Category Archives: New York

Refined Italian at Villageo

Lauren enjoys dinner on Central Park South

The 4th Annual ARF Showhouse and Sale

Everything Must Go from the Designers’ Vignettes

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Illustration by Carolyn Fanelli

ARF, you look fabulous for 40. You only get better with age. Your shop in Sagaponack has never looked better than this Memorial Day weekend, all decked out from a makeover by seven top designers.  In each room a designer created a vignette  from thrift store donations, as well as his or her own personal collections. All the items in the room were for sale. Paintings, rugs, chairs, sofas, lamps, you name it, it had a tag. And they were going fast as soon as the show opened. In fact, while we were there, someone bought an entire suite of wicker furniture right out from under us!

The occasion was the fourth annual Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons Thriftshop Designer Showhouse and Sale, held to raise money to support the good work done by ARF in rescuing pets. It coincided with ARF’s 40th anniversary.

Fern Mallis was the Honorary Chair of the event, while Gordon Hoppe, Gigi Mahon and Sandra McConnell were chairs, and Peter Hallock and Lisa McCarthy were vice chairs.

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons actively rescues cats and dogs, provides quality care and offers sanctuary until loving homes can be found. If would like like to make a donation, follow this link.

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One of the furry beneficiaries of ARF.

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Lauren Ezersky relaxing in one of the showrooms.

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This dog came to see what all the fuss was about.

 

Articles for sale in one of the display rooms.

Articles for sale in one of the display rooms.

Getting Social

1st Floor Back 1 The Ultimate Pub Experience in Hell’s Kitchen

There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and pubs along Manhattan’s 9th Avenue, But Social, 795 Eighth Avenue, is the pub of all pubs, the platonic ideal of pubs. It has a well stocked bar with plenty of beers on tap, and exactly the kind of food you’re looking for in such a place.

The menu is deep, broad, and inexpensive. The night we were there we went a little crazy, sampling as many of the dishes as possible from the starter, salad, and sandwich sections. The pulled pork slider (with just the right amount of barbecue flavor)  were a big hit with both of us, as was the chicken naan—juicy chunks of chicken wrapped in charred naan bread with sweet chile sauce and avocado. But we were just getting started. We also tried the crispy and refreshing iceberg stack, a fresh twist on the classic wedge salad as well as hummus with pita bread and vegetable crudite. We couldn’t quit without trying something from their extensive burger menu, so we ordered the Big Blue. It’s a hefty hamburger, stacked with onion rings and bacon and covered in blue cheese dressing. Hard to imagine that anyone could stack any more good tasting things on top of a bun. We washed it all down with a strong bloody Mary and a couple bottles of Dogfish Head

Before we left, a trivia game broke out and we joined in and learned how little we know about Pop Culture. Oh well, the food and drinks were good. Service was fast and friendly.

Booking it in East Hampton

Lauren Visits Authors’ Night in East Hampton.

East Hampton Library's Authors Night 2013

Marcus Samuelsson (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz))

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Gwyneth Paltrow (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the best summer events in the Hamptons— Authors Night. If you don’t know, this is when authors, most with local ties, show up to sign their books and chat with fans to benefit the East Hampton Library. I just couldn’t stop rubbernecking there were so many celebs! Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband—Chris Martin of Coldplay, chef Marcus Samuelson, Nelson DeMille, Nile Rogers, Dr. Ruth, Phillipe Petit, Kelly Bensimon, Lynn Scher and, of course, Alec Baldwin. It was a swell evening with good food and drink. I actually got to talk to these authors about their recent works and buy an autographed copy of their latest tome. DJ Bonnie Grice was interviewing for the local station. Fun was had by all!

After the signing, authors were invited to dinners hosted by local fans. Boo hoo! I wasn’t invited to that, but I did have an awesome time and it was all to benefit the library in East Hampton.

