In April 1982, Art Fischer invited a few single friends and acquaintances to a dinner group he created, those friends invited their friends, and when the NY Times got wind of this, they featured an article on what was to later become, The Single Gourmet! One week after the article was published 500+ people signed up for Art’s weekly dinner events and The Single Gourmet was officially born! Since then, The Single Gourmet has had a dinner event every week somewhere around the globe! This May, The Single Gourmet is 34 years old! Happy Anniversary to us 

As the tradition continues, this Thursday, April 14th, we head to NINO’S TUSCANY STEAKHOUSE. We ate at Nino’s Ristorante in March and it was a packed, sold-out event! Join us this time for another great menu, great food, great piano tunes, and a great time. Next, on Saturday, April 16th, join our street art walking tour of Bushwick. The tour includes wine and refreshments, a tour of artist warehouse studios and an art gift from the artists themselves. On Sunday, April 17th, we head to a casual, yet delicious Chinese dinner at CHOP SHOP II. PLEASE NOTE: The address is 41 West 24th. It was incorrect in the last newsletter. This recently opened, sister restaurant to the ever popular Chop Shop is difficult to get a reservation to on a weekend night. On April 21st, there is 1 spot available at Le Bocuse, only open to someone who can meet us at the restaurant. Due to mixed results of a Passover poll, I decided to do a brunch event Passover weekend. Join us at THE HIGHLNE BALLROOM, Sunday, April 24th, for a tribute brunch featuring the songs of Judy Garland, Bette Midler and Liza Minelli sung by Ashley Menard. Ashley has a world-class singing voice and it will shine bright on this Sunday afternoon. Finally, Saturday, April 30th, we dine at PANAME, a midtown French restaurant owned by Bernard Ros a French born, NYC chef, who has been working his magic in kitchens for over 45 years. Please RSVP soon as this event is filling up!

Our May begins with a walking tour that was so successful last year, we sold out twice. Join us Saturday, May 7th, for a Flatiron walking tour. We sample plenty of amazing food as we walk around Flatiron and Union Square learning history and exploring new hot spots. The following Wednesday, May 11th, we have our traditional anniversary dinner at Shun Lee West. It has been 34 years since the NY times wrote that article on us at Shun Lee, let’s keep the delicious tradition going!! The following Sunday, get your groove on as we head to SWING 46- JAZZ AND SUPPER CLUB for a really fantastic meal and an evening of big band and dancing! Take advantage of the included swing dance lessons, taught by a professional dancer, listen to the multi-piece band play the tunes of past generations, and grab a partner and get on the dance floor! The following Saturday, May 21st, we revisit a top notch theatre district Italian. It has been 2 years since 30 of us dined at VICE VERSA and many of those members have asked to return. Finally, on Wednesday, May 25th, we dine at BOTTINO. This West Chelsea hot spot, is a diamond in the art district. Our menu is fantastic and the owner is excited to have us back.
The following April events are available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:
1. Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse- 117 W 58th (6th and 7th Avenue), Thursday, April 14th , 5:45pm optional drinks, 6:45pm dinner- 3-course dinner, glass wine, coffee, tax & tip- $76
2. Bushwick Street Art Tour- Saturday, April 16th 11:20am meet together at Union Square (L train Jefferson stop- 15 minutes) 12pm if meeting us in Brooklyn (till 230)- $75
3. Chop Shop II- 41 West 24th (between 5th and 6th) next to Raymi, Sunday, April 17th
5:15pm optional drinks 6 pm diner-10 Item Asian fusion family style (no wine/tea) $62
4. Le Bocuse- April 21st, 12p Lunch @ The Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. Please contact me if you can meet us at the restaurant. $72 includes 3 courses, tour of the CIA, tax and tip. (no wine/no coffee included in this price).
5. Highline Ballroom- Over The Rainbow- 431 West 16th (Between 9th and 10th Avenue) Sunday April 24th, 11:30 Brunch 12:30 show. Includes Show, Entrée, Soda/Coffee, Tax and Tip. $68
6. Paname- 1068 2nd Avenue (56th and 57th) Saturday, April 30th, 6:15 pm optional drinks; 7:15pm Dinner, 3-course French, glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip- $76

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

“Over The Rainbow”
The Tribute to Judy Garland, Bette Midler & Liza Minnelli
The Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th (Between 9th and 10th Avenue)
Sunday April 24th, 11:30 brunch; 12:30 show
$68 Includes Show, Entrée, Soda/Coffee, T&T

Our Edith Piaf tribute was so successful, the Highline Ballroom invited us back. Join us as Ashley Menard hits the Highline Ballroom to chase all your cares away with, “Over The Rainbow”: the ultimate tribute to Judy Garland, Bette Midler and Liza Minnelli. Menard, a gifted singer, actress and comedienne, has performed in off-Broadway shows, headed up her own acclaimed one-woman show and is currently the lead singer of “Hello: The Adele Tribute.” If she is the lead singer for an Adele tribute, we know she can sing!! Now, she’ll put her rich, velvety and soulful voice to work paying homage to the legendary ladies who’ve inspired her. This event includes Liza’s hits “Maybe this Time” and “Cabaret,” Garland’s timeless Oz tunes and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” as well as “Wind Beneath My Wings,” “The Glory of Love” and much more. Includes ticket, entrée, soda/coffee, tax and tip. Please RSVP as soon as possible.

