Check Out Our Garden!


We’re thrilled to let you know that the hotel’s vegetable and herb garden is even bigger, badder and greener this year. So what’s on the menu? Collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, acorn and patty pan squash, eggplant, tomatoes and pumpkins are just a few of the offerings.

Jake’s Rooftop Garden, named after owner Judy Paul’s grandpa, came to be in an interesting fashion. Tommy Benedict, an urban landscaper and the guy in charge of the whole shebang, took me though the beginnings. (You know those beautiful flower arrangements in the restaurant? The ones that you could never, ever fathom doing yourself? That’s Tommy.)

Judy had always wanted a rooftop garden, and last year finally decided to do something about it. As the building is a little um, long in the tooth, she checked with an engineer to see if it the roof could actually carry the weight.

And so an ingenious idea was born. To avoid putting any direct pressure on the roof itself, a kind of suspended railroad was created around the perimeter and secured with iron. Crates and window boxes carrying the actual produce are perched on the contraption, raised about a foot up along the edge of the ceiling.

And there you have it…a rooftop garden that doesn’t actually touch the roof:


Tommy feels that vertical growing in containers as opposed to sideways ultimately produces a higher yield, as herbs and vegetables are continuously harvested and thus constantly replenish themselves. (Farmers with a vast acreage can usually only harvest once a year.) Another advantage to using crates is that individual boxes of veggies can be moved around so that each gets the proper amount of sun…micro-management at its best.

Last year, the garden yielded almost enough herbs to fuel the entire restaurant and bar. (Yes, we grow our own mint for our mojitos–don’t you?)  So this year, Chef Yoel Cruz presented Tommy with a detailed wish list of what he could use in the kitchen–and Tommy came through. Almost a dozen different types of peppers, three types of basil, leeks, chives, zucchini…you get the picture. Our herbs and vegetables are mostly sourced from local farmers and Tommy expects to keep the garden going through October, or at least until the first frost.

Jake’s is a true city garden. New Yorkers are geniuses in space utilization and the hotel is no exception. Tommy explained to me that pfizer viagra cheepest prices horticulture may be a science, but you still have to experiment and make it your own. He’s committed to looking at different ways to feed us and we’re equally committed to eating it up.


Feed A Mom This Sunday


If your mom is more Clair Huxtable than Joan Crawford, you’ll probably want to toast her kindness with a giant bottle of champagne this weekend. Throw in a gut-busting meal on top of those cocktails and the woman who raised you will truly feel the love. (Honestly, if you feed me, I’ll pick up after you and do your laundry for the next year. Scouts honor.)

Chef Yoel has created a special brunch and a three course $42 prix-fixe dinner menu specially designed for mamas this Sunday.

Click on the links above to see all the offerings. I have to say that I’m intrigued by the evening selection of pan roasted elk with crispy shallot mashed potatoes, asparagus, with an aged balsamic and bacon reduction. (There’s nothing like a little game meat to show mom just how pfizer soft viagra much you love her.)

Click here to reserve a table for you and the main woman in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!!!





Cinqo de Mayo, Seis Margaritas


Cinco de Mayo…a day for Mexican folks to display their ethnic pride and for people of all cultures to indulge in mariachi music, mouth-watering Mexican food and strong, tasty margaritas.

As legend would have it, the margarita was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico by a bartender named Don Carlos Orozco. Orozco was experimenting with mixing new drinks when a prestigious visitor arrived: Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German ambassador. Don Carlos offered the drink to Margarita and named it after her for being the first person to taste it. So if you can believe Wikipedia (I know…I know…), the margarita was named after a German.

In any event, here are a few recipes for you to try out at home!

First, a classic margarita from the Epicurious website:

  • 2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave, preferably reposado or blanco
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt for garnish

Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.

Here’s a frozen margarita courtesy of

  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • lime wedge
  • 3 oz white tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Place salt in a saucer. Rub rim of a cocktail glass with lime wedge and dip glass into salt to coat rim thoroughly, reserve lime. Pour tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and crushed ice into a blender. Blend well at high speed. Pour into a cocktail glass.

Bobby Flay has a cool frozen watermelon margarita that serves eight:

  • 5 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water, heated until sugar melts), cooled
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups silver tequila
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces melon liqueur
  • Watermelon wedges, for garnish

Place watermelon in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the pureed watermelon into two empty ice cube trays and freeze until firm, at least four hours. Place martini glasses in the freezer to chill.

Place two cups of the watermelon ice cubes and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into four glasses and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Garnish each glass with a watermelon wedge.

A low-cal version comes from Cooking Light magazine. (To be honest, it looks like it’s just a really small drink, but you can always have two and still feel good about yourself.)

  • 1 ounce premium or silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1.5 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

Combine ingredients. Shake with 3/4 cup ice; garnish with lime.

