Archive for the 'Solo' Category

14
Jul
14

Butterfish – New Restaurant Opening


Over the years, Sòlo has undergone a few transformations and we’ve covered them all (here, here, here and here). Now, in its newest incarnation, it will change its name to Butterfish (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.729.1819 –  between 55th and 56th, in the atrium of the SONY building). The new restaurant will open this coming Sunday the 20th of July.

Butterfish-2

Butterfish

…will specialize in authentic new age Japanese sushi, featuring simple ingredients of exceptional quality, with fish so fresh it literally melts in your mouth like butter.  With superior fish brought in daily from Japan and local markets, Butterfish will feature an extensive selection of fish and a full line of sushi techniques never before seen in any kosher eatery, as well as full line of Japanese beer, whiskey and sake, all under the supervision of the Orthodox Union.

Butterfish1

The new Executive Chef is…

[..]Chef Hitoshi Saito, who studied sushi preparation in Osaka. His unique technique of combining cold fish with his signature warm rice, made fresh in small batches every half hour,  yields unparalleled results, winning him accolades from food critics worldwide. Enjoy reasonably priced genuine Japanese soups, salads, sushi, sashimi and chirashi and innovative delicacies including Kobe beef sushi, beef shabu shabu and chicken tempura.

We can’t wait to taste this new authentic Japanese cuisine at its finest. I can only hope that to make this new restaurant a truly perfect experience, they will bring back waiter extraordinaire, Eka Halim. 

Frankly, if Butterfish follows the same exacting standards as the other restaurants owned by The Prime Hospitality Group you know it’s got to be good!

CS

19
Jul
12

Revisiting Sòlo


When you have a meeting, date or get together over food that needs to go flawlessly, Sòlo (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800 – in the atrium of the SONY building) is the place to be. A swank counterpart to the high tech-upscale Sony building and atrium it’s located in, Sòlo is what contemporary high class chic tastes like. From its sleek artsy glass exterior wall – flanked through by oil with infused vegetables – down to its impeccably styled up-scale food presentation, Sòlo defines high quality cuisine; the fact that it’s under strict kosher supervision is sub-rosa fringe to its superb fare and service.

Chef-de-cuisine Guillermo Quiroz, trained by Chef David Kolotkin was just a delightful; the look of pride as he brought and explained each dish, knowing without a doubt we would be as pleased to eat as he was to present it, added to the experience.

We stated our feast with a Big Eye Tuna Tartar accompanied by avocado, citrus, mango and chips. It was very fresh, succulent, and not in the least bit fishy tasting (a great start to a great meal!).

We followed with another appetizer, Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, it came with celery root and Bosc pear puree, Swiss chard in a pomegranate reduction. Since I do not – on principle – eat veal, CS had it all to himself. Considering he cleaned the plate, I believed him when he described it as “superbly spiced, and absolutely delicious.”

Beef Carpaccio with spinach and grilled endive salad in a mustard and lemon vinaigrette came next. Well seasoned, beautifully presented, just perfect.

Next, came the pièce de résistance. We got the Roasted BBQ Short Ribs, sides were German potato salad and cauliflower puree. They reminded me of Mike’s Bistro‘s ribs. Sauce and flavors were excellent, the beef superbly tender, yet not overcooked.

Typical Uruguayan that he is, CS preferred the 8 oz Black Angus Steak au Poivre (available in 16 oz. as well), with caramelized onion puree, basil mash potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a red wine sauce. It was very flavorful, the crisp pepper top was just right, I just loved the wine sauce and onion puree combo. It’s hard to believe that in spite of its flavor, in spite of its tenderness, it was not aged meat.

The last main was a Pan Seared Black Angus Filet with turnip puree, mushroom ragout and fingerling potatoes in red wine sauce. Superb fare!

We washed it all down with a very good Binyamina Shiraz 2007, served to us by our favorite waiter, the multi-talented Eka Halim (he’s a professional photographer, as comfortable on a fashion shoot as on a bar mitzvah!). CS described the wine thus, “Deep garnet in color, medium bodied with soft tannins and a gentle wood influence. Smooth, round wine with blackberry and plum notes, with hints of tar and licorice.”

