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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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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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Russian Tea Room

Posted on Sep 29, 2006 in Sneak Peek

150 West 57th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.)(212)581-7100Scheduled to open last week in October Okay, so I’m a food snoop.  Here’s the skinny on the Russian Tea Room to come – Gary Robins (formerly of the now defunct Biltmore Room) is set to head up the kitchen at the Russian Tea Room, which will be reinvented by the new owner, who goes only by Hussan.  Having once acted as manager at Gotham Bar & Grill, Scott Kearney is moving uptown to manage the renovated four-story space.  One of four sommeliers (one for each floor) leaked that the new Russian Tea Room will offer formal Russian & French fare, waiters to parade the space in coat tails and all, offering up over 40 vodkas (some never been offered in the US), and an impressive selection of caviars (sadly not...

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Posted on Sep 27, 2006 in Sneak Peek

I should’ve known something would go wrong. Too good to be true with no line of frenetic, yogurt-addicted women in sight, I scurried towhat would hopefully be a yogurt utopia, the potential beginning of the end of Tasti-D-Lite.  I would be the first to christen the Pinkberry machine, sample the first bite (of all three flavors).   Say it isn’t so – Pinkberry was still closed.  Exasperated, and rightfully so as it was 10:45 in the morning,  I knocked persistently until a manager inforrmed me that maybe, just maybe, they would open around 3 PM today. Door ajar, I scanned the "work in progress" and I stress "inprogress".  My bet is Pinkberry will open officially tomorrow at 11AM, but I don’t want to get my hopes up again.  Until then, there’salways Tasti-D-Lite. Until we eat again,Restaurant...

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Posted on Sep 13, 2006 in Sneak Peek

35 West 64th Street (btwn. CPW & Broadway) (212)724-8585 website CODE.TV video (with Restaurant Girl) Savory NY video   TYPE: Mediterranean-influenced French VIBE: Whimsical elegance OCCASION: A romantic affair or cheese cravings    DON’T MISS DISH: Paella spring rolls PRICE: Wine & cheese bar – tapas & tasting plates, $15-$18 (full dinner menu also available); dining room – prixe fixe, $64 for two courses, $14 each additional course (without cocktails). HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Thursday, 5 PM-11 PM; Friday & Saturday, 5 PM-11:45 PM; Sunday 5 PM-9 PM; Lunch, Saturday 11:45 AM – 2 PM. SEATING: 15 seats in wine & cheese bar; 96 in dining room; 24 in private dining room. INSIDE SCOOP: The tapas menu is also available in the main dining room. FINAL WORD: Cheese doesn’t get any better than this.  The famed Artisanal cheese cart’s...

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Cooking with Cheese: Fondue it

Posted on Aug 16, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Contributing writer: Cheese Girl aka Nadia If you love melted cheese, fondue can be heaven on earth and nearly foolproof for even the most cooking-challenged.  A fondue can be a great way to hold a farewell bash for the cheese bits and pieces that have overstayed their welcome in your fridge.  And seeing that cheese and wine can be perfectly paired, cooking with different grape varietals can lead to endless fondue recipes and even an interesting dinner party. WHAT’S IN A CHEESE FONDUE? The classic fondue consists of Gruyere, with a little Appenzeller or Emmenthal (both Swiss cheeses) and a crisp dry wine, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of cheeses and different grape varietals.  But before you go wandering too far from this reliable combination, there are a few basic FONDUE RULES TO COOK BY:...

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Robuchon's L'Atelier

Posted on Aug 9, 2006 in Sneak Peek

57 East 57th Street nr. Park Ave.(212)350-6658 After opening in Paris, Vegas & Tokyo, New York finally gets a L’Atelier of its own.  Having received three consecutive Michelin stars (which is like receiving three Oscars), Joel Robuchon was considered the "chef of the century", praised for his peerless French fare.  You might ask what took him so damn long to get here, but that would be like looking a gift horse in the mouth.  Besides, after almost retiring permanently from the restaurant business at the tender age of 51, foodies are just glad he’s back in the kitchen and officially opening for business in the Four Seasons Hotel, September 5th (reservation lines open August 15th).  But starting August 9th, L’Atelier’s open to the public for lunch & dinner on a first-come, first-serve basis. Somehow, I managed to slip inside...

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Cooking with Cheese

Posted on Aug 2, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Contributing Writer: Nadia aka Cheese GirlCheese can make a mediocre meal memorable, revive a lifeless salad or flavor a bland soup.  Does your apple pie need a little zing?  Try grating some sharp cheddar into the crust dough. Your guests will never know what hit them.  Cooking with the curds is ease, just follow a few rules of thumb I eat by: Best melting cheesesNot all cheeses melt equally. Cheeses born to melt are typically made from cow’s milk.  Alpine-style (think Gruyere) or cheddar cheeses are perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich or melted over potatoes.  While sheep’s milk cheeses (like Manchego and Pecorino) tend to separate out when heated, with the fat permanently separating from the solids, goat’s milk cheeses don’t get gooey at all, so shy away from those when it comes to melting. Cost-effective cooking Cooking...

