Stanton Street Kitchen Proves To Be The New Must Go Destination

ssk interior1

Stanton Street Kitchen is a restaurant, wine bar and beer cellar, curtsey of renowned master chef ,(formally of the fabled “21” restaurant,) Erik Blauberg, SSK features a unique beer cellar offering more than 100 different varieties of bottled beers from around the world,. There are also 24 rotating seasonal drafts and an extensive wine list with reasonably priced selections.

ssk entree 2

Chef Blauberg created a menu of small plates designed to pair with the beer and wine offerings, allowing guests to create their own tasting menus. There is also a “chef’s feast” tasting menu featuring seasonally inspired dishes, available to guests who are seated at the 14-seat bar.The menu which changes regularly, features an assortment of “beer bites” served on toast such as spicy prawns with cracked corn, jicama, and cilantro; figs with goat cheese and 50 year-old sherry; a delicious braised pork belly with red cabbage and toasted peanut slaw. Small plates such as sugar pea risotto with cepes and squash; feather-weight tagliatelle with hen of the woods mushrooms and wild boar sausage; and port-braised oxtail with foie gras and fava bean ravioli. The beer cellar also highlights a private chef’s table with seating for up to 30 guests.

ssk steak

The sparse, clean design offer lots of candles, wood and oodles of romance. The service is warm, friendly and knowledgeable.

ssk dessert1

Beyond fabulous, Stanton Street Kitchen is located at 178 Stanton Street and is truly one of NY’s best small restaurants and rates A Major on The Walman Report.

178 Stanton Street
New York, New York 10002
get directions

For reservations, call

Copyright 2015 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


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Taverna di Bacco

Taverna Garden

Click Here For A Reservation

175 Ludlow Street, near East Houston. 212.477.0077

Dinner Sun-Thu: 5pm-12am – Fri-Sat: 5pm-1am – Brunch Sat-Sun: 11am-4pm  Accepts Credit Cards, Take Out Delivery Area:Within walking distancetavern bar

Taverna di Bacco is an Italian restaurant specializing mostly in the food of Southern Italy.  It is rustic and modern with an indoor garden in the back, a spacious bar up front. Brick walls, wood floors, chalk board listing specials and friendly service help create the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. Add to that some very good food, since  Maurizio Crescenzo is both owner and executive chef.  He comes from the Campania region of Italy and attended Culinary Institute in Naples.  He’s worked in Venice, Germany,, Cortina d’Ambezzo, a resort in Italy. He opened Taverna di Bacco in August 2011.  His food philosophy is to keep food simple and good. He’s appeared at the James Beard House and food has never been far from the center of Maurizio Crescenzo’s life. His East Village trattoria that on Italy’s many regional cuisines, and Maurizio is passionate both about cooking and about sharing the bounty of his kitchen.

Recommended appetizers include perfectly crisp and tender Calamari fritti (Fried Calamari), with a zesty dipping sauce and a delicious Melanzane alla parmigiana (Eggplant alla parmigiana). For pastas, look no further than light-as-a-feather  Lasagna con spinaci e ricotta (
Homemade lasagna with ricotta & spinach) or Lasagna alla Bolognese (Homemade lasagna with classic bolognese sauce). The menu lists many other choices of pasta as well.

Entrees are especially good: we enjoyed Porchetta al rosmarino con patate al forno (Oven roasted pork belly with rosemary, sage & garlic), Pollo arrosto alla diavola con scarola (Half roasted chicken with spicy sauce & sautéed escarole) and an unusual Braciola di agnello alla pizzaiola con patate al forno (Braised lamb braciola with aromatic herbs & roasted potatoes).

The wine list is short and affordable with lots of bottles under $40. And leave room for such desserts as Tiramisu, a dense Chocolate Cake and an excellent Panna Cotta. Don’t miss the  terrific cappuccino.

Taverna Di Bacco is the perfect place to host your special celebration.
Whether you are planning a brunch, cocktail party or sit-down dinner,  chef, Maurizio Crescenzo, will work with you to create a customized menu sure to delight you and your guests. They also offer catering at your location for up to 300. Call or email  to begin planning your special event.

taverna tables

Copyright 2013 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


tavern garden

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The Orchard House

orchard house int1

The Orchard House is located at 146 Orchard Street.

Dinner: Tuesday & Wednesday 5:30pm–10:30pm; Thursday through Saturday 5:30pm–11:30pm.

Lunch (Starting June 6) Monday through Friday 11:30am–3:00pm.

Brunch: Saturday 11:00am–4:00pm; Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Cocktail hour: Monday through Friday 4:00pm–7:30pm (bar only)

Late Night: Fridays & Saturdays 11:30pm–3:00am


For more information, please call 212-777-8600, visit their website at, follow them on Twitter at @theorchnyc, or Like The-Orchard-House on Facebook.

Orchard House int3

The eye-catching Orchard House, concept of owners Teddy Kambouris and Kevin Jackasal, is a bright, playful hub of the Lower East Side. Inspired by the area’s rich architectural past and present, designer Steve Lewis of Lewis & Dizon Designs, used the festive, open space to pay homage to the aesthetics of the neighborhood and the vibrant spirit of those who call it home, from tattoo artists to haberdashers to musicians. Diners enjoy a seamless flow from the colorful streetscape into the bright dining space, as the front glass doors completely open, welcoming patrons to sit back, relax and enjoy the eclectic scene.

Teddy Kambouris and Kevin Jackasal set out to create a space where locals can lounge while visitors take in the creative vibe of the Lower East Side, feasting on everything from the eye-popping interior to the reawakened take on New American comfort food. Both Kambouris and Jackasal come from hospitality backgrounds — Jackasal began his career in the hotel industry working for the Marriott, Radisson & W Hotel Group and went on to launch New York restaurants like Kallari Taverna and Rayuela, while Kambouris was raised in New York City in the longstanding family tradition of restaurateurs. Drawing on the wisdom of Consulting Chef Matthew Redington, veteran Jean-Georges sous-chef and graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, the partners were able to create an inspired new menu that brings their vision alive in The Orchard House.Orchard House Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles, which come as chips with a side of horseradish

The Orchard House’s menu focuses on yummy, bite-sized portions that are meant to be shared.  House favorites are fresh twists on traditional American comforts, like moist and tender Lamb Sliders, mini-burgers of medium rare lamb served with minted cucumber and scallion on potato buns. A nod to the Lower East Side is the Fried Pickles, which come as chips with a side of horseradish and whipped sheep’s milk ricotta. Or make a date with the Devils on Horseback, plump blue-cheese stuffed dates soaked in port wine and served in a sweetly caramelized wrap of pan-seared bacon. Home-style Mac & Cheese is a classic American staple, blending Parmesan, emmenthal and cheddar cheeses with traditional elbow macaroni.

Orchard House Avocado Salad

Zesty Avocado Salad

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Sazon Brings Style and Sabor to Tribeca


Sazon is located in the heart of Tribeca at 105 Reade Street.

Open for Lunch Dinner and Brunch (Monday thru Friday 11:30am to 2:00am and Saturday 4:00pm to 2:00am, Sunday Brunch 11:00am – 4:00pm) and for late night dancing on (Friday and Saturday

For more information on private parties and reservations, call 212-406-1900 or visit

By Nancy Walman

Brand new to the Tribeca dining scene is Latin gem Sazon, a sophisticated dual-level restaurant with refined Puerto Rican comfort food. The latest concept by JR Morales and the crew from popular uptown hotspot Sofrito, Sazon fills the niche for authentic Latin food served in a hip, celebratory atmosphere that brings the passion and easy-going hospitality of the islands to downtown Manhattan.

First impressions scream volumes about the quality and style of Sazon’s offerings. Designed by Stephane Dupoux (also of Buddha Bar, the Gansevoort Beach Club, and el San Juan Hotel), the restaurant’s dramatic high ceilings are well complemented by a bold color scheme of rich magenta, vibrant oranges, and Chiquita-banana yellows that energize and invigorate the space with the exotic feeling of the tropics. The dining room’s back wall, upholstered in hand-stitched orange tufted leather, creates a luxe modern backdrop for white minimalist tables, rustic wood accents evocative of the rainforest, and jet black crystal chandeliers that add a generous dash of glamour.

