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Cocktail Time - The Pisco Sour at Kausa
April 30, 2021, 6:00.47 pm ET


If you’ve never had a Pisco Sour, you don’t know what you’re missing. Kausa, a new Peruvian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, makes an excellent rendition. It’s starts with Pisco made from distilled grapes, a splash of lime, simple syrup and egg white shaken until it creates a thick foamy layer on top. It’s finished with a dash of bitters. While you are there treat yourself to Peruvian specialties like rotisserie chicken, ceviche, anticuchos, Lomo Saltada and more.

Kausa is located at 745 9th Ave, New York, NY  (646) 678-5227

NYC restaurants can open at 75% capacity starting May 7
April 30, 2021, 5:49.34 pm ET

NYC restaurants can open at 75% starting May 7

Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing that indoor dining will soon be at 75 percent in New York City. Starting May 7th, restaurants, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services can all expand to 75 percent. Social distancing and masks will still be required.

"After a long and incredibly difficult fight, New York State is winning the war against COVID-19, and that means it's time to loosen some restrictions put in place to protect the public health and help our local businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "There's no doubt that restaurants have been among the pandemic's hardest hit businesses, and New York City's thriving restaurant industry has found it challenging to keep staff and maintain profits. We're easing restrictions on restaurants, personal care services and gyms to put more money in the pockets of small business owners and working people in New York City, which was hit so hard by the pandemic but, I have no doubt, will come back stronger than ever."

It follows Mayor De Blasio's announcement that New York City will fully reopen on July 1. 


Inside Chef Mendes' luxurious new Veranda in SoHo
April 29, 2021, 6:54.38 pm ET

Inside Chef Mendes' Veranda Restaurant in SoHo

Chef George Mendes is taking off the wraps of his new restaurant, Veranda, a stylish new restaurant at the Modernhaus SoHo Hotel featuring open-air dining and several terraces for sharing a cocktail or two.  Here's what you will find...

Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC, Ceviche

Ceviche with Florida red snapper, charred onion, vegetable juices, Mezcal 

Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC, Mediterranean Shrimp
Mediterranean shrimp with Portuguese/Goan curry

Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC, Flatbread
Roasted Tomato Flatbread with basil, and aged Parmesan

Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC, CroquettesCroquettes with salt cod, potato, and sweet smoked paprika mayo
(Food Photos: Evan Sung)

The restaurant is a collaboration between Mendes, restaurateur David Rabin, and catering and events group Abigail Kirsch.

 Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC
Chef George Mendes

Mendes, who is executive chef and partner, is known for his elevated Portuguese fare at Aldea, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Flatiron. His Portuguesee spot Lupulo which opened in 2015 at the Eventi Hotel was inspired by the breweries of Lisbon. 

Veranda, Chef Mendes & George Rabin, SoHo, NYC, Ceviche
David Rabin (L), Chef Mendes (R)

Partnering with Mendes is David Rabin, a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, recognized for his involvment in places like American Bar, The Lambs Club, more recently Sona and Veranda as well as rooftop bars, JIMMY and The Skylark.

Veranda, Chef Mendes, SoHo, NYC, Johnny Swet
Johnny Swet

JIMMY co-founder and mixologist Johnny Swet is working the cocktails which include the Cross Fit Paloma (tequila, grapefruit, stevia-turmeric syrup, lime & grapefruit seltzer), a Charred Shishito Margarita and Pomegranate Moscow Mule. The extensive wine list is curated by sommelier, Lee Campbell.
 Photo: Andre Maier                                                                                                

The spacious main dining is reminiscent of a greenhouse, situated beneath a retractable glass pergola that allows Veranda to transform seamlessly between indoor and outdoor dining experiences year round. It's the centerpiece of several food & beverage offerings throughout the space, including the adjacent Bar at Veranda, where guests can settle into plush seats or step out onto the terrace overlooking Grand Street for cocktails and snacks. 

Inside Chef Mendes' Veranda Restaurant in SoHo
Photo: Nikolas Koenig (Also Top)                                                                                 
The Bar Back, a multi-level garden with an outdoor fireplace to enjoy small bites and drinks, has its own entrance just around the corner on Sixth Avenue. A retail area offers Veranda provisions ranging from Mendes' homemade sourdough to olive oil, jams and butter, while a dedicated events space beneath the restaurant, beautifully illuminated by a skylight over the bar, can accommodate a range of private gatherings.
Veranda is located at 23 Grand Street, New York, NY (212) 201-9117  Website

April 29, 2021, 6:01.03 pm ET

Photo: The Glass Ceiling                                                                                           

The Glass Ceiling NoMad, opening to the public for dinner and weekend brunch on Friday, April 30, is an impressive new rooftop space with direct views of the Empire State Building. The green oasis is chic to the core with retractable glass and an abundance of natural light and a surrounding 180° terrace. Moreover, the space highlights a feminine feel with pink plates, rose gold cutlery and has an emphasis on the 'women-owned' portion of the menu, highlighting brands founded, led and/or owned by women.

The menu ranges from shared plates to mains, includes crab with avocado, pickled tomatoes and arugula, crispy rice with tuna and wasabi caviar, a kale Caesar salad, bucatini with cacio e pepe, halibut with parsnip puree and the GC Burger. Specialty cocktails include a Pomegranate Spritz, a Grapefruit Beer Mimosa, Hibiscus Sour and Champagne Cucumber Mojito.

The Glass Ceiling Nomad is located at 1204 Broadway, New York, NY  Website


Viva Mexican Pizza at Tiny's Cantina
April 29, 2021, 5:36.35 pm ET

Photo: Food & City                                                                             

If you’ve ever tried Taco Bell’s (now defunct) Mexican pizza, put that out of your mind completely. Let us re-introduce you to the tlayuda via the new Prospect Heights cantina, Tiny’s.

Opening just in time for Cinco De Mayo, Tiny’s Cantina was initially developed by restaurateur Mathew Glazier early in the Pandemic as a takeout-friendly concept focused on Central Mexican fare that would travel — namely Mexican pizza. This would have marked Brooklyn's first tlayuderia — a genre plentiful in Los Angeles, but not yet a thing in New York.

Executive Chef Cenobio Canalizo, who hails from Puebla, has put a decidedly Poblano spin on the tlyuderia including a bright chorizo version — a handmade corn tortilla covered in chorizo, frijoles negros con hoja de aguacate (avocado leaves), radishes, pickled onions, crema, and quesillo. Another Pueblan street food signature is the Cemita Poblana served with smoked chipotle.

The drinks menu features over 75 bottles of craft mezcal and tequila and cocktails like the Golden Eagle, made with mezcal, apricot, ginger, pineapple, cilantro-infused simple syrup and mole bitters.

Tiny's Cantina is located at  at 229 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY  (718) 970-7007  Website

April 29, 2021, 11:04.31 am ET

Photo: Housewives of Secaucus                                                                                 

“Housewives of Secaucus: What a Drag,” a new lip sync musical comedy conceived by Nancy Levine, written by three-time Emmy Award Winner Anthony Wilkinson and directed by Hank Fitzgerald Kiraly. begins an open-ended run at Actors Temple Theatre, (339 West 47thStreet) on Saturday, May 1.

The play spoofs those popular housewife shows you love to hate as the five queens of the Garden State are about to 'werk-it' at the annual Mad Hatters Brunch - competing for ‘Best Hat’, ‘Woman of the Year’ and even mayor of ‘Beautiful’ Secaucus, New Jersey. Who will be unfriended? Who’s having an affair with who? Could the competition be rigged? Queens are spilling tea everywhere at this interactive extravaganza!

The cast features Philip McLeod, Ryan Stutz, Cammerron Baits, Jacob P.S. Lemmenes and Sam Brackley. The production features scenic design by Josh Iocovelli with choreography and costume design by Hank Fitzgerald Kiraly.

Audience members are required to wear masks, submit to temperature checks and adhere to social distancing within the theatre, which is currently operating at 33% reduced capacity.

For tickets, visit


Around Town - Balthazar Booming, Garden of Love Returns, Dioramas and more...
April 28, 2021, 6:12.40 pm ET

Balthazar is booming.  If you are thinking about eating at Keith McNally's French bistro (80 Spring St) which recently reopened in SoHo, better get on line. Outdoor, curbside and indoor were all buzzing as we passed by on a Tuesday night.

The palms are up at Gitano’s “Garden of Love” near Canal Street.  The tropical paradise is a seasonal outdoor gathering mecca where you can nosh on small plates while sipping cocktails in the heart of the concrete jungle. Preview reservations are now open.

Workers and tourists are slowly returning to Midtown as more people get vaccinated.  We spotted a decent crowd in the front dining room at Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et Steakhouse (60 West 53rd St) where you grab a Tomahawk Steak and some baklava with ice cream. 

A few blocks away, Brazilian steakhouse, Churrascaria Plataforma (316 W 49 St), is open again indoor and outdoor seating for all-you-can-eat meat. Just don’t work yourself into a meat coma.

The West End Bar & Grill (813 8th Ave), a popular watering hole, is also open offering signature frozen cocktails, including frozen pina coladas, mango & watermelon margaritas, and passion fruit mojitos.

Restaurants are getting inventive at drawing in customers, like this street art steering people to a Taco Dumbo (114 W 47 St) in Midtown. 

Say goodbye to those Cuomo tacos.  Governor Cuomo continues to ease restrictions remaining restrictions for restaurants, including ending the food and beverage service curfew. Bar seating will also be allowed and and no food requirement for drinks. Cheers!

