BRASSERIE COGNAC EAST: A Quintessentially French Brasserie on Manhattan’s Upper East Side


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Brasserie Cognac East

(963 Lexington Avenue, at 70th Street, New York, NY 10021;



Situated on a quaint corner, Brasserie Cognac East’s stunning two-story space is as inviting and charming, as it is elegant and sophisticated. The main level is divided by a central winding stair case that  leads to the upstairs dining room, which can serve as a private dining room.

Neutral gray walls, burgundy banquettes and vintage mirrors create a relaxed, upscale brasserie feel, enhanced by a long brass bar, perfect for sipping wines and aperitifs. Upstairs, a shimmery ceiling and vibrant purple walls give life to the intimate room lined with windows and decorated with vintage chandeliers. Two working
fireplaces (one on each level) are added bonuses. Brasserie Cognac East also provides a delightful outdoor café for fantastic alfresco dining, weather permitting.

New York’s most rewarding restaurants have always been the small, charming finds and Cognac East avoids clichés, overly-trendy  shockers and global-molecular fusion, instead presenting contemporary  plays on classics at affordable prices with friendly service, looked over by the charming GM Bernard DuPont. There is also an outstanding wine list that extends to great cocktails and wines by the glass, such as the delicious VILLA BEL AIR, JM Cazes (FROM Lynch Bages)..

Here is an authentic French brasserie from Executive Chef/Partner Florian V. Hugo (Brasserie Cognac, Theater District NYC), an Alain Ducasse veteran and direct descendant of Victor Hugo; and Serafina Restaurant Group owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato.

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Chef Hugo listened to the loyal Upper East Side residing patrons of his five-year old Midtown West Brasserie Cognac (, by bringing a taste of France to their uptown neighborhood. Hugo, a native of Provence, is known for his traditional French fare with a sophisticated,contemporary twist.

Hugo’s culinary versatility shows in his modern creations, such as Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart on a warm puff pastry, and an amazing Tuna Tart, a thin tart flambé crust with wasabi cream and pickled ginger. Honoring the timeless classics, Hugo offers the best renditions of Cheese Soufflé, Niçoise Salad, an aromatic Lobster Bisque, classic Blanquette de Veau and daily special like a homey pot au feu.Guests can enjoy his signature Filet au Poivre, flambéed tableside with – of course – Cognac, or a singular roast chicken preparation as well as the outstanding COTE DE BOEUF, PRIME RIB COOKED ON THE GRILL,WITH GRATIN DAUPHINOIS, CREAMED SPINACH AND TRUFFLE BEEF JUS (for 1 or 2Pers).

Desserts range from: wonderful housemade cookies, a light and delicate FLOATING ISLAND (POACHED MERINGUE WITH CARAMEL AND VANILLA CRÈME ANGLAISE)  and lovely rendition of PROFITEROLES,  to a formidable Chocolate Soufflé, to name but a few.

Brasserie Cognac East, also named for the region in France known for its Cognac production, has an extensive Cognac selection with up to 50 labels, as well as three distinctive French beers on draft, as any reputable brasserie is known to offer. The restaurant also presents an interesting, predominantly French wine list, offering a combination of renowned labels and delicious affordable finds from little-known regions. Hugo personally curates the beverage program. Click Here For The List

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At Brasserie Cognac East, guests can begin their day with house-made Mini-Croissants, Fresh Ricotta & Raspberry Pancakes, and Orange & Espresso French Toast. Hugo offers popular ‘Œufs’ selections, such as Eggs in Brioche and ethereal Egg White Vegetable Frittata.

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Unique to Brasserie Cognac East is “Le Goûter”- refined French afternoon snack including tea service  (2:30pm-5pm), available every day with a fine selection of tea sandwiches, scones and house-made pastries, sure to please grown-ups as well as children.

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Brasserie Cognac East is open every day for breakfast, brunch, lunch, Le Goûter (afternoon tea/snacks) and dinner

Absolutely one of the five best upscale bistros in New York, BCE is packed with happy customers, so reserve.  For more information, go to Click Here for Website.

or here to make RESERVATIONS Click Here.

But by all means go. You’re going to like this one.


Copyright 2013 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.



