Tag Archive | Cocktail

A Sad Day in the East Village: Restaurant 7A Closes for Good

7A From Across the Street
All Photos By Gail

Oh MLK Day, I took myself out to the “Weekend Brunch” at 7A — my favorite local Brunch spot and a restaurant I’ve frequented for the twenty years that I’ve lived in this neigborhood. The word is out now that 7A — cleverly named for its location on the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A — will shut its doors for good at the end of January. My waitress told me that the owner is moving to California and just wants to sell the property off and be done with it. And that’s just shame, because 7A was the best.

7A Counter

When I first moved to the East Village and didn’t know many people, I hung out a lot by myself. One of my favorite things to do in those years was to visit 7A on the weekends for their delicious brunch, sit at a table by one of the windows and just watch people walk by. You could not buy better entertainment than that. But 7A has always been about so much more that good Freak Watching. The prices were always very reasonable, the food excellent (their guacamole-laden Mexican Burgers featured better ground beef than you find in most steak houses) and plentiful (I never left hungry) and the service friendly and efficient. 7A was a colorful local hangout where you could just be yourself.

Ceiling Fan and Mural

7A was, out of necessity, renovated and redesigned a couple of times over the past two decades, but it never lost its character.

Mural By The Bathroom

California Omelet Brunch

This is the massive meal I had for Brunch on my recent, and perhaps final, visit. A California Omelet stuffed with refried beans, cheese and tomatoes and topped with their delicious homemade guacamole, accompanied by Green Salad, Crispy Home-fried Potatoes and Seven Grain Toast. Brunch also included Coffee or Tea and a Cocktail (In this photo, I am about to enjoy a Screwdriver, which, as you can see, is tall enough to get you buzzed). This feast costs only $14.95, which means that with tax and generous tip you get more food than you can barely stuff in your face for about $20. What a bargain!

7A Illuminated Sign

With the way things come and go in NYC and the rate at which landmarks and beloved establishments are being swept aside to be replaced by another fucking Starbucks, sentimentality is, perhaps not surprisingly, in short supply around here. Because you just can’t afford to get too attached to anything anymore. And while the loss of 7A is hardly as emotionally and culturally devastating as the closing of The Kiev, I will miss it.

I’m not sure what 7A’s final day of business will be (the 31st is a Thursday) but you might have time to grab one more famous Weekend Brunch if you step on it. Goodbye 7A and thanks for all the memories. I hope your staff finds good new employment!

Brunch Sign

The Last Brunch

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Halloween Cocktail: Rich and Spooky Martini

Three Olives Chocolate Vodka

Ingredients:

1 Part Three Olives Chocolate Vodka
1 Part Pumpkin Liqueur
1 Part Skin Milk
Dash of Nutmeg

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with Ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Martini Glass and add a dash of Nutmeg. Sip and Enjoy!

Three Olives Martini Glass

Halloween Cocktail: The Screamcicle

Cascade Ice Screamsicle

Ingredients:

6 oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango
1 oz of Orange Vodka
2 oz of Whipped Cream flavored Vodka
Red or Black Liquorice (Optional)

Mix 6oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango with 1oz of Orange Vodka and 2oz of Whipped Cream flavored vodka in a glass with ice. Garnish your drink with a vine of red or black liquorice, if desired. Sip and Enjoy!

Cocktail of The Day: The Cascade Ice Cosmpolitan!

Cascade Ice Assorted Flavors
All Photos By Gail

Do you like making cocktails at home? I sure do. But sometimes I am too tired to do much more than put ice in a glass, pour a shot over that and then fill the glass with juice or soda. Bar tending is often best left to professionals. But a while back, Cascade Ice sent me an assortment of their one-step cocktail mixers and flavored sparkling waters, which make home mixology so easy!

One of many great things about Cascade Ice is that it is a super low calorie mixer — most of their flavors have zero calories! Using Cascade Ice Margarita Mixer, which has just 10 calories per serving, can knock down the calorie count of a standard Lime Margarita from around 600 to just 55 calories! That is so crazy! And yet, it is true.

Cascade Ice Cosmopolitan Ingredients

Of course, my cocktail of choice is the lovely pink Cosmopolitan, and Cascade Ice makes a Cosmo in a Bottle that only needs the addition of your favorite Vodka to make the magic happen! Above, you will see all of the ingredients and tools needed to make a refreshing, delicious and perfectly mixed Cosmo at home using Cascade Ice.

Prepared Cosmo

Other than the absence of a lemon slice — which I did not have in my home at the time — to add a dash of tartness and of course as a garnish, this drink is perfect! Of course, the Pink Palm Tree Cocktail Stirrer didn’t hurt!

