Restaurant News Round-Up

One thing about NYC that always stays the same: when it comes to restaurants, it's out with the old and in with the new and they don't waste time! Check out some of the exciting new restaurant openings, as well as some big changes for places that have already won our hearts!

Benares Downtown: Famed Indian spot in Midtown is catering to the crowds and opening up a second shop in Tribeca. Although that devilish Sandy delayed construction, the new restaurant was able to open up on November 21st. The new Benares location will feature a bar with specialty cocktails, as well as an elegant dining room overseen by Executive Chef Peter Beck.

Battle of the Beverages at The Pamalympics

Last night, the ruby-red pomegranate liqueur company, Pama Liqueur, along with USBGNY, hosted their first annual Pamalympics at one of our fave downtown hubs, Pouring Ribbons. The highly anticipated cocktail competition was judged by Eben Freeman, Pama Brand Spokesperson & Director of Bar Operations and Innovation at Altamarea Group, MaryCrae Guild, Pama Brand Manager, and Brian Quinn, Foodrepublic.com cocktail columnist.

Karen London Trunk Show

Happy holiday shoppers rejoice! Just in time for the highly anticipated Black Friday, noted jewelry designer Karen London will be hosting a holiday trunk show at the Bloomingdale's Flag Ship and SoHo stores starting now through December. The trunk show will be held on various dates throughout the coming month from 11am-7pm.

Attendees will have the opportunity to not only shop the exclusive 2012 Holiday collection, but also meet some of the most infamous fashion bloggers of today. Check out the schedule below to learn when you can meet Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge, Rachel Schwartzman of Le Style Child, and more.

Kanye West To Headline Ovation Hall

Renowned hotel, casino and nightlife hub Revel, located in Atlantic City, NJ, has announced, Kanye West, will be taking over for his second stint during New Year's weekend at Ovation Hall. The 18-time Grammy winner will take the stage with a lineup of three concerts on December 28th, 29th, and 30th, continuing his trend of choosing Revel as the place to stage his only solo US appearances and where he held two sold-out shows this past July.

Music Junkies Flock to Toshi's

Hotelier Robert 'Toshi' Chan, owner of The Flatiron Hotel, opened his late-night lounge adjacent to the hotel just months ago, called Toshi's Living Room.

The restaurant and lounge welcomes live musicians to the stage every day of the week and all acts must audition in front of Toshi himself before gracing the stage. The new spot is the perfect reprieve for music junkies who don't want to trek all the way up to Harlem to find some decent jazz. Chris Norton, a fixed trumpeteer/singing staple at Toshi's, livens up the crowd with his band, blending sounds of funk, Motown, and rock 'n' roll in his music. Norton's also ultra charismatic and too cute to boot.

Black Friday Dining Specials

Black Friday specials shouldn't only apply to holiday presents. Amidst your shopping frenzy, take a break to refuel at one of these great spots:

Bill's Food & Drink: The newly opened eatery will be hosting a special lunch preview for shoppers in Midtown from 11:30am-5pm, along with an abbreviated dinner menu. Regular lunch service does not begin until December 3rd, so it's your chance to snag some before it gets too crowded.

Bill's Food & Drink is located at 57 E. 54th St.

Spice Market: Take a walking and shopping break and try the specially created Holiday Bento Box for $34, which includes six savory dishes along with two sweet dishes, such as butternut squash soup and a five spice duck confit spring roll. The bento box will be available from 12-4pm.


A new social network has entered the fray, called TTAGIT. This new network is the first open-forum discussion and comment management system that allows users to comment on all URLs with one login. Users can share ideas and see what is trending, all while collecting achievement badges, making it a fun, as well! We were able to chat with one of the company's creators, Lori McClenahan about what we can expect from this new social network.

How does TTAGIT differ from other social networks?
TTAGIT, is the first open-forum discussion social network and comment management system that permits users to comment on all URLs with one login, allows you to talk over any website without leaving the page. Different from any other social network, TTAGIT’s primary focus is on commenting and sharing at the source. The standard sharing platform of social networks is to bring information to the social network itself. TTAGIT not only brings information in but also leaves it where it belongs – the source. For example, with Facebook and Twitter a user can share a URL by posting to their wall or tweeting about it. With TTAGIT, not only does it post to TTAGIT, but you can also find the data on the source, the URL.

Incomparable Women of Style

Last week, noted philanthropist Jean Shafiroff hosted a party at the Sanctuary Hotel for Rose Hartman's book, Incomparable Women of Style. The event benefitted The Couture Councilat and welcomed over 100 guests. During the event, Rose signed copies of her book for guests and guests enjoyed cocktails by Double Cross Vodka. Supermodel Carmen Dell'Orefice, who can be found in Rose's book, was among the attendees, along with FIT Couture Council members. Other notable attendees included Stacey Engman, Dr. Laura Torrado, designers Maggie Norris and Joanna Mastroianni, Robin Cofer and Madame Mayhem.

Kristalbelli Opens New Juga Karaoke Lounge

Korean barbeque restaurant, Kristalbelli, launched the opening of their new Juga lounge this past Wednesday. The event was hosted by actress and model Byrdie Bell and featured DJ Brendan Fallis. The upstairs lounge is clad in black and gold, walls adorned with antique mirrors,
and candlelit tables. The lounge features its own menu of small bites and cocktails. The upstairs bar showcases specialty Korean liquors such as Makgeolli, and Korean rice wine, in Yuja and strawberry flavors. The lounge also offers a private karaoke room. Juga, which means drinking house in Korean, seems a perfect fit for this new upscale lounge. Already celebrities have come to belt out fun songs, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Sorum, Erin O'Connor, and more.