Montebello Shines With a Sophisticated Flare for a Business Lunch or a Date at Eight.

montebello int1

The Lovely Main Dining Room at Montebello (Above)

120 E. 56th Street, Bet. Park & Lexington Avenues

Tel. 212-753-1447

Website Click Here

To Make a Reservation, Click Here

Montebello is an Italian restaurant in the cherished sense of the genre.Located at the heart of Midtown, Montebello buzzes with excitement as a business lunch spot with high-powered patrons such as Mayor Bloomberg, Donald Trump, and Barbara Walters.

montebello bar

It  is the most romantic of romantic rendezvous.” Celebrities such as Tony Bennett, Neil Simon, Kate Moss, Ron Howard, the Baldwin brothers and Michael Richards enjoy the beautiful private banquettes and soothing atmosphere of this elegant, unpretentious space. Owner Joe Bozic provides a dining experience virtually unrivalled in the city. The service is warm and attentive; the decor is artistic and inviting; and the food is sublime.

Classic cooking from the area near Trieste, Italy, is the inspiration for the quintessential northern Italian menu developed by generations of the Bozic family.  Emphasis is placed on simple, fresh ingredients and Italian cooking methods. Fresh pastas are made in-house daily, and dried pastas are imported from Italy. All meals are complemented by a selection of hand-made breads baked according to traditional methods. Lunch and dinner menus include a selection of antipasti, soups and salads, house made pastas and a wide variety of desserts.

This hidden gem in the heart of Midtown is difficult to beat. With the  intimate dining room you will enjoy elegance and provide impeccable service, the sort that New Yorkers frequent for power lunches or a romantic dinner. I love the laid back décor, tromp loil touches and lovely murals.

montebello window

While there are many restaurant copycats and the modern-kitchen is becoming a factory of cliché. Montebello, a delightfully-traditional "New York Italian" restaurant, unabashedly shuns fad. The beige and pink L-shaped room with red leather banquettes, framed water colors, wall-recesses housing mostly Italian wines and a mahogany bar offers a gentle & civilized atmosphere.

The greeting by the owner is warm and welcoming, and the staff is always excellent). The bar makes a superb Negroni and the wine list has improved. The Travaglini Gattinara, made from the famed Nebbiolo grape offers fine value and there is a lovely Roero Arneis,Bruno Giacosa for around $70.

Simple items like PROSCIUTTO SAN DANIELLE, imported prosciutto with seasonal fresh fruits are lovey & Polipo (octopus salad) with steamed potato, red onions, caper berries, olive oil and lemon is well executed. Pastas are enormous and can  easily be split as an appetizer or in-betweener. Crespelle, ricotta and spinach crepes in a fresh tomato sauce is delicious at Montebello, as is a perfect linguini and white clam sauce, garnished with only one in its shell, (we added a dash of hot pepper added for good measure).

It would be hard to find a better broiled veal chop: huge, juicy and pink as requested with an aromatic salsa verde. The roasted rack of lamb with Dijon mustard; aromatic breadcrumbs and dry white wine are lovely. This is, by far, the best food I’ve had at Montebello. Well the chef should know his stuff. He’s been there 8 years. Not designed for the gastro-molecular crowd, here is classic (and classy) cooking in a civilized setting, amidst warm glowing sconces and soft coral walls highlighting lovely murals.

There is a tempting dessert-wagon, but being sated, we should have chosen fresh blue berries & a bit of Parmesan cheese. Instead we went for the terrific cannoli, Italian cheesecake and tiramisu.  Finish with some fine cappuccino and homemade Grappa and you’ll agree that Montebello at 120 E. 56th Street, Bet. Park & Lexington Avenues rates an A Major on The Walman Report.

montebello paintng

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

Advertisements

Bar Boulud, Boston Makes Its Debut At Mandarin Oriental, Boston

boston bar baloud int

The award-winning Mandarin Oriental, Boston and Chef Daniel Boulud have opened Bar Boulud, Boston. The French-inspired bistro and wine bar is Chef Boulud’s first restaurant in Boston, and second partnership with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The restaurant follows the successful format of Bar Boulud, New York, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and Chef Daniel Boulud’s first UK restaurant, Bar Boulud, London, located at Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, both of which have achieved significant acclaim. This approachable restaurant concept is known for its traditional French bistro fare, seasonal New England inspired dishes, signature charcuterie with recipes by renowned Parisian charcutier Gilles Verot, and an impressive wine cellar showcasing Burgundy and the Rhone Valley, well-suited for leisurely dining, business meetings or special occasions.

