Amparo, The Story of Havana Club Rum @RealHavanaClub #TheAmparoExperience #forevercuban

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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 03: The guava daqueri on display at an immersive theatrical experience “Amparo” presented by HAVANA CLUB Rum on April 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Havana Club)

A decades long battle over ownership rights to rum brand Havana Club has been recreated in Theatrical form and titled “Amparo”. A combination of storytelling, song, dance and live music. Bacardi goes the distance to explain why they are the true owners of the brand.

An immersive and interactive experience at Bill’s Townhouse in New York City, created by liquor giant Bacardi, takes the crowd through 1950’s pre-revolutionary Cuba, telling the story of the Arechabala’s family to the United States after the communist Cuban government took control of their company.

Roberto Ramirez, marketing director at Bacardi, believes the best way to convince consumers that they are in fact the authentic Havana Club, is through characters who showcase the journey.

Bacardi purchased the original recipe for the rum from the Arechabala family in 1994, However, Pernod Ricard too sells Havana Club and claims they are in fact the authentic version as it is distilled in Cuba and owns the company’s trademark. This marketing campaign by Bacardi began in Miami, came to New York, and will continue to other cities nationwide later this year.

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring cocktails made with dark and light rums.

We were all given different color keys and divided into groups. These keys led us to veiled spirits meant to be unveiled with shots of Havana Club rum. Every group explored a different facet of the Arechabala family’s journey and struggle in communist cuba and their eventual exile to the United States. 

  • Havana Club Anejo Blanco is distilled and aged for 1 year in oak barrels in Puerto Rico, blended then aged for a few more months. It is a medium bodied rum perfect for cocktail making.
  • Havana Club Anejo Clásico is distilled and aged for 1 to 3 years then blended and aged some more. Can be mixed in cocktails yet smooth enough to drink neat or on the rocks.

    therealhavanaclub.com

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Come Celebrate a Night of Great Food and Drink to Benefit No Kid Hungry: Taste of The Nation Wednesday April 18th @NoKidHungryNY @NoKidHungry #NoKidHungry

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On Wednesday April 18th New York City’s Culinary Community will once again come together for a great cause: Taste of the Nation, for The No Kid Hungry Campaign from Share Our Strength.

More than 30 top chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists will descend upon the Brooklyn Expo Center( 72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, NY) for a night of great food and drink.

Taste of The Nation, now in it’s 29th year is focused on ensuring that all children in America have access to healthy food every day of the year. 100 percent of all proceeds raised from the event benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America.

General Admission Tickets are $250, guests can enter at 7pm, $400 VIP tickets allow early access at 6pm. Cabanas are available for purchase and can seat 10, for $10,000. Visit: www.nokidhungry.org/newyork to purchase tickets now.

Participating Restaurants include: American Cut, Baar Baar, Bessou, BKLN Larder, Blue Smoke, Claro, Colonie, CUT, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Kung Fu Tea, Dough Nation, Pizza Loves Emily, Fausto, Ferris, High Street on Hudson, La Newyorkina, Little Tong Noodle Shop, Mokbar, Restaurant Marc Forgione, Restaurant Norman, Samesa, Shuka, Sunday in Brooklyn, Talde Temple Court, The Doughnut Project, Underwest Donuts, Vic’s and Walter’s Hot Dogs.

Full Coverage of the event will follow! Looking forward to seeing everyone in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

 

Fragrance Foundation Finalists Luncheon #TFFAwards

 

The Fragrance Foundation held it’s annual finalists luncheon in NYC. Finalists were announced in several “best in fragrance” categories with winners announced on June 12th at the Fragrance Foundation awards June 12th hosted by Jane Krakowski at Lincoln Center, Tully Hall.

 

The Fragrance Foundation Announces:

  • Ann Gottlieb, Hall of Fame Honoree
  • Oliver Cresp, Lifetime Achievement Perfumer
  • Romee Strijd, Face of the Year
  • Winners for Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage, Social Media Campaign, 360 Degree Marketing.
  • Top Five Fragrance Foundation Awards Finalists.

The top five finalists for The Fragrance Foundation Awards and winners in Editorial Excellence, Social Media  Campaign, and 360 Degree Media campaign were unveiled.

Ann Gottlieb, celebrated perfume strategist and founder of Ann Gottlieb Associates, was announced as the 2018 Hall of Fame Honoree. Ms. Gottlieb is widely recognized in the fragrance industry for her masterful ability to translate brands and personalities into fragrances that are both captivating and enduring. Ms. Gottlieb, whose work spans across every fragrance and market category, helped create iconic fragrances such as Daisy Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior J’Adore, Calving Klein Eternity and countless others.

“I adore fragrance,” said Ms. Gottlieb. “I love this industry and the people in it. So I am thrilled to be honored by my peers for my life’s work, which has brought me so much joy and fulfillment.”

Olivier Cresp, Master Perfumer at Firmenich, was announced as the recipient of the Lifetime Perfumer Achievement Perfumer award. Both Ms. Gottlieb and Mr. Cresp will be honored by the fragrance industry at The Fragrance Foundation Awards.