And for folks who don’t drink alcohol, here’s a Virgin Margarita recipe for four from

  • 1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 equal size wedges
  • 4 cups ice cubes

Moisten the rim of the serving glasses with a little lime juice. Put the salt in a huge saucer or shallow pie pan. Invert each glass in the salt, and gently twist to coat the rim with salt. Invert each glass in the salt, and gently twist to coat the rim. Place the limeade concentrate, orange juice and ice cubes in a blender. Pour into glasses and be careful not to disturb the salt on the rims. Garnish the viagra soft tabs 100 mg drinks with lime wedges and serve.

And finally, if you love both mojitos and margaritas and are waffling over which one to have, try a Mojarita for four, courtesy of iVillage:

  • 20 fresh mint leaves, more for garnish
  • 8 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. agave nectar
  • 4 oz. soda water to top
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

In a cocktail shaker, add torn mint leaves, lime wedges, lime juice, and muddle together allowing the flavors to marry and the aromas to release. Add two cups crushed ice and tequila. Shake well. Pour evenly into four glasses, adding additional crushed ice on top and mixing well. Top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprigs.

But if you’re lazy, like me, come to the North Square lounge and have the bartender mix you up a strawberry basil margarita with jimador tequila, lime juice, strawberries and basil. Estaba delicioso!

Cheers!  And enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Dinner For Two


Chef Yoel Cruz and consulting pastry chef John Cheng have revealed their Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu. Feast your real viagra eyes and tummies buy cialis online on this:

For the first course, there is a choice of:

malpeque, yaquina and wellfleet

seaweed salad and thai coconut curry sauce

ricotta & manchego cheese, orzo, roasted tomato & basil sauce

Next, you can select one of these:

grilled shrimp, crispy potatoes

peppers, crab meat, cumin foam

hubbard squash, gala apples, manchego cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, cider vinaigrette

roasted beets, goat cheese, honey spiced pecans, blue cheese dressing

avocado, ginger crudo vegetables, lemon-lime vinaigrette

roasted butternut squash, apple & celery salad, grand marnier sauce

Put down your fork for a minute before moving on to one of the following entrees:

grilled vidalia onion, steak cut fries, spicy mustard, bourbon au jus

sautéed shiitake mushrooms, pea greens, soba noodles, kumquat & tamarind sauce

swiss chard, herb späzle and roasted beet au jus

brussels sprouts with bacon, potato leek galette, rosemary au jus

rice noodles, vegetables, thai curry, lemon grass broth

baby vegetables in saffron broth, red bliss potatoes, tomato aïoli

And, of course, you can’t forget dessert. There’s a choice of pumpkin cheesecake, key lime pie, mocha bread pudding, butterscotch creme brulee or a red velvet chocolate heart for two. (Personally, I would order the latter and pray to God that my partner was full, but that’s just me.)

Four courses for $55 per person…a seriously great deal on one of the biggest dining out nights of the year! Call 212-254-1200 now for your reservations…or click on the “Feed Me” button above.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


We Love Our Guests

My hubby and I decided to cheap viagra online usa hit the jazz brunch in the North Square Lounge yesterday afternoon. Why? Because performing this week were the Roz Corral Trio, with Freddie Bryant on guitar, Santi Debriano on bass and Ms. Corral on vocals and they swing…that’s why.

In between lamenting to my spouse the buy viagra online fact that I have no–and I mean zero–musical talent (he did not disagree), tossing back mimosas and scarfing down eggs benedict, I struck up a fun conversation with the couple sitting next to us, Denise and Phil Corsello. The Corsellos hail from Long Island and were celebrating Phil’s birthday weekend in Manhattan.

The duo had come in to the city the night before to catch a play (Perfect Crime, which they gave a thumbs up) and were wrapping up Phil’s multi-day birthday fete with steak and eggs and omelets and be-bop. We had a blast chatting about life, snapping pictures of each other and trying to figure out how in the world to use the new I-phone. (Seriously.)

Denise (l), Phil (r), Guy eating french fry (c)

Hope you had a happy birthday, Phil!  We hope you both come back soon!






Who Painted That?


I was sitting in the lounge at North Square sipping on (okay, swilling) an Almond Old Fashioned when my eyes were drawn to the cool artwork on the walls. Drinking makes me curious–and chatty–so I asked

staff members to tell me buying viagra with no prescription about them.

The painting of the nude woman over the bar is a copy of “La Belle Raphaela”, originally painted by Tamara de Lempika, a Polish Art Deco painter. This particular rendition was painted on tiles by Mrs. Rita Paul, proprietor of the hotel. Step into the dining area of the lounge and you will see Mrs. Paul’s painted versions of black and white photos of some of the great stars of yesterday: Marlene Dietrich, Anne Sheridan, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard. Oh, and upstairs in the hotel lobby are still more decorative tiles that Mrs. Paul hand painted. (I love when talented people are prolific. Don’t you?)