Anchoring Sazon’s visual focus is the bar, a mini-oasis made from a subtly arranged mosaic of white and off-white tiles that functions as the perfect place to grab a drink before dinner or after work. Cocktails like the San Juan Martini, which blends the flavors of orange liquer and white cranberry juice with cucumber puree, are sure to evoke el Caribe in all its splendor. Also popular are El Yunque, a drink blending watermelon juice and Elderflower essence with peach liqueur.

Those familiar with Morales’ first venture, Sofrito, know that his standards are set quite high when dealing with his menu and food; if it’s not as good as—or better—than what’s available on either island (Manhattan or Puerto Rico), it’s simply not good enough. This considered, it’s no surprise that Sazon’s menu outdoes itself course after course. Executive sazon-chef Chef Ricardo Cardona (formerly of Mama Juana, Hudson River, and Lua) brings a wide array of Puerto Rican-inspired dishes to the table, each with sophisticated preparations, modern presentations, and just the right dose of tropical flair. The chef who was in charge on our visit, Frank Maldonado, executes Cardona’s menu with care and the kitchen is capable of some outstanding appetizers such as crisp chicken chunks (Chicharrón de Pollo) and fabulous Buñuelos de Bacalao (Salty cod fritters).

Appetizers are perhaps the most creative section of the menu, ranging from sweet Surrillitos (corn fritters) served with a savory bacalao stew to Tortitas de Huelles, Puerto Rican yuca crabcakes topped with a robust corn salsa and garlic lemon aioli. Crispy fried Alcapurias are a surprising and innovative dish made by turning grated taro root and plantain into a masa that’s pressed onto paper, filled with beef picadillo, and rolled into flattened cigars. The flavor is at once sweet, savory, and even nutty—something completely unique and unusual.

A section of the menu titled “Pa’ Emperzar” or “To Start” features twists on traditional soups and salads, such as Sazon’s Chopped Salad which comes laden with shrimp, avocado, hearts of palm, farmer’s cheese, and yuca croutons. The Ensalada Tribeca bears grilled native vegetables with Caribbean roots, field greens, and a tangy passion fruit balsamic reduction that makes a truly addicting dressing.

The real strengths, however, lie in the main courses, in which Chef Cardona goes to great lengths to simply perfect the classics rather than recreate or re-imagine them. The Sazon Paella places emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients—lobster, chorizo, clams, shrimp, and saffron all come together to creamy perfection. A popular pairing of savory and sweet, the Pollito, which literally means “little chicken,” combines boneless roast Cornish hen with a stuffing of sweet plaintain and guava sauce, cooked to mouthwatering perfection. Meanwhile, sazon-pork-rib Pernil, Sazon’s signature dish, is not quite so dainty—it’s a feast on its own, consisting of three pounds of roast pork legs with pigeon pea rice and sweet plantains. If this doesn’t call to mind comida casera—homecooked Latin comfort food—nothing else will.

Desserts at Sazon are pretty as a picture not to be missed. Among them are street food favorites like Churros served with hot chocolate sauce and traditional treats like guava empanadas, stuffed with jam-like guava paste and cheese. Perhaps the most irresistible is the Tembleque—a hard-to-find regional specialty, it is essentially an eggless coconut flan with extra punches of flavor from cinnamon, diced strawberries, and pineapple. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth tropical paradise, and unlike anything else and a lovely cheese cake. Don’t slight the best café con leche imaginable. The is a nice, inexpensive wine list.

The party at Sazon keeps going beyond dessert—a lounge downstairs provides entertainment later into the evening with live music and private parties. The space, with its own separate bar and a more laid-back, relaxed feel, is set to be tagged by local artist James De La Vega, whose graffiti-inspired pieces and illustrated inspirational quotes have earned him the title of New York’s “Sidewalk Philosopher.”

The scene is loud, hot and inexpensive. Service is fancy (they put your napkin on your lap) and  the food is serious. A real yet unique downtown restaurant experience!


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Hayne Suthon, the Diva of the Downtown Restaurant Scene, Introduces Marfa,

A Texas-Inspired East Village Hangout

When they made Hayne Suthon, they broke the mold. A rare combination of savvy entrepreneur and party girl, the former tax attorney brought the spirit of her native New Orleans to New York’s downtown in the 1980s. Recently featured in the New York Post as one of New York City’s 10 Hottest Cougars (a successful worldly woman who is extremely attractive to decidedly sexy younger men), she has a head for business, a spirit for fun, and a supreme knack for creating a rollicking good time wherever she goes.

