Monday, December 30, 2013

Thin Is In at Rizzo's Fine Pizza Co. LES

By: Finance Foodie

Living in the City, it's hard not to get the craving for authentic New York style pizza.  Forget the Papa John's or Domino's - the proximity to the old school stuff is just too close to pass up. Therefore, when I discovered that long time NY favorite Rizzo's Fine Pizza Co. recently opened up a new location on the LES - I just had to shimmy on over for a bite.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Do It Yourself Food at Cook & Go Culinary Studios

By: Finance Foodie

Since I've  improved my cooking skills dramatically over the last year, I thought it would be good idea if the Mister started learning the difference between "diced" and "slivered". Therefore, we found ourselves at the Cook & Go Culinary Studios last Friday night. Cook & Go is a cooking studio in West Chelsea that offers various cooking classes, which rotate monthly, designed to prepare a single serving of a multi-course meal. Participants choose which meal they want to learn/cook (theme menus range from "TV Dinner" to "Healthy Holiday"), cook these original recipes with the instructors, and then take the finished dishes home to eat.
Participants in the Island Menu Class

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Psudo-Homemade Gourmet: Lamb Shank Pasta Zero Dinner

By: Finance Foodie

Since the Mister works rather long hours, I know he likes to come home to an already prepared homemade meal to end the day (as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach). But living in NYC and also having a full time job doesn't leave me much time to slave away over a hot stove. So what's my solution to this dilemma? A delicious "psuedo" homemade dinner that tastes like it took 20 hours to prepare, but really took about 20 minutes. So ladies, put those pots and pans and measuring spoons away, the Lamb Shank Pasta Zero Dinner is here to save the day.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taste Testing McDonald's White Chocolate Mocha

By: Finance Foodie

McDonald's McCafé recently rolled out a new seasonal beverage – the new McCafé White Chocolate Mocha. McCafé White Chocolate Mocha is a blend of 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso with white chocolate flavor, combined with steamed milk and topped with whipped cream. This made to order beverage joins the existing line of McCafé premium Mochas, including Regular and Caramel, and the returning Peppermint Mocha. McCafé White Chocolate Mocha will be available for a limited time only beginning mid-November 2013 through January 2014. While prices and participation may vary, customers can choose from: · Small (12 oz.): $2.39 · Medium (16 oz.): $2.89 · Large (20 oz.): $3.39.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Inside Look at Betony New York via FiLMUiN

By Finance Foodie, in collaboration with FiLMUiN

Just last night, the Mister and I attend a holiday dinner at Betony, the new Modern American restaurant overseen by Executive Chef Bryce Shuman (the former Executive Sous Chef of Eleven Madison Park). This was a pretty sweet party, as the whole restaurant was shut down just for us. Since I am working with the cool new video review website FiLMUiN, I just had to document at least a tiny portion of my experience. Below, I take you inside Betony where you can see what I had for my first course (a citrus salad) and also see what the ambiance is really like (classy and elegant). And be sure to check out FiLMUiN's library of videos featuring restaurants, hotels and nightlife around NYC to see what venues are really like (oh, did I mention signing up is free?).

Link to video on FilmUin:

41 W 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 465-2400
Cuisine: Modern American

Betony on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finance Foodie’s Holiday Gift Guide: Food, Fashion and Fun Holiday Picks!

By: Anne M. Raso and Finance Foodie

The team at Finance Foodie Media has found many a wonderful things in our recent travels through various holiday press days —they are all holiday gift worthy and at all different price points. We have a tendency to like quirky items, but we feel that these are crowd pleasers too. There is truly something for everyone here!

I recently viewed Amy Conway's Henri Bendel's Jewelry Collection at Bendel’s and met with lovely Amy herself—now she’s got a pop up store at 87 Mercer Street through the end of the month for last minute holiday shopping or for just whenever you want to stop in and buy a bauble for yourself! She is most famous for the sterling silver “Love Conquers All” Hinged Cuff ($1.650)—which has a wonderful black and silver carved checkerboard pattern—but you need to go to feel and touch all of Amy’s wonderful semi-precious pieces before purchasing one. The incredible hand workmanship cannot really be experienced through a photo. For more info on Amy’s pieces, check out Pieces are between $125 and $2,000 but as we go to press, there is 20 per cent off and free shipping on her site.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lunch on the Run: Chicken Marsala Chopped Salad

By: Finance Foodie

Now that the weather outside is frightful and the fire inside is so delightful, I've been spending more time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes ideas. My goal: to create easy to make, tasty but still healthy meals that you can prepare the night before and take to work the next day. This weeks "Lunch on the Run" idea is the Chicken Marsala Chopped Salad. Five minutes and you got yourself a high protein and low carb meal that will keep you satisfied until dinner.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teqa Revisited: New Chef, New Cuisine!

