1 East 15th Street
(between Union Square and Fifth Avenue)
New York, NY 10003-3102
If you happened to stroll past the entrance to
Tocqueville without any knowledge of what was within, you'd be hard pressed to
realize that one of NYC's finest dining destinations was just feet away.
Tocqueville offers a menu and milieu which are elegant without being haughty,
and understated without becoming simplified. As husband and wife team Marco A.
Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzsky put it, it isn't about "flash." Instead, Marco
explains, "I don't think Tocqueville is for everybody, but if someone wants to
come in for a great dining experience and be transported to a different
atmosphere culinary wise, that's what we offer." Although the original location
opened in 2000, the pair built Tocqueville's current home from scratch in 2006,
designing everything from the cozy, yet refined bar, spacious but graceful main
dining room, and the inviting private dining room. Everything is designed to
welcome their clientele to an upscale meal in a relaxed atmosphere. Marco and
Jo-Ann were gracious enough to lend Joonbug some of their time, and give you a
chance to get a glimpse into the architects behind Tocqueville.
When did you first know that food was your passion?
Little Saigon Restaurant (BYO)
Price Range: Inexpensive
2801 Arctic Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-3704
Open 12pm-9pm, Closed Tuesday
In 1990, Chef Lien Pham opened Little Saigon in Atlantic City, a small restaurant featuring the wonderfully diverse cuisine of Vietnam. At that time it was the first of its kind, serving a deliciously varied menu of South East Asian specialties in a quaint setting at an outstanding value. Presently there are several good establishments in the area to enjoy Vietnamese cooking, but none have garnered success and culinary accolades like Little Saigon has. This is due entirely to Chef/Owner Lien Pham and her kitchen's ability to consistently produce fresh and intensely flavored regional Vietnamese dishes that aromatically encase the restaurant's dining room with an enticingly exotic fragrance.
Ferraro’s has been a Las Vegas mainstay on Flamingo since it was opened by Gino Ferraro 17 years ago. Now, however, the Italian restaurant has packed its knives and moved across the strip to the corner of Paradise and Harmon. The new Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar is set for a grand opening in the last week of January.
The Ferraro family and restaurant have done very well in their current location with their focus on authentic homemade Italian food. Gino boasts that “59 items are made fresh when you order,” leaving the osso bucco as the only item on the menu which is prepared ahead of time.
4212 Lankershim Blvd
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Upon arrival at Fabio Viviani and Jacopo Falleni's new restaurant, Firenze Ostería my date and I were met with warm greetings from the Firenze staff. While being escorted to our cozy corner table, I noticed the average patron seemed a bit older (think "industry" dinners) and the décor seemed a bit gaudy, but I was there for the food so...faux-painted walls be damned!
Unless you're abstaining from alcohol completely this New Years Eve, it pays to drink smart. An oxymoron, I know. One can always try. Here are a few ideas.
Tip #1 - Pace Thyself
The most obvious and the most often ignored rule of any prolonged New York New Year's Eve Party, proper pacing is essential to ensure that when midnight comes around you’re kissing your date/stranger of choice/whoever, not hugging a toilet in New York City.
Tip #2 - The Bottle Is For the Whole Table
Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1
Price Range: $4-$6
369 Broome Street
(between Elizabeth Street and Mott Street)
New York, NY 10013
Improbably located in the heart of Little Italy is a modest Vietnamese deli known for serving up one of the best Bahn Mis this side of the Pacific. Its storefront certainly won't jump out at you, but if you get a little closer you'll notice that it's packed with customers here to get their fix. They're so popular that although they're technically open until 7 pm, they often sell out of their signature sandwich much earlier in the day.
The Kati Roll Company serves up a delicious variety of what are, essentially, Indian burritos. These pleasingly spicy treats can be had at all hours of the night, and are notoriously popular with the local NYU party goers. Kati caters to this audience, going so far as to employ a bouncer during their later hours (11 P.M. Monday-Thursday, but 5 A.M. on Fridays and Saturdays). Presumably this is to keep their more over served patrons from “jostling” for position, but to put it bluntly, these morsels are worth fighting for.
From the moment you step out of the car onto the red carpet at the front door valet, you can bet the celebrity treatment at Mastro's Steakhouse Beverly Hills doesn't stop there. Greeted inside by a glowing Christmas tree (seasonal) and friendly faces, guests know they are in for an evening fit for a star... and probably a table by one too. This popular Beverly Hills restaurant and celeb hot spot has been serving up the good stuff for nearly 10 years and doesn't plan on slowing down.
Although reservations are highly recommended (but not necessary), to get a table at this swanky restaurant, waiting for a table isn't such a bad thing thanks to the bars. The downstairs bar, although being a bit smaller, is never short on the service or pours. Take the short elegant walk up the winding staircase to the second bar, which offers front row seats to the live band and two large flat-screen televisions surrounded by a gathering of Beverly Hill's finest.
Consider yourself warned: bubble guts and long lavatory visits will be the consequence of negligent champagne and wine selections. Don't be a victim. Instead, on New Year's Day 2010 you should be feasting on black-eyed peas, watching football and maybe even sifting through some bills. The toast on New Year's Eve, which officially brings in the New Year, traditionally marks the unmitigated totality and culmination of the year as well as the climax of the evening. Therefore, mustn't we honor this occasion appropriately? For just this one night, abandon the Andre and ditch the Sutter Home, because tonight, your taste is held to a higher standard. Here are a couple new world suggestions to help guide you.
As winter begins to take hold of our fair city and the color green recedes into memory, spring could not seem farther away. For the folks at the Brooklyn Grange though, spring is all they’re thinking about. You would imagine that slinging delicious pizzas at Roberta’s would be enough to keep this agrarian minded crew of foodies occupied and out of the cold. Not likely. They’re already hard at work preparing to open a brand new one acre rooftop farm in Brooklyn. That’s right, an acre of farmland on a roof. In Brooklyn. It’s gonna happen.