From the Mediterranean to Madison Avenue: Amaranth Restaurant at 15 , Is AS Seductive As Ever

clip_image002

 

 

 

clip_image004amaranth_1clip_image006

 

 

Iconic Upper East Side restaurant Amaranth continues to thrive – even after 15 years in the business. Owners Paola Pedrignani and Francois Marchand, who recently marked the Mediterranean Bistro’s Anniversary with a glamorous celebration for over 500 of their most loyal customers, attribute its long-running success to “staying true to their Mediterranean roots and never compromising on quality.”

Located just off Madison Avenue on 62nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, Amaranth offers a fusion of original Italian food and French food, with a large portion of specialty items imported directly from Italy and France. “We’re renowned for our classics, like our famous Focaccia Robiola, baked in our brick oven and served with Robiola cheese – there would be an outcry if we took this off the menu! But we also constantly evolve,” says owner Francois Marchand. Other fixtures on the menu include the Steak Tartare, which is prepared in front of customers to ensure freshness and the right balance of spices, and the Octopus Carpaccio – fresh, quality seafood from the Mediterranean served on a bed of greens.

There are also a number of healthy, light choices served with the highest quality ingredients – like the Whole Maine Lobster Salad, served with radicchio, endive, arugula, cremini mushrooms and citrus vinaigrette. The Pan Seared Nantucket Sea Scallops with mushrooms, braised leeks and lemon white wine sauce always impresses. Amaranth’s pastas are homemade and are available whole wheat and gluten free. The dessert menu is hard to resist – from the Mille Feuille Napolean with mixed berries and crème anglaise to the Cantucci al Vin Santo – a homemade biscotti served with Vin Santo Wine for dipping.

Amaranth is named after the deep red-rose colored flowers of the Amaranth plant, owner Paola Pedrignani says. “The deep, wine red color is warm and welcoming – we thought it represents the way our restaurant feels brilliantly.” Customers come to Amaranth for the full dining experience – excellent service, elegant décor, and the casual, home-away-from-home feel.

The restaurant’s charm has attracted a dedicated fan base of New Yorkers, Europeans, and celebrity clientele including the late Joan Rivers, Miranda Kerr, Orlando Bloom, former president of France Nicolas Sarkozy, and many more. Regular visitors, Kevin O’Sullivan and partner Jim, who held the first New York State same-sex marriage at Amaranth on October 6, 2011, say they hold Amaranth in very high regard for “terrific service and wonderful food”. “It holds a very special place in our hearts – our wedding was one of the happiest days of our lives and the restaurant always reminds of that day,” says O’Sullivan.

The restaurant has a charming terrace in the warmer months, perfect for cocktails and small tasting plates, and an ambient, glowing dining room for the colder months. Amaranth boasts an excellent cocktail list, including the famous Frozen Cosmo, and a well-balanced wine list featuring French, Italian and American wines to suit any price range.

Amaranth is also the perfect place to hold private parties and special celebrations. The team can organize private sit-down dinners and cocktail parties, with a special menu personalized by the chef. Amaranth staff love celebrating birthdays with customers. With sparkler candles and delicious Valona Chocolate Cake, a birthday celebration at Amaranth will always be an unforgettable one.

Affordable and fabulous. Oh the Focaccia Robiola. Good Service. Great bar.

Amaranth2

 

Continue reading

Philippe Chow New York is Our World-class Chinese Restaurant

philippe chow backroom

Philippe Chow New York

 

Location: 33 East 60th Street

New York City

Telephone: (212) 664-8885

Email: reservations@philippechow.com

Website: www.philippechow.com

Book A Reservation Online

Steve Boxer, Chief Operating Officer

Cuisine: Classic Chinese Cuisine with an Haute Flair

philippe chow long room

Chef Philippe is also available to cater private parties and/or prepare to-go dinners for any special event, at your home, boat or on the beach.

philippe chow bar1

Capacity: Dining Room (250) | Private Wine Cellar (26)

Hours of Operation: Lunch

Monday through Saturday: 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Dinner

Monday through Saturday: 6:00PM – 12:00AM

Sunday:

 

Philippe Chow Interior


Since opening in December 2005, Philippe Chow New York City continues to attract the who’s-who of Hollywood and social set – frequented by such names as Anne Hathaway, Anna Wintour, Beyoncé, Robert De Niro, Oprah, and  Lady Gaga – headed by Executive Chef Philippe Chow.