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend a dinner to meet Teqa’s new 28-year-old chef Steven Cruz (who was hired a few months ago after doing a long stint at the now defunct Orchard House on the Lower East Side and in private catering). Cruz started our dinner by announcing that the midtown eatery was changing over from traditional to modern Mexican. I was able to sample several dishes that were delightful, washed down with a Jalapeno Gratinee between the appetizers and entrees (talk about a thorough palate cleansing—what a “bang” it gave off)!
Avocado Ensalada

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bloody Happening at the Spotted Pig New York

By: Finance Foodie

Last Wednesday, the Mister and I decided it time for a Date Night (with his business traveling and my hectic work schedule, having a real meal together was long overdue). Given the Mister's upcoming trip to London, we felt it was only fitting that we dine at The Spotted Pig, the West Village staple that serves up some of the best British and Italian fusion gastro-pub fare. Aware that this little joint gets packed to the gills every night and fearing a two hour wait for food, we decided to go around 6pm for dinner (ungodly early by New York City standards). Surprisingly, the place was still busy even at that hour, but we were luckily able to snag a prime seat in the corner booth. As expected, everything was well done, but the standout dishes of the night were the tender and flavorful Smoked Mackerel with Sweet Potato Mash and House Pancetta ($16) and the decadent but not cloyingly sweet banana toffee and chocolate Banofee Pie ($8). Armed again with my new Weryoo photo sharing community app, here is a photo journey of our night (Click on the captions to download my photos!)
Pig on the Ceiling - Festive!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Out of this World O(a)wesome at Otto's Tacos

By: Finance Foodie

While exploring the East Village with my family during the Thanksgiving holiday, we stumbled upon the newly opened Otto's Tacos on 2nd Avenue. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the Asian food we consumed during the week, we decided to go off the usual routine and add a bit of L.A.-styled Mexican to our repertoire. With a simple menu of 5 tacos (Carne Asada, Carnitas, Chicken, Mushroom and Shrimp) along with some original sides like Masa Fries and Chips and Guac, this was exactly what our tired and not wanting to think minds needed after a long day of shopping.

Can Your Diet Affect Your Life Insurance Premium?

Brought to You by AAMI

If you’re asking this question, you may want to think about why you are asking it. Do you worry that you are at risk for higher life insurance premiums due to what you eat? If you think your diet might affect the rates you get when you apply for life insurance, you might be happy to find out that diet doesn’t affect your life insurance premium per se.

However, your diet can affect your body in a number of ways, causing health issues that can affect your life insurance premium. Here are a few of the health issues that can be caused in part or in whole by diet that may affect the life insurance premiums you are eligible for:


The impacts on a person’s health and life span for carrying excess weight can greatly affect the premium rate life insurance companies offered to applicants who fall into the category of obesity. The health issues associated with being obese are a huge risk to life insurance companies, so they charge much higher premiums for obese applicants. Luckily, though, many people are only a little overweight and not quite obese. Find out more at about your life insurance options today.

For applicants who are just a bit overweight, they can likely lock in lower premium rates, but they will have to make some minor adjustments to their lifestyle and show their life insurance company that they are making a noticeable effort to lose their excess weight. Eating a poor diet and overeating is one of the greatest causes of obesity and carrying excess weight. So, it is important to evaluate if you can change your diet to lose any extra weight your carrying to better your health and get a lower premium rate to obtain life insurance.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Get Sweet with this Caramel Banana Ravioli Bites Recipe

By: Finance Foodie

During the holiday season, I usually get inundated with invites to celebrations and parties - mostly centered around eating. Tired of showing up with yet another bottle of wine (because us New Yorkers have trouble locating our stoves, if we are lucky enough to even have one in our tiny apartments), I made a resolution to bring only handmade goods to all gatherings. However, given my busy work schedule - the day job and running this site - I needed something that was quick to make yet looked like I spent hours in the kitchen.
Caramel Banana Ravioli Bites

Monday, December 2, 2013

Feeling Fresh Off the Boat at Baohaus New York

By: Finance Foodie

Since my sister was in town for the Thanksgiving holiday last week, I was under a lot of pressure to play good host for all her eating needs. Easier said than done, as Finance Foodie Jr. happens to be even more picky than myself it comes to food. One request that had to be fulfilled was delicious Asian cuisine in a happening atmosphere. Enter Baohaus. After I heard about owner Eddie Huang's place from his Fresh Off the Boat show on Vice, I knew I found the spot to fill the bill. One part authentic Taiwanese street food, one part hipster East Village cool kids hangout spot - this was the perfect place for a quick lunch. Armed with Weryoo, a new photo sharing app in beta that connects people with locations by geolocating your photo to an exact spot on a map, we were ready to eat! Below is a photo journey of our dining adventure (PS you can click on photo captions to see my original photo on Weryoo!).
The entrance / ordering station / kitchen 

Enjoy a Catered Delicious Holiday Meal!