“The Foundation’s mission is to inspire the world to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance,” said The Fragrance Foundation president Linda G. Levy. “Every single winner, finalist and honoree announced today has played a central role in helping to achieve this mission, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize their contributions.

” Victoria’s Secret Angel and IMG model, Romee Strijd was awarded The Fragrance Foundation’s Face of the Year, presented byGreg Unis, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Beauty.

Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage awards were presented for three categories including Article, Online, and Feature. ELLE Magazine won both the Article and Feature categories with “Dream Catchers” and “This Is Your Brain on Vetiver,” respectively, both written by April Long. The Cut won the Online category for “It Took 150 Tries for Dior to Make Their Next Hit Perfume for Millennials” written by Kathleen Hou.

Parfums Christian Dior’s campaign for Miss Dior Eau De Parfum won the award for the best Social Media Campaign, while Gucci Bloom by Coty was voted as best 360- Degree Marketing Campaign.

 The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2018 Winners:

FACE OF THE YEAR: Romee Strijd

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR: Winner: Miss Dior Eau de Parfum- Parfums Christian Dior

360-Degree Marketing Campaign of the Year: Gucci Bloom-Coty, Inc.

Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage: 

Feature: Winner: Elle Magazine- This is Your Brain on Vetiver

Article: Winner: Elle Magazine-Dream Catchers

Online: Winner: THECUT.COM It took 150 tries for Dior to Make Their Next Hit for Millennials.

The Fragrance Foundation Awards Finalists were announced in the following categories: Fragrance of the Year ( women’s & men’s) in women’s luxury, men’s luxury, women’s prestige, men’s prestige, popular, perfume extraordinaire of the year, breakout star, indie fragrance of the year, packaging of the year ( women’s & men’s), home collection of the year, bath & body line of the year, home holiday/seasonal scent of the year, fragrance blog of the year, and fragrance hall of fame.

Look for Full Coverage as winners are announced on June 12th. Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

P J Bernstein Serving Up Classic Jewish Delicacies with a Modern Twist @pjbernsteindeli

 

With 53 years in the business and counting, P J Bernstein has been serving up Jewish deli and diner classics to loyal customers on the Upper East Side. The food is homemade and the quality of ingredient freshness and expert preparation is of utmost importance.

Founded in 1965 by P J Bernstein, who wanted to offer up meals that were truly homemade to his guests. In 1986 one of his most loyal customers Alex Slobodski bought the restaurant and it has remained a family affair over over 30 years now. 

The loyal clientele has included a variety of celebs who made the trip to the 71st and 3rd ave location for a meal. Celebrities such as Liza Minelli, Simon Cowell, and even Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz have visited the eatery. 

During our dinner we experienced some favorites including our favorite, the Triple Delight Soup. It’s a takeoff of on a traditional matzoh ball soup, but with homemade kreplach, choice of chicken or pastrami, a Bernstein original, with noodles and of course matzoh balls with just the right texture.

The smoked nova scotia salmon was beyond fresh, it was served thinly sliced with with a NY Bagel and garnish.

For meat lovers the home- cooked pastrami sandwiches on rye bread are favorites. Huge portions served with coleslaw and pickles these sandwiches can be shared. Corned Beef and Brisket options are also available and my dining companion gave them a rave review. 

For dessert the fresh apple strudel is a house favorite, but me being a chocolate lover, I went with the 7 layer chocolate cake and I’m glad I did, even though I had to take half of it to go! 

P J Bernstein is located at 1215 3rd ave. New York, NY 10021 (212) 879- 0914  pjbernsteindeli.com

 

Elio Filippino Winery celebrates their 50th anniversary at San Carlo Osteria Piemonte @SanCarloNYC #ElioFilippino

Piedmont, A region of Italy that borders France and Switzerland, sits at the foot of the Alps. Turin, the capital is known for sophisticated architecture, cuisine and wine, particularly Barolo and Barbaresco. The Piemonte wine region produces arguably the best wines in all of Italy.

A few nights ago a group of wine and food writers were invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Elio Filippino winery with a paired dinner at San Carlo Osterio Piemonte, one of the few NYC eateries specializing in Piemonte cuisine.

The chef creates dishes that symbolize the area. Piemonte cuisine is quiet different than other Italian fare. A very strong focus on antipasto, with tarte vegetables and rolled meats served with fresh tuna mayonnaise. The second coarse was the buckwheat gnocchi served in a light cheese sauce with locally sourced herbs and the ravioli, filled with beef, pork, and veal. The main course choices were the Arctic char, light, flaky, and very healthy and for meat eaters The beef cheeks with chickpeas.

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The wine flowed throughout the evening. Some of the wines we tasted included the 2012 Barolo, the 2012 Barbaresco, The 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo and the 2016 Dolcetto.

