Tradicionalni recepti

Ugaoni sto Billa Boggsa: Patsy's Italian Restaurant

Ugaoni sto Billa Boggsa: Patsy's Italian Restaurant

TV voditeljka i novinarka odlazi u poznati njujorški restoran

Boggs sa kuharom Sal Scognamillom

Patsy's je jačao gotovo sedamdeset godina, a tokom svih tih decenija imali su samo tri kuhara - originalnog Patsy, njegovog sina Joea i trenutno Joeovog sina Sal Scognamilla. Mjesto je obilazak mnogih poznatih ličnosti. Jednom sam večerao tamo, a George Clooney je sjedio iza mene sa svojim tatom. Još jedne noći Tony Bennett i John Travolta bili su za stolovima pozadi.

Hrana je direktna južnoitalijanska kuhinja koja mnogima predstavlja udobnu američku hranu. To je svijet crvenog umaka u Patsy's, a njihovi umaci dostupni su u boljim supermarketima. Mesto je poput vašeg proverenog komšijskog italijanskog restorana sa kariranim stolnjacima koji se obukao i otišao u Njujork i učinio ga velikim.

Klasici s napuljskom baštinom obiluju - punjeni kalamari, linguine marechiare (školjke iz ljuske s češnjakom, začinskim biljem i malo rajčice), škampi od škampa, spiedini alla Romana (slojevi kruha i mozzarelle, prženi i posluženi s umakom od maslaca od inćuna ), rigatoni Sorrentino (pečen s umakom od rajčice, mozzarella, ricotta i Parmigiano-Reggiano) i pizzaiola s kobasicama s paprikom. Sinatrin omiljeni dan tada bila je tanko istučena teleća piccata.

Na meniju se posebno ističe jastog koji izlazi u susret mnoštvu fra diavolo, koji se cijepa, peče na tavi i pirja u začinjenom umaku od marinare te poslužuje s lingvinom.

Ono što mi se kod Patsy oduvijek isticalo je porodična tradicija. Joe i njegov rođak Frank otvaraju vrata i smještaju vas. Joeova ljupka supruga Rose je na blagajni; Sal se vratio u kuhinju. Nazoveš Patsy's radi rezervacije drugi put i oni će te znati. Treći put kad budete unutra, zagrlit ćete se. Porodica Scognamillo ponosi se svojim udobnim mjestom na zapadnoj 58. ulici: "Postoje restorani u koje idete i restorani u koje se vraćate."


Patsyin omiljeni restoran Franka Sinatre odaje počast

Patsy's iz njujorškog talijanskog restorana, poznatog kao omiljeni restoran Franka Sinatre, odat će počast naslijeđu Franka Sinatre, 20 godina nakon što je preminuo 14. maja 1998. Legendarni talijanski restoran u New Yorku bit će domaćin specijalnog događaja U subotu, 19. maja od 12:30 do 15:30 u spomen na 20. godišnjicu smrti Franka Sinatre.

Proslavu će voditi četverostruki televizijski voditelj nagrađen Emmy, Bill Boggs. Poznat po intervjuiranju s nekim od najvećih imena u muzičkoj industriji, Boggs je bio prvi voditelj talk showa kojem je Frank Sinatra imao dovoljno povjerenja da mu omogući intervju sa kamerom.

„Čast mi je što sam dio naslijeđa najvećeg izvođača 20. vijeka. Možda je prošlo 20 godina od njegove smrti, ali sada je relevantniji nego ikad prije. Njegovi talenti dugo će utjecati na generacije muzičara. Uvijek je bio ispred svog vremena, uključujući i svoja uvjerenja o jednakosti i inkluziji ”, izjavio je Sal Scognamillo, vlasnik Patsy’s New York Italian Restaurant.

Svečanosti uključuju obrok u četiri slijeda s jelima koja je Frank Sinatra uvijek naručio iz svog omiljenog restorana, sjajne priče onih koji su ga dobro poznavali i nezaboravne video isječke. 'Sinatra: Pjesma ste vi', i pisac muzike i pop kulture za Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair i pisac Playboya Will Friedwald, potpisat će kopije svoje ponovno objavljene knjige u kojoj je predstavljeno novo djelo Tonyja Bennetta.

Ulaznice za pridruživanje Patsy's njujorškom italijanskom restoranu i ponovno oživljavanje naslijeđa Franka Sinatre dostupne su za kupovinu po cijeni od 125 USD po osobi. Za kupovinu i rezervaciju nazovite (212) 247-3491.


Najbolji restorani i barovi u New Yorku

Čuvajte svoje osoblje i svoje klijente tako što ćete prihvatiti beskontaktno plaćanje. Beskontaktno plaćanje omogućava vama i vašem osoblju da obrađujete plaćanja bez fizičkog dodirivanja kartice korisnika.

Jedan od najistaknutijih njujorških restorana u jevrejskom stilu otvoren je 24 sata dnevno, sedam dana u sedmici tokom cijele godine - nikada se ne zatvaraju!

Jedno od najvećih talijanskih restorana u New Yorku u New Yorku možete pronaći u Il Cortileu. Smješten u ulici Mulberry u srcu Male Italije,

Odrezak od 9.000 kvadratnih metara u klasičnom stilu u srcu Kazališne četvrti s klasičnim, ali suvremenim jelovnikom iznimno pripremljenih odrezaka i divljači.


NEDJELJNI UMAK

Mladi Frank Sinatra …. Hoboken, New Jersey

Frank Sinatra

“Dođite sa mnom ”.

PATSY ’S “Franks Omiljeni restoran ”

Frank's#omiljeni restoran na svijetu, bio je Patsy ’s na West 56th Street u New Yorku, u Theatre District -u blizu Times Square -a. Frank ’s omiljeni su bili Calms Posillipo, Spaghetti Pomodoro, Veal Milanes (extra Thin & amp Crispy) i Spaghetti & amp Meatballs od kojih je patsy ’s najbolji u gradu ..

PATSY ’S je daleko restoran koji se na svojoj web stranici najviše povezuje sa SINATROM —, restoran napominje da je godinama poznat kao restoran koji je Frank Sinatra proslavio. ” Još uvijek možete naručiti old-school Talijanski, ali možda nemate potpuno isto iskustvo kao Sinatra, za kojeg se pričalo da je ušao na posebna vrata da sjedne za rezervirani stol na drugom katu. Sinatra je postao posebno odan restoranu nakon što je jedne godine izvršio samostalnu rezervaciju za Dan zahvalnosti, ne znajući da je restoran tog dana zatvoren. Patsy Scognamillo nije htjela odbiti Sinatru, pa je dopustio rezervaciju. Također nije htio da Sinatra zna da je restoran otvoren samo za njega, tako da je cijelo osoblje dovelo njihove porodice kako bi popunilo mjesto, nešto što Sinatra nije naučio godinama kasnije, prema Patsyjevoj predaji . Restoran i dalje slavi svoju vezu sa Sinatrom: Desno, 2002., Joe Scognamillo poslužio je glumca Billa Boggsa, koji se prerušio u Sinatru. (236 West 56th St.)

