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The Mayor of Times Square Visits Mexican Hotspot Temerario

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There’s a cool, sophisticated, yet casual vibe restaurant getting a lot of attention in Chelsea these days at the newly renovated Temerario, the ground-breaking Mexican hotspot in Chelsea, boasting one of NYC’s more serious Mexican menus.  The kitchen is helmed by Chef Eduardo Santos who has worked in Michelin starred restaurants.

I sat down with owner Jorge Guzman, a successful restaurateur who started in NYC with Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana, in New York’s West Village.   In 2014 he opened the contemporary Mexican restaurant The Black Ant in the East Village.  In 2017, he opened Lamano, a Spanish wine bar next to Temerario.  In 2018, came Lamano West Village.

What is the idea behind this concept?  What inspired you to put together Temerario?

The Temerario name means fearless.  It’s like a daredevil, daring you to do something different.  The concept…we went modern, industrial…we wanted to get this Meatpacking District vibe.  Making it fit into a fun Mexican restaurant.

What can I expect here that I would not find in any other Mexican restaurant in America?

We try to mix traditional Mexican with a touch of New York and a twist of modernity.  Usually you don’t see a lot of Mexican restaurants with the look that we have. Industrial with green ceiling so at nighttime you get this really nice nightlife vibe.  You see metal plates on the wall, neon signs, beautiful bar, dark tables.  We have a great Happy Hour.  Outdoor seating on both the 8th Avenue and 20th Street sides of the restaurant.  We have Lunch, Dinner and Brunch.   Brunch is from 11am to 3:30pm with bottomless mimosas.    We do Happy Hour from 4 til 7pm every day.  Dinner til 11.

What is the inspiration behind the menu? What do you enjoy most about your cooking?

We don’t do regional Mexican cooking.    We do all over the country.   The concept is more similar to a Mexico City restaurant, since they utilize all the regions in their cooking.  Different flavors from different regions.  What we really focus on here is the presentation, even if the dishes are a little traditional, they will look very modern in look.   Less ingredients, but more techniques.

Do you serve tableside guacamole? What makes your guacamole different from other Mexican restaurants? 

The guacamole comes to the table already made.  It is made with avocado, onion, cilantro, serrano, pickled jalapeño.   It is served with the whole tostados and not chips. We don’t buy any sauce or tortillas.   All the tortillas, masas, moles and salsas are made in-house for maximum freshness and flavor.

What is the most popular dish in the restaurant?

Carnitas Tacos (made with Pork confit, mango-habanero salsa, chicharrón, pickled onion).

What is appealing about your bar?

As you can see, our bar looks very much like a nightlife cocktail bar, with smoked mirror in the back, neon lights.  At nighttime it looks very intimate, cozy, sexy.  Very artisanal cocktails.  We try to use small batches, brands.  The bar program is made by a Michelin star bar manager, earned at Claro in Brooklyn.   Our bar program is elevated from other Mexican restaurants.

What changes have you seen in Chelsea since you opened the restaurant?

The area is getting better. It has better nightlife.   Famous chefs are coming in.  It’s getting to be like the West Village.  You have the High Line just a few blocks away at 14th & 8th and also 16th & 8th.

What is your favorite dish and why?

One of my favorites is the Aguachile Negro(Sea bass, charred aguachile, jícama, cucumber).   It’s like a Mexican ceviche.  A little more spicy.  It’s very good for the summer, very refreshing.  The others are the tacos, very popular here.  

What demographic do you attract?

More adult than some of my other restaurants.  We get a lot of people from Google and Twitter since their headquarters are nearby.    

Anything else you would like to add?

We plan to have Latin nights with DJ’s every Friday.  We do pop-up events every two months which are one night dinners with famous chefs from Latin America.  

Other favorites include: Quesadillas with corn tortilla, queso oaxaca, salsa martajadaFlautas – Chicken tinga, salsa tatemada, cabbage, crema, queso fresco; Ensalada De Tomato – Dried chili vinaigrette, epazote requesón, baby gem lettuce;.   Taco lovers will be ecstatic with a choice of: Tacos De Pescado – Masa tempura, coleslaw, salsa tatemada, jalapeño cream;  Tacos Al Pastor – Roasted chicken pastor, guacachile, pineapple, pickled onion; Tacos Carne Asada – steak, avocado, salsa martajada, caramelized onions; Tacos De Hongos – Portobello mushrooms, salsa pasilla, red cabbage.  Main dishes are highlighted by: Pescado Zaradeado – Red snapper, mole amarillito, mexican rice, tortillas; Enchiladas Verdes – Corn tortilla, braised chicken, roasted tomatillo salsa, crema, queso fresco; Enmoladas – Mole negro oaxaqueño, braised chicken, queso fresco, crema, onions;  Carne Asada – Sirloin steak, shishito pepper, cauliflower puree, tamarindo demi-glace.   The menu is also suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.  Lunch Mon to Fri 12 til 3pm.    Dinner Sun to Thurs 4 to 11pm;   Fri & Sat 4 til 12am.  Happy Hour every day from 4 to 7pm..   Brunch Sat & Sun from 11 to 3:30p.     198 8th Ave at the corner of 20 St., 212-645-2100, www.temerarionyc.com

