My (Breakfast, Lunch and) Dinner with André…

Technorati Tags:

Handsome, Debonair and Robust,

New Dining Destination André Set to Wine & Dine the Upper East Side

 André full room good

Designed by Jordan Mozer and nestled into the newly branded Renaissance Hotel, André will be open for breakfast Monday – Friday 7am – 11am and Saturday – Sunday from 8am – 11am; Brunch on Saturday & Sunday from 11:30am – 4pm; Lunch Monday – Friday from 11:30am – 3:30pm and Dinner Monday – Saturday from 5:30pm –11pm, closed for dinner on Sundays. For

reservations call 212-688-3939 or visit


By Nancy Walman

The setting, a cozy and intimate restaurant on the corner of 57th Street and Lexington Avenue. The menu, Contemporary-French with American accents, directed by new Executive Chef Ted Pryor. Your host, a new, yet seasoned, kid on the block called André.

Longtime restaurateurs Frederick Lesort andantoinebleck2_small Antoine Blech (above) have conjured up a new neighborhood staple that will wine and dine locals, tourists and the like for any occasion. Whether you are meeting business associates for a power breakfast over Baked Eggs with truffled shallot cream or Apple Brioche French Toast…have breakfast with André. After a much needed break between Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf’s on a hot summer day, indulge in a cold, crisp glass of Chardonnay and a lovely salad of smokey Grilled Prawns, Avocado and Mango… have lunch with André. Looking to cozy up with a bottle of Pinot Noir and tasty Hangar Steak Frites with sauce Bordelaise to match … have dinner with André.

Technorati Tags:

“André offers what we believe to be a much needed and welcoming addition to this neighborhood,” says partner Antoine Blech. “In today’s tough climate with iconic restaurants being forced to shut and diners looking for an affordable, inviting and comfortable spot to call their own, André is stepping up to the plate. Between our restaurant know-how from years of service in the community, our ideal location on a busy corner on the Upper East Side and our new chef’s culinary flair, a new restaurant for today’s diner, is born.”

 opia 1photo_newbar The Inviting bar of André’s sister: Opia.

Chef Pryor has created a very current, elegant and approachable menu for André, named for the middle name both Lesort and Blech share. Each dish presented is neither too large nor too minimal answering the need for sensible portions. Each plate has been designed to offer just the right amount of ingredients, color, texture and satisfaction.

For dinner, guests will enjoy seasonal appetizers such as  a fresh and outstanding  Jonas Crab Salad with pea puree, zucchini blossom’s and a mango vinaigrette; André, Jambon de Bayonne & Melon Trio

Jambon de Bayonne and Melon Trio with poppy seed vinaigrette (a dish so pretty it’s almost a shame to eat…almost); and tender Lobster Ravioli with summer squash, baby basil and lobster bisque. 

Main courses feature several seafood options, including a superb André, Warm Poached Lobster Salad Warm Poached Lobster Salad with baby golden beets and osetra caviar; Poached Atlantic Salmon with new potatoes, Jersey asparagus and sauce vierge that is the best rendition of this over visited fish-fellow in town; as well as dishes such as andre steakphoto_menu_4 Herb-Encrusted Rack of Lamb with haricot vert and pomme sarladaise. Pasta lovers will appreciate Lightly Braised Maya Shrimp with fresh Tagliatelle and Fresh Pappardelle with morels and Jersey asparagus.

Desserts are outstanding and not to be missed. The floating island, molten chocolate cake and cookie plate are memorable.

For a casual lunch a must-have Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich on grilled bread with avocado, red onion, tomato and lemon vinaigrette, is offered along with entrée-sized salads in addition to the full dinner menu. For breakfast, which can be enjoyed on any of the three newly expanded balconies, guests can choose from a variety of egg dishes as well as Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes with apple butter and spiced apple compote, Rise & Shine Shake with yogurt and fresh fruit and Stone Ground Oatmeal with cinnamon, bananas and raisins.  A delightful Jazz Brunch is also served on both Saturdays and Sundays.


By day, guests can have breakfast and lunch from the new André menu throughout the entire space and at night the intimate and cozy 36-seat corner dining room overlooking Lexington Avenue serves up André’s top-notch cuisine, while the newly refurbished front area serves as the well-known Opia Lounge. Opia Lounge features a lively crowd for international sporting events, live entertainment on Mondays and a tasty lounge menu which includes a variety of sliders, flatbreads, fresh made sushi and refreshing cocktails.

andre antoinephoto_cd

Let’s not forget the music and if you are lucky, you may catch the movie star handsome and talented M. Bleck. We’ll do a special feature on that soon. IN the mean time go to André’s  while you can still get it. Undiscovered and wonderful, it rates A Major on The Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punchin International. All rights reserved.


Continue reading


Technorati Tags: ,,,



50 Commerce Street

Open for dinner Monday-Saturday from 5:30 to 11pm. Sunday brunch begins on November 9, from 11:00 to 4:00pm. For reservations, call 212-524-2301.

Great Things Come In Small Packages

By Nancy Walman

For those who don’t know it, the quiet, curved street that gently comes to abend at 50 Commerce Street holds a pleasant surprise, a beautiful historic relic of old New York, lovingly restored with a focused attention to detail. For those who knew the address as Blue Mill or Grange Hall, or even those who know it now as Commerce, there are even more pleasant surprises inside: food that continues to live up to expectations, no matter how high the bar is set.

While the atmosphere is purposely casual and convivial, the cuisine is stellar. Yet, it’s not the fussy food one might expect from Chef/Owner Harold Moore, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of Montrachet, Jean-George’s Mercer Kitchen and Daniel. Instead, Chef Moore and co-owner Tony Zazula (founder and owner of Montrachet) have decided to bring a high level of cooking in an approachable manner to a truly comfortable setting. Through their years of experience, the two owners began to understand what diners today were looking for—a direct and unintimidating dining experience with top-notch food in a comfortable environment and at a reasonable and moderate price.

The menu at Commerce consists of items that are familiar, but not ordinary, and continue to surprise with the brightness and boldness of the flavors, the freshness of the ingredients and the brilliance of the combinations. For example, the fresh marinated hamachi ceviche will brighten your palate with the flavors of yuzu, chili and cilantro.

Even when the dishes are homey, comfort foods, the technique and flavor supersedes the typical preparations. This is a place where everything is done the old-fashioned way. From baking the marvelous varieties of bread in-house (soft pretzels rolls, olive bread, ciabatta, brioche, etc.) to butchering the meat and preparing terrines from scratch, Chef Moore is heavily tied to tradition.

Cooking relies on manual skills, he says, but it ties into memory, too. Every meal at Commerce recalls a memory and a respect for tradition.

The duck and foie gras rillettes terrine with black cherry shallot jam is an unforgettable way to start your meal. The fall vegetable fricassee with truffles and poached egg is almost impossibly delicate.

At Commerce, the focus is on making simple things very well. Hence, the selection of dishes prepared for two evoke comfort food, but elevate it to another level entirely. If possible, go with a group and try either the perfect whole roasted chicken for two served with foie gras bread stuffing and potato mousseline is tender, juicy and delicious or the superb leg of milk fed lamb for two, with a surprising accompaniment of sweet peas and ricotta agnolotti, may be the most tender and delicious lamb you ever tasted (served for 3).

As for the individual entrees, some patrons are already addicted to the spaghetti carbonara with black pepper and coddled egg yolk, while others wouldn’t want to do without the spice roasted lobster with gingerbread and squash. Everyone should be able to find something they like on the Commerce menu. Market specials change weekly, incorporating the freshest seasonal ingredients available.

Desserts are a perfect fit for the menu and the scene. They include a stunning chocolate hazelnut mille feuille with a shiny layer of chocolate on top, with hazelnuts and salty caramel; roasted pineapple cheese cake; familiar desserts to share such as dark chocolate soufflé (with a touch of passion fruit crème anglaise); and a classic apple “tarte tatin” served with a trio of ice creams. And let’s not for get the beautiful cheeses and condiments

Chef Moore serves as mentor to his staff, recreating the experience of how he was trained by Daniel Boulud and other chefs and paying homage to his mentors. Tony Zazula brings over 30 years of experience as a restaurateur to the table with the same fresh enthusiasm he had when he first started out. Zazula oversaw the entire restoration, creating a space that gleams like new while evoking the history of the landmark building. The interior design included installing an original antique Brunswick bar circa 1941, hand-crafted sconces, subway tiling in the bar area, and marble mosaic columns in the dining room, and restoration of the original terrazzo floors. The seating includes booths restored by a carpenter who does theatrical movie sets with chestnut leather, and tables with handmade black walnut wood tops. Recently, two new murals by David Joel in a style reminiscent of Diego Rivera were added to the dining room. They depict the tale of two sisters, “A Common Ground for Sisters’ Story” whose sea captain father bought them the adjoining townhouses across the street from Commerce, with a common garden connecting the two properties in the hope of bringing the feuding sisters together.