Sitting there among all this beautiful artwork, I felt transported back to another time. If only Gregory Peck or Laurence Olivier would stroll through the door…

Actually, Don Draper would do very nicely, thank you. I’m not all that picky.

So if you too were curious about where the lounge artwork came from, now you know! You’re welcome.

Another Old Fashioned, please.





Restaurant Week, Part Deux

I’ve already posted about Chef Yoel’s first menu for Restaurant Week, but he’s switching it up. Here’s a bit of what the chef has got in store for the next phase of the promotion–January 17th and 18th.

For lunch, diners get a choice of wild mushroom soup, marinated grilled shrimp buying viagra now and winter vegetable salad for appetizers. Entrees are

either grilled scallops, Cobb salad or braised lamb quesadilla. Dessert is a choice of mocha bread pudding, warm Granny Smith apple and cranberry crumble or chocolate cream pie.  All for 25 bucks.

The dinner selections make me, and my stomach, ridiculously happy. Again Yoel has wild mushroom soup for an app…or arugula salad or grilled quail. (Special note: the quail is insanely good.)

Entrees will be braised short ribs, seared monkfish or pan roasted free range chicken breast.

Desserts include the chocolate cream pie, plus butterscotch creme brulee and pumpkin cheesecake.

Make your reservations now, people! And get the quail. Seriously.







Restaurant Week Is A Comin'

Restaurant Week(s?) is starting next Monday and North Square’s Chef Yoel Cruz is all prepared with at least three different menus to serve throughout the promotion.

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Do other restaurants provide more than one menu for Restaurant Week? I’m not sure, but if they don’t they should because it’s a great idea. The more yummy dishes to try, the better in my book.

To refresh your memory, during the period, participating eateries charge $25 for a prix-fixe lunch and $38 for a prix-fixe dinner. It’s a fantastic, wallet-friendly way for diners to either try out a new joint or score a bargain-basement priced meal at one of their regular haunts.

Chef Cruz’s first menu will run from January 14th through January 16th. For lunch, appetizers are a choice of shrimp bisque, arugula salad or chicken risotto. Entrees are hanger steak with kale salad, a tempura shrimp sandwich or roasted chicken breast. Top if off with a dessert choice of chocolate mousse cake, pumpkin cheesecake or milk chocolate panna cotta.  All for 25 bucks!

Dinner is even crazier.  Along with the shrimp bisque, the first course gives you a choice of radicchio and Boston lettuce salad order viagra and braised lamb tart. Entrees choices are roasted Pekin duck breast, grilled pork rib chop or porcini dusted halibut. For dessert, once again you’ll find the milk chocolate panna cotta, plus mocha bread pudding and warm Granny Smith apple and cranberry crumble.

Seriously, people, this is a true value. Reservations are now being taken so call and reserve your table!







So Long, 2012

If the Mayans got it wrong, we’ll all be around for yet another New Year’s celebration. I love spending that evening at North Square because while it is festive (yeah, we’ve got your sparkly blowers and funny hats and ladies and gentlemen dressed to the nines)…it also has a mellow, come-as-you-are vibe. The crowd is friendly and the food is just what you want eat to kiss the previous year goodbye. Plus no one will ever, ever ask you what your New Year’s resolution is because, frankly, that would be a big ole’ buzz kill and we like to have fun.

This year’s specials sound scrumptious. Chef Cruz’s appetizers include:

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  • Lobster bisque garnished with tarragon creme fraiche
  • Roasted tomato soup garnished with grilled shrimp and crisp potatoes
  • Seared foie gras with roasted apples and a pomegranate sauce

The entrees are equally decadent:

  • Roasted wild boar with braised red cabbage, apples, fingerling potatoes and a ginger port sauce
  • Surf and turf with creamed spinach, garlic mashed potatoes and a black truffle sauce.
  • Grilled veal chop (to die for) with mushroom risotto, tomato chutney, and a red wine and herb au jus.

And Consulting Pastry Chef John Cheng has come up with an insane cap to the meal with Dessert Fantasy Trio 2013…a salted chocolate caramel banana tart, molten chocolate cake and a trio of ice creams.

Hey…holidays are designed for excess. You can always diet next year, right?





Roast Beast, Anyone?

Just a heads up on what you can expect should you decide to dine at North Square this Christmas Eve:

Appetizers will include a wild mushroom soup with goat cheese and chorizo croutons, New England clam chowder and ricotta gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms, asparagus, corn and herbed butter sauce.  Plus chicken empanditas with

chorizo, mushrooms, goat cheese, creme fraiche and tomatillo sauce.

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For the main course, there will be pan-roasted ostrich with herb polenta, eggplant and tomato confit, and red wine au jus.

And for you healthier types, there’s porcini dusted halibut with spinach and basil quinoa, wild mushrooms and a mushroom cream sauce.

Sadly, we’ll be closed on Christmas Day to open our presents but hope you can join us to chow down on the eve!