chef tested hard to find and unsual products
of New York / Boston
By Linda Kavanagh
on Images for Captions
seems only logical that America's favorite city for entertainment
and food would combine the two. It's called
Chef's Theater. Chefs cook while musical entertainment
amuses. The stage is likened to that of a television kitchen
set, with the added allure of a pianist and stage performers.
Performers interact with the chef while the patrons ooh
and ahh over how their meal for that performance is prepared.
Meanwhile, Restaurant Associates,
the city's hottest catering conglomerate, is busy in the
kitchen preparing and serving the audience their 3-course
meal. Guest sommeliers, such as Gourmet Magazine's
Michael Green and Simply Wine's
Andrea Immer, chat about the appropriate
wines that will be paired with each course.
Chef's Theatre is the brainchild of Tony Award
winning producer Marty Bell (Fosse and
Ragtime) and one of TV Food Network's founding fathers,
Joe Allegro and West Egg Entertainment.
A bevy of this generation's most popular chefs, including
Douglas Rodriguez (Ola),
Marcus Samuelsson (Aquavit),
David Rosengarten (The Rosengarten
Report), and Andre Soltner
(French Culinary Institute), are some
of the talents featured alongside Broadway performers Shannon
Lewis, Paige Price, and Jim Walton.
Guest performers pop in on occasion, while leading chefs
are constantly being added to the calendar. Dinner, brunch,
and dessert shows are offered. There's cooking, eating,
singing, and dancing, all in one evening. Is there anything
better? I don't think so.
NYC's Supper Club
240 West 47th Street, New York
New York State Restaurant Association
recently held their annual gala and fundraiser at New York's
Marriott Marquis Hotel honoring the Food Network's
contribution to the restaurant industry. Accepting on behalf
of the Food Network was Judy Gerard, Food
Network President. An exciting performance from the cast
of Cookin', a hilarious non-verbal percussion
show featuring four crazy Korean chefs, rounded out the
came on the heels of the International Restaurant
& Foodservice Show of New York, where more
than 30,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors walked the floor
of the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center March 14 - 16.
A highlight of the event was when dozens of New York City's
finest restaurants announced they will be featuring New
York wines and foods this October, following a meeting with
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Anthony
Mingone, NYSRA Board Member and Chef/Owner of Romolo's
Restaurant is particularly excited about featuring
New York's quality ingredients. I was raised in Rockland
County, a major farming area where fresh produce was abundant
and even my neighbors had vegetable stands outside their
front doors, says Mingone, Long Island wineries, as well
as the Hudson Valley vineyards, have been raising the bar
of New York wines over the past 10 years. My fall menu always
features harvest ingredients and there's nothing better
than those New York apples!”Romolo's is a family run
Italian restaurant featuring a family style atmosphere under
a Tuscan setting.
Minetta Lane Theatre
18 Minetta Lane, New York
77 Route 303 Congers, New York
Owner/Executive Chef Ian Russo brings Noveau
New York Cuisine to the Upper East Side with his sexy eatery,
IAN. Just six months young, the
chef and staff are already polished, and poised to become
a restaurant to be reckoned with. The long narrow space,
though challenging to a designer, is wonderfully laid out
and comfortable. Sherbert colored walls, whimsical lighting,
and flowing drapes that separate the tables, really brings
out the warmth in the room. A convivial bar with live entertainment
squeezed into a corner adds to the energy of the space.
Russo, a true New Yorker (by way of
Brooklyn) and gifted chef, prepares signature dishes
including tableside carvery specials such as filet mignon
wrapped in pastry, roasted Long Island duck, and goat cheese
and macadamia-crusted rack of lamb. A great way to experience
IAN is with the grazing menu.
A seafood trilogy is served in a three-tier plate stack,
level by level, with citrus marinated sea bass, crunchy
“dancing shrimp” with garlic and lemon, and
braised octopus salad. A decadent deep fried potato wrapped
trout stuffed with wild mushrooms was absolutely mouth-watering,
as was the roasted stuffed chicken with Israeli couscous
and truffle broth. The wine list is impressive, but even
more impressive, and wise, is the wines by the glass selections.
A master in the art of roasting and brewing coffee, Chef
Ian was awarded the 2003 Golden Cup Award. Customers that
order coffee receive their own personal French press with
coffee beans that have been freshly ground upon ordering.
Judging by the eclectic crowd gathered here on any given
night, Chef Russo really has his finger
on the pulse of what New Yorkers are craving.
322 East 86th Street, New York
Little West 12th Street
meatpacking district continues to reinvent itself with the
addition of boutique hotels, trendy night spots, and an
exciting restaurant scene. One Little West 12th,
a restaurant and lounge, recently opened in a multi-million
dollar, bi-level space that dates back to the early 1900s.
The integrity of the space has been kept in tact, and renovated
into a sophisticated, earthy, and sexy oasis with warm natural
candlelight, rich brown and beige suede, leathers, mohair
and silk textiles that make up the seating areas. Balancing
the natural elements are creative uses of brick, wood, onyx,
stone and mirrors, making for a visually stunning atmosphere.
