December 2023

What is the old saying?? From the frying pan to the fire? We are midway through December here in our beautiful new space and it is as if we never closed. Thanks to all of you. The great gift of seeing our guests come to dine and lend their support, really what we refer to as friends of the house, makes the last year simply disappear.
And our new guests from Tribeca peeking in the window and venturing in to make a reservation, we are just so grateful.

Chinatown Fish monger

New York City is in full holiday swing. Rockefeller Center is at its buzziest, shops are decked out with tinsel and shiny baubles and cashmere, ice skating rinks around town have a full ensemble of skaters spinning and gliding and slipping. The visual joy of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows is worth the amount of people you have to navigate through to get a glimpse.

We finally found the energy to hang the few pieces of art up on the walls…we have a lot of wall space! Thank goodness for the generosity of some of our “friends” who have made it possible for us to begin to fill it up. And some bonne Soiree memories came out of storage as well. A beautiful Deco mirror now greets you in the entryway and those lucious drapes and sheers found a new place to drape. Each week we find new ways to create the spirit in the room with the goal of creating warmth for all of you.

Chip is percolating on menu ideas and guests are dropping subtle(?) hints on the dishes that they have been missing for a year. His version of Trotter has a new outfit, pulling on his Southern roots and mashing it up with French technique. Braised shank, crisped skin, vinegar, pickling spice, Dijon…sitting in a little stack on braised turnip greens, in a broth of “pot likker” and finished with baby turnips. Inspired by our friends at Spruce Ridge Farm. Pairing wine is a double pleasure, you get a taste of two, one to compliment just the pork alone…and one to compliment the composed bite! Corsican red, Buzzo Bunifazzio, for the meat…and Pinot Blanc for the whole fork full.
Scallop Ceviche, with notes of blood orange, olive oil, bits of deseeded jalapenos, fennel, crouton gets a splash of white wine from Mallorca, Molino Real.
Duck has on its winter outfit of sweet potato pave and jewel toned braised red cabbage, Bordeaux anyone? Givry rouge?
Wild Striped Bass, a la Outer Banks Rock Stew, kind of…with plump little clams floating with leeks, potatoes, celery in a fume of fish stock, lemon, garlic and white wine. I got a whopping 5 bottles of the Floridene Blanc and it is so perfect for this dish. And now, gone!

Chef Chip Smith
Chef Chip Smith

Chip preserved cherries from Upstate in bourbon and folded them into a Basque Cake, garnished with Creme Diplomat and conserve of cherries and Pineau de Charentes is stunning with that. Really, stunning all by itself.
His merengue on his Grapefruit Cream tart reminds me of a Dr. Seuss character, love it.

Switching to Tibouren Rose and all rose from Bandol for the winter months. Savory, deep flavors for the palate. Enjoying the last glasses of our featured white Burgundy from Lucien et Fanny Rocault, 2017, before moving forward to the 2019. A more reserved, elegant, high toned version of a wine that we have so enjoyed.

Our amazing year of being able to socialize and enjoy our friends and fair city has come to a screeching halt. Chip and I are well tucked in to our usual routine of “time to make the donuts” schedule and enjoying every single minute of it. Our version of socializing is now again the ability to welcome you in, to congregate with friends and family, raising a glass in cheer, swapping your plates for everyone to snag a bite. We savor with you that ring of conversations, laughter and joy.

Happy Happy Holiday Season. Celebrate in style, whatever your style may be. Stop in for a splash of something delish in a glass and say hello, you know I am always tipping a bottle into a waiting binky. And remember to always take good care of yourself and those around you.

–Chip and Tina
239 West Broadway