Celebrate National Milk Day with Momofuku!

It’s National Milk Day! I’ve soured a little to National Milk Day (haha, pun intended) over the past year, as I’ve discovered I’m a little lactose intolerant when it comes to drinking whole cow’s milk. (It also happens when I try to eat genuine ice cream, made from real, fatty cream, but not when I’m eating store brands full of ice cream-like artificial substances, or small amounts of dairy products like yogurt or creamer.) I had been transitioning over to non-dairy milks for my drinking and cereal consumption, anyway, because you can get coupons for soy and almond-based milks but not for the plain ol’ cow’s stuff you get in the supermarket. (Coupons are a big thing for me! lol ;-)) So now I know, a little bit of real dairy products is fine for me, but I need to think twice before downing a whole glass of moo juice or digging into an ice cream sundae.

Hopefully, I’ll still be able to eat the food I highlighted on 2012’s National Milk Day! Momofuku Milk Bar, the dessert jewel in David Chang’s crown of Momofuku brand of restaurants, takes nostalgic and memorable tastes of one’s impulsive youth–sugary birthday cake, candy bars, animal crackers–and elevates them into desserts adults love. One of their most popular flavors is cereal milk, that familiar flavor of Saturday morning when you’d eaten all the cereal out of the bowl and are left with sugary, starchy, delicious milk. Momofuku Milk Bar’s transformed this flavor into a soft-serve ice cream, and it’s won its fair share of fans. I highlighted their cereal milk soft serve for last year’s National Milk Day; if you’re interested in trying out the soft-serve but can’t get yourself to one of their locations in the city, fear not! The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook has a great recipe for the milk that you can recreate at home. Freeze it into an ice cream, or just drink it plain to celebrate a great dairy day!

Momofuku Milk Bar’s Cereal Milk
from Serious Eats

Ingredients:
2 戮 cups (100 grams) cornflakes
3 戮 cups (825 grams) cold milk
2 tablespoons (30 grams) light brown sugar, tightly packed
录 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 300掳F.
2. Spread the cornflakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely.
3. Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher. Pour the milk into the pitcher and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. The milk will drain off quickly at first, then become thicker and starchy toward the end of the straining process. Using the back of a ladle (or your hand), wring the milk out of the cornflakes, but do not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve. (We compost the cornflake remains or take them home to our dogs!)
5. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. Store in a clean pitcher or glass milk jug, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

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Bad News for Chocolate Cake fans…

January 10th is National Bittersweet Chocolate Day! Chocolate, contrary to popular opinion, isn’t sweet on its own: it needs sugar and other things added to it to make it the lovely, sweet chocolate bar or candy or confection we know and love. Unsweetened chocolate, or chocolate with just a little bit of sugar added to the mix, is considered bittersweet, and is used often for baking. (And hey, some people love the taste of bittersweet chocolate all by itself!)

Last year on Bittersweet Chocolate Day I highlighted a chocolate cake that used bittersweet chocolate to stand out in a city full of yummy bakeries. They did so with an exceptional cake and a boastful name: the cake, as well as the store, was known as the Best Chocolate Cake in the World. Welp, it seems that New Yorkers don’t like being told what’s the best in the world–let us decide for ourselves, jerks!–because the Best Chocolate Cake in the world has been evaluated by the great marker for quality: our pocketbooks. And people haven’t been paying up!

It looks like the Best Chocolate Cake In The World–both cake and store–are no more. There are conflicting reports about the status of their three New York City locations: some reviewers on Yelp say the businesses are closed, others say they’ve changed their name to “Choco Bolo;” and still others say they have the same name, but perhaps people just don’t want the store to be open, because their chocolate cake has gone down in quality so much. Either way, it appears that Best Chocolate Cake In The World is no longer living up to its name.

Perhaps try your own hand at making a bittersweet chocolate cake this January 10th–and maybe yours will be the best in the world!

Spaghetti Bolognese for National Spaghetti Day!