FRANK & amp AVA GARDNER
Mangia Bene.

Želite jesti kao SINATRA? To je prilično zabavno učiniti, slijediti stope velikog Francisa Alberta Sinatre i jesti i objesiti se na Frankovim omiljenim mjestima svih vremena. Možete otići u The 21 Club i tamo pojesti čuveni 21 Burger, i nabaviti Jack Daniels dok ste u njemu, to je bilo omiljeno piće Sinatre.

Takođe, nedaleko od kluba 21, i mnogo pristupačnije, nalazi se PJ Clarke ’s na 3. aveniji u 52. ulici. Uzmite jedan od njihovih ukusnih burgera, Frank ih je obožavao. I opet, učinite nešto poput Franka i naručite Jack Daniels dok ste već kod toga. Ovo su mjesto na koje su mislili Johhny Merver i Harold Arlen kada su napisali jednu od najomiljenijih pjesama Sinatre,##2020One For My Baby. ”

Idite u East Harlem na Frank ’s omiljenu pizzu u Patsy ’s Pizzeriju na 2287 First Avenue, New York.

A tamo je još jedna Patsy's#8217s dolje u West 56th Street između 8. Avenue i Broadwaya. Ne, to nema veze s Patsy's Pizzeria. Patsy's#8217s na W. 56th je potpuni talijanski restoran, a kao što gotovo svi znaju, ovo je bio omiljeni restoran Sinatre ikada. I dalje ga vodi ista porodica koja je za Franka počela kuhati još 40 -ih godina. Uđi i jedi kao Frank. Naručite neke školjke Posillipo, špagete pomodoro i teletinu Milanese baš kao što je to učinio i Frank.

A ako želite to učiniti kao Sinatra u udobnosti vlastitog doma, nabavite si primjerak odlične knjige Daniela Bellina NEDJELJNI UMAK

s receptima za DOLLY SINATRA ‘S TUVANICE i ITALIJANSKO-AMERIČKU NEDJELJU SAUCE GRAVY … Vi ćete#8217 jesti kad poželite kao klan Sinatra. Skuhajte mesne okruglice i nedjeljni umak, nabavite lijepu bocu Chiantija, bacite malo ploča Sinatre i bit ćete u svom malom Sinatrinom raju. “Što je bolje od toga? ”

3. AVENIJA, Midtown MANHATTAN

SINATRA ‘S SVE VREME NAJDRAŽI BAR / SALON

FRANK ’S OMILJENI ITALIJANSKI KRUH … PARISI na MOTT STREET, MALA ITALIJA, New York, NY

FRANK ’S NAJMILJNIJI ITALIJANSKI KRUH

PARISI PEKARNA MOTT ULICA

MALO ITALIJA, NY NY

FRANK ’S NAJBOLJA PIZZA “PATYSY ’S ”
Istočni Harlem

FRANKS OMILJENA PIZZA

PATSY ’S u ISTOČNOM HARLEMU

Nema veze s PATSY ’S na 56. ULICI

SINATRA u JILLY ’S New York sa prijateljima i kćerima NANCY i TINA

Frank je volio odlaziti u svoj bliski restoran Pal JILLY RIZZO ’S iz New Yorka JILLY ’S gdje bi Frank jeo kinesku hranu, pričao priče i pio JACK DANIEL ’S do jutarnjih sati …

Dean Martin gleda kako Sammy Davis Jr. sipa Franku Jack Danielsa

Jack Daniel ’s i Frank Sinatra

FRANK SINATRA sa cigaretom i pojačalom DANIELS

Dom DOM ’S PEKARE Hoboken, New Jersey

FRANK SINATRA je DOM -u poslao KRUH u Palm Springs u Kaliforniji

FOCCACIA Iz DOM ’S PEKARE

BAKA BELLINO ’S KUVARA

“RECEPTI OD MOJE SICILIJANSKE NONNE ”

autor Daniel Bellino “Z ”

Autor Daniel Bellino “Z ” ima iste sicilijanske korijene predaka kao Frank Sinatra i jedan Charles “Lucky ” Luciano koji je rođen u LERCARI FRIDDI SICILIJI, kao i Frank SInatra ‘s, otac Martino Severino Sinatra i Bellino ‘ baka i djed po majci Giussepina Salemi i Fillipo Bellino koji su oboje emigrirali iz Lercara Friddi u New York preko ostrva Ellis 1904. Godine 1906. Lucianovi roditelji su emigrirali i nastanili se na Donjoj istočnoj strani New Yorka kada je mladi Charlie (Salvatore) imao 9 godina.

Charles “Lucky ” Luciano

SINATRA ’S Omiljena PIZZA.

PATSY ’S u Eats Harlem, New York NY

2287 1st Avenue uredna 117. ulica

Otvorila Patsy Lancieri 1933

21 KLUB

Omiljeno SINATRA -inovo mjesto godinama

SINATRA stiže u The 21 CLUB sa Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Dobar prijatelj i tjelohranitelj JILLY RIZZO i američki agent za TAJNE USLUGE

7. GINO ’S na aveniji Lexington (zatvoreno 2010.)

8. PATSY ’S PIZZERIA … East Harlem, NY (još uvijek otvoreno)


Novi gradonačelnik voli crveni umak jednostavan

Činilo se da gradonačelnici New Yorka često upravljaju sa stola na uglu.

Edward I. Koch probio se širokim nizom kroz gradske restorane, od Pekinške pačje kuće do Četiri godišnja doba, objedujući porčete i masne pastrame, ne obazirući se na svoje arterije. (Nakon uspješnog četvorostrukog zaobilaženja 2009. godine, odveo je svojih 20 ljekara i njihovih supružnika na večeru u steakhouse Peter Luger.) Rudolph W. Giuliani imao je svoja omiljena mjesta u Maloj Italiji i na Gornjoj istočnoj strani. Gradonačelnik Michael R. Bloomberg, koji jede većinu noći, favorizira klupske ustanove poput Quatorze Bis, Nippon i Shun Lee Palace.

