Warren on Mar 7th 2012
Cool and Cozy Wine Bar
I don’t know if there’s a cooler place to have a glass of wine in NYC than Bahr Che at Astor Place. It’s in a tiny candle-lit curvy space looking out on Cooper Square.
The wine bar features a nice selection of small plates from cheese plates to charcuterie to salmon tartar to eggplant and grilled shrimp. We tried all of the above, but the one that really stood out was the generous helping of lobster mac and cheese with truffle oil. Delicious! The pasta was perfectly done and mixed with just the right amount of cheese and large chunks of buttery lobster. For cheese, I enjoyed a creamy LaTur, which was made from cow’s goat’s and sheep milk and an aged Cabot cheddar.
But the real reason to visit Bahr Che is the wine.. all 1500 bottles of it. They pick their favorites and present an ever-changing list available by the carafe or bottle. I really enjoyed a super dry, minerally Gruner Veltliner and an exotic Txakolina. Our knowledgeable and helpful server helped to point us to the right choices with generous samples of wines on the menu.
We were there on a quiet Tuesday evening. I’d like to come back on a weekend when it’s buzzing with oenophiles.
26 Astor Place,
New York, NY
Warren on Feb 24th 2012
You know what happens when you’re in a dark, cold, dry room and you rub a fat long-haired cat the wrong way? Right: sparks fly. And that’s just what happens in Venus in Fur at the Lyceum. The play opens as thunder and lightning boom and flash on a dark stage. What follows is an hour and a half of non-stop building sexual tension between Vonda (Nina Arianda) and Thomas (Hugh Dancy). Just the two of them, a bag full of costumes dragged in by Vonda, a few pieces of furniture and a witty, edgy script full of twists and turns.With it’s play-within-a-play structure and 19th century shadow story, the play is quite Tom-Stoppard-esque. The plot is convoluted, the characters exchange roles, and, in the end, a bit more clarity would have been appreciated. But, when leaving the theater everyone can be hard exclaiming the same thing: Nina Arianda! She is a force of nature. Beguiling. Sexy. Dangerous. Eccentric. Endearing. As electric as the lightning that flashes throughout the show. Hugh Dancy does a great job just to keep up with her. Don’t miss it!
Warren on Dec 29th 2011
Very nice bed and breakfast
We spent a couple of nights, post Christmas, in Newport, where we stayed at the Clarkeston Inn on Clarke Street. originally, we were booked at the Melville, just down the street, but were upgraded to a room in the Clarkeston. They are both, along with several others on Clarke St., part of the Inns of Newport. Most are on the register of Historic Places. Clapboard, cape cod style buildings. Even though it was an upgrade, our room was a bit small, though it did have a working fireplace which made for romantic evenings. problem was, it was on the first floor, right sandwiched between the front door and the kitchen, and right across from the dining room so it was a bit noisy in the mornings. Breakfast there was good—pancakes, eggs, french toast, coffee, juice—though not outstanding. The location couldn’t have been better.
Warren on Nov 8th 2011
Or, an enchanting evening out in the West Village
Jesse Eisenberg shows his acting AND writing chops
It was a night of surprises for Lauren and me. The first was culinary as we stopped for a pre-show bite at the Mermaid Oyster Bar in the West Village. We got there early enough for Happy Hour. Dollar oysters and little neck claims? Count us in! WE enjoyed a dozen of each, followed by shishito peppers and broiled shrimp. hey were all great, fresh and tasty. Oh, and we got a complementary taste of the Lobster Mac and Cheese. Wow!
Then we scooted off to the Cherry Lane Theatre for “Ascuncion” the new play by – and starring – Jesse Eisenberg. We weren’t sure what to expect except that we would see the young actor up close and personal in the small Cherry Lane space. Small yes, but bigger than the Rattlestick sown the street which was the producing theatre.
Really, I wasn’t prepared to enjoy a play written by a 28 year old neophyte. and it that, i was surprised. the dialog is witty, sharp, and on-topic. It’s current and stinging. In the play, Eisenberg skewers young, liberal, hipster types. and he does it with vigor and sass.
