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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

Omido on the Rise

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

It’s about time someone step up and open a nonchain restaurant in the gastronomically-challenged desert that is Midtown West.  Amidst a blizzard of Starbucks & Cosi types, a new sushi spot will soon grace the forlorn area with its raw wares.  Owner Udi, former manager of Sushi Samba on Park, has migrated uptown to launch Omido, a sushi house of his very own.  A departure from their usual industrial chic design, AvroKo has stepped in to transform the former...

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Park Avenue Summer

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 100 E. 63rd. St., at Park Ave. Phone: 212.644.1900 Cuisine: Summer-inspired American Scene: Mixed bag Hours: Dinner, Sun-Thu, 5:30-11pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-11:30pm; Lunch, Mon-Fri, 11:30am- 3pm; Brunch, Fri & Sat, 11am-3pm. First Bite Impressions:  Splendidly summer Don’t Miss Dish: Soft shell crabs with strawberries, soy & avocado Price: Appetizers, $16; Entrees, $32. Reservations: Accepted & recommended for prime-time. Park Avenue Cafe had fallen into the category of steadfast old-timers, wrestling with the demands of a new generation...

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Q & A with Terrance Brennan

Posted on Jun 28, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Terrance Brennan pioneered the European cheese course at his Upper West Side institution, Picholine, single-handedly priming the American palate for a future of cheese worship.  After laying the groundwork at this haute French Mediterranean, he aggressively furthered the fromagerie movement with French brasserie, Artisanal, a sanctuary for all cheese-laden dining endeavors.  Still, aside from his gossamer cheese menus, it’s his culinary talents that have gained him the most recognition, receiving three stars from The New York Times.  His decadent...

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Brunch in Provence

Posted on Jun 27, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Let the critics say what they will about Soho’s recently rescued French bistro, Provence.  I, for one, immediately succumbed to the irresistible charms of the romantic, countryside aesthetics.  Besides, Marc Meyer & Vicki Freeman are having no problem packing the room with neighborhood types, lovers and long-time loyalists.  Now, Provence has just introduced a weekend brunch menu, their stellar raw bar fully in tote.  Who can resist the allure of oysters and a rose on a Sunday afternoon?  Well,...

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Customized Cocktails With A Cherry on Top

Posted on Jun 25, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Just one of the novel flourishes bestowed upon the clientele at the restaurant formerly known as Park Avenue Cafe, presently Park Avenue Summer for those of you that didn’t get the memo, reveals itself as a do-it-yourself bar.  Perhaps the first of its kind in New York City, you can have your way…with your cocktail.  While you don’t have to do any of the actual work other than stroll over to a newly sleek, wood-topped bar with ice pockets...

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Mercat Negre: Black Market Bites

Posted on Jun 24, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

You might remember when this anticipated tapas joint finally opened its Noho doors in April.  Now that Mercat‘s (see my first bite review) happily settled into a local neighborhood groove and ironed out a few debut wrinkles, owner Jaime Reixach’s ready to mine another fashionable restaurant trend – the “underground restaurant”.  The mystery of exclusivity’s irresistible: unpublished phone numbers, subterranean hideaways and secret entrances.  It’s what makes holding table court in La Esquina and Waverly Inn so tragically satisfying. ...

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Posted on Jun 21, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 165 Allen St., btwn. Rivington & Stanton Sts. Phone: 212.253.8840 Cuisine: “Freestyle” Latin American & Spanish Scene: Island chic Hours: Dinner, Sun-Thu, 5:30-11pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-12pm; Brunch, Fri & Sat, 10am-5pm. First Bite Impressions: An admirable work in progress with a truly inspired cocktail menu Don’t Miss Dish: Ecuadorian seafood stew Price: Appetizers, $13; Entrees, $25. Reservations: Reservations accepted. Chef-owner Maximo Tejada (Patria & Lucy) & restaurateur Hector Sanz couldn’t have chosen a more favorable season to...

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Varietal’s Last Breaths

Posted on Jun 18, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Not really a shock to those that have followed the restaurant drama that is Varietal, it seems nearly lights out for owner Gregory Hockenberry’s oenophilic love song.  Nearly…as the front bar remains open for now.  “We’ll see how that goes for awhile,” Gregory comments.  Even Chef Wayne Nish’s menu overhaul can’t save this Chelsea spot from inevitable doom.  Opening a self-consciously sleek restaurant in a gastronomic ghost town isn’t exactly a foolproof formula for success.  The Eater Deathwatch Committee...

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Savoy’s Summer Clambake

Posted on Jun 15, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

While I’m usually unsusceptible to gimmicks of the restaurant sorts, I’ll happily fall for the “Clam Bake” menu at Savoy again.  Especially when there’s an endless supply of rose in the mix.  For the second year, this Soho spot offers a $60 special that features clams on the half shell, Montauk Pt. lobster and a happy peach & blueberry cobbler ending ($45 for the rose-averse).  Either way, you aught not pass up this deal as Chef Peter Hoffman has...