Chef Paul Liebrandt dazzles with his modern
American menu. The specialty of the house is the Celestial
Platter, an enticing combination of raw and cooked
seafood including seasonal oysters, lobster, crab legs,
seared tuna, uni, and can also be complimented with Sevruga
caviar. From there the menu is a playful palate of tastes
and textures: Fresh / Bundles includes white gazpacho
of artichoke and a lobster rice paper wrap with avocado,
mango and mint. Crave features whole onion rings and Sicilian
rice balls with prosciutto. Cream tantalizes with
cheese fondue, wild mushroom and roasted cauliflower risotto
with mascarpone, and artisinal cheeses. Grain offers
pizzetta and panini. Wet includes black cod with red pepper
chutney and jumbo lump crab cakes with a habanero lime emulsion.
Wild dishes are such favorites as apple wood smoked
Colorado lamb chops with eggplant fondue and “bad
ass" twin cheeseburgers with blue cheese and truffle
goat cheese. A D.J. entertains nightly and a late night
dinner scene often ensues. This neighborhood will never
be the same again!
Little West 12th Street
at 9th Ave., New York
see…how do I describe BLVD…?
Located in the Bowery section of the city, BLVD is a top-notch
restaurant, casual café, roaring nightclub, event space,
entertainment venue, and a recording studio, all within one
18,000 square foot complex. Sound incredible? It is that,
and more! BLVD starts with a café
on the first floor, followed by a 200-person lounge, 150-seat
restaurant, multiple private rooms and a high-energy nightclub,
all atop Crash Mansion @
BLVD, the live music venue and recording
studio located on the lower level. While cocktails abound
within the party atmosphere, a Latin-Asian inspired menu prepared
by Executive Chef Julian Alonzo, also of
Brasserie 8 - in the city, is a main attraction. Asian tuna
tartare, red snapper ceviche, and bison, duck, and shrimp
empanadas start off the menu. Wild mushroom ravioli with mint
and ginger consommé, pancetta wrapped halibut with
sesame crusted asparagus and red miso, and braised short ribs
with stuffed taro root cake and a mango relish don't even
begin to tell the story of this unique restaurant.
include lemongrass pana cotta and a passion fruit cheesecake
with a toasted macadamia nut crust. To plagiarize the P.R.
firm that represents this fabulous destination: Imagine
Smith Barney with a corporate function in the private room,
a birthday party in the lounge, revelers in the party room,
Ashton and Demi in the VIP room, Lenny Kravitz rocking out
downstairs, and the ability to get a bowl of cereal at the
café on the way out! I couldn't have said it better
199 Bowery (at
Street), New York,
Chef Eric Bogardus, previously
from Biba's and Lockober's
in Boston, has joined Lucy's in
Brookline as the new Executive Chef. With the restaurant's
goal being, To offer the freshest ingredients available and
allow the natural flavors of the food to create the essence
of the plate, Eric has maintained this philosophy with the
launch of an entirely new menu. Lucy's signature "clean
food approach (no creams or butters) can still be enjoyed
under the tutelage of Chef Bogardus. Chicken
cooked under a brick with smoked paprika and sticky parsnips,
cider glazed venison with potato, apple and onion pavé
atop a sauté of red swiss chard, and wood oven baked
monkfish with coral saffron mashed potatoes and lemon braised
baby fennel are a few stand-outs.
242 Harvard St., Brookline
Bricco, a North End enoteca and
lounge, is run by the dynamic team of Rita D'Angelo
and Chef Marisa Locco. Both women are from
Italy and have been business partners for over 15 years.
Rita manages the front of the house while Marisa cooks regional
Italian food that screams simplicity, quality, and consistency.
Imported specialty items appear in many of the dishes such
as with the warm bufala ricotta crostata with Prosciutti
di San Daniele (from Friuli) and broccoli rabe, wild mushroom
soufflé with bufala mozzarella and lolla rossa lettuce
drizzled with Mostocotto vinaigrette, and stuffed bigne
with peppers, garlic confit, and taleggio cheese fonduta.
to say, pasta dishes are always perfectly al dente, a bit
chewier than even many of the state side Italian restaurants
tend to serve it –a true testament to how Bricco sticks
to the techniques, as well as the recipes of authentic Italian
fare. I could not get enough of the garganelli with salty
olives, sweet chestnuts, and tender braised rabbit meat
with a Pinot Grigio ragu. An impressive dish is the "Big
Night" timpano stuffed with pasta, petite meatballs,
and slow braised meat ragu, baked into a pasta-lined dome.
I challenge anyone to recreate this dish. How's this for
sheer indulgence; Foie gras cappellacci, lean pork crumbs,
rabe blossoms, whipped butter and parmigiano cheese. And,
if that wasn't enough to convince you, a must try is the
duck trilogy of leg confit, roasted sausage, truffle pate,
prunes and poached pears in grappa. Butternut squash pillows
with sage butter sauce are also a delicious treat. The all-Italian
wine selections are as much fun to peruse as they are to
experience. With great food and wine comes fabulous hospitality
and service at this Boston gem.
North End Boston, MA
MaxEx Public Relations, LLC
102 Alton Road
Stamford, CT 06906
P 203.323.4185 F 4183
Writer's Related Links:
Cooks With A Little Bit Of This - And A Lot Of That
New York/ Boston Spring 2005
a Matter of Tasting...
the Mood for Exceptional Contemporary French Cuisine
without all the Pomp and Circumstance?
New York/Boston Summer 2002
Linda Kavanagh - Profile