Monday, June 25, 2012

Switfy’s Combines East Side Swank, With Surprisingly Good Food.

Swifty Back Dining Room

The Charming Back Dining Room (Above)


1007 Lexington Ave., New York, NY; (212) 535-6000

Hours of Operation: Open for Lunch & Dinner.

Location: Upper East Side

There are three reasons to check out this long, narrow restaurant, peppered with pictures of Swifty, celebrated restaurateur Glenn Bernbaum's perky pug. The most obvious is if you live in the neighborhood. The second is if you're an in-the-light socialite (or wanna get a glimpse of some notable examples). The last is for some unexpectedly good food by executive-chef Stephen Attoe.Even the Melba Toast is house-made and delicious.

Truth be told, I have always had a place in my heart for this watering-hole-for the-rich with its cozy English manor-house back room with wood-beamed ceilings, bright laminated photos, skylight and windows sporting bamboo shades. (The warm atmosphere, enhanced by seasonal flowers, was created by renowned decorator Mario Buatta.)

Appetizers are just stylish enough to be fashionable --- just familiar enough not to offend: Corn Fritters with Alaskan Salmon Roe and Crème Fraiche was as downtown-a-dish as Jumbo Lump Crabmeat on Tomato Aspic was fancied-up steak house. East/West Coast Oysters were beautifully fresh and a perfect compromise, between old and new. 

swiftys dinner group

Entree fare includes the signature "twin burgers" with delicious slaw, and fries, the noteworthy Crab Cakes; a beautifully grilled Angus Strip Steak with Béarnaise sauce and fabulous Fries; and summer specials such as Chilled Poached Salmon, Boston Lettuce, Cucumbers and Basil Sauce.

Swifty's Is Also Doing A Sunday Evening Lobster Dinner For Two With Choice Of Field Green Salad Or Corn Chowder, Homemade Ice Cream, Sorbet Or Cookies And A Bottle Of Either Pinot Grigio, Or Greyson Cellars Merlot Wine For Just $90. Now that’s a real deal and the lobster is tender and juicy.

swifty -Salad_IMG_8874--
Desserts are all homemade American adaptations and some are extraordinary, such as Classic Vanilla Meringue Cake that is light and luscious,  Granny Smith Apple Galette, with Creme Fraiche and Lemon Pound Cake with whipped cream. Inquire if the Chocolate Soufflé is available, if so, go for it.

swifty Dessert-ginger_IMG_9039--

The wine list is small and offers some good values under $60, like  Chateau-Fuisse, Pouilly Fuisse, Tete de Cru, 2009 for $58: a best buy.

Service is very friendly and accommodating. On our visit, the Maître d’ Romana was wonderful. Since chef Stephen Attoe is part owner, he is hands on and in the kitchen, which explains the carefully prepared food. Swifty’s may be a club, but first timers get a warm welcome. For an extraordinary treat, observe the regulars and order a sometimes-on-the-menu Cheese Soufflé with Mustard Sauce. It is arguably the best in town.

swifty chefChef Stephen Attoe

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, March 12, 2012

GRATA Brings Affordable Destination Dining To Fashionable Sutton Place


GRATA Restaurant & Wine Bar

Address:1076 First Avenue, between 58th and 59th Streets

Reservations strongly suggested; 212-842-0007

Hours: Dinner (starting early next year Grata will serve lunch.)

Monday-Thursday: 5 pm – 11 pm

Friday and Saturday: 5 pm - 12 am

Sunday: 5pm -10 pm

Click Here For Website 


Grata Is A Welcome Addition to the Midtown-East dining Scene

If you haven’t noticed, “The Sutton Place Area,” the Grand Dame of haute New York Neighborhoods, is in the midst of a dining renaissance. The new breed are not the cramped, hole-in-the-wall, no-frills stores that were the rule, but fine-dining, tablecloth restaurants with good service, excellent food, appealing wine lists and, wonder-of-wonders, prices that won’t break the bank.

One of the best is Grata. From the moment one walks through the 1st Avenue door, taken and restored from a 1920’s Roman villa, they are welcomed by the visions of the NYC-based designer: C3D Architecture PLLC.

From the cream-colored, beamed ceilings, sections of blanched, exposed brick walls, and handsome tables made from huge chunks of rich cordova-colored mango wood from Indonesia, the attractive 85-seat restaurant pleases the eyes with its hardwood floors, and a long curved bar that greets guests near the entrance. Single diners can ease into an inviting communal table that looks out on First Avenue. (Outdoor seating begins in the Spring).


