Food + Drink / Insights

What to Drink at the New Beatrice Inn

What to drink at Graydon Carter’s latest venture, Beatrice Inn.

September 02, 2013

new beatrice inn

The Beatrice Inn’s bar does classics with a twist.

It’s been called a “scene restaurant,” but the scene at Beatrice Inn is one everyone wants to be part of. Once a night-time hangout for the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Ashley Olsen, the West 12th Street hot spot recently reopened as a steakhouse. The cocktail menu veers toward the classics with a twist—try the Negroni Bianco made with gin and Lillet Blanc; the Jack Rose with Calvados and pomegranate molasses; and El Diablo, a combination of Tequila Cabeza, lime, cassis, and ginger beer. The fashion crowd, including Russian model Irina Shayk and actress Scarlett Johansson, were among the first to stop by as soon as the inn was reopened. 285 W. 12th St., 917-566-7400


The Ultimate Bellini

September 02, 2013


In the Cocktail Hall of Fame, there has to be a corridor devoted to those who coined a definitive concoction. Count Camilo Negroni hijacked the Americano in 1919 when he had a bartender replace the club soda with gin, to give it a kick. The daiquiri is said to have come from the bored brain of a mining engineer, Jennings Cox, working in Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century. And it was Giuseppe Cipriani who concocted an aperitif of peach purée and Prosecco that is now synonymous with the family’s restaurants. Why didn’t Giuseppe name it “The Cip”? Because the color reminded him of the hue of a saint’s toga in a painting by Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini.


New Chef at Armani Ristorante

Armani Ristorante in midtown gets a new chef, who revamps its menu with a fresh and sensual modernism.

August 19, 2013

armani ristorante

Giorgio Armani became famous for sleek, sophisticated tailoring, so it’s not surprising that his interiors, whether for stores, hotels, or restaurants, would follow a similar modernist aesthetic. But when it comes to dining chez Armani, does minimalist chic follow through as a menu approach? After all, Armani eateries serve Italian cuisine, a cooking style that often celebrates abundance with all the flourishes and layerings you’d expect from a designer like Christian LaCroix or Alexander McQueen.

Enter Sandro Romano, the new executive chef at Armani Ristorante, a glittery black and white space on the third floor of Armani’s Fifth Avenue flagship. Romano hails from the nearby Modern, a restaurant known for its curated, inventive takes on Alsatian cuisine, another cooking style not associated with Spartan dining. For Romano, richly textured, carefully apportioned ingredients are key to the new Armani Ristorante offerings. “In addition the menu has become a bit more compact and modern to ensure seasonality, freshness, and consistency,” says Romano. The chef’s other emphasis appears to be seafood, a natural reflection of Armani’s love of the sea (the designer likes nothing more than to sail the Mediterranean on his yacht). As part of the new menu, there’s crudità di mare (shown); polipetti alla piastra, or grilled baby octopus with olives; branzino selvaggio, or sea bass with arugula sauce; and merluzzo, a roasted cod dish with leeks and prosciutto. Not to be missed: the scallop antipasti trimmed with a layer of black truffle shavings.

When Armani opened this restaurant five years ago, an anecdote circulated that the designer did so because he couldn’t find a plate of pasta in New York without a lot of sauce. Apparently, Armani likes his pasta asciutto, very asciutto. Whether that tale is based in fiction or fact, Romano’s menu does plenty of pastas—but there’s not much sugo di pomodoro in the mix. The spaghettini comes with lemon zest, calamari, and tuna; the ravioli with truffles and zucchini flowers. And, of course, in honor of Armani’s home base, there’s a scrumptious risotto Milanese. 717 Fifth Ave., 212-207-1902

by christina pellegrini


Perfect Champagne Pairings

Dinner party menu planning with Moët & Chandon Champagnes.

August 07, 2013

Over a recent lunch hosted by designer Juliette Longuet at her namesake 70th Street boutique, each catered course was specifically created to complement a Moët & Chandon Champagne. We took copious notes so you can be prepared to impress the next time you uncork a bottle of bubbly.