Eisenberg plays the clueless, politically over-correct Edgasr
Camille Mana is endearing as the innocent, fun-loving title character. (I think i missed my chance to use the word ‘eponymous’ here.) While Justin Bartha is sufficiently smug and stoned as Vinny, Edgar’s mentor.
Directed by Kip Fagan, it’s a the Cherry Lane until December 18.
Warren on Oct 9th 2011
On a beautiful October Saturday, the entire front of 75 Main on Main St. in Southampton was thrown open in welcome. Couples dined casually at the sidewalk tables, drinkers imbibed at the large square bar in the center of the front dining room. We arrived early for our reservation and were seated promptly at a table overlooking the street.
The appetizers seemed so appealing, we started with three: Poached Shrimp; Tomato Tartine; and Roasted Littleneck Clams, and especially enjoyed the large, fresh shrimp, and the spicy salty broth in which the clam were served.
For mains at 75 Main, we went for the sauteed Branzini and an exotic Lobster Salad with mango and hearts of palm. I loved the braised fingerling potatoes served with the Branzini. But the highpoint of the meal was desert: choclatey Tartufo and perfect Creme Brulee.
A bright casual atmosphere, good service, contemporary cuisine… what more could you ask for on an October evening?
Warren on Sep 23rd 2011
Wow! What a great meal at Eataly’s rootop Birreria.
Here’s Lauren scraping the bowl of Cotta Cruda, a salad we shared at our first visit to Eataly‘s rooftop Birreria.
We took my daughter Zea to an early birthday dinner at Mario Batali‘ Birreria on the 15 floor rooftop above Eataly. It’s often referred to as a beer garden, but it’s much more than that. There is beer, of course, a few cask specials brewed on site. Wanda is brewed with chestnuts, while Gina is a traditional IPA. They have lots of other exotic brews on tap.But the real reason to come is the food.
Warren on Sep 7th 2011
The Story of Daily News Columnist Mike McAlary
At the Rattlestick Theatre in Greenwich Village
Mike McAlary was a hard driving, egotistical, take-no-prisoners newspaper reporter in the mold of the great Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamil. From Newsday, to the New York Post, to the New York Daily News, he broke stories and made news. He lived hard and died young. ‘The Wood’ is the story of an excessively tumultuous time in his life as he battled cancer and worked tirelessly to break the Abner Louima case, in which a Haitian immigrant was brutalized by an officer in a NYC Precinct in Brooklyn.
TV, movie, and blog writer Dan Klores tells McAlary’s tale with drama and compassion in this new production at the Rattlestick Theatre. Maybe too much compassion as McAlary mostly seems as thin as cardboard despite his bluster. It’s difficult to demonstrate inner conflict in a character who is so arrogant and self-confident, but John Viscardi gives it his best. K is outstanding as Louima, especially during the hospital scene. (or one of the hospital scenes. The play is plagued by too many cross-cuts, quick cuts, and time warping, mind-bending, attention sapping cuts in general.)
Warren on Sep 3rd 2011
Hot dog, homemade beef chili, gruyere, and sauerkraut. Delicious!
We also had the Turtle Crossing signature chicken wings, homemade, fresh onion rings, shrimp kisses, mexican corn on the cob, and pulled chicken sandwich. It was a great lunch! filling and delicious. This is great pub food like with imagination and a twist.
Warren on Aug 22nd 2011
Lauren with Red-tailed Hawk at benefit in Southampton
Warren on Aug 11th 2011
Great dinner at East Hampton’s newest steakhouse, the Beachhouse. Even the small seafood platter is huge. Grilled asparagus was crunchy and delicious. Coffee and donuts desert sent us home happy.
We’ll be back for sure for their earlybird Lobster Bake, a good sized lobster, plus, clams, corn and potatoes for $25. They also have a happy hour special of a dozen clams on the half shell for $5!
Oh, by the way, service was terrific.