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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

Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse

Posted on Apr 29, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

What was once Juniper Suite, a bi-level space in midtown, is soon to become Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse.  But before we prematurely jump ahead, I think it only appropriate to first pay our respects to the dearly departed.  Juniper Suite will be remembered for its foreshadowingly cutesy, “Finger, Fork, Spoon” menu: let this be a lesson to all restaurateurs to beware of gimmicks at all costs.  And lest we not forget owner Jerri Banks, a NYT self-proclaimed “cocktail stylist” (a...

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BLT Market Delayed

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

While the signage teases a spring awakening for BLT Market at The Ritz Carlton, all signs point to NO.  Laurent Tourondel’s newest stint, a greenmarket homage, has been pushed back to late August.  A blow to midtowners and tourists alike patiently awaiting its arrival, there is good news: outdoor dining for thirty-five.  Sure, it’s cement sidewalk seating with a view onto Central Park and horse-drawn “carriage to carriage” traffic, but in Manhattan we happily call that dining al fresco....

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Q & A with Andrew Friedman

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Having co-authored over sixteen of the best cookbooks and counting, Andrew Friedman seems content being the sideman to some of New York’s most celebrated chefs.  While we often overlook those who play the part of co-writer, chefs like Alfred Portale, Jimmy Bradley, Tom Valenti & Michael Lomonaco faithfully rely on Andrew’s seamless ability to translate their whimsical inventions into user-friendly recipes.  From beginnings as publicist with no formal food training and a serious junk food habit, Andrew jumped at...

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Wine. Dine. Donate.

Posted on Apr 25, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip ushers in Hunger Awareness Day with a weeklong series of fund-raising dinners at some of the country’s top restaurants.  What better place to launch than in New York City at Blue Hill (one of my personal favorites), Dan Barber’s ode to the Greenmarket & his own garden at Stone Farms.  Tanya Steel, editor-in chief of Epicurious, will graciously host the June 4th kickoff dinner benefiting the Food Bank of New York.  To purchase tickets for the prix fixe...

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The Insatiable Critic Goes Soft

Posted on Apr 25, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Finally available in paperback, Gael Greene dishes on what she ate and what she did between meals during the four decades that America was falling in love with food and becoming the most food-obsesed nation in the world. And to think it began with a fried egg sandwich that afternoon in Elvis’s hotel suite… Forget investing in a hard cover of this saucy tell-all, Gael’s gone soft for $13.99 available almost everywhere. Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl *Don’t...

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Tribeca Film Festival

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

  Sundance who?  Tribeca’s got its own film festival with hands-down better fare.  And even Hollywood’s vanguard has to eat (well, maybe not the slender starlets).  VIP tickets come with your own personal dining concierge & special reservations at some of Tribeca’s finest.  In celebration of this week’s festival, Tribeca Film Festival & Devin Tavern are graciously giving away a $100 gift certificate to the 50th person to email me at!   LIST OF PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS •   Blaue...

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Hog Wild at Mai House

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Come the stroke of ten, Drew Nieporent & Michael Bao Huynh’s latest riff on Modern Vietnamese, suddenly becomes a downright deal with a new 10 After 10 PM menu. While Michael’s dinnertime fare successfully elevates regional Vietnamese to a plane of elegance, the 10 After 10 PM brings it right back to its “down & dirty” beginnings in the markets of Saigon.  Blissfully peppered with wild game, pork and hog, not one of these late-night plates exceeds ten dollars:...

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Gourmet Glossary

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 in Gourmet Glossary

In honor of Balthazar’s 10th Anniversary, I’m christening Restaurant Girl’s new, weekly Gourmet Glossary with a Franco-friendly term, pulled straight from Balthazar’s menu: Dover Sole Meuniere. Meuniere – A style of cooking fish whereby it’s seasoned, dusted in flour and then sauteed or fried in butter.  Dover sole meuniere is often finished with parsley & a splash of lemon juice.  Balthazar’s take is first-rate, served as a special every Tuesday.  Feel free to send me any unfamiliar food-related terms that...

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Balthazar Celebrates its 10th Anniversary Today

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

Keith McNally’s classic French, Balthazar, became an instant success from the moment he opened the doors to this fashionably-outfitted Soho destination.  With ten years now under its belt, a separate VIP reservation line for the privileged few and a healthy all-day clientele, McNally celebrates the milestone of his baby.  In honor of its tenth anniversary, Balthazar will serve complimentary glasses of champagne at breakfast as well as an entire bottle of bubbly for both lunch & dinner crowds. With...

