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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

Porter House New York

Posted on Oct 22, 2006 in Reviews

10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center) (212)823-9500 website TYPE: American steakhouse VIBE: Simple elegance OCCASION: A business dinner or romantic dinner DON’T MISS DISH: Porterhouse Steak DON’T BOTHER DISH: Ginger Carrots DRINK SPECIALTY: American-focused Wine List PRICE: $60 & up HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Thursday 5 PM – 10:30 PM; Friday & Saturday, 5 PM – 11 PM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations recommended. INSIDE SCOOP: Order a Diamond Cain RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  6.5 (good to very good) FINAL WORD: With...

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Restaurant Girl Rewards – Dinner at HQ

Posted on Oct 19, 2006 in Gourmet Gossip

With so little time and so many great restaurants in New York City, I can’t possibly sample every food gem.  So, I’d love to hear your favorite restaurant, and in return, I’m giving away a FREE DINNER for two at HQ in Soho, awarded two stars by both The New York Observer and The Daily News.  HQ chef and owner Terrance Cave, formerly of Blue Ribbon & Metrazur, prepares refined American cuisine in a casually chic setting.  All you...

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Posted on Oct 18, 2006 in Reviews

53 West 19th Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.) (212)255-4160 TYPE: Regional Spanish cuisine VIBE: Sleek cervezeria OCCASION: A festive group dinner or low maintenance dinner DON’T MISS DISH: Paella Valenciana DON’T BOTHER DISH: Lamb shank with yogurt DRINK SPECIALTY: Exclusively Spanish wines PRICE: $35 & up HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 11 AM until midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 AM until 2 AM. RESERVATIONS: No reservations accepted. Get a drink at the bar and prepare for a surmountable wait. ...

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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...

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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...

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Core 191

Posted on Oct 9, 2006 in Reviews

191 Orchard St. (near Houston St.) (212)228-9888 Menu TYPE: Seasonal American tapas VIBE: Masculine dining lounge OCCASION: LES pre-party fare, group dinners, private parties  DON’T MISS DISH: Hanger steak DON’T BOTHER DISH: Tuna crudo PRICE: $35 (with a cocktail) HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Sunday, 4 PM – 12 AM; Late-night menu, Monday through Sunday, 12 AM – 2:AM; Brunch, Saturday & Sunday, 12 PM – 3 PM. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 6.5 SEATING: 50 seats in the dining room; 40...

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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...

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Posted on Oct 3, 2006 in Reviews

57 East 57th Street (between Park & Madison Aves.) (212)350-6658 Menu Savory NY Video TYPE: Modern French cuisine VIBE: Contagiously spirited fine dining with a casual flair OCCASION: An indulgent splurge, romantic dinner, or gastronomic adventure  DON’T MISS DISH: Poached baby kusyu oysters in echire butter DON’T BOTHER DISH: Truffled mashed potatoes PRICE: $100 (with a cocktail) & up; $160 for the discovery tasting menu HOURS: Dinner, Monday through Sunday, 6 PM – 12AM; Lunch, Monday through Sunday, 11:30...

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Posted on Sep 29, 2006 in Dessert, Reviews

7 West 32nd Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.) (212)695-9631 Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 11 AM – 11PM daily NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Though curiously under wraps, I managed to coax owner Daihwan Choi into divulging that the medium (8 oz.) is 200 calories.  All of the yogurt here is non-fat, but carbs have yet to be disclosed. INSIDE SCOOP: Pinkberry hopes to open locations on the UES (82nd & 2nd Ave.), Nolita (Prince & Mulberry), and Meatpacking...

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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...

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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...

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Goblin Market

Posted on Sep 27, 2006 in Reviews

199 Prince Street (btwn. Sullivan & MacDougal) (212)375-8275 Savory NY video TYPE:New American cuisine VIBE: A cozy,rustic Victorian OCCASION: A boutique retreat or low-key neighborhood eats  DON’T MISS DISH: Creamy shrimp risotto DON’T BOTHER DISH: Maryland crab cakes PRICE: $35 (with a cocktail) HOURS: Dinner, Sunday – Thursday, 5:30- 11 PM, Friday – Sat. 5:30-12 AM; Lunch, Monday – Friday 12-3 PM (starting October 2nd); Brunch, Sat.-Sun., 11 AM-3 PM, Monday through Wednesday, 5 PM-2 AM; Thursday-Saturday 5 PM-4...

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Chat Noir

Posted on Sep 22, 2006 in Reviews

In the spirit of not just eating, but also of dining out in support of restaurant newcomers, who have chosen to brave the joyfully overpopulated restaurant world in hopes of making an impression on the city’s fickle palate, I snuck a peek at two of fall’s newest food arrivals: Chat Noir & Goblin Market.  Both of these two newbies, smaller than the recent crop of mega-restaurants and thankfully devoid of over the top decor and staff with headsets, make...

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Posted on Sep 19, 2006 in Reviews

243 West 14th Street (betwn. 7th & 8th Aves.) (212)620-0077 TYPE: Global cuisine VIBE: Moody Meatpacking (sans the velvet rope) OCCASION:  Dining in packs or “seal the deal” late-night with a cocktail and dessert DON’T MISS DISH: Honey’s ceviche trio DON’T BOTHER DISH: Paella tapas & apple cobbler PRICE: $40 (with a cocktail) HOURS: Monday through Wednesday, 5 PM-2 AM; Thursday-Saturday 5 PM-4 AM; Sunday 5 PM-12 AM. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 6 (above average) SEATING: 90 seats & private...

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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...

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FIKA – NYC’s First Swedish Espresso Bar

Posted on Sep 7, 2006 in Reviews

41 West 58th Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Ave.) (212)832-0022 Website TYPE: Swedish espresso bar VIBE: Sleek coffee oasis OCCASION: A fika (Swedish for coffee break) DON’T MISS PASTRY: Vanilla dreams cookie DON’T MISS CHOCOLATE: Dark chocolate-covered lingonberry PRICE: $2-4 for coffee; $2-4 for chocolates & pastries; $8-10 for a sandwich or salad HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 7 AM-9 PM; Sunday 7 AM-6 PM. SEATING: No tables, just 7 generous counter seats and take-out. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  9...

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BAMN Automat

Posted on Aug 30, 2006 in Reviews

BAMN 37 St. Mark’s Place (btwn. 2nd & 3rd Aves.) (212)358-7685 TYPE: Asian-style fast food VIBE: Bright lights, big city, fast food OCCASION: Late night pit stop DON’T MISS DISH: Roasted pork buns DON’T BOTHER DISH: Grilled cheese PRICE: $1-$2.50 per dish, $6 for two orders & a drink. HOURS: 25 hours (whatever that means), seven days a week. RESERVATIONS: No reservations INSIDE SCOOP: It’s standing room only. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  6 (for fast food) FINAL WORD: Eat...

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