Monthly Archives: July 2009

Aureole – New York

Aureole New York

After 21 years in a 1920's brownstone on the Upper East Side, Charlie Palmer's landmark restaurant Aureole has a new home on the ground level of the "most eco friendly" building in the world at 1 Bryant Park. Offering a sleeker, yet cozy contemporary design by designer Adam D. Tihany, Aureole carries on the tradition of catering to their devoted clientele while welcoming the new.

Behind the kitchen is the power duo of Executive Chef Christopher Lee and Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee. From Yee's savory bread creations offered at the beginning of the meal, to her petit fours at the end of the meal, Aureole strikes a home run from start to finish. Chef Christopher Lee's menu is inventive and whimsical while still carrying on the tradition of Charlie Palmer's seasonal and modern American cuisine. His skills in the kitchen and creative use of ingredients are a god send to the palate. Sommelier Justin Lorenz does an exceptional task of pairing the wines exquisitely with the various courses.

Next time you are in New York and in the mood to treat yourself to a classic world class New York dining experience with stellar service and world class cuisine, head over to Aureole in Manhattan. You won't be disappointed.

Aureole New York

Amuse – Scallop Sashimi

Marc Hebrart, Premier Cru Brut Rosé, Champagne, France

Aureole New York

First course – Diver Sea Scallop Sandwich w/ Seared Foie Gras

Roussanne, Truchard, Carneros, California, 2006

Chef Christopher Lee Aureole 

Chef Christopher Lee

Aureole New York 

Aureole New York

First course – Tuna Tartare (Looks like egg yolk, but not)

Gruner Veltliner, Johann Donabaum, Federspiel, Spitzer Point, Wachau, Austria, 2007

Chef Christopher Lee Aureole

 Crispy Soft Shell Blue Crab w/Belgian Endive, Granny Smith Apples, Sauce Remoulade

Riesling, Peter Lehmann, Eden Valley, Australia, 2008

Chef Christopher Lee Aureole

Artichoke Ravioli w/Crayfish, Andouille Sausage, Caper Sauce

Bourgogne Blanc, Trapet Père & Fils, Burgundy, France 2007

Aureole New York

Striped Sea Bass w/White Asparagus, Watermelon, Smoked Yellow Tomato

Verdejo, Naiades, Rueda, Spain, 2005


Veal tenderloin & Sweetbreads w/Georgia Peaches, Pickled Ramps, Lovage Veal Juice

Gevrey Chambertin, Lucie et August Lignier, Les Seuvrees, Burgundy, France 2003

Sweet Corn Souffle Aureole

Dessert – Sweet Corn Soufflé w/Blueberry Chutney, Yogurt, Brown Butter

Beerenauslese Cuvee, Alois Kracher, Burgenland, Austria, 2006

Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee Aureole

Dessert – Caramel Panna Cotta w/Warm Banana Bread, Galangal, Candied Coconut

Beerenauslese Cuvee, Alois Kracher, Burgenland, Austria, 2006

  Aureole Dessert

Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee & Mika Takeuchi 

w/ Pastry Chef Extraordinaire Jennifer Yee


Petit Fours – wish I could've taken the whole tray home w/me 🙂

One Bryant Park
135 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Tel: 212.319.1660

Aureole on Urbanspoon

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Citymeals-on-Wheels Young Professionals Brunch at Fulton NYC


Inaugural Young Professionals Brunch at Fulton

Post by Ceci De La Montanya – NYC Food Fashionista contributor

For the first NYC contribution to Food Fashionista, I’d like to start with a recap of an event that never goes out of style – a charity outing. Last Saturday, the Citymeals-on-Wheels young professionals came together for the first time to deliver meals to NYCs home bound elderly. Citymeals-on-Wheels, founded by Gael Greene and James Beard in 1981, is one of New York’s most respected and established food charities. The organization is known throughout the food world for connecting chefs, foodies and industry heavyweights through philanthropy dinners with celeb chefs – like Daniel Boulud’s Blue Jeans & Burgundy, fabulous fundraising events including the annual gala at Rockefeller Center and is frequently the charity partner for the hottest restaurant openings (think DBGB, Marea, Aureole).


Organic Roast Chicken w/Polenta Fries & Collard Greens

But aside from culinary glitterati-packed events, Citymeals is an important service for keeping our city’s elderly fed and nourished. Citymeals funds 30 community-based agencies that bring weekend, holiday and emergency meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers who can no longer shop or cook for themselves. Last year, over 2.2 million nutritious meals were delivered over to 18,000 elderly New Yorkers by a dedicated group of over 1,500 volunteers.


