Thursday, June 29, 2017

100 BEST RESTAURANTS-Wine Enthusiast's Toast the Top

La Sirena/Maritime Hotel (yes on the list)

 Perfect weather, combined with a spacious outdoor setting (the Cabanas) -Rhone Valley wines (new releases, white, reds, rosés), Italian fare -and hosts Wine Enthusiast's celebratory best 100 restaurants issues= a pretty perfect Monday evening.

Press/professionals in the biz gathered for an interesting pre-tasting panel on trends in restaurants -and their wine lists-food, customer wants, and we would say updated attitudes about all of the aforementioned.

WE Food Editor Nils Bernstein on far right hosted the round table...(l-r) Four Horsemen (Brooklyn) and Executive Chef. Nick Curtola (from that borough's popular Franny's), Victoria James, Chef Sommelier at Piora-a certified sommelier at 20 years old and winner of Ruinart Sommelier Competition and Best Sommelier of Languedoc-Roussillon - and an author-of a book celebrating Rosé (now 26!!!), and far left-Michaël Engelmann, MS, Wine Director at The Modern for three years -a native of Alsace, was the Wine Director at award-winning Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney, Australia. When he passed the Master Sommelier exam in 2011, he was awarded the Krug Cup for passing all three parts on his first attempt—one of only 14 individuals in the history of the Court of Master Sommelier...

Topics covered:
..the obvious-influence of social media...which Engelmann finds helps him 'think' like their guests too. Notably, customers are now more wine savvy and willing to seek out lesser known, smaller regions-  and 'try the unfamiliar.'  Rosé wines, as an example-went from yech to yummy in the past few years. 
By the glass options now include pours from magnums that do a better job of aerating red wines.
Simpler foods using less complex ingredients...more approachable dining options taking the "crazy nineties stuff" out of it.
Even the visuals are now refreshed...with food served on  white plates-"with immaculate ingredients... prepared in innovative ways"...showcasing global flavors.
Wines promotions- that are accessible  and fun-which we see  all the time-usually by country/region...
 Old school return to fine dining. Standard of service is there without being stuffy-a friendlier vibe-especially service -wise-because a better educated diner expects more.
For tasting options-we've noted an openness to pair wines from different regions with foods from different James cited the open fire cooking-fine dining Korean cuisine of Piora - with guests sharing the celebratory experience of cooking together as a team- with the results paired with Bordeaux wines- and cocktails.
At the Four Horsemen- 'natural' wines are highlighted...and all noted a cult worship of these wines made without additives...because back in the day, these selections focused on quality versus what Engelmann observed "some of the stuff they used to do." (Including major $ priced labels like a 'Sancerre' we could all figure out which lol.).

"Natural" wines....focused on quality and were a "pushback to mass market swill" added James. 

For go tos eats/drinks at home-
varied responses included fish and chips and champagne, Victoria James cited her bare fridge and has."eggs and whatever is opened..." and  pasta, bad Chinese delivery-and negroni & vodka. No smoothies ha ha.
Another observation was the evolution of wine lists by grape -region -price point- with an emphasis on pricing- 'charisma' and diversity of the selections. Even casual guests want the organization of the list needs to be readable and more slick... "no Beaujolais,,,say Burgundy..." -
Highlight flavor profile of the wines...not getting bogged down in the details. IMO-guests, even the knowledgeable ones (Engelmann can tell who they are...) need to relax- without TMI.

Factoid...-Four Horsemen =from the founder of LCD Soundsystem James Murphy 

Tastings and games...
Six games of chance paired with 6 tasting stations....including way we'd have the skill for this.
At one station-the 'game' was a blind tasting of what one just sipped...palate testing...

