September 10, 2010 § Leave a Comment
As promised, here is your John Dory update as of October 26th. And the news is good.
Chef April Bloomfield and partner Ken Friedman are set to open The John Dory Oyster Bar in The Ace Hotel, at the corner of 29th and Broadway, where they also run the always-busy Breslin, on Monday, November 1st. New York Magazine‘s Grub Street Blog has just posted the news along with a sampling of the menu. The NY Mag listing includes the address and phone number for the yet-to-open eatery. The wait appears to be over.
For a little more detail, Metromix New York has this to say:
After abruptly shuttering upscale seafood spot The John Dory last year, April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman are back at it with more oysters and less aquariums, this time at the uber-hip Ace Hotel. Diners can look forward to nibbling house-cured anchovies with sea salt and butter, pickled oysters and lots and lots of fresh seasonal mollusks: Pemaquid, Wellfleets, Miyagis, Olympias and the list goes on.
NBC New York’s Feast blog was given a sneak peak at at the work-in-progress. Check out the site for their take for photos of the construction and their take on the soon-to-open eatery (they too peg it at mid-October).
I, for one, can’t wait. And, given the interest in this topic, many of you can’t either.
But, alas, there is another update from New York Magazine, posted online on September 26th. They’ve published a profile of April Bloomfield, “Of Pig Snouts and Headcheese: April Bloomfield taught us to eat everything.” It’s part of their Who Runs New York? issue. In the article, author Lisa Taddeo reports that the John Dory Oyster Bar will open in early November. Stay tuned…
- TONY’s fall preview blowout: 80 reasons to eat out this season (timeoutny.com)
- Fall Restaurant Preview: What’s Opening This Season (nytimes.com)
August 30, 2010 § Leave a Comment
New York Magazine’s “Fall Preview” issue hit newsstands this week. It’s chock full of the movies, television shows, art exhibits, books, restaurants, music, dance, and, yes, theater, set to hit the cultural radar. While pretty much all of it is of interest (a visit to Mario Batali’s just-opened Eataly is on my agenda, as is Martin Scorcese’s Boardwalk Empire to air on HBO, and about, oh, a dozen movies), today is all about the theater. By all accounts, this fall’s harvest appears to be a good one.
Below is a sampling of what’s available. To see New York Magazine’s complete list, “Theater: The Twenty”, click here.
The Transplants – two of last season’s Off-Broadway and Central Park hits have made the move to Broadway:
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson - Jacobs Theatre; in previews September 20, opening October 13.
The Merchant of Venice - Broadhurst Theatre; in previews October 19, opening November 7.
From the London Stage:
Mrs. Warren’s Profession – American Airlines Theatre; in previews September 3, opening October 3.
Brief Encounter – Roundabout at Studio 54; in previews September 10, opening September 28.
The Pitmen Painters – Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; in previews September 14, opening September 30.
La Bete - Music Box Theatre; in previews September 23, opening October 14.
From the Cinema:
Driving Miss Daisy - Golden Theatre; in previews October 7, opening, October 25.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark - Foxwoods (formerly Hilton) Theatre; in previews November 14, opening December 21.
The Little Foxes – New York Theatre Workshop; in previews September 10, opening September 21.
Angels in America – Peter Norton Space; in previews September 14 (Part I) and September 16 (Part II), opening October 28.
Gatz – Public Theater, in previews September 26, opening October 6.
Orlando – Classic Stage Company; October 9.
In the Wake – Public Theatre; in previews October 19, opening November 1.
Metamorphosis – BAM Harvey Theatre; November 30 – December 5.
And, I would add:
Time Stands Still – The Cort Theatre; in previews September 23, opening October 7 (because I missed it the first time around).
January 12, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It’s January. Depending on where you live, it’s cold out (actually, there aren’t many places that it’s not cold out). And unless you’ve got a warm-weather winter getaway planned, you have at least three months before you can store the winter coat, eat outside, and dip your toe in water that’s not in a bathtub. This might leave you wondering, just what is there to be happy about?
New York Magazine has the answer, 50 of them to be exact, in their current piece “50 Steps to Simple Happiness.” The list was created with New Yorkers in mind but, in large part, is just as applicable to denizens of Chicago and Topeka and London and Toronto.
For example, no matter where you live you can buy dark chocolate and eat one ounce per day (#16), have more sex (#13), get up and move around every 30 minutes (#44), improve your posture (#32), and make your bed in the morning (#2).
Other suggestions can easily be adapted to your current locale: (#41) “Never clean your plate at a restaurant” is critical in the Big Apple, given the frequency with which New Yorker’s dine out, but is great advice no matter where you live; (#39) “Spend time with animals” by volunteering at a shelter; or (#14) “Disappear into a fluffy road and comfy slippers” for a relaxing spa day.
I would add a few of my own: smile more, listen to more music more which may cause you to dance more (never a bad thing), spend more time with giggling children.
Read it and be happy!
