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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

Sugar-Coated Inflation

Posted on May 28, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Never mind the price of gas, has anyone else noticed the cost of honey-roasted peanuts has recently doubled from $1 to $2.  Call it Central Park inflation, the increase only effects vendors around or in Central Park.  “Do you know how much it costs to rent this cart?” a disgruntled cart Nuts 4 Nuts owner grumbles at me.  “$75,000 a year.” Apparently, this leaves Central Park vendors no choice but to raise the price of peanuts.  Curiously enough, almonds...

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Q & A With Jeffrey Chodorow

Posted on May 23, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Jeffrey Chodorow goes on record, following Adam Platt’s one-star New York Magazine review of the controversial restaurateur’s most recent project: Wild Salmon.  After calling it a wrap on English is Italian, Jeffrey flew in chef Charles Ramseyer from Seattle and a boundless supply of Pacific Northwest salmon, transforming the sizeable midtown space into a copper-gilded seafood temple. Let’s rewind a few months to Jeffrey’s Kobe Club venture.  And let’s be candid: Bruni, Platt, & Cuozzo’s collective pan of the...

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The Juice

Posted on May 22, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

It just so happens that Restaurant Girl has a sister.  While I’m usually indulging in something deliciously unhealthy, she may be indulging in the latest exercise trend, gyrotonics (no, that’s not a drink).  My sister and her partner – let’s call them the Juice Girls – have created Vital Juice Daily, a health & wellness daily email.  They’ve just returned from Chicago’s Fancy Food Show with the skinny on the latest food fashions…the healthy ones anyway. It seems cocktail...

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Gourmet Gripes

Posted on May 20, 2007 in Gourmet Gripes

Though it was hard to choose from the many grievances I’ve received this past week – apparently there are quite a few unhappy diners in NYC – this beef’s particularly close to my heart: I can’t stand when a restaurant’s host lies about how long the wait is.  I don’t know how many times a week I have to go through this.  The worst was when I went to Norma’s and they quoted me thirty minutes.  I must’ve asked...

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Q & A With Floyd Cardoz

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

When Mayor Danny Meyer appointed Floyd Cardoz to be executive chef of his fourth restaurant pursuits, he valiantly redefined New Yorker’s perception of Indian cooking.  A native of Bombay, Cardoz has managed to elevate Indian to a refined plane, seamlessly marrying local produce with exotic Indian spices.  Spice-crusted beef loin is vibrantly weaved together with pickled ramps, sweet corn, chanterelles and star anise jus.  Seared stripe bass glistens in maple-tamarind.  But Cardoz’ deft technique is not merely a fluke,...

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Seeing Double at Perilla

Posted on May 16, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Dinner was nearly ethereal at Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle’s Perilla last night, but I’ll get to that a little later in the week.  While the handsome chef remained behind closed kitchen doors, another attractive Top Chef alumni made an appearance in the front of the house.  Sam Talbot, who coincidentally parted ways with Wil & Rob Shamlian of Spitzer’s Corner that very same day as first reported by Eater, spent the evening running in and out of the...

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Posted on May 15, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 71 Spring St., btwn. Crosby & Lafayette Sts. Phone: 212.966.5050 Cuisine: French-bent global Vibe: Modern swank Scene: Euro crowd Hours: Dinner, Mon – Thu, 5:30pm – 10:30pm; Fri & Sat, 5:30pm – 11pm; Lunch, Friday, 12pm-2:30pm. First Bite Impressions: Lost in translation Price: Appetizers, $14; Entrees, $30. Reservations: Reservations recommended. Chef Didier Virot & his partner Philip Kirsh are testing their luck at NYC’s restaurant roulette again.  While Virot’s first venture notably brought refined French to the...

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Posted on May 12, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 357 Sixth Ave., at Washington Place Phone: 212.414.3088 Cuisine: Japanese/sushi Vibe: Unadorned serenity Scene: Serious sushi endeavors Hours: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 5:45pm – 11:45pm.  Closed Sundays. First Bite Impressions:  Transcendent tryst Inside Scoop: Omakase service begins later this month Note to Self: BYOB (If you forget, Waverly Liquors is nearby) Don’t Miss Dish: Steamed lobster with uni mousse Price: Appetizers, $10-20; Entrees, $20-30. Reservations: Reservations recommended. After eleven years of sushi service in an Atlanta strip mall,...

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Restaurant Buzz

Posted on May 11, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

There’s no end in sight to the continuous barrage of burger joints, designer steaks and kobe clubs.  It’s a carnivore’s dilemma…and no, I’m not speaking of ethics.  Oh no.  I’ve had many a fling with foie gras and my way with veal, so I’m most certainly game for another chop shop.  First things first: Angelo & Maxie’s has taken over the kitchen store next door with plans for a July, Angelo & Maxie’s Grill.  Of course, this means August. ...

