Parea Goes From Bistro to Steakhouse
The Gramercy stalwart has beefed up its menu and wine list.
March 08, 2013
A bountiful raw bar menu and Pat LaFrieda’s Himalayan salt room-aged steaks and chops are among the impressive highlights of Parea Prime, a new Gramercy steakhouse that's essentially a rebranded version of Parea Bistro. But the restaurant, owned by Peter Pappas and a triumvirate of brothers (George, Jimmy, and Peter Pantelidis), has kept one element of its previous iteration intact: its Greek roots. They've also brought on Five-Star Diamond Award-winning general manager Jean Christophe Villard, born in Greece and raised in Paris, to ensure smooth sailing in the dining room and the kitchen.
Helmed by executive chef Ioannis Benetos, the kitchen's traditional Greek specialties—grilled octopus, vegetable moussaka, oven roasted lamb, and spanakopita—complement the new steakhouse menu. Standouts include a pinot noir-braised short rib served with cheese polenta and a grilled Atlantic salmon. The Kurobuta (Japan’s answer to the Berkshire pig) grilled pork chops with roasted apples are another house favorite, along with a bone-in rib-eye steak with foie gras and sweet sherry glaze. In addition to these hand-picked cuts from Pat LaFrieda & Sons, there are some pretty great vegetarian dishes, too. Dig into fire-roasted gigante beans in light tomato sauce; vegetarian moussaka; and a host of veggie-based spreads like eggplant purée, tzatziki, and spicy feta htipiti.
Perfect for spring, the raw bar menu promises jumbo tiger shrimp, Maine lobster, Blue Point oysters, and stone crab, amongst other East and West Coast fruits de mer. Parea Prime's wine list also dresses to impress, featuring more than 200 selections from around the world, plus a sommelier to help you choose. 36 East 20th St., 212-777-8448
What We're Reading
The new Facebook, Mila Kunis' best interview ever, the Torrisi team’s buzzy new spot…
March 08, 2013
From the team behind Torrisi, Carbone is the weekend's top reservation.
Open for dinner tonight, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s new restaurant, Carbone, on Thompson Street, features art curated by Julian Schnabel’s son, server uniforms by Zac Posen, flooring inspired by The Godfather, and fine dining takes on Italian-American classics. [Eater]
Mila Kunis proves to be the coolest chick ever in this hysterical BBC interview that's gone viral this week. She bonds with a nervous young reporter who confesses this is his first celebrity interview and proceeds to invite Kunis to the pub, a football match, and a wedding. Check out Hollywood Life’s take on the exchange, complete with video link. [Hollywood Life]
The infamous Higgs Boson particle, “aka the God particle,” is swiftly becoming science's new rock star. In The New York Times, writer Dennis Overbye offers a fascinating, demystifying look at the stakes faced by the dueling “armies of scientists” trying to figure it out first. [The New York Times]
Facebook has a sleek new look as of yesterday. The design change, which is currently being rolled out, features larger images, more white space, and additional feeds (music, photos, close friends, etc.). It’s all very “mobile-inspired.” Buzzfeed has the visuals. [Buzzfeed]
The Mediterranean diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, garlic, olive oil, lean fish, and wine (in moderation) has long been associated with longevity and good health. As New York Times writer Gina Kolata explains, a new study proves this diet is as effective as drugs in preventing “heart attacks and strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease.” [The New York Times]
Get to know Johnny Harrington, the ex-carpenter turned bearded model who started the beard trend in Londontown. You may recognize Harrington from Billy Reid’s 2013 fall show during New York Fashion Week. [Vogue]
photography by Daniel Krieger VIA
8 New Spring Sweets at Dominique Ansel
Stop by the Soho pastry shop this weekend and taste them all.
March 08, 2013
Dominique Ansel Bakery introduced a stunning new line of spring desserts this week. Whimsical and light is the overarching theme, and with everything from a matcha pudding to a grapefruit tart to a rhubarb fromage blanc cake, it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite. So here they are, all eight of them.
Weekend Recommender: March 7–10
Sunday supper by the fire, Nordic dance at Joyce Theater, and The Armory Show.
March 07, 2013
Rashaad Newsome's works at The Armory Show are not to be missed.
Armory Show Pick: Rashaad Newsome at Pier 94
Through March 10
A video installation of Rashaad Newsome's recent San Francisco Museum of Modern Art performance, Shade Compositions, as well as some of the artist's new collages are just a few of the reasons to head directly to Booth 611 at Pier 94 this weekend. That's where the Marlborough Gallery Chelsea invites the ticketed public to view the African America artist's acclaimed work. Twelfth Ave. at 55th St.