Commerce, like Blue Hill, is one of those extraordinary New York restaurants that recall the exuberance and dedication of the perfect Parisian bistro, yet the food is decidedly American, local and pristine. The service is benevolent and the wine list is a joy. A bit hard to find, just tell your taxi to stay on Commerce St. past the Cherry Lane Theater and you’ll be well rewarded.

That’s A Major On The Walman Report. A real must!

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.




Montenapo Restaurant offers authentic modern and traditional Italian cuisine from all regions of Italy. Chefs Lucarelli and Gallina are passionate about creating exquisitely flavorful meals that are healthy and natural. They do this by choosing only the highest quality products including organic vegetables, organic rice, and whole grains, as well as grass fed beef, free range poultry and wild caught fish. All pastas, breads and breadsticks homemade from scratch on premises. The artistically designed gourmet desserts including pastries, sorbets and ice creams will all be freshly prepared at Montenapo using only the most natural ingredients.

Housed within the Renzo Piano-designed New York Times Building, the restaurant occupies 5,200 square feet of glass-enclosed dining space facing the unique and beautiful inner birch-and-moss garden in the center atrium of the building. Named after the famous designer-shopping street Via Montenapoleone in Milan, the contemporary yet comfortable design exemplifies the easy chic of Italian style and harmonizes with the luminous aesthetic of the much heralded newspaper building, as will its modern take on classic Italian fare. Serving lunch and dinner, Chefs Lucarelli and Gallina showcase their bold interpretation and imaginative approach to incorporating incredible flavors, delicacies and varieties of foods into their menu.

Opening Date:
May 20, 2009

Hours of Operation:
11:30am to midnight, seven days a week

The New York Times Building
250 West 41st Street (between 7th and 8th avenues)
New York, NY 10018

Reservations: (212) 764- 7663 / Take-out: (212) 764-7227

Website and Email: /

Owners and Management:
Jozef Juck, Managing Partner/General Manager
HKHotels & Hospitality

Executive Chef & Consulting Chef:
German Lucarelli and Giacomo Gallina

Seats 200 in dining room and bar



By Nancy Walman

Montenapo is a 200 seat restaurant and bar, facing the unique and beautiful inner birch-and-moss garden in the center of The New York Times Building. Occupying 5,200 square feet of glass-enclosed diningspace, the contemporary design harmonizes with the luminous aesthetic of the much heralded newspaper building as does its modern take on classic Italian fare.

Upon entering Montenapo, all eyes will gravitate to the fabulous birch-and-moss garden with its 50-foot-tall paper birch trees – a focal point as guests enter the restaurant on W. 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. A staircase leads down from the street to the dramatic dining space with its 23-foot-high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows on three sides.

Executive Chef German Lucarelli, who had a long career with Bice Restaurant in Paris, London, and most recently New York, before taking over the kitchen at Montenapo, has created an eclectic menu for the fine-dining restaurant.

“The principal concept of Montenapo is natural and organic ingredients,” said Lucarelli, who designed the menu with world renowned Italian Master-Chef Giacomo Gallina. “The menu is authentic Italian cuisine with a commitment to the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients. We want to create truly inspired dishes thoughtfully prepared in a way that allows the natural flavors to be savored.”

The restaurant’s name is a casual diminutive for Via Montenapoleone – an elegant street in Milan famous for fashion and jewelry shops. Chef Lucarelli promises a traditional yet informal, approach to his dishes to be enjoyed in a beautiful atmosphere with an engaging staff dedicated to providing a personalized dining experience.

Serving lunch and dinner, Chefs Lucarelli and Gallina showcase their bold interpretation and imaginative approach to incorporating incredible flavors, delicacies and varieties of foods into their menu. Outstanding appetizers include herb-cured buffalo carpaccio with celery and mustard drizzle, pancetta-wrapped green asparagus in tallegio cheese sauce and poached egg, and an amazing 24 month aged Parma ham with burratina and Sicilian tomatoes. The most impressive starter was seared jumbo scallops, resting on sunchoke puree and dusted with fresh black summer truffles in a delicate veal reduction, garnished with micro greens. A MUST dish if there ever was one.