The Chic modern design meets with a signature color palette of black, white and red in the dining room and bar; for a more intimate setting, the private cellar and two private rooms are an ideal setting for any fête. Plush banquettes and intimate booths lend an air of opulence, as the glow from flickering candles and overhead skylights set the tone for a luxe dining experience.

Service is surprisingly warm,efficient and guiding, and has improved since Steve Boxer entered the scene. The menu offers a selection of main dishes meant to be shared by two people (many of them can be ordered in1/2 portions, but not the superlative Peking duck with its light-as-a-feather handkerchief-pancakes or a whole steamed fish of the day.

Creative noodles and dumplings are a specialty at Philippe. Each night at about 9 p.m. in the restaurant’s dining room, Noodle and Pastry Chef conducts a live demonstration for making hand-pulled noodles. Philippe’s menu features no less than eight variations of either steamed or stir-fried dumplings and Cheng’s specialty, hand-made noodles with pork or veal bean sauce (like a Bolognaise).

A haute flair on classic Chinese cuisine, Chef Philippe has crafted a menu complete with signature-favorites. We enjoyed an assortment of steamed dumplings, including Jade dumplings with shrimp and water chestnuts, crabmeat soup dumplings, sieu mai of pork and black mushrooms and vegetable dumplings. All were paragons of freshness and avoided the all too common NY Chinese trait of gumminess. PORK/SHRIMP FRIED RICE was creatively presented in a tall urn and was another standout, as were terrific sautéed green beans.

Entrees range from nine seasons spicy prawns, drunken sea bass served in white wine, the aforementioned Peking duck, crispy beef that is to die for and a delightful combination of green prawns with cashew nuts, water chestnuts, peppers and black mushrooms. Best of all and obligatory are RED KING CRABS (2.5 – 3lbs)  in garlic/butter sauce. They can be shared by 3 or 4 people and are so good that you will never want lobster again.

Other Signature Dishes include Chicken Satay, skewers prepared in Chef Philippe’s famous cream sauce, crispy Peking Chicken, fresh and juicy Maine Lobster and Spring Rolls. Philippe also offers a multi-course tasting menu at dinner that must be ordered by a minimum of six persons. The best dessert is without doubt the fine house-made sorbets and fresh fruit.

Specialty Drinks are outstanding. This is a real bar so expect such delights as the sweetly-refreshing taste of The Philipptini (Absolut vodka, lychee and fresh squeezed pineapple juice, triple sec, splash of Chambord), a lovely Lychee Martini (Absolut vodka, lychee juice, coconut cream, fresh squeezed lime juice, and Cointreau), the Shanghai Philippe (Stoli Strawberry, Elderflower syrup, muddled fresh strawberries, champagne) and our personal favorite, The MIDNIGHT MOJITO, an intoxicating blend of Stoli Blueberry, fresh mint, muddled fresh blueberries, simple syrup, splash of fresh squeezed lime juice, and a splash of soda. (Purists will love the beautiful classic Martini  and the best Old Fashioned” in town.)

Philippe offers 10 to 12 wines by the glass each night, as well as a good if pricey wine list.

Philippe Chow New York is the perfect night-out-on-the town and rates A MAJOR on The Walman Report.

 Philippe Chow Food1

  (Hosting your own soiree? Chef Philippe is also available to cater private parties and/or prepare to-go dinners for any special event).

________________________________________________________________

Disclosure

Copyright 2015 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

Continue reading

Stanton Street Kitchen Proves To Be The New Must Go Destination

ssk interior1

Stanton Street Kitchen is a restaurant, wine bar and beer cellar, curtsey of renowned master chef ,(formally of the fabled "21" restaurant,) Erik Blauberg, SSK features a unique beer cellar offering more than 100 different varieties of bottled beers from around the world,. There are also 24 rotating seasonal drafts and an extensive wine list with reasonably priced selections.

