July 2015

July, the real heart of the summer, when the days are long and the air conditioning bill puts a frightening scare in all of us.  The freezing winter is but a memory as the street festivals, not the snow, interrupt traffic. Weekends now involve picnics in Central Park, beach days, outdoor all-day brunch, walking the Highline and dining with The Single Gourmet J

Before we discuss our July events, we have a few things on the agenda left for June. This Sunday, June 14th, we visit one of our favorite chef/owners at David Burkes- Kitchen. Our menu has changed from the last newsletter, and now includes a vegetarian option along with Skuna Bay salmon and farm raised chicken. On June 20th, we return to Piccolo Fiore one of our best newcomers last year. The 4-course Italian meal will include a pasta tasting as well as specialties such as swordfish steak; chicken with prosciutto; slow roasted veal; Angus N.Y. strip steak and a vegetarian pasta option. The last weekend of June we have 2 great events. Saturday, June 27th the NORTH FORK WINE & ARTISANAL FOOD FESTIVAL is SOLD OUT (join the waitlist). If you missed that then join us on Sunday, June 28th, as we head to Chef Richard Sandoval’s, RAYMI. With food creations that our taste buds cheer for, Chef Sandoval owns Pampano, Zengo, Maya and dozens of other favorites.

July starts off with a fireworks show (and 1 million other people). This year Macy’s will have 4 barges between 23 and 37th (one large barge down by The Brooklyn Bridge) where they plan to light up the whole East River skyline. Our restaurant on July 4th, DOCKS SEAFOOD GRILL, is just 3 avenues away, so come celebrate our independence day with some seafood and fireworks.  The following Saturday, July 11th, we visit another newbie and a certain gem, DA NOI, Zagat rated 25. Da Noi is giving us a 4-course Italian meal from a large list of their delicious specialties including a multi tasting/combination of pasta, a combination dessert plate as well as choices of veal, chicken and fish, and much more. The space is gorgeous, the food phenomenal and their location in midtown, makes them a TRIPLE-CROWN winner.  The following week holds the French Independence Bastille Day. It has always been a traditional event with our group to dine French this week so on Wednesday, July 15th we visit the French restaurant, BISTRO VENDOME, recommended by EVERY ONE of our members that belong to a NYC French group. This French Bistro is perfect for a midweek, after work, midsummer dinner. The following weekend we have 2 new events. On Saturday, July 18th, we have a food and history walking tour of Flatiron. We will learn the history of Madison Park, Flatiron, Eataly and many of the buildings in the area. We will tour part of Beecher’s cheese factory and watch cheese being made right on the spot.  We also will tour Breads, an international bread and dessert factory and sample NYC ranked #1 Babka (it is amazing- baked with cultured butter from France and a mixture of Nutella and Belgian dark-chocolate chips). The walking tour does more eating than walking (covers just 8 bocks) so be prepared to taste delicious dishes and desserts that will definitely fill you up. RSVP early, this one has a max RSVP list.  Next, on Sunday, July 19th we have a jazz brunch cruise on the Hornblower. This cruise comes with impressive views of NYC, NJ, Governor’s Island, Brooklyn and Lady Liberty, multiple jazz bands, dance floors, unlimited food/buffet and more. This is a great way to start a Sunday afternoon in July! Finally, the last weekend of July, Sunday, July 26th we head to one of the more popular restaurants in the entire Greenwich Village area, KNICKERBOCKER GRILL. Always packed with the locals and the celebrities in the neighborhood, many who dine here weekly, it took a friendship with a member and the owner to help us secure this night. Just a few blocks from Union Square and central to all train lines, this old school charming restaurant will win the hearts over of the members of The Single Gourmet, just like it has been doing in the neighborhood for almost 40 years.

