SPICE OF LIFE
Dishes like pan-roasted grass-fed beef and sautéed snapper are appealing in their ways, but entrées are far from the main event at Varietal, a new Chelsea restaurant put together by food and wine director and owner Greggory Hockenberry.

Peek into the immaculate dining room for a glimpse at a unique chandelier made of what seems like hundreds of glass wine goblets, then tuck yourself into a seat at the bar for one of 75 wines by the glass and a dazzling array of sumptuous appetizers and delicious, if slightly odd, desserts. Beware the hard sell of bubbly at the beginning of the evening — "It will cleanse your palate!" — unless you're in the mood to splurge on grower Champagnes. Alternatively, a $1,200 magnum of 1987 cabernet sauvignon from Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa is always available.

The restaurant, which opened in December, still has a few hiccups to work through, but delectables like the monkfish liver appetizer and a goat's milk bread option help make up for it. Pastry chef Jordan Kahn, a graduate of Alinea in Chicago and the Thomas Keller empire, offers up weird and delightful treats like celery root with cherry wood ice cream and absinthe with sour apple sorbet. And if you're over the whole cocktail thing, the Mexican lemongrass tea certainly warms up a bitter February night.

Varietal, 138 West 25th Street, 212-633-1800.
— Amy S. Choi

URBAN STUDIES
Buyers in search of a little comic relief and some serious exercise should make a beeline to Equinox for Urban Rebounding, an exercise class conducted entirely on mini trampolines.

The 45-minute class might look like a laugh to passers-by — who often stop to peer in to see what all the smiles are about — but the routine provides high-intensity, low-impact cardiovascular conditioning. The crux of the class is a combination of moves borrowed from Jane Fonda-inspired aerobics, sport-specific drills, sprints, push-ups and ab crunches. Overachievers up the strain by working out with hand weights. Participants can burn between 300 and 500 calories, depending on weight, body composition and, of course effort, according to instructor Gregg Cook. He keeps the energy level high with his enthusiastic commands.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus