Archives for February 2010 | NYC 2 LONDON

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[Translate] An elegant Central Asian bar & resto whose cushioned boozing area boasts finely crafted chess sets and whose five private rooms all rock plasmas, Samarqand’s Genghis-pleasing fare is all made using “ancient recipes and techniques” (bread from a traditional clay oven, etc). Feast...

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Bistro Vendome

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 28-02-2010


After leaving a longtime employer, many restaurateurs choose to stretch their creative wings, an admirable quest that often ends in them cooking wings for hungry sports fans to later dip in blue cheese, largely ignoring the celery. For a chef boldly sticking to what he’s always done best, check out Bistro Vendome.

From a husband & wife team formerly of nearby Jubilee — where she worked the front of the house, and he spent 15 years cheffing traditional French fare — Vendome’s preparing similarly classic cuisine inside an old townhouse, where a cozy, bar-abetted entrance leads to a beige- & cherry wood-accented dining room with a nautical-esque curved ceiling below, and, above, a covered mezzanine offering views of neighboring gardens, which sadly now have views of a neighboring you. Frog-tastic starters include garlic & parsley buttered snails, duck liver pate, and fish soup w/ Swiss, plus five variations on mussels, from the basil/ white wine/ garlic “Basilic”, to the curry/ lemongrass/ coconut milk “Thai”, to the “Normande”, whose creamy chicken broth, shrooms, and truffle oil will have patrons’ guts storming their britches. Heartier plates cut from Dover sole meuniere (floured and fried in butter), to broiled bronzini w/ artichokes a la barigoule (wine, mushrooms, pork fat…more butter), to grilled filet/ sirloin/ ribeye steak frites w/ green peppercorn or Bearnaise sauce; there’re also a trio of winter specials: duck confit/ bacon/ garlic sausage cassoulet, beef cheek shepherd’s pie, and intestine & calves foot Tripe A La Mode De Caen — after getting baked for 12 hours, even Superman has trouble spelling his name.

Happy endings stick to crowd pleasing classics like Grand Marnier creme brulee, profiteroles, tarte tatin w/ creme fraiche, and Nutella Napoleon, named for the man who defined going for it all and coming up short…

405 East 58th Street (btween 1st Ave and Sutton Place), New York, NY +1-212-935-9100

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The ultimate list of Valentines Day dinner tables in NY

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Events, Food, New York City | Posted on 27-02-2010


Table 31 @ Blue Hill

After President Obama took the First Lady here for dinner, she issued a statement that was just a recording of herself saying, “Mmmmm.” Away from the prying eyes of admirers and lobbyists, you’ll find this table’s the perfect place to learn your date’s stance on the issues—though you can assume she’s in the “pro-chocolate bread pudding” camp.

75 Washington Place (near Sixth Ave), +1-212-539-1776

The Private Table @ Hotel Griffou

If your plan to charter a 787 to a heart-shaped Caribbean island covered in rose petals fell through, you can still go over the top in the private room of this dimly lit, Clue mansion-style parlor: by sitting across from her at the medieval-looking 10-seater, where you can enjoy the kind of lavish, extended dining table you usually see in mansions. (This place has better service, though.)

21 W Ninth St (between Fifth and Sixth Ave), +1-212-358-0228

Table 5 @ Bohemian

Your night begins where all great romances do: a Japanese butcher shop, which you have to pass to get to this back-corner table. You’ll sit next to the Bohemian’s tiny garden, where you and your date will get a side of Zen (and Washu-Gyu Mini Burgers).

57 Great Jones St (west of Bowery), +1-212-388-1070

Table 22 @ Casa la Femme

Sometimes you just want to crawl into a tent with your date and draw the curtain. Just remember to raise the curtain when your server comes bearing gifts of couscous, grape leaves and wine.

140 Charles St, (between Washington and Greenwich), 212-505-8129

Table 30 @ Mari Vanna

After you and your date pass through the apartment-like setting of Russian books, portraits and dolls, you’ll settle in at this back-corner table, which boasts the place’s prime seat: a throne-like recliner. Go ahead, let your date sit there—but make her promise to give you a turn.

1 E 20th St (near Park Ave S), 212-777-1955

Table 40 @ The Breslin

By drawing the flannel curtains around this private booth, you’ll seal yourself and your amorous colleague in a dark nook of romantic possibility—and when the mood strikes for a Manhattan or the occasional pig’s foot, just push a button to summon your server. They don’t take reservations, but fortunately, you possess the one form of currency a hostess will humor: beef shin. Unfortunately, they already have that.

16 W 29th St (between Broadway and Fifth Ave), +1-212-679-2222

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Colony Bar & Grill

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 27-02-2010


Sharing is caring…

Where food is concerned, there’s nothing better than doubling the sample pool.
With this in mind, acclaimed chef Atul Kochhar (Benares, Vatika) just opened Colony in Marylebone with owner Carlo Spetale.