So starts the first in my many cooking endeavors of the year! As I said earlier this year, I want to take some of the dishes I highlighted in 2012 for their national food holidays and actually cook them for 2013. I’m an amateur cook with a Farberware pot set, a gas stove, and a slow cooker, and a passion for making delicious foods. (I also have an immersion blender and holy cats I love it.) When available, I want to make the recipe directly from the restaurant I recommended last year, but when I can’t find that, I’ll take an “authoritative” recipe for the same dish (“authoritative,” meaning, I’ve heard of that chef before, and perhaps they have a TV show that I like.) Granted, I won’t be making everything, because either the recipe is above my cooking skill level (no Baked Alaska from me, folks), the ingredients will be too rare or costly for my food budget (National Caviar Day may have to wait till next paycheck…), or I just plain don’t want to make it. The Clinton Street Baking Co. has a great recipe for their world-famous blueberry pancakes for National Blueberry Pancake Day, but I hate blueberries, so that recipe will be left aside–perhaps for you to make instead!

So, for the first week of 2013, I celebrated with a classic sauce that I made for the first time! Last Friday, January 4th, was National Spaghetti Day, and I had recommended a restaurant called Lamarca Pasta for their exceptional Spaghetti Bolognese. Bolognese sauce, so named because it originated from Bologna, Italy, is a tomato sauce cooked with meat, usually beef or pork. Lamarca doesn’t have their recipe online, so I found a reputable chef to make a substitution: Emeril Lagasse’s Bolognese recipe on FoodNetwork.com. It’s a rather straightforward recipe with some great results, so I decided to try it out and let you know what I thought!

 

Spaghetti Bolognese
From Emeril Lagasse on Food Network.com

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound ground beef or ground veal
1/2 pound pork sausage, removed from the casings, or ground pork
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, beef broth, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend. Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the cheese passed tableside. (Alternatively, toss only the desired portion of pasta with a bit of the sauce at a time in a serving bowl, reserving the remainder for another meal.)

 

My first and favorite step was slicing and cooking the bacon, because, well, bacon! You can’t say no to bacon 馃檪 Some of these recipes I’m going to cut the ingredients proportionately to fit my ideal serving size of 4–because I don’t need a ton of leftovers hanging out in my fridge! But with the bolognese, I kept the recipe as it reads. You can never have enough meat sauce, and I gave half of the leftovers to my boyfriend after the dinner.

The bacon sizzling in my pot. This makes such a fragrant kitchen! Who needs air fresheners when you have bacon?

My mise en place of onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. (Can you tell that I’m getting the hang of this cooking blog and don’t really know what to take pictures of yet?) 馃槢

I did a few things differently from the recipe as shown. I used 80% ground beef for the meat of the sauce, and omitted the pork sausage because #1, my boyfriend is not a fan of Italian sausage due to the fennel used in most blends. And #2…three different types of meat in one sauce? Isn’t that a little bit excessive, Emeril?

I also used Marsala wine instead of red wine because it was what I had in my pantry at the time.

Once I added all of the ingredients and left the sauce to simmer, I noticed that there was a layer of orange grease on the top of my sauce. This could be caused by the rendered fat from the bacon, the high fat content of the ground meat I was using, or a combination of the two. I was disappointed with how greasy it was! And that added liquid made the sauce quite thin. I omitted the heavy cream as I didn’t want to add any more liquid to an already liquid-y sauce.

Here is the finished product–the bolognese sauce sitting atop a bed of Ronzoni Smart Start spaghetti. BF liked the taste of the sauce, but I found it a little weird: the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors were quite evident in the sauce, and it was distracting me from all the other goodies to be found, like the bacon and the beef. Nothing should distract you from bacon and beef! I side-eyed the recipe when it told me to add those ingredients, but I did it anyway and kind of regretted it later. I was also surprised that the recipe called for such a small amount of oregano, as that’s the one spice I think of when I think about Italian tomato sauces. I don’t think my substitutions or omissions would have drastically changed the flavor of the sauce, so that wasn’t what turned me off to it.

What I’d Do Different Next Time:
– To keep the accuracy up for the recipe, I’d certainly make sure I had red cooking wine in the house before I started!
– I might lower or omit completely the cinnamon and nutmeg spices, because those were flavors I just didn’t enjoy in a bolognese sauce.
– I’ll use a leaner ground meat to minimize the amount of grease I get in the sauce.

While Emeril’s recipe gets extremely high marks on the Food Network website, I’d have to claim this recipe was a miss for me. While the sauce was hearty and filling, I just didn’t like the strange taste the cinnamon and nutmeg gave the sauce, and will probably look for another recipe the next time I try out a bolognese.

But don’t just take my word for it–try the recipe out yourself and see if you like Emeril’s Spaghetti Bolognese. Maybe even try it next year for National Spaghetti Day 馃榾

Tune in next Saturday as I post my second week’s national food holiday challenge–National Curried Chicken Day!

A little catch-up: authentic Bloody Marys and goodbye to Led Zeppole!

Hahaha, since I only decided how I was going to continue this blog last night, I didn’t get to update the national food holiday posts on the first two days of the year!

On January 1, I hope everyone slept late and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…but if you didn’t, then maybe a little too much of the midnight champagne went to your head! Attack that hangover with a little “hair of the dog,” for National Bloody Mary Day! Back when we celebrated Bloody Mary Day last year, I highlighted the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel, where one of the alleged originators of the cocktail, Fernand Petroit, went to work in 1934. You can try to get into the St. Regis and lay down the rest of your Christmas money for a Bloody Mary–or, a “Red Snapper” as it’s called there, and has been since the Thirties–or make one for yourself right at home!

Red Snapper (original Bloody Mary)

(from The New York Times)

Ingredients:
1 ounce of vodka
2 ounces of tomato juice
1 dash of lemon juice
2 dashes of salt
2 dashes of black pepper
2 dashes of cayenne pepper
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
1. Add the salt, peppers, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to a shaker glass.
2. Add ice, vodka and tomato juice. Shake, pour into a highball glass, garnish if you wish, and serve.

I’m not going to be trying out this recipe because I’m not a huge drinker–and when I do drink, I prefer my cocktails to be super-sweet, not spicy. And I’ve got no hangover to nurse, so no needs for a cure!

 

And some sad news: last year on January 2 I highlighted the East Village bakery Led Zeppole for National Cream Puff Day. Unfortunately Led Zeppole closed, so their Italian flair on the French cream puff is no more. But don’t despair! If you still have a hankering for cream puffs, the cream puff chain Beard Papa’s is still alive and kicking on the Upper West Side. Check out the original page for more info!

Updates on the blog!

Hi, all! It’s been a whopping whole…three days since I’ve made a post, lol. But for me, after making at least one post per day, that’s a long time to be away! I wanted to do something to keep this blog active, even though my calendar year of National Food Holidays is over and complete. So I’ve come up with a few ideas to keep the blog current and (hopefully) keep you reading!

First, I want to start cooking. I know, one part of making the National Food Holidays in NYC blog is that there are already tons of blogs dedicated to making the food holiday being celebrated each day. And the other reason for making this blog with its unique spin was because so many New Yorkers don’t cook! But I really enjoy cooking, and it’s fun to step out of your comfort zone and try new recipes for foods you may have never looked at before. (And the joy of New York City is, if whatever you attempted to cook ends up being unfit for human consumption, lol, there’s always a takeout place down the block!) Plus, my boyfriend just got a slow cooker for Christmas, and he’s Emeril-ing it up on a regular basis–and I want to encourage him to cook more with new and interesting recipe ideas. And it’ll definitely be cheaper than going to all these restaurants every day!

