July was named Quintilis prior to the birth of Julius Ceasar. Imagine the month of Quintiles being the 7th month of our calendar? We have a very busy Quintilis ahead so let’s jump right in to the newsletter.

Our trips have been very successful with 15-30 joining us over the years. On those trips, we dine at top restaurants, stay at 4- star hotels, and I always include all-encompassing guided tours. I research tour companies and choose top guides and add fun events such as cooking classes, food tours and top sites of each city. I tailor each trip starting from scratch, so it is never the same tour and each meal, at top restaurants includes unlimited wine. That being said, we have 2 exciting trips coming up on the agenda. First, we are planning a quick getaway to Washington DC and Alexandria Virginia over Labor Day week. Many members have asked me to do a quick getaway here and I decided a 4 night, 5-day weekend is perfect. Just a little over a month later, we head to Charleston and Savannah. Be on the lookout in the next newsletter for more information on this.

We continue the month of June this Sunday June 18th as we head to CHOUCHOU, a newly opened restaurant in the East Village featuring incredible Moroccan dishes in an intimate restaurant. Recently opened by the same owners as the wildly successful, “Pardon My French,” we are sure to have an amazing meal. On Sunday, June 25th, we head to another new restaurant in NYC, LA CONTRADA. After dining here recently I knew it was going to be perfect for the group. Our menu has changed to now a 4- course with the first being shared appetizers of meats and cheeses (provolone, manchego, goat cheese, prosciutto di Parma, sopressata, Genova salami), fried calamari, shrimp, zucchini with a spicy marinara sauce and a salad of Kale, pine nuts, dried cranberries, green apples, salted ricotta and dates. Then, everyone has a pasta course of homemade fettuccine with beef bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese. Our entrees choices are 8-oz grilled skirt steak with caramelized onions, homemade French fries, chimichurri and roasted garlic puree, pan seared whole boneless branzino fish or chicken paillard with roasted fingerling potatoes all served with sautéed spinach and asparagus, finally we end this meal with homemade tiramisu or cheese cake, coffee/tea and wine. NOTE: Juliane is running this event, I am out of town.

Quintiles starts off on Tuesday July 4th as we head back to DOCKS for a great menu and July 4th dinner. This is becoming a tradition for the group as we continue to get a very large turnout for this American holiday. Many from our group end the night walking down to the water to watch the fireworks after the meal. The following weekend, Saturday, July 8th we head to a great new restaurant for the group, LIMANI. This restaurant has been recommended to me by many members over the past year. This is the sister restaurant to Limani of Roselyn, Long Island, known as one of the best seafood restaurants on Long Island. Chef M.J. Alam, previously of “Milos” Canada fame (listed in top 100 restaurants in Canada) provides his own touches of traditional Greek seafood recipes. The following weekend, Saturday July 15th, we have a brunch in the East Village at the amazing, VIRGINIA’s. We dined here in January, it was a success! So, when Reed the owner asked us to join them for a brunch, I jumped at the idea. Afterwards, you can stroll around the East Village and enjoy the street festivals and live music that surround Thompkins Square park on summer weekends. That Sunday, July 16th, we celebrate Bastille Day (weekend) at one of our favorite French restaurants, BISTRO VENDOME. Though technically Bastille Day is on July 14th, any excuse to eat great French food is fine by us. The following weekend, Sunday, July 22nd, we are excited to dine at a high rated steakhouse in Manhattan, NY YANKEES STEAKHOUSE. It was a connection with one of our members that got me in touch with management to make this event happen. Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan the New York Yankees Steakhouse is a destination for fans and gourmands alike. Since opening in 2013, executive Chef John Schafer leads the kitchen known for its variety of high-quality specialty steaks, including USDA Prime cuts, as well as fresh five-star seafood. Our month continues on July 22nd on a Sunday night SUNSET BOAT TOUR. This event was rescheduled from May, due to poor weather. We sail aboard the first yacht of the Classic Harbor Line Fleet: Schooner Adirondack! Join us for drinks and a tour on this 80-foot beauty. Our final event of the month is on Sunday, July 30th, at BOTTINO. Join us deep in Chelsea, close to the Highline as we dine at one of the best and oldest restaurants in this very hip neighborhood.