The Spacious Elegant Booth Seating (Above)

Grata, is a restaurant serving world-cuisine with Mediterranean influences and doesn’t dwindle its efforts on a single country or region..After nearly six years, a long shuttered prime Midtown location (formally a Greek, then Middle-Eastern restaurant) has new life.This hot, newcomer to the food scene displays the pedigree of its creators and chef, and is a welcomed invitation to success . . . . which brings us to the restaurant’s name.

GRATA is Latin for a type of welcome. Originally, grata connoted being “under the protection of.” Now, it’s become the proprietor’s promise: “You are going to be well-taken care of here.”  On a recent Friday evening, the room was packed by 8 PM and, to these eyes, the customers all looked like happy campers.

Taking care of restaurant-goers has been the life’s work of the charming Ariel Lacayo (late of Il Mulino in Aspen, Pino Loungo’s group, Patria on Park Avenue South, and other food landmarks.) He runs the front-of-house, as well as holding a “Court of Master Sommelier’s” certification and has personally built the wide-ranging wine list, in addition to the all top-shelf bar.

The magic in the kitchen is administered by the boyishly good looking executive chef Meny Vaknin; most recently part of the opening team for Boulud properties (Boulud  Sud and Bar Boulud at Lincoln Center.) Chef Meny cut his culinary teeth at Rose Water, the fine-dining establishment in Park Slope. He honed his practice of using local and seasonal ingredients in haute cuisine at the French Culinary Institute, where he graduated with honors.

GRATA’s creator/owner is Mirso Lekic, the mastermind and owner of the storied and much-missed Il Valentino restaurant. Mirso, a life-long food lover and businessman tends to the back-of-house and the kitchen with Chef Meny.

The menu boasts tempting selections with shared dishes and appetizers such as fetching Mini-Meatballs with stewed tomatoes, poached egg (cooked into the sauce), and croutons (a chef’s specialty), and Grata’s homemade Flat Bread (which can be made gluten-free). We also loved Chicken Liver A La Plancha, with onion marmalade, roasted peppers, olives and brandy, Grilled Artichokes and a ravishingly delicious and tender Charred Baby Octopus on warm marinated chickpeas and fennel puree.You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy Fried Cauliflower Florets herb tahini and cherry tomatoes.

Although one can live on appetizers alone, it would be a shame to miss a variety of carefully prepared entrees like a moist Grilled Red Snapper Fillet with roasted new potatoes, cauliflower puree and salsa verde, Slow-Cooked Crispy Duck Leg with creamy polenta, sherry wine and raisin sauce; a really unique Ras El Hanut Braised Lamb (like Osso Buco) with dried figs, market carrots, quinoa, and almonds or our personal favorite: an unorthodox  Bouillabaisse, redolent with herbs, spices, mussels, calamari, seafood and basmati rice. Spread some of the saffron aioli on the country bread that accompanies it and you will experience a dish worthy of a visit in itself. Absolutely fabulous!

Pastas have improved greatly since the first weeks and Grata has had time to mellow. House - Made Oxtail Pappardelle with labane and parmagiano-reggiano still needs a bit more cooking time, but House-made Cavatelli (also gluten-free available)  in sun - dried tomatoes and basil sauce, was perfect and a marvel of this notoriously abused noodle.Highly recommended.

Bread is fresh and offered with oil and Balsamic vinegar; cocktails are generous and well made. Ariel has created a thoughtful list of food-friendly wines, starting at $30 a bottle with some offbeat and classy selections such as the Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in the $90 range. Serious oenophiles will find some hidden treasures at expectedly higher prices. There is a terrific Spanish red from the Ribera del Duero region, reminiscent of a good Pesquera for $15 a glass. Put yourself in his capable hands and relax. Service is just as it should be: attentive, helpful and unintrusive.


Desserts by former “21” Club pastry chef and one of the 10 best pastry chef’s in America, Kimberly Bugler, are classy, pretty as a picture and totally delicious. Favorites include a version of Bomboloni (Pictured Above), the famed Italian donut, made light as a feather with brioche dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar and decked out with with strawberry balsamic and chocolate dipping sauces; Apple Nut Tart Cinnamon spiced apples with almond cream, toasted walnuts and caramel sauce, a lovely Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta With Citrus Cranberry Compote and Polenta Tuile, and a deadly and decadent Nutella Napoleon, with Layers of Crispy Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate and Nutella Mascarpone served with Hazelnut Biscotti Gelato Coconut Pineapple Financier Anise Poached Pineapple, Mango Sorbet, Toasted Coconut Tuile. (The haunting crunch is provided by the secret ingredient: cornflakes). We have enjoyed Ms. Bugler’s creations at “21” and these are some of her best efforts, ranking Grata’s desserts as not only the best in the Sutton Place Area, but worthy of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurants.

Grata is the best thing to happen to The Sutton Place Area in years, and we are pleased to be the first to review it. Already discovered by foodies and the neighborhood crowd, reserve in advance and we think you will agree. And yes . . . . you will very definitely feel WELCOMED.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

grata1 IMG_5114

The Trio Responsible For Grata: (Left to Right) Mirso Lekic, Meny Vaknin, Ariel Lacayo


Monday, January 30, 2012

Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse, 45th Street, is Better Than Ever


  • 269 W 45th St, New York 10036
  • (Btwn Broadway & 8th Ave)
  • 212 997 0404
  • Website

    Web Address
    Partners at 45th St. Peter Chimos, Van Panopoulos and Frank Zaravelis
    Head Waiter- Mario
    Waiter-Extraordinaire Spyro

Also Locations at:

32 W. 37th Street (Will Be Reviewed Soon)

77 Purchase St. Rye, NY
Vas and Jennifer Mylonas head the  Rye restaurant

                  Steak House Heaven


There’s nothing like a great NY steak house. A case in point is Frankie and Johnnie’s, the venerable former-speakeasy in the theater district. A renovation spruced things up, giving more space. There is a small, cunning bar and coat-check on the lower level. Thankfully, management retained the narrow staircase leading up to the Damon Runyon atmosphere of the main dining room, where walls are plastered with vintage-celebrity photos and Broadway memorabilia. The quarters, while still intimate, retain a  well-worn patina. The open kitchen remains and a small bar has been added.

Don’t be deceived by the laid back elegance. Here is one of the world’s best and most sophisticated steak restaurants. Service is by seasoned-professionals and is arguably the best in any New York steakhouse, thanks to Mario, the congenial manager. Our waiter, Spyro, was truly superlative and even busboys are standouts.

In the appetizer department, shrimp cocktail is fresh, not overcooked and minus iodine. A generous portion of fresh lump crabmeat is even better. And check out the house salad. It’s a minor miracle of chopped fresh ingredients (go for the blue cheese vinaigrette). The sirloin is juicy and cooked to a turn, the veal chop (perhaps the biggest and best in town) is eclipsed by double loin lamb chops that will blow you away in size, texture and taste.

Steaks are described intelligently by color and temperature (medium rare is red with a warm center: the way I like it). I’ll never know how they get the creamed spinach so green and (thank goodness) it’s well chopped and in a proper veloute. The Lyonaise potatoes are divine.

The wine list has some good choices, under $50 and has been expanded. Try the Petrocelli Petite Sirah and you will have the perfect steak wine.

If you have room for dessert, go for the cheese cake and terrific cappuccino. Frankie and Johnnie’s may be our current favorite New York steak house and rates a steak house A Major.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

La Silhouette: The Right Shape For A Sparkling Dining Experience

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La Silhouette (362 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-581-2400)

Click Here To Visit Website

As you may have heard, Hell's Kitchen jewel-box of a French restaurant, La Silhouette, has brought on a new star in the kitchen.  Matthew Tropeano, who has spent the last 6 years running the kitchen at La Grenouille. has been appointed the new executive chef by owners ( Le Bernardin alums) Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman.. 

The decor consists of several intimate rooms exploiting a clean, minimalist style with muted colors of gray with bursts of orange, There is a small, cunning bar as you enter and a rather formal space for quiet conversation, leading to a connecting room  with banquettes and tables. Further back is a service bar and a more lively sunken main dining room where walls are hung with colorful striped art-work. Bare wood tables are set with mats and upstairs, there is a fourth space with an attached patio that would be perfect for private parties.

If you get the idea La Silhouette has the look/feel of an elegant bistro in  Paris or London, you get the picture. Sally and Tito greet customers like old friends and orchestrate a level of caring service seldom seen in New York.


