Crow’s Nest, Montauk

I recently read an article in Domino magazine about Sean MacPherson, a hotelier with properties in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Montauk.

I recently read an article in Domino magazine about Sean MacPherson, a hotelier with properties in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Montauk.  When one of the ladies in my office announced she’d be visiting Montauk, it reminded me of the article and of MacPherson’s restaurant there — The Crow’s Nest — and I suggested she make it one of her stops.  It reminds me of the Montauk of years past, before the area became more upscale.

Crow's Nest 10

My dad always spent a lot of time in Montauk over the years.  The Crows Nest is one of those places that just exudes a casual summer vibe.  It’s a little gem of a place that makes you feel like it’s ok to walk in with bare feet and sand between your toes.  The decor is approachable, not overly decorated or precious.  Everywhere you look are lots of authentic things that give the restaurant a bohemian chic feel, all of if perfectly showcased by the surroundings and the incredible view.  I’m often drawn to this kind of raw simplicity.

Crow's Nest 7Crow's NestCrow's Nest 5Crow's Nest 1

Dining at The Crow’s Nest is quite a treat.  The menu features fresh, local fare prepared with beautiful simplicity, letting the ingredients shine.  Seafood is the star of the menu, but you can also enjoy grass fed beef, lamb, and plenty of vegetarian options.  They have the greatest margaritas!

Crow's Nest 2Crow's Nest 9

To see the full menu or learn more about the Crow’s Nest, visit their website.




laV Restaurant and Wine Bar, Austin, TX

Located in Austin, Texas, laV Restaurant and Wine Bar is a beautiful place.

Located in Austin, Texas, laV Restaurant and Wine Bar is a beautiful place.  Designed by McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and interior designer Susan Ferrier, laV epitomizes the concept of sophisticated dining.

laV Austin TX 8Owners Ralph and Lisa Eads had a vision for laV centered around the idea of creating distinct rooms within the restaurant — casual outdoor dining, energetic wine bar, sophisticated lounge, welcoming dining room, and an elegant private wine room.  The overall atmosphere is warm and captivating.

laV Austin TX 9laV Austin TX 2laV Austin TX 5

The architecture and the grand scale of LaV are beautiful but intimate, like a home.  I love the tufting and the height of the banquettes.  The haziness to murals creates a European flair, but mixed with an industrial vibe.  The atmosphere is so sultry — I feel like I could stay there for hours.  I love how they mix traditional lanterns with clusters of glass globes for a kind of yin and yang effect that works so well.   There’s such a calming palette with tones of moss and taupe.  It reminds me of wanting to be home.

laV Austin TX 7laV Austin TX 6laV Austin TX 4laV Austin TX 3

You can learn more about laV on their website or find them on Facebook.

Cafe Clover

I recently took my team to lunch at Cafe Clover, a quaint restaurant in West Village, to see Steven Gambrel’s design and enjoy some down time and good food.

I have always been a big fan of designer and creative genius Steven Gambrel.  I recently took my team to lunch at Cafe Clover, a quaint restaurant in West Village, to see Gambrel’s design in person and enjoy some down time and good food.

Cafe Clover 2

The interior blend of robins egg blue, iconic black, greige and white encompass the space with fabulous lighting fixtures throughout.  The walls look amazing, featuring custom millwork inset with smokey antique mirrors with eglomise bordered detail.  The curved upholstered banquette has a rolled detail at the back rest.  There’s an echo of the bordered concept on the table tops which is also reflected in the ceiling.   I love the play on geometric shapes – rectangular, square, and even circular in the oversized ceiling sculpture.  Check out how the stunning bar!

Cafe Clover 1Cafe Clover 3

Cafe Clover 4Cafe Clover 5

From our table, we had a perfect view of the entire space.  All of the doors and windows were open, making this great connection between the inside and out.

It’s nice to explore and appreciate places right in your own back yard.  I’m so drawn to the idea of learning from interesting design and being inspired by what I see.  What beautiful places are near your home?

Fish Restaurant + Bar

We recently went to F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar on Bedford Rd. in Stamford and had such a memorable meal!

My husband and I enjoy trying various local restaurants.  One place we love is F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar on Bedford Rd. in Stamford.  The owners have two other restaurants (Quattro Pazzi and Osianna), and their experience in providing good food and good service is clearly evident.   F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar has an interior that makes an immediate impression when you step inside — such a cool, edgy environment.  The restaurant is small, but stylish, and has a little bit of a rustic attitude with a modern nod.  It’s very appealing.

FISH Stamford

FISH Stamford 1

The food, of course, is what makes F.I.S.H. so memorable.  The menu features a raw bar, several salads, a range of appetizers, main courses with things like chicken and pasta, and, my favorite, the Naked Fish selections.  With the Naked Fish dinners, you choose your fish, the cooking method you prefer, and one of six incredible sauces.  The fish also comes with your choice of a side.

FISH Stamford 2

FISH Stamford 4

FISH Stamford 3

My husband had the grilled octopus, which was so delicious.  The mussels are a must have! My fish was really fresh, and I loved having the different options for preparing it.    F.I.S.H. is open for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sunday.

To see the full menu, visit the F.I.S.H. website.  You can also find them on Facebook.





Blackstones Steakhouse, Greenwich

I really enjoy a great steak, especially from Blackstones Steakhouse in Greenwich.

When I go out to eat, I am not one to nibble on a salad.  I really enjoy a great steak, especially from Blackstones Steakhouse in Greenwich.  Blackstones has the perfect combination of excellent food and beautiful decor.  They are known as one of the best steakhouses in town and for good reason.

The ambiance at Blackstones is quite elegant.  The decor has a masculine vibe that is still sophisticated and in line with the quality of the food and the attentive service.  With a black, grey, and white palette, the interior is saved from an overly industrial feel by the softening texture on the walls and the interesting artwork.  The bright shelving behind the bar gives the space added light.  Blackstones achieves a New York City chic that is definitely welcome in the suburbs.

Blackstone Greenwich 5Blackstone GreenwichBlackstone Greenwich 4Blackstone Greenwich 3In addition to steak, the menu boasts an impressive selection of appetizers, salads, and sides for both lunch and dinner.  The bar menu features several signature cocktails as well.  As you’d expect, however, the steak is the star of the show at Blackstones.  The quality of the meat shows in the exceptional flavor and tenderness of the steaks while the extensive wine list ensures the perfect compliment to every memorable meal.  I loved that my dinner was served on a piping hot plate, something you don’t often experience anymore.

Greenwich, Connecticut interior designer Amy Aidinis Hirsch enjoys dining at Blackstones Steakhouse.Blackstone Greenwich 6Blackstone Greenwich Menu 2Blackstone Greenwich 7Blackstone Greenwich Menu 3Blackstone Greenwich 2To see the full menu, visit the Blackstones website.  You can also find them on Facebook.



Golden View Firenze

I recently visited a new restaurant in Greenwich called Golden View Firenze and was really impressed with everything from the food to the decor.

I recently visited a new restaurant in Greenwich called Golden View Firenze and was really impressed with everything from the food to the decor.  From the start of my visit to Golden View Firenze, I loved the fresh, exciting atmosphere of this very chic restaurant.

Golden View Firenze Greenwich CT
Golden View Firenze

Owner Tommaso Grasso also has a restaurant in Florence, Italy.  He decided to open a second restaurant in Connecticut after a visit to the area.  Tommaso brought chef Francesco Casu with him from Florence, ensuring the food at Golden View Firenze would be a true representation of authentic Tuscan cuisine.

The decor at Golden View Firenze is intimate and based in a clean white palette.  The view to the kitchen is open, letting diners watch the chefs prepare fresh dishes, including hand-made pastas.  Shelves of wine are a prominent feature of the restaurant’s interior, but it isn’t all for show.  The staff are very knowledgeable about the wine and well prepared to offer suggestions.

Golden View Firenze Greenwich
View into the kitchen.
Golden View Firenze
Simple, elegant decor.
Golden View Firenze Connecticut
The impressive wine display.

Just like in any really good restaurant, the food must be the star of the show.  Everything we tasted was excellent!  I started with a wine mojito, which was delicious.  We had a cheese plate and I tried the veal dish as well as an incredible four cheese pasta.  My husband had the filet with an amazing dipping sauce.  Even the bread was perfect.  It really was like eating in Italy.  The menu is very well done and I look forward to going back soon!

Golden View Firenze CT
Hand-made pasta.
Golden View Restaurant CT
Seafood pasta. Image courtesy of Connecticut Mag.
Golden View Firenze Restaurant CT
Fresh fish with roasted tomatoes. Image via Connecticut Mag.

A review on by Mary Kate Hogan mirrors the fantastic experience we had at Gold View Firenze and describes some of the other perfect dishes.  You can learn more about Golden View Firenze by finding them on Facebook.


Primary Food and Drink, Greenwich

I recently had the pleasure of trying a new restaurant in Greenwich: Primary Food and Drink.

I recently had the pleasure of trying a new restaurant in Greenwich:  Primary Food and Drink.  Located at 409 Greenwich Avenue, Primary is the newest restaurant from celebrity chef Graham Eliot Bowles.  In addition to being a critically acclaimed chef with two Michelin starred restaurants and the more casual Graham Eliot Bistro, he is one of the stars of the reality television shows Master Chef and Master Chef Junior.  The Chicago native opened Primary with longtime culinary and business partner Merlin Verrier, who will act as Primary’s Executive Chef and Managing Partner.

Graham Eliot and Merlin Verrier
Graham Eliot and Merlin Verrier

The experience and talent behind Primary is quickly evident when you visit this unique restaurant.  The menu offers modern, gourmet takes on classic dishes such as Caesar Salad, Beef Stroganoff, and Gnocchi.  The menu is not extensive but focuses on high quality, fresh ingredients prepared artfully and with the utmost attention to flavor.  At Primary, the food really is art.  Each bite is so delicious; you can easily tell how thoughtfully the various flavors are paired together.   The Lobster Schnitzel, for example, is such a different way to serve this classic New England seafood.

Deconstructed Caesar
Deconstructed Caesar
Beef Stroganoff, made with braised short rib.
Beef Stroganoff, made with braised short rib. Image via Connecticut Lifestyles Magazine.
Food as art.
Food as art.
Each dish shows attention to detail.
Each dish shows attention to detail.

The interior of Primary is a great reflection of the menu.  It is simple and open, with some seating that allows for a view into the open kitchen.  Wood tables, leather seating, and wall decorations consisting of mirrors and understated lighting are playfully balanced by a tile mosaic floor.  The bar area also features a clean, simple look that works well with the restaurant’s modern vibe.  The waitstaff’s uniform of checkered shirts and jeans reflect Primary’s casual mood and allow the food to be the main attraction.

Dining Room
Dining Room
The tile floor mosaic with the Primary logo.
The tile floor mosaic with the Primary logo.

I really enjoyed visiting Primary and am already looking forward to going back.  You can see their full menu and make reservations at Primary’s website.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter.