Monthly Archives: February 2016

Casa Lever – Midtown, NYC

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Another restaurant week just passed! I visited The 21 Club with Momzie and Casa Lever with my dear old friend Gabbrachella. She had suggested Le Cirque, but after a really awful glass of wine there last Summer (and service to match) I thought we should enjoy our resto-week discount elsewhere. After perusing the menus I noticed Casa Lever was offering a wine pairing. After my friend’s stamp of approval, we were celebrating her relocation to the (almost) city for just under $80.00!

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#fabulous (and 18 here).

The Experience:

After a long stand at the bar with a mediocre cocktail (bartender’s suggestion with my choice of spirit) we were finally seated twenty minutes after our requested reservation time. The bar area had started with standing room only. It cleared out rapidly leaving us with the entire area to ourselves. I ordered two drinks while waiting for our table and was underwhelmed with each impromptu “spicy mezcal cocktail” shaken “especially” for me. The cocktail list looked very sweet and lacking in any edge. PeanutPimpMama needs an edge!

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We finally arrived at the table and within moments our zippy servers had a basket of fresh bread and olive oil for our consumption. We selected our dishes from our resto-week menu along with our wine tasting and out came an amuse-bouche that looked like something ripped off a Caesar salad on-the-line. Seriously, it was a cheesy crouton on a plate with herbs. (scratches head*)

image3Thankfully that was redeemed by a really fresh Caprese salad with super soft mozzarella balls sliced in half with beautifully ripe Kumato tomatoes and delicately plucked leaves of basil with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and crushed black pepper. This course was paired with Riesling “Le Dragon” Josmeyer (2012) from Alsace. This salad is a perfect example of beauty in simplicity. I could eat this until the cows come home.

15959bf9-e44c-4724-bc4a-58ba147f2f16My main was a succulent piece of salmon cooked medium rare and served on a bed of beluga lentils with a leek sugo sauce. The salmon was topped with a “row of roe” (drum roll*). It added an interesting flare that didn’t feel quite so…Italian? I was a bit caught off guard by the roe’s flavor and the odd sense of humor in presentation. Egg on a chicken anyone? This moist and savory course was paired with a Bourgougne Blanc Guy Amiot (2012) from Burgundy.

c5fc417a-58e2-487d-8334-8aa0d07f6a55My meal ended with their famous chocolate dessert “The Gianduia” which is regularly featured on their menu. It’s basically a chocolate moussey block with a moist crust topped off with formations of hazelnut mouse and dark chocolate walls and ceiling. If you like chocolate, this is the way to go.

322f0468-b52b-4a28-b68d-ec9c3d90bb42My friend (always keeping it light in true spirit) received a turkey shaped mass of sorbettos. (Pictured above): lemon, raspberry and mango sorbet with a crispy biscotti feathered tail? All gelati were prepared by Sant Ambroeus. (of course daaaaaaahling*)

image1 (2)It’s a cool place inside with a slight art-deco influence. If you come with a larger party you might get to sit in one of the cool tables that appear to be set into the wall in a cut-out geometric cell-like formation (not pictured here). The place had a great after-work buzz, but definitely not the ideal clientele for two single ladies out on the town. I would have thought the contrary given the area. It could depend on what demographic you’re after. 50<

For More Information: www.casalever.com

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Café Pam Pam – Juan-les-Pins, Côte d’Azur, France

PeanutPimpMama1-300x300I’m sure studying international business in Nice was the worst influence I could have ever had. When on the Riviera “lady of leisure” takes on an entirely new meaning by raising the bar high. What could be better than vacationing in the most beautiful place on earth with the most amazing-eats and wines around? With a coastline so blue you could get lost staring at it, it’s a perfect place to eat, shop, beach, drink (repeat). This is where I made some of my fondest memories doing just that.

While scrounging around my NYC cupboard the other day, a little tiki man fell out of my stash and right into the dog’s (Myrtle’s) bowl. I chuckled to myself as I fished it out of the water and dried it off. That tiki head was a garnish off one of many-an-elaborate-cocktail and sundaes consumed at Rhumerie Pam-Pam in Juan-les-Pins. The first time I had been to this cafe was a whole decade ago. I took this pic last summer in utter amazement that some things never change…except the ever-expanding collection of white hair on my head.

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These elaborate tiki-decorations seem to travel well! The collection I’ve built up in the last decade has survived three countries and four major metropolitan cities including (Nice itself) London, Paris and now NYC.

331612_10150400600123509_331188182_oI thought about how unique this place seemed when I first sipped a drink out of a giant seashell back in 2005. Safe to say I’ve witnessed all kinds of libation-vessels as I’ve become quite “seasoned” in the cocktail arena. I’ve even slung a few in my time.

I’ve always had an affinity for tiki-bars and Pam-Pam happens to be right up PeanutPimpMama’s alley. However it wasn’t until my last trip to JLP that it dawned on me…This was actually a Brazilian themed café-pub?! Yet I have no recollection of anything like this during my trip to Rio in 2010. (Although there may have been a couple of things I missed out on.) It’s all about who you travel with!

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Ten years later and this place is still drawing quite the crowd with more elaborate concoctions than ever.

I ordered a massive hazelnut and fudge doused sundae during my last Pam-Pam session. The last thing I needed was some more sugar with all of my sugar…I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a tiki bird! (Cue the diabetic shock!)

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If you’re lucky you get a little memorable cabaret action to motivate you through your goodies. Goodies…

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23 years old here…Just three lovely ladies and some “ballers” in Antibes!

My old roommates and I were lucky to have a NYC rendezvous last year… It was so nice to catch up on the last decade in real-time. I may not be close to JLP’s Rhumerie Pam-Pam, but thanks to technology today these two lovely ladies are never more than a click* away!

 Reminiscing over happier and warmer times… Stay dry out there!

~PPM

For More Information: www.pampam.fr

Questions, Comments, Concerns and Review Requests Please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

Click Like* and Share* with your Friends! Also follow my foodie adventures on Twitter Instagram and Tumblr!

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