44 Union Square, also known as the Tammany Hall Building, has “for rent” signs up after completing a massive renovation that includes a 3-story rooftop with glass turtle shell grid dome. 

At Rockefeller Center you can step into two Dioramas by artist-designers Tin Nguyen and Ed Cutting.  The “Life Forces” allows passersby to interact with 3D simulations on large LED screens encased in windows. See how it works here.

Speaking of fun and games… LES pool hall Sour Mouse (110 Delancey St) is offering Happy Hour Monday thru Friday from 3pm-6pm, including an hour of free ping pong with a beer pitcher purchase.   

And have you seen this? Avant-garde artist KAWS has a larger than life pink "BFF" statue in the lobby of a Park Avenue office building.

Until next time, we’ll see you Around Town!


NYC Bites - Lobster Sticky Rice at Congee Village
April 28, 2021, 12:42.04 am ET

 NYC Bites - Lobster Sticky Rice at Congee Village

It’s nice to know that some of our favorite spots survived the pandemic. Congee Village on Allen Street in the East Village is one of them. You can't go wrong with the Sautéed Lobster with Sticky Rice. The lobster meat is plentiful and easy to maneuver (or, as easy as possible), and the rice is infused with the essence of lobster making it simply irresistible. There are hundreds of dishes to choose from on the menu, but give us a bowl of this stuff and we'll be happy campers!  

Congee Village is located at 100 Allen Street, New York, NY (212) 941-1818  Website




Chef George Mendes opens Veranda in SoHo
April 28, 2021, 12:28.16 am ET


Chef George Mendes is partnering to open Veranda at the Modernhaus SoHo Hotel. The restaurant is a collaboration between Mendez, restaurateur David Rabin, and catering and events group Abigail Kirsch.  Mendes is known for his elevated Portuguese cuisine at Aldea, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Flatiron and accolades at his Portuguesee spot Lupulo in 2015. In this latest endeavor Mendes will serve as Executive Chef and partner.  Rabin, a veteran of the hospitality industry for 25 years, is also a partner. He's recognized for his involvment in places like American Bar, The Lambs Club, Sona and Veranda, as well as rooftop lounges JIMMY and The Skylark. Mixologist Johnny Swet (Balthazar, Pastis, Freemans) is overseeing the beverage program. Visitors to Veranda will also discover several unique dining experience including a greenhouse-like dining room with retractable roof allowing for meals under the stars. The Back Bar, meanwhile, is located in an outdoor space offering cocktails and bites from Chef Mendes at several outdoor terraces.

Veranda is located at 23 Grand Street, New York, NY (212) 201-9117  Website


Places in New York City to Celebrate Mom!
April 27, 2021, 11:46.58 pm ET

Places to celebrate Mother's Day in NYC
Photo: Le Prive                                                                                                    

Mother's Day is coming on May 9th, but a number of restaurants are celebrating the entire weekend. Here's what some NYC restaurants have to offer:

In lieu of flowers, celebrate Mother’s Day at NYC’s Le Privé (626 10th Avenue, New York, New York), with a special French-inspired brunch. For $69 per person, the prix fixe menu includes one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert, and a complimentary bottle of French vino from their wine selection (min 2 pp). Diners and their mothers can enjoy brasserie classics such as Escargot, Soupe à l’Oignon, Poussin, Steak Frites, and decadent desserts like Beignets or Mousse au chocolat within the charming ambiance of the Victorian-era inspired dining room. 

Kimika, the Japanese-Italian restaurant in Nolita, is offering a special Mother’s Day brunch.  It includes specials like Vegan Banana Soft Serve with coconut goji berry granola, rhubarb acai syrup, and espresso chocolate bark; Asparagus Okonomiyaki with cabbage, shiitake, and benishoga; and Bara Chirashi, cubed sashimi with ikura, tamagoyaki frittata, tomato confit, capers, shiso and crispy rice, with the option to add uni. Reservations can be made via Resy, and takeout and delivery are available via

Root & Bone in the East Village is offering brunch for mom on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Unlimited Mom-osas with raspberry and peach and Unlimited Rosé as part of Root & Bone's boozy brunch package are available. Bites include Crab Cake Benedict with Russ & Daughters caviar, and the  return of the legendary Bonut (biscuit donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar with bourbon vanilla creme anglaise)

Places to celebrate Mother's Day in NYC
Photo: Loreto Italian Kitchen                                                                                  

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar in Downtown Brooklyn is serving up a special dinner for mom on Saturday from 5pm-11pm and Sunday from 5pm-10pm. Dishes include Lasagna with beef, pork, veal bolognese,b Béchamel, and mozzarella; a 24 oz Porterhouse Steak with watercress, red wine jus and choice of one side; Sausage Mozzarella Calzone with tomato sauce, ricotta; and a Vanilla-Chocolate Sundae with hazelnut whipped cream and rum chocolate sauce. +Complementary rose for all moms!

Treat mom like a queen at Jean-Georges restaurants. A special curated Mother's Day meal is being offered for restaurant dining or pick-up for dining at home. The menu includes Egg Toast with caviar and herbs, Tuna Tartare with avocado, spicy radish and ginger marinade, Steamed Black Sea Bass with soy-hazelnut vinaigrette and dandelion greens, as well as Beef Tenderloin with spring vegetables, salsa verde and lime. For dessert, there is Strawberry Pavlova.  And a bit of trivia for you - Did you know Chef Jean-Georges is named after his mother, Jeanine? Now you know.  

Treat mom to breakfast in bed with Sweet Chick’s new Blueberry Muffin Waffle, a crispy Belgian waffle topped with multiple layers of cinnamon crumble, fresh blueberries, and a tart house-made lemon glaze. Or, celebrate just how sweet mom is with a Honey Butter Chicken Buttermilk Biscuit slathered with honey butter.  There's a bucket of fried chicken for those looking for a picnic, or add some heat with a Nashville HOT fried chicken sandwich.  There is Frozé with Maison Marcel Rosé, Bellinis, and Mimosas available for indoor and outdoor dining as well as takeout. Various locatons.

Places to celebrate Mother's Day in NYC
Photo: Wave Hill                                                                                                        

Celebrate Mother’s Day in a picturesque setting at Wave Hill. All you need is a blanket.  Two picnic baskets are being offered by  for $99 (serving 2-3). The "Standard" includes Spring Greens, Peas, Haricots Verts and Purple Radish Salad with Apricot-Sumac Vinaigrette; Lemon-Rosemary Roast Chicken with Baby Red Bliss Potato Salad, Mustard Seed, and Chives; Swiss Chard, Scallions and Goat Cheese Quiche; Spring Vegetable Couscous with Peas, Fava Beans, Fennel, Chickpeas, Red Beet and Toasted Pistachio; and Strawberry Rhubarb Linzer Torte. Tickets to access the grounds and cultural center are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling (718) 549-3200

Amali on the Upper East Side is open available all day for mom on Saturday and Sunday. Look for Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Peas, Mint, and Meyer Lemon, as well as Quiche with Bloomsdale Spinach, Feta, and Lemon.

Places to celebrate Mother's Day in NYC
Photo: Bar Marseille                                                                                                  

Bar Marseille in the Rockaways is the perfect spot to give mom some fun in the sun.  Mother’s Day specials are available Saturday and Sunday.  Dishes include Brie En Croute with Apricot Agrodolce, in Puff Pastry; Seared Scallops with Fennel, Snap Peas, and Asparagus; and  Crepe Cake with Espresso Chocolate, Strawberry, and Chantilly Cream.

Calissa in Water Mill, NY also has a nice spread with mom in mind on Saturday and Sunday. Dishes include Lobster Hummus with Butter-Garlic Poached Lobster, Hummus, Aleppo Pepper, Spring Quinoa Salad with Carrot, Almond, Apple Cider Vinaigrette; and Pan-Seared Truffled Halibut with Mushrooms, New Potatoes, Spring Peas.

Photo: Lily Brown                                                                                                    

Soogil, the Korean-French East Village gem will make Mom feel like a queen with a luxurious tasting menu to enjoy at the restaurant or home delivered. Inspired by his French culinary training and Korean heritage, Chef Soogil Lim will prepare a five-course tasting highlighting seafood, spring delicacies, beef and foie gras ($130 per person).  Dishes include Mother’s Day Black Cod and Beef Wellington with Hudson Valley Foie Gras.

Concord Hill in Williamsburg is offering brunch both to dine at the restaurant (10am – 4pm with expanded weekend seating thanks to Open Streets) or bring brunch home with their Brunch Kits for two or more. Think Brioche French Toast with fresh fruit and almonds topped with whipped cream and maple syrup, or house cured Salmon & Eggs. On the sweet side, there’s Valrhona Chocolate Mousse with caramelized hazelnuts and raspberries and Basque Cheesecake with blackberry sauce. Pair them with classic Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s or new spring cocktails like A Match Made in Quarantine made with tequila, chili-infused Aperol, rum, raspberry, thyme, and elderflower.

Photo: Lily Brown                                                                                

At Little Chef Little Café in LIC, Chef Diana Manalang is offering Mother’s Day brunch specials including classic frittatas to healthy salads and overnight oats to sweets and treats, including special Mother’s Day Pistachio Donuts.  Brunch Kits are also available, including build-your-own Bloody Marys. 

Happy Mother's Day!

April 27, 2021, 11:31.57 pm ET

Image: LCT                                                                       

The LCT Spotlight Series, Lincoln Center Theater’s free program of digital events, continues on Thursday, April 29 with an audio performance of Bill Gunn’s 1989 play, “The Forbidden City,” directed by Seret Scott. Set in Philadelphia circa 1936, the play examines how the bonds of a middle-class Black family are tested by the specter of a tragedy that occurred many years prior in the Jim Crow South.

