$100 Million Renovation Features Luxurious Guestrooms, Marble Baths & Redesigned Public Areas That Include First US Location for Noted London Restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre

The Pierre, the iconic U.S. flagship of Taj Hotels on New York’s Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, will re-open June 1 following a meticulous $100 million renovation to create new guestroom and bath interiors and to reconfigure first floor public areas to accommodate a new restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, as well as 2 East, a new lobby lounge, and a graciously welcoming reception area.

“We’re extremely pleased with the results of our transformed residential-style interiors. The designs perfectly complement The Pierre’s classic ambiance of quiet refinement and restore a sense of the property’s original grandeur,” said Heiko Kuenstle, General Manager, The Pierre. “We look forward to welcoming guests to our distinctive world of luxury. We’re also excited to join forces with Le Caprice to introduce our new brasserie-style restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, the first restaurant outside of London for this celebrated UK favorite.”

Guestrooms & Suites

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Giovanni, 47 West 55th Street.

Located in Midtown Manhattan at 47 West 55th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, Giovanni is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30am-11pm. Currently, Giovanni accepts all major credit cards. For more information on private parties and reservations, please call 212-262-2828.


Review by Nancy Walman

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. In celebration of its 15th year in business, new bright colors and flavors are being added to the offerings at the Midtown Manhattan Northern Italian restaurant known as Giovanni. Chef Patrick brings over 30 years of culinary experience to the table that began with classical training in his hometown of Florence. It is his recognized straightforward, flavorful food that he brings to Giovanni.

Butternut Squash Soup with Amaretti Cookies and Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar is a creamy, tasty starter with crunch. While Calamari stewed with chickpeas, spinach and Barolo wine served over croutons offers tender, delicate bites of succulent, savory squid. One of the newest and boldest dishes on the Pasta menu is the in-house produced Spinach Tagliolini with Wild Boar Ragout and Cocoa. For the ultra-gourmand, Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Ragout is delicious.

The chef’s healthy, light cooking is showcased in (Whole) Roasted Sea Bream with rosemary and garlic that is finished with high-quality olive oil. All of the greens, salads, poultry, and milk-fed veal are organic, and diners soon will be able to take part in monthly wine dinners, 5-course meals with wine pairings from the 500-bottle cellar.

Copyright 2008 by Punch In International. All Rights Reserved


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FOUR SEASONS HOTEL DES BERGUES GENEVA Founded in 1834, Geneva’s historical landmarks, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues is the first and only Four Seasons in Switzerland. Behind its neo-classical architecture, the Hotel offers 68 bedrooms and 35 suites, inspired Italian cuisine, a lively and unusual bar, prestigious lounges, a business centre and a fitness area. […]



ADDRESS: 219 E 44th Street, Between 2nd & 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017
PHONE: (212) 682-5678

OPENING DATE: July 11, 2005

OWNER: Harry Sinanaj, Ben Sinanaj, Russ Sinanaj, Jack Sinanaj

Background: Ben & Jack, long-time waiters of Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, have opened a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. We offer prime, dry aged porterhouse steaks and a dazzling assortment of steakhouse favorites. Our chef, also, comes from Peter Luger’s.

DESIGN & CONCEPT: Private dining rooms for all dining needs, including meetings and celebrations. The etched glass throughout the dining room, gives an antique, classic look.

SIGNATURE DISHES: Porterhouse steak, Chilean Sea bass, German potatoes, creamed spinach

PRICE POINT: $50 and over

PRICE RANGE: Lunch (entrees): $16.95 – $25.95
Dinner: Price Range: Appetizers: $2.50-$17.95. Entrees: $36.95-$151.80 (Steak for 4). Vegetables: $8.95. Desserts: $ 7.95-$8.95

Alcohol: Full bar. Excellent Wine List: 7 Wines By The Glass: $8.95. Bottles: $42-$1,895 (Chateau Petrus 1986).

BAR: Full-service sit-down bar. The 20-foot long custom-made
mahogany bar features an extensive selection of global wines
with a particular emphasis on California wines. A select
number of wines are available by the glass. In addition,
a premier selection of spirits, liquors, after-dinner drinks,
dessert wines, imported beers, and specialty cocktails such
as Ben & Jack’s Martini, are also available. The Lunch and
Dinner Menus are available at the bar.

