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RESTAURANT 101
Peruvian Cuisine Heats Up in Hell's Kitchen

Last night I checked out the Pio Pio on 10th avenue for some quality Peruvian fare. This was my first time at this location, and my lack of prior research caused me to be quite surprised by the stylish and trendy décor since the Pio Pios that I know and love are pretty dive-y. The atmosphere was young and suitable for a large group, much like the one that I went out with last night. The acoustics in the main dining room however leave much to be desired as I was practically yelling in the ear of the person next to me in order to be heard. Although it might have been the fact that I was with a group of 15 reunited sorority girls, which is slightly reminiscent of a pack of hyenas on speed.

DAILY BITES
Gilt-y Pleasures

What started as a website created exclusively to sell designer clothes at major discounts has evolved to include food in an effort to provide the total luxury experience. This week, Gilt Groupe launched their latest endeavor: Gilt Taste. Gilt Taste is a new sister site devoted to providing artisan foods and ingredients that only professional chefs may have had access to prior to its creation. But it doesn’t end there. Gilt Taste also allows members to connect with the farmers who grow the products, research the origin of the products, and view original recipes through the site’s interactive magazine feature. It is the brain child of writers, chefs, and the masterminds at Gilt Groupe and is committed to providing readers with the latest trends in food. Today on Gilt Taste, Murray's Cheese Mitibleu for $28 and Wine Forest Porcini and Fennel Salt Collection for $17 are just two of the many tasty treats for sale. The selections are rotated on a daily basis and available for instant purchase if you are a member of the Gilt family. It’s free to sign up for this foodie paradise that brings all of the aspects of the total artisan experience to your doorstep, literally.

Check it out, here!

DAILY BITES
New York City Restaurant Week 2011

The dates and participating restaurants in this summer’s Restaurant Week were announced this week to the public. The festivities will begin Monday, July 11th at 11:00 AM to Sunday July 24th.The prices will stay the same as last year, $24 for lunch and $35 for dinner.

Restaurant Week gives New Yorkers the opportunity to dine in style at locations that might normally cost a pretty penny. It includes 100 of New York’s finest restaurants including Dos Caminos, Fig & Olive, Gotham Bar & Grill, and Nobu. Booking is not yet available, but be sure to click the links below to keep updated on this New York summer deal.

DAILY BITES
Coast to Coast: A Night of Food, Drinks, and Entertainment

This week, GastroAlchemy’s founder, Chef Brandon Chavannes, issued a press release regarding a new series of pop up events at Little Italy’s Grotta Azzurra restaurant. He is teaming up with Abed Awad to combine the city’s most impressive food, drinks, and entertainment. The first event, “Coast to Coast”, is a four course dining extravaganza that will synthesize Mediterranean, Caribbean, South American, and African coastal cuisine. A special beer and cocktail menu will also be provided and will reflect aspects of Chavannes’ coastal theme. It is expected that “the décor and ambiance will embrace rusticity and maintain the casual atmosphere of a restaurant on the water, where one might stop to enjoy the breeze coming off the sea”.

DAILY BITES
Late Night Eats: Artichoke Basille

There are few things New Yorkers appreciate more than a good slice of pizza and recently, everyone is getting their money’s worth. One pizza joint in particular has been getting a lot of buzz from daytime and late night crowds alike. Cousins Francis Garcia and Sal Basille opened Artichoke Basille’s in the East Village in 2008, with two more locations springing up in Cheslea and Greenwich Village in 2010. For $4.50, you can order a slice of the classic artichoke pizza.