Zavo Restaurant & Lounge New York

Okay… today’s the first day where I’m really feeling the cold. I’m a Midwest girl at heart, so the winter season doesn’t bother me much, but in New York, with the humidity AND the cold? It feels much more cold than normal. So what to do on a freezing day like today? I’d say just stay inside, but if you get cabin fever like me and need to get out of the house, you should go and check out ZAVŌ. A luxurious new Mediterranean restaurant that engages all of your senses, it’s the perfect location too after marathoning through a shopping spree. Got your holiday errands all checked off yet? If not, it’s cool. Me neither. Why not sit down and take a break in between with a glass of wine at my new favorite spot in Lenox Hill?

 Zavo Restaurant & Lounge

Zavo Restaurant & Lounge

A stylish and seductive multi-level celebration of Mediterranean cuisine and culture, ZAVŌ elevates the dining experience. Amidst tastefully appointed decor and lighting, the menu is just as scrumptious. Savor a cocktail at the sleek marble bar or unwind on the outdoor terrace. We sat in the dining room section with a pleasant ambience and excellent service. The staff was so sweet to give us a complete tour of their almost 1-year old restaurant in Lenox Hill (UES). ZAVŌ’s second floor is accessed via a private entrance on East 60th Street. Ascend the sweeping staircase to the intimate piano lounge, bar and refined private dining rooms, they offer unparalleled, five-star catering services cultivated from their deep expertise with corporate and special events. The Chef’s special selected menu changes daily to reflect their fascinating and unique live entertainment such as 50 Shades and Venetian/Masquerade Nights and others. It’s a great space for holiday parties right now, and even a wedding reception! The second floor can accommodate roughly over 200 people, and the decor alone will have you swooning.

We tried the crab cakes and grilled octopus for our appetizers which were cooked to perfection. Literally soft as butter, with wonderful taste concoctions to go with the seafood such as hummus, yellow pepper, and more. For our main course, we tried the branzino fish with grilled squash and zucchini, and the braised short beef with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. The fish was excellent as well as the beef. The beef and asparagus were a tad dry and could have used more sauce, but the flavors were all there. Their sancerre wine was also quite good. But we were so full, we opted out on dessert. Gotta keep that holiday figure, somehow! ;) Overall, a wonderful dining experience. On the super plus side? It’s right across the street from Bloomingdale’s - the perfect spot to hang your hat and grab a bite after your holiday shopping!

LOVE & XX’S,

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Guilt-free On-the-Go Snacking During NYFW

This post is sponsored by Pearls® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Healthy, fun and mess-free, Pearls Olives!® is great for fashion week! With barely any time to eat in between shows, meetings, shoots, editing and everything else in between - you can definitely bet on me not eating properly. But when hunger strikes, I just whip out Pearls Olives to Go!® They have an assortment of new flavors to their Olives to Go! products but I truly love the original, black pitted olives. They are a great addition to your snacking go-to's and/or plant-based diet! And if you're anything like me who prefers salty cravings over sweets, this is the snack for you!  

Delicious California-grown large pitted black ripe olives are perfect for lunchboxes, gym bags, desk drawers, as well as great for after-school or an after-sports group snack. Always ready-to-go in single-serve, liquid-free, easy-to-open cups, they are a great choice for a tasty wholesome snack. Each cup holds ten large olives--one for each finger. ;-) Pearls Olives to Go!® Black Pitted Olives are proud to be a winner of the 2014 Parents® Magazine 25 Best Packaged Foods for Families Award! With only 35 calories per 1.2 ounce cup, they come four cups to a package. Other infused flavors include Taco, Sriracha or Italian Herb. Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, GMO-free, vegan, and Kosher.

I'd totally pack some feta cheese and tomato with the olives but alas, I didn't have time to organize a lunch box of sorts for fashion week. But next time will be different and still nonetheless, a party in my mouth. How would you guys mix it up with these on-the-go olives? Available on Amazon or you can use the brand's store locator for other retailers here

LOVE & XX’S,

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L'ADRESSE NYC

This post is brought to you by L'ADRESSE NYC, but all opinions are my own. 