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Q & A with Scott Conant

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

Best known for his mastery of Italian cooking, Scott Conant auspiciously implemented worthy menus at both L’Impero &  Alto.  But after his recent split from partner Chris Cannon, he bid adieu to both kitchens and ventured off on his own.  Thankfully, he’s resurfaced at retired Conde Nast CEO Steve Florio and partner Larry Baum’s casual Sag Harbor trattoria, Tutto Il Giorno, where beachgoers are already flocking for his signature truffle-crowned polenta & branzino tartare.  But that seems just the...

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Branzini’s All but a Memory

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

It seems we’ve lost this airy, small plates osteria and not to the Department of Health’s recently aggressive wrath.  Situated in The Library Hotel, chef Rick Moonen had provided shelter from the storm of Grand Central with a Mediterranean-bent menu, that once offered risotto rice croquettes and shellfish pappardelle.  Alas, no more.  The owners of Bookmark, The Library’s 14th floor bar, will be opening a bistro in its wake by the end of summer. Address: 299 Madison Ave., at...

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Summer’s Best Cocktails

Posted on Jun 11, 2007 in Best Of, Holiday Eats

It’s summer.  Perhaps time to mix things up, maybe switch out that vodka martini for a minty mojito or opt for lillet over rose.  There’s plenty of summery elixirs to be had in New York and with the onslaught of serious cocktail chefs around every corner, you’re bound to stumble upon a fresh-squeezed concoction.  You just have to know where to hunt the best down, so here’s a list of the latest & greatest summer cocktails around town…  ...

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Hill Country

Posted on Jun 9, 2007 in Reviews

If opening night is any indication of Hill Country’s big city debut, New Yorkers are rolling out the welcome wagon for the newest in barbecue.  This generous bi-level space on the outskirts of the Flatiron District, embraces its down & dirty southern roots with Western accoutrements, unfinished wood floors, communal tables and Americana signage.   First-time restaurateur Marc Glosserman, an ambitious Jew from nowhere near the Lone Star state (Maryland), has wisely recruited Queens pitmaster Robbie Richter and “lady of...

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Posted on Jun 7, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 9 Jones St., near W.4th St. Phone: 212.929.6868 Cuisine: Asian-influenced American Scene: Irresistibly bustling gem Hours: Dinner, Mon-Thu, 5:30-10:30pm, Fri & Sat 5:30-11pm, Sundays, 5-10pm. First Bite Impressions: Ethereal experience Note to Self: Order spicy duck meatballs Don’t Miss Dish: Langoustines in sweet peppercorn sauce Price: Appetizers, $11; Entrees, $25. Reservations: Reservations essential. The secret’s indisputably out on Top Chef Harold Dieterle and his gracious partner Alicia Nosenzo’s first restaurant endeavor as prime time reservations at this month-old...

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Q & A with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony

Posted on Jun 5, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

On the eve of Frank Bruni’s reconsideration of Gramercy Tavern post-Colicchio, I bring you the new chef in question: Michael Anthony.  Who knows what’s in the New York Times stars for Danny Meyer’s distinguished New American?  I doubt it will make it any less impossible to secure a reservation at the “Zagat’s most popular” restaurant in New York City.  Fresh from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Daniel & March, Michael brings his delicate  sensibilities to the rustic barnyard fare. ...

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Summer Dining Al Fresco

Posted on Jun 3, 2007 in Best Of

Seeing as summer’s officially arrived, I’d say we’re due for an al fresco dining roundup. Afterall, we should seize these few precious months of sunny days and balmy nights.  Albeit cement sidewalks & fire escapes dangling from above may not be your idea of romance, but it’s New York City and there’s a boundless supply of great restaurants to be had.  My top ten picks for summer: Falai – Former Le Cirque chef Iacopa Falai has built a successful...

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Q & A with Seamus Mullen

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

Chef Seamus Mullen, who cooked at NYC’s Brasserie 8 1/2, Crudo and some of Spain’s best kitchens, brought a uniquely seasonal and ingredient-driven approach to the authentic Spanish cuisine at Boqueria. The perpetual wait at the sleek new Flatiron eatery suggests he must be doing something right – so does the two stars he received from the New York Times.  Perhaps, it’s the simply prepared quail eggs with chorizo or a delightful snarl of cuttlefish seasoned with apple, plump...

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Scott Conant Summers in Tutto Il Giorno

Posted on May 30, 2007 in Reviews

New York City’s loss tastes a lot like Sag Harbor’s gain as Scott Conant resurfaces at the beach.  After his recent split with partner Chris Cannon, Conant made an exit from the kitchens of L’Impero & Alto.  But before parting, he left his mark as a capable Italian chef with a clientele so loyal they followed him all the way to a quaint new eatery overlooking the Sag Harbor Marina.  Co-owners Larry Baum & retired Conde Nast CEO Steve...

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