Birreria at Eataly: Preview

My weekly morning caffe at Eataly has become a tradition, and I feel more and more like a professional navigator in the labyrinth of Italian gourmet goodies. Today I found the secret door to the top of Batali’s empire. Not only did I find, it, I was actually guided though it by one of the chef’s partners, Adam Saper. It was one of those coincidences. After chatting at the coffee counter, we realized that we had worked together 12 years ago on the same project. I asked if I could see the rooftop Bierreria, which was previewed to the press last night and voila, the secret space was unveiled. has posted last night’s party pictures this morning.

Today the retractable ceiling was closed, and staff was working and holding meetings there to get everything ready to officially inaugurate on or around June 3rd. The Birreria is a brewery/bar/restaurant occupying 8,000 square feet of prime penthouse space with a good view to the Empire State. According to Eater, there will be three beer types brewed on the premises, as well as a full bar and menu, seating up to 200. Stay tuned, for if when those plastic curtains are drawn, the show will begin. Ride up the elevator, then take the stairs with Dante’s Inferno quotes printed on the stair raisers to arrive at this little piece of cielo on earth.

200 5th Avenue at 23rd Street
(646) 398-5100

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Phaidon and James Beard Beard Foundation Greens celebrate The Silver Spoon

Another foodie event (see previous post for June 3rd at db Bistro Moderne Daniel) is happening tonight at the bookshop of Phaidon Press in Soho. Organized by the James Beard Foundation Greens, the occasion is a celebration of the classic The Silver Spoon recipe book, the bible of authentic Italian cooking and Italy's best-selling cookbook for the last fifty years. Amidst the beautiful Phaidon hardcovers, you will experience The Silver Spoon’s recipes interpreted by super chefs from the city’s top Italian restaurants: Maialino, Falai, Torrisi, Sullivan Bakery, Lunetta and dell’anima. Tickets are $75, from 6:30pm – 9:00 pm.

For tickets go here

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Boulud Sud, by chef Daniel Boulud's, plus 4 new restaurants in New York

by Alexandra Forbes

Five new restaurants in New York, for my friend Ines....


With so many restaurants in New York - Daniel, DBGB, Bar Boulud, Cafe Boulud - it is difficult to get excited over yet another opening. But all it took was one night of tasting Boulud Sud's menu from start to finish to conclude that the man did it again. The most French chefs, serving babaganoush and Tabouleh with mint and parsley? Yes, and both unbelievably good! He says Sud serves Mediterranean cuisine, a super vague term that enables the menu to hop along Valencia, Greece, Provence, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The robust and tasty cuisine and efficient service à la française are tops. The bland décor, not so much...
Boulud SUD: West 64th Street, tel. (212) 595-1313,

Epicerie Boulud
Nextdoor to Boulud Sud, this chic shop serves breakfast and lunch (including several hot sandwiches, like hot dog and a fancy crab roll. You can also buy amazing artisanal cheeses, baguette and terrines by Gilles Verot, sweets and gelatos. Only a five minute walk to Central Park - perfect for a picnic day!
1900 Broadway, tel. (212) 595-9606,

This restaurant with an oyster bar and big windows in Soho is enchantingly beautiful. Chef Andrew Carmellini (Locanda Verde) goes more casual here, serving dishes like crab with bloody mary and aspargus with Thai flavours.
131 Sullivan St. tel. (212) 677-6200,

The cult David Chang's restaurant no longer offers a full lunch menu, but it has now switched to serving quick lunches at the bar, where everything has duck in it, from the duck mousse sandwich to the roasted duck with rice. There's even duck mortadella and pancetta!
207 Second Avenue, tel. (212) 254-3500,

This is the strange name of the new casual restaurant in the Whitney Museum, run by none other than ace Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, etc.). At lunch it is very coffee-shop-like: sandwiches, soups, pies and only one dish of the day.

On weekends it serves family-style dinners, where all clients eat the same menu and food comes in platters, to share.
945 Madison Ave tel. (212) 570-3670,

Assouline at The Plaza Hotel

Lady of elegance Lucia van de Post wrote a lovely piece on Assouline’s latest store recently opened in London’s Liberty in this weekends FT’s “How to Spend It” magazine – read here. The article perfectly captures the essence of being in one of the publishers seven venues worldwide, and also inspired me to finally revisit my own impressions, and highly suggest a visit at Assouline’s New York’s bookshop.

The photos you see here were taken a while ago when Oscar Niemeyer’s collectors book first came out together with his signature bookstand…The store is on the west mezzanine above The Plaza Hotel’s lobby. Just the location in itself already provides a special atmosphere of timelessness to the experience. To me, it’s like stepping into a capsule where time stands still and where it’s safe to browse and loose oneself amongst the shelves of this this classy library filled with gorgeous books, tasteful gifts and a pair of extremely chic (and comfy) chairs.

Be it a respite from the outside bustle or just a quick stop to get something beautiful, a visit to the Assouline shop is always a pleasure.

Tip: after immersing in the delight of the written world, satisfy your human cravings with a delicious snack at Todd English's Food Plaza in the basement of the The Plaza.

768 5th Avenue
Mezzanine at The Plaza Hotel
(212) 593-7236

Store Hours:
Mon – Sat: 11AM to 7PM
Sun: 12PM to 6PM

Souvlaki GR and Mastiha Shop in Manhattan

An iota of Greece in the Lower East Side

Smell and taste a speck of authentic Greece culture a few steps away from each other in the heart of the Lower East Side.

Mastiha Shop

Mastiha is the “world’s first chewing gum” according to the nice salesman at the first US branch of the Greece chain with shops all over Europe. The emphasis in this food and beauty products shop is on mastiha, a resin extracted from a tree bark that has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities. This apparently miraculous ingredient is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and foods. All readily available at the store.

Mastiha: the resin is a treasure only found on the little island of Chios

You know what? I just thought of this…: we masticate gum right? I bet the verb masticate (= chew) comes from mastiha. I guess more things date back to the Greek than what we think!!

Insider Tip: The shop will celebrate it’s three year anniversary and is planning a party! Check out their website for more details.

Creams that promise ancient healing properties

145 Orchard St.

212 253 0895

Souvlaki GR

If all the chewing got your gastro juices going, walk over to Stanton Street and transport yourself to the island of Mykonos. Opened a few months ago and designed to feel like a typical island sidewalk café, this little corner is a charming cliché of the stone white traced floors, blue shutters and bougainvillea. The simple and yummy menu is irresistible and as satiating as it’s original meat/pita/tzatziki sauce sandwiches sold on the popular Souvlaki trucks around town.

116 Stanton Street

212 777 0166

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2001 Street fashion summer preview: truly short shorts

On the first warm day of the year a couple of weeks ago, Manhattan sidewalks were packed with short shorts. I mean really SHORT. I had to squint a few times at glaring white legs that were reflecting sunlight. Street wear pre-announces trends and usually differs from what you see in the display windows. In fact, long skirts are being declared by silent mannequins overlooking the bare legged ladies strutting by, showing off their... lack of a tan. I can only hope for lots of sun. At least I expect that the massive evident cellulite will be less visible if the all these exposed thighs take in a little bit of color :)

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