Archive for October, 2009

‘The Pierre, Again’ a Taj Hotel on New York’s Central Park Re-Opens Following $100 Million Renovations Program

October 29, 2009


The Pierre, the iconic hotel on New York’s Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 61st Street that is the U.S. flagship for Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, re-opens following completion of the final phase of its meticulous $100 million renovations program with the opening of 11 Grand Suites including the Presidential Suite.

A new advertising campaign, "Pierre, Again," also debuts today in select publications, celebrating the hotel’s return as New York’s preferred business and social address. Grand $100 Million Redesign The Pierre now offers 189 redesigned residential-style guest rooms, including 49 suites, all featuring the most modern of comforts and a feeling of quiet luxury in new guest room and bath interiors by James Park Associates.

First floor public areas were reconfigured to accommodate a graciously welcoming reception area; Two E, the hotel’s new destination lounge and bar that serves light plates, afternoon tea and classic cocktails in what was the original reading room now transformed by Champalimaud; a new restaurant, Le Caprice, the first location outside of London for this celebrated UK favorite that will serve long-standing modern European favourites within a specially designed New York menu, opens its dining room designed by Martin Brudnizki next month.





October 20, 2009


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Originally Opened: 1981

Re-Opening Date: 2009

Location: The East River at 44th Drive

Long Island City, NY 11101

Telephone: (718) 482-0033

Fax: (718) 937-8817



Owner: Singh Hospitality Group

Managing Director: Jay Jadeja

Director of Sales & Marketing: Raquel Wolf-Jadeja

Executive Chef: Rory O’Farrell

Corporate Chef: David Salony

Sommelier: Halim A.

Wine Director: Jay Jadeja

Cuisine: Eclectic American

Click Here For Reservations on Open Table

Specialty Dishes: Lunch

Crispy Calamari Salad

Frisee, Wontons Chips, Roasted Pepper- Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken and Pear Sandwich

With Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Prime 12oz NY Strip Steak

Au Poivre, Béarnaise Sauce, or Cabernet Demi Glace


Mushroom-Miso Crusted Rack of Lamb (Above)


Panko Crusted Oysters

Guacamole, Red Pepper Reduction

Kung Pao Calamari

Chillis, Peanuts, Hoisin Glaze

Autumn Salad

Pears, Gorgonzola, Candied Walnuts, Cinder Vinaigrette

Mushroom-Miso Crusted Rack of Lamb

Braised Bok Choy, Whipped Potatoes

Kurobuta Pork Chop

Sweet Potato Hash, Sun Dried Cranberry Apricot Compote

Specialty Drinks: Water’s Edge Sunset

Grey Goose, Grand Marnier, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Sour

Mix & Grenadine

Royal Cosmo

Grey Goose, Champagne, Splash of Cranberry, Mint, Lime

Seating: Total (582)

Dining Room (110)

Bar (12)

Private Event Space (400)

Outdoor Patio (60)

Opening Hours: Lunch

Monday thru Friday: 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM


Monday thru Saturday: 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM

*All Major Credit Cards Accepted *

By Nancy Walman

Rating: A Major

Contemporary design meets tradition under a warm, inviting atmosphere at Water’s Edge. Featuring panoramic views of the majestic New York City skyline, Queensborough Bridge and Roosevelt Island, the bar and dining room possess a clean, classic aesthetic, as white-linen covered tables are complemented by chic, modern-designed chairs. The lounge, which holds a baby grand piano, plush banquettes and flickering fireplace, is the ideal site for a quiet evening.

The Water’s Edge dining experience begins at the start of the evening— departing from Manhattan’s East 23rd Street Pier/Skyport Marina, Water’s Edge diners are invited to step aboard the Water’s Edge Ferry for a thirty-minute sail across the East River, sure to be a unique and memorable experience. The Water’s Edge Ferry departs from Manhattan Wednesdays through Saturdays, every hour on the hour, from 6:00PM to 10:00PM. The Ferry makes return trips on the half hour, from 6:30PM to 10:30PM.

