October 2018

I’m still working on not being terrible… as well as on overcoming my procrastination habits, and my fear of failure (success?). For those of you who are still with me, thank you all for your patience. At least the weather is finally getting cooler. Not much of a transition, though… it’s been cold these past few nights!

We start our October with brunch in the East Village at the amazing Virginia’s on Saturday, October 6. We did brunch here last year in the summer, and it was a success! Afterwards, you can stroll around the East Village and Tompkins Square park and enjoy the fall foliage (hopefully there will be some by then!). We will then have a little break from October 8-15, when a group of 19 of us will be enjoying a trip to Iceland. (I asked Aaron if he could run a dinner on the 14th, but it’s his birthday that weekend, so he’s not available.) On Tuesday, October 16, one of our members, Lynn Vergano, will have a FREE event: an art exhibit and lecture at the United Nations from 3-5 PM, and she has invited us all to go! Lynn is a world-renowned expert in the style of oriental watercolor, and has won numerous awards. Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Our dinners continue on Wednesday, October 17 at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club for a great meal and an evening of big band and swing dancing! Take advantage of the included swing dance lesson, 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. As many of you saw at the Harvard Club, I know the basics, and am happy to dance with you! We follow that up with Russian Samovar on Sunday, October 21. When we went there last year, it was very popular with over 35 people in attendance enjoying delicious food and live music. Finally on Sunday, October 28, we will have dinner at Morso. This Italian gem owned by the famous and highly successful restaurateur Pino Luongo hits all the right marks. I am working on dinner on Halloween night; it will likely be at Café Centro or another French restaurant.

For our travel events, one spot remains for the Iceland trip, with the price going back to $4995 because airfares have risen only slightly, and it’s so close to the departure date. The promotion is still valid: if you refer someone who is not a current member to join us on this trip, you will receive a $99 credit, AND your friend will receive a complimentary one-year membership to The Single Gourmet (normally non-members have to join and pay the $99 membership fee before they join us for a trip). Your $99 credit is applicable toward your upcoming membership dues, or any event(s) you attend within the next 6 months. Note: you do not have to go on this trip to refer a non-member and receive the credit.

Cuba for New Year’s Eve 2018-2019, still has space remaining. We will leave NYC on December 27, for an 8-day trip, returning on January 3. This time we will go not only to Havana, but to other parts of Cuba not explored on our last trip such Cienfuegos and Trinidad. We need 15 people for this trip, but as of yet, have only 6. Do NOT book a flight until I confirm that we have 15 people.

For any of these trips, please secure spaces ASAP. If you have not received an email or a phone call from me confirming your interest in a trip, please let me know. If you have already paid a deposit, there is no need to re-confirm.


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


Virginia’s (brunch)
647 E 11 St (between Ave B and Ave C)

Saturday, October 6
12:00 pm optional drinks
12:30 pm brunch

$59 includes
3 courses, 1 Mimosa or Bloody Mary
tea or coffee, tax & tip

When Virginia’s 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 alum 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 writes, “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:

Starters (choice of):

  • Market Greens, Radish, Sherry Vinaigrette, Peach
  • Ricotta Toast, Wildflower Honey, Aleppo

Mains (choice of):

  • Whole Wheat Pancakes, Market Strawberries, Vermont Maple Syrup
  • Virginia’s Burger, Cabot Cheddar, Vidalia Onion Marmalade
  • House made chilaquiles, cilantro, poached eggs

Dessert:

  • Toasted Vanilla Bean Flan, Caramel

Art Exhibition & Lecture featuring Lynn Vergano
777 1st Ave, 10th Floor (entrance at E 44th St)

Tuesday, October 16
3:oo pm – 5:00 pm
FREE (but RSVP is required)

event includes refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres

Lynn Vergano (a fellow member of The Single Gourmet!) is a world-renowned expert in the style of oriental watercolor. She has lectured, judged, and critiqued artwork. Her lectures and paintings have been presented at the United Nations, various universities, numerous museums, charitable organizations, religious groups, and art centers. She has been interviewed on television, radio and in newspapers around the word. Her intriguing, highly individualistic paintings have been presented in one-woman exhibitions in Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and New Zealand, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, World Trade Center, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and other museums across the United States.


Swing 46 (dinner & swing dancing with live music)
349 W 46th St (between 8th & 9th Ave)

Wednesday, October 17
6:00 pm optional drinks
7:00 pm dinner

$86 includes
3 courses, 1 glass of wine
entertainment fee, tax & tip

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, and our members love it! 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 two years ago and even if you don’t dance, the food was great, the band was incredible, the music spectacular, and the dance lessons were all well worth it! The entertainment fee is $15 for others, but it is included for us.

