Big Apple Life

/Big Apple Life

A collection of posts on Life in the Big Apple along with interviews with foodie friends

A Trip to Pizza Beach for the Launch of Chanmé Frosé

"I want to invite you to the official launch party for my client, Chanmé Frosé, the first ever frozen rosé available in a portable package," read the invitation for the party at Pizza Beach on the Lower East Side. I drink the bartender's special Chanmé Frosé frozen drink cocktail with the addition of Aperol and a splash of watermelon juice. Would be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Pizza Beach's buffet included blistered shishitos, some meatballs and a few of their pizzas, each with a chewy crust as I like, cooked in wood-fired Italian Al Forno ovens. We sampled the Tulum, a California inspired one, with grilled avocado, cherry [...]

By |2019-03-11T10:07:56-04:00April 20th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Other happenings|0 Comments

A Return to Robert Restaurant, Museum of Art & Design, Midtown West

One slushy day, I met a friend at MAD, the Museum of  Art and Design that champions contemporaries across creative fields, presenting artists, designers and artisans. We visited the exhibits each floor and dined at Robert, the museum's restaurant on the ninth floor. Robert has both artsy looking food and restaurant interior with breathtaking views of Central Park, Columbus Circle and the streets spiking off the circle. Service is good. Go there for the views and experience, the food is secondary. Decent, but nothing as spectacular as the view. I had a bowl of their brothy lentil and potato soup topped with crispy spud  shreds ($14) and a large farmers' field [...]

By |2019-04-20T11:24:35-04:00April 16th, 2019|Big Apple Life|2 Comments

Lunch at Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II, UES, NYC + Tuesday with Ted Talks

We met at Alice's Tea Cup as I thought it was around the corner from where we were heading to watch Tuesday with Ted Talks at the New York Society for Ethical Culture and discuss contemporary ethical issues. Last time I was at Alice's we were seated in the crowded downstairs. This time, we enjoyed the spacious and well-lit whimsical upstairs dining room with walls painted with Alice in Wonderland quotes. The tables come adorned with mismatched teacups. Their black bean soup was worth the visit ($6/cup); my friend liked her creamy chicken crustless pot-pie soup. The two of us shared their tea-smoked chicken sandwich with apple slices and a few greens [...]

By |2019-04-20T11:26:14-04:00April 8th, 2019|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

New Danish Bakery Ole & Steen in Flatiron + Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT

Ole & Steen, a Danish bakery, opened in the Flatiron district earlier this year offering a variety of pastries and bread to take home or soups, salads and sandwiches, both closed- and open-faced, to eat in at one of the few tables in the back of the store. I learned — but didn't see — their additional tables for eating downstairs. Before we ordered, my friend suggested we ask for tastes of their yummy rye bread as they give samples of their bread that showcases their 100+-year-old sourdough starter. We tried their traditional, crisp seeded rye and — our favorite — the soft carrot rye! We shared an open-faced roasted chicken sandwich on carrot rye [...]

By |2019-04-09T03:41:53-04:00March 29th, 2019|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

A Return to Manhatta, FiDi, This Time for Lunch

Manhatta has turned into my new favorite restaurant in the city. It's reminiscent of the original Union Square Cafe's impeccable service plus the food is quite good with tables spaced far enough apart for easy conversation. That and the views are spectacular. This time, I returned to the 60th floor Danny Meyer restaurant with my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter who's almost 2. We arrived after an outing on the Staten Island ferry. Deli had fallen asleep in the carrier on my son's back walking from the ferry to the restaurant and slept soundly throughout our lunch. The folks at Manhatta were wonderful, seating us at a leather banquette where Deli could continue her [...]

By |2019-02-23T11:37:43-04:00March 23rd, 2019|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

A Mezcal Tasting at Rosa Mexicano, FiDi, NYC

The mezcal tasting invite began, "Rosa Mexicano’s Master Mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf will lead a tasting and explain how she crafted this unique mezcal – aged over two years in bourbon barrels from a 19th-century Nashville distillery." I couldn't resist heading downtown to the Rosa Mexicano location on Murray Street in the Financial District to taste this limited edition of their special Fidencio private label Mezcal from Oaxaca. Before the tasting got started, we were treated to the restaurant's famous guacamole at a buffet with many optional toppings that included pomegranate arils, bleu cheese, pepitas, chicharrones, mini shrimp and diced mango plus fresh tortilla chips. Servers also passed both mini flautas de [...]

