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  • Air’s Champagne Parlor is All About the Bubbly

    Air’s Champagne Parlor is All About the Bubbly

    Beer, wine and even cider bars abound in NYC, but Air’s Champagne Parlor is one of the few area drinkeries devoted to bubbly. To be fair, the Riddling Widow briefly preceded it, but owner Ariel Arce was actually beverage director during its tenure, as well as Birds & Bubbles before that, and Chicago’s Pops for Champagne (not to mention Grant Achatz’s exclusive, original The Office) before that.  Meaning her reputation as queen of Cuvèe absolutely proceeds her.

  • Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017

    Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017

    If you’re already mourning the loss of summer, Oktoberfest is a reliable way to get you over the hump. Essentially spanning the duration of fall (kicking off on September 16th this year & extending all the way to October 31st, allowing revelers to seamlessly transition to Halloween), the 16 to 18-day festival is a giddy saturnalia of German culture…

  • Spotlight on the Finalists for the 2017 Vendy Awards

    Spotlight on the Finalists for the 2017 Vendy Awards

    As a fun challenge to the James Beard Awards, the Vendy ceremony — now in its 13th year — is dedicated to honoring the very best in street food.  So here’s who’s in the running during the September 16th event at Governors Island; from an artisanal twinkie baker to an upstart french toast sandwich maker, to a Chinese meat skewer purveyor, whose been tapped for the Vendy Cup…

Most Recent Dish

Brunch Anyone?

Posted on Aug 7, 2007 in Best Of

Little Giant – Framed in floor-to-ceiling windows, this LES spot does justice to southern cooking.  There are so many  aces on this menu, it’s hard to choose: biscuits & gravy, a mean grilled cheese with pickles or grits.  Your best bet – the trucker’s breakfast – where you can maximize the spread: scrambled eggs, sausage, hand-sliced bacon, mushrooms, gravy and molasses baked beans. Address: 85 Orchard St., at Broome Phone: 212.226.5047 202 at Nicole Farhi –  A cafe smack...

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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...

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Q & A With Amanda Freitag

Posted on Jul 31, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Anything but your boilerplate neighborhood Italian, Gusto’s outfitted in sleek black and white decor with Missoni striped barstools & vintage Viennese chandeliers.  Owner Sasha Muniak (Mangia & Centro Vinoteca) not only has an eye for design, but also talented chefs to implement this West Village spot’s seasonally-determined menu.  While Gusto debuted with Jody Williams, Amanda Freitag has skillfully stepped in, bringing her Mediterranean sensibilities to the table.  With a CIA education and considerable experience in some of New York’s...

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Dish of the Week

Posted on Jul 30, 2007 in Sneak Peek

As I plow through the perpetual blizzard of new eateries, I’ve discovered many a dish that aught be devoured immediately.  Thus, I’m officially kicking off my newly inducted weekly edition of “Dish of the Week”, or in this particular case…dessert.  Seeing that summer’s in full and much of the New York dining set have, for better or worse, made the Hamptons their weekend escape, I’ve sifted through the lot and happened upon a dessert so divinely dreamy it’s just...

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Revel’s Garden

Posted on Jul 25, 2007 in Al Fresco Dining, Best Of, Reviews

I’ll admit: The Meatpacking District has most recently evoked unfortunate memories of emasculated steaks at STK, inebriated hordes swarming Tenjune and many a wintry night battling for a taxi.  Revel has revived my hope for sanctuary in the midst of the madness.  Once known only as the “Bar With No Name”, this spot has recently gotten an actual name, a menu and a phone number to boot. Call me old-fashioned, but personally I’m partial to the reservation system and...

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Q & A With Alex Guarnaschelli

Posted on Jul 24, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Although Butter is no doubt better known for its swanky downstairs lounge, a nocturnal playground for the glitterati & New York’s trendiest, but if you venture above ground, you’ll happen upon a serene, forested landscape with an accomplished chef, modestly dazzling diners with her New American menu.  Since 2005, Alex Guarnaschelli has put a unique spin on the driven, green market cuisine at this East Village spot.  As the daughter of successful cookbook author, Maria Guarnaschelli, food seems to...

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Chefs & Champagne Does the Hamptons

Posted on Jul 23, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Some of Manhattan’s finest chefs jetsetted to the Hamptons for the weekend to partake in James Beard Foundation’s illustrious Chefs & Champagne 2007.  There was double cause to pop the bubbly as this year’s festivities toasted both Charlie Trotter and the 20th Anniversary of The James Beard Foundation. As the sun set over Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, foodies, socialites and the restaurant elite – Joe Bastianich, Steve Hanson & Martha Stewart – feasted on a lush spread of...

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Thai Select

Posted on Jul 22, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 472 9th Ave., at 36th Street Phone: 212-695-9920 Cuisine: Modern Thai Vibe: Buddhist-Zen Hours: Sun-Thu: 11:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat: 11:30am-12am First Bite Impressions: Unexpected delight Note to Self: Order the mojito Don’t Miss Dish: Tamarind Duck- Crispy duck served with smoked tamarind soy sauce over a bed of baby bok choy Price: Appetizers, $5-10; Entrees, $9-18. Reservations: Reservations recommended. A diamond in the rough you might say, at 36th Street & 9th Avenue there lives a quaint and nondescript new...