BAR/LOUNGE: Cozy, intimate Bar/Lounge. The handsome
Bar/Lounge, located in the front of the restaurant,
is enhanced by a 20-foot long custom-made mahogany
bar, mahogany and leather bar stools, mahogany and
leather chairs, round mahogany tables, a large Austrian
crystal chandelier, and mood lighting to create an intimate
DESIGNER: Cesar Pelli

Mon: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Tues: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Wed: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Thurs: 11:30AM – 10:30PM
Fri: 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sat: 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sun: 4:00PM – 10:30PM

CAPACITY: 250 people


Review By Nancy Walman


Ben & Jack’s Steak House, the sophisticated new midtown-Manhattan steakhouse, features the menus of talented chef Burim Bajrami, formerly at Peter Luger’s Steak House. The restaurant, which opened in August 2005, is owned by restaurateurs Ben and Russ Sinanaj, and their cousins Jack and Hari Sinanaj.

Ben & Jack’s Steak House’s handsome, expansive atmosphere recreates the charming ambiance of an Old World steakhouse. The ambiance reveals itself through an 18-foot high ceiling, mahogany and floral fabric-upholstered chairs, mahogany walls with large mirrors and wood colonnades, antique chandeliers, plush burgundy carpeting, frosted etched glass doors opening onto six separate private party rooms, mod lighting, and an eye-catching golden bull.

In addition, Ben & Jack’s Steak House features a cozy, intimate Bar/Lounge at the front of the restaurant. The handsome, sophisticated Bar/Lounge is enhanced by a 20-foot long custom-made mahogany bar, mahogany and leather chairs and tables, a large Austrian crystal chandelier, and mood lighting. A selection of specialty cocktails are available at the bar or in the Bar/Lounge.

The menu signatures offer such appetizers as Ben & Jack Salad: Shrimp, tomato, onion, bacon w/ Ben & Jack sauce; Shrimp, Crabmeat or Lobster Cocktail; Fresh Oysters or a fabulous Seafood Combination, combining Shrimp, Crabmeat and Lobster Cocktail bi-valves of your choice (the cocktail sauce is outstanding. The whole lobster is extraordinary and offers another option as a first course, when grilled and split in the kitchen.

Of course a steak house must excel in the meat and seafood departments and Ben & Jack’s does a superb job with standouts such as a 44oz Porterhouse Steak for 2 (also served for 3 or 4). Singles can opt for the 22oz Rib Eye Steak, which is fork tender, bursting with flavor and well marbled. Lamb Chops are huge, juicy and cooked to a turn. If you crave fish, try the Chilean Sea Bass or for something more substantial, the four pound lobster will blow you away. For the trendy crowd, you can ‘t beat the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna. Whatever you order, don’t miss the hearty German Potatoes, creamed spinach, terrific peas and onions or a combo of Cottage Fries and Fried Onion Rings.

While Ben and Jack’s offers the best assortment of bread in steak-house-land (especially the chewy onion rolls), save room for dessert. The “Holy Bull” Hot Fudge Sundae offers just the right mouth-feel and cooling temperature, without being too sweet, despite its abundance of homemade “Schlag”. Authentic German Apple Strudel is as good as your mom wished she made it. The wine list is extensive and spans the globe. Like everything else on the menu, don’t expect bargains, but rest assured: quality is there. Cocktails are massive and beautifully constructed; Service is a standout.

Ben & Jack’s has evolved into one of the best steakhouse’s in Manhattan. Be happy you no longer have to schlep to Brooklyn for a superior product accompanied by service and atmosphere that outclasses its sire. That’s A Major on the Walman Report.

Note: A Second Ben & Jack’s is in the works. We’ll keep you posted!

Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved

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Water Club

The Water Clubwaterclub

500 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016,

(212) 683-3333

Private Dining: 212.545.1155
Fax: 212.696.4099

General Manager: Bruno Saint Andre
Executive Chef: Kevin Reilly
Pastry Chef: Victoria Love
Wine Director: Sam Correnti

The Water Club is located on the East River at 30th Street, just south of the 34th Street Heliport.

Suggested Directions
-Take the 6 Train to the 33rd Street Stop. Walk east along 34th Street, cross underneath the FDR towards the 34th Heliport, turn right, walk south through heliport driveway and into the Water Club’s parking lot.
-Take the 6 Train to the 23rd Street Stop. Walk east along 25th Street, cross over the FDR via the elevated walkway, walk north through Waterside Plaza along the East River.
-Taxis can reach the Water Club via 23rd Street and the FDR Drive Service Road.

Pre Theatre Menu 39.50, Served every evening 5:00 PM to Close

$24.00 pre-fixe Lunch and $34.00 Lobster Lunch all year, Monday through Saturday. $39.50 pre-fixe dinner is served every evening 5:00 pm till Close.

