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Q & A With Philippe Bertineau

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

As this month marks the ten year anniversary of Payard Patisserie and Bistro, we deemed it appropriate to go “Behind Kitchen Doors” with executive chef Philippe Bertineau.   Bertineau cultivated his technique as sous chef at such prestigious restaurants as London’s Auberge de Provence and New York City’s Daniel before joining up with pastry chef Francois Payard to launch Payard on the upper East Side.  With a talent for the southwestern cuisine of his native France, Bertineau sticks to his roots and dishes out some of New York’s best modern bistro fare.  From rich homemade foie gras with pearl onion chutney to succulent duck leg confit on a corn galette, his dishes reveal themselves as elegant as this David Rockwell-designed classic. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married What did you want to be when you grew up? Growing up in France my dad...

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Sake 101

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

With over 300 varieties at this year’s sake celebration as well as a handful of noteworthy NYC restaurants in the mix – Megu, Nobu & wd-50 – we thought we’d check in with expert & Joy of Sake event coordinator, Chris Pearce, for a few tips on the basics of sake. There are three main sake categories – junmai, ginjo and daiginjo – with different ratios of rice polishing.  Generally speaking, the more the rice is polished before steaming, the higher the quality of sake produced. Junmai sakes are polished to at least 65% of their original size, while daiginjo sakes can be polished down to 40% or less.  Junmai sakes are more robust and earthy in flavor, while ginjo and daiginjo tend to be more floral. TIP SHEET Sake can be enjoyed cold, at room temperature or gently...

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Posted on Sep 23, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Once upon a time, Shinbashi served as a NYC midtown restaurant fixture where waitresses wore customary Japanese garb and the kitchen peddled in dishes still foreign to American palates.  Ruth Reichl regarded Shinbashi a “venerable Japanese”  in 1998, while Bryan Miller awarded it: “Weirdest Dish II: Raw lobster in the shell,” in 1986. Though the raw lobster is conspicuously missing from the new menu, Shinbashi is nonetheless having its second coming in the three-story space, formerly home to Savannah Steak.  Owner Shinichi Tomonari is dutifully carrying on the family tradition, initiated by his mother in 1974, when the notion of eating raw crustacean was a novel concept. The menu offers a generous selection of raw fish as well as cooked dishes, including beef sukiyaki, toro tartar with quail egg and tempura udon.  Chef Kazutaki Imori (Nobu) oversees the maple...

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Q & A with Johnny Iuzzini

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Johnny Iuzzini’s earned three stars from Michelin, four stars from the New York Times, and a James Beard Award for Pastry Chef of the Year in 2006.  He’s worked under the highest acclaimed chefs in the industry (Payard, Haas, Poitier), and now proudly wears his title as Executive Pastry Chef at Jean Georges.  Like a straight-A student, Iuzzini’s accolades undoubtedly match his talents and CIA education.  Here, he dazzles with a mango lassi with carrot froth as well as decadent dessert flights.  And to think, his dream was to race motorcycles… Status: Single/Married/Divorced Single   What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to race motorcycles or be a stunt man. How did you get into food? When I got my working papers at 15, I got a job washing dishes at a local country...

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Posted on Sep 18, 2007 in Reviews

The dressed-up Chinese at Wakiya gets lost in translation. 2 Lexington Ave., at 21st St. (Gramercy Park Hotel) (212) 995-1330 Dinner: Mon.-Sat., 5:45 p.m.-11 p.m, Sunday, 5:45 p.m.-10 p.m. Cuisine: Contemporary regional Chinese Vibe: Moody Asian den Occasion: Swanky night out Don’t Miss Dish: Shanghai soup dumplings Drink Specialty: Cucumber martini Price: Appetizers, $6-$34; Entrees, $13-$38; Desserts, $9-$14. Reservations: Highly recommended Designer-clad servers amble down a red carpet that streams through Wakiya’s glossy dining room, flourished with floor-to-ceiling red tassels and dark wood tables. “It’slike a catwalk,” Richie Notar, a managing partner of both Wakiya and Nobu restaurants, enthusiastically notes over the phone. “Women love it.” On one visit, I spied Anna Wintour dining front row center. I nearly expected she might pull out a pad and jot down her impressions of Wakiya’s fall food collection. As fashionable as...