Olive Oil Poached Halibut with a crispy shallot crust, summer succotash and piquillo pepper nage

A recent dinner began with expertly made cocktails accompanied by an amuse buche of truffled potato-leek foam with parsley oil and pickled shitake mushrooms. There is a well selected wine list that is being updated to include more global selections and a range from $60 to $200. Currently, there are good selections in the $60 and under range and about 22 wines by the glass. We took it easy with a white Domaine du Pere Caboche Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc (40% Bourboulenc, 25% Clairette, 25% Grenache Blanc and 10% Rousanne/Picpoul). It was sturdy, well balanced and worked  throughout  a complex array of exquisitely prepared dishes. Although chef Tropeano offers an ever-changing tasting menu, we went the a la carte route.

We particularly admired such arousing appetizers as delicate VEAL SWEETBREADS with BUTTERNUT SQUASH AGNOLOTTI, PUMPKIN SEEDS and a touch of SAGE and  a simple-but-precise play on POACHED FARM EGGS with "TRUFFLED" MASCARPONE POLENTA, OYSTER MUSHROOMS in a rich PORCINI COULIS. Every course in a dinner has its star and our table was unanimous in its raves for a remarkable FOIE GRAS "A LA PLANCHA" paired with CARAMELIZED PEARS, TOASTED HAZELNUTS and a sprinkling of SPAGHETTI SQUASH


Poulet Roti “Avellino,” with braised cannellini beans and kale, tomato confit, lardons and vin cotto jus

Bread is excellent and gives a a needed moment’s rest. before such impeccable entrees as an ethereal BUTTER POACHED LOBSTER & BASS combo surrounded by CELERY ROOT-APPLE "SLAW" & LEEK FONDUE and kissed by an amazing SAUCE AMÉRICAINE. If meat is your partner of the evening, go for the LAMB CHOP & LAMB SHANK CRÉPINETTE (sort of a sausage. encased in fat), BROCCOLI RABE, SWEET POTATOES, FENNEL-LAMB SAUSAGE and ROSEMARY JUS: a wow of a preparation.

Jeff Sytsma’s desserts are as outstanding as the preceding. We adored such really fun plays as POPCORN “CRÈME BRÛLÉE” and CANDIED HONEY CRISP APPLES, CARAMEL POPCORN on SALTY CARAMEL ICE CREAM. Other options include a dense WARM CHOCOLATE TOURTE with CONCORD GRAPE GEL, PEANUT BUTTER POWDER and VANILLA ICE CREAM or a beautiful ARTISANAL CHEESE PLATE with HOUSE MADE BREAD AND JAM. Linger with an after dinner drink and enjoy terrific cookies, candies and closing goodies.

Tourte Caprese

La Silhouette is a restaurant to savor, treasure and enjoy. A little bit of France off 9th Avenue,  with a lot of heart and Yes Virginia  . . . civilized dining is alive and well. Santé!


Charming Owners: Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

WHITE & CHURCH is Deliciously Different

WHITE_&_CHURCH_--_DINING_ROOM_PHOTO1 White & Church Main Dining Room (Above)

ADDRESS: 281 Church Street (at White Street)

New York, NY 10013

WEB SITE: Click Here

TELEPHONE: (212) 226-1607

FAX: (212) 226-1634

HOURS: (Valid in mid-September) Inquire.

Lunch: 12:00 Noon - 3:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.

Dinner: 5:00 PM - 1:00 AM, Sun.-Thurs.

5:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Fri.-Sat.

Brunch: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Sun.

Happy Hour: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.

CUISINE: Italian with global influences

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards accepted

PRICE RANGE: Dinner: $11 - $15




Bar: 15

2  Elevated Lounges: 12 & 16


PARTY FACILITIES: Available upon request

DESIGNER: Vincent Mora

Design & Build: Enko Construction Corporation

EXECUTIVE CHEF: Matteo Boglione


MIXOLOGIST: Cristina Bini


OWNERS: Angelo Perugini

Gian Perugini

Matteo Boglione

OPENING DATE: June, 2011



Just when you think New York will never get it right, in the contemporary-Italian- restaurant arena, you discover a gem like White and Church, Acclaimed Restaurateur/Chef Matteo Boglione’s second release (remember the two star Il Matto) has lowered prices, created a warm and welcoming atmosphere and, mercifully, has not thrown the pasta out with the bath water. At White and Church,Sr. Boglione prepares an eclectic combination of classic and innovative Italian small and large plates with global influences.