Italian light fare-antipastiand passed bites...tapas bar -inpiration by Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono acclaim. La  Sirena is from the winning duo Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich
to play with besties-still brings out the competitive spirits these ladies...
TOP PICK we are not ROSÉ people---but this delicious selection-managed to change our minds about this summer staple. La Compagnie Rhodanienne 2016 Les Combelles (Tavel)...60% Grenache. 25% Consult, 15% Syrah

Friday, June 23, 2017


 The annual fundraiser for the STEVE NASH FOUNDATION- stars NBA players-including 2 Brooklyn Nets plus their coach (!!!) and professional soccer players from Premier League and MLS...past and present. Guest coaches who did not play (hmm-there are those contracts)---active MLS stars Forward  David Villa-NYCFC and  Midfielder Sacha Kjlestan of the Red Bulls.

Sara D, Roosevelt Park LES/NYC
Kids from David Villa soccer academy and Steve Nash...
Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid gives a high five
perfect weather...score 6-5 Red wins...courtesy of 2 goals by MVP Patrick Vieira

TEAM RED: Claudio Reyna (US Mens National Team, Sporting Director - NYCFC), Patrick Vieira (French National Team, Head Coach - NYCFC), Jeff Matteo (Assistant Coach, St. John’s Basketball and retired US Soccer player), Ricardo Villar (ret. FC Dallas), Jeremy Lin (Brooklyn Nets), Sasha Vujacic (NY Knicks), Salomon Kalou (Hertha BSC), Josh Richardson (Miami Heat), Marc Stein (ESPN), Dwayne De Rosario (Canadian Mens National Team and Toronto FC), Brooke DeRosa (Adelphi University Women’s Head Coach), Mike Quarino (NYCFC). Coach: Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls)
TEAM BLACK: Steve Nash (two-time NBA MVP), Simone Sandri (Showdown Co-Founder), Kyle Martino (retired MLS and US Soccer), Massimo Gobbi (A.C. Parma), Francesco Valiani (retired Italian soccer star). Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Brooklyn Nets), Kenny Atkinson (Head Coach, Brooklyn Nets), Derek Kierans , Darren Randolph (West Ham United, Ireland National Team), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76’ers), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), and JJ Redick (Los Angeles Clippers). Coach: David Villa (NYCFC)

Former ESPN-sports writer/reporter Marc Stein and clearly pro athlete cause this guy had 0% body fat

half time spectators-included Red Bulls Arron Long + Dan Metzger

busy keeper 

Sasha Vujacic of the NY KNICKS -actually a great soccer payer too

l-r Salomon Kalou, Claudio Reyna, and Patrick Vieira warm up...And cool twist=FYI MVP Patrick Vieira coach of NYCFC had guidance from one of his players...

Sacha Kjelstan

pre game welcome

Brooklyn Nets Jeremy Lynn fancy footwork and 'do-a Man Bun that few can pull off as well as he does.

pretty obvious-the NBA players stood tall(er)

Kyle Martino def hit the deck a few times...

Brooklyn Nets Rondae-Hollis-Jefferson  front+ Miami Heat Josh Richardson

YAY -  a coffee mug  that we will never never use. Also present his coach- MVP Coach Patrick Viera of NYCFC
Ken Atkinson-Head Coach Brooklyn Nets-decent player!
intense match followed by  JJ Reddick LA Clippers on left....
Embiid with Steve Nash and sponsor Tag Heuer

lotsa interviews

Miami Heat's Josh Richardson

NBA players ...who play soccer probably tip up less on the court

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FRESHPET® Celebrates-Take Your Pet To Work Week


Highlights from the Soho Grand Hotel Garden celebration...hosted by FreshPet®

FreshPet™ fresh real ingredients in foods for cats and corn, wheat, or soy, no artificial preservatives, no ingredients from China, no processed meat meals, made in the USA

WORTHY non profits -the ASPCA and ANIMAL HAVEN SHELTER of NYC-celebrated Adopt-A-Dog initiatives with partner FreshPet®
- to help nurture deserving four legged creatures who are looking for loving homes.

