A CALM IN THE STORM
You can find a quiet oasis on the busy streets of New York. Kozue, a Japanese day spa at 795 Madison Ave., offers stress-relieving massages and beauty treatments to provide a soothing end to a frantic day.
Kozue, which “means top of a tree,” offers a veritable smorgasbord of massages. The most popular is Ki therapy, which is aroma therapy combined with Shiat-su and Swedish massages. “You get a balance of both techniques,” said owner Kozue Furukawa, “and our products are all natural, from Europe and Asia.”
And if you’re still searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, bring that special someone to this airy, all-white spa and learn how to massage each other. It’s less fattening than chocolates and lasts longer, too.
PENNE FROM HEAVAN
Oh, brave new food, with such people serving it! At this point, most of us have tried every nouvelle twist there is on Italian cuisine, from rotelli to lobster risotto to pumpkin ravioli. Just when you thought it was safe to avoid the same old pasta comes Cala di Volpe, a new variation on Italiana. Chef/owner Pietro Vardeu, former chef of Sapore Di Mare in the Hamptons, brings his native Sardinian cuisine to SoHo, at Broome and Crosby.
Cala di Volpe serves wines and grappa from Sardinia, and dishes rife with seafood and salty sea tastes. The Sardinian salty flatbread is shipped here by one of his relatives. For appetizers, there are cockles in white wine, salad with Sardinian pecorino and salad with bottarga — a caviar-like fish egg that’s the beluga of Sardinia. Vardeu says it’s the reason the Romans invaded Sardinia. Bottargo shows up again, on fedelini (angel hair). The pasta is in no way generic — orecchiette is served with ricotta and asparagus tips, and malloreddos (shaped like teardrops) is served with wild boar sausage.
The entrees are even weightier: baby suckling pig, Angus rib-eye steak, whole fresh fish. You don’t come to Cala di Volpe (which means “like the bread”) for light food or a quick bite. You come to escape to an exotic locale where all the food is something you’ve never eaten before.
COFFEE, TEA OR ME?
Cappuccino, biscotti and jobs at Armani are frequent requests at Resume Cafe, an East Village haunt for designers, freelancers, students and artists. Located at 150 Second Ave. and decorated with resumes and job listings, the coffeehouse cum laude has been drawing an eclectic crowd since its August opening.
Having worked in the fashion industry for nine years, Michael Colonna, who owns the hangout with Luigi Scarpelli and Maurice Donoso, said he was always surprised by the number of unsolicited resumes that were sent to his former employers.
“I know what a hard business it is to get into. I always wanted to open a cafe and to help people,” he said. “I also did it for selfish reasons. I didn’t want to lose touch with some of my friends in the industry.”
Career opportunities at Joan Vass, Ann Taylor and Canal Jean Co. were among those posted during a recent visit. New listings are added twice a week and Colonna said he does not hesitate to network for serious job seekers.
The cafe initially attracted the fashion set, but now caters to a wide range of professionals, including financial types. In addition to its job placement service, Resume Cafe holds an art opening each month for a local artist whose work is displayed in the cafe. Scarpelli, who has styled food, not fashion, for MoMA and the Upper East Side restaurant Letizia, serves up pizza, sandwiches, salads and gelati. The partners plan to open a second location in the West Village or the meat-packing district in the next year.
“If we didn’t offer this service, it would be just another cafe,” Colonna said. “This way, people enjoy the gig.” Matthew Van Horn, a computer graphic artist, stops in regularly and has found four freelance assignments. Shortly before leaving for an interview last week, Colonna offered some reenforcement. “Good luck,” he laughed, shaking Van Horn’s hand. “Make us proud.”
What’s a trip to New York without a glamorous evening? During market week, the footsore and weary need something to look forward to, and what could be better than an evening spent resting on an overstuffed banquette, cocktail in hand?
There are a few places near the garment district, like Rainbow & Stars, at 30 Rockefeller Center. Make your reservations early for the always-classic Rosemary Clooney, who’s appearing there through March 4. While it’s a little pricey — a $40 music charge, plus about $60 for dinner — Clooney is always great, and she’s backed by jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli.
Bucky’s son John Pizzarelli has his own trio at the cozy Oak Room at the Algonquin, 59 West 44th St., through Feb. 25. Pizzarelli grew up listening to his father, and now he fronts a guitar, bass and piano trio that plays cool classic jazz melodies with a few new numbers mixed in. A 7:30 p.m. dinner is followed by a 9 p.m. performance that lasts about an hour; there’s a $30 cover charge, not including dinner.
And while it might be a trek to get up there, there’s the Cafe Carlyle at 35 East 76th St. There, the Princess of Purr herself, Eartha Kitt, is growling into the microphone for two shows a night through Feb. 18. There’s a $40 cover with no minimum.