Center Cut


cc-Front Dining Room

Main Dining Room. Photo by Sam Horine

Location Empire Hotel – 44 West 63rd Street, Mezzanine Level
New York, NY 10023

Phone/Fax Numbers 212-956-1288 (212-956-1CUT) / 212-956-1289

Cuisine Steakhouse classics interpreted for a modern audience using naturally-raised (hormone and antibiotic free) meats, including an extensive assortment of succulent A La Carte Center Cuts, free-range fowl and sustainable seafood.

Owner Jeffrey Chodorow – China Grill Management

Executive Chef Bradley Day

Sommelier David Carreon

Designer New World Design Studios, LLC.
Seating Capacity Total Seating: 190
Main Dining Room: 156
Bar/Lounge: 34

Dining Room/Bar Hours Monday – Wednesday: 5pm – 11pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 12am
Sunday: 5pm – 10pm
$39 Pre & Post Theater Prix Fixe: 5-7pm and after 10pm: 2 Courses (& Cookies to Go)
Bar closes 1 hour after restaurant

Price Range Starters: $9-$19; Entrées: $25-$78

Credit Cards All Major: Visa, American Express, MasterCard & Diners Club

Accessibility Wheelchair accessible

Reservations Highly recommended



Another Winner From Jeffrey Chodorow

Review By Nancy Walman

cc-Back Banquettes 2

Photo by Sam Horine

Specializing in naturally and humanely raised meats and ocean-friendly seafood, Center Cut delivers old-world elegance and classic cuisine with a contemporary twist.

Like so many nightly performances at the neighboring Lincoln Center, Center Cut, the latest restaurant from Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill Management (CGM), interprets a classic form for a modern audience. Feeling very much at home in the historic Empire Hotel, much like its menu, Center Cut’s interior design exhibits a similar push/pull relationship with tradition. Chris Kofitsas of New World Design Builders worked to create a space that merges old with new, warmth with whimsy and the classic with the ultra-modern.

The restored mahogany paneling and terrazzo floors retain the elegant charm of the original space–creating a sense of old-world opulence heightened only by the dark leather VIP banquettes, custom chandeliers and dramatic sweeping floor-to-ceiling curtains. In contrast, a propensity for the playful (manifested in the mirrored “ballet bar” lounge), the inventive (a bar top of stunning “center cut” agate quartz), and the ornate (a recurring spiraling design motif that echoes itself in wrought-iron railings, embroidered upholstery and the Venetian plaster frieze) ensures you that this is definitely not your grandfather’s steakhouse.

A Menu Thirty Years in the Makingcc steak

Steak Rossini Photo By Bill Horin

“The timing felt right and the location was perfect,” responded CGM’s Corporate Chef, Luke Rinaman, when asked why, after a career-long fascination with the ecology of food, he encouraged Chodorow to dedicate the menu at Center Cut to eco-friendly cuisine. “New York is one of the few areas in the country where this food is readily available and we believe that both the residents of the Upper-West Side of Manhattan and the patrons who attend performances at Lincoln Center are the type of people who appreciate where their food comes from, how it was produced, and how those factors affect the quality of their meal, their health and their environment.”

To transform this vision into a plate-by-plate reality, Rinaman turned to CGM veteran Bradley Day to serve as Executive Chef. Day’s culinary journey spans three continents and includes stints in Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s kitchen at Vong, Asia de Cuba in London and New York, and most recently as Executive Chef for CGM’s flagship restaurant, China Grill in New York City.

Classic Cuisine. Contemporary Conscience.

The menu of steakhouse “classics,” revives the grand style of a bygone era through its contemporary sensibility: a classic steakhouse with a commitment to serving naturally raised meats, sustainable seafood and local produce (when in-season).