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial 
Composed from three grape varietals: pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay. Pale pink in color, it is energetic and lively with bouquets of red fruits and accents of rose.
Pair it with: Dishes that are colorful and simple though bold in flavor. Think buttery tart flambées topped with seared tuna and pickled ginger, or delicate puff pastry outfitted in sweet tomatoes and goat cheese.

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial
With its golden straw yellow color and soft green highlights, this is the signature Champagne of the house. Its tangy intensity of citrus and green apples is balanced by yeasty blonde notes of brioche and nuts.
Pair it with: It works with every course, from appetizer to dessert, but goes especially well with shellfish and white fish such as grilled branzino marinated with fresh herbs and good olive oil.

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2004 
Each vintage is unique, but this one is particularly worth seeking out. With a brilliant light yellow color, the wine boasts fruity notes of white peaches, the spicy nuance of pepper, and floral essence of herbal tea and honeysuckle. 
Pair it with: The long, rich finish demands something decadent. For a dessert pairing, consider profiteroles with creamy scoops of vanilla-bourbon gelato, caramelized almonds, and a pour of dark Valrhona chocolate sauce.



Cocktails for Francophiles

Lillet offers up three new libations in honor of Bastille Day.

July 12, 2013

FROM LEFT: Liberté, Fraternité, and Egalité cocktails

In honor of Bastille Day, national Lillet brand ambassador Amanda Boccato has created three cocktails that reflect the French heritage brand's culture, and the spirit of its country. Try mixing them up at home, or enjoy them at The Lambs Club Bastille Day brunch (Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.) along with live jazz from Avalon Jazz Band.  

Move over, Dark and Stormy, this drink is made with a special bond of Lillet Rouge and ginger beer.

2 parts Lillet Rouge
4 parts ginger beer (try Barritts Ginger Beer)

Build in a Collins glass with ice. Lime wedge garnish. 

Forget tea and sympathy, this whimsical fusion of Lillet Blanc and tea is all about Liber-tea.  

2 parts Lillet Blanc
1 part cooled fruit tea blend of your choice  
1/2 part honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
2 parts soda water

Build in Collins glass with ice, finishing with soda water. Lemon wedge and mint sprig garnish. 

As its name implies, this drink is made with a fine balance of the varietals of Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge. The result is a special rosé, perfect for Bastille Day imbibing.

2 parts Lillet Rosé
3/4 part fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
3/4 part simple syrup
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
Soda water

Add first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with soda water and bitters. Grapefruit wedge garnish. 



Iced Coffee: Brew Your Own

Want to learn how to cold brew? Birch Coffee's Jeremy Lyman breaks it down.

July 03, 2013

Jeremy Lyman (front) and Paul Schalder of Birch Coffee take cold brew seriously. 

If one of your summer rituals involves brewing iced coffee at home, don't make the mistake of thinking that just adding ice to hot coffee is the best method. We’ve tapped Jeremy Lyman, who co-owns New York’s Birch Coffee along with Paul Schlader, on the science of the cold brew method. Here's how you do it:  

Brew: Using a ratio of 19 ounces of water to one-quarter pound of coarse ground coffee, soak grinds for at least 24 hours. To drain, simply pour through a coffee filter (slowly) using your regular coffeemaker. “There is a certain amount of acidity inherent in coffee beans, and using hot water brews the coffee quickly, but also takes the majority of the elements with it,” says Lyman, who adds that cold brewing is “worth every second of the wait."

Prepare: Lyman recommends two parts water to one part coffee concentrate, but mix to taste. Remember that the potency will go down as the ice dilutes. 

Milk and sugar: “When iced coffee is made well, there is such a unique flavor that no additions are necessary,” says Lyman. But if you do like a little sweetness, make sure to use simple syrup rather than sugar, as it does not dissolve well.   

Birch Coffee's newest Manhattan location is at 750 Columbus Ave., 212-665-1444

By Simona Rabinovitch


What to Drink at Butterfly

For market-fresh libations, Michael White’s new Butterfly mixes in some unexpected vegetables.

