Dining

Carmine Di Giovanni, Executive Chef of The Greenwich Project, answers some questions about the life of being a culinary artist.

How I love this overly caffeinated town of ours. On a recent glaringly hot and sunny Tuesday morning, I decided to venture into a new coffee bar in the city’s picturesque West Village for a triple espresso. Whynot Coffee (As owner Emil Stefkov explained, the name follows his life philosophy.

Nobu Next Door, the smaller “sibling” restaurant right next to the world-famous Nobu on Hudson street, is kind of like Prince Harry: a royal, like his brother William, but a little more playful, a little more relaxed. The restaurant is designed with the same classy and modernist Asian accents as the original (which is, as the name implies, right next door): a large display of lit sake bottles decorate one wall: Japanese fishing nets hang from the ceiling, while a wall made of preserved Japanese sea wood enhances the entranceway.

For every celebrity I spy when I dine at Sardi’s after a show, I order a Bloody Mary. It’s a tradition. Needless to say, Sardi’s being celebrity central, I’ve enjoyed some very boozy nights there. The latest was Apr. 24, following a preview of Pippin. The show ran long (wonderfully long, I should add), so we didn’t arrive until near 11.

David Burke is not your run-of-the-mill chef. He’s not even your run-of-the-mill chef/entrepreneur. A recent visit to his Townhouse, the first of the restaurants in his now impressive gastronomic empire, revealed a fascinating man … one who never stops thinking, never stops exploring new opportunities, never stops creating.

Without question, one of the major perks of being the editor of IN New York are the restaurant invites to the “next cool restaurant.” The newly reopened Paramount Bar & Grill inside the newly reopened Paramount Hotel, most certainly lived up to the hip quotient. The evening started with my colleague and I enjoying a plateful of prosciutto, nuts, figs and assorted cheeses over a chilled chardonnay at the hotel’s café, Corso, which offers coffee drinks, pastries and mouth-watering sandwiches, all in a very bright, Euro-vibe café setting.

Bette Midler and Fiona Shaw: They couldn’t be more dissimilar as actresses and, one suspects, as women. On the one hand, there’s the earthy Miss M, a vaudevillian with the soul of a burlesque queen; on the other, the cerebral RADA-trained interpreter of Euripides and T.S. Eliot. In a Broadway season characterized by no shortage of solo plays, these two dames demand attention with two of the best. Midler plays Sue Mengers, real-life and larger-than-life Hollywood agent, in I’ll Eat You Last by John Logan.

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.

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