Pasta course offerings are split into the Modern, with dishes like dry vermouth and lemon zest trofie pasta with baby scampi bisque, and honey mint ricotta-filled mezzaluna with sweet tomato sauce; and the Classic, featuring fresh vongole linguini with Spumanti wine sauce, large home made pappardelle with lamb ragout and thyme, and acquarello organic carnaroli rice with Iranian saffron parmesan cheese, white wine, onion, edible gold flakes and drizzled with a red wine reduction. We adored the spaghetti in sea urchin sauce with cured Bottarga, garlic and spicy peppers and an earthy rigatoni with cured organic pork jowl, braised white onions and Parmesan cheese.

The Piatti Principali – such as baked lugurian filet of dentice (red snapper) with fingerling potatoes and olives, anis-scented Tuscan zuppa di pesce with cherry tomato broth, veal chop Milanese with verbena salad, and original Ossobuco Montenapo – accent the Chefs’ flair for versatility and style.

A chef’s table for eight to 12 people offers a menu customized to the desires of the group as well as visits from the chef to share insights as to how their meal was prepared. Montenapo also features an extensive selection of wines, exclusively from Italy – except for the champagnes, which will come from France. It would be prudent to allow the charming Jozef Juck, Managing Partner, to select some of the hidden bargains on the excellent wine list. We welcome his presence in the restaurant, where a professional and gentle touch is becoming a lost art in New York City. Besides the irresistible deserts, there is a fine selection of cheese, beautifully presented and in perfect condition.

For that special night on the town, Montenapo is the best Italian restaurant to open in 2009 and rates A Major on The Walman Report. This one is special!

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading




182 West 58th Street at 7th Ave., ?New York, NY 10019 ? Phone : 212-245-2214 ?Fax : 212-245-2812 Email :


182 West 58th Street
(58th St. at 7th Ave.)
New York, NY 10019

Click here to make yourreservationonline:

Phone : 212-245-2214
Fax : 212-245-2812
Email :;

Hours of operation: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 3:00 pm

Brunch: Sat-Sun 11:30 am – 3:00 pm

Dinner: Mon-Sat 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Dinner: Sun 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

_______________________________________________________ Petrossian (NY) Interior

The Elegant Main Dining Room

By Nancy Walman

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. Petrossian NY was founded in 1984. The restaurant, housed in the historic Alwyn Court Building, one block from Carnegie Hall and four blocks from Lincoln Center, serves a French-influenced contemporary menu that features the caviar, smoked fish, and foie gras delicacies for which Petrossian is famous, but also sports a superb kitchen. Lunch, dinner, & brunch can be enjoyed at either the art deco style mirrored bar or in the dining room. The décor features Lalique crystal wall sconces, bronze sculptures from the 1930’s, etched Erté mirrors and Limoges china.

The $35 Prix fixe dinner (served all evening through Labor-day) is one of Manhattan’s best buys in luxury dining. Recommended dishes include blini, airy puffs of heaven, which a waiter dabs with crème fraiche and then adds caviar. An assortment of Petrossian’s Zakouskis (a variety of hors d’oeuvres) is another choice starter, as is the silky smoked salmon. There is a remarkable lobster risotto and the cold salmon with dilled potato salad from the prix fixe is delicious. All desserts are marvelous. Russian cheesecake with dried fruits and candied brittle (a special) and the gianduja chocolate cake (for two) steal the show. Drink iced Petrossian vodka (very smooth) or one of the excellent Champagnes. Service is as good as it gets and Petrossian, 182 West 58th Street, is one of NY’s best “Fine Dining” restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Enjoy MORE

PETROSSIAN BOUTIQUE & CAFÉ is kicking off this fourth of July with an affordable summer picnic basket filled with Petrossian’s incomparable selection of delicacies wrapped and ready to go for $20.00.

Choose the Petrossian smoked salmon baguette alongside organic greens and a white wine vinaigrette or a ham, lettuce, and tomato Swiss cheese baguette with a homemade mayonnaise and tangy mustard sauce, both packed with an assortment of six homemade buttery shortbread cookies and a thirst quenching 250ml bottle of San Pellegrino — all wrapped air-tight in a reusable wire basket (think plants or other picnic forays) with utensils and a napkin on which to spread the spread.