A izabrani gradonačelnik Bill de Blasio? Njegove navike u objedovanju mogu se promijeniti s moći i pogodnostima koje stječe prilikom prisege na Novu godinu, ali one su prilično dobro postavljene. U skladu sa stilom svojih običnih ljudi, bez napora, njegovi omiljeni njujorški restorani bili su pregršt skromnih mjesta unutar nekoliko blokova od njegove kuće u Park Slopeu u Brooklynu.

Sada kada se on i njegova porodica - njegova supruga, Chirlane McCray i djeca, Chiara i Dante - useljavaju u dvorac Gracie, ta lokalna progoništa uživaju u užurbanoj pažnji, čak i dok se s njima slatko oproštaju od svojih najpoznatijih kupaca .

U saopćenju u kojem se objavljuje njihova odluka o preseljenju, de Blasios je naglasio da će se vraćati u Brooklyn što je moguće češće posjećivati ​​mjesta poput Bar Toto, ležernog talijanskog restorana na uglu Šeste avenije i 11. ulice - pola bloka odakle policijski automobil sada stoji ispred de Blasiove kuće. Bar Toto je sastavni dio porodičnog života otkako je otvoren prije 12 godina. Gospodin de Blasio odlazi tamo na porodične večere i poslovne sastanke i strpljivo sluša druge redovne posjetitelje koji mu savijaju uho o problemima u susjedstvu.

"Znali smo da će se kandidovati za gradonačelnika, pa bi ljudi uvijek govorili:" Tu je sljedeći gradonačelnik "," Evo dolazi sljedeći gradonačelnik ", rekla je Jodi Walter, glumica koja radi u baru u restoranu. "Naravno, bilo je zabavno, ali se to i ostvarilo."

Rekla je da, iako će joj nedostajati da se viđa s porodicom tako često, razumije da su se preselili u Gracie Mansion. "Kako ne?" ona je rekla. "Zamislite zabave koje biste mogli organizirati."

Ako de Blasios ima zabave, ne očekujte domaću kuhinju.

U prvim danima njihovog braka, gospođa McCray je često kuhala, ponekad radeći po talijanskim receptima koje je prenosila majka gospodina de Blasia: pita od špinata, tjestenina e fagioli i omiljena gđa McCray, baccalà s lukom, rajčicom, paprikom i krumpirom. No, posljednjih godina, rekla je gospođa McCray, kampanja je ostavila malo vremena za kuhanje. Iako je prije nego što je upoznala gospodina de Blasia pripadala zadruzi Park Slope Food, par se nikada nije pridružio, znajući da ne mogu pratiti njihove stroge zahtjeve da članovi volontiraju njihov rad.

Umjesto toga, jeli su u restoranima kao što je Bar Toto, skromno susjedsko mjesto gdje je malo vjerojatno da ćete pronaći, recimo, rižoto od bijelih tartufa ili fettuccine s bottargom. Hrana je jednostavna: neke osnovne tjestenine, pizze, panini i hamburgeri, plus neobični netalijanski predmeti poput humusa, s nekoliko jela iznad 15 dolara.

Image

Ono što Bar Totu možda nedostaje u kulinarskim razlikama, nadoknađuje ljubaznošću. Kada je gospođa McCray zamolila vlasnika, Petera Sclafanija, da doda jelovinu sa škampima na žaru na jelovnik kako bi ona imala drugu laganu opciju, obavezao se. Gospodin Sclafani i neki stalni gosti Bar Toto -a održavaju godišnju blok žurku na kojoj se poslužuju špageti puttanesca i domaće vino, gdje su de Blasios često gosti.

Noć uoči izbora u novembru, kada je gospodin Sclafani ušao i zatekao gospodina de Blasia kako jede za šankom s političkim savjetnikom, gospodin Sclafani je izvukao nekoliko boca prošeka i poveo cijeli restoran u nazdravljanje sljedećem gradonačelniku.

Šta kuhati ovog vikenda

Sam Sifton ima prijedloge menija za vikend. Na New York Times Cookingu čeka vas na hiljade ideja šta da kuvate.

    • Ranchero umak Gabrielle Hamilton odličan je za huevos rancheros, ili u njemu škampe poširane ili sabljarku.
    • Ako planirate roštiljati, razmislite o pilećim ražnjićima na žaru s estragonom i jogurtom. Takođe i ova salata od patlidžana na žaru.
    • Ili šta kažete na jednostavnu zabavu sa hot-dogom, s preljevom i začinima u izobilju?
    • Ovo su dobri dani za pravljenje jednostavnog kolača od jagoda, postolara za borovnice iz Chez Panissea ili pudinga od kruha od kajsije.
    • Ako imate malo morela, probajte ovu šokantno dobru piletinu pečenu na tavi u umaku od vrhnja od kuharice Angie Mar.

    Gospodin de Blasio pohvalio je toplu atmosferu i hranu, posebno pileću salatu sa roštilja i, kada je raspoloženiji za uživanje, rigatoni sa pečenim patlidžanom i dimljenom mocarelom. "To je južnoitalijansko jelo za duševnu hranu", rekao je.

    Gospođa Walter, barmen, rekla je da gospodin de Blasio često ima Morettija, blijedog piva iz Italije ili čašu Nero d’Avole, talijanske crvene boje.

    De Blasios ima pregršt drugih omiljenih restorana koje ili posjećuju ili naručuju hranu za van-na staromodan način, telefonom. (Na pitanje da li je koristio web stranicu za naručivanje obroka Seamless.com, gospodin de Blasio je odgovorio: "Šta je to?")

    Redovni su u Smiling Pizzeriji na Sedmoj aveniji u Devetoj ulici. Gospodin de Blasio često ima sastanke za doručak u restoranu Little Purity, restoranu na Sedmoj aveniji u 12. ulici. Porodica naručuje krticu poblano i druge specijalitete iz Tacos Nuevo Mexico, domaćeg restorana na Petoj aveniji. Gospodin Falafel, malo sjevernije na Sedmoj aveniji, još uvijek ima natpis "De Blasio za gradonačelnika" na vratima, a vlasnik, Aladdin Habib, rekao je da je de Blasios dolazio tamo skoro dvije decenije. "Hrane se vrlo zdravo", rekao je.

    Tokom jedne posjete prošle jeseni, prisjetio se on, ljudi za susjednim stolom počeli su ganuti gospodina de Blasia pitanjima o kampanji. "Rekao sam: 'Momci, pričekajte dok ne pojede hranu", rekao je gospodin Habib.

    Za posebne prilike, de Blasios odlazi u Convivium Osteria, talijanski i portugalski restoran na Petoj aveniji koji je gospodin de Blasio pohvalio zbog šutnje. Tamo su večerali sa Williamom J. Brattonom i njegovom suprugom, Rikki Klieman, neposredno prije nego što je gospodin de Blasio imenovao gospodina Brattona za svog policijskog komesara. (De Blasios-u se sviđa i Al Di La Trattoria, talijanski oslonac na Petoj aveniji, ali gospodin de Blasio je primijetio da njegova politika bez rezervacija otežava izbor.)