By |2019-03-17T09:12:44-04:00February 21st, 2019|Rambling|0 Comments

Grand Sichuan, Chelsea, NYC + Malpaso Cuban Dancers at the Joyce

One freezing evening on our way to the Joyce Theatre, we stopped into Grand Sichuan restaurant directly across the street.  To get rid of the chill in my bones, I had a bowl of their steaming hot, hot and sour soup ($2.95).  Although I've had better (especially homemade), it was good. Good enough for me to decide to return when I'm at the Joyce again. At the Joyce, we saw the exceptional Cuban Malapaso Dance Company with their classically trained dancers and stayed for the curtain chat with founder and executive director Fernando Sáez and some of the company. I highly recommend seeing the Malpaso Dance Company perform when they're in town. Grand [...]

By |2019-01-13T14:28:01-04:00February 15th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Theatre|0 Comments

MSRG @Durden Bar, East Village, NYC

Was invited to the Grand Opening Media Launch Party for MSRG Pizza @Durden to sample their Detroit-style, hand-rolled pizza. Learned that Detroit-style is square or rectangular with crispy edges. We sampled the Margherita, Buffalo chicken, bacon chicken ranch, pepperoni and even a gluten-free white veggie with a cauliflower, goat cheese and egg crust.  As a longtime New Haven-er and consumers of Pepe's and Modern's, I prefer that pizza. My favorite of what we sampled was the Buffalo chicken one with house-made hot sauce. That said, Durden has a fun vibe. They serve popcorn in three varieties in addition to the pizza. If you're in the hood, stop by for a drink and the [...]

By |2018-12-30T14:00:10-04:00February 7th, 2019|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

I Sodi, West Village, NYC

"I really want to try I Sodi," my friend said as we walked by the storefront one evening. "I've called, stopped in.. tried to get a reservation...No luck." I made a mental note to check into reservations at I Sodi as my friend's birthday was soon. I went online when I knew that the day I wanted would become available and snatched a res!  We headed to this minimally-designed tiny restaurant to celebrate her birthday with traditional Tuscan food from chef/owner Rita Sodi (who is married to restaurateur Jody Williams, of Buvette; they co-own Via Carota). Having read all about the seven Negroni variations, I had to have one. I sampled the classic [...]

By |2019-02-01T14:02:16-04:00February 1st, 2019|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Cafe Sabarsky, Upper East Side, NYC

Silly us thought we'd get into the popular Hilma af Klint exhibit at the Guggenheim on a rainy day. The ticket holder line has an hour and a half wait. We left, heading a couple of blocks south to Café Sabarsky the Viennese eatery at the Neue Galerie to get caught up over a glass of wine and bowl of soup. One of my friends who had been recommended the goulash soup. I tried that; the others opted for the creamy chestnut soup topped with creme fraiche. Although the beef was a bit chewy and fatty, I liked the nicely balanced the flavor of the classic soup. With that, we [...]

By |2019-02-03T14:12:40-04:00January 30th, 2019|Big Apple Life, NYC Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

RH Rooftop Restaurant, Meatpacking District, NYC + Andy Warhol Exhibit at The Whitney

Chicago restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff (Au Cheval) opened this stylish restaurant in September on the rooftop of the Restoration Hardware in the Meatpacking District. RH sports crystal chandeliers, marble tabletops plus glass walls providing views of the surrounding skyline. Once the weather warms up, I'll go back for sure to dine or just have a glass of wine on the outdoor terrace that wraps around the restaurant. I had tried to get into RH once before but the wait was too long. Right now, they do not take reservations. This time we went on the early side of lunch — 11 am — before heading to The Whitney to see the [...]

By |2019-01-26T16:59:10-04:00January 26th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Other happenings|0 Comments

Pasqua Wine Dinner at Rue 57, Midtown, NYC

Was invited to meet Alessandro and Riccardo Pasqua of the eponymous estate near Verona, Italy for dinner at Rue 57 with a few other journalists to sample and learn about their wines. The publicist mentioned that Pasqua ranks among Italy’s top 20 family-owned wineries in terms of value. After experiencing their wines, I concur. Each wine we sampled worked well with food, from the $16-bottle of Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017  to the $100 Mai Dire Mai Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2011. The wine sampled included: Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017 ($16) Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Rosso Veneto IGT 2016/ ($16) [...]

By |2019-01-21T10:19:23-04:00January 20th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Maglia Rosa, Industry City, Brooklyn and M.C Escher Exhibit

A group of friends schlepped to Industry City (34 - 34 Street, Building 6) to see the exhibit of one of the world’s greatest graphic artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher. The exhibit closes February 3, 2019. If you go, be sure to allow yourself enough time. I had visited Escher in The Palace (Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH The Hague) with Eric and a group of his schoolmates when they were attending The Hotel School in The Haag. The boys and I spent hours there, mesmerized by Escher's amazing woodcuts, lithographs and more, including many interactive works where you become the subject. We did the same thing in Brooklyn, spending over [...]

