Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category

Planning Your Next Date

September 14, 2010

Urban Daddy’s post last week on “Better Dating Through Sonar,” featured a new app that may be the future of online dating.

According to Urban Daddy:  Introducing StreetSpark, a brand-new dating app that scans your immediate surroundings for… romantic opportunities—and sets off a vibration every time one enters striking distance… Should someone resembling Your Perfect Match (even just semi-pro volleyball players) appear nearby, your phone will engage DEFCON 1 protocols and arm the warheads of love. You’ll casually peruse their profile and pic (and see their Facebook “likes”) and then choose whether to “ignite” this particular spark and send a message to the person, or to “extinguish” it and nip the bloom of romance in mid-blossom. Of course, the other person also has the option to ignite or extinguish you. Luckily you are highly flammable.

But what happened to good old-fashioned dating?!  Remember the days when you went on a date with someone that you didn’t know much about and had not seen a picture of yet, but your friend thought you two would be “perfect” together?  Do you really want to know everything about a person before you meet them?   

Instead, plan a perfect date at a cozy restaurant without preconceived notions and enjoy the company and the food –- no checking out his/her Facebook/Twitter/Google search page or scanning the menu first.  Just take a chance.

Perilla

 9 Jones St. nr. W. 4th St. NYC

Grab a quiet corner table in the back and order the duck meatballs.  Sitting near the kitchen, you may get a chance to see/meet the owner/chef, Harold Dieterle, Top Chef‘s inaugural winner.

 

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

97 Sullivan St nr. Spring St. NYC

Go early, sit at the bar, share a dozen oysters and try the martinis while you wait for a table (no reservations). Start with the platter of honey BBQ-glazed ribs and chicken wings.  The lobster and fried chicken for dinner will not disappoint. Take your time and enjoy a bottle of wine.  Don’t want to wait for a table?  Then head over to Blue Ribbon Sushi a few doors down. 

 

Frank

88 Second Ave. nr. 5th St. NYC

Are you on a budget or not sure if you want to spend dough on your date?  Check out this budget-friendly Italian joint in the East Village and order Grandma Carmela’s slow-cooked ragu.

 

Braeburn

117 Perry St. at Greenwich St. NYC

This restaurant reminds me of Nantucket meets a Vermont ski lodge.  The menu items are seasonal and fresh and the ambiance is cozy but not crowded.  Ask about the daily specials.  On Sunday, they feature a roasted chicken dinner for two.  You can also use this as your fallback plan if the wait at the Spotted Pig is too long.

 

Dieci

228 E. 10th St. nr. First Ave. 

This tiny 25-seat subterranean restaurant features Japanese Italian tapas. Yes, you read that correctly. The Japanese chef creates some amazing combinations of flavors and presents them in small portions so they are perfect for dates. Order a bunch of plates and share. You won’t want to miss the Spicy Yellowtail Tartar Crostini, Homemade Meatball, Saikyo Miso Marinated Black Cod and the duck. The menu changes so go back again.

 

 

Bon Appétit!

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Michael Mina coming to Seattle

August 18, 2010

Seattle definitely has a place on the map when it comes to eating.  Ethan Stowell, Tom Douglas, Chef in the Hat (Thierry Rautureau) run culinary empires around here.  Add Michael Mina to the list next Spring.

Bringing the Burgundy, France-inspired magic from his San Francisco enterprise RN74, Mina is planning to set up Seattle’s RN74 shop at the corner of 4th & Pike in downtown Seattle. 

It’s an interesting location for Mina.  The space is in the Joshua Green Building, a historical landmark that is being restored from the inside out.  While the restaurant alone is a big draw (Michael Mina’s food is a must-try for me), I’m also interested to see that “out” part.  The corner of 4th & Pike isn’t the fanciest of downtown Seattle locations.  Witness: Businesses in the vicinity have closed up these locations (RIP: Sharper Image & Ben Bridge), and the bus stop outside of RN74’s promised location is constantly packed with interesting patrons headed on the Metro routes to Capitol Hill.  Fast forward to nighttime – dinner time – and the crowd just gets more colorful. 

That said, with just a short walk to Westlake Center, Pike Place Market – straddling the city’s financial district and retail core, there is a lot of promise for this corner.

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photo courtesy of  Joshua Green Building

future site of RN74

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Back to inside …

 

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photos courtesy of  michael mina

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Mina is expected to import much of the menu and the Euro-rail styling (check out the fabulous railway time tables in the top photo above, and in detail below!) from his San Francisco location, with the requisite local twist.  The wine list will offer a selection of wines from Washington and Oregon, but will stay true to its namesake, the winegrowing area on Burgundy’s Route Nationale 74, which is said to be home to some of the greatest vineyards in the world. 

As for the food, his San Francisco menu could certainly be infused with Pacific Northwest fare.  Perhaps the cheese selection might give some credit to Washington’s fledgling artisan cheese industry and feature creamery goodness from the Washington State Cheesemakers Association, or perhaps beef from sea breeze farm or  Baron Farms will show up on the menu. 

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hello railway time tables!  GENIUS.

photo courtesy of michael mina

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Whatever appears on the plate is sure to be good.  Mina’s accolades are long and impressive.   Mark your calendars for March 2011.  Cannot wait to try & taste what Mina has in store for Seattle!