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The Spotted Pig

Posted on Nov 30, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Like plastic, Restaurant Girl Membership has its privileges!  In celebration of Restaurant Girl’s new weekly newsletter, I’m giving away a FREE DINNER at Michelin-starred gastropub, The Spotted Pig.  Ken Friedman took NYC’s dining scene by storm last year when he opened this now, uber-impossible to score a table hot spot with Italian-accented delights, courtesy of chef, April Bloomfield. To WIN DINNER AT THE SPOTTED PIG, simply forward Restaurant Girl to four of your friends, then email me at by December 4th. That way even if you don’t win, you can guilt your friend into taking you to dinner.  If you’re not subscribed, simply enter your email in the SUBSCRIBE box at the right.  The winner will be announced Tuesday, December 5th on my site! Until we eat again, Restaurant...

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Posted on Nov 28, 2006 in Reviews

Sasabune 401 East 73rd St., nr. 1st Ave. (212)249-8583 TYPE: Sushi VIBE: No nonsense UES sushi joint OCCASION: Serious sushi endeavors DON’T MISS DISH: Albacore sashimi, amberjack with ponzu sauce, crab hand roll – basically, the entire omakase menu.  DRINK SPECIALTY: Sake & Japanese beer PRICE: $60 & up HOURS: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM; Lunch, Mon – Fri, 12 PM – 2 PM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted, recommended for the sushi bar. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 8.5 FINAL WORD: The best sushi this side of Tokyo, Sasabune is a sushi trek definitely worth taking. At the risk of waging a culinary cook-off between Los Angeles & New York, I contend  that LA’s only got one thing on NYC as far as food goes – sushi.  But that’s all changed now that Sasabune has graced Manhattan with...

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Klee Brasserie

Posted on Nov 21, 2006 in Sneak Peek

200 Ninth Ave., btwn. 22nd & 23rd Sts.(212)633-8033website TYPE: European AmericanVIBE: Homey brasserie OCCASION: A cozy date, bar dining or group dinnerDON’T MISS DISH: Swordfish steak with barbecued creamed chard   DRINK SPECIALTY: Wines by the glass, carafe & bottle; Signature cocktailsPRICE: $40 & up HOURS: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 6 PM – 11 PM; Lunch, Mon – Fri, 12 PM – 3 PM (will begin the next couple weeks); Brunch, Sundays, 11:30 AM – 2 PM.RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted, recommended on weekends.FINAL WORD: There’s no place like home as Chelsea gets a warm and fuzzy brasserie all its own, with an eclectic menu & inspired cocktail list to boot. There’s nothing glamorous or remotely over the top about Klee Brasserie, the latest addition to Chelsea’s dining scene.  Part ski-slope resort, part bistro, this intimate, new spot feels mostly like home. ...

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The London Bar

Posted on Nov 20, 2006 in Beer Bars, Best Of, Reviews

151 West 54th Street, nr. 7th Ave. (212)468-8889 website TYPE: Asian-inflected French VIBE: Modern elegance OCCASION: A mature date or civilized family affair DON’T MISS DISH:  White onion veloute with duck ragout DON’T BOTHER DISH: Peekytoe crab with avocado & sweetcorn sorbet DRINK SPECIALTY: An extensive wine list & classic cocktails. PRICE: $70 & up HOURS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner, 365 days a year, 6AM – 11PM in the London Bar.  High tea served every afternoon at 4 PM.  Dinner only in Gordon Ramsay at the London, beginning at 5:30 PM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations are recommended, especially for dinner.  Be prepared to dial two months before you actually care to dine.   RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  6 (pretty good) FINAL WORD: A royal mess – The London Bar was wildly inconsistent on opening night. Still, it’s well worth a visit...

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Mai House

Posted on Nov 16, 2006 in Reviews

186 Franklin St., at Hudson St. (212)431-0606 TYPE: Modern Vietnamese VIBE: Earthbound sleek OCCASION: A hip date or group dinner DON’T MISS DISH:   Fresh dungeness crab DON’T BOTHER DISH: Duck leg confit DRINK SPECIALTY: Buddha’s eye cocktail PRICE: $55 & up HOURS: Dinner, Monday – Saturday, 5:45 PM- 11:30 PM.  Lunch hours are imminent. RESERVATIONS: Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.  RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  7 (very good) FINAL WORD: Drew Nieporent of Nobu fame gets back in the game with modern vietnamese of the exotic wild boar sorts. CHEAT SHEET: DRINK: Buddha’s eye cocktail or a Mai-jito NIBBLE ON: Shrimp chips START WITH: Hot mushroom spring rolls  ORDER: Fresh dungeness crab FINISH WITH: Almond banana cake With a number of prominent restaurants in his back pocket (Nobu, Centrico & Tribeca Grill), Drew Nieporent has set his sights…across the...