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

CHOUCHOU-215 East 4th Street (Avenue A and B). Sunday, June 18th, 5:15 pm Meet @ Nobody is Perfect 235 East 4th St, dinner at 6:15 @ 215 East 4th St $74 3-courses, gl wine, Moroccan tea, tax & tip.

La Contrada- Italian American Cuisine- 67 2nd Avenue (4th Street) Sunday, June 25th 5:15pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner $73 3-course dinner, glass of wine, tax/tip.

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

Docks Seafood Grill- July 4th
633 3rd Avenue (@40th street corner)
Tuesday, July 4th 5:45 pm optional drinks, 6:45 pm dinner
$71- 3-course meal, glass wine, coffee, tax & tip.

We ate here last 4th of July and 54 members came and celebrated. Just 3 avenues from the waterfront fireworks, we are close enough to walk, but far enough from the crowds. Macy’s will have barges located on the East River and those who want to walk over and investigate the bright skyline can all do so. 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 choices from mussels mariniere, New England clam chowder, dandelion greens salad with pistachio crusted goat cheese, Thai BBQ Amish farm chicken, saffron potato salad, Skuna Bay salmon and Cedar River Farms steak, with desserts of chocolate pudding or key lime pie.

5 Rockefeller Plaza (51st between 5th and 6th)
Saturday, July 8th 7:15pm optional drinks, 8:00pm dinner
$88- 3-course dinner, glass of wine, tax and tip.

Zagat rated 4.4 they say, a “surprise in Rock Center, this swanky offshoot of the original in Long Island offers a Mediterranean menu highlighting superb seafood that measures up to its dramatic all-white room with an infinity pool.” Listed in, “Best Eats Near Rockefeller Center,” this restaurant is new for us, but the number of members that have recommended this over the years makes me know we will be dining here annually. We start off with grilled eggplant, zucchini, peppers and halloumi cheese, fried calamari, grilled octopus, tomato salad, cucumbers, onion, peppers, olives and feta cheese, entrees such as moist Mediterranean Sea bass, Scottish organic salmon or French cut lamb chops served with Greek fries while ending with an assortment of chef choice desserts.

Virginia’s Brunch- Per Se Alumni
647 East 11th (Between Ave B and C)
Saturday, July 15th 12:00pm optional drinks, 12:30pm brunch
$59- 3-course brunch, glass of wine/bloody Mary, t/t.

When it opened in 2015, it was one of the most exciting restaurant openings in NYC in recent memory. Virginia’s is the brainchild of Per Se Alumni Christian Ramos and Reed Adelson (Locanda Verde), who originally met while working at world famous Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago (voted 30th best in the world, 5th best in the USA and 2 Michelin Stars). Rated an extremely high 4.8 on Google reviews, 4.5 on YELP, 4.5 TripAdvisor and Zagat rated 24, they say, “original and well-crafted describes the fare at this cozy East Village bistro where the New American menu changes frequently for memorable results making this an overall winner.” The Daily News states, “And what you get is powerhouse food that’s smart, skillful and completely lacking in pretense. An all-star team started this place, with cooks from temples like Charlie Trotter’s and Per Se. You can see that pedigree in all their plates this once-grimy corner is Manhattan’s dining frontier.” What better way to see the changes in alphabet city than joining us for an amazing brunch? Menu is seasonal and changes weekly!

Bistro Vendôme- Bastille Day (weekend)
405 East 58th Street (off 1st Ave)
Sunday, July 16th 5:30pm optional drinks, 6:15pm dinner
$72- 3-course, glass wine, coffee, tax, tip

The New York Times says, “Bistro Vendôme is a 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!” Our menu consists of chilled green pea soup, endive salad with blue cheese, apples & walnuts or cassolette of escargot with garlic & parsley butter. Then we have entrée choices of poached salmon with ratatouille and asparagus, chicken ballotine with orzo and porcini sauce or crispy duck confit with lyonnaise potatoes & truffle jus. Finally, we end with desserts of profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce and toasted almonds or crème brulée with Grand Marnier, coffee/tea and wine.

