Big Apple Life

/Big Apple Life

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

A Bite After the Guggenheim at The New Amity Restaurant, UES, NYC

After seeing the recently closed Brancusi exhibit at the Guggenheim, we were again looking for a place a grab a light lunch in what I've heard referred to as a culinary wasteland.  We walked, knowing we'd find somewhere to grab a bite. Noticing the Greek diner — the New Amity Restaurant — on  Madison between 84th and 85th, we decided to take a chance. We sat at a table in the narrow restaurant that mirrors made look larger. Our friendly waiter handed each of us one of the multi-page diner menus where eggs, a BLT or something simple is de rigueur.   That said, we didn't follow our own rule! Instead one ordered [...]

By |2018-10-16T12:02:39+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

An Influencer Gathering at Bagatelle, Meatpacking District, NYC

For years, I had been receiving invitations from Blue Polo Interactive, a digital branding agency, to attend a media dinner at Bagatelle. Preferring to dine at a restaurant instead of joining a pre-chosen press meal with others, I kept requesting the former to no avail. When a weekend trip was canceled, I decided to accept the invite so I could dine at Bagatelle as the only other time I had been there was for a light lunch. I had not realized this was an Instagram influencer meal... until the first courses arrived a the table. The waiters delivered a blood orange flavored Burrata salad with puffed barley ($26), a black truffle smoked mozzarella pizza [...]

By |2018-10-10T10:13:13+00:00September 27th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Share Raises Half a Million at 15th Anniversary Event

Last Monday's event at Pier 60 brought together leading women of stove, stage, screen and publishing to help raise money for SHARE, a non-profit organization that offers free peer support to women with breast or ovarian cancer, their families and friends. All of SHARE’s services are free of charge and include helplines, educational programs, support groups, and public-health initiatives. This year's event raised half a million dollars enabling this organization to continue to support those affected by breast or ovarian cancer. As a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier New York, I'm highlighting some of the Dames involved — beginning with Executive Chef of the event Barbara Sibley (La Palapa) — along with her daughter Arielle —  [...]

By |2018-10-10T10:15:21+00:00September 24th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

SummerDine at Le Coq Rico, Flatiron, NYC

My previous visit to Le Coq Rico was for brunch about two years ago soon after they opened. At that time, I had written that they needed to find their rhythm or they wouldn't last. I returned late this summer, having purchased a ticket to SummerDine Les Dames d'Escoffier New York's scholarship fundraising initiative where Le Coq Rico had generously donated a special experience. (Do check EventBrite next summer for the fabulous SummerDine opportunities.) We began with Crémant — and ended with a dessert wine — Coteaux du Layon, Le Clos de la Bergerie, 2016 with a wonderful Alsatian Riesling in between. Our dinner included small portions of items from their amazing menu, although the [...]

By |2018-09-03T09:39:23+00:00September 7th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Sno-Cones at Hudson Bar (Hudson Hotel), Columbus Circle, NYC

The newest tasting menu at the Hudson Hotel's bar located right off the lobby has no food. Instead, at this Jalisco-inspired lounge, it's all about libations, including their own Sno-Cone cocktails. Along with other media folks, I was invited to a tasting of what they called the latest and greatest cocktail concoctions made for us by their fab bartender Antonio. I tried (and would go back for) the Frosé, a frozen blend of rosé and strawberry puree served in a round stemmed wine glass ($15), the spicy cucumber jalapeño margarita ($16) made with the Casamigos blanco tequila (made famous when owned by George Clooney), and the caipirinha made with Leblon cachaca ($16). [...]

By |2018-09-03T10:16:54+00:00August 28th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Don’t Miss the 15th Anniversary SHARE on September 17th

Don't miss the 15th Anniversary SHARE, a second helping of life, event on Monday, September 17, 2018. SHARE offers the unique experience of cancer survivors, who combine current resources and knowledge with the support you’d get from a friend who’s been there. SHARE’s telephone support services, educational programs, support groups, and public-health initiatives empower patients and survivors to work through their feelings and fears, carefully consider their options, and take control of their health. To purchase tickets for A Second Helping of Life,  visit sharebenefit.org

By |2018-08-24T09:45:10+00:00August 24th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Ophelia Lounge, Beekman, NYC

The newly renovated rooftop lounge at the Beekman Tower is now open sporting breathtaking East River views along with high-end cocktails and nibbles.  The lounge, originally built in the 1920's, includes dark velvet banquettes backed by big windows for city viewing. We stopped by for a drink after partaking in an hour tour of Carnegie Hall ($17 for adults; $12 seniors) with a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, who shared more than 125 years of Carnegie Hall history. The excursion to see the impressive concert hall is worth the time. I tried their Ophelia’s ascension ($16) made with smoked Jamaican pepper infused Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Makers Mark, sweetener and bitters attractively served [...]

By |2018-07-24T10:55:38+00:00July 24th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Carl’s Jr., Coney Island, Brooklyn

The invite to the opening of Carl's Jr. in Coney Island — a California-based fast-food chain — came with a bonus. After the tasting at the grand opening, we would be heading to an afternoon at the Sea Gate Beach Club in Coney Island, the day before the beach club opened for the season. I couldn't resist. Our car service to Coney Island got a tad messed up, so we arrived almost when it was over, which turned out to be a good thing as we had the management team who flew in from Nashville all to our selves to share about the company and its offerings. We sampled Carl's Jr's [...]

By |2018-06-01T13:25:47+00:00June 23rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

The Band’s Visit Sweeps the Tonys

Here’s the full list of Tony Award nominations and winners with some words from winners when they came to meet the press in the media room. (This post come from our partner Theater Pizzazz)  Theater Pizzazz’ Mark Ryan Anderson was there to note the responses and take photos.   Best musical WINNER: “The Band’s Visit” – (on a possible revival of The Full Monty) “I kind of miss those songs…I would love to work on Full Monty again.” “Frozen” “Mean Girls” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady” Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” WINNER: Tony Shalhoub, [...]

By |2018-06-11T11:21:23+00:00June 11th, 2018|Big Apple Life, NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

Flatiron Room, Gramercy-Flatiron, NYC

My friend suggested we go listen to jazz one night, suggesting the Flatiron Room. On 26th Street is this restaurant-club where the groups performs in the background on a velvet-curtained stage and regulars store their bottles of whiskey until they return. Flatiron offers almost 700 bottles of whiskey to choose from including the rare 27-year-old limited-run Glenmorangie Pride priced at about $800 per gram!  I also learned that a private room upstairs offers tastings and classes ($35 to $125). When we sat down at our booth, our waiter Simon pointed out the drinks and bites that were available at Happy Hour prices that  included some drinks and two of the flatbreads until [...]

La Mirabelle, Upper West Side, NYC + American Museum of Natural History

After spending a day at The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) seeing many exhibits including the newly opened Unseen Oceans, we slipped out to dinner at La Mirabelle before heading back for Randy Cohen's (original author of The Ethicist for The New York Times) interview with two fascinating museum scientists — venomous sea snail whisperer Mandë Holford and deep-sea evolutionary biologist Mercer R. Brugler — for his Person Place Thing podcast.   I would save a visit to the French bistro La Mirabelle for dining, not grabbing a bite between exhibits.  It's that good. And, to dine according to their menu, you'll each need to have an entree or [...]

By |2018-03-30T09:23:36+00:00May 3rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

310 Bowery Bar, Bowery, NYC

My friends and I ended up at 301 Bowery Bar as guests of my realtor's The Alliance Team for their fun appreciation night. 310 Bowery's pizza is based on that of Chef Nino Coniglio from Williamsburg Pizza who they partnered with when they first opened. They kept it simple, offering only one specialty: Grandma's pie with imported pecorino romano, fresh basil, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, EVOO, housemade mozzarella and san marzano tomatoes (half $15; full $25). Today you can get pepperoni on that pie or order one of their other specialties. We did -- sampling both the flavorful paisano with added mushrooms, sweet sausage and roasted red peppers and the (too bland for me) bianco, [...]

By |2018-04-01T09:10:00+00:00April 30th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Miznon, Chelsea, NYC

Miznon — also in Tel Aviv, Vienna and Paris — specializes in putting things into a big fat thick amazing pita bread.  When they recently opened inside Chelsea Market, I was invited with many other writers to sample their goodies. While sipping on an Arak Mojito ($11), I sampled a variety of their filled pitas. Arak, BTW, is a distilled spirit with an anise flavor, somewhat similar to absinthe. Back to the main happenings: my two favorites in pita included a blend of wild mushrooms ($11) with scallions and a soupçon of sour cream and, of course, the large deep-fried falafel ($11). Also good are the tender grass-fed minute steak [...]