Executive Chef: Rory O’Farrell has a deft hand and the food is not second to the view. There is a “Chef’s Seven Course Tasting Menu” for $70 per person offering an intense Lobster Bisque, crispy Duck Confit Spring Roll, a light handed Hand Made Goat Cheese Ravioli,
a palate cleanser of Sorbet, Asian influenced Pan Seared Ahi Tuna, a lovely Mushroom- Miso Crusted Rack of Lamb and (leave room)
The Dessert Sampler, a selection of the pastry chef’s specialties.

Some of the Luscious Desserts

Other memorable dishes include such knockout appetizers as Kung Pao Calamari. A welcome relief from the ubiquitous fried calamari, here it is sauced Asian style, with loads of taste and tenderness. The addition of Chillis, Peanuts and Hoisin Glaze are the secret ingredients. Panko Crusted Oysters are another minor miracle. The oysters are crisp but not dry, the shell-filled with Guacamole is a player in its own right while a pleasant Red Pepper Reduction garnish holds the whole thing together.

All entrees are recommended: favorites include a huge Short Bone Prime Rib Steak (22oz) and  a Kurobuta Pork Chop  with Sweet Potato Hash and Sundried Cranberry Apricot Compote. The creamed spinach may not be classic, but it is perfectly cooked and delicious, as are the roasted wild mushrooms.

The wine list is a winner and deserves careful study. If you’re feeling lazy, there’s good Roederer Champagne by the glass. And let’s not neglect the pleasant, attentive

The private event space boasts pristine, white walls, accented by rich wood detailing. Glittering crystal chandeliers hang overhead, producing a soft glow within the room, as floor-to-ceiling windows and private balcony offer a breathtaking view of New York City.

An iconic dining experience, spanning three decades, has been recently re-awakened under the leadership of the Singh Hospitality Group, introducing a newly-transformed New York City landmark— Water’s Edge Restaurant. Sitting alongside the East River, the venue offers awe-inspiring views of New York’s impressive cityscape, second only to the exceptional personalized service, delectable cuisine and warm, welcoming atmosphere that surrounds the venue.

A popular venue for weddings, as well as private social and corporate events, Water’s Edge offers fine dishes and drinks in the romantically-lit dining room, at the bar, on the outdoor veranda or within the private event space, complemented by a number of on-site amenities, including a bride’s room.

Arrive to the iconic eatery in style, aboard the Water’s Edge Ferry. Additionally, a selection of party boats is also available for private cocktail hours, after-hours parties and other private events.

Each month, Water’s Edge hosts a special wine dinner, which features a hand-picked selection of wines, paired with a carefully-crafted five-course meal. Also, on Mondays and Tuesdays, guests are invited to indulge in a five-course wine dinner for only $50 (price subject to availability and gratuity).

With a rich history that spans twenty-eight years, Water’s Edge has become a landmark establishment, producing private events and serving Lunch, Dinner and Cocktails to New York City and its visitors.

A really unique New York dining experience, the only thing Water’s Edge overlooks is Manhattan.


Copyright 2009 by Punch In International. All rights Reserved.



October 16, 2009

Andrea Marcovicci, the celebrated singer and actress lauded as “the greatest cabaret star of her generation” by The International Herald Tribune, will celebrate the Johnny Mercer Centennial with the New York premiere of her new show “Skylark: Marcovicci Sings Mercer” at the Oak Room of the Algonquin (59 West 44th Street) November 17th through December 26th .

