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Sia-Alika Battle

Restaurant Review: Barolo East

by Sia-Alika Battle

Location: 214 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017

Cuisine: Northeastern Italian

Best Dish: Veal Milanese. A breaded veal chop pounded to a quarter inch thinness served on the bone topped with arugula. Served with lemon to add acidity and marry flavors of the fresh greens and tender veal chop.

Cost: $$$

Overall:  A new restaurant with old world charm. Barolo East has opened just six months ago but has already become a neighborhood favorite. The welcoming outdoor patio makes for a wonderful al fresco dining experience. The brick and wood indoor décor makes for a calming dining environment.

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The Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea NYC was the venue for The American Cancer Society the 14th Annual Taste of Hope. One of the most anticipated charity events of the year. The landmark space was transformed into a culinary wonderland. The Taste of Hope is the American Cancer Society’s signature event, featuring over 90 of New York’s most popular restaurants and beverage vendors. Guests enjoyed a walk-around tasting where they sampled signature dishes, premier wines and spirits, and inventive cocktails. Taste of Hope donations supports the mission of the American Cancer Society as they work to save lives, celebrate survivors, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

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The Zero Sugar Movement has a new hero in Smirnoff. The company that boasts the world’s number-one selling premium spirit and was founded in 19th century Russia is breaking new ground in the 21st century. The innovative new line of Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions offers cocktail connoisseurs options with zero sugar with all the flavor and in addition the benefit of being gluten-free.
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The New York City skies were cloudy but the rooftop lounge at The DL in the Lower East Side was humming with the Latin beats and aroma of Cuban cuisine at the inaugural Havana Nights party hosted by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) young professionals Associates Board.

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STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN, had its world premiere in the Spotlight Narrative Category at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

The Tribeca Film Festival is a champion of independent film and in its 18th year, the indie films are still in focus.

In his first feature film, Director Matt Ratner brings together an amazing cast of Broadway and screen actors headlined by the comedy legend Billy Crystal. In the after screening Q & A, the director recalled when he first learned it was a dream for Crystal to do this film. The film is also the first feature film written by Peter Hoare, a New York native, and veteran television writer.

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This week, the Crosby Street Hotel was the site of the New York Premiere of the independent modern musical film STUCK from director Michael Berry. The film stars Grammy Award-winning artist and actress Ashanti and Teen Wolf star Arden Cho who were both in attendance along with members of the cast, crew, and select media invitees.

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Review: RDV Harlem

by Sia-Alika Battle

Location: 2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

Cuisine: Modern French Mediterranean

Best Dish: Arctic Char with Saffron Risotto

Cost: $$$

Overall: An intimate French-style bistro with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and classic cooking techniques.

RDV – Rendezvous is the brainchild of Executive Chef/Sommelier Kfir Ben-Ari. RDV is the culmination of life experience and one chef’s journey. Chef Kfir was born and raised in Israel, received his culinary education at the school of Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. After stints with Daniel Boulud and as the Executive Chef at Paradou in the meatpacking district Kfir realized his vision of opening a Modern French Bistro in his adopted neighborhood of Harlem- RDV was born. The menu features classic French provincial dishes like Cassoulet and Chicken Fricassee infused with Mediterranean flavors.

Shared Plates:

Home Spreads

Home Spreads is a wonderful orientation into the concept of French Mediterranean cuisine. Seven different spreads accompanied by crusty fresh baked bread gives you a tour of global flavors. Olive tapenade, eggplant caviar sundried tomato pesto represents a taste of the Mediterranean. Peas Basilic and Soft cheese with Herbs de Provence are uniquely French.

Small Plates:

Octopus En “Meurette”

The freshest octopus grilled to perfection accompanied by a red wine poached egg and frisée lardon salad. As you cut open the poached egg the yolk provides a sauce with the tangy acidity of the red wine. The additional frisée salad balances out the dish with salty freshness.

Escargots De Bourgogne

Escargots served out of the shell and baked with fresh herb butter, garlic and parmesan is a classic with a twist. The parmesan adds the cheesy goodness we never knew was missing from the traditional recipe. Each tender morsel is a flavor bomb of umami.

Big Plates:

Arctic Char with Saffron Risotto

The Arctic Char was cooked with a crispy skin to seal in the juices of the tasty fish. The Saffron Risotto was rich in flavor and so delicious we could have eaten a whole bowl. The dish was also served with farm fresh haricot verts blanched to preserve the beautiful color and snap. This dish was a special of the day and it lived up to the name.

Pan Seared Scallops

The second seafood dish is a close second in taste. The scallops tasted straight from the sea. The preparation allowed for a sear on both sides to lock in the flavor. Fall greens and a seasonal pumpkin risotto accompanied the scallops.

28 Days Dry Aged Entrecote

Meat at RDV is locally sourced. Local boutique meat purveyor Harlem Shambles supplied the 28 Days Dry Aged Entrecote. The steak was served medium rare with a demi-glace sauce that takes three days to prepare. The sauce is reduced down to the essence of meat that is flavor beyond compare. Paired with onion pepper jam and crunchy potato gratin, the dish reaches new heights for ‘meat and potatoes’.


Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust was smooth and not overly sweet. The crust added the texture to keep you going back for one more bite.

The Crème Brulèe was velvety smooth and very satisfying from the first crack of the burnt tourbillion sugar top.  The fresh vanilla bean and fruit kept the palette interested in what was underneath.

Gateau Au Chocolat with salted Chantilly was sinfully delicious. The creamy Chantilly created a true balance between sweet and salty.

Ile Flottante was an airy cloud of meringue floating in a pool of passion fruit crème anglaise. Our favorite dessert was unlike anything I’ve tasted before classic French techniques that combined with tropical flavors for a faultless desert.

RDV-Rendezvous Harlem is a wonderful addition to the classic Harlem restaurant scene. With a pared-down inspired seasonal menu and an intimate décor, RDV is perfect for date night or a casual get-together with friends.

Happy Hour is 4 pm 7 pm // All You Can Eat Mussels Wednesdays // Brunch Served Saturday & Sunday

For more information visit rdv-nyc.com.

-Sia Battle

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Last weekend  Southampton we had the pleasure to attend the Ninth Annual Unconditional Love Gala for The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. The Gala was held at the stunning Southampton waterfront home of Sandra McConnell. The event sold out for the ninth consecutive year with all proceeds donated to Shelter’s crucial initiatives and daily care of their rescues.

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