Restaurant Week Begins!

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Hey everybody!  It’s New York City’s Summer Restaurant Week(s), now through August 15th.

You already know the drill: $25 prix fixe lunch and $38 dinners. As usual, Chef Cruz is pulling out all the stops and creating several different menus during the promotion. And the meals, as always, will feature herbs and veggies from our own rooftop garden.

The “Rooftop Mesclun Salad” features roasted beets, walnuts and goat cheese in a sherry vinaigrette. Pan seared sea scallops and grilled scallops will be accompanied by cauliflower mash and asparagus with a black truffle sauce.

Hungry yet?

Personally, I could go straight for the strawberry shortcake with almonds, strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Or the key lime pie with creme chantilly and raspberry chambord coulis.

Treat yourself and someone you love (or maybe just like enough to pick up the tab) at our place. Make your reservations here!

 

 

 

 

Shape Up, NYC!

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The NYC Parks Department isn’t only good at one thing keeping our parks beautiful (aren’t they the best?), but they want to help us to get fit to boot with their Shape Up NYC classes.

Tons of free fitness classes are held throughout all five boroughs. In Manhattan alone, you can take zumba, yoga, kickboxing, cardio sculpt, pilates, body toning and Feldenkrais, to name a few. Feldenkrais? It’s a form of physical therapy that promotes healing from movement. (Who knew? Now you do.)

Our own Washington Square Park hosts a free BYOM* yoga class every Wednesday morning from 8:30 to 9:30 through August 13th. So whether you live here or are just visiting, take advantage of this freebie, then stop North Square for a cup of coffee!

Namaste!

*Bring Your Own Mat

Image via B.C. Lorio/Flickr

Pride Week 2014

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It’s almost that time of year again–Pride Week–in which we celebrate our LGBT brothers and sisters and the people who love them. (Which includes us!)

Here are a few highlights:

June 24th is a free Family Night at Hudson Park’s Pier 46. Doors will open at 7:30 for a screening of The Wizard of Oz at dusk. Bring the kids and definitely come early, as seating, blankets and treats will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Ruby slippers optional, although presumably would be very much appreciated.

June 27th brings The Rally, the first of which occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. A police raid that took place in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn here in Greenwich Village begat a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community. That year, the rally consisted of about 500 people gathered for a “Gay Power” demonstration in Washington Square Park followed by a Candelight Vigil in Sheridan Square.

The 2014 Rally will be held at Pier 26 in Tribeca and will be a lot lighter. A whole lot. Emcee Michelle Visage (Rupaul’s Drag Race) will host performances by Sharon Needles and Betty Who. Be prepared to party.

Line-up for The March begins on the 29th at 11 am at 37th St. & Fifth Ave. (The parade ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets, by the Stonewall Inn, which still stands today.) A lavender line down the middle of the street will trace the entire route.

Grand Marshals will be Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black), Rea Carey (Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) and Jonathan Groff (HBO’s Looking). If you want to actually march, you must be part of an official group, but many are welcoming new members. Here’s a list. (A small $4 donation is requested of participants.)

PrideFest, on the afternoon of the 29th, is the annual LGBT street fair that combines vendors, entertainers and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. Musical performances run from 12:30 to 5 pm. And it’s also free, people!

And finally, that night there’s the Dance on the Pier, (Pier 26 in Tribeca) which is not free, but all proceeds will benefit New York’s Official Pride Events and LGBT community organizations. Demi Lovato will perform and music will be provided by DJ Pagano and DJ Grind.

Of course, there are other events official and not, associated with Pride Week. Head here to find some of them.

Have a blast at Pride Week. Stop in at North Square and say hi!

Image via Facebook

 

 

Beer Is Proof That God Loves Us And Wants Us To Be Happy

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Or so Benjamin Franklin reportedly said–and I agree. It’s finally Memorial Day weekend, and after throwing on a pair of shorts and flip-flops, the first thing most people do is grab a beer. Luckily, North Square’s beer sommelier, Pamela Amatucci, has just finished lightening and brightening up the restaurant’s draft beer options to fit the season.

The first is Brooklyn Summer Ale, rightfully named for its sunny disposition. As a light dinner ale and a true session beer, Brooklyn Summer has a lower alcohol content (so you can keep drinking all night without making a fool of yourself), plus a clean, crisp flavor that will complement just about any food choice. Pamela suggests pairing it with our lounge’s sirloin burger or the dining room’s filet mignon au poivre. The combination will evoke memories of backyard barbecues and relaxing summer evenings–a great way to ring in the summer.