East Hampton Library's Authors Night 2013

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly (photo by Sonia Moskowitz)

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Nelson DeMille (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

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Writers and readers filled the tent in East Hampton. (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

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Nile Rodgers (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

I have always loved going to the library. Reading a book can transport you to anywhere in the world. I have to give kudos to the Amagansett library and my peeps that work there! I’m always demanding that they get me this or that. And they cheerfully do. Ah well, I don’t have to wait a whole year to read anything. I’m just going to my library.

Chefs & Champagne

A Great Night for Food and Fun in the Hamptons

lauren is feelin’ the love at wofflers

Andrew Zimmern does not think Lauren is Weird.

Andrew Zimmern does not think Lauren is bizarre. All photos by Gemma Kahng.

 

Today I was so feelin’ the love on Long Island. I’m talking about the passion displayed at the James Beard Foundation Chefs and Champagne New York event at Wolffer estate in da Hamptons. The chefs so tenderly presented their creations. They were lovingly displayed and prepared with care. Many “hot” chefs were represented their from the tri state area including Masaharu Morimoto with his tuna trio, Eric Miller from Madison & Main with his grilled Montauk pearl oysters, and Stefan Karlsson from Sweden with his salmon tartare.  I had a hard time working because it was difficult not to spend all my time stuffing my face with all the goodies available. I also got to take a photo with the JBF award winner Andrew Zimmern star of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods

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Masaharu Morimoto lovingly created and served a Tuna Trio to appreciative guests at Chefs & Champagne.

Besides feeding me—and hundreds of others— the Foundation does stellar work giving students scholarships that honor and nurture America’s diverse culinary heritage.  They educate and inspire the young to be creative and learn their craft whether it’s food, wine, champagne, or whatever. They also had very cool items and travel opportunities to bid on both online and in person. All and all it was a fun time had by me —and all. I think everybody gained at least five pounds!  The only problem is I have to wait a whole year for such fine food grazing. In the meantime, I’ve just have to visit some of the restaurants that were represented there.

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Wofflers in Sagaponnick was the scene for Chefs like Stefan Karlsson

Chef Stefan Karlsson from Fond restaurant in Sweden served Tuna Tartare.

B. Smith and her man enjoy the evening.

B. Smith and her man enjoy the evening.

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Rosa Ross from Scrimshaw in Greenport.

Rosa Ross from Scrimshaw in Greenport.

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For the Love of Ivy

Yum yum gimme some…..more Ivy restaurant! What a feast I just had. Lobster tacos layered shrimp and avocado sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon and onion covered in cheese. Generous appetizer portions with fair prices. It’s mostly bar food but a bit more upscale than most. My friend had a pomegranate drink and was feeling no pain. I highly recommend this restaurant on 56 and 8th if you are ever in the hood!

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Love, Marilyn

Lauren Loves the New Film “Love, Marilyn” at the HIFF.

Hamptons International Film Festival

Another film tries to solve the mystery that was Marilyn Monroe—and does it very well.

Just when you thought there was nothing more to learn about Marilyn Monroe comes Liz Garbus, revealing new documentary, “Love, Marilyn”. A treasure trove of recently found letters, poems diary entries, and other correspondence provides a new and intimate look at the film icon. Archival footage traces the beginning of the legend to her untimely death. Featuring a host of famous actors reading parts of this new-found resource just gives you another peek into someone whose story you thought you knew but really didn’t. I thought the film was very well done.

Hats Off to Jack!

Friends Salute Jack Lenore Larson on his 85th Birthday

When you get to be an octogenarian, I imagine you like to think you’ve made a contribution to the world. Well, there’s no question Jack Lenore Larson has. In more than one field. Jack has made a name for himself as a one of the world’s preeminent textile designers. His books are masterworks on the art and craft of textile design. But that’s not enough for him.

Jack has made it his mission to share his good fortune with the world in general, and the East End of Long Island in particular, though his spectacular public garden: Longhouse Reserve.