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

  • David Burke Kitchen- Sunday June 14th-23 Grand Street (inside James Hotel)- 3-courses, glass of wine, coffee, tax and tip- $86. Zagat rated 24, 1 block from the 1,2 and 3 blocks from ACE.
  • Fabio Piccolo Fiore- Saturday, June 20th– 230 East 44th Street (2nd/3rd) 7:00pm optional drinks, 7:45 dinner $85- 4-course dinner, glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip.
  • NORTH FORK WINE & ARTISANAL FOOD FESTIVAL- Waitlist only- SOLD OUT
  • Raymi- Richard Sandoval- Sunday, June 28th-43 West 24th (off 6th Avenue) 6:00pm optional drinks; 6:45 dinner   $73- 3-course, glass wine or pisco drink, coffee, tax, tip.

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

Docks Seafood Grill
633 3rd Avenue (@40th street corner)
Saturday, July 4th
6:30 pm optional drinks, 7:30 pm dinner
(Fireworks show 3 Avenues away starting at 9:20)
$69 3-couse meal, glass wine, coffee, tax & tip

From the same owners as Sarabeth’s, where we had 44 members join us for a great dinner recently, this 25+ year staple in midtown is welcoming us on a very special American holiday. Just 3 avenues from the waterfront fireworks show, we are close enough to walk, but far enough from the mayhem and crowds. Macy’s will have 4 barges located between 23rd and 37th and those who want to walk over and investigate the bright skyline can all do so together. Zagat rated for “reliable fish and bivalves galore with professional servers and a high-octane social scene.” Our menu on July 4th might not be hotdogs and burgers, but it will consist of Prince Edwards Island mussels, New England clam chowder, farmed field greens, Amish farm chicken, rainbow trout paillard, 1855 black angus flat iron steak plus dessert, coffee and a glass of wine.

Da Noi-   25 Zagat Rated
214 East 49th Street (between 2nd/3rd– across from Pampano)
Saturday, July 11th
7pm optional drinks, 8pm dinner
$79 4-course, gl wine, coffee, tax & tip

A whopping Zagat rated 25 for “old world red sauce cooking like nonna’s …where the crowd is right out of scene from the Godfather.” A fine-dining, family owned restaurant, (40 years in the business) with 5-star service, and exceptional food makes this a “can’t miss” dinner for a July weekend. A wildly successful hit in their first 3 locations in the Italian sections of Staten Island and NJ, and voted in Zagats top of the “Best of Staten Island” list, Da Noi opened up in Midtown to top rated reviews all across every review site. They soon became a hit amongst the suit and tie midtown crowd.  Family owned and run like the good-ole Italian restaurants of the past, “Da Noi” means “from/of us” in Italian, putting the family mark/seal on all their recipes. Our traditional Italian 4-course meal includes salad, a tasting of multiple pastas and desserts and a selection of entrees (veal, fish, chicken), coffee, glass of wine.

Bistro Vendôme
405 East 58th Street (off 1st ave)
Wednesday , July 15th
 5:30pm optional drinks; 6:30pm dinner
$69- 3-course, glass wine, coffee, tax, tip

This restaurant has been on my radar for over a year, ever since our French members insisted we dine here. The New York Times says, “Bistro Vendôme is an unapologetic, undemanding French bistro that seeks to please its affluent neighbors on the Upper East Side, and largely succeeds.” After 15 years at Bistro Jubilee, husband and wife team owners, Pascal and Virginie Petiteau opened up the wildly successful Sutton Place Bistro Vendôme. Michelin Guide recommended stating, “Bistro Vendôme brings a breath of fresh air to Sutton Place with this sunny and quaint multi-level townhouse…bright and airy (with outdoor terrace) this classic New York restaurant nails the European bistro in its look and feel. While neighborhood denizens with their dashing beaus may crowd the place…the kitchen delivers classics exactly as they were conceived. ” Zagat rated 22 stating, the locals “gather at this upscale bistro for French fare dispatched by Gallic-accented staffers who are as charming as the tri-level townhouse setting….a neighborhood jewel.” At “Bistro Vendôme, their goal is to offer classic French recipes, some original, some with a modern twist, and to get guests to fall in love with French cuisine all over again!” They surely will success on July 15th.

