Restaurant Review: Blue Hill at Stone Barns

It took some doing but we finally summoned the courage to leave the safety of the city and head north into the wild country.  Specifically our destination was the Pocantico Hills and the storied Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant.  From the train station it was easy to get a cab to the farm.  As [...]

Restaurant Naming: Jonathan Benno’s Hype Meets Reality

On May 25th the New York Times reported that chef Jonathan Benno’s new restaurant being built at Lincoln Center for the Patina Restaurant Group did not yet have a name.
The next morning I sent a letter to Nick Valenti, head of Patina with a suggestion for a name I thought would be fitting for the new [...]

Restaurant (Week) Review: Dovetail

Another chapter of New York Restaurant Week has begun.  And with that another case of the butterflies for me.  I see Restaurant Week as a dual-edged sword of incentives.  The cheaper price fix is an incentive for more diners to eat out.  As well as an incentive to try restaurants they might not normally go [...]

Restaurant Review – Di Fara Pizza

I finally made it to Di Fara Pizza on Friday.  After hearing about it for so many years.  I finally felt pious enough to make the pilgrimage.  Actually, the boss was taking the day off so instead of her hanging around the apartment all day playing games with the mini boss and keeping me from getting [...]

Restaurant Review: Braeburn – A Casual Brunch

We recently met some friends at Braeburn for an enjoyable birthday brunch.  It was a sunny day, there was a table big enough for all of us, we weren’t being hurried, the conversation was good.  A very nice time.  I wish I could say that I loved the food.
The vibe I get from reading through Braeburn’s [...]

Restaurant Review: Sal & Carmine’s Pizza

I moved into the neighborhood early last year.  It was then not long before I found Sal & Carmine’s pizza.  Tucked away in a nondescript storefront on the West side of Broadway between 101st and 102nd Streets, and no more than ten feet wide, it is easy to miss.  And miss it I did.  Until our [...]

Five Napkin Burger, UWS: A Five Napkin Concept

I just ate lunch at the newest location of ‘Five Napkin Burger’ on the Upper West Side.  I had the mini boss along so I was a little worried that I could actually pull it off without him becoming belligerent and causing a scene.  Causing a scene?!  What was I worried about?  I mean, really, what constitutes a [...]

Restaurant (Week) Review: Smith & Wollensky

As I have mentioned before, I think that Restaurant Weekdinners can go one of two ways.  One angle is that the restaurant treats it like a simple PR event, cobbling together a cheap menu so that they can have their name included on the Restaurant Week list and in all of the press coverage for as [...]

Restaurant (Week) Review: I Trulli

Restaurant Week here in New York always brings with it a dilemma.  The dilemma is this:  Should the reduced price meals served during the Restaurant Week promotion be considered a fair representation of a restaurant’s offerings upon which to draw conclusions about it?  Or could the pricing restrictions be seen as too confining in terms of ingredients and [...]

Corton: The Covered Flame (In Which I Disagree With Mr. Bruni)

“Are both the beef and the lamb done sous vide?” I asked the server as he assembled our main courses in front of us.
“Yes.  The kitchen has no open flame!” he exclaimed with what sounded like pride.
Well… that’s interesting.  Is that something to be proud of?  Or simply the staff putting a brave face and [...]