212 A Steakhouse Like No Other & You Can Afford It.

212 fromt room bar

212 Steakhouse is located at 316 East 53rd Street between 1st and 2nd avenues, http://www.212steakhouse.com, 212-858-0646, is open for dinner Sun-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11:30pm and is available for private events. Lunch coming soon.

212 lounge

212 back room

Makes Inaccessible Cuts of Beef Accessible

The brainchild and passion project of entrepreneur Nikolay Volper, 212 Steakhouse is a modern steakhouse with a unique concept: making true Japanese Kobe beef and other top notch cuts of beef accessible to the general public, offering a wide range of the highest quality beef at prices that are 60-80% below market rate. (The discount doesn’t represent a sale or promotion, but rather an on-going and permanent commitment to value and to educating consumers.)

Kobe beef is a rare delicacy no matter how you slice it. Highly regulated by the Japanese government, only a limited amount of authentic Kobe beef exists, and a very small percentage is exported to the U.S. In fact, 212 Steakhouse is the only restaurant on the East Coast officially approved by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association from Japan to offer authentic Kobe beef. This association guarantees the supreme quality of the certified authentic Kobe beef served here, attested to by the certificate that hangs in the entryway of the restaurant. For more information on the association, please visit www.kobe-niku.jp/englishtop.html.

212 kobe beef

From the elegant yet comfortable cocktail lounge in the front, to the expansive bar designed for eating as well as drinking to the rustic wood tables with woven placemats in the dining room, Volper has created a different kind of steakhouse.

Kobe beef from Japan is bred of Tajima-gyu calves only from designated producers in Hyogo Prefecture, fed only the very best feed in stress-free and healthy environments, matured to an ideal quality and texture to an average age of 32 months and then rigorously graded for selection. The flavor of Kobe beef is unforgettable because of the harmony of delicate, sweet lean meat shot throughout with fragrant fat that literally melts-in-your-mouth.

For those who have never tasted the real thing, 212 Steakhouse offers the opportunity to try the beautifully marbled meat for a fraction of the cost: $15/ounce as compared to $45. (Minimum serving four ounces.) Most steak eaters find that they are satisfied with a small portion of the ultra rich Kobe beef. We have enjoyed Kobe beef at many restaurants in the US, Europe and Japan, but have never tasted such excellence before 212. Always tender, at 212 Steakhouse, the marbling and taste is beyond description.

212 wagyu 40 pz

(Above) Dry-Aged Porterhouse 28 oz for one. Beats American Beef (Amazing)

These value prices also apply to other prime cuts of meat: Owner Nikolay Volper has made a commitment to make the highest quality beef in the world accessible to 212 diners, providing an impressive range of cuts at drastically reduced prices including Kobe beef ribeye, strip loin and tenderloin as well as USDA Prime bone-in filet mignon; Australia Wagyu skirt steak, dry-aged bone-in ribeye and porterhouse for one or two, and both American and Japanese Wagyu striploin with meat sourced from the Fremont Beef Company, one of the few authorized wholesalers in the country.

To ensure that this is a sustainable effort, diners enter into an implicit contract to order at least one menu item other than steak. But with the excellent collaboration between the owner and executive chef Christos Kalamvokis, choosing appetizers, salads and side dishes is a very satisfying proposition. Formerly of Kellari, Kalamvokis shared his expertise on Greek cuisine by teaching in Brazil, and began his career at Uncle George’s in Astoria, where he mastered the art of grilled whole fish and meats and other Greek specialties.

What makes 212 Steakhouse even more remarkable is just how varied and interesting the rest of the menu is. Not content to provide the usual sides, appetizers and token alternatives to steak, the Greek and Mediterranean-influenced menu is so complete that a non-beef eater could easily visit 212 Steakhouse dozens of times and never have the same meal.

212 tuna tartar

An ideal meal begins with cold appetizers such as a wonderfully colorful interpretation of ceviche of wild salmon, avocado, mango, radish, minced jalapeno and lime zest, or yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado, highlighted with thinly sliced cucumbers and a bright and intriguing wasabi lemon sauce (beautiful to look at, elegant and exquisite). There’s also imported burrata wrapped in 18-month aged prosciutto di Parma with baby arugula. Equally compelling are hot appetizers such as thinly sliced of zucchini chips, fried until crisp and puffy, flavored with garlic and accompanied by yogurt-dill dipping sauce, or grilled sushi quality octopus with red-wine vinegar marinated red onions and sweet mini peppers, or the dramatically presented graviera cheese, brought to the table with a brandy flambé. Organic spinach soup with roasted feta crouton, a deeply satisfying dish that borrows from Volper’s Bulgarian heritage, is a thickened with yogurt and filled with swirls of fresh spinach.