Brought to you by Bertrand Munier

Are you looking to have an office Christmas party or meal? There are many dinner party catering services available that can arrange it all for you.

If you are planning on celebrating at your work or home during the coming festive period you may have considered employing a catering service to ease the burden of responsibility. Whether it is in the intimacy and tranquillity of your own home or office, you can enjoy a delicious meal cooked for you by a professional chef.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Accessories Council Holiday Preview: Wow, What A Collection!

By Anne M. Raso

Every year I attend the Accessories Council Holiday Preview, where assorted press people get to see dozens of holiday collections from designers both new and established. Many of these items are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. I pursued the collection being offered and selected a half-dozen of my favorites in all price points. Many of these are destined to become heirloom items passed from mother to daughter and so on down the line.
Andrew Hamilton Crawford Cuff

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mad About Art: Checking Out The Unforgettable Fountain House Benefit

By: Anne M. Raso

The charity Fountain House, which raises money for mentally ill actors, had a 100-artist Mad About Art auction and cocktail party fundraiser on November 20th at Cedar Lake in Chelsea, and I was lucky enough to attend. The event chairs were John P. Casaly, Rick Froio, Carmel and Brett Fromson, Dario Gristina, Leslie Harwood, Rich Hiler, Louis J. Mantia, Bonnie and Frank Pratt, Jerry Schumm and Gabriel Stefania.
Sign at Entrance

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Tiny Fork: Big On Flavor…But No Desserts!

By: Anne M. Raso

I recently visited The Tiny Fork on the Lower East Side. The first thing you notice outside the medium-sized corner restaurant is a big red neon sign that says “RAW BAR”—and indeed that is what many flock to this hip eatery (formerly The Slipper Room) to get! You can be very loose when ordering from the raw bar and just say to the waitperson, “Give me three East oysters, three West oysters and a couple of clams” and they will gladly do it for you. You can even see a photo of such an order here. Seafood is so fresh that it tastes like it came out of the ocean five minutes ago, and prices are pretty standard as far as NYC raw bars –oysters are $2.50 to $3 each and clams are $1.50. In case you are curious, the catch from the east is mainly from RI, MA and Canada, while the West catch is from CA, WA and Vancouver, BC.
Tiny Fork Atmosphere

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Irresistible Emails: How to Serve Up a Better Email Campaign Response

Infographic, brought to you by icontact

Since 2003, iContact has helped small and medium businesses share their stories, ideas, and products through email and social marketing. They take what they know about their favorite small and medium businesses—a trendy boutique hotel in South Beach, the online poster store that helps decorate the office cubicles, even the local coffee shop you'll find the locals in on Saturday—and they build the online marketing features they know those businesses need to succeed. Below is a piece they wrote about how to optimize an email marketing campaign. So read on for some great tips and tricks!

Michael Imperioli for Oldboy: This Time He's Playing The Good Guy!

By: Anne M. Raso

Michael Imperioli is an actor with great diversity, and yet we know him best as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos--a no-good junkie, alcoholic, girlfriend-slapping young mafia soldier who made his boss Tony Soprano seem as sensitive and polite as Mr. Rogers! In Spike Lee's new film Oldboy, he plays the "true blue" old friend and bar owner who's not afraid to stick his neck out for a friend (played by Josh Brolin) who has disappeared for 20 years...and who happens to be a criminal on the lam for killing his wife. (Well, or so we are led to believe--I can't give away any of the spoilers for this film, which is a remake of the 2002 avant garde Korean classic of the same name but with twists and turns added!)
Imperioli at Oldboy Press Day, NYC

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Guerlain Spa Revisited: Their Microcurrent Facial Really Gave Me A “Lift”!

