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Gourmet Gala at Per Se

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 in Eating Events, Gourmet Gossip

Chef Thomas Keller will generously host the annual March of Dimes, “Gourmet Gala,” at Per Se on Tuesday, November 6th.  Gourmet’s editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, will serve as the honorary chair for this culinary tasting and kitchen tour at one of New York’s most esteemed restaurants.  To purchase tickets, visit website March of Dimes or call (212) 353-1012. Location: Per Se Address: 10 Columbus Ave., 4th floor Hours: 7pm-10pm Phone: (212) 353-1012  ...

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Bacon Hits Happy Hour

Posted on Oct 23, 2007 in Beer Bars, Best Of, Sneak Peek

This weekend we stumbled upon a truly peculiar cocktail at Double Down Saloon, the New York spin-off of an infamous Las Vegas bar.  This artful dive bar serves up a house-infused bacon vodka.  Committed to his peculiar vision, the owner has special bacon flown in from Kentucky, which he then fries up and soaks in high-quality vodka to create a “Bacon Martini” or Bloody Mary.  And if bacon vodka wasn’t sufficiently audacious, each martini is topped with a juicy stick of Slim Jim to gnaw while sipping.  Bartender Joan likens the libation to “a good scotch.” Address:14 Avenue A, just above Houston St.Phone: (212) Until we eat again,Restaurant Girl**Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s weekly...

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A Taste of Fall

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 in Eating Events, Gourmet Gossip

Experience a Taste of Fall at Taj Lounge this Tuesday, October 23rd.  Chefs Floyd Cardoz (Tabla), Kirk Johnson (Eleven Madison Park) and Johnny Cardenas (Four Seasons) will all be on hand. All proceeds will benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a non- profit organization to provide scholarships for students in the restaurant and hospitality industry.   To buy tickets, simply call (212)974-7111 or...

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City Harvest’s Bid Against Hunger

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 in Eating Events, Gourmet Gossip

City Harvest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with its annual fundraiser, Bid Against Hunger.  The fund raising goal for this year’s event is $565,000, which will help feed over 8,600 hungry New Yorkers for an entire year.  Throughout the event, 50 of NYC’s most talented chefs will be offering tastes from their finest dishes, while guests will  be able to bid on exclusive auction packages through both live and silent auctions. When: Tuesday, October 23rd VIP Reception 6:00pm 7:00pm Event Begins Where: Metropolitan Pavilion – North 125 W. 18th St., btwn. 6th and 7th Ave. Confirmed guests include: Billy Crudup, Rachael Ray, Amy Sedaris, Lauren Hutton, Michael Imperioli, Nicole Miller, Maurice Dubois and Mike Lombardi. For event inquiries, tickets or to make a donation, contact Naomi Giges at 917.351.8778 or VIP admission is available from $500-$1,000....

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Athens Tavern

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Owners Antonia Sapounakas and Nicos Gregoriou are set to introduce Athens Tavern, their contemporary Greek restaurant, to Queens this Wednesday, October 17th.  The pair are so passionate about authentic cooking, they’ve brought Michelin-starred chef Yianni Baxevanis over from Greece.  Far from the forests of Athens where he forages his own herbs, Baxevanis has created a rustic selection to highlight these imported, hand-picked seasonings. The 85-seat spot is decorated with burgundy painted walls, wood floors and Greek murals.  Homemade bread, fresh anchovies and marinated cherry tomatoes are courtesy of the house at this warm, Astoria eatery.  Appetizers include Mizythra cheese with orange and rose sauce, grilled sausages, and steamed mussels with fresh herbs.  Baxenavis’ signature dishes include rabbit with bergamot and mashed sweet potatoes; baby lamb casserole with lemon sauce; and wild greens.  Instead of the standard by the pound...

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4-Foodies at Chinatown Brasserie

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

On Tuesday October 2nd, 4-Foodies takes a trip to Chinatown for its fourth tasting event at Chinatown Brasserie: Dim Sum Du Jour. Guests will sample a variety of Cantonese specialties – shrimp dumplings, beef buns with scallions, and vegetable spring rolls – prepared by Hong Kong native Chef Ng.  Tickets can be purchased online at for $50 per person. Currently open to new members, the group holds monthly events at renowned restaurants throughout Manhattan. Where: Chinatown Brasserie When: 6-8 pm, Tuesday October 2nd Address: 380 Lafayette...

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NYC’s First-Ever Chocolate Week

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Attention all chocoholics: New York has declared its “First-Ever Chocolate Week.”  Launching Sunday, November 4th, restaurants around the city – Artisanal, Butter, Le Cirque, Country, P*ong, to name but a few – will be getting in on the action with chocolate cocktails, tastings and entire chocolate menus (sweet and savory). In conjunction with the week’s festivities, the 10th Annual Chocolate Show will be held from November 9-11 at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building (125 W. 18th Street)....

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At The Table New York

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 in Eating Events, Gourmet Gossip

On October 18th, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs hosts At The Table New York, a fundraising reception and five-course dinner in support of scholarships and internship opportunities for women in culinary careers. Participating chefs include Patti Jackson (Centovini), Anne Burrell (Centro Vinoteca) and Ivy Stark (Amalia).  Rebecca Charles (Pearl Oyster Bar) will be taking a one-night reprieval from her famed lobster roll to serve guests scallop chowder, while Nancy Olson (Gramercy Tavern)  delights with chocolate bread pudding. Tickets can be purchase online at or by phone at 1-877-927-7787. Where: 15 E. 27th St., btwn. Madison & Fifth Aves. (Prince George Ballroom) When: Thursday, October 18th Time:...