212 branzino

The freshly caught whole fish such as branzino, dorado and black sea bass, are simply grilled with organic Sicilian olive oil, lemon and herbs, are priced per pound, and are presented filleted and are perfect, as only a Greek-trained chef can prepare them. Other seafood options include swordfish kebabs, wild salmon filet and freshly grilled Maine lobster in the shell. Guests can also enjoy decadent risottos with moderate price tags such as wild mushroom and truffle risotto or black risotto with seafood. The impressive array of side dishes include ethereal baked polenta fries

212 polentawith parmesan, tender sautéed Brussels sprouts212 sprouts with sun-dried tomatoes, a heavenly mix of mushrooms and an addictive tangy-lightly sweet eggplant caponata composed with pine nuts, raisins and olives.

212 octopus

Grilled sushi quality octopus  (Above) is the best in NY.

The beverage program is up to the challenge set by the cuisine and includes a wide-ranging wine list that represents a fine selection of wines from United States, France, and around the world. The by-the-glass list includes a wonderful selection of Champagnes, Prosecco, and excellent whites and reds from Sonoma, The Loire Valley and Tuscany, as well as Sauternes and Ports. There’s also a choice of sake and beer. Guests can even try one-ounce vintage pours of spectacular wines such as 1975 Château Mouton Rothschild, 1994 Château Petrus or 1985 Château Margaux to match their Kobe beef. Spirits are equally well represented with a broad selection of single malt Scotches and other fine whiskies, bourbons and cognac as well the finest top shelf spirits for classic cocktails. The cocktail menu includes inventive and luxurious cocktails such as the Beluga, built with Beluga Vodka, ginger syrup, fresh lime and a caviar cube and the Diamond—Atlantico Rum, club soda, Chambord and a diamond cut sugar cube. The list of bubbly cocktails includes Gold, composed of Taittinger Prestige Brut with orange bitters and 23K gold flakes.

We loved the honesty, care, quality and price-points of 212 Steakhouse. Service is attentive and friendly and the bar makes a good martini. There are just a few housemade desserts: Crème Brulee and Chocolate soufflé. Both are lovely. But best of all, 212 Steakhouse breaks the mold of ubiquitous NY Steak House and is a joy.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.



Continue reading

Tamarind TriBeCa Offers NY’s Most Glamorous Indian Dining Experience

Tamarind int TBC1

The Dramatic Tamarind Restaurant.

99 Hudson Street

  • (Btwn Franklin & Leonard St)

Telephone number/Tamarind TriBeCa is 212-775-9000

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. Its full menu is available at the bar.

Click Here To Visit The website

Click Here To Make a reservation On Open Table

.tamarind chops

Not To Be Missed. The Amazing MASALEDAR CHOP (Lamb chops marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, aromatic Indian herbs), Pictured Above.

tamarind Mr. Walia useAvtar Walia,(pictured left) previously owner of the acclaimed Tamarind in the Flatiron section (now closed), is devoting his energies to his newest restaurant Tamarind TriBeCa in Manhattan’s prime and most sought-after neighborhood.The architect and designer of Tamarind TriBeCa is Wid Chapman, who heads the award-wining firm of Wid Chapman Architects in New York. The modern 11,000 square foot space seats 175 people on two levels, the main dining room and a 1,500 square foot mezzanine.  At the entrance is a stylish bar and cocktail lounge with a marble and onyx bar, and a communal wine table framed by a wall of Brazilian teak, and lit by an illuminated wine display.

Dramatic ceiling high windows face Hudson and Franklin Streets, adding drama to dining at Tamarind, and L-shaped banquette seating in low booths can be found around many of the windows. Another interior element is the wide range of materials and shapes used to create the imaginative custom lighting, both ceiling mounted and wall displayed.  These edgy designs are used to define each of the varied areas in the restaurant.  Limestone clad columns reach the 18 foot ceilings and below, polished, sustainable teak wood and streaked marble, cover the floors. Intimate booths with banquette seating and sheer curtain dividers are located under the mezzanine. A floating cantilevered stair leads up to the mezzanine to be used for dining, private parties and special events.  The area is surrounded by glass which visually connects diners on the two levels

The overall effect is breathtaking and dazzling and is enhanced by extraordinary service, under the direction of  the polished Manager Christopher Corda. (Don’t forget to check out the new Tamarind Lotus Room, bar lounge area and  the mezzanine).