Hayne got the party started in 1986 with Cave Canem, a Roman-themed restaurant in a restored bathhouse—one of the first places to combine drinking, eating and partying in a single locale. In 1993, she opened Lucky Cheng’s, the world famous Asian restaurant where drag queens not only serve the food, but also offer up nightly cabarets. Like all her concepts, it’s a place where it’s impossible not to have fun. Ms. Suthon is a master at catering to large parties, groups of eight or more, a rarity in the cramped confines of most New York restaurants and bars.

Located in the space that until recently housed her ode to Hawaii, Waikiki Wally’s, her latest innovation, Marfa NYC is inspired by a West Texas artists’ community. To give the feeling of West Texas, noted chef Harun Shah (Raga, Death & Company) offers patrons a selection of Texas-inspired Tapas, all of which you can eat with your fingers.

The selection of small bites ranges from traditional, hearty dry rub barbecued baby back ribs that drip with Marfa’s special barbecue sauce to mini corndogs, a daintier and more adult-like version of the kid-friendly classic. You’ll also find piquant chipotle chicken wings small in size, but packing a powerhouse of flavor and fish tacos accompanied by homemade guacamole, various salsas, and a citrus-laden slaw that adds freshness and zing. “Shells on” spicy shrimp are a special treat, large and lusciously sweet on the inside, yet charged with a perfectly tempered finger-licking heat on the outside. Diners can order a la carte or select a Texas tapas platter designed for groups to share. Marfa appetizer platters are priced per person and range from El Cheapo (featuring four different appetizers) for $9 per person to the Big Texas Platter (featuring eight appetizers and a shot of house-infused flavored tequila!), which, at $18 per person, is quite the deal.

Continue reading “Hayne Suthon, the Diva of the Downtown Restaurant Scene, Introduces Marfa,”


ThorThor Dining

Cuisine Modern American

Address Hotel On Rivington
107 Rivington
New York, NY 10002

Telephone 212-796-8040

Date Established October, 2005

Executive Chef Jesi Solomon

Owner Paul & Rena Stallings

Pastry Chefs Concepcion Sotarriba
Alejandro Almazo

Dining Room Hours
Breakfast: Daily 7am – 11am

Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11am – 3pm

Lunch: Monday-Friday noon – 3pm

Dinner: Sunday-Wednesday 6pm-midnight
Thursday-Saturday 6pm-1am

Lounge: Lounge menu available one hour later than dinner.

Dinner Prices: “Firsts” $9-$14, “For The Table” $14-$16, “Mains” $16-$28. Desserts: From $9.

The Space Marcel Wanders

Seating Dining room 90
Bar/Lounge 60

Private Events Kara Hayes

Thor serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on the weekends. A late-night menu is served nightly, and twenty-four-hour room service is available for hotel guests. Thor is located in the Hotel On Rivington at 107 Rivington Street. New York NY, 10002. Reservations: 212-796-8040;


Review By Nancy Walman


Executive Chef Jesi Solomon Creates Magic
at ThorChefJesiSolomon

Thor, derived from the acronym for The Hotel on Rivington, is a total knockout of a restaurant in every way. The airy, atrium-like dining room features a 21-foot soaring glass ceiling that offers views of the Lower East Side’s historic tenement buildings. Curtains designed by Ateliers Charles Jouffre from Paris and Six foot black “Phillipe Starck for Baccarat” Chandeliers have been added to complement Marcel Wanders’s original soaring design that focuses on a palate of black and gray with oversized booths and tables and strategically placed votive candles. The minimalist design is enhanced with lovely sprigs of lilies on each table and fabric wallpaper.

Thor also has a new Executive Chef: Jesi Solomon. No stranger to the Lower East Side, Jesi joins Thor from the nearby restaurant Stanton Social. Part of the neighborhood’s culinary scene for over three years, Solomon is beginning to develop a strong reputation for his take on combining Mediterranean flavors with American cuisine.