The perfect meal at Center Cut begins with a selection from the Sea Bar where fresh, sustainable shellfish such as Pacific Olympic Oysters, Alaskan King Crab and Jumbo Pink Shrimp (the best in New York) and Stone Crab are served up with an array of inventive, house-made accompaniments like Oven-Dried Tomato & Horseradish Cocktail Sauce, Trebbiano Balsamic Vinegar & Lampong Peppercorn Mignonette, and Flash-Roasted Serrano Pepper Rouille. The housemade rolls are exquisite, but go easy. Portions are generous.

Many of the Appetizers at Center Cut offer a luxurious reworking of popular standards. Mushroom Strudel (below) Photo By Sam Horin.

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The traditional stuffed mushroom gets a regal upgrade (with Maine Lobster Claw and chive butter); crab cakes are prepared with extra substance and style (with lump blue crab meat and blood orange marmalade), and bacon-wrapped scallops are elevated to the sublime (with plump diver scallops, black truffles, Berkshire bacon and apple ponzu brown butter). Soups are given a similar treatment: French Onion soup gets “inverted” (with a rich, three-onion soup served atop croutons and gruyère fondue); Double Lobster Bisque is “doubled” yet again (with chunks of lobster meat in a twice-reduced broth); and Manhattan Clam Chowder gets a rustic revision (with whole little neck clams and spicy house-made oyster crackers). Other stand-out appetizers include Bouillion-Poached Sable Fish with a champagne cream sauce and estate caviar and a Moulard Duck Foie Gras Terrine with a house-made concord grape compote.

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Lobster Bisque. Photo By Bill Horin

Salads at Center Cut range from simple Seasonal Greens in a raspberry vinaigrette; to a Classic Caesar (with or without fried sardine fillets) and an Heirloom Tomato & House-Made Mozzarella Compression with opal basil and virgin olive oil.

Giving new life to the hallmarks of mid-20th Century haute cuisine is Center Cut’s selection of Modern Classics. Familiar, yet almost forgotten names like Oscar, Diane and Rossini are restored to their former grandeur thanks to some culinary ingenuity and the exclusive use of Brandt Beef, raised without hormones and fed a vegetarian corn-based diet for more than 300 days without the use of antibiotics.

Center Cut’s Steak Oscar is served with a blue crab-stuffed artichoke bottom and sauce béarnaise; fried oyster mushrooms and house-made oak-aged Worcestershire are featured in the glorious Steak Diane; a toasted brioche crouton slowly soaks up the juices of the succulent beef fillet and seared foie gras that lie atop it in the decadent Steak Rossini. Other Modern Classics include Steak au Poivre with red peppercorn crust and braised Belgian endive; Steak Brochette with sauce bordelaise and poached marrow; The “New York” Steak with mushroom caps and caramelized onions; and a mustard, scallion and herbed panko-crusted Colorado Lamb Rack.

The restaurant’s namesake is its extensive assortment of succulent A La Carte Center Cuts of meat and fish including an Australian Wagyu Tenderloin (served in 4oz or 8oz cuts), a 12oz King Salmon Steak and an 8-Hour Roasted Brandt Beef Prime Rib (served in 8oz or 16oz cuts) among others. Many of the center cuts are available in two portion sizes, making them a versatile choice whether your meal is the evening’s main attraction or simply a prelude or denouement to a night at Lincoln Center. Guests also have the option to upgrade any of the above entrées to “surf and turf” status with the addition of a half or whole 1&½ lb lobster.

Center Cut also features two outstanding rib dishes (the “Flinstone” Beef Rib with Lincoln’s BBQ sauce and Korean Style Short Ribs with a scallion and vegetable pancake), two hearty poultry dishes (Crisped Duck Breast with a wild rice and duck confit galette and Dijon & Thyme Crusted Free Range Chicken with roasted baby root vegetable ragout) and a handful of sustainable seafood preparations, including inventive creations such as Baked Ziti Lobster Thermidor and Hot Smoked King Salmon with poached asparagus, morel mushrooms and dried cherry butter.

