Saturday, June 9, 2007

Bits & Morsels

When Sparks fly.
The series finale of 'The Sopranos' is on this Sunday night and there is no better place to ponder Tony’s fate than at Sparks Steakhouse. I was there on Thursday night salivating over a halibut steak and the best hash browns in the city. I, unlike many of the past characters of 'The Sopranos,' choose to eat fish, not sleep with them.

You might be asking why eat fish at a steakhouse? Answer: The fish at a steakhouse is always fresh, while steak at a fish restaurant is usually frozen. Located at 210 east 46th street, Sparks has been in the business of serving up great chops and fresh fish since 1977. The décor is retro and the crowd is primarily male. The menu is 'typical steakhouse' with the supplementary tomato salad, creamed spinach, and potatoes prepared in every which way.

Lobster dinner and fresh raspberries at Sparks
Sparks is the real deal. In 1985, mob boss Paul Castellano and his bodyguard were shot in front of Sparks. This shooting was allegedly organized by John Gotti and led to his eventual control of the Gambino crime family. Sparks has an outstanding wine list and has been awarded the Grand Award by Wine Spectator magazine every year since 1981. Tony Soprano appreciates good wine too; in almost every episode of 'The Sopranos' he is savoring a glass of red wine. I will definitely miss 'The Sopranos' but I will always have Sparks.

Summering on Park Avenue. Park Avenue Summer has replaced Park Avenue Café. The concept of the new restaurant is that dining should be completely seasonal and the restaurant should reflect just that. Park Avenue Autumn is set to open in early September. [The Strong Buzz]

A taste of Texas.
Hill Country NYC is opening this week at 30 West 26th street. Hill country is an exact replica of a Lockhart-style barbecue restaurant. Lockhart is the barbecue capital of Texas where the whole process is taken very seriously. If you are craving serious barbecue stop by Hill Country, and have some of the famous Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert. [Off The Broiler]

Salmon tips.
This interview with Jon Rowley addresses any questions one could possibly have about Salmon. Jon Rowley is an Alaskan fisherman as well as a contributing editor to Gourmet. This interview will drastically change how you go about buying and cooking salmon. [Epicurious]

This week Steve Cuozzo
of the New York Post gives a roundup of restaurants in New York that also have spots in Las Vegas. Rao’s recently opened there and while the restaurant is advertised as being identical to the one in New York, it is obviously very different. What makes Rao’s so great is that it’s intimate and exclusive and off the beaten path. No such magic in Vegas. [The New York Post]

The Conde Nast Cafeteria.
The Amateur Gourmet went to lunch this week at the Conde Nast Cafeteria. While the food wasn’t horrible he won’t be going back any time soon. With the exception of the dessert everything looked great but had no flavor. Next stop Michael’s, where the scene and the food are better. [Amateur Gourmet]

Till we eat again,

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