April 2018

 

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims! (My nephew likes to tell me that joke.) The Romans named this month Aprilis but the derivation of this name is uncertain. April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, before January and February were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BCE, and originally had 30 days. It became the fourth month about 450 BCE, and it was also shortened to 29 days. Julius Caesar’s calendar reform made that day back, and it remained that long in the calendar revision of Augustus Caesar in 8 BCE. The Anglo-Saxons called April ēastre-monaþ, which is the root of the word Easter. Speaking of which, April has no national holidays other than Easter, which sometimes occurs in March, leaving April with none. This year it occurs on Sunday, April 1 (yes, we have a dinner that night). As most of you know, the regular tax return filing deadline is April 15, but this year, because April 15 is on a Sunday, and the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday is observed on April 16 this year, Tax Day is actually on the following Tuesday, April 17.

On a slightly silly note, April is also National Grilled Cheese Month. Go ahead and indulge. Who doesn’t like grilled cheese?

As we noted in last month’s newsletter, here are the trips that we are planning travel for in 2018. We have moved the trip to Santa Fe & Albuquerque to May 1-7 (and yes, there will be a Cinco de Mayo party!); we’ll go to Toronto and Niagara over the week of July 4 for 5 nights (July is the warmest month in Toronto with temperatures 65-79 max); Iceland in late September or early October for 5 nights to try to catch the Northern Lights; and we are going back to CUBA for New Year’s Eve 2018-2019. This time we will go not just to Havana, but to other parts of Cuba not explored on our last trip. For any of these trips, please secure spaces ASAP.

Our March dinners continue this Sunday the 18th as we head to STELLA 34, located inside Macy’s with gorgeous panoramic views of Herald Square. Next, on Sunday the 24th, we head over to a new restaurant a stone’s throw away from Grand Central called SINIGUAL, which is “Haute Contemporary Mexican” and will redefine how you think about Mexican food. Note: the chocolate cooking class we had scheduled for March 31 was rescheduled, and will take place on Saturday, April 21. Instead, we will have a Holiday Dinner on April 1 (Easter Sunday) at Kellari.

Speaking of which… our April events start on Sunday, April 1 with a return to KELLARI. This Greek restaurant specializes in seafood, and has a decor that evokes a subterranean wine cellar, designed with contemporary elegance. We continue on Sunday, April 8, this time returning to a restaurant that was originally scheduled for January, BAR SIX, a French Moroccan bistro in the heart of Greenwich Village with a mellow yet energetic ambiance. The next Sunday, April 15 (not tax day, that’s on the 17th, as noted above), we return to PATSY’S, a traditional Italian restaurant that is an old favorite of both Art and the group. The following Saturday we travel to Brooklyn for a fun and amazing chocolate making class at RAAKA, an actual chocolate factory. The next event is a live jazz brunch at CARA MIA 2, a new restaurant for us, and a sister to Cara Mia in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. The following Thursday we will return to SUTTON INN, an intimate neighborhood eatery offering a seasonal American menu. We finish the month at a new restaurant, NICE MATIN, named after the largest daily newspaper in the South of France, and according to the NYTimes, “gives the Upper West Side a splash of Provençal sunshine and a heady introduction to the cuisine of Nice.”

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

Stella 34 Trattoria, 151 W 34th St (6th Floor of Macy’s) Sunday, March 18, 5:30pm optional drinks, 6:15pm dinner, $85 prix fixe includes 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/soda, tax & tip https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/stella-34-2018/

Sinigual (Haute Contemporary Mexican), 640 3rd Ave (corner of 41st St) Saturday, March 24, 6:30pm optional drinks; 7:15pm dinner, $75 prix fixe includes 3 courses, 1 glass of wine, tax & tip https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/sinigual-2018/

 

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

 

Kellari Taverna (Greek)
19 W 44th St (between 5th & 6th Ave)
Sunday, April 1 (Holiday dinner)
5:00 pm optional drinks, 6:00 pm dinner
$84 prix fixe: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/kellari-2018/

Zagat says that Kellari offers “mouthwatering displays of fresh fish on ice that beckon at this sophisticated Midtown Greek seafood restaurant offering next-flight-to-Athens-quality cooking.” The dining room decor evokes a sub­terranean wine cellar designed with contemporary elegance. Kellari, which means ”cellar” in Greek, features the traditional Greek taverna specialties and an eclectic selection of contemporary Hellenic savory “mezedes.” A recent article states that “Kellari Taverna is the epitome of classic Greek cuisine with the perfect balance of authenticity and elegance. You can find classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes at Kellari. Moreover, the food is as welcoming as the hospitality that you will receive.