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Drink Pink

Posted on Aug 1, 2006 in Best Of, Sneak Peek

I met a Wine Girl who’s been around the grapevine & happily volunteered to coax us through the wine list.  Without further ado: What’s the perfect summer wine for a picnic, bbq, or outdoor fine dining?  Ranging in sweetness and seriousness, there’s a ROSE to fit any fare and satisfy even the most sophisticated palate.  And rose isn’t just for ladies – real men aren’t afraid to drink pink. What is a rose? Rose wine generally comes from black-skinned grapes of any varietal (Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet, Sangiovese, etc.).  What makes rose different from red wine is the length of time the grape juice stays in contact with its skin, aka, maceration.  The grapes are first crushed, de-stemmed, then left to macerate before pressing.  The rest of the rose wine-making process is exactly the same as it is for...

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Cheese Girl: Wine & Cheese Pairing

Posted on Jul 19, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Eating a great cheese can be a palate-altering experience that can become even more blissful when paired with a great wine.  But finding the perfect pairing’s not as easy as you may think. Sure, there are plenty of cheeses and wines that get along, but I can help you find those marriages made in heaven. A great pairing happens when both the cheese and wine taste better together than they did on their own.  Maybe you started with a so-so wine, but when combined with the cheese, you can suddenly taste complexities and nuances you never thought you could coax out of that $10 bottle of vino.  Here’s how you do it: Take a piece of cheese in your mouth, throw a splash of wine on top, and mash it all together. Wait a few seconds, swallow and note...

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The Fancy Food Show

Posted on Jul 13, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Some people dream of winning the lottery, world peace, or moving to a desert island.  Me – I dream of food.  My dreams came true at this week’s Fancy Food Show, a culinary utopia of free samples & digestible inventions.  Over 100,000 exhibitors flocked to NYC from all over the world – Italy, Australia, Spain, and even Iceland (who knew they cornered the market on?)- to let us sample their goods.  From coffee to tea, all things fair trade and organic reigned at this year’s food show. Speaking of which, organic and fair trade chocolate tasting may well replace wine tasting with the Outstanding New Product Winner: Chocolove’s Chocolatour Tanzania Vintage 2005, and the entire Chocolatour vintage line of cocoa beans from different vintages & regions from all over the world (Granada & Java).  Designer bottled White Tea intends...

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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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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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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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Food News

Posted on May 30, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

The French may just start a revolution on American soil with their innovative new wine packaging that renders a cork obsolete.   French Rabbit packages their vintage-dated French wine (it actually tastes good) in Tetra Packs which will change the way we drink: Lighter than glass Holds 2 more glasses than a normal bottle of wine Easily screws shut Squeeze air out after every use & reseal Lasts up to seven days in the refrigerator 100% recycleable packaging 50 cents from each package goes to a habitat for wildlife fund in Ontario Pick your poison — French Rabbit features Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir & Merlot (my favorite was the Merlot;), $12.95...

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The Future of Food

Posted on May 24, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Stove Top Table After standing in painfully fashionable footwear all day, the last thing I want to do is hover over a stove and pretend I know how to make dinner.  Now I can kick off my shoes and cook right at my Cook N Dine table.  It’s like your own Korean barbecue, only the center of this futuristic stainless steel table conveniently sinks into a concave bowl to catch simmering sauces when heated (goes up to 430 degrees).  As if dinner never happened, the table reverts to a flat surface.  Now I just pray they invent a robotic chef that can cook for me.  A girl can dream, can’t she? Got camel’s milk? Forget about soy milk, a camel latte just might be the newest addition to the Starbuck’s roster.  The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has recently...

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Pimp My Snack

Posted on May 18, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

Forget about pimping your car, the latest craze is pimping America’s favorite junk foods. From Doritos to Hot Dogs to Snickers bars, these homemade and gi-normous calorie-ridden snacks will make your pocket-sized candy bar pale in comparison. Pimped out snacks can even square off against each other for the “Title Snack” at Pimp My Snack, where America’s Next Top Chef or Junk Food Addict can swap recipes for their favorite colossal snacks. I took a stab at the oreo. After a long night of slaving away in the kitchen, I filled the bathtub with milk and took my oreo for a swim...

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Gourmet Gossip

Posted on Apr 16, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

I can’t keep my mouth shut when it comes to food, so from now on Restaurant Girl will share any secrets going around the ole restaurant rumor mill.  This week I was tipped off that: BUDDHA BUMMER – The much anticipated opening of Buddha Bar has been once again postponed from April 19th to April 25th.   Gasp!  Alas, I can always pass the time at one of the other ginormous Asian-inspired mega-restaurants.  So put it on your calendar. PICNIC IN THE PARK – The Shake Shack has officially reopened for business with a liquor license to boot.  So grab a burger and glass of champagne, wine or beer and toast to their new extended hours (open til 9 PM).  Who else would dedicate a deliciously different custard to everyday of the month?  Check the custard calendar. (Quality Meat Three...

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