To accompany their entrées, guests can choose from an assortment of scene-stealing Sides which, in addition to classics like Steamed Asparagus and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic, include Balsamic Caramelized Cipollini, Roasted Corn & Manchego Flan, terrific Eggplant Fries and Creamed Spinach and Artichoke Pie.

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Sumptuous Sides. Photo By Bill Horin

Meals at Center Cut end in grand fashion as flambé carts are wheeled tableside for the preparation of Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee, Peach Melba or Crêpe Suzette. Guests seeking to indulge their sweet tooth without all the fanfare can settle into one of Center Cut’s signature ice cream sundaes and shakes, or opt for the simple pleasure of warm house-made cookies with milk.

Cocktails come in two categories: Classics and Center Cut Signatures. Classic cocktails are prepared precisely as they would have been half a century ago and include a Rob Roy, Tom Collins, Side Car and French 75, to name a few. Signature Cocktails feature contemporary top-shelf spirits in creative concoctions, often incorporating fresh herbs and/or fruit. Showstoppers include the Monteverdi Mojito with 10 Cane Rum, muddled basil and lime; Rhapsody in Blue with Imperia Vodka, Patron Citronge, Blue Curacao and cranberry juice; “Rum” Raisin Daiquiri with raisin-infused Leblon Cachaça, maple syrup and fresh lime; The Tristan with Glenfiddich Scotch, Bushmills whisky, orange juice and Angostura bitters and The Isolde (Tristan’s softer, sweeter counterpart) with Markers Mark bourbon, honey and muddled strawberries.

Center Cut also offers a two-hundred bottle wine list featuring an extensive selection of organic and sustainable wines, while a concise selection of craft beers runs the spectrum from a light and snappy Japanese white ale from Hitachino to a dark and nuanced Belgian dubbel made by the trappist monks of Westmalle Abbey.

Center Cut serves a nightly pre and post-performance prix fixe menu featuring a choice of soup and salad with main course and side, served in “two acts” with a bag of housemade cookies to go. For $39, this gets our vote as the town’s best buy in upmarket prix fixe dining. Service is friendly, efficient and helpful.

It appears that Jeffrey Chodorow’s name on a product is a guarantee of quality. Center Cut is certainly a class act scene-stealer in the New York restaurant arena and rates A Major on The Walman Report


Copyright 2008/2009 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved

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Le Meridien announces the opening of THREE new properties

Le Meridien announces the opening of THREE new properties in Asia: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, Le Meridien Chiang Mai, and Le Meridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa (the first five-star resort to open in Wanning City on China’s Hainan Island).

All three hotels feature Le Meridien’s newly introduced Arrival Experience, which includes:

a Transitional Portal (a wall of art and sound that engulfs each guest as they enter) a Sensory Experience (illustrated through Le Meridien’s new signature scent and a unique use of sound and light)
the Unlock Art program (artist-designed key cards that offer guests access to their guest rooms and to Le Meridien’s affiliated art organizations) the Elevated Experience (which transforms an ordinary elevator ride through the use of sounds created by Grammy Award winning composer Henri Scars Struck).


Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Pool Deck View of Kok River Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Exterior

Continue reading “Le Meridien announces the opening of THREE new properties”



In 1980, Steve Ross opened the legendary Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room, and today the room itself enjoys legendary status as a world-renowned repository of the Great American Songbook. Steve’s 2007 Oak Room show, a triumph in New York and London, celebrated the sublime words and music of Stephen Sondheim. For the month of January, he will salute another native New Yorker, the great lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. Among the gems Oak Room audiences will hear are “Too Late Now,” “Gigi,” “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” “The Night They Invented Champagne” and “If Ever I would Leave You.” Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11:00 pm, with a $60 cover charge plus either a $30 minimum or $70 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or





Algodon Wine Estates’ Cabernet Sauvignon scored high marks at a recent wine tasting conducted by Wines of Argentina, announced Scott Mathis, founder of Algodon Wine Estates and Algodon Mansion. The event, titled the “U.S. Master Sommelier Trip”, took place Nov 30-Dec 2 and featured Master Sommeliers visiting Argentina from the United States.