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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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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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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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Prince Street Cafe

Posted on Aug 30, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

After a five-year run as the executive chef at One If By Land, Two if by Sea, chef Gary Volkov is gearing up to launch his own eatery, Prince Street Cafe.  Veering off from the upscale dining scene, Volkov  and partner, Konstyantyn Prokoshyn (Cafe Boulud), open the doors to this casual eatery Tuesday, September 4th. The airy, 60-seat space will host a front of the house, all-day cafe, furbished with two-toned green booths that line exposed brick walls.  Here, he’ll be serving fresh-baked chocolate croissants, citrus french toast and an array of fritattas.  Through September 11th, the special house blend coffee stands at a mere 26 cents.  Ah, the good old days when coins could actually buy something other than a gumball. Gary will also be integrating the haute concept of an amuse bouche into this laid back spot...

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Hell’s Kitchen On the Rise – Lime Jungle

Posted on Aug 26, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Robert and Enrico Malto, brothers who run a smattering of neighborhood joints scattered about the city (Il Bastardo, Puttanesca and Zucchero e Pomodoro), are set to introduce a taste of Mexican to Hell’s Kitchen.  Lime Jungle, the newest addition to the fold, will be serving fresh fish tacos, homemade corn tamales and a sizable selection of empanadas.  For the carb-averse, this mexican grill also offers a “lean quesadilla” and “low carb taco” alternative. While there’s no table service at this take-out place, there will be table seating for thirty-two as well as fourteen at the counter.  Feel free to linger over frozen sangria, margaritas (mango, peach, strawberry and pomegranate), or Mexican beers.  Chef Alba Bastidias, who co-owns both Mama’s Empanadas and Papa’s Empanadas (with her husband Alberto Bastidias), will herald the kitchen at this joint.  In short, don’t skip...

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BLT Market Revealed…At Last!

Posted on Aug 13, 2007 in Sneak Peek

Laurent Tourondel has successfully done steak (BLT Steak), seafood (BLT Fish) and like everyone else, a burger joint (BLT Burger).  Now, he’s jumping on the market bandwagon with BLT Market.  A seasonal affair, BLT Market will embrace locally-sourced produce with a menu that rotates monthly.  Come fall, chef Tourondel will dabble in dishes like an arugula and dandelion salad, pan-seared striped bass with cranberry bean caponata and fennel confit, and Amish chicken Provencal.  A glimpse of the interior reveals creamy walls lined with vibrant paintings of tomatoes (an obvious nod to the market component) and bare bulb light fixtures which hang over reclaimed wood tables and chairs.  Though this appears a more casual endeavor for Tourondel, we can’t forget it’s housed in Central Park South’s Ritz Carlton. Opening its doors August 16th, BLT Market will serve dinner on a...

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First Look – Spitzer's Corner Menu!

Posted on Aug 10, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Yesterday, we got a glimpse of Spitzer’s Corner as it unfolds on the Lower East Side.  Today, we unveil the New American gastropub menu.  Without further ado…   Spitzer’s Corner Menu                            Bar Snacks Homemade Spiced Potato Chips Pork Fat Popcorn Marinated Olives Pot of Pickles Roasted Almonds Oyster Bar East and West Coast Oysters, mignonette / red cocktail sauce Small Plates Rocket Arugula Salad, grapefruit, avocado & shaved parmesan Beer-Battered Oysters, mustard cabbage slaw, herb remoulade Charcuterie Plate w/ a selection of cured meats and artisanal cheese Fried Zucchini Blossoms, ricotta, truffle oil Bacon wrapped Chicken Liver Skewers Grilled Cuttlefish, preserved lemon, ink sauce Grilled Lamb Ribs, harissa glaze Large Plates Steamed Mussels, Italian sausage, peppers, tomatoes PBLT—Crispy Pork Belly, lettuce, tomato on Challah House Burger on a brioche bun, Tillamook...

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Inside Spitzer’s Corner!

Posted on Aug 9, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Okay, so it doesn’t look like Spitzer’s Corner is opening this week, but we did manage to sneak in and take a peek at the goods.  Right this way, ladies and gentlemen… this Lower East Sider’s outfitted with reclaimed pickle barrel wood walls, long wood tables, metal chairs and two zinc bars (one per dining room).  The Shamlian brothers’ communal eatery will no doubt be a laid back social affair.  But wait there’s more… Floor-to-ceiling retractable glass windows will open up to the street, where they’ll be outdoor seating for twenty, a grand total of 120 seats at this New American gastropub.  To refresh your memory, Will & Rob Shamlian bid adieu to Sam Talbot awhile back, recruiting chef Michael Cooperman (Le Bernadin) to take over kitchen duties. Oh, we got a glimpse of the menu too: There’s a...

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Centro Vinoteca's Devilish Dish

Posted on Aug 2, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest Italian to descend on the “boot-saturated” West Village reveals a determined kitchen with ingenious little twists on food that manages not to take itself seriously.  With Felidia, Savoy and numerous stints as Batali’s sidekick on Iron Chef America, Centro Vinoteca is Anne Burrell’s solo show.  While it’s still too early in the game to jump to any conclusions, I’m compelled to bask in the sheer delight of their truffled deviled eggs.  Now twice bitten, these nibbles proved themselves to be no fluke.  Let’s break them down, shall we?  Behold, these hardboiled whites; deceptively simple groundwork for wickedly creamy puffs of black truffle-specked yolks, doused with truffle oil & sprinkled with fresh chives.  Here’s the clincher: they’re a mere $4.  I’ll never see a deviled egg quite the same way again. Address: 74 Seventh Ave., at Barrow St.Phone:...

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