Shows are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11, with a $60 cover charge weeknights and late shows and $65 for the early shows Friday and Saturday, plus a $30 food and beverage minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner (dinner is required for early weekend shows). Reservations (212) 419 9331 or



October 16, 2009



The incomparable Paula West’s annual fall sojourn in the Algonquin’s Oak Room is always an occasion of happy anticipation. From October 27th through November 14th–. accompanied by the superb George Mesterhazy Quartet, with Barak Mori on bass, Ed Cherry on guitar and Jerome Jennings on drums–Paula will help celebrate the landmark Oak Room’s 30th anniversary as the city’s “best cabaret.” Her brilliant and varied set includes “the good old ones” Louis Armstrong) with the best of the new. Among her offerings are Bob Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do” and “Maggie’s Farm,” Cole Porter’s “Nobody’s Chasing Me” and “You’ve Got That Thing,” “The 59th Street Bridge Song” [“Feelin’ Groovy”] by Paul Simon; “Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes,” by Ben Jonson from a Greek original; “Where Flamingos Fly” (Harold Courlander/El Thea/John B. Brooks) and “Romance In the Dark” (Lil Green), among others. Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11:00, with a $50 cover charge plus a $60 prix fixe dinner or $30 food and beverage minimum, all per person. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or


Le Colonial

October 14, 2009



Le Colonial is located at 149 East 57th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.
Phone:  212.752.0808  212.752.0808 | Fax: 212.752.7534
Hours Of Operation
Lunch is served in the main dining room Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner is served in the main dining room seven nights per week:
5:30 – 11:00 Sunday- Monday
5:30 – 11:30 Tuesday – Thursday
5:30 – midnight Friday – Saturday
The 2nd floor bar and lounge is open at 4:30 daily.
Guests can enjoy the lounge menu Tuesday – Saturday until 1:00 a.m., and Sunday-Monday until midnight.

Executive Chef: Xuan Pham colonial-chef2

Beverage Director: David Merida

Le Colonial
Le Colonial
San Francisco


The Queen of Asian Cuisine Reigns at Le Colonial

By Nancy Walman


Designed by Greg Jordan, of Greg Jordan, Inc., Le Colonial transports guests to another milieu from a bygone era, to the enchanting tropical Southeast Asia from the 1920s. To re-create the mood and experience of this magnificent time and place in all its splendor, Mr. Jordan says, "I chose to design with unique tiled floors, crudely painted walls and antique mercury panels to keep the interior as simple, yet as elegant as possible."

The ecru walls of the first-floor Dining Room are lined with handsome, louvered shutters. Comfortable, tightly-woven rattan chairs surround amply-spaced tables that provide seating for as many as 95 guests. The 12ft ceilings feature delicate fans to gently cool the room, which is filled with lush, potted palms and graceful banana trees. Nostalgic photographs of life in Saigon during the 1920s cover the walls and lead guests up to a lively second floor Lounge.

Upstairs, there is a large mahogany Bar that serves cocktails for up to 25 guests. Sensual music fills the spacious room. colonial-lounge Guests can sit at the Bar or in the 50-person Lounge, a comfortable, romantic oasis adorned with sofas, Oriental rugs, low tables and antique furnishings.

Enhancing the restaurant’s exquisite ambiance and feel is the exceptional menu of authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Among the Appetizer and Petite Salad choices arecolonial-egg roll Cha Gio, crispy spring rolls with shrimp, pork, crab, shitake mushrooms and nuoc cham dipping sauce; Chao Tom, grilled shrimp mousse wrapped on sugar cane, with angel hair noodles with lettuce wraps and peanut dipping sauce; and Goi Ca, seared rare tuna with black pepper crust, atop a mesclun salad tossed with a spicy soy dressing. A tasting of 5 appetizers is a perfect way to begin. Also sample the crabmeat and avocado martini.

Signature entrees include Ca Chien Saigon, Vietnamese crisp-seared whole red snapper with a light, spicy and sour; Bo La Lot, grilled lemongrass filet mignon wrapped in la lot leaves served with peanuts and pineapple mesclun salad; Ca Chien Gung, pan seared salmon with ginger crust with basil, leeks and bell peppers, served with lemongrass sauce; and Bo Sate, sautéed filet mignon with sate spice, yams and long beans. STEAMED CHILEAN SEA BASS WRAPPED IN BANANA LEAVES, WITH GLASS NOODLES, ROMA TOMATOES, SHIITAKE & OYSTER MUSHROOMS & GINGER SOY SAUCE is one of the best seafood creations we tasted this year. colonial-main1