Flatiron History and Food Walking Tour
5-Star Certificate of Excellence- Trip Advisor
Saturday, July 18th
10:30am-1:30pm (meet at 10:15am)
Meet in front of 200 Fifth Avenue (@23rd/24th)
$50 private group tour
Includes 6 generous tastings, tour of Beecher’s cheese factory, tour of Eataly, tour of Breads Bakery- a huge bread and dessert factory, and a history tour of Flatiron, architecture and Madison Park.
RSVP EARLY- Space is very limited.

We start our tour off at Eataly, Chef Mario Batali’s high-end, Italian mega gorgeous food-store, which incorporates lots of food shopping and mouth-watering dining in a massive space that’s brimming with energy. Here, we will taste espresso at Caffee Lavazza serving espresso in Italy since 1895. We will learn the history of Eataly, a little about the individual restaurants there as well as the bier garten on the roof. Then it’s off to Madison Park where along the way we learn the history of the Toy Building, The Flatiron building, the initial garment district and many of the surrounding buildings and history of the Park and Madison Square Garden. We will have a burger tasting at Shake Shack (if there is no line, otherwise Schnipper’s), and then head to an international Italian mozzarella restaurant, Obica, specializing in homemade mozzarella, buratta (cheese made from mozerella and cream) and Napoleon style pizza (we will have slices and sample both their Napolean Pizza and burratta). Next we head to Beecher’s Cheese factory, an artisanal shop where staff hand-make many of the cheeses right on the premises. After a cheese course/tour and a tasting of their amazing grilled cheese sandwich, we head to Union Square and its world-famous greenmarket, which has been bringing the best of local farms to the city since 1976. Finally we head for dessert and a private tour at Bread’s Bakery, an Israeli baking company opening up multiple locations this year throughout NYC. Here we watch multiple different steps and types of breads and desserts being hand-made, and we get to sample NYC # 1 rated and best babka! The tour lasts around 3 hours. You won’t walk too far (less than 7 NYC blocks), but be sure to bring comfortable shoes and dress appropriately. RSVP early. Space will be limited and will sell out.

Hornblower Yacht Champagne Jazz Brunch
Pier 40 (West Side Highway @ Christopher St.)
Sunday, July 19th
11:30am-2:30pm
Multiple live jazz bands,
Unlimited brunch buffet
$69 No Mimosas
$80 Unlimited Mimosas

Stunning views of Manhattan, multiple live jazz bands, an encompassing full brunch buffet, unlimited champagne and mimosas (if added) orange juice, coffee, and more make for a signature Sunday in New York City aboard the Hornblower Jazz Brunch Cruise. Aside from the beautiful views of the world’s most famous skyline, we spend 2.5 hours aboard this beautiful boat which offers a wide selection of breakfast and lunch favorites, including eggs, bacon, fish, chicken, meats, a carving station, a dessert station and much more. The skyline is more beautiful with jazz in the background on this gorgeous yacht. We will be on one of three Hornblower yachts that day. We travel down the West Side, around Battery Park, up to the Brooklyn Bridge and then we turn around and head to the Statue of Liberty for an upfront view.  A perfect way to start your July day in NYC. Bring your camera, and bring your appetite!
Note: those who choose the mimosa option, might not be in the same section as those who do not choose this option. Please RSVP early- a guest list must be submitted days prior to the sailing date.