January 8, 2010 § Leave a Comment
New York Magazine has just published it’s annual guide to the city’s restaurant scene, “Where to Eat 2010.” If you’re a foodie, this is for you.
Writer Adam Platt breaks down the vast array of dining options into categories, such as “Hotel Chic: A return to the days when great restaurants were affiliated with grand hotels,” “Seafood Renaissance: Food pundits were wrong about the death of the grand old seafood restaurant,” and “Recession Specials: Deals and bargains on steaks, noodles, and sandwiches.”
Don’t miss “Best New Restaurants of the Year,” “Best Cocktails,” “Best New Chefs,” “Trends We’re Tired Of,” and “Best Desserts,” as well as, “the Complete Where to Eat Directory” at the bottom of the page.
December 10, 2009 § 2 Comments
This is the third, and final, installment of “It’s Amore: Italian Restaurants & New York.” There really is a love affair between the city and good Italian fare. Here is the last batch. Most are downtown, but there are a few on the Upper East and Upper West sides. As in the previous two postings, each restaurant name is linked to its web site, or to the New York Magazine listing if no web site is available. Check out the sites or OpenTable for details and reservations.
Peasant – This is a fantastic Tuscan-Italian spot that has been serving NoLita locals and tourists alike for ten years. In a modern, but warm brick-lined, dimly lit space with an open fire for cooking in the back, you’ll be able to feast on Tonno Con Ceci Neri, Anatra Con Fagioli, or Barbabietola E Gorgonzola to start. As a main, I like Spaghetti Alle Vongole or the Orecchiette Con Cime Di Rape, if you’re in the mood for pasta, and Orata Alla Griglia (fish) or Agnello Con Polenta (lamb) if you’re not. The wine list is excellent and the wait staff will help you make your selection. Warning: Even if you’re off bread, you will find it hard to resist their chewy Italian pane served with complementary ricotta cheese. And if you’re looking for a Kelly Ripa Italian favorite, this is one of her spots (along with Ciano, as well as Mercer Kitchen, La Esquina, Catch, Abe & Arthur’s, The Dutch and Buddakan, which are also great, but they’re not Italian so they’re not on the list).
Downtown Cipriani – Yes, Cipriani’s. There is no more coveted a spot than an outdoor table on the tiny sidewalk patio on West Broadway. This is all about seeing and being seen. The food is excellent too which, despite sky high prices, makes it a tough reservation. You have to start with a Bellini, served for the first time in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice. To eat, try the Prosciutto crudo from Parma or Baby artichoke salad and avocados and shaved parmesan. For main, your choice … you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Giorgione – On the western edge of Soho, this is a gem of a find. I love everything about the place: the food, the wine, the service, the space. I took a good friend in from San Francisco and we couldn’t stop talking about it for days. The Insalata di Fave was one of the reasons. Order it. Or if you prefer, try the Carciofi alla Giudia or Tonno con Avocado e Rugola. We had pastas for our mains (mainly to save room for dessert): Bucatini all’ Amatriciana and Risotto Giorgione. Now, assuming you can manage a bite or two of something sweet, you can try the Pera Cotta or Crostata Rovesciata alle Mele or one of their choices of Gelato. The wine list is expansive and offers reasonably-priced options. It’s worth the trip.
Upper East Side
Accademia di Vino – This is a newer addition to the Manhattan restaurant scene, but a good one. Both the wine bar and restaurant serve a broad selection of hot and cold antipasti, carpaccio, tartare, and crudo, salumi, formaggi, pizza alla griglia, pasta (primi), and fish, chicken, beef (secondi), and, of course, wine. Prices are reasonable and the atmosphere lively and inviting.
Elio’s – An old-school Italian neighborhood favorite – and another one of Regis Philbin’s favorite restuarants – Elio’s is an Upper East Side staple. Think dark wood, a friendly bar, sconces for lighting, along with a classic Northern Italian menu, a vast wine list, and excellent service. You might like the Shrimp & White Bean Salad or Fried Zucchini to start. If you’re with a group, order an antipasti platter. Scaloppine Piccata and Marsala are both good choices, as is the Broiled Veal Chop. Ditto any of the pastas. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.
Upper West Side
Gabriel’s Bar & Restaurant – Excellent Northern Italian cuisine on the Upper West Side. Within walking distance to Lincoln Center, this is a perfect spot for a meal pre-/post-theater or opera. I took my parents before seeing South Pacific and we all enjoyed the food and the service. Starters are all good, but to narrow the field, Octopus Carpaccio, Field Mache and Beets, and Baby Arugula are noteworthy. For pastas, try the Pappardelle with duck ragu, Ravioli Zucca, or Gnocchi, and for mains Marinated Lamb Chops, Grilled Sea Bass, and Sea Scallops are good choices. And save room for the Italian Style Rice Pudding. You won’t be sorry. Note: they do not take reservations online.