Chef Aaron Chambers, most recently Executive Chef at Boulud Sud in New York City, leads the daily culinary operations of Bar Boulud, Boston as Chef de Cuisine with a menu that includes an impressive selection of traditional terrines and pâtés, such as: Pâté Grand Mère, chicken liver, pork, cognac and Pâté Grand-Père, foie gras, pork and truffle, along with an assortment of signature sausages such as:Boudin Blanc, white pork sausage with truffled mashed potatoes and apple and Boudin Noir, blood sausage with mashed potatoes, apple and caramelized onions.

A selection of grilled beef burgers adds an American touch to the menu with: ‘The Frenchie,’ topped with pork belly confit, arugula, Dijon, tomato compote and Morbier cheese on brioche bun and ‘The Piggie,’ topped with barbecued pulled pork, jalapeño mayonnaise, and a red cabbage slaw. Additional menu highlights include: the classic Coq au Vin, with red wine-braised Amish chicken, bacon lardons, pearl onions, tender baby carrots and trumpet royale mushrooms;Handmade Chitarra Pasta, laced with local Wellfleet clams, bottarga, fennel and chili garlic; New England Sole Meunière, served with cauliflower, marcona almonds, capers, brown butter and fresh parsley; and a hearty Croque Monsieur, served on house-made brioche, layered with melted Gruyère cheese and house-made ham.

Continue reading

212 A Steakhouse Like No Other & You Can Afford It.

212 fromt room bar

212 Steakhouse is located at 316 East 53rd Street between 1st and 2nd avenues, http://www.212steakhouse.com, 212-858-0646, is open for dinner Sun-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11:30pm and is available for private events. Lunch coming soon.

212 lounge

212 back room

Makes Inaccessible Cuts of Beef Accessible

The brainchild and passion project of entrepreneur Nikolay Volper, 212 Steakhouse is a modern steakhouse with a unique concept: making true Japanese Kobe beef and other top notch cuts of beef accessible to the general public, offering a wide range of the highest quality beef at prices that are 60-80% below market rate. (The discount doesn’t represent a sale or promotion, but rather an on-going and permanent commitment to value and to educating consumers.)

Kobe beef is a rare delicacy no matter how you slice it. Highly regulated by the Japanese government, only a limited amount of authentic Kobe beef exists, and a very small percentage is exported to the U.S. In fact, 212 Steakhouse is the only restaurant on the East Coast officially approved by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association from Japan to offer authentic Kobe beef. This association guarantees the supreme quality of the certified authentic Kobe beef served here, attested to by the certificate that hangs in the entryway of the restaurant. For more information on the association, please visit www.kobe-niku.jp/englishtop.html.

212 kobe beef

From the elegant yet comfortable cocktail lounge in the front, to the expansive bar designed for eating as well as drinking to the rustic wood tables with woven placemats in the dining room, Volper has created a different kind of steakhouse.

Kobe beef from Japan is bred of Tajima-gyu calves only from designated producers in Hyogo Prefecture, fed only the very best feed in stress-free and healthy environments, matured to an ideal quality and texture to an average age of 32 months and then rigorously graded for selection. The flavor of Kobe beef is unforgettable because of the harmony of delicate, sweet lean meat shot throughout with fragrant fat that literally melts-in-your-mouth.

For those who have never tasted the real thing, 212 Steakhouse offers the opportunity to try the beautifully marbled meat for a fraction of the cost: $15/ounce as compared to $45. (Minimum serving four ounces.) Most steak eaters find that they are satisfied with a small portion of the ultra rich Kobe beef. We have enjoyed Kobe beef at many restaurants in the US, Europe and Japan, but have never tasted such excellence before 212. Always tender, at 212 Steakhouse, the marbling and taste is beyond description.

212 wagyu 40 pz

(Above) Dry-Aged Porterhouse 28 oz for one. Beats American Beef (Amazing)

These value prices also apply to other prime cuts of meat: Owner Nikolay Volper has made a commitment to make the highest quality beef in the world accessible to 212 diners, providing an impressive range of cuts at drastically reduced prices including Kobe beef ribeye, strip loin and tenderloin as well as USDA Prime bone-in filet mignon; Australia Wagyu skirt steak, dry-aged bone-in ribeye and porterhouse for one or two, and both American and Japanese Wagyu striploin with meat sourced from the Fremont Beef Company, one of the few authorized wholesalers in the country.

To ensure that this is a sustainable effort, diners enter into an implicit contract to order at least one menu item other than steak. But with the excellent collaboration between the owner and executive chef Christos Kalamvokis, choosing appetizers, salads and side dishes is a very satisfying proposition. Formerly of Kellari, Kalamvokis shared his expertise on Greek cuisine by teaching in Brazil, and began his career at Uncle George’s in Astoria, where he mastered the art of grilled whole fish and meats and other Greek specialties.