The food represents many of India’s diverse regions to produce new dishes and classic fare, in addition to selected offerings drawn from Tamarind’s original Flatiron location.. Anchoring the TriBeCa site is a windowed tandoor kitchen crowned by a unique black metal roof.

tamarind scallops

Among the exceptional dishes featured on Tamarind’s menu are: Puff pastry, filled with melted cheese (yes it’s mozzarella, but who cares. It’s delicious).  Dover sole is baked in a clay pot, layered with whole spices, and bathed in a pasanda sauce;  while Lobster is combined with shitake mushrooms, chopped onions, garlic, and  white wine;  Bataki Kosha, An unusual Duck dish, is hand rolled in a rice crepe, with onions, garlic, ginger, garam masala; while Prawns are sautéed in coconut, lemongrass, dried red chilies, spiced chickpea flour cake.

Also loved: Achari hiran ki chhampen, the legendary Venison chops marinated in pickling spices, roasted chickpea flour and hung yogurt;  MASALEDAR CHOP (Lamb chops marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, aromatic Indian herbs was equally divine; MALAI HALIBUT, Halibut flavored with mace, cardamom, in coconut, ginger sauce may the the seafood star; Raan e Dumpukht, Lamb shank braised in Indian rum, onions, cashew nuts, saffron and nutmeg is the best shank I’ve had in years: fork tender, huge and impeccably spiced (worthy of a visit in its own right); MAJJIGA PULUSU, a fascinating mélange of Buttermilk, green plantains, yams, radishes, white pumpkin, carrots, okra, mustard seeds,and curry leaves.

Of course you must order the superb Indian breads (check out the minted and rosemary varieties) and flavored rice as well as cooling flavored yogurt and sweet chutney on the side. And don’t skip dessert. Tamarind TriBeCa takes them seriously. We loved the fruited cheese cake and warm carrot pudding and there are many others to choose from.

tamarind dessert

Tamarind’s focus has always been to pair fine wines with the food his chefs prepare. And the TriBeCa restaurant has increased the number and variety of wines in its inventory.  Prices are fair and the selection is good. Tamarind maintains a well-stocked full service bar and high end products. The cocktails are both inventive and generous.

Forget all your clichés regarding Indian food and for an elegant night out or just some of the best Indian cooking in Manhattan, head for Tamarind TriBeCa. You won’t be disappointed.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa in the Seychelles Becomes “BEYOND All-Inclusive”

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa in Mahé, Seychelles introduces the new “BEYOND All-Inclusive” concept beginning November 1, 2014. This new approach includes a myriad of services such as a dedicated butler, high-speed Wi-Fi, complimentary laundry service, all daily meals, soft drinks and premium alcoholic beverages as well as food a la carte on a “Whatever, Wherever, Whenever” basis. Additional activities introduced include morning Yoga or Qi Gong, non-motorized sports plus unlimited scuba diving.

Located on 30 acres of award-winning gardens on the main island of Mahé, MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa features 30 private villas, all with 180-degree uninterrupted sea views. While staying at MAIA guests can choose between two villa categories, the “Ocean Panoramic” villas or the “MAIA Signature” villas. Designed by leading architect Bill Bensley, each villa offers guests the perfect escape while vacationing at MAIA.

   Dotting the hillside are the nineteen Ocean Panoramic villas, each offering guests exquisite views of MAIA’s lush gardens and the blue waters of the ocean below. Additionally, the eleven “MAIA Signature” villas are located closer to the shore and provide guests direct access to the surf and sand. Guests booking the “MAIA Signature” villa also enjoy additional inclusions like early check-in and late check-out, their choice of Champagne as well as in-villa offerings such as daily private yoga, one-time mani-pedi, and a specially prepared barbecue.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved. http://www.culinarygourmet.wordpress.com/disclosure

Continue reading

The Landmark Building “Pavilion Restaurant” Opens in Union Square Park, with a Menu that Showcases the Bounty of the Greenmarket, Dazzling Décor and a Stellar Kitchen


20 Union Square West
New York, New York  — 10003

Located at the North End of Union Square Park at 17th Street, Across From Barns and Noble.

BRUNCH 11:30-5PM

LUNCH- 10:30AM-5PM

DINNER- 5PM- Closing at Midnight

Click Here To Visit the Website or Make a Reservation

Some things are truly worth the wait. This spring New Yorkers were thrilled to see that the iconic colonnaded pavilion in Union Square once again features an exciting new indoor-outdoor restaurant. The Pavilion, whose menu showcases the bounty of the Union Square Greenmarket, welcomed the public.

