One evening last summer, I was at The Odeon on West Broadway for my friend Robin‘s Birthday dinner, when I spotted this lovely Pink Handgbag and matching Cosmo, sitting on the bar. And now, it is immortalized on this blog!
In a week that includes not only the events of New York Fashion Week but also Valentines Day and My Birthday, it goes without saying that we will be doing a lot of drinking. Since February is also National Grapefruit Month, we are going to feature some Pink Grapefruit flavored cocktail recipes today made with Sparking ICE, one of our favorite zero calorie mixers. Enjoy!
Pink Grapefruit Sparkler (Pictured Above)
2 oz. Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE
3 oz. white wine, preferably Moscato
Mint leaves for garnish
Pour white wine over ice.
Top with Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE. Garnish with mint leaves.
3 oz. Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE
1 ½ oz. Vodka
1 oz. lime juice
Sliced fresh jalapeño
Chili salt for rim of glass (Kosher salt mixed with chili powder)
Use a lime wedge to rub the entire rim of a chilled martini glass, and dip into chili salt mixture.
Combine vodka and jalapeno slices with ice in a shaker.
Strain and pour into the chilled martini glass.
Top with Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE.
Garnish with a few Jalapeno slices.
Find out more about Sparkling ICE Beverages at This Link!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Update: Circolo45 has closed for business
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.
Do you like Vodka? I sure do, but I admit I had not heard of Purity Vodka (From Sweden) until I was invited to take the Purity Vodka Taste Challenge – at a party held for that express purpose at Manhattan’s downtown Dream Hotel, nice! — just last evening. Here is how that went down.
First, participants in The Challenge were presented with two unmarked flutes with a bit of vodka in each. We were instructed on the proper way to taste – sniff, tilt glass to check for “legs,” swirl, sniff again, then sip. Taste one glass, then repeat the process with the second. Ceremony! We were then given a pen and asked to tick a tiny box next to the glass holding the vodka whose taste we preferred.
I did as instructed, liking one vodka much more than the other, and then a nice spokes-model lady came over with an infrared light device and was able to deduce that I had chosen Purity Vodka over the competitor, Grey Goose!
I was rewarded with a stylish Purple Rubber Bangle bracelet in exchange for the performance of my fine palate. We were then invited to move along to an adjoining room where a cocktail party was just kicking off. And you know how much I love a cocktail party.
Apparently, Purity Vodka is making the rounds with this challenge to promote the fact that one in two Grey Goose drinkers prefer the taste of Purity Vodka — which is distilled 34 times (read: a lot of times). Also, it is the most award winning Ultra-Premium Vodka in the world, according to its nice website. Well, I took the Challenge and I did like Purity Vodka better, so I am just going to agree with whatever they say about this stuff. Smooth!
Here are some additional photos of the party, which was pretty fun!
The drink above is a Purity Collins, which is like a Vodka Lemonade – sweet and refreshing. I had two of these and I was pretty toasted before I finished the second one, after which, I cut myself off.
Look at what an attractive Martini it makes!
Here is a bottle lounging in some ice. Because Vodka should always be kept chilled!
There was a bit of food also. Above: Tiny Crab Cakes. Very tasty.
This is a Lobster Cobb Salad. Yes, there was bacon in it. Yummy.
Highly efficient bar tending professionals kept the drinks flowing!
Hilariously, the room had this tiny, velvet ropped-off VIP Area, where no one was sitting. Maybe it was just for the vodka.
Everybody had a good time and we all got drunk for free! Purity Vodka!
Hips! Lips! Lip Flask! Do you like to drink? I sure do. And here’s a way to do it in style no matter where you are, because the Lip Flask is the chic and stylish way to carry your drink. This lipstick-shaped hip flask carries 4 ounces of your choice liquor, ready to pour at a moment’s notice. Drinking!
Lip Flask Details:
- It’s a Hip flask shaped like a Red Lipstick
- Funnel included
- Capacity: 4 oz (125 ml)
- Size: 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ x 5-1/4″ (Discreet!)
Sale Priced at $12.95 you can get one (and one to give as gift!) right now by visiting This Link!
Last Week was certainly quite far from being the best week of my very long life. Between the stress of my father being on death’s door out in California, the thundering re-occurrence of my chronic jaw pain and the continually-evolving myriad of daily problems afflicting Worley gig.com, resulting apparently from
1. Moving host servers
2. Updating to the latest version of WordPress (Recommendation: Avoid if possible)
It occurred to me off and on during the week how awesome it would be to just go to sleep and never wake up. But of course, I had trouble sleeping as well, compounded by having to get up at 6 AM for my day job. Also, I lost two and a half hours of my life that I’ll never get back watching a completely terrible movie, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (I should have guessed from the overlong, pretentious title that it would suck ass). It was just a shitty week in general.
Fortunately, I was distracted from shuffling off this moral coil by a few of life’s simple pleasures.
Tracy and I spent an evening polishing off a bottle of wine and a large bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. And that was fun.
Seeing Dethklok at the Nokia Theater and having a table upstairs so I didn’t get killed by all the moshing idiots.
Drinking a “Balloon Dog” Martini while enjoying the Jeff Koons sculptures and stellar views of Central Park from the roof of The Met.
Eating a steak with my friend Christine.
Spending a couple of hours on the phone with my BFF Sue always readjusts my perspective.
This new CD by LA metal band Blacklist Union, Breakin’ Bread with the Devil, really takes me back to the good old days of lost weekends and dressing up like Nikki Sixx for Halloween!
I enjoyed spending Saturday cleaning The Chickpad.
The sun is out at the moment, and my plan for today includes picking up Geoffrey, heading back uptown to the Met to see the Superhero exhibit, getting delicious Cuban food for dinner and then going to my friend Larry’s birthday party. I don’t think you could ask for a better day than that.