Atera, NYC 4

August 25, 2015

Atera, under Executive Chef Matthew Lightner, had become our favorite restaurant in the US. But earlier this year he mysteriously left. (He is now about to open a restaurant in downtown Napa.) After an intensive search, owner Jodi Richard hired Danish chef Ronny Emborg to replace him. This surprised some, who had thought of Atera’s specifically American aspect as being important.  Linda and I returned to Atera for dinner on August 4, 2015 to try the new chef’s menu.

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Upland, NYC

August 18, 2015

Upland, opened last October, is named after the California home town of its chef, Justin Smillie. He is doing very well. Pete Wells in The New York Times, the city’s most important reviewer, wrote earlier this year: “ ‘Go to Upland’ is my current answer to anybody who asks for a good new place to eat in Manhattan. It will probably remain my answer for some time.” This was followed by a review praising almost all the dishes and a three-star rating.

Adam Platt in New York Magazine, the second most important reviewer, called Upland a “very fine restaurant” followed by: “Luckily for us, this talented young cook’s particular version of California cuisine passes directly through the hills of Tuscany and Rome by way of the downtown market restaurant Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, where he made his New York reputation.”

President Obama took Sasha and Malia to Upland for brunch on July 18.

So Linda and I were looking forward to a fine evening when we went to Upland for dinner on August 2, 2015.

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Tempura Matsui, NYC

August 11, 2015

New York has top quality Japanese restaurants in many categories: sushi, yakitori, ramen, soba, kaiseki etc, but it has never had a top quality tempura restaurant such as we have enjoyed in Japan. To fill this gap, in mid-July Tempura Matsui was opened by Ootoyo, a chain with hundreds of comfort food restaurants in Japan, much of East Asia and four in New York. They brought Masao Matsui, 65, out of retirement with the lure of a New York restaurant. He has been a tempura chef since he was 18.

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The multifunctional Bouley Test Kitchen serves as an event space, an interactive classroom and a state-of-the-art culinary laboratory for all of David Bouley’s restaurants. It is a testing and learning center for visiting guest chefs.  The location in the entire top floor of an 1880’s five-story industrial building is unexpected. Thirty-five of us celebrated there on July 27, 2015, my 75th  birthday.

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Bouley, NYC 2

August 4, 2015

On July 6, 2015, Linda and I returned to Bouley for lunch to try dishes for my 75th birthday celebration at the Bouley Test Kitchen in three weeks. With us were our young neighbors in France, Luc and Gabriel.

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Momofuku Ko, NYC 5

July 28, 2015

When I dined at Momofuku Ko last December, shortly after its reopening,  I wrote that it would be quite a different restaurant in a year. I did not wait that long, returning for dinner on July 17, 2015.

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Gotham Bar and Grill has been a steady fixture on the New York dining scene for over thirty years. It is very New York; that is why we select it for our guests.   Fortunately the ambiance does not change much, but the menu is always promising. We have been many times, but I only put it on our blog once before, in 2007. (One time we were next to Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey as they quaffed martinis.) Linda and I went for dinner on July 15, 2015, with our young neighbors in France, Luc and Gabriel, to celebrate Gabriel’s 19th birthday.

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