Other selections are also available for the same price or design your own picnic basket. Snack on the caviar picnic basket for $20 dollars which offers homemade savory croutons, a 30g tin of American salmon roe, your choice of a freshly baked fruit tart or dark chocolate gateau, and a bottle of San Pellegrino.

These scrumptious summer picnic baskets will be offered through Labor Day and can be picked up at the Petrossian cafe and boutique, 911 Seventh Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets, located just half a block from the Petrossian restaurant. Call ahead at 212.245.2217 to make sure a basket is freshly packed for you and ready when you arrive, or come in and create your own basket with Nia, the boutique manager. The boutique also offers hostess gift baskets and other delicacies, or visit

Continue reading

21 Club


21-onyc 720x300 entrance27

21 W. 52nd Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues). (212) 582-7200. Website: Price Range: Bar Room. Pre-Fixe Dinner, Three courses – $35, Through Labor Day. A La Carte: Appetizers: $16-$28. Entrees: $35-$47. (Specials and Shellfish More). Tasting Menu: $90. (Wines included – $150) (Monday through Saturday). Secret Wine Cellar for private dining parties only from 14 to 22 guests. Open For Lunch, Mon.-Fri. Dinner: Mon.-Sat. Closed Sunday. ’21’ Features One of the World’s Finest Selection of Wines (1,300 selections over 125 wines are priced under $60. ) There are many Wines-By-The-Glass and a Fine Selection of Half Bottles at a remarkably low mark up over full bottles.


A True New York Legend, ’21’ is Beter Than Ever

By Nancy Walman


Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. Once a glamorous speakeasy, today ’21’ is one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City. In addition to its fabled Bar Room, this four-story townhouse features ten private dining rooms, including the legendary Prohibition-era Wine Cellar (which can be reserved for private parties). The world’s most glamorous saloon, is better than ever since Orient Express Hotels took it over and restored it to its past glory. The clientele is a mix of celebrities, tycoons, mature-regulars and an attractive new young set. The aforementioned “Bar Room,” with its red-checkered-cloth-to-cloth tables, and whimsical toys on the ceiling is blessed with a warm greeting by Roger Rice and some of the most professional service and best food in town.

21-chefChef, John Greeley

While prices are not inexpensive, a $35 pre-fixe dinner is a bargain. An expanded wine list offers oodles of selections for $60 and under. If you go a la carte, favored appetizers include a decadent Smoked Berkshire Pork Belly, on red cabbage, with jicama, cashews and spicy mango chili sauce or a chunky Ahi Tuna Tartare, with ginger and yuzu dressing, avocado and cucumber salad, pea shoots and taro root chips.

All entrees excellent. While you won’t find it on the menu request the Lemon Sole, lightly dusted with breadcrumbs and grilled to perfection or go for a 21 classic: the world’s best burger and Pommes Frites that rival the best in Paris. Chef Greeley shows his hand with contemporary seafood in a lovely Sautéed Florida Red Snapper, grilled asparagus, morels and citrus vinaigrette

Desserts are lush. Crème brûlée is the best we ever tasted. Ditto the superb Rice Pudding and the elegant Orange Polenta Cake, marscarpone panna cotta, vanilla griottines, and brandied cherry ice cream. The helpful sommelier, Philip W. Pratt, can find you a glass of terrific Champagne or wine that will accommodate any budget. (Two 1/2 bottles we suggest, if available, are the lively Laurent-Perrier “Brut” N.V. $42 and a surprisingly lush Aloxe-Corton“Vieilles Vignes” E. Cornu 2005 $47). Click Here to Download the Complete Wine List:

“21” at 21 West 52nd Street, is one of America’s great restaurants that truly RATES its reputation as well as A Major on the Walman Report.

21-somillier(Philip W. Pratt), one of New York’s most user friendly sommeliers


Pastry Chef Kimberly Bugler

.Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading

Rouge Tomate

Rouge Tomate
Opening Date: October 28, 2008
Owner: Emmanuel Verstraeten
Director of Operations:Erin Bellard
Executive Chef:Jeremy Bearman
General Manager:Oscar Henquet
Culinary Nutritionist:Natalia Rusin, R.D.
Executive Pastry Chef:James Distefano
Sommelier:Pascaline Lepeltier
Cuisine:Contemporary American, With a Bow to Health
Address:10 East 60th Street
(between Madison Avenue
and Fifth Avenue)
New York, NY 10022

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.,
Special Events:: Chris Crocco 646-237-8963
American Express, Discover,
MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club
N, R & W trains to Fifth Avenue;
4, 5 & 6 to 59th Street


Review By Nancy Walman


Something Different. Something Healthy. Something Delicious.

