The Landmark Building “Pavilion Restaurant” Opens in Union Square Park, with a Menu that Showcases the Bounty of the Greenmarket, Dazzling Décor and a Stellar Kitchen


20 Union Square West
New York, New York  — 10003

Located at the North End of Union Square Park at 17th Street, Across From Barns and Noble.

BRUNCH 11:30-5PM

LUNCH- 10:30AM-5PM

DINNER- 5PM- Closing at Midnight

Click Here To Visit the Website or Make a Reservation

Some things are truly worth the wait. This spring New Yorkers were thrilled to see that the iconic colonnaded pavilion in Union Square once again features an exciting new indoor-outdoor restaurant. The Pavilion, whose menu showcases the bounty of the Union Square Greenmarket, welcomed the public.

For nearly 170 years Union Square has been a gathering place for commerce, for entertainment, for labor and political events, and for recreation. The 1928 Greek revival structure at the north end of the park has featured a restaurant since 1994. Today, The Pavilion, run under the direction of the hospitality group Chef Driven Market continues the over 150-year-old tradition of having restaurants and food concessions in New York City parks. The name Pavilion is a simple, classic one that respects the building’s rich history. Open seasonally from April until late October, The Pavilion seats 90 people indoor and 90 outside and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. It is also the best restaurant in any NY City park, but regardless of location, its is generally excellent with a first rate kitchen, well selected wines and beer, a serious mixologist and attentive service.

pavioion crudo

At the helm are three rising stars on the city’s culinary scene: Executive Chef Mario Urgiles, previously at NYC French eatery Maison delights diners with an innovative market-driven menu – his pantry is the Greenmarket, just steps away. Pastry chef Terri Dreisbach who worked for Bobby Flay and Philippe Chow delivers her signature creative confections incorporating fresh ingredients while master mixologist Joel Cruz shakes up cocktails also inspired by the nearby market. All three are known for their tasty dishes that are always home made from scratch.pavion soup

Highlights from Chef Urgiles’ menu that underline his market-driven approach include: Tomato Soup with sourdough crouton & herb crème fraiche; Farm Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart with baby dandelion salad; Organic Salmon Green Pot Au Feu with fennel pearl onion, baby carrots, shitakes, tomato and Roasted Organic Chicken with fingerling and purple potatoes, broccoli rabe. Even the steak is a fine piece of meat, beautifully seared, with a lovely garnish of fresh vegetables. But the entrée winner is the restaurant impossibility: a stuffed fish with barely wilted vegetables and a light sauce. Perfectly prepared.

PAVILLION  chicken use best

Pastry Chef Terri Dreisbach is known for both her clever recipes and her artistic presentation. Some of the desserts she offers include: Raspberry Ginger Beer Float with coconut ice cream, raspberry sorbet, vanilla whipped cream and a ginger cookie; Devil’s Food Cake with pistachio mousse, raspberry and pistachio gelato; her signature Summer Berry Verrine with buttermilk panna cotta, summer berries, almond crumble and pistachio gelato (a must) and a Chocolate Beet Cake with blackberry-beet meringue, creme fraiche, cassis, blackberries and beet sorbet.

pavilion chicken use

At the bar Head Mixologist Joel Cruz makes his own magic with classic and contemporary cocktail creations many featuring fruit and herbs he sources from the market for syrups and garnishes. At brunch for example the Bloody Mary mix is highlighted by Holy Schmitt’s horseradish direct from the Greenmarket. Cruz is also bringing back frozen cocktails like everyone’s favorite pina colada made with fresh coconut milk, pineapple juice and dark rum.

pavioion coup dessert

Some of Cruz’s other signature cocktails include: Pavilion ‘75’ with New Amsterdam Gin, honey direct from the Greenmarket, thyme syrup, and sparkling wine; the Metronome featuring New Amsterdam Orange Vodka, vanilla, white Vermouth and Aztec chocolate bitters; the Park Side including light and dark rum, fresh mint, lime, guava “foam,” and local pollen; and The Rialto made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, InfiniTEA Syrup, pineapple and Peychaud’s Bitters. The olives in the martini are worth a visit.