An expertly trained waitstaff assists guests in understanding the truly unique menu, and is always available to offer suggestions on complimenting dishes. There is an excellent mixologist and a good selection of wine and beer, thanks to Beverage Director,  David Merida . Even the desserts, often an afterthought in Asian restaurants, are memorable. I especially liked the green tea, layered crepe-pie. And don’t miss the terrific Vietnamese coffer (like a café filtre with evaporated milk).colonial-dumplingh

Le Colonial is a world class Vietnamese restaurant (and one of our personal favorites of any genre in New York). Thanks to the efforts of executive chef Xuan Pham, dishes are pure, clean,  and traditional with a bow to healthy, contemporary life style. A former pharmacist (with an MBA as well), her style is unique. New York’s premiere Vietnamese restaurant is a gem and is not to be missed.

Copyright 1909 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved


FARMfood – Green Living with Chef Daniel Orr

October 14, 2009


FARMfood – Green Living with Chef Daniel Orr

For renowned chef Daniel Orr, simplicity is beauty. In his latest book, FARMfood, Orr features recipes influenced by his Midwestern roots as well as a culinary career which has spanned the globe. European-style dishes—inspired by his time in France, Belgium, Italy, and other locales—are paired with big city flavors culled from years spent as an executive chef in New York City.

Add a dash of Caribbean, Indian, Japanese, or Brazilian flavor and you have yourself a plate of “real food.” Orr includes recipes for breakfast, soups, burgers, sandwiches, snacks, appetizers, suppers, and sweets; sections devoted to sauces and seasonings; beverages and FARMpies, his gourmet pizzas. He advocates the use of honest, wholesome ingredients that are locally and sustainably grown, when possible, and offers tips on wild greens, mushrooms, edible flowers, and create-your-own spice blends.

Honor yourself, your community, and your table with FARMfood and take simple pleasure in the true essence and flavor of great food. Publication date: 7/27/2009 Format: paper 276 pages, 150 color photos, 10 x 10 ISBN-13: 978-0-253-22103-2
Shipping Weight: 5lbs
0 Units in Stock

Daniel Orr is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and chef/owner of FARMbloomington restaurant. He has worked in France’s most elite restaurants and been executive chef at New York’s famed La Grenouille (earning a 3-star review from The New York Times) and Guastavino’s, as well as the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies. He is author of Daniel Orr Real Food: Smart & Simple Meals and Menus for Entertaining, creator of Kitchen D’Orr—a line of spice blends, and host of Earth Eats on NPR affiliate station WFIU.


This Act Played The Palace: Kobe Frank Makes a Comeback

October 12, 2009



Frank Valenza image
Tortasia Delicacies

By Nancy Walman

Frank brought samples from West Side Market–110th and Broadway, of his Kobe Frank Deli line. They were hot and of course delicious. Even better (see below) were thick sliced wonders that rivaled fine prosciutto (we loved them on buttered Matzo). The Kobe hot dogs, less than 5 minutes to boil or sauté as we did. Absolutely the best. Wonderful with cabbage, white wine, boiled potatoes, a bit of onion and smoked bacon. Add the dog at the end and serve with Dijon mustard. 

Tribecca Grill is now carrying Frank’s Kobe Pastrami on their lunch menu. It elevates deli food. Kobe Pastrami at $17, an elegant version of the pastrami sandwich.

Clients now include:

  • Zabars
  • Fairway Market, LI
  • Gourmet Garage, Lincoln Center
  • Graces Market, LI (NY soon)
  • West Side Market
  • Agata and Valentina
  • Tribeca Grill
  • Kings
  • Iavarone Bros.
  • Others to come.

Selling various hot and cold Kobe Roast Beef, Kobe Corned Beef, BBQ Briskets, Pastrami, etc.

The basics:

  • 6-1lb hot dogs
  • 10/1lb
  • 10lb case
  • $5.25/lb

In October, Frank introduced the only American Kobe Hot Dog in America, skin on, with an East Coast taste profile.

