June 2007 Archives

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Authentic Chinese cuisines

When authentic Chinese cuisines reach our shores, we can expect a revolution in ingredients and styles that will change the way we prepare food for years to come.
. . .
So, we welcome Chinese chefs to share their authentic cuisines with us. American palates, unlike those of previous generations, are ready for the real stuff.

"Eating Beyond Sichuan," by Nina Zagat and Tim Zagat, The New York Times,

No way this will happen because Americans will have much difficulty to acquire the Chinese palate. For example, the Chinese appreciate the texture of the jelly fish, pig's stomach, beef tripe ... Americans will vomit. I have seen Americans at wedding banquets pushing away a bowl of shark's fin soup. What a bloody waste. They have no idea.

Also see

Post by Peter

Posted June 30, 2007 12:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye , Chinese   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Peter turns 59....

My birthday celebration has started ... last week, two old friends, Nancy & Bob from Adventura flew from Ft. Lauderdale to JFK for a short visit to Manhattan ... and I took them for a 3-star lunch at Aquavit. Delicious platter of herrings, green salad, goose-liver pate, smoked salmon and 3 plates of Artic Circle, Granny Smith apples and Peanut Chocolate creamy deserts. Wow.

Later, I rode the Jitney to Hampton Bays to visit my old buddy. Arrived late because of heavy traffic on the Long Island Expressway. We ate supper on his deck, 250 feet on a cliff overlooking the Peconic Bay and the sunset. He grilled hard shell tiger shrimps which became very pink, firm and juicy with a hint of sea-salt. Grilled porterhouse steak, medium-rare and two bottles of French burgundy. Last Tuesday, my niece came from Paris with those two bottles. The French wines breath so smooth and delicious with the fresh salt air.

On Sunday, I met Chug and Caitlin for dim-sum and a Nyonya dinner in Chinatown.

Dorothy arrived very late last night, round-about-midnight. We went to Chinatown in Flushing for a very late night HK-Cantonese feast to celebrate the start of my 60th year.

This week-end, it will be red-sauced pizza with fresh mozzarella at Patsy's in Spanish Harlem prepared by illegal immigrants from Mexico. I have some gringo friends who do not enjoy Chinese cuisine.

HS and you are most welcome to join me in this week of celebration. The Chinatown bus stops in Richmond.

Posted June 27, 2007 08:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Melody of Dragon - FREE

This evening, I will be at the Naumburg Bandshell for a performance of Chinese Classical Dragon music, FREE ... tonight at 7:30 pm ... see listing in to-day's NYTimes ...

Melody of Dragon, June 26, 2007, 7:30 pm, at the Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park, enter at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, then go to approximately 70th and mid-Park, 718-340-3018

Posted June 26, 2007 05:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Music   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Peter Luger Steak House

Peter Luger's Steak House in Dumbo, Brooklyn, was established about a century ago in the style of a Bavarian beer hall with grumpy male waiters. You will eat very good juicy, medium-rare, greasy and tasty porterhouse steaks, creamy spinach (an acquired taste), fresh tomatoes and fried potatoes. I would drink a bottle of red wine to lower my cholesterols! A shrimp cocktail with horse-radish sauce is optional. No other choices are necessary.

The bad thing is that you will have to wait at least an hour or more for a table. Beware cash only for the very big tab. Steak-lovers go there very religiously.

Inside tip: I prefer to eat there for lunch ... no wait for tables and they offer a delicious juicy hamburger, French fries and a tall glass of beer. A bargain, too.

Afterwards, you can walk across the East River via the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan. What a sight.

Peter Luger Steak House, web site, 178 Broadway Street, between 6th Street and Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-387-7400 [Yelp | openlist | NY Mag | MenuPages | Gayot]

Posted June 25, 2007 05:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Brooklyn , Hamburgers , Notes to a Friend , Steaks   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Tri-Institutional Noon Recital - Dudana Mazmanishvili

Dear Roger:

You missed another fabulous piano performance ... at the June 15th, 2007, Tri-Institutional Noon Recital at the Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University ... Ms. Dudana Mazmanishvili played:

"If playing the piano were an Olympic discipline, then the performance of the young Georgian Dudi Mazmanishvili certainly would have secured her a place on the winners' podium" Westphalenpost....

You would have been mightily impressed with her performance which was all played from memory with such strength and gusto.

Afterwards, one can enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch for $15 ... in the Mid-20th Century Modern sleek dining room with a fabulous view of the gardens.

The $15 all-you-can-eat buffet lunch is at the dining room of the Rockefeller University. Open to all comers with proper attire. Soups, salads, cold chicken platters, warm beef, salmon, and other meat platters, cakes, coffee, tea or soda ... all inclusive. Mid-20th Century Modern decor with a lovely view of the leafy campus. On a nice day, there are tables outside. The entrance is on York Avenue and 66th Street. The lunch is prepared by Restaurant Associates so I must say that it is not haute cuisine, simply plain and healthy.

I hope to see you there for the last two performances of the season ... the last will be on June 29th, 2007 ... just after my birthday.