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Posted on Sep 18, 2007 in Reviews

1621 Second Ave., at 84th St. (212) 772-2242 Dinner: Mon.-Sun., 5:30 p.m.-midnight Cuisine: Authentic northern Italian Vibe: Boisterous, cozy classic Occassion: Family affair, festive occasion Don’t Miss Dish: Spaghetti frutti di mare Price: Appetizers, $8-$17; entrees, $17-$38; desserts, $8-$12 RESERVATIONS Recommended Some restaurants never change – it’s precisely what people love about them. Unlike newcomers who bend to the latest culinary whims du jour, there remain a few steadfast institutions that succeed simply by resting on their laurels. There is the timeless glamour of lunch at the Four Seasons and the inimitable nostalgia of a hefty porterhouse at Peter Luger’s. Then there’s the charming lure of old-world Italian at Elio’s. Upper East Siders have been loyal members of this “clubhouse” for nearly 26 years. With its dark wood paneling and handsome wainscoting, the decor reinforces the supper club aura....

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James Beard Foundation’s Taste America

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 in Eating Events

In celebration of the James Beard Foundation’s 20th Anniversary and the launch of the foundation’s annual Taste America, there will be a dinner tribute this Tuesday September 18th at the illustrious, The Four Seasons.  Dinner will be prepared by chef Christian Albin (The Four Seasons) and chef Vitaly Paley (Paley’s Place).  Portions of the proceeds will benefit both City Meals on Wheels and the James Beard Foundation. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212)754-9494 or online at Where: The Four Seasons Restaurant When: Reception, 7pm. Dinner, 8pm. Address: 99 East 52nd Street, nr. Park Ave....

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Q & A With Scott and Heather Fratangelo

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Husband-and-wife team, Scott and Heather Fratangelo, have figured out the equation to both a happy marriage and a thriving career in food.  At Spigolo, their UES Italian team effort, the two manage to maintain a packed house with month-long waits for reservations.  While Scott serves as the executive chef, Heather skillfully leads the pastry and wine programs.  Their ambitious menu features veal scallopine paired with beet greens and spring onions, and grilled pork rib chop with plum mustardo and roasted artichokes.  You simply can’t skip dessert at Spigolo: Heather bakes an inspired mascarpone tart with balsamic figs as well as an exotic, coconut panna cotta with papaya, mango and pineapple.   Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married to each other. What did you want to be when you grew up? Scott: Race car driver Heather: Nurse What was your first job in...

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SHARE Hosts 4th Annual “A Second Helping of Life”

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 in Best Of

25 of the city’s finest women chefs will gather Monday, September 17th, for the 4th Annual SHARE event, to raise money in support of ovarian and breast cancer survivors.  Executive Chef of the event Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar will have Ruth Reichl as her sous chef, creating her legendary lobster roll.  Acclaimed mixologist Julie Reiner of Flatiron Lounge will be mixing up her famous sidecar. Other chefs to include: Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune), Nicole Kaplan (Del Posto), Anita Lo (Annisa), Amy Scherber (Amy’s Bread) Patricia Yeo (Monkey Bar), plus many more…   A Second Helping of Life A benefit for SHARE featuring New York City’s top women chefs   Monday, September 17, 2007 V.I.P. Reception 6-7 pm and General Admission Tasting from 7-9:30 PM Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers Tickets: $300.00 for the tasting; $500.00 for tasting and...

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Sea Salt

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 in Reviews

You haven’t truly eaten at Sea Salt until you’ve shopped for your dinner in the fish market tucked into the back corner of this East Village nook. There lies the best of what chef Orhan Yegen has to offer – an icy display of seafaring wares. To Yegen, these aren’t just fish: This is his religion. “I’m the only one who truly understands them,” he declares matter-of-factly over the phone. “I taste and tune the fish. That’s my talent.” He designed much of the ­restaurant himself, painting the broad, creamy stripes that wrap themselves around the space, accented with butcher block tables and black and white photos – a bit Miami Beach meets Mediterranean seascape. Tables spill onto a span of Second Ave., brimming with students and artsy types. An impossibly outspoken and restless nomad, Yegen has rambled through...

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The Randolph at Broome Street

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

The space that once housed M Bar has apparently been scooped up by an assemblage of imbibers who plan to relaunch as The Randolph at Broome Street.  Partner Hari Kalyan tells us that bow tie-clad bartenders be on hand, dealing in draft beers and classic cocktails.  Adorned with earthy burgundy and green accents as well as an exotic tile mosaic wall, this Nolita speakeasy will host seating for 120. Phone:(212)274-0667 Address: Broome St., btwn. Elizabeth & Bowery Sts. Hours: 9:30p.m.- 4a.m. Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s weekly...

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One if By Land, Two if By Sea Gears up for a Renovation

Posted on Sep 9, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Come October, One If By Land will commence plans on a sizeable makeover.  While the essence of this West Village carriage house is to remain intact, the owners intend to update everything from the kitchen to the table settings.  Drawing on Early American art, this romantic spot will be refurbished in chocolate tones with gold and watermelon accents, as well as recently acquired artwork and weathered white furniture. Chef Craig Hopson will have a hand in the appointment of a pastry chef and the new menu, set to unveil in January.  Hopson tells us he’ll be invoking, “exotic ingredients and bold world flavors on a menu that will be printed daily.” Phone: 17 Barrow St., btwn. 7th Ave. South & W. 4th St. Address: (212)255-8649 Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s...

