December 2017

 

Many of you coming to future dinners might start to notice a new face helping out with The Single Gourmet. I have partnered up with a good friend of mine, John Montoya to grow the group and run events as other duties of raising a family might take me away from trips and events. There won’t be drastic changes as I will be working directly with John, actively getting new restaurants, writing the newsletters, and working with him on all aspects of the business. I have known John for over 6 years. We met through a travel group where we volunteered our time helping NYC travelers explore the city, and John was an event planner for that group. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University, and early next year we will have The Single Gourmet dine at The Harvard Club. His personality and intelligence, love of fine food, wine and travel as well as being my friend makes him a perfect fit for the group. I am sure you will enjoy seeing him around at events that I cannot attend. On an entirely separate note: many have asked me where we registered for baby Elliot Denis Lefkowitz (named in memories of our late fathers). You can find us at Baby’s R Us under Juliane and Aaron Lefkowitz. His due date is now 2.12.2018. Remember to spell her name correctly 😊

Our New Year’s Trip has been moved from Panama to San Francisco and Las Vegas. Join us as we ring in the New Year first in San Francisco, then in Vegas where we will see shows, dine on great food and stay in 4-star hotels. Our trip is planned for Dec 28th – Jan 4th. details below and more will be emailed later. Please call me if interested and RSVP soon.
Our next event is on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 23rd, where we return to ETCETERA ETCETERA. Last year 30 joined us for a great Thanksgiving, and as of this writing, 25 have already signed up. The following Sunday, November 26th, we head to a new Italian restaurant for the group, PETALUMA. They have been serving Italian-American food to the Upper East Side since 1984. Please look for Juliane, the pregnant one, at this event as I will be traveling. I am going to reschedule our last event for the month as I will not be in town. Please look out in the future for a dinner at the hotspot, SONS OF ESSEX.
This December starts off on Sunday, December 3rd at a new restaurant for the group that I recently fell in love with, BOCCA. They tout themselves as ‘Roman’ food, so we decided to try it because Juliane, as a French woman, seems to have something against traditional Italian restaurants. Well, boy were we thankful we did!!! They have amazing reviews, a new chef, and one of the nicest managers I have met, whose family owns a top restaurant in Umbria. The following Sunday, December 10th, we have a new event and brunch for the group, SMOKE JAZZ & SUPPER CLUB. RSVP early to this as space is limited. Enjoy amazing brunch food and hear an incredible Jazz trio, as we venture back uptown to one of the best Jazz clubs in the city, with an all-star chef giving us 3-courses! The following Saturday, December 16th we head to one of the oldest restaurants in NYC, FRANKIE AND JOHNNIE’s. This “Restaurant Row” gorgeous steakhouse is new to our group, but it started off as a speakeasy during the 1920s. The manager is very Italian and in his ‘old-school’ way, promised me a meal we would not soon forget. The next event for our group is Christmas Dinner at OBICA. Obicà was a fortunate discovery on our Flatiron Walking tour, and ever since our first meal there, I crave to return. With fresh ingredients and imported cheeses from Italy, our 4-course meal always brings 30-40+ members. COME HUNGRY to this Christmas dinner! Finally, we ring in the New Year at SARABETH’s on Park Avenue South. The menu and the pricing are still be worked out but will be emailed out and will be in the next newsletter. Feel free to call me with any questions.
The following November events are still available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:

Etcetera Etcetera — Thanksgiving, 352 W 44th St (between 8th & 9th Ave), Thursday, November 23rd, 5:00pm Optional Pre-dinner drinks, 5:30pm Dinner, $88: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip
Petaluma — 1356 First Ave (at E 73rd St), Sunday, November 26th, 5:45pm optional drinks, 6:30pm dinner, $75: 3 courses, glass of wine, tax & tip, 5:30pm Dinner, $75: 3 courses, glass of wine, tax & tip

The following December events are available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:
Bocca (Zagat rating of 4.4)
39 East 19th Street
Sunday December 3rd
5:15 pm optional drinks, 6:00 pm dinner
$79: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/tea, tax & tip

Zagat says, it “feels like Rome at this enjoyable Cacio e Pepe sibling in the Flatiron known for its expert Italian cooking, appealing modern look and friendly service; regulars say pasta is the thing to eat here, notably its signature dish tossed tableside in a wheel of pecorino.” Michelin Guide says, “this established Italian claims new fame with the arrival of Chef James Corona. Bocca’s Roman-accented cuisine hits the right notes in meals that should absolutely consist of the first rate tonnarelli cacio e pepe. Chef James uses only imported Italian DOP (protected designation of origin) products and is a proud supporter of the Union Square Green Market. Our menu is extensive with choices including house made mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, crab cake, beef carpaccio, veal meatballs, arugula salad and entrées of Skuna Bay salmon, homemade pastas and house specialty chicken Milanese followed by chocolate molten cake, or panna cotta.