ssk salad

ssk entree 2

Chef Blauberg created a menu of small plates designed to pair with the beer and wine offerings, allowing guests to create their own tasting menus. There is also a "chef’s feast" tasting menu featuring seasonally inspired dishes, available to guests who are seated at the 14-seat bar.The menu which changes regularly, features an assortment of "beer bites" served on toast such as spicy prawns with cracked corn, jicama, and cilantro; figs with goat cheese and 50 year-old sherry; a delicious braised pork belly with red cabbage and toasted peanut slaw. Small plates such as sugar pea risotto with cepes and squash; feather-weight tagliatelle with hen of the woods mushrooms and wild boar sausage; and port-braised oxtail with foie gras and fava bean ravioli. The beer cellar also highlights a private chef’s table with seating for up to 30 guests.

ssk steak

The sparse, clean design offer lots of candles, wood and oodles of romance. The service is warm, friendly and knowledgeable.

ssk dessert1

Beyond fabulous, Stanton Street Kitchen is located at 178 Stanton Street and is truly one of NY’s best small restaurants and rates A Major on The Walman Report.

178 Stanton Street
New York, New York 10002
get directions

For reservations, call 
917.963.6000

Copyright 2015 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

RODNEY STRONG Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc Proves California Can Make Great Wines For Under $20

Estate Sauvignon Blanc

RODNEY STRONG northern Sonoma Place Matters. SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA 2013 SAUVIGNON BLANC ESTATE VINEYARDS WWW.RODNEY STRONG.COM © 2014 Rodney Strong Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA #RS4000071

THE STORY At Rodney Strong Vineyards is that they focus on modern artisan winemaking, exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is committed to quality wines and to protecting  resources for the future. They practice sustainable and Fish Friendly Farming and  are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery. HISTORY Rod Strong established their heritage Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in 1971, naming it Charlotte’s Home in honor of his wife.

Today that vineyard remains the core of Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc, along with other select estate vineyards in the Alexander Valley as well as the Russian River Valley. THE VINEYARDS 2013 was the kind of growing season that most would wish they could have every year: a dry, frost-free spring, a warm summer without heat spikes, and a warm rain free autumn that allows for picking all varieties in their turn when they are perfectly mature.

This Sauvignon Blanc was harvested from vineyards in Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley between August 21st and September 17th. TASTING NOTES Light, crisp, and highly aromatic, the warmer climate Alexander Valley fruit gives this wine ripe peach, tangerine, and pineapple character, while the ocean cooled Russian River Valley fruit offers citrus, lemon grass, and slightly herbaceous qualities. Together, the two valleys make a classic Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc that is fresh, lively, and will drink beautifully over the next 1 to 2 years. Delicious to quaff, it supports seafood, chicken, creamy cheeses and nuts to perfection.

 

Copyright 2015 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

Germany In New York, Paulaner Offer Great Food, Great Beer and More Fun Than . . . .

pauloner table

Paulaner is located at 265 Bowery just south of Houston Street in Manhattan (easily accessible by subway, F 6 B M D trains 2 blocks away; N R in Soho), www.paulanernyc.com,212-780-0300, and is open Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight; Thurs-Sat 11-1 am. The space (including a private downstairs party room that accommodates 65 people) is available for private parties, beer classes, brewery tours, corporate team building and other corporate meetings. For more information on special events, please contact Maria Cocchiara-Klein at 212-780-0300.

With Edi & the Wolf, Wolfgang Ban helped reinvent the experience of a Heuriger, a rustic wine-tavern serving straightforward, simple cuisine. With Paulaner, Ban (also of Michelin-starred Seäsonal) takes reinvention a step further, situating his latest contemporary Bavarian restaurant directly inside an active microbrewery.

Paulaner is a modern take on the traditional beer hall with great food. It’s a hip and lively meeting place where large groups of friends can settle in at long communal tables, where reclaimed wood provides a warm contrast to the industrial chic of imposing copper and steel fermentation tanks; a place where everything from the beer to the bread, the sausage to theschnitzel, the pretzels to the stollen, is made in-house with locally sourced ingredients. Downstairs, there’s a private room for more exclusive or intimate parties.

