Ellen's TV Show on Oprah.com

I am participating in a contest on Oprah's new channel to get a TV show. SAUCE! is the name of the show. Please click on the link to access the 3 minute video. The show will feature the talents of the Hip Hostess NYC, a top chef and mixologist to create the ultimate party. We demonstrate a cocktail and recipes for sauces and how to display your dishes in the most creative way. Cocktail brands, special food products, tableware, glassware, appliances, and anything that contributes to creating a party will all be showcased. Plus the most creative recipes of chefs and mixologists will form the body of the show.
You can vote more than once...the more votes the better!
Spread the word...TV land needs a show like this to celebrate all the creative minds out there!
Thanks for your consideration.


Blue Owl, Los Feliz, Tanuki Tavern: Best Sips NYC

Cocktails of note: Blue Owl has an interesting Rye offering called the Tammany Fizz: Rittenhouse Rye 101, muddled blackberries and apricot liqueur. Los Feliz has a muy delicioso margarita, which I sampled way below ground in the lounge, featuring Milagro Silver Tequila, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Strawberries, Kiwi, and Basil. Great combination created by Jaime Salas. Tanuki Tavern in the Gansevoort Hotel offered up a stimulating Lemongrass Mojito, which was the perfect refresher after a stroll along the Highline.

End of SPRING roundup: Best Bites NYC

There are times when you try something in a restaurant, and its flavor is so unique—something you have never encountered—that it stays on your mind. The following picks are still lingering in my subconscious!
I rarely dine out for breakfast, but brunch on Saturday is often required. For something a little different, I tried the trio of bruschetta at Ponty (scrambled eggs on french baguette with goat cheese, tomato confit and basil pesto). The bread is light, the eggs flavorful, the potatoes just right. San Rocco is a nice place to stop for a bite or two, the Northern Italian specialties are a step above. Baccala Mantecato Alla Veneziana (cod fish prepared Venetian style) is the perfect salty snack. Mercat offered not only a delicious tasting cauliflower, but had a dipping sauce that was to die for—creamy with crushed walnuts. Sigh. Lastly, on a late warm Friday night, my friends and I sat in the backyard at Palma. I was in the mood for steak, and was rewarded with a hefty portion of sliced steak with salsa verde. What added to the experience was the romance of sitting outside, surrounded by rose bushes, ivy, and candlelight.


That’s a Lotta Bull

Get a taste of the San Fermín Festival of Pamplona right here in Manhattan at 200 Park Avenue in the Met Life Building from July 6th to the 14th. Chef Josh Dechellis of La Fonda del Sol is celebrating the Running of the Bulls with some interesting fare. Where else can you try a Bull’s Tail Slider (made with braised oxtail), a Bull’s Head Salad (made with shaved terrine of bull’s head) and other traditional tapas such as Shaved Asparagus with Young Manchego, Marmalade with Tempranillo and Dates, Spicy Potatoes, and a selection of Spanish meats (Cured Pork Loin, Chorizo, Salchichón, Fuet Catalán). All this with a great selection of Spanish summer wines and the actual bull-running broadcast on the televisions in the tapas lounge and bar. See more details about the Festival itself at this link, where this dramatic photo from photographer Mikel Urmeneta came from.

WORLD CUP at Macao

New York City is getting ready for World Cup frenzy starting June 11th and continuing to July 12th. Scream for your team at Macao Trading Co. in Tribeca, who will be broadcasting every game live on their 10 x 10 screen, the largest in Manhattan. They will be open for 3 showings a day, starting with the early bird 7:30am games, then the 10:00am and 2:00pm matches. Click here to see the full schedule. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) 2010 World Cup is being hosted by South Africa this year, with 32 countries participating: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia (my heritage!), Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay. Macao Trading Co. offers the FIFA SPECIAL—a sandwich with beer, coffee or juice, all for just $10. Other specials include $5 beers and $6 sandwiches.

Iron Chef America: Watch it in Brooklyn

Chef Pierre Thiam plans to watch his bout on Food Network's Iron Chef America in style—and hopes you will join him! On Thursday, June 24th Le Grand Dakar will be swaying to the sounds of Jojo Kuo and the Afrobeat Collective, and Mandekalu while serving up signature Senegalese dishes—like Oven Roasted Dates Stuffed with Spiced Lamb and Black Eye Pea Fritters to name a few. All this for only $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Unlimited sangria is included, and there is cash bar available. You will feel like you’ve gone on a trip faraway, but you’ll only be on 285 Grand Avenue, between Clinton Place and Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. Buy tickets at this link. If you want to learn to cook like Pierre, be sure to get a copy of his book, Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal published by Lake Isle Press.

