I was looking back at the first newsletter that Art wrote after I took over the group. He mentioned what a shock it was to be writing ‘2014’ — it seemed like just yesterday. I think every year when I change the date, be it in my checkbook or on here, it seems a little s hocking how fast time passes. I just got off the phone with a member who booked the New Year’s Eve Dinner, and he said, “It is already here in 18 days, my how the older I get, the faster time flies.”

I expect a great 2018 for The Single Gourmet, as well as for myself personally. Not much can top the places we traveled last year. We started off in Cuba, made our way from New Orleans to Portland and Seattle, then back South to Charleston, Savannah, Alexandria, DC and finally San Francisco and Vegas. I am super excited for our future trips and next year we plan Iceland in September as well as Toronto around Memorial Day. Along the way I would like to go to Sante Fe and Albuquerque as well. Details to follow in future newsletters. Members have been asking a lot about Juliane and about baby stuff. We are registered at “Baby’s R Us” and Juliane is happy and healthy, tired and bigger. Baby boy Elliot Denis Lefkowitz is due February 12th.

December continues with our next event on Monday, December 25th for Christmas Dinner at OBICA. Obicà was a fortunate discovery on our Flatiron walking tour, and ever since our first meal there, I crave our returns. With fresh ingredients and imported cheeses from Italy, our 4-course meal always fills up with 30+ very satisfied members. Our menu is always amazing. COME HUNGRY!! Finally, our New Year’s Dinner has come together, and I expect a great turnout. Don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve alone, come join us and many new friends at SARABETH’S. Our menu is amazing, and includes 2 glasses of wine, a toast and a live band. John and Juliane will be hosting. Please RSVP early.

January starts off on the 7th at Patina Group’s STELLA 34 TRATTORIA. Owners of some of our favorite restaurants, Patina Group always gives us a topnotch meal. Don’t let the location inside Macy’s fool you, this is one of the prettiest restaurant interiors we will visit all year. The following weekend, Sunday January 14th, we head to a new restaurant for the group, SALA ONE NINE. This popular cozy Tapas place on West 19th Street is known amongst the locals for the best Spanish food around. The restaurant is both lively and intimate at the same time, and the management here is top notch. The following weekend, Sunday January 21st, we head to BAR SIX, another new restaurant for the group. It is ironic that this is a new restaurant for us, because I walk by here daily and have been dining there for over 20 years. This quaint French Moroccan restaurant is a reminder of days past when smaller families owned restaurants, where people knew your name, and where that was the norm in the village. The following weekend, Saturday January 27th, we head to midtown at a Richard Sandoval classic, ZENGO. This was one of my favorite meals a few years back, and though we have not visited since, I am excited for this return. The space is enormous, dark and breathtaking, the menu is always amazing, and much like at Pampano, Raymi, and Maya, we will be well taken care of.

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

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

Our New Year’s Dinner has come together, and I expect a great turnout. Don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve alone, come join us and many new friends at Sarabeth’s. Our menu is amazing, and includes 2 glasses of wine, a toast and a live band. John and Juliane will be hosting. Please RSVP early.

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

Sarabeth’s – New Year’s Eve, Sunday, Dec 31st 381 Park Avenue South @ E 27th Street
9:30 pm dinner (optional drinks at 8:45pm) Live jazz band till 12:30am

2 glasses of wine
Midnight champagne toast
$125 pay before Christmas; $135 pay after Christmas 4-course meal, 2 glasses of wine, toast, coffee, tax & tip

Another wonderful year passes by as 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 their sister restaurant on Central Park South back on 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. There is no reason to be anywhere else on New Year’s Eve with John and Juliane, unless you are in San Francisco with me! Please RSVP early. We have our own separate menu from the rest of the restaurant. First course is Maine dayboat scallops, sautéed gnocchi and bacon, or cauliflower risotto; second course is an endive salad; third course is branzino, filet mignon, lemon and herd farm raised chicken, or winter truffle risotto; and finally, desserts of chocolate cake or crème brulee.

