The Perks of Eating at Fancy Restaurants

Gramercy Tavern BreakfastThe Next Morning:
Coffee cake from Gramercy Tavern, enjoyed with an espresso.

One of the best things about going to fancy restaurants is the takeaway breakfast you get at the end of dinner. I’ve had sweet brioche from Daniel, lemony madeleines from Alain Ducasse, nutty granola from Eleven Madison Park, and, from last night’s meal, cinnamon-laced coffee cake from Gramercy Tavern.

The treats are always delicious, but my favorite part about them is the thoughtful implications behind them. Someone has gone out their way to spoil me. They have given thought to what I’m going to have for breakfast in the morning, and they’ve made sure that it will be a meal that is reminiscent of the impressive one I ate the night before. That is hospitality at its best.

Top Chefs Raise Money for Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief

       Clockwise from top: Chef Sosa, Chef Talde, Chef Carroll, Chef Sbraga

Tonight, Top Chef alums Angelo Sosa, Dale Talde, Kevin Sbraga and Jen Carroll will face-off at Sosa’s Hell’s Kitchen taqueria, Añejo, to raise money for hurricane victims on the East Coast. Each chef is in charge of preparing one dish as part of a four course tasting menu, and it will be your turn to judge which one you think is the best.

Tickets are $100 and all of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross. Call 212.920.4770 or send an email to to make a reservation.

Sometimes it’s Better Not to Mess with the Best: Motorino vs. Me

Homemade Pizza
My homemade pizza
Motorino's Pizza
Motorino’s pizza

One of my favorite pizza restaurants in New York is Motorino on East 12th Street. Last night, after a trip to Williams-Sonoma to buy a pizza stone, my bf and I tried to make the restaurant’s signature Brussels sprouts and pancetta pizza at home. We bought ready made dough from Whole Foods, kneaded it into a circle (ok… a slightly lopsided, oblong circle), brushed it with olive oil, and topped it with shredded mozzarella, pecorino, raw Brussels sprouts leaves, sliced garlic, and cooked pancetta. The result was a yummy but sad version of our favorite. Moral of the story: nothing beats Motorino’s perfectly charred Brussels sprouts and pancetta concoction.