Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009-2010 -- Going on Hiatus for a Week

Thank you, Matt, for this international journey -- it makes a perfect Holiday Card for all my friends and followers around the world. Happy Travels everyone and wishes for a safe, healthy, peaceful and love-filled year to all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Marea Ups the Formal Quotient in Dining... Wonderfully

I loved my meal at Marea, Chef Michael White's stellar vision of Italian seafood on Central Park South in the old San Domenico space now sleekly done with clubby touches and a crudo bar. No misses here -- from the ricci starter of sea urchin spread with lardo to the pastas, lobster with burrata, Hawaiian swordfish with fruit and the sublime affogato dessert drink. Can't wait to go back to try Marea's Le Collezione menu at the Crudo Bar, offering six crudi, five small portions of pasta, and dessert for $125. 240 Central Park South, 212-582-5100.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Deal a Week: A Great Luxury Hotel Deal in NYC – Pay for 2 nights, Stay for 3 and Get a VIP Shopping Package

Surround yourself in luxury in NYC when you visit this January and February. With NYC & Company’s Signature Collection Third Night ™ promotion, you’ll take Manhattan in style.

Have you ever dreamed of living like Eloise at The Plaza or sipping on a “Red Snapper” in its home at the King Cole Bar in The St. Regis? Now you can without breaking the bank, even if you already live in Manhattan! This promotion includes accommodations at 15 of the city’s most prestigious hotels for three nights (for the price of two!) and a VIP shopping package at Saks Fifth Avenue consisting of an exclusive personal-shopping experience in the Fifth Avenue Club, special savings, and complimentary coffee and dessert at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Café SFA overlooking Rockefeller Center and the Channel Gardens.

The promotion is valid from January 4 – February 28 at these Signature Collection hotels: The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel; Hotel Plaza Athénée; Jumeirah Essex House; Loews Regency Hotel; The London NYC; Mandarin Oriental, New York; The New York Palace; The Peninsula New York Hotel; The Pierre New York; The Plaza Hotel; The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park; The Sherry Netherland; The St. Regis New York; The Surrey; Trump International Hotel & Tower; and The Waldorf Towers.

For more information, contact NYC & Company by clicking here. Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental, New York

Monday, December 14, 2009

Take Your Kid to Broadway FREE in February on "Kids' Night on Broadway"

Tickets to Kids Night on Broadway are ON SALE NOW for Feb. 2, 3, and 7. Kids 6-18 go free with a full-paying parent.

Participating shows (subject to change):


Billy Elliot the Musical
Finian’s Rainbow
In the Heights
The Lion King
Mamma Mia!
Mary Poppins
Next to Normal
The Phantom of the Opera
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
West Side Story

Off Broadway
Avenue Q

Click here to buy tickets

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fancations and Baseball Vacations: Baltimore for VIPs

All the talk today about baseball trades is making me yearn for Spring Training. Camden Yards is the magnet for me when it comes to Baltimore, but there’s so much to do when it’s not baseball season. (Watch for my upcoming "Fancations" series). Harbor Magic Hotels has teamed up with The National Aquarium to provide an experience that's both fun and for a great cause. This package combines a stay at one of Harbor Magic Hotel’s three hotels with VIP entry into one of the best aquariums in the world—all while supporting the aquarium’s conservation initiatives. See the amazing jellies exhibit, or just sit back and take in the new 4-D Immersion Theater or dolphin show.

A couple of other suggestions: if you have time, take a quick walk from the Aquarium to two of Baltimore’s distinctive museums, The American Visionary Art Museum (for something new and completely different) and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, just across from Camden Yards and filled with the curator's personal collection of "culture." To stoke the hunger from your Baltimore blast, ask for the crabs at two of the city's best seafood restaurants: Obrycki's near Fells Point and Phillips Seafood around the bend from the Aquarium.

The "Harbor Magic" package includes overnight accommodations and breakfast at Pier 5 Hotel, Admiral Fell Inn (my personal favorite) or Brookshire Suites plus VIP immediate entry and all-inclusive access for 2 to the Aquarium. For more information or to book, visit

Friday, December 4, 2009

Want a Piece of NYC Restaurant History?

If you've gotten one of those increasingly rare holiday bonus checks recently, you may want to splurge on some of the goodies at auction from two of Manhattan's closed and soon-to-close icons, Cafe des Artistes and Tavern on the Grill. Items from the first are already being sold (except for the famous murals). Tavern's goodies, including some from Maxwell's Plum and the original Russian Tea Room, go on sale January 13. There's even discussion, as of today, of offering up the Tavern on the Green name for sale. Such sad endings to such beautiful restaurants (no comment on the food, however).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Get Thee to an Off-Broadway Show This Month

Although Broadway ticket prices can be gotten at discount of late, there are lots of innovative off-Broadway plays to consider as well. Among my favorites, The Toxic Avenger shows that the life as a green superhero is definitely the way to go. Based on the cult 1985 film, with music by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan and some amazingly camp performances by the ultra-talented Nancy Opel and the clueless Sara Chase, Toxie is a hoot and should not be missed. Hurry! It closes January 3. New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St..

If you saw the Vagina Monologues, you'll love Nora and Delia Ephron's hilarious and touching Love, Loss and What I Wore which features a rotating cast of readers, each acting out a vignette that touches the core of a woman's fashion sensibilities and life entanglements. Ending on January 31, the current cast includes Kristin Chenoweth, Lucy DeVito, Capathia Jenkins, Rhea Perlman and Rita Wilson. Westside Theatre Downstairs, 407 West 43rd Street (Between 9th and 10th Avenues).

Drink and Eat Responsibly on December 4 -- Chef Michael Psilakis Feeds You Free

Planning to be in the Meatpacking District tonight? If you're a night owl with the munchies, the food genius behind Kefi, Anthos, and Mia Dona, will be serving free chicken shish kebabs, lamb burgers and vegetables with couscous from a food cart at the corner of Gansevoort Street and Ninth Avenue from midnight until 2am.

Part of a project to promote responsible drinking (so you can sop up all those martinis and mojitos), the cart will also provide free bottled water.

And, if you're really in need of support, there will be free rides on standby to help get you to a taxi, a train, or even your apartment.