Olana

The Elegant Main Dining Room at Olanaolana-interior

Location/Phone/Web Site: 72 Madison Avenue (b/w 27 – 28 Sts.) NY NY 10016,
212-725-4900 www.olananyc.com
Date Established: February 2008

Owners: William Resk, Patrick Resk, Albert DiMeglio

Executive Chef: Albert DiMeglio
Pastry Chef: Katie Rosenhouse
Cuisine: Modern American with French and Italian influences
Price Range:$14-$38

Wine Director: Patrick Resk
Beverage Program: International wine list with an emphasis on American cabernet, meritage, and pinot noirs. Burgundy, Tuscany, regional whites and Rieslings well represented.
Bar Manager/Mixologist: Thomas Lavin

20 Wines By The Glass: $9-$24. Bottles start at $30. Good Selection under $60.
Designer/Architect: Jorge Patero
The Space: Bar/lounge: 35 seats
Dining room: Total of 120 seats; center dining room 80 seats; back dining room a/k/a state of the art private room with working fireplace 40 seats

Hours: Dinner: Monday – Saturday 5:30 – 11:00pm
Lunch: 11:45am – 2:30pm
Bar: Monday – Saturday 5:30pm – 12:00am
Closed Sunday, available for private events

Policies: Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Diner’s Club
Reservations: Recommended.
Wheelchair Access: completely wheelchair accessible

A Restaurant of Distinction

Olana was named for a fortress treasure-house in ancient Persia, and now it is a treasure-house of stylish food and wine in New York presided over by brothers and co-partners William and Patrick Resk. The attractive Resk brothers work the room, moving from table to table seamlessly. They create a feeling of real care. Service from busboys to waiters and captains is a joy in these days of ill-trained plate carriers.

Olana’s interior design was created by Jorge Portero and Josemario Zayas of Artistic Design Associates with the architectural detailing by David Leavitt. It is a knockout, but a classy one. Warm cherry wood paneling is blended with crystal chandeliers, sconces and mirrors. Plush red mohair chairs and upholstered banquettes create comfort throughout the 120 seat room which is divided into a bar/lounge with a 20 stool circular bar, main dining room, defined by a hanging trellised canopy that reflects the casual country elegance found in many Hudson River mansions. The wine/private dining room complete with a fireplace and state of the art A/V equipment, separated by large cherry wood sliding panels insure complete privacy. Artscope NY provided the artwork mostly inspired by the Hudson River Valley and spans from illuminated light boxes depicting the four seasons to a reproduction of an antique Hudson River map.

The music track is terrific, just the right volume, and bridges the gap from classical to jazz. The amazingly generous seating with lush tables set with lovely china and exquisite stemware, high back chairs and thoughtful flowers makes Olana feel grand, but not stuffy. It manages to retain a modern today feel.

The opening menu begins with such diverse selections as Roasted Lobster with ravioli filled with rouille, wild mushrooms and braised leeks. It continues through pastas with Burnt Orange and Goose Ravioli with Braised Leeks and Rosemary or Chestnut Crespelle with ricotta, mushrooms, pine nuts and sage brown butter sauce. For something decadent, go for the Risotto, sea urchin, king crab and “last of the season” Burgundy black truffles.

From the fish section, Armagnac and Blood Orange Poached Flounder, olive oil crushed potato with fennel is a highlight and amongst the meats: Roasted Rabbit stuffed with dried apricots and foie gras, cranberry beans with fresh herbs stands out. A “dishes for two” section gives certain diners a chance to experience their flavors together, Salt Crusted Florida Red Snapper with toasted almond brown rice and grilled abalone keeps things simple, making it the kitchen’s best effort.

oland-dish

Martinis are some of the best in town and one’s single malt scotch, never lacks for replaced glasses of ice cubes. The selection of wines by the glass is remarkable in its choices as well as its friendly prices. Our captain did a pairing with such joys as Cru Chardonnay from Long Island 2003; Paul Kubler Sylvaner “Z” from Alsace; Isabele Vigneitti Veneto Rose form Italy; Bernard Machado Pinot Noir from Oregon and the always-luscious Suduiraut from France 2001 is foie gras’ best friend.

Olana is refined, civilized and a welcome addition to our burgeoning restaurant scene.

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La Caravelle Wines

La Caravelle Wines Spring Tastings and News

If you missed the tasting of La Caravelle Listrac-Médoc 2003 at Le Dû’s Wines (212) 924-6999
at 600 Washington Street (between Leroy and Morton Streets), New York
on Friday March 28th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm:

Morrell Wines will be hosting a tasting of La Caravelle Champagne
on Thursday April 3rd from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.