For nearly 170 years Union Square has been a gathering place for commerce, for entertainment, for labor and political events, and for recreation. The 1928 Greek revival structure at the north end of the park has featured a restaurant since 1994. Today, The Pavilion, run under the direction of the hospitality group Chef Driven Market continues the over 150-year-old tradition of having restaurants and food concessions in New York City parks. The name Pavilion is a simple, classic one that respects the building’s rich history. Open seasonally from April until late October, The Pavilion seats 90 people indoor and 90 outside and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. It is also the best restaurant in any NY City park, but regardless of location, its is generally excellent with a first rate kitchen, well selected wines and beer, a serious mixologist and attentive service.

pavioion crudo

At the helm are three rising stars on the city’s culinary scene: Executive Chef Mario Urgiles, previously at NYC French eatery Maison delights diners with an innovative market-driven menu – his pantry is the Greenmarket, just steps away. Pastry chef Terri Dreisbach who worked for Bobby Flay and Philippe Chow delivers her signature creative confections incorporating fresh ingredients while master mixologist Joel Cruz shakes up cocktails also inspired by the nearby market. All three are known for their tasty dishes that are always home made from scratch.pavion soup

Highlights from Chef Urgiles’ menu that underline his market-driven approach include: Tomato Soup with sourdough crouton & herb crème fraiche; Farm Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart with baby dandelion salad; Organic Salmon Green Pot Au Feu with fennel pearl onion, baby carrots, shitakes, tomato and Roasted Organic Chicken with fingerling and purple potatoes, broccoli rabe. Even the steak is a fine piece of meat, beautifully seared, with a lovely garnish of fresh vegetables. But the entrée winner is the restaurant impossibility: a stuffed fish with barely wilted vegetables and a light sauce. Perfectly prepared.

PAVILLION  chicken use best

Pastry Chef Terri Dreisbach is known for both her clever recipes and her artistic presentation. Some of the desserts she offers include: Raspberry Ginger Beer Float with coconut ice cream, raspberry sorbet, vanilla whipped cream and a ginger cookie; Devil’s Food Cake with pistachio mousse, raspberry and pistachio gelato; her signature Summer Berry Verrine with buttermilk panna cotta, summer berries, almond crumble and pistachio gelato (a must) and a Chocolate Beet Cake with blackberry-beet meringue, creme fraiche, cassis, blackberries and beet sorbet.

pavilion chicken use

At the bar Head Mixologist Joel Cruz makes his own magic with classic and contemporary cocktail creations many featuring fruit and herbs he sources from the market for syrups and garnishes. At brunch for example the Bloody Mary mix is highlighted by Holy Schmitt’s horseradish direct from the Greenmarket. Cruz is also bringing back frozen cocktails like everyone’s favorite pina colada made with fresh coconut milk, pineapple juice and dark rum.

pavioion coup dessert

Some of Cruz’s other signature cocktails include: Pavilion ‘75’ with New Amsterdam Gin, honey direct from the Greenmarket, thyme syrup, and sparkling wine; the Metronome featuring New Amsterdam Orange Vodka, vanilla, white Vermouth and Aztec chocolate bitters; the Park Side including light and dark rum, fresh mint, lime, guava “foam,” and local pollen; and The Rialto made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, InfiniTEA Syrup, pineapple and Peychaud’s Bitters. The olives in the martini are worth a visit.

The Pavilion also serves rosé sangria, the perfect warm-weather beverage as well as a number of craft beers and cider from NY area breweries. The wine program offers a list of 40 wines by the bottle and 12 by the glass predominantly from New York State wineries who focus on sustainable and biodynamic techniques.

The Pavilion’s décor seamlessly blends the lush greenery of the park with a chic yet casual dining experience. The result is a beautiful restaurant  that could feel as home in the South of France or an exotic island. Hanging gardens adorn the walls, palm trees add to the bucolic setting and overhead round glass orb lighting harkens back to open-air restaurants of the past. Modern touches like subtle lighting under the floor and unobtrusive ceiling heaters insure diners are always comfortable and there is a wonderful feeling of professional informality.

Furthermore, as an integral part of the New York City community, The Pavilion, in collaboration with KMNY Consulting and the Union Square Partnership, will add family-friendly programming to the Union Square Partnership’s already popular Summer in the Square series with “Tuesdays @ThePavilionNYC,” a weekly drop-in series. Programming will take place on the main level inside The Pavilion. A great idea!

“We are proud to be a part of the Union Square community,” says Simon Oren, CEO of Chef Driven Group and owner Marseille, Nice Matin and  Barbounia. “We look forward to welcoming the community to this new public amenity in the park.”

Some of these programs include weekly children’s book readings, musical performances, and cooking instruction. Chef Driven Market will also provide internships, partner with local food charities, host fundraising events, and partner with GrowNYC, which oversees the Greenmarket program citywide, on numerous nutrition and wellness initiatives, as well as source products used in their daily menu offerings from participating Greenmarket farms.

For an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience, The Pavilion brings a new twist on fine dining to New York and is already a roaring success. Walman Report Rating: A+

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading

Valdo Rose Brut Is An Affordable Charmer


Just tasted the current version. Just delightful!

Originally posted on The Walman Report:

Nerello Mascalese Hi-Res

Valdo’s Philosophy: “Prosecco” is the distinguishing factor on the regional level- refined aromas, balance and overall quality are the key features Valdo
focuses on to produce unique and unrivalled products.

