9/28/12

AWESOME GIVEAWAY: Two More Tickets to Old Jews Telling Jokes

Fall is here and I have a lot of Broadway and Off-Broadway show ticket giveaways coming at ya!

First up is a repeat, but a hilarious one. Old Jews Telling Jokes, if you recall from my first giveaway a while back, showcases five actors in a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. You've never heard these jokes this way before. The show also features comic songs—brand-new and satisfyingly old—as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world and to the Old Jews Telling Jokes website, which inspired the show. Basically, you'll laugh 'til you plotz.



I'm giving away a pair of tickets to Old Jews Telling Jokes! There are 4 easy ways to win, and each comment counts as an entry. Be sure to leave your email in each comment so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

1) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2) REQUIRED - Leave a comment with your favorite old person story.

3) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

4) Tweet about this contest "I just entered to win 2 tix to Old Jews Telling Jokes on Awesome In New York! http://bit.ly/Pew1wi" and let me know with a link to your tweet.

Winners will be chosen using Random.org on Tuesday 10/2. You have until Tuesday 10/2 at 12 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!

A winner has been chosen! Congrats Jerry! You've won 2 tickets to Old Jews Telling Jokes! Check your email for more information.

Here's another way to win tickets:  The show is hosting a Facebook contest for the Ultimate Old Jews… Prize Package.  Fans can enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, dinner at 54 Below, an exclusive selection of OLD JEWS merchandise, and an opportunity to meet the cast after the show and get their picture taken with them!  The contest runs until October 1 so get on it!

Also check out a great video of the show's Audrey Lynn Weston interviewing people in Times Square about the elusive Gefilte Fish!

9/14/12

Spiffed Up Comfort Food With A Side of Surprise

Walking around the now swankified triangle of Lafayette St, Kenmare St. and Cleveland Place in Soho on a warm but crisp September evening, the dinner choices are endless, especially if you want a restaurant with windows wide open and tables spilling onto the sidewalk. It's cool, yet classy--the place to see and be seen, but also to chill and enjoy quality food. The vibe remains the same however if you walk a few blocks east on Kenmare to the relatively new American joint Ken & Cook.


Helmed by executive chef Richard Diamonte and partner Artan Gjoni (both veterans of Jean Georges’), Ken & Cook offers a simple menu of spiffed up comfort foods with fresh ingredients, all rounded out with a raw bar and a few surprises. Last week I was invited in for dinner with a couple of blogger friends (Laura and David) and we had a great time.

Walking inside, you instantly notice the simple, yet vast bar, lit up from behind and made from what seem to be metal pipes. The ceilings are pressed tin, the walls painted original brick, and the banquettes vintage leather. The dining room isn't large, but big enough, with a few more private booths in the back. The service was wonderful from start to finish. Our waiter kept coming by to check on us and was happy to make recommendations (although he pretty much recommended 85% of the menu).

Although the cocktail menu looked amazing, it was a wine kind of night for me. I ordered the Pino Noir they had by the glass, and it was a great compliment to my meal. For starters, we ordered the beet salad with avocado, radish, and cress ($14), the squid salad with yogurt, mint, and chili ($15), and the beef tartar with egg and toast ($16). The beet salad was the kind of dish which really let the ingredients shine. The beets were well balanced with the different color radishes (that I originally mistook for tomatoes) and I pretty much love anything with avocado. The squid salad was delicious as well and very flavorful. Having never tried beef tartar before, I was a little timid, but it was tasty. I'm sure it was how it was supposed to be, but I couldn't get past the texture, and only had one bite.

Beet Salad

Squid Salad

Beef Tartar

For entrees, I chose from their wide variety of seafood and ordered the Monkfish with Romesco sauce, fennel, and thyme ($26). I love Romesco sauce, but my only criticism of the dish is that it took up most of the plate and looked a little bit like an uncooked pancake. Do people actually eat that much sauce? Otherwise, the fish was wonderful. Perfectly cooked, moist with a crisp shell, and the fennel complemented the other flavors well. I'm not sure what spice was sprinkled around the edge of the plate, but it was tasty also.

Monkfish

Laura ordered the fried chicken ($19), what the owner told us was coming to be know as a cult favorite, and I believe him. Honestly, I kind of wish I'd ordered this, if only for the homemade biscuits and honey. The way to my heart is definitely through a warm buttermilk biscuit. The chicken was no sidekick though. It was super crisp on the outside, but filled with flavor and the chicken meat was super moist.

Fried Chicken

David continued his carnivorous meal with the NY Strip Steak ($39). Served with rosemary and thin cut fries, this was as flavorful a piece of steak as I've ever tasted. It looked a little lonely on the plate and steak can often be cooked poorly at non-steak houses so I was a little weary, but one bite and I knew that someone in the kitchen knew what he/she was doing.

NY Strip Steak

We were all pretty full by this point, but really wanted to sample some of the desserts. We decided upon the Apple Pie ($8) and the Peach Cobbler ($8) both with vanilla ice cream. David commented that he liked how the apples were thin cut in the pie and I have to agree with him--makes it easier to eat. The crust on both (I'm guessing it was made from the same dough) was perfectly buttery an not too sweet. The advantage of the cobbler was that it was in a little metal dish and hence stayed warm longer. However, the apple pie was probably bigger, so depending on what you're going for...or you could always order both.