Organic salmon with pea leaves, feta, olives, capers

Last Saturday, the newly formed Citymeals-on-Wheels Young Professionals came together for their first volunteer outing on Manhattan’s Upper Eastside. Over 25 do-gooders from industries ranging in PR to education and law, divided into 5 teams, assembled their hot and cold food packs in Citymeals storage bags, donned matching blue hats and hit the streets for deliveries. And while feeding others fills the heart, feeding yourself is just as important – a delicious brunch with a special Citymeals menu followed at Fulton.

If you’re in NYC, the next Citymeals-on-Wheels Young Professionals event will be at Las Chicas Locas on August 12. Join their Facebook page here for more information or visit for more details on joining.

Ceci – NYC’s Contributing Food Fashionista

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Sneak Peak of My Dinner at Aureole

All my photos from my astounding dinner at the new Aureole in Manhattan will be up shortly. In the meantime, feast your eyes on chef Chris Lee's brilliant Crispy Soft Shell Blue Crab with Belgium endive, granny smith apple, smoked paprika and "sauce rémoulade". Don't you love how the crab is camouflaged within the greens and creative plating of the ingredients. This mouth watering mid course was perfectly paired with a glass of Peter Lehmann Riesling, Eden Valley, Australia, 2008.

More to come…

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Magnolia Bakery – New York

magnolia bakery

It seems that in every major U.S. city, there is a cupcake shop that draws lines out the door. In Los Angeles, it's Sprinkles, and in New York, it seems to be a competition between Magnolia Bakery and Billy's Cupcakes – which are both favorites among locals and tourists alike.

After my brunch at The Spotted Pig in the West Village, I was jonesing for something sweet, so how convenient it was that Magnolia Bakery was just a hop, skip and jump away. Surprisingly, I was the only one in my group who wanted a cupcake, but curiosity got the best of one of my friends Krys, so he decided to wait in line with me to see what all the hype was about. The other folks in our group went shopping at the many fab boutiques on Bleecker Street. 

magnolia cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing


Magnolia bakery

Chocolate Buttermilk w/ Pastel Vanilla Frosting & Sprinkles

At the front door, stood an employee who played the "bouncer" role delegating how many cupcake fiends could enter at a time. The major difference with this bouncer as opposed to the ones you see at the nightclubs was 1) he was super friendly 2) had no attitude and 3) was super excited to talk cupcakes. Once inside, I found myself  feeling like I was at a bake sale at a friend's house. The space was a down home, relaxed neighborhood vibe. There were various self serve signature Chocolate Buttermilk and Vanilla Cupcakes laid out on tables to place in a box and bring to the counter. Magnolia also has daily cupcake specials such as Red Velvet, German Chocolate, and Pumpkin which are a dozen minimum order.

Magnolia Bakery was a favorite of Carrie Bradshaw on the popular Sex and the City series. They definitely got a lot of buzz on that show and in the press which they proudly display on their wall. Below are my photos of Magnolia New York:

Magnolia bakery new york

magnolia cupcakes 

My two Colorful Happy Cupcakes – before I eat them!

magnolia cupcakes

magnolia bakery

magnolia cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Pastel Vanilla Frosting & Sprinkles



Magnolia Bakery on Urbanspoon

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The Spotted Pig – New York

Spotted pig

After hearing all the hype, I was greatly anticipating a visit to The Spotted Pig in the West Village. Tops on the must-eat list was the much raved about Sheep’s Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter and Sage, but unfortunately the Sunday post-brunch menu was limited. I knew I should have possibly waited a few more hours to hit up the restaurant for dinner rather than an afternoon brunch with friends, but with limited time, and my evenings booked, here I was at a late Sunday brunch at  New York’s Spotted Pig. We ordered chef April Bloomfield’s infamous Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese and Shoestring Fries – definitely my favorite item we ate during our meal. We also sampled a few gastropub bar snacks including the Chicken Liver Toast and Deviled Eggs followed by several other plates.