Eli Marcus is the Chief Marketing Officer of NYC’s largest circulation Visitor Magazine, City Guide, where he holds the distinction of affectionately being known as “The Mayor of Times Square” for his tenure as the longest serving hospitality professional in all of NYC. Eli is also the inspirational host of The Motivation Show podcast (ranked in the top 1% of podcasts in the world by Listen Notes) where he interviews famous Motivational Speakers, Celebrities, NY Times Best Selling Authors, Health Experts, Mega-Successful Entrepreneurs & more! Listeners can hear Eli on Apple Podcasts, IHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Podcasts or any podcast listing app or just click here: https://open.spotify.com/show/3NVmTDAvGbzooN8TCW7tuN As the former CEO of The Seminar Center in NYC, he has produced events for a Who’s Who of Celebs, best-selling book authors, experts, etc. They included: Michael Jackson at Carnegie Hall, Mark Victor Hansen, Iyanla Vanzant, Davy Jones, Les Brown, Don Miguel Ruiz, Judy Collins & hundreds Here is a video of Eli speaking https://youtu.be/6xtVGmb0Pf8.

Art

NOFLEX Korean Dinning Surrounded By Art and Technology

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NOFLEX, located at 286 5th Avenue  right off 30th street us the first media art loungeThis contemporary Korean restaurant and bar is managed by Next Dining, a distinguished hospitality group from Korea.

The art on the walls

The art on the walls

The restaurant offers inventive Korean cuisine made with fresh ingredients and diverse flavors. The ambiance of the space is unparalleled, with a 72-foot LED wall and vibrant lighting that will transport you to Seoul.

The Bar

There is also an upstairs, overlooking the fun.

You can enjoy an impressive selection of cocktails, wine, sake. We tried The Pornstar Mojito’s ($17) Sparkling Wine with lime, mint and passion fruit. Refreshing and cooling served with a flower.

The space is very modern and has a club-like vibe, so I am sure after hours is very different than at dinner time, which was cool inviting and relaxed.

Looking at the menu

The menu is extensive and if you like seafood and sushi NOFLEX is sure to please. I am not exactly a seafood lover, however my guest and I went on a exploration of shrimp. 
We started our journey with Hand Rolled Cigar Rolls filled with beef and shrimp, served with aside of truffle aioli ($19). As far as food goes this was my favorite dish. The truffle aioli was fantastic, I ended up dipping everything in this sauce. These were crispy, juice and delectable.

Onto the Deep Fried Shrimp Skewers ($21) 6 pieces of lightly crispy shrimp in a wasabi mayo. The batter was more like the texture of coconut, and they were light and filling. Both were easily shared.

For entrees, we tried the Shrimp Scallion Pancakes ($25). Each slice was filled with a whole shrimp and there were eight slices. I would have preferred the shrimp to be cut up with scallions, as the garlic was barely a taste, however the truffle aioli  sauce from the cigars, perked these up and help immensely.

Also for an entree the Gambas ($33) which is shrimp in a spicy, garlic sauce served with slices of baguettes. This was Roger’s favorite dish.

And then there was dessert….. Roger and I would go to NOFLEX strictly for their Brûlé Banana Nutella Croffle ($17). This dessert is  a cross between a croissant and waffle, with ice bream. This was seriously sensational. First of all, I am not even a fan of bananas, but done in the Brûlé style they were out of this world and a Croffle with Nutella is a serious culinary adventure.We also tried the Silky Vanilla Cheesecake ($17) that was also excellent. What made this so good was that it was light with these fabulous cookie crumbles that elevated this classic dessert.

Bibi

We found out our fabulous server Bibi created these treasures.

NOFLEX is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and has one of the best desserts I have ever had.

NOFlEX, 286 5th Avenue off of 30th closed on Monday’s and opened for dinner at 5pm.

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Art

A Weekend In The Hamptons

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I started off my weekend in The Hampton’s at an event for Hamptons Social Magazine.

Ilene Smith and Roger Sichel

Erika Katz and her daughter

The event was at Zadig & Voltaire East Hampton. The beautiful jewlery by Stacy Engman, was highlighted.

Stacy Engman

We were treated to some delicious ice cream and wine.

Then our friend photographer, artist and festival producer, Roger Sichel had a showing of some of his art at at Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor. We attended his opening

Roger is prolific in creativing experiences that span generations and genres. From creating one of New York’s first erotic film festivals with judges Andy Warhol, Gore Vidal and Milos Forman to producing rock concerts with the Doors, Four Seasons and Isaac Hayes nationwide, Roger identifies most as a cultural observer and photographic journalist. Sichel has now entered the next phase of his artistic career and is choosing to explore neo-pop mixed media, inspired by his own life, as well as current events, while simultaneously preserving the legacy of his work in photojournalism.

Ann Liguori

Ann Liguori

Ann Liguori

The next day we attended the book signing at Barnes and Nobles of  Ann Liguori, sports Radio and TV Personality. Ann is the author of a new book called “Life on the Green, Lessons & Wisdom from Legends of Golf.” Hopefully we will have her on “Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents,” because this book sounds fascinating.

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Art

Serendipity 3 is Opening In Times Square

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Just in time to beat the heat, the iconic place for Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, as well as oversized and outrageous sundaes with names like Forbidden Broadway and Unicorn Bliss, foot-long hotdogs and self-proclaimed Infamous Truffle Burger are arriving to the center of the universe, Times Square. The location will be on West 47th Street as part of the OYO Times Square hotel, but will have its own entrance. It’s the first time the world-famous brand, has established itself anywhere in New York City beyond Manhattan’s East Side, since it opened in 1954 — first on East 58th Street, before moving a few years later to its larger and present-day space on East 60th Street. Though Serendipity 3 has been licensed in Las Vegas, Japan and Dubai, they have all closed. The “3” in the name refers to the restaurant’s three original partners, not the number of locations in the city or elsewhere.

The roughly 3,100-foot Times Square space, currently under construction, will seat 110 and will be similar in size to the East 60th Street location, which holds 140. The design of the new restaurant glass artist Allison Eden and installed by D&E Tile and Stone, a company with roots in Italy. I meet Eden surprisingly enough last night at the Bay Street Gala.

Look for our interview on “Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents” with Allison Eden

Serendipity 3 is beloved by celebrities such as Warhol, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jimmy Fallon, Marilyn Monroe, Cher and Gloria Vanderbilt (plus Vanderbilt’s son, Anderson Cooper). Kim Kardashian reportedly flew to New York earlier this year with her daughter North and celebrated the preteen’s 11th birthday at Serendipity 3.

 

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The Balcón Rooftop Bar A Hidden Gem

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Broadway and Vine Brings Ariana DeBose, Darren Criss, Aaron Lazar, Shoshana Bean and Alan Cumming To Wine Country

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Broadway and Vine, a nonprofit organization bringing the best of Broadway to the best of Wine Country, kicks off its 2024 season on July 9 and 10 at 7:30PM, with Academy Award® Winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story, The Prom, Schmigadoon, Hamilton) at Carneros Resort Vineyard Lawn (4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA) in Napa Valley.

The vineyard concert series will continue throughout the summer at Tre Posti Vineyards (641 Main St, St Helena, CA) on July 25th at 7:30PM with Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy Award® Winner Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace, GLEE,  Broadway: Maybe Happy Ending, American Buffalo, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Aaron Lazar (Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Last Ship, The Light In The Piazza, Les Misérables) on August 28 at 7:00PM  and Two-Time Tony Award® Nominee Shoshana Bean (Hell’s Kitchen, Mr. Saturday Night, Waitress) on September 23 at 6:30PM.

Closing out the season will be Tony Award® Winning Broadway icon Alan Cumming (The Traitors, The Good Wife, Cabaret, Macbeth, The Threepenny Opera) with the Bay Area premiere of his new solo show UNCUT at Francis Ford Coppola’s Inglenook (1991 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA) on October 13 at 5:00PM.

Upcoming performers for Broadway and Vine include Jelani Remy (Back to the Future) and Abby Mueller (Six). Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Broadway and Vine was founded and is produced by Tony Award® nominee Jacob Langfelder (Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age, Sea Wall/A Life) with a mission to provide mentorship, masterclass and performance opportunities for students and pre-professional performing artists.

The concert series is paired with world class wineries and wines including Arietta, Chateau Montelena, Inglenook, Frog’s Leap, Lloyd Cellars, Prescription Vineyards, Tansy, Titus, and more. Chefs Nash Cognetti, Jeffrey Jake, and more will showcase their cuisine in the picturesque vineyard and resort settings.   Tickets begin at $95 and are on sale now at www.broadwayandvine.org

Broadway and Vine was founded by Tony Award® nominee Jacob Langfelder (Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age, Sea Wall/A Life). Based in Napa Valley as a vineyard concert series, it launched in 2021 and quickly became a San Francisco Chronicle critics’ pick with concerts by Brooke Shields, Lea Michele, Tony Award® winners Sutton Foster and Beth Leavel, Jelani Remy, Christopher Sieber, Tony Yazbeck and more. Broadway and Vine is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to provide mentorship, masterclasses, and performance opportunities for students and pre-professional performing artists. www.broadwayandvine.org

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