Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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.


 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. 



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.



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.



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!


Future Drink Trends

August 2, 2010

Loved this Zagat Buzz about the latest and greatest from the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans.  Last year, we saw the reemergence of the mixologist and old-timey prohibition drinks. Check out what Zagat’s Todd Price anticipates to the be the next big thing(s) in the world of alcohol:

Back to the Future: Chef Ryan Clift and bartender Matthew Bax of Singapore’s Tippling Club arrived in New Orleans with only half their bag of molecular tricks. U.S. Customs had confiscated several of their high-tech ingredients. They still pulled off a carbonated cherry, a freeze-dried foam in champagne and an absinthe fog that floated atop a Sazerac cocktail. “We don’t need to all be making pre-Prohibition cocktails,” said Bax. But most radical was how they synchronize pairings of up to 20 drinks and tasting portions. The bartenders at Tippling Club work in the kitchen alongside the cooks.

Widening the Whiskey Net: Capitalizing on the cocktail world’s fascination with all things Japanese, Suntory shared its elegant 12-year-old Hibiki whiskey, which arrived in the U.S. only last year. Paul Pacult, of “Spirit Journal” and the BAR training program, noted in one seminar that Irish whiskey has been the fastest growing spirits category for the last decade. Jameson’s master distiller Barry Crockett hopes to keep that trend going with more full-bodied pure-pot-still whiskeys, like the new 15-year-old Redbreast, to compete with small-batch bourbons and single-malt scotches.

Moonshine, Bartender Brands and Spluge-Worthy Rum: Moonshine is going market-fresh with Midnight Moon’s line of soon-to-be-released unaged corn whiskeys infused with cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Adam Seger (Chicago’s Nacional 27) and Joe McCanta (London’s Saf) collaborated on the hibiscus- and ginger-infused liqueur Hum, which points to a future of bartender-created spirits. Finally, one of the most unusual new offerings was Black Tot rum, the remains of the last rum ration distributed to British sailors in 1970. At more than $1,000 a bottle, let’s hope no one mixes it with Coke.

Power in the Proof: The global cocktail trend has been fueled by the rediscovery of classic, pre-Prohibition recipes. But why are many of them, at least as written in the old books, so bland? Many of today’s liquors are watered down. Audrey Saunders (New York’s Pegu Club) noted that bartenders are seeking out more spirits that are 100 proof and beyond, which used to be the norm. “It’s not about using higher proof to get bombed,” she said. “There is concentrated flavor in higher proof.”