Summer 2002
Linda Kavanaugh

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I must confess, after my initial visit to midtown's newest Restaurant and gathering place, Citarella The Restaurant, it was not research that lured me back into this jewel of a restaurant again and again. Joseph Gurrera is the owner of Citarella, the city's premiere retail food emporium specializing in the highest quality of fish, meat, produce, prepared foods and specialty items. Utilizing his readily available resources, Gurrera has created a (mostly) seafood eatery worthy of the pristine space it occupies in a turn-of-the-century townhouse among the skyscrapers of Rockefeller Center.

The David Rockwell-designed space uses a mixture of warm blue and brown tones with glass and steel fixtures. Nautical teasers such as glass portholes that change color and walls of padded silk fish scales are great eye candy - as is the panoramic view of one of the city's busiest neighborhoods. The street level bar houses a small dining room and a 10-seat sushi bar. Raw delicacies include tuna (akami, chutoro, and toro), needlefish, wild yellow tail (kan-pachi), and numerous fish roes. There's even a sushi dessert menu offering green tea sorbet, black sesame seed pudding, and bamboo wrapped lotus root jelly. The 2nd and 3rd floor dining rooms offer a menu that pays homage to all that is good and fresh. Sautéed oysters with Osetra caviar, sea urchin and Jennel are my favorite appetizers. Although, the crab soup with lump crab cake and their poached lobster salad with endive and avocado are a must try. Signature entrees include roast swordfish with pumpkin puree, spicy sautéed baby squid with tagliatelle, pine nuts and capers, and an addicting dish of seared sea scallops with black truffle sauce and butter lettuce. Pastry Chef William Yosses (Bouley Bakery) entices with warm vanilla cake and vanilla bean ice cream, lemon raspberry soufflé, and chocolate brioche pudding with maple ice cream. If you are wondering why the chef has not been mentioned, it is because the chef has changed several times since the restaurant's opening several months ago. Yet, Citarella seems to be doing something right by the look of crowds that pour in - and the food that comes out of that kitchen.

1240 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
(212) 332-1515







Taking a landmark restaurant (EST-1875) and daring to bring it into the 21st century may be considered restaurant suicide. But, if you are restaurateurs Lydia Shire and Paul Licari, it's just the opposite. Locke-Ober, Boston's very own traditional American and European salon has recently (and successfully) been restored to its original luster and has even acquired a new lounge and bar. The men's club atmosphere is still apparent with its dark mahogany wood fixtures, velvet burgundy fabrics, dramatic chandeliers, and its grand bar in the main dining room that is there for show only. Waiters still don the traditional black and white uniform with long aprons and silver tray cocktail service has not gone out of style. Locke-Ober, as would any long-standing dining establishment, serves several history inspired dishes including JFK's lobster stew, roast beef hash with poached eggs, beef stroganoff with hand-cut noodles, prime rib with Roquefort sauce, and you have to love a restaurant that makes calves liver with bacon and onions - the way it should be. Crisped skate wing with capers and curried shrimp on fragrant rice are more modern additions. Indian pudding holds fragrant clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon flavors while Locke-Ober's homemade macaroons are worthy of sneaking into one's pocket to enjoy later. A large corporate clientele of 3-martini lunch goers is the mainstay of this sophisticated restaurant. However, it was nice to see a table of two women, both celebrating their 85th birthdays over manhattans and Caesar salads, among a sea of suits. The extensive wine list is fun to read as it has a fabulous selection of not-so-popular names yet, also offers plenty of mainstream and good value wines. Locke-Ober is a true Boston experience.

Winter Place, Boston, MA
(6 I 7) 542- I 340










Moda (Italian for "style") is the latest brainchild from CHS Restaurant Group, a high-concept restaurant development team that has created numerous cutting-edge restaurants and bar/lounges for such large hotel conglomerates as Starwood, Hard Rock Hotels, Waterford Hotel Group, and a current project with Cirque du Soleil. Moda is located in the newly opened Flatotel. Executive Chef Frank Whittaker, formerly of Park Avenue Cafe and Napa Valley's Tra Vigne, along with Chef Josh Moulton of Union Square Café and Bill Seleno of Moomba, have joined forces to create an eclectic menu that relies heavily on seasonal ingredients. Small and Big plates are offered allowing for ideal grazing opportunities. Featured small plates upon my last visit included spicy lemon-garlic scampi and calamari, Limoncello cured salmon, braised, baked and fried artichoke salad, and fabulous Barolo braised short rib ragu with parmigiano gnocchi. Some of my favorite big plates were the seared Alaskan halibut with savory cabbage and chardonnay-truffle fonduta, grilled quails with creamy polenta and black pepper fig jam, and grilled herb crusted pork tenderloin with spicy sweet potato and braised red cabbage. Chef Whittaker's cuisine is filled with contrasting flavors and textures - a talent that is often over-looked. Hoping to attract the non-hotel guest, Moda's sleek bar and lounge are located in the hotel's lobby and can be seen by passers by. A glass wall divides the dining room from the lobby. In true cb5 fashion, the sexy interior is understated, using lots of black, gray and green tones. Wall candles are glass encased and provide most of the lighting for the restaurant. The "Galleria," a large translucent breezeway connecting 52nd and 53rd streets provides Moda with the ideal al fresco dining location. Teak and stainless steel furniture, natural vines, oversized planters, and cast glass lamps create an arboreal atmosphere. Team that up with a glass of Trim Bach Riesling and an arugula and wild mushroom salad and you have the makings of the perfect lazy day in the city.