The dining room and cocktail lounge serve Anglo-Indian nashta — tapas-inspired dishes based on Indian street food. Options include crisp tiger prawns with tomato and basil salsa, minced lamb, and fresh mint baked in phyllo pastry served with minted mascarpone. For a quick lunch, order a thali, the Indian version of a lunch box with seven small dishes that change daily.

There’s a little for everyone.

So spread the love.

7-9 Paddington Street, London W1U 5QH +44-207-935-3353

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Hello Battery, Bye bye Ubon

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 07-02-2010


Ubon’s gone… Yes, we’re talking about Ubon by Nobu…

But the space has new blood. 

Set at the top of an amazing lighthouse-style building designed by the legendary Philippe Starck, Battery combines spectacular panoramic views across the City and Docklands, stunning interiors and fabulous modern European fare.

Want to push it to the next level, arrive by river via the Thames Clipper – the restaurant is situated right on the water and just a stone’s throw from Canary Wharf Dock.

Hello Battery !

Just as a reminder, the address is 34 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London, E14 8RR PHN: +44-20-8305-3089

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The Merchant’s Yard

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 05-02-2010


There’s more to Russia than vodka, fur and blinged-out blondes.

Discover a more natural and homely side to the former Soviet republic at The Merchant’s Yard, just opened in Little Russia (AKA Knightsbridge), serving authentic home-cooked Russian food from organic ingredients.

Take out seasonal salads, fresh bread and traditional cakes and pastries from the deli counter. Stock up on cheese, olives and dishes like perozhki (pastry filled with potato, egg, spring onions and cabbage) and raznosoly (pickled vegetables), as well as hard-to-find Moldavian and Georgian sweet wines from the grocery.Or experience a typical Russian meal for one week every month when the shop hosts a special feast with everything from tea brewed in a samovar to pryaniki and bubliks.
This joint is wholesome, not flashy.

You might even call it revolutionary.

The Merchant’s Yard, 41 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 1NX +44-203-144- 0072

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 04-02-2010


Avenue re-opened under the leadership of a new Head Chef, Mikko Kataja, previously at Launceston Place, Orrery and Mirabelle. Now run by D&D London, the restaurant has been refurbished and will serve a modern British menu. Highlights include Cropwell Bishop stilton and spiced pear tart; poached brill with leeks, crème fresh and nutmeg; and raspberry cheesecake with black pepper ice cream.

Avenue, 7-9 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE PHN: +44-20-7321-2111.

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Maialino (AKA Danny Meyer does it again)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 03-02-2010


Anywhere with Roman-style fried artichokes (alla Giudia, actually) is a place we want to be, so add Danny Meyer’s latest, Maialino, 2 Lexington Avenue (at 21st Street), New York, NY +1-212-777-2410, a Roman trattoria at the Gramercy Park Hotel, to the list.

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Le Caprice – The New York version

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 02-02-2010


Against our better judgment, we love London’s Le Caprice. We say that because if you’re famous, you’ll be warmly greeted but if you’re not, you’ll be served… politely. Still, the food’s pretty good, the Deco-ish look is appealing, the after-theater buzz is fun. No one asked us, though if they had, we might have chosen a locale other than the ambered Pierre for the NY version of Le Caprice, 795 5th Avenue (at 61st Street), New York, NY +1-212-940-8195. Well, an experiment.

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Colicchio & Sons

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 02-02-2010


Tom Colicchio reopens Craftsteak as Colicchio & Sons — inspired by the composed dishes he has been putting together and an evolution of the cooking style he pioneered at Gramercy Tavern.
White bean agnolotti with pork belly, octopus, and chorizo vinaigrette; rabbit with Carolina red beans and braised fennel. The Tap Room’s rustic menu is cooked in the massive wood-burning oven — meats, vegetables, whatever’s inspiring.

Can’t wait…

Colicchio & Sons, 85 Tenth Avenue (at 15th Street), New York, NY +1-212-400-6699

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Luke, Vanderbilt & Bill

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 01-02-2010


Once a poor man’s food, lobsters clawed their way over time up the food snob chain. Now, with $14 in your pocket and patience for long lines, you can have a fabulous lobster roll from Luke’s Lobster, 93 E. 7th Street (at 1st Avenue), New York, NY +1-212-387-8487.

Saul and Lisa Bolton of the much-loved, 10-year-old Saul in Brooklyn branch out with partner Ben Daitz to open The Vanderbilt, 570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY +1-718-623-0570. In spite of the tycoon name, look for gastropubby sort of options – smaller plates with the common touch. Will Saul love his baby sister? We think he will.

Yesterday’s Hog Pit is today’s B.R. Guest-owned Bill’s Bar and Burger, 22 9th Avenue (at 13th Street), New York, NY +1-212-414-3003, (though the hogs and heifers still do the bra toss down the block). B.R. Guest has made much of delivering solidly to the middle, so it must have chapped BR Guest honcho Steve Hanson’s giblets to watch Danny Meyer rake in the love and the dough for his modest Shake Shacks. Oh, it’s on.

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