The best part of October besides my birthday, Halloween and half price candy (though this is usually in November) is the perfectly mild weather. There really isn’t a day we need to check the temperature as it always seems to ‘fall’ on wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt. After a fantastic, yet ‘warm’ trip to Texas, staying cool will no longer be on our minds. Yes, 2015 is 2/3 over and the summer is complete! The good news is we sold out of many of our events over the summer with some dinners topping over 40 members! Our Austin trip was a success as we visited incredible 26/27 Zagat rated restaurants and membership has grown every month since we launched our new website! It is time to keep the momentum and the party going. Spain is next and so are some great events for October.
But first we still have some September events on the agenda including a very fun afternoon buffet brunch and Beatles concert this Saturday, Sept. 19th at BB Kings. For over 25 years “Strawberry Fields” has been performing Beatles songs worldwide and for 16 years every weekend at this NYC locale. This was my favorite non-dinner event last year! The following day, Sunday, Sept. 20th, we head out to Williamsburg for a walking history and food tour. Join Ben (the tour-guide from the Flatiron tour), myself and others as we walk through the streets of Williamsburg sampling 7+ different types of food and learning about the history of the neighborhood. NOTE: You can meet us in Union Square. Finally on Saturday, Sept. 26th we get to enjoy our 4-course meal at the 25 rated, De Noi. A future classic! This restaurant is located at 214 East 49th in the heart of Midtown (the address was missing in the last newsletter),
Our October starts off on Friday, Oct. 2nd with a French wine and French cheese class at Vino-Versity. We had a very successful wine class here in August and decided to return this time to sample more than half a dozen French wines and cheeses. There is limited space available (3 spots left) for this event and it will sell out, so make reservations soon! Two days later on Sunday, Oct. 4th, we head to a new restaurant for The Single Gourmet, Yerba Buena Perry. Part of a 9-location restaurant group in NYC, this popular Latin fusion will remind us all of our favorite Richard Sandoval restaurants. The reason for this: celebrity owner/chef of Yerba Buena (Julian Medina) was once Corporate Executive Chef for ALL of Richard Sandoval’s Mexican locations. The following Wednesday, Oct. 7th, we head to Shun Lee Palace where we return for the best of Asian cuisine and where their delicious impeccably prepared Beijing duck is on the menu. This is one of our all-time favorites and it has been too long since we dined at their East Side location. The following Wednesday, Oct. 14th we put our own chef hats on as we have a 3-course cooking class at Crave-It. We learn everything there is to know from a top chef about preparing a meal, pairing it with wines (tasting included), cooking and of course, we get to eat what we prepare. The Following Sunday, Oct. 18th, we dine at a long standing French Bistro right in the heart of the Upper West Side! La Boite En Bois. They have been serving up French Cuisine for 30 years and is a favorite amongst many of the locals in the area. There is no seated bar area, so we are meeting a few blocks away at Atlantic Grill for drinks, then walking over. This truly is a very quaint French bistro that lives up to its name-“the wooden box”. The next week, Sunday, Oct. 25th we head downtown near the Flatiron Building to Georgio’s of Gramercy where for the first time we try this 14-year old Gramercy highly rated restaurant. Our menu is fantastic and the ambiance ideal, I am sure this will be on our agenda for years to come. Finally, join us on Halloween as we celebrate with a candy filled evening at Café Centro. This was a regular event in the past and some members have asked me to continue the tradition. Come in costume or not, either way I’ll bring the candy to this gorgeous French Brasserie in Midtown owned by The Patina Group which owns over 60 restaurants Worldwide!
The following September events are available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:
1. Beatles Brunch- BBKings- Sat. Sept. 19th, 11am. 237 West 42nd Street. Buffet brunch and concert- $53
2. Williamsburg History and Food Walking Tour-Sun. Sept. 20th, @ 10:20 @ 166th North 7th Street @ Bedford L station or meet us in NYC @ 14th and Broadway (10am) at Citibank- $50
3. De Noi- Sat. Sept. 26th- 214 East 49th Street, 7:00 pm optional drinks, 8:00 pm dinner 4-course meal, glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip $79
The following October events are available for Single Gourmet Members and their guests:
Vino-Versity- “French Wine & French Cheese”
Friday, October 2nd
1657 1st Avenue 86th/87th
7:00 pm – 9pm arrive 6:45 for seating
$47- Limited space- NO REFUNDS
If you love cheese and you love wine, then here’s a perfect chance to sit in a room and taste how both cheese and wine change as you eat & sip them together. Try 6-10 tastings of French wine with a full plate of French cheeses where you will find out which ones are magic together. Your guide is a wine AND cheese expert working as a “cheese monger” at ‘Lucy’s Whey’ and helped open Beechers Cheese in The Flatiron District! Approx. 2 hours of lecture/discussion/tasting. A wonderful opportunity to taste the glorious fromage of famed French regions, with soft & bloomy rinds, to hard & nutty selections, and of course: Chevre!! Beautiful whites, reds, & sparklers from Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, The Rhone, The Loire, and/or Sud-ouest will accompany each sip!