135 West 52nd Street, New York, NY
(212) 887-9880




Ritz Carlton Boston Common
The slogan for the newly opened Ritz Carlton Boston Common is impeccable service, Distinctive accommodations, and Tantalizing cuisine. With that said, this particular piece is practically done! The Ritz delivers what they say, and then some. Putting aside the luxurious rooms, attentive staff, and beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Ladder District, the cuisine is truly a major component at this first rate hotel. There to greet us in our room were 5 small samplings of all things good; yogurt smoothie, granola, fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon chiffon, and a fresh berries. Off to a good start, things just seemed to get better. The concierge level lounge, a relaxing get-away where one can find indulgent treats all day long, begins the day with freshly baked pastries and muffins, offers afternoon nibbles and light lunch items such as tea sandwiches, and exotic cheeses, and welcomes guests in for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before heading out for dinner. Dinner can be found at the hotel's restaurant Jer-Ne, located on the 2nd floor. Appropriately named, JerNe is an adventure in contemporary American cuisine. German born Chef Jorg Behrend came to Boston via the Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore and Kapalua. Chef Behrend's cuisine pulls from the four corners of the world, as seen in the shrimp ravioli with lemon grass and shellfish oil vinaigrette, pan fried Chilean sea bass with caramelized fennel, balsamic and caviar oil, and the roasted Australian lamb loin with goat cheese eggplant and garlic mustard reduction. Intense reductions and infused oils are seen throughout the menu. Homemade chocolate truffles, which came served on a dry-ice smoking mini grill, got my attention immediately as it did with the entire dining room. Plenty to take in visually, there's a dramatic display kitchen where one can watch the almost military-style kitchen staff execute their culinary creations. The restaurant's wall of windows peers out over Tremont and Avery Streets. Little touches include the champagne cart for tableside bubbly service, plush furnishings with shades of crimson, and intriguing sculptures and artwork.

A lively crowd can be enjoyed at the Jer-Ne Bar and Lounge located on the lobby level. The atmosphere is just as intoxicating as the over-sized martinis.

The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common and Jer-Ne
1O Avery Street, Boston, MA
(6I7) 574-7IOO




Blue Fin
New York's Time Square continues to bring in class-act operations, the latest of which is Blue Fin, located at the W Time Square Hotel. This more than seafood inspired bistro and sushi bar is another BR Guest production from BRG's president Stephen Hanson. The street level entrance gives way to a chic bar scene and modern sushi bar. A theatrical floating terrazzo staircase leads up to the main dining room and jazz dub. Luxurious banquettes, glowing resin tables and lots of mirrors make up the interior. The staff, all-beautiful actors-in-training, are on the money with attentive service and a team like attitude. It's true service can make the meal. Also making the meal is Executive Chef Paul Sale, formerly of le Bernarlirie and Pastry Chef Joseph Murphy from Gotbam Bar and Grill. Sales approach to food is simple. It Pristine seafood and minimal ingredients allows the food to speak for itself. Lots of sushi can be found on the menu and is often served with creative dipping sauces. A sweet and tender raw lobster sushi appetizer came with a tangy cilantro-citrus sauce and a spicy tuna roll came with the "spice" on the side in the form of Thai chile vinaigrette. Raw bar items abound, along with several "New England" style dishes such as clam and lobster chowder, crab rakes, poached east roast halibut, and Main Lobster. A dry-aged porterhouse comes steak house like with creamed spinach and twice baked truffle Yukon gold potato. Desserts are genuinely unique. Coconut milk parma cotta is pretty incredible as is the milk chocolate orange blossom dome with extra bitter chocolate and chocolate sorbet. Blu Fin is large and loud (seating capacity 400) but, hey, you're in the middle of Time Square. What would you expect?

Blu Fin
1567 Broadway at 47th Street, New York, NY
(212) 9I8-1400


There can never be enough supper clubs in fact, there aren't nearly enough to choose from. Limbo, a new jazz brassiere in Boston's Ladder District, offers diners a unique experience in dining and entertainment. Owner Jean-Claude Jasa and Executive Chef Charles Draghi (Marrurrio's Restaurant in Boston's North End) combine seductive music with Mediterranean influenced cuisine and trendy cocktails with romantic lighting. The bi-level space provides plenty of atmospheres. The DJ keeps the beat pulsating throughout the first floor and mezzanine Levels while musicians play live music on the intimate lower level delivering everything from funk and Latin to R&B and jazz. Menu standouts include salmon poached in a saffron broth, heirloom tomato salad, beef short ribs, and pansoti filled with field greens and herbs fresh ricotta and a walnut pesto. Dessert at Limbo seems to beckon for designer martinis such as apple, chocolate, and framboise. Best to make a reservation, as the dinner crowd and music crowd are sometimes on different wave Lengths. The ever-changing entertainment schedule can be checked out atat

49 Temple Place, Boston, MA
(617) 33S-0280



Linda Pernice Kavanagh
MaxEx Public Relations, LLC

102 Alton Road
Stamford, CT 06906
P 203.323.4185 F 4183

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In the Mood for Exceptional Contemporary French Cuisine
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Toque New York/Boston Summer 2002

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