As April showers bring May flowers, so they also will bring the launch of our new website (all in favor say YAY, the rest say FINALLY!). New things to look forward to: there will be a referral program for referring new members to the group; you will be able see and pay for events online; and “The Last Minute Gourmet” will be launched! With the Last Minute Gourmet you will be notified via text message and email ONLY about last minute dinner events held after work in secret locations. This is a separate group from The Single Gourmet but current members are free to participate.
Let’s puddle jump right into what we still have left in March.  Currently on Sunday, March 29th, we visit one of the best restaurants in NYC, Le PERIGORD. Crowned the “Most Elegant Restaurant” in NYC by the 2014 Concierge Choice Awards and now celebrating 50 years of service, Le Périgord proves that elegance and fine dining never go out of style. A Zagat rated 25 for both food and service, “Classic to the core.”
The first weekend in April is Easter. Join us on Easter, April 5th at a very elegant downtown Italian restaurant, Arte. For over 20 years, it has been a neighborhood establishment and a recent recommendation and favorite of one of our best members.  The following Sunday, April 12th, we revisit an all-time favorite of everyone’s Patsy’s. We will dine where Sinatra dined, and enjoy some of the best red sauce Italian in the country. A handful of you asked me when we were going back, and this is the date. On April 19th we visit Fishtail, one of David Burke’s greatest and most well-known restaurants. Located in a townhouse on the Upper East Side, David Burke has put an impressive meal together for us.  Those who went last year would not think it could get much better, but it definitely has. Following Fishtail, we are singing the blues while we eat, on Tuesday April 21st as we listen to some good ole’ live blues at BB Kings. The Harlem Blues Project, headed by my favorite local musician, Jerry Dugger with his deep baritone and phenomenal voice, will entertain us for about 2 hours of incredible live blues music. RSVP early for this event as we have to guarantee a minimum head count. Our last meal on Sunday April 26th takes us to a little cozy, yet absolutely delicious French restaurant in Greenwich Village (no worries, it is minutes from most trains) called Le Baratin, which means “smooth or sweet talking” in French. The traditional French menu and bistro-like setting, will remind us all why the French are known for their cooking. A special relationship exists with the family whom we have been hosting events with for many years has guaranteed us a great menu for this event.

The following March events are still available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:

  1. Le Perigord– 405 East 52nd (Between FDR & 1st Avenue), Sunday, March 29th, 5:30pm optional drinks, 6:15pm dinner, three courses, hors dourves, gl of wine, tax & tip $88


The following April events are available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:

Arte Italian Ristorante – Easter Sunday
21 East 9th Street (University and 5th Ave)
Easter Sunday, April 5th
 5:45 pm optional drinks; 6:30pm dinner
 $77  3-course meal, gl wine, coffee/tea, tax/tip 

Our founder Art Fischer says, “if we can get a restaurant to take us on Easter, jump on it.” A vanishing breed, Arte Restaurant is one of those quiet, beautiful, best kept secrets with a comfortable, homey ambiance, fireplaces and an outside garden. Celebrities such as Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Adam Sandler, Richard Gere, Diane Lane have been coming here for years. The romantic atmosphere combines smoothly with the Northern Italian cuisine that is all cooked to order.  Voted 4 stars or better on all review sites and after 22 years on the block, this is a classic neighborhood favorite. Our entrées will include veal scaloppini modo nostro, chicken romania, ravioli porcini and red snapper.

236 W 56th St (B’way and 8th ave)
Sunday, April 12th
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$79  Italian meal, gl wine, tax & tip

Back by popular demand! Since 1948 our founder Art Fischer has been dining at Patsy’s and bringing the group along with (since 1982). Clearly one of the best and well known red sauce ‘joint’s in history. We will reminisce about Sinatra and his crew while dining on the tastiest pasta dishes around and savior the huge slices of cake from their dessert cart. As they like to say “There are restaurants you go to, and restaurants you go back to.” We certainly make that statement true.

Fishtail, by David Burke
135 East 62nd (Park & Lex)
Sunday, April 19th
5:15pm optional drinks, 6:00pm dinner
$88  3-course meal, gl wine, coffee, tax & tip

The ever so creative and popular David Burke welcomes us again to his 24 Zagat rated Upper East-sider where the “fish is so fresh you can smell the sea and where the creative preparations are dispensed by an informative crew; its beautiful townhouse setting includes a busy downstairs bar and a quieter, more formal upper dining room, but no matter where you sit, the dining is delicious.” Fish is brought in daily from Burke’s company-owned fishing boat based in New Jersey. Our menu has been expanded from last year’s menu with the addition of lobster dumplings and still keeping the pretzel crusted crab cakes (superb!). From the entrée choices we will have new additions of salt roasted branzino, nori mustard crusted tuna and a stuffed chicken dish.