Yerba Buena Perry- Cocina Latina
1 Perry Street @ Greenwich Avenue (off 7th Ave)
1 block South of 1,2,3 train @ 14th, 5 min from ACE
6-7 min walk from ABCDEFM @ West 4th.
Sunday, October 4th
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:30 pm dinner
$77 3-course, glass of wine, tax and tip
$68 no wine
Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, Yerba Buena, Yerba Buena Perry, Toloache Taqueria and Coppelia, worked at Hacienda de Los Morales and Les Celebrites, in Mexico City’s Hotel Nikko in the 90’s, where Chef Richard Sandoval discovered him. So impressed was Chef Sandoval, that he insisted Chef Medina move to NYC where he appointed him ‘Chef de Cuisine’ of Maya. Eventually, Chef Medina became Corporate Chef for ALL of Richard Sandoval’s Mexican restaurants and opened and created the entire menu for Pampano. Chef Medina has also been Executive Chef at Sushi Samba, Zocalo, is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and appeared on ‘The Iron Chef.” Upon opening Yerba Buena, New York Magazine named it one the best restaurants of the year. Zagat rated 22, stating, “Chef Medina delivers delectable, inventive Pan-Latin fare in a hot spot that stirs up a 1950’s Cuba. Yerba Buena Perry transports guests to an exclusive club in Havana with a feel that is retro, yet chic and sophisticated.” NY Mag says, “Julian Medina adds Yerba Buena Perry to the portfolio that already includes one of the best restaurants in the Village, as well as Toloache.” Michelin guide says, “Yerba Buena Perry transports you to a South American paradise with Latin-inspired dishes. A longtime favorite, Executive Chef Julian Medina, mambos himself through the kitchens of not one, but six different restaurants, and this ‘oh so mighty restaurant’ takes the cake. Mixing Cuban Chilean, Peruvian and Mexican influences, the upscale Medina delivers a signature flavor where even familiar dishes have unexpected flair.”
Shun Lee Palace
155 East 55th (Lexington and 3rd)
Wednesday, October 7th
5:30 pm optional drinks, 6:15 pm dinner
$73 Includes meal below, tea tax & tip (no wine).
Our very first event happened 33 years ago at Shun Lee and we continue to enjoy each of our annual returns. This, however is our first time to the East Side “Palace” location in many years. Zagat rated 24, saying, “Michael Tong’s venerable circa-1971 Eastsider remains a grande dame of fine Chinese dining, delivering exceptional dishes via outstanding staffers in elegant environs– it’s among the classiest of its kind.” Our menu is always great and includes: chicken soong, szechuan boiled dumpling, grilled scallops, xo prawns, Beijing duck, chicken w/broccoli & sugar snap peas, kung pow beef, yeung chow fried rice and tiramisu with fruit.
Crave it- Cooking class with wine tasting.
545 6th Avenue (between 14th & 15th street)
Wednesday, October 14th
$70 3-course cooking class, wine tasting. No Refunds.
Join us as we prepare an amazing 3-course meal with included wine tasting at this new bakery, caterer and lunch hotspot in Chelsea. The classes are held by both a Celebrity chef from Italy, who is a published author of a cooking book and by a pastry chef who was a professor at the University of Gelato in Bologna, Italy (the only professional gelato school in the world). We learn to make hors d’oeuvres, different types of pastas and 2 types of desserts. Every dish will be paired with wine tasting. Members are encouraged to bring their own wine as well (they do not sell wine here otherwise), and at the end of the night, everybody will go home with a folder containing step by step recipes of what we prepared, together with a description of the wine paired with the food. The classes are laid back and entertaining. This cooking class and Crave it have been written about in numerous publications including, Real Simple, AM New York, The Daily Meal, Time OutNY, NY Post and The New York Times.
La Boite En Bois- 75 West 68th Street
Meet at Atlantic Grill for drinks at 5:30-6:15,
or meet at the restaurant at 6:30pm.
Drinks Atlantic Grill- 49 West 64th (@Broadway)
Sunday, October 18th
$77 3-courses, glass of wine, tax and tip.