 

Knickerbocker Grill
33 University Place (corner 9th street)
Sunday, July 26th
5:45 optional drinks; 6:45 dinner
 $75- 3-course, glass wine, coffee, tax, tip

Sine 1977 this village staple has been serving the local community and celebrities alike. A few blocks from Union Square, Knickerbocker comes highly recommended by members who live in the area. We finally were able to secure a date here, thanks to one of our members knowing the management. The word “Knickerbocker” itself, says “New York” and upon entering, you’ll know you’re in the heart of the Village. Its wood paneled walls sport a wonderful collection of memorabilia with a New York state of mind. Pieces range from rare turn of the century posters to original caricatures by Al Hirschfield. Join for drinks at the 100 year old marble bar where Charles Lindbergh signed his contract to fly across the Atlantic.  Zagat rated 22 and says, “Time warps don’t get more lovable than this 1977-vintage Villager, an old-school source of no-surprises Americana that’s solid with warm service. This one is a keeper!  A great alternative to NY’s stuffy steakhouses, this long-running Central Village American is a favorite of the over-40 crowd.” Chef Clara O’Marde, started at the Knickerbocker in 1985 and continues to serve tasty dishes to the regulars that come back not once not twice, but that make it a regular weekly dinner. Many celebrities dine here regularly as I myself dined next to Chris Noth on my visit. Our choices include but are not limited to, Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, fettuccine italian sausage bolognese, Atlantic salmon, grilled chicken paillard, steak frites, BBQ St Louis ribs, house made vegetarian pasta, classic New York cheese cake and individual chocolate soufflé cake. You can upgrade on-site for their well-known 28oz t-bone “porterhouse” for $15.

 

AUSTIN AND SAN ANTONIO

THIS IS AN ALL INCLUSIVE TRIP- 3 Meals daily, Airfare, Hotels and Tours (except optional tours) 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, thousands of acres of parks, and is constantly listed as the MUST VISIT PLACE IN THE USA.   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 at top rated 4-star meals. The buses and tours will be air conditioned and we may have a river boat tour as well. This will be jammed packed with fun, food, music and laughs!

For those who want to extend the trip, we have an option where we will drive (2 hours) to San Antonio and stay 3 additional nights.  Voted one of the best city in the country to visit. 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 nights and head to San Antonio ($3445 Single, $2995 double). $1000 non-refundable deposit due June 31. Subtract $375 land only.

Madrid & Barcelona- Dec 26th –Jan 5th

Details on our New Year’s trip 2016 are almost finalized and will come in the August newsletter (and via email), but we are flying into MADRID leaving NYC December 26th, and flying out of BARCELONA! The Trip will be 9 nights of fun, food and adventure. If interested please let me know. We will have a full itinerary shortly.

 

To reserve at any or all the events please go to our website and view your dashboard event calendar or call us at

(646-825-0268), email us at singourmetny@aol.com or mail checks to:

The Single Gourmet, c/o Aaron Lefkowitz, 69 west 9th Street Apartment #6A, New York,  NY 10011

  1. Kitchen- David Burke at his best              June 14th              6:00pm          $86 ____________
  2. Fabio Piccolo Fiore- 4 courses of Yum!         June 20th               7:00 pm         $85 ___________
  3. North Fork Wine and Food Festival                       Sat June 27th                             Wait list only- Sold out
  4. Raymi- Richard Sandoval Peruvian                     June 28th              6:00 pm         $73 ____________
  5. Docks Seafood Grille– July 4th Fireworks Sat- July 4th                  6:30pm          $69____________
  6. Da Noi- 25 Zagat Rated 4- course Italian Sat- July 11th                 7:00pm          $79____________
  7. Bistro Vendome- French Bastille Week Wed July 15th               5:30pm          $69____________
  8. Flatiron History and Food Walking Tour            Sat Jul 18th                   10:15am          $50 ___________
  9. Hornblower Jazz Brunch Buffett Skyline Cruise   Sun July 19th                 11:30am         $69 or $80______
  10. Knickerbocker Grille- Village Gem for 30 years Sun July 26th                5:45pm           $75 ___________
  11. AUSTIN & SAN ANTONIO Deposit                June 30th                                             $1000 ___________

 

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