July 01, 2013

Passione Arrabbiata cocktail from Butterfly

Passione Arrabbiata

Chef Michael White ventures boldly into the craft cocktail arena with Butterfly, his new 1950s supper-club-style restaurant. The director of bar operations, Eben Freeman, crafts an innovative cocktail list heavy on seasonal produce. Try the summery beet sangria or mushroom margarita, made with mezcal infused with huitalacoche (known as the truffle of Mexico). “Vegetable cocktails are a challenge for both the mixologist and the guest,” he says. “The expectation and scrutiny are much greater with unusual or unfamiliar flavors.” 225 W. Broadway



Cool Off at the Gansevoort Park Avenue

Beat the heat when you’re weekending in town with a dip at a luxe rooftop oasis.

July 01, 2013

Evening shot of Gansevoort Park Avenu hotel's rooftop hotel

Even though surrounded by water, Manhattan (unlike Rio or Chicago) has no beachfront; you need to travel to other boroughs for a little surf and sand. So what to do when you’re in town and temperatures soar? Pack up your sunscreen and Vuitton Ambre beach bag, and head to a cool hotel or spa pool—a surprising number take day guests or offer memberships.

One recent splashy addition is the city’s first indoor/outdoor heated rooftop pool at the Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel. You can even see the Empire State Building, as you backstroke down the 40-foot expanse. When finished with your aquatic workout, drench yourself with sunscreen and soak up some rays by stretching out on a modernist-style lounge chair on the wraparound terraces of the tri-level complex. Or maybe you’ll want to dazzle at the outdoor Ping-Pong table with a little help from one of the rooftop bar’s signature cocktails, like the Ginger Park (Absolut Citron vodka and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur) or a Boozy Slushy.

For more pampering consider booking the hotel’s “Renewal Day” package, which allows you to do your reviving at either the Gansevoort Park or its sister hotel in the Meatpacking District. You’ll be well looked after with a massage, facial, Core Fusion class, and a mouthwatering poolside cocktail to reward all that strenuous relaxing. (Package price starts at $300 per person, Monday through Thursday until September 3.) 420 Park Avenue South, 212-317-2900

by catherine locke
photography by Magda Biernat


Dominique Ansel Staff Muses on Cronut Craze

"I was offered $100 for one cronut and turned it down," says a staffer.

June 27, 2013

Cronut: a cream-filled croissant-doughnut hybrid from Dominique Ansel Bakery. It's been featured on just about every food blog and morning news show since it launched less than a month ago. And for good reason. The golden pastry eats like a dream, flaky with endless layers that pull apart like a fine mille-feuille. This month's Cronut is stuffed with a zesty lemon cream; July brings a blackberry rendition, which will no doubt draw herds of new and existing fanatics to the jewel box Soho bakery. However, as lines snake around the block and scalpers resell Cronuts on Craiglist, Ansel limits production to 200 pieces a day. Naturally, the imbalance of supply and demand has resulted in some pretty interesting moments. Above, bakery staff members muse (with good humor) on the phenomenon, which they've viewed from a front row seat. 



Baked By Melissa Launches Celebration Boxes

Themed confections for baby showers, birthdays, and weddings.

June 04, 2013


Baked by Melissa wedding-themed Cupcake Celebration Box

Looking for something sweet to commemorate a major milestone? New York City’s Baked By Melissa—they of mini-cupcake fame—has introduced Celebration Boxes: curated gift packs featuring themed baked goods along with (non-edible) goodies like onesies or tee-shirts. The boxes currently come in four variations—wedding, baby girl or boy, and birthday—and each set is paired with specially baked cupcakes. Our favorite? The wedding package comes with four flavors, each one representing a something old, new, borrowed and blue. The “borrowed,” a bright white confection, was actually served at founder Melissa Ben-Ishay’s wedding, while the “blue” is a decadent bite of azure-hued vanilla cake with Bavarian cream filling. But, at about the size of a quarter and under 50 calories each, it’s a treat without the guilt. or 212-842-0220


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