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Craig Hopson Tapped For One if By Land, Two if by Sea

Posted on Sep 7, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Chef Craig Hopson has just been tapped to run the kitchen of NYC’s “most romantic” dining destination, One if By Land, Two if by Sea.  Chef Gary Volkov recently departed this Greenwich Village carriage house to open his own casual eatery, Prince Street Cafe. After a four year stint as the chef de cuisine at Terrance Brennan’s Picholine, Australian-born Hopson is set to make his official debut just in time for brunch this Sunday, September 9th.  He’ll be working the presently modern American menu, but you can be certain this “2007 Rising Star Chef” will infuse his own style into the menu. Phone: 17 Barrow St., btwn. 7th Ave. South & W. 4th St. Address: (212)255-8649 Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s weekly...

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Q & A With Nicole Kaplan

Posted on Sep 6, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Chef Nicole Kaplan does not mess around in the kitchen: she’s played with the big boys in the NYC dining scene, toting her talents in pastry at Danny Meyer’s Eleven Madison Park, and now, Mario Batali’s Del Posto.  Ranked as one of the top pastry chefs in the country by Chocolatier Magazine and Pastry Art & Design, we’re grateful she changed her mind on becoming a flutist.  Currently, she is creating some of the city’s sweetest sensations at Batali’s Meatpacking locale.  Signature desserts include millefoglie di lamponi- a Napolean of local raspberries, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, ice wine granita and raspberry-rose gelato as well as budino di cioccolato – a chocolate pudding with chocolate streusel and whipped cream. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married with 2 little boys What did you want to be when you grew up? A Broadway singer. How...

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Pamplona Debuts Thursday…

Posted on Sep 5, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Chef Alex Urena temporarily shut the doors to his eponymous upscale Spanish restaurant, transforming the space into a casual Spanish bistro.  Another case of an avant-garde chef taking it down a notch, Urena’s stripped the chestnut tables of their tablecloths and tacked on an upfront tapas bar, replete with a panini press and meat slicer. “I’m not going to use any foam,” he tells us of Pamplona’s newly implemented menu.  “The food is much less expensive than it was at Urena.”  The bistro cuisine nods to the Northern Basque region of Spain, featuring dishes as simple as slow-cooked chicken and traditional paella.  After training extensively with both Bouley and Ferran Adria, he’s naturally inclined to sneak in his inspired technique: roasted quail gets complicated by a quail egg and serrano chips; manchego cider fritters harbor famed iberico ham. With...

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Centro Vinoteca

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 in Reviews

Centro Vinoteca. A dazzling array of dishes served up by New York’s newest celebrity chef. This is chef Anne Burrell’s domain. If you’re lucky enough to pluck a reservation, be grateful. Visible through an open kitchen, Burrell (Felidia, Savoy) dons a cowgirl skirt and a newly minted executive chef coat, her spiky-haired likeness stitched onto the sleeve. She’s the embodiment of a rock star chef: ambitious, saucy and thrilled to be making her long-awaited debut. These traits texture nearly every fearless dish on the Italian menu, a welcome detour from the garden variety trattorias of late. Owner Sasha Muniak (Gusto, Mangia) and designer Thomas Juul-Hansen (Perry Street) have morphed what was formerly Lemongrass Grill into a sleek, two-story eatery that is a tale of two restaurants. On the one hand, the neighborhood set eagerly crowds around a stylish bar,...

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Posted on Sep 1, 2007 in Reviews

The cuisine is secondary to the parade of fashionable downtowners. 335 Bowery, at Third St. (212) 505-9100 Dinner: Seven days. Breakfast and lunch: Monday through Friday. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday. CUISINE Modern Italian trattoria VIBE Casual bustle OCCASION Group dinner or date DON’T-MISS DISH Four-seasons pizza; cedar-plank-roasted sea bass. DRINK SPECIALTY Acqua di Gemma – sparkling and flat water filtered and bottled in-house, $4 a bottle. PRICE Appetizers, $5-$12; entrées, $14-$39; desserts, $3-$10. RESERVATIONS Available only to Bowery Hotel guests. So go early, and prepare to wait at the bar. As the masses descend upon this decorated spot – dripping with candles, wine bottles and chunky chandeliers – it’s become clear that Gemma has managed to wed the glamour of exclusivity with the democratic accessibility of a no-reservation policy. Owners Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode have seamlessly bridged the...

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