Zagat has gathered Manhattan’s most celebrated chefs in sixteen of the city’s finest restaurants for a round of sixteen unforgettable dinners over the course of two months. Running from January to March this year, the Zagat Vintage Dinner Series resurrects 19th century fine dining, all for a good cause.
Each restaurant will host a one-night only dinner event with a unique menu inspired by the delicious yet unfamiliar dishes of the 19th century. Paired with vintage cocktails and spirits, unusual game, rare cuts of meat and unforgettably theatrical desserts promise to transport diners back to the grand banquets of a bygone era.
Some of the restaurants taking part in this unique project include famous names like Adour Alain Ducasse, Bouley, Per Se, Daniel and Jean Georges. The prix-fixe dinners are priced on par with each restaurant’s standard menu, ranging from $195 to $575 per head.
Each restaurant will also donate a portion of the night’s proceeds to charity, or auction off two to four seats for the charity of their choice. Seating at each of these events is strictly limited and reservations should be made directly with the restaurant.
Restaurant Profile: The White Rabbit, Singapore
‘Braise’ Yourself for Singapore’s New Dining Sensation
Perched on the platform of what was formerly a monorail station, the restaurant is the collaborative effort of hotelier Loh Lik Peng (of Hotel 1929 and the New Majestic Hotel fame), Dawn Teo and Chef Sebastian Ng of Ember Restaurant.
Incidentally, the name Braise is the French word for ‘embers’, and the restaurant serves classic French fare with a modern twist.
Guests invited to a private white-themed party to celebrate Braise’ inauguration were treated to a night of free-flowing champagne, red Sangria, delectable canapés by head chef Desmond Lee, and the pulsating music selections of DJ Samurai.
De Jaeger Snail Caviar
Being the first in the world to produce snail caviar shell-less and unpasteurized, the farm - founded by two former snail farmers - spent nearly four years perfecting the production and harvesting process, resulting in tiny, smooth cream-colored pearls that reportedly burst on the tongue with subtle autumn and woody flavors.
It offers a completely different taste from the more widespread sturgeon caviar, and is recommended by co-founder Dominique Pierru to be consumed at room temperature with a dash of sour cream.
50 grams retails for US$115, a steep price justified by the complex, costly and time-consuming process by which they are produced. And while distribution is currently limited to a handful of selected outlets, it may soon become easier to find, following De Jaeger’s recent negotiations with top chefs and fine food specialists Hediard and Fauchon.
Nobu Arrives in the Middle East
From New York to Hong Kong, Melbourne to Moscow – the list of cities where famed restaurant chain Nobu has a home has increased steadily over the years. Now, the list gets a new addition with the opening of the first Nobu restaurant in the Middle East.
Celebrity chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa and partner Robert DeNiro have opted to set the newest outpost of Nobu within the world-class grounds of Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, UAE. Influences from the region weigh in against Matsuhisa’s sushi classics, adding onto the menu of Nobu signature dishes at this particular restaurant.
The Rockwell Group-designed restaurant features oversized hand-woven abaca panels resembling ocean waves with traditional Middle Eastern touches like hand-wrought iron columns of flowers, leaves and buds. A gigantic laser-cut screen of cherry blossoms that graces the entrance to the bar reminds patrons of the restaurant’s Japanese roots. This is after all a Nobu.
Other lauded Michelin stars such as Giorgio Locatelli, Michel Rostang, and Santi Santamaria have also opened shop in Atlantis, The Palm, making the resort famous now around the world not only for its 160,000 square meter-large theme park, but for the extensive range of unsurpassed food and dining establishments.
Prét-â-Portea Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley, London
The pastries served are inspired by the prevailing season’s latest runway collections, which means you can sink your teeth into biscuits and cakes featuring designs by Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen at the hotel’s Caramel Room. Needless to say, it’s the Autumn/Winter 2008 collection that is hogging the limelight on the menu (which refreshes every six months) at the moment.
You will find amongst others, an Alexander McQueen fromage blanc chiffon dress, a Valentino red coat chocolate biscuit, a Yves Saint Laurent honeycomb, a Smythson “Maze Bag” banana Madeira cake, Prada-laced Valrhona chocolate crème, Louis Vuitton praline delice, and a couple of Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo cookies, all served in china by Paul Smith for Thomas Goode. Now that’s a lot of delicious fashion to digest.
And if you would like some take-home fashion for your private tea party, the Berkeley’s Prêt Vespa service will gladly deliver your "designer" pastries in dainty boxes to your doorstep. You can't miss the pistachio green and pink scooter.