Continue reading “BRASSERIE COGNAC EAST: A Quintessentially French Brasserie on Manhattan’s Upper East Side”

Benares Midtown Is A Jewel In The Indian Restaurant Scene

Benares Midtown is located at 240 W. 56th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway, 212-397-0707, and is open for lunch Mon-Sunday from 11:30am-2:45pm. Dinner is served daily from 5pm-10:30pm. Benares Tribeca is well known for its remarkably diverse Indian cuisine and excellent service.  But what many people don’t realize is that the first Benares, […]

Cascabel Taqueria East Is A South-Of-The-Border Showstopper

1538 2nd Avenue @ 80th Street

New York, NY 10075
(212) 717-8226

Website: Click Here

Order Online at Seamless Web

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Cascabel Taqueria East has enjoyed enormous media exposure since its opening. So much success, that it has opened a west side branch and both are in the expansion process. The spic and span, no nonsense décor and modest prices are only part of the story. Add to this warm, friendly service, knock out cocktails, served in glass jars (costing as little as $6 at Happy Hour), and modern inventive takes on authentic Mexican cuisine that is better than many of the top Mexican restaurants we visited in Mexico City.

There is a short, inexpensive and well chosen wine list and loads of excellent beers as well as flights of Tequila and Mezcal. But food is the thing and it is fabulous, as is the amazing operation, which would clone beautifully.

Cascabel is named after the deep red chili peppers the. Menu is priced for the budget-conscious but created for the foodie, and broken into five categories: “(starters), (sides), “tacos,” “ (entrees) and (desserts).

Don’t expect standard Mexi-junk food. The owners and chef are serious and what the atmosphere lacks in a fine dining experience (super-casual), it more than makes up for in quantity, quality and pricing.

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They serve modern interpretations of traditional Mexican dishes. The signature cashable tacos are made from dried corn, treated and softened in lime water, not unlike the Aztecs used centuries ago. Drinks try top-shelf drinks from the bar, or select from a wide selection of craft beers, micro brews and wine, as well as the finest tequilas and artisanal mescals.

Make sure you check out the seasonal cocktail menu regularly too. They also offer refreshing, handmade drinks, made from citrus fruits pressed in an authentic Mexican juice squeezer and mixed with seltzer and organic agave nectar. In the mood for sangria, they make it fresh daily.

Cascabel is a casual, Mexican Taqueria offering fresh, handcrafted fare, inspired by the markets of Mexico.  We’re sure you’ll love our rocking tacos!

The  house salsas and hot sauces are made to complement the food we serve.  At Cascabel, It’s not just about food.  From the moment you walk through the door, we invite you to relax with their Organic Tequilas, micro brews, and have fun piecing together your perfect meal!


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Favorite dishes range from a first rate Guacamole Tradicional con TosTadas, served mild / medium / hot (go for the latter), spiked with grape tomato puree / thai chili / garlic / lime / cilantro.

Better yet are the stars of the appetizers: GordiTas con puerco,  moist, tender and grease free heritage pork belly / chipotle honey glaze / cucumber / cilantro / masa cake. Absolutely to die for. Also loved the delicious blue crab / corn / fresh salsa / piquillo pepper aioli eloTe asado (more like elegant conch fritters). Grilled corn / mexican aioli / lime / cascabel chili / queso cotija / cilantro
rabano was cooked to perfection and succulent. Also a steal for $5.

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Of the larger dinner plates, you can’t beat the Pollo asado, 1/2 rotisserie chicken / cascabel chili / creamed corn / cilantro / corn tortillas. Like a mirror image of chicken mole, with a white sauce, crushed nuts, herbs, spices and of course chiles. A masterful chicken dish! Also wonderful is carne a la plancha, grilled yucatan achiote strip steak / house made salsa verde / refried beans / rabano / red onion / cilantro. Pretty as a picture with its garnish of fresh sliced red radishes.

There’s great espresso and what desserts: a terrific Tres leche,s fluffy sponge cake soaked in three milks and the best churros, cinnamon spiced mexican doughnut, to dip in chilli chocolate sauce you’ll ever taste.

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Packed, noisy and a “no-reservation” policy but, for really great, natural and affordable Mexican food and drink, Cascabel is a joy and belongs at the top of any foodie’s Mexican list.

Cascabel is located at 1538 2nd avenue @ 80th street and 2799 Broadway @ 108th street. You will enjoy both dining venues

Walman Report Rating: A Major


Copyright 2013 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading “Cascabel Taqueria East Is A South-Of-The-Border Showstopper”