Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the GreenTavern on the Green

The Crystal Room: Thirty-one year anniversary!
A celebration of light and reflection with its shimmering crystal chandeliers and glass walls affording fabulous vistas of Central Park.

Built in 1870, the rural Victorian Gothic structure now known as Tavern on the Green was designed by Jacob Wrey Mould as a sheepfold. It housed 200 South Down sheep, which grazed across the street in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow.

The first incarnation of Tavern on the Green — the restaurant — was launched on October 20, 1934, with a coachman in full regalia at the door. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia opened the restaurant with a brass key.

By the 1950s, Tavern on the Green was showing some wear and tear and the brilliant designer Raymond Loewy was engaged to renovate the building,

A succession of management companies operated the restaurant until 1962 when Restaurant Associates took it over. By the early ’70s, Tavern on the Green was a restaurant no longer in sync with the times, and Restaurant Associates shuttered it in 1974.

Rather than signaling the end of an era, however, its closing was the beginning of an exciting new one for the venerable edifice. Warner LeRoy embarked upon a spectacular $10 million renovation. Then an unheard of sum to spend on a restaurant. With LeRoy’s addition of the glass enclosed Crystal and Terrace Rooms, his lavish use of brass, stained glass, etched mirrors, original paintings, antique prints and, above all, CHANDELIERS, Tavern was reincarnated. It became a glittering palace, Central Park’s most spectacular structure.

The reincarnated Tavern on the Green took New York by storm from the moment it re-opened on August 31, 1976. It dazzled the city with its decorative whimsy, its eclectic menu and its playfulness.

I shot this photo just before they opened for dinner on this summer afternoon. With its wonderful history, I will be interested to see the next incarnation.

Moules Marinière

Hooked on Mussels! This time it’s Moules à la Marinière.

Chopped onion, shallots, and celery are sauteed in butter. Then some parsley, a couple bay leaves and about a cup and a half of vermouth are added to the pot.

Then add fresh ground black pepper and Trader Joe’s Cooked Gourmet Farm Raised New Zealand Mussels (with their juices) and heat through on high for about 2 minutes. Garnish with rough chopped parsley. Serve with French bread and homemade garlic mayonnaise.

Note: Fresh fennel would also be a nice addition to this dish, saute it along with the onions and celery.

This recipe is adapted from “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.”

Fast & Fabulous – A Gourmet Dinner in 5 Minutes!

New Zealand Greenshell Mussels over Angel Hair Pasta with a Spicy Fresh Tomato Herb Broth

A delicious dinner cooked in 5 minutes. The clock is running so here we go:

Mussels and their liquid are added to 1 cup of boiling water for 2 minutes to heat through. That’s boiling water for pasta in the pot behind.

Meanwhile saute a good amount of minced garlic (you can use a garlic press, it’s fast) in a generous butter/olive oil mixture for one minute. In the meantime, chop ripe tomatoes and fresh herbs such as basil and oregano, then add to the pan along with some dry white wine and red chili flakes. Cook angel hair pasta in boiling water until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Chop parsley.

Add mussels and all the liquid to the tomato/garlic/herb/wine sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and sea salt to taste.

Place pasta in a bowl, add mussels, and ladle the tomato broth on top. Garnish with parsley and lemon. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth.

5 Minutes start to finish – Watch out Rachael Ray!
Do you have a “Fast & Fabulous” meal to share?

Here’s the tip: Use Trader Joe’s Cooked Gourmet Farm Raised New Zealand Mussels.These mussels are grown in crystal waters of the Marlborough Sounds. After harvesting, each mussel is individually inspected for quality, washed, and vacuum packed to retain its fresh-caught flavor.

Dinner & A Show

At the Trump National Golf Club – a three course Bistro-Style dinner and a Cabaret show…

Butter lettuce salad with apples, blue cheese, and candied walnuts

Grilled chicken breast with herbs, white asparagus and mashed potatoes

Lemon tart

It is the magic of Paris!
For one moment, leave Los Angeles for a wonderful trip to Paris by Night!
The Paradisiaque Troup will perform for you the best of the French Cabaret tradition.
Tout Feu Tout Femmes! The new French Cabaret in Los Angeles.

Let them take you to Paris!

Take a look and turn up the volume.

Peter Michael Chardonnay

2004 Peter Michael La Carrière
“The spectacular Chardonnay La Carrière is becoming one of my favorite California Chardonnays, as it tastes like a Corton-Charlemagne on steroids… it possesses that extraordinary minerality, orange marmalade, and layered, full-bodied, concentrated palate. This beauty is a great expression of stone fruits and higher elevation, cool climate Chardonnay. It should drink well for 4-5 years.”
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

After thoroughly enjoying the 2004 at the Water Grill, I was thrilled to see the 2005 on the wine list at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California last night. Both delicious (at this time I prefer the 2004).