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HeViewSheView

Husband and wife join forces to tell their stories while they review New York City's hottest restaurants.

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November 25, 2012

SheView: Catch

Third Floor of Restaurant

Crispy Shrimp!

Branzino!

Edward Hopper is a classic American artist who revolutionized realist art in the twentieth century. I adore so many of his pieces, including some of my personal faves - Chop Suey, Rooms by the Sea and Nighthawks. I used to visit The Whitney quite often (as often as a true downtowner can tolerate being uptown) to see the Hoppers, even trying to imitate his oils in my apartment on 8th Street as the non-painter that I am. What a waste of paint! This extraordinaire’s paintings of: diners, houses, lighthouses, New England, New York (city, cityscape), New York rooms, people (portraits), restaurants, roads, rooms, the sea (ocean, maritime, nautical) and the sun has resonated with tens of thousands of admirers.  His works have filled and warmed the walls of various museums throughout the states -- and on this particular evening served as some delightful dinner conversation.

Catch

Catch, a newer EMM venture in the Meatpacking district, leaves classic American about two oceans away. Instead, traditional tranquility is replaced with bright lights, grandiose spaces (3 floors - including a club) and a pain in the ass reservation policy, not to mention impossible tables to obtain. The menu, Asian Fusion and Seafood, is as extensive as their wine and booze list, which is lengthier than most of the girls’ dresses dining in this trendazoid establishment.  After being collected at the bar and escorted up to our table by a mixed crew of people (think: kids (22-25) older kids (26-30) and old machismos who probably have kids at home (50 to infinity))! At 10:00pm, we placed our orders in entirety: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crispy Shrimp (yum but total bootleg copy of original NoBu), Baked Shrimp (awesome and garlic-y) and two sushi rolls - Spider and something tempura. 3 drinks in... late seating...Friday night bender...who remembers the trivialities of some roll. Do you HeView? Our Brussels Sprouts, Branzino and Fried Chicken Breasts (not bras) over root veggies, potatoes and thyme jus came out before the strike of 12 - which was lovely because getting a carriage in this parta town is harder then turning Cinderella’s pumps into authentic Louboutins. The boys and I agreed that for this party-oriented, promoter-heavy, overpacked and over served type of place, the food was quite good considering this is a place where people are truly coming to meet, greet and possibly get dirty. Catch and Hopper really have nothing in common; maybe just the Sea and the See. You might croak waiting on OpenTable the night before, for the month-ahead - and with drinks, all in, Catch might get pricey, but it’s surely less than a real Hopper; and most certainly worth the time and effort to hang with good friends.  21 Ninth Avenue | Between 13th and Little West 12th Streets (212) 392-5978

JSR

September 26, 2012

SheView: Duane Park

A friend of mine recently quoted the movie, now old (circa 1989) "Parenthood" when the grandmother talks to the leads, Steve Martin (Gil) and Mary Steenbergen (Karen) giving them a metaphor on life after Mary's character finds out she's preggers later in life (with three kids already in tow).

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.

Gil: Oh?

Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!

Gil: What a great story.

Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

It's a great quote from a great vintage flick. But what about the swing? Back ‘n forth, back ‘n forth. It's boring. It sucks. I hate the swing. I like the coaster; at least I think I like the coaster. I did in my twenties. Luckily, tonight I got to forgo the swing and enjoy the ride with great imports from Williamsburg and dinner with a side of burlesque.