For dessert we shared two incredible creations by Pastry Chef Felencia Darius, now at Prime Butcher Baker. Warm Chocolate Cake with gingerbread ice cream and espresso sauce, the molten chocolate cake was superb and so was the sauce, but I expected more from the ice cream.

The evening’s crown, however, belongs to the Hazelnut Rocher, a hazelnut mousse with vanilla cream and a candied nut shell. Take my advise, folks, do not even think of leaving Sòlo without trying this one!

We had reservations for 6:00pm, by the time we finished at around 7:30pm there was not a single free table, not even in the private alcove we were in. People obviously know what’s good.

Though it was a superb dinner, and one that guarantees we’ll keep on revisiting again and again, we do have a minor criticism. We wish the presentations, as beautiful as they were, showed less repetitiveness.

SYR

Both Sòlo and its sister restaurant Prime Grill have a

Nine Day Menu.

23
Feb
11

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 1


It was billed as bigger than its preceding shows… it was, it was billed as better than its preceding shows… it was! This was one of those rare occasions when hype and truth actually walked in locked step. The food, the wine, the liquors, all added up to a wonderful evening, an epicure’s dream come true.

SYR and I went in at 4:00pm, we saw and met many friends, magazine editors, fellow foodies and bloggers. We delighted in some products we’d already raved about on these pages, we discovered the new and revisited some great restaurants. As we spoke to favorite chefs, we  were happy to hear their craft was more than just a job, their passion for food, their creative juices continue unabated. Chef David Kolotkin of Solo and Prime Grill, Chef Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s and his wife Alison, Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, Jose Mireilles of Le Marais were among old friends showing off their creations.

Pomegranate had a large booth serving up some dishes that could have been made at any top restaurant.

Chef Emilio getting ready to hand out some delicacies.

Shana Wendel and staff presented Pardes‘ fares…

Lamb Meatballs with Turnip and Olive. Juicy, succulent, beautiful to look at... unmistakably Pardes!

Dr Alan Bronner and Chef Jack Silberstein of Jack’s Gourmet were serving  Chorizo Tacos, Pepper and Onion Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage and Bratwurst Sliders. We sampled all three and and loved them, here is an easy recipe they shared with us:

Bratwurst Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 package (4 links) Jack’s Gourmet Cured Bratwurst Sausage sliced 1/4″ thick on an angle
  • 12 slider buns (4 burger buns can be substituted instead)
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions

  1. Combine the sauerkraut and caraway seeds and reserve.
  2. Combine the mustard and tarragon leaves and reserve.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons oil. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, slice the buns in half. Spead a small amount of mustard on the bottom half of each bun. Top with sausage and sauerkraut and place other half of bun on top. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Some other friends with a great product are Valerie and Robert Groper from My Brother Bobby’s Salsa. SYR finally got to taste their salsas, she fully agrees with me they are superb. Can’t wait until they are available in Brooklyn!

Shalom Bombay was there as well, I had a selection of their Chicken Pakoras, Chicken Biryany and the Chicken Tikka Masala liberally sprinkled with the Mint and Tamarind Chutney and loved the whole combo. Noi Due still makes the best Espresso I’ve ever tasted in the US.

A new discovery was got cholent? Inc. I had their Moroccan Dafina and the Polish Cholent (just like my mamma used to make!!!). They have 16 different types of cholent, wish I could taste them all… The same people folks also own Gemstone Catering and we were very impressed with their Eve’s Apple and Hickory Wood Smoked BBQ Pulled Brisket Sliders. Tammy Polatsek from Aristocratic Design Co. told us these guys make superbly delicious food, well… they do!

There were so many restaurants to choose from, so much looked, smelled and tasted great I could write a very long post extolling the virtues of each, suffice it to say that the choice of eateries and caterers represented was tops. We also talked to cookbook authors Chef Lévana KirschenbaumChef Jeff Nathan, Chef Susie Fishbein, Chef Jamie Geller. All in all a delightful evening, amidst delightful people.

