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.


Continue reading “Stanton Street Kitchen Proves To Be The New Must Go Destination”

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,, 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

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.



Continue reading “212 A Steakhouse Like No Other & You Can Afford It.”

Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar. A Class Act and a Classic.

artisanal room_3

*Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar
2 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 10016
(Entrance is on 32nd Street between Park & Madison Avenue) Map & Driving Directions

6 Train to 33rd Street Station (& Park Ave.)

Reservations: 212.725.8585
Fax: 212.481.5455
Online Reservations:
click here
Retail Cheese Counter: 212.532.4033

For general inquiries:

CHEF/PROPRIETOR: Terrance Brennan
CHEF DE CUISINE: Matthew Corbett
GENERAL MANAGER: Xavier Villasuso
LOCATION: 2 Park Avenue. New York, N 10016
32nd Street between Park & Madison
RESERVATIONS: 212-725-8585
Monday – Friday 11:45am – 5:00pm
Monday – Thursday 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Friday – Saturday 5:00pm – Midnight
Sunday 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 10:30am – 5:00pm
SEATING: Main Dining Room: 160, Cheese Cave: 4
CUISINE: French Bistro
SIGNATURE DISHES: Fondue, Cheese Plate, Macaroni & Cheese,
Steak & Frites
FEATURES: Retail Cheese Shop with over 250 artisanal
Over 160 wines by the glass.
RATINGS: Zagat New York City: 23, Food; 20 Décor; 20
RECOGNITION: Voted “Best Brunch” value category by the
International Hotel and Restaurant
Association, 2008.
Awarded Best Cheese Plate in American by
Maxim Magazine, August 2008.
Awarded Best Brasserie Cuisine in the 2002
Zagat Survey.
DÉCOR: Art Deco interior by noted architect Adam
CREDIT CARDS: American Express, Visa, MasterCard,
Discover and Diner’s Club **

Seafood Plateaux Belowartisanal Grand%20Plateau%202nd%20Choice

Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar showcases the formidable creativity and passion of Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan who adds playful twists to classic French bistro dishes. Brennan’s Osso Bucco, for example, features monkfish instead of meat. Traditionally prepared with beef, Brennan’s Duck Bourguignon is artfully made a La Grand-Mère with Chestnut Pappardelle. Selecting only premium ingredients, Brennan’s commitment to the use of artisanal, sustainable and organic products is evident in the quality of each dish.

The menu may appear daunting at first glance, so it is a good idea to make your first visit with  a group of four or more. Baring that option, there is a terrific  Prix Fixe Dinner for $38.50 that will serve as a perfect introduction. A full page of beautifully selected wines are available by the glass or tasting (including Champagne).

Whatever you order, it will be the freshest, highest quality and carefully prepared  bistro food in town. The fondue is smooth, creamy and a meal in itself with traditional and non-traditional accompaniments, the GOUGÈRES. are supreme and the CHARCUTERIE has no competition in New York (I loved the TÊTE DE COCHON). Crispy pork trotter was light, grease free and a gem.

Entrees were no less impressive. DUCK BOURGUIGNON , A la Grande Mere, with Chestnut Pappardelle and an unusual HERITAGE PORK “CASSOULET”, featuring Gigante Beans, in a  Persillade were both lovely.The wine list is full of bargains. We loved the soft, elegant and food friendly “Alvaro Palacios Camins Del Priorat 2007”, form Spain ($64 the bottle). It worked throughout the meal and is best preceded by a flute or taste of a fine Champagne, such as the ROSÉ BRUT NICOLAS FEUILLATTE.

Don’t miss desserts. The house cheesecake, with Pecan Praline, Caramel Sauce,
ASSORTED HOUSEMADE PETITS FOURS and a decadent PROFITEROLES “SUNDAE” ( Vanilla Ice Cream, Candied Almonds, Chocolate Sauce, Crème Chantilly ) were all wonderful.  No we didn’t forget about the cheese selection, we just  couldn’t muster the appetite to give them their just do. That’s a good excuse to get back ASAP. And fortunately, they can be ordered online for the holidays, by clicking the following link:

A Classic Fondue Below

artisanal fondue

Recalling a Parisian bistro, Artisanal’s handsome interior was designed by noted architect Adam Tihany. A mural-sized painting, which had hung in French restaurants since the 1930’s, presides over the 160-seat Art-Deco space. In the back of the dining room is the cheese cave, a temperature and humidity controlled room, where a number of the world’s finest artisanally-made cheeses are aged to optimum ripeness and peak flavor. Adjacent to the dining room is the wine bar, which boasts 160 wines by the glass.

Packed, vibrant with life, and deliciously authentic,Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar is the real thing. A personal favorite and one of the best bistros in New York.

The Amazing Housemade ASSIETTE DE CHARCUTERIE Below

artisanal Charcuterie


 The Superb MUSSELS FRITES Below

artisnal mussles


Classic Steak Frites

artisnal meat entree

The Soup to Die For


Artisanal Sauteed%20Skate%20Wing%20Blood%20Orange%20Grenobloise%20and%20Cauliflower Sautéed Skate (above) 


artisnal chesecaks



Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan (Below)

 terrance tb_frame_nav

Terrance Brennan is the Chef-Proprietor of The Artisanal Group (Picholine Restaurant, Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar, Bar Artisanal, Artisanal Brasserie & Winebar, and The Artisanal Table Pizzeria Enoteca).
The son of Annandale, Virginia, restaurateurs, Brennan began cooking at the age of thirteen. In the South of France, his French-Mediterranean cuisine was inspired by Roger Verge at Moulin de Mougins and in the kitchens of Taillevent, Le Tour D’Argent, Gualtiero Marchesi, Gavroche and Le Cirque where he subsequently worked. Brennan’s signature culinary style took form while training under several French Master Chefs in Michelin starred restaurants in the region.
In 1993, Brennan opened his first restaurant, Picholine, naming it after the petite green olives on the Mediterranean coast. Picholine received a James Beard Foundation nomination for the country’s Outstanding Restaurant in 2007, and was awarded two stars in the 2008 and 2009 editions of Michelin Guide New York City. It has earned two three-star reviews from the New York Times, four stars from New York Magazine, and four stars from Crain’s New York Business, and has received Zagat’s Highest Overall ratings since 1997. The restaurant originated the European cheese service as standard fare for fine dining in America.
Brennan extended his groundbreaking cheese service with Artisanal in 2001, a bistro-wine bar-fromagerie, which has won numerous accolades including Best Brasserie Cuisine, Best Brunch and Best Macaroni and Cheese, and is perennially one of New York’s most popular restaurants.
Further demonstrating his passion for hand-crafted cheese, Brennan founded Artisanal Premium Cheese, a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to the selection, maturation and distribution of the world’s finest artisanal cheeses in 2003.
In 2007, Brennan set the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Fondue live on NBC’s Today Show. The cheese fondue was donated to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization serving New York for more than twenty-five years.
Named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1995, Brennan is a six-time nominee for Best Chef: New York by the James Beard Foundation. A frequent contributor to The Today Show, he has also appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, Television Food Network, CBS Early Show and the Martha Stewart Show. His cookbook, Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home, was published in 2005.


Copyright 2010 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Continue reading “Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar. A Class Act and a Classic.”