If you follow any kid of restrictive diet, it is helpful and encouraging to know that all flavors of Cascade Ice are gluten free, sugar-free, sodium free, caffeine-free and have zero carbs. Visit Cascade Ice Water Dot Com for recipes and to find out where to purchase their products in your area!

Restaurant Review: Coming Full Circle at Circolo45

Circolo 45 Exterior Shot
This and Interior Photo By Gail. All Food Photos By Anne Raso

Ask a random sampling of Manhattanites if they can tell you the location of Bond Street and most will likely either scratch their heads or offer that it must be somewhere in the Financial District. Because Bond Street is an enchanting enigma of NYC real estate, a kind of Urban Shangri-La, if you will. Stretching for just two short blocks above Houston, nestled between Broadway and Bowery — and still paved with cobblestones from the days when New York City was in its youth – Bond Street offers a mix of unique public art, both definitively modern and gorgeous historic architecture, and best-kept-secret foodie destinations. It’s appropriate then that 45 Bond Street is the address of Circolo45, an intimate Italian Trattoria featuring fresh takes on traditional favorites and exceptional, old world service.

Circolo 45 Interior Shot

Recently renovated just nine months after its initial opening, accents such as pastel-painted walls in the bar area and white-painted brick in the rear dining space, minimalist, line drawn portraits hung  throughout the restaurant, and the variable candlelit “mood lighting” all fit right in with Executive Chef and General Manager Daniele Sicuranza’s vision of Circolo45 as an Italian Retreat with a “simple, yet vibrant” atmosphere. The varied menu’s emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and an extensive offering of homemade pastas echo the themes of simplicity and comfort in a setting that elevates the dining experience.

Tizi Cocktail

We started off our evening with one of Circolo’s specialty cocktails, the Tizi; a rose-colored elixir similar to a Cosmopolitan but with Elderflower syrup added. Delicious! I like my cocktails fruity and potent, and this delivered on both counts.

Eggplant Parmigiana
Eggplant Parmigiana with Tomato Sauce and Basil

Our cocktails put us in a nice, relaxed mood to peruse the impressive menu, which seems to offer a taste of the various regions of Italy to please every palate. The Appetizer section alone was overflowing with dishes I felt excited to try just from reading their descriptions. Agreeing to go with the classics, we chose to split the Meatballs Florentine Style and the Eggplant Parmigiana (both priced at $12.00). The Eggplant Parm, a perfect size for sharing which arrives with a golden cheesy top, is extremely rich and creamy, more so than I’ve tasted with this dish when ordered at other restaurants. I’m told that the mousse-like texture is owed to additional baking time. If you want the taste of eggplant to really stand out rather than be hidden by the flavors of other ingredients, this is the dish for you.

Meatballs
Meatballs Florentine Style with Tomato Sauce

The Meatballs, served in a ramekin with tomato sauce, sliced bread for dipping, and fresh rosemary, have very little binder added, so they are meaty and satisfying. These are also a good sharing size, especially if you want to sample several items from the menu without getting too full before your main course arrives!

Two starter dishes I’d definitely like to try on a future visit are the Arancini (Fried Rice Balls with Ragu, $10) — which are always a comfort-food favorite – and the Vitello Tonnato ($13), featuring cold, sliced Veal served in a Tuna Sauce. I had this dish once before, at Da Silvano on Sixth Avenue back in the nineties, and I’ll never forget it. It would be interesting to discover if Circolo45’s offering could compare with my fond memories.

Spaghetti with Black Truffles
Spaghetti Alla Chitarra Con Tartufo Nero Estivo

From Circolo’s extensive selection of fresh, house made pastas we chose a signature dish of the house, the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra Con Tartufo Nero Estivo: Fresh Egg Spaghetti with Black Summer Truffle ($20). The thick, al-dente cooked noodles are similar in size to Japanese Udon noodles for a hearty bite. This dish is perfectly seasoned and fragrant with truffle oil as well as a generous addition of sliced Black Truffle. We  reflexively asked our server for grated cheese but were advised to just try the dish sans cheese and let the truffle richness prove itself to be flavor perfection on its own. She was right; no cheese was needed.

Other delectable pasta choices include one of my favorites, Traditional Lasagna Alla Bolognese ($13), and the Paccheri Alla Genovese; Pasta served in a Veal Shoulder Ragu, cooked slowly in the oven ($15). I can imagine that the Veal Shoulder Ragu is exceptional, based on the next dish we tried.

