The Gotham Palate Mascarpone Spread

Whether you’re looking for something new to serve at your cocktail soiree or would simply like to add some gourmet flair to your Superbowl Party, The Gotham Palate Mascarpone Spread is bound to be a hit!

The Gotham Palate Mascarpone Spread

The Gotham Palate Mascarpone Spread

Recipe for 10-12 people.

Preparation Time: approx. 15 minutes


I 8oz container of Mascarpone cheese (Trader Joe’s carries a nice, inexpensive variety)
10-15 champignon mushrooms
1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
2 cups of fresh basil
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
a few sprigs of parsley
1/2 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2-3 endive leaves (optional)
Wash the mushrooms and boil them whole for about 2-3 min.
As the mushrooms boil, transfer the mascarpone into a blender.

Add in part of the basil and begin to blend.
As the basil and mascarpone unify into a creamy mixture,
begin to add the other ingredients. Do this slowly.
You don’t want to jam the blender.
It’s O.K. to add a little water, if necessary,
but no more than a 1 cup. At the end all of the ingredients,
herbs and seasoning should be added to the blender.

The consistency should be chunky-creamy.
Transfer into a deep 6″ bowl. Garnish with 2-3 leaves of endive.

Serve with sliced ciabatta, baguette, water crackers, pita bread or cut vegetables.

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Cafe Centosette

160 2nd Ave, East Village
(212) 420-5933

Cafe Centosette was once among a handful of East Village cafes that I’d visit on a regular basis. The candlelit brick, cavernous interior used to provide respite from the bitter cold after an evening of off-off Broadway theater or taking in a movie at one of the nearby cinemas. In the summer and early fall it would regale me with hours of colorful people watching over coffee and a pretty good piece of frutti di bosco (wild berry) cake at its sidewalk tables.

The appetizer fare and pizzas that I would frequently order to quell my late night nibbling urges were typically rewarding in both quality and taste. But for almost a year now, I have noticed a steady decline in the caliber of the ingredients at Centosette. The above-average to average standards in quality and preparation no longer seem to abide there. Rather they have descended from mediocre to sub-standard, at best.

The Sorrily Disappointing Salumi e Formaggi at Centosette

The Sorrily Disappointing Salumi e Formaggi at Centosette

Most recently, when a friend and I visited after a play at the Theater for the New City (click here to read my review of it in Downtown Express), we ordered two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and decided to accompany the wine with a cutting board of salumi and formaggi and an endive and arugula salad. The salad arrived first and was accompanied by a scrimpy plate of thin, flat focaccia wedges. Although, the salad was excessively dressed, the greens were fresh and the portion was decent. [Read more...]

Upcoming Talks and Tastings at the 92St. Y

Wed, Feb 4 & 18

Francine Segan’s World of Tasting

Renowned food historian Francine Segan, author of The Philosopher’s Kitchen, Shakespeare’s Table, Movie Menus and The Opera Lover’s Cookbook, presents a tasting and lecture series that explores the past and present of our favorite foods and drinks.

Wed, Feb 4, 7-9 pm, $40


Discover coffee’s origins and checkered history. Learn why it was eaten and not drunk in ancient Africa, why it was first considered a wine and how it traveled to Java and beyond. Learn how to make a perfect cup of brewed coffee and how to cook with it. See raw and roasted coffee beans, taste several types of coffee, and sample various roasting methods.

Wed, Feb 18, 7-9 pm, $40


Discover the sweet history of candy and the amusing origins of such goodies as jelly beans, Charleston Chews, Chuckles, Tootsie Rolls, Red Hots, wax lips, gum and more. Learn about the influence WWII had on our sweet’s industry, and taste old favorites as well as newly invented candy.

Sun, Feb 22, 7-9 pm, $45


Explore the world’s high-end dark chocolate. Chocolate impresario David Siegel explains the various species of cacao and where they grow and describes how cacao goes from bean to bar. Taste delicious chocolate as you go.

92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY 10128


For more information, please visit

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New York Burger Co.

678 6th Ave. (btwn 21st. and 22nd. Sts.) – Chelsea/Flatiron


303 Park Ave. South (btwn 23rd. and 24th. Sts.) Flatiron

In an effort to reach out to health-conscious eaters, New York Burger Company has recently introduced some smart, diet-friendly items to their menu. I had the pleasure of sampling many of these, including their burger staples at a private event to which The Gotham Palate was invited.

At the event, I was able to taste many of the new menu items as well as the some of the restaurants staples.

The Exciting Array of Salads at New York Burger Co.

The Exciting Array of Salads at New York Burger Co.

The new salad menu features nine diverse, internationally-inspired or regionally-accented salads. [Read more...]


As I mentioned in my Saturday posting, my attempt to sample Damon: Frugal Friday’s was a bust.