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Our favorite pairing came at the end of the evening with The pairing of The Moscato d’ Asti 2015. The dessert wine is sweet enough, but not too sweet and was paired with the traditional Piedmontese flan. Chocolate flavor, caramel, and cookie crumbs create the perfect texture and taste. A light and creamy Tiramisu was also a big hit with the guests.

For more info on the Elio Filippino winery visit ElioFilippino.com and to make a reservation at San Carlo Osterio Piemonte (90 Thompson Street) visit SanCarloNYC.com

New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 18 #NYFW18 #NewYorkFashionWeek

 

 

Every season in the last few years everyone in the industry speculates what the upcoming Fashion Week will be like. Will more designers drop out or relocate their shows elsewhere? Will new designers take their place? Will it be shortened or lengthened ? Will the dates and seasons be changed? Where will it be held? What does Fashion Week even mean to the industry anymore?

All those are relevant questions to an every changing global industry and with social media making a tremendous impact with the way editors and consumers are viewing fashion without the months buyers and editors previously had to view and contemplate the collections. 

That being said, Fashion Week will find a way to adjust. It does bring in close to $900 million dollars annually to the New York City economy and while different each season there are loads of shows, presentations, parties, beauty launches, gifting suites, and recharge lounges to get fashionistas, editors, influencers, and celebrities excited about the bi- annual event.

With so many shows running around can get exhausting. On February 12th and 13th Illumination PR held their annual NYFW FW 18 Celebrity Gifting Lounge. Guests sipped on champagne and received back massages courtesy of The Skin Spa. Some of the brands gifting influencers and celebrities included George The Jeweler, Palace Resorts, Jersey Shore Cosmetics, Its a 10, Pretty Little Thing, BooHoo Man, Marin Bee, Erno Laszlo, and many more.

On the last day of Fashion Week Cygalle Dias of The Cygalle Dias Healing Spa held her editor sanctuary at Casita in the west village. A true believer in holistic healing guests received vegan manicures, massages, reiki healing treatments, spiritual readings, and hair extensions. 

One of our favorite events during Fashion Week was the WWD Style Dimension party at the Samsung 837 store. Michael Todd Beauty showcased his latest skincare devices, Mamonde and Amore Pacific showed off the latest and greatest Korean skincare for 2018, and OGX Hair did touchups for guests.

 

To kick off Fashion Week in a big way Ferragamo Fragrances held a swanky soiree at the west 56th street Townhouse once occupied by Elizabeth Taylor to launch their newest scent Amo Ferragamo

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See you in September!!!!

GBK Grammy’s Celebrity Gifting Suite takes over Philippe in New York City @GBK_Productions #Grammys @PhilippeChow

The Grammy’s excitement begins long before the awards are handed out on Sunday night. With the Grammy awards back in New York City for the first time in 15 years the 60th annual Grammy Awards were a whirlwind stream of pre-parties, dinners, concerts and of course Celebrity Gifting Suites.

One of our favorites is the GBK Celebrity Gifting lounge which took over the highly sought after Philippe restaurant on the Upper East Side. Chef Philippe Chow whipped up some of his most famous dishes to nominees, presenters, talent and media. His “Satays” are on many menus throughout the year on New York City’s social circuit set of events.

Upon arrival guests were treated to sparkling wine from Blue Nun 24K Edition. Talent was gifted a variety of the latest and most sought after products including Vinci Headphones, Jazz Series Cherrywood Executive Series Headphones designed and created by Jazz musician JC Stylles,  Fortune Lockets by Fortune & Frame, Skincare by CO2 Lift by Lumisque Skincare, a 3 night luxury all- inclusive resort stay at The Grand at Moon Palace courtesy of Palace Resorts and much much more.

Guests who joined the all day affair included Bobby Valentino. Adventure Club, Nya Lee, Empire’s Bre-Z, Chris Blue, Demetria McKinney, Denise Rich, DJ Fluker, Ella Mai, Emma Myles, Goldlink, Grammy artist India Arie, JJ Hairston, Just Chase, Justina Valentine, Killer Mike, Marc John Jeffries, Michaela Vybohova, Pat Houston, Rachel Bay Jones, Safaree, Selenis Leyva, Skeery Jones, Blindspot’s Sullivan Stapleton, Tatiana Elizabeth, Ty Hunter, Lil Key as well as influencers and media types.

 

Cafe Bilboquet: Authentic  Casual French Fare on the Upper East Side #cafebilboquet

Le Bilboquet, one of the most coveted and fanciest eateries in New York City, make that anywhere, just opened a casual french eatery next door. Cafe Bilboquet opened last August with plenty of much deserved hype. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and desserts and a newly opened nightly wine bar. 

On the menu is Lobster Bisque, Creamy and flavorful and seemed like a favorite as almost every guest was enjoying a bowl. The salads are farm to table with generous portions with a reasonable price range of $9 to $14 dollars. We tasted the Nicoise salad, the Chicken cobb, and the Spinach salad and were impressed with the ingredients and the homemade dressings. 

There is a wide selection of sandwiches and mini brioches. The Smoked Salmon and The Caprese were favorites along with the house favorite Croque Monsieur. Thick white bread, fresh ham and gruyere pressed to order, also available on a croissant.