Super Prime Kobe  Brisket

Wagyu brisket is fully worth the extra shekels you pay, because the heightened marbling guarantees that you’ll get a juicier, richer, finished product. But does the fat hold up after 5 hours of cooking? Amazingly, the fat stays right where it is—inside the meat.

The BBQ sandwiches I made from our Kobe Brisket brought tears to the eyes of all who tasted them. I can’t think of a more lush, more emotional food than this!

Kobe-Frank Briskets weigh between 9 and 11lbs and show extreme marbling when raw. Most cooked briskets are quite juicy in the fattier "second cut," but the amazing thing about this baby is that the leaner "first cut" was also running with the fat and juice. There are great areas all over this beast. In fact—after 5 hours of braising—we had tender, shredding meat everywhere.

Kobe Frank

We first tried Frank’s "Kobe Deli Line" prepared by the good people at West Side Market at 110th and Bway. It was from a Steam Table. It was good but for a real treat,  go to Graces at 71st and 3rd, The Kobe Frank Pastrami and Kobe Corned Beef are sold as is. Japanese Kobe Brisket, prepared as pastrami is heaven.

The stores set their own price, anywhere from $12.95 to $14.95/lb.

A Bit of History

“The persona of The Palace is now over,” says Frank. I’m creating a new one:  "Kobe Frank from the Bronx," going full circle to my original roots. My velvet suit at the Palace, I couldn’t even get over a shoulder or stick a leg in the pants! Such is life. 🙂 “

"Kobe Frank from the Bx"
Frank Valenza
Tortasia Delicacies

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Chez Lucienne, A Real Bistro Find

October 10, 2009


Concept/Cuisine First Authentic French Brasserie in Harlem, NY

Executive Chef: Thomas Obaton

Chef/Partner: Matthew Tivey

Managing Partner Jerome Bougherdani

Location: 308 Lenox Avenue (between 125th and 126th)

Contact: (212) 289-5555



Menu Description: French Classics (salad nicoise, tuna tartare, steak tartare)

Beverages: Cocktails, Wine (by bottle & glass), beer, coffee, tea and soda

Ambiance: Charming classic French bistro décor. Warm and friendly environment suited for all types of diners.

Seating: Table Seating: 60, bar 10, outdoor seating 40

Private Parties: Yes, upon request

Special Promotions: Yes

Hours: Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Sat-Sun)

Lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Mon-Fri)

Dinner 5 p.m.-11 p.m. (Sun-Thu) and 5 p.m.-

midnight (Fri-Sat)

Price Range: Main dishes average $Under $20

Signature Dish: Traditional Steak au Poivre and Papillote du


Credit cards: Yes, Amex, Visa, Mastercard

Take Out and Delivery: Yes


By Nancy Walman

CHEZ LUCIENNE CELEBRATES Quality Bistro Cuisinechez-luciene

With a meau featuring dishes such as onion soup, quiche lorraine, poulet basquaise with French fries, calf’s liver with puree and pork shank with pomme darphin, you get the idea that  Chez Lucienne takes its kitchen seriously, when it comes to French Bistro classics. And you;re right, but don’t miss sampling some of the elegant contemporary offerings like : wasabi-spiked caviar, cucumber, red pepper puree, and parmesan cheese crisps. You won’t find a better version of this dish anywhere, although you’ll probably pay 50% more that the $12.95 price tag that Chez Lucienne charges (and that’s one of the most expensive appetizers). The escargots are garlicky and wonderful as well,

While Chez Lucienne may be the first and only French Brasserie in Harlem, the deep rooted kinship that Harlem and Paris have shared goes back many decades. Beginning after WWI, many writers, artists, and musicians who emerged from the Harlem Jazz scene, moved to Paris where they were accepted with open arms.

American Jazz was the fuel that drove the vibrant new cultural scene in Paris. Specifically in Montmartre: a thriving and color-blind community where people of all backgrounds and lifestyles came together to listen, philosophize, eat, drink and live. Many of these same musicians came out of the Harlem Renaissance and played the Harlem clubs such as the Cotton Club, the Lenox Lounge and Swing Street.