Valdo was started in 1926 by the Societa Anonima Vini Superiori & purchased by The Bolla Family in the 1940’s. Over 80 years of continuous
innovation with an ongoing quest for quality and devotion to respecting the vineyards & wine-making traditions of the region.

The Spumante Rosé is created from the perfect blend of two typical Italian vines, the Sicilian black berry Nerello Mascalese, from Sambuca Sicily in the province of Argiento which is 300 meters above sea level, and Glera, the fruity grapes from the Veneto region in the province of Treviso at 80 meters above sea level. The vineyard that grows the Nerello Mascalese has clay and limestone soil and the Glera vineyard is alluvial clay.

View original 150 more words

NYY Steak Scores a Home Run In The NYC Steakhouse Arena

nyy steak yanke interior man_interior_4

7 West 51st Street (Between 5th & 6Th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
(646) 307-7910
Click Here To Visit The Website

Click Here To Make a Reservation Online

Owners: Hard Rock International & New York Yankees
Fred Thimm (COO), Raul Adorno (GM)
Executive Sous Chef: Elin Garcia
Cuisine: American Steakhouse
Address: 7 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646-307-7910
Website: http://www.nyysteak.com
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Google+: NYYSteak
Hours of Operation: Weekdays: Lunch and Dinner 11:30am-11pm; Pinstripe Power
Hour 4-6pm and 9-11pm
Saturday: Dinner only 5-11pm
Sunday: Dinner only 5-10pm; Pinstripe Power Hour: Monday – Friday 4pm – close.

Signature Dishes: 27 oz. Char-Grilled Long Bone Rib Eye, 28 oz. Porterhouse, 16 oz.
Prime Veal Chop, Berkshire Double Pork Chop, New York Strip,
Onion Ring Stack, NYY Steak 151 Volcano
Signature Cocktails: Yankeetini, Bronx Bomber
Interior Design: In-house
Capacity: 16,000 square feet / 220+ seats / Private Dining areas
Credit Cards: All major credit cards
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearest Subway: E at 53th Street and 5th Avenue, M at 53th Street and 5th Avenue, 6
at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue, N/Q/R at 59th Street and 5th


nyy steak man_interior_3

Baseball fans and steak connoisseurs unite in midtown Manhattan at the city’s second NYY Steak. NYY Steak assembled a team of culinary and hospitality experts with years of fine dining experience to oversee its newest location. The team is lead by Fred Thimm, an established steakhouse specialist having spent 15 years with The Palm, where he served as President and COO and NYY Steak’s General Manager, Raul Adorno, who previously worked with Morton’s the Steakhouse for 16 years and opened locations worldwide as a General Manager and Director of Operations.

The spectacularly beautiful restaurant is  partnership between Hard Rock International and the Yankee Global Enterprises, the 16,000 square foot restaurant is housed in a former bank and stretches over three floors, featuring two private dining rooms, including an intimate 16 seat room housed in the old bank vault itself.  A pair of mirror image open kitchens, stacked one on top of the other, enables guests to see all the behind the burner action, whether dining on the main floor or the upstairs dining room.  The 200+ seat restaurant proudly boasts its signature autograph wall, featuring the autographs of retired New York Yankees legends.

One of NYY Steak’s main focal points is the glass enclosed butcher’s shop located on the lower level of the restaurant where the finest cuts of USDA Prime meat are aged and on display for beef enthusiasts to ogle. The MVP of the menu is the 27 oz. Char-Grilled Long Bone Rib Eye, which pays homage to the Bronx Bombers’ 27 World Series Championships.  Guests in the know can even ask to have the bone personalized on this well marbled cut – whether you want to say congratulations or monogram the bone for a company dinner, the kitchen team will make the Rib Eye bone just as memorable as the tender meat, which is one of the best in the city.

The all star line up also includes a 28 oz. Porterhouse, a Prime Veal Chop, and the New York Strip, all of which are dry aged for 21 days in signature NYY Steak style.

nyy steak steak food_shot_12
Other star attractions include the Steak Bacon starter, served as thick-cut slabs in a maple glaze, topped with wilted spinach which will undoubtedly leave you begging for more while the Maryland Lump Crab Cake, served with roasted chipotle corn salsa and a caper remoulade, adds a spicy note to a steakhouse classic. The RAW BAR SAMPLER (FOR TWO 55 | FOR FOUR 95) offers fresh Alaskan king crab, lobster, colossal shrimp,
lovely East and West Coast oysters & clams. (Go easy on th e excellent warm bread, a rarity for steak houses).

A seemingly innocent Baby Iceberg Salad with tomato, bacon, egg, scallion, creamy blue cheese and French dressing is innocent no more as each order comes with a shot of vodka and a blue cheese stuffed olive, a playful nod to the “Mad Men” style martini and steak power lunches. Carnivores can continue to indulge in the Berkshire Double Pork Chop served with whole grain mustard spaetzle, tangy braised red cabbage and a savory pork jus, or sink your teeth into the beautifully crafted chili, garlic and herb rubbed Braised Short Rib Ragu with sweet cherry tomatoes, served over fresh pappardelle pasta.

nyy steak shrimp food_shot_5

 Fish fanatics can opt for the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with teriyaki stir-fry vegetables, micro greens and a mandarin-orange sesame sauce or the fresh Catch of the Day.  The signature Lobster Mac & Cheese is made with sizeable pieces of fresh buttery lobster served with orecchiette pasta that delightfully holds up to the rich cheesy sauce.  Wisely choosing an order of the Onion Ring Stack will have fellow diners drooling in envy as a foot high totem pole of thick and crunchy coated onions come barreling at you, served with a homemade zesty balsamic ketchup and ranch dipping sauces.

nyy steak sessert dessert_menu_man
Before rounding home plate, diners would be remiss not to dabble in a bit of sweetness including two tableside options: the Crème Brûlée with chocolate coated pretzel rods sprinkled with fleur de sel, caramelized tableside, or the NYY Steak 151 Volcano, vanilla bean ice cream covered with Heath Bar crunch and expertly flambéed tableside using a shot of 151 Rum, the perfect treat to share with the whole table. And the Carrot Cake is the best you’ll ever taste.

nyy steak wine_menu_ys

An expansive glass wine case built into the back wall houses the restaurant’s extensive globally infused wine list, along with 27 wines by the glass. The cocktail list is a mixture of classic and seasonal, offering guests everything from the Yankeetini, a mix of Vodka, Blue Curacao and White Cranberry Juice with a blue rock sugar rim to the Bronx Bomber, a twist on a Manhattan with Templeton Rye, Combier Cherry Liqueur, Antica Carpano Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Peel.  NYY Steak’s “Pinstripe Power Hour” runs Sunday 5-6pm and 9-10pm as well as Monday thru Friday, 4pm-6pm and 9pm-11pm in both the bar and lounge, offering specialty bites from the bar menu. Fans of all sports can indulge both their palates and their passion any night of the week, taking in the big game on one of the televisions perched around the bar and lounge area.


The wine list is not only well chosen, but affordable and there are unique wines by the, including Behrens Family Winery ‘Behrens & Hitchcock’ The Heavyweight, Napa Valley, 2010 at $34 the glass ($136, by the bottle). Service is seamless, smooth and beautifully orchestrated by Diego Betancourt and Alex Sariyan.

We loved NYY STEAK, and believe they are here for a long and successful run. Rating: A Major, By The Walman Report.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Cuba Restaurant in the West Village Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary and Is A Delight

cuba int2 sky

Cuba (Photo Credits: David Lindo)

222 Thompson Street between Bleecker and W. 3rd streets,

Click Here To Visit The Website


Open for dinner, Sun-Thu from 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat, 4pm-midnight. Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-4pm; brunch, Sat-Sun from 11am-4pm; happy hour, Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm, live Cuban music, Fri and Sat @7:30pm (see website for schedule), cigar roller on site Mon, Thu and Sat evenings. Catering and private party rooms are available.


cuba int1

Cuba Restaurant in the West Village Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

Cuba restaurant is a rarity. For ten years, the team behind Cuba—including owner Beatriz de Armas,cuba chef Executive Chef Mario Garcia, manager Viviana Cabrera and head bartender Eduardo Tavares, as well as many of the servers and other staff—have worked together in a labor of love. As a result, Cuba restaurant is like a family, their loyalty and satisfaction directly translating to the guest experience, creating an atmosphere of fun, friendliness and all-around Cuban hospitality that is unparalleled.

cuba drinks1

For 10 years, the restaurant has been capturing the spirit of Old Havana with live Cuban music, swaying palms, tropical fruits, strong signature mojitos and daiquiris, and authentic cuisine. It’s a singular and charming escape, a Little Havana on Thompson Street. Oversized automobiles and curvy dancers moving to a salsa beat are just some of the images of Cuba conjured and captured in the colorful paintings that decorate the exposed brick walls. At a table in the hammock-draped Terrace Room, you can watch the resident cigar maker hand-rolling Cuban-style cigars. Or plan a getaway to the subterranean speakeasy-like Hemingway Hideaway, or the intimate Family Room, ideal for group dining.

Cuba born and raised, Beatriz de Armas draws inspiration from her native Cuba and iconic places notoriously frequented by Ernest Hemingway, such as La Bodeguita Del Medio (famous for the mojito) and El Floridita (perfector of the daiquiri), as well as Latin influences and places she has lived including Valencia, Spain—the spark behind the menu’s list of paellas. Together with Chef Garcia, who trained under Chef David Martinez of the world famous Hotel Nacional in Cuba, the two have become a dynamic team encompassing the quality, tradition and essence of the Cuban sabor. They have collaborated on a menu that not only expresses Cuba’s primary culinary influences from African slaves and Spanish settlers, but also includes other, complementary Latin flavors.

cuba paella1

Chef Martinez is not only highly trained, but produces a high-level cuisine with a contemporary twist. For the tenth anniversary, he has created several new dishes, while also keeping many of the popular standards. New appetizers include a remarkable “Chicharron Prensado,” delicious braised pork belly with a parchment-crispy balsamic glazed skin, accompanied by congri—a blessed combination of rice and beans enhanced by a layer of nicely spiced Spanish chorizo and green peas, for an addictive flavor combination. There is also a changing selection of ceviches—the newest is the Ceviche de Langosta—tender, sweet lobster tossed with an enlivening mix of lemon juice, mustard, sesame oil, cilantro, cucumber and orange peel. But equally wonderful is the CEVICHE MIXTO: shrimp, calamari, scallops marinated in lime juice, cilantro, red onions, and avocado

For main courses, the new poultry dish, Pato con Salsa de Tamarindo, is a revelation: tamarind-glazed duck leg confit with a complement of mashed sweet plantains, sautéed spinach and oyster mushrooms. Really elegant and recommend. New to the seafood section is Salmon, a wonderful blend of textures: pan-seared with a caramelized crust, topped with tender shrimp, with creamy lobster sauce and coconut rice. The traditional Ropa Vieja, shredded skirt steak braised in salsa criolla, peppers, onions and tomatoes, is a classic favorite, but the Vaca Frita, pan-fried skirt steak with garlic mojo, soy sauce, onions, parsley and lime, is a house specialty, a traditional Cuban dish rarely seen on menus in NYC. For Beatriz’s homage to Spain, paellas include Paella Vallenciana, prepared with saffron rice, baby back ribs, monkfish, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, peppers, string beans and peas, as well as seafood and vegetarian versions.

For something really special, go for the amazing  RABO ENCENDIDO: tender braised oxtail, in tomato and red wine, kissed by sweet plantain, and succulent rice and beans. Here’s a dish that brings Cuban  cosine into the world-class arena.

cuba food1

The luscious desserts include an ethereal Flan de Leche, custard with caramel sauce and fresh berries that somehow manages to be light and rich at the same time, as well as the sweet treat of Empandadita de Guayaba, guava and cream cheese filled turnovers, served with ice cream and raspberry sauce.

cuba dessert1

At lunchtime, you’ll also find traditional sandwiches such as the classic favorite, the Cubano, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, pressed and toasted until crispy on crusty bread. Other tasty choices include Pan con Todo, pan-fried shredded skirt steak sandwich with sautéed onions, arugula, tetilla cheese and garlic mayo, and the Miramar, fried scallops, romaine lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo and garlic mojo on toasted Cuban bread.

cuba meat1

Brunch also features many of the savory staples as well as Cuban takes on traditional brunch dishes, such as Cuba Libre Torrejas, cream cheese and guava French toast; Tortilla Cubana, an omelette with Spanish chorizo, manchego cheese and spinach; and Benedict Habaneros, two poached eggs, sweet plantain quinoa cake, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. Brunch also features all the Mimosas, Sparkling Mojitos, Sangria, Cuba Bloody Marys or Capirinhas you would like during a period of one and a half hours.

The cocktails, of course, are a key element in transporting guests to Old Havana. The list is composed by veteran head bartender Eduardo Tavares (his prior experience was at Victor’s Café 52), and he takes the time to do it right, muddling the lime, mint and sugar for the 45 seconds required for a proper mojito, and preparing purees and infusions in house. Summer specials in honor of the 10th Anniversary include the Frozen Mojito, all the fresh ingredients of the classic mojito—in a refreshing, frothy-thick iced version, and the Pasion Picante, built with Don Diego reposado tequila, passion fruit, mango puree, fresh lime juice, muddled cilantro and a kick of jalapeno. In addition to the classic mojito, Tavares also mixes up an incredible tropical mojito in a range of fruit flavors. A favorite is jackfruit, refreshing, creamy, tangy and not too sweet. Other special mojitos include Mojito 23, smooth, dark and rich with Zacapa 23-year-old rum. The Hemingway is prepared with house-infused ginger rum, muddled mint, fresh limes and Cava. Not to be missed is the Daiquiri de Cuba, a beautiful frozen confection built with Santa Teresa Claro rum, lime and strawberries. Wines hail from Portugal, Chile, Argentina and Spain—a great match for the Cuban, Latin and Spanish flavors of the food.

