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September 04, 2008

New York Burger Madness: People on the Street

Posted at 12:19:44 PM in Brooklyn restaurants, Flatiron District restaurants, Food and Drink, Meatpacking District restaurants, Midtown restaurants, Upper East Side restaurants, West Village restaurants
by Melanie Berliet

Photo of Pop Burgers borrowed from Flickr.

Every culture has its signature dish, and in this country there is perhaps no food more American than the burger. What beats a minced meat patty, properly seasoned and sandwiched in a bun? Maybe a minced meat patty, properly seasoned, sandwiched in a bun and served on a gold platter by Brad Pitt. But that's about it. Inevitably, in a city like New York, with so many restaurants, it's easy to become flustered by all the varieties out there. We know which spots we like for red meat, but what about our fellow New Yorkers? We took to the streets and talked to locals to find out about the best in burger breeds. Consult our findings in our Battle of the Burgers feature. The opinions might vary, from the advocate of the get-what-you-want-on-it DuMont Burger, to the traditionalist with a preference for Corner Bistro. But if you're craving a burger and need some inspiration, here's a little guidance from your fellow citizens.  

July 15, 2008

Club A Steakhouse Now Open in Midtown

Posted at 04:28:15 PM in Celebrity, Gossip, Just opened, Midtown restaurants, New York restaurants, Restaurant openings, Upper East Side restaurants
by Melanie Berliet

The filet mignon at Club A Steakhouse--and if your steak gets lonely, try adding any three sides for $24

Some diners probably shed a tear when lauded midtown Italian spot Bruno Restaurant closed its doors last year, after nearly 30 years in business--among them, regular patrons like former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Robert De Niro and John Gotti. But politicians, A-list actors and mobsters alike need weep no longer, because the man behind that much-loved haunt, Bruno Selimaj, has just opened Club A Steakhouse in its place.

A tipster tells us that after a comprehensive renovation, Club A officially opened for business last Monday in the three-story townhouse formerly occupied by Bruno's at 240 East 58th Street. The menu has been overhauled courtesy of Executive Chef Jean Christophe Villard--of Bobby Van's fame--but the emphasis is still on hospitality. Entertainment in the second floor bar and lounge will include live music (every Wednesday through Saturday), courtesy of in-house musical director and renowned pianist Daniel Nye. Other notable perks include a special late-night menu served until 2am and a wine cellar.

There's a lot of information provided on the Club A website, including the complete menu, but unfortunately for us, unless we're dining on someone else's dime, we'll be ordering the $7 one-pound baked potato, and imagining it's the $99 American Kobe Tomahawk ribeye.

April 14, 2008

Tell Me Where to Go: Celebration With Kids

Posted at 03:04:08 PM in Chelsea restaurants, Group dining, Meatpacking District restaurants, Midtown restaurants, Tell me where to go, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


The requester: A friend

The request: "It's my brother's birthday and the family wants to get together to celebrate. He's a vegetarian who doesn't consider pasta a good alternative; the restaurant needs to be good for groups as we'll be a party of 11; it needs to be good for kids, since we'll have 4, aged 1 to 13; it needs to be on the West Side since many will be coming in from New Jersey; and it needs to be a spot that can take us early, like 5:30, on a Sunday night."

The suggestions: The Chinese/pan-Asian menu at Buddakan is so huge that there will be something for everyone. There's an entire section devoted to tofu and vegetables, and the enormous space has plenty of tables and nooks comfortable for large groups. Landmarc in the Time Warner Center is also good for groups and they are known for catering to kids. They don't have the largest vegetarian choices but there are plenty of entree-sized salads and one of their signature dishes, goat cheese profiteroles, is vegetarian. Everyone will enjoy the Central Park views. If you're in the mood for Indian, Bombay Talkie in Chelsea has a communal table, vast veggie choices, and is stylish enough to feel celebratory. The kids might like the DIY barbecue at Village Korean Do Hwa, whose veggie selections include a great spicy kimchee and tofu stew. Finally, Meatpacking's Fig and Olive has a nice choice of sharable dishes, like crostini and carpaccio (including a delightful zucchini version), plenty of vegetarian options and a space that accommodates groups well.

Continue reading "Tell Me Where to Go: Celebration With Kids" »

April 03, 2008

Fig & Olive Coming to Midtown

Posted at 05:39:21 PM in Midtown restaurants
by Bottomless Dish

Image001 Fresh from the inbox, Fig & Olive is launching a third location, this time in midtown--right smack in between the Upper East Side and Meatpacking District locations. It's shooting to open on April 14th, and further PR blurbage is as follows: "The new two-story venue off Fifth Avenue encompasses 5,000 square feet, with each floor providing a distinctly, different experience for 200 guests.  On the first floor, the street level entrance opens up to a retail collection of olive oils, continuing on to a 50 foot marble bar and communal dining table for 30 guests, and has zinc tables overlooking an open kitchen for 60 guests. Throughout the day, the Counter Bar will offer 'takeaway' and prepared items to the neighboring corporate lunch clientele, including freshly baked olive oil bread and savories, baked on premise daily, warm paninis as well as FIG & OLIVE’s signature salads with unique olive oil dressings. ...The second floor of FIG & OLIVE FIFTH AVENUE features 2,500 square feet of elegant dining with open windows overlooking midtown."

March 24, 2008

Chef Talk: Michael Psilakis of Mia Dona, Anthos, Kefi

Posted at 11:50:37 AM in Celeb chefs, Chef talk, Midtown restaurants, Upper West Side restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


To say Michael Psilakis has a lot on his plate at the moment is an understatement. He mans the stoves at Michelin-starred Anthos; is in the midst of moving Upper West Sider Kefi and opening a restaurant with another concept in its place (though he's not giving details); and he's somehow finding the time to write a memoir/cookbook for Little Brown. We recently caught up with the refreshingly humble chef to discuss everything from what's on the menu at Mia Dona to whether his name will be on the awning at his next restaurant, a la his collaborator, Donatella Arpaia.

KS: The crispy rabbit at Mia Dona, which I'm calling "rabbit in a bucket," is finger lickin' great! What inspired that brainstorm?

Chef Michael Psilakis: We have an amazing, big bar at Mia Dona and I wanted to come up with some great bar snacks. Obviously wings fit into that category, but I wanted to take it to another level. I thought about working with rabbit instead of chicken, and we serve them with potato chips made from pickled potatoes and cucumber remoulade. It's a fun dish and it sells like crazy.

KS: I noticed pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the menu. Were you concerned about that being too lowbrow for the neighborhood?

Continue reading "Chef Talk: Michael Psilakis of Mia Dona, Anthos, Kefi" »

March 20, 2008

Chips Ahoy: Mia Dona, Greenwich Steak & Burger Co.

Posted at 04:28:07 PM in Chelsea restaurants, East Village restaurants, Midtown restaurants, Tribeca restaurants, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


What are the chances of having homemade potato chips two nights in a row at restaurants as diverse as Mia Dona and Greenwich Steak & Burger Co.? Usually, I'd say slim to none, but spots all over town are suddenly feeling very, er, chipper these days. At Mia Dona, chef Michael Psilakis's pickled fingerling slivers are a wowing take on the salt n' vinegar variety. At GS&B, a cone filled with thick-cut parmesan-flavored spuds (pictured above) arrive in lieu of a bread basket. I'm also noticing that chips are up at new spots like Friedman's Deli, The Smith and Mama's Mudsliders. All I know is, with a selection like this, I'm laying off the Lays....

March 12, 2008

New Reviews: Adour, Kuta Satay House

Posted at 01:54:56 PM in Lower East Side restaurants, Midtown restaurants, New reviews
by Bottomless Dish

(Adour's dining room; photo courtesy of Eric Laignel)

That Alain Ducasse is a smart man. For Adour--his third stab at a New York restaurant--he not only nabbed the former Lespinasse space in the St. Regis Hotel, but he also tweaked the room just enough to keep the whole affair from feeling like Dinosaur Land. That's especially true with the interactive wine bar, which, while a little silly, certainly did its job of whipping up press. Finally, prices were dropped to merely expensive (compared to his previous restaurants' astronomical prices). But how's the food, you ask? Comme ci, comme ca. Click through to read the full review, plus our take on Kuta Satay House and more new and notable restaurants. Then, take a gander at some of Ducasse's dishes--like the sweetbread "meuniere" seen below--in our Adour slideshow.


March 11, 2008

Brasserie Goes Back to the Future, er, Forward to the Past

Posted at 06:14:54 PM in Midtown restaurants
by Bottomless Dish


Chef Luc Dimnet, who was executive chef at midtown's Brasserie from 2000 to 2005 is returning to his post after a short stint at a restaurant in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. His signature dishes are to remain on the menu, joined by a few new items. If you pass by, make sure to wave hello to Dimnet as you pass by the restaurant's outside camera--it projects images to the bar.

(Photo courtesy of Brasserie)

March 10, 2008

Broadway's Newest Hit: Gallo Nero Wine Bar

Posted at 01:09:27 PM in Cheap eats, Hell's Kitchen restaurants, Midtown restaurants, Restaurant openings
by Kathleen Squires


As Broadway ticket prices continue to inch up ($250 for a premium seat at "Gypsy" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," for example), it's nice to know that someone in the Theater District is in tune with the times. The new 44th Street wine bar Gallo Nero kindly keeps the economy in mind with well-prepared Italian classics at recession-worthy prices. Try finding a bowl of pasta as delicious as the meze maniche--rigatoni-like noodles with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto--for $10 in the nabe. Or a winter dish as generous and satisfying as the short ribs with near-gravity-defying gnocchi for $15 (the most expensive dish in the house). Open only three weeks, audience response so far points to a long, extended run.

March 07, 2008

Pushing Tea at Monkey Bar

Posted at 01:33:44 PM in At the bar, Midtown restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


While everyone is aflutter about high tea returning to the newly re-opened Plaza Hotel, we're more excited about the buzzy brews the Monkey Bar offers just a few blocks east. New chef Chris Cheung's idea of a tea party includes an entire cocktail menu with leaf-infused libations like the Mint Howler (mint tea-vodka with passion fruit tea); a Capuchin Julep (orange spice tea-bourbon with mint, soda, and muddled fruit); and the Red Rhesus, a champagne, chai and raspberry mix that matches the ruby-colored mural in the dining room (pictured above). Who knew high tea could be such a spirited occasion?

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