Here are some pics of Sunday Brunch at The Spotted Pig:

Spotted pig burger

Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings

Spotted pig new york
deviled egg spotted pig

Deviled Eggs

Spotted pig new york

Chicken Liver Toast

Spotted pig new york

Lots of Pigs at The Spotted Pig

Spotted pig new york

Beets (Unpeeled) and Greens

Spotted pig6

Radish Salad w/ Parmesan & Basil
Spotted pig restaurant

The Spotted Pig

314 W. 11th Street
@ Greenwich St.
New York, NY 10014

Get directions on Google Maps

Tel: (212) 620-0393

Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon

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Extravaganza for the Senses

extravaganze for senses

This weekend's 12th annual Extravaganza for the Senses at the 20th Century Fox Studios was an outdoor, under the stars party featuring over 100 wineries and many of L.A.'s restaurants. This food and wine event is put on by The Wine House and The New Friends of The Saban Free Clinic, all supporting a great cause – the Saban Free Clinic. In addition to the beverages and eats, there were spa treatments, henna artists, a silent auction, and party beats (with a lot of MJ mixed in) spun by Scott Silva. There was also a cooking demonstration by Debbie Lee, Jamika Pessoa, and Jeffrey Saad – the three finalists of Food Network's popular show, The Next Food Network Star.

Some of the participating Los Angeles restaurants included The Foundry, BREADBAR, Canele, Citizen Smith, Pomodoro, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop and Pace. Some of the wineries on hand were Bouchaine Vineyards, Grgich Hills, Frogs Leap Winery, Honig, Sterling Vineyards, and Piper-Heidsieck.

An evening with close friends sampling tasty treats, sipping a variety of vino in gorgeous weather all for a great cause – sounds like my kind of perfect Saturday.

Here are some photos from this weekend's event:

pasta pomodoro butternut squash ravioli 

Pomodoro Butternut Squash Ravioli

pasta pomodoro

Hanging w/Chef Edmondo Sarti & Friends

greenleaf gourmet chopshop 

Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop

prosciutto melon 


Jamika Pessoa

Jamika Pessoa of Next Food Network Star

coconut fried shrimp

Coconut Fried Shrimp…mmm


chef eric greenspan foundry 

Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundry on Melrose

foundry melrose grilled cheese 

Foundry on Melrose Grilled Cheese

mika takeuchi & friends

w/friends eating Citizen Smith's Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

breadbar los angeles


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Picasso – Julian Serrano’s Masterpiece

Picasso Restarant Las Vegas

If you are a lover of fine art, fine wine and fine cuisine, there is no better place in the U.S. I can think of going for all three-in-one than the restaurant Picasso located at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. With Master Chef Julian Serrano at the helm, you are definitely in good hands for an evening you will not soon forget. Chef Serrano has received numerous accolades including James Beard Awards for "Best Chef Southwest" and "Best Chef California", a AAA Five Diamond Award six years in a row and two Michelin Stars. What makes a dinner so extra special at Picasso is the fact that Serrano, considered to be one of the finest chefs in the nation, is most always found cooking in the kitchen every evening. That indeed is a very rare treat these days.


 Picasso's Michelin Star, Wine Bottles, Ceramic Ceiling

Picasso Bellagio

Amuse Bouche – smoked salmon, russian caviar and potato leek soup

Picasso Bellagio Hotel

Complementing the masterful cuisine, is an award winning wine list by Master Sommelier, Robert Smith, which stocks more than 1,400 bottles from the most premier European vineyards. The service is refined, and the staff – from the front of the house to the kitchen are there to make sure your dining experience at Picasso is extra special.


Tuna Tartare on Cucumber

Bellagio Hotel Fountains

Bellagio Fountain View from Picasso

Mika Takeuchi

Julian Serrano

Serrano's Langoustine Dish


The views of both the interior and exterior of the restaurant are stunning. With original pieces of art from master artist Picasso (hence the restaurant's name) adorning the dining room walls, and the colorful floral arrangements, the restaurant is a visual oasis. There is also a perfect view of the cascading Bellagio fountain show from the glass windows of the restaurant Picasso which you can't help but gaze at every fifteen minutes.


Day Boat Scallop inside Carrot Ginger Jus



Poisson at Picasso

The fine china which chef Serrano's food is served on were made specifically just for the restaurant. As you can see from the photos, the aesthetics of the food and dinnerware are a perfect combination. Serrano, just like Picasso – is a true artist, the real deal – the difference being that his masterpieces are edible. I've dined at many of the world's top restaurants, and I will admit that dining at Serrano's Picasso was one of the most special meals I've experienced in a while. Julian Serrano, like Picasso is a true master and artist with his signature cuisine.