But I don’t have the energy, time, or desire to make every food listed on the National Food Holidays calendar. (I don’t like blueberries, so National Blueberry Pancakes Day is out, and I’m not even going to TOUCH National Roast Suckling Pig Day, lol.) So I’m going to take at least one holiday per week and try to cook it–whether it be something I’ve never tried before, like making homemade kimchi for National Cabbage Day, or something as simple and yummy as Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. And, as often as I can, I will use the actual dishes and recipes from the restaurants I’ve highlighted in the past year–to really tie the whole blog together! I hope you come join me on my culinary adventures over the next year 馃檪

Speaking of recipes…if you want to celebrate one of the national food holidays at home, I’m going to track down the available recipes for each restaurant’s highlighted dish and post each restaurant’s recipe on the blog. Want to learn how Harry’s Bar makes the original Bloody Mary? Dying to see who’s come up with the closest chocolate chip cookie recipe to the world-famous Levain Bakery? I’ll bring it to you here! Some of those recipes I’ll definitely want to try for myself, but others–like Momofuku Ssam Bar’s Roast Pork Butt and Babbo’s Beef Cheek Ravioli–are either too complicated for a home cook like me, or I have no interest in making it myself. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give ti the old college try!

And lastly, just as a courtesy of the blog, I want to let everyone know when a restaurant closes on the national food holiday list. The restaurant business is an unforgiving industry, and a restaurant, bakery, or store can close for any number of reasons, from health code violations to financial troubles to natural disasters, as we saw back in November. So, both in a new post that day and on the original post, I’ll make a note if a restaurant whose cuisine has been highlighted is closed. Wouldn’t want to trek all the way to Harlem for the best sweet potato pie, or to Staten Island for the city’s best ices, only to find out it had closed months ago!

So, in a nutshell, that’s the direction the blog will be taking. I hope you continue to join me in reading about all these great New York City restaurants, and the National Food Holiday calendar that’s kept me intrigued and writing all through 2012. And let’s hope 2013 is full of more great posts…and great food!

Thank you everyone!!

Well, that was my last post of…over 400 posts in a year!! That is absolutely insane to me. I started National Food Days in New York City as a writing exercise, getting my regimen in of writing something every day, and I definitely got that done! Plus, I loved the idea of the national food holidays calendar, that every day has something special to celebrate, dishes and foods from all over the world. And New York City will always be my love, my hometown, even if I’m no longer living there. Blending all three of those elements together in this blog was a bit daunting at times, but always challenging, and always fun.

Thank you to everyone who has visited this blog over the past year–over 16,000 views! I never believed so many people would want to read about National Fried Chicken Day! lol. And especially for all the follows, the likes, the comments, and just all the support for this blog. It’s meant so much to me. I hope everyone keeps coming back to the National Food Holidays in NYC blog for suggestions on what places to eat and celebrate in 2013!

I haven’t decided what I want to write for next year–if I want to do a daily blog at all, or what the topic would be. I’ve gotten a few suggestions (making one national food holiday food per week has been one that’s doable!) and I’ll see what I want to try out. I’d love to keep this blog going with content that all my followers will love and enjoy–let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions! What would you like to see from this blog as we head into 2013?

This has been an amazing writing journey for me…so thank you all, and have a very happy new year!

December 31 – National Champagne Day

December 31 – National Champagne Day

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year…wow, where did 2012 go? When you think of New Year’s Eve, there’s really only one national food holiday you could celebrate…National Champagne Day! Contrary to what the alcohol industry wants you to believe, champagne can’t be purchased from just anywhere: it has to be made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. This is where sparkling wine was invented, in a process that allows double fermentation of the grapes (making champagne both bubbly and boozy). In the region, there are strict rules as to which grapes, processes, and vineyards can produce “true” champagne. All other versions must be called, under international law, “sparkling wine,” which can be made sparkling either from double fermentation or by mechanically adding carbonation to the wine. So if you think you fancy with your bottle of Andr茅 champagne tonight, think again! 馃槢

You probably already have your plans for midnight of New Year’s Eve, whether it be at a swanky open bar event, or just a quiet evening at home…or even braving the cold (and the sea of tourists) in Times Square for the ball drop. But just in case you’re looking for some last-minute place to toast some bubbly at midnight, there are a few champagne bars in New York that are worth looking into. The Fl没te Bar, with two locations in Gramercy Park and Midtown, is one of the trendiest places to sip a tall glass of champagne to ring in the New Year. They have the real deal here–champagne only from the region in France–and they’ve got lots of varieties to choose from. With a contemporary atmosphere that is trendy, but not toolish, you can enjoy your champagne either in a private room for groups or in the main lounge, which also has “privacy” curtains around the booths for a more intimate chamagne experience. You won’t get the bridge and tunnel crowd spilling their cheap sparkling wines while bumping into you on the dubstep dance floor. And for the New Yorker who loves to surround themselves in local history–like me–you’d love to know that Fl没te Midtown is housed in an old 20s speakeasy, complete with live jazz music to complement the mood.

Fl没te Bar
205 W 54th St (between 7th Ave & Broadway)

http://www.flutebar.com

“Both Fl没te locations have a unique feel. The Gramercy location is the bigger of the two, and feels like an upscale living room turned bar (if your living room had little nooks to cuddle up in, and a never ending supply of bubbly). The Midtown location feels much more speakeasy-esque. At this basement level lounge things are small, dark, and definitely sexy. The atmosphere at both is aided with live jazz.”–CBS New York

“If you鈥檙e in a celebratory mood, Fl没te is the place to be. Choose from vintage, non-vintage, prestige cuvee, Ros茅, or boutique Champagnes, sparkling wine or cocktails and snuggle into one of their intimate couches. A good place for celebrating with a group (there鈥檚 a private room downstairs) or that someone special, this place has loads of sexy appeal with deep red lighting to set the mood and comfy couches in hidden niches (some even with curtains) throughout the room for privacy. They also have a selection of appetizers and desserts, but if you鈥檙e getting champagne, we suggest choosing from the list of caviars, with choices from $55-$225. If you鈥檙e not a connoisseur of champagne but like to dabble, order one of the four flights of champagne, to try 3 distinctive kinds.”–New York Magazine

“Flute has been the lounge that New Yorkers have been turning to for more than a decade to quench their Champagne thirst. Their two locations in the city give Champagne drinkers a contemporary and intimate interior amongst plush fabrics. Guests choose from an extensive list of Champagnes and sparkling wines. If your friends don’t prefer bubbly, the lounge also has a full bar, inventive sparkling cocktails and delicious small plates. Insider tip: It’s a great place for a date with romantically secluded, curtained nooks.”–Haute Living

“Down a short flight of stairs from the sidewalk, Fl没te Midtown operates in a space that was once a speakeasy run by the notorious Texas Guinan鈥攁 woman with a brazen disregard of Prohibition, an army of scantily clad showgirls, an arsenal of memorable catch-phrases and a string of New York nightclubs where writers, socialites and shady types rubbed elbows. Fl没te Midtown鈥檚 speakeasy history is preserved in its subtle lighting and honeycomb of intimate booths. Groups of up to 15 can reserve one of the larger tables, and the L-shaped space is easily partitioned for varying-sized cocktail parties.”–Metromix

Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“The first time was on a lark – we wanted to check out the place and ended up staying for a few hours, with champagnes and small finger foods to keep us occupied. There were a few couches and alcoves on the left side of the room, with a bigger open room on the right side. Since it was set a bit lower than ground level, it feels all the more like a speakeasy. Apparently it was a real speakeasy location back in the 20s. If you want to keep it romantic, this is the place to be. We saw all couples come in, or people obviously on double dates.”–Vanessa X.

“We were all pleasantly surprised – the place was almost empty at around 8:30 PM (though it did get a bit busier as we were leaving) but it made for a very cozy, quiet backdrop for catching up, so this girl’s not complaining. Apparently, the space that is now Flute used to be a secret bar during Prohibition, and they’ve definitely maintained that feel in the current establishment – red velvet EVERYTHING, heavy tasseled curtains and super dim lighting, that type of thing. There are some really cute nooks and crannies in which I would have loved to tuck ourselves away – I’d recommend making a reservation if you’re a group of 4+ and requesting a semi-private table if any are available. Oh, and the drinks are top notch (I highly recommend the champagne mojito and bellini-tini). The champagne varies from $9 – $25+ per glass depending on the variety and cocktails are priced at around $12 – $15, which is standard speakeasy pricing in my experience. If you’re in the area and looking for a romantic date spot or a chill, intimate place for drinks with friends, definitely hit up Flute.”–Marina K.