pauloner table 2

At the center of the action, Master Brewer Andreas Heidenreich creates his own versions of the traditional Paulaner-style beers with recipes of his own invention, while following the Purity Law of 1516; he uses only four ingredients—water, wheat, hops and yeast. No spices, fruits or other enhancements are used to create Hefeweizen, lightly hoppy with subtle bitterness balanced with fruity character, Munich Lager, a classic bright amber beer, and Munich Dark, rich dark amber with a malty flavor.  Heidenreich has also createdMunich Pale Ale exclusively for New York City, a top-fermented IPA-style beer with three varieties of hops, including Amarillo from Washington State, and a changing roster ofseasonal beers.  This season it’s the Winter Bock, a strong dark beer with smoky, roasted aromas and malty caramel flavor. There is no fresher beer than the unfiltered, unpasteurized “Tank to Table” brew, which is also available for takeaway in growlers and mini-kegs.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Executive Chef Daniel Kill creates simple, yet sophisticated fare that tastes even better when matched with Paulaner’s beers and wines. Both his background and his training contribute to his culinary style.  A native of Bavaria who grew up on beer and brats, he rose to the top of his profession at Munich’s Michelin-starredTantris and as Executive Chef of Wallsé, Café Kristall, Café Sabarsky and Blaue Gans. The food is outstanding.

pauloner stew

A great, traditional starter that will be new to many is Obazda, a blend of creamy Camembert, butter, beer and spicy red pepper served with a freshly baked pretzel, still warm from the oven. (the pretzel warrants a trip to the restaurant on it own)  Try it with a Hefeweizen, the most popular Paulaner beer. Then, move on to Chef Daniel’s authentic house-made sausages: Weisswürste, delicate tasting veal and pork sausage; snappy Bratwurst (our favorite), a blend of pork and beef; lightly gamey Lamb Sausages; and the Paulaner, a smoky, dry-aged beef sausage made with beer and local cheddar cheese. Or order the Sausage Sampler (ideal for two or more) along with a flight of beers and discover your favorite combination. The Wiener Schnitzel here is an iconic expression of the classic: pounded slices of tender veal, breaded and fried until golden brown and perfectly crisp balanced with sweet-tart lingonberries. The irresistibly crisp-skinned, juicy Pork Knuckle with roasted potatoes is amazing and the Whole Roasted Duck with pretzel dumplings are sized for sharing.

 

pauloner longg There’s no more convincing reason to save room for dessert than the qualities associated with freshly baked goods (warm, fresh, aromatic). Selections include a perfect Sachertorte, chocolate cake with whipped cream, Warm Pear Strudel with caramel brittle ice cream, hot Apple Fritters with vanilla ice cream and Sweet Buns with apricot jam and vanilla sauce.

Weekend brunch is another special experience—a Bavarian spin on conventional New York brunch. It’s hard to choose between savory options such as crispy and tender PorkSchnitzel or Rösti, a crispy potato pancake paired with house-cured salmon and crème fraîche. Sweet selections include Kaiserschmarrn, a fluffy pancake meets bread pudding with raisins and fruit compote. Every table is also treated to a complimentary basket of freshly baked breakfast breads, including croissants, muffins and brioche served with jam and butter, as well as a choice of a free brunch cocktail—Mimosa, Bloody Mary or your choice of beer.

Beyond just beer, Paulaner is also distinguished by its excellent wine list—featuring German, Austrian and local wines by the glass and by the bottle including a selection of Rieslings, and a variety of reds like Blaufränkisch Reserve Moric Burgenland. The cocktail menu incorporates beers, local craft bourbons and whiskies (also available in tasting flights), wine and other spirits. One favorite cocktail is the RyeZirBaska, rye, stone fruit liqueur, snaps and bitters. An aged, dark beer snaps, produced in collaboration with a Westchester, New York-based spirits maker, is currently under development.

pauloner dessert1

For the holiday season, Paulaner has set up a retail bakery near the entrance, featuring house-baked goodies, including hearty Rye Bread. Sweets include melt-in-your-mouth sugar-dusted crescent-shaped butter cookies called Vanillekipferl, fudgy Rum Balls and jam-filled almond flour cookies. There’s also Christmas Stollen, the delicious fruitcake studded with dried fruit and nuts and topped with a light coating of icing.