As you enter Kellari and sit at the bar, the words “Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends” are printed on placards. It is this feeling of warmth and hospitality that pervades the entire experience at Kellari, a cozy Midtown gem with wood-beamed cathedral ceilings, and walls warmed in sunset hues.” Our menu will start with a family-style course of salad, pita with spreads and spanakopita, followed by a choice of lamb, chicken, or sea bass, and an assortment of shared desserts.


Bar Six (French Moroccan)

502 6th Ave (between 12th & 13th St)
Sunday, April 8
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$77 prix fixe: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/bar-six-2018/

Bar Six is a relaxed bistro that attracts a diverse crowd of fashionable young professionals, Bohemian long-timers and locals, and would be welcome in any neigh­bor­­hood, but its classic charm and international edge seem especially suited for the stylish and creative Greenwich Village. The picturesque French boîte turns out bistro standards, Mediterranean staples and North African cuisine with equal flair. A Village staple for almost 25 years, when Bar Six opened in 1993 it replaced an older bistro in the same spot, La Gauloise, notable for its handsome Belle Epoque décor, which was retained almost in its entirety. New York Magazine says, “Although the décor at this West Village hangout — yellow walls, red vinyl banquettes, copper-topped café tables and rows of imported bottles of mineral water — indicates an appealing French bistro, the menu contains some type-defying items. In addition to the requisite but tasty moules and steak frites, comforting North African dishes — like grilled, veggie-packed couscous, or an aromatic chicken tagine — dare to mix it up.” Our menu starts with French onion soup, pan roasted crab cakes, Mediterranean salad, mussels Provençale, frisée salad with bacon lardon or escargot. Our entrees will be steak frites au poivre, dry age grass fed NY strip, chicken tagine slow cooked with Moroccan spices, couscous and sweet potatoes, Idaho rainbow trout almandine, Berkshire pork chop or vegetable couscous. Followed by chocolate covered profiteroles, pear crumble a la mode or vanilla bean crème brûlée.


Patsy’s (Italian)
236 W 56th St (between Broadway & 8th Ave)
Sunday, April 15
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$84 prix fixe: 4 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/patsys-2018/

Back by popular demand and many requests! Our founder Art Fischer had been bringing the group here on a regular basis since 1982. Without a doubt, one of the best and well known “red sauce joints” in history. We will pick up where we left off reminiscing about Sinatra and his crew while dining on the tastiest pasta dishes around and savor their desserts. As New York Magazine says, “If it’s good enough for Frank, it’s good enough for you.” And as foodies say, there are restaurants you go to, and restaurants you go back to. This is one that you go back to. Our menu here includes a salad course, a pasta course, entre choice, and then a dessert cart.


RAAKA: Bean to Bar Chocolate Making Class
64 Seabring St, Brooklyn
Saturday, April 21
(this was rescheduled from March 31 because of the Passover and Easter holidays)
3:15 pm-5:15 pm at the Raaka Chocolate factory
2:30 pm at Union Square at Capital One (14th & Broadway)
$75: tour, class, unlimited samples and 3 hand-made chocolate bars
Share a car from Union Square (round trip) for an additional $20