The Pavilion also serves rosé sangria, the perfect warm-weather beverage as well as a number of craft beers and cider from NY area breweries. The wine program offers a list of 40 wines by the bottle and 12 by the glass predominantly from New York State wineries who focus on sustainable and biodynamic techniques.

The Pavilion’s décor seamlessly blends the lush greenery of the park with a chic yet casual dining experience. The result is a beautiful restaurant  that could feel as home in the South of France or an exotic island. Hanging gardens adorn the walls, palm trees add to the bucolic setting and overhead round glass orb lighting harkens back to open-air restaurants of the past. Modern touches like subtle lighting under the floor and unobtrusive ceiling heaters insure diners are always comfortable and there is a wonderful feeling of professional informality.

Furthermore, as an integral part of the New York City community, The Pavilion, in collaboration with KMNY Consulting and the Union Square Partnership, will add family-friendly programming to the Union Square Partnership’s already popular Summer in the Square series with “Tuesdays @ThePavilionNYC,” a weekly drop-in series. Programming will take place on the main level inside The Pavilion. A great idea!

“We are proud to be a part of the Union Square community,” says Simon Oren, CEO of Chef Driven Group and owner Marseille, Nice Matin and  Barbounia. “We look forward to welcoming the community to this new public amenity in the park.”

Some of these programs include weekly children’s book readings, musical performances, and cooking instruction. Chef Driven Market will also provide internships, partner with local food charities, host fundraising events, and partner with GrowNYC, which oversees the Greenmarket program citywide, on numerous nutrition and wellness initiatives, as well as source products used in their daily menu offerings from participating Greenmarket farms.

For an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience, The Pavilion brings a new twist on fine dining to New York and is already a roaring success. Walman Report Rating: A+

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading “The Landmark Building “Pavilion Restaurant” Opens in Union Square Park, with a Menu that Showcases the Bounty of the Greenmarket, Dazzling Décor and a Stellar Kitchen”

NYY Steak Scores a Home Run In The NYC Steakhouse Arena

nyy steak yanke interior man_interior_4

7 West 51st Street (Between 5th & 6Th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
(646) 307-7910
Click Here To Visit The Website

Click Here To Make a Reservation Online

Owners: Hard Rock International & New York Yankees
Fred Thimm (COO), Raul Adorno (GM)
Executive Sous Chef: Elin Garcia
Cuisine: American Steakhouse
Address: 7 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646-307-7910
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Google+: NYYSteak
Hours of Operation: Weekdays: Lunch and Dinner 11:30am-11pm; Pinstripe Power
Hour 4-6pm and 9-11pm
Saturday: Dinner only 5-11pm
Sunday: Dinner only 5-10pm; Pinstripe Power Hour: Monday – Friday 4pm – close.

Signature Dishes: 27 oz. Char-Grilled Long Bone Rib Eye, 28 oz. Porterhouse, 16 oz.
Prime Veal Chop, Berkshire Double Pork Chop, New York Strip,
Onion Ring Stack, NYY Steak 151 Volcano
Signature Cocktails: Yankeetini, Bronx Bomber
Interior Design: In-house
Capacity: 16,000 square feet / 220+ seats / Private Dining areas
Credit Cards: All major credit cards
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearest Subway: E at 53th Street and 5th Avenue, M at 53th Street and 5th Avenue, 6
at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue, N/Q/R at 59th Street and 5th


nyy steak man_interior_3

Baseball fans and steak connoisseurs unite in midtown Manhattan at the city’s second NYY Steak. NYY Steak assembled a team of culinary and hospitality experts with years of fine dining experience to oversee its newest location. The team is lead by Fred Thimm, an established steakhouse specialist having spent 15 years with The Palm, where he served as President and COO and NYY Steak’s General Manager, Raul Adorno, who previously worked with Morton’s the Steakhouse for 16 years and opened locations worldwide as a General Manager and Director of Operations.