Copyright 2015 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

The Historic Home of the Triangle Grandma Slice, Pizza Italia Re-Opens in Chelsea

pasta rustica

Copyright 2015 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.
Disclosure

Pizza Italia is located at 307 W 17th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues, www.pizzaitalianyc.com, 212-242-4242, is open Sunday noon to midnight, Mon 11am-midnight, Tues-Thurs 11am-2am, Fri-Sat 11am-5am. Delivery and catering are available.

pasta rustica owner

It all began with Grandma’s sauce. Prepared only with fresh, raw peeled plum tomatoes, simmered for hours with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, herbs and spices, Anthony Sorisi’s grandmother’s marinara recipe has been passed down from generation to generation. It became the inspiration for the unconventional round Grandma pie he invented at Pizza Italia on Stone Street in NYC’s Financial District, as well as the basis for signature dishes such as Rigatoni Vodka and Seafood Fra DIavolo.

pasta rustica int2

Sorisi, born in Borgetto, Sicily, learned to cook at his father’s side at Sorisi Pizza in Forest Hills. He followed in his father’s footsteps, opening Pizza Italia in 1992. When Sorisi decided to relocate to Chelsea, he asked his nephew Giuseppe Gambino, who trained at the Culinary Academy of Long Island to be his partner in Pizza Italia. Eventually, Sorisi’s eldest son will take his father’s place.

The new location quickly became popular, serving the vibrant neighborhood from school kids to club kids, parents to office workers, from morning to late night. Gambino keeps the restaurant open until after the bars and clubs close to meet the demand of customers who literally knock on the door, begging to be let in, at 4:30 in the morning.

pasta rustica lasagna

Behind the marble counter that dominates the white tiled space, you’ll see the massive brick oven that takes two hours to heat, and a variety of pies ranging from the classic Margherita to the vegetarian Eggplant and Ricotta; to the untraditional but very popular Chicken Bacon Ranch; and many others. In addition to the list of gourmet pizzas, any variation can be made to order from any combination of toppings—pepperoni, broccoli, Italian sausage, sliced ham, meatballs, bacon, spinach, olives, anchovies and so on—as an 18” round, or 12” personal pie with regular or whole-wheat crust.

But what makes Pizza Italia really stand out is what you can’t see. Behind the scenes, Anthony and Giuseppe prepare an extensive menu of restaurant quality meals. The price and the setting may be casual, but the execution is fresh and made to order using the finest ingredients. It takes a little longer, but guests will find that it’s worth it. For example, The Gotz Panini begins with a chicken breast that isn’t grilled until the order is in place, then lightly charred, until juicy and layered with broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella from a local supplier and housemade garlic aioli on a toasty-crispy roll. Heroes are substantial too—potato and egg, meatball, peppers and egg, and a choice of parmigiana—veal, eggplant, chicken or shrimp.

But for the full restaurant experience—whether in the restaurant, your office, or home—we recommend you begin with the baked clams. Based on Giuseppe’s grandfather’s recipe and passed down by his father, Giuseppe prepares them with just a touch of seasoned breadcrumbs so the flavor of the sweet, fresh tender littleneck clams shines. Housemade soups such as Tortellini en Brodo, Pasta Fagiolli and an outstanding Minestrone are also a great beginning.

Then, it’s on to the pasta dishes, all prepared a la minute. Some favorites include Spaghetti Carbonara with peas and Italian bacon, Homemade Gnocchi Sorrentino, made in house daily and served with tomato, fresh basil and prosciutto, and Cavatelli Godfather, red sauce, broccoli rabe, sausage and shrimp, as well as Seafood Fra Diavolo, clams, shrimp, calamari and scallops with spicy marinara served over linguini. Pasta dishes can also be customized—with the addition of chicken or shrimp, or whole-wheat penne. There are also baked pastas such as a classic Lasagna layered with meat sauce, ricotta and fresh mozzarella and a selection of risotto—the Classic, Arborio rice prepared with shallots, white wine and butter, 17th Street, with chicken and mushrooms, and Seafood, with shrimp, clams, and calamari.

For the main course, favorites include Shrimp Francese, parmesan-crusted and sauteed with lemon-butter sauce, Chicken Bellamore, grilled chicken with prosciutto, roasted peppers and mozzarella, and Sausage and Peppers Parmigiana. Beer and wine selections are coming soon. For now, there’s a selection of Pellegrino Italian sodas—or you can create your own pairing in the comfort of your home.

pasta rustica interior

Continue reading

FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES (DECEMBER 24), NEW YEAR’S EVE (DECEMBER 31) A LA CARTE MENUS PRESENTED BY EXECUTIVE CHEF SANDY INGBER AT GRAND CENTRAL OYSTER BAR MAKE HOLIDAY SEASON “MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR”

oyster-bar-interior-3 (1)

As the Andy Williams classic goes, the Holiday Season is “the most wonderful time of the year.” That will ring true at the historic Grand Central Oyster Bar (Lower Level, Grand Central Terminal), where executive chef Sandy Ingber will put forth seafood bounty on the Feast of the Seven Fishes (Wednesday, December 24) and New Year’s Eve(Wednesday, December 31) with carefully planned a la carte menus. Adding to the festivities will be the Oyster Bar’s annual New Year’s Eve dessert treats prepared by Ingber in tandem with pastry chef Januz Noka.