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Gourmet Gripe

Posted on May 9, 2007 in Gourmet Gripes

Dear Restaurant Girl, “Hi, can I make a reservation for 2 for dinner please?  Sure, we can offer you 4:30pm or 12:15am.”  What planet are these people from??  That is earlier than the early bird special for Ethel and Ira in Miami Beach.  And who sits down for dinner at 12:15am?  Seriously. How about they just say we are booked and do away with these wasteland time offerings.  It is so silly and obnoxious.  Normally when they offer me...

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UES Gets Sauced

Posted on May 8, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest addition to the gimmicky food set has me recalling Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally) demanding, "I want the sauce, but only if it’s on the side."  A restaurant that actually wants to put up with New York City’s most high maintenance.  God bless him: Saucy’s chef, Simon Mann, plans to lure fickle ladies with a build-it-yourself, mix & match menu. Well, there’s certainly no better neighborhood to open this type of joint than on the Upper...

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Devin Tavern’s Spring Cleaning

Posted on May 7, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

For Devin Tavern, spring cleaning apparently means more than just cleaning out a closet or seasonally updating the menu.  Chef Christoper Dunn has officially been “let go”: gone is the “rustic” American menu and sadly those chocolate-covered potato chips I did so adore.  Alas, hopefuly chef Derrick Styczek (River Cafe) will cushion the blow with his modern american cooking.  Not one single dish has made the cut onto the new menu, which features the likes of short rib ragu...

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Q & A With The Insatiable Gael Greene

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

Gael Greene began her career in food even before New York was a city worthy of culinary reckoning.  Finding her way onto the dining scene by way of New York Magazine, she launched her column, “Insatiable Critic”, and simultaneously pioneered the very notion of a foodie.  From her infamous sexual encounter with Elvis and a fried egg sandwich to the imminent 21st century launch of, Gael’s witnessed over four decades of food history.  Unabashedly mixing business with pleasure,...

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Posted on May 3, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 137 MacDougal St., btwn. Prince & Spring Sts. Phone: 212.475.7500 Cuisine: Provencal French Vibe: Country charm Scene: An unassuming romantic Hours: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 5:30pm – 11:30pm. Inside Scoop: May 1st, Sunday night dinner begins.  Come mid-May, lunch 7 days a week. Don’t Miss Dish: Salt cod fritters First Bite Impressions: Neighborhood gem Price: Appetizers, $10; Entrees, $23. Reservations: Reservations recommended. In this freakishly fast-paced dining climate, restaurateurs often resort to convoluted fusion tactics & garish...

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Pizza Paired

Posted on May 2, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Fancy this…it seems a beer isn’t worthy of the almighty slice these days.  Then again, what do you expect when you enlist Gourmet Magazine’s wine aficionado to tweak the wine list at a pizza joint?  While obsessed oenephiles have been scientifically pairing pizza & wine for decades, it’s only in the past few years that restaurants like Batali-Bastianich’s Otto & Vincent Scotto’s Gonzo have come along to introduce aggressive wine programs.  Michael Ayoub’s Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar, a...

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Debut Gripe

Posted on May 1, 2007 in Gourmet Gripes

It has recently come to my attention that too many a restaurant grievance goes unaired: an all too apathetic server, a half-thawed hen, a mortgage-your-meal check.  After my inbox reached capacity for the 11th time, I have finally decided to make two changes. First, I finally purchased more email space, so feel free to gripe away.  But more importantly, hereon forward I will now post the most noteworthy or glaring offenses in a weekly column, deemed Gourmet Gripes.  It’s...

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So You Think You Can Cook…

Posted on Apr 30, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Apparently now you can prove it on The Food Network’s newest series, “Ultimate Recipe Showdown”.  The latest in reality tv could potentially skyrocket you into instant foodie fame…for only fifteen minutes of course.  Here’s how this colossal cook-off breaks down: CHICKEN – Whole, Fried and Soups & Stews CAKES – Chocolate, Birthday and Cupcakes COOKIES – Chocolate Chip, Spice and Bar PASTA – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna and Stuffed COMFORT FOOD – Sandwiches, Mac & Cheese and Chili BURGERS...

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Tribeca Film Festival Dinner Winner

Posted on Apr 30, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Lynne Sun has won a $100 gift certificate for dinner at Devin Tavern and two tickets to Tribeca Film Festival’s closing premiere of “The Gates” on Saturday, May 5th!  There’s still time to hobnob with Hollywood’s elite, just visit to purchase tickets. Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s Weekly...

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