    Hoće li de Blasios pronaći nova okupljališta u blizini vile Gracie, ostaje da se vidi. Patsy’s Pizza, restoran koji preferiraju gradonačelnici od Fiorella La Guardie do gospodina Giulianija, udaljen je 30 blokova u Istočnom Harlemu.

    Uprkos njihovom svakodnevnom stilu, zahtjevi da budu prva gradska porodica mogu ih navesti da angažiraju kuhara sa punim radnim vremenom. Ako ne, možda će htjeti naučiti koristiti Bešavne.


    Kako proslaviti 100. rođendan Sinatre u stilu Las Vegasa

    Tina Sinatra potvrđuje da su John Legend i Jamie Foxx među onima koji su 2. decembra krenuli u pustinju kako bi proslavili stotu obljetnicu svog oca, koja će se kasnije emitirati kao dvosatni koncert na CBS-u.

    Laurie Brookins

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    Ova priča se prvi put pojavila u broju časopisa The Hollywood Reporter od 4. decembra. Da biste primili časopis, kliknite ovdje kako biste se pretplatili.

    Frank Sinatra je umro 1998. godine, ali to ne biste znali iz proslava koje su se održavale u Las Vegasu 12. decembra i oko njega, na dan kada bi legendarni pjevač napunio 100 godina. Ol ‘ Plave oči ’ duh ostaje živ i dobro u pustinjskoj oazi. “ Bez oca, istorija Las Vegasa i#8217 bila bi vrlo različita, ” kaže Tina Sinatra, najmlađa od troje djece Sinatre. “Oponovio je životni stil i ideju glamura koja je napravila pravi utjecaj na Las Vegas 1950 -ih i#8216 60 -ih. ”

    Taj će utjecaj biti prikazan na zvijezdama u Encore Theatreu u Wynn Las Vegasu, gdje će se “Sinatra 100 & mdash All-Star Grammy koncert ” snimiti 2. decembra, kao dvosatni specijalni 6. decembra na CBS-u . Tina je, zajedno s dugogodišnjim advokatom porodice Sinatra Bobom Finkelsteinom, prije dvije godine iznijela ideju o koncertu predsjedniku i izvršnom direktoru CBS -a Corp. Leslie Moonves. Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga i Garth Brooks su među onima koji će se pojaviti Tini ekskluzivno potvrđeno THR da će John Legend izvesti “Young at Heart, ” i Jamie Foxx će pjevati “U Wee Small Hours ” & mdash obojica će koristiti originalne aranžmane Nelsona Riddlea. & ldquoOvo su neki od najvećih aranžmana svih vremena, & rdquo kaže Neil Portnow, predsjednik i izvršni direktor The Recording Academy. & ldquo Korištenje originalnih aranžmana Nelsona Riddlea i Quincyja Jonesa bio je jedan od mnogih elemenata koje smo željeli stvoriti zaista autentično iskustvo. & rdquo

    U predvorju Encorea nalaze se Jeff Koons & rsquo ‘Tulipani ’ koje je Wynn kupio za 33,7 miliona dolara 2012. godine.

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    John Legend, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine nastupit će na CBS -u i#039 Frank Sinatra Grammy koncert

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    T2C je mjesto za najbolje čuvane tajne i najnovije informacije za turiste, ali za Hell’s Kitchen, Clinton i Times Square ovo je njihov kvart. Times Square može biti turističko žarište Sjeverne Amerike, ali stanovnici New Yorka članovi su zajednice koji žive i dišu gradskim životom i čine predane čitatelje.


    Kako sam ušao u Rao

    Sinoć je u New Yorku bilo hladno i kišno, sa gradom. Činilo mi se kao dobra noć da pokušam nešto što sam želio raditi od malih nogu: jesti kod Raoa.

    Odrastao sam jedući čuveni umak od paradajza u bocama u restoranu na tjestenini koju je mama pravila kod kuće, a kad sam se prije pet godina preselio u New York i počeo pokrivati ​​hranu i restorane u Njujork časopisu, čuo sam o tome kako je nemoguće doći do stola u 119-godišnjoj, porodičnoj instituciji u Istočnom Harlemu. "Imali biste više sreće da vas pozovu na večeru u Bijelu kuću nego što ste dobili odgovarajuću rezervaciju u ovom mudrom talijanskom restoranu," Njujork prijavljeno.

    Moja djevojka Emma i ja obukli smo se i taksijem stigli do 114. ulice i Pleasant Avenue. Taksist je pitao idemo li u restoran i mdashhe je očigledno već prije prevozio slične odjevene patrone.

    "Svaki stol je bio rezerviran svake noći u posljednjih 38 godina."

    Srećom, restoran je bio otvoren (bio je zatvoren kad sam to već jednom pokušao), jer kad sam nazvao ranije u toku dana linija je bila ili zauzeta, ili kad sam prošao, pustio je snimak u kojem je pisalo: "Hvala vam na zovete Rao's. Trenutno je knjiga rezervacija za 2015. zatvorena. Nažalost, nećemo prihvatiti rezervacije ostavljene na telefonu kao poruku ili rezervacije lično koje dolaze u restorane. Hvala vam na pozivu. Želim vam ugodan odmor sezone i sretnu i zdravu novu godinu. "

    Mogućnost da tamo zaista večeramo nije se činila dobrom, ali mislio sam da ipak vrijedi pokušati i da je moja divno tolerantna djevojka spremna krenuti sa mnom u avanturu. Smatrali smo da ako nas odbiju, Patsyina Pizzeria je pristojna podrška. (Trebao bih dodati da za nekoliko dana odlazim na tri sedmice u Tanzaniju gdje se penjem na planinu Kilimanjaro, pa je ovo bila neka posebna oproštajna večera.)

    Prvo što sam primijetio kad smo ušli bilo je koliko je mjesto svijetlo. To je možda najsjajniji restoran sa finom kuhinjom u kojem sam ikada bio. Drugo što sam primijetio su svi božićni ukrasi (priča koju sam pročitao kaže da ostaju budni tokom cijele godine). Svaka stolica za svakim stolom bila je puna, a bar je bio prepun. Stariji muškarac u naočarima sjedio je na stolici u kutu, promatrao sobu i dao nam znak da predloži da sjednemo na dvije stolice otvorene do njega.

