Yum, Yum, Yum!

Dessert Professional mag honors the top ten pastry chefs in America. For our slide show, click here. Image by Jennifer Bowles.


What's Got Heather So Excited?

Captured at last night's launch party for the new PBS show Kimchi Chronicles, hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Heather Graham is clearly enjoying the treats of Vongerichten's Spice Market restaurant, as did fellow celebs Hugh Jackman, Jill Zarin and Shenae Grimes. Photo by Seth Browarnik/


Taste the Difference

Two gluttonous nights of eating and drinking in a festical tent on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side proved that the once-forlorn food nabe has truly come into its own. For pics from The New Taste of the Upper West Side. For our slide show, click here. Images by Jennifer Bowles.


A New Gin-eration of Cocktail

Among the many fun activities we had going on last weekend for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, we had the opportunity to pop in to the penthouse of the James Hotel in SoHo, where our very own Insider Alex Ott was mixing up some cocktails with New Amsterdam Gin. The day's takeaway--that gin is a spirit that can go with just about any ingredient (those of us in attendance tried to stump Ott but to no avail) was a welcome lesson for any cautious sort who cringes from experimentation. Among our favorite drinks was the New Amsterdam Sling (sorry, Singapore), the recipe which follows below:

1 1/2 oz. New Amsterdam Gin

1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice

2 1/2 oz. pineapple juice

1 pinch of ground ginger

Dash of lemon juice


Combine all ingredients, shake vigorously, and strain over an ice-filled highball or frappe glass. Garnish with an organge wheel or pineapple wedge.


Getting in the Habit

Brooklyn Decker and Vanessa Hudgens displayed their height difference--as well as their excitement for's brand-new private shopping initiative, My Habit. The online retailer plans to go head-to-head with the Gilt Group and deliver deep discounts on designer clothing. Photo by Marion Curtis, for StarPix.


Cocktails in the Library

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic shook things up in the New York Public Library last night with an opening gala featuring brands such as Bacardi, Campari and New Amsterdam Gin, among others. For more event info, click here.


It's Tiempo for Cinco de Mayo

Although we're celebrating a battle victory south of the border, you don't need to go all the way to Mexico to find great Mexican eating and drinking possibilities. Here, courtesy of the folks at Epsolón Tequila, are two locally sourced recipes that you'll savor con amor.


Bucking Borracho
Created by Adam Schuman, Beverage Director
Fatty Crew, New York

2 oz. Espolón Tequila Reposado
.25 oz. Ginger Syrup
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes Blended Chocolate Bitters (equal parts Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate and Bitter Truth Xocolatl Bitters)
1.5 oz. Ginger Beer
Lemon Slice
Mint Sprig

In a shaker mix tequila, ginger syrup, lemon juice, lime juice and chocolate bitters with ice. Shake and strain into an iced highball, leaving enough room to top with chilled ginger beer. Garnish with lemon and mint.


El Diablo Braised Tacos de Lengua
El Diablo Taco Truck, Brooklyn, NY
Makes roughly 7-8 tacos

½ beef tongue, cleaned
2 ½ cups water
2 cups beef stock
½ white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeño, sliced
2 tomatoes, halved and sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ bottle dark Mexican beer
1 tbs. vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
Queso Fresco
Corn Tortillas

Season beef tongue generously with salt and pepper. Sauté onions, garlic, jalapeño and tomatoes in a heavy pot with vegetable oil for 5 mins. Add water, beef stock and dark beer to sautéed vegetables and bring to boil. Add beef tongue and chopped cilantro to a heavy pot and salt to taste. Simmer covered until tender, turning tongue once. Braise for about 3 hours. Cool uncovered in broth. Remove tongue and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Dress with queso fresco, onions, cilantro and a wedge of lime. Serve on a corn tortilla and top with salsa.


All for the Best

The musical-theater wünderkind who just a couple of years out of college had three blockbusters on Broadway simultaneously was honored in grand style last night by the New York City Opera.

In 1976, at the age of 28, Stephen Schwartz had Pippin, The Magic Show and Godspell all playing on the Great White Way. It was an auspicious start to a career that would later include work for Disney (Pocohantas, Enchanted, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and the long-running Broadway show Wicked.

Headliner at last evening's musical tribute was Kristin Chenoweth, the woman who sprang to superstardom through her delicious turn as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked. Among others offering musical homage included Raúl Esparza and Victor Garber--who in the early 1970s played Jesus in Godspell both on stage and on screen).

Also wowing the audience was Ann Hampton Callaway, who sang the show-stopper "Meadowlark," and Lauren Flanigan and Todd Wilander stars of the brand-new Schwartz opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon, which had its Lincoln Center premiere at New York City Opera earlier this week.

Schwartz, who at 63 could easily pass for ten years younger, seems to have kept age at bay through a life teeming with thoughtful, glee-filled production numbers. As he sat down to the piano and sang to close out the night, Schwartz proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he and his musicals will--to borrow from one of his most successful shows of all--long remain "pop-u-lar."



A Winery Grows in Brooklyn

New York Insider's Thomas Farley hits Brooklyn Winery in this latest Citybuzz video. To check out the intoxicating space, watch the episode, below.

AMC Makes the Call: 'Mad Men' to Return!

To the relief of Mad Men fans throughout Manhattan and beyond, AMC has reached a detente with show creator Matthew Weiner, meaning that seasons five and six are a lock.

Below is the text of the AMC press release:

New York – March 31, 2011 – AMC and Lionsgate today announced the return of the iconic series "Mad Men" for seasons five and six with series creator Matthew Weiner back on board as showrunner.  Concurrently, it was announced that Weiner has signed a new long-term deal with Lionsgate, extending into a possible seventh season.  The announcements were made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC, and Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group.  
When AMC debuted “Mad Men” in July 2007 it quickly became one of the most talked about series on television. Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” is a sexy and provocative original drama that follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. Produced by Lionsgate, “Mad Men” has made television history as the only cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series-Drama for three consecutive years.
“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support." said Weiner. "I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning.  I'm excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”
“AMC’s original programming began with a mission to create bold storytelling of the highest quality, and ‘Mad Men’ was the perfect expression of that commitment. We've been proud to support this show from the day we read Matt's ground-breaking pilot script and have loved building it with Matt and Lionsgate into the cultural phenomenon it has become,” said Collier. “For everyone involved in the show and its passionate fans, we are thrilled to announce that the series will continue on AMC under the exceptional vision of Matt Weiner.”
“We are proud to continue our successful relationships with AMC and the brilliantly talented Matt Weiner, whose vision has created one of the most distinguished series on television,” said Beggs. “We also appreciate the passion and patience of ‘Mad Men’ fans around the world who have been awaiting this good news, and we believe they will be rewarded with many more seasons of this extraordinary and groundbreaking series.”