Mihoko’s 21 Grams

A gorgeous blend of highly stylized Japanese and French elements work to deliver an evening of ultimate sensations. Mihoko’s 21 Grams, newly opened on 22nd street, is truly a unique and inspired restaurant, conceived by Japanese ballerina Mihoko. The visual feast begins as soon as you enter the restaurant, with a red carpet leading up to the front desk, aligned with beautiful objects for purchase. Designer Bruno Borrione decorated the large dining room with layers of overscaled French paintings, beautifully carved objects, decorative table surrounds, and Mihoko’s collections. Franco-Japanese cuisine dominates the menu, as well as an extensive sushi offering. Downstairs is a lounge, where cocktails by Raphael Reyes will be served with a bar menu. I was completely blown away by the design, service, and cuisine. Top photo shows the bar, which is in the center of the dining room, mirrors were once in Cartier’s mansion. See even more photos of our evening on my FB page.
 View from the bar.
 One of the amuses that arrived.
 Service comes in teams.
 A light dessert of passion fruit and coconut foam.
Petit fours with mini origami bird.


Summer Cocktails Launch at 2E Bar/Lounge at The Pierre

2E Bar/Lounge is offering infused, barrel-aged spirits in its summer cocktail offerings. Mixologist Sachin Hasan has come up with some unusual combinations for his repertoire including Ron Zacapa Rum infused with Vanilla Beans aged in the barrel for one week, Leblon Cachaça infused with date and figs aged in the barrel for 5 days and Old Overholt Rye Whiskey infused with orange zest and dried cherries aged in the barrel for one week. If you love super sweet indulging, try the Aged Beauty cocktail which starts with the rum, and adds rhubarb syrup and bitters. I would love to have this poured over vanilla ice cream. For those who like a bitter sip, Epitome of Elegance marries the cachaça with Aperol, Maraschino Liqueur, and Campari Bitters. My favorite of the night was Timeless Grace. The rye was mixed with Glayva liqueur and Lillet Blanc. A great spot for escaping the city noise (and now heat!), 2E also offers some tasty bites while you sip away. See more photos of our night at this link. And, if the cocktails inspire you to do some barrel aging of your own, you can order the barrels online at this link.

Bedford Cheese Shop in Manhattan

Only 2.5 hours after its opening, I happened upon Bedford Cheese Shop and am delighted to see such a spectacular store in the neighborhood. It is a one-stop party shop, which features an astonishing amount of cheeses, charcuterie, condiments, fresh bread, drink mixers, olives and more. Photos show only a partial peek at all the goodies, you must visit for yourself! Located at 67 Irving Place between 18th and 19th streets.

Spring Dining Highlights: The Toucan and The Lion; The National; Serafina MP opening; Acme; Fedora

As usual, NYC’s dining offerings do not fail to thrill and impress me. Plus there is a place to suit every mood and budget. The Toucan and The Lion is a bare bones east village spot, offering great bites at a great cost. Good spot to share a bunch of small plates. I find the bar offerings at The National totally cost-effective when eaten as dinners, especially the over-sized potion of delectable ribs. Serafina, now in meatpacking, even bottles their own wines to go along with their affordable, and wonderful Italian specialities. Discover 3 floors of cool, raw space with quirky art. If you are feeling adventurous, head to Acme, where the Scandinavian menu will surprise you as each plated item appears. I totally recommend the foie gras dish from the Raw menu (photo above), you will never forget the taste. Relax in the vast space with plenty of spots at the bar for dining (photo below). Fedora offers a slice of old New York atmosphere, with super friendly service, and really great fare. Go there to meet and mingle with other food afficianados, and you will also get a super cocktail. More photos on my FB page, click on the links for each place to see them.