The podcast will feature James T. Alfred, Spencer Scott Barros, Derrick Baskin, Kyle Beltran, Ato Blankson-Wood, Jason Bowen, Alfie Fuller, John Benjamin Hickey, Roscoe Orman, Brenda Pressley and Ray Anthony Thomas. 

A bonus podcast episode featuring a conversation between Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Seret Scott, as well as a transcript of the audio play, will also be available. 

For more information, visit


April 27, 2021, 1:18.28 am ET


“Sutton Foster|Bring Me to Light”, a new concert filmed live at City Center, premieres Wednesday, April 28 at 7pm with on demand viewing through Monday, May 31. The show is directed by Leigh Silverman, with Jeanine Tesori serving as Creative Producer.

“Bring Me to Light” features performances by the Tony Award-winning star alongside Kelli O’Hara, Wren Rivera, Raúl Esparza and Joaquina Kalukango. It will include selections from “Anyone Can Whistle,” “The Wild Party,” “Camelot,” “Oklahoma!.” “South Pacific” and “Violet” and more. The cast is accompanied by Music Director Michael Rafter (piano) and Matt Hinkley (guitar).

Foster won Tony Awards for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Anything Goes.” Her numerous other theater credits include “Annie,” “Violet,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Shrek: The Musical” and “Anyone Can Whistle.” She is set to appear later this year in the Broadway revival of “The Music Man.” Her television credits include the series “Younger” and “Bunheads.”

For tickets and information, visit


Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown
April 27, 2021, 12:51.09 am ET

Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown

Joe’s Home of the Soup Dumpling has arrived at a posh new location in Midtown. The space with towering columns and dumplings bar that spans the width of the restaurant offers prime views of the dumpling-making process.

Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown

Start with signature crab and pork dumplings filled with a rich broth. They are eaten by poking a small hole, sipping the broth and then consuming the rest of the dumpling. Just watch out, they arrive piping hot. You can also get them filled with chicken or pork. There are also traditional steamed or fried pork dumplings.

Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown

The menu is full of other interesting items along with classics Chinese dishes. Look for things like Hong Kong Hot & Sour Soup, Five Spice Braised Beef (served cold), Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce, Sauteed Crystal Shrimp, and Crispy Duck with Peppery Salt. Among the classics are Orange Beef, General Two’s Chicken and Moo Shu Pork. Looking to splurge? Try the Lobster or Dungeness Crab in ginger-scallion sauce, or the Peking Duck.

 Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown

Most dishes are also available for lunch (11am to 3pm) with choice of rice starting at just under eleven dollars. We found the service to be friendly, knowledgable and accommodating.

Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling opens in Midtown                    Photoa:

Joe’s is the perfect spot for locals and visitors alike or for a meal before or after a show once Broadway resumes, hopefully in the fall.

Joe's Home of the Soup Dumpling is located at 7 East 48th St, New York, NY (212) 333-3868  Website

Reopenings including Root & Bone, Limani NYC, Valerie and more...
April 24, 2021, 3:50.47 am ET

 Root & Bone, Chicken & Waffles
Chicken and Waffles at Root & Bone (official)

Root &  Bone
Root & Bone is a neighborhood restaurant in the East Village from “Top Chef” alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. After months of navigating the challenges that followed the pandemic, the team closed down for winter. Now, Root & Bone reopens right in time for warmer weather and is excited to once again welcome guests at their table.  Menu items include Grandma Daisy's Angel Biscuits with honey chicken jus; Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken with lemon and honey hot sauce; Deviled Eggs with pickled beets, root chips, and fresh herbs, as well as new dishes like the must-order Sticky Spare Ribs (5 spice rubbed, fried, glazed in a maple-based bbq sauce and dusted with honey puffed wheat); and a Barley Risotto with sugar snap peas and crispy mushrooms. 200 East 3rd Street, New York, NY (646) 682-7076

Limani NYC at Rockefeller Center
Limani Reopens at Rockefeller Center (Cititour)

Limani NYC
After shuttering its doors in December 2020, the stunning Greek-Mediterranean dining destination, Limani NYC located in the heart of Rockefeller Center, is now open for diners. Helmed by Executive Chef/Partner M.J. Alam (Estiatorio Milos), Limani highlights clean Mediterranean flavors using local ingredients.  The space is bathed in white marble with a deep blue infinity pool and two open kitchens. Outdoor dining also offers a great view of Rockefeller Center with spacious seating. Specializing in seafood, the menu features whole fish and fresh cuts as well as dishes like Stuffed Calamari filled with feta, manouri and kefalograviera cheeses; Grilled Tunisian Octopus dressed with virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar; Lamb Chops from Colorado served with cauliflower and broccoli; and Deconstructed Baklava for dessert. 45 Rockefeller Plaza (50th Street) New York, NY (212) 858-9200

 Valerie, Midtown, NYC
Valerie is back in Midtown (Cititour)

Cocktail bar Valerie has reopened in Midtown after being closed due to the pandemic. The art deco inspired space evokes a bygone era with its Gatsby Lounge and burlesque murals. The menu is a mix of bar foods and American classics.  Look for Smoked Crispy Duck Wings with a char-siu BBQ sauce; Spinach & Artichoke Dip with pickled wild mushrooms and watercress; Organic Roast Chicken with herbed gnocchi and sugar snap peas; New York Strip Steak Frites with hand-cut fries; and 36-Hour Braised Beef Short Rib with creamy parmesan polenta.  For dessert, there is a French Quarter Sundae and Meyer Lemon Cheesecake. 45 West 45th St, New York, NY (212) 302-4545


Old John's Luncheonette, UWS, NYC
Old John's Luncheonette (Rendering)

Old John's Luncheonette
Old John's Luncheonette is set to reopen in May 2021.  The Upper West Side institution frequented by celebrities like Tony Danza, Susan Lucci, and Alan Alda closed in September due to the pandemic.  The menu of American comfort fare, created by Chef Grayson Schmitz, features updated takes on Old John favorites. Look for things like Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes with maple syrup and lemon butter; a Fried Morty Egg Sando with fried mortadella, baked egg, fontina cheese, and pepper jam; Disco Fries with pickled red onions, gravy, and mozzarella; and the Old John’s Burger with an 8 oz dry-aged patty, choice of cheese, and raw onion on a house made bun. Guests will still find the turn-of-the-century black and white pinwheel mosaic floor, 1950’s soda fountain, and original antique neon sign. 148 West 67th St, New York, NY 


April 23, 2021, 5:21.23 pm ET

New York City Center today premiered the final installment of its Encores! “Inside the Revival” series, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at City Center’s upcoming production of “Into the Woods” with Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet and Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos.

The episode explores how the production will usher in a new annual tradition at City Center whereby the performance of a classic title will celebrate the ways musical theater connects us across generations. As an illustration of the breadth of community to be reflected in the production, the episode features performances by New York City public school students, as well as Broadway stars Todd Almond, Laura Benanti, Philip Boykin, Judy Kuhn, Ruthie Ann Miles, and Donald Webber, Jr.

Previous “Inside the Revival” episodes focus on Encores’ planned productions of “The Life,” “The Tap Dance Kid” and “Love Life.” 

For more information, visit  

April 23, 2021, 5:12.48 pm ET


The Town Hall's “Broadway by the Year” series will return with three new virtual concerts to air on Mondays April 26, May 10, and May 24. Each concert begins streaming at 7pm and will be available on The Town Hall’s website for 72 hours.

April 26 will be a salute to Cole Porter and will feature Alexander Gemignani, Lilli Cooper, Kenita Miller, Nicole Henry and Emily Larger. May 10 will be a salute to Kander & Ebb and will star Beth Leavel, Ute Lemper, Tony Yazbeck, Natascia Diaz and Danny Gardner. May 24 will salute Andrew Lloyd Webber and will star Max Von Essen, Liz Callaway, Ali Ewoldt, Ethan Slater, Danny Gardner and Emily Larger.

For tickets and information, please visit or call 800-982-2787.


Around Town - A Colori, Stretch Pizza, Curbside Standup & more...
April 23, 2021, 1:34.31 am ET

La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly Downtown, NYC

La Pizza and La Pasta at Eataly Downtown is teaming up with Color Factory to create A Colori, a multi-sensory experience that celebrates the food and drink of Italy through the dynamic lens of color.  That includes the restaurant itself, colorful dishes and even multi-colored pastas.

Breads Bakery Collaboration with Stretch Pizza

Stretch Pizza by Wylie Dufresne has arrived at Breads Bakery, but you better line up. We’re told the wait to try a pie is currently a month and a half. You’ll need to order online, wait for your day, and then pick it up at the shop near Union Square.

Taco Bell Goes Digital in Times Square

Taco Bell’s so-called “automat” doesn't really live up to all the hype. It claims to be fully digital.  And yes, you order from kiosks (similar to McDonald’s) but live workers hand you your food at the counter.  The automat-style cubbies are only for mobile orders and deliveries.  We were a little disappointed, although the tacos were still good!

Alimentari Flaneur opens at Market Line

Alimentari Flaneur, an open-air market, has arrived on the lower level of Market Line on the Lower East Side offering hard-to-find produce and prepared dishes. It’s run by Daniel Emilio Soares, a fourth generation member of the Balducci family, according to the NYT.

Also at Market Line, near the grand staircase, is a new Brazilian restaurant called Tap NYC serving healthy, gluten-free and artisanal foods. Tap stands for Tapioca, Açaí and Pao de Queijo, some of Brazil’s superfoods.