Rouge Tomate (in the former premises of New York’s fabled Copa Cabana) offers a casually elegant dining experience, with a 15-seat curved walnut and oak bar serving fresh juices and hand-crafted cocktails using house-made ginger ale, lemon-lime, and other sodas, tonics and mixers. A wide selection of wines and spirits, including bottles from top organic and biodynamic producers, rounds out the beverage program.

Under the direction of sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, one of France’s most acclaimed sommeliers, Rouge Tomate offers a carefully selected global wine list of over 200 domestic and international bins, including a handful of wines from New York estates. Divided by country and then region, Rouge Tomate’s wine list offers several biodynamic and sustainable wines. Approximately 15 wines are poured by the glass, ranging from $9 to $18, and another 15 half bottles start at $20. A generous selection of dessert wines, organic tea and coffee, after-dinner liquors and cocktails are also available. Let’s not neglect some of New York’s most inventive (and potent) cocktails, as well as the best martini imaginable, with olives, so fresh, they tasted just plucked.

Guests can relax and dine while seated on custom-made leather
chairs and sofas in neutral shades of cream and tan, in two
cantilevered booths suspended over the dining room below or
four semi-private booths, or café chairs and tables while
overlooking a floor-to-ceiling “wood tower,” wall-mounted oak
trellis and photographic art installations by Norwegian artist Per

The essence of the Rouge Tomate lifestyle is further enhanced in the serene spirit and atmosphere of the space. Bentel & Bentel created a soothing urban retreat, integrating elements from the outside environment including water, light wood, natural materials colorful foliage to strengthen the connection to nature. The restaurant’s dramatic design includes a natural color palette, back-lit oak wood walls, walnut hard-wood floors and an open kitchen designed according to the Golden Ratio, which symbolizes perfect harmony in architecture.
Rouge Tomate is dedicated to proactively addressing social and environmental issues, from the design of the restaurant to the development of the menu. A member of the Green Restaurant Association, Rouge Tomate reduces its carbon imprint by choosing ecological materials made from recycled or recyclable elements; using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood for floor and furniture whenever possible; using energy-efficient equipment such as ovens, refrigerators and lighting systems; giving preference to local and seasonal products; buying meats and poultry from farmers who feed animals with local plants; and selecting some wines by viticulturists who follow organic and biodynamic principles.

Signature dishes from executive chef Jeremy Bearman’s appetizer menu includes luscious Warm Asparagus and Farm Egg with White Asparagus Purée, Black Trumpets, and Shallot-Banyuls Vinaigrette; a superlative Duck and Pistachio Pâté with Rhubarb, Pickles, and Sourdough Toast and Heirloom Beet and Carrot Salad.

Entrees proffer Whole Brook Trout a la Plancha with Ramps, Broccolini, Market Shelling Beans and the best Vegetarian Fettuccine with spring vegetables we’ve ever tasted. The homemade chickpea pasta is sauced with a devastating melange of Morels, Fava Beans, Parsley Mint Pesto, Toasted Almonds and Golden Pineapple.

To end the meal, executive pastry chef James Distefano executes seasonally inspired desserts with skillful combinations of textures, flavors and savory-sweet balances: Soy Milk Panna Cotta with caramelized banana and maple gelee; Poached Autumn Fruits with stone ground oat crumble and rum raisin gelato; and Seasonal Fruit and Sorbet Plate. Assorted cookies are lovely but all desserts are wonderful, as is service and a $45 pre-theater dinner is a real bargain.

Downstairs, Rouge Tomate offers an eye catching space that wil feature a hot lounge, starting May 11.

And what other NY restaurant has a registered dietician on staff! Rouge Tomate is a delight from start to finish and rates A Major on The Walman Report.

