Sazon Brings Style and Sabor to Tribeca

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Sazon is located in the heart of Tribeca at 105 Reade Street.

Open for Lunch Dinner and Brunch (Monday thru Friday 11:30am to 2:00am and Saturday 4:00pm to 2:00am, Sunday Brunch 11:00am – 4:00pm) and for late night dancing on (Friday and Saturday

For more information on private parties and reservations, call 212-406-1900 or visit http://www.sazonnyc.com/

By Nancy Walman

Brand new to the Tribeca dining scene is Latin gem Sazon, a sophisticated dual-level restaurant with refined Puerto Rican comfort food. The latest concept by JR Morales and the crew from popular uptown hotspot Sofrito, Sazon fills the niche for authentic Latin food served in a hip, celebratory atmosphere that brings the passion and easy-going hospitality of the islands to downtown Manhattan.

First impressions scream volumes about the quality and style of Sazon’s offerings. Designed by Stephane Dupoux (also of Buddha Bar, the Gansevoort Beach Club, and el San Juan Hotel), the restaurant’s dramatic high ceilings are well complemented by a bold color scheme of rich magenta, vibrant oranges, and Chiquita-banana yellows that energize and invigorate the space with the exotic feeling of the tropics. The dining room’s back wall, upholstered in hand-stitched orange tufted leather, creates a luxe modern backdrop for white minimalist tables, rustic wood accents evocative of the rainforest, and jet black crystal chandeliers that add a generous dash of glamour.

Anchoring Sazon’s visual focus is the bar, a mini-oasis made from a subtly arranged mosaic of white and off-white tiles that functions as the perfect place to grab a drink before dinner or after work. Cocktails like the San Juan Martini, which blends the flavors of orange liquer and white cranberry juice with cucumber puree, are sure to evoke el Caribe in all its splendor. Also popular are El Yunque, a drink blending watermelon juice and Elderflower essence with peach liqueur.

Those familiar with Morales’ first venture, Sofrito, know that his standards are set quite high when dealing with his menu and food; if it’s not as good as—or better—than what’s available on either island (Manhattan or Puerto Rico), it’s simply not good enough. This considered, it’s no surprise that Sazon’s menu outdoes itself course after course. Executive sazon-chef Chef Ricardo Cardona (formerly of Mama Juana, Hudson River, and Lua) brings a wide array of Puerto Rican-inspired dishes to the table, each with sophisticated preparations, modern presentations, and just the right dose of tropical flair. The chef who was in charge on our visit, Frank Maldonado, executes Cardona’s menu with care and the kitchen is capable of some outstanding appetizers such as crisp chicken chunks (Chicharrón de Pollo) and fabulous Buñuelos de Bacalao (Salty cod fritters).

Appetizers are perhaps the most creative section of the menu, ranging from sweet Surrillitos (corn fritters) served with a savory bacalao stew to Tortitas de Huelles, Puerto Rican yuca crabcakes topped with a robust corn salsa and garlic lemon aioli. Crispy fried Alcapurias are a surprising and innovative dish made by turning grated taro root and plantain into a masa that’s pressed onto paper, filled with beef picadillo, and rolled into flattened cigars. The flavor is at once sweet, savory, and even nutty—something completely unique and unusual.

A section of the menu titled “Pa’ Emperzar” or “To Start” features twists on traditional soups and salads, such as Sazon’s Chopped Salad which comes laden with shrimp, avocado, hearts of palm, farmer’s cheese, and yuca croutons. The Ensalada Tribeca bears grilled native vegetables with Caribbean roots, field greens, and a tangy passion fruit balsamic reduction that makes a truly addicting dressing.

The real strengths, however, lie in the main courses, in which Chef Cardona goes to great lengths to simply perfect the classics rather than recreate or re-imagine them. The Sazon Paella places emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients—lobster, chorizo, clams, shrimp, and saffron all come together to creamy perfection. A popular pairing of savory and sweet, the Pollito, which literally means “little chicken,” combines boneless roast Cornish hen with a stuffing of sweet plaintain and guava sauce, cooked to mouthwatering perfection. Meanwhile, sazon-pork-rib Pernil, Sazon’s signature dish, is not quite so dainty—it’s a feast on its own, consisting of three pounds of roast pork legs with pigeon pea rice and sweet plantains. If this doesn’t call to mind comida casera—homecooked Latin comfort food—nothing else will.

Desserts at Sazon are pretty as a picture not to be missed. Among them are street food favorites like Churros served with hot chocolate sauce and traditional treats like guava empanadas, stuffed with jam-like guava paste and cheese. Perhaps the most irresistible is the Tembleque—a hard-to-find regional specialty, it is essentially an eggless coconut flan with extra punches of flavor from cinnamon, diced strawberries, and pineapple. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth tropical paradise, and unlike anything else and a lovely cheese cake. Don’t slight the best café con leche imaginable. The is a nice, inexpensive wine list.

The party at Sazon keeps going beyond dessert—a lounge downstairs provides entertainment later into the evening with live music and private parties. The space, with its own separate bar and a more laid-back, relaxed feel, is set to be tagged by local artist James De La Vega, whose graffiti-inspired pieces and illustrated inspirational quotes have earned him the title of New York’s “Sidewalk Philosopher.”

The scene is loud, hot and inexpensive. Service is fancy (they put your napkin on your lap) and  the food is serious. A real yet unique downtown restaurant experience!

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POND PRAWNS AND OCEAN OYSTERS AT THE CAFÉ

Steamed Live Pond Prawns in Bamboo Basket This September and October, the world is your oyster… and your prawn as well! Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers has prepared the freshly harvested Hong Kong live pond prawns and jet-fresh seasonal oysters from the US & Australia, for a delightful range of seafood specialties to tempt your taste buds at the gourmet buffet of The Café.

The highlight of the prawn and oyster promotion features the Cold Noodles with Pond Prawns_ Freshly Cooked Live Pond Prawnsseasoned with Soya Sauce, Garlic, Chili and steamed in a bamboo basket, with a scent of Lotus Leaves. Kept in the “Gei Wei” (pond dug at the seashore) and fed on natural food in a traditional way, these live pond prawns grown in Hong Kong are freshly harvested in August / September at its best quality. Come now and sample the authentic flavour of this local specialty specially prepared by our chefs at The Café!

Besides, brand new prawn and oyster delicacies at the generous buffet tables range from appetizers like Oyster Shooter, Prawn Cocktail, Gei Wei Prawns Cold Noodles, freshly shucked Oyster, to hot dishes such as Pan-fried Oyster or Prawn Cake and Black Prawn or Oyster Tempura. The round-the-clock buffet will not fail to impress you with many other seafood options: Snow Crab Legs, Yabbies, Blue Mussels, Canadian Jade Whelks, Black Tiger Prawns, fresh Sashimi (Salmon, Tuna, Tako, Swordfish, Snapper and Ebi), and even the Mixed Seafood Congee live station.

Special discounts are available when you come in a group of 5 adults, you pay for 4 only! If it is a group of 5 with a mix of adults and children, we will only charge 4/5 of the buffet food bill, that’s equivalent to 20% off! This promotional offer is applicable for all buffets except breakfast buffet and cannot be used in conjunction with other discount offers including credit card joint promotion. Alternatively, HSBC Premier and Platinum Credit Cardholders and American Express Centurion Card and Platinum Credit Cardholders can enjoy 15% off, while all HSBC Credit Cardholders enjoy 12% off (exclusive of 10% service charge; food bill only; blackout dates apply; until 31 December 2009).The Cafe

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two new luxury products. DEWAR’S®

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two new luxury products.  DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whiskies is pleased to announce the introduction of a specially designed limited edition DEWAR’S Discovery Gift Set for 2009! The set includes the newest family member of the famed Scotch whisky maker, DEWAR’S 18, currently being released for the first time in the United States in limited quantities.. 

DEWAR’S, the most popular brand in the United States is introducing the DEWAR’S Discovery Gift Set, a special three-pack of Signature, DEWAR’S 12 and the new DEWAR’S 18.  The 200-millileter bottles are encased in a genuine leather pack that can be later used as a cigar case or a beautiful leather case for other items.  The gift pack retails for $100 and is available nationwide at local spirits outlets.

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Dewar’s 18 Fact Sheet

Dewar’s 18

clip_image004Rare indeed are the whiskies selected for Dewar’s 18 Founder’s Reserve – and even more unusual the painstaking care of our Master Blender in managing the time-honored marrying process that lends such refinement to this exceptional blend. Created and perfected by the legendary AJ Cameron, the Dewar’s marrying process is often imitated but never bettered.

The Marrying Process

With DEWAR’S 18 Blended Scotch Whisky, the master blender returned to the original Dewar’s marrying process. This involves taking fine Scotch whiskies at their peak of perfection – and improving upon them. Having created a blend of the finest Scotch whiskies from the different regions of Scotland, the marrying process then allows them to rest for a further period in exclusively reserved vintage oak casks, ensuring that their individual flavors and aromas harmonize to achieve a perfectly balanced and exceptionally smooth Scotch.

Awards & Accolades

Over the years DEWAR’S whiskies have been awarded more than 180 medals and awards at competitive tastings around the globe, winning some of their most prestigious awards in 2006. Every British monarch since Queen Victoria has granted DEWAR’S the Royal Warrant– a high honour and a symbol of the monarch’s personal recognition.

v Dewar’s 18 – Gold (Best In Class) Medal Winner, 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition

Tasting Notes

v Color: Warm, golden amber

v Nose: Immediately sweet and mellow with notes of honey, toffee, butterscotch and perfumed floral notes; subtle hints of almond emerge and a delicate impression of vanilla pods. With time, there appear notes of citrus zest, ripe cherries and just a touch of fresh coconut.

v Taste: Vanilla and toffee notes dominate the mellow, soft sweetness with lingering creaminess and a full bodied oakiness.

v With water, nose: More floral notes, a rich honeyed sweetness and dried fruits which softens to velvety vanilla and nutty caramel.

v With water, taste: Silky and smooth, with a profusion of sultanas and raisins.

v Finish: Long, soft and warming with a slight dryness.

Availability: Limited; select markets only.

Size: 750mL

Suggested Retail Price: $80.00

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