plate and sexy space. CHEAT SHEET: DRINK: A regional Spanish wine or the rose sangria NIBBLE ON: Blistered padron peppers START WITH: Baby squid tapas ORDER: Paella Valenciana FINISH WITH:...

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Telepan Dinner Winner

Posted on Oct 17, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

I stopped counting at 360, but Alexandra Felicetti was the 100th subscriber to email me for the FREE four-course dinner for two at TELEPAN, Zagat’s Top Newcomer for 2007.  After the tremendous response and apparently overwhelming demand for free food, I have no choice, but to give away another free dinner for two.  You’ll have to click on Restaurant Girl this FRIDAY to find out the restaurant and details! Until we eat again, Restaurant...

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Comix Bombs in the Meatpacking District

Posted on Oct 15, 2006 in Sneak Peek

353 West 14th Street (just east of Ninth Avenue)(212)524-2500Comix website Having been accused of being too positive on an occasion or two, I thought I’d share a restaurant rant with you.  In search of dinner and a good laugh, I ventured to Comix, the Meatpacking’s first comedy haunt, an ambitious 14,000 square foot comedy club with purportedly "high-end regional American cuisine".  Equipped with a first floor bar, comedy showroom and a generous downstairs lounge, this uber-mod space is minimally accented to the point of awkward, with a copper-clad bar, mirrors and metal mesh accents.  But comedy this trendy comes with unabashedly, trendy Meatpacking prices.  After investing in a $30 show ticket, I made a pre-show pitstop at the bar for an over-priced $13 Creme Brulee martini, a gimmicky and cringe-worthy, saccharine sweet attempt at the mixology game.  Already a...

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Restaurant Girl Rewards – Dinner At Telepan

Posted on Oct 12, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Like plastic, Restaurant Girl membership has its privileges!  In celebration of Restaurant Girl’s new, once-a-week email campaign (coming next week), I’m giving away a FREE DINNER for two at TELEPAN, Zagat Survey’s Top Newcomer for 2007.  So, the 100th SUBSCRIBER to EMAIL me will WIN a FREE, four-course dinner with wine, at Bill Telepan’s seasonally-inspired restaurant with Greenmarket flair.  No need to fret if you’re not subscribed,  simply enter your email in the SUBSCRIBE box at the right.  Don’t forget to forward this to all of your friends: that way even if you lose, you can still guilt your friend into taking you to dinner. Until we eat again, Restaurant...

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Core 191

Posted on Oct 9, 2006 in Reviews

191 Orchard St. (near Houston St.) (212)228-9888 Menu TYPE: Seasonal American tapas VIBE: Masculine dining lounge OCCASION: LES pre-party fare, group dinners, private parties  DON’T MISS DISH: Hanger steak DON’T BOTHER DISH: Tuna crudo PRICE: $35 (with a cocktail) HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Sunday, 4 PM – 12 AM; Late-night menu, Monday through Sunday, 12 AM – 2:AM; Brunch, Saturday & Sunday, 12 PM – 3 PM. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 6.5 SEATING: 50 seats in the dining room; 40 at the bar, 100 seats in outdoor garden. RESERVATIONS: Reservations for big parties are recommended. FINAL WORD: With a talented chef in the kitchen and a backyard garden, boasting a projector screen and room for 100 of your closest friends, the party possibilities are endless.    CHEAT SHEET: DRINK: A glass of Riesling NIBBLE ON: Homemade lavash crackers with hummus...

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Beringer’s Roving Restaurant

Posted on Oct 8, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

In a souped-up 25-foot Airstream trailer, fashionably decked out by domino magazine, Beringer has decided to take their vineyard on the road – literally.  With chef David Frakes in tote, one of Napa Valley’s oldest vineyards is embarking on a six-week road trip across the country to share their wines and the chef’s gourmet cooking with America. Beringer kicked off their first “urban picnic” on October 10 in NYC, where they set up camp in Gramercy, offering up impromptu wine & food pairing lessons as well as an interactive Merlot & Chardonnay wine tasting (my favorite was the $16 2004 Chardonnay – surprisingly rich & complex for such a well-priced bottle).  There was even a quick cooking class in the Airstream’s tiny dining lounge, courtesy of talented David Frake, who once cooked in San Francisco’s prestigious Ritz Carlton Dining...

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Posted on Oct 3, 2006 in Reviews

57 East 57th Street (between Park & Madison Aves.) (212)350-6658 Menu Savory NY Video TYPE: Modern French cuisine VIBE: Contagiously spirited fine dining with a casual flair OCCASION: An indulgent splurge, romantic dinner, or gastronomic adventure  DON’T MISS DISH: Poached baby kusyu oysters in echire butter DON’T BOTHER DISH: Truffled mashed potatoes PRICE: $100 (with a cocktail) & up; $160 for the discovery tasting menu HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Sunday, 6 PM – 12AM; Lunch, Monday through Sunday, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 9 (divine) SEATING: 20 seats at the eating bar, 30 seats in the dining room RESERVATIONS: Reservations for tables highly recommended; 6 PM reservations taken for the eating bar, after that, on a first-come first-served basis. INSIDE SCOOP: Order the off-the-menu pasta carbonara, a Paris L’Atelier signature. FINAL WORD: An uniquely unfussy haute...

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