Telling Time

QlockTwo tells the time, not by using numbers, but by using words. I love the understated, minimalist design by Biegert & Funk, who have attached the piece together with magnets, so it appears to float off the wall. It’s available in stainless steel and 5 fun colors: black ice tea, vanilla sugar, cherry cake, frozen blackberry, and lime juice. Check out the website, and see how it looks in each color in English, then for fun, switch to the 9 other languages: German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, French, Danish, Russian, and Arabic. The clock spells out the time in five minute increments, and has a dot in each corner for every minute in between.


Gourmet LATINO this weekend!

It was a difficult decision, choosing between all of the incredible offerings of the The Gourmet Latino Festival, but if you haven’t made plans for the weekend yet, there are still some tickets left to attend. Visit the website to see the full schedule of events, which pair top chefs, mixologists and tastemasters in a fantastic array of events. I can’t wait to see what Chef Natalia Machado (Industria Argentina and Azul Bistro) and Sommelier Ivan Ruiz, will pair up in regional flavors of empanadas. The photo shows her Mollejas al Verdeo: crispy veal sweetbreads, potato confit, spring onion and torrontes sauce attached to a chunk of pineapple. Plus on Sunday, “Iron Chef” Jose Garces, will be preparing dishes from Ecuador, paired with cocktails by Andy Seymour, Julie Reiner, Jim Meehan and Joaquin Simo. Hope to see you there! 


Hotel Griffou: Gourmet Underground

There was a palpable happiness in the air. It was Friday of Memorial Day weekend, the city was half deserted, and everyone was in a good mood. From the second we got out of the cab and were greeted by a handsome elderly gent at top of the stairs to our last bite and sip, the service at Hotel Griffou was absolutely splendid and welcoming. The space was dreamy, and, as in almost all cases nowadays, a throwback to the earlier days of New York, of speakeasies and secret hideaways. We ate in the Library Room, one of 4 rooms, which had a fireplace accessorized with a fox stole, and bookcases with lots of leather books and gadgets from days past and present. Brad Fisher’s paintings adorned the walls and were a sexy compliment to the space—powerful portraits loosely drawn  on gold backgrounds, screaming with personality. I did not enter with overly-high expectations on the food, but turns out I was dead wrong. All the dishes we ordered were exemplary, starting with green and white asparagus, crab cakes, and on to our fish entrees. Chef Jason Giordano has a way with a sauce, I loved the ginger broth that accompanied my red snapper, seen in the photo. Fantastic cocktails abounded as well, as sampled in the Ginger Reposado Margarita made with Milagro tequila. I highly recommend a dinner here. Click here to see more photos of the space and what we ate.

Hanna Tonek Bonnet CERAMICS

In keeping with the theme of creating new by taking from the past, I came across Hanna’s ceramics at the recent ICFF show. I loved how she took traditional patterns, but used them in inventive ways, by placing them on the inside of vases and cups, and adding drips and hot pink velvet flock to the outsides. She has also done a series of brooches, which are meant to hang on a wall. Everything in the collection has a fresh, feminine, fun appeal. There is a store in Soho carrying some of the pieces called Clio.

Employees Only: Bottled

Complex cocktail making just got easier. Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas of Employees Only have packaged two accompaniments to spirits—the very combinations which have been in use at the bar. Both the Grenadine and Lime Cordial EO Brands add a richness and depth to a variety of cocktails with one easy pour. Dushan told me that they are made with mostly organic ingredients. EO Grenadine is a combination of pomegranate juice sweetened with sugar and highlighted with a secret blend of natural spices. The Lime Cordial is a blend of pure lime juice and agave nectar, accented with kafir lime leaf. Now available at the bar on 510 Hudson Street in the Village, or can be ordered through Fresh Direct. Photo shows the Irish Rose, composed of Jameson Irish Whiskey, lemon juice and EO Grenadine (left) garnished with baby roses, and the Tequila Daisy, made with Cherbay Blanco, EO Lime Cordial, and a dash of EO Grenadine over ice. So simple—stock up for summer!

Berry Season

You’ve probably seen Driscoll’s berries at your local supermarket. But did you know that they are also used behind bars in your favorite cocktails? These photos were taken at Bookmarks at the Library Hotel. I got to sip away at them while meeting one of Driscoll's farmers, Rogelio Ponce of Sun Valley Berries, in Watsonville, California. Rogelio and his family have happily grown for Driscoll’s for three generations. And partnering with them has lots of benefits. Driscoll’s has the money to research and provide improvements in growing techniques and shares this information with all its independent growers. Driscoll’s also teams up with some of America’s leading chefs. Go Driscoll’s! In celebration of National Berry Month this July, Loews Hotels will be hosting a Driscoll’s Berry Concierge on July 4th weekend. Guests will be greeted with complimentary red, white and blue berry mocktails or cocktails. Concierges will engage kids and adults alike with smoothie making demonstrations, while talking about the nutritional benefits. That’s right, start ‘em early, I say!