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/raaka-chocolate-2018/

Learn how to make your own artisanal chocolates from bean-to-bar with an indulgent visit to Raaka Chocolate, an award-winning chocolatier in Brooklyn. Aaron says this is one of the best events he has done with Juliane. Learn all about the chocolate making process and sample the chocolate from every process, starting with the just-opened pods from their own farm in the Dominican Republic to the different stages of roasted beans, to the liquid chocolate, and then the final product. The class starts with a tour of the factory, then you’ll taste raw cacao from around the world and at different roasting stages, compare unique traits of each growing region, grinding the beans and learning the secret method to separate the crushed shells from the cocoa, ending with you having dozens of (unlimited) samples and 3 hand-crafted personally made bars to take home. Raaka means “raw” in Finland, and this company teaches you the green and sustainable way they make chocolate. Learn the history of chocolate, the history of this particular company, what defines the percentage of chocolate, according to Raaka (they use no dairy and no fillers such as stabilizers), and how this brand has grown from a small chocolatier in Brooklyn to an international brand. We go deep into the process of every stage, from grinding the beans to pouring and decorating the bars to watching the machine label and package. This event is for anyone who has eaten chocolate and not said “yuck”. Note: This class takes place after hours, but in an actual working factory; please wear closed-toed shoes.


Cara
Mia 2 (live jazz brunch)
623 9th Ave (corner of W 44th St)
Sunday, April 22
12 noon check-in, 12:30 brunch
$59 prix fixe menu: 2 courses, 90 minutes of unlimited brunch drinks, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/cara-mia-2-2018/

Owned by restaurateur Besim Kukaj (owner of 10 Italian restaurants including Maria Pia, Luna Piena, and Gallo Nero, all of which we have visited), recently opened Cara Mia 2. Since 1997, its sister restaurant Cara Mia has been offering their customers delicious and creative Italian cuisine. After 17 years of restaurant experience, Besim Kukaj has created an “at home” Italian feeling for your dining experience. Meaning “My Beloved,” Cara Mia is an ever-popular Midtown institution that according to New York Magazine “radiates the warmth of Southern Italy.” The rustic-chic dining room is like a home away from home, with its gorgeous tiled floors, craftsman-style wooden tables, candlelit ambiance anchored by brick walls and vintage photographs, and hundreds of wine bottles displayed along the walls.

They are bringing in a jazz singer by special request of The Single Gourmet! And although we have only a 2-course menu here, we have 90 minutes of unlimited brunch drinks (choice of champagne, Mimosa, Bellini, Bloody Mary, house red/white wine), and a lot of food to choose from. Our first course is salad, choice of: Fruit Salad and Vanilla Yogurt, Insalata Caprese, Caesar Salad with chicken (available with Steak or Shrimp), and Insalata Monte Bianca. For the second course, you can choose from 14 different brunch entrees (mostly egg dishes, I don’t have room to list them all, the list also includes an amazing burger) or 4 pasta entrees: Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Pancetta, eggs and pecorino romano cheese); Penne alla vodka (Vodka pink cream sauce, peas, mushrooms); Capellini Primivera (mixed vegetables, garlic, white sauce); Pasta Aglio e Olio (Spaghetti, Garlic, extra virgin olive oil and crushed Peperoncini, sunny side up egg).


Sutton Inn
(American)
347 E 54th St (between 1st & 2nd Ave)
Thursday, April 26
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$82 prix fixe: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/sutton-inn-2018/

Highly recommended by many members, this seasonal American menu is one of the top restaurants in Sutton Place. Executive chef Scott Grewe has worked at some of New York City’s best restaurants, including Jean-Georges and Charlie Palmer’s Aureole. Scott’s many years of experience in renowned fine dining restaurants led him to become Executive Chef at Sutton Inn. Since opening in November 2014, Sutton Inn has earned three open table diner’s choice awards for best American restaurant in Manhattan. 4 stars on yelp. 4.8 stars on google reviews, 4.5 on TripAdvisor. Our menu is seasonal so it has not been created yet.


Nice Matin
201 W 79 St (corner of Amsterdam Ave)
Sunday, April 29
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$79 prix fixe: 3 courses, glass of wine, tax & tip

https://thesinglegourmet.net/event/nice-matin-2018/

Chef Andy D’Amico partnered with Simon Oren (Marseille, Sushi Samba, L’Express, Café D’alsace, Nizza, Barbounia, 5 Napkin Burger) in 2003 and traveled to Nice, France, while researching their future restaurant. Upon their return, D’Amico created an inventive menu full of items inspired by their trip. Critics applauded their choices, and Nice Matin received “2 Stars” from The New York Times and Crain’s New York, and “2 1/2 Stars” (out of 3) from The Daily News and New York Post. Chef D’Amico has previously been named “Best Chef” by New York Magazine food editor Gillian Duffy. Named after the largest daily newspaper in the South of France, Nice Matin gives the Upper West Side a splash of Provençal sunshine and a heady introduction to the cuisine of Nice.