Duane Park

Duane Park, located nowhere other than the land of Triburbia, is a cute little spot for a three course meal, comedy and some burlesque. There are ten tables in the cozy white-tableclothed space with an unmistakable black shiny grand (probably a Steinway) piano, with some bar stools for other musical talents. On this very evening, the crowd was a mix of dates, hen parties, butches (that's how the host referred to the lesbo firefighters in the corner) and a huge party of Asian Americans celebrating an occasion I know nothing about. The menu provides a variety of options for even the most selective of eaters, ranging from pork to salmon to hake to the always safe and boring chicken. It's a $75 prefix, which doesn't include drinks or gratuity… it adds up - don't kid yourself. As we waited for our 7:30 show to begin, we grazed on shrimp over cheese grits (me), scallops over a bed of some wilted greens (female import from Bklyn), tuna tartare (HeView) and a fried octopus salad (male spouse/other import). Surprisingly, as we thought we were just there for the tits and arse, the food was pleasantly good and served nicely, neat and composed. I had a salmon special for my main, which was dry but the mushrooms and mystery mush underneath were a bit of a turnoff. HeView finished his plate of red wine braised beef short ribs, which he later said were fatty. Our really cool kat imports dined on the grilled loin of pork with grilled peaches, mustard greens & vidalia onion purée and surprisingly, the least boring person at our table got the most boring entree, the chicken! (Served over an olive oil Parmesan purée and chicken jus.) The main attraction was "Murray Hill," the comedian and host of the evening who shmoozed around cracking jokes on the diners and poking fun of her hedo/shedo self. Actually quite entertaining. An outrageous jazz singer belted out classics in between two burlesque dancers shaking their assets, exposing their ink and twirling their pasties. Not a job I'm applying for, but good for them. Tonight the only swinging would be of drinks, laughs and raw skin. I don't mind that kind of back and forth. That sort of swing is good is for any age and doesn't bore but sizzle. Duane Park is a total blast and definitely mixes up the commonalities of day-to-day life. It's the right kind of park! 157 Duane Street | Between West Broadway and Hudson (212) 732-5555

September 21, 2012

SheView: Isola

We get stuck in the roles we play, in the parts we take. We freeze time by referring to old classmates as "most popular," " tool," " nerd," " prude” or slut." Loser" more than any other pops up the most frequently, partially because they were or you were - or you're jealous of who they are now or the success they have now. The question is when is one no longer considered a loser to others (at work, in their social life) are they still a loser? Do you ever really lose that title? I guess it all depends on charm, personality, and a nice portfolio can't hurt. Which brings us to Isola, the old Imperial 9 space in The Mondrian in Soho.

Isola

Isola is in the most outrageous space that I goo and gaggle at each time I pass it on Crosby Street (or go inside). The setting is nothing short of magical, from the ivy aisle with tons of potted plants beside you that escort you into the hotel, the modern hang-out area that is sleek and polished, minimal but clean and chic... and then there's the great room, the best room, the greenhouse that really makes my heart go pitter patter. This space is hearty and long with grandiose chandeliers hanging from the rafters. Above the communal or party tables, damn smack in the middle, hangs a long floating piece of glass with abstract glass pitchers, goblets, vases, structures and great shards of glass that add to this cool yet elegant decor. It reminds me of the work of Dale Chihuly. The bar inside the restaurant, long and lean AND stocked, is bustling, whereas in the old space the bar was outside the main dining room so that your drinking/eating experience was separate. This was a topic that came up at our table of four - how it's one thing to grab food at a bar yet it's another to make your dinner reservation at a bar; but this in fact did not bother me. The cocktails were fun and there were lots of specials of the house, which I enjoy on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, getting your drinks or getting your anything can be compared to gridlock at 6pm leaving the city; thus the service was an abomination. We should have placed our apps and mains right off the bat but in an attempt to stop and savor the moment we didn't; much to our chagrin this was not the route to take. Eventually, our Italian apps came to us - a veal, pork and beef meatball served with garlicky crostinis, parmesan potato skins, a ricotta pizza and one tuna tartare served over watermelon. The meatball (two) were tasty and delicious as three of us devoured it and taunted the kosher doctor, the fourth in our posse. The rest - forgettable. The watermelon and tuna clashed more than loafers with boot cut jeans. Sadly, the girls had scallops and the food was so forgettable that I simply forgot what the gents got! Now, that's ruff! Soooo, atmosphere awesome and food/service (to be nice) not so hot. Aargh, another night BITES the dust. Isola despite its pretty name and pretty look might just be a loser. 9 Crosby Street | Between Grand & Howard Streets (212) 389-0000

September 12, 2012

SheView: Beaumarchais Easthampton

Untz untz and restaurant don’t mix. At least for me… a thirty+ mom/writer/wife/complainer who doles out major dough for childcare both night and day (don't get me started on the terrible twos pre 2, nonetheless)! The days of shares in the Hamptons are over but the sharing of a house is well, not. In these economic times, sharing is key but barbecueing instead of dining out may not be.