The spectacularly beautiful restaurant is  partnership between Hard Rock International and the Yankee Global Enterprises, the 16,000 square foot restaurant is housed in a former bank and stretches over three floors, featuring two private dining rooms, including an intimate 16 seat room housed in the old bank vault itself.  A pair of mirror image open kitchens, stacked one on top of the other, enables guests to see all the behind the burner action, whether dining on the main floor or the upstairs dining room.  The 200+ seat restaurant proudly boasts its signature autograph wall, featuring the autographs of retired New York Yankees legends.

One of NYY Steak’s main focal points is the glass enclosed butcher’s shop located on the lower level of the restaurant where the finest cuts of USDA Prime meat are aged and on display for beef enthusiasts to ogle. The MVP of the menu is the 27 oz. Char-Grilled Long Bone Rib Eye, which pays homage to the Bronx Bombers’ 27 World Series Championships.  Guests in the know can even ask to have the bone personalized on this well marbled cut – whether you want to say congratulations or monogram the bone for a company dinner, the kitchen team will make the Rib Eye bone just as memorable as the tender meat, which is one of the best in the city.

The all star line up also includes a 28 oz. Porterhouse, a Prime Veal Chop, and the New York Strip, all of which are dry aged for 21 days in signature NYY Steak style.

nyy steak steak food_shot_12
Other star attractions include the Steak Bacon starter, served as thick-cut slabs in a maple glaze, topped with wilted spinach which will undoubtedly leave you begging for more while the Maryland Lump Crab Cake, served with roasted chipotle corn salsa and a caper remoulade, adds a spicy note to a steakhouse classic. The RAW BAR SAMPLER (FOR TWO 55 | FOR FOUR 95) offers fresh Alaskan king crab, lobster, colossal shrimp,
lovely East and West Coast oysters & clams. (Go easy on th e excellent warm bread, a rarity for steak houses).

A seemingly innocent Baby Iceberg Salad with tomato, bacon, egg, scallion, creamy blue cheese and French dressing is innocent no more as each order comes with a shot of vodka and a blue cheese stuffed olive, a playful nod to the “Mad Men” style martini and steak power lunches. Carnivores can continue to indulge in the Berkshire Double Pork Chop served with whole grain mustard spaetzle, tangy braised red cabbage and a savory pork jus, or sink your teeth into the beautifully crafted chili, garlic and herb rubbed Braised Short Rib Ragu with sweet cherry tomatoes, served over fresh pappardelle pasta.

nyy steak shrimp food_shot_5

 Fish fanatics can opt for the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with teriyaki stir-fry vegetables, micro greens and a mandarin-orange sesame sauce or the fresh Catch of the Day.  The signature Lobster Mac & Cheese is made with sizeable pieces of fresh buttery lobster served with orecchiette pasta that delightfully holds up to the rich cheesy sauce.  Wisely choosing an order of the Onion Ring Stack will have fellow diners drooling in envy as a foot high totem pole of thick and crunchy coated onions come barreling at you, served with a homemade zesty balsamic ketchup and ranch dipping sauces.

nyy steak sessert dessert_menu_man
Before rounding home plate, diners would be remiss not to dabble in a bit of sweetness including two tableside options: the Crème Brûlée with chocolate coated pretzel rods sprinkled with fleur de sel, caramelized tableside, or the NYY Steak 151 Volcano, vanilla bean ice cream covered with Heath Bar crunch and expertly flambéed tableside using a shot of 151 Rum, the perfect treat to share with the whole table. And the Carrot Cake is the best you’ll ever taste.

nyy steak wine_menu_ys

An expansive glass wine case built into the back wall houses the restaurant’s extensive globally infused wine list, along with 27 wines by the glass. The cocktail list is a mixture of classic and seasonal, offering guests everything from the Yankeetini, a mix of Vodka, Blue Curacao and White Cranberry Juice with a blue rock sugar rim to the Bronx Bomber, a twist on a Manhattan with Templeton Rye, Combier Cherry Liqueur, Antica Carpano Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Peel.  NYY Steak’s “Pinstripe Power Hour” runs Sunday 5-6pm and 9-10pm as well as Monday thru Friday, 4pm-6pm and 9pm-11pm in both the bar and lounge, offering specialty bites from the bar menu. Fans of all sports can indulge both their palates and their passion any night of the week, taking in the big game on one of the televisions perched around the bar and lounge area.