Frenchette Crepe Truck at Rockefeller Center

Frenchette’s cute little crepe-mobile is back on the scene at Rockefeller Center. It’s known for serving up delicious sweet and savory crepes.

 Pinky's Place in East Village

And finally, Pinky’s Space in the East Village (you can’t miss the pink lights) is hooking up with  Underground Zen to offer live outdoor standup. The comic we were watching, Chris Deshawn, was hilarious, albeit a bit racy. But isn’t that what NYC is all about?

See ya next time Around Town!


Coby Club opens in Chelsea
April 21, 2021, 6:11.07 pm ET

Coby Club opens in Chelsea, NYC

The Coby Club, a new, sexy underground lounge tucked beneath Elmo restaurant, has opened in the heart of Chelsea. Its name pays homage to 1960's San Francisco Chinatown nightlife and to its most celebrated personality, the late Miss Coby Yee. Yee was a glamorous and iconic exotic dancer and savvy business woman who was also the owner of the famed Forbidden City from 1960-1970.  

Coby Club opens in Chelsea, NYC

Black velvet banquettes and silk-shaded lighting create intimate group settings throughout this retro-luxe lounge. Gold embossed phoenix-like dragons adorn the walls to exemplify the dawn of a new day, also emblematic of NYC nightlife proverbially rising from the ashes this year with strength and optimism. Guests at Coby Club can expect craft cocktails and small plates, and, as current restrictions relax, live musical performances, and other unexpected entertainment. 

Coby Club opens in Chelsea, NYC

Visitors will also discover small bites like ham & swiss croquettes, crispy potatoes, shihito peppers, charcuterie boards, flatbread pizzetta and more. Craft Cocktails include a Burnt Orange Old-Fashioned, Pineapple Paradise and a Coby Cosmo made with citrus vodka, orange liqueur, fresh key lime and passion fruit puree.

 Coby Club opens in Chelsea, NYC
Photos: Coby Club                                                                                             

Bob Pontarelli is the owner of Coby Club.  He was also the force behind other NYC nightlife spots like Crowbar, Barracuda and Leshko's with he opened with his late business partner, Stephen Heighton. Together, they also opened Elmo in 2002.  

The Coby Club is located at 156 ½ Seventh Ave, New York, NY  Website  Reservations via Resy


April 21, 2021, 5:28.22 pm ET

Photo: Doyle Auction House                                                   

Doyle Auction House is pleased to announce the inaugural auction of Stage & Screen on Wednesday, April 28, with in-person viewings from April 23-26. This landmark auction showcases over 300 lots of original set designs and stage props, costumes and red carpet gowns, signed photographs and memorabilia from the vast history of the performing arts: theater, Hollywood, opera and dance. 

Highlights of the auction include selections from the Celest Holm Collection, including her Golden Globe Award for the film “Gentleman’s Agreement”; her Sarah Siddons Society Award, a theater honor based on the fictional award in the film “All About Eve,” and memorabilia from her Broadway shows, including “Oklahoma!”, “Bloomer Girl” and “The King and I”

In addition, there will be a selection of items from The Costume Institute Collection and special celebrity memorabilia curated by the actress Christine Baranski, including a Wolverine jacket from Hugh Jackman’s closet; the monkey music box from “The Phantom of the Opera”; boots, jeans and t-shirt from Bruce Springsteen; a banjo signed by Steve Martin; Bob Mackie dresses from Carol Burnett; a dress from Dolly Parton and much more.

Recognizing the importance of the performing arts to the fabric of New York, and the terrible toll that the pandemic is taking on the entertainment community, Doyle will proudly donate 10% of the profit from this auction to The Actors Fund.

For more information, visit

April 21, 2021, 11:01.57 am ET

Photo: Russ Rowland                                                                                               +

A specially filmed version of the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, “A Letter to Harvey Milk” will be presented as a benefit online beginning April 22 at 7pm and running through April 25. Money raised from ticket sales will benefit both The Actors Fund and HIAS.

The show, which is set in San Francisco in 1986, focuses on Harry an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher. When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who is dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie but Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Harry's letter evokes unforeseen and life-changing revelations.

The show features music by Laura I. Kramer, lyrics by Ellen M. Schwartz, with additional lyrics by Cheryl Stern, and a book by Jerry James, Laura I. Kramer, Ellen M. Schwartz, and Cheryl Stern. It is directed by Evan Pappas with music direction by Jeffrey Lodin and orchestrations by Ned Ginsburg.

The production stars Adam Heller, Julia Knitel, Cheryl Stern, Michael Bartoli, Jeremy Greenbaum, Aury Krebs and Ravi Roth

Tickets are $10-$50 and can be purchased by visiting



Momofuku Ssam Bar opens at Pier 17
April 20, 2021, 7:03.52 pm ET

Photo: William Hereford                                                                                         

Momofuku Ssäm Bar now calls Pier 17 at the Seaport home, replacing Kawi which never really got off the ground due top the pandemic.  Ssamm Bar's menu will be constantly changing, drawing its inspriation from global flavors as well as its NYC roots.  Among Chef Eunjo Park's offerings - kimbap, large-format ssäms ("wrapped" dishes), and cocktails that can be enjoyed while taking in views of the waterfront at Pier 17. 

Momofuki Ssäm MBar is located at 89 South Street, New Yorkl, NY  Website


Armani / Ristorante unveils its new spring menu
April 20, 2021, 6:34.30 pm ET

Located atop the Armani concept store on 5th Avenue, Armani/Ristorante recently celebrated it 10th anniversary as an acclaimed destination for Italian fine dining, embodying Giorgio Armani’s vision of the house as a complete lifestyle brand.

Now, the Ristorante’s new spring lunch and dinner menus launched by Executive Chef Michele Brogioni offer carefully curated dishes that highlight the freshest ingredients of the season. The lunch menu offers 2-course or 3-course options, while the dinner menu is a 4-course meal with the option to add a wine pairing experience.

Signature spring menu dishes include Tartare di Tonno - tuna tartare with citrus extra virgin olive oil, finger lime and air-dried mullet roe; Tagliolini Verdi - homemade spinach tagliolini with langoustines, wild mushrooms and seasonal truffle; and Grande Costoletta di Vitello - breaded veal chop Milanese style with seasonal salad and plum tomatoes

Honoring Mr. Armani’s simple, yet elegant aesthetic, the restaurant serves sophisticated and authentic takes on Italy’s cuisine in a welcoming and stylish setting. All tables are elegantly designed, featuring tableware by Armani / Casa. The light, airy space is the perfect place to indoor dine, as tables are spaced out and there are expansive windows with incredible views.

Photos: Armani / Ristorante

Armani / Ristorante is located at 717 5th Ave, New York, NY (212) 207-1902 Website


First Look inside Charlie Palmer Steak NY
April 17, 2021, 9:01.59 am ET

First Look inside Charlie Palmer Steak NYC

Charlie Palmer Steak has taken up residence in the former Aureole space in Times Square.  We spotted Chef Palmer himself greeting guests during its opening day in what truly is a magnificent space.

First Look inside Charlie Palmer Steak NYC

The centerpiece is a towering, swirly chandelier overhead with plush burgundy banquettes, slate gray chairs and  pure white tablecloths that give it that true steakhouse feel. It’s bright and chic, and ushering in what we hope will be a grand post-pandemic era in the city.

First Look inside Charlie Palmer Steak NYC

You can spend as little as $45 for a prix fixe 3-course dinner here or several hundred dollars.  It's really up to you. The iconic two-story wine wall from Aureole still towers above the main dining room. There is also a spacious bar as well as additional dining areas for private events. 

Charlie Palmer Steak, Times Square, NYC, Rolls

Our meal began with complimentary buns that are soft and utterly addictive, even more so once slathered with butter. You will want to take a few home with you, especially the onion ones. There are fresh oysters and towers of seafood to choose from, and jumbo gulf shrimp plunged into an icy mound with tangy cocktail sauce for dipping.  

 Charlie Palmer Steak, Times Square, NYC, Shrimp Cocktail

For those watching there figures, there are salads like a Little Gem Caesar and Steakhouse Wedge, as well as Ahi Tuna Tartare. Office workers from the area looking for an after-work bite, might want to bite into one of several sandwiches, including a Steakhouse Burger and Grilled Filet on Toast with sauce Diane. 

Charlie Palmer Steak, Times Square, NYC, Steak Frites

Steak Frites brings filet mignon smothered in au poivre sauce to the table along with a bucket of crispy shoestring fries dusted with salt, pepper and rosemary. The steak itself arrived medium rare and tender as could be.

 Charlie Palmer Steak, Times Square, NYC, Filet Mignon

For those wishing to splurge a bit more, there is a Prime Dry Aged Porter House for two, Bone-On Ribeye and Center Cut Filet Mignon. One of the priciest cuts is the Wagyu A5 Miyazaki Striploin.

First Look inside Charlie Palmer Steak NYC 

To accompany your meal you can you choose one of those wine bottles overhead or some bubbly, as well as house cocktails and craft beers.  In warmer weather there's a large outdoor communal space for dining al fresco.

Charlie Palmer Steak, Times Square, NYC, Key Lime Pie

Desserts range from New York Style Cheasecake to Apple Strudel and a rolled Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache and whipped cream. We opted for a slice of Key Lime Pie with just the right amount of tartness in a crispy graham cracker crust.