Picasso Restaurant


Sauteed Foie Gras w/Pear

Picasso Las Vegas 

Floral Arrangements at Picasso


Serrano's Kobe Beef w/potatoes, vegetables


Julian Serrano

Picasso Bellagio

 Picasso's Petits Fours
  Bar at Picasso Restaurant

Picasso Las Vegas

Bellagio Hotel
3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Picasso (at Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

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The Gumbo Pot – LA Farmer’s Market

It was already a fantastic deal, but don't miss out on $10 for $20 at The Gumbo Pot on Deal Pop Los Angeles .

Gumbo Pot Los Angeles

When I'm craving some Creole cuisine in Los Angeles, I head over to Third and Fairfax to The Gumbo Pot at L.A.'s Original Farmers Market. On a warm sunny SoCal day, it's the perfect destination to sit outdoors while grabbing a taste of the Big Easy. With the Farmers' Market conveniently located adjacent to the Grove Shopping Center, it's the perfect spot to grab a casual bite and then some, while later working off the calories with a stroll through the outdoor mall.

Gumbo Pot Los Angeles

Shrimp Po'Boy at the Gumbo Pot – perfect w/some hot sauce!

Gumbo Pot Los Angeles

Seafood Gumbo -  make the perfect accompaniment

The Gumbo Pot is located on the west patio of the Farmers' Market and serves affordable Cajun cuisine just like you'd find in New Orleans. I especially love their po' boys and seafood gumbo, but they offer just the right meal for all appetites and dietary restrictions with a number of salads, Southern style seafood dishes, and tasty side dishes and appetizers on their menu. Some sides/appetizers include fresh boiled crawfish, sweet potato chips, and corn bread with cheddar cheese and chiles.

Next time you are in the Los Angeles area and craving some Creole flavors from Nola, visit The Gumbo Pot at L.A.'s Original Farmers Market. You can even top off your meal with some beignets (french donuts) and chicory coffee. 

The Gumbo Pot
Original Farmer's Market
 6333 West Third Street #312 (on Fairfax between Wilshire and Beverly)
Los Angeles, CA

Gumbo Pot on Urbanspoon

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Carrie & Latif’s Wedding by Patina Catering

Carrie Nagy and Latif Tayour

The new Mr & Mrs Tayour

When it comes to weddings, I truly believe it's all about the details. Details are key, and after choosing the ideal mate, comes the all important decisions of dress, location, shoes and FOOD. The bride had the dress choice covered looking absolutely glamorous and gorgeous in an Elizabeth Fillmore couture gown. The backdrop was ocean front in Malibu and who can argue with that location. The cuisine and beverages were by Patina Catering, and what a wondrous choice that ended up to be. Carrie and Latif, the bride and groom are not only my dear friends, but huge food lovers so I knew their special day would also be a delectable one.

From the cocktail hour, to the magnificent red velvet cupcake tower, to the gourmet vegan dining option, the bride and groom and all of us reveling in their splendorous day, knew they made all the right decisions. Carrie and Latif's wedding was a day full of love, impeccable views, divine company, and outstanding food and service. Although we were dining with a group close to 100, it felt as if we were in a fine-dining establishment, just full of joyous friends and loved ones. It was a truly enchanting day we will all cherish forever.

Here are some of the fine details:

patina catering
Savory servings w/a Moroccan touch during cocktail hour

Cucumber Water, Arnold Palmer, Mint Mojitos

Carrie Nagy Latif Tayour Wedding

Cocktail hour provided the perfect bites


Celebrating with the Beautiful Bride Carrie

patina catering


Mixed Greens, toasted almonds, dried cherries, goat cheese

Joachim Splichal Patina Catering

Joachim Splichal even made a bigger than life appearance 🙂


Sesame encrusted Tofu w/mirin soy glaze, quinoa & vegetables


Free Range Chicken w/red onions, potatoes, haricot vert


The Serene Malibu Ocean View

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcake Tower

red velvet

Mouth Watering Yet?


Red Velvet Cupcake, Chocolate mousse, Patina truffle

Vegan Carrot Cupcake, Tapioca pearls w/jackfruit & tofu cheesecake

Loved that their wedding favors were even food related!

For more information on Patina Catering, visit PATINA Restaurant Group

For my dinner at Patina Restaurant visit Food Fashionista at Patina



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