You can buy La Caravelle Champagne at:

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AZUL FIVES Hotel

AZUL FIVES Hotel, BY kARISMA debuts DEcember 2008

IN playa del carmen, riviera maya, mexico

 

All-Suite, Gourmet Inclusive Property Features Private Rooftop Deck Lounges and Unique Dining Options

Azul Hotels by Karisma, a premier collection of Gourmet Inclusive® properties located throughout the Riviera Maya, Mexico, today announced the new Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma – scheduled to open in December 2008 in Playa del Carmen. Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma will be the third Azul Hotels by Karisma; Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma opened in December 2005, and Azul View Hotel by Karisma will open in October 2008. A Gourmet Inclusive all-suite property, whereby guests savor every detail of their environment, Azul Fives will offer a variety of gourmet cuisines and meal plan alternatives, private rooftop deck lounges, a luxurious spa and fitness center, high-tech meeting spaces and more.

“Azul Fives’ ultra-chic design, opulent ambiance, and decadent amenities were tailored with a wide variety of guests in mind,” said Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales and marketing for Karisma, the exclusive worldwide representatives for Azul Hotels, by Karisma. “In addition to our signature Gourmet Inclusive indulgences, a European Package will also be offered, ensuring the individual tastes and needs of each Azul guest are met with the utmost level of service.”

Located in Playa del Carmen, guests of Azul Fives will experience convenience first-hand with charming restaurants, shops and notable attractions just 10 minutes away including a selection of world-class championship 18-hole golf courses.

Tastefully designed in contemporary architectural style, Azul Fives will offer 360 luxuriously designed one-, two- and three-bedroom Suites (1,125 – 1,900 sq. feet) each with air conditioning, LCD flat-screen TVs and DVD players, mini-bars stocked daily, private marble bathrooms with rain forest showers, deluxe bathrobes, and oversized balconies or terraces. As an all-suite property, Azul Fives is ideal for extended stays.

 

For those looking to truly indulge, Azul Fives’ Penthouse Suites and Presidential Penthouse Suites will boast private rooftop lounge decks.

 

The rooftop lounge decks will feature a deluxe double Jacuzzi, large lounging area with a sectional sofa and coffee table, chaise lounges ideal for sun bathing, pergola, charcoal barbeque grill, outdoor shower, half marble bathroom with sink and a patio dining table with an umbrella. Guests will enjoy daily gourmet breakfasts on their decks, where they can also host personal gatherings with family, friends and/or colleagues. Private weddings and professional get-togethers can also be organized on Azul Fives’ rooftop lounge decks.

 

Glamorous two- and three-bedroom Penthouse Suites (1,300 – 1,500 sq. feet) will accommodate up to eight people, separate living rooms, fully equipped kitchens with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, powder room, and master bathroom with rainforest shower, and more. Designed to exceed guests’ expectations, Azul Fives will also provide elegant, two-bedroom Presidential Penthouse Suites (2,500 sq. feet), featuring all the luxuries of a Penthouse Suite in addition to a full bar, wine cellar, iPod dock, Infinity Jacuzzi, and a living room Internet station.

 

In addition to elegant accommodations, guests will savor a variety of gourmet dining and lounging options at Azul Fives including “Sea Olive,” a seaside restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine; “Tsuki,” where guests will enjoy Pacific Rim cuisine; “Flavors,” a non-pretentious, family-style World eatery overlooking a winding river; and “Senses,” a tailor-made private dining experience offering a unique culinary journey. Multiple bars, lounges and “light food” terraces will also be located throughout Azul Fives including “Zky,” a stylish sky bar and lounge serving spectacular Caribbean views alongside the latest cocktail trends; and “Breeze,” “Lizards,” “Palmas” and “Rainbow,” beachfront and poolside swim-up bars boasting premium spirits, easy-going snacks, and iced coffees or teas.

 

Azul Fives is one of the Riviera Maya’s few properties with meal plan options – either Gourmet Inclusive or a European Plan – provides guests the freedom to choose the best alternative based on their vacation desires and lengths of stay.

 

The signature Gourmet Inclusive plan includes accommodations as selected, all meals at any of Azul Fives’ gourmet restaurants, all local and international alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and juices, 24 hour room service, Kids Club (4 years – 12 years), fitness center, sauna and steam room, DVD rental menu, kids menu available, snorkeling and kayaking, concierge, all taxes and gratuities, and daily and special nightly entertainment and live music. With the European Plan at Azul Fives guests select accommodations and the following are included: daily activities program, nightly entertainments, tennis court, table games, shuffleboard, volleyball, Spanish and Mayan lessons, stretching, aqua aerobics, dance and cooking classes, scuba diving clinics, three swimming pools plus one for children, and concierge service.

