Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bits and Morsels spends Sunday at Bemelmans

Veggie burger wrap with hummus at Blanche's @ DKNY.

I don’t mind Sunday nights. Every New Yorker should know about Tony Desare. When he plays at Bemelmans Bar on Sunday night there's no other place I'd rather be. Bemelmans bar is located in the Carlyle hotel and is named for Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the enormously popular Madeline children's book series. Bemelmans transformed the bar with whimsical scenes of Central Park.

Tony, a fantastic singer and pianist plays all the standards. He has great presence and captivates the room. Bemelmans is as stylish a bar as exists in New York, and that's with as casual a vibe as you will find. It attracts socialites, politicians and many a movie star. It's the perfect meeting spot for a first date, a drink with a steady, or to visit solo for the sheer pleasure of the man and his music.
Scenes from Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle.
Going to Bemelmans on Sunday night is a no-brainer. It's a great way to start the week. Just show up, order a grey goose martini, open your ears, and unwind. Sitting at the bar is an economical way to enjoy the Carlyle. On Sunday nights you may sit at the bar for $10 and at a table for $20 (with no drink minimum) and are treated to an exceptional 3-hour show. Tony Desare will be at Bemelmans on 9/27, and every Sunday night in December.
A martini and snacks.
Bemelmans Bar
35 East 76th Street

For more information about Tony Desare, go to
Tony Desare in action and post-performance.
It’s such a pleasure to shop at the DKNY store in Manhattan. At many designer boutiques, you are out of luck if you are above a size zero -- there is little to buy and the sales people don't make much of an effort. What’s worse is that you leave feeling discouraged. I don't perform well at sample sales either and most of the items that I find are designed for my little poodle, Zabar. 

DKNY is one of the few stores that works for me; love the clothing and am encouraged by the available sizes and selections. Another reason to love DKNY: on the second floor is Blanche’s Café, a lunch counter serving up very tasty organic food. Donna Karan is interested in local and organic food and Blanche’s reflects that. Everything is made to order and there is something on the menu to suit every possible diet ranging from no carbs to smoothies only.
There's always time to look for a dress, suit, or jacket on the way to Blanche's ...
Blanche’s is the place to go for people in the know. I normally see models and Barney's employees (I shant mention any names) who I hear come for lunch every day. Understandably, as It's not expensive and the high quality ingredients makes for a great value. The portions are hefty too, but it’s the kind of food you can eat a lot of without feeling too guilty. My top choice is the tuna (toasted whole wheat) wrap with blue cheese, nuts and dried cranberries. If it sounds a little odd, it's not ... trust me.

Another favorite wrap  is the veggie burger version with hummus. To wash it all down you can't go wrong with a large Stumptown iced coffee or glass of grapefruit juice, fresh-squeezed before your eyes. The cafe is really just a counter with no table seating, perfect if you are alone or with a friend.

Blanche's @ DKNY

The Cafe closes 1 hour before the store and is cash only. Hours: 10-7PM and 11AM-6PM on Sundays.
Clockwise from top: Stumptown iced coffee; Veggie burger wrap with hummus; Tuna and blue cheese wrap with heirloom tomatoes; Plate of avocado and mozzarella.
Heirloom tomatoes. Grapefruits for fresh Grapefruit juice.
A colorful plate of vegetables.
Monday September 21, 2009 was the sixth annual "A Second Helping of Life" to support SHARE. The event, which took place at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers, brought out top female chefs and paired them with female stage and screen stars. SHARE is an not-for-profit organization that provides peer support to women with breast or ovarian cancer.

For more information about SHARE, visit
Ariane Daguin and Daphne Rubin-Vega.
Alex Guarnaschelli and Sara Moulton. Duck hot dog with Foie Gras & truffle mustard from D'Artagnan.
Cookies from Sarabeths.
Sarabeth Levine and Arlene Stein. Amy Scherber.
Chocolate pudding with brioche croutons from Gramercy Tavern.
Buttercup cupcakes.
Cupcakes for a Cause is a smart way to enjoy your cupcakes and give back. All this week certain bakeries will donate funds to Cancer Care for Kids with every cupcake purchase. Participating bakeries include the Cupcake Stop and Zaro’s. [Midtown Lunch]

Street cart food has never been more relevant given the economy and the growing appetite for more adventurous cuisines. Here is a handy list from Gourmet of eight vendors worth a visit. Funny how I find myself traveling all over the city to try out different street vendors. [Gourmet]

I can’t wait to go to Perry Street and order off the new menu. Their new Chef is Cedric Vongerichten, son of Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It sounds like his food will be heartier (not made with more heart, just heavier on the heart) as he uses more butter than his father. Jean-Georges is known for his sharp and clean cooking style. [New York Magazine]

First Lady Michelle Obama helped open up a farmer's market last week in close proximity to the White House. If you have access to a local farmer's market, you should definitely be utilizing it. Farmer's markets are important not just for the wonderful produce available, but for the support of your local businesses and community. [Obamafoodorama]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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