Of course, that definition says nothing of the excellence of his cooking, the creativity of his dishes and the amazing bar that is a show stopper in its own right. The Full-service sit-down bar is an impressive15-foot long custom-made rectangular stone and mahogany affair, Located in the front of the restaurant, it  features a fine selection of regional Italian wines. A variety of wines are available by the glass. In addition, a premier selection of spirits, liquors, after-dinner drinks, dessert wines, imported and draft beers, and the celebrity of Cristina Bini is justified and evidenced in such specialty cocktails such as the Maltese (Ginger Infused Vodka, Red Bell Pepper, Ginger, Martini Rose), the White Stone Martini (Ligurian White Stone Infused in Dry Vermouth), and the Buffalo 66 (Vodka Infused with Rosemary, Lemon Juice, Worcester Sauce, Celery Salt, Red Beet andHot Pepper).The cocktail list features 60 classic and innovative variations.

They are cleverly organized by taste (salty,) style, (innovative, Classic or anytime) and even devote a section to libations garnished with Edible Insects. Don’t laugh, a tequila number (The” Why Not?”)  blends Tequila with Cointreau, sugar, lime, and avocado and is topped with dried spicy Mexican worms. It is potent and devilishly delicious.

And despite the superb bar scene, there is a serious kitchen here and we didn’t experience a clinker in a multi-course-dinner that was brimming with the “wow” factor from appetizers to desserts, or in the case of White and Church, Fried, Cold, Hot and Sweet, (The Dinner Menu is available at the bar, too and there is an amazing Tasting Menu of 10 courses for $ 50.00, sans alcohol.).

Before getting into food specifics, let us discuss the airy, attractive space (formally home to Il Matto by way of  Arqua) with its romantic, veranda-style Lounges, located in the front of the restaurant, which are enhanced by multi-colored stone banquettes with plush pillows, modern stone tables, and mood lighting to create a spacious and romantic setting overlooking the bar and dining room, and a picturesque corner of Tribeca.

The main dining room features a contemporary, ambiance,.which is stylish, sophisticated  with its 16-foot high ceiling, custom-made organic wood tables and chairs, cast-iron Italian chandeliers, and sage and terra di sienna-colored walls. There are 2 hand-made communal stone and organic wood dining tables in the front and rear of the restaurant, and many floor-to-ceiling windows with orange linen curtains.One  corner of the room offers a large screen where, on our visit, Italian Art films with subtitles kept the crowd amused, while a fabulous eclectic soundtrack provided provocative ear candy.

While you can do just fine drinking and grazing, it would be a shame to miss Matteo Boglione’s extraordinary interpretations  of such standouts as impeccably FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS with TOMATO SAUCE and BLACK ROCK SALT. Now I know why they are generally soggy and boring in most restaurants. At White and Church,they are given a tempura-like coating and a quick fry and arrive crisp and delicious. LESS is DEFINITELY MORE!  STUFFED BREADED GREEN OLIVES are delivered in a martini glass (all the tableware is lovely, by the way) and are little wonders, stuffed with pork, veal, pistachios and mortadella. HOME CUT FRENCH FRIES with KETCHUP and MAYO may read like nothing, but they are pan-fried in clarified butter and divine. These were all listed in the “Fried” section of the menu.

From the “Cold” section, look no further than the incredible PECORINO CHEESE CREME BRULE' with RED ONION MARMELADE and BALSAMIC REDUCTION, Its crackling crust gives way to Le Cirque style smoothie with the haunting Pecorino flavor. WHITE_&_CHURCH_--_OCTOPUS_AND_FOIE-GRAS_PHOTO


If you like it “Hot,”  that department offers an unusually tender steamed OCTOPUS, with sautéed FOIE-GRAS, roasted POTATOES,BASIL PESTO, and caramelized  BLACK OLIVES, whose touch of sweetness impart the final kicker. Also lovely, was a perfectly rare TUNA FILET, floating in EGGPLANT CREAM and garnished with FRIED ARTICHOKES,BLACK OLIVES and BASIL OIL.