CS

28
Mar
10

Let’s not forget the Seder Plate…


Marissa Rosenberg – Marketing Director for Solo, Prime Grill and (soon to open) Prime Ko – has kindly sent us the following recipe by Solo‘s Guest Chef Eli Kirshtein:

The Passover Plate

Place the Charosset on the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Place the brisket cut into a 10 oz portion on top.  Garnish with the mixed herbs and the brined celery.

Zeroah

1 Brisket
1 cp Brown sugar
1 cp Horseradish
1 cp Dijon Mustard

Take the brisket and salt well. Smoke for 1 hour or cook slowly on a charcoal/wood grill. Combine the other ingredients and rub all over the brisket evenly. Wrap in foil and cook fat side up at 200 degrees for 11 hours

Charosset

1 btl Red Wine
¼ cp Dried Figs Small Dice
¼ cp Apples Small Dice
¼ cp Dates Small Dice
¼ cp Marcona Almonds
1 stick Cinnamon
1 Star Anise
1 Bay Leaf
¼ cp Sugar

Reduce wine by half with cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, and sugar. Strain out the spices. Add the figs, apples, dates, and almonds and reduce by half

Maror

15 Tarragon Leaves
15 Parsley Leaves
15 Cilantro Leaves
15 Mint Leaves
15 Basil Leaves

Combine all.

Karpas

4 Stalks Celery Cut into 1 inch pieces
600 ml Water
50 gr Salt
50 gr Sugar

Combine the water, salt, and sugar till all is dissolved. Add the celery.

Between the above, the hardboiled egg (Beitzah), and the Romaine Lettuce (Chazeret) you have all that you need for the Seder plate!

Enjoy the Seder!!

[As you can see Chef Eli doesn't believe in heimische recipes either. He's obviously not afraid of defying convention to create delectable dishes! CS]

25
Feb
10

Purim Recipes


Although today is a Ta’anit Esther – The Fast of Esther and observant Jews around the world are fasting, we also prepare for Sunday’s Purim feast. While looking for inspiration around the web, I came across the following (superb!) holy day recipes on famed Chef Laura Frankel‘s  blog:

I like hamantashen and certainly have eaten my fill of the tender cakey treats. Don’t get me wrong. They are delicious and fun to make. But, they are safe and not at all sexy. So, this year-I want some excitement on Purim. I think I am just tired of winter, the economy and bad news. Time for FUN! Get out your martini shakers, groggers and whatever else you need to put on a splashy and delicious Purim Feast. For dessert-I recommend you pull out those nice hamantashen or do like the Persians and serve dried fruit, nuts and fresh citrus.

All of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you lots of time to get your Esther or Mordechai on. Have a Freylich Purim!

Blood Orange Martini

It is scary how tasty these martinis are-like you could easily get into trouble with a pitcher of these scary! Oh well, Haman-Mordechai…whatever! just have fun

1 ½ ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Shake together and serve. Garnish with blood oranges slices and pomegranate seeds

Persian Meatballs (Kufteh)

This is a great dish for the end of winter. Serve this for Purim as a first course or as part of a Purim feast! Traditionally, the meatballs would not be browned before being poached. As a chef, I think the caramelized crust on the meatballs is essential and gives a great texture and more pronounced flavor. You can opt to do it either way.

2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic-chopped
2 large red onions-peeled and chopped
2 eggs-lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix as the mixture will be too tight and tough. Salt and pepper the mixture (I like to take a small amount and fry it to taste if the seasoning is correct).
2. Lightly, shape the meat balls with your hands.(I find that wetting my hands with cold water and using a rolling motion keeps them from getting too packed and tight.) You can store the meatballs at this point covered in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze them for 1 month.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches. Remove form the pan and drain on paper towels.

For the poaching liquid

1 16-oz can of canned tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring the poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in a large saucepan. Place the meatballs in the pan. Gently poach them until cooked through. Do not stir the pan as the meatballs will break apart.

Basmati Rice
This is a show stopper for any buffet or dinner. The crispy crust on the rice tastes a little bit like popcorn. It is easy to make ahead and can be reheated in the pan in a low oven.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
2. Place a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Spoon rice into the pan, cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until a golden brown crust forms, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and blood orange sections.

