Big Apple Life

/Big Apple Life

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

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 |2019-04-26T12:50:17-04:00December 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

Appreciation Evening at Flatiron Hall Restaurant, Flatiron, NYC

Cocktails and apps were what we indulged in at The Alliance Team's (my realtor) fun appreciation night. Matt, the friendly bartender, made me one of his Diablo margaritas packed with some heat from the jalapeño infused tequila ($14). Loved the hanging giant pretzel served with spicy honey mustard ($12.95) and the Kobe ground beef sliders with onions ($14.95/four). We also sampled the Carnegie Deli pastrami Reuben spring rolls ($13.95) with Gruyere and sauerkraut; tater tots filled with bacon and Cheddar ($10.95) and shrimp tacos with a spicy green tomato sauce ($14.95 for four). A fun bar to meet friends for a drink and some bar food. Flatiron Hall Restaurant Flatiron 38 [...]

By |2018-09-24T12:41:35-04:00October 31st, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

After Shopping a Bite at BH Kitchen and Bar, Midtown, NYC

After a day of shopping with my sister, which is always exhausting! we were deciding where to grab a light bite. As we were standing in the aisle of Saks looking at our cell phones, Emmanuel, a friendly Saks employee walking by, asked if he could assist. When we mentioned what we were doing, he offered up a couple of options in the neighborhood, describing the food and service at each. Always looking for new places to write about, we decided on the nearby BH Kitchen and Bar — next to the WeWork building literally across the street. His boss Brian walked by and confirmed the option. We lucked out. [...]

By |2018-10-31T13:05:17-04:00October 21st, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

Lunch at 128 Bar & Bistro in The Museum of American Illustration, Midtown, NYC

For the initial fall gathering of a New York ex-expats group, we gathered at the Museum of American Illustration for a meeting, lunch and a docent-tour. We dined at The 128 Bar & Bistro, located on the third floor of the house, in a comfy environment surrounded by illustrations from masters past and present. For our group, we had a choice of a vegetarian pasta or salmon after the initial field green salad, lightly dressed in a sherry shallot vinaigrette. Most selected the miso-glazed salmon, which was flavorful but overcooked, which often happens when serving 24 people at once. They served a plate of chocolate chip cookies for dessert with coffee. I'd [...]

By |2018-10-21T18:39:42-04:00October 19th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments

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 |2018-10-16T12:02:39-04:00October 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 |2018-10-10T10:13:13-04:00September 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 |2018-10-10T10:15:21-04:00September 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 |2018-09-03T09:39:23-04:00September 7th, 2018|Big Apple Life|0 Comments