$68 with no wine 0ption
Due to lack of bar seating, we are meeting at Atlantic Grill 4 short blocks away for drinks, then we walk over to the restaurant. You can meet us at the restaurant as well at 6:30pm. For almost 30 years, this family owned and operated French bistro has been serving the Upper West Side and Lincoln Center theater goers with classic French dishes. Zagat 22, La Boite en Bois is a quaint and romantic French restaurant in the heart of the Upper West Side. Just off of Columbus Avenue, it is tucked away downstairs in a beautiful brownstone. With its rustic ambience, you will feel as though you are in the countryside of France. La Boîte en Bois certainly lives up to its name, which implies cozy rusticity. The menu includes, but is not limited to: smoked salmon and smoked trout with a cucumber dill salad, roasted salmon with cous cous and spinach, homemade pasta of the day, chicken with mushroom sauce, beef bourguignon, ending with a medley of French desserts.
Georgio’s of Gramercy
27 East 21st (Broadway and PAS)
Sunday, October 25th
5:15 pm optional drinks, 6:15-8pm dinner
$79 3-course meal, glass wine, coffee, t&t.
One of the higher rated restaurants in Gramercy, this 14-year old, Zagat 23 is “The epitome of a true sleeper, this longtime Italian-American class act in the Flatiron features consistently good cooking that suggests unsung talent in the kitchen.” 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor and NY Magazine, they write, “Giorgio’s exterior has all the trappings of exclusivity, but step inside this Gramercy standout and behind thick velvet curtains is a warm interior of beige and burgundy that backs a sophisticated and inviting scene as the diverse crowd generates a convivial buzz. Still, it’s the kitchen’s creations that leave the strongest impressions.” Our menu includes, but is not limited to: tuna tartar, New York strip, Berkshire pork chop, sea scallops, grilled chicken capellini and their popular and delicious s’more’s bread pudding.
Café Centro- Halloween
200 Park Avenue @45th Street (Metlife)
Saturday, October 31st
6:30 pm optional drinks, 7:15 pm dinner
$83 3-course meal, glass wine, coffee, t&t.
It is Halloween night so join us for a not so scary French meal at this bustling French brasserie with a style that echoes the glamour of Paris in the 1930s. Guests can watch executive chef Ted Rozzi prepare French-inspired cuisine in the glass-enclosed display kitchen. A richly elegant Grand Café in the classic Parisian tradition – set in the iconic international style landmark MetLife Building – Café Centro offers a select menu of French favorites with a Mediterranean twist. Join us on Halloween as we celebrate with candies and costumes (optional).
Madrid & Barcelona- Dec 26th –Jan 5th
The Trip is 1 day longer than Italy- Single Occupancy- $6095 (add 2% for AMEX)- 25% due now.
Deduct $1000 if flying on your own $5570 double occupancy (add 2% for AMEX)
Deduct $525 per person if sharing a room.
We leave NYC Dec 26th and land the morning of Dec 27th where our representative will be waiting for us to provide a private transfer to the 4+ star hotel Paseo del Prado. Welcome Lunch and reception. The remainder of the day is at leisure, we will be exploring the city and there is an optional Tapas Tour we can partake in.
MONDAY DECEMBER 28 Private Tour of Madrid- Our expert guide will meet us at our hotel and together we will enjoy the architecture, history and anecdotes of Spain’s capital. Enjoy a walking tour that includes some of the capital’s most impressive sights, such as the Plaza de Oriente and the historic quarter including the 17th-century Plaza Mayor, a wonderful Baroque square lined with arcades filled with picturesque cafes. We walk through the peaceful Plaza de la Villa where the City Hall stands and the narrow streets of Madrid of the “Austrias” named after the Austro- Hapsburg dynasty came to rule over in 1516. Much of the Austrias neighbourhood today is a gastronomic centre, with traditional favourites aplenty, including the oldest restaurant in the world. The nuns of the Convento nearby occasionally offer their home made cakes too! The tour will also include an in-depth visit of either the Royal Palace or the Prado Museum. At night we enjoy a Flamenco and dinner show where we experience Flamenco dancing at the highly-rated Corral de la Moreria, founded in 1956 and considered to be the most well-known tablao flamenco in the world. It’s the premier venue in the world, to experience this incredibly physical dance genre complete with unique Spanish guitar accompaniment and impressive displays of hand clapping by the performers. The Corral de la Moreria is featured in the book, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” and has been frequented by international artists, celebrities and various heads of state, including the King of Spain himself. The elaborate costumes alone are stunning!