By |2018-11-17T22:20:42-04:00December 23rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Other happenings|0 Comments

A Quick Cheap Eats Lunch at Gogi Grill, Chelsea, NYC

On the suggestion from a woman in my building who had lived in Korea, I met a friend at Gogi Grill, a new Korean BBQ grab and go. Or, you can actually sit at the very few tables in the tiny restaurant for a quick bowl, burrito, salad or tacos. I grabbed one as I looked over the menu to make my choice. This is not the place for someone indecisive! I knew I was going to order a bowl but hadn't yet decided on the starch (rice, fried rice or vermicelli), the meat (beef Bulgogi, beef Galbi, chicken or shrimp) and the choice four toppings from the bakers' dozen [...]

By |2018-11-10T15:10:30-04:00December 21st, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

A Bite at Bocado After A Stroll Thru the Met, UES, NYC

It was another visit to the Met that brought us to Bocado. We were at the Met for a 90-minute guided stroll through the galleries learning about the links between great works of art and theatre, two loves of mine and two loves of our tour guide Marin. After researching the area, I found Bocado described as a Rustic-chic restaurant & wine bar serving clever American bistro fare. The place was packed with families having brunch, a bit noisier than I like. I ordered the huevos rancheros ($19) which was a mistake as Bocado's version is only like that hearty satisfying dish in the basic ingredients: corn tortillas, poached eggs, black [...]

By |2018-10-29T12:52:03-04:00December 5th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

25th Anniversary of Lucky Cheng’s Dinner Cabaret, Stage 48, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

You're invited "to join us at the iconic Drag Cabaret and Dinner Show Lucky Cheng's! Meet some of the most famous Drag Queens in the country and cover how it has survived and thrived for 25 years as New York's original and longest-running drag show, and top employer of Trans and Drag women." How could I refuse to celebrate their 25th Anniversary at a series of Saturday evening Drag Performances by top headliners? I twisted a friend's arm to come with me to dinner and a show. Before ordering my meal, I recalled their warning, "Please be aware that the food is plated nicely and the dishes are tasty and [...]

By |2018-11-12T10:56:06-04:00December 3rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Other happenings|0 Comments

Le Pain Quotidien, Upper East Side Bakery and Cafe + People vs Noah

Each fall, Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center holds court. This year Alan Dershowitz as the prosecutor was pitted against Joe Lieberman, the defense, in People vs Noah. Was Noah guilty of crimes against humanity as he did not warn the others about the flood? At least that's what Dershowitz argued. We — the jury of about 2000 people who attended — found Noah not guilty, especially after the judge — Honorable Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States — gave us instructions how to interpret the law. After the court session, we walked over to Madison Avenue to discuss the proceedings and grab a bite at Le Pain Quotidien, [...]

By |2018-12-01T07:08:34-04:00November 24th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Pancakes at Clinton St Baking Company and Restaurant, Lower East Side, NYC

I'd been hearing about the purportedly best pancakes in New York City served at Clinton Street Baking Co. Decided to meet some relatives there. What I hadn't heard about was the hour and a half wait on weekends. Worked out fine, as we sat on a park bench and yakked while checking the Nowait app that let us know when our table was ready. The buttermilk biscuits ($3) spread with the housemade raspberry jam made the wait worth it.  I liked the fluffy signature blueberry pancakes served with a warm maple syrup butter; the chocolate chunk ones are a tad too sweet for me. Also good are the fried chicken and waffles ($17), [...]

By |2018-10-19T18:49:38-04:00November 8th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Angelo Bellini, Midtown East, NYC + York Theater CD Party

After the release party for CDs from three of York Theatre's productions, a group of us went for a drink and a bite around the corner to Angelo Bellini Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria to celebrate. Along with some Chianti, we ordered a small crisp Caesar salad ($12.95) and a large regular thin-crusted brick-oven pizza ($18.00) with tomato sauce, basil and slightly burnt (yummy!) mozzarella. Great place for a simple, reasonably priced bite. Angelo Bellini Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria Midtown East 224 East 53rd Street New NY 10022 212-980-2909

By |2018-10-19T17:19:00-04:00November 6th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Happy Hour at Landmarc, Time Warner Center, NYC + Javits Rooftop

Gotta love when cocktails and nibbles are reasonably priced, at least for NYC. After a visit with some friends to the gardens on the rooftop of the Javits center, we headed uptown for a drink.  Yes! there are 6.75-acre acres of green succulent plants atop the convention center, replete with 26 bird species, five bat species and honey-making bees- and they provide free tours. We toured as part of our Untapped Cities $10 a month membership. Noticing  Landmarc's happy hour, I ordered their Moscow mule made with Stoli, ginger beer and lime ($10), while my friends ordered the margarita grilled pizza ($10) from the bar bites menu.  The drink served in the [...]

By |2018-11-09T10:06:40-04:00November 4th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments