After Ten Years, Rediscovering Esperanto

December is Flamenco month at Esperanto!  Every Thursday of the month, holidays aside, Esperanto will be hosting special Flamenco nights from 8-10:30pm.  Enjoy as musicians, like Alfonso Cid from the band Gazpacho Andalu, perform into the evening.  Allow yourself to be transported to the sultry pleasures of Spain as dancer Isabel Del Dia shows off her moves.

Esperanto’s regular Latin inspired menu and cocktails will be available.  The restaurant is located at 145 Avenue C in New York’s East Village.  Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Imagine the success necessary for a quirky Brazilian-inspired eatery to stay in business for an entire decade. It would be insurmountable for most, but for Stephan Gerville-Reache, Dimitri Vlahakis and Latin mainstay, Esperanto, it’s reality—and for anyone who’s been watching, their tenth anniversary shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Their success is due, in large part, to the extraordinary talent and passion that led to Esperanto’s creation. Gerville-Reache and Vlahakis’s were coming off of a major success at their first joint venture, a popular bar called Baraza in the East Village (which only recently closed), when they realized their ability to create a dynamic atmosphere would pair perfectly with their mutual love for great food and intrigue for Latin culture. Having lived in Brazil and traveled extensively around Latin America, Gerville-Reache had an impeccably high standard for Latin cuisine that he knew he could draw from, while Vlahakis’s business savvy (he’s now co-owner of both Motorino locations) could ensure the stability of the operation.

Just as Esperanto was a hit from the start, an experience there begins even before arrival. The walk may be a few avenues long, but it provides some of the rarest, most unexpected sights the city can offer—two protected parks (one with Bette Midler’s name on it) that feature century-old willows, densely packed and draping over smatterings of art installations. It’s the perfect set-up for a dining experience that’s so transportative—by the time you leave, you’ll never guess you’re still in Manhattan.

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Bobby Flay Opens BAR AMERICAIN, an American Brasserie at Mohegan Sun

Bobby Flay, celebrated chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author, opens Bar Americain today.  Conveniently located off the hotel lobby, the 276-seat restaurant celebrates America’s diverse culinary heritage, inspired by Bobby’s extensive travels throughout the country.  His decidedly American menu is mirrored by the energetic fast pace of the time-honored European brasserie.

“I’m thrilled to introduce Bar Americain to Mohegan Sun,” says Bobby.  “Here I’ll celebrate the vast culinary traditions found in the US while also featuring dishes that showcase the wealth of ingredients and traditions of New England and, given our location, that of the Native American culture.”

This is Bobby’s 10th restaurant in operation and his second Bar Americain; the first opened in New York City in March of 2005, receiving rave reviews including two-stars from The New York Times. Today, Bar Americain continues to be an essential mainstay in Manhattan’s dining landscape. 

“We  are  extremely  excited  to have Bar Americain as part of our culinary roster, and are proud that Bobby Flay has chosen Mohegan Sun to be the site of  his  first   fine dining venture in  the New England market,” says Lynn Malerba, Chairwoman for the Mohegan Tribe. “ There is no doubt that this is a  perfect match of one of America’s great Chefs and one of America’s  most amazing  entertainment  destinations,”  added Mitchell Etess, President and Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Sun.

With a menu that ranges from spiced-up starters such as Shrimp-Tomatillo, Crab-Coconut and Lobster-Avocado Shellfish Cocktails to ‘gotta have’ sides like Hot Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Sauce, Creamed Kale and Brooklyn Hash Browns, American regional fare never sounded, looked and tasted so good.  Bobby takes his cues from the bounty of local New England ingredients, introducing new menu items inspired by the region and of Native American tradition with dishes such as Crispy Connecticut Oysters with Crème Fraiche Chowder and Bacon Relish as well as a Native American Taco with BBQ Duck, Cranberry and Red Chile.

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Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House Wows Hong Kong’s Culinary Scene

Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House Wows Hong Kong’s Culinary Scene

Perched on the 49th floor of The Upper House, Hong Kong’s newest and sleekest hotel, Café Gray Deluxe has stunning views of Victoria Harbour, and equally stunning dishes to match. Chef Gray Kunz returns to Hong Kong after 20 years with this 21st century brasserie featuring his signature twist on classic Western dishes with Asian influences.

To prepare for the launch of Café Gray Deluxe, Chef Kunz spent six months in Hong Kong, scouring the wet markets of Sheung Wan and Wan Chai for the freshest ingredients, organic meats, and exotic delicacies and perfecting his menu in a test kitchen in Sheung Wan.

Must try dishes: saffron pasta fiori; simmered red mullet with squid razor clams and herb broth; braised beef short ribs with grits; steak tartar with Kunz’s ketchup; steamed sea bass in ginger bouillon; sirloin flank steak; and chocolate rum toast.
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CELEBRATE “A LA BAKER” AT CHEZ JOSEPHINE Joyeux Noël, Bonne Année on 42nd Street

A taste of Montmartre along Manhattan’s Theatre Row, CHEZ JOSEPHINE presents the ABCs of holiday dining – always Appetizing, Bubbling with energy and a Charming host to ensure a pleasurable experience. Owner Jean-Claude Baker will be the master of ceremonies for a joyous Christmas Eve and Le Jazz Hot with Soul on New Year’s Eve.

Christmas Eve – Thursday, December 24, 5:00 pm to 1 am
Chez Josephine will offer festive specials in addition to the regular dinner menu for a joyeux noël: Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard ($18), Petrossian Smoked Salmon ($18), Braised East Hampton Goose with Chestnuts and Black Truffle Tagliatelle ($34); Pan-Seared Alaskan Halibut with Vegetable Couscous, Lobster Emulsion ($32); and Bûche de Noël ($12). Plus, live music from Sarah McLawler (piano/vocals), Boncelia Lewis (vocals), Jean Davis (trumpet). For reservations, please call (212) 594-1925, or book online at

New Year’s Eve – Thursday, December 31, one seating at 8 pm until…
Join Chez Josephine for a night of revelry as we welcome the New Year with a celebratory five-course menu, live entertainment, gospel music and party favors. Price is $175 per person (beverages, tax and 20% gratuity not included). Reservations required. Please call (212) 594-1925.


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Barefoot Bubbly is delightful and affordably priced at $10

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Tickle your toes and your taste buds with Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry! The versatile and great-tasting Chardonnay Champagne is perfect for a special occasion or everyday celebration. Its delightful aromas and sweet flavors make a fun, flavorful and affordable addition to any meal.


Tasting Notes: This medium-bodied Chardonnay Champagne features aromas of ripe yellow apples, which complement the creamy texture. The tangerine and lime flavors will delight your palate.

Food Pairing: Champagne’s are often associated with festivities and celebrations, served with such treats as sweet cakes or pastries. Barefoot Bubbly also pairs perfectly with a variety of cheeses, crackers, simple appetizers, and even spicy dishes.

Winemaking Notes:

Varietal Content: 80% Chardonnay

Titratability Acidity: .68

pH: 3.38

Alcohol Level: 11.8%

Residual Sugar: 2.6%


Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry is affordably priced at $10 for 750ml bottle.


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Respite Wines 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: Suggested Retail Price $48.00

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This 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is the inaugural vintage, and is very exciting. Winemakers May-Britt and Denis Malbec put their heats and souls into this wine, and the proof is in the bottle. Red/purple in color with bright cassis, mocha, black raspberry, tobacco, dusty spice box and sloe berry. The mouth-feel is a unique blend of the structure that comes from the high elevation and red volcanic soil along with the addition of the refined elegance that comes from the winemakers. The tannins are chewy and are kept in beautiful balance by the bright acidity that is characteristic of the Pine Mountain fruit

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Harvest Date: October 18th , 2006
Alcohol: 14.3%
Winemaking: Gently destemmed & hand sorted,
extended maceration
Cooperage: 100% French oak (60% new)
Production 280 cases

The 20 acre south-facing vineyard is located northeast of Cloverdale in the Alexander Valley Appellation from 2,400′ to 2,600′ in elevation, and is part of a 400-acre ranch that was originally purchased by the family in 1948. The son, Leland Reichel, attained his B.S. in Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo and returned to Sonoma County to use his lifelong knowledge vineyard as a consultant to the family vineyard.

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green_bags Saxsy Stuff Reinvents the Reusable Shopping Bag with a Beautiful,
Collapsible Alternative that Goes Beyond the Grocery Store~

Not all reusable cloth shopping bags are the same!

Today, Saxsy Stuff proves it by introducing the first full-sized, reusable alternative to plastic and paper bags that is also fashionable.  Saxsy

Stuff’s hip and stylish cloth shopping bags go everywhere.  Originally designed to go to the grocery store, Saxsy Stuff bags are beach bags, book bags, overnight bags and much more.  
Besides the gorgeous patterns, what differentiates Saxsy Stuff most from others on the market is its ‘wide bottom’ collapsible gusset design that allows the bags to expand bigger and hold more, when filled, than a traditional paper grocery bag or other reusable bags. The lightweight, yet sturdy Saxsy Stuff bags can also be rolled up or stuffed into a pocket, purse, diaper bag, glove compartment, suitcase or backpack when not being used.

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beau=rivage-palace Lausanne, Switzerland – November 20, 2009:  Chef Anne-Sophie Pic has been awarded two Michelin stars for her restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic at the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Bea-Rivage PalaceSwitzerland, it has been announced by the Michelin Guide.  This distinction brings Chef Pic’s total number of Michelin stars to five, including a coveted three-star rating for her restaurant Maison Pic in Valence, France.
Though open for less than a year at the Beau-Rivage Palace, Anne-Sophie Pic’s restaurant has already redefined dining in Lausanne and added an exciting dimension to Switzerland’s most legendary palace hotel.
Anne-Sophie is the third generation of her family to hold the coveted 3-star rating and is currently the only female chef in France with the distinction.  Now she has taken her culinary recognition to an even higher level by adding Michelin stars in Switzerland.

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