NY Yankees Steakhouse
7 West 51st Street (5th and 6th)
Saturday, July 22nd 6:30pm optional drinks, 7:30pm dinner
$89 3-course dinner, gl of wine, coffee/soda t/t

Don’t let the Yankee décor (or name, for us Mets Fans) fool you, this Zagat rated 4.3 steakhouse is in the top 1.2% for restaurants on Tripadvisor for all NY restaurants. Our menu is exceptional with starters including steak bacon which is thick-cut slab Nueske bacon, sautéed spinach and maple glaze or classic Caesar salad, Our entrees are roasted half chicken with wild spinach, scallions, garlic, shallots, au jus or pan-roasted salmon in yogurt dill sauce, cucumber mint salad, wild greens and bee pollen or 8-oz filet mignon center-cut filet, garlic mashed potatoes with seasonal vegetable. Our desserts are choices of chocolate mousse or New York-Style cheesecake. Rated 4-stars on YELP, 4.5 Stars on TripAdvisor, 4.5 on opentable this is a sure home run for our group (did I say that?).

Sunset Sail Schooner Adirondack
Chelsea Pier @22nd (‘Wichcraft Sandwhich)
Sunday, July 23rd 6:30pm sailing for 2-hours. Meet @ 6:15pm
$71 includes drinks and sailing

If you RSVP’ed back in May and could not reschedule then, please let me know if this new date works. Enjoy a beautiful two-hour sunset sail aboard the Schooner Adirondack. This relaxing cruise on the elegant, 80-foot, 1890s-style pilot schooner lets you take in the city’s world-famous sights, including Ellis Island, the New York City skyline, Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty. Along the way, you’ll enjoy complimentary beer, wine, soda and champagne (3 drink max), and the friendly and attentive crew will shut off the engines and set sail for as much of the trip as possible. Please note: this is a ticked event and is Non-Refundable and subject to selling out! You can bring your own food; this event includes drinks. Members that went on this trip in May called me up to personally thank me for an amazing night!

Bottino Ristorarante
246 10th Avenue (24th Street)
Sunday, July 30th 5:45pm drinks, 6:30pm dinner
$79- Full Dinner, gl of wine, coffee/soda

Established just slightly ahead of the West Chelsea boom that brought a new wave of artsy tenants to the once-industrial neighborhood, Bottino has retained the casual, cutting-edge feel it had when it opened. The converted hardware store still has the original wooden floors, shelving and skylight, a wood-paneled bar in front and a stark 1960s dining room in back, from which you can access the plant-filled garden. Zagat says, “this Tuscan Pioneer delivers solid meals with an unhurried pace that suits its arty constituents and the charming spacious garden is bound to please everyone.” Opened in 1998 by former Barocco stalwarts Daniel Emerman and Alessandro Prosperi, “Bottino became an immediate hit with the far west Chelsea art scene with dishes that are succulent” NY Mag. Voted 3rd by FourSquare for best restaurant in Chelsea for a filet Mignon and listed at one of the top places in Chelsea for Salmon. We start off sharing dishes such as Tomato and Mozzarella, Basil, Olive Oil, fried calamari and arugula, prosciutto and melon. Choose entrees such as rigatoni with eggplant, peppers, tomato and basil ricotta salata or homemade pasta with Manila clams, cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine or orecchiette with broccoli rabe, sausage, Tuscan pecorino or grilled organic baby chicken, peperonata or grilled salmon, salsa verde; fingerlings and haricot verts or pan-seared filet mignon, Sangiovese reduction; mashed potatoes, broccoli rabe ending with desserts of chocolate tiramisu, poached pears and zabaglione, gelato and biscotti.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Our Cancellation Policy- If you cancel within 72 hours of a meal event there are no refunds. Restaurants MUST plan in advance for large events and I guarantee a headcount based on YOUR RSVP. I am held to that guarantee and often pay a deposit or the full amount in advance. Ticketed events (tours, shows, ANY non-dinner event) are non-refundable within 7 days before the event. Also note: MENU’s listed here are subject to change!