Beaumarchais

Beaumarchais, right by Nick& Toni's (hot spot foreva) is located on Three Mile Road in East Hampton, very posh. It might scream blinking lights of caution or dismay when other Hampton summerers/friends come screeching out of their BMW SUV to warn you about this impending disaster of a dining experience and well, not to attempt it... but, we move forward...ignoring their sage words. Upon walking into this trendazoid bar scene/late night party restaurant you have become abruptly aware that you are not here for the dining experience (which is not always a bad thing). Beaumarchais' decor is set up more like a night club (white everything, cheesy chandeliers, DJs spinning The Hot 40s in party remix renditions). In another life, quite possibly a decade ago (ah, I’m not that old, so less than a decade but many a year ago) this craziness for dinner might’ve been the ultimate go-to or the perfect place for a birthday or girl/guy special occasion. Now, not so much. We were placed right under the DJ booth, not ideal but our party-loving untz untz enjoying partners and people-pleasing HeView didn't make a fuss about it, so I did something very UN ME and went with it. As 9:00pm came upon us, the restaurant was filled to the brim and every table was occupied. What were my friends initially yapping about when they approached us in a tizzy about foregoing the joint?? We ordered salads, Burrata with Tomato (a huge summer pleaser) and a Ravioli with Cheese and Peas to begin which all arrived in a blink of an eye, as tables are turned very quickly here (pun intended). All the eats were mediocre at best but the vodka was poured thick (so shortly into your dining experience, or lack thereof, your vision, sense of smell and taste are hazed and blurry). Our Steak Frites, Scallop main and Nicoise salad came next, squealing with sodium, ugly and rather vile but by this point the foci was more on the tightly wrapped bandage dresses, the scene and the people we may have known in our past single lives/hooked up with, etc. Huge ice cream sundaes adorned with a massive sparkler were shoved into the middle of many a table’s meal (for casually, 40$), in which our drunk and so-lovable friend/dining companion/summer roomie HAD to order and not really eat. I love my sweets and this was just a massive ice cream float of Reddiwhip. I could have gotten this in two cans for 4.50 at King Kullen and enjoyed a whippit or two :) Us girlies left after the sundae disaster and as the skinny and not-so-skinny girls pranced up on their tables to dance and grind, this place was not my scene and officially in the later hours, really not my scene. HeView and best pal stayed for the voyeurism and capacity to drink more without wife judgment and I was shocked to hear later that they didn't tap the night off with Jason Kidd and Alessandra Ambosio @ SL East right next door. Maybe they knew too that they were a decade, less or more, too old and a bit too gameless for that. To wrap this up with a silver bow, our infuriated friends in the parking lot got it right, Beaumarchais is not the place you want to dine if you actually want to eat and linger; Beaumarchais instead is a place to get wasted, mingle with the new and used of the past or watch all within a short distance. I think Lil View will see this place before I see it again. 44 Three Mile Harbor Road | East Hampton (212) 675-2400

September 07, 2012

SheView: Vine Street Cafe

I had never been to Shelter Island before this past August. I have had tons of students that had second homes or "country" homes there, but I never knew it was so close to the Hamptons - a mere 2 minute car ferry to the isolated island… beautiful, artsy, killer cool sunset beach, one cemetery, no hospital and us.

Vine Street Cafe

The Vine Street Cafe, a great indoor/outdoor restaurant with a grossly expensive market attached and submerged below it, was a last minute Labor Day reservation that HeView scored. I don't give props much, but this reservation earns one to the guy! After leaving the trendy, cool and bumping Sunset Beach cafe for outrageous costing cocktails, we drove to "Vines," had trouble parking (the lot is the pits and valet-less) and proceeded to stumble through the rocks into their small waiting vestibule. Our 8:45 reservation was running late (big surprise there), so we hung until being seated. We peered and pried on other patrons’ plates as we got to our sweet nook of a table tucked in a corner (quiet enough for a kvetch called my father).

There was absolutely no question, someone would be getting the house fave - the Pasta Bolognese - and I was itching for some heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella. I'm not a huge tomato fan but out here the farm fresh tomatoes change the rules. In order to all get a spoonful or two or three of their acclaimed Bolognese, we ordered one for the table as a starter. MAGNIFIQUE! OMG! INSANITY, our party of four gasped and raved! Filling, fresh, thick spaghetti and a to-die-for, perfectly made, red, meaty, salted to perfection Bolognese sauce! I will never forget this dish - officially most definitely on my bucket list. Can we import it to Manhattan? The ladies were virtually full after this sick sampling, but ordered Salmon (mom a.k.a lulu) and Roast Chicken (for me, I know-boring). The kvetch father had Moules and Frites as HeView also got the teriyaki tasting salmon. Despite being pretty darn full, I ate many a frite or too many a frite, picked at my flavorful, beautifully presented roast chicken over broccoli rabe, mango chutney and coconut rice - knowing full well I would not get close to finishing this and would bring it home for Lil View a.k.a "the monster." My mom's salmon also took the ride in the car on the ferry back to North Haven, an area of Sag Harbor. Just too much food and drink after a long day of lounging, sunning, complaining, etc. Still, every bite delicious, perfectly polished and prepared and also mouth watering. The Vine Street Cafe might be a schlep for SouthHamptoners (not us) BUT well worth the travels. Side note: the car ferry is super fun, a definite perk! Get the pasta-it’ll warm your heart and belly. 41 South Ferry Road | Shelter Island (631) 749-3210

July 02, 2012

SheView: Beauty & Essex

This past Saturday at 7:00 pm Eastern standard time, my yoga teacher married Alec Baldwin. I just can't believe MY adorable sassypants yoga teacher married Alec Baldwin. Paparazzi and security hovered the Nolita streets outside St. Patrick’s Basilica church. Nope! I wasn't invited (all of 30 Rock was, along with Lorne Michaels and WOODY ALLEN), but I did partially stalk and enjoy the fanfare, well… maybe more than partially. Still, despite the fun and excitement, I don't think you can be a yogi and marry Alec Baldwin. He doesn't quite seem zen; instead he seems angry and volatile - the opposite of a yogi (even one associated through matrimony). As for her, I didn't know yogis can be sell-outs just like everyone else (aren’t they more in tune with mind/body/soul)... changing their look and their lifestyle for their spouse, for notoriety and money. I kinda don't want to practice yoga anymore; my chi is off.

I wonder if Alec ohms... I bet it's not when he's practicing Vinyasa on University ;). Let's see how long this one lasts - I give it five max with one little Baldwin heir. (Hey---Just like Katie and Tom.) Egomaniacs - maybe not best to marry ‘em but if you do - the huge cash payout won't suck!!

Beauty & Essex

Beauty and Essex, located on the LES, is the nighttime area where I and my pals used to get down - restaurants, hotels, bars and lounges. I used to wear (quite possibly) backless shirts down there. Oy. Tonight, I settled into a comfy cool cotton boho look and we taxied to our old stomping grounds and passed ole watering holes. Beauty was bumping despite our early time reservation. Space is huge including a front storefront where you can buy both new and vintage pieces - think: shoes, clutches, jewels or a whole other modgepodge of what to me seemed useless - signed baseball cards, pez dispensers and Star Wars paraphernalia. Seemed a bit confused but definitely different, kitsch and I longed for the hand crystallized Shay bags (casually starting at $2000) that were to die for. I was secretly hoping that HeView would get drunk enough, forgo our rent dough and diapers.com sheckels and buy me one of these stunners. No dice. Maybe Alec will buy one maybe two for Hilaria. Def more likely.

As we walked into the great room, we were seated immediately in view of a beautiful glass roof and tons of different sorts of people (oldies, nerdy Asian businessmen, hen parties, B&T, dates, etc). The waitstaff are decked in skin tight purple dresses whether they have shelves, rolls or too much ink hanging all out. We ordered cocktails stat, for me the Beauty Elixir and for He some cracked out Arnold Palmer (both refreshing and favorable). The menu is extensive and we decided to pick and share from each section: from the "toasts" a peachy yet spicy ricotta bread (eh). From the raw bar, their signature lobster tacos (looks better than tastes) and these mouth watering spoonfuls (4) of chicken fried oysters (ah-mazing). From the accessories, we ordered both the sweet corn (cool, spicy and refreshing) and truffled onion rings with blue cheese dressing (2 die 4)... And, Lastly, the scallops came - cooked perfectly over a bed of starchy corn risotto. The food came right out - faster than the now Baldwins nuptials. Even after saying slow-it-down, we still were served and cleared in the blink of an eye. Much to my chagrin, this aspect of B&E was unenjoyable, although the physical space/decor (mirrors, pearls, lockets, oh my) rocked along with the tasty food (chef/owner of Stanton Social, which dirty hot waitress said is still "cool") and helped redeem the super speedy slightly offensive service. In and out, at B&E, quite possibly like the celebrity marriages we pry on or people's personas. I probably will return to yoga with my celebrity teacher but Beauty and Essex (I think) has been scratched off my NYC restaurant bucket list! 146 Essex Street | Between Stanton and Rivington (212) 614-0146


JSR

June 23, 2012

SheView: The Mark Restaurant

I recently was asked what was it like being a mommy in Manhattan. My answer: it's the loneliest time/place humanly imaginable. Why? Because for me, having a child, quitting my job and being forced to make new mama friends can be compared to the heartache and disappointment of dating again. Maybe it's because I'm not a cheerleader or a joiner (never was/never will be) or maybe it's because I didn't give it my all when I should have. Either way, I have found that part-time work, the park, shopping and one really special BMF (best mama friend) has gotten me through the ups, downs and all arounds of my first year plus of motherhood. Sometimes, it's quality not quantity. I'm happy we both got sitters to enjoy one crappy spa experience and an evening at Jean George’s The Mark.

The Mark

The Mark hotel and restaurant is located far, far from home. In fact, if I clicked my ruby red glitter slippers I don't know if it would take me there; nonetheless it's on a charming street in the high seventies off Madison Ave., right by every fashion house and real housewife who has graced these streets. As you walk into their bar area, it's plush, modern and cool (...for the Upper East Side). My BMF and I desperately needed a libation or two but instead waited for our spouses to be seated in the main dining room. The men came soon after (both dressed completely inappropriately --don't even get me started on HeView’s "Hampton’s casual" attire on East Side’s old and stuffy canvas). As we were seated, it was hard not to notice that our party of four was by far the youngest in the restaurant, by at least three decades. Tucked in a dimly lit corner in the back, which we requested, we settled in and ordered specialty cocktails (at least the girls did). I had The Mark’s signature girlie drink - a splash of this a splash of that in a flute of prosecco. My BMF deviated slightly and after downing our firsts (I mentioned our wash of a spa experience), we ordered seconds, but I changed my second cocktail to a cucumber martini - double yum on that one. The two-paged menu is extensive and exciting. There is definitely something for everyone and you can eat guilt-free (any fish can be served sauce-free) or guilty (truffle pizza, truffle burgers, eggs and bacon on heavily dressed salads). To begin, both myself and my gal pal’s hubby ordered from the raw bar - sushi over what I believed to be a very foo foo tater tot, while HeView had an outrageous salad chock full of bacon cubes, eggs and a rich mustard dressing slathered through and through. My skinny friend had a bare bones plate of greens with some shavings of fresh Parmesan. The table then split a truffled pizza, which was really delish and worth every calorie. For entrees, I ordered "the chicken" which was tasty as ever but dripping in butter sauce and not exactly pan-fried. The boys enjoyed meat, as they often do (The Mark Cheeseburger and lamb chops). Eating their plates down to the barren ceramic (I don't think it was porcelain even though it was JG’s restaurant). The other lady in our party enjoyed her simple scallops, plentiful and positioned prettily on her plate. It was a very long dinner but the company kept it young and spunky unlike the general vibe and clientele of the restaurant.

Maybe if I'm planning on a consultation with a plastic surgeon or win the lotto for a shopping spree to Barneys and Bergdorfs, I'd stop in and drink/dine at the Mark, but both are pretty unlikely and not what I really desire for me and my life. What is likely… is that I will continue to ride this ride of mommyhood and maturation with quality not quantity - with one truly special BMF. You know who you are. 25 East 77th Street | at Madison Avenue (212) 606-3030

JSR

May 10, 2012

SheView: Sevilla

Out with the old and in with the new. A mantra a lot of people use in regard to their clothes, their vices, their boyfriends and partners. I love a spring cleaning. I love to share and give (despite being an only child). But some things are far too sacred to part with...old photos, ticket stubs from first dates (OMG-mine was Armageddon), concerts, birth announcements, or even restaurants that have been around longer than me. Why not spend Cinco de Mayo at an oldie but a goodie… a place I’ve been going to since I was a kid, a college grad and even as a hormonal pregnant lady… a place that will not be thrown out with my old flared white true religions. Sometimes the old stuff is the best stuff (but not those jeans).

Sevilla

Sevilla, located in the most likable part of the West Village (West 4th and Charles) has been around foreva! This Spanish restaurant, which does not take reservations or care about your attire, will make you sit at a crowded bar endlessly refilling your red sangria pitchers to get you drunk enough to shut up about your table - or lack thereof. Upon being seated, you might feel comfy in a snug booth for four or be stuffed like sardines into that same booth for four with an adjoining ghetto round table to accommodate 6. On a Saturday night, there's no time to really peruse the menu (look on menupages before you go) as the staff really aims to get you in and out. You MUST get the homemade potato chips (which used to be free like, ya know, bread but now are on your bill), as well as the stuffed mushrooms with crabmeat, shrimp with white sauce (oily and garlicy -yum), Croquettes and Chorizo. Before your apps arrive, what HeView described as a delicious "dirty salad" comes as part of the meal - a basic salad with what tastes like Paul Newman's French dressing. Apps hot and amazing come quick to be followed by colossal pots of paella chock full of shellfish, veal "Sevilla" con mushrooms, arroz con pollo (chicken, sausage and rice), Mariscado in Green Sauce and my personal favorite and oh so fattening Sevilla go-to - Chicken Villeroy (essentially two pieces of fried chicken filled with béchamel cream)! It's a once in blue moon thing that everyone gets a bite of! No room for dessert at our table, but the flan, if you’re a flan guy or gal, is supposedly delish - I myself am not a flan fan.

However you long you wait, however quick the staff try to get you in and out, however you order, whether it be spicy or standard (broiled swordfish a healthy and low fat option) you will leave happy that you came and happy that this restaurant is on your radar or now is. Seasons change, guys/gals come and go, fashions too, but the fare and the fun of Sevilla forever will be. Don't spring clean this baby - it's a timeless piece for your collection. 62 Charles Street | Corner of West 4th (212) 929-3189

JSR

April 27, 2012

SheView: Perla

I love the Village. Always will, always have and forever do. I tell some people that the Village is my roots - even though I did not grow up there, I wish I had. I do hope and pray that we will be fortunate enough to raise our family in this special community. I love a place where everyone knows your name, the streets are cobble-stoned and the locals carry canvas bags chock full of organic groceries. I adore fresh flowers from Citarella and the sprinkles on the pavement from kids walking home from school. What can I say more - it's home!

Perla

And... that's what Gabe Stulman wants you to think and feel when you enter his comfy cozy Minetta Lane gem - Perla. He is the ultimate village guy, owning now four restaurants in the hood blocks from each other. I have been to Stulmans' Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey’s many times and really enjoyed both places because of the laid back vibe, customer service with friendly and low-key staff and of course, the food! At Perla, our brown leather booth in the perfect hub of the restaurant seated our party of six comfortably and nicely. We ordered cocktails and then red wine. The restaurant was bustling as it was a great reservation time - 8:15 primetime and Saturday night. The table ordered way too much food, but we were all pleased to try the salads, soft shell crabs and nice-sized, well-cooked prawns over a yummy creamy sauce. Our pasta apps preceded the fish and greens, one more scrumptious than the other-the gnocchi, spaghetti with rock shrimp (wish I ordered that as my main) and tartale bolognaise. The only issue for me was that the pastas were all a bit salty for my liking, but I still ate them contentedly. Beautiful branzinos - one filleted and one full fished arrived soon after our pastas were cleared by the owner (Gabe) who was overly humble, sincere, real and friendly just like the Village, where he and his soon to be growing family reside. Two of our diners really dug their skate entrees and the filet looked outta sight. Sadly, I didn't like my Guinea Hen not because of the flavor, but because of its thick texture. Party foul on my part because the other entrees were presented beautifully and tasted simple, yet rustic and robust at the same time. No false pretenses or airs here - Stulman cooks up a real deal and is not afraid to manage, oversee and pick up some dishes here or there (which was quite impressive) along the way. He was as cool and as easygoing as his third gnarly-in-a-cool way restaurant and the Village it lives in. Heview, please take me home!!!

Go to Perla! It will be a nice evening - leave the attitude and the pretense at the door. 24 Minetta Lane | (212) 933-1824

JSR

March 27, 2012

SheView: Marble Lane

James Lipton, executive producer, writer and host of the Bravo cable television series “Inside the Actors Studio” asks a series of famous questions including: Who would your last meal be with? My pick always changes – by the mood, by the season and in this case, by the night. I think for this particular weekend I will go with Patti Stanger, ya know, the Millionaire Matchmaker. The brutally honest, sometimes offensive and always real Jewish gal from Jersey that dishes it out to all her millionaires and millionioaresses in her matchmaking club. Patti is not at all timid, tells it how is and has no qualms about talking sex “no sex before monogamy” is a go-to of hers. Patti might even join me for a “wet dream” or two at the Dream Hotel before we head downstairs to the restaurant, Marble Lane. After all, she and I have a lot in common – we are both strong females who wear our hearts and thoughts on our sleeves, both full of wit and zeal and most importantly (and until recently I didn’t even know it), but we are both matchmakers (just of a different sort). Welcome to MommyMatch.com at your service and I am your host- SheviewJSR.

Marble Lane

G-d, I’m so happy I lost all my pregnancy lbs because to go the Dream Hotel is to be IN or at least fake it till you make it. The hotel is bumping to the brims from the lounge to the bar to their restaurant, Marble Lane. Our party of six was given a beeper and was instructed to hang at the bar for 10 to 15 minutes give or take. 40 minutes later, we vibrated and were escorted to our circular table in the main dining section downstairs in the hullabaloo of things. Our Argentinean dad friend became our sommelier and essentially 6 semi quasi strangers that I brought together (as mommy matchmaker) preceded to chat, order wine and drinks (for me). As I had been to the bar before, I knew that they mixed a pretty delish lychee libation. Tonight to my dismay they were not making anything lychee instead were offering something quite similar, a flowery extract referred to as the “wet dream.” What the hell, it’s Saturday night primetime - I’ll take two. Circular lit orbs hung above us and we were surrounded with a packed house. The music was blasting. I might have been at a club with a little “unce unce” and as I proceeded to drink my wet dreams my behavior regressed to that of a 25 year old and one of my co-mamas and I got up and danced around the table. Drunk and giddy, our 5 beet salads and one tuna tartare arrived beautiful and bountiful. The salads with thinly striped colorful beets mixed with greens and cheese (perfect amount of zesty dressing) was delectable. All parties were pleased. Entrees came probably better late than never, but drinking these dreams blurred the time for me. My scallops arrived, all five of them perfectly cooked and seasoned over a bed of fregola, summer vegetables with spiced cashews. HeView and new dad pal with fab personality M had steaks (peppercorn filets and short ribs) and heaps of amazing fries-heaps! The other match made ordered the Bobo chicken, which he found enjoyable although he wished the portion was smaller. The duo of mamas across the table dined on sliced tuna with beans and pistachios and she gave ‘em a thumbs up where sadly our other mama mate hated her bronnzino and abhorred the two sauces meant to complement the dish even more. Good thing her Frangelico kicked in, we had good company and this encouraged her to forget about that gnarly fish/sauce experience. By 12:00, this crew was done as we we’re not only footing the bill but paying by the hour for our sitters, after we settled the tab and received complimentary after dinner drinks for the waits and the waits, we stumbled our drunk and full asses into cabs back to domesticity with some possible new Triburbian pals. I might not have eaten with Patti but Patti would be proud of me. 355 West 16th Street | Between 8th and 9th Avenues (212) 229-2336.

JSR

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