TUESDAY DECEMBER 29- An Excursion to Toledo with a Private Tour – This morning meet our private driver and guide. Depart for Toledo, about an hour away. On arrival in Toledo, our guide will begin the visit by taking us to marvel at the overwhelming panoramic view of the former capital of Spain. Toledo is a thousand-year-old masterpiece created by various cultures including the Romans, Moors, Jews and Christians. Its heyday was in the 16th century when it became the capital of the mighty Spanish empire. The beautifully preserved buildings of this ancient town provide striking testimony of Toledo’s rich and colorful past. The city of Toledo, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, is located on a rocky headland, bordered by the river Tajo in the very heart of Spain, just 70 kilometers (42 miles) from the capital, Madrid. Although now completely overshadowed by Madrid, it is Toledo and it’s narrow, winding streets and steps, stone and brick houses and churches that embodies Spain’s past. In the Middle Ages, Toledo was built on a “convergence” of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and contains two of the few remaining medieval Spanish synagogues. The two synagogues, which stand in the city today, are powerful reminders of that period of religious tolerance before the Spanish Inquisition. Stop at the parish church of Santo Tomé, and marvel El Greco’s famed Burial of the Count of Orgaz, considered to be El Greco’s finest work and one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. At the centre of Toledo, we will find the soaring Gothic Cathedral, the finest example of Gothic style in Spain. The collection of paintings is also important, above all the excellent collection kept in the Sacristy that contains Christ Stripped of his Garments and the Apostolate by Greco, paintings by Caravaggio, Titian, Van Dyck, Goya, Morales, Rubens, Bassano and many more. An impressive collection of medieval garments and textiles can also be admired. Lunch included.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30- Half day tour of Madrid’s Art Galleries – Today with an art specialist visit the famous Reina Sofia and Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza. Following our tour, we will have lunch at a local restaurant. In the evening we have a Private Wine Tasting Experience- With the guidance of a sommelier and expert on Spanish wine, we will have the opportunity to taste and learn about aspects of locally produced wine.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 31 Private transfer to the train station. Board our high speed AVE train to Barcelona. *A tour representative will travel with us and to assist with luggage. Upon arrival, about 2.5 hours later, private transfer to our hotel. Check in at the 4+ Star Hotel Gallery- Private Tour of Barcelona- Our expert guide and our private driver will meet us at our hotel and together we will explore one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Barcelona, with typical Catalan pride and creativity, remains determined to project itself as Spain’s most innovative city, and offers a staggering array of attractions. Our guided tour stresses the importance of Catalan history and culture. The tour takes in the Passeig de Gracia, the most stylish street of Barcelona, lined with boutique shops and art galleries. Also La Rambla, with its outdoor cafes, flower stands, exotic birds and equally colorful street performers. Just off La Rambla are the antique stalls at La Boqueria, Barcelona’s outdoor market considered to be one of the best markets in the world. We visit Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter which rests on the ancient Roman city of Barcino, today full of buildings from the 13th to the 15th century. The Quarter, where we spend most of the tour, is full of interesting shapes, peaceful plazas and winding alleyways, with its medieval Cathedral and the Picasso Museum. Tonight, celebrate New Years, Spanish Style! Tonight is Nochevieja, which means ‘the old night’ in Spanish. Families and friends often gather together to enjoy a late meal, the last one of the year, before hitting the big parties. According to Spanish tradition, we are supposed be wearing red underwear and eat twelve grapes at midnight, at every chime of the clock in the countdown to midnight. These two are said to bring good luck. Celebrate New Years (Nochevieja) like a local with a festive dinner and party!
FRIDAY JANUARY 1 Day of lesure in Spain, lunch together at a local restaurant.
SATURDAY JANUARY 2- This Morning…A Private Tour of Gaudi & Modernisme Architecture we will spend half a day focusing on the period that was Barcelona’s most vibrant and exciting – the period of visionary architect Antonio Gaudi and his contemporaries, a period of a Catalan Renaissance in the arts and literature. We visit the iconic Casa Milà, a fantasy in stone which appears to have been carved out of the living rock, hence its nickname: La Pedrera, which means “the quarry.” The building is an apartment house on one of Barcelona’s main avenues. Casa Batlló is a home built for a wealthy businessman and an outstanding example of Gaudi’s private work. We will visit the unique and magical Cathedral of Sagrada Familia. The monumental (and still unfinished) El Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia is Gaudí’s most famous work and a worldwide symbol for Barcelon and we visit the Gaudí designed and playful Parc Güell. Many Gaudí aficionados consider this outdoor park his finest work.
SATURDAY Afternoon, A Private Cooking Class in Barcelona – this is a change date from last newsletter.