Algodon’s Cabernet Sauvignon had an outstanding rating of 8 points on a scale of 1 to 10, and was awarded the “Best Buy” distinction of all the wines participating in the event. “This is a remarkable honor,” said Algodon winemaker Mauro Nosenzo, “as we were competing against some of the best wineries in Argentina. The award is testament to the success of our commitment to quality and innovative new technology in winemaking.” Ratings were designated based on the relation of quality to retail price.


Go Nord, Young Skiers, Go Nord

Go Nord, Young Skiers, Go Nord


Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Courtenay

Vancouver Island

by Jack Christie


Whether you tour, skate, or noodle about on classic skinny sticks, nordic skiing in BC is celebrating its place in the sun.

Cross country skiing has long held its own in the province, thanks to strongholds like Hollyburn Ridge on Vancouver’s North Shore ( and nearby Manning Provincial Park in the North Cascade Mountains ( But with the approaching Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, there’s a big new kid on the nordic block – the Whistler Olympic Park – and that’s good news for anyone into exploring the outdoors, self-propelled style.

Suddenly the world’s best cross-country skiers are living, breathing, and training in BC – not just in Whistler but all the way from Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island to Silver Star Mountain Resort in the North Okanagan Valley.

Continue reading “Go Nord, Young Skiers, Go Nord”

Nino’s 208

Nino’s 208

208 E. 58th St.
Dining Style: Casual Elegant
Cuisine: Italian
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Cross Street: Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
Entree Price: $21 to $34 (Pasta from $16)
Phone: (212) 750-7766
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:45am – 4:00pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:30pm, Friday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm – 12:00am, Sunday: 4:00pm – 9:30pm
Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
Public Transit: N, R, W, 4, 5, & 6 trains to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue.
Parking: No

Review by Nancy Walman

Chef Merlin Tlapa (Centolire) oversees the kitchen at Nino Selimaj’s (Nino’s Tuscany, Osso Bucco) seventh Italian eatery

In the former premises of Ada, the fancified Indian nouvelle restaurant, Nino’s 208 brings the stamp of this excellent restaurant group to East 58th Street at affordable prices. The bi-level design is easy on the eye with its black and white color scheme, which extends to double cloths on the comfortable tables, banquettes and booths. A dramatic winding staircase leads to the second level, which is ideal for private parties.

Service is solicitous and excellent. The host is a seasoned pro, who will guide you through the menu and a vast array of specials. There is an excellent bar and the wine list is well chosen and priced with 16 wines by the glass, starting at just $8 and bottles beginning at $19. The ever dependable Antinori “Santa Cristina” is bargain priced at $24.

In the food department, there is a value oriented $35 prix fixe dinner, including appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee. A la carte is also easy on the pocket and the food fresh, light and carefully prepared. A good beginning is a shared Buffalo Mozzarella, Wrapped In Bresaola with sliced beefsteak tomatoes, roasted yellow sweet beets and arugula pesto. Another option is Sea Bass Carpaccio on potato blini, accompanied by asparagus, horseradish and sour cream.

Pasta is al dente and well sauced: Two unusual selections offer Pappardelle with braised short ribs of beef bolognese and Spaghetti with lamb meatballs, mint pesto, tuscan kale and alio olio. Entree suggestions include Grilled Organic Salmon, braised greens, white beans and garlic confit or Braised Pork Osso Buco, barley risotto, exotic mushrooms, rosemary and lemon zest. We chose a Porterhouse Special for 2, which arrived cut and sizzling as it finished cooking on the platter. The meat was first rate and the grilling superb. Don’t miss the terrific roasted Brussels Sprouts.