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Posted on Jul 20, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 406 E. 64th Street, at 1st Ave. Phone: 212.750.0434 Cuisine: American Nouveau Scene: Upper Eastsiders Hours: Dinner, Mon-Sun, 5:30pm-11pm; Lunch, Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm; Brunch, Sun 11am-3pm. First Bite Impressions: Simply inconsistent Don’t Miss Dish: Salt Cod and Gnocchi Ragout Don’t Bother Dish: Bay Shrimp and Chorizo Risotto, Proscuitto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Price: Appetizers, $11; Entrees, $25. Restaurant Girl Rates: 6 for food, 6 for atmosphere Reservations: Accepted & recommended for prime-time. Tucked into a quiet railroad-style nook on Manhattan’s Upper...

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Spitzer’s Corner Elects a Chef…Finally

Posted on Jul 19, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Though Top Chef heartthrob Sam Talbot was initially slated to oversee the kitchen at the soon-to-be Spitzer’s Corner, that die was shortly uncast after supposed diva-like behavior from the TV celebrity chef. Enter Chef Michael Cooperman (formerly of Le Bernadin glory), to finesse the American gastropub fare with a destination-worthy raw bar.  Things are looking good for Will & Rob Shamlian’s imminent eatery, pleasingly outfitted with zinc countertops, retractable glass awnings & plenty of outdoor seating. Spitzer’s Corner intends...

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Q & A With Pichet Ong

Posted on Jul 17, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

On the eve of P*ONG’s official New York Times review, we thought it supremely apropos to check in with Pichet Ong, the owner & executive chef of NYC’s newest dessert bar.  Who knows how many stars Bruni’s willing to stamp on this sleek Chelsea nook, but the zealous pastry set have already given Ong an overwhelming nod of approval.  Unlike other pastry bandwagoners, Ong doesn’t rest on his sweet creations, but instead does an impressive job with the savory...

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Dylan’s Candy Bar Heads to East Hampton

Posted on Jul 13, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Summer just got sweeter as Dylan’s Candy Bar launches the first in a series of mini candy bars on Main Street in East Hampton.  What was Nuts About Chocolate – a long-standing candy store in the chic village of East Hampton – is officially set to morph into Dylan’s premiere candy bar on August 4th.  Dylan, the candy girl herself, tells us, “there will be more to boutique venues to come in the imminent future: Miami, Austin, resort towns...

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Townline BBQ in Previews

Posted on Jul 13, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The moment has finally arrived; well, almost.  While Townline BBQ doesn’t officially open to the public until July 19th, we’ve managed to get our hands on the menu.  But first, let’s do a little background check: Owner Mark Smith & executive chef Joe Realmuto (of Nick & Toni’s Hamptons fame) set out on an extensive roadtrip across Texas to sample the Lone Star State’s best barbecue joints. After doing their proper due diligence – pitmaster Joe Realmuto completed an...

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Q & A With April Bloomfield

Posted on Jul 12, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

There’s been much ado about The Spotted Pig, the West Village’s perpetually packed gastropub, that spawned a trend in militantly seasonal comfort food spots.  With a massive spread of all things offal, masterful ricotta gnudi and a greatly sought-after Roquefort burger, Ken Friedman & Chef April Bloomfield has indeed taken New York City by storm. (Not an easy feat).  Bloomfield seamlessly mingles Italian cooking with simple bar food techniques, resulting in anything from a slow-roasted beef shin with polenta...

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Fancy Food Show: Part Two

Posted on Jul 11, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Not to sound ungrateful for thousands of free samples – nearly every girl’s dream – but after awhile, olives & energy drinks just don’t mix.  The circus has officially left town: after sorting through the goodies, I suppose it’s time to ponder the future of food: 1)  Vegetarians may no longer give caviar the cold shoulder; Sea Gem Caviar has unveiled an entirely seaweed-based line of kelp caviar.  Sure, we’d prefer beluga to salmon-flavored eggs, but seeing as we’ve...

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Saju Attempts To Downplay a Chef Switcheroo

Posted on Jul 10, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Midtown’s Hotel Mela hopes to lure midtowners to upscale French-inflected Vietnamese at newly-minted restaurant Saju.  Co-owner & restaurateur Phillippe Bernard plays up the cuisine’s traditional emphasis: green papaya & shrimp salad, pho bo and lemongrass tiger shrimp.  What used to be headline-worthy is now just par for the course as Saju waits with countless others for the city’s approval to wheel & deal in alcohol.  However, this may prove quite NEWSWORTHY: insider intelligence reveals debut strife as the original...

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Fancy Food Show: Part One

Posted on Jul 10, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

The 53rd Summer Fancy Food Show was nothing less than utter madness, but really, what do you expect when you combine food, free samples and thousands of people?  After sifting through the newest wreckage in gourmet junk foods, olive oils and chocolates, we managed to stumble upon quite a few notables that just may change the face of food as we know it: 1) Artisanal Chips – The British are coming…one potato chip at a time.  Tyrrell’s home-grown &...

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Summer’s Best: The Simple Things in Life

Posted on Jul 9, 2007 in Best Of, Holiday Eats

As I basked in one of summer’s simplest pleasures – Carvel’s soft serve vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles while staring into a store freezer filled with Fudgie The Whale cakes – I realized we sometimes forget the edible warhorses that have transcended the very notion of food fads.  And before I descend into the chaos that is the Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center to uncover the latest fashions, I thought it only appropriate to honor...

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