The cuisine of the various regions of Spain make some of the world’s finest dishes. Rich in tradition and history (Arab, Jewish, Roman, Aztec, and many other cultures have all contributed methods and ingredients) Spanish cuisine has an identity of its own. It is sensual yet simple, delicate but unpretentious, folklorist yet innovative.
Enjoy a hands-on introduction to Spanish cooking with your host, instructor and chef whose infectious passion for food and Mediterranean cuisine will set the scene for a fun way to learn about traditional and contemporary homemade specialties.
Start with a walking tour around the famous Boqueria market, getting plenty of tips on picking local, seasonal products, and exploring in depth some of the extraordinary and delicious fresh food that is sold here. You’ll get so much more out of the tour with a chef than you ever would hope to get on your own.
From the Boqueria, head to a superbly laid out kitchen, located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and just a few minutes’ walk from the market – a great spot to cook authentic typical dishes of Spain.
SUNDAY JANUARY 3- A Full-Day Private Excursion to Girona and Costa Brava- Dali
The province of Girona lies in the northeast of Spain, bordering France and the Catalan provinces of Barcelona and Lleida. The most striking characteristic about this historic area of north Catalunya is undoubtedly its great diversity – internationally acclaimed beaches, spectacular mountains at the eastern tip of the Pyrenees, a rugged rocky coastline reaching up to the French border, and the green rolling hills of rural Gerona. This bounty of rural and coastal treasures, together with the mild climate that it enjoys, makes Girona a popular destination for visitors throughout the year.
Your guide and driver will pick you up in Barcelona for your full-day tour of Girona. The drive will be approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The ancient walled city of Girona stands on a fortress-like hill, high above the confluence of the Onyar and Ter rivers. As the provincial capital it has a long and distinguished history. Founded by Iberians, the Romans later named it Gerunda and established it as an important stopping point on the Via Augusta, linking Iberia with Rome. The huge 15th century cathedral, boasting the widest unsupported gothic arch in the world, dominates the skyline, yet much of the city’s attraction lies in exploring the mediaeval streets, especially around the charming Jewish quarter.
Girona’s history dates back to the Roman era, and you will find the town full of magnificent monuments, museums and archives. Successive rulers have left a mix of architecture in Girona ranging from the Gothic cathedral to the beautiful 12th century Arab baths. Your guide will lead you through the winding medieval alleyways of Girona. Girona’s Call, the old Jewish Quarter, was home to a prosperous community until the end of the 15th century. You will have lunch on your own in Girona.
This afternoon head to Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s hometown. Here you will visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum, designed by the artist himself. It contains a broad range of works spanning his career. In the museum, you should expect the outrageous. Highlights include a stage set featuring large mannequins, a long black Cadillac with sprinklers inside, and a salon that uses furniture to recreate Mae West’s face (with a sofa fashioned like soft red lips). Dalí himself is buried in a crypt here, next to a series of gold cobra statues.
MONDAY JANUARY 4- Day of leisure -Dinner at Michelin Star Restaurant. Tuesday January 5th- Following day we check out and head back to NYC….
To reserve at any or all the events please go to our website and view our dashboard event calendar or call us at (646-825-0268), email us at email@example.com or mail checks with events chosen to:
The Single Gourmet, c/o Aaron Lefkowitz, 69 west 9th Street Apartment #6A, New York, NY 10011
1. Beatle Mania- BBkings Brunch and concert Sat, Sept 19th 11:00 am $53 __________
2. Williamsburg Walking Food and History Tour Sun, Sept 20th 10:15am $50__________
3. De Noi- 25 Rated 4-course Italian Sat, Sept 26th 7:00pm $79__________
4. VINO-VERSITY- French Wine w/ French Cheese Fri. Oct, 2nd 6:45pm $47 __________
5. Yerba Buena- Celebrity Chef Latin Sun Oct, 4th 5:30pm $77/$68_______
6. SHUN LEE PALACE Wed. Oct, 7th 5:30pm $73 __________
7. Crave It- Cooking Class 3 course w/wine Wed Oct 14th 6:00pm $70__________
8. La Boite En Boise- French Classic Sun. Oct 18th 5:30pm @ Atlantic 6:15 at the Dinner $77/$68 ___
9. Georgio of Gramercy- American Italian Sun. Oct 25th 5:15pm $79__________
10. CAFÉ CENTRO- Halloween Sat, Oct 31 6:30pm $84__________
11. Barcelona and Madrid- Deposits due $1500_________
12. Barbados Cruise- Deposit due $500_________
Check _____or CC Number_______________________Expiration ________ZIP__________
Phone number____________________ email __________________
Signature______________________________I understand these events /deposits are non-refundable