At L’ADRESSE they serve innovative breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, as well as pâtisserie created on site in the classic French tradition. Their diverse beverage program includes artisanal cocktails, fruit and vegetable blends, spritzers and one-of-a-kind coffee drinks prepared by an award-winning barista team. We're talking over 40 national and international awards for coffee excellence and hospitality! And well-deserved. Whether you want to enjoy a single cup of espresso or a complete dining experience, come take a read about my experience in this convivial atmosphere and laid-back attitude that made me feel so welcome and full at the same time. :) 

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L’ADRESSE utilizes the latest trends in restaurant design resulting in a warm and welcoming walk-in atmosphere where guests can enjoy the highest quality of service, hospitality, and accessible pricing. Located right across the street from Bryant Park, it's perfect for both tourists and New Yorkers - it is one of a handful of restaurants in the U.S. to use the Josper grill, popular throughout Europe, to highlight the flavor of their meats, fish, and vegetables.

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We tried the Wagyu carpaccio with Bayley Hazen blue cheese, bloomed mustard seeds, spring onions, and fig compote which was insanely delicious. And because it's #NationalSoupMonth, and the fact that I'm soup-obsessed, I tried both the classic borscht, a traditional beet soup with beef and crème Fraiche, and one of my favorite dishes we tried, their cauliflower soup with poached egg and garlic chili. A truly mind-blowing soup, I could eat it every day! We also had the seared sea scallops with truffle cauliflower purée, hazelnut brown butter, vincotto and a side of Brussel sprouts with Chinese sausage, sesame cilantro pesto, and chili lime vinaigrette. I loved the combination of flavors together, the scallops were perfectly cooked and service was top-notch. 

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L’ADRESSE’s dessert repertoire includes fine patisserie created on site in the classic French tradition in collaboration with world-renowned pastry chefs. From the Chocolate Envy, a decadent chocolate mousse cake with hazelnuts to Smetannyk, a traditional sour cream layer cake to Tiramisu to Cheesecake and more, their menu is inspired by sweet flavors from around the world. They also offer whole cakes available to order in advance for pick up to celebrate those special occasions including birthdays and anniversaries. 

We weren't planning on dessert but once I saw their patisserie in the back, it was really hard to say no! We tried onyx, a Russian tea cake with white chocolate mousse with a bitter aloe twist in marble glaze. Never had this, even after having been to Ukraine - it was something new and fun to try. You can see it on my Highlights on Instagram for more, video and pics. We also had cheesecake with strawberry jam (out of this world) and Kimura, a French pistachio cake, refreshing lime, and passion fruit purée, that was superb. Really decadent and full of a variety of flavors, whether you just want a cup of coffee or a full meal, L'ADRESSE is definitely a place to check out in New York!

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Le Coq Rico – The Bistro of Beautiful Birds

This post is brought to you by Le Coq Rico, but all opinions are my own.


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Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing the wonderful downtown restaurant, Le Coq Rico. The original Le Coq Rico (The Bistro of Beautiful Birds) is located on Monmartre's Rue Lepic in Paris. Each Le Coq Rico pays tribute to responsibly raised whole-animal poultry. This restaurant is Chef Antoine Westermann's ode to the local terroir, expressed through the flavors of wild and noble birds. Westermann spent more than a year traveling across the Northeast, particularly through the Hudson Valley and Pennsylvania, to meet farmers and learn their poultry raising philosophies. "Fowl is a world unto itself," noted Westermann. "The flavor and texture change depending on the region, breeder, age, and style of farming." The result of this exchange stands today as Le Coq Rico, NYC. Continue reading to learn more about my time at this attractive, chic bistro.

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Renowned French chef, Antoine Westermann was just 23 years old when he became the Chef and Owner of his first restaurant. In the twenty-five years that followed, he earned three Michelin stars. Then in 2006, he made the exceedingly rare decision to ask Michelin to remove his stars so his creativity would no longer be confined by the rules and regulations of the guide. Specializing in sophisticated poultry dishes, I was more than excited to try their Tuesday's plat du jour, coq au vin. One of my favorite French dishes of all time, they certainly did the bird justice. It was the best I have ever had!

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We started with lovely appetizers of deviled eggs in a bed of octopus, cabbage, and cumin salad along with a creamy mushroom soup with a confit of gizzards (YUM). For our main entrees, along with the coq au vin with egg tagliatelle, we also tried the succulent roasted chicken that is aged 120 days and is served with a side of seasonal salad. Delicious pairings of pinot grigio and pinot noir, we topped it off with dessert, their famous l'ile flotttante (Floating Island) which consists of soft meingue &  crême anglaise and three selections of ice cream: coconut lime sorbet, ginger, and vanilla ice cream. Even the espressos are spot on! A truly magnificent, fulfilling lunch! 