The trio of menus will be served for both lunch and dinner, beginning at 11:30 AM, with the final reservation for dinner at 10:00 PM. For reservations call 212-490-6650, and for more information visit www.oysterbarny.com.

Among the Feast of the Seven Fishes “frutte de mare” highlights are the Insalata di Natale Italian Seafood Salad and Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Puttanesca Sauce over Spaghettini, two Italian-style mainstays, not to mention the exotic Sea Urchin Gelato, an oft-asked-for dessert. New Year’s Eve entrees include sumptuous seafood specials such as Maine Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp Newburg and Oyster Bar Surf & Turf featuring petite filet mignon and shrimp scampi. The dancing sugarplums on the New Year’s Eve dessert menu include these culinary confections making the Oyster Bar a sugary stop: Espresso Sambuca Crème Brulee, Decadent White & Dark Chocolate Cake with Marinated Mixed Berries, and Jack Daniels Gelato with Spiced Nuts.

The three menus, as well as Sandy Ingber’s recipes for Lobster & Shrimp Newberg and Pasta Fagiole with seared Sea Scallops, are below:

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

Chapter One Celebrates Fall in the West Village with American Food and Drink

chapter one int

Chapter One is located at 33 Greenwich Avenue, click here for the website, 212-842-9146, and is open for dinner, Mon-Thu from 4pm-midnight, Fri-Sat, 4pm-1am, Sun 4pm-midnight, for brunch Sat-Sun from 10am-4pm. Lunch coming soon.

Chapter One is a classic example of what an American tavern should be. Straightforward, unpretentious, friendly and comfortable, it’s a place that proves that fine food and drink doesn’t have to be fussy, and casual doesn’t have to mean ordinary. It’s a place designed to appeal to its West Village neighbors. Chapter One is direct and uncomplicated with a focus on quality and substance, rather than pomp and circumstance. Guests are equally welcome whether they come looking for a complete dining experience, an evening of cocktails and snacks with friends, or a couple of beers or glass of wine at the bar.

Chef Warren Baird’s kitchen is professional and fine-tuned. He has worked at some of the finest kitchens in Europe and is blessed with the good looks of a movie star,

Partner Ann Marie Delaney, who manages day-to-day operations, grew up in the restaurant business, learning from her father Austin Delaney, one of the creators of the successful Rosie O’Grady Irish restaurants and bars. Her experience includes managing three top restaurants in Boston and working with two James Beard award-winning chefs, Lydia Shire and Michael Schlow. Back in New York, she worked alongside her father as General Manager and Wine Director at his Harbour Lights restaurant at the South Street Seaport. Sadly, after 25 years in business, Ann Marie was forced to close the doors after Hurricane Sandy. But now a new story has begun with Chapter One in the West Village.

Ann Marie chose a historic location on Greenwich Avenue as the perfect place to celebrate American food and drink. The decor honors Old New York with archival photographs of the old neighborhood, a classic bar with plush barstools, and a sleek, elegant design accented with Oxblood banquets and pewter-topped dining tables, and great views of the street from any seat in the house.chapter one egg

Chef Warren Baird heads the kitchen as Executive Chef. Trained at Johnson & Wales in Charleston, SC, Baird worked for many years in Charlotte before landing in New York at Esca, where he served as sous chef. At Chapter One, he is combining hard work and raw talent to produce an enticing menu of his own invention; rooted in the classics and distinctly American. The ingredients are prime: Hereford Beef, Long Island Duck, Berkshire Pork, and fresh local seafood and vegetables, and the menu changes with the seasons.