Continue reading









MAY 12 – 16

By Nancy Walman

FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed “Best of New York” by New York Magazine, and “an invaluable New York institution” by The New York Post, continues its 10th Anniversary season with the debut engagement of Tony and six time Emmy winning actress TYNE DALY from May 12 to 16. Her show “Songs” is a collection of songs from the last century, including selections by Jule Styne, Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Cy Coleman. Directed by David Galligan, and featuring Music Director John McDaniel leading an all-star quintet, the show runs at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

TYNE DALY is best known for her work on TV’s “Cagney and Lacey” and her performance as Rose in the 1989 Gypsy Broadway revival. She was also Tony-nominated for her most recent appearance on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole.

Her other New York theater appearances include The Butter and Egg Man (NY debut), Mystery School (OCC nomination), Gypsy and The Seagull. Regional theater credits include Jenny Kissed Me, She Loves Me, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Private Ear/Public Eye, Oliver, The Birthday Party, Three Sisters, Ashes (U.S. Premiere), Gethsemane Springs and Come Back Little Sheba (LA Drama Logue Award).

Film roles include John and Mary, Play It As It Lays, Zoot Suit, The Enforcer and The Simian Line, as well as television movies “A Howling in the Woods,” “Larry,” “The Entertainer,” “Kids Like These,” “The Perfect Mother,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “Intimate Strangers” (Emmy nom). Her TV roles include “Judging Amy” (Emmy Award), “Christy” (Emmy Award), “Wings” (Emmy nom), “Cagney & Lacey” (four Emmy Awards), “Columbo,” “Magnum P.I.,” “The Mod Squad,” “McMillian and Wife,” “Ironside,” “Medical Center” and “The Virginian.” Recordings include Out of Town, Call Me Madam, Gypsy, The World According to Mr. Rogers (Grammy nom) and John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Ms. Daly was trained at the American Shakespeare Festival, Brandeis University and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY will play the following schedule: Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 PM and Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM and 10:30 PM. All shows have a $60.00 cover with $75.00 premium seats, both with a $40.00 food and beverage minimum. Jackets are suggested but not required. FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit us online at and CabaretNYC Rating: A Major

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading

La Fonda Del Sol

La Fonda Del Sol

Fonda del Sol 1

LOCATION 200 Park Avenue (at 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue) MetLife Building, New York, NY 10166

OPENED January 19, 2009

RESERVATIONS (212) 867-6767, additional: (212) 867-6867


OWNER/OPERATOR Patina Restaurant Group
Nick Valenti, Restaurateur and CEO


GENERAL MANAGER Santiago Pesantez

WINE DIRECTOR Nicholas Nahigian

MENU Modern Spanish Cuisine, with Latin influences and a focus on tapas.
Separate menus for the bar room and the dining room.

LAYOUT The split-level area consists of a bar room on the ground floor and a dining room on the upper level, separated by an illuminated glass wall behind the bar with an etched pattern.


DESIGN A sophisticated color palette mixes vibrant and neutral shades to revitalize the restaurant for the 21st century while still honoring its abstract, iconic design roots by Alexander Girard. Banquettes are upholstered in a vivid striped Paul Smith fabric; café floor is made up of black and white checkerboard terrazzo complemented by the geometric square ceiling pattern; bright red chairs and bar stools provide a pop of color. The dining room has an intimate atmosphere with dark brown limed oak panels and up-lighting, as well as a wine room. A three-dimensional oculus in the ceiling creates depth.



CAPACITY 80 seats in lounge, 24 stools at tapas bar
106 in main dining room

Review By Nancy Walman

Fonda del Sol NYC 2


A Classic: Even Better The Second Time Around

Patina Restaurant Group opened La Fonda del Sol on January 19, 2009, with Josh DeChellis as Executive Chef – 47 years after its inception. The restaurant provides an unprecedented stage for modern Spanish cuisine in New York. The menu includes an expansive selection of dishes from across Spain, with a focus on tapas.

“I was inspired not to duplicate our iconic property from the 1960’s, but rather to reinterpret its culinary ambition, high style and design,” said Patina Restaurant Group’s renowned restaurateur Nick Valenti. “La Fonda del Sol was ahead of its time and had a fresh, exotic appeal that I wanted to bring back.”

Chef Josh DeChellis’ extended stays in Spain, working at Martín Berasategui in Lasarte, Adolfo in Toledo and Arzak in San Sebastián, have allowed him to not only research but also to experience the unparalleled variety and nuances of the country’s cuisine and culture. Born in Bogota, Colombia, his background lends a Latin overlay to the menu at La Fonda del Sol, as does his creativity and clean, authentic style honed during his years as chef at some of New York’s most interesting restaurants including Sumile and Bar Fry.