MENU:

Appetizers (choice of):

  • Fresh Mozzarella with basil, ripe tomatoes and a balsamic glaze
  • Organic Field Greens homemade sage vinaigrette
  • Caesar Salad crisp romaine, herb croutons shaved parmesan cheese

Entrees (choice of):

  • Angus Hanger Steak – cabernet demi glace, yukon golden mashed potatoes ribbon thin cajun onion rings
  • BBQ Ribs – with Sweet Potato Fries
  • Roast Half Chicken – marinated roast chicken, mashed potatoes, sautéed fresh vegetables
  • Salmon Filet – sesame seared salmon filet, teriyaki ginger sauce rice and fresh sautéed vegetables
  • Prince Edward Island Mussels – white wine, garlic & herb seafood broth, toasted garlic crostini
  • Vegetarian Pasta Primavera – sautéed mixed vegetables, garlic and herbs tomato basil marinara
  • Rigatoni and Shrimp – creamy rich garlic sauce with a hint of tomato

Dessert (choice of):

  • Warm Chocolate Brownies with Fresh Cream
  • Fresh Fruit Sorbet

Russian Samovar (Russian)
256 W 52 Street (between Broadway & 8th Ave)

Sunday, October 21
5:45 pm optional drinks
6:30 pm dinner

$79 prix fixe includes
4 courses, 1 glass of wine
tea or coffee, tax & tip

Last year when we went here, we had over 35 people! Michelin guide recommended: “This hot spot caters to hockey players, Russian intelligentsia, and vodka aficionados alike. Russian Samovar is both quirky and elegant, with musicians tickling the piano and violin. The staff is attentive, sweet, and can walk you through delicious fare.” The restaurant was founded in 1986 by Russian poet Joseph Brodsky with entrepreneur Roman Kaplan and famous Russian ballet dancer Michael Baryshnikov. Frank Sinatra once owned the restaurant and had many concerts here and often spent time with his friends here. It kept its charming tradition to become a favorite place for Russians and a home for famous Russian poets and writers.

MENU:

Appetizers (choice of):

  • Olivier – Traditional Russian chicken, potato, and vegetable salad with light homemade mayonnaise
  • Vinegret – Traditional beet and vegetable salad (vegetarian)
  • Eggplant Caviar – Caviar-style eggplant served on brown wheat toast corners (vegetarian)

Soups (choice of):

  • Borscht – Traditional Russian beet soup served hot or cold
  • Chicken Frikadelki Soup – Chicken meatballs and vegetables in a traditional chicken broth

Entrees (choice of):

  • Chicken Shashlik – Marinated chicken thighs, skewered and grilled
  • Grilled Salmon – Served with roasted vegetables
  • Beef Stroganoff – Sirloin tips sautéed with mushrooms in a cream sauce, served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes

Dessert (choice of):

  • Smetannik Cake – Traditional layered cake made with sour cream
  • Ice Cream or Sorbet – ask the server for available flavors

Morso (Italian)
420 E 59th St (between 1 Ave & Sutton Pl)

Sunday, October 28
5:45 pm optional drinks
6:30 pm dinner

$78 prix fixe includes
3 courses, 1 glass of wine
tea or coffee, tax & tip

Zagat rated 4.4. They say “Pino Luongo knows what he’s doing at this classy East Midtown oasis, a dependable source of marvelous Italian cuisine served by staffers who genuinely care; the contemporary room features Pop Art on the walls and a dramatic view of the Queensboro Bridge from the outdoor terrace.” Morso is a culmination of a life in food and a passion for culinary excellence. With the essence of his Tuscan homeland at heart and a truly original style of cooking; Pino Luongo shaped the Italian menus that we now consider classic, with restaurants including Le Madri, Mad 61, Coco Pazzo, Tuscan Square, and Centolire. For Morso, his values remain unchanged; great, seasonal ingredients skillfully prepared, and shared with family and friends.

MENU:

Appetizer (choice of):

  • Caprese – buffalo mozzarella w/ tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil & basil
  • Ortolana con Vegetali – mixed greens, grilled vegetable salad, red wine vinaigrette

Entrée (choice of):

  • Spaghetti rustica – pasta w/tomato sauce & caramelized onions
  • Salmone – roasted w/ pickled fennel & radish salad, mustard dressing
  • Pollo Martini – parmesan encrusted chicken breast, white wine & lemon sauce with caramelized baby carrots & string beans
  • Veal Scaloppine Saltimbocca – with artichokes, fingerling potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, white wine sauce, prosciutto, melted fontina cheese

Dessert (choice of):

  • Decadent Chocolate Cake
  • Sorbet of the day
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