Your friend,

Dudana Mazmanishvili, web site

Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map - pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1

Posted June 22, 2007 02:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Music   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

American-Italian red sauce trattatoria - Patsy's Pizzeria

I have found an American-Italian red sauce trattatoria that I enjoyed very much. We can all go there for a great time to celebrate my birthday ... Patsy's Pizzeria, 1st Avenue between 117th and 118th Streets, Spanish Harlem. Thin pie crust with fresh mozzarella and red sauce. Delicious fried mozzarella, etc.

Another suggestion is Ottomanelli Grill, 93rd Street & Lexington Avenue. Easy parking, too. Very reasonable prices.

Patsy's Pizzeria, 2287 1st Avenue, between 117th and 118th Streets, 212-534-9783 [openlist | Yahoo | Slice | Gayot | Best Pizza in New York]

Ottomanelli New York Grill, web site, 1424 Lexington Avenue, at 93rd Street, 212-426-6886 [MenuPages | Citysearch | Yelp]

Posted June 21, 2007 08:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Harlem , Italian , Notes to a Friend , Pizza   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Can you read this?

From a friend:

Spelling reconsidered! All that time wasted learning spelling words!

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aza! nmig hu h? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

See this for explanation.


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Posted June 20, 2007 07:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

"Swallowing Clouds," by A. Zee

A playful journey through Chinese culture, language, and cuisine ... In "Swallowing Clouds", A. Zee

invites us to a veritable Chinese banquet full of charming explorations of food, language, and culture. Beginning with simple dishes from a typical restaurant menu, Zee launches into an engrossing voyage of discoveries about Chinese language and cuisine. With folklore and anecdotes, he uncovers the roots of Chinese characters in ancient pictographs, giving an absorbing and effortless introduction to written Chinese.

... why eating "won-tons" is like swallowing clouds ... he traces the origin and legend of the dish "Ma Po To Fu" pages 174-179 ... you will be able to recognize the Chinese characters on menus ... did you know that red hot peppers were imported by the Portuguese from Central America to Sichuan, China! Ay caramba ...

Also see "eating in chinese" for a good overview of Chinese characters on menus and restaurants

Posted June 17, 2007 04:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Book and Web Site Reviews , Chinese , Research , Restaurants   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Sushi in Mid-town

I have discovered two places for a satisfying sushi meal in Mid-town ... both are very close to Bryant Park, the oasis in mid-town ... one can pick-up a delicious and fresh array of prepared food and walk to Bryant Park for a lovely picnic ...

Frequently, I have to go to 42nd Street & 5th Avenue to do my art-appraisal research at the Main Research Library. Crossing 41st Street between Madison and 5th Avenues, I discovered a small "Japan-town" with a book-store, a grocery-fast food shop and Cafe Zaiya and Sushi Chiyoda. They are frequented by Japanese office workers and lovers of things Japanese.

Cafe Zaiya is a department store concept with a combination of fresh sashimi & sushi, tempura vegetables and shrimps, tonkatsu, teriyaki beef, cream puffs, cakes, pastries, all ready to go or eat in. 18 East 41st Street, 212-779-0600 [TWIR (NYC Nosh) | CitySearch | Yelp | NY Mag]

Sushi Chiyoda is strictly sashimi & sushi with a sushi counter in the back-room and liquor. web site, 16 East 41st Street, between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue, 212-400-8880 [sushi NYC | MenuPages | Yelp | Salli Vates]

Posted June 16, 2007 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Japanese , Mid-Town   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Another lovely Friday noon Classical concert at Rockefeller University

You missed another lovely Friday noon Classical concert at Rockefeller University (the Tri-Institutional Noon concert).

Mr. Inon Barnatan, piano, Mr Arnaud Sussmann, violin and Ms Priscilla Lee, cello. The program comprised:-

I sat in the first row, eye-level with the players about 10 feet away. It was such a lovely performance. So much talent at such a very young age, all in their early twenties. I must say that New York is the centre of the universe for the Fine Arts. The very best in this world congregate in New York and I get the opportunity to enjoy and listen to their fine artistry talents.

One very good reason that I have discarded my TV and found so much better inspirations. Seek and you shall find. You must do the same.


Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map - pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1

Posted June 11, 2007 08:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Music , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Shakespeare in Central Park - FREE

Shakespeare in Central Park started last night .... at the Delacorte Theatre ... Romeo & Juliet ... it was a beautiful evening to enjoy a comedy in the Park ....

The evening was cool and autumn-like with clear blue skies and a stiff breeze ... the open-air stage was surrounded by lush green trees, which gave a magical feeling to the show ... the stage was very minimal with a revolving wood-plank circle and a shallow moat of water in the centre ... movable iron bridges and shelving provide the changeable scenes ... the actors gave a fine performance with much water trashed about ... it was thrilling to be at the show on opening night and enjoy a free performance.

Next week, the Metropolitan Opera will perform on Tuesday in the Great Lawn ... Patsy's fresh mozzarella & tomato pizza and vino to go ... summer-time and the living is easy, fish are jumping ...

Pick up your free Shakespeare in the Park tickets on the day of the performance beginning at 1pm at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park or from 1 to 3pm at The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street.

The Delacorte Theater is located near Turtle Pond, just south of the Great Lawn, in Central Park. The closest Park entrance from the East Side is Fifth Avenue at 79th Street; from the West Side, Central Park West at 81st Street. After entering, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater ...

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Posted June 7, 2007 02:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Sights & Sounds , The Best , Theatre   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)