For a selection with more of a bite that won’t overpower your palate, Pamela suggests Lagunitas India Pale Ale from California. This brew offers a refreshing mouthfeel with a hoppy finish that is a nice accompaniment to the flavors of your meal without overpowering it with bitterness. In the lounge, pair the ale with wild mushroom ravioli, or try it with the sausage plate in the dining room.

For those of you who love a Blue Moon in the summer, we have a creative selection for you: Singlecut White Lagrrr, brewed in Astoria. This is a unique twist on a wheat ale, turning the bottom-fermented lager into a brew reminiscent of a saison (farmhouse ale) by adding matzo to thicken the mouthfeel. Unlike most wheat beers, this has subtle grapefruit notes and a body light enough to keep drinking. Enjoy it with a key lime pie in our lounge, or seared tuna with coconut rice in the dining room.

Have a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend! Try and stop in and check these beers out!


 


 

Be Nice To Your Momma This Mother’s Day, OK?

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Bring her to North Square for a feast!

At brunch, your beloved matriarch can tuck into Chef Cruz’s specials of the day: shrimp bisque, lobster nicoise salad, penne bolognese, banana and chocolate pancakes or a special Mom’s Omelette, filled with corn, asparagus, piquillo peppers and Manchego cheese.

A three-course dinner for $40 will give the woman who spent 36 hours in labor a choice of three appetizers (shrimp bisque, kale and treviso salad or crab and corn salad), three entrees (chicken poussin, roasted wild boar or pan-seared sea scallops) and–you guessed it–three desserts (pistachio creme brulee, chocolate strawberry mousse cake or a pear and almond galette).

We’ll be nice, tell her she’s pretty and let her order us around. Your job is to give her a big smooch, tell her you love her bunches and pick up the bill.

Here’s to Mom!

Make your reservations here for May 11th!

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!

Yesterday Was National Pancake Day

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And I’m just writing about it now. I know, I know…a day late and a flapjack short, as they say. But every day should be Pancake Day, no? I dare you to find one person who doesn’t enjoy them in some form. Here’s a quick rundown of some of my favorite stacks in the city:

Bubby’s has two locations: the original in Tribeca and a newer one by the High Line. You need their sourdough pancakes with fresh Maine blueberries. You really do.

Clinton St. Baking Company serves wild Maine blueberry or banana walnut or chocolate chunk stacks, all with with warm maple butter. Pair it with a side of sugar-cured bacon (yes, sugar and bacon–the two key food groups) and you will immediately go to your happy place.

Shopsins on Essex St. is famous for two things: its cantankerous owner and a menu longer than War & Peace. It looks like there are at least fifty different varieties of pancakes. Local favorites include Slutty Cakes, which consist of peanut butter smothered bacon sandwiched between banana pancakes. And how about Mac ‘n Cheese Cakes? You get the picture; this is the place for those that crave the new and unusual.

Fairway Cafe on the Upper West Side brings you back to the familiar, with killer silver dollar stacks. If you like your cakes thin, this is the place to go. (They have a gluten-free version too.)

And how can we not brag about Chef Cruz’s pumpkin pecan or blueberry wheat pancakes here at North Square? Insanely light and yummy. Come by for breakfast or brunch and check them out!

 

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

Valentine’s Day Hangover Cure

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It’s Monday, February 17th. You’ve broken the bank proving your undying love to your one and only last Friday. Flowers? Check. Fancy-pants gourmet truffles? Done. Champagne, caviar, sparkly baubles? Yes, yes and yes.

Payback? Priceless. It was all worth it because your beloved will be bound to you forever, right? The bad news? You’re broke.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious three-course dinner at your favorite restaurant, right? And you can, because next week is Restaurant Week, people! Come to North Square and chow down on a three-course lunch for $25 or dinner for $38.

Of course Chef Yoel Cruz will change up the apps and entrees every few days like he always does, but we know that from the 17th through the 19th you can expect entrees like lobster, coriander crusted yellowfin tuna and paella. Lighter lunch fare like a hanger steak and organic kale salad and duck confit salad. Or winter comfort fare like a killer gourmet grilled cheese or short ribs.

So come and have a yummy bite with us for a mere song. Make your reservation here!

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