Saving room for dessert is a must with so many authentic french desserts including the very french “Paris Brest. Choices include opera cake, chocolate eclairs, apple tart tartin, various flavors of macarons, and much much more.

Beverages choices range from American and European teas, coffees, unique soft drinks, Beloit lemonade and Alain Milliat juices. 

Cafe Bilboquet is located at 26 east 60th street New York, NY 10022   Phone: (646) 869-8660

Travel: Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

 Pueblo Bonito has eight all- inclusive properties throughout Mexico with five in the Cabo San Lucas area. Divided into family friendly properties and those reserved for for adults only offering relaxation, pampering, and romance. 

The Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resort located 3 miles southwest of downtown Cabo San Lucas is a luxury all- inclusive designed for the ultimate in Romance & Relaxation especially with the debut of  The Towers at Pacifica. The two new towers with 47 rooms and suites, all with private terraces affording sweeping oceanview views, 6 with private plunge pools and a massive 3200 square foot Presidential Suite. Sleek decor, high- end amenities and the 24/7 service of a butler certified by The British Butler Institute, make for an unforgettable vacation or honeymoon. A VIP lounge in a third tower, accessible only to Towers guests offers breakfast, daily VIP tastings at sunset, the sushi and sashimi tasting rivaled top restaurants in NYC. Premium liquor and Champagne options, premium teas an coffees and an oceanfront balcony complete with binoculars, it is whale watching season after all!

 

Daytime activities focus on the two gorgeous oceanfront heated pools and hot tub with bar service. Lunch is offered poolside with fresh seafood, ceviche, and healthy organic Mexican specialties. Ocean swimming due to dangerous currents is not permitted, but private cabanas, complimentary for Towers guests, allow guests to admire the view and relax with sipping a cocktail or two. Fire pits are lit at sunset nightly.

Dining is a special occasion at Pueblo with a variety of casual and more elegant options available. Fresh sushi and sashimi at Pescados, regional Baha specialties at Peninsula, Mediterranean fare with a Mexican flare at Siempre and poolside dining and drinking at Aire Restaurant & Aqua Bar. Chefs use only the highest quality ingredients, many sourced locally with a focus on fresh seafood from the region.

 

 Armonia is a full service spa offering wellness massages, body treatments, a wet area, a hair salon, couples treatments as well as outdoor beachside treatment options. A fitness center with the newest equipment is available for all guests to enjoy.

 

Weddings are big business at Pueblo Pacifica and rightfully so. With a gorgeous landscape and personalized attention to detail destination Weddings are customized to satisfy every whim. The Sunset Beach ,a sister family resort next door allows for an inclusive family experience while the bride & groom enjoys their privacy next door. 

The Quivira Golf Club, a Jack Nichlaus Signature design course, with panoramic views of the Pacific is exclusive to Pueblo Bonito Resorts guests and guests of Quivira Los Cabos. The Oasis and The Clubhouse provide guests dining and drink options before and after play.

An onsite concierge organizes excursions to all that Cabo San Lucas has to offer with various daytime and nighttime options. Favorites include excursions to El Arco, Ziplining, Shopping and experiencing Cabo nightlife. Complimentary shuttle service is offered to all guests to Sunset Beach and the two sister properties in Cabo San Lucas.

Tech Review: The ZTE Axon M Dual Screen Foldable Phone @ZTEPress @ATT

 

In the ever changing Smartphone industry companies are looking for the next best feature to outdo the Apple and the Samsung’s of the tech world. Launched late last year The ZTE Axon M is a first of what ZTE promises to be a series of foldable phones to hit the market throughout 2018. The Dual Screen is the feature the phone is banking on.

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The dual screen is the feature that sets this phone apart from the rest. That’s right an identical 5.2 inch 1080p display opens up with three modes available. ZTE offers to take advantage of the second screen. “Dual mode” is the most practical and will probably be the most widely used mode allowing to run apps side by side. Being able to send a text or watch a video while navigating google maps without leaving the screen is a convenient tool. The audio is only heard from the screen that is being actively used at the moment.

“Extended mode” lets you run a single app on both screens extending the phone to a tablet size. This feature makes watching videos and gaming more of a life-size TV like experience. “Mirror mode” mirrors the same content on both screens so when placed in a tent like position 2 people can watch the same thing or play the same game.

The pros of this phone include the dual screens, sturdy design, a very good battery 3.180mAh battery that remained charged all day even with heavy use, a 20 mega pixel camera that produced clear pics and a user friendly onscreen format.

The cons include a thick heavy design, 1 camera compared to multiple cameras in top tier phones, and an older Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM.

The ZTE is available exclusively in the US for $725 through ATT right now. This is only the beginning for foldable phones from ZTE with future phones planned that are not dual screened but with new and exciting features. We will follow their progress and report on new launches.