What makes 212 Steakhouse even more remarkable is just how varied and interesting the rest of the menu is. Not content to provide the usual sides, appetizers and token alternatives to steak, the Greek and Mediterranean-influenced menu is so complete that a non-beef eater could easily visit 212 Steakhouse dozens of times and never have the same meal.

212 tuna tartar

An ideal meal begins with cold appetizers such as a wonderfully colorful interpretation of ceviche of wild salmon, avocado, mango, radish, minced jalapeno and lime zest, or yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado, highlighted with thinly sliced cucumbers and a bright and intriguing wasabi lemon sauce (beautiful to look at, elegant and exquisite). There’s also imported burrata wrapped in 18-month aged prosciutto di Parma with baby arugula. Equally compelling are hot appetizers such as thinly sliced of zucchini chips, fried until crisp and puffy, flavored with garlic and accompanied by yogurt-dill dipping sauce, or grilled sushi quality octopus with red-wine vinegar marinated red onions and sweet mini peppers, or the dramatically presented graviera cheese, brought to the table with a brandy flambé. Organic spinach soup with roasted feta crouton, a deeply satisfying dish that borrows from Volper’s Bulgarian heritage, is a thickened with yogurt and filled with swirls of fresh spinach.

212 branzino

The freshly caught whole fish such as branzino, dorado and black sea bass, are simply grilled with organic Sicilian olive oil, lemon and herbs, are priced per pound, and are presented filleted and are perfect, as only a Greek-trained chef can prepare them. Other seafood options include swordfish kebabs, wild salmon filet and freshly grilled Maine lobster in the shell. Guests can also enjoy decadent risottos with moderate price tags such as wild mushroom and truffle risotto or black risotto with seafood. The impressive array of side dishes include ethereal baked polenta fries

212 polentawith parmesan, tender sautéed Brussels sprouts212 sprouts with sun-dried tomatoes, a heavenly mix of mushrooms and an addictive tangy-lightly sweet eggplant caponata composed with pine nuts, raisins and olives.

212 octopus

Grilled sushi quality octopus  (Above) is the best in NY.

The beverage program is up to the challenge set by the cuisine and includes a wide-ranging wine list that represents a fine selection of wines from United States, France, and around the world. The by-the-glass list includes a wonderful selection of Champagnes, Prosecco, and excellent whites and reds from Sonoma, The Loire Valley and Tuscany, as well as Sauternes and Ports. There’s also a choice of sake and beer. Guests can even try one-ounce vintage pours of spectacular wines such as 1975 Château Mouton Rothschild, 1994 Château Petrus or 1985 Château Margaux to match their Kobe beef. Spirits are equally well represented with a broad selection of single malt Scotches and other fine whiskies, bourbons and cognac as well the finest top shelf spirits for classic cocktails. The cocktail menu includes inventive and luxurious cocktails such as the Beluga, built with Beluga Vodka, ginger syrup, fresh lime and a caviar cube and the Diamond—Atlantico Rum, club soda, Chambord and a diamond cut sugar cube. The list of bubbly cocktails includes Gold, composed of Taittinger Prestige Brut with orange bitters and 23K gold flakes.

We loved the honesty, care, quality and price-points of 212 Steakhouse. Service is attentive and friendly and the bar makes a good martini. There are just a few housemade desserts: Crème Brulee and Chocolate soufflé. Both are lovely. But best of all, 212 Steakhouse breaks the mold of ubiquitous NY Steak House and is a joy.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

 

Continue reading

Tamarind TriBeCa Offers NY’s Most Glamorous Indian Dining Experience

Tamarind int TBC1

The Dramatic Tamarind Restaurant.

99 Hudson Street

  • (Btwn Franklin & Leonard St)

Telephone number/Tamarind TriBeCa is 212-775-9000

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. Its full menu is available at the bar.

Click Here To Visit The website

Click Here To Make a reservation On Open Table

.tamarind chops

Not To Be Missed. The Amazing MASALEDAR CHOP (Lamb chops marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, aromatic Indian herbs), Pictured Above.

tamarind Mr. Walia useAvtar Walia,(pictured left) previously owner of the acclaimed Tamarind in the Flatiron section (now closed), is devoting his energies to his newest restaurant Tamarind TriBeCa in Manhattan’s prime and most sought-after neighborhood.The architect and designer of Tamarind TriBeCa is Wid Chapman, who heads the award-wining firm of Wid Chapman Architects in New York. The modern 11,000 square foot space seats 175 people on two levels, the main dining room and a 1,500 square foot mezzanine.  At the entrance is a stylish bar and cocktail lounge with a marble and onyx bar, and a communal wine table framed by a wall of Brazilian teak, and lit by an illuminated wine display.