Flatiron History Food Walking Tour
5-Star Certificate of Excellence
Saturday, May 7th
10:30am-1:30pm (meet at 10:15am)
200 Fifth Avenue (@23rd/24th)
$50 group tour
Includes 6 generous tastings, tour of Beecher’s Cheese Factory, tour of Eataly and a history tour of Flatiron, architecture and Madison Park.

This event was so popular last year, we just had to do it again! We start off at Eataly, Chef Mario Batali’s high-end, Italian mega food-store, which incorporates lots of food shopping and mouth-watering dining. 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. We will have a burger tasting at Schnipper’s or Shake Shack, and then head to an international Italian mozzarella restaurant, Obica (where we had 41 dine in August). Obica specializes in homemade mozzarella, buratta and Napoleon style pizza. Next we head to Beecher’s Cheese factory where the staff hand-make many of the cheeses right on the premises. After a tasting of their amazing grilled cheese sandwich and an explanation of the cheese making process, 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 at Bread’s Bakery where we get to sample NYC # 1 rated 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.

Shun Lee West – 34th Anniversary!
43 West 65th Street (CPW and Columbus)
Wednesday, May 11th
6:15pm optional drinks, 7:00pm dinner
$72 Anniversary feast, tea (no wine), tax & tip

34 years ago the first ever dinner for The Single Gourmet was held here and Michael Tong has continued to deliver. The NY Times did that half page story and the rest is history. Our menu is the best- with multiple choices such as soft shell crab, chicken soong, boiled wontons, Beijing duck and much more. Zagat 22 as an “exemplar of upscale dining, fancy Chinese food dispatched by a top team in an exotic, space…there’s a reason why it’s been a neighborhood cornerstone since the ’80s.” and there is a reason why we visit them every year!

349 West 46th Street (Between 8th and 9th)
Sunday, May 15th
6:00 pm optional drinks, 7pm Dinner
$79 3-course meal, gl of wine, music charge, dance lessons
Big Band and swing dance lessons from 8:30-11:30pm

Join us for a great meal and a live Big Band at Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club. NYC’s swing dance community raves about this supper club which has live music six nights a week. If you want to Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Waltz, or Freestyle we will be doing it all. If you do not know how to swing dance, dance lessons are included and offered in between the band break. “Nice casual” is the dress code (no sneakers or jeans). We ate here 2 years ago and the band was incredible (8-10 piece band), the music spectacular and the dance lessons well worth it! Typical music and lesson charge is $25 for others, but it is included for us.

Vice Versa
325 West 51st (8th and 9th avenue)
Saturday, May 21st
7pm drinks, 8pm dinner
$77 3-course, glass of wine, coffee, tax and tip

The Godfather of scrumptious Italian cucina in New York was a man named Tony May. He had a series of famous Italian restaurants and even operated The Rainbow Room. Vice Versa was started by a Tony May Alumni Group. Started in 1999 and Zagat rated 24, for “top notch Italian cooking in a sleek interior and a pleasant dining experience.” Vice Versa is a NY Magazine Critics top pick stating, “the modern lines of Vice Versa are so (unassuming) it’s easy to walk right by its storefront. Do so, and you’ll be missing out on one of the most congenial and gratifying restaurants in the theater district, as well as one that’s become a whispered neighborhood favorite. Like a hit play that opened with little fanfare, Vice Versa is full of diverting surprises.” Owned by Franco Lazzari and Stefano Terzi, they use only the highest quality ingredients produced locally or imported from Italy. In the kitchen, Stefano makes all pasta from scratch. Stefano’s cooking respects the characteristics of each ingredient and values their qualities in each recipe-a true embodiment of the philosophy of Italian Cuisine. 4.5 stars on Open Table, 4 stars on YELP, Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. Our menu includes: garden salad with parmigiana, eggplant cannoli filled with ricotta over mixed vegetables, saltimbocca of pork loin with pancetta and sage, beef and pecorino rollatine pizzaiola with tomato, oregano and capers, sesame coated seared salmon with horseradish sour cream and spinach and of course Italian desserts.

246 10th Avenue (24th Street)
Wednesday, May 25th
5:45pm drinks, 6:45pm dinner
$78- Full Dinner, glass of wine, coffee, tax and tip

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 through a sliding garage door. Zagat rated- “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 and the art-world gossip (resonates) through the crowded dining room and front bar at all hours.”- NY Mag. We start off sharing dishes such as bruschetta al pomodoro, fritto misto- tempura battered calamari, shrimp and vegetables and antipasto of cured meats. Then we have choices of homemade ravioli verdi, homemade fettuccine with saffron, shrimp and cognac; homemade penne with smoked prosciutto, grilled organic baby chicken, branzino with roast potatoes and swiss chard, pan-seared filet mignon and for dessert- chocolate tiramisu, gelato, mixed berries, zabaglione and biscotti. This is the last dinner until June 5th as we head to Nashville the next day (1 spot left for Nashville).