Rosh Hashana Noshes
Orders have to be placed at least two hours in advance, and can be facilitated by calling either Sage American Kitchen at 718-361-8651 or Cafe St. Bart's, the Manhattan restaurant that also sells the baskets, at 888-2664.
Meanwhile, the Season's about upon us, which means that the "Wine Workshop" courses sponsored by the excellent Upper West Side wine shop Acker, Merrall & Condit are poised to resume. The series of courses begins Sept. 21 this year. Offerings are as basic as a one-off "Essentials of Wine" session ($45); and as advanced as three evenings devoted to the examination of 1989's great French reds, whether Bordeaux, Burgundies or Chateauneufs-du-Pape. (The "1989: The Series" courses cost between $155 and $225 per class; you can purchase all three for $450.) For a schedule and more information, call 875-0222.
Ben's Kosher Delicatessen's various locations?the one in Manhattan's in the garment district at W. 38th & 7th, not far from NYPress' shoddy warren of offices?is offering special catered Rosh Hashana Holiday Dinners through Sept. 10 (that's Sept. 10 at 4 p.m., the punctilious restaurant specifies). Appetizers, soup, main courses, sides, extras and desserts for 10 mouths?and all for $199. The usual Rosh Hashana culinary haul: stuffed cabbage, gefilte fish, roast chickens, brisket, coleslaw, compote, chicken soup mined with Ben's submerged-dirigible matzoh balls. Not to mention all sorts of other stuff, like string bean almondine (caterers love marrying those string beans to those masticated almonds), kasha varnishkes and so on, even including such questionable Eastern European soul-food eccentricities as noodle pudding.
Ben's also offers, for $139.95, a smaller package that includes the same stuff as above, except minus the dessert and the appetizers. Call the Ben's Hotline at 1-800-344-BENS for more information.
Another last-minute Rosh Hashana deal, and a more refined one: the menu offered by Marco Polo Cafe and Caterers, which is located on the edge of the East Village and that's offering the following dishes, to stay, to go or for delivery: chicken liver pate and challah bread up front; then chicken soup or tomato consomme; then either roasted poussin or roast shell of prime beef with red wine jus; then a sugarless apple tart or chocolate walnut tort for dessert. Complete dinners cost either $50 or $55, depending upon what exactly you order. Everything on the card's available a la carte for either pickup or delivery, and, if you'd rather just wash your hands of the holiday's domestic angle, the restaurant will serve the meal on its premises that Friday evening. Delivery orders should be made by noon, Sept. 9.
Marco Polo's also peddling a Rosh Hashana gift box, delivery of which in New York City will run you $25, and that consists of a wrapped woven box filled with: a ceramic crock of chicken liver mousse; black pepper wine biscuits; clover honey and an assortment of apples. Order by noon, Sept. 10.
Marco Polo's located at 15 E. 15th St. (betw. 5th Ave. & Union Sq. W.). The phone's 647-1515.
News of the millennium-celebration deals is flowing in through the mail slot and fax machine, to settle heavily upon the spirits of your friends here at Soup to Nuts, for whom the prospect of New Year's Eve under any circumstances?it's a forced, morbid cokehead swingers' celebration of nothing other than the passage of time and the certainty of eventual doom, and on an alienatingly cold post-Christmas night, no less?is discomfiting.
But especially depressing is the idea of this New Year's, this biggest New Year's ever?more coke, louder swingers, brighter and eviler tinsel and balloons...and the Grim Reaper even grimmer for this shebang, wickeder and more skull-grinningly contemptuous as he wanders through the night's frolics with his scythe, reminding you that you've been wasting away that dram of life allotted you, buddy. New Year's Eve's when, like in some episode out of Poe, the ticking of the clocks sounds louder?so dreary?and we'd just as soon recuse ourselves from the whole wretched affair, even if it is, you know, the Big One. Squash, anybody? Bet we can get a good deal on some late-night courts at Chelsea Piers. We'll feel healthy and vibrant for a last millennial hour, as the planet careens toward its doom. To hell with it. Wake up early, sniff the air, see if the bombs have fallen and?if they have but we're still ticking anyway, and if there's time to make a run for it before the next one falls?load the Soup to Nuts rifles, ammunition and portable generator into the payload and storm north on the Thruway at 110 per, toward the security of the mountains.
Or else maybe we'll just give ourselves over to the celebratory spewage, sign up for one of the no-doubt enjoyable New Year's Eve events we've just been apprised of and hope for the best. Bondi Ristorante, for example?good Italian food, nice people, the occasional wrinkled old Sicilian, just like you pictured him?is hiring itself out, offering you its entire premises for a private party of up to 75 people. You'll have at your disposal the establishment's chef and staff?and since Bondi's known for its imaginative theme dinners (the restaurant recently devoted an evening to the favorite recipes of Rossini, the great operatic composer and fat man), chances are you'll be able to exercise extraordinary control over your food. Bondi's at 7 W. 20th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 691-8136.
More millennium-night dope: The theater district's Supper Club's cashing in on the Big Night hysteria, too. A thousand bucks per head, which includes dinner and a bottle of champagne per couple, as well as tax and tip?plus dancing to the establishment's 16-piece house swing band. The Supper Club's at 240 W. 47th St. (betw. B'way & 8th Ave.), and the phone number's 921-1940.
Or: attend the Waldorf-Astoria's New Year's Eve "Moveable Musical Feast," which will occur in the hotel's Grand Ballroom Suite and will involve the intersection of unlimited amounts of champagne and vibrating orchestras. In the Grand Ballroom itself: big-band swing. In the Jade Room: bossa nova and cha-cha-cha. In the Astor Salon: an all-star tribute to 50s rock 'n' roll, which sounds dreadful. A five-course menu including appetizers such as seared day-boat scallops served with cauliflower creme, osetra caviar and blood orange sauce; or terrine of foie gras served with baby watercress, hazelnuts, grapes and aged sherry vinegar. And entrees such as tournedos of beef with winter mushrooms, salsify, braised endive with cabernet sauce; or else a Maine lobster number.
Dessert's a "Millennium Symphony Surprise." Which could mean anything. Who attends these events? Pale WASP crones who resemble latter-year Bette Davises, their wattled old skin swinging from the backs of their arms as they shake their aged bones; chinless, epicene old drunks who swill gin in the corners in threadbare dinner jackets... Great party! Meanwhile the Russian renegade warheads hover over Greenland, homing their way in toward lower Park Ave...."Auld Lang Syne," friends... Millennium Symphony Surprise, indeed.
The Waldorf-Astoria's located exactly where it's always been located. Tickets to the New Year's event cost $1500, and can be reserved by calling 872-4997.
The Monkey Bar, midtown citadel of mid-century metropolitan elegance, announces the hiring of Jean-François Bonnet as pastry chef. M. Bonnet was formerly second in command of the pastry kitchen at the two-star Michelin restaurant Bastide St.-Antoine, in Grasse, France. An enthused Soup to Nuts congratulates M. Bonnet on his new position, and the Monkey Bar on its discerning choice... Va Tutto!, a new mid-priced Tuscan restaurant, has opened in East Soho at 23 Cleveland Pl. (betw. Spring & Kenmare Sts.), that unlucky location. (Anybody out there remember the short-lived bar Cleveland Place that used to occupy #23? It resembled a sports lounge air-lifted in from suburban...well, appropriately enough, Ohio.) We wish the new establishment well.
Contributor: Andrey Slivka.
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