Charlie Palmer Steak is a welcome addition to Times Square, breathing new life into an area that has been hard hit by the pandemic.  And as Broadway prepares to return, Charlie Palmer is leading the way! - TR

Charlie Palmer Steak is located at 135 W 42nd St, New York, NY  (212) 319-1660  Website

April 16, 2021, 12:59.43 am ET


The long-running mystery drama “Perfect Crime” will return to live performances at the Snapple Theatre Center on Saturday, April 17 and will officially re-open on Sunday, April 18 at 7:30pm, which is its 34th anniversary performance. The show will reopen with a newly updated ventilation system, a fully vaccinated cast and staff, and numerous safety precautions and policies in place. 

The show tells the story of attractive psychiatrist and suspected cold-blooded killer Margaret Brent, her wealthy husband, a deranged patient, and the handsome detective who's falling in love with her. It features Catherine Russell (who has performed continuously in the show since its first preview in1987), along with Patrick Ryan Sullivan, David Butler, Charles Geyer, and Patrick Robustelli.

For more information, visit


Around Town - Gage & Tollner opens its doors, new spring menus and more!
April 15, 2021, 11:51.16 pm ET

Gage & Tollner Opening Downtown Brooklyn
Photo: David Dyte @spibaseball                                                                               

After an agonizing yearlong wait due to the pandemic, Gage & Tollner (372 Fulton St) in Downtown Brooklyn has finally opened its doors for indoor dining. To celebrate, partners Sohui Kim (chef, Insa /The Good Fork), Ben Schneider (Insa /The Good Fork), and St. John Frizell (Fort Defiance) cut a bright red ribbon at the landmark townhouse which is officially open for business albeit at 50% of capacity. The opening menu includes things like Whole Broiled Porgy with creamed spinach, Shrimp Scampi with gnudi & herbed bread crumbs, and Fried Chicken with cornmeal fritters, not to mention a fully-stocked raw bar with oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail and Kaluga Caviar. Cheers! 

Sakibas, Spanish Restaurant, NYC
Photo: Salinas                                                                         

Also returning to the dining scene is Salinas. Salinas (136 9th Ave, NYC) is known for its Spanish dishes inspired by the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands.  Executive Chef and partner Luis Bollo is offering sesonal favorites ranging from savory Tomatitos with farmer’s market tomatoes and Pan Tumaca with hojiblanca olive oil, to herb-dusted hanger steaks and Arroz Vasco with salted cod risotto. 

Kellari Taverna, Midtown, NYC

Kellari Taverna (19 W 44th St, NYC) in Midtown now has ample curbside and indoor dining. To celebrate its brand new brunch menu, the Mediterranean spot is offering bottomless mimosas with an entrée purchase for 22 dollars. 

Jungsik (2 Harrison St, NYC), the New Korean restaurant which captured two Michelin stars, is offering an abridged 5-course menu of signature dishes for $165. The menu includes lightly grilled langoustine with smoky sabayon and hyssop oil; Myeong Ran Bibimbap with cod roe over seaweed rice & pearl barley finished with a slow-cooked egg yolk and crispy quinoa;  Iberico ham with white asparagus, sunchoke and micro mitzuna (a type of mustard green); and its famous “trick of the eye” baby banana pudding for dessert. 

Ichiran, Ramen, NYC
Photo: Ichiran                                                                                                          

Ichiran, known for its solo dining booths serving Tonkotsu ramen, has reopened all three of its New York City locations for indoor dining in Times Square, Midown and Brooklyn.  To ensure the quality of its ramen, each dish is delivered in 15 seconds from kitchen to table. Delivery and takeout are also available. 

Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen (800 9th Ave, NYC) is also reopening with a new spring menu. Dublin-born chef Darren Pettigrew's menu includes Short Rib Steam Buns with fennel aioli, sweet chili sambal, and roasted peanuts, Crispy Karaage Buffalo Chicken, Sullivan County Rainbow Trout with grilled veggies, and Char-Grilled Steak Frites with chimichurri sauce and hand-cut French fries. 

Vilailuck ‘Pepper’ Teigen cookbook
Photo: Vilailuck ‘Pepper’ Teigen                                  

To mark its collaboration with The Pepper Thai Cookbook, Thai Diner (186 Mott St, NYC) is offering Pepper Thai’s Fancy Tuna Tartare (available in-house only) with shallots, fresh chilies, mint, and cilantro; and Nam Prik Moo Sloppy Joes (available for takeout) with spicy ground pork, tomatoes, and miso paste, both of which are featured recipes in the cookbook( Friday, April 16th through Sunday, April 18th). The Pepper Thai Cookbook is a debut cookbook from Vilailuck ‘Pepper’ Teigen, the mom of model Chrissy Teigen.

fields Good Zero Waste Tacos  
Photo: Fields Good Chicken                                               

In celebration of Earth Day (4/22-4/25), Fields Good Chicken is offering guests 50% off its new Zero-Waste Tacos ($2.25/taco OR $6 for an order of 3). The carbon neutral tacos are made with Pulled Achiote Rad Bird (made with leftover OG Rad Bird meat), and served on corn tortillas with house-made guacamole, cotija cheese, onions, and cilantro (gluten-free).  

Looking ahead…

It’s never too soon to celebrate mom.  La Goulue (29 E 61st St, NYC) is offering a special $59 prix fixe Mother’s Day menu including French Toast on homemade brioche, Lobster bisque with celery cream, and Croque Monsieur with brie and black truffle, mache salad and French fries. Complementary fresh baked croissants and other goodies will also be offered. 

Five Boroughs Brewing Party Water
Photo: Five Boroughs Brewing Co.                                                                         

And Five Boroughs Brewing Co. (215 47th St) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn will soon be offering its Party Water, a product by New Yorkers for New Yorkers. Beginning this May, four Party Water flavors will be available: Watermelon Lime / Grapefruit Orange / Raspberry Lemonade / Strawberry Mojito. All four flavors have 5% Alcohol, are just 100 calories, 0 grams of sugar, naturally-flavored, and gluten-free. 

Stay tuned for next week's Around Town!



Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Fort Greene
April 14, 2021, 6:44.34 pm ET

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Greenpoint

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar is a celebration of owner Marianna Shayan’s love for Italian food. The restaurant is located on the ground level of a luxury residential building in Fort Greene and just steps from Barclay’s Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Pietro Aletto is serving as Executive Chef. Aletto has worked alongside some of the city’s most prestigious chefs including Christina Tosi, Jonathan Benno, and Andrew Carmellini. Together, they developed a menu that featuring traditional Italian dishes with modern flair.

To start, guests may enjoy an assortment of antipasti including Buttuta di Manzo (steak tartare with capers, red onion, chives, and mustard) and Fritto Misto (fried calamari, shrimp, zucchini, and marinara sauce), as well as salads like the Gamberi with gem lettuce, prawns, artichoke, and rosemary dressing.

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Greenpoint

All of Loreto’s pastas are handmade fresh daily with imported Italian flour. Options include Linguine alle Vongole with garlic and breadcrumbs; Fettuccine al Ragu with beef, pecorino romano, and basil; and Cacio e Pepe.

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Greenpoint

Neapolitan-style pizza is also offered at Loreto. Each pie is baked in the Forza Forni oven in just 90 seconds. Guests can opt for the classic Margherita or go for the restaurant’s signature Loreto pizza, with burrata, shaved parmesan, and Prosciutto di Parma. To round out the meal, guests can also order mains like Filetto di Maiale (pork tenderloin, roasted peppers, and creamy polenta); Branzino al Forno (roasted branzino, grilled lemon, watercress, and herb salsa verde); and the Pollo al Forno (oven-roasted chicken, mixed mushrooms, and mashed potatoes), as well as vegetable-driven sides.

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Greenpoint

Aletto’s extensive pastry background also calls attention to the restaurant’s desserts, with options such as Cheesecake Pudding, a light no-bake cheesecake with fresh fruit puree, and a shard of hard meringue, and the Torta al Cioccolato, a chocolate hazelnut cake with chocolate ganache and salted caramel. Like Loreto’s food, the beverage program pays homage to tradition with an eye towards innovation.

Signature libations include the Lorigroni – Loreto’s take on the Negroni – with Nonino Merlot grappa, strawberry-infused sweet vermouth, and coffee-infused bitters.

 Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar opens in Greenpoint
         Photo: Lorbeto Italian Kitchen & Bar                                                                    

The space designed by Asthetique delivers elegant glamour, featuring a large ceiling installation of hanging dried flowers, as well as rustic pottery with 16’-18’ trees illuminated with gentle lighting. Natural materials like wood and stone, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light reinforcing the indoor/outdoor vibe.

Loreto Italian Kitchen & Bar is located 280 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY (718) 554-1121 l Website


seeyamanana brings plant-centric
cuisine to Nomad

April 14, 2021, 5:53.29 pm ET

seeyamanana brings plant-centric cuisine to Nomad

Inspired by his Mexican roots and classical culinary training, Executive Chef Carlos Chavarria is bringing his plant-forward take to Mexican staples to Nomad with seeyamañana.  seeyamañana’s vibrant, plant-centric menu inventively spotlights fruits, herbs, and vegetables, along with pole-caught fish and free-grazed proteins.