By |2018-03-21T04:01:10+00:00April 20th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

The Greek, Tribeca, NYC

Recently attended a dinner at The Greek in Tribeca, featuring the wines from Naoussa from the northwest region of Macedonia, Greece. I was introduced to the Xinomavro (tzsee-NOH-mah-vro) varietal, a red wine with great aging potential as it's high in both acid and tannins. Since it's a food friendly-wine (I enjoyed this red wine much better with food!), we sampled the Xinomavro from many vineyards and some cooperatives along with various offerings from The Greek. Those included: Naoussa Kokkinos Winery Mavro Elinos Winery Damascenos Co-op Vaeni Naoussa Argatia Winery Naoussa Reserve Tsantali Winery Grande Reserve Co-op Vaeni Grande Reserve Boutari Winery Naoussa 2000 Co-op Vaeni Food-wise, I'd recommend the tyrokafteri [...]

By |2018-03-29T12:21:18+00:00April 15th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Cookshop, Chelsea, NYC + Yayoi Kusama

Silly New Yorkers. We stood in line out in the cold to see the immersive “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” free exhibit in Chelsea as it was closing in two days.  It was worth the wait. Afterward, we headed nearby to Cookshop for a quick bite. We each ordered a bowl of soup — white bean, fennel and escarole — to help warm our innards.  Hearty and good, albeit a bit salty. The moist and tender Albacore tuna came atop broccoli, citrus pieces and a mellow castelvetrano olive relish ($25). We were disappointed in the lack of flavor of the herbed goat cheese served with roasted pears, parsnips and pistachio toast [...]

By |2018-02-28T16:50:24+00:00February 21st, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Cafe Frida, Upper West Side, NYC

With both my NYC book groups having discussed Elizabeth Strout's novels (Anything is Possible, My Name is Lucy Barton, Burgess Brothers and Olive Kitteridge that won her the Pulitzer Prize), some of us decided to hear her interviewed at the New York Historical Society. What a waste of time and money. Elizabeth Strout can certainly write, but is a horrid interviewee, giving one-word unrevealing responses. The only good part was her reading excerpts from her books.   A large group of us went out to grab a bite afterward to Cafe Frida about a block away. We sat upstairs unable to hear without shouting. Service was painfully slow. The starter guacamole ($14 [...]

By |2018-01-07T08:57:20+00:00February 10th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Boulud Sud, Lincoln Square, NYC + The Post

After seeing Steven Spielberg’s exhilarating drama “The Post,” starring Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham the Washington Post's publisher and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee The Post’s editor in a story about their decision to publish portions of the Pentagon Papers, we looked for a place to get a bite. We walked in and out of restaurants along Broadway and even made a few calls hoping to get in someplace as we hadn't made a res. Since 45 minutes was the least wait, we kept looking. We walked around the corner to 64th, noticed a table in the bar area at Boulud Sud and jumped at it. Wanting only a light bite after the [...]

By |2018-01-14T11:39:28+00:00February 5th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

LOX at Café Bergson, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park

A friend had purchased admissions to the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Battery Park (36 Battery Pl,) and invited me to join. When we arrived, we learned that our IDNY got us each a year's membership, free admission and a discount at the store and restaurant. The museum is located on Battery Place by the water. The museum "features more than 800 artifacts and 2,000 photographs that illustrate Jewish history and highlight personal experience of global significance." We spent a couple hours but hadn't gotten through the three floors, as there's so much to see. Hunger stuck. We heading to the second-floor restaurant LOX, with wonderful iconic views of both [...]

By |2018-01-14T11:38:40+00:00January 27th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

Morning Star Restaurant, Upper West Side, NYC

We had tickets to see Juilliard students perform the "New Dances: Edition 2017" at the Peter Jay Sharp theater and needed to find a place for a quick bite as the performance began at 7:30 pm. That job is usually delegated to me. In addition to proximity, I had to be price conscious. I made a reservation at Morning Star Restaurant in Lincoln Square, a diner-like restaurant that answered both concerns even better than I had anticipated. This restaurant offers simple fare. My expectations weren't very high, leaving the bar low. One friend ordered the ziti with eggplant ($17) that came with a fresh garden salad. Two others ordered the [...]

By |2018-01-14T11:38:33+00:00January 25th, 2018|Big Apple Life, Rambling|0 Comments

How to Get Discount Theatre Tickets

Before I became a full-time New Yorker, I would purchase theatre tickets ahead paying full price or come into the city and roll the dice, hoping I could get what I wanted from the TKTS discount ticket booth. Most out-of-towners are also aware of that Times Square booth that sells same-day matinee and evening tickets. TKTS also has outposts at Lincoln Center, at South Street Seaport and in Downtown Brooklyn that sell same-day evening and next-day matinee ones. You can select your seats when you buy them. When I moved to Gotham, I learned of many other ways to get show tickets — both on and off Broadway — without paying full [...]

By |2018-01-22T10:06:09+00:00January 23rd, 2018|Big Apple Life, Other happenings, Theatre|0 Comments