ALL menus listed are subject to change without notice due to restaurant supply.

To reserve any or all the events please go to our website or call us at (646) 825-0268, email us at events@thesingelgourmet.net or mail checks to: The Single Gourmet, 69 W 9th Street #6A, New York, NY 10011.

REFUND POLICY: Due to restaurant deposit and guarantee requirements, cancellations for dinners are accepted up to ONE WEEK prior to the event. If you cancel 4-6 days prior, you will receive a credit toward a future event, but there will be no refunds for cancellations made 3 days or sooner for dinners.

Ticketed events (tours, shows, and ANY non-dinner event) are non-refundable within 7 days of the event.

 

TRIP TO NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque & Santa Fe
May 1-7
$3749
minus $250 if flying on your own
minus $400 if sharing a room

 The itinerary is 95% done, but subject to change. NOTE, the dates of the trip have changed! Also, due to adding dinner the first night and a more centrally located hotel, the price has gone up a bit. We are waiting on some restaurants which are always booked last (they will be great), a tour company for Santa Fe one day and one of the hotels to confirm. We will update this as soon as finished. So far 10 people have booked and we expect a few more to join, making this a nice manageable group.

We need deposits ASAP, so in order to fully confirm, please do so by emailing us your full exact name and your date of birth as printed on your government-issued ID. Even if you have sent them before, please send them again to confirm you are coming. We will then take a $500 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit for the airfare, along with a signed waiver/release.

Full payment will be due April 1.

Occupied for 5000 years by Native Americans and then by Spanish settlers, New Mexico is known for its extraordinary scenic beauty and rich cultural history. This is the land that has inspired many artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, and continues to inspire visitors from all over the world. This year’s readers’ choice winner for Travel+Leisure’s “Destination of the Year” is Santa Fe, New Mexico, which earned 65% of the vote in an online survey.

ALBUQUERQUE (May 1-4) is New Mexico’s largest city, yet it exudes plenty of small-town, desert charm. In this southwest city, the sun shines almost year-round, and the air is scented with sage and piñon. It’s easy to relax, but who wants to when there is so much to do? The city is home to amazing attractions, including an array of Spanish and Native American art and culture, exciting outdoor activities, and a vivacious nightlife. Albuquerque seamlessly blends old and new in its offering of an eclectic array of modern attractions and old-world heritage.

SANTA FE (May 4-7) was once the northernmost outpost of Spain’s empire in the Americas. Most of the downtown area is a designated historic district, and among the pueblo-style architecture, Spanish churches, twisting streets, and tiny boutiques, you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different country (or time period). Santa Fe has a local culture that’s all about healthy living, organic food, and a surprisingly urban sensibility that will make you wonder why more cities don’t marry modern life with old-world peace of mind.

FLIGHTS: We will be flying out of LaGuardia (LGA) to Albuquerque (ABQ) the morning of May 1 and arriving back in LGA (from ABQ) the night of May 7 (NOTE: these are different then the initial dates). Please also note that only one flight a day goes non-stop between NYC and ABQ and it is on JetBlue. It arrives in ABQ at 11:00pm the night before, but we do not want to lose an entire day, so we are NOT flying nonstop. If you want to fly JetBlue nonstop, please contact us, that flight would leave Monday, April 30, at 7:50pm and arrive in ABQ at 11:00pm.  The JetBlue nonstop flight back is a redeye.

HOTELS:
Albuquerque: we will stay at the luxurious Hotel Albuquerque a top-10 hotel located in the heart of Old Town Albuquerque and within walking distance of many attractions.

Santa Fe:  Free breakfast, an outdoor pool and Santa Fe Plaza three blocks away draw travelers to the 4-star Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, rated number 4 in Santa Fe on TripAdvisor.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL, CHECK-IN, DINNER

Arrive in Albuquerque around 4:30pm. Local-themed casual dinner included, evening on your own. I will most likely take a stroll and walk and explore the plaza for those that want to join.