Dishes evoke Mexico’s sunny coastline - from a Stuffed Poblano Taco with apples, raisins and banana to Ensalada de Posole with several radish varieties, as well as Beet Tacos with marinated, roasted beets, cilantro pesto, seeds and greens. Hearty mains round out the menu, like the Birria Quesadilla with slow-cooked birria and housemade flour tortillas; and Vegan Chorizo Enchiladas with chili, potato cheese and caldillo rojo.

seeyamanana brings plant-centric cuisine to Nomad

Beach-side offerings include creative takes on Ceviche, like vegan Root Ceviche with bell peppers, avocado, onions, cilantro, mint, basil, and bamboo shoots along with Pole Caught Fish Ceviche featuring the catch of the day. Among sweeter options, there are corn tamales stuffed with pineapple topped with ice cream, and churros with creme. 

seeyamanana brings plant-centric cuisine to Nomad

As the weather heats up, look for drinks like Frozen Margaritas with tequila, agave and lime and Frozen Mezcal Penicillin with mezcal and ginger. Owner Ryan McKenzie is also known for his botanic-focused highballs like Prickly Pear with tequila, mezcal, amaro, cactus flower, grapefruit and lime.  seeyamañana also offers a selection of Mexican beers and a rotating list of Micheladas, including the Adobada with dried chilis, cumin, tomato and lime. 

seeyamanana brings plant-centric cuisine to Nomad
Photos: @slightfeasts                                                                                               

The space, designed by McKenzie, features natural materials, woven art, desert plants and worn tiles giving it a casual, lived-in vibe.  Opening Friday April 16. 

seeyamañana is located at 49 West 27th St, New York, NY.   Reservations via website

Sam Durant's Untitled (drone) heading to High Line
April 14, 2021, 10:23.01 am ET

Photo: High Line Art                                                                                            

High Line Art announcing its second High Line Plinth commission: Untitled (drone), a large-scale fiberglass sculpture mounted 25 feet high, by artist Sam Durant. The artwork will be displayed in the elevated park at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue, known as the Plinth, a landmark destination for major public art. Durant’s artwork will be installed on the High Line in May 2021 and will be on view through August 2022.  Simone Leigh’s Brick House was the first artwork to be displayed since 2019. The sculpture is modeled after the Predator drone, a remotely piloted aircraft that was used by the US military beginning in 1995 to conduct reconnaissance around the world and, later, airstrikes in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. For more info visit

Charlie Palmer Steak replaces Aureole in Times Square
April 14, 2021, 12:11.10 am ET

Charlie Palmer Steak replaces Aureole in Times Square

Aureole in Times Square is now Charlie Palmer Steak. Named after Chef Charlie Palmer, the steakhouse is serving top-notch steaks and chops from small producers around the world. Unlike other steakhouse that are usually dimly lit, this space is bright and cheery with a full bar and spacious dining room right on New York's iconic 42nd Street.

Start with a selection of East Coast Oysters, Gulf Shrimp Cocktail or maybe a Prime Seafood Platter stacked high with oysters, clams, cran, shrimp, mussels and lobster (Regular $70 and Grand $105). Ahi Tartare, Steakhouse Wedge with blue cheese dressing, and Onion Soup Gratin are also counted among the starters. For a lighter meal, there is a Grilled Chicken Club, Steakhouse Burger and Grilled Filet served on a crisp baguette with caramelized onions, mushrooms and sauce Diane.

Charlie Palmer Steak replaces Aureole in Times Square

Larger plates bring Steak Frites, a Prime Dry Aged Porterhouse for two, New York Strip and a Wagyu A5 Miyazaki Striploin, which is one of the most expensive cuts on the menu. Seafood, including a Grilled Stuffed Lobster, is also represented strongly.

Charlie Palmer Steak appears more approachable than Aureole, with several different price points, including a 3-course Prix Fixe Dinner for $45 which should appeal to locals as well as theatre goers once Broadway reopens.

Charlie Palmer Steak is located at 135 West 42nd St, New York, NY (212) 319-1660  website


NYC Bites - The Lamb Kebab Pita at Miznon at Hudson Yards
April 14, 2021, 12:02.56 am ET


The Lamb Kebab Pita at Miznon is a delicious bite. The kebab, which is actually a patty, is pure perfection and extremely juicy. It’s accompanied by grilled tomatoes and onions that are charred around the edges.  Also, stuffed in there are tart pickle slices. Add in some tahini and tomato salsa and you have a sandwich worth traveling for.  Just ask for some extra napkins. You’ll need them!

Miznon is located at 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY (646) 434-2071  website

Samesa opens in the Rockefeller Center Concourse
April 13, 2021, 11:41.25 pm ET

Semesa, Rockefeller Center, Chicken Schwarma

Samesa is now open in the Rockefeller Center Concourse. Brothers Eli and Max Sussman run the place which is inspired by the foods they grew up on in Detroit and New York City's Halal trucks. The original outpost on Lorimer Street in Brooklyn closed only to be reborn in Midtown. 

 Semesa, Rockefeller Center, Exterior
Samesa is known for its wraps served on an oversized pitas. The Chicken Schwarma wrap is humongous, filled with chicken that’s been marinated in yogurt and spices along with cucumber, pickles, tomato, pickled cabbage, tahini and green zhug, a Yemeni hot sauce. It’s a great deal at $13 for this neck of the woods.

Semesa, Rockefeller Center, Tahini Brownie

Other options include Pickled Eggs & Roasted Eggplant, and Chickpea Seitan with Moroccan spices and avocado humus. All three are also available as bowls.  Salads, like Kale Fattoush with crispy pita chips, are also available. For dessert, treat yourself to one of their tahini brownies. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm. 

Samesa is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Concourse Level, New York, NY  Website


April 13, 2021, 10:59.33 pm ET


Casting has been announced for the star-studded virtual benefit performance of the Off-Broadway hit “THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS (THE MUSICAL!)…and More!” It will stream from Sunday, April 18 at 7pm through Wednesday, April 21.

With music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart, and book by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, this special presentation is directed by Tom D’Angora and Michael D’Angora, with music direction and arrangements by Deniz Cordell and associate music director Annie Pasqua. Original director Pamela Hunt is serving as artistic supervisor. This event will raise funds to help The York Theatre Company recover and rebuild after devastating damage from a water main break on January 4.

The cast will include Alexandra Billings, Charles Busch, Robert Creighton, Ana Gasteyer, Beth Leavel, Lauren Molina, Sarah Stiles, Christy Altomare, Colleen Ballinger, Betty Buckley, André De Shields, Richard Kind, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Kelvin Moon Loh, Patti LuPone, Lesli Margherita, Andrea McArdle, Brad Oscar, Christine Pedi, Randy Rainbow, Jelani Remy, Chita Rivera, Soara-Joye Ross, Jackie Sanders, Ethan Slater, Michael West, and Lillias White.

In addition, there will be special appearances by Iain Armitage, Matthew Broderick, Lewis Black, Giancarlo Esposito, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Debra Messing, Isaac Mizrahi, Mandy Patinkin, Martha Plimpton, Mercedes Ruehl. Joel Grey, Perez Hilton, Megan Hilty, Amanda Lopez, Darlene Love, Julianne Moore, Jinks Monsoon, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Rapp, George Salazar, Brooke Shields, Renée Taylor, John Tartaglia, Ben Vereen, and writers Gerard Alessandrini, Sara Bareilles, Debra Barsha, Nell Benjamin, Douglas J. Cohen, Gretchen Cryer, Nancy Ford, Amanda Green, Sheldon Harnick, Erik Haggensen, Joe Iconis, Tom Jones, Peter Kellogg, Richard Maltby, Jr., Alan Menken, Laurence O’Keefe, Stephen Schwartz, Marc Shaiman, David Shire, Charles Strouse, Stephen Temperley, John Weidman, David Yazbek, and Maury Yeston.

The evening will also include remarks from Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For additional information, please visit



Esme relaunches just in time for spring
April 12, 2021, 11:19.16 pm ET

Esme, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC

Esme, known for its snacks and classic French bistro fare, is relaunching in Greenpoint with new food and beverage menus, revamped dining room and outdoor seating in its lush garden. Longtime friends and New Yorkers Brandon Chamberlain, Matthew Ricke and Nathan Ricke are the creative forces behind Esme and also operate Williamsburg cocktail bar, The Exley.

Esme, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC

Start with afternoon snacks fro Chef Adam Volk like rotating marketplace oysters, tinned seafood, and house-made bread & butter. Dinner options include Grilled Summer Squash with smoked ricotta and toast; Borscht Salad with pickled beets, dill and roasted potatoes; Roasted Chicken with caramelized fennel and fries; and Spring Pea Pot Pie with lemon garlic cream. Weekend brunch brings oversized cinnamon rolls, buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup; Eggs Benedict with smoked ham, cinnamon French toast and more.

Creative cocktails include the Papasito with tequila, lime, campari and fresh grapefruit as well as the Magic Kingdom with choice of spirit, lemon and Esme’s house-made Five Spice Ginger beer. Natural and old world wines are also available along with craft beers from Transmitter brewing and Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.

Esme, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC
Photos: Esme                                                                                                         

Esme is also a partner with Rethink Food, the nonprofit committed to reducing food insecurity with other New York restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Fieldtrip, Gertie, among others.  

Esme is located at  999 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn.  Reservations via Resy.  


Costume Institute Two-Part Exhibition to Focus on American Fashion
April 12, 2021, 7:39.10 pm ET

Photo: Melanie Schiff                                                                               

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announcing plans for The Costume Institute’s next major exhibition: a two-part show on view from September 18, 2021 through September 5, 2022. Part One, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion—opening in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on September 18, 2021—will celebrate The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion. Part Two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion—opening in the American Wing period rooms on May 5, 2022—will explore the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces.

In celebration of the first opening, a more intimate Costume Institute Benefit (also known as The Met Gala) is scheduled for Monday, September 13, 2021, pending government guidelines.   

Exhibition Overview

Part One—In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries will feature a fictional American home constructed of transparent walls that intersect and overlap, blurring the boundaries of the interior rooms. Examples of 20th- and 21st-century fashion will populate the rooms, reflecting the customs and behaviors of the imagined occupants. Designs by pioneers of American sportswear will be displayed alongside works by a diverse group of contemporary designers to illustrate a shifting emphasis in American fashion defined by feelings of fear, delight, comfort, anxiety, well-being, loneliness, happiness, belonging, self-reflection, and self-representation among other qualities.

Part Two—In America: An Anthology of Fashion

Opening May 5, 2022, Part Two of the exhibition will feature women’s and men’s historical and contemporary dress dating from the 18th century to the present in vignettes installed in select period rooms. The interiors present a survey of more than 300 years of American domestic life and tell a variety of stories—from the personal to the political, the stylistic to the cultural, and the aesthetic to the ideological. The exhibition will reflect on these narratives through a series of three-dimensional cinematic “freeze frames” produced in collaboration with notable American film directors. These mise-en-scènes will explore the role of dress in shaping American identity and address the complex and layered histories of the rooms.

For more information visit

Image: "VEIL FLAG" by S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA., 2020. Courtesy of Sterling Ruby Studio. Photography by Melanie Schiff.


Arthur Avenue Brings Back ''Piazza di Belmont'' to Bronx Little Italy
April 12, 2021, 7:26.37 pm ET

Photo: Belmont BID                                                                                          

Starting Friday, April 30th, Bronx Little Italy is bringing back the “Piazza d Belmont” for weekend evening al fresco dining. Arthur Avenue which will be closed to vehicular traffic from East 188th Street to Crescent Avenue from 6 pm to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 pm to 9 pm on Sundays.

The Belmont BID originally partnered with Sam Schwartz, former NYC Traffic Commissioner, to design Piazza di Belmont, incorporating health and safety protocols, six feet spacing between tables, signage for pedestrians, temporary street closures during the weekend evenings and more. Approved by the Department of Transportation, “Piazza di Belmont” creates a glorious, European-style outdoor dining experience.

Bronx Little Italy’s neighborhood outdoor dining plan features many restaurants, eateries, and local businesses, including but not limited to Zero Otto Nove, Mario’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Ann & Tony’s, Pasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant, among others. Reservations at individual restaurants are highly recommended.

For more information visit


Culture Window @ the Jewelbox to Present Free Friday Night Performances
April 12, 2021, 7:11.55 pm ET

Photo: Culture Windown                                                                                            

The Actors Fund Arts Center and Brooklyn Ballet will present “Culture Window @ the Jewelbox” at 160 Schemerhorn Street on Fridays, April 16, 23 and 30 at 8pm. These three evenings of dance, music and storytelling are designed to be viewed safely from the street and are intended to be a colorful revivifying moment of pride and connectivity for the neighborhood.

Program highlights include will include performances by pianist Simone Dinnerstein, the multi-disciplinary Brooklyn Ballet, The Knights orchestra, Girl Be Heard theater and activist group, jazz duo Malcolm Parson and Killian Jack Venman, Aliesha Bryan, the Dancing Crane Ensemble and City Stompers.

Each 75-minute show will be free and Caribbean food and snacks will be available for purchase from Norm’s Bkn Jerkmobile. RSVPs are encouraged through


April 12, 2021, 6:48.37 pm ET

Photo: The Producers                                                                

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “The Producers” on a special livestreamed episode of “Stars in the House” on Saturday, April 17 at 8pm.

The pair will be joined by original cast members Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Roger Bart, Cady Huffman, and Brad Oscar, as well as director and choreographer Susan Stroman, for an evening of backstage stories, reminiscing and plenty of music!  

Based on Mel Brooks’ classic 1967 film comedy, “The Producers” ran for six years and amassed a record-setting 11 Tony Awards.

All proceeds from the evening benefit The Actors Fund. For more information, visit


The thrills are back in Coney Island
April 9, 2021, 6:00.41 pm ET


The thrill rides are back at Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Coney Island where April 9th kicked off the season after being closed due to the pandemic for the last 18 months.  There are some restrictions. The park will be operating at 33 percent capacity for the time being and will require reservations and social distancing. The parks features more than 30 rides and attaractions including the Sling Shot, Soarin' Eagle, Atlantic Aviator, Electro Spin, Thunderbolt and more. There are also six new children's rides at Luna Park, including the Grand Prix, Aero Max and Mini Mouse. Luna Park is currently open weekends from 11am to 7pm. After Memorial Day, the park will be open 7 days a week at 50% capacity.  For more information click here


The Sentry Flatiron opens at Hotel Henri
April 9, 2021, 5:56.02 pm ET

The Sentry Flatiron Rooftop opens at Hotel Henri

New York City’s newest rooftop par is The Sentry Flatiron atop the Henri Hotel.  Perched 18 stories above the hustle of the city below, The Sentry is designed to be a year-round destination spot. Its intimate bar is filled with cozy nooks allowing for the perfect escape. The private rooftop is able to accommodate more than 200 guests and is also available for private events.

 The Sentry Flatiron Rooftop opens at Hotel Henri

A joint venture between Parched Hospitality Group and Hotel Henri, the penthouse boasts city views and a carefully crafted cocktail list by mixologists Gates Otsuji and Jeremy Ortiz.  Cocktails include A Little Night Music featuring blanc de blancs bubbles, with cardamaro, amontillado sherry, and banana liqueur served in a coupe with a single cube; Burning Down the House with tequila, passionfruit, jalapeno agave and grapefruit; and Charade with cucumber-dill vodka, clarified lemon, aloe vera, seltzer, and a touch of elderflower.

The Sentry Flatiron Rooftop opens at Hotel Henri

Sentry Flatiron’s menu offers carefully curated small plates designed to pair well with the drinks. Look for things like Impossible Sausage Rolls with smoked beetroot relish, and Crispy Pork with chili paste, fried shallots, tamarind, and fish sauce caramel. The chef’s creations also include Salt and Pepper Squid with fried curry leaves, limes and a kewpie mayonnaise.     

The Sentry Flatiron Rooftop opens at Hotel Henri
Photos: The Sentry Flatiron                                                                      

Parched Hospitality Group, led by CEO Barry Dry, also operates Hole in the Wall coffee shops, Ghost Burger and soon a fine dining Cantonese concept called Ms. Alice on West 58th Street by the iconic Paris Theater next year.

The Sentry Flatiron is located at 37 west 24th St, New York, NY  website


Around Town - Nami Nuri does brunch, cherry blossom time, end of the line for Eisenberg's and more..
April 8, 2021, 5:54.41 pm ET

Photo: Nami Nori                                                                                               

Nami Nori in the West Village is now offering brunch. The Japanese restaurant in the West Village specializing in Temaki, open sushi rolls. The menu includes a Brunch Set with options such as Salmon Bacon & Tamago, Avocado Toast, and Everything Smoked Salmon. Cocktails include a Mango Mimosa and Rise & Shine with cold brew, soju, dandelion tea and Oatly foam.

Photo: Tavern on the Green                                                                                  

Tavern on the Green is back.  The Central Park institution announcing plans to reopen on Thursday, April 29th after a “long and challenging year.”  To mark the event, there will be a festive dinner at 5pm, with live music in the courtyard.  Full service lunch and a ToGo window will open on Friday, April 30th.

The team behind Grand Banks is trying to open another waterfront drinking and eating establishment in DUMBO in view of the Brooklyn Bridge and are asking for help in securing a liquor license by signing a petition


Smorgasburg is coming to the site that used to belong to the Hester Street Fair in Seward Park. Let’s just say the Hester Street Fair folks ain’t too happy about it and have launched a petition drive to fight it. Stay tuned.


The signage has gone up for Estela Chef Ignacio Mattos' new Caffe Lodi at Rockefeller Center.  The bakery, market and cafe is replacing Bouchon Bakery which closed during the pandemic and never reopened.


La Pecora Bianca, a popular Italian spot in NoMad, has taken up nearly an entire block with its new outdoor plaza. That’s on top of existing outdoor cabanas and indoor seating. The Smith, a block away, has another huge setup going on.


Signage has gone up for Daniel Boulud’s Le Pavillion near Grand Central. The restaurant will offer a seasonally inspired menu in a “nature-oriented oasis.”

                Image: Le Pavillion Rendering/Business Wire                                                                           

Le Pavillion is located at One Vanderbilt, Reservations will begin next month, according to Eater. 


It’s cherry blossom time and some of the best places to see the blooms include the Brooklyn Botanical GardenNew York Botanical GardenCentral ParkWashington Square and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Photo: Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao                                                                         

If you’re looking for some bao after the blooms, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao [39-16 Prince St., Flushing] is located near Flushing Meadows and Bao Tea House [140 West 4th Street] is within walking distance from Washington Square.


Spring has sprung at Union Square Market where you will find a large assortment of flowering plants for your garden or window boxes.  

Summer is just around the corner.  The city’s outdoor pools and eight public beaches will open on time for the season. Beaches will open on Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 29, and outdoor pools across the city will open the day after the last day of school on Saturday, June 26, according to the Mayor. Openings will follow heath guidance on COVID and safety protocols.

And some sad news to report. Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop in Flatiron has shut down. We spotted a “For Lease” sign in the window. The old school diner has been around since 1929.  Eisenberg’s is known for Jewish classics like Chopped Liver, Matzo Ball Soup and its famous Reuben Sandwich.  The website says the closing in “temporary,” so maybe we will see a new incarnation down the road.  But for now, its signature location appears done.   

Until next time, we'll be see you Around Town!