Smoke Jazz & Supper Club – Jazz Brunch
2751 Broadway (West 106th St) #1 train to 103rd
Sunday, December 10th
2:15 pm – 3:30 showtime (arrive by 2pm)
$59: 3 courses, 1 drink*, coffee, music tax & tip

Voted one of the best jazz clubs in NYC and one of the best bars in Harlem, Smoke Jazz & Supper Club presents world-class jazz, candlelit tables, plush velvet banquets, antique chan¬deliers, and a historic full-length bar creating a real jazz vibe. Smoke also serves the perfect complement to classic jazz — soulful American cuisine. The acoustics are some of the best anywhere. Pianist David Hazeltine remarked, “I love playing this room. It’s rare that the piano can be heard as clearly as it is in this club.” Harold Mabern added, “It’s the best jazz club in the world.” In the 15 years since its opening, jazz has continued to thrive at 106th (aka Duke Ellington Boulevard). Smoke is adding a few new chapters of history to a location that has been host to a legendary jazz venue for over 40 years. Smoke has won the open table diner’s choice awards for several consecutive years, and is particularly proud of its association with renowned chef Patricia Williams. Patricia’s extraordinary culinary career includes stints at Sarabeth’s Kitchen, City Wine & Cigar Company, Berkeley Bar & Grill, Butterfield 81, and Morrels. Her passion for cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients is clear from her menu. The Sunday will feature Annette St. John and her Jazz Trio. *Mimosa, screwdriver, Bloody Mary, soda- no exceptions!

Frankie and Johnnie’s Steakhouse
320 West 46th (between 8th and 9th)
Saturday, December 16th
7:15 pm optional drinks, 8:00pm dinner
$89: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip

In the heart of the Theater District this restaurant is a celebrated Broadway fixture. A New York institution, Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse is one of the city’s oldest continued dining establish¬ments in NYC having first opened as a speakeasy in 1926. Listed in Zagat’s “8 Old-School Steakhouses to Try in NYC” our menu consists of Frankie & Johnnie’s classic salad, soup of the day, petit filet mignon, broiled salmon, French style chicken breast with sides of garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and onion rings, followed by apple strudel a la mode or New York cheesecake.

Obicà – Christmas
928 Broadway @21st Street
Monday, December 25th
5:00pm optional drinks, 6:00pm dinner
$83: 4 courses, glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip

They saved us last year when our group got too large for our original restaurant and they came through with an incredible 4-course meal. Obicà combines Italy’s finest artisanal ingredients with innovative presentations. Founded in Rome in 2004, Obicà means “Here we are” for their open kitchen concept. Obicà has expanded worldwide with locations in Italy, England, Dubai, Japan, and the United States. The restaurant has partnered with “Slow Food Association” to commit to food linked with pleasure, culture, tradition and a style of life. Obicà uses mozzarella only made from the creamy and nutritious milk of the water buffalo, hand made by artisan producers in the Denominazione di Origine Protetta of Campania in Southern Italy (a protected product). Our Italian 4-course meal will include: shared starters of prosciutto crudo di parma, salame felino, mozzarella di bufala, burrata, pomodorini datterini e pesto, carciofini. Then, a choice of grilled eggplant with mozzarella di bufala, tomato sauce, basil parmigiana reggiano & soncino or mache, wild arugula, radicchio, avocado & almonds will be offered. The entrees will be: homemade rosemary pasta with Hudson Valley duck Tuscan style ragu w/orange zest, or slow cooked grassfed beef, nebbiolo sauce, whole milled corn polenta, or organic free-range chicken breast stuffed with parmigiano reggiano, black truffle, chives, on wilted black kale. Choice of tiramisu or flourless chocolate and almond cake will end our festive meal.