Get it Out There: Live Comedy at BAM
March 7, 8 p.m.
The Independent Film Channel and Brooklyn Academy of Music join forces this Thursday night at the BAMCafé for a rollicking showcase of emerging comics who dare to test out new material. Hosted by Emily Heller, this week's all-female lineup includes Nikki Glaser, Marina Franklin, Kendra Cunningham, Naomi Ekperigin, and Heather Lawless. Best of all, admission is free. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
Nordic Dance at The Joyce Theater
March 7-8 at 8 p.m., March 9 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Finland, Denmark, and Norway are putting their best dance routines on the New York stage in a festival called Ice Hot, which showcases the countries’ top companies. This weekend, the stage belongs to Tero Saarinen, whose solo piece, HUNT, celebrates the centenary of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The program's other piece, Scheme of Things, is a technically demanding work about relationships. 175 Eighth Ave., 212-242-0800
Sunday Supper at Crown
March 10, 5 p.m.
Move over Sunday brunch, it's Winter Sunday Supper at Crown. From 5 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Crown Group Hospitality's Upper East Side restaurant now offers a special Sunday roast dinner served by the warmth of the fireplace in Crown's main dining room. Created by chef and proprietor John DeLucie and executive chef Jason Hall, the $42 prix fixe menu features a rotating cast of traditional roast meats that change every month, plus delicious sides. 24 East 81st St., 646-559-4990
Q&A: LEGO Artist Nathan Sawaya
The whimsical New York City artist teams with Aussie photographer Dean West for a new mixed-medium art show.
March 06, 2013
“Some people go to the gym at the end of the day, but I would need to do something creative,” says artist Nathan Sawaya of his original impulse to create sculptures out of his favorite childhood toy, LEGOs. After he put images of his work online, commissions from around the world started rolling in and his day job as a successful lawyer took a backseat. That was about ten years ago. Today, between his studios in New York and Los Angeles, Sawaya has amassed more than 3.5 million LEGOs to create his internationally buzzed about works, such as a 20-foot long tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that took him an entire summer to create (using 80,000 LEGOs). His new show, “In Pieces,” on view at Soho’s Openhouse (through March 17), is a dual project with Australian photographer Dean West. To make a statement about identity—and how it is shaped in our modern society—the two artists have juxtaposed images featuring the LEGO sculptures with the actual sculptures themselves.
Here, Sawaya (aka “The Brick Artist) gives insight on the show’s concept, its inspiration (sparked by a road trip across the American southwest), and why he won’t be tinkering with Lincoln Logs—or any materials other than LEGOs—anytime soon.
How did you and Dean first meet?
NATHAN SAWAYA: Dean actually reached out to me and said he wanted to work together. He was in Australia and I was skeptical. I was in New York. Two weeks later he was at my doorstep and we hit it off. We really bonded when we decided to scout some locations. We rented a Jeep and we went to the southwest U.S. and just drove around looking for some bleak, desert-like landscapes. But then we started finding these ghost towns that really started driving the project. When you're on the road with someone, you're forced to get to get to know them, and we realized we had a lot of similarities when it came to our artistic sense and our vision of this project.
What's the concept of the show?
NS: Dean really focuses on hyper-realistic photography and I do large-scale Lego sculptures. So we came up with this concept of integrating my sculptures into his photography, and also, for the exhibition purposes, having the sculptures on display so the viewer is really surrounded by the art. The concept started three years ago when we were focusing on the construction of beauty and what that means. It's kind of changed over the course of the three years. Now I'd say the theme is really the construction of identity. So we've placed figures in certain situations and scenes and really given them a sense of emptiness almost, and we've built this scene around them.
Your sculptures actually share some aesthetic elements with digital photographs.
NS: They do have almost a pixelation effect. So when you blend them into the photographs, it's really a comment on modern technology. From a certain point of view, it's fun to look at the images and try to pick out what portion of this photograph is actually built from LEGO, but there's also some real commentary there on identity and society and we've been getting some strong reactions about it.
You've had tremendous success as a LEGO artist, with international solo exhibits and lots of artwork sold. Have you considered creating in a different medium? Or is LEGO pretty much your thing?
NS: I keep playing around with different mediums from time to time. LEGO is what I'm best known for these days. When you own three and a half million LEGO bricks, it's kind of hard to just switch to something else. With projects like this, I can still expand and push it in a different direction.
