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David Rockwell is Taking on NYC’s Restaurants, Theater and Airports

the new Union Square Cafe

When David Rockwell was 12 he crossed the Hudson River with his family, ate at Schrafft’s, saw Fiddler on the Roof at the Majestic and fell in love with New York City—all in one day. Today, so many of us who share the sentiment have Rockwell himself to thank.

The designer’s handprint is everywhere from The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx to JetBlue’s JFK Terminal 5 marketplace in Queens to Imagination Playground at Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn to FAO Schwarz to Broadway (did you know he won a Tony?) to, most recently, the new Union Square Cafe.

Read complete story on CommercialObserver.comDavid Rockwell is Taking on NYC’s Restaurants, Theater and Airports

Just Add Bubbles: An Evening of Spritz

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Summer may have just begun, but Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau have theperfetto way to prevent its end: Spritz. That’s a bubbly-bitter aperitivo cocktail from Italy, a new book by Baiocchi and Pariseau and a command. Or at least a goal.

“It’s how I want to live every day of my life,” Pariseau told the Observer. “Leave whatever is happening in your life, go sit somewhere and have a conversation, on an island.” Cin cin.

Read complete story at Observer.comJust Add Bubbles: An Evening of Spritz

La Pecora Bianca at 1133 Broadway, NYC

On the day after Thanksgiving (the second ever) in November 1864 confederate soldiers set fire to the St. James hotel at Broadway and West 26th Street, part of a 21-hotel-wide plot to set the city ablaze. The New York Police Department and Fire Department of New York (and a bad choice of chemical fire-starters) thwarted the plans. The St. James, built in 1859, survived until 1896, when it was demolished.

Two years later it was replaced by the 16-story St. James building (1133 Broadway), designed by architect Bruce Price. According to a Landmarks Preservation Commission report, the new building was popular with architectural firms, including Mr. Price’s, which opened an office there. 

Last August the red brick and terra cotta Beaux Arts building, currently operated by Kew Management, welcomed the Italian restaurant La Pecora Bianca into part of the ground-floor space designed by McKim, Mead & White for the Havana Tobacco Company in 1904. Rizzoli Bookstore and the restaurant Inday occupy the remainder.

Read complete story at CommercialObserver.comLa Pecora Bianca at 1133 Broadway

'Good’ Fat Is Fashionable At These Top NYC Restaurants

You know the type: devouring entire packages of cookies or boxes of cake labeled non-fat. Perhaps your college roommate? Or someone even closer to you. Either way, it’s a new year with new rules. Whole fat is in, everywhere.

From the cream-based parsnip soup at The Gander in the Flatiron to the black pepper cavatelli with whipped lardo and egg yolk at Pearl & Ash in Nolita, to the mutton burger smothered in triple-crème (plus buttermilk-fermented carrots) at Seamstress on the Upper East Side, restaurants all over town are embracing the goodness of full fat.

Julia Child fans, 2016 is your year.

Read complete story at‘Good’ Fat Is Fashionable At These Top NYC Restaurants

Wine From Infinity and Beyond: Hungary, Georgia, Turkey and China are on the up

Move over Croatia and Slovakia, we’re ready for something even newer. 2016 is the year of new wine producers hitting the restaurant scene. 

“Boundaries are being broken,” Andre Compeyre, wine and beverage director of Midtown’s Regency Bar & Grill told the Observer. “In the past,” he said, “you’d find up and coming regions and countries(on the wine list) under the section ‘others.’ ” Traditionally a section that varied wildly depending on the coup de coeur of the person who created it. Today, new producers are front and center.

Read complete story on Observer.comWine From Infinity and Beyond

How to Create the Best Home Bar for the Holidays

When it comes to setting up a home bar for the holidays -be it for parties, dinners or in expectation of unexpected guests- the most important ingredient is you. Buy things you generally like and know how to prepare and every occasion will be merry and guests will think you’re bright. Love nebbiolo? Don’t buy zinfandel. Love Manhattans? That’s whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Negronis? That’s gin, vermouth, Campari. Whatever your favorite, build your bar with its base.

The second most important ingredient in your home bar is not-too-many ingredients. Try this: one red, one white, one sparkling, one brown, one clear, one vermouth, one fun like amaro or Campari (festive and bittersweet, like the season) and one dessert-y. That will satisfy everyone. Plus club soda, tonic, a citrus fruit, Angostura Bitters, and fancy soda (Spindrift is consistent across the line). That’ll suit drinkers and non-drinkers. Don’t forget ice. And beer. Pull out the beach cooler.

Read complete story on Observer.comHow to Create the Best Home Bar for the Holidays

Dinner with Djokovic

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What Djokovic Didn't Eat (this is his plate)

If you know anything about tennis, you know you always RSVP “yes” to invite-only events involving top-ranked players and wine.

That’s how I ended up sipping (read: drinking from an ingenious funnel-cup attachment to a mini Moët bottle) champagne with Roger Federer (read: he was not drinking and also in a private pen). And, later that night, how I ended up tipping a cabbie 200 percent (see: funnel-cup; don’t see: touch-screen extra zero). And it’s also how I ended up sipping pinot grigio and cabernet sauvignon with Novak Djokovic (read on).

Three days before the start of the U.S. Open, the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s singles tennis player and the tournament’s top men’s seed was holding court in a private space at the Astor Center, teaching a cooking class. Obviously. Famous for the five-year-old diet (no gluten, no dairy) that’s credited with catapulting his career, Djokovic takes his eating seriously. Even—or perhaps especially—when he’s aiming for his third major title of the year.

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spices smell delicious

Read complete story on Novak Djokovic Serves Up the Spice: The world's top-ranked tennis player, in New York for the U.S. Open, took time to share his kitchen secrets with a crowd.

Say Grace: Gabriel Kreuther at the Grace Building

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42nd Street Entrance

This June, the Grace Building (1114 Avenue of the Americas), designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the early ’70s, welcomed what many consider the most ambitious new restaurant in the city: Gabriel Kreuther, which is named for its chef. Ambitious here means fine dining, a category all but forgotten in today’s comfort-cheap food frenzy. And all it took to remember was a group of out-of-town private investors represented by Eben Dorros, president of a Jackson Hole, Wyo.-based bakery with a location in Chicago.

Mr. Dorros, who holds both a masters in music and film composition and a MBA in music business from NYU, said he and his partners set out to create something special in New York. “Gabriel’s style is unique in of itself, so the concept was simple: share Gabriel with the world and not under the umbrella of another concept.”

Mr. Kreuther came to New York City in 1997. He worked his way from sous chef at La Caravelle to chef de cuisine at Jean-Georges before taking the executive chef role at The Modern, the position he’s most known and lauded for. Fans will recognize Alsatian themes in the new restaurant’s menu. Think French and expect sauerkraut and tarte flambee.

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You’re Probably Drinking Your Rosé Wrong

Jean-François Ott @ Aldo After Dark

“The glass is as important as the wine itself,” Aldo Sohm, wine director of Le Bernardin (15,000 bottles), told the Observer. It’s 10pm at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar (200 bottles; 40 by the glass), the exquisite, casual spot he opened with chef Eric Ripert last fall. And it’s lively, to say the least. Chef’s here, wine bloggers and writers there, work friends and couples in between, cared for by expert staff, and –tonight only- holding glasses filled by Jean-François Ott. Yes that Ott. Jean-François is a great-grandson of Marcel Ott. He’s circulating a double magnum (four bottles and a giant party in each one) of his family’s 2014 Chateau Romassan Rose ($26 per glass). And everyone’s in.

Read complete story on You’re Probably Drinking Your Rosé Wrong