Posts tagged dining

Pascal & Sabine opens in Asbury Park

SMITH brings a touch of worldly European flair to Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park with its new brasserie Pascal & Sabine. This is the fifth downtown Asbury restaurant from SMITH, a design and hospitality collective I covered in an article for Travel + Leisure this past October.


Reminiscent of another time and place, Pascal & Sabine has touches of Belle Epoque Paris with its copper and brass espresso machine, an Art Deco façade and design influences from French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse’s playful classic, The Red Balloon. The name of the restaurant is inspired by Lamorisse’s children Pascal and Sabine, who played lead roles in the short film.


The dining room is outfitted with sumptuous leather chairs and banquettes, marble tables, vintage mirrors, and floor-to-ceiling windows with flooding light illuminating the circular lounge bar.

The main bar seats 18 and serves stiff drinks to tipple in the rosy shadows thrown by the antique brass table lamps, while the front lounge is worthy of a Saturday evening Gertrude Stein salon.



While you’re getting comfortable and possibly a bit nostalgic, Grace Crossman and Paul Holzheimer will wow you back to reality with culinary delicacies like Duck Confit (seared duck breast, swiss chard, fingerling potatoes and duck jus), Bouillabaisse (Provençal fish broth, mixed seafood) and Pork Terrine (potato cake, shaved celery salad, crème fraîche, jus). The menu is simple yet refined, balanced with meat, seafood and vegetables.

The desserts are a sinful finale of Chocolate Mousse (flourless chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, crème anglaise), Tarte Tatin (puff pastry, caramelized apple, vanilla bean crème fraîche) and Poached Pear (cream, spiced port reduction).


Pascal & Sabine is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, just pop into the restaurant’s backdoor bread shop for a freshly baked baguette to go.

Pascal & Sabine
601 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Open 7 days a week; 8am – 12am (Sunday – Thursday); 8am – 2am (Friday and Saturday)

El Mercadito is my favorite restaurant in Mendoza thus far. It’s the one place that I can find delicious green juice and a variety of gourmet salads. Most restaurants in Mendoza offer a menu of milanesas, empanadas, pizza, pastas and beef; anything leafy and green is a novelty. I also love the antique-garage decor and its outdoor patio. It’s not cheap, but it lives up to its value proposition of “friendly & fresh”. Arístides 521, Tel. 4638847

A Rumination On Time in Wroclaw

By Sarah York Rubin

Wroclaw, Poland—pronounced Brahts-wuv—is probably my new favorite city in Eastern Europe, especially considering that it’s not on a lake, ocean or mountain. It’s playful, gorgeous, cultural and full of fun things to do.  Today, I took a river gondola cruise for the equivalent of $7 USD.  Every bar or cafe feels like the perfect Platonic version of itself, with character, homemade snacks, thoughtful menus, excellent music (often vinyl—in fact, one of the good ones was called “Vinyl”), quaint tables and beautiful servers. All the bars are in atmospheric caverns with arches and bricks and fireplaces, or beautiful pop-up beer gardens, with full booths carried out into the streets. And built in lights.

One novel thing that people do in Wroclaw is wait for traffic lights to cross the street. Americans don’t. New York City is a jaywalker paradise. Why don’t we wait? I guess it’s because our perception of time is different. Like it’s too valuable to spend waiting at a stoplight. People will wait here for multiple minutes, even when there are no cars around, because that’s what civil society expects. This is also more notable because there are way more pedestrians here, so when a group stops, it is a LOT of people. There are even separate signs for different types of pedestrians, for both Bikers and Walkers. I think drivers would respect or at least acknowledge bikers more in the US if we had those signs.

Another manifestation of the different relationships with time is that way that people eat out. Often, an entire party will order a pre-dinner drink, consume it, perhaps order another, before the menu is even delivered. And when the order is taken, there is an automatic 20-minute hold before the chef even looks at the ticket. So dinner is done slowly, which is equated with luxury, rather than quickly, which we equate with luxury. And there is generally one serving of soda, because one individual = one soda. And most people don’t order it. And most people carry water. We all know what soda does when consumed in excess.

Most cafes don’t have to-go cups, because that’s not what a cafe is for. A cafe is for sitting, and enjoying a book or company. I feel like we are intent on wringing the nectar out of every venture, so when I drink espresso, it’s always to-go, and when I’m stressed about a meeting or deadline. So the challenge here is that next time you want a coffee, take it “for here” and wait until you’ve finished it to leave the place.