Dramatic ceiling high windows face Hudson and Franklin Streets, adding drama to dining at Tamarind, and L-shaped banquette seating in low booths can be found around many of the windows. Another interior element is the wide range of materials and shapes used to create the imaginative custom lighting, both ceiling mounted and wall displayed.  These edgy designs are used to define each of the varied areas in the restaurant.  Limestone clad columns reach the 18 foot ceilings and below, polished, sustainable teak wood and streaked marble, cover the floors. Intimate booths with banquette seating and sheer curtain dividers are located under the mezzanine. A floating cantilevered stair leads up to the mezzanine to be used for dining, private parties and special events.  The area is surrounded by glass which visually connects diners on the two levels

The overall effect is breathtaking and dazzling and is enhanced by extraordinary service, under the direction of  the polished Manager Christopher Corda. (Don’t forget to check out the new Tamarind Lotus Room, bar lounge area and  the mezzanine).

The food represents many of India’s diverse regions to produce new dishes and classic fare, in addition to selected offerings drawn from Tamarind’s original Flatiron location.. Anchoring the TriBeCa site is a windowed tandoor kitchen crowned by a unique black metal roof.

tamarind scallops

Among the exceptional dishes featured on Tamarind’s menu are: Puff pastry, filled with melted cheese (yes it’s mozzarella, but who cares. It’s delicious).  Dover sole is baked in a clay pot, layered with whole spices, and bathed in a pasanda sauce;  while Lobster is combined with shitake mushrooms, chopped onions, garlic, and  white wine;  Bataki Kosha, An unusual Duck dish, is hand rolled in a rice crepe, with onions, garlic, ginger, garam masala; while Prawns are sautéed in coconut, lemongrass, dried red chilies, spiced chickpea flour cake.

Also loved: Achari hiran ki chhampen, the legendary Venison chops marinated in pickling spices, roasted chickpea flour and hung yogurt;  MASALEDAR CHOP (Lamb chops marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, aromatic Indian herbs was equally divine; MALAI HALIBUT, Halibut flavored with mace, cardamom, in coconut, ginger sauce may the the seafood star; Raan e Dumpukht, Lamb shank braised in Indian rum, onions, cashew nuts, saffron and nutmeg is the best shank I’ve had in years: fork tender, huge and impeccably spiced (worthy of a visit in its own right); MAJJIGA PULUSU, a fascinating mélange of Buttermilk, green plantains, yams, radishes, white pumpkin, carrots, okra, mustard seeds,and curry leaves.

Of course you must order the superb Indian breads (check out the minted and rosemary varieties) and flavored rice as well as cooling flavored yogurt and sweet chutney on the side. And don’t skip dessert. Tamarind TriBeCa takes them seriously. We loved the fruited cheese cake and warm carrot pudding and there are many others to choose from.

tamarind dessert

Tamarind’s focus has always been to pair fine wines with the food his chefs prepare. And the TriBeCa restaurant has increased the number and variety of wines in its inventory.  Prices are fair and the selection is good. Tamarind maintains a well-stocked full service bar and high end products. The cocktails are both inventive and generous.

Forget all your clichés regarding Indian food and for an elegant night out or just some of the best Indian cooking in Manhattan, head for Tamarind TriBeCa. You won’t be disappointed.

Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa in the Seychelles Becomes “BEYOND All-Inclusive”

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa in Mahé, Seychelles introduces the new “BEYOND All-Inclusive” concept beginning November 1, 2014. This new approach includes a myriad of services such as a dedicated butler, high-speed Wi-Fi, complimentary laundry service, all daily meals, soft drinks and premium alcoholic beverages as well as food a la carte on a “Whatever, Wherever, Whenever” basis. Additional activities introduced include morning Yoga or Qi Gong, non-motorized sports plus unlimited scuba diving.

Located on 30 acres of award-winning gardens on the main island of Mahé, MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa features 30 private villas, all with 180-degree uninterrupted sea views. While staying at MAIA guests can choose between two villa categories, the “Ocean Panoramic” villas or the “MAIA Signature” villas. Designed by leading architect Bill Bensley, each villa offers guests the perfect escape while vacationing at MAIA.

   Dotting the hillside are the nineteen Ocean Panoramic villas, each offering guests exquisite views of MAIA’s lush gardens and the blue waters of the ocean below. Additionally, the eleven “MAIA Signature” villas are located closer to the shore and provide guests direct access to the surf and sand. Guests booking the “MAIA Signature” villa also enjoy additional inclusions like early check-in and late check-out, their choice of Champagne as well as in-villa offerings such as daily private yoga, one-time mani-pedi, and a specially prepared barbecue.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved. http://www.culinarygourmet.wordpress.com/disclosure

Continue reading