According to The Jew And The Carrot website, Chef Laura is currently Executive Chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. Mrs. Frankel has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played both alto and baritone saxophones. She taught and played professionally. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chef Laura will be giving a Kosher Food Demo at De Gustibus (on the 8th floor of Macy’s) on the upcoming 16th of March.

I’ve eaten many times at Shallots when it used to be located in Manhattan at the atrium of the SONY building’s where Solo is now situated. I definitely can vouch for her succulent creations!!!

CS

21
Jan
10

The Making of a Corporate Chef


Chef David Kolotkin is no stranger to these pages, but every time he reveals more and more about the Chef’s art. This time I went with him to Manhattan’s Union Square Farmers’ Market.

Chef David Kolotkin looking at mushroom varieties

We looked at tomatoes, cucumbers and some interesting varieties of mushrooms as the Chef explained about their flavor nuances, how the various types differed from each other. Next we turned to stalls carrying mesclun, arugula, and a few other salad greens. I really got an education today! Before we left the Chef picked up about four pounds of fresh Jerusalem artichokes for The Prime Grill.

But who is David Kolotkin? What makes him tick? He was barely in his teens when his interest in cooking first manifested itself. His mother had taken him to a restaurant where the food was prepared table-side. David watched fascinated and decided right there and then that one day he too would join that profession.

After high school he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America from 1991 t0 1993, he then went on to apprentice at the legendary Club 21Club 21 was a favorite meeting place for many of the rich, the famous, powerful politicians and entertainers. After a while he resumed studies at the CIA and returned to Club 21 for another 3 years.

Leaving Club 21, he became sous chef for the Restaurant Associates operated, very exclusive, Trustees Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there he went on to to become sous chef at Windows on the World, which occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

After 9/11 he landed at The Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; 212.692.9292). He left in 2005 for his own venture in Miami, it didn’t work out and on his return to New York he worked for famed restaurateur Kenneth Uretsky, whom he knew from his RA days. Mr. Uretsky hired him for his Butterfield 81 restaurant. In 2007 he went back to The Prime Grill. Since then while still primarily at The Prime Grill he went on to became Corporate Chef for Joey Allaham’s restaurant ventures, including Solo and soon to open up Prime Ko, an upscale Japanese steakhouse.

Unlike others in his profession, Chef David is no prima donna, he puts on no airs, is well aware of his self worth without any need to toot it around. He’s totally dedicated to his profession and the people at his restaurants. Is it any wonder that he rose in the ranks?

CS

04
Dec
09

Solamente Solo


Solo, situated in the atrium of the SONY building (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800), is the brainchild of Joey Allaham creator and owner of the acclaimed Prime Grill. It is a high-end upscale restaurant featuring a fusion of exotic Mediterranean & Asian cuisine.

The dining room at Solo is the epitome of modern chic with its cool modular abalone-like mosaic panels & sand carved glass partitions, Mediterranean stuccoed walls, corkwood flooring, and bespeckled leather seating. It’s the perfect place for corporate pow wows, or when you want to impress.  I just loved the beautifully lit wall of gold olive oil bottles. Solo’s got an exclusive Club/VIP Room, and 3 private dining rooms available with plasma TV screens and controlled sound and lighting features with a seating capacity of up to 20. The VIP room connects to the kitchen allowing private dining with Chef Dan who incorporates Asian, French, and exotic Spanish influences in his exciting cooking style.

Now… to the food! It’s basics with a clean fresh twist. Presentation is elegant, artistic, bare yet precise, very Feng Shui balanced.

CS, the guy who says he doesn’t like fish, started with a Salmon appetizer while I ordered the Panko Crusted Veal Sweetbreads, with field greens, tomato, onion and citrus. Both were great choices. He followed it with a Solo USDA Prime Cowboy Steak which came with polenta fries, Chimichurri and green peppercorn sauce. I had the Beer & Plum Braised Beef Short Ribs (a feast for the palate AND the eyes) with turnip puree, sun dried tomato and pepper gastrique and crispy shallots. Both main selections were outstanding!

