The Editor is IN

Many a restaurant pitches its “homey” feel. But dining at Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte really is like eating at home – because there’s only one main course served: steak. A simple hangar steak, adorned with a secret green, mustardy sauce. Oh, and frites. Lots of frites.

Shopping in SoHo on a Sunday can be an exhausting experience, but popping into Jack's Wife Freda at the finish makes any hustle through the crowds worthwhile. The restaurant is set up in a cozy, bright kitchenesque arrangement, with a menu that pulls from the influences of your Jewish grandmother (if you're lucky enough to have one) as well as South African spices and French bistro staples.

Being invited out for lunch at one of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants is always a treat…despite chaotic deadlines and endless meetings in the office, every editor manages to sneak away for such an invite, and I admit I was looking forward to experiencing the newest jewel in Boulud’s restaurant crown, Boulud Sud.

Given the choice between pre- or post-theater dining, I invariably choose the latter. On Wednesday, after the preview performance of Motown: The Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, I made a quick dash, dodging raindrops, to the Marriott Marquis across the street and an even quicker elevator ascent to the Broadway Lounge on the hotel’s 8th floor.

I admit this with some amount of shame, but I don’t know my beer. Sure, terms like “dark” and “light” I can get a handle on, but especially a few months ago I might have guessed that Doppelbock and Weizenbock were monsters from German folklore rather than something I would ever drink. Because of this handicap, I would have expected that wandering into a haven for beer enthusiasts would make me feel like a Neanderthal entering the Louvre.

Was dubious the right word for what I felt before heading out to a press dinner at Table Verte on a recent rainy April evening? Nervous might have been a better word for me, Lois Levine, lover of all things sirloin and then some. I have been a happy red-and white-meat eater ever since I was a child, when my mother swore that I had experienced hamburgers and french fries in every restaurant in the tri-state area, since that was one of the only things this very picky meat-eater would ever choose in a restaurant.

It's Friday night and you're dead-set on going out—soul itching for excitement, belly beseeching you for booze. But where to go? You'd like to drink, but not too much. You want to dance, but can't handle ear-bursting bass right now. You'd like to see-and-be-seen, but don't really want to cough up all your cash. In a city crammed with bars, how does one decide on a final destination? Destination Bar, an East Village staple, makes the choice for you.

At the end of a long week, the body and mind belong in a happy shavasana—or fetal position, whichever you prefer—under a fluffy down comforter for some well-deserved rest. Instead, I ended up at a sweaty dance club, which perhaps was the most natural and needed antithesis to my truer instincts.

I’ve always been a sucker for a cosmetics firm’s “gift with purchase”—those limited–time promotions in which you spend a certain amount at the brand’s counter at a department store, and you get a goodie bag of five or so sample-sized items from the makeup or skin-care line.

I recently interviewed Constantine Maroulis for an item in the May issue of IN New York magazine. Maroulis, who returns to Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde—he starts previews tonight (Apr. 5) for an Apr. 18 opening—is a genuinely nice guy. Pretty humble and grounded, considering his success, which he has worked very hard to achieve.


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