 

Additional amenities at Azul Fives include Zen-inspired spa, fitness center, VIP couple’s massage suites, hydrotherapy areas, weight training systems, cardio equipment, on-site bridal and kids suites, wedding packages, a relaxation lounge, high-tech meeting space for up to 250 people and more.

 

Including the Gourmet Inclusive experience, rooms at Azul Fives range from $360 for a Deluxe Suite to $2,183 for a three bedroom Penthouse Suite accommodating up to eight people, including the Gourmet Inclusive experience. The property will begin accepting reservations in February 2008 for stays starting in December 2008.

About Karisma

Karisma Hotels and Resorts is a premier hotel collection operating properties throughout the Riviera Maya, Mexico, where guests savor a Gourmet Inclusive experience that fosters togetherness. Karisma’s portfolio is comprised of Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma; Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma; Azul View Hotel by Karisma; El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma; El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma; and El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort, by Karisma. Properties have been honored with the industry’s top accolades including, Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top 100 Hotels in the World,” Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List,” Forbes’ “Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels,” TUI Travel PLC’s “Hotel of the Year,” and AAA’s “Four Diamond Award.” Karisma has received worldwide recognition for its creative approach to hospitality management and product innovations including resorts with swim-up suites, Infinity balcony pools, beach butlers and cash-free transactions. For reservations, please call 1-888-280-8810 or visit http://www.azulhotel.com.

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Hope Wine

Hope Wine, a unique charitable wine label, contributes 50 % of profits towards the fight against breast cancer, aids and autism.

In June 2007, HOPE Wine launched in the California market as a vehicle to help spread awareness and raise funds for various charities and the causes they support. The product line consists of a coastal California Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon all produced and bottled in the heart of Sonoma County. Each varietal supports a specific cause: Chardonnay supports Breast Cancer; Merlot promotes AIDS awareness, and Cabernet Sauvignon benefits Autism. Semi-annually, 50% of profits from each varietal are donated to a chosen charitable organization. Currently, HOPE Wine is partnered with:

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PIPER-HEIDSIECK RELEASES LIMITED EDITION BOTTLE

champagne-upsidedown

With art: 1. Bottle alone and bottle in box (seen above) 2. Ice bucket and flute 3. Designers Viktor & Rolf 4. Displays and Ad WORLD’S FIRST-EVER UPSIDE DOWN CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE PIPER-HEIDSIECK RELEASES LIMITED EDITION BOTTLE DESIGNED BY VIKTOR & ROLF

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck surprises the world once again with an iconic and extravagant creation to shake up the industry. With the rosé category on the rise, Dutch designers, Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren, reinterpret the iconic champagne bottle with a limited edition design for the existing Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage, an extravagant non-vintage cuvée with dynamic fruity flavor of morello cherry, citrus, and mandarin. For the fashion duo known for their unconventional style, the project was simple – break tradition and redefine classical style. “When we were contacted by Piper-Heidsieck the first question we asked ourselves was how can we make this bottle, which we think of as iconic, look a little bit like us?,” asked Viktor & Rolf. “How can we make something new out of something eternal?” Viktor & Rolf chose to invert the proportions of the classic champagne bottle by creating an enormous cork and a narrower base. The bottom of the bottle becomes the top and the labels are reversed. The related flutes and buckets are also upside down. “Piper-Heidsieck has a history of being audacious which continues with our collaboration with Viktor & Rolf,” said Michelle Rowell, Champagne Brand Manager for Rémy Cointreau USA. “In turning our Rosé Sauvage upside down, Viktor & Rolf have redefined the iconic champagne bottle and created something even more glamorous.”

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Bodrum

Bodrum, the new Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper West Side (584 Amsterdam Avenue — 88th & 89th Streets, Phone: 212-799-2806) is launching a special Kebab Festival beginning next week…See web site: www.bodrumnyc.com and press info.

Bodrum’s Kebab Festival will begin April 1st and continue 2 weeks through April 15 during dinner hours (5PM-11PM). There will be a wide variety of specialty kebabs (Adana Kebab, Urfa Kebab, Antep Kebab, Hashash Kebab, and others along with a unique chicken kebab). Price range: $19-$22.

Executive chef/owner Turgut Balikci works very closely with Turkish home cook Aysen Candaner on the kebabs (and meze).

