Archive for June, 2009


June 28, 2009



182 West 58th Street at 7th Ave., ?New York, NY 10019 ? Phone : 212-245-2214 ?Fax : 212-245-2812 Email :


182 West 58th Street
(58th St. at 7th Ave.)
New York, NY 10019

Click here to make yourreservationonline:

Phone : 212-245-2214
Fax : 212-245-2812
Email :;

Hours of operation: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 3:00 pm

Brunch: Sat-Sun 11:30 am – 3:00 pm

Dinner: Mon-Sat 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Dinner: Sun 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

_______________________________________________________ Petrossian (NY) Interior

The Elegant Main Dining Room

By Nancy Walman

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. Petrossian NY was founded in 1984. The restaurant, housed in the historic Alwyn Court Building, one block from Carnegie Hall and four blocks from Lincoln Center, serves a French-influenced contemporary menu that features the caviar, smoked fish, and foie gras delicacies for which Petrossian is famous, but also sports a superb kitchen. Lunch, dinner, & brunch can be enjoyed at either the art deco style mirrored bar or in the dining room. The décor features Lalique crystal wall sconces, bronze sculptures from the 1930’s, etched Erté mirrors and Limoges china.

The $35 Prix fixe dinner (served all evening through Labor-day) is one of Manhattan’s best buys in luxury dining. Recommended dishes include blini, airy puffs of heaven, which a waiter dabs with crème fraiche and then adds caviar. An assortment of Petrossian’s Zakouskis (a variety of hors d’oeuvres) is another choice starter, as is the silky smoked salmon. There is a remarkable lobster risotto and the cold salmon with dilled potato salad from the prix fixe is delicious. All desserts are marvelous. Russian cheesecake with dried fruits and candied brittle (a special) and the gianduja chocolate cake (for two) steal the show. Drink iced Petrossian vodka (very smooth) or one of the excellent Champagnes. Service is as good as it gets and Petrossian, 182 West 58th Street, is one of NY’s best “Fine Dining” restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.




June 21, 2009



400 E 57 St. at First Avenue

Open for dinner from 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM on weeknights and from 4:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekends, with late night music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday. For more information on private parties and reservations, call 212-754-5999 or visit

Sofrito: The Secret Spice of the Upper East Side, Done With Authenticity and Class.

Sutton Place Will Never Be The Same

By Nancy Walman


Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood just south of the Queensboro Bridge is Sofrito—one of the best-kept secrets and favorite hangouts on the East Side. Named for the Latin spice blend whose bright orange color heavily inspired the restaurant’s décor, Sofrito’s refined Puerto Rican food is authentic, affordable, and still decidedly hip—a recipe for success in any culture.

Sofrito is the brainchild of former detective JR Morales, whose endless supply of energy made it impossible for him to truly retire. Instead, he turned to his native culture to inspire a new chapter in his life, and thus Sofrito was born. Designed by Stephane Dupoux (also of Buddha Bar, the Gansevoort Beach Club, and Cielo), Sofrito is a sophisticated space which evokes the natural beauty of Puerto Rico with its grasscloth wallpaper, neutral color palette, and sculptural wood artwork. The restaurant has a uniquely hip feeling, with its sleek and almost futurist bar (the longest bar in the city, measuring up at 100 feet long) and De La Vega-tagged columns, each conveying cheeky truisms illustrated with funky designs. The flexibility of the space makes it easy to spend a whole night there—from dinner and drinks to dancing and music, Sofrito does it all.

Despite the detailed attention that went into crafting a perfect ambiance, Morales’ first priority for Sofrito was always executing great food. For that, he paired up consulting chef Ricardo Cardona (also of Mama Juana and Hudson River) with the young and talented Andres Ortega, whose perfect touch with spices and seasoning is what truly sets Sofrito’s food apart from its competitors.

A meal can begin with any of Sofrito’s signature Aperitivos and Pastelitos, which include flaky, crunchy Empanadas filled with ground beef or braised creole chicken; or Tostones Montaditos, fried savory plantains topped with shrimp, codfish, or octopus. Lighter appetites will delight in the Sofrito Chopped Salad, which comes laden with fresh mint, cilantro, queso blanco, and avocado, while Carne y Mariscos Fritos, or crispy fried pork, shrimp, and calamari are perfectly suited for those who really want to indulge.

Though a meal can certainly be made of Sofrito’s large array of appetizers, the Classic Dishes of Puerto Rico are the restaurant’s strongest suit, and are not to be missed. Pernil con Arroz, a large portion of moist chicken thigh seasoned for two whole days and served with rice, is as authentic as it gets. Mofongo, a dish made from yuca, bacon, and your choice of meat, is seasoned generously with garlic and olive oil and perfectly represents the Caribbean classic. Seafood, which plays a large role in Puerto Rican cuisine, makes its presence felt on the menu with a signature Puerto Rican style Sofrito Paella and Whole Red Snapper stuffed with Coconut Rice, evoking the comforts of flavors usually enjoyed exclusively while on vacation. It with the miraculous pork (see below) are the two best entrees, both priced at an amazing under $20.


The Best (and Largest Portion) Pork You Will Ever Taste

Still, Sofrito appeals to the masses, widening the scope of its menu to include even the pickiest eaters. A free-range organic filet mignon and juicy Churrasco topped with chimicurri are both sensibly priced under $25, making them sensible options that feel like a real splurge. NOTE:

For some reason, the potato salad (more like a salad Russe) is the best in town.

Postres, or desserts, range from tropical to decadent. Empanaditas de Guayaba y Queso de Crema consist of guava paste and cream cheese stuffed inside piping hot crescents of sweet dough—a heaping portion seems big enough to share (and it is, though you likely won’t want to). Tres Leches (pictured below) is only mildly sweet but heavenly in its soft, spongy texture (the kind of dessert you have room for no matter how stuffed you already are) while a Pudin de Pan de Chocolate, or Chocolate Bread Pudding, is rich, gooey, and irresistibly topped with caramel and vanilla

ice cream.sofritoCAKE

Though Sofrito’s wine list is comprehensive and affordable, with many bottles under $40, it is their cocktails that truly make a splash. Morales claims that his sangria is the “best you’ve ever tasted,” thanks to some punchy additions, which include brandy, peach schnapps, melon liqueur, rum, and triple sec. It’s no wonder that it is listed on the cocktails menu rather than the wine list, alongside other drinks such as the Cocotini, a Puerto Rican favorite that blends Malibu Rum, Coconut Milk, and Pineapple Juice. Mojitos, such as the signature Sofrito Mojito (a blend of Rum, Malibu Passion, Passion Fruit Juice, Lime and Mint) are dangerously tasty, camouflaging the spirits with delicious tropical flavors—consider yourself warned.

The bar scene, which carries on late into the night, is accompanied by live Latin music five days a week. The Sofrito House Band, a five-piece group that plays musica sabrosa—merengue, salsa, bachata—plays live every Friday and Saturday, while Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays see a rotating cast of characters. Regulars are known to break into improvisational performance—and sometimes these impromptu performances feature the likes of Jaime Foxx, Marc Anothy, and Jennifer Lopez, who are all known to frequent Sofrito when in town.


The Menus Might Include

Copyright 2009 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Oak Knoll Does It Again

June 21, 2009


Oak Knoll

Words are a poor substitute for describing a full blown senual experience, whether that be great jazz, one’s favorite opera, movie, food preparation, or . . . wine. It’s so easy to take the easy route and use labels, especially with a wine like the 2006 Oregon Pinot Noir from Oak Knoll’s Red Hill Vineyard. But it is an entity unto itself, for which its makers can be proud: Very Burundian, with those lush velours and elegance one expects from a good Burgundy. The Terroir may spell out California, but despite all the terra-hype, it’s all in the making and all those little variables like weather, barrels, aging etc.

Well, long story short, This is a lovely wine that is a joy to sip and perfect to enjoy with food. This wine exhibits a dark garnet color and aromas of cherry, clove, and leather. On the palate the wine is supple and round with integrated flavors of berry and cinnamon spice, framed by subtle notes of vanilla and a hint of oak. The wine possesses a fruity fruit forward style ready to drink. Try it with grilled chicken, roast lamb, rare tuna and goat or triple crème cheese.

Red Hill Vineyard is a highly maintained vineyard operation, totaling 172 acres of hillside vineyard, situated on Red Hill in Northern Douglas County, Oregon. A seven acre vineyard was originally established in 1970 with plantings of Pinot Noir. Additional plantings were started in 1990.