Eleven Madison Park: always positive surprises

If you haven’t been to Eleven Madison Park lately, it’s time. The experience is consistently sublime. As one of my favorites, I try to be a “regular” as often as I can. Last night, the biggest surprise on the menu was what wasn’t: the chef stopped serving the duck. Shocker. According to an insider, swiss executive chef Daniel Humm (pronounced "whom") was pretty fed up that people would come to his restaurant just to have the duck and said that he can do many good things besides the duck. Ja, of course he can! The duck orphans will like the chicken poularde. Underneath the crispy skin of the juicy Four Story Hill Farm chicken, a layer of bread crumbs with black truffles, lemon and rosemary made me forget the absence of the duck. As a starter I could not resist the mini “Park Dogs”, two tiny hot dogs filled with gourmet celery relish and black truffles. At $1,000 a pound, black truffle dishes are not cheap (imagine the white ones. Unspeakable but so delectable, can’t wait for the tortellini with white truffles to be back!). But if there’s anywhere to have them and splurge a little, this is the place: a very dedicated and friendly service, plus Humm’s inventive creations. A restaurant to keep coming back to.

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Torso Time

It’s getting hot in here. And some people are taking off their clothes. According to Racked.com, the boys at Hollister in SoHo are still fully clad though. At least until this weekend, when the temperature will rise and they’ll start to show off their naked torsos. However, uptown, well, that’s a different story!

This past Wednesday afternoon, strolling up Fifth Avenue I walked by the usual clean cut frat boy looking model vendors hanging outside of the Abercrombie & Fitch store. They were all wearing cute matching blue plaid shirts. I couldn’t resist: I turned around and decide to go in, why not, I haven’t been there in ages. In this discotheque-like-store, with the music so loud and the lights so dark, I usually don’t feel inclined to splurge anyways cause I can’t see much. But wait, I did see something, as soon as I walked in, before my eyes got used to the darkness… I caught just a glimpse, and I can’t help myself and turn around again (for the second time in 5 seconds!) And there it was, the proof that Spring time has arrived: the in-store live mannequin…shirtless! It was quite the sight. What can I say, I’m a sucker and a victim of the brand’s explicit homoeroticism advertisement. Blame it on spring fever. Sorry girls, I was too distracted and suddenly shy to take out my camera and photograph the living Adonis. Guess you’ll have to check it out for yourselves this weekend. And happy shopping of course.

Hollister: Spend $150 and get a $50 gift card. That's an in-store only promotion. You'll just "have" to go there then...
600 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Abercrombie & Fitch
720 Fifth Avenue

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Ditching Patrick for Pulino's

I’ve stayed away from green beer on St. Patty’s Day, and celebrated the holiday toasting with a birra on tap at Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria instead! Opened two days, the latest Keith McNally spot is already hot and booming. Super friendly staff (with Do Not Cross the Line) t-shirts run around en masse (there’s lot’s of them). Timing was good, the Nduja appetizer - a spicy salami spread bruschetta – was very delightful and the pizzas we had, quattro formaggi and bianca tradizionale are crispy, thin, and slightly charred to perfection on the edges from the wood burning oven. The ambience reveals it’s creator’s signature subway tiles, colorful antique tile flooring, a long bar, and the informal bistro atmosphere that makes his clients always feel welcome, turning them into repeat customers. A novel touch in the décor are the tables made of those blue NYPD wood barricades, therefore the “Do Not Cross the Line” citing on the menu and t-shirts.

Pulino's menu for your viewing, and hopefully soon: tasting pleasure

Pulino’s is currently serving breakfast and lunch only, but dinner service is expected to begin shortly.

Southwest corner of Bowery and Houston 212-226-1966

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Crisis who?

Many magazine and newspaper articles we’ve been reading lately start with the following premise: The crisis doesn’t seem to have affected such and such…, or: There are no signs of any economical downturn in this and that…

To me, the ultimate proof that “the crisis” is somewhat passé is in my mailbox. Today I’ve received six glossy, beautifully printed and produced fashion catalogues! In one heap, the heavy pseudo-catalogues-not-quite-coffee-table-books were jammed in my little 10’X5’ metal mailbox.

Brunello Cucinelli’s catalogue in colorful stock paper and railroad board cover must have cost more to print then any book I’ve read in the past year, that includes the hard covers. Well, who am I to say right? Maybe they are cost conscious and that’s why they photographed the clothes on still headless mannequins instead of models posing in a remote mountainous grassland… The clothes nonetheless are amazing. No prices noted though. (Saving ink? More like a reader’s sticker shock.)

The oversized magazine style Bergdorf Goodman catalogue on the other hand has 27 contributors, several articles on art, a designer interview, photo shoots in a tropical forest, LA streets, The Surrey Hotel in New York, and even a studio set up for hand bags with a fluffy bunny, yellow canary, bees and even a very real looking green frog.

The Chanel platform clog goes for $1,795 at Bergdorf

Barney’s went for the add look. Each model is dressed by the same designer from head to tow, with the brand’s name in large fonts next to them. So, no need for a stylist really, just pick the same designer’s shoes, glasses, bags, some clothes and strike it on the model. I can’t help but think that those designers paid for that sheer straight forward advertisement. But as a client, should I notice this and come to that conclusion? Shouldn’t I believe that someone actually went through the work of actually composing the best looks, mix and matching patters and cuts, independently of who designed it?