Dr.Konstantin Vasyukevich: Advanced Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Upper East Side NYC

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The Upper East Side, particularly Park ave in the 70’s and 80’s is the Rodeo Drive of who’s who in the plastic surgery world. Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, who looks way too young to have achieved what he has to date is smack in the middle with an art filled office located at 59 east 79th street. He is a double certified plastic surgeon specializing in facial rejuvenation.
As an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he is at the forefront of the massive changes and technology that has evolved in the world of plastic surgery in the last year or two.
Specializing in face lifts, gone are the days where the stereotype of a face lift involves a pulled up face that has no movement, a long and painful recovery, and an end result where everyone knows you had work done. The new era of facelifts has a much younger clientele coming in for preventive work, facelifts have a greater effect and longer lifespan on a younger client because skin is still rather tight and recovery is faster on a younger healthier patient. Chatting with Dr. Konstantin the funniest story he told was of a patient who after getting a facelift done, was questioned by a TSA worker at the airport while traveling because her new face was 15 years younger looking than her Passport. 
The modern facelift assisted by an endoscope, developed by Dr. Konstantin, allows clearer visualization of the surgical area and it’s furthest points so that it’s minimally invasive. According to Dr. Konstantin, just in this year alone, facelifts are starting to be performed under guided local and twilight anesthesia which eliminates a fear factor in patients and greatly reduces recovery time. Above are before and after pics where the skin is lifted, the neck is tightened, but the faces have a natural aesthetic just with the clock turned back 10 to 15 years.
Dr. Konstantin also performs brow lifts, eyelid surgery, neck lifts, rhinoplasty an non- invasive Botox, Dermal Fillers and Skin Resurfacing.
For more info and to book a consultation: Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich 59 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075. (212) 380- 3634 facialartistrymd.com

Benares: Modern Indian Cuisine In The Heart of Tribeca #BenaresNYC

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Benares is a modern Indian restaurant with banquet seating, dark hardwood floors, and a bar/lounge area. The eatery celebrates the cuisine of Northern India with a western twist. 

During our meal the Chef brought out some of the restaurants most popular dishes tweaked with a few requests from us of classic Indian dishes. 

We started out with the Bhel Puri, puffed rice crisps with chopped onions, potatoes, avocado & corn kennels served a trio of chutneys. The chutneys were flavorful yet not overly spicy.

Next came the Chicken Tikka, an indian classic, grilled Tandoori chicken marinated in yogurt & spices. A delicious vegetarian option, the Khasta Gobhi, lightly battered cauliflower cooked with garlic and crushed pepper in a tangy sauce. The final appetizer was the Konkani Shrimp, tossed in a spicy tomato sauce with cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper.

The entree list is extensive with a dedicated Tandoori menu. We highly recommend the Cheem Thenga, jumbo prawns grilled and simmered in coconut curry. The grilled fish marinated in spices, served with lemon sauce was also quite good. We did mention to the chef that we are seafood lovers and don’t eat much red meat so he brought out a seafood/chicken centric menu.

 For meat lovers the “Barrah Masaledar”,lamb chops,  and the “Raan E Akbari”, rack of lamb in a rum flavored sauce, served oven roasted with a vegetable medley have gotten winning reviews.

Indian restaurants have notoriously not been known for their desserts but the Atom Bomb changed our mind. Super moist chocolate lava cake served with rose petal cream is a must try!

There is an ample wine and beer list along with specialty cocktails. There are many classics like the Dark & Stormy and The Moscow Mule along with house specialties like the Benares Martini made with Bulldog Gin, Lillet, Grapefruit and Orange Peels Soaked in Housemade Bitters.

Benares is open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. Take out and delivery options are available as well as a lunch menu.

Benares- Tribeca 45 Murray Street New York, NY 10007 (212) 766-4900 benaresnyc.com

ASPCA Honors Heroes at the 2017 Humane Awards Luncheon @ASPCA 

Founded in 1866, The ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the leading voice for animals. 

Last week we were honored to be invited to cover their Annual Humane Awards Luncheon at Cipriani in NYC. As huge animal lovers and advocates this charity is one of our personal favorites. Hosted by Chuck Scarborough, the event honored both human and animal heroes as well as disaster responders who rescued thousands of animals and brought them to safety during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

The honorees included ASPCA Dog of the Year “Rescue”, who provides essential physical and emotional support to Jessica Kensky, who became a double amputee after being injured during the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. 

ASPCA Cat of the Year “Flame”, rescued as a stray kitten in 2015, Flame became the official cat of the firehouse, providing firefighters comfort and companionship during stressful and tragic times.

ASPCA Citizen Hero Award went to Judy Obregon from Fort Worth, Texas. After discovering a dumping ground for injured, deceased, and unwanted animals Judy formed a network of local volunteers to rescue animals, arrange veterinary care, and assist with their adoption. Over 300 animals have been rescued to date.

ASPCA Henry Bergh Award went to Mission K9 Rescue in Houston, TX. This organization assists retired and working military dogs in reuniting with their handlers and adoption after returning home from tours of duty. To date Mission K9 has reunited more than 70 canine teams and has rescued more than 100 dogs in need. 