For dessert I took the very luscious looking, very aromatic, absolutely delicious Baked Pear with Strawberries in Raspberry Sauce while CS went for the the Caramelized Banana Tart which came with vanilla ice cream.

Our wine selection, a 2005 Benyamina The Cave was superlative and a more than fair complement to this superb meal. Eka, our waiter, was very friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He did not stir us wrong! We loved everything, Both Chef Dan and the Pastry Chef outdid themselves, BUT we wish the portions were somewhat more generous.

SYR

Solo on Urbanspoon

01
Dec
09

An Afternoon in School


During my school years, I often found myself mentally wandering as I wondered when class would end so I could get on with my more bona-fide major; the pedantic studies of life. Today, an eager student in a class of 40 plus,  like most, I sat there salivating for more, wishing  class would never end! This was the third and last demonstration in the series The Fine Art of Kosher Cooking at De Gustibus School of Good Taste, located on the 8th floor of  the world famous NYC Macy’s, on Broadway and 34th.

Chef David Kolotkin

David Kolotkin, Executive Chef for Prime Grill and Corporate Chef for both Solo and Prime Grill, taught the class today. His warmth, energy and passion for his art dazzled us all.. Chef Kolotkin’s personable charismatic banter and marvelous talents, captivated our interests, as he explained the intricacies of the various dishes he prepared.

We sampled four enchanting culinary creations (brought, cooked and supervised by a mashgiach, directly from Prime Grill). One could clearly hear “oooooh,” “woww,” “heavenly.” and other such cries of delight  throughout the demonstration. The dishes consisted of: Smoked Salmon Mousse Filled “Latkas” (I’m not a fish eater, but I found the taste unbelievably delicious!), Chicken Liver Eclaire, Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb with Celery Puree, Caramelized Onion and Fried Rosemary, for dessert the Chef prepared Baked Apple and Ginger Brown Betty. In short, a feast of ambrosia for the gods! Libation offerings were: Weinstock White by W and  Baron Herzog Syrah. Hardly anything on the menu sounded conventional, nor was it commonplace in taste. As Chef David told one of the attendees, “I’m not a conventional guy!” Conventional or not, it all worked superbly well, a true testimony to Chef Kolotkin’s’s imagination and understanding the subtle nuances of flavor of the various ingredients. Truly exotic and daring, but with such a refined tasting palette, the mix of flavors was sheer artistry.

I’ll share one recipe here; for the other three you’ll have to wait for our – almost ready to go live website - thesupremegourmet.com.

BAKED APPLE AND GINGER BROWN BETTY

Special Equipment
4 5ozs Souffle Ramekins

Struesel

3/4 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup margarine

Method:

1. -In a bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix. Well.
2. -Wash your hands, cut the margarine into the dry ingredients by sifting until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Baked Apple and Ginger

2 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp sugar, plus an additional 4 tbsp
4 Fiji apples, small diced
1 1/2 tbsp All Purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated ginger

Method:

1. -Pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees. lightly grease the ramekin using the margarine.
2. -Pour the 1st 4 tbsp of sugar into a greased ramekin and move it over the margarine by tillting the ramekin.
3. -When the 1st ramekin has an even coat of of margarine and sugar, pour the remaining sugar into the 2nd ramekin. Do the same for the remaining 2 ramekins.
4. -In a bowl, combine the remaining 4 tbsp of sugar and the last 4 ingredients. Stir until combined.
5. -Evenly fill the 4 ramekins with this mixture.
6. -Spoon 2-3 tbspof the streusel on top of the apples.
7. -Bake for 30 minutes until the apples are cooked and the streusel has browned.
8. -This is ready to serve.

Salvatore Rizzo, owns and operates De Gustibus. Its curriculum boasts a vast array of cooking classes in almost every style of cuisine. Sal, with his insight and understanding of cooking, asked Chef David some very interesting questions as did a number of those attending the class. Sal’s smile is infectious and his skillful direction of the class amply enhanced it!

