Calvisius Caviar Lounge: A Royal Experience Made Sustainable, Served In A Romantic Setting


Calvisius Caviar Lounge is located at 58 East 58 Street, (212) 207-8222, in the ground level of the Four Seasons Hotel. It is open from 12-9 PM daily, with availability for private gatherings and parties. To purchase online or learn more about Calvisius Caviar, please visit


              Step into the little jewel-box and you are transported to Europe, Romance and Fantasy at once. There is nothing quite like it in New York City. To fully appreciate the experience, let’s give a little background. There is no question that Italy’s traditions surrounding food and wine are countless—but historically, caviar has been left to the Russians. Little do most people know that Italy is rich with “black gold,” with stories of its discovery dating back to the late 1400’s, when Leonardo da Vinci happened upon a magnificent sturgeon in the Ticino river—a tributary of the Po. As the legend goes, he harvested its roe as a long-fabled gift to the young princess, Beatrice d’Este, whose “treasure chest of small black pearls” were comically much-hyped and never seen. The Ticino river has remained, ever since, a secret source of top-grade sturgeon caviar—the kind that,  like Beatrice’s, is quickly gobbled up and savored bite for bite. But the secret is spreading as Europe’s most recognized and voluminous producer,

Calvisius, proves that Italy’s sustainably farmed caviar is, more than ever, a true royal experience.

            Most easily found at their ultra-chic lounge in the ground floor of New York City’s Four Seasons hotel, Calvisius is the top choice caviar for acclaimed chefs like Eric Ripert and Michael White, who use it generously in their restaurants. Its taste and quality are unlike any other, as Calvisus is both farmer and producer—not like your typical merchant who must go through several middlemen. With a sustainable aquaculture farm located in the Brescian lowlands of Calvisano, Italy, Calvisius has direct control over every aspect of its fish and their eventual product.

calvisius display_side

            These practices are exactly what makes Calvisius caviar so special: from the natural spring water they swim in to the optimized, exclusive feed they’re given, every aspect of the fish’s is controlled for their utmost well-being. The roe they yield is the purest, most clean-flavored product on the market, free of contaminants or water pollution—often the downfall of wild caviar. Agroittica’s perfect conditions allow the caviar harvest to extend through most of the year, resulting in a smaller shelf life and, therefore, a true malossol (low-salt) product with a more delicate, true flavor. Furthermore, each tin of caviar is properly labeled so that it can be traced to the exact sturgeon it hails from, giving Calvisius a comprehensive understanding of each batch’s freshness, provenance, species type, and so on.


calcisius outside            

To experience these ocean gems, there’s nothing quite like the swanky year-old Calvisius lounge at the Four Seasons—the first and only of its kind. The space, designed by renown architect James D’Auria, is anchored by a beautiful backlit display of Calvisius’ signature items—any of which can be enjoyed at the white onyx bar with a glass of champagne or, just as easily, taken to go. Service is paramount, in keeping with the luxury digs and product. Caviar is most typically enjoyed by the tin, served atop a custom-designed glass dome filled with ice and presented with mother of pearl spoons, blinis, toast points, crème fraiche and French butter. It’s also served “The Italian Way,”

calvisius italian_way1

in a martini glass atop creamy mashed potatoes—the perfect textural foil to the caviar’s snappy texture and robust flavor. 

The proof is in the tin: Calvisius’ white sturgeon malossol, their best seller, features large dark gray pearls whose unmistakably mild, nutty taste reveals the purity and delicacy associated with only the best. It pops and melts on the tongue, hardly salty at all—a sure surprise for those unfamiliar with caviar of this quality. Even more prized, perhaps, is their classic oscietra, almost clear with an amber-like translucence—as pretty as the pearls Princess Beatrice’s court must have imagined. Its aroma is more intense, the texture taut and firm, literally exploding on the tongue and yielding the unadulterated flavors that caviar enthusiasts seek out almost religiously.  In a side-by-side comparison with wild caviar, there’s no doubt that the pristine waters and feed of the farmed variety make it the cleaner tasting, more esteemed choice across the board.


For novices developing their caviar palates, Calvisius  Caviar Lounge offers tasting flights called “solamente,” seven-gram portions with all the necessary accoutrements for extensive tasting. The beverage list—a comprehensive menu with the most high-end names in Champagne (we loved the fruity Ruinart Rose’NV  and complex Krug Grand Cuvee NV) and vodka (Check out Roberto Cavalli from Italy) —gives ample choices for diners to find the perfect pairing for their chic culinary experience.

Should a visit to the lounge be too far a ride for the fix, Calvisius sells their caviar worldwide through their e-commerce site, Its direct-to-farmer relationship not only ensures freshness and quality control, but allows Calvisius to pursue the most affordable price point for their gem-like product.  calvis 3 spoonsorologio

If caviar’s consumption has traditionally been seen as a culinary pinnacle and a celebration of life, there’s no question that Calvisius, with its ecologically sound practices, pristine standards, and top recognitions, is at the threshold of caviar’s new era: one that preserves the flavors and textures that make the pearls so very fit for a king, but with the sustainable practices and accessibility that continue to broaden the delicacy’s unique appeal.