And what’s an Italian restaurant without pasta? You won’t be disappointed at White and Church. BURRATA CHEESE RAVIOLI with black truffle sauce is light and elegant, but we really loved CARBONARA PASTA TWO WAYS, old fashioned spaghetti paired with contemporary ravioli. While many restaurants cheat and use cream, Boglione sticks with the classic preparation, but uses far less eggs than normally encountered, resulting in a today rendition that is full of taste, but avoids heaviness.

For a unique treat, go for the WHITE & CHURCH BURGER, with its surprise stuffing of MACARONI and CHEESE, VINE TOMATOES and BEEF JUS. It’s as good as it sounds.

Don’t miss dessert, and if have but one, we adored EGGPLANT MILLEFOGLIE, which will make you rethink a vegetable's role in the order of things, when that order refers to its arrival in the course of a meal. Delicious!!!

Service is knowledgeable  and discrete. Our server, Maggie, has been there since the previous incarnation  and was flawless.

I think you get the point that we liked White and Church a lot. And so will you!


Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mr. K's NYC Is The Emperor Of Manhattan’s Chinese Restaurants

Mr. K's NYC

Mr. K's exterior

570 Lexington Ave, New York 10022

(At 51st St)

(212) 583-1668

DeliveryTake-OutVisa, MC, AmEx, DC, Carte Blanche
Mon-Fri: 11:30am-11pmSat-Sun: 12pm-11pm
Lunch, Dinner
Prix Fixe, Romantic, Delivery, Accepts Credit Cards, Take Out

Johnny Kao: Owner

Edward Cheung: General Managing Partner

John Fong: General Managing Partner

Cheng-Hua Yang: Executive Chef

Greg Olving: Concept Architect


Contact The Restaurant
Make A Reservation on Open Table
Mr. K's Interior

Mr. K's is situated in the landmark old GE building. The restaurant's architecture is art deco in keeping with the entire building's design. The dining room has high ceilings and plush carpeting and is adorned with museum-quality art pieces. The wood work, fabrics, and etched glass are magnificent. Mr. K's is easily the most elegant and spectacular Chinese restaurant in New York City.

The Art Deco decor with its dusty-rose color-theme, huge scalloped banquettes, cherry wood covered columns and etched glass has the aura of opulence. The well trained wait-staff spoil you with personal and benevolent service and owner, Johnny T. Kao, is as charming and elegant as he is a perfectionist, as are General Managing Partners Edward Cheung and John Fong.

With such drama, food is not a subordinate player. After one bite of any appetizer such as the delightfully crispy and light Shanghai-style spring rolls or marvelous Vegetarian’s Purses, a medley of mushrooms and vegetables wrapped in tofu sheets, fried and then softened in a soy-sherry sauce with a touch of garlic, you know this is a serious kitchen. Best of all, try the scrumptious Sesame Shrimp Toast with ground shrimp on bread triangles and sesame seeds, fried to golden brown, and an elegant Seafood Imperial, consisting of minced lobster meat, shrimp, fish and scallops sautéed and served in a refreshing lettuce cup.

Entrees are no less admirable. Peking Duck is superlative here and the incredibly accessible $48 prix fixe dinner ($28 at lunch)  includes some of the best dishes. Miniature thimbles of sorbets are offered as palate cleansers and scented towels are served after courses that require them.

Other memorable dishes include a special of Chilean Sea Bass, quickly seared and snowy fleshed within, Lobster in or out of the shell with a choice of preparations and “Firecracker” filet of fish simmered in a tangy Szechwan sauce with onions and a touch of tomato.

Desserts,are a welcomed concession to western taste, since that is one area of Chinese food least appreciated by Americans. We loved the Green Tea and Pistachio Ice Cream and chocolate lovers should try the Tri Chocolate Mousse Dome. There is a short and well priced wine list starting at $28 with plenty of bottles under $40, glorious private rooms and an air of "money’s no object" at Mr. K’s, with its mix of upscale Asians, downtown Wall Street types and lovers out for a night on the town. Perhaps that explains the lovely gesture of giving the fairer sex a corsage when they are seated. Mr. K’s is not the most expensive luxury Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, just one of the  most civilized and gracious and thus retains its A Major rating.