The Brasserie Spirit Comes To Harlem

Chez Lucienne, Harlem’s own French Brasserie, has been a hugely popular success ever since it opened its doors a mere six months ago. The Brasserie/café is historically a place where people of different walks of life come together to exchange ideas, be entertained, meet, and enjoy life over good food, wine and company. Chez Lucienne embodies and celebrates this spirit of food, drink, and commeraderie.

Executive Chef Thomas Oberton is from Lyon, France, and cooked with Guy Savoy in Paris. His talenent extends to a Morrocan festival Wednesday nights complete with belly damcers (we hope to go back and do a report later on), The rest of the cast includes Chef/Partner Matthew Tivey have created a menu of classic French fare served in a very convivial and decidedly French ambiance that includes a spick and span room with wainscotting, ceiling fans and hanging  bulb lights, exposed brick walls, green banquettes, set with sparkling white tablecloths, faux gas lights and a friendly bar that turns out first rate cocktails. The wine list is short and well priced, with loads of choices by the glass and the service is non-nonsense, friendly and helpful. The clientele is a mix of good looking locals and international types, who know a find.

In the entree department, you’ll find fresh seafood and a fine steak, but we loved a really authentic cassoulet toulousain, chunk full of sausages, lamb and duck and fascinating rendition of Quenelle de poisson or light-as-air sole dumplings in a zesty crayfish reduction with basmati rice.

The restaurant just hired a new pastry chef and the results show promise with a floating island, homemade ice creams and a tarte tatin the stars.



October 4, 2009

kare aikers

Karen Akers, one of America’s most arresting and successful concert and cabaret

stars, will transform the Oak Room Supper Club into a sophisticated party scene reminiscent of Cole Porter’s legendary soirées in Paris and New York. From September 22nd thru October 24th, Karen, with her ravishing looks and beguiling voice, will bring to vivid life such Porter classics as “I’m Throwing a Ball Tonight,” “Begin the Beguine,” “Too Darn Hot,” “I Concentrate on You,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Night and Day,” “It’s All Right With Me” and “Let’s Do It,” among others. The show is directed by Eric Michael Gillett, with Don Rebic as musical director and Dick Sanpola on bass.

“Anything Goes” will play Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11. There is a $60 cover charge per person weeknights and late shows and $65 for the early weekend shows, plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum per person or a $60 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: (212) 419-9331 or



October 4, 2009







OCTOBER 6 – 17

FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine and "an invaluable New York institution" by The New York Post, will continue its star-studded Fall 2009 season with the nightclub debut of Tony Award winning actress and TV and film star, JANE KRAKOWSKI from October 6 – 17. Her new show “Jane Krakowski Sells Out… Tickets Available” will feature songs popularized by female performers who have inspired her such as Anita O’Day, Ann-Margret and Eartha Kitt. All shows will take place at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

Emmy nominated JANE KRAKOWSKI currently stars as “Jenna Maroney” in NBC’s Emmy Award-winning “30 Rock,” a workplace comedy where the workplace exists behind-the-scenes of a live variety show.  Krakowski, along with the “30 Rock” cast, won the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. She was nominated for a 2009 Emmy for the role.

The New Jersey-born beauty is an accomplished actress, dancer and singer with numerous awards and credits to her name from film, theatre and television. She won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics awards for her stunning and sultry portrayal of “Carla” in Broadway’s Nine opposite Antonio Banderas, and won an Olivier Award while starring in Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor in London’s West End.  She earned her first Tony nomination for her work in the production of Grand Hotel, and has also starred in Company, Once Upon A Mattress, Tartuffe and Starlight Express. Recently, Krakowski starred in Encores revival of Damn Yankees opposite Sean Hayes.

During her five-year stint on the Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award-winning series “Ally McBeal,” she received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of “Elaine Vassal.” Other television credits include appearances on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Everwood.”