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The service was great, very friendly staff and super helpful when it came to making a selection. I'd recommend Le Coq Rico to anyone! But if you want to avoid the holiday crowds and nightlife scene, lunch is the way to go! And sit at the chef's counter, where you are able to watch the chefs cook for you up close and personal! The only problem with that is it might have your tummy rumbling as you wait! How many of you have experience Le Coq Rico? If you haven't yet, what are you waiting for?! ;)

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Cameron Hughes Wine

Thank you Cameron Hughes for sponsoring this post. Capture the celebratory spirit of the holidays, and toast to the season with Cameron Hughes wine!

One of my favorite appetizers in the world are stuffed mushrooms. They can be of any kind. But paired with another fav, the glorious Thanksgiving side dish I go crazy for; stuffing, the combination is deliciously lethal. But anything that goes perfectly well with a nice hors-d'oeuvre is a really nice glass of wine. Exceptional wine, extraordinary value. Great wine doesn't have to be expensive and Cameron Hughes wine's mission is simple: Buy the best possible wine for the best possible price. Which is why I'm so happy to partner with this San Francisco-based wine company founded by Cameron Hughes! In today's post, I'm sharing my thoughts on three different bottles of wine from this brand including my very own quick and easy stuffed mushroom recipe.

The stuffed mushroom recipe literally consists of only 3 items, minus the butter and boiling water. Aside from that, all you need are white mushrooms, sweet Italian sausage (or any sausage you'd like to try it with), and Stove Top's 'Savory Herbs' stuffing. I do know how to make homemade stuffing, which I do almost every Thanksgiving, but it does require more time and it does always taste better cooked in the bird. All that flavor you're missing out on! But sometimes, for something simple and painless this recipe takes less than an hour to prepare + make on top of going well with either a red or white wine. 

 photos + recipe by ©   Suzanne Spiegoski

photos + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

24 oz fresh whole white mushrooms (about 28)

1/2 lb bulk spicy Italian sausage, cooked and drained

1 box Stove Top 'Savory Herbs' stuffing

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove stems from mushroom caps; discard stems.

On an ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides, place mushrooms, stem-side down. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until they just start to release their juices. Remove mushrooms from pan; drain. Remove any liquid from pan.

In a medium bowl, mix Stove Top (cooked) and sausage until well blended. Divide and spoon filling into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place mushrooms in the same 15x10-inch pan.

Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top and heated through.

My friends and I first tried the Chardonnay. The super fresh nose of honeysuckle, pear, and apple gains weight and complexity with a bit of air, adding papaya and orange creamsicle to the mix. Creamy and supple on entry, this wine really hits the “umami” button, with rich orange sherbet and vanilla notes riding that honeyed beam of acidity I find so thrilling about the Chardonnays from this region. Robust yet wonderfully complex even at this young age, it finishes in long waves of ripe fruit and creamy vanilla. Yum.

Next up is the beautifully balanced, complex Pinot Noir that will have broad appeal, providing ample punch but also carefully delineated flavors. Pale ruby in the glass, this Pinot starts with rose petal and earthy black cherry on the nose, opening up to reveal the warmer plum and brown baking spice notes with hints of pepper. Ample yet very refined on the palate, with perfect balance and emerging complexity that will definitely improve in the short term as this opens up in the bottle over the next month or two before settling in for long-term aging. Rich and concentrated on the palate with pretty yet ripe plum mingling peppery spice notes, this wine has plush texture and balance in a long, smooth, harmonious finish.

And lastly, no expense spared, icon-level winemaking. Aged in 50% new French oak, this opaque black wine is textbook, classic Rutherford Cabernet. Sumptuous and suave on the nose, it features a gorgeous mélange of blackberry, cherry, cassis, dark chocolate and mint underpinned with graphite and mineral wrapped in lavender florals. The palate is juicy and succulent, with red and black fruit and a finely knit but resounding kirsch/mocha punch. I have to say out of the three, the reds were my favorite, especially the Pinot Noir. What kind of wine do you normally drink with an appetizer? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

LOVE & XX'S,

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