By: Anne M. Raso

It’s always a pleasure to visit the tranquil, marble-covered Guerlain Spa in the Waldorf Towers over in midtown. It’s actually like stepping into a whole different part of the world—possibly a Tuscan spa—thanks to the contrast between what’s going on out in the streets and what’s going on in the spa. Guerlain Spa treats its guests like royalty—you will find yourself with a glass of champagne or cappuccino in hand less then three minutes after entering the lobby, and you have the option of lounging around in a wonderful waiting area with tables and banquets or “taking a steam” before starting your service. (By the way, after your service, there is always a delicious artisanal chocolate and bottle of water waiting for you—and each service suit has luscious private showers, bathrooms and storage unit complete with built in phone chargers.)
Front Entrance

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Li-Lac Chocolates: Making The Village Sweeter For 90 Years

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend the 90th anniversary party for Li-Lac Chocolates, a mainstay in a part of town that is changing rapidly. The first 100 people in the door this past Sunday got to buy four items at 1923 prices--meaning that a classic box of mixed chocolates were only $3.67! Other delights, including fudge and toffee crunch (the store's top selling item) were 23 cents each. Visitors reminisced outside on line--which started more than an hour before start time. Two-hundred people were lined up down Eighth Avenue by the time the doors opened at 1 PM.
Line outside of Li-Lac

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lifelong Learning: Reads on the Road Launch Party at 70 Park Avenue Hotel

By: Wela Quan

In today’s fast paced world, nothing is more comforting than curling up with a good book on a fall evening. But what if you are away from home and don’t have your favourite books on hand or simply forgot to pack on in your rush to the airport? 70 Park Avenue Hotel, a quaint traveler’s hotel in midtown seems to have come up with a solution to this problem: offer your guests book to read as part of their stay!
Reads on the Road Titles

Friday, November 8, 2013

Traveling Through The UK, Trafalgar Style! Part Two: Scotland

By: Anne M. Raso

I had a wonderful time in England, traveling through London, Liverpool and York and on the Trafalgar coach on the way from York to Edinburgh--where I spent the remaining three nights of my trip—we made a sobering stop ten miles south of Manchester. Quarry Bank Mill (at Styal, Wilmslow) is owned by The National Trust and is kept as original to the period of 1784 to 1830 as possible. Thousands of orphans and unwanted children lived and worked at mill in exchange for room and board. The guided tour of the Apprentice House to see the close conditions in which the children lived—as well the working machines in the mill that wove cotton fabric and were so loud that most workers went deaf within six months—was heartbreaking. The mill and grounds look beautiful, but knowing what went on inside their walls made all visitors happy for how we live today and how indentured servitude was outlawed shortly after slaves in the US were freed by Lincoln. We had a lovely traditional English lunch in one of the event buildings at the mill, but it was hard to let go of what we just saw. Just three of the mill’s machines turned on was too much for any of us to take for more than a couple of minutes.
View from top of Edinburgh

Monday, November 4, 2013

Traveling Through The UK, Trafalgar Style! Part One: England

By: Anne M. Raso

I was recently lucky enough to take Trafalgar Tours wonderful weeklong holiday in the UK--England and Scotland specifically. The 60-year-old company--currently owned by the highly creative Tollman Family who also run the 16 wonderful, character-laden Red Carnation hotels around the world--give the traveler many options with their tour packages. You can take as many sideline excursions as you want, you can ask for a busy or leisurely travel package--and on top of that, Trafalgar's rep will find packages that match even the cheapest budget. Trafalgar does not include airfare in their packages, but one can get hotel, tours and at least one meal a day in Europe for as little as $1,350 a person/week! Trafalgar predominantly uses four star hotels, but costs are cut for budget travelers but using hotels a little more out of the way but not more than 10 minutes from a town's top attractions.
Kings Arm Pub, York

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Healthy Halloween (Eve): Non-GMO Month PROBAR Giveaway

By: Finance Foodie, in collaboration with ProBar

Although the news this month has been stuck on Government dysfunction, it also happens to be National Non-GMO Month. Non–GMO Month was created by the non-profit consumer advocacy group, Non-GMO Project in 2010 as a platform for raising awareness on the GMO issue. Today, genetically modified crops dominate within our food system with over 90% of national corn and soybean production now GMO (GMO = genetically modified organisms). It's an issue that affects all of us, although most know very little about it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taste Testing McDonald's Pumpkin Spice Latte

By: Finance Foodie

This fall, McDonald’s is giving customers a reason to celebrate the season with the introduction of McCafé Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). Available until mid November, this newly introduced beverage is a blend of 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso and steamed milk infused with a combination of spices and flavors of pumpkin pie. As with all of their coffee and espresso based beverages, each latte is customizable - available with whole or nonfat milk.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quad G: the Guilt Free, Good-for-you, Gooey Grilled Cheese Breakfast Recipe

By: Finance Foodie

Inspired by my findings on two of my recent healthy foodie trips, the 2013 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Houston (the Disneyworld of healthy foods - just replace Mickey Mouse with Mr. Peanut) and the Mom's Meet 2013 WOW Summit in Philadelphia (which featured a lot of natural, organic recipe exchanges), I spent some time in my kitchen this week and created a new breakfast concoction that's high in protein, low in carbs, and quick to prepare!
Team Finance