During the month of July-all new parent(s) of the furry kind who adopt a dog or cat from the these worthy NYC organizations...receive free food/coupons from FreshPet®-USA (Bethlehem, PA in fact) makers of the most natural-human grade ingredients, less processed HEALTHY fresh foods for pets.


This week is bring your pet to work week-luckily some people can do that everyday.

Dr, Katy Nelson-med school for humans-did not suit her

Tips from  Dr. Katy Nelson, host and executive producer of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy-and associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Center (Alexandria, VA) celebrate bringing your dog to work...include bathing fido, bringing his/hers own treats/toys, and acknowledging that maybe some co-workers are not as enthused about your 'fur baby' as you are.

FYI: FreshPet® foods require refrigeration-unopened have a shelf life of 2-3 months from date of production...opened, use within 7 days.
quite the spread-we bet if there is a zombie apocalypse humans could eat this food in a pinch. We bet some pet owners looking forward to home delivery services a la Blue Apron. No surprise to us-pets are what they eat,



Monday, June 19, 2017

Lazy Summer Beauty Tips

Plowing on the of course, a must...but other beauty routines for hot temps-lean towards the fast easy kind...

nope-not eye surgery ...but eye lash extensions-  -ditch the mascara - for luscious fluttery lashes without effort-guaranteed-at least for a month. Seen here at the IBS tradeshow-Javits Center
Get a GOOD haircut! Buzz cuts are clearly simplest but shoring tresses to fit one's face, shaped well so that only a dollop of anti-frizz or volume adding product is needed when air drying---factoring hair texture...saves minutes (hours) a week.

Pump up the volume-rainbow worthy hair colors are still trend on-Manic Panic has been selling "alternative hair dyes" including semi-permanent shades in bold colors for at home use---, for years. Insta-fun summer look.
Skip the trip to the spa-use at home-  cult fav face masks from Farmacy Beauty-uses botanicals and herbs-for a 'natural' based choices. Our pick-the hydration coconut collection-as its main ingredient -for a few 3 step kits ($24) targeting different conditions...perfect way to quench skin after a day spent outside.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Endurance Athletes: Fast Eats


What we feel like doing-after mega-workout or 4+ hour race...



Too tired to cook more than open a frozen bag of vegs and nuking the contents...or snapping open a can of something... too hungry to wait for delivery or literally walking maybe 50 yards to scour carefully prepared foods at a local grocery store...

New Products...that satisfy---are healthy  -without artificial stuff...are practically effortless-and tasty!

BUON APPETITE! Brooklyn based Victoria-makers of all sorts of tasty tomato sauce help us banish memories of SpaghettiOs (uh oh) FOR SURE...with the new Victoria Chef Collection of prepared pastas in authentic sauces-pre-cooked just heat and ready to eat-and taste like you spent the time to conjure up yourself. Meaning, the pasta texture is correct-chewy-al dente, the sauce aromatic flavors are fresh tasting (no metal can thing going on-always a no-no with acidic tomato anything,)...and SO EASY!!! Just open the sealed glass jar. NO PREP, barely a clean-up, NO TIPPING :-)
Two flavors ... Penne Alla Vodka, Penne Marinara. Calories Victoria's Chef Collection= 190-2100 serving...a filling serving too-3 per 24 oz jar. Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher.

Penne Alla Vodka-fresh plum tomatoes, garlic, real cheese, fresh onion+basil+oregano-creamy (cheers, milk)  sauce delicious!
Marinara...whole plum tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, onions
Fluffy Norwegian Forest Cat did not partake cause her parents ate the  whole bowl too fast...

kid(s) or cat-who's cuter...
Fast easy way to get the benefits of anti-inflammatory turmeric root (organic-with supercritical extract black pepper, lemon balm, gotu kola)-in a pleasantly warm, aromatic spicy blend  of vanilla  chai &cardamon, cinnamon, ginger-also loaded with prebiotics supports intentional flora-portable Gaia single packets -are genius -just tear open and sprinkle on cut fresh fruit like pineapple (yummy!).