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Mar 14, 2006
 Be a Part of It…New York, New York—Part II - Take a Tour of the Very Best, Most Unique, Exciting Places in the Big Apple
 by Robin Roth

I am INCREDIBLY excited to tell you about some of the NEW YORK treasures that I have discovered. I feel like a little girl with lots of secrets to share with you. SO HERE GOES!

 Let’s Begin with Tavern on the Green

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS RESTAURANT! Turn your fantasies into a dream reality in the city’s most celebrated, dazzling restaurant located in the lush and beautiful setting of Central Park (on the corner of 67th Street and Central Park West). There’s a reason that a New York classic remains a classic! You don’t stay on top in this city unless you keep your standards HIGH and, need I say, consistent! For those of you who know about Tavern on the Green, go back again! Those who have not yet experienced this romantic, beautiful restaurant, you are in for a charming fairytale evening. If you are looking for romance, men, you simply must take your lady to the Tavern on a horse-and-buggy ride through Central Park. This will no doubt start your evening off with looks of love in your sweetheart’s eyes (HINT! “GREAT PLACE TO PROPOSE!”)


Tavern on the Green, built in 1870 with its rural Victorian Gothic structure, CANNOT be compared to any other restaurant in the world. It is so unique and SO NEW YORK! This glittering palace is Central Park’s most spectacular structure. In the lavish dining rooms, you will witness the overflowing use of brass, stained glass etched mirrors, original paintings, hand painted murals, antique prints, magnificent outdoor gardens and above all, chandeliers. Lots of chandeliers! When you make your reservations, you can request the room in which you would like to dine. You can choose The Crystal Room (MY FAVORITE), The Crystal Gazebo, The Terrace Room, The Elm Room, The Rafter’s Room, The Park Room or the Chestnut Room. Look around while you dine in this spectacular setting with its radiant charm, as many of New York’s most prestigious events take place here. This is a society HOT SPOT! Furthermore, ladies, the beautiful Crystal Garden overlooking the Sheep Meadow, accommodates dancing during the summer months— Old Worldlovely. Guests will enjoy award-winning cuisine created by some of the nation’s top chefs and their new menu created by Executive Chef John Milito.

To begin, I suggest ordering a bottle of wine from their amazing and extensive selection of fine wines from around the world. For your appetizer, there are so many from which to choose. I recommend their classic Lobster Bisque, which is outrageous! Don’t miss out on the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio, as it is moist, tasty and delicious. For the crab cake lover, you will find paradise, as the Tavern’s crab cakes are authentic and made with 99 percent fresh crabmeat. The jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and sauce are just so yummy. If you are still hungry, the Caesar Salad or Oysters on the half shell will do the trick. Stop, relax, sip some wine, look around and ENJOY for a few minutes.

For your entrée, everything on the menu is a must. I recommend the hearty Roast Prime Rib and the Filet Mignon that is so tender you won’t need a knife. By the way, the French Fries were the best I have ever eaten! For you fish lovers, all the fish dishes are sensational. NOW for DESSERT! LADIES, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Dome was, “OH MY GOSH,” worth the calories! The fresh berries were also wonderful and will help out with the guilt you feel from everything else you just ate!

Be sure to let the photographer snap your picture as it is a terrific memory of this guaranteed special restaurant. Tell my captain JP, and my servers Tom Mahar (he’s been here 20 years) and Jean-Paul Richard hello from the Blonde! Great service is something you can expect at the Tavern. P.S. there is a souvenir store to visit on the way out. Oh, and don’t forget to walk outside in the gardens before you leave! BRING A CAMERA! A BIG A+ for Tavern on the Green!

For reservations, call 212-873-3200.

The Boathouse, Central Park

THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE NEW YORK FAVORITES! The Boathouse is a unique blend of cosmopolitan culture and casual sophistication. If you are looking to see the four seasons in Manhattan, THIS is the place to see it! You will enjoy the beauty of nature whether you dine in the splendid colors of the fall foliage, the sunshine of summer, the gorgeous white snowy wonderland of winter, or the bursting of colors as spring blooms. This restaurant “WILL BE” the highlight of your trip.


The Boathouse is nestled in the center of this idyllic location in Central Parkand was designed in 1858. With the lake as its backdrop, it looks like a pastoral landscape in the English romantic tradition and has evolved into the world’s grandest urban green oasis. You will dine surrounded by windows all around you that provide the gorgeous scenery as far as the eye can see. This view will take your breath away! Charm, romance and nature at its finest! Now, the Boathouse is only open for lunch and brunch (on weekends) in the winter. GO, GO, GO, on a snow day if you can! They are open for dinner from April to November. Take the opportunity to ride in a gondola or a boat in the summer before you dine!