    "Za čijim ste stolom?" pitao. Rekao sam da nismo za stolom i svratili smo na piće. (Svi stolovi su, kako sam znao, "vlasništvo" redovnih ljudi koji sami dolaze, pozivaju prijatelje ili doniraju sto na dobrotvorne aukcije na kojima se samo rezervacije redovno prodaju za hiljade).

    Nakon što smo se smjestili i naručili crne grožđe i bijelo vino, sijedi je čovjek pitao kako smo čuli za to mjesto. "Kako nisam čuo za to?" Ja sam odgovorio. Objasnio sam da sam od malih nogu jeo paradajz sos.

    "Umak nam se dobro pokazao", rekao je. Bilo je jasno da se radi o momku vrijednom poznavanja. Predstavio se kao Frank Pellegrino, jedan od vlasnika (čuo sam da je poznat kao "Frankie No" jer mora odbiti toliko zahtjeva za rezervacije). Rekao je da je tamo svake sedmice (Rao's zatvoren u subotu i nedjelju), osim kada je na Zapadnoj obali u posjetu Rao -ovim lokacijama u Las Vegasu i Hollywoodu, kojima upravlja njegov sin.

    Pitao sam o politici rezervacija, a Frank je rekao da je počeo dodjeljivati ​​stolove stalnim korisnicima nakon pregleda s tri zvjezdice iz New York Times'Mimi Sheraton 1977. učinila je gotovo nemogućim rješavanje potražnje.

    Stolovi su "u vlasništvu" običnih ljudi i "niko ih se ne odriče", kaže Raov vlasnik Frank Pellegrino. "Svakih tri mjeseca vidim sve svoje klijente. A sada imam posla s njihovom djecom i unucima."

    "Niko ih se ne odriče", kaže on. "Svaki stol je bio rezerviran svake večeri u posljednjih 38 godina. Postoje tjednici, dvotjednici, mjesečnici i tromjesečnici, tako da u svaka tri mjeseca vidim sve svoje klijente. A sada imam posla s njihovom djecom i unucima. "

    Pa kako neko može dobiti stol?

    Frank je pogledao po sobi. "Taj prvi sto tamo dali su svoj sto ovoj grupi u baru. Ovi momci su svi rukovodioci kompanije PepsiCo. Ako imate sto, možete ga dati svojim prijateljima, poslovnim saradnicima ili na dobrotvornu aukciju. Ja imao Bobby Flaya, Michaela Romana, cijelu gomilu velikih kuhara prošle sedmice i nisam znao da dolaze. Nikad ne znam ko dolazi. To ga čini predivnim. To je slučajnost. Nema velikog dizajna ili plana. jedino upozorenje je ako vi nećete koristiti svoj stol i niko drugi neće koristiti taj sto, tada me zovete. "

    Međutim, stupiti u kontakt s Frankom nije lako. On nema mobilni telefon i "ne dodiruje računare". Pa kad ljudi žele da mu se jave, "zovu sve ostale koji su povezani sa mnom, a zatim dolaze i kažu:" Frankie, tako-tako-zvani ", a ja ću reći:" Dobro, nazovi ih nazad, daj da razgovaramo njima.'"

    Pregledamo sobu. "Ovo su moja četiri velika stola, a zatim imam šest štandova."

    Znači, postoji samo jedna dva vrha, zar ne?

    "Jedna dvojka", Emma & mdash koja je na postdiplomskim studijama i donedavno je radila honorarno kao domaćica u restoranu & mdash me ispravlja.

    "One deuce," Pelligrino said. "And if you're willing to wait, I'll feed you at that deuce."

    There's only one table for two in the restaurant. "And if you're willing to wait, I'll feed you at that deuce," Pellegrino says.

    Aleluja! Fifteen minutes at the bar with Frank Pelligrino, and we'd cracked the impossible code of getting a table at Rao's.

    We were in for a wait, but didn't care. We'd been promised a table.

    "This is Vinny Sciortino," Frank says. "He's my tailor. Vinny makes all my clothes. He's great." (Frank's herringbone jacket is especially handsome.) Sciortino, who has tailor shops in Red Bank, NJ, and New York City, says he's making suits for Frank for 27 years.

    "He's like a second father," Sciortino says.

    "I am that old! I could be your father!" says Frank, who will celebrate his 70th birthday this year.

    Sciortino, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday at Rao's in Los Angeles, gets a table about once a month, but the days vary. Tonight he has a Monday. Next month he has a Thursday. Like the rest of the table owners, he gets his assignments at the beginning of the year. He's been coming here&mdash"coming home," as he calls it&mdashfor 25 years.

    "And this is Tony Tantillo. He's on CBS every day, cooking with his daughter," Frank says, introducing us to another friend who's come up to the bar. "Listen, Tantillo. I gotta tell you. You're too good-looking. You're too handsome."

    "I'm not as debonair as you, Frank," says Tantillo, whose cooking segments appear on the 5 and 12 o'clock news. He and Frank spent time together in Italy, where Frank met some cousins for the first time. When Tantillo pointed out how beautiful Italy was, Frank said he'd rather be in East Harlem.

    "I need your help," he tells Tantillo. "You remember my cousin? He sent me an invitation to his son's wedding and I need you to interpret the letter. I want to send him them something." Tantillo speaks fluent Italian. Frank doesn't.

    "Anthony! This is Anthony Abbot," Frank says. "He's a member of Stanwich, a great golf club. He invites me to play golf with him." Abbot went on a golf trip with 11 other guys 20 years ago. Frank was one of them, and when names were drawn out of a hat, he and Abbot were matched up.

    "We laughed and cried for two days and at the end, he says to me, why don't you come by the restaurant?" Abbot tells me.

    In the old days, Abbot says, Frank used to open the reservation book on a quarterly basis and when he came by to get his table assignment, Donald Trump was waiting in line outside the door with other regulars.

    "This was in January, and Frank said, 'Can you come here May 6?' I didn't know anything. So he writes the date on a business card and hands it to me and says, 'Two things just happened: One, you got a reservation at Rao's which is no small deal. Two, you can always get a reservation at Rao's. I love you. [Abbot makes a kissing sound.] Both cheeks."

    Frank turns back to us and starts crooning Stevie Wonder: "I just called to say, I love you. I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart" he sings melodiously to Emma, who's clearly smitten.

    As it turns out, Frank sang in a group called the Holidaes in the 1960s. "I was an old doo-wop guy," he says. "I get Billy Joel, Sting, Jimmy Fallon in here. Jimmy Fallon loves to sing doo-wops! So whenever he's here, I start singing, and boom, he jumps up and starts singing. And before you know it the whole room is going nuts."

    After the musical interlude, Frank's back to making sure his guests are happy: "Give Tony a drink, give this guy a drink, give that guy a drink," he says to his bartender (who's also named Tony).