DAY 2: EXPLORE ALBUQUERQUE, FULL-DAY TOUR

Experience an overview of Albuquerque on this guided tour of the city by a local who has a Masters degree in archaeology, and has been giving tours of her hometown of Albuquerque and other parts of New Mexico for 20 years and her partner who has been leading tours in the southwest for 30 years. They will be with us for most, if not all, of our days in New Mexico. This first day they will lead us on a full day of sightseeing which so far includes: Route 66 overview and sightseeing, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Wine Tasting, Museum and Gallery, Palms Trading Post, Gertrude Zachary Store, Los Poblanos Farm, the Corrales village and historic San Ysidro Complex, Coronado State Monument (pueblo ruins, Kiva, mural), and the Sandia Foothills and the famous Tramway. Many of these are listed as top things to do in Albuquerque. After dinner, Visit OLD TOWN, the picturesque oldest part of town, where modern artisans and colonial history reside side by side. Enter the quiet, ancient San Felipe de Neri Church for some restful moments of reflection.

DAY 3: ACOMA PUEBLO – SKY CITY

Our itinerary will include driving west on Interstate 40 (old Route 66), and stopping at Laguna Pueblo for photos. Then a visit to Sky City, Acoma. This is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, sitting nearly 370 feet above the desert floor and offering beautiful views for miles. The hour-long drive from Albuquerque is amazing, with spectacular rock formations under grand blue skies. A tour guide local to Acoma Pueblo guides us once we get there, telling us the history of the more than 300 adobe and sandstone structures, which are owned by pueblo women, we also visit the San Esteban del Rey Mission, completed in 1640. Many residents sell their distinct pottery from tables outside their doors. We return to Albuquerque via scenic Route 23 (Casa Blanca Road) for full pictures of Enchanted Mesa.

A Gourmet Lunch, Refreshments, and snacks will be added as there are no adequate places to eat at Acoma. This will be tailored to our preferences and picnic style as is usual for this tour.

DAY 4: BUS RIDE TO SANTA FE, TURQUOISE TRAIL

Turquoise Trail from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It is a beautiful drive and there are a few roadside attractions.  The three old mining towns (Golden, Madrid, Cerrillos) are really quaint and of great historic value. Lunch in Santa Fe, Plaza area. Half-day walking tour of Canyon Road (2-3 hours). Canyon Road is an art district in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, with over a hundred art galleries and studios exhibiting a wide range of art, including Native American art and antiquities, historical and contemporary Latino art, regional art, international folk art, and contemporary art. Canyon Road was once a primarily residential neighborhood. Houses built in the Pueblo Revival style, in accordance with the local Spanish Colonial and Pueblo methods were constructed with adobe walls and courtyards, often as compounds for extended family.

DAY 5: WALKING TOURS / CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATIONS

Santa Fe Art Museums and Galleries Walking Tour, 3 hours: Santa Fe Plaza, Palace of the Governors, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Blue Rain Gallery, New Mexico Museum of Art, Manitou Galleries, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Lensic Performing Arts Center, La Fonda Hotel. Live dance and music performances on the plaza throughout the day, with a Flamenco dance performance at a specific venue in the evening. Optional: Religious Walking Tour, 2 hours: San Miguel Mission, Loretto Chapel, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Faith Episcopal Church, Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, First Presbyterian Church. Santa Fe Railyard and Site Santa Fe, 3 hours: El Santuario de Guadalupe, Santa Fe Southern Railway and Depot, Farmer’s Market, Site Santa Fe, Art Galleries

DAY 6: TAOS DAY TRIP

The high road to Taos. Driving Distance: 105 miles with many unique scenic byway and along the way we will be passing by these wonderful little villages: Trampas, Truchas, Cordova and Chimayó and we can make stops for pictures and rest or visit to a village. Lunch in Taos at Lambert’s of Taos or the Trading Post Cafe. Dinner in Santa Fe – TBD.

DAY 7: BUS TO ABQ, FLY HOME

Leave hotel by 10:00am to drive back to ABQ to catch 1:30pm flight.

 

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