Hello Single Gourmets,
In the interest of getting this newsletter out as soon as possible, I am going to keep the intro short and sweet. The days are getting shorter and colder, and the holidays are approaching. Thankfully it hasn’t really snowed yet, although with my luck, the day after I put this in the mail, there will probably be a blizzard.
I am improving on getting these done and out in a timely manner (although I admit, I still have work to do… on the other hand there are seven events this month!). I am also planning some travel. Aaron (the previous owner of The Single Gourmet, whom many of you know), has proposed a trip to Los Angeles and San Diego in February or March. I would like feedback from you all (via email or phone calls) as to whether you would be interested in such a trip. I am also thinking of a trip to Israel, perhaps in April. You will get information on these in the January newsletter.
319 W 51st Street
For 20 years Maria Pia has been serving fine Italian food to the theater and local crowd in the west 50s. Owned by restaurateur Besim Kutjak who also owns Intermezzo, Lemon Jungle, Il Bastardo, Arte Café, Gallo Nero, Cara Mia, La Carbonara, Zucca, Bocca di Bacco, and Luna Piena (which we have been to), he must be doing something right. Zagat says, “Geared to the pre-theater crowd,” this “reliable Hell’s Kitchen red-sauce joint keeps ’em coming back” with top-notch service and a beautiful garden.
Our Thanksgiving feast starts with a choice of roasted pumpkin soup or zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta in Romana sauce, followed by entrée choices of pumpkin and baby scallops risotto (dried pumpkin, baby scallops & vialone nano risotto), tagliarinne con aragosta (homemade pasta with half lobster, shrimps, clams and mussels in a spicy tomato sauce), grilled rack of lamb with roasted potato and asparagus, or baked organic turkey stuffed with onions, apples and orange sauce. For dessert, we have a choice of creme brulee or apple strudel with vanilla gelato.
Le Rivage offers a cozy, romantic French country atmosphere in the heart of the Theater District. Traditional French cuisine is expertly prepared for your pleasure with fresh flowers embellishing each table, and the food is cooked with a family tradition and quality passed down through three generations. On Monday (and Thursday) nights, Le Rivage offers live music. We have an amazing menu for the price tonight, but please note the $13 supplements for the duck and the steak.
We have an amazing menu for the price tonight, starting with appetizer choices of Caesar salad, moules farcies, escargot, or French onion soup; entree choices include NY strip steak (+$13), duck a la orange (+$13), gambas (shrimp) Le Rivage, or ratatouille rosace; and we finish with dessert choices of crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, or seasonal fruits.
381 Park Ave South
We have dined at Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, and each time was a raving success, we expect this Sunday in December to be no different. Zagat describes it as “upscale comfort food” saying, “this long time favorite, charming all-day eatery that draws devotees with hearty American comfort food while at night there’s a quieter grown-up vibe.”
Our menu starts with a choice of Sarabeth’s velvety cream of tomato soup or mixed greens salad; choose from entrées of salmon niçoise, pan roasted farm chicken, or skirt steak frites; and for dessert, Sarabeth’s Cookie Plate or creme brulee.
325 W 51 St
(between 8th & 9th Ave)
Pronounced “veechay-versa,” this upscale eatery in Hell’s Kitchen serves up Italian dishes in an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. The owners Franco Lazzari and Stefano Terzi met while working at San Domenico, a Tony May (the Godfather of the Italian cucina in New York) restaurant, and hired the same gifted Italian designer-architect who helped create May’s celebrated restaurant to design their own. The results are impressive: tinted limestone, decorative urns and a 25-seat garden at the rear are among the eye-candy here. Executive chef-proprietor Stefano Terzi gives a new northern spin to Italian classics. ViceVersa uses only the highest quality ingredients produced locally or imported from Italy, and makes all its pasta from scratch. 4.5 stars on Open Table, 4 stars on Yelp, Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
Our menu starts with a choice of salumi with speck, finochiona salami, and boar caciatorini; shrimp with cherry tomatoes, string beans, red onion, balsamic vinaigrette, thyme; or a mixed salad with shaved grana padano. Entrees include a choice of chicken fontina valle d’Aosta, swordfish siciliana; or beef short ribs. For dessert everyone gets a tasting trio of chocolate ganache wedges, strawberry shortcake, and coffee-flavored panna cotta.
630 9th Ave
(corner of W 44th St)
3:00 PM optional drinks
4:00 PM dinner
3 courses, 1 glass of wine
coffee/tea, tax & tip
$120 if RSVP is made after Sunday, December 15
$125 if RSVP is made after Wednesday, December 18
no refunds after Monday, December 15
Have a light breakfast, as it will be an early Christmas dinner for us this year at this popular French brasserie that feels “like being in Paris, but with better service and a quality menu, in a room that suggests Rick’s Place in Casablanca” according to Zagat. Michelin Guide says, “Marseille marries the charm of a classic French bistro with the inimitable style of New York City; the skilled and truly professional kitchen prepares an impressive cuisine bursting with pronounced balanced flavors.” From the same restaurant group that owns Café D’Alsace, Maison, Torino, French Roast, Le Monde, Nice Matin, Pigalle and L’Express. Give yourself the gift of a great meal – they have given us so many options to choose from (6 appetizers and 6 entrees), this will be a Christmas dinner to remember. Please RSVP early because I need a minimum headcount by December 15 (after that, RSVPs are still possible, but will be more expensive).
Our menu starts with choices of Marseille salad (green oak leaf, mustard vinaigrette, almonds), frisee aux lardons (endive salad with poached egg), French onion soup, escargot, and crispy calamari, tuna tartare. The entrée choices are all natural Christmas turkey, honey glazed duck breast, prime beef rib eye, slow roasted lamb shank, trout grenobloise, and vegetable couscous. Desserts include eggnog crème brûlée with holiday cookies, ice cream, sorbet, or fresh berries.
1 UN Plaza
(enter at E 44th St on corner of 1st Ave)
8:00 PM optional drinks
9:00 PM dinner
4 courses, 2 glasses of wine
coffee/tea, midnight bubbly toast, tax & tip
if RSVP is made after Sat, Dec 21
$179 for both members and non-members
if RSVP is made after Wednesday, December 25
no refunds after Saturday, December 21
A new venue for The Single Gourmet, Ambassador Grill & Lounge offers inventive international cuisine in New York City’s most distinctive dining space, a postmodern interior landmark from the height of the 1970s disco era. On January 17, 2017, it received Landmark status becoming the city’s 118th Interior Landmark and the youngest structure to ever receive such an honor. Today, Executive Chef Ayman Mustafa carries on the Grill’s cosmopolitan culinary heritage featuring subtle influences from his native Jordan.
Our menu starts with a choice of lobster bisque, grass fed beef meatballs, or sweet potato pomme frites; entrée choices of Mediterranean Murray’s chicken, Ora king salmon, or flat iron steak frites (substitute 14-ounce NY Strip +$20), and a vegetarian option (to be determined). Dessert choices include triple chocolate layer cake or fresh fruit. We will get 2 glasses of red or white wine during (or after) the meal, and a glass of bubbly at midnight to welcome in the new year. Please RSVP early because I need a minimum headcount by Dec 21. After Dec 21, RSVPs are still possible, but will be more expensive.