    "Tony, who's this kid?" he asks, pointing to a preppy young guy in a blazer sitting on the stool next to Frank's. "He's a neighborhood guy," Tony tells him. It turns out Kevin has lived five blocks away from Rao's for all 23 years of his life. He likes to come in for a drink from time to time.

    "Congressman! Does Hillary have a shot?" Frank asks U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, who represents the 9th District of New Jersey and is with a group that was given a table by its regular owner. "Bill is a Democrat like I am," Frank tells me. He points out his picture with Hillary Clinton on the wall, alongside the other photos of celebrities who have dined here. I say I don't think I've ever met a congressman out in the world. "Come here! You'll meet them!" he says.

    Last week U.S. Rep. Peter King, from New York, was in. He's a Republican, I point out.

    "Good guy. I like him. He's okay. I could sit with Peter King and say what I like and what I don't like. I'm a political junkie," Frank says. There's a letter from President George H.W. Bush on the wall. Frank doesn't discriminate.

    He checks in on another couple of tables: "How are you? Did you enjoy? Everything good?"

    It's 10:20 p.m. We've been here since 7:45, but the hours have gone by in a flash and I have no desire to give up my bar stool and leave the center of all the action.

    "Give my girlfriend a drink," Frank tells his bartender, referring to my actual girlfriend. "Give my friend a drink," he says, referring to me. Emma says she would come back here just so she could sit at the bar and hang out with Frank.

    "And you would be protected," he tells her. "I am a gentleman and I only allow gentlemen. If anybody is stupid, I would be right there. I only allow ladies and gentlemen. I don't want anything else."

    What about Frank's own companion?

    "I am married 46 years," he says. "Same woman. She's great. I love my wife. 46 years. Does she come here? No. I don't want her here. When I come here, I work. What am I going to do? Sit with her at the bar? I have people I have to talk to, things I have to do."

    "I say to my wife, 'I wish I had a Rao's to go to. I wish I had a Rao's to go hang out in, to go sit at the bar and meet wonderful people, and then sit down and have a wonderful meal," he says. I can see why.

    "Just think about what happened while you were here," he tells me, putting his hand on my forearm for emphasis. "You met my tailor. You met Tony Tantillo. You met Tony Abbot." (I met a trio of Tonys, if you include Tony the bartender.) "You met all these people. You met the congressman. You're seeing Rao's." And because it's so bright, which Frank says is because "it adds to the energy of the room," I really am seeing everything.

    Someone brings over two copies of the Rao's cookbook for Frank to sign, which he points out is the second best-selling cookbook in the history of Random House. It seems like an appropriate moment to ask what we should have for dinner.


    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?--the President : Restaurants: Chief executives usually give up dining out, but not this one. George Bush is known for roaring out of the Oval Office and into his favorite eatery.

    Read his lips: Sichuan Beef Proper, baked stuffed lobster, whiskey steak, chicken fajitas. There’s nothing like a good meal to chase those S&L blues away.

    George Bush, who never met a menu he didn’t like, eats out in restaurants about once a month--more than any President in recent history. Whenever he finds himself with a free evening and a craving for Chinese food, he slips out of the White House and into a corner table for a little Yan Chow fried rice. Just like your average all-American guy.

    Well, not exactly. Where the President is concerned, there’s no such thing as a casual dinner on the town.

    Your average guy doesn’t have someone who brings special bottled water for him to drink. Or salt, pepper and sugar for his table. Or an entourage of White House staff, Secret Service and reporters in tow.

    Not to mention the food taster.

    Yes, Virginia, the President does have a food taster. And no, the White House will not comment on food tasters--or anything else, for that matter--when it comes to protecting the Presidential palate.

    But whenever the chief executive goes out to eat, there’s a man in the kitchen standing over the food. Sometimes he just watches sometimes he digs right in.

    The night the First Couple went to I Ricchi, an Italian restaurant in downtown Washington, the food taster washed their plates, glasses and utensils before the meal and kept them in sight at all times tasted every dish to be served to the President watched as the food was put on the plates and served and uncorked and tasted the bottle of wine reserved exclusively for the President and Mrs. Bush.

    In April, right after traces of benzene were found in Perrier water, Bush joked with an audience in Indianapolis: “I’m sorry I couldn’t get over here to have lunch with you today I wasn’t allowed to. On the way over I was notified that the Secret Service had found my food taster face down in the salad. Somebody had washed my lettuce with Perrier.”

    Traditionally, Presidents give up public dining when they move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Nixon occasionally strolled across Lafayette Square, Secret Service alongside, for dinner at Trader Vic’s at the Capital Hilton. Ford and Carter rarely dined out. The Reagans, especially after the assassination attempt in 1981, kept close to the White House for meals. When Nancy Reagan did venture out, she favored the cloistered atmosphere of the Jockey Club.

    But George Bush, determined to maintain as normal a lifestyle as possible, roars out of the Oval Office and into one of his favorite restaurants at the drop of a Daily Special.

    The restaurants love it, of course. It inevitably boosts business. And it’s a big thrill for other customers.

    But any spontaneous jaunt is a complicated logistical maneuver for the Secret Service. His security staff gets nervous when the President goes out in public and even more nervous when he does it unexpectedly. But these excursions are safer than his announced appearances in two respects: There’s the element of surprise--what the public doesn’t know can’t hurt him. And he goes out to restaurants so often, they’ve got the drill down pat.

    When George and Robert Tsui get a call from the Secret Service reserving Table N-17, they know exactly what to expect.

    By now, the two brothers who run the Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church are old hands at handling the hullabaloo that accompanies a visit from the First Customer--it’s the President’s favorite spot for a family dinner. Bush has been a VIP customer of the restaurant for the past five years and still stops by every couple of months: He came right before his inauguration, on the eve of the trips to Poland and Colombia, and to celebrate his son Marvin’s birthday, to name a few occasions.

    “They treat this, just like any other American family, as their little favorite Chinese restaurant,” says Robert Tsui. “We try to be as low-key as we can.”

    Low-key, all things considered. The President is brought in one of the restaurant’s seven doors it varies each time and is always a last-minute decision by the security detail. There are Secret Service agents and police both inside and surrounding the restaurant. Customers are waved with a portable metal detector when they arrive for dinner. And then there’s the taster . . . er, make that “nutrition expert.”

    “When President Bush was vice president, he didn’t have a nutrition expert in the kitchen,” says George Tsui. “After he became President, the nutrition expert stays in the kitchen to understand what he’s eating.”