ASPCA Equine Welfare Award went to Elaine Nash, founder of Fleet of Angels in Evans, CO.  The organization manages large equine crisis and rescues horses in need through a network of thousands of trailer owners and service providers. Most recently Fleet of Angels assisted in rescuing horses displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan, Kid of the Year award went to Jessica Brocksom of Milford, CT. 11 year old Jessica won the job of 2017 Connecticut Kid Governor on her animal welfare platform. Jessica works actively to help animals and owners in need, including advocating for legislation to allow to have therapy animals with them while testifying in court, and helping increase awareness of leaving animals in cars during hot weather.

Guests and supporters of the ASPCA included Jill Rappaport, Wes Gordon & Paul Arnhold, Ellen Scarborough, Jean Shafiroff, Mark F. Gilberston, Sharon Jacob, Arriana Boardman, Serena Boardman, Bill Bratton, Christopher Spitzmiller, Lisa McCarthy, Barbara Cates, Jeff A. Pfeifle, Madeline Weinrib, ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker and more.

For more info and to donate please visit ASPCA.org

Dr. Andrew Jacono: Master of the “Natural” looking facelift.

  • 170320_DrJacono_s2_104-768x1024Walking into the swanky brand new office of Dr. Andrew Jacono, 630 Park Avenue, we noticed Damien Hurst art on the walls, a sleek elegant decor, a VIP waiting room, and walls strewn with plaques showcasing the philanthropic work Dr. Jacono does in third world countries as a volunteer surgeon with “Beyond our Borders” and “Healing the Children”, providing free surgery here and abroad for children needing reconstruction due to birth defects, trauma, or disease. 

    Dr. Jacono is a dual certified plastic surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery in his Manhattan location. He is prominently know for The Natural Looking facelift, making patients look up to 15 years younger without that pulled skin effect we have all seen on actresses and socialites. Looking at before and after photos on his computer, the transformations are truly amazing. The results are you, only better, well you 15 years ago. Natural best is his motto.

    Over a timespan of 20 years Dr. Jacono developed and perfected the most advanced deep plane lift. The procedure lifts the cheeks, jowls, and neck line. The key to a youthful appearance is a strong jawline and lack of jowls, even more important than wrinkle free foreheads or eyes. Incisions are made under the muscle layer leaving skin intact, unlike in a standard facelift. This creates a natural looking appearance without any tightness.

    Dr. J knows that not every patient is ready or wants a surgical face lift. He offers several non-surgical options using Ultherapy to lift, strengthen, and tone the skin. The treatment is 30 to 60 minutes, lasts 2 to 3 months with no downtime. Sculptra, known as the liquid facelift, builds collagen in cheeks, across the jawline and under the eyes. the injections create a rested rejuvenated appearance. A firm believer in a natural looking appearance he customizes filler dosages where needed on the face to not create an over filled face. Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Radiuses, and laser treatments are performed as well depending on the needs and goals of the patient.

    During the consultation the Doc explains the expected results and expectations for every procedure. He is brutally honest so that patients understand that fillers/non-surgical options are great,but they will not heed the same result as a lift. He explains the advantages of pro-active treatments to prevent aging and how work on younger patients can have better and longer lasting results.

    Dr. Jacono’s 3rd book “The Face of The Future” gives a more in-depth insight into the most modern/ hi -tech current invasive and non-invasive procedures available to maintain a youthful appearance. The book can be purchased here: Amazon.com

    For more info on Dr. Jacono and to book a consultation please visit newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com 

    New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery Andrew A. Jacono, MD FACS 

    630 Park Avenue New York, NY 10065 (212)570-2500

Mozzarella E Vino: Italian Mozzarella & Wine Bar in the heart of midtown @mozzarellaevino

 

Located on one of the most elegant blocks with luxe boutiques, hotels, and The Museum of Modern Art around the corner this chic eatery is heaven for mozzarella & wine lovers.  Tourists and locals alike can stop by for a glass of wine and a “Affettati & Formaggi” sampling or a full meal of homemade pastas, lasagnas and meat dishes.

Mozzarella & Vino (Courtesy Jim Taylor)

We started our meal with the classic tasting of Buffalo Mozzarella, Buffalo Provola, and the freshest Burrata served with cherry tomatoes. The mozzarella is made in Campagna and shipped to New York every few days. You can mix and match the cheeses and meats to your liking. The waitstaff will advise on wine pairing suggestions depending on your selection.

We also tried the fried zucchini sticks which were crispy and golden and not greasy. The homemade pastas were next and are a must try. The ravioli is homemade and filled with fresh ricotta, also shipped in from Campagna. The lasagna is delicious, tender layers filled with fresh ricotta, mozzarella and sausage. The sauce is classic Marinara perfectly spiced. Gluten free pasta is available and is possibly the best we ever tried.

For the main course I opted for the Scottish salmon. Flaky and tender it is served on a bed of organic greens. A tasty and healthy option. My companion went for the chicken medallions flavored with black summer truffles served with fingerling potatoes, french beans and organic cherry tomatoes. For veal lovers we hear the “Vitello Tonato” is a must.

For dessert we chose to split the Torta de Mascarpone “tiramisu style” and the chocolate cake filled with Sicilian orange compote. The tiramisu was creamy but not too heavy and is a staple in classic southern Italian cuisine.

Mozzarella & Vino is located at 33 west 54th street between 5th and 6th ave. New York, NY 10019 (646) 692-8849 mozzarellaevino.com connect@mozzarellaevino.com

Sister restaurant Il Gattopardo located along the same block at 13-15 west 54th street is another option for the freshest Southern Italian comfort food located in an intimate and elegant townhouse setting.

 

 

Sanctuary Salon: Brooklyn, NY 

Sanctuary Salon Outside

Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this salon opened late summer 17 is exactly as the name suggests. Walking in the space is serene, the decor is soft and subtle with plants and murals throughout. Owner Jill Syslo of Sacred Skin NYC wanted to create a warm comfy environment while offering top notch hair services. I was immediately offered a glass of wine by my colorist/stylist James, it was a friday afternoon after all. 

He gave me a consultation and we decided on a single process and balyage to update my look for fall. Having done lots of color and summer, pools, and salt water my hair needed a little work. He lightened up my base a bit and gave me golden highlightes around the front. I ended up with a golden look I love. He also gave me a great blowout that lasted for days. I also received a much needed Olaplex treatment to keep my hair healthy and shiny. The salon also offers cuts, bang & neck trims as well as Keratin. 

Sanctuary Salon  677 Lorimer Brooklyn, NY 11211 (929) 373 – 8682 sanctuarysalonnyc@gmail.com 

 Celebrate Halloween at The Raines Law Room’s decadent Halloween Masquerade Ball at The Shakespeare at the William @TheWilliamNYC

 It’s almost time to get your costumes and masks out to come celebrate Halloween at The Masquerade Ball at The Shakespeare. Dine, Drink, and Dance the night away with a special performance by The Rakiem Walker Project. Taking place on Saturday evening the 28th from 8pm to 2am.

General Admission Tickets are $25 and all the entertainment is included. Every room has a special surprise. Food and drinks are extra. 

For $145 you get a premium open bar with a variety of light bites and 3 specialty cocktails.

Tickets can be purchased here:  https://www.theshakespearenyc.com/store/event/masquerade/


The William is located at 24 east 39th street between Park and Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016 (646) 837-6779. 

theshakespearenyc.com





Tapa Lounge and Hookah Bar Murray Hill NYC 

 

The newest addition to an area that is filled with Indian eateries is Tapa. Led by restaurateur Abishek Sharma (Swagat, Surya, and Badshah), this colorful cocktail and hookah lounge serves Indian Tapas and cocktails in a relaxed laid back environment. 

 

Setting Tapa apart is the menu focused on an extensive bread bar with eight varieties of the classic Indian naan bread. Our favorite was the Prime Time, sliced prime cut rib-eye steak, cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella, served with a smoky chipotle dipping sauce. A nice vegetarian option is the Eat Your Veggies lay with mushrooms, olives, and truffle oil, topped with marinara or mint sauce.

Our favorites from the Tapas menu include the Badass Chicken Tikka marinated in a houseblend of spices, yogurt and jalapeños, Agni “Fire Wings” prepared spicy or “want to cry” extra spicy, or for none spice enthusiasts, butter-chicken style, and the Masala Calamari tossed in Indian Masala sauce.

Mixologist Warren Bayami (Summit Bar, Badshah) created signature cocktails like the Sari Not Sari (tequila, lime, cucumber, mint, with a salted rim), Flight to Mumbai (gin, lime juice, cardamom), and Sassy Lassi, our favorite, made with housemate mango lassi and rum.

Over 40 flavors of Hookah are available to enjoy divided into three sections in different price ranges from the House Hookah, Exotic Hookah, and the Exclusive Hookah.

Tapa is located at 102 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10016. (646) 657- 0512. tapaloungenyc.com

Murrells Inlet & Pawley’s Island South Carolina: Vacation Destination on the Hammock Coast

South Carolina offers hundreds of miles of coastline with beautiful beaches and waterfront communities that make for a great vacation destination and also a popular retirement destination from the north with favorable real estate prices and warmer weather year round.

The Hammock Coast comprises of of several areas with Georgetown being the city center and Murrells Inlet, Pawley’s Island, Garden City and Litchfield Beach dotting the coastline. 

We flew into Myrtle Beach about a 20 minute drive from Murrells Inlet. Spirit offer nonstop service and both Delta and American offers convenient flights from the Northeast.

 

The newest and most comfortable property in Murrells Inlet is The Inlet Sports Lodge.  A boutique property with luxurious touches and a real homey feel. Located only a mile north of Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and Marina, the dining and entertainment capital of the area as well as a starting point for boat rides, fishing expeditions as well as water sports rentals. Rooms range from deluxe studios to luxury suites. All rooms feature kitchenettes with full size refrigerators, cooking utensils, and a sleeper sofa. These rooms are perfect for families or a group of friends sleeping 4 comfortably. Luxury suites are identical to studio suites with an adjoining room. 

Coming from New York City and often writing about food we are pretty jaded when we travel about what to expect. We were very pleasantly surprised with the burgeoning foodie scene with many top notch eateries offering everything from local seafood, which is fresh and delicious, to Italian cuisine and beyond. Here is a list of our favorite restaurants:

The Wicked Tuna: A massive multi-floor waterfront restaurant overlooking the marsh walk. The menu is seafood based with the freshest sushi in the area. Specialties include just caught “Catch of the Day”, varies nightly, a raw bar, fresh crab and for meat lovers there are various Steak and Ribs options. The must have dessert is the S’more’s Baked Alaska, Layers of chocolate cake and chocolate marshmallow gelato, covered in toasted Italian meringue. Served with chocolate ganache and graham cracker crumble. On many evenings there is live music played in front on the marsh walk. Thewickeduna.com 4123 Highway Business Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 (843) 651-9987

Inlet Crab house and RawBar: Family owned and operated in Murrells Inlet since 1992. The Crab House is the only Captain and family owned eatery in the area. As the name suggests the menu is seafood based with crab being the obvious specialty. The She Crab Soup is world famous. The crab cakes are huge filled with fresh crabmeat and the Crabhouse Steam Pots let you try a bunch of items including clams, mussels, spicy shrimp, oysters, crab legs, sausage, corn and potatoes. Servings are plentiful and most definitely can be shared. Cocktails offered are frozen creations with locally themed names like “Inlet Freeze”: Pina Colada, Raspberry, and Rum. Inletcrabhouseandrawbar.com 3572 Highway 17 Murrells Inlet, SC (843) 651- 8452

Costa Coastal Kitchen & Bar: Located Adjacent to the Inlet Sports Lodge. A real find with excellent fare. Classic Italian favorites created by Chef Jimmy. Shrimp Olivia and Crab Stuffed mushrooms are a must for appetizers and The Zuppa de Pesce and the Chicken Marsala are delicious main courses. A wonderful wine list is available to pair with the meal. Costamyrtlebeach.com 46-06 US 17 Business Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 (843) 299- 1970 

Bistro 217 in Pawley’s Island offers a refined American Menu with lots of seafood and meat dishes. Co- owned by Anne Hardee and Chef Adam Kirby both with over 20 years in the restaurant business. Painted brick walls, wrought iron tables and cozy booths and banquets. Bistro 217 is perfect for date night or a business lunch/dinner. Bistro217.com 10707 Ocean Highway Pawley’s Island, SC 29585 (843) 235-8217

 

Things to do In Murrells Inlet: 

Huntington Beach State Park offers sandy pet friendly beaches, picnic tables, bird watching and alligator viewing.  

Brookgreen Gardens 9100 acres of manicured landscaped gardens, exquisite sculpture gardens, a zoo with many species local to the region. Offers several tour daily, workshops, classes. Weekly passes available.

Black River Outdoors offers guided eco-tours through the salt marsh, on the Waccamaw River, swamp tours, and bird watching tours. Extremely experienced, family friendly and knowledgeable guides will teach guests about the area, look for wildlife, and will provide both adults and kids an authentic nature filled kayaking experience. Blackriveroutdoors.com

 

Imli: Urban Indian Food Restaurant on the Upper East Side, NYC @ImliRestaurant

Indian Food is very common in NYC so it’s nice to see a restaurant that tries to set it’s self apart from the masses. If anyone has ever travelled to India one thing they will notice is how good the street food is. There are so many flavors and spices fused together to create dishes that are tasty and very inexpensive. 

Chef Manuel Butler created a menu that comprises of classic Indian cuisine mixed with street food from all over India with many options offered in the form of Tapas, meant to be shared so guests can try a greater variety of dishes.

We started our meal with a selection of tapas the chef prepared. The crispy okra topped with fennel and herbs was crunchy and flavorful. The tandoori wings were moist and not too spicy but yet had a nice texture and flavor. 

For the main courses we opted for a couple the seafood dishes with the lamb chops thrown in the mix. The ginger salmon was flaky sauted with ginger and garlic in a turmeric sauce. Not having eaten salmon very often at an Indian restaurant we were pleasantly surprised by the dish. The coconut shrimp was a favorite prepared with coconut milk, turmeric, spices and garam masala. The lamb chops were tender and cooked just right.

We paired the dishes with two sides of lemon and coconut rice along with delicious garlic naan, so good we ordered a second round.

My cocktail choice for the evening was the Mumbai Mule, me being a rum drinker was a no brainer. Dark rum, pomegranate juice, ginger mint and beer. It’s not to sweet and pretty strong, perfect for a saturday night. A very nice wine menu is available with a master wine expert curating the list to highlight the various flavors of the dishes when paired together.

Imli Restaurant 1136 First Avenue New York, NY 10065 (212) 256-0073 contact@imlirestaurant.com website: ImliRestaurant.com

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