Bar Pitti - Beyonce and JayZ are two of the luminaries that frequent this West Village hot spot. If you go, and nab one of the advantageous outdoor patio tables, you’re bound to see one bold-faced name, especially at lunch. And yes, the basic Tuscan food it good, which is why they go. Try their Antipasto Toscano or Fettunta E Proscuitto. Pastas are rich and delicious. Or go for a Panini – the options are mouth-watering. Note: they accept reservations for parties of four or more and are cash only, seriously.
Da Silvano - Next door to Bar Pitti, and its senior by some twenty years, Da Silvano is the elder sister to its neighbor – a bit more upscale, in decor, menu, and service. Silvano Marchetto opened his eponymous ristorante serving authentic Tuscan cuisine in 1975 and it’s been a hot spot ever since (yes, actors, musicians, artists are frequent customers). They too have a patio for dining in temperate weather. Inside or out, Bruschetta, Carpaccio, Grilled Shrimp, Beets & Endive salad area all good to start. For pasta, go for the Puttanesca, the Bolognese, or any of the daily specials. Then there’s a choice of steak done various ways, a veal chop, Cornish hen, langostines … And remember, one does not put cheese on pasta/risotto with seafood. Should you ask for it, Silvano himself might just come around with a bottle of extra virgin olive oil which he’ll proceed to apply liberally to your dish.
dell’Anima Means “of the soul.” The food is simple and delicious at this West Village favorite. Sit at the bar. The menu is seasonal, so if they’re still available, order Charred octopus with rice beans, chorizo and chicory, or Argula with lemon and shaved parmigiano reggiano to start, and Garganelli with funghi trifolati, lemon and parsley for a main. The space is small and dimly lit, creating a warm, inviting, if occasionally loud, atmosphere.
Morandi Is the Italian outpost of the Keith McNally food empire. Billed as a “rustic Italian trattoria,” the food is simple and flavorful. You can’t go wrong starting with the Fritto misto di pesce (fried calamari, shrimp, and fish) or Carciofi alla guidea (fried artichoke with lemon) or Fave e pecorino (escarole, fava beans, mint, and pecorino). For pastas: Pici al limone and Tagliatelle alla bolognese are excellent. Orata alla griglia (grilled sea bream with lemon oregano oil) and Tagliata di manzo (grilled flank steak) won’t disappoint either. The service is excellent, the atmosphere is lively, and the scene is hip. And it’s always good for a “star sighting” or two.
Sant Ambroeus – Serves traditional Milanese food (the original Sant Ambroeus opened in Milan in 1936) in a casual but elegant setting. I’ve been for both lunch and dinner. The dishes were flavorful and the service impeccable. Just thinking of it now is making me hungry. To start you might like Insalata di Carciofi or Carpaccio di Tonno, and for pasta Pappardelle alla Tirolese or Risotto ai Frutti di Mare. All of the secondi are so good, it’s difficult to choose, but choose the Tagliata (sliced Creekstone dry aged Black Angus sirloin steak with asparagus, fresh chanterelle mushrooms, and a balsamic reduction) and the Branzino (pan-seared Mediterranean sea bass with capers, asparagus, and baby pepper) and you won’t be disappointed. The menu is seasonal, so your options may change. Not to worry. Almost any dish Sant Ambroeus offers will satisfy.
Locanda Verde – This Italian taverna located in the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa is the latest offering from Robert DeNiro and his partners. The chef is Andrew Carmellini, previously of A Voce, and the pastry chef is Karen Demasco. The buzz is great decor, great food, great prices … I’ve gotta get there.
November 10, 2009 § Leave a Comment
As soon as I receive my weekly copy of New York Magazine, I have a decision to make: do I go to “The Approval Matrix” first, or, like cream cheese icing on a really good piece of carrot cake, do I leave it to the end? Yes, for me it is a guilty pleasure.
The magazine describes the Matrix like this: “Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.” It covers a wide range of cultural, political, and entertainment topics, some specific to New York, some not, placing them on a Cartesian plane:
On the X-Axis Despicable — Brilliant
On the Y-Axis Highbrow — Lowbrow
Often, I’ll hear a bit of news and think, really, you’ve got to be kidding me. And further, is it only me that thinks this particular item is completely inane? Then, I’ll come to find that, no, I’m not the only one who thinks so. “The Approval Matrix” agrees. There have been days that I’ve practically cheered out loud (in the privacy of my home) at the breathtakingly refreshing common sense of it.
Take this week, for example, on the Higbrow end of things, straddling the Y-Axis is “An American wins the NY Marathon” (Brilliant) and “Complaints that the American marathon winner isn’t American enough because he wasn’t born here. Isn’t that the point of America?” (Despicable). Perfect sense. And there’s Lowbrow-Despicable, “Swine-flu pandemic causes first case of actual violence (hair-pulling catfight on the subway), and Lowbrow-Brilliant, “U2, Mick Jagger, and – really! – Fergie nail ‘Gimme Shelter‘ at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert.” You get the idea.
See for yourself. At least one of their entries is sure to put a smile on your face.
Saving the world? Unfortunately, no. Saving my sanity? At times, yes.