    The President sits at a big round table in a partitioned area that has a bulletproof window installed by the Tsuis. The Secret Service waits right on the other side of the partition, and only the Tsuis and waiter Tak Chung Pang--all wearing official pins--are allowed past. Bush reportedly wields a mean chopstick and is partial to the Sichuan Beef Proper, a spicy shredded-beef dish with roasted sesame seeds Peking duck and the giant spring onions the Tsuis grow on their Virginia farm.

    After dinner the President comes into the dining room to greet customers. “There’s no better attraction than the No. 1 man--wherever you go,” says Robert Tsui. “Whether they are Democrat or Republican, whether they politically agree with the man or not, they always love the fact that they’re dining with him.”

    An “above average” tipper (20%), Bush pays most of the time by check, which the Tsuis cash. “The thing is, it would be abusing the privilege not to cash the check, because the check may be more valuable uncashed,” Robert explained. “We cash them out of respect to the President.”

    But elsewhere in the country, there’s at least one Bush check on display: “George Bush, Business Account, The White House"--now hanging on the wall of Patsy Clark’s restaurant in Spokane, Wash.

    House Speaker Tom Foley invited Bush, who was visiting Washington state for its centennial celebration, to join him, his wife, Heather, and Environmental Protection Agency Director Bill Reilly for dinner there last fall. Foley had intended to pick up the tab, but the President pulled rank and paid the $121 bill with a check for $140.

    The next morning, a newspaper article said owner Tony Anderson planned to keep and frame the check as a souvenir. “About 2 p.m. that day, a Secret Service guy showed up at the restaurant with an envelope,” says Anderson. “It was a thank-you note from Bush with $140 in cash enclosed. He wanted to pay for dinner. He was insistent on it.”

    Anderson only had 20 minutes’ notice of the Presidential supper, which had been reserved under the name of an assistant to the President. There were Secret Service agents “everywhere--35 or 40 guys” including, says Anderson, the one who brought salt, pepper, sugar and bottled water for the table in a shopping bag. The food taster watched, but did not sample, the President’s medium-rare Jack Daniel’s whiskey steak. Anderson found out later that the Secret Service had been visiting his restaurant for two weeks, posing as regular customers, and had the place thoroughly staked out.

    “He was a wonderful person to have as a customer,” says Anderson. But having both Bush and Foley under his roof was nonetheless nerve-racking. “I was thinking, ‘These guys are two of the most powerful people in the world. What if something happens?’ I was actually sort of relieved when they left.”

    Until it happens, no restaurant can imagine what goes into a visit from the President.

    The operative word is secret .

    Palm owner Wally Ganzi, who is also a personal friend of the President, knew several weeks in advance that the Bushes would join him and his wife, Reva, along with actress Cheryl Ladd and her husband, Brian Russell, for sirloin steak, onion rings and cheesecake last November. But his staff was told only the day before, when the Secret Service arrived to inspect the premises.

    “Someone should pay the Secret Service a compliment,” says Ganzi. “They really try their best in every possible way. They’re not rude, very courteous. They really try not to disturb your business. They don’t strong-arm you.” The one thing they really concentrate on is egress--the quickest way to get the President out if there’s a problem.

    Christianne and Francesco Ricchi, on the other hand, got the shock of their lives when I Ricchi’s owners found out they’d be cooking for a very VIP guest--only one month after the restaurant opened last year.

    “My husband approached me and said, ‘You will never guess who’s coming to dinner,’ ” says Christianne Ricchi. “The Secret Service flashed their badges and says, ‘Are you the owner?’ He thought it was immigration.”

    The couple only had two hours’ notice to prepare for the presidential appearance at the dinner, hosted by former Bush speech writer Vic Gold. “Our concern was making sure that everything was absolutely perfect,” says Christianne Ricchi.

    Meanwhile, the Secret Service searched the restaurant, brought in bomb-sniffing dogs, stationed men outside all the entrances and on the roof across the street, and brought in the food taster, who played an unusually active role--sampling all the food and wine.

    Time and security were equally tight in May when the Bushes joined former Republican National Committee chairman Dean Burch and his wife, Pat, for dinner at La Chaumiere in Georgetown. Antoine de Ponfilly, who served the Presidential party, found out at 5 p.m. that “someone important” was coming that night, but the Secret Service would not say who it was.

    The Secret Service chose the private room upstairs for the President and then positioned two men on the roof, two in the back, three on the stairs and “a lot” in front of the tiny French restaurant, de Ponfilly says.

    When the Bushes went up to eat, customers were inspected with portable metal detectors but didn’t find out who was in the restaurant until Bush came downstairs after dinner.

    It was more down-home last July at Rio Grande Cafe, the Tex-Mex restaurant in Bethesda, when Bush and fellow Texan Robert Mosbacher, the secretary of commerce, came in for quesadillas, cheese enchiladas, beef and chicken fajitas and the specialty of the house: mesquite-broiled quail.

    Manager Jerry Green noticed two police cars in front of the restaurant when he arrived at 3 p.m. Three hours later, the Secret Service toured the restaurant and picked a table for Bush in a back corner.

    The food taster asked Green to point out what food would be served to the Presidential party. Green pointed to the 40 pounds of beef already cooking on the grill.

    “He got the same old stuff that everybody gets here,” says Green. “Honestly, I’m not going to change my food just for the President. But I did give him an extra quail. I figured I could do that much for him.”

    The party lasted two hours and everyone else in the restaurant lingered to watch Bush tackle his fajitas since he sat facing the front, the customers could get a good look.

    “Nobody would leave,” says Green. “The Secret Service finally closed the door when we were filled to capacity with a two-hour wait.”

    After Mosbacher paid the bill with his American Express card, Green grabbed the chair Bush had been sitting in “right after he finished with it.” Within two days it was back on the floor--painted red, white and blue.

    When Mabel Hanson of Mabel’s Lobster Claw Restaurant in Kennebunkport, Me., curls her hair, you know something’s up.

    “The President said, ‘Hiya, Mabel. Kako si? What are you all dressed up for?’ ” says Hanson, who just happened to be spiffed up when Bush dropped by last year. “I cried when he came--just a few sniffles. I can’t help it. It’s the President coming through your door.”

    Mabel’s has been a Bush family favorite for almost 20 years. There’s a whole wall devoted to the Bushes: lots of pictures of George and Barbara, a few of George and Mabel, a portrait of the President with “He’s Our George” above it and a banner from the President’s inauguration--Mabel’s first trip ever to Washington.

    You can usually pick out the Secret Service: They’re the only guys in Kennebunkport wearing suits.

    Bush sits at his favorite corner table, where he usually has lobster stuffed with sea scallops. He’s “not too much for desserts” but occasionally treats himself to butter-crunch ice cream or Mabel’s famous peanut butter ice cream pie.