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Calvisius Caviar Lounge, with its caring service (orchestrated by the charming General Manager Tommaso Mazzarella), personal touches and divine excesses, is one of NY’s most romantically-elegant indulgences. Perfect before theater (or skip your first course if you are going out to dinner and enjoy it here). We’ll take it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime we get the craving for caviar …  caviar …  and … caviar … Delightful in every way! 

Copyright 2010 By Punchin International, All Rights Reserved.


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Versatile rosé from Provence is a perfect addition to the holiday table

At Thanksgiving, Choose a Wine for All Seasons



Savvy Thanksgiving Day hosts don’t automatically reach for a standby red or white wine to round out their feasts. Instead, they treat their guests to a glass of versatile sophistication: rosé wine from the Provence region of France.

Provence rosés are festive and elegant, as serious as the highest quality reds, whites and Champagnes. Dry, fresh and crisp, they make ideal aperitifs and complement every Thanksgiving course, from appetizers to turkey and the trimmings – even pumpkin pie.

Because rosé falls between red and white wine in color and character, it pairs well with both richer and lighter fare. Guests will even reach for a glass to accompany a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.

With their fresh, dry taste, rosés from Provence complement all manner of holiday foods – oysters, shrimp, caviar, lobster, pork and lamb roasts, a variety of savories, even chocolate and fresh fruit – offering a quality taste experience at an attractive price. Yet these versatile wines from France’s oldest wine region are as serious as the highest quality reds, whites and Champagnes.

In addition, their tall, elegant bottles and lovely pink hues lend a festive touch to the holiday tablescape.

The rosé category includes varying styles – some fuller, some more crisp. Even within the renowned rosé region of Provence, pink wines display a range of colors, textures, and flavors. Yet all Provence rosés tend to be fresh, bright, and dry on the palate.

Rosé from Provence is made from red grapes, just as red wine is, but rosé producers keep the dark skins in contact with the pale juice for only a brief time – just long enough to achieve rosé’s lovely pink color and distinctive flavor.

In France, where rosé outsells white wine, this food-friendly pink wine is embraced for all occasions. Americans are catching on. Neilsen Company research shows U.S. retail sales of imported rosé table wines grew 28 percent in 2009.

“Wine aficionados know that rosé wines can turn a holiday gathering into a celebration,” said Francois Millo, director of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), known in the United States as the Provence Wine Council. “I’m delighted to see a growing appreciation for rosé on American shores.”

To locate shops that carry Provence rosé, visit the Retailers section of Use the interactive map or state-by-state dropdown menu to access a list of retailers offering one or more of the region’s celebrated rosés. Retailers may also offer red and white Provence wines.


We sampled four incredibly delicious specimens, All Wine On Line A Major Rating

rose porc Château de Pourcieux 2009 (The rose is on the far righ above) is flanked by two mountain ranges, the Monts Auréliens and the Sainte-Victoire (made famous by Cézanne’s paintings). The sloped vineyards, which cover 62 acres, benefit from a southern exposure. Since the late 1700s, the family of Michel d’Espagnet has owned the Château de Pourcieux, located just miles east of the picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence.

Sandstone soil with clay. Only organic, chemical-free fertilizers used. Mediterranean climate moderated by high altitude (985 feet) and the mountains’ protection from strong winds. Low yields of 20 hl per acre.

A pale rosé color with a fine nose, revealing aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and tropical fruits. In the mouth, it is balanced and fresh.

Grapes are machine harvested early in the morning, and sometimes at night. Process includes destemming and selection of the grapes; bleeding after pellicular maceration near 50° F; pressing in a pneumatic press; alcoholic fermentation that lasts between 12 and 16 days at a constant temperature of 61° F; production in vats.

Stony-chalky-clay soil

45 hectoliters per hectare

Beautifully structured and balanced, Chateau de Pourcieux is in the $12 SRP range; extraordinary good value and very widely distributed. Actually amazing for the price.



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Thanksgiving at EOLO


Turkey doesn’t say thank you in Italy–but chef Melissa Muller-Daka of Chelsea newcomer Eolo has found a way to translate the sentiment to Sicily’s distinct fall palate. This Thanksgiving, enjoy a $69, six-course spread of autumnal Sicilian classics that’ll rid your memory of every dry turkey there ever was.

And trust us, you won’t miss the bird by the time you’re met with Melissa’s traditional family dessert, Sicilian Cubaita, which consists of little bite-size donuts drenched in caramel and stuck together to form a sticky-sweet, pull-apart pyramid–an Italian croquembouche, if you will.

Salivating already? Eolo is located at 190 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. For reservations, call (646) 225-6606.