Brasserie 8 ½

Brasserie 8 ½’s Dramatic Entrance Brasserie 8

OPENED 2000

LOCATION 9 West 57th Street
Between Fifth & Sixth Avenues
New York, NY 10019

RESERVATIONS 212-829-0812

INFORMATION www.patinagroup.com

EXECUTIVE CHEF Julian Alonzo

PASTRY CHEF Martin Howard

CUISINE Brasserie 8 and 1/2 achieves a delicate fusion of creativity and comfort, featuring a world class art collection, adventurous haute French cuisine and a plush atmosphere. A luscious raw bar, Latin and Asian influenced dishes, succulent meats, and renowned dessert selection, artfully complement this glamorous setting.

ARCHITECTS Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates LLP

SIGNAGE Ivan Chermayeff

LIGHTING DESIGN Paul Marantz, Fisher Marantz Stone

CAPACITY Main Dining Room – 230
Lounge – 40
Private Dining – 70

HOURS Monday – Friday: Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Dinner 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch:11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

BRASSERIE 8 and ½ REVIEW

By Nancy Walman

b8-Julian Alonzo

Executive Chef Julian Alonzo: One of New York’s 5 Best

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. Brasserie 8 and ½, located in the classic Gordon Bunshaft building, achieves this delicate fusion of creativity and comfort through a combination of modern design, world-class cuisine and a relaxed, plush atmosphere.

Fresh takes on the familiar is a trademark of Executive Chef Julian Alonzo’s culinary style. The menu is chic, comfortable and always fresh, since Alonzo works closely with local farmers and markets to bring in the best seasonal produce available. Alonzo, who studied under luminaries David Bouley in New York and Guy Savoy in Paris, never disappoints.

Go for the extraordinary Tasting Dinner, a real value at $65 for five Courses (Seven Courses $85, Nine Courses $95, Wine Pairing $30 Additional). You’ll adore such creations as a fascinating Amuse Bouche Venison Tartar and a lush Bernaise Croquette. Poached Hen Eggs are in, but Alonzo does an Asian take in a 4 compartment plate with Brioche, Unagi (Eel) Marmalade, and Bone Marrow. Grilled Baby Squid with Cucumber Spaghetti and Lemon Butter is very ritzy followed by Grilled Sweetbread and Apple Kebabs with Porcini Mushroom Ragout and smoked Dr. Pepper.bras-8-Quad2-1

Above: Alonzo’s take on Poached Hen Eggs in a 4 compartment plate

Rabbit Trio with Celery Root Fettuccini, Mushrooms, Rabbit Jus is the final meat course. But wait: Desserts include Frozen Key Lime Soufflé, Roasted Strawberry Meringue and “Mignardises.”

Executive Pastry Chef Martin Howard is well-known for his decadent and whimsical desserts. His dessert menu includes several flights on a theme, including assorted cupcakes, cannolis, mini ice cream cones and tartlets.

Cocktails are generous and well constructed and there is a grand International wine list with affordable prices. The Hugel Gentil 2005 Riesling and an Austrian Forstreiter Gruner Veltiner 2006 are superb buys in the white department and Chateau des Annereaux 2003 from Lalande de Pomerol is red knockout

The restaurant’s sweeping stairway leads down to its bar and lounge, where guests often linger over cocktails and appetizers. Numerous works by Henri Matisse line the circular walls of the lounge, which opens into the main dining room. A rare, floor-to-ceiling glass mural by renowned French artist Fernand Léger is the centerpiece separating the dining area from the kitchen.

Brasserie 8 and ½ also offers a private dining room adjacent to the lounge for exclusive gatherings of up to 40 guests. It is divisible into two separate areas with the use of a sliding opaque screen.

Managed by Patina Restaurant Group, the industry leader in innovative restaurant management for over 50 years, Brasserie 8 and ½, 9 West 57th Street, is beautifully run, thanks to Jim Toal and Michel Boyer and rates A Major” on the Walman Report.

Brasserie 8 and 1/2 is open seven days a week. For reservations, call 212-829-0812. For more information, visit http://www.patinagroup.com

b 8-cupcake trio

The Fabulous Cupcake Trio

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London’s Legendary Restaurant, Le Caprice partners with silverjet

London’s Legendary Restaurant, Le Caprice,

partners with silverjet to create a ‘restaurant in the sky’

 

Master of Wine Liam Steevenson’s Altitude-Friendly Wine List

Completes Fine-Dining Experience

 

Silverjet, the British all-business-class airline providing a very ‘sivilised’ way to travel, has collaborated with renowned London restaurant, Le Caprice, recognized worldwide for its unique ambience and fresh-modern spin on British European fare, to create a unique ‘restaurant-like’ experience in the sky.

 

Le Caprice is the flagship restaurant of Britain’s Caprice Holdings, the incredibly successful group responsible for eight of London’s most prestigious restaurants including celebrity hot spots The Ivy, J Sheekey and Mayfair.

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