Like fine rum, this Cuba restaurant improves with age. Service is friendly and the reception by the attractive young woman at the reception is welcoming. (And don’t forget to checkout those cigars).

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading

Villagio On the Park … Bravo

village int1

Villagio On the Park

40 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 369-4000 Fax: (212) 369-4005

village ceiling view

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 11:30am – 11:30pm

Saturday: 11:30am – 11:30pm

Sunday: 11:30am – 11:30pm

Capacity: Bar

Main Dining Room

Lower Level

Private Room

Credit Cards: Visa/MasterCard and Amex

Original Restaurant Established: 1995

Email: Villagioonthepark@att.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/villagiosawgrassmall

Twitter: @VillagioRisto

Owner: Alex Kalas and Thomas Billante

General Manager: David Fuentes

Executive Chef: Paul Johnston

village  Lobster ravoli w shrimp

Lobster Ravioli

Cuisine: Al Fresco Italian

village  dining room

Click Here For The Website

Alex Kalas and Thomas Billante, owners of a profusion of restaurants in Miami and one in Chicago, have transformed the space that was once home to Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant & Bar (40 Central Park South) and opened the new Villagio On the Park, a  refined Italian restaurant that allows al fresco dining with views of Central Park. Villagio On the Park boasts a modern aesthetic built on marble and wood.

village TomatoSalad-12

village Lobster-19

village Salmon-5-2

village Chicken3color-9

The design by Jeffrey Beers international includes Rustic pizza paddles that line the walls, and hundreds of illuminated crystals that hang from the ceiling and reflect off one another to cast a ubiquitous glow . While the first of a series of rooms is the most overtly attractive, the back areas are quieter and offer a respite from the roar of the crowd that has made Villagio On the Park one of the hottest and most coveted restaurant reservations in Manhattan.

Under the helm of Executive Chef Paul Johnston, Villagio On the Park makes its own pastas and imports many of the essential ingredients from overseas, such as Portuguese octopus and calamari from Europe. The food is generally excellent and while purists may be surprised by some bows to Florida, which included the most delicious lobster, stuffed with crabmeat I’ve ever tasted, the quality is superb and the preparations exhibit a deft hand.

Signature dishes include a “gondoletta,” stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a truffle mushroom cream sauce that is to die for, and zucchini flowers, (pictured below),have been harvested in Palm Beach, filled with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto, lightly battered and sautéed.  (Heaven on a plate). Burrata a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream (the outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream), sided by gorgeous tomatoes and prosciutto, was as good as it gets.

village smoked mozzerella and pancetta zuchinni blossoms

Specialty Dishes offer Mozzarella Caprese, Slices of fresh homemade mozzarella, with tomatoes and basil; Pollo Milanese, Chicken breast lightly breaded topped with tricolore salad with fresh diced tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar., Pizza Pazza Mozzarella, fresh arugula, Parma prosciutto and virgin olive oil, Salmone A Letto, Fresh Atlantic salmon pan sautéed in virgin olive oil topped with roasted garlic over a bed of spinach, Nodino, Veal chop simply done on the grill, Scaloppini Portobello, Veal scaloppini sautéed with sliced Portobello mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce,  Risotto Frutti di Mare,Carnaroli rice in safran sauce with an array of fresh fish, shrimp,mussels, clams and calamari.

village CalamarSalad-10_new2

Pizzas are baked in the wood-burning oven, and gluten-free options are on the menu. Even the ubiquitous Lasagna is out of the ordinary, with its homemade pasta, layered with a light bechamel and a delicate meat sauce (all the tomato based sauces are excellent as well).

The gratis focaccia  is terrific, and oh the fresh chopped cherry tomatoes that accompany it. The wine list has sufficient wines by the glass at easy prices and some top bottles for the big spenders. And check out some Italian beer that are a welcome respite from the pleasant Peroni and complement  the food.

By all means don’t skip the perfect desserts. I especially like the light-as-air semifreddo (half cold) dessert, with the texture of frozen mousse because it is produced by uniting equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream. The Chocolate Soufflé ….  was served with a rich vanilla ice cream and Tiramisu (Layers of ladyfingers dipped in espresso and amaretto,
topped with mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa powder) was everything it should be.

The dashing G.M,, David Fuentes, oversees the operation with precision and the service staff is young, energetic, highly efficient and helpful. Villagio On the Park ,  40 Central Park South, is the new restaurant kid in town. If you wonder why New York needs another Italian restaurant, check it out. You’re in for a pleasant surprise.

village VealChop-5

village Ravioli-2

village int3 wine

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


village int2

Tira Misu

village  Tiramisu2

village chefs table

Chef’s Table

Continue reading