Dovetail, The National, and more

The end of the month brought many get togethers and indulgent feasts. My lunch at Dovetail was like a mini-vacation in a spa-like setting. See photos from the tasting menu, that my friend Jude and I enjoyed on a recent Friday, including the foie gras, shown above. My friend Pamela’s birthday had us up in midtown at Geoffrey Zakarian's new spot The National for a late-night supper. A great spot to stop in for a cocktail or bite—it has a pleasant, convivial, bistro vibe, as seen in photos below and of Chef Paul Corsentino's goodies at this link. Some other tidbits: dinner at Union Square Cafe, cocktails at 1534 and in the Empire State Building, and a green kitchen cocktail party, see all the photos of the Pre-Holiday Blitz at this link.

Apiary: Comfort Food Cornucopia

Chef Scott Bryan, formerly at Veritas, definitely has a hit with his oddy located restaurant, Apiary. Our visit was rewarded with not only a fabulous assortment of filling fare, we also got to sample some of the upcoming cocktails with beverage director Brett Feore. If you are in the mood for a hearty mushroom soup, (seen in photo) pappardelle and rabbit, or roasted organic chicken head over to Third Avenue and 11th Street. They even offer a $35 three course prixe fixe menu on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights. See photos of our meal and cocktails here.

Harry and David Pop Up Orchard

For their 75th anniversary, Harry & David are celebrating with pop-up stores in cities where they do not have a retail presence. I got to meet designer Matthew Goodrich (seen here with me as the other pear), who, along with David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group, was responsible for the green design. See more photos of the space here, and be sure to pick up some delicious salsas (love the pepper and onion relish) and other holiday goodies before they skip out of town. Fifth Avenue near 22nd Street.

Escape to the islands: Lani Kai

For delicately prepared tiki bites and cocktails of the same head downtown to Lani Kai. The two-story establishment (which was Tailor’s) has been tastefully tranformed into a modern, urban-style island escape. See photos from a Banks 5 Island Rum tasting I attended way back in October...yes, I have been busy... the cocktail in photo was created by Joseph Swifka, called The Last Luau Swizzle: Banks 5 Island Rum, House Falernum, Cinnamon Syrup, Lime, Ginger Beer and Grilled Pineapple. The flavors were a wintry, holiday take on tiki.