Team Behind Seersucker Opens Nightingale 9
Rob Newton and Kerry Diamond’s new Carroll Gardens restaurant is a love letter to Vietnam.
March 05, 2013
The newest kid on Carroll Gardens’ Smith Street restaurant block is a lovely little Vietnamese eatery called Nightingale 9. With 38 seats and vintage furnishings found at Gowanus’ Build It Green! salvage shop, the restaurant stays true to the values of sustainability, deliciousness, and quality ingredients.
From the team behind Seersucker and Smith Canteen, Nightingale 9 serves Vietnamese favorites like pho, green papaya salad, and jasmine rice dishes made with regionally sourced proteins like Hudson Valley beef and Berkshire pork, as well as produce from Chinatown and the local greenmarket. Arkansas-born chef and co-owner Rob Newton traveled extensively through Vietnam to hone the fresh, herbaceous, and spicy flavor profiles of Vietnamese cuisine. Newton was particularly smitten by the Vietnamese tradition of customizing dishes to taste, especially in terms of heat and one’s preferences for condiments.
The menu includes salads, appetizers, rice noodle soups, vermicelli bowls, and jasmine rice dishes, with three or four options in each category. Try the Hudson Valley chicken salad with kohl rabi and mint or the marinated Hudson Valley beef with morning glory, potato chips, and lemongrass to start. For a main, go for the raw beef brisket-topped pho with anise and cinnamon or the vermicelli bowl with seared catfish, peanuts, and dill. A caramel Berkshire pork belly dish served with quail egg, rice, herbs, and other condiments also sounds promising. After dinner, you can savor a traditional Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Sugar cane juice, fruit juices, and shakes will be great come summer.
True to the company's commitment to sourcing local, fresh ingredients, Newton's version of banh mi uses a baguette made exclusively for Nightingale 9 by Carroll Gardens neighbor Caputo's Bakery. Vietnamese cuisine may seem an unlikely passion for a chef born and raised in Arkansas, but at Nightingale 9, passion and know-how trump lineage. 345 Smith St., Brooklyn, 347-689-4699
Dave Matthews Shows at Robert Miller Gallery
The South African crooner teams with artist Beezy Bailey for his first U.S. art show.
March 05, 2013
If you've turned on the radio in the past decade, you're probably familiar with the Dave Matthews Band. But you might not know that the band’s South African frontman also moonlights as a visual artist, designing much of the album artwork for the band's hit records. Today, along with fellow South African artist and longtime friend Beezy Bailey, Matthews will make his U.S. art show debut with “Itica Pritica” at Robert Miller Gallery (through April 13).
A poppy nod to Warhol and Rauschenberg, the show consists of 28 silkscreened works, a film that Bailey and Matthews made together, and one of Bailey's large-scale installation sculptures. The paintings feature recurring images of the artists themselves, as well as the Statue of Liberty and a whimsical character known simply as “the fatman.”
Who is this fatman? The character was born out of a fun New York moment when Bailey donned a fat suit and danced around as Matthews filmed it with his cell phone. This and other footage comprises the show’s film, also titled Itica Pritica, which chronicles the pair's first day working on the project. The words “Itica Pritica” (which were made up by Matthews and Bailey) repeat throughout the film’s soundtrack, composed by Matthews, naturally. Anecdotes such as this illustrate the quality of the duo’s friendship, which came through in a moderated discussion for invited guests last night at Meatpacking hotspot No. 8. 524 W 26th St., 212-366-4774
How to Sip Bourbon, Properly
Tom Bulleit instructs on how best to sip a fine bourbon.
March 05, 2013
Some spirits sing when mixed into a cocktail, others, as Don Draper disciples and whiskey enthusiasts will attest, make beautiful music on their own. Bulleit 10 bourbon, a fine whiskey aged in charred American white oak for ten years (as opposed to the usual five to eight years) is one of the latter. As the bourbon tale goes, Bulleit founder Tom Bulleit set aside a few barrels for ten years to see how the bourbon would develop. Upon discovering and enjoying the results, the small-batch whiskey distiller decided to share this special reserve with the public.
Distilled in small batches in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, the 91.2 proof selected reserve benefits from that extra time in the barrels—Bulleit 10 is unusually smooth, rich, and deep. Delicate floral notes are more rounded, with classic aromas of dried fruit, vanilla, and rich, toasty oak. Best of all, the overall taste is even more balanced and complex, while preserving the brand’s signature character and high rye content. To fully enjoy the flavor nuances of spice, caramel, and fruit, Bulleit suggests you do the following:
Start with a clean palate. “Lingering flavors from food or other liquids can disrupt the tasting experience, inhibiting certain flavors and tasting notes from coming through.”