Small ways to improve your quality of life…

Image: Kalaczakra Gallery & Coffee

Escaping winter’s chill at The Four Seasons #restaurant #dining

Escaping winter’s chill at The Four Seasons #restaurant #dining

Fine #dining at Whispers #restaurant, Spring Lake, NJ

Fine #dining at Whispers #restaurant, Spring Lake, NJ

@chefdavidburke’s La Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ #restaurant #dining

@chefdavidburke’s La Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ #restaurant #dining

East Village staple Ciao For Now Cafe has grown from a small coffee shop to a sit down cafe. The Italian Job Omelet and the Apple Spiced Pancakes were divine. Service is very attentive. My favorite part about the all day brunch is that it comes with fresh squeezed orange juice.

East Village staple Ciao For Now Cafe has grown from a small coffee shop to a sit down cafe. The Italian Job Omelet and the Apple Spiced Pancakes were divine. Service is very attentive. My favorite part about the all day brunch is that it comes with fresh squeezed orange juice.

Fall Restos for Foodies

For foodies, fall is an ideal time to be hungry in New York City. This week both the New York Times and New York Post ran their fall restaurant previews.

From uptown to downtown and over the river, new restaurants are cropping up with distinct spice and flare.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is opening restaurant Tribeca Canvas which seems to be the foodie favorite of the moment. Surprisingly, there will be no sushi coming out of this Japanese chef’s kitchen, rather comfort food like mac & cheese and french onion soup catering to the neighborhood crowd.

Kirsten Matthew of the New York Post offers a list of restaurants to “chow down or swan around” in her Dig Into Fall dining preview. 

Masaharu Morimoto

Image: New York Post - Masaharu Morimoto

New York Times Food Critic Florence Fabricant lists her favorite restaurant picks from Manhattan and Brooklyn, but notes this season the Upper East Side will be lighting up the food scene with some new arrivals not to miss.

Le Cirque restauranteur Sirio Maccioni will be opening an eponymous Italian eatery on Fifth Avenue called Sirio Ristorante New York.

Image: New York Times Spaghetti carbonara with seafood

Popular culinary blog Eater offers their favorite fall establishments in the following roundup: New York’s 15 Most Anticipated Fall Openings.

I’ll miss summer, but I’m ready to sink my teeth into fall!

InterContinental Times Square

The one place I didn’t get to visit in this LEED certified, sustainable hotel is their rooftop beehive, which produces the honey they use to sweeten their homemade craft cocktails. Next time!

View from the Penthouse on the 36th floor

Penthouse Dining Room

Penthouse Master Bedroom

Comfy penthouse living room with a cozy fireplace

Chef Todd English’s CaVa Brasserie

CaVa Lounge

CaVa Dining Room

InterContinental Times Square
300 W 44th St. btw 8th & 9th Ave.
New York, NY, 10036
Front Desk: +1-212-8034500

Down The Shore at Asbury Park, NJ

Michael Washburn wrote an article this summer called “A Jersey Shore Rebound" in the New York Times. His article focuses on the new developments popping up along Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park, which include Cafe Volan, Sweet Joey’s, Colonel’s Kissing Booth and The Press Room.


Asbury Park may be a new destination on weekending New Yorkers’ radar screens lately, but the city has a long, rich history dating back to the late 1800’s when it was constructed as a residential resort town by the wealthy Manhattan real estate developer James A. Bradley.

During the 1890’s the city attracted and more than 600,000 visitors a year who traveled via railroad from nearby New York City and Philadelphia to spend their summer vacations enjoying boardwalk amusements along the waterfront.


The city continued to expand during The Roaring Twenties with the construction of the Carousel House, Casino Arena, Paramount Theater and Convention Hall. The theater and the hall were designed by eminent architect Whitney Warren, who was also responsible for the design of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.



During the 1970’s, the historic music venue, The Stone Pony, became a launch pad for many major rock and roll artists including the world famous Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as Patti Smith and Count Basie. Springsteen’s first studio album, released in 1973, was entitled Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.



As the rock scene was heating up in Asbury Park, so were racial tensions. On July 4, 1970 a riot broke out that garnered national media attention and led to the destruction of buildings throughout the city, many of which still lay derelict today.

From that point forward, Asbury Park was no longer seen as the beacon of seaside entertainment, and tourism quickly declined.

Fast forward three decades, and Asbury Park still claimed a stable music scene but was still largely devoid of any new development.