BB Kings- Blues Club All Stars Night
Featuring, “The Harlem Blues Project”
Dinner and music inside Lucille’s Grill
237 West 42nd (between 7th and 8th)
Tuesday, April 21st – Try to RSVP by April 15th
6:15pm optional drinks, 7pm dinner/ show 7:30-9:30
$65 Live Show, Dinner, 1 beer/wine, sodas/coffee t&t

Join us for a night of southern food and live music at BB-Kings, owned by the same owner as The Blue Note. We will be entertained by “The Harlem Blues Project” featuring blues masters Jerry Dugger, Junior Mack, and Barry Harrison plus a revolving cast of NYC’s finest blues musicians including Michael Hill. Lead by Blues Hall of Fame member, Jerry Dugger, a favorite blues singer of mine who has shared the stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Copeland, James Cotton and many more, Dugger’s deep baritone voice and thunderous bass playing have earned him a place in New York’s Blues Hall of Fame.  His band, “The Dugger Brothers” are a staple on the New York City Blues scene.  Junior Mack was influenced by Duane Allman, Dickey Betts and Wes Montgomery has played with the late Pops Staples and has also worked with The Allman Brothers, Robert Randolph, Dickey Betts, and many others. Drummer Barry Harrison spent five and a half years with the legendary Johnny Copeland, while Michael Hill is a 2011 inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame as a “Master Blues Artist.” Michael Hill has recorded six international albums and played to packed audiences in twenty-nine countries. Bring requests, Jerry Dugger probably knows them.

Dinner is in Lucille’s Grill, inside BB-Kings and was named “Best Great Bar That You’d Never Suspect Was a Great Bar” by the New York Press, where local acts from the New York music scene jam away every night of the week.  RSVP must be made in advance to guarantee a minimum and our southern style entrée choices must be preselected with RSVP. They include-Grilled Salmon~ Creole Spiced Salmon With Cheddar Grits, Sautéed Spinach & BBQ Sauce, Southern Fried Chicken And Waffles, Southern Roasted Chicken~ Andouille Cornbread Stuffing & Mixed Vegetables, Hanger Steak- Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach, Classic Herb Butter Sauce and/or a vegetarian dish.

Le Baratin
26 Greenwhich Avenue (6th Ave & 7th Ave)
5 min walk from ABCDEFML and 123 subways
Sunday April 26th
5:45pm optional drink, 6:30pm dinner
$55 Includes 3-course meal, gl wine,coffee t&t

Due to a longstanding relationship with the owners of this restaurant, they have specifically prepared for us a generous menu. From the family members that brought us such favorites as Tout Va Bien and Les Sans Culottes, Le Baratin is a perfect casual French bistro and neighborhood hotspot.  A favorite amongst the French diners in the area as well, as every table seems to have someone speaking French seated or at the bar. This reminds my French wife Juliane of the restaurant her family owned in Deauville. With a menu based on simple and traditional French bistro fare that is “utterly delicious” she states, this as a perfect replica of a small town cozy French Bistro, having a “simple yet delicious menu.” According to Foodlog, the atmosphere is “cozy and inviting” and “the food is rated excellent.” The Menu items are freshly prepared and seasonally driven. Le Baratin serves only the highest quality and freshest ingredients from top suppliers around New York City. According to one critic, Le Baratin, is “not a fussy French restaurant, but feels more like a “homey place in Britany, not in Paris”. Winner of 2014 open table choice award where they are rated 4.2/5 stars. Other review sites have them rated 4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor, 5/5 on menupages, 4.8/5 stars on google, 4 stars in Timeout NY, 8.4/10 on Foursquare, 4 stars on YELP, 5 stars on UrbanSPoon and Mimi Sheraton, former Times restaurant critic stated in 2013 that Le Baratin certainly gets her vote for best new restaurant of the year for a true bistro menu already promisingly executed. Our traditional menu includes Pâté, Coq au vin, beef bourguignon, mussels, hanger steak au poivre, mousse and tarte tatin.


Travel with The Single Gourmet

Sept 4th-7th-10th: Austin and San Antonio TX

This year our domestic trip is going to be a combination of two cities deep in the heart of Texas. First, we spend 3 nights in Austin, voted the 3rd “coolest” city to visit by Forbes 2014, based on entertainment options, local restaurants per capita and population growth. Conde Nast Travel states, “Austin’s ever-evolving food scene just keeps getting better” and has also voted Austin one of “the best American cities for foodies.” As the capital of Texas, it is home to numerous museums and thousands of acres of parks…Austin’s thumping music scene is the draw for most visitors, with more than 100 clubs booking two or three acts per night. Forbes ranks Austin fastest growing city four years in a row, best city to live under 30, and it is now the music capital of the world. If you watch the food network many episodes rave about the Austin food scene. Austin has been on lists such as: friendliest city, fittest city, most tech savvy city, safest city, #1 economy in the country, # 1 to start a small business in the country, and dozens of other lists. We will be staying at the 4-star Hilton located right in downtown and steps from everything. We will tour the city via a hop on hop off bus tour, walking tours, a winery tour, a museum tour, listen to the best live music, eat the best BBQ and other incredible meals. This trip will be Labor Day Weekend which is Sept 4th – 7th. For those who want to extend the trip, we have an optional “excursion” where we will drive (2 hours) to San Antonio and stay 3 additional nights.  In San Antonio, we will stay at the 4-star Hyatt Regency right in the center of the River walk. We will tour the city on a hop on hop off bus as well as walking tours. We will visit the Alamo, sail on a Riverboat Ride, visit the Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Japanese Sunken Gardens, Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, Texas Ranger Museum and El Mercado as well as eat out at top rated restaurants . You will have the choice of just seeing Austin Friday to Monday, and heading back to NYC on Labor Day without the group (Single room $1995, double $1750) or join us 3 additional nights and head to San Antonio ($3445 Single, $2995 double). Non-refundable deposit $600 holds your spot to Austin, $1000 non-refundable for both cities. If you are flying on your own you can deduct $300. Please let us know ASAP as booking 2 trips requires deposits and commitments.

Details on our New Year’s trip 2016 will come in future newsletters, but looks like we will be visiting Barcelona and possibly Madrid over the holiday week.

April 2015 NL