Chicken-Centric restaurant Chick Chick opens on the UWS
April 7, 2021, 1:23.11 am ET

Chick Chick, UWS, NYC, Nashville Hot Chicken

Chick Chick has opened on the Upper West Side with an assortment of chicken sandwiches, platters, ramen and more.

The signature Chickwich gets a crispy cutlet with pickles, lettuce, Monterey Jack and “chick chick” sauce. There’s also a Nashville Hot Chickwich  (above) with white sauce, and the KSG-Wich with Korean sweet gochujang with white kimchi slaw and sesame seeds.

Chick Chick, UWS, NYC, Chicken Wings

Fried chicken is also available by the half or whole bird, along with wings and assorted sauces. Chicken and Mushroom Ramen are also on the menu along with Kimchi Fried Rice.  Sides bring house-made biscuits with hot honey and truffle parm fries. Wing sets with up to 50 pieces, plus sides, can be ordered for game night and other occasions.

Chick Chick, UWS, NYC, Neon Sign

The restaurant is currently open for outdoor dining and takeout with indoor dining to follow.

Chick Chick is located at 618 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (212) 799-1026 Website


Native Noodles brings inventive Asian cuisine Uptown
April 7, 2021, 12:46.55 am ET

Native Noodles, Washington Heights, NYC, Laksa

From a non-descript storefront on Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights comes Native Noodles whose Asian fare is anything but routine.

Native Noodles, Washington Heights, NYC, Dumplings

Look for snacks and noodle dishes like Pork & Shrimp Dumplings ordered boiled or fried. Shrimp Fritters coated in a homemade batter geat a dunk in some sweet chili sauce, and Chili Crab Buns come with a signature crab dip.

 Native Noodles, Washington Heights, NYC, Shrimp Fritters

Larger plates bring Laksa, a slow cooked shrimp-based curry (top), rice noodles, sprouts, cucumber and crispy onions along with choice of protein and/or a soft boiled egg.

Native Noodles, Washington Heights, NYC, Honey Pork
Photos: SJS for                                                                                        

Honey Roasted Pork is served over addictive garlic rice, while Wonton Dumplings, braised in soy sauce, arrive with bok choy and thin egg noodles. Vegetarians may want to give Satay Peanut a go. The thick egg noodles are mixed with a creamy peanut sauce and some veggies on the side. For dessert, try some Fluffy Pandan Waffles with coconut Jam.

Native Noodles is located at 2129 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY (646) 370-6290 Website


April 6, 2021, 10:49.45 am ET

Photo: The Jewish Museum                                                                   

The Jewish Museum is presenting “Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine,” an exhibition exploring how photography, graphic design, and popular magazines converged to transform American visual culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. The exhibition will be on view through July 11, 2021.  

The exhibition is organized into five sections: “Art as Design, Design as Art,” “Fashion as Desire,” “The Contested Page,” “Reimagining Industry,” and “Graphic Effect.” It features over 150 works including vintage photographs, art book layouts, and magazine cover designs by such influential figures as Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, Lester Beall, Margaret Bourke-White, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, William Klein, Herbert Matter, Lisette Model, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Cipe Pineles, and Paul Rand.

To order timed tickets or for more information, visit


April 5, 2021, 9:53.17 am ET


The solo show “John Cullum: An Accidental Star” will premiere April 8 and will be available for streaming on demand through April 22. Two live watch party events will take place April 8 at 7pm and April 17 at 2pm.

Conceived by Cullum and Jeff Berger, the 80-minute intimate evening of stories and songs spanning Cullum’s illustrious career is told and sung by the 91-year-old two-time Tony Award winner. It is directed and filmed by Lonny Price and Matt Cowart and features a book by David Thompson, music supervision by Georgia Stitt and music direction by Julie McBride. 

The piece takes you behind the scenes with Cullum in such Broadway shows as “Camelot,” “Shenandoah,” “On the Twentieth Century,” “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” “Urinetown” and “The Scottsboro Boys.” The piece includes also includes never-before-heard stories of working with friends Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Goulet, Julie Andrews and more. 

Streaming tickets are available now at For more information, call the box office at 646-931-4714 or visit


Jamel Shabazz NYC Street and Subway photos at Rockefeller Center
April 3, 2021, 11:22.15 am ET

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center

Jamel Shabazz gives us a glimpse of life in New York City from 1980 to 2000 in a new outdoor exhibit in the plaza at Rockefeller Center. The illuminated images are on display day and night through April 30th. For more information click here 

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center

Jamel Shabazz NYC Street & Subway photos, Rockefeller Center
Photos: Jamel Shabazz Photographs/                                            

Dinner at Oceana in Midtown
April 2, 2021, 12:29.13 am ET

Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NYC

Oceana, the upscale seafood restaurant near Rockefeller Center, has reopened with indoor dining now at 50 percent capacity.  The restaurant has ample space for social distancing without having you feel like you’re stuck in a bubble. Chefs Michael Aungst and Tim Jocz share the role of Executive Chef. Together, they are committed to the use of seasonal ingredients with some exciting results.

 Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NYC, Cocktail
Our meal began with a tray of light-as-air focaccia studded with rosemary and perfect for a dip into extra virgin olive oil. It went swimmingly with The Oceana, a refreshing cocktail made from vodka, pomegranate, cranberry and orange.
 Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NYC, Oysters
A selection of briny oysters should make an appearance during any visit. Ours tasted as if they had just been plucked from the sea. Three varieties were offered: plump Oysterponds from New York, Wellfleets from Massachusetts and smaller yet ultra flavorful Kusshis (Japanese for "ultimate") from British Columbia. They’re served with various sauces and a wedge of lemon.
 Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NY, Octopus
Another dish worthy of a deep dive is the grilled octopus. It is juicy and tender, served with pork belly  atop mounds of apple, sautéed onion and mustard seeds. It all makes for a delicious bite.

 Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NYC, Oyster Po Boy
We finished off the meal with a Fried Ouster Po‘ Boy.  The oysters are light, crispy and plentiful.  It's served with house-made kimchi and dollops of spicy aioli.
Dinner at Oceana in Midtown, NYC, Chips

All in all, it was a fantastic meal. And while Broadway's return is still a few months away, hopefully, restaurants like Oceana would certainly appreciate you patronage. So, next time you're thinking a night out on the town, think Midtown!
Oceana is located at 120 W 49th St, New York, NY (212) 759-5941 Visit the Website


NYC Bites - Mofungo at Que Chevere
April 2, 2021, 12:06.51 am ET


Que Chevere is a restaurant specializing in Puerto Rican cuisine at Market Line on the Lower East Side.  One of its standout dishes is the Mofungo, a mound of smashed plaintains piled high with seasonings and a lot of garlic. It comes with a choice of shrimp, fried chicken and skirt steak. But we prefer the pernil, roasted pork, that is cooked to perfection. It arrives with a house sauce that is out of this world! You can take it out or order in and eat in a communal dining room on the top floor.  115 Delancey St, New York, NY (929) 384-6811




Restaurant Radar: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
April 1, 2021, 11:50.46 pm ET


Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, on the corner of First Avenue and St Marks Place, is almost ready to open.  We're told opening day hinges on getting the gas turned on and that could be a week or a few weeks. As we reported earlier, the shop will be open 24 hours a day with a contactless ordering system similar to the automat. 32 different types of dumplings will be offered including Pastrami, Bacon Cheese Burger, Lamb Gyro, French Onion Soup, Philly Cheesesteak and Peanut Butter & Jelly.

UPDATE: An Instagram post from Brooklyn Dumpling Shop says, "Con Ed has approved gas to store - Now 3 weeks to prepare > to our Grand Opening!" 



April 1, 2021, 5:24.05 pm ET

Image: Amour                                                                                                       

A virtual revival of the award-winning Broadway musical “Amour” will air for three performances on Stellar, April 2-4. The production is directed by Meg Folonoff and features music by Michel Legrand and a libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert, 

The production will feature Derrick Baskin, Drew Gehling, Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey, Adam Pascal, Christiani Pitts, Jennifer Sánchez, Thom Sesma, Vishal Vaidya and Rachel York.

The show is set in picturesque Montmartre and focuses on Dusoleil, a nerdy civil servant but also a dreamer who discovers that he can walk through walls, which allows him to give bread and jewels to the deserving bourgeoisie. As he gains confidence to win over the beautiful Isabelle from her unhappy marriage, Dusoleil’s magical approach to life makes the world better for his co-workers and other Parisian locals. 

All tickets are $20 and can be purchased at


A 15 Pound Burrito? That's no April Fool's joke
April 1, 2021, 12:33.17 pm ET

For National Burrito Day celebrated on the first Thursday in April, Cantina Rooftop’s Chef Saul Montiel will debut the Big Ass Taco’s cousin… the Big Ass Burrito (BAB), and no this is not an April Fool’s joke!

Available for the whole month of April, guests can indulge in this 15-pound burrito made with a choice of chicken or hanger steak and stuffed with Mexican rice, chipotle puree, black beans, chihuahua cheese, lettuce, avocado, queso fresco, radishes, pico de gallo, salsa ranchera, Morita and avocado sauces, and sour cream, all wrapped in a giant homemade tortilla.

Photos: Cantina Rooftop                                        

This colossal culinary creation feeds six to eight people and is priced at $80, so it’s the perfect sharing option for group dinners of families and friends. Not to mention the ultimate foodie Insta- worthy moment.

Cantina Rooftop is located at 605 West 48th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

A 15 Pound Burrito? That's no April Fool
April 1, 2021, 12:32.17 pm ET