Apple Pie

Peach Cobbler

The bar scene definitely started to get more crowded when we left around 9:30 (this was on a Wednesday), and a little birdie told me that the new downstairs lounge Lil' Charlies' opened last week for dancing and general debauchery (we snuck a peak of mug shots on the wall and lots of red light beaming up).

Ken & Cook on Urbanspoon

9/10/12

Get Your Heineken On

For all us normal people who look toward Lincoln Center this week with a mixture of jealousy, disdain, excitement, and plain ole interest, here's a party for you.


Everyone's favorite Dutch beer Heineken is throwing a party you can go to tomorrow September 11 from 8-11 at the Solo Event Space (40 Broad Street, inside the Setai hotel). The party will celebrate the launch of the new Heineken bottle design (with free brews, jerky and pretzel chips), and will feature a live performance by Brick + Mortar and a DJ set by Ravin Dave. To RSVP, go here: http://HeinekenFashionWeak.Splashthat.com.

Get Your Fill of Brazil

I'm pretty sure that every time I walk along 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen I discover at least 2 or 3 new restaurants and bars. I'm not sure if that's because the neighborhood is becoming more desirable or because the theater crowd is picky about their dining establishments, leading to a high turnover rate. Regardless of the reason, I'm thrilled that Brasilina opened up shop late last year between 55th and 54th Streets.

Getting invited to a Brazillian restaurant in one of the busiest neighborhoods in town led me to believe I was going to one of those joints with the giant meat-filled swords where they keep pushing the chicken and sausages on you over the steak because they are cheaper (you know what I'm talking about and you love them too). However, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into Brasilina on a Sunday night to find live music, a wall of windows splayed open to the warm summer air, and a very friendly hostess eager to show us to our seats. 

We were served the house yucca chips with olive oil and herb butter.along with our caipirinhas and as someone who normally doesn't like the slightly woody taste of yucca, I can tell you that I loved these. I had to remind myself I had a full meal coming and to stop eating them. The caipirinhas were delicious as well -- as authentic as I had in Portugal (the two cuisines are practically one in the same if you didn't know).

Yucca Chips

Me with my Caipirinha

Live Music

For starters, we ordered the Salgados, an assorted plate of Brazilian croquettes filled with chicken "coxinha," beef "kibe," and codfish "bolinho de bacalhau," and the Pastel , a plate of assorted light crusted empanadas filled with ground beef and cheese with house vinaigrette, per our waitresses suggestion.

Salgados

Pastel

There should really be a drumroll before the main course is served here. Seriously. They bring out my Moqueca in a large metal cauldron on a giant wood plank and seriously I have no clue how I'm ever going to finish it. However, with one bite of the cod and shrimp stew served, "pirĂ£o," and cajun nuts over jasmine rice I know I sure well am going to try. Moqueca is something else I discovered in Portugal and it might be one of my favorite meals ever. It's made with coconut milk and sweet peppers and served with Brazilian bread crumbs made from yucca to thicken up the stew. Alas, I did not finish it, but I had the best lunch in the office the next day.

Moqueca

My dining partner loves a good steak and was tipped off by Brazilian tourists at the next table over that the Picanha Fatiada was the best cut of meat to order. It was served in a sizzling pan with white rice, black beans, and collard greens, and it was A LOT of meat. The steak was super juicy and tender, but the only thing I'll complain about in the whole meal was the collard greens served with it. They seemed like almost a vegetable afterthought, and something a little more tasty would have been nice.

Picanha Fatiada

After this feast of a meal, we sadly had to turn down dessert, but I was tipped off that the Brigadeiro, a dark Valrhona chocolate and white coconut chocolate truffle of sorts with reduced condensed milk, was the way to go.

Brasilina would be great for a Sunday supper like we did (you can't beat live music!), but it would also be nice for a pre-theater or even celebratory dinner. The prices were reasonable as well, especially for the amount of food you are served. I'll definitely be back. Obrigada (thank you in Portuguese) for a wonderful meal!

Brasilina Restaurant and Cafe on Urbanspoon

9/6/12

Fashion's Clean Night Out

Fashion's Night Out has become an annual event I always look forward to. I've mapped out my itinerary using their handy website (braid bar at Alice + Olivia and giveaways at Mulberry!) and I've rounded up a group of girlfriends. I've also picked out my most fashionable outfit so as not to stick out like a sore thumb.


The thing is, with all that free Champagne and those passed hors d'oeuvres, something is bound to get spilled on my new silk dress. And with all those hoards of people, my strong-enough-for-a-man-but-made-for-a-woman deodorant probably will reach it's breaking point. So what's a girl to do?


In addition to all the freebies you can pick up around town, one of my favorite dry cleaners in the city, Meurice Garment Care, has decided to participate as well by offering to dry clean one item that you wear tonight for free. Honestly, it's one of the more practical giveaways I've seen and it's very easy to claim. Just follow Meurice on Facebook and post a photo of yourself on their wall at any of tonight's events. You could also submit your photo on Twitter.


Either way, the item will be cleaned for free at any of their locations but the offer applies only to items that can be dry-cleaned or laundered. So, skirts, jackets, dresses and other garments qualify. Handbags, shoes, hats, etc., do not. Exceptionally intricate garments are not eligible. Only one cleaning is allowed per household and the last day to post your photo is September 14.