Everything is made from scratch, beginning with the bar snacks—crispy spiced chickpeas, house-made pork rinds, and smoked almonds. Starters for fall include cast-iron cornbread baked to order and served hot out of the oven in its skillet with a dab of melting maple butter. Whipped salt cod will convert the hesitant—it’s comfort in a dish, blended with smooth, smoked-potato puree with caramelized onion, perfect for sharing. And for those who look for comfort in a bowl, cauliflower soup is heavenly: smooth, creamy and savory, with the light sweet touch of caramelized brown butter apples, garnished with the complementary flavors of crisp sunchoke chips. Another new menu item is grilled quail beautifully prepared and served on a soft bed of mushroom barley with bright-red beet-raisin chutney.chapter one group

The mains have been updated for fall too: Herb-crusted cod, moist, tender and delicious, is served with brilliant bacon-braised endive and roasted Brussels spouts. Brick chicken is the Platonic ideal of a classic: crispy skin, matched by equally crisp leaves of kale and highlighted with delectable delicata squash, cooked until meltingly tender with hazelnut butter. Seared scallops are paired with celery root puree and a sweet-tart-crunchy apple and fennel salad. 12-hour pork belly shows off Baird’s Southern roots with a side of chorizo-apple pudding and beer-braised collards. Perfectly rendered duck confit (the best dish in the house) is matched with perfect companions—red cabbage, maple-flavored rutabaga and crispy sweet potato. In addition, there’s a spectacular new side dish, mac n cheese with house-made bacon and thyme, baked and served in a cast-iron skillet.chapter one drinks

For dessert, Chef Baird dips into his pastry experience with a bit of savory influence—smoked chocolate pudding is enriched with cocoa nibs and capped with creamy buttermilk mousse. Salty, sweet and bitter (beer) come together in the apple-IPA fritters, served with salted caramel ice cream and walnut streusel. The warm carrot cake is uncommonly good, yet still homey, drizzled with vanilla goat-cheese fondue and showered with candied kumquat on top.

Weekend brunch includes egg dishes such as an elevated version of the bodega standard egg sandwich, with house bacon (12-hour pork belly sliced, confited, pressed and deep fried), avocado and jalapeño mayo. Local duck has a starring role on the brunch menu as well: from a sunny side up local duck egg (richer and more satisfying than chicken eggs), alongside with chorizo-apple pudding and Brussels sprouts, to duck confit hash with poached egg and smoky hollandaise. There’s also an amazing breakfast burger piled with white cheddar, onion jam, house bacon and an egg on an Orwasher’s potato roll with toasty hash browns. Baird also makes “other than egg” dishes his own: For example, he does a 3-day cure and a 2-hour cold smoke on Scottish salmon before presenting it with cucumber, crème fraiche, pickled onion and black bread. For his ricotta pancakes, even the ricotta is made in house and served with luscious thick lemon curd and blueberry syrup.chapter one entre1

The beverage program represents the same philosophy as the food—high quality, but accessible and uncomplicated with a comprehensive list of American spirits, including 80 bourbons, including rare and highly desirable expressions of Pappy Van Winkle, and 53 ryes. Guests will be glad to learn of the introduction of three different levels of bourbon flights ranging in price from $15-$35—a great way to dip into the extensive offerings. The cocktails are classic and well built: The Old-Fashioned is prepared with 12-year-old bourbon, and the Sweet Manhattan is mixed with rye. The beers on draft include Old Speckled Hen, Sam Stout and selections from local brewery Captain Lawrence. Delaney, who completed a wine certification at the CIA at Greystone in Napa Valley, also oversees the wine list including wines by the glass sourced from City Winery, and a changing bottle selection. Ann Marie’s future plans include wine dinners featuring winemakers that she has met from around the world, who will come and pair their wines with Chef Baird’s creative cooking.

Celebrating the origins of authentic, regional American cooking is what Chapter One is all about.  To highlight this mission, Chef Warren Baird has introduced The Heritage Dinner Series, the first Sunday of every month.  The goal is for guests to enjoy the pleasures of American food and drink, presented in a straightforward, honest and authentic way.  The first was a Southern Dinner based on Baird’s experience as a chef in the American south, featuring real southern sweet tea and bourbon punch, fried chicken and banana pudding. To prepare for the upcoming dinners, Baird has delved into American history, researching archival menus and paying homage to the time period and region featured at each dinner. A recent Colonial Harvest Dinner focused on the influence of Native Americans on our culture and cuisine, while a future dinner will highlight the NYC Prohibition era.  For more information on the Heritage Dinner Series, visit www.chapterone.nyc.

Really nice people and a nice easy-to-take place.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading