We were saddened yesterday to read the news that the Tribeca landmark Chanterelle has closed for good. We were fortunate enough to dine there a number of years ago, before we'd started Savory, and had a wonderful, luxurious meal that was made all the more enjoyable by the formal, but far from fussy service. From when we first walked in the door until the end of the night when we realized that we'd had the restaurant to ourselves for perhaps a bit too long we were made to feel welcomed.

When we returned in early 2006 to shoot the Chanterelle video for Savory, we found that the owners, Karen and David Waltuck, were just as friendly and warm as their staff had been. In all of our time interacting with restaurant chefs, owners and staff we've found that one thing always remains consistent: the personality and character of the people in charge is reflected in the behavior of the staff. Chanterelle was no exception and this, no doubt, played a large part in why Chanterelle prospered for so long and had so many admirers.


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After the success of Sfoglia on Nantucket and then the Upper East Side [watch the video], Ron Suhanosky has returned to his downtown roots for his latest venture. Steps from nightspot Southside, Civetta, meaning "little owl" in Italian, is an ideal spot for the well-dressed night owls looking for small plates before heading to LES lounges. Recently, chef Suhanosky took a few moments to discuss what makes his restaurant stand out, what chefs he does, or doesn't, admire today, and the most valuable piece of advice he's learned in the kitchen.

Louise McCready: With this year's surge of new restaurants offering recession-friendly, Mediterranean-inspired, small plates, how do you plan to set Civetta apart or how do you see it as being different?

Same as we do at Sfoglia. We offer something that is very unique and sets us apart in Italian dining - that's service, casualness with the décor and sort of rustic feel, and the food itself. Those are three things that will set us apart from other Italian restaurants.

How do you balance your time between two Sfoglias and now Civetta?


The Joy of Sake returns to Webster Hall tomorrow night to showcase over 250 premium sakes and food from some of NYC's top Japanese restaurants. If you're eager to learn about sake you won't want to miss it. Sample the full spectrum of junmai, ginjo and daiginjo sake, including many award-winning and near impossible to find selections. A wide range of sake-friendly dishes will be available from standouts like 15 East, Bond St, Bozu, EN Japanese Brasserie, Geisha, Hibino, Kai, Matsugen, Oms/b, Riingo, Sakagura, SushiSamba, Woo Lae Oak and Zenkichi. Kampai!

The Joy of Sake

When: Thursday, September 24th from 6pm to 9pm
Where: Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street in the East Village.
Tickets: $80 in advance, $90 at the door. Order online at Joy of Sake website or call 888-799-7242.
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The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City's first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail will take place on October 3rd and 4th. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, the event brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for two days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure. Laren Spirer spoke with cocktail historian Dave Wondrich to learn about what's in store for the event.

Laren Spirer: How did you get involved in the Manhattan Cocktail Classic?

Dave Wondrich: As soon as I heard about it, it was clear that it was something that I was interested in. This was back when Lesley, our fearless leader, floated the idea over a year ago. It sounded like fun and we had a "shoot-the-breeze" session about it and came up with some ideas for a title and so forth. We've been in the planning stage for a while so it's good to see it coming to fruition.

Why do you think the time was ripe to bring a cocktail event to New York?

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New Yorkers have long believed that our fair city is the center of the universe. We've got arts, culture, amazing restaurants and some of the most groundbreaking and influential cocktail bars in the world. Why, then, hasn't there been a groundbreaking and influential cocktail event here? Several industry leaders were wondering the same thing, so they put together the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a multi-day celebration/conference/festival, scheduled to take place during World Cocktail Week in May 2010. But since New Yorkers are also dreadfully impatient, they're bringing us a preview on October 3rd and 4th.

The preview weekend is jam-packed with seminars, intimate events at the city's best bars, a pop-up bar at the Astor Center with rotating guest bartenders, and a gala event Sunday night. Tickets for individual seminars are on sale now. A full listing of seminars follows after the jump.

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2009 has been a very good year for Nate Appleman. After becoming a Food&Wine Magazine Best New Chef and receiving the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef award, he teamed up with Teflon Keith McNally of Balthazar, Pastis and Minetta Tavern fame and is on his way to becoming a New York City food media darling. Savory's Louise McCready spoke with the former A16 and SPQR chef to find out what he's working on, what ingredient he'd pick to win The Next Iron Chef, and where he likes to eat in NYC.

Louise McCready: Even though in 2007, you said you'd never leave San Francisco, it turns out you're teaming up as chef and partner with Keith McNally to work at Pulino's Bar and Pizzaria opening on the Bowery this December. Have you started planning the menu?

We've just started working on the breakfast menu, but I can't say any more than that.

I know you're starring in the second season of The Next Iron Chef? With what ingredient do you think you'd be able to win, hands down?

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Want a little technology with your cocktail? If so, be sure to stop by the bar at L'Ecole, the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute, where techno-genius Dave Arnold works side by side with beverage-master Alexis Kahn to create cocktails on the cutting edge.

Laren Spirer: L'Ecole is the restaurant of the FCI, run by students in the Career Culinary program. As such, does your approach to creating the cocktail list differ in any way from a traditional restaurant?

Alexis: The front of the house is run by professionals so the students are just in the back. So in a lot of ways we set up the cocktail program just like any other restaurant. I think what's different is that we have access to a lot of people like Dave and to students who are very interested in cocktails so there's a lot more brainstorming and fresh ideas being circulated than in a regular restaurant setting. We're trying to have a balanced list with seasonal ingredients with cocktails that'll be interesting to people, but there's a little more innovation and creativity. We also change our list more than a lot of other restaurants - every couple of weeks, when we come up with something new.

Dave -- you run the Culinary Technology department and co-author the Cooking Issues blog with Nils Noren. Do you utilize any of the high-tech techniques you write about as part of the cocktail program?

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Maria Hines, chef and owner of Tilth, won this year's James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest. She took time from her busy schedule to talk about sustainability, which chef inspires her most and what she'd eat for a last meal.

Louise McCready: Your restaurant was the second in the US to be certified by Organic Tilth, the non-profit certification group. Was that group the inspiration for your restaurant's name?

Maria Hines: No connection whatsoever.

What was the story behind Tilth's name?

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Gabriel Kreuther, one of Food&Wine's Best New Chefs of 2003 and current chef at the MoMA's Modern restaurant, won this year's James Beard Award for Best New York City chef. I recently spoke to Kreuther about what he'd like to do if he weren't a chef, what it's like to cook in a modern art museum, and where he goes out to eat in New York.

Louise McCready: Your grandparents and parents owned farms, your mother was the first person to teach you how to cook, and you then worked in an uncle's hotel. It seems as though cooking is in your blood and your destiny. If you weren't a chef, what would be your dream job?

Gabriel Kreuther: One dream job that I would love would be to work in the winemaking business.

Any place in particular?

I love Bordeaux wine, but you never know. A winemaker of red wine.

You worked at several of Europe's most renowned kitchens before moving to New York in 1997. Were there any significant differences between the way kitchens are run or the restaurant style in Europe versus those in New York?

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Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci channel their love of the romance, traditions and hospitality that surround the art of the drink into Tippling Bros., their NYC-based beverage consulting business. From developing innovative wine and beer-based cocktails to running cocktail competitions and educational seminars they're focused on fulfilling a common goal--to help the world drink better. Laren Spirer sat down with Tanguay and Carducci recently to find out how they got started, the story behind their "mock tequila" and what they eat and drink when they're off the clock.

LS: How did the two of you meet and decide to create the Tippling Brothers?

Tad Carducci: We took a class about three years ago - the first ever BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) class - and we met there and instantly kind of clicked. We have similar sensibilities, and we realized that we had a very good friend in common. Since that class, we immediately started talking about this idea - wouldn't it be great if we could take the passion and the knowledge and start our own thing?

Paul Tanguay: Start educating, start teaching, start spreading our knowledge.

TC: A few months later, we both quit our jobs and did it. Obviously we had lined up a few clients, and since then we've been going at it. Tippling Brothers has its own life now; it has grown faster than we anticipated it would.