Sicilia a Tavola

Thanksgiving 2010 Pre-fixe


Not including beverages

Tax and Gratuity Not Included

Amuse Bouche

Turnip & Vanilla Bean Puree Soup

Appetizer –Choice of:
Duck Confit, Braised Red Cabbage, Chestnuts, Pomegranate Molasses

Mixed Greens, Pickled Pear, Fried Pecorino, Candied Hazelnuts

Pasta – Choice of:

Butternut squash gnudi, artichokes, black truffle, brown butter & sage

Tagliatelle, pulled suckling pig, salsify, carrots, confit tomatoes, herbs, cippollini onions

Secondi -  Choice of:

Squab, Braised Fennel, Currants, brussel sprouts, moscato glaze

Lamb Roast, garlic whipped potates, braised escarole, fricassee of mushrooms and artichokes

Vegetarian Quarto – zucchini, pumpkin, caponata, bocconcino

Dessert – Choice of:
Warm Pinoli Tart with an Almond Crust and Milk Chocolate Semifredo

Pumpkin Custard Brulee with a Cinanamon Anglaise and Cruncy Spiced Cookies

Holiday Dessert For Sharing:

Sicilian Cubaita (small fried dough morsels and cooked honey in the form of a pyramid)







Blue Champagne Cocktail $20.00

1 OZ Blue Curacao

Top with Veuve Clicquot

andrea champagne Picture1 

For her record-breaking 24th year at the famed Oak Room Supper Club of the

legendary Algonquin Hotel, the “Queen of Cabaret,” Andrea Marcovicci, returns to her first love—the torch song! “Blue Champagne: The History of the Torch Song” runs November 16th -December 30th, with Shelly Markham on piano and Jered Egan on bass. To honor the occasion, the Algonquin has created the “Blue Champagne Cocktail,” its newest signature drink (combining Blue Curacao and Veuve Clicquot Champagne).

“Blue Champagne: The History of the Torch Song” not only revels in the heartbreak inherent in this most vulnerable genre of music, but the show is carefully balanced with zany numbers in a quest for comic relief from unrequited love songs, as well as wonderful stories of the legendary ladies of torch…Helen Morgan, Ruth Etting and Libby Holman, among others. With her latest show, Andrea brings her unique insight to this tale of longing, losing and gunplay!


Highlights: After a striking opening of “The Red Dress,” a Dorothy Parker poem, the glamorous Marcovicci combines  “Someone to Watch Over Me,” with the lesser known “Mr. Right,” by Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weill. From that instant the audience is under her spell, While her voice was never her strongest asset, it has mellowed with the years and she has gained control over her range and has softened the rough edges. It does what it is meant to do . . . serve as a vehicle for her superb acting and indestructible delivery.

Other poignant moments include a spellbinding interpretation of “Love Me or Leave Me,”  and a laid back version of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” which acts as a foil to Irving Berlin’s “Say It Isn’t So,” which is arguably the high point of the evening. “Body and Soul,” “Just Like A Man” and “Shakin’ the Blues Away” round out the 19 song beautifully researched act.

If you are an Andrea Marcovicci fan, you will be delighted with her Oak Room flight, which will add special holiday matinees, so inquire. A legend in her own time, don’t miss one of the world’s three finest cabaret performers.


Shows are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11, with a $60 cover charge weeknights and late weekend shows and $65 for early weekend shows, plus either a $30 minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: (212) 419 9331 or

There will be special holiday shows Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas at 7:30 pm, matinees at 2:00 pm December 22nd and 29th, and Monday December 27th at 7:30 pm. The Algonquin is inaugurating “New Year’s Eve Eve” December 30th at 8:30, an end of the year annual festive evening featuring camaraderie, great food and matchless entertainment, with Andrea hosting another Algonquin First.

Dubbed “a heartbreaker” by PEOPLE magazine, while the San Francisco Chronicle was “seduced by a temptress.” The New York Times stated, “She has a masterly balance between poignancy and wit,” and to the New Orleans Times-Picayune “she sings so beautifully that you find tears stinging your eyes.” Andrea Marcovicci has sold out Carnegie Hall and appeared in concert with numerous orchestras and at the White House. She has acted in films, television and theatre. Costars include Danny DeVito, Woody Allen, Sir Michael Caine, Sir John Gielgud and Sam Waterston. Her latest film, Irene in Time, has recently been released on DVD, and she has created more than 30 nightclub acts.

Special Holiday Menu

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Artisanal Thanksgiving Menu


Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro

Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro. . 2 Park Avenue (32nd Street), New York, NY 10016
Click here to make your reservations online
Call: 212-725-8585
Fax Number: 212-481-5455

Thursday, November 25th
12:00pm – 9:00pm


terrance tb_frame_navChef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan








Thanksgiving 2010


Choice of:
Cranberry Textures
Assorted Confections & Fruits
Cheddar Crust, Cinnamon Crème Fraîche
Cinanamon, Pumpkin, Maple
Fromager’s Selection of 3 Cheeses

To Begin
Supplement to Menu
Sweet Potato Puree, Haricot Vert & Mushroom, Macaroni & Cheese, Roasted Chestnut & Brussels Sprouts

Sides to Share

(35.00 / 50.00)
(28.00 / 40.00 )

$62.00 pp

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