Sarabeth’s – New Year’s Eve, Sunday, Dec 31st
381 Park Avenue South @ E 27th Street
9:30 pm dinner
Live jazz band till 12:30am
Midnight bubbly toast
$TBD: 4-course meal, glass wine, toast, coffee, tax & tip

As another wonderful year passes by and we toast the bubby to a live jazz band at Sarabeth’s, bring friends, meet new friends and welcome in 2018 the right way! We dined at the sister restaurant on CPS New Year’s Eve 2016 and 42 attended the sold-out dinner. Join us this time at their less hectic and larger Park Avenue South location. More information on this dinner will be in the next newsletter and the emails sent out.

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

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you cancel within 72 hours of a meal event there are no refunds.
Ticketed events (tours, shows, ANY non-dinner event) are non-refundable within 7 days of the event
Also note: ALL menus listed are subject to change without notice due to restaurant supply.

NEW YEAR’S EVE TRIP-12/28 – 01/04
San Francisco and Las Vegas
12/28 is a rest day, jet lag day, on your own.
$4295 12/28-1/4 (-$550 flying on own (All 3 legs) $-400 sharing room)
The weather is not hot here, but will be warmer than NYC, it will 55-60 average.

Hotels-4-star JW Marriott Union Station-3 blocks to Union Station, and a top Marriott hotel- 360sf King Beds
Vegas we will be at a top hotel- Wynn, Venetian, Paris, Palazzo, W Hotel, Caesars, MGM Signature Suites, or similar

Flights are direct. To/from JFK- currently (subject to change)- 9:30 am arriving SF at 1:15pm 12/28 and 1:30pm SFO to Vegas 1/1/18 . Delta 4:45pm arriving JFK 1230am (or 10:30am arriving 6:15pm).

Itinerary is not complete. Restaurants are the last thing I book, but I ASSURE you they will be top restaurants. Those traveling with me before, know that when I plan a trip myself, the restaurants are great.

Partial Itinerary- In San Fran- Bus and walking tour around town, a tour of Alcatraz, a food tour, amazing restaurants, a great New Year’s Eve Dinner Event with live music, the winetrain and more.

The WINE TRAIN- Ah the famous wine train- We would take a bus/ferry to Napa and ferry boat back from Napa. This involves all day at Napa, at wineries, in town and on a train ride through Napa. Once we reach downtown Napa, board the Napa Valley Wine Train and get settled in your seat as it chugs forth into the scenic countryside. Watch out the window as the hilly vineyards roll by or spend some time exploring the interior of the painstakingly-restored antique train. Enjoy a 3-course lunch from the critically-acclaimed restaurant onboard, which uses fresh, seasonal ingredients that are locally-sourced.

Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this full-day tour. Visit top attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio and the Palace of Fine Arts. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning 2+hour audio walking tour. Admire views of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay, stopping for photos at Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In Vegas- We will do 1-2 shows- probably one of the Cirque shows, maybe Penn and Teller, maybe David Coperfield.
Hoover Dam Tour includes a deli style lunch, photo stop at the historic- ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, a self-guided tour of Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory a self-guided tour of the World’s largest cacti botanical gardens, 90 min government guided VIP tour inside Hoover Dam.

Possible- Red Rock Canyon Tour-Discover the ethereal beauty of Red Rock Canyon on this day trip from Las Vegas. Take some time from the glitz and glamour of the strip to spend some time in nature. Explore the ruddy-hued canyon, once home to the area’s Native Americans, once there, a guide will take us through the area while learning about the area’s geography, ecology and history. Stops include Calico Hill’s, Willow Springs and Spring Mountain State Park a ranch once owned by eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes. Light lunch provided as well on this tour (non-gourmet),

Possible- For the first time Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton is opening up his 52-acre ranch—Casa de Shenandoah—to the public. A visit begins with a short film about Wayne Newton and his creation of Casa de Shenandoah. Once through the gilded gates, you will forget you are in Las Vegas. Casa de Shenandoah is 52 lush acres of landscaping, natural artesian ponds and waterfalls. You will see freely roaming peacocks, swans, geese and a variety of exotic birds. We will see Wayne Newton’s extensive car collection, board his private jet and tour his vast memorabilia collection including gifts from close friends Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Nat King Cole, and Elvis Presley. Wayne’s Native American artifacts and priceless artwork. Head to the equine area where we will see Wayne Newton’s champion Arabian horses. Various showcases include horses swimming in the state-of-the-art equine swimming pool, a horse demonstration. Visit the Exotic Animal Exhibit, including Penguin Island, Monkey Manor, Wallaby World and many more animal habitats. Come meet all of the animals that are a part of Wayne’s family. Tour the Mansion, Wayne’s home that he personally designed, built, and completed in 1976.

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