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Archive for May 21, 2011

Oh Rapture! Oh Holy 5 Napkin Burger!

Today, while random chunks of the population were preparing to disappear off the face of the earth, a lot more of  us decided to get out and enjoy ourselves. What would make a better Rapture celebration than a beer and burger outing? Exactly… So I went this afternoon with my roommates to one of my favorite Upper West Side Restaurants. Since Chef Andy D’amico opened Nice Matin in 2003 (you can read about it below), the restaurant’s most popular dish was- you got it, the 5 Napkin Burger. Given the dish’s obvious successs, Chef Andy and Simon Oren gave the burger it’s own chance, spawning into five different locations in New York, Boston and Miami. Stop by the 9th Ave. and 45th street location, or the one at 84th and Broadway if you live in Manhattan. My favorite dish? You got it, The Five Napkin Burger. At 14.95, this decadent classic features 10oz. of custom ground beef, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and rosemary aioli on a soft white roll. Pair the burger with your favorite beer for the perfect Saturday evening treat.

The Diner’s Hidden Gem

The Diner is located at 9th Avenue and 14th Street in the middle of Manhattan’s ultra hip Meatpacking District. Famous for serving American comfort food to the after hour crowds of Kiss & Fly and The Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop bar Plunge, there is more to this cool late night hang out than Top 40 hits and Disco fries. I was lucky to meet Ronifer, one of the establishment’s fabulous bar tenders. I was informed by a friend that I NEEDED to try his cappuccino, so I ordered myself the caffeinated concoction (let me inform you this was at 4 am) and was pleasantly surprised by tasting the best cappuccino I’ve ever had in my life. With a unique blend of God knows what and a lot of love, this cup was truly good ’til the last drop. So the next time you find yourself stumbling around the district’s cobblestone streets, be sure to drop in and visit Ronifer for a cocktail and a cappuccino at The Diner.

Make Nice at Nice Matin

Delivering a fierce “Tour de Nice”, Chef Andy D’amico offers to the Upper West Side of Manhattan a delicious culinary excursion to Nice, France as well as a full gluten-free menu for those patrons with celiac disease or general health concerns. While famous for their Croque Madames et Monsieurs, I prefer the Poached Eggs Provencal at brunch time. The dish features ratatouille in a crisp puff pastry with a delicious tomato cream sauce. For dinner, it is my humble opinion that no one does Grilled Salmon better, at least in this neighborhood. Add to your entree the best escargot in town for a truly French experience. Remember, salmon is quite possibly wine’s friendliest fish, so choose anything from  a Champagne to cleanse the fat from your palate or a medium-wieght pinot that would pair just as well. Be sure to try this “tour de force” on your next “tour de France.”

A Night at the Museum (or Williamsburg Takes Manhattan)

Last night I met up with my friend Vanessa who invited me to a monthly party at the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We both showed up not knowing what to expect and walked in on what seemed like a bad MDMA trip, only we were completely sober.

It didn’t take long to realize, after examining the random mix of party dresses, skinny jeans, Toms footwear and plaid mixed with the occasional waft of putrid body smells, that this was clearly somewhat of a hipster hang out. We found ourselves in a mix of people “expressing themselves” and fondling the speakers while a DJ performed in front of a large LD screen which played what seemed to be a manifestation of the infamous Willy Wonka tunnel scene.

After examining what was open at the museum, and after realizing the party only offered Heineken and Amstel Light, Vanessa and I decided to go ahead and partake in the festivities at the makeshift dance floor. For a good hour we let go of our inhibitions as uptight New Yorkers and just danced. We jumped with the crowd, went through a human tunnel and almost ALMOST joined a dance contest. We realized that we happened upon pure joy last night and are somehow better for it. So thank you One Step Beyond, I promise not to wear a suit next time.


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