The wine list is not only well chosen, but affordable and there are unique wines by the, including Behrens Family Winery ‘Behrens & Hitchcock’ The Heavyweight, Napa Valley, 2010 at $34 the glass ($136, by the bottle). Service is seamless, smooth and beautifully orchestrated by Diego Betancourt and Alex Sariyan.

We loved NYY STEAK, and believe they are here for a long and successful run. Rating: A Major, By The Walman Report.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Cuba Restaurant in the West Village Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary and Is A Delight

cuba int2 sky

Cuba (Photo Credits: David Lindo)

222 Thompson Street between Bleecker and W. 3rd streets,

Click Here To Visit The Website


Open for dinner, Sun-Thu from 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat, 4pm-midnight. Lunch is served Mon-Fri 11:30am-4pm; brunch, Sat-Sun from 11am-4pm; happy hour, Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm, live Cuban music, Fri and Sat @7:30pm (see website for schedule), cigar roller on site Mon, Thu and Sat evenings. Catering and private party rooms are available.


cuba int1

Cuba Restaurant in the West Village Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

Cuba restaurant is a rarity. For ten years, the team behind Cuba—including owner Beatriz de Armas,cuba chef Executive Chef Mario Garcia, manager Viviana Cabrera and head bartender Eduardo Tavares, as well as many of the servers and other staff—have worked together in a labor of love. As a result, Cuba restaurant is like a family, their loyalty and satisfaction directly translating to the guest experience, creating an atmosphere of fun, friendliness and all-around Cuban hospitality that is unparalleled.

cuba drinks1

For 10 years, the restaurant has been capturing the spirit of Old Havana with live Cuban music, swaying palms, tropical fruits, strong signature mojitos and daiquiris, and authentic cuisine. It’s a singular and charming escape, a Little Havana on Thompson Street. Oversized automobiles and curvy dancers moving to a salsa beat are just some of the images of Cuba conjured and captured in the colorful paintings that decorate the exposed brick walls. At a table in the hammock-draped Terrace Room, you can watch the resident cigar maker hand-rolling Cuban-style cigars. Or plan a getaway to the subterranean speakeasy-like Hemingway Hideaway, or the intimate Family Room, ideal for group dining.

Cuba born and raised, Beatriz de Armas draws inspiration from her native Cuba and iconic places notoriously frequented by Ernest Hemingway, such as La Bodeguita Del Medio (famous for the mojito) and El Floridita (perfector of the daiquiri), as well as Latin influences and places she has lived including Valencia, Spain—the spark behind the menu’s list of paellas. Together with Chef Garcia, who trained under Chef David Martinez of the world famous Hotel Nacional in Cuba, the two have become a dynamic team encompassing the quality, tradition and essence of the Cuban sabor. They have collaborated on a menu that not only expresses Cuba’s primary culinary influences from African slaves and Spanish settlers, but also includes other, complementary Latin flavors.

cuba paella1

Chef Martinez is not only highly trained, but produces a high-level cuisine with a contemporary twist. For the tenth anniversary, he has created several new dishes, while also keeping many of the popular standards. New appetizers include a remarkable “Chicharron Prensado,” delicious braised pork belly with a parchment-crispy balsamic glazed skin, accompanied by congri—a blessed combination of rice and beans enhanced by a layer of nicely spiced Spanish chorizo and green peas, for an addictive flavor combination. There is also a changing selection of ceviches—the newest is the Ceviche de Langosta—tender, sweet lobster tossed with an enlivening mix of lemon juice, mustard, sesame oil, cilantro, cucumber and orange peel. But equally wonderful is the CEVICHE MIXTO: shrimp, calamari, scallops marinated in lime juice, cilantro, red onions, and avocado