At Thor, Solomon proffers a flexible menu offering dishes from small plates and sides to shared plates and entrees, incorporating his characteristic bold flavors into market-fresh creations. With a focus on colorful and cutting edge flavors, new dishes include melt-in-your-mouth Grilled Octopus with Fennel Olive Panzanella, a unique Tuna Tartar with Snap Peas and Olive Tapenade and a deceptively simple and simply delicious Spinach Salad with Peppered Bacon, Deviled Eggs and Mustard Vinaigrette (All “Firsts”).

In the “For The Table Category,” Crispy Potato Gnocchi with Foie Glazed Balsamic Figs, is a three star dish by any foodie’s standards: plump, light and beautifully balanced, it is class with a capital “C.” Also wonderful, was a Charcuterie Platter of Pork Belly Rillettes, Boudin Noir and Pickled Watermelon Rind and scrumptious Bacon and Oyster Hushpuppies with Chipotle Tartar-sauce . Go easy on the gratis warm Focaccia and delectable White Bean and Grated Cheese Dip as well as Teasers like Smoked Brie Cheese. There are still “Mains’ to follow.

We loved the Spiced Rack of Lamb with Feta Chile Relleno, but the Chili Glazed Duck Breast & Tangerine Fennel Salad sang of summer and Maple Brined Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Goat Cheese and Grilled Peach was also terrific. Fish lovers will delight in the Atlantic Halibut with Black Pepper Beluga Lentils and Caviar Crème Fraiche.

Cocktails are extraordinary, especially a “Makers Mark” concoction dubbed The “East Sider” and what we crown as the town’s best Martini. The wine list offers loads of excellent choices for under $40 and an exceptionally low markup. Wines by the glass are in perfect condition and priced in a range of $9-$13. Look to Spain and you won’t go wrong.

Service is professional, friendly and guiding (our server happened to be the chef’s brother). Desserts are not to be slighted. A Peanut Butter Sundae with Salted Chocolate and Caramelized Banana was decadent and Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum and Vanilla Ice Cream was elegant.

In one of the trendiest restaurant sections of Manhattan, The Hotel on Rivington offers a civilized oasis and its restaurant Thor, thanks to chef Jesi Solomon, is not only wonderful, but a downright bargain, rating “A Major” on The Walman Report.tho restaurant 1


Copyright 2008 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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Opened: November 2006
Chef-Owner: Ratha Chau
Web Address:
Address: 78 Rivington Street (Corner of Allen Street)
New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 529-3901

Price: (Inexpensive-to-Moderate) $10-$18
Hours: Mon – Tue 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Wed – Fri 5:00 pm – 1:00 am
Sat 12:00 pm – 1:00 am
Sun 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Reservations: Not Accepted
Cash Only
12 Wines By The Glass ($8-$11). Bottles From $35. Cocktails: $11


Chef-Owner Ratha Chau of KAMPUCHEA RESTAURANTRatha Chau Whites

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

Despite its reputation as a world-class restaurant city, New York’s, like London’s real contribution to gastronomy is its variety of affordable small, charming ethnic restaurants. Over the years the trend has continued, although they are not so inexpensive as the old days and some have evolved into hot destination restaurants.

Kampuchea Restaurant is a tribute to Cambodian street food, redefined by Chef-Owner, Ratha Chau. Kampuchea provides a communal dining experience and schoolroom accents (like a notebook-inspired wine and cocktail list), evoking a playful atmosphere. But the food totally serious and there wasn’t one clinker in an elaborate dinner, starting with a sassy Pickle Plate, marvelous Baguettes, brimming with Sweet-Pulled-Oxtail, terrific House Cured Bacon and unique home made Headcheese. While the Ribs are fabulous, the Catfish Crepe is to die for and substantial bowls of Noodle/Soup/Stews, like one boasting Okra, Brisket, Oxtail and Papaya are soul satisfying.

In addition to exceptional service by lovely young women, there is a fine selection of wine, beer and knockout cocktails such as one based on Cachaça, Brown Sugar, Lime and Thai Chili Sauce that is guaranteed to send you home with a warm glow. The beautiful wooden tables were designed by the chef at Kampuchea Restaurant, (78 Rivington Street at Allen), which rates a not to be missed A Major on the Walman Report.

. PEI Mussels

Succulent P.E.I. Mussels