Jack used the occasion of this 85th birthday party to unveil two new art installations:three new pyramids in the Ginko Allee and Chinese Contemporary Warriors, 2005 by Yu Minjun. this is a fascinating display of 25 bronze lifesize sculptures.

an installation by Yue Minjun

25 bronze lifesize sculptures at Longhouse Gardens

Jack Lenore Larsen's 85th birthday celebration

Lauren Ezersky congratulates Jack Lenore Larsen at his 85th birthday celebration

Sotto Sopra Scores

 Worth a Visit in Amagansett

Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra offers fine dining in Amagansett.

The owners of Sotto Sopra (who also own Bobby Van’s) are bold and courageous. Brave and true. They have opened a classy restaurant in a spot where nothing ever lasts that long, even though it’s right on Montauk Highway in the heart of Amagansett. This new incarnation, Sotto Sopra, should change the fortunes of that location. There are a lot of reasons why it should succeed… from the welcoming light and airy space to the thoughtful menu, to the food itself.

We stopped in  for a late Saturday lunch recently and snagged a table in the pleasant and quiet back terrace. Of course, it’s the staff that presents the first, and lasting, impression of a restaurant, and here we were greeted by a cheery and attractive hostess who turned us over to our solicitous waiter. He didn’t miss a beat in delivering a basket of fresh bread and bowl of olive oil. We each ordered a glass of wine for the nifty wine list, Pinot Noir for Lauren and Riesling for me. We were given the choice of ordering from the brunch or lunch menu. We weren’t feeling very brunchy so we opted for lunch.

Portrait of Lauren with Pinor Noir

Lauren enjoys a glass of pinor noir at Sotto Sopra

The first (and only) disappointment of the afternoon occurred not long after we were seated. Lauren was bummed  to learn that the lobster roll was sold out.

No matter, we started with a crostini for Lauren and a arugula salad for me. I swear, I had never seen a bigger heap of arugula. With match sticks of fresh apple and a few delicious cherry tomatoes, with truffle dressing on the side, it was a great start.  Lauren enjoyed her steak sandwich with aoli. While I fell in love with my Linguine Mollusco: tender little neck clams in the shell or pasta with a lovely garlic sauce dotted with chiles. I emptied the breadbasket, sopping up the sauce after the clams were gone.

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The insalata fresca at Sotto Sopra is a magnificent heap of aruglua.

On to desert. We had a crazy layered crepe kinda thing and some knock-your-socks off chocolate mint gelato.

It turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing meal. We’ll be back.

Sotto Sopra

231 Main St.

Amagansett, NY 11930

(631) 267-3695

 

 

 

It Is No Dream

The Life of Theodor Herzl

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Theodor Herzl as he appears in the documentary, "This Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl"

Lauren Ezersky reviews a striking new documentary

The new  movie “Ii Is No Dream: The Life of Theodore Herzl” is a fascinating tale. Being  a devout Jew (not. I am Jewish by heritage, not by religion.), I was so captivated by the story of this man. Herzl was the father of Zionism, but started out as an assimilated Jew who rarely went to synagogue or believed in the tenants of Judaism.  He never even had a bar mitzvah but instead had a conformation. The movie, narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, follows Herzl’s early years from an unsuccessful playwright to a successful journalist. Herzl covered the Dreyfus affair—a notorious scandal in France in which a very decorated French army captain was falsely accused of spying for Germany. He witnessed mass rallies in Paris where people chanted “Death to the Jews!” It was this incident that spurred his desire to create a Jewish state where there would be  no anti Semitism and Jews could feel free to pray and be themselves.For all you history buffs this one is not to be missed! It also has some great old footage of Europe in the !800′s.

The film contains some great old photos and footage, which shows you the European cities as they used to look. He met with the top leaders of the day including some of the wealthiest Jews of that time—most of whom thought he was nuts. This may be the movie’s main lesson: persistence pays off.  For all you history buffs out there, this one is not to be missed.

It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl
Directed by Richard Trank
Moriah Films
Quad Cinema