All desserts are stylish, including a puckery lemon tart and the best homemade cookies imaginable. Nino’s 208 is waiting to be discovered. Go soon and you can be the lucky winner. That’s A Major on The Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

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Fishtail by David Burke Marks DB Global’s Ninth Property

135 East 62nd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues

212 754-1300

Late night dining is one of the greatest pleasures in life—a few cocktails and a small plate or two is the ideal way to end a long day and night. Chef David Burke’s new late night menu at Fishtail includes items from the raw bar, small plates including ceviches, sashimi and tiny fish tacos. And what makes a late night menu perfect—grilled cheese, pizza and a cheeseburger, all of which Chef Burke is offering with his special twist.

Fishtail’s full late-night menu, which is served from 11 PM- 1 AM.


Cuisine: SeafoodCLASSIC RAW BAR
East Coast Oysters 3/piece
West Coast Oysters 3/piece
3 East Coast & 3 West Coast 6 pc/15.50; 12 pc /29
Little Neck Clams 1.25/piece
Stone Crab – Fla. 9.50/piece
Lobster Cocktail
½ pound 10
1 pound 20
Shrimp Cocktail
Head Off, U-10 3 pc/14; 4 pc/16
French Sea Snails (Bulots) 8
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Market
Big Eye Tuna Sashimi 12
chicken little vinaigrette, capers and picholine olives
Hamachi Sashimi 12
sea urchin and shisito pepper
Kindai Tuna Sashimi 35
pickled honshimeji mushrooms, sour cherry and soy
(Sustainably Aquacultured Blue Fin Tuna)
Taylor Bay Scallop Ceviche 12
& Baby Shrimp Cocktail
grapefruit, avocado and tomato-lime
Cocktail Collection 26
½ lobster, 1 stone crab, 2 shrimp, mussels
Shellfish Tower (for two) 32
½ lobster, 1 stone crab, 2 shrimp, 2 oysters,
2 clams¸ mussels and bulots
Shellfish Tower (for four) 62
1 lobster, 2 stone crabs, 4 shrimp, 4 oysters,
4 clams, mussels and bulots
Tempura Calamari & Tempura Oysters 12
sweet chili dipping sauce
Crab Salad Tacos (2) 11
old bay and cumin seed
Tuna Tartare Tacos (2) 11
with pineapple and macadamia nuts
Hamachi Tacos (2) 11
with avocado and masago caviar
One of Each Tacos (3) 14
The Organic “Wedge” 12
tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese “ranch”
Dry Roasted Angry Wings 10
Angry Mussels 10
Angry Shrimp 15
Combination of all Three 19
Rice Crispy Crabcake 15
peppadew chutney and cumin citrus glaze
Prime Sirloin Burger with Fries 12.95
fries and cheese
Burger “Royale” 15
bacon and cheese
55- Day Dry Aged Ribeye 39
(Chicago Magazine: Chicago’s Best Steak ’08)
Grilled Cheese 12
robiola, chorizo and caramelized onion
Clam, Bacon & Arugula Pizza 16
Margarita Pizza 14
Chorizo & Caramelized Onion Pizza 15
Crab & Oyster Po’ Boy Slider 15


Devi: New York’s Most Rewarding Indian Restaurant

Devidevi 1

8 East 18th Street (between 5th Ave. & Broadway)
New York, NY 10003
Reservations: (212) 691-1300 or make a reservation at

Original Opening Date: September 27, 2004
Reopening Date: October 22, 2007 (under the ownership of co-chefs Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur)


Co-Chefs/Owners: Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur

Pastry Chef: Surbhi Sahni

Cuisine: Authentic home cooking from the diverse regions of India and
American Masala cooking

Overview: Celebrate the flavors and spirit of the Indian home at Dévi, where co-chefs/owners Hemant Mathur and Suvir Saran recreate authentic regional dishes to be enjoyed in a warm, sumptuous setting. Each plate is a journey-from regional street food to family recipes-with layer upon layer of tastes and textures.