    “These people couldn’t change if they tried,” she says. “They’re as natural as grass growing.”

    Earlier this month, the Bushes and daughter Dorothy Bush LeBlond went to the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport with Bush golfing buddy Spike Heminway, his wife, Betsy, and daughter Alex. Unlike most dinner visits, owner Carolyn Lambert got advance word when Heminway made the reservation the night before and said the Bushes would be joining them.

    “It was very important to me that this didn’t get out of hand,” Lambert says. “I told my employees when they came in the next night, ‘If you told any of your friends to come down here and hang around, call them back and tell them not to come.’ ”

    In the morning, the Secret Service and a White House staffer showed up and told Lambert, “There need to be people in the dining room. If Mr. Bush felt you were going to lose business because of him, he would be unhappy.”

    The restaurant, not surprisingly, was full of the inn’s regular customers and a few enterprising reporters who had wheedled reservations that afternoon for the remaining tables. Except for the food taster in the kitchen, it was a typical Sunday-night dinner in Maine. The President had the pan-fried chicken breast special and mud pie.

    When Bush goes to his other hometown, he usually makes a beeline for Otto’s Barbecue in Houston, where he chows down on pork ribs or link sausage with beans.

    On his first visit there as President, the Secret Service checked out the bathrooms and sneaked Bush through the back door into the back dining room. “But the customers knew something was up,” says manager June Sofka. “Then the President came in the main dining room and shook hands with everybody. It was just exhilarating.”

    “I was busy running around so I didn’t get my picture taken with the President. But I picked up his plate and the silverware and took it home. I still have it.”


    $50 Veal Parm and Why Carbone Is New York's Hottest Restaurant Right Now

    An actual person answers the phone at Carbone and tells you that they book tables 30 days out. The person is even affable. This is notable because Carbone, on the premises of an old Italian-American joint named Rocco's in Greenwich Village, is easily the hottest restaurant of the moment in New York and getting a reservation is only slightly less difficult than getting an audience with the new Pope, which says a lot more about a kind of feeding frenzy driven by two sectors: the food media that hyped Carbone's opening for months in advance, and those people who always need to be the first to say, "Yeah, I've been."

    iPhones snap fuzzy photos tweeted on the spot. Bloggers boast, "u GOTTA have the meat-a-balls," and "veal parm is 50 freaking dollars but AWESOME!" And this is prije the New York Times has even reviewed the place.

    Did you catch that price? Fifty bucks for veal parmigiana? Tako je. And it's good, too. But its quality is almost beside the point. The food overall has gotten mixed reviews thus far &mdash some fantastic, some decidedly un-fantastic &mdash but the stratospheric prices have been causing sticker shock.

    Plenty of new places get their three months of hype, but not since Keith McNally opened Minetta Tavern around the corner has a restaurant been as eagerly awaited as if Tom Brady were coming to the Jets.

    Carbone's owners, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, have been the food media's darlings since debuting their tiny storefront Torrisi Italian Specialties on Mulberry Street, where their excellent five-course meal started out costing only fifty bucks. They refused to use any imported products, not even prosciutto, and the media proclaimed Torrisi's a welcome antidote to the high-priced Italian ristoranti in the city like Del Posto, Babbo, SD26, and Marea. Torrisi and Carbone then opened Parm, a little shop selling veal parm for $25 and baked ziti for $12. Once again the media raved that the food was cheap and delicious &mdash just the way Italian-American food treba be! Not like those uptown truffle-oiled $26 pastas and $40 caviar-topped branzinos. This, despite the fact that the same media have largely ignored popular Italian-American restaurants like Patsy's and Il Mulino in Manhattan and a slew of others in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.

    So why is Carbone getting such attention? It's certainly not the location or the décor. The premises certainly didn't cost millions of dollars to renovate and Greenwich Village rents are not (yet) as high as they are in midtown. Carbone did not cost $20 million to build like Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center did. And they're not paying $22 an hour to union dishwashers. Yet Torrisi and Carbone, who once championed good, inexpensive Italian food, are now charging $50 for veal parm, $28 for penne primavera, and $33 for chicken scarpariello &mdash not to mention $78 and up for lobster fra diavolo.

    According to Torrisi and Carbone, they really just wanted to showcase and refine the old-fashioned, out-of-fashion red sauce Italian-American restaurants of the post-war period, where families shared a cold antipasto plate, got a big plate of spaghetti with meatballs and expected a side order of spaghetti with the veal parm, watched the waiter whip up zabaglione tableside, and finished off with drip-pot espresso with a lemon peel and a bottle of Sambuca on the side.

    And they want people to have fun. There's a neon sign outside, and inside there are three small, cramped, loud rooms, made to look like stage sets. The waiters are outfitted in shiny maroon Zak Posen tuxedoes and Adidas sneakers. The rear room (supposedly the VIP section, made to look like one where goombahs would meet) has no windows, just brick walls, and tables so close you have to move them to get out. It's a certain kind of aesthetic that borrows equally from a nostalgia for Little Italy eateries like Angelo's (where veal parmigiana sells for $24) and S.P.Q.R. (where linguine with clam sauce goes for $18) and the cool modernism &mdash Carbone's artwork was curated by Vito Schnabel. There are white tablecloths &mdash three of them &mdash on each table. The menu is about three feet wide. The huge wine list has very few red bottlings under $95. They play 1960s doo-wop. You get Sambuca at meal's end.

    I ate at Carbone last week and had a pretty swell time. Everybody was cordial, and the crowd seemed giddy to be there. There were tables of women dining together, tables with raucous Wall Street guys in shirtsleeves slugging back $400 bottles of Barolo, and a table of slouching Eastern Europeans with Sharapova wannabes. At 6:30, the place was packed, and it hadn't let up when we got up to leave three hours later.

    We had some excellent langoustines in a "scampi" sauce, glorious carpaccio, a first-rate Caesar salad, and the $50 veal parm was terrific, though not enough so to make me forget plenty of other versions at half the price. Not everything clicked: a nugget of Parmesan cheese was served cold salty, smoky Kentucky ham was bewildering in an Italian-American restaurant "spicy rigatoni vodka" was good but insanely rich ravioli Caruso with chicken livers swam in a pool of butter, and the lobster fra diavolo, de-shelled and put back, sat in a puddle.

    Was any of it transformative? Does Carbone make a strong case that Italian-American food treba cost as much as French haute cuisine? At this point I'd say no, not because Torrisi and Carbone aren't using top-quality ingredients but because for our bill of $543.41 for two people that night (including two cocktails, one inexpensive bottle and one glass of wine, and the tip), I should have been blown away by food way better than any Italian restaurant's in New York.


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