Hours: Dinner Sun. 5:45 – 9:30 PM; Mon. – Wed., 5:30 – 10:00 PM; Thurs., 5:30 – 10:30 PM; Friday – Sat., 5:30 – 11:00 PM. Lunch, Mon – Sat, 12:00 – 2:30 PM; Brunch,Sunday,11:00 AM – 3:00 PM Open Every Day of the Year. Valet Parking.

Cuisine: Classic & Updated American & International.

Review by Nancy Walman

The Water club offers stylish dining on a glass-enclosed barge in the East River. It is decidedly dramatic, with its long wood-paneled bar, blazing fireplace, appetizing shellfish display, and panoramic water views. Not to neglect the knockout food, under the direction of Kevin Reilly, the Executive Chef. Mr. Reilly (formerly of Union Square Cafe and Zoe) has created a wonderful new classic American menu at The Water Club preparing the highest quality food using only the finest ingredients.

The long main dining room, with its soft lighting and attentive service, is embellished by a skylight, flags, polished floors, replicas of boats, portholes and other nautical memorabilia. Spacious tables with gleaming white cloths and banquettes complete the picture.

waterclub2 My favorite dishes are classic American-Fish-House at its best. The jumbo lump crab cake is carefully cooked and delicious. But the perfect introduction is a market selection of oysters on the half shell, so fresh they didn’t need the excellent mignonette and cocktail sauces. Sided by a glass of Champagne or a beautifully made martini and preceded by the magnificent homemade corn sticks and scones, you’re on your way to a memorable meal.

Before entrees, we enjoyed a Boston Wedge Salad of braised bacon, buttermilk-blue cheese dressing, chopped by request, it was lovely.
You won’t find a better rendition of Dover sole anywhere. Here, pan seared, and classically served with meuniere sauce. Simple and perfect enough to please the god of chefs. Maine lobster is steamed, broiled or stuffed. We choose a two pounder, simply steamed with lemon butter sauce. It was fork tender and the best we have ever tasted. Milk Fed Veal T-Bone or Double Cut Colorado Lamb Chops will delight the
most discriminating carnivore. Don’t neglect the mashed potatoes O’Keeffe. Named for the eloquent owner, Michael (Buzzy) O’Keeffe’s mother’s recipe, scallions provide a delightful kick. Buttermilk Onion Rings were also superb.

Desserts, like the marvelous biscuits and corn sticks that accompany dinner, are all-American and wonderful. Go for the Rustic Apple Tart
vanilla bean caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, a strawberry shortcake, sitting on a pumped-up version of those delicious biscuits, that is as good as it gets and will sweeten even the sourest disposition.

The wine list is beautifully chosen and fairly priced and there are some gems by the glass, especially the Heitz Cabernet, well worth its $20 price tag. Reception at the door and service from captains to buss boys is professional, warm and guiding. Water Club is one of New York’s great restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2008 by Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

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Abercrombie & Kent and David Rosengarten Present the culinary pleasures of Hong Kong

Abercrombie & Kent and David Rosengarten Present the culinary pleasures of Hong Kong

Join Abercrombie & Kent and food and wine expert David Rosengarten on Southward from the Peak: Hong Kong to Bora Bora by Private Jet (December 27, 2008 – January 19, 2009), for a personal introduction to the culinary pleasures of Hong Kong. Learn to identify the specialties of local food markets, appreciate the details that differentiate regional cuisines and celebrate the New Year with a dinner meticulously planned out by David Rosengarten.

Your epicurean adventure begins on a luxuriously appointed 757-200ER in the skies between Seattle and Japan, where an on-board discussion introduces you to the varied cuisines you will encounter during your journey through the Pacific. With just 52 privileged guests (instead of the 186 most airlines carry) there will be plenty of time for leisurely conversations with David over dinner or drinks in the Sky Lounge.
Discover why meals are celebrated events in China as you ring in the New Year with a private New Year’s Eve dinner hosted by David Rosengarten.

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Club A Steak House

Club A Steakhouse cluba-3


Club A Steak House
240 East 58th Street
New York, NY 10022

Midtown/Upper East Side

Cross Street:
2nd & 3rd Avenue

Dining Style:
Fine Dining/Lounge

Modern American Steak House
$11 to $83

Hours of Operation:
5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Late Night Menu:
Wednesday – Saturday
11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Payment Options:
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover,
Visa, Mastercard

Executive Chef : Jean Christophe Villard
Chef de Cuisine : Tobi J. Koelliker

Dress Code:
Business Casual
Reservations Recommended

Full Menu Restaurant,
Bar Dining, Late Night
Bar/Piano Lounge, Full Bar
& Wine Cellar, Non-Smoking

Public Transit:
4, 5, 6, N, R or W to 59th Street

Discounted Parking Available
MPC Parking 1104 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Inquire when making reservation.