Not because Damon Wise was not able to deliver, but because the the demand for his cooking at a fraction of the cost, coupled with the buzz factor were simply too high. I’ll give it a shot again soon and let you know. In the meantime, I promised to blog about where I went instead, so here goes.

My dinner date and headed east for a deliciously frugal meal at Posto. We shared a delicious tri-color salad with poached pears and toasted walnuts dressed with a gorgonzola vinaigrette. The endive and radicchio snapped with freshness and the arugula was good too. The mildly syrupy pears offered a sweet counterpoint to the greens and the walnuts added some dry texture.

Click on the pizza below for my full review of Posto in my New York Pizzeria Examiner column.

Pizza Classica

Pizza Classica

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Posto on Urbanspoon

Deals, Deals and More Fabulous Dinner Deals

It’s time to snap out of that cold weather hibernation because restaurant week is here! And to make matters even sweeter, it has been extended to two weeks.

So, if you weren’t able to get those coveted reservations for this week, drop everything and go to to book yourself a table at one of the 250 participating restaurants for next week,  Jan 25-30.

Also, Eater reported that Artisinal will be following Craft’s move to encourage people to eat out in these belt-tightening times with Damon: Frugal Friday by hosting “Comfort Food Night,” every Monday. The menu features warm hearty specialties for under $20.

For more info on Artisinal, click on the image above

For more info on Artisinal, click on the image above

Apiary will also be offering a Sunday evening evening $35 three-course prix-fixe special from 6-10.

For more information and a sitemap on dinner deals around the city, check out Eater’s post, by clicking here.

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Even the signage is frugal…Damon: Frugal Fridays on Opening Night

Not even the city’s record low temperatures could keep the masses from flocking to Damon: Frugal Fridays at the Craft Dining Room on E. 19th St. for the kick-off of Damon Wise and Tom Colicchio’s recession-busting dinners made up of menu items costing $10 and below.

Craft Dining Room, 47 E. 19th St.

Craft Dining Room, 47 E. 19th St.

Was the last minute-like, blue masking tape sign, a show of confidence, jitteriness or bad afterthought?

The Wait on Opening Night

The Wait on Opening Night

The throngs of people waiting to get a table at 7:30, will prove that there was little to be jittery about. I guesstimated that there were over 60 people waiting in front of me when my friend and I arrived.

Menu posted on the door

Menu posted on the door

When we got there, the hostess told us that the wait would be one hour or longer. Sure we were anxious and eager to see if the experience would live up to the hype, but the bar area was completely obstructed by the hoards of people waiting to get a table, and standing for one hour without food or drink proved to be too great a test for our wills…so we opted for somewhere else…stay tuned for a report on how that went.

As for Damon: Frugal Fridays, we decided to return on an upcoming Friday with a better game plan. What was your experience at Damon: Frugal Friday? Did it match the hype? The Gotham Palate is dying to know.

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Kang Suh

1250 Broadway at 32nd. St. (Midtown West / Koreatown)

Varied Appetizer Dishes

Varied Appetizer Dishes

This huge bi-level K-town destination is a favorite among Koreans looking for reliable traditional Korean staples done right and with few surprises. It’s also popular among non-ethnic seasoned and newbie eaters of Korean who want to soak in the all-sensory experience of Korean they’ll get from the flavors, language through the servers and clientele and generous and varied spread of hot, spicy appetite teasers that precede a meal here. [Read more...]

Il Poeta

98-04 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills
; Open Tuesday – Sunday

Authentic, affordable South East Asian flavors are not the only reason to head out to Queens for dinner. The city’s largest borough is also home to Il Poeta a sparkling gem of a Northern Italian newcomer to Forest Hills.

But it isn’t just because Queens hosts little more than a handful of haute-Italian restaurants that truly dazzle, which causes Il Poeta to shine so brightly. Elegant without pretense, Il Poeta features authentic Italian cuisine that is refined, inspired and thoughtfully inventive.

Tagliolini del Poeta

Tagliolini del Poeta

From the food, to the warm hospitality, to the subdued tasteful ambiance, eye-pleasing culinary presentations and fair pricing, the recently-opened, Il Poeta proves that it is an expert venture in the hospitality business. And no small wonder, since its personable chef Mario Di Chiara, has worked for Cipriani in Venice and New York. Di Chiara’s risottos have been the subject of effusive plaudits from noted food critics and dining guests alike. [Read more...]

Thanks, Tom!

Eater has just reported that as a response to these cash-restrained times, culinary titan, Tom Colicchio will be launching “Damon Frugal Friday” at the dining room of his highly acclaimed Flatiron outpost, Craft. How frugal? Quite frugal indeed. Dishes and drinks will be offered for under $10. And to make the news even sweeter, the deal starts on January 16th, i.e. this Friday!

Note: reservations for Frugal Fridays are not accepted.

To read the full story on Eater, click on the image below.

Tom Colicchio and Damon West

Tom Colicchio and Damon Wise

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