Stella 34 Trattoria
151 W 35th St, 6th floor of Macy’s
(the elevator is at the entrance @ 35th & Broadway) Sunday, January 7th
5:30pm optional drinks, 6:15pm dinner
$85: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/soda, tax & tip

Zagat says, “Best Dining with a View in NYC” and “you will forget you are in Macy’s while dining in this stylish midtown respite from the Patina Group offering upscale Italian fare, in airy modern, digs with the gorgeous panoramic views of Herald Square adding to the charm.” New York Magazine says, “The Italian trattoria takes the stark, bright decor of its home base and softens it with just the right dose of panache, with a backlit wine bar, high-backed leather chairs, and a marble-tiled floor coupled with the Neapolitan menu and you forget what country you’re in.” Michelin Guide recommended, with a menu developed by Jonathan Benno, executive chef at Lincoln Ristorante and a restaurant group that owns Brasserie, Brasserie 81⁄2, State Grill and 60 other restaurants, this is a sure hit. 4 stars on Yelp, 4.5 on OpenTable, on TripAdvisor a top 4% restaurant in NYC. We start with wood-oven-roasted brussel sprouts with cauliflower, golden raisins & pine nuts or veal meatballs with sheep’s milk and ricotta, then we choose pollo al girarrosto: rotisserie chicken, spinach, farro crochetta, lemon or wood-oven roasted sea bass branzino “acqua pazza”, escarole, artichoke, Italian long hot pepper, tomato, caper berry and linguine ai funghi which is mushroom brodetto, wild mushroom, spinach, stracciatella di bufala. We finish dinner with seasonal cheesecake and tirimisu. There are 2 express elevators on 35th Street off Broadway that go directly to the 6th floor; the restaurant entrance will be there.

Sala One Nine, Tapas Bar and Restaurant
35 W 19th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue) Sunday, January 14th
5:30pm optional drinks, 6:15pm dinner
$75: small plate/tapas style family-style menu, glass of wine/beer, coffee, tax & tip

When Michael Jannetta returned to New York after a study abroad program in Segovia, he was shocked to find that there were no authentic Spanish restaurants in Manhattan. Craving the pure flavors and fresh ingredients he had enjoyed in Spain, Michael decided to open his own tapas restaurant, Sala One Nine, in 1999. The business was so successful that in 2004, he expanded to 19th Street with Sala One Nine. Rated 4.2 on Zagat, they say, “Dependable tapas and sangria fuel the energetic scene at this inviting, no-attitude Flatiron Spaniard that works for hanging out with friends or going on a fun date.” “Sala” means “living room” in Spanish, and this “living room” on W 19th Street does feel like being inside a Spanish countryside, family run tapas restaurant. This is an intimate Spanish eatery serving traditional tapas & sangria in a rustic space well-known amongst the locals in the Flatiron area. Sala One Nine makes a point of using fresh, high-quality ingredients, many of which are sourced from local New York farms with a menu that changes seasonally. Our menu will include shared courses of grilled filet mignon with valdeon cheese, adobe marinated pork loin over gruyere, bacon wrapped dates, fried goat cheese with clover honey and candied onions, grilled octopus with mojo verde potatoes sea salt, cured Spanish meats & cheese, shrimp sautéed in olive oil, garlic & guindilla peppers and finally paella (seafood, chicken & vegetarian styles), followed by dessert platters of flan, sorpresa & tarta. There will be a lot of food. 4 stars on Yelp.

Bar Six, French Moroccan
502 6th Ave (between 12th and 13th St) Sunday, January 21st
5:30pm optional drinks; 6:15pm dinner $77: 3 courses, glass of wine, tax & tip

Attracting a diverse crowd of fashionable young professionals, Bohemian long-timers and locals, Bar Six is a relaxed bistro that 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 La Gauloise, an older bistro in the same spot, 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, frisee salad with bacon lardon or escargot. Our entrees will be steak frites au poive, dry age grass fed NY strip, chicken tangine slow cooked with Moroccan spices, couscous and sweet potatoes, Idaho rainbow trout almandine, Berkshire porkchop or vegetable coucscous. Followed by chocolate covered profiteroles, pear crumble a la mode or vanilla bean crème brulee.

622 3rd Avenue (@40th Street)
Saturday, January 27th
6:30pm optional drinks, 7:15pm dinner
$84: 3 courses, glass of wine, coffee/soda, tax & tip

Zengo translates into “give & take” and represents Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature culinary style. Perhaps you have seen Chef Sandoval on Bravo’s top Chef Masters, as he is known for taking gourmet Mexican and Latin flavor to a new level. The Single Gourmet has followed him from here to DC, to San Francisco to Las Vegas, and at each location he raises the bar. With over 30 Latin restaurants across the United States, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East, Richard Sandoval is a global pioneer in contemporary Latin cuisine. Nine of his restaurants have been voted best in their category. For his work, Chef Sandoval has been awarded Mexico’s National Toque d’Oro, Bon Appetit Restaurateur of the Year and Cordon d’Or Restaurateur of the Year. He was also nominated for James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur. Zagat says “an upscale tri-level space designed by AvroKO sets the stage at this Grand Central-area Pan-Latin presenting Richard Sandoval’s imaginative Asian-Latin accented cuisine”.

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 Apt #6A, New York, NY 10011.