Pour it neat or on the rocks. “We encourage our fans to enjoy Bulleit 10 in their own unique way. However, we suggest Bulleit 10 is best enjoyed as a sipping bourbon due to the age statement. The preferred pour is either neat or on the rocks in order to fully taste the flavor profile of the liquid.”
Add a splash of water. “Adding a small spoonful of water can open up the whiskey like never before.”
What to See and Do at The Armory Show
Film screenings, discussion panels, and more round out New York's biggest art fair.
March 04, 2013
The Armory Show's fifteenth edition takes over New York from March 7 through 10. Though the anticipated annual art fair takes place on Piers 92 and 94, its influence can be felt throughout the city as the world's art scene descends upon Manhattan. Born a hundred years ago, in 1913, The Armory Show introduced European Modernism to the United States through the avant-garde works of Duchamp, Kandinsky, Picasso, and Brancusi. With works from more than 200 galleries across 30 countries, creative branding, and a programming lineup that includes film, lecture, and on-site projects like The Andy Warhol Museum’s Factory Film Portraits—a screen test room that brings Warhol’s portraiture to life—new executive director Noah Horowitz hopes to recreate the inaugural fair’s spirit of discovery.
Despite its massive scope, the user-friendly fair is easy to navigate: Pier 94’s “The Armory Show—Contemporary” will house contemporary work, while historically significant works occupy “The Armory Show—Modern,” on Pier 92. The fair also has a section dedicated to single artist presentations called Solo Projects, and an exciting curated division of contemporary artist film and video work. Returning for the second year, Armory Film will screen Matthew Day Jackson’s In Search Of… Zombies, as well as a documentary on Marcel Duchamp's 1913 Armory Show debut, among other films. Meanwhile, a series of Open Forum panels and discussions will explore topics like regional art, consumerism, and questions like, “Is Duchamp's oeuvre in fact one single work?”
Also part of Armory Film (and not to be missed) is The Armory Show Focus Group, which will screen on March 9. The 30-minute film gives a peek inside six focus groups—made up of New York City art critics and insiders—organized by Liz Magic Laser, who was commissioned by The Armory Show to create its “visual identity” via invitations, VIP cards, T-shirts, signage, and the like. The focus groups pull no punches on their perception of the show, resulting in a fresh, and at times funny, take on the "granddaddy" (as one critic put it) of New York art fairs.
Louro’s Monday Night Supper Club
The restaurant’s Nossa Mesa supper club features a different theme every week.
March 01, 2013
A single New York restaurant can shine with many delightful personalities, as indicated by the ongoing success of chef David Santos' Nossa Mesa, the popular supper club at his West Village restaurant, Louro. Its name the Portuguese term for "our table," the weekly supper club features a different dinner theme every Monday night. The series is inspired by a supper club called Um Segredo that Santos once ran out his Roosevelt Island home, so you can be sure you'll feel as welcome at Nossa Mesa as when invited to a friend's house for dinner. And you are welcome to BYO booze.
As March comes upon us, so does a new month of Mondays to explore. On March 4, dive into the culinary world of sustainable seafood at a dinner ($55) celebrating plentiful, lesser served fish (like sardines and mackerel) that are ultra-sustainable due to their rapid reproduction rates. Smack in the middle of New York, you can enjoy an exotic, fresh seafood feast with delicious dishes like oysters with seasonal granita; cured mackerel with smoked pineapple, spring onions, and sea herbs; sardines a la plancha with kumquat, hearts of palm, and cilantro; and crab and asparagus ravioli with carrot butter. And of course there will be dessert, which is served at all supper club dinners.
By March 11, winter will hopefully be waning and Nossa Messa will host a spring lamb dinner. Santos used to raise lamb with his grandfather, and his authentic preparations have been highlights of his restaurant career to date. So this dinner ($75) will be a greatest lamb hits parade, with a variety of cuts on the plate. Menu highlights include lambs tongue salad with spring potatoes, fava beans, and parsley; lamb merguez with moules frites; lamb neck ragu with creamy polenta; and roasted lamb shoulder with asparagus, onions, and mushrooms.
On down the pike, Tertulia chef Seamus Mullen will share the kitchen with Santos on March 18, likely preparing a heavily Spanish menu (price not yet released). And on March 25, La Newyorkina's Fany Gerson will prepare a Mexican feast ($75). 142 W 10th St., 212-206-0606