Come Have Easter Dinner With Us!

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It’s Easter weekend, everyone! The weather promises to act nice, so slap on your bonnet and get thee outside and have some fun.

There are still some tables open at the restaurant for dinner here at North Square, so forget about messing up your kitchen by cooking up a ginormous glazed ham and come and hang with us. No cleanup required!

Chef Cruz has created a lovely three-course menu for only 40 bucks. Specials like roasted venison saddle isn’t something you’d usually make at home, right? The chef pairs it with squash risotto, asparagus and juniper au jus. Pan-seared cod is available for fish eaters, plus a grilled rib-eye for steak fans (like me!).

Appetizers include clam chowder, a baby spinach salad and salmon tartare. And dessert? A pear and almond galette, pistachio creme brulee or chocolate tart.

Let us do the work while you catch up with your loved ones. We’ll take care of you. And we promise–no scary Easter Bunnies and for the love of God, no peeps!!!!

Make your reservations here. Happy Easter!

Celebrate Irish Culture!

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The Irish are a soulful bunch. They’ve touched us through the arts in countless ways.

Like acting: Daniel Day Lewis, Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, Colin Farrell, Peter O’Toole, Stephen Rea, Michael Fassbender and Gabriel Byrne

Or literature in its many forms: James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Jonathan Swift, Frank McCourt and Samuel Beckett

Or painting: Francis Bacon, John Lavery and Louis le Brocquy

And of course, music: Van Morrison. Elvis Costello, U2, The Corrs, The Pogues, Rory Gallagher, James Galway, The Dubliners and Bob Geldof

Listen to Van and The Chieftains performing Carrickfergus, an Irish folk song named for a town in Northern Ireland:

Wasn’t that lovely? Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt

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This event doesn’t actually take place on St, Patrick’s Day, but on Sunday, the 16th. It’s described as, “part scavenger hunt, part obstacle course and ALL NEW YORK.” A series of clues will lead participants to physical, mental and bar-related challenges all across the city.

Participants should meet up at Libation, a bar on Ludlow between Rivington and Stanton at 1 p.m. and should expect to spend three hours on the hunt. Only “musts” to bring are comfy shoes, a Metrocard and a smart phone. You can sign up as a team; however, if you’re solo, the organizers will hook you up with other players.

The cost is $20, but those who cross the finish line will get a free beer and gift basket. That sounds fair, doesn’t it? More importantly, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Have a great weekend!

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Tomorrow is the day that we celebrate our sisters and the economic, political and social achievements of all women past, present and future.

The First International Women’s Day took place in 1911, no doubt fueled by the suffragette struggle to gain the right to vote. (Yep, we’ve certainly come a long way, baby!)

Let’s take a minute and look at a list of female New Yorkers past and present who have shared their academic, scientific or artistic gifts with all of us. Each, in her own way, has made the world a better place.

Here we go:

Maria Callas, Nora Ephron, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edie Falco, Jane Fonda, Lady Gaga, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ann Hathaway, Margaret Mead, Lena Horne, Rita Hayworth, Scarlett Johansson, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Diane Lane, Jacqueline Onassis, Cyndi Lauper, Marie Curie, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Linda McCartney, Bella Abzug, Diane Arbus, Andrea Mitchell, Ethel Merman, Lucille Ball, Lea Michele, Mary Tyler Moore, Janet Napolitano, Diane Sawyer, Patti Smith, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Lazarus, Bernadette Peters Brook Shields, (disability rights activist) Sandra Shnur, Susan Strasberg, Phoebe Snow, Carly Simon, Beverly Sills, Barbra Streisand, Leslie Uggams, Bette Midler, Willa Cather, Ella Fitzgerald, Greta Garbo and Deborah Harry.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Congratulations all of our brilliant and talented sisters!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

We Love You!

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We love our guests. We love you bunches. And we want you to have a fun-filled, loving Valentine’s Day, so spend it with that special someone or someones. (Some of my greatest V-Days have been spent with the best friends anyone could ask for.)

We’ve still got a few tables left tonight, so come on in and grab a romantic bite with us.

Until then, please enjoy one of the great romantic cinematic moments of all time:

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!! xxoo

S.W.A.K.

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Chef Yoel Cruz, romantic fellow that he is, has prepared a scrumptious, four-course prix fixe dinner for $55. That’s 55 bucks for four courses in New York City. Prepared by Chef Cruz. I dare you to find a better value.

First courses include oysters, mini lobster and crab cakes and corn blini with cured salmon, roasted peppers and dill creme fraiche.

The next round features a roasted beet salad, porcini dusted quail with a black truffle sauce, tuna tartare and lobster bisque.

Mains include filet mignon au poivre, roasted pekin dust breast, seared venison, tortilla crusted halibut and herb crusted rack of lamb (my fave).

Consulting Pastry Chef Alana Ford has put together a yummy chocolate pecan pie,  pistachio creme brulee, key lime pie and spiced bread pudding and an insane chocolate strawberry mousse cake. That’s right: Chocolate. Strawberry. Mousse. Cake.

We love you and want you to spend the evening with us! Click here to make reservations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

CHEF YOEL CRUZ

 

CONSULTING PASTRY CHEF ALANA FORD

 

I Hate Football. So What Now?

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Not a football fan? Frankly, neither am I. So I’m going to avoid the Super Bowl hooplah and do something (anything) that doesn’t involve watching large men hugging oval-shaped balls and tackling each other. Here are a few of my choices:

The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival starts at 1 p.m. in Little Italy and makes its way through the streets of lower Manhattan and Chinatown. The hub of the whole party is at Sara Roosevelt Park at Grand and Forsyte Streets; there will be plenty of vendors, food and otherwise, catering to people of all ages.

The Morgan has an exhibit dedicated to The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s beautiful and philosophical story in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The Little Prince: A New York Story examines the relationship between this charming book and our fair city, where much of it was written. The display also features the author’s only surviving handwritten draft.

Sunday is the final day to catch the Harlem Fine Arts Show at Riverside Church. (The exhibition runs all weekend.) This year’s show focuses on Martha’s Vineyard and features over 100 emerging and established artists from the island.

It’s Ground Hog Day! If you’re an early riser, head to the Staten Island Zoo at 7:30 a.m. and catch Chuck the Groundhog’s winter prediction. You can stay and have breakfast with him too if you’re so inclined. Or you can do what I would do and sleep in, then catch a screening of the movie Groundhog Day at noon at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg’s brunch screening.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Happy New Year! Now Get Moving…

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New Year’s Day is one of rejuvenation…new beginnings…oh, let’s be honest–getting rid of that flabby end result of all those chocolate Santas and fancy cocktails. So what better way to spend it than getting off your duff and moving?

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Happy New Year’s Day Hike: The Shorewalkers is, a group whose mission is, “to enhance, enjoy and protect the parks, promenades and paths along the waters in and around New York City, Downstate New York and North New Jersey.” Meet at noon at the 178th St. and Broadway Port Authority Bus Terminal information booth to take a 6-mile walk that explores the shores and parks of upper Manhattan. The three to four hour walk is an all-levels hike. But if you had one too many glasses of bubbly the night before, don’t worry–there’s a chance to bail around the two-hour mark at 207th St.

JCC in Manhattan’s New Year’s Day Fitness Fair: Free exercise classes, people! The folks at JCC clearly want to get you healthy. Zumba, yoga, meditation, cycling and more. Plus TRX suspension training which sounds scary, so it must be really, really good for you, right? Located at Amsterdam and 76th St.

I’m not sure if the folks at the Polar Bear Club are healthier than us, or just crazier. But every New Year’s Day, at 1 p.m. (earlier if you’re going to participate) they gather on the boardwalk at Stillwell Ave. on Coney Island to take a frigid dip in the Atlantic. They may be a little nuts, but they’re good people: every swimmer is encouraged to donate $20 to Camp Sunshine, a charity that supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. (And you can too, even if you don’t take the plunge.)

Here’s hoping everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!

 

 

What You Don’t Want To Do This New Year’s Eve

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You do not want to spend $300 on an overcooked steak, wilted salad and a glass of cheap champagne.

You do not want to watch the ball drop in Times Square, unless you’re Ryan Seacrest and getting paid handsomely to be there. Trust me. You just don’t.

You do not want to be at a party packed to the gills with people you don’t know, with nowhere to run when that creepy stranger leans in for a sloppy kiss come the stroke of midnight.

You don’t want to do any of those things or be in any of those places, right?

Let’s face it: you just want to have a delicious, hassle-free meal with the one(s) you love. So save yourself. Come ring in the New Year us! No doubt the food will be good. (Does Chef Cruz ever disappoint?) The crowd will be friendly–no creeps allowed on the premises. And the bill won’t send you to the hospital with a coronary on the very first day of 2014.

The menu specials this year will feature seared foie gras, roasted wild boar, seared venison and a classic Surf and Turf, plus a variety of oysters and clams for the shellfish lovers out there. And yes, we have champagne.

So come spend the evening with us and start the new year off right. Click here for reservations.