 

But for the swankiest glass of champagne you can drink this New Years Eve, you’ve got to hit it up in old-school Gilded Age style at the Plaza Hotel. I find it really funny that I’m bookending the calendar year with iconic hotel bars–Bloody Mary Day on January 1 should be celebrated at the bar that brought it to America, the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel. And National Champagne Day should be celebrated at the Champagne Bar at the Plaza Hotel. The Champagne Bar, so appropriately named, has been around since the Plaza Hotel opened in 1907, and the classical glamour of the time can certainly be felt everywhere in the room, from the sumptuous drapery to the stylish furniture. And the champagne selection is just as high-end: they boast having the world’s top champagne varieties as well as some of the best caviar in the city. The bar is exclusive–I doubt you can just saunter in there this evening, but try if you can!–and the menu can be mind-boggling to the penny-pincher, but this is the epitome of old-school swank in New York City. Make your reservations today for New Years Eve 2013–and ring in the new year in one of the most iconic champagne bars in New York City, and the world.

The Champagne Bar
Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Ave

http://www.theplazany.com/dining/champagne-bar/

“Overlooking Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain, the new Champagne Bar at The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, is reminiscent of the Champagne Porch that was in the same location when the hotel opened its doors in 1907. The most exclusive of the Plaza鈥檚 dining venues, which once welcomed legendary figures including the Prince of Wales and Diamond Jim Brady has become a favorite destination of today鈥檚 social set. By night, celebrate with the world鈥檚 finest champagne, caviar and wines. By day, indulge in freshly baked pastries, light gourmet fare, and specialty coffees.”–The Plaza Hotel

“Crisp, clean, and classy, the champagne bar at the Plaza Hotel is reminiscent of the Champagne Porch that opened there in 1907. The d茅cor is lush, and elegant, and the champagne list is epic, as are the cocktails. You鈥檒l feel like you gone back to a time when sitting to sip was an art form.”–CBS New York

“We all want to sip our delicious Champagne in a private, exclusive setting. That’s what you get when you visit the Champagne Bar with Fifth Avenue views overlooking the Pulitzer Fountain, this exclusive lounge is the place to taste the world’s finest Champagne alongside mother-of-pearl spoons holding caviar. Sipping bubbly here will make you feel like a truly pampered New Yorker.”–Haute Living

“After a $17 million renovation at the historic Fifth Avenue hotel, the new Champagne Bar is the crown jewel of the Plaza. This lobby bar evokes the elegant gentility of its predecessor in the early days of the 1900s. Step back to old Manhattan and imagine you鈥檙e Nick & Nora while you pass the evening sipping champagne, or stop in for breakfast before spending the day in Central Park.”–NYC Go

Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“Great selection of champagne, extremely high backed, throne like, seats. Very discreet, romantic and great for dates or discreet business meetings. The waiters are attentive and fast but does not hover or bother you every two minutes. Definitely a Gossip Girl, Sex and the City type of place. Put on your Laboutins for this place, ladies, and leave the kids home.”–Bratty K.

“My family loves this place. When we dine and drink here it is because we are guests at the Plaza, and it is the perfect place for a light dinner or a happy hour or a night cap. It has a very see and be seen feeling to it, without being overly snooty. The waitstaff is friendly, though sometimes a bit slow. I love the champagne they offer ( I forever pledge my love to thee, Veuve Clicqout) and my Dad can get his brand of Bourbon (Wild Turkey 101) and my Mom and Sister like the Bellini’s. I will say that their price for a glass of the Widow is comparable to everywhere else in the city.”–A M. D.

 

Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!