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Two New Restaurants Hit The NYC Streets

Posted on Nov 15, 2006 in Sneak Peek

‘Tis the season for new restaurants and there’s countless to devoured.  Here’s a sneak peek at two of the lastest newcomers. savorNY63 Clinton Street, btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts.(212)358-7125Website TYPE: Eclectic small plates VIBE: Inviting LES nook OCCASION: A casual date or neighborhood nibblesDON’T MISS DISH: Chinese bbq duckDRINK SPECIALTY: 35-bottle wine selection, all available by the glass ($7-$12), or the bottle ($26-$45).PRICE: $35 & up HOURS: Open seven days a week. Dinner, 4 PM – until the last diner leaves; Brunch, Saturday & Sunday 12 PM -3 PM.RESERVATIONS: No reservations accepted.  This Lower East Side gem has slipped onto the restaurant scene to little, but worthy fanfare.  Owner Craig Gross, a long-time manager at Blue Water Grill, and his partner Joe Dobias, formerly a chef at Quaint in Queens, have teamed up to deliver global cuisine and wines at...

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Cafe Cluny

Posted on Nov 9, 2006 in Reviews

284 West 12th St. (at 4th St.) (212)255-6900 TYPE: French-American restaurant VIBE: Charming neighborhood haunt OCCASION: A casual date or group dining DON’T MISS DISH: Duck confit with baby brussel sprouts DON’T BOTHER DISH: Roasted cod DRINK SPECIALTY: 21-bottle wine list; 16 by the glass PRICE: $45 & up HOURS: Open seven days a week, 5:30 PM-12 PM; Brunch, Saturday & Sunday 10:30 AM-3 PM; Breafast, Monday-Friday, 8 AM-11:30 AM (starting November 13th) RESERVATIONS: Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.  RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  6.5 (good) FINAL WORD: Quaint makes a comeback this fall as charming bistros of the Cafe Cluny sorts, emerge in the West Village. Cozy is the new black this fall as far as restaurants are concerned.  While last spring was marked by an invasion of Asian mega-restaurants the size of airplane hangars, New Yorkers fled...

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The Crack of Cake

Posted on Nov 6, 2006 in Best Of, Dessert, Sneak Peek

Cake Man Raven708-A Fulton StreetBrooklyn NY 11217718-797-2598718-694-CAKE (to pre-order cakes) I have accidentally stumbled upon the perfect slice, (no, not Di Fara’s pizza).  Behold, Cake Man Raven’s sublime red velvet cake; a cake so decadently divine, it literally keeps me up at night.  I suggest you get yourself to Fort Greene immediately for the slice of a lifetime.  At the risk of playing the role of the playground drug dealer, this is one addiction I encourage you to  indulge in, calories be damned.    Deep in Fort Greene, a line of people slowly file into a modestly marked shop, slip the counter girl a five, then skip out with a slice as if you’re about to engage in some sort of illicit activity.  Parodixically located in Park Slope, Harlem Baking Company sells giant fluffy slices of red velvet cakes. ...

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Russian Tea Room

Posted on Nov 4, 2006 in Reviews

150 West 57th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.) (212)581-7100 TYPE: Pan-global with a Russian bent VIBE: A grand theatrical affair OCCASION: A nostalgic trip down memory lane, family dinner or special occassion. DON’T MISS DISH: Foie gras pelmini DON’T BOTHER DISH: Soy butter poached maine lobster DRINK SPECIALTIES: Vodkas a plenty, classic cocktails and an elegant wine list. PRICE: $80 & up HOURS: TBD RESERVATIONS: Reservations recommended.   RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  7 (very good) FINAL WORD: Travel back in time to the historical Russian Tea Room for an evening of elegance and a noteworthy taste of Gary Robin’s gifted cuisine.  On the highly anticipated opening night of the Russian Tea Room, doormen amiably guarded the red carpeted-entrance of the famed institution.  As I passed through the original revolving door, it was like entering a time warp, a...

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Posted on Nov 1, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Rich Saab has won a FREE four-course dinner for two with matching wines at Picholine, awarded three stars by the New York Times, personally prepared by famed chef, Terrance Brennan. Who doesn’t love a free meal?  So, I’ll be giving away another FREE DINNER to officially celebrate my new Restaurant Girl newsletter.  You’ll have to click on Restaurant Girl next Friday, November 10th to find out the restaurant and details! Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl...

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