Mr. K's Interior 2

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

World-class Chinese at Philippe Chow New York

philippe chow backroom

Philippe Chow New York


Established: December 2005

Location: 33 East 60th Street

New York City

Telephone: (212) 664-8885



Co-Owner& Executive Chef: Philippe Chow

Cuisine: Classic Chinese Cuisine with an Haute Flair

philippe chow long room

Chef Philippe is also available to cater private parties and/or prepare to-go dinners for any special event, at your home, boat or on the beach.

philippe chow bar1

Capacity: Dining Room (250) | Private Wine Cellar (26)

Hours of Operation: Lunch

Monday through Saturday: 12:00PM – 4:00PM


Monday through Saturday: 6:00PM – 12:00AM



Philippe Chow Interior

Since opening in December 2005, Philippe Chow New York City continues to attract the who’s-who of Hollywood and social set – frequented by such names as Anne Hathaway, Anna Wintour, Beyoncé, Robert De Niro, Oprah, and  Lady Gaga – headed by Executive Chef Philippe Chow.

The Chic modern design meets with a signature color palette of black, white and red in the dining room and bar; for a more intimate setting, the private cellar and two private rooms are an ideal setting for any fête. Plush banquettes and intimate booths lend an air of opulence, as the glow from flickering candles and overhead skylights set the tone for a luxe dining experience.

Service is surprisingly warm,efficient and guiding. The menu offers a selection of main dishes meant to be shared by two people (many of them can be ordered in1/2 portions, but not the superlative Peking duck with its light-as-a-feather handkerchief-pancakes or a whole steamed fish of the day.

Creative noodles and dumplings are a specialty at Philippe. Each night at about 9 p.m. in the restaurant’s dining room, Noodle and Pastry Chef conducts a live demonstration for making hand-pulled noodles. Philippe’s menu features no less than eight variations of either steamed or stir-fried dumplings and Cheng’s specialty, hand-made noodles with pork or veal bean sauce (like a Bolognaise).

A haute flair on classic Chinese cuisine, Chef Philippe has crafted a menu complete with signature-favorites. We enjoyed an assortment of steamed dumplings, including Jade dumplings with shrimp and water chestnuts, crabmeat soup dumplings, sieu mai of pork and black mushrooms and vegetable dumplings. All were paragons of freshness and avoided the all too common NY Chinese trait of gumminess. PORK/SHRIMP FRIED RICE was creatively presented in a tall urn and was another standout, as were terrific sautéed green beans.

Entrees range from nine seasons spicy prawns, drunken sea bass served in white wine, the aforementioned Peking duck, crispy beef that is to die for and a delightful combination of green prawns with cashew nuts, water chestnuts, peppers and black mushrooms. Best of all and obligatory are RED KING CRABS (2.5 - 3lbs)  in garlic/butter sauce. They can be shared by 3 or 4 people and are so good that you will never want lobster again.

Other Signature Dishes include Chicken Satay, skewers prepared in Chef Philippe’s famous cream sauce, crispy Peking Chicken, fresh and juicy Maine Lobster and Spring Rolls. Philippe also offers a multi-course tasting menu at dinner that must be ordered by a minimum of six persons. The best dessert is without doubt the fine house-made sorbets and fresh fruit.

Specialty Drinks are outstanding. This is a real bar so expect such delights as the sweetly-refreshing taste of The Philipptini (Absolut vodka, lychee and fresh squeezed pineapple juice, triple sec, splash of Chambord), a lovely Lychee Martini (Absolut vodka, lychee juice, coconut cream, fresh squeezed lime juice, and Cointreau), the Shanghai Philippe (Stoli Strawberry, Elderflower syrup, muddled fresh strawberries, champagne) and our personal favorite, The MIDNIGHT MOJITO, an intoxicating blend of Stoli Blueberry, fresh mint, muddled fresh blueberries, simple syrup, splash of fresh squeezed lime juice, and a splash of soda, a terrific value at $15. (Purists will love the beautiful classic Martini  and the best Old Fashioned” in town.)

Philippe offers 10 to 12 wines by the glass each night, as well as a good if pricey wine list (there are some terrific bottles for under $70). A special page offers “Highly Rated Wines” (mostly by THe Wine Spectator). Our waiter suggested the 2009 August Kesseler Lorcher Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese trocken. At $70 a bottle, it was full of fruit, medium dry and excellent.

Philippe Chow New York is the perfect night-out-on-the town and rates A MAJOR on The Walman Report..

 Philippe Chow Food1

(Hosting your own soiree? Chef Philippe is also available to cater private parties and/or prepare to-go dinners for any special event).



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