Signature Dishes: Crispy Tangy Okra, Tomatoes, Red Onions (Kararee Bhindi); Bombay Bhel Puri; Kashmiri Mushroom Bruschetta; Manchurian Cauliflower; Coconut Shrimp Biryaani; Lamb-Stuffed Tandoori Chicken; Masala Fried Quail; Kerala Chicken and Egg Roast; Tandoor-Grilled Lamb Chops with Sweet & Sour Pear Chutney; Onion-Parmigiano Kulcha

Desserts: Mango Cheesecake, Rabri Waale Malpue (fennel-scented pancakes), Dévi Bombay Falooda

Wine/Cocktails/Beer: Wines are carefully selected from all over the world to pair with Dévi’s cuisine, emphasizing small producers, organic, biodynamic and sustainable production, as well as women winemakers. Cocktails are inspired by ingredients that are part of the culinary landscape of India; and the beer list features handcrafted, small production beers.

Décor: Architect Larry Bogdanow integrates elements of home and temple – using richly colored Indian textiles, multihued glass lanterns, a hand-carved white marble staircase, and beautifully carved wooden architectural accents.

Seating: 75 seats

Private Dining/Catering: Dévi can accommodate up to 75 for a seated meal; 100 for cocktails. Semi-private balcony accommodates up to 30. Catering is available for out-of-house events, including cocktail receptions, intimate dinner parties, corporate lunches and weddings. Please contact Sonny Solomon, General Manager, at (212) 691-1300.

Hours: Dinner: Mon-Sat, 5:30-11:00 pm; Sun, 5:00-10:00 pm
Lunch: Mon-Fri, 12 noon-2:30 pm
Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Price Range: Appetizers: $6-$14, Entrees: $14-$34, Desserts: $9
Chef’s Tasting Menu: $85 ($130 with wine)
Two Courses (appetizer, entrée), plus dessert: $35
Any Three Dishes (appetizer, entrée, side), plus dessert: $45
Any Four Dishes (appetizer, 2 entrées, side), plus dessert: $55
Lunch Prix-Fixe Menu: $25

Credit Cards: All major

déviDEVI Interior 1 8119300009

8 east 18th street
new york, ny 10003


devi 2

DÉVI, New York’s Most Rewarding Indian Restaurant

By Nancy Walman

Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur Continue to Delight With Authentic Flavors of Indian Home Cooking.

Originally opened September 27, 2004 and closed on August 27, 2007 by former owner Rakesh Aggarwal, Dévi is the brainchild of Saran and Mathur, who have been bringing fresh flavors to traditional Indian recipes for the past three years.

While several Dévi fanatics’ favorites still remain, such as Crispy Okra Salad, Manchurian Cauliflower and Hemant’s Tandoor-Grilled Lamb Chops with Pear Chutney; Saran has added “new classics” to the seasonal menus, such as Masala Fried Chicken, Spicy Mushroom Toasts and Shrimp and Scallop Poha Paella, inspired by his latest cookbook, American Masala (Clarkson Potter/Publishers).

Four-Year Anniversary, New Menus

Nestled in the middle of the block at 8 East 18th Street in the Flatiron District, award-winning Dévi restaurant, known for its superb Indian home cooking, continues to wow regulars, new neighbors and destination diners from around the world.

To spread their good fortune, Dévi’s culinary team has developed a new á la carte menu with options for guests to also compose their own tasting menus that include a complimentary choice of one of the restaurant’s famous desserts. Mathur and Saran will also introduce a new Chef’s Tasting Menu with seven courses. In addition, beverage consultant Jeff Bartels has created all new Cocktail, Wine and Beer Lists, specifically based on pairability with this dining venue’s distinctive cuisine.

Dinner Menu Designed To Satisfy Individual Appetites and Cravings
It’s the diner’s choice with Dévi’s new menu. Create your own well-priced prix-fixe dinner selecting from the á la carte menu. Choose from two courses (appetizer and entrée, $35), any three dishes (appetizer, entrée and a side; $45), or any four dishes (appetizer, two entrées and a side; $55); and then pick one of Pastry Chef Surbhi Sahni’s delectable desserts as a treat from Dévi.

To experience a full gustatory introduction to Indian home cooking, opt for the ever-changing, seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($85; $130 with wine pairings). We did just that and were delighted.

New offerings include: Double Decker Bread Pakoras; Fish of the Day (in our cases halibut) with Lemon Rasam was worth the price of admission and the best seafood dish we have ever tasted in an Indian restaurant. Sweet & Sour Butternut Squash and Masala Crispy Leeks; Kerala Chicken and Egg Roast; Pappadam Paratha; and Rabri Waale Malpue (fennel-scented pancakes with saffron syrup).

The Challenge of Pairing Beverages With Indian Food
Beverage consultant Jeff Bartels had his work cut out for him when he agreed to totally revamp the Cocktail, Wine and Beer Lists at Dévi. Mathur and Saran are particularly pleased with the outcome and are eager for guests to experience quaffs from all three new lists.

In the cocktail arena, Bartels focused on concocting drinks that reflect the culinary landscape of India. The Mussoorie is made from Rittenhouse Rye, pineapple and saffron syrup, and pineapple gelatin. There’s also Our Pimm’s Cup mixed by adding Pimm’s No.1, Indian tonic water, candied orange and lemon, borage, mint and Moscato, as well as four other new tantalizing cocktails.

Pairability with Indian cuisine was the prime consideration in compiling this new Wine List – eschewing wines with high levels of alcohol and tannins or a strong presence of wood. These qualities would negatively impact on one’s enjoyment of the food featured on Dévi’s menu. In addition, the list is not extensive, but carefully selected to support small producers around the world; winemakers who are farming sustainably; some who are producing biodynamic wines; and women winemakers. Wines are marked accordingly on the list, and in several cases, Bartels was able to procure the last cases of a particular label. A dozen well-chosen wines are available by the glass, and there’s a short list of Dessert, Madeira and Port Wines by the glass and some by the bottle. Bottle prices range from the mid-$30s for organic 2006 Le Cellier du Palais Apremont produced by Beatrice Bernard in Savoie to a $250 bottle of 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington, which is described on the list as “Speaks for itself.”

As with the wines, the focus of the Beer List was to find artisan beers from small producers – brewmasters who painstakingly select their ingredients and fermentation regimens. Again, the key to selection was which beers made Dévi’s food even more special. Included on the list are: Seson from Liguria; Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Ibaraki, Japan; Mead The Gueuze made in England and Belgium; and t’ Smisje, an IPA from a microbrewery whose name translates to “rainbow”, produced in Assebroek-Brugge.

Desserts created by pastry chef Surbhi Sahni, who is also Mathur’s wife, include the ethereal Mango Cheesecake and Emperor’s Morsel (crispy saffron bread pudding), as well as new sweet finales like Cashew Nut Kulfi and Fig Cake.

Located in the same spot in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Dévi (named for the mother goddess) blends aspects of home and temple by using clusters of brightly colored lanterns, rich textiles, beautifully carved wooden architectural elements and a hand-carved, white marble staircase—a space that is both enticing and comfortable, which is a signature element of acclaimed architect Larry Bogdanow. The walls are draped with vibrant orange and gold gauze fabrics and banquettes are swathed in vivid red, burgundy, purple and charcoal colors. The result is an atmosphere of true glamour and style.

Combining Suvir Saran’s creative culinary force with Hemant Mathur’s
masterful command of the tandoor and practical kitchen know-how, Dévi continues to stimulate and delight, and is still a place where you feel warmth and welcome in every bite. If you thought of Indian food as a bowl of spicy curry, visit Devi and discover New York’s best representation of this world class cuisine, presented with elegance and originality. Devi rates A Major on The Walman Report.

DEVI Interior 2 8119300004

Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved

Continue reading “Devi: New York’s Most Rewarding Indian Restaurant”