Month: June, 2007

Tasty Telepan

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 | All Things, Eats

Early birthday dinner at – surprise! – Telepan.

I’d been to this restaurant when it first opened last year, and loved its fresh, seasonal ingredient-driven menu by Bill Telepan. (The chef’s Greenmarket approach is furthered in his 2004 book, Inspired by Ingredients.)

Critics have been impressed; so too, the devoted diners who recently named the restaurant “Best Newcomer” in the 2007 Zagat Survey.


We were seated in the pea-green dining room of the converted townhouse, our hearts and stomachs already set upon the restaurant’s much admired four-course tasting menu. SYB opted for the wine pairing as well, and though I was teetotaling tonight, I was glad he splurged; it gave us the opportunity to watch Telepan’s young wine director Aaron von Rock (cool name!) at work. A veteran of Tribeca Grill, Alta and Food & Wine‘s 2001 Best New Wine List winner Bar Demi (which he opened with Verbena chef Diane Forley), von Rock cut quite a character with his foppish facial hair and enthusiastic sommelier banter.

On to the food. The dim lighting proved something of a photography challenge, but trust me, it was all delicious: from the trio of amuse-bouches (almost universally abbreviated to “amuse” among waiters, but thankfully, not ours) to the desserts.

Telepan amuse bouche

Appetizers: House Smoked Brook Trout with potato-chive blini & sweet onion sour cream…

Telepan smoked trout

…and Crispy Blue Prawns with spicy mango, hearts of palm & avocado salad:

Telepan prawn

Mid Courses (not pictured): Seared Foie Gras Torchon with duck proscuitto, port & sweet onions and Robiola Tortellini with meatballs, swiss chard & parmigiano broth.

Entrées: Dry-Aged Sirloin & Short Ribs with roasted garlic potato cake & creamed spinach custard…

Telepan sirloin

…and Organic Lamb porchetta-style with shell beans, wild spinach & spinach linguini:

Telepan lamb

Desserts: Carrot Cake Sundae with cream cheese ice cream, carrot salad & candied walnuts…

Telepan carrot cake sundae

…and Coconut Rice Pudding with pineapple fritters & basil syrup:

Telepan rice pudding

If only every day were my birthday.

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Gimme shelter

Monday, June 18th, 2007 | All Things

One of the 3,300 sleek new stainless steel and tempered glass bus shelters being installed as part of the city’s “Coordinated Street Furniture Franchise” contract with Spanish firm Cemusa (“say-moo-sa”):

New Bus Stop

According to Mediaweek, under the terms of the 20-year agreement, in addition to designing, building, installing and maintaining the new shelters, Cemusa will provide New York City with $999 million in cash and $398 million worth of worldwide ad space, promoting the city as a tourism destination. In return, the company will keep all of the revenue generated by selling the advertising space on its street furniture.

Also as part of the deal, Cemusa will build and sell advertising for 20 freestanding public toilets and 330 newsstands around the city.

The first new bus shelter was installed in late December on Queens Boulevard at 82nd Avenue, near Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens. For more images of the design, check out the Cemusa website (.pdf)

Nice work, Grimshaw! (The firm was also tapped to head up the Fulton Street Transfer Center and the Queens Museum of Art explansion project.) A spiffy addition to the city, and way more practical than IKEA’s efforts for New York Design Week 2006.

Small world: seconds after snapping this photo, I randomly crossed paths with PL (again!), racing up Broadway on a mystery mission in the neighborhood.

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The best small town in America

Sunday, June 17th, 2007 | All Things, Family, Travel

Returning to the city from our Fathers Day outing that afternoon, we crossed paths with the Essex Steam Train, with its restored Pullman cars, making its way through the Connecticut River Valley.

Connecticut Valley Train

Essex, a picturesque town of about 6,500 residents on the banks of the Connecticut River, bills itself as “The Best Small Town in America.” Situated halfway between New York City and Boston, the town actually consists of three villages: Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.

Essex village originated as a prosperous shipbuilding community; the American warship, “Oliver Cromwell” was built here in 1775, the first of over 500 vessels to be built in Essex between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In keeping with the nautical tradition, the town also claims the only working, full-scale model of The American Turtle, the first submarine to be used (and lost) in combat, built by Eli David Bushnell in 1776(!)

Exquisitely preserved colonial, Georgian and Victorian houses still line Main Street, among them the space housing the Connecticut River Museum and the Griswold Inn, one of the oldest continuously operated inns in the country. Today, the leafy streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops.

Essex Books

Essex Savings Bank

Essex Post Office


One day, perhaps a RiverQuest Sunset Cruise?

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