R.I.P. Charles Nelson Riley

You were a true pioneer! We'll miss you!

Water Taxi Beach Now Open!

Water Taxi Beach, located along the in beautiful East River in Long Island City is now open for the season. If you've never been before, check it out this Summer. I've had a lot of fun there in the past. It's great if you combine it with a Saturday Warm Up at P.S. 1.

More Police Shows Added!

Fear not fans! If you weren't able to score a ticket to one of the 3 NY area shows this Summer, the band will be returning in the Fall for 3 more dates (Halloween, 11/2 and New Year's Eve) at MSG. Tickets on sale Monday June 4th at 9am (unless you were lucky enough to score a Best Buy presale code and then it's tommorrow morning at 10am).



Backtracking just a BIT more, KK and I had pre-dinner drinks at Verlaine. This place has become my favorite place on the L.E.S. for happy hour. The drink specials rock - $4 for either sangria (red or white - both equally delicious and equally strong), lychee martinis, bloody mary's or the house red or white wine. For you beer drinkers they also serve up 2-for-1 Yuenglings. Oh, and the best part is that the specials run until 10pm! Food comes by way of Asian tapas. I've yet to make it past the sangria and try it but it does look good!


Last night before the show I had dinner with the ladies at Oliva. This little LES tapas joint is a true gem! When we walked in we were immediately welcomed by the bartender with complimentary shots of his signature "Chillax" (a shot of tequilla with a chaser of EXTREMELY spicy bloody mary mix - now THAT will get you going!). All of the food that we chose was great and took me right back to Barcelona - croquetas de jamon (serrano ham croquettes - $8), calamari a la plancha (grilled calamari sauteed with stringbeans & tomato - $9), patatas bravas (fried yukon potatoes with spicy aoli - $5), txangurro (crab stuffed with peppers, taragon, cognac and panko - $10), chorizo a la plancha (spanish sausage sauteed in olive oil - $8). The space was quite a rocking party by the time we left with big pitchers of homemade sangria flowing and a band called Sin Compacion playing (they have live music at 8:30pm Sunday-Thursday). Check this place out for sure next time you are on the L.E.S!

Sing Like Yamin It

A big congrats and thanks to Elliott Yamin for his show last night at Bowery Ballroom! His voice was even BETTER than on the his self-titled debut album and it was refreshing to see someone perform who is really into it all yet still humble and sweet. Keep up the good work, my man! I'm already eagerly awaiting your next album! Until then, check him out on Ellen:


2007-2008 Primetime Schedule

For those of you not in the media biz, last week the Big 5 TV networks held their upfronts announcing their Primetime schedules for the Fall. In case you care, here is the full schedule for all 5 networks (courtesy of Cynopsis).

The Spotted Pig

Part of the reason we were late for Ricky was that we had dinner at The Spotted Pig first. I've been wanting to go since April Bloomfield was voted one of the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine. We figured going at 6pm on a Saturday we would be able to walk right in (they don't takes reservations), but we definitely underestimated the popularity of this place and had to wait 1/2 hr for a table. For starters, we each had the signature dish of sheep’s ricotta gnudi with brown butter and sage ($13), matched with a glass of the decent Tempranillo Bodegas Breton "“Loriñon” Riserva ($10). Basically, a take-off on gnocchi, this dish was great - the cheese was SUPER sharp and the sauce was not too heavy.

We followed that up by splitting the chargrilled burger with roquefort cheese & shoestrings ($15), paired with a bottle of Red Stripe ($6). Typically, I love a good blue cheese burger but after all of the sharp cheese in the gnudi it was a bit too much even for me. I've heard in the past the burger there is INSANE, but I have to disagree - it was definitley decent but I still prefer the burger at St. Andrews and it wasn't even in the running for one of the best I'd ever had. The shoestrings were really good though, basically homemade potato sticks.

Eating at the Spotted Pig can be extremely uncomfortable. The tables are crowded and VERY small and much of the seating are low stools. I'd recommend hitting this place on EXTREME off-hours to really be able to enjoy it.

On a Gawker Stalker note, Ty Pennington was drinking pints at the bar right near us and after a few he dropped one, it shattered on the floor, beer sprayed on everyone nearby, and I even had a big chunk of glass hit my shoe. Nice one buddy, especially right after getting a D.U.I!!!!!!!!!!!

Was He Havin' A Laugh ??!?!?!

I don't have much of a review for the Ricky Gervais show. Sadly (for us), he took the stage ON TIME so we missed 1/2 of the show. I MEAN REALLY!!!! Who does that? And what happened to the woman who was the opening warm up? Anyway, I wasn't that impressed with what we did see. 2 of the jokes I had heard before from other people. In the end it's really just about the way he delivers the jokes and his voice that make him so endearing. My favorite part of the show was actually when a heckler yelled out (in the same crazy voice & all) "Are you havin' a laugh", to which Mr. Gervais just responded "thank you".


Five Points

Last night I had dinner at Five Points with Suz. I have to say it was as good as I had hoped. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Five Points is not a new hotspot. It's the 8 year old flagship of chef Marc Meyer on Great Jones St. Even though I hate that neighborhood I decided to finally give this one a try since I LOVE his Chelsea hotspot Cookshop. We both started off the night with the softshell crab appetizer. This was what I was most excited about with the meal but sadly I was underwhelmed. The crab was on a bed of raw spinach and had WAY too much aoli on top of it. I can't even mention how the crab itself was since the aoli was extremely strong and overpowered ANY taste the crab might have had to offer. Note to the sous chef: next time drizzle the sauce or dollop it on the side! On to the main courses. I had grilled blackfish (kind of a cross between halibut and monkfish) with pancetta on top, situated on a bed of extremely crunchy green & wax beans. Very light & summery and interesting! Suz had a steak with onion rings which she was exceedly happy with (as a non steak eater I had to agree it was a great cut after trying a tiny piece). All of this was paired perfectly with a white Rioja. To me the room itself was a bit crowded and somewhere dreary, however the excellent service made up for that. In the end I'll say get on over to Cookshop and if you like it then why not give Five Points a try too!