Then, in 2003, Bistro Ole opened (and subsequently went downhill in my opinioin). In 2006, Market in the Middle opened on Cookman Avenue and became my favorite restaurant in town. Soon after The Brick Yard bar opened, which was the hot new place for a dance party. After that, a few more bars and restaurants began to spring up, and Asbury Park showed strong signs that it was on the road to revival.

Today, Asbury Park is thriving with successful restaurants, cafes, bars, music venues, music festivals, art galleries, clothing boutiques, a bowling alley, an antique arcade and new housing developments.



Watts Architects is behind some of my favorite spots in the neighborhood including Porta National Park and Brickwall Tavern, both are excellent for dining and imbibing.


Porta National Park

Market in the Middle’s Marilyn Schlossbach closed her first restaurant and opened the uber popular Langosta Lounge on Ocean Ave. Cuban inspired restaurant, Cubacan, hosts a live Latin band weekly great for salsa dancing, and Fish restaurant is great for seafood and happy hour.


Langosta Lounge





The Annex and Johnny Macs are popular bars, while alternative entertainment is available at TheShowroom with an Improv Jam Comedy Lab happening once a month, edgy bingo nights at Asbury Lanes, and Silver Ball Museum which features antique arcade games great for adults and kids alike.


Whatever your preference is (sexual or otherwise, we’re looking at you Paradise Bar) there is something for everyone down the shore at Asbury Park.

Breakfast of champions at Northern Spy Food Co. at their East Village location: signature kale salad with baked eggs and Red Jacket Orchards fresh pressed apple juice.

Breakfast of champions at Northern Spy Food Co. at their East Village location: signature kale salad with baked eggs and Red Jacket Orchards fresh pressed apple juice.

Le Grainne Cafe, Chelsea

My favorite place to eat after a stroll on the High Line is an unassuming French cafe in Chelsea called Le Grainne Cafe.

They have a great menu which is consistently delicious, and there is outdoor seating. My favorite dishes are the following:

  • Croque Madame: country bread with ham &  cheese toasted with an egg $14
  • Crêpes Salees - La Danielle: ham and cheese with an egg $12
  • Crêpes Sucrees - Nutella Banane: nutella with bananas $8
  • Salade Niçoise: grilled tuna, boiled eggs, roasted peppers, potatoes, string beans, black olives, and anchovies on a mesclun salad $16
  • Gratinee à l’oignon: french onion soup $9.50

Le Grainne Cafe
183 Ninth Ave (corner of 21st st)
New York, NY 10011
(646) 486-3000

Eater NY's Top 15 Brunch Spots, Spring

New to this list: Bowery Diner, Allswell, Isa, Kutsher’s, Betel, North End Grill, Caffe Storico, The Cannibal.

Eater NY's Top 10 NYC Resto Openings

Lots of great chefs opening restaurants close to home in the East Village, LES and Williamsburg.

Brunch at Green Brown Orange Cafe

Excited for the anticipated return of the Hester Street Summer Fair, I had Sunday brunch on Hester Street at orange épicerie with a group of friends who had just finished running the New York City half marathon to raise money for The Lower East Side Girls Club.

The new color blocking concept eatery Green Brown Orange in Chinatown is the brainchild of Mexican chef and entrepreneur Alejandro Alcocer, who is interested in serving local ingredients that are simply and deliciously prepared.

Alcocer is also an avid traveler and writer who spends about six months in New York City and the rest of his time being pulled by his curiosity all over the world. This has landed him more than once in a tribe of pygmies in Central Africa to which he was subsequently initiated.

Brown cafe is the main hub of this three part dining venture. The space was designed by Alcocer himself and offers a sunny niche to enjoy a meal or a quick coffee.

We were treated to a private brunch in the orange épicerie dining room, which is located right next door to brown cafe. They even share a bathroom.

The design aesthetic was a reflection of the food: warm, simple and satisfying.

My husband and I split the Apline Breakfast Platter, baked eggs with wild boar sausage, leeks, gruyere and a side of roasted potatoes and mixed greens, plus baked eggs with tomatoes, asparagus and manchego cheese.

Our adorable waiter Garrick provided impeccable and friendly service, and also let us know the chef is happy to make any dish vegetation or lactose free (they mix heavy cream with the baked eggs).

As a special treat he brought us freshly baked complimentary banana nut muffins which they bake in-house. The rest of the pastries they buy from CeciCela Patisserie in Soho.

Great way to spend a Sunday.