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Posted on Apr 19, 2007 in Reviews

The latest in a series of tapas joints to grace Manhattan kicked-off Tuesday evening after a number of setbacks and massive speculation (myself included).  Of course I had to see this with my own eyes.  Opening night and Noho’s newest resident was abuzz, brimming with tapas loyalists, gourmet groupies and trendy types.  Every chair was taken in the narrow 90-seat space, industrially-outfitted with unfinished wood tables, brick walls and an eating counter with a view into a white subway-tiled...

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Q & A with Chanterelle’s David Waltuck

Posted on Apr 18, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

A 25 year stint with no end in sight, Chanterelle has ripened into a Tribeca dining institution.  Husband-and-wife team, Karen & David Waltuck, have charmed their way into New Yorker’s hearts (not an easy task), with refined French fare & unrelenting hospitality.  Voted “Outstanding Restaurant” 2004 by the James Beard Foundation & #13 in Adam Platt’s “101 Best New Restaurants 2006“, Chanterelle shows no signs of fading anytime soon.  While the menu changes monthy highlighting seasonal and local sources,...

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LCB J.J. Rachou

Posted on Apr 17, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

“The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be,” I peculiarly hummed – yes I admit to humming – as I wandered past celebrated midtowner, LCB J.J. Rachou.  The restaurant formerly known as La Cote Basque has been “closed for renovation” for over a week.  One of the last French haunts to embrace such classics as pike quenelles, vichyssoise, escargot and good old, artery-clogging cream sauces, the aged space received a much-needed makeover in 2004.  No doubt...

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Posted on Apr 16, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

FR.OG (of French Origin) – Liquor License Achieved OPEN FOR BUSINESS – April 24th A busy day for restaurant openings, it seems FR.OG will celebrate its opening Monday, April 23rd, officially open to the public at large on Tuesday, April 24th.  Fashionably located across from Balthazar, Philip Kirsh & chef Didier Virot’s French-bent downtown venture will play host to 120 guests in a two-level space.  By way of an open kitchen, you can even watch the handsome Virot create...

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Posted on Apr 16, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip

MERCAT At long last, Mercat will finally open Tuesday, April 17th!  After a month-long delay due to gas issues with the city, the 90-seat tapas bar stage is set and hopefully ready for primetime.  Native Barcelonian Jaime Reixach plans to dish out Catalan-bent small plates, homemade sangrias and an exclusively Spanish wine list.  Through the subway-tiled kitchen, diners be able to watch chefs David Seigal (Bouley) & Ryan Lowder (Jean Georges) in action.  With fish stew & pork belly with...

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Landmarc – Delivery

Posted on Apr 16, 2007 in Gourmet Gossip, Reviews

Ladies and gentlemen, this is delivery at its finest.  Behold, what I ate for lunch… What was once a delivery ghost town just may have changed forever this fine Nor’easter afternoon as Landmarc was transported to my midtown doorstep in just under forty five minutes.  Not bad for opening day.  While I’ve never had tartare of any kind delivered, I tempted a chunky salmon tartare, washed in a lively dijon mustard and handsomely speckled with zesty lemon confit &...

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Landmarc Lands at Time Warner Center

Posted on Apr 16, 2007 in Sneak Peek

Landmarc10 Columbus Circle, 3rd floor (TWC)Hours: Open 7 days a week 7am-11pm.212.823.6123DELIVERY – 646.437.3200 Landmarc uptown officially opens today – finally.  With the success.  Landing a prime location in the Time Warner Center, Landmarc will now rub elbows with Cafe Gray, Masa, Porterhouse NY and Per Se.  That’s not too shabby for a Tribeca bistro with humble beginnings.  While deemed a "neighborhood spot", Marc Murphy & wife Pamela Schein Murphy’s Landmarc earned deserved praise for both its New American...

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Q & A With Tom Valenti

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

The Modern American Ouest finally belongs to its rightful owner, Tom Valenti, the accomplished chef behind the Upper West Side restaurant’s success.  An undeniably fickle neighborhood to open any restaurant, never mind a serious one, Tom Valenti seamlessly opened to much success and an  impressive “Best New Restaurant” nod from NYM’s Adam Platt 2002.  Cozy enough to earn the label neighborhood go-to and yet polished enough to become a regular culinary destination, Ouest offers everything from braised veal breast...

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Posted on Apr 11, 2007 in Reviews

Address: 137 East 55th St., btwn. 3rd & Lexington Aves. Phone: 212.755.7055 Cuisine: French-Moroccan Vibe: Exotic Arabian escape Scene: Euro crowd Hours: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 5:30pm- 12am.  Lounge hours, Mon – Fri, 5:30pm – 4AM, Sat. 10pm – 4am. Scoop: Multitask – shop while you imbibe in the downstairs store filled with Moroccan wares Price: Appetizers, $5-11.  Entrees, $22-34. Reservations: Reservations accepted. Ever wonder what happened to Fizz, that members-only supper club & lounge in midtown, which...

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