For main courses, the new poultry dish, Pato con Salsa de Tamarindo, is a revelation: tamarind-glazed duck leg confit with a complement of mashed sweet plantains, sautéed spinach and oyster mushrooms. Really elegant and recommend. New to the seafood section is Salmon, a wonderful blend of textures: pan-seared with a caramelized crust, topped with tender shrimp, with creamy lobster sauce and coconut rice. The traditional Ropa Vieja, shredded skirt steak braised in salsa criolla, peppers, onions and tomatoes, is a classic favorite, but the Vaca Frita, pan-fried skirt steak with garlic mojo, soy sauce, onions, parsley and lime, is a house specialty, a traditional Cuban dish rarely seen on menus in NYC. For Beatriz’s homage to Spain, paellas include Paella Vallenciana, prepared with saffron rice, baby back ribs, monkfish, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, peppers, string beans and peas, as well as seafood and vegetarian versions.

For something really special, go for the amazing  RABO ENCENDIDO: tender braised oxtail, in tomato and red wine, kissed by sweet plantain, and succulent rice and beans. Here’s a dish that brings Cuban  cosine into the world-class arena.

cuba food1

The luscious desserts include an ethereal Flan de Leche, custard with caramel sauce and fresh berries that somehow manages to be light and rich at the same time, as well as the sweet treat of Empandadita de Guayaba, guava and cream cheese filled turnovers, served with ice cream and raspberry sauce.

cuba dessert1

At lunchtime, you’ll also find traditional sandwiches such as the classic favorite, the Cubano, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, pressed and toasted until crispy on crusty bread. Other tasty choices include Pan con Todo, pan-fried shredded skirt steak sandwich with sautéed onions, arugula, tetilla cheese and garlic mayo, and the Miramar, fried scallops, romaine lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo and garlic mojo on toasted Cuban bread.

cuba meat1

Brunch also features many of the savory staples as well as Cuban takes on traditional brunch dishes, such as Cuba Libre Torrejas, cream cheese and guava French toast; Tortilla Cubana, an omelette with Spanish chorizo, manchego cheese and spinach; and Benedict Habaneros, two poached eggs, sweet plantain quinoa cake, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. Brunch also features all the Mimosas, Sparkling Mojitos, Sangria, Cuba Bloody Marys or Capirinhas you would like during a period of one and a half hours.

The cocktails, of course, are a key element in transporting guests to Old Havana. The list is composed by veteran head bartender Eduardo Tavares (his prior experience was at Victor’s Café 52), and he takes the time to do it right, muddling the lime, mint and sugar for the 45 seconds required for a proper mojito, and preparing purees and infusions in house. Summer specials in honor of the 10th Anniversary include the Frozen Mojito, all the fresh ingredients of the classic mojito—in a refreshing, frothy-thick iced version, and the Pasion Picante, built with Don Diego reposado tequila, passion fruit, mango puree, fresh lime juice, muddled cilantro and a kick of jalapeno. In addition to the classic mojito, Tavares also mixes up an incredible tropical mojito in a range of fruit flavors. A favorite is jackfruit, refreshing, creamy, tangy and not too sweet. Other special mojitos include Mojito 23, smooth, dark and rich with Zacapa 23-year-old rum. The Hemingway is prepared with house-infused ginger rum, muddled mint, fresh limes and Cava. Not to be missed is the Daiquiri de Cuba, a beautiful frozen confection built with Santa Teresa Claro rum, lime and strawberries. Wines hail from Portugal, Chile, Argentina and Spain—a great match for the Cuban, Latin and Spanish flavors of the food.

Like fine rum, this Cuba restaurant improves with age. Service is friendly and the reception by the attractive young woman at the reception is welcoming. (And don’t forget to checkout those cigars).

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading “Cuba Restaurant in the West Village Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary and Is A Delight”