A Proenza Schouler four thousand dollar summer look: dress $2765 and wedges $1250

Anthropology and Juicy Couture have the lightest paper stock, which goes with the less expensive cloths of all of the ones mentioned here… Which doesn’t mean cheap editorials at all! Anthropology definitely sent their crew to a faraway land, I would guess South East Asia, Thailand maybe; and Juicy delivers quality with super creative jewelry.

DramaBeaded Torsade Necklace $ 198

Talk about accessible in a crisis-denial era, Bloomindale’s catalogue is the most understated. Small, no frills, models or locations. A must have? None (I just saved!!) A good find I would consider buying? Everyday golden leather ballet flats by Michael Kors for $165.

A crisis might be still be lingering around us in our real lives, but oh, it’s so out of fashion.

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Denim-up your closet

At the Gap you can recycle your old jeans and get a discount on a new pair

There are many signs that starting now - and through the weekend, this is the time to focus on getting a new pair of jeans. The weather is extremely yucky on a Friday and shopping therapy always helps on rainy days. Even more so when there are several sales and discounts in denim departments all over town.


In this promotion, not only do you walk out with a new pair, you get rid of the old one, making room in the closet, but mainly doing something good. For every pair you donate to Gap, you receive 30% off the new one you pick. You have until Sunday to recycle your jeans.


OK, you don’t even have to brave the rain or even move your butt to get it refitted with a new pair of hot legging Joe’s jeans, for example. From today on, (for a limited time) you can take $20 off any jeans above $100 plus free shipping. Pretty comfy right? They sell great brands (Joe’s, 7, Rock & Republic) and make it very easy to browse by organizing them by fits: boot cut, skinny, straight, flare.. whatever fits your lazy booty desires.


You have three days, starting now, to browse through the dozens of top denim brands carried by Bloomies to find your two favorite pairs and getting your 25% off at the register. You have to buy two pairs, but that’s not so absurd when you consider the huge selection (Ture Religion, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity, Acne, J Brand, etc..) Note to guys: don’t fret, you don’t have to buy two pairs… You get 20% off when you buy a pair. If you buy more then $500 the discount jumps to 30%.

For some strange reason, it’s a good weekend to buy denim. And the weather helps.

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The Bowery is boiling!

Soon, another new kitchen will be turning up the heat on the Bowery – which is turning into a hip restaurant row. We recently talked about Faustina, chef Scott Conant’s second Manhattan outpost adjacent to the Cooper Square Hotel’s lobby. The Italian fare seems to be delighting customers, as the restaurant is always packed and lively (huge difference from previous Table 8).

Now the buzz has been around – for a while – about Pulino’s Pizzeria and Grill: Keith McNally’s (pictured) latest venture. March 15th is the official opening date, for lunch and breakfast only. It has been open for friends and family tasting evenings. We can’t wait! As big fans of the NYC bistro emperor, we look forward to Nate Appleman’s cookery (I heard there will be some serious meat butchering going on) and pizzas prepared on their two large wood burning fire ovens. Call, they started taking reservations today! 212-226-1966

And as if you think that's not enough evidence to call the Bowery the newest hip restaurant row (Gemma, DBGB, Faustina, Pulino's), add some Mexican spice to it with the recent opening of Hecho en Dumbo. Chef Danny Mena and partner Ethan Smith garnered a reputation as one of New York's premier destinations for authentic Mexican cuisine. They relocated from their original Brooklyn location in order to expand and better accommodate their growing clientele. The space is rustic with brick walls, wooden ceiling, lot's of concrete and iron fixtures. South of the border just came closer. Head to Hecho en Dumbo for a real made in Mexico food experience. Like I said: the Bowery esta super caliente.

354 Bowery (btw. Great Jones & East 4th St) 212-937-4245

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Pigging out at Maialino

Meyer’s “Mailanino” (suckling pig in Italian) is the latest success on the list of this chief NYC restaurateur (Gramercy Park, 11 Madison, Shake Shack, Tabla). We’ve talked about it when it opened a few months ago, and I am happy to report that it continues booming, and not only that: service is fantastically friendly. You should know that the front portion of the restaurant, - which is my favorite anyways (more lively, and closer to what a typical Italian cantina feels like) - is reserved for walk-ins. If you want to eat at the bar counter you put your name down with one of the bartenders, if you want one of the little tables, speak to the hostess… and here comes the insider tip: the center communal table with the stools is up for grabs, first come first served.

Be smart and quick, as most people are oblivious to that valuable fact… So, if the place is packed (which always is starting at 6pm) grab an Aperol at the bar, guarantee your name on the list, but stay on the look out for the center counter. Someone gets up, and it’s yours.The food is rich and true to its roots. The carciofini fritti are delicious and both the spaghetti alla carbonara and the tonnarelli cacio e pepe are made of fresh pasta and delicious. Of course, the place asks for it: literally pig out on the maialino al forno. Real Italian-mamma style portion: it feeds 3 people…

at the Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Avenue
212 777 2410

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