La Fonda is bound to establish DeChellis as one of America’s most talented young chefs. Of a multi-course dinner, there wasn’t one clinker. Exquisite baby scallops were served raw in their shell with a squeeze of Meyer’s lemon as a teaser. This was followed by sushi grade Tuna Tacos with avocado and jalapeño pickled onion and the traditional Salt Cod Croquetas (like a Brandade) with romesco sauce. The next appetizer course consisted of Potted Duckling and Pork
with Oloroso Sherry wine on toasted bread, dramatically mixed tableside, the subtle flavor, a devastating and clever play on “Rillettes.” Equally wonderful, were melt in your mouth Braised Pork Cheeks with
judiones beans, sausage and parsnips and fresh asparagus with hand carved acorn fed Iberian ham and breaded Quail Egg on Micro Greens proved that less is definitely more and simple is always better.

For entrees we chose the not to be missed Cochinillo/Suckling Pig, with smoked dates and almonds. The parchment crisp skin and moist meat arrived in an aesthetic and contemporary presentation. Wild Halibut with shaved Hearts of Palm was lovely and Potatoes Brava, a side, should win the award as the best potato dish of the year.

You must precede desserts with Artisan Cheeses: Idiazabal, Valdeon Blue, Caña de Cabra, and Manchego or slices of “Pata Negra,” a remarkable ham, previously unavailable in America, with a glass of the unique dark dessert wine from Uruguay. But save room for a truly “Wicked” Chocolate Cake with Manjari Chocolate, Guajillo Chile, Cinnamon and Milk Ice Cream and the best Bunyols/Cinnamon Fritters we’ve ever tasted, here, served with Salty Caramel, Maracuya, Peppercorn Rose, and Orange Chocolate sauces.

The wine list is beautifully chosen and very reasonably priced (check out the two Cavas), as is the food. There is a fine selection by the glass. Signature cocktails are generous, wonderful and creative with the Margarita and Pisco Sour stealing the show. Service is rewarding, benevolent and professional.

The original La Fonda Del Sol was one of the first theme restaurants, created by Joe Baum and designed by Alexander Girard in the early sixties. Abstract and iconic, Girard’s design was reverent in its use of cultural references and folk art, and incorporated graphics, signs, menus, and matchboxes, in addition to tableware and uniforms.

This time around, The Patina Group commissioned Tihany Design to conceive the new space. Tihany utilized a sophisticated color palette mixing vibrant and neutral shades and sunburst graphics throughout – even extending to the china – to revitalize the restaurant for the 21st century, while still honoring its historical design roots. Tihany’s innovative design has breathed an inspired second wind into the original concept for a modern and lively result.

The split-level area consists of a café bar on the ground floor, and a dining room on the upper level. The two spaces are separated by an illuminated glass wall behind the bar with an etched sunburst pattern in order to enable guests in the café to see the action in the dining room. The café floor is made up of black and white checkerboard terrazzo reminiscent of the original La Fonda Del Sol, which is complemented by the geometric square ceiling pattern. Classic limed oak panels cover the walls while bright red chairs and bar stools, both with metal bases, provide a pop of color.

From the café bar, a softly lit stairwell leads guests up a short distance to the dining room. A carpet with sunburst patterns in hues of violet, mulberry, and cream atop dark brown covers the floor, harmonizing with a three-dimensional oculus ceiling feature to create depth. Gold leaf coats the highest point of the oculus. Dark brown limed oak panels with up-lighting at the top edge cover walls creating an intimate atmosphere. With a sophisticated color palette throughout, the back banquette is upholstered in brown, burgundy, and mulberry striped fabric, with custom dining room chairs in similar plum shades; all evocative of vibrant Latin American colors. Bursts of breathtaking flowers accentuate the whole. A wine room offering a premium selection of wine is visible in the back of the dining room. A photographic installation of abstract images representing matadors continues the vivid color story.

La Fonda del Sol Tuna Tacos

The Fabulous Tuna Tacos

La Fonda del Sol is located at 200 Park Avenue (enter on 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue) in the MetLife Building.Guests can make reservation by calling (212) 867-6767.

New York has finally received the luxury Spanish restaurant it has been waiting for. La Fonda del Sol is a dream come true and the finest Spanish restaurant in Manhattan. It is absolutely on a par with the city’s best French and Italian restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

Continue reading