Review By Nancy Walmancluba-2

Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater.

Located on the border of Midtown & the Upper East Side, Club A Steakhouse brings modern sophistication and old world elegance to one of Manhattan’s most storied restaurant neighborhoods. Club A manages to encompass the characteristics of a traditional steakhouse and new world modernism that is evident in both the menu and decor. Created by legendary restaurateur Bruno Selimaj, Club A’s menu will delight you with executive chef, Jean Christophe Villard’s personal renditions of such steak house classics as the best “Sizzling Canadian Bacon” imaginable. Other memorable appetizers offer a lush “Colossal Crab Meat Cocktail” or Petrossian Norwegian Smoked Salmon for starters.

The steaks are as good as they get. Go for the huge juicy dry aged 24 ounce Rib-eye and don’t miss NY’s best “double cut T-Bone veal chop” (also a walloping 24 ounces) and delectable sides like German-style hash-browns and bacon-Parmesan-flavored Brussel sprouts. Finish with NY cheesecake or table-side zabaglione. Cocktails are well executed and there is a well-chosen wine list with the always-exceptional Travaglini Gattinara (2001) for a fair price of $60. The Riedel crystal glasses are a joy and one’s wine is carefully decanted into a “swan-shaped” Riedel-Amedeo handmade lead crystal decanter.

Located on the ground floor of the building, the main dining room and the bar are the centerpiece to this restaurant. Rich red textures, private wine lockers, a sensible soundtrack and a working fireplace make this the perfect event space for that large dinner party or corporate event. Other choices include “The Club House Floor,” a private dining room 3 stories above the street with its own exclusive wine room, private roof deck and fire place; “The Living Room” which can be set up with a long communal table; or “The Piano room.”

Club A Steak House, 240 East 58th Street is a joy from start to finish and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserverd

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Gilt Revisited





Location The Villard Mansion of The New York Palace Hotel 455 Madison Avenue @ 50th Street New York, New York 10022 Phone



Opening date December 2005 Interior Design Patrick Jouin.

Chef Lee Close-up

Executive Chef Christopher Lee Restaurant


Director Christopher Day

Director of Wine & Spirits: Jason Ferris

Pastry Chef David Carmichael

Three course prix fixe – $82

Five course tasting menu – $110

Seven course Chef’s tasting menu – $140

Capacity Dining Room: Seating for 52 Bar: Seating for 40 Private Dining in The Madison Room: Seating for 100 Hours Gilt Bar: Opens at 5pm everyday.

Open Tuesday to Saturday starting at 5:30pm Reservations Strongly Suggested Dress Code No official dress code.


Review By Nancy Walman


Award-winning website, Punchin-dot-com, features the Walman Report and reviews of restaurants, travel, wine and theater. Gilt is an opulent temple of gastronomy located in The New York Palace Hotel. Chef Christopher Lee offers an $85 3-course menu that will bring you to your knees.

While wine director, Jason Ferris, has assembled a superb wine list with many bottles priced under $100, you may want to throw caution to the wind and request that appropriate wines be matched to each course. Or go for broke and sample the 7-course tasting menu for $140, with $75 surcharge for wines. Our only request was that Mr. Ferris not select California wine (not that we don’t like them). A brief chat concerning out taste in wine and Ferris came up with the paring below. He also is easy going, guiding and listens. In other words, everything a great sommelier should be, but so often isn’t.

We chose the 3-course route (ordering two different choices for each course). The chef sent out a few on his own and we savored such culinary delights as the following menu can only suggest. The wines were magically paired.

Favorites included Hudson Valley Foie Gras, with roasted peanuts and passion fruit; French White Asparagus with California snails and pickled ramps was ravishing. Olive-oil poached wild Atlantic Salmon melted in one’s mouth. And let’s not neglect the rapturous Mild-Fed pork with fiddle head ferns. Despite some of the complex food descriptions, Chef Lee gets it right every time, knowing that less is more. Beautiful presentations never get in the way of flavor.

David Carmichael’s knockout deserts include luscious toasted carrot cake and a mint chocolate ice cream. Under manager, Christopher Day’s direction, service is among the best in Manhattan. GILT, 455 MADISON AVENUE, has evolved into one of New York’s top 5 restaurants and rates A Major on the Walman Report.

Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved



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