Michael Tolliver Lives!

Brace yourself Armistead Maupin fans! June 1st marks the release of the long, long, LONG awaited 7th installment of the "Tales Of The City" series. I'm not reading ANYTHING about it so as not to ruin ANY surprises so I can't tell you anything about what drama will entail. If you've never read this series, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's basically a soap opera takes place in swinging San Francisco in the 1970's with all of the characters lives intertwining. If you aren't a reader, at least check out the movies (there are 3 seperate mini-series that cover the content of the first 3 books) .


Tony Award Nominations Announced

This morning the Tony Awards nominations were announced. I'm definitely routing for Grey Gardens to pick up Best Musical and for it's leading lady Christine Ebersole to take home a statue for Best Performance By A Leading Actress In A Musical. On the revival side, it's all about Company and it's leading man Raul Esparza. Tune in to CBS on Sunday, June 10th at 8pm to find out the winners and catch some great performances.

Food & Wine Charity Auction

Food & Wine is sponsoring an online auction beginning today and running until June 29th to raise money for their Grow For Good campaign. The campaign aims to raise $1 million for Farm To Table, a national initiative dedicated to supporting local farms and encouraging sustainable agriculture. The auction will feature more than $50,000 worth of items, showcasing a variety of luxury goods and unique experiences donated by culinary icons, industry leaders and the country’s top tastemakers. So get in their, browse the catalog and bid now! (and keep checking back as items will continue to be added throughout the course of the auction). Good luck and happy bidding!


Cafe Centro

Yesterday I went for lunch at Cafe Centro. I'd never really heard of this place but evidently it's been sitting in the back of Grand Central on 45th for years now and is still going strong. The cuisine is upscale French. I went strictly for the specials - gazspacho to start and tempura soft shell crab ($29) for the main - both were excellent. I paired it with a decent Pinot Noir ($9). My co-workers had the tuna tartare and frisee lardons for appetizers and the burger and ribeye steak for mains. All looked good and everyone was extremely pleased. I recommend this place for sure for a rep lunch if you are in the area. Also, they have a lot of outdoor seating (although it didn't appear to get a lot of direct sunlight at noon) so it's great for warm weather lunches.



Saturday night I went to a birthday party (and congrats on the engagement Carly & Ren!) at a little restaurant on Hudson Street called Alexandra. I've been by this place a million times but never tried it. From what I am told, the small storefront never really gets too crowded, although on Saturday it was packed since there were 2 birthday parties - one of which had Aaron Eckhart as a guest. Anyway, since we were mostly just there for drinks I started with the sangria ($9). It was ok, but I think I was more just turned off of it when I saw the bartender pour coke on the top - YUCK! Next drink please! From there I moved on to a tempernillo ($9) which was definitely decent.

After a while a few appetizers started rolling out for us from the kitchen. First up was an AMAZING brushetta on mini-garlic toasts with cherry tomato halves, diced fresh mozarella and basil - light, refreshing & delish. Then it was on to a chicken turnover with a spicy sauce that were also quite nice. These 2 items alone were good enough to intrige me to go back for a real visit. Keep in mind though, this place is cash only!

Welcome Back Rocket-Man!



Last night I went to a preview of Perilla, the new restaurant from chef Harold Dieterle, winner of the 1st series of Bravo's Top Chef. Harold's dish was one of my favorites at the F&W Best New Chefs party last month so I was excited to sample more of his food. The space is very warm (it's the old Inside space at 9 Jones) and bar and glassware are all gorgeous. We started with the 9 Jones signature cocktail - Kettle One Citron, pineapple, cranberry and a splash of Cava. Now that was a delicious way to say "welcome to summer!" Each of the hors d'ouevers was a treat - my favorite being the fluke on a taro chip. Otherwise included a tortilla, an onion soup with rock shrimp and mushrooms shot, duck meatballs and garlic bread with an edamame and fontina dipping sauce. Deserts included a mini warm to-die-for chocolate cake and coconut cake with watermellon. I got a peek at the menu and all of these hors d'ouevers really highlighted it. Based on the preview alone I'm going to predict that this one is going to be a hotspot so get in there and make your reservations immediately! Welcome to the neighborhood Harold!


Zipper Tavern

Last night I went for drinks at the new Zipper Factory Tavern in Hell's Pantry. Located on 37th between 8th & 9th, this new gastropub is an extension of the Zipper Factory Theater. I have to say this is a welcome addition to an area that doesn't have too much to offer. The small bar in front, which seats about 10, is fully stocked and offers 3 red and 3 white wines by the glass ($7 each). I had a wine that was similar to a Pino Grigio that was quite nice. Beer on tap includes the Zipper Tavern Lager. I didn't try the food but it looked and smelled delish. The menu includes reasonably priced items like lobster chowder, duck salad, burgers, sloppy joe's, charcuterie, schnitzel and brisket. Whether hanging at the bar or eating in the main dining room, check this place out the next time you are looking to meet up near the Port Authority!