Salvatore Rizzo, posing in front of one of three walls filled with photos of some of the great chefs who lectured at De Gustibus

CS

23
Nov
09

The Joys of Emotional Eating


Oh, I know we live in a society where body image is paramount and you’re either thin or you’re irrelevant.  And yes, given that we are amongst the top ten fattest nations in the world, we should be weight conscious and not indulge in abnormal eating habits, but exercise regularly and all that. Certainly, we should sublimate our gashmius (physicality) to the higher functions of our being …

Yet, every once in a while – I propose – coddling the inner child is a laudable, valuable, action. Granted, nothing bests the sweet taam (taste) of Shabbos nor the sound of zmiros lifting you ever higher, but the occasional escape into corporeal weekday bliss, leaving the emotional and physical overload of life’s daily grind behind, is a good thing.

The hustle and harried hurry of our fast, frequently faceless, hi-tech daily drudgery makes it difficult to be in the moment of any one thing.  So, we often have to steal or create a moment for ourselves. One of my favorite ways to seize that special particle of time is by dining out in style. Dress up or down, whichever makes you feel better, and figure out the type of cuisine you’re in the mood for. Personally, I prefer an eatery that exudes calm and soft lighting; where chef and staff wait on you indulgently, presenting the finest service and cuisine they have to offer. Hopefully, you’re in the company of someone you really want to be with during this stolen moment.

If you can, leave the kids at home, shut the intruder cell phone, sit back, relax, breathe in, and give yourself over to the sensory delights to come. Start off with a good wine that has some personality, one that complements your disposition. Perhaps a deeply aromatic contemplative wine like one of the following:
Makhpelah Cabernet/Merlot 2002 from Israel, only a few hundred cases were produced! This wine combines spicy aromas with a touch of vanilla and smoky oak. The well-balanced palate is soft and rich with plum and dark cherry flavors highlighted by fine tannins. For that extra,extra, special occasion, it’s a bit pricey! For the more price conscious, but still very discriminate wine palate, I recommend any of these, Italy’s Borgo Reale – Primitivo di Manduria 2001; France’s Flegman – Merlot 2006, or a South African Rothberg Cellar – Shiraz 2008. Frankly, there are far too many superb kosher wines to fit every mood, every palate, every occasion. You can find the above and hundreds more, at Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J; Brooklyn, NY 11230; Telephone: 718.333.4168).

Take in the calming scent of the wine’s perfume; delight in each sip, savoring the rich flavor, allowing your palate to pick up its complex symmetry. Let your body relax, as the liquid soporific hits your bloodstream.

For starters, I recommend choosing an appetizer or salad that you’ve never tried before like Orchideä’s Spring Fling Salad; perhaps something like T Fusion‘s Pan Seared Sweetbreads or Solo‘s Barbeque Short Rib Spring Roll. Discern the distinctive flavors within. Redefine your stomach’s state of satiety by trading quantity with quality and variety of taste. Allow the sensual mixing of fresh textures and subtle tones and spices on your tongue and taste buds. Observe the placement of food, the artistry and color and let it become a true binge of the senses.

For the main dish, if you’re watching those calories, pick a fish or chicken dish prepared in a way you’ve never tasted or wouldn’t make at home. when it comes to fish few can beat the imagination or IMITATE the meat-like look and taste at Plaza Dining (downstairs at Boro Park’s Plaza Hotel). If you’re a meat lover like I am, go for the steak if it’s really what you’ve got the yen for.

We particularly enjoyed Prime Grill’s Black Angus Steak, and the Delmonico Steak at Bistro Grill. Order a notch higher on the temperature time as fine restaurants tend to grill a bit on the rarer side. If you’re out with friends be a good sharer, and sample each other’s dishes. It can get ugly with the really delectable, so be prepared to fight them off with fork or skewer if they become voracious.

I’m usually too full by dessert time to get territorial.  Here a morsel of some heavenly delight is sufficient. Nothing alters vexation like a great dessert. We loved Les MaraisCrème Brûlée, Gusto Va Mare‘s Double Truffle and u cafe‘s Tricolor Cake.

Finally, if you’re still not convinced, contemplate this with your latte: “There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

So eat and enjoy!

SYR




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