Beef Shoulder

Another specialty is the Spezzatino Alla Toscana, Beef Shoulder oven-baked at low temperature served with tender, golden Potatoes, Tomato and Basil ($24). This wonderful dish is comparable to a pot roast or rustic beef stew. The meat is fork-tender and the large chunks of potatoes are cooked perfectly. If you are not sharing this, you will have enough to take home for a second meal (as I did, and it was even more delicious the second time)!

Steak and fish lovers will also find lots of tempting selections on Circolo45′s menu– from an oven-baked, Salt Crusted Branzino for Two ($54) to a reasonably-priced selection of steaks which we understand are prime cuts!

Brussels Sprouts

A generous side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts (all sides are just $5) could easily serve three people. The tender sprouts are roasted using very little olive oil, in case you are counting calories!

Chocolate Souffle

Circolo45′s dessert selections change daily and we let our excellent server surprise us. Giving us enough time for our food to settle a bit, she returned from the kitchen with a gorgeous and feather light Chocolate Souffle ($9.00). Light and crispy on top and just oozing with a rich Valhrona Chocolate center, this souffle is a few cuts above the ubiquitous warm /molten chocolate cake you see on every menu in town. A perfect ending to a rich and satisfying dining experience. We look forward to a return visit!

Circolo45 is located at 45 Bond Street Between Lafayette and Bowery. Hours are Monday to Sunday, 5:30 – 10:30 PM. Please Call 212-375-0323 for Reservations. Visit their Website at Circolo 45 Dot Com.

Breaking Bad-Inspired Burger Recipe: The Heisenberger!

The Heisenberger

Well, the day we’ve been anticipating with a mix of excitement and dread has come – the day when we must finally bid farewell to the greatest TV Show Ever in the Universe of All time: Breaking Bad. Are you hosting a viewing party or perhaps even a BBQ to mourn/celebrate while watching the finale? If so, The Savory has been kind enough to help you relax and untangle the knots in your stomachs with an epic burger recipe: The Hoisin Burger (aka The Heisenberger)!!

Sweet, tangy and spicy hoisin sauce kicks up beef patties and spices up mayo in this Breaking Bad-inspired beef burger recipe. You can make these as regular burgers or sliders for a group.

Here’s what you’ll need:

· 1lb ground beef

· ½ green onion, minced

· 2 cloves garlic, minced

· 2 teaspoons cilantro, minced

· 2 Tablespoons ginger, minced

· 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce

· 1 teaspoon sesame oil

· 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

· Black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Shape into patties and grill to desired done-ness. Makes 4 quarter-pound burgers. If desired, top with Marie’s Purple Slaw and chase with a couple of chilled Blue Sky Cocktails!!

Thanks to The Savory Dot Com!

NYFW Cocktail of The Day: The Assistant

The Assistant Cocktail

THE ASSISTANT

This ultra “skinny” cocktail gets the job done.

2 oz quality lemon Vodka

Polar® Lemon Seltzer

Lemon Peel

Pour Vodka over ice and fill glass with Polar Lemon Seltzer. Add Lemon Peel to rim glass and as garnish.

NYFW Cocktail of The Day: The Patron

The Patron Cocktail

THE PATRON

Every young American designer needs a sparkling European patron. A perfect combination of old world and new.

2 parts Campari

1 part quality Gin

Polar® Orange Vanilla Seltzer

Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Begin by chilling Campari, the Gin and the Lemon Juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into glasses and then top generously with Polar Seltzer.

NYFW Cocktail of The Day: The Market Editor

The Market Editor

THE MARKET EDITOR

Anyone who spends half their time on an airplane searching for the newest designs always looks forward to the comforts of home. In this case it is a sparkling version of a “whiskey sour”.

2 oz quality American Bourbon (Whiskey)

1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Egg white

Polar® Vanilla Seltzer

(if you need to sweeten it add a teaspoon of agave)

Vigorously shake the whiskey, lemon juice and egg white in a shaker. Once there is a bit of froth pour over ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Top generously with Polar® Seltzer.

NYFW Cocktail of The Day: The Publicist

The Publicist Cocktail

THE PUBLICIST

Intense and long-lasting. That’s the inspiration for this sparkling, later afternoon highball.

1 part Vanilla Vodka

1 part Drambuie

Polar® Orange Vanilla Seltzer

Lemon or orange peel for garnish

Build the drink in a highball glass, by pouring vodka and Drambuie over crushed ice. Top generously with Polar® Seltzer and stir gently, taking care to not bruise the bubbles.