Food??? THE BEST!  Here is what I suggest for lunch. The Burger was as thick as your wrist, slow cooked, juicy and moist; a difficult task to achieve for such a thick burger! YUMMY! The Chicken Cobb Salad (made with the finest ingredients) is as good as it gets and beautifully presented. The Country Pate was delightful as well as the Tuna Tartar. For a true Boathouse dish, go with the Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin or the Crusted Halibut Filet. Dessert… just pick your personal favorite. EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL HERE, including the service. The two managers, Ed McCarthy and Safet Kurtovic are unbelievably hospitable, efficient, proud, and classy (and handsome). THEY LOVE their restaurant and are quite proud of it. I can see why!

PLEASE DON’T MISS this unforgettable, amazing New York experience. WHAT A TREAT! The Boathouse is VISUAL CANDY and a tasty memory.

For reservations, call 212-517-8821.

Tea and Sympathy



Let’s begin with the unbelievable, warm, and down to earth owners, Nicky and Sean. Their personalities shine brightly in their restaurant. From the moment you meet this FRIENDLY, PERSONABLE, and CAPTIVATING couple you will no doubt become a regular at Tea and Sympathy. They had me at CHEERIO!  Everything on display in the room was given to them as gifts, which makes for a rather unique and charming décor. The moment you sit down, you feel as though you are being transported to . In addition to the tea time menu, there is a full menu (of original recipes baked fresh on premises and foods prepared fresh and made to order) from which to choose. Some of the dishes you can enjoy are classic Shepherd’s pie, Tweed Kettle Pie, Bangers and Mash, Chicken and Leek Pie, Lentil Casserole, and let’s not forget the Steak and Kidney Pie. They are all HOMEY, “Nanny Foods” that are comforting, taste perfectly delicious and I absolutely recommend them all! THE FOOD HERE IS THE REAL DEAL, FOLKS! As for me, I cherished my window seat as I COMPLETELY enjoyed my COMPLETE afternoon tea with my daughter. Life just doesn’t get more pleasant then this! The only thing that could have made this better would be if George Clooney walked in and sat down next to me! Guests are served their selections on Bone China Dishes that are all TOTALLY different, mixed patterns. Nothing matches…how lovely. You are presented your choice of tea (of which it is a hard decision to pick one) in your own individual tea pot from England as well. SO ADORABLE! I love this place! Complete tea comes with an assortment of wonderful and DELECTABLE finger sandwiches, Scones with clotted cream and strawberry or raspberry jam, (“Oh my gosh amazing”) a selection of the most delicious cakes in the world, (THERE WENT MY DIET, but worth every scrumptious mouthful of these original recipes) and of course a pot of STEAMING hot tea. PRICES are totally reasonable, especially for what you get. Did I already tell you how much I love this place?


Nicky and Sean are always there, floating around in the tea room, speaking with all the customers as if they are all their best friends and family. My conversation with the couple was on politics, which thank goodness we couldn’t agree on more! Let me forewarn you that you never know what famous movie star, celebrity or television star may show up to just relax and unwind. They love it at Tea and Sympathy too because it is quaint and relaxing, not to mention a real hot place in the village. Nicky says, “This tea room has been my life for 15 years. The things that have happened in this room would make your toes curl!” Nicky is precious, you will adore her.

After you are completely satisfied, pop on over right next door to the TEA AND SYMPATHY STORE. It truly is a sight to see. Everything, including the phone booth, is totally British. They have designed some of their own blends of tea which you HAVE to take home with you. Go ahead and purchase the Tea and Sympathy Tea Pot and their new BOOK (Tea and Sympathy, The life of an English tea room in New York, written by Anita Naughton with 60 recipes by Nicola Perry) that is going to be made into a major motion picture shortly. Since I returned back home, I make my tea and read my book to sleep. Moving on, I suggest you take a walk-about the Village and do some shopping until you are hungry again.

This would be the perfect time before catching a Broadway show or movie to get some REAL, AUTHENTIC, FISH AND CHIPS (also owned by the couple right next door) at the restaurant A Salt & Battery. I haven’t had fish and chips this amazing since my last visit to London. The fish is so thick and juicy. They use REAL fish with “ONLY” the finest and freshest quality then fried in the best vegetable shortening. It is so wonderful for the health conscience, because they are not greasy at all, just fantastic. They actually fly their potatoes for the chips (fries) in daily from England. YUMMY… and again, YUMMY!  

I GIVE THREE CHEERIOS, to Tea and Sympathy, the Tea and Sympathy shop and A Salt & Battery. Make this divine trio and a visit with this adorable, lovely, English couple a MUST on your next New York adventure…DID I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE PLACES?

Tea and Sympathy is located at, 108-110 Greenwich Ave. Call 212-989-9735.

 Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

 Music lovers and diners, this is WITHOUT A DOUBT Manhattan’s BEST KEPT SECRET! When I walked in this gorgeous, sophisticated, dinner jazz club, with the most incredible view of the city (which is the backdrop for the musician’s stage), I was completely taken back and blown away by this unique and stellar club. Gone are the days of seedy, hidden, smoke-filled clubs and welcome to the world of the modern-day jazz club. All I can say is WOW! Dizzy’s was named to pay tribute to the master of jazz, the great and famous composer, arranger, professional pianist, accepted percussionist and the jazz artist in Jazz’s union with Latino music, Dizzy Gillespie. However, it was his trumpet and his pioneering of BeBop that secured for Dizzy his high position in the pantheon of jazz.


The club is located in Jazz at Lincoln Center on the 5th floor in the Time Warner Center (Broadway at 60th Street). There are two dinner seatings and performance sets nightly and I suggest you arrive early to allow for leisurely dining at the club. Monday nights are dedicated to young, upcoming musicians who will have the opportunity to showcase their talent. On the other nights, IN ADDITION TO THE SCHEDULE, you never know who will show up for a surprise appearance at one of their late-night hang sets. The food is sensational and the menu has quite a variety. Their eclectic menu reflects both Dizzy’s roots and the many parts of the world that swung to his music. This is a very clever concept to not only to hear, but taste his legacy. There is a $30 cover per person for the artist set, a $10 minimum food and beverage, and a $5 bar minimum. I can tell you, it is more than worth every penny.
The musicians performing at Dizzy’s are nothing short of brilliant. You will experience some of the finest, spicy, talented variety of jazz musicians of our day. Their goal at Dizzy’s is to bring in the hottest jazz bands in the business to grace their stage. In the words of the establishment, “We want the musicians to feel comfortable to play. We want people to come in and have a memorable experience. The whole facility is designed for international participation. This is a hall of integration… to bring everything together.” All I can say is that I, as well as the whole audience, was captivated and hypnotized by the amazing jazz we were lucky to be a part of. You can feel your heart just soar as you listen to the amazing sounds of great jazz performers. What I found most wonderful was the professionalism of the players and the appreciation and respect that each of the musicians showed to one another, especially during their solos. These cats don’t just play…they make love to their instruments. They don’t just play jazz, they ARE JAZZ! In the words of assistant manager Eric Otero, “This is the best jazz club in the city.” I for one, AGREE.


FOR DINNER, let me suggest a few MUSTS. DO start out with a glass of your favorite wine and their Cheese Plate with Fresh and Dried Fruits. LOVELY! Throw in the Chicken Sate with Coco-Cola dipping sauce for fun. Everything on the menu is great, so you can’t make any mistakes. As for me, I loved the Roast Chicken (French style), the famous signature dish, Miss Mamie’s Fried Chicken, Niman Ranch BBQ Baby Back Ribs and the Home-Style Meat-loaf. Now that is JAZZ FOOD! No matter what you order, you have to get the French fries. As for Dessert, get one of each! As for me, I am going to play a jazz CD and jump on my treadmill!

Go and enjoy the excellent, fun foods, the drinks, the view and the finest jazz you have ever heard! PLAY ON at DIZZY’S CLUB COCA-COLA!

For reservations, call 212-258-9595.

THERE YOU HAVE IT—The Blonde’s picks for some of the greatest, most unique, and fabulous “MUST DO’S” in New York City! BE A PART OF IT! Stay tuned for part 3…


1. Delicious filet mignon and amazing French fries at Tavern on the Green - Photo by Robin Roth
2. The beautiful and famous Tavern on the Green - Photo by Robin Roth
3. Exquisite prime rib at Tavern on the Green - Photo by Robin Roth
4. Light and delicate salmon appetizer at Tavern on the Green - Photo by Robin Roth
5. Boathouse Restaurant and view of winter wonderland in Central Park - Photo by Robin Roth
6. The perfect Cobb salad at the Boathouse - Photo by Robin Roth
7. The Boathouse’s delectable desserts - Photo by Robin Roth
8. Assorted, to-die-for finger sandwiches at Tea and Sympathy and their own three blends of teas for sale - Photo by Robin Roth
9. Scrumptious sweets and scones and the book Tea and Sympathy - Photo by Robin Roth
10. Charming Tea and Sympathy owners Nicky and Sean - Photo by Robin Roth
11. Authentic British tea shop carry-out Tea and Sympathy - Photo by Robin Roth
12. Unique British fish and chips shop, A Salt & Battery - Photo by Robin Roth
13. Authentic fish and chips from A Salt & Battery - Photo by Robin Roth
14. Photo of view outside Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola - Photo by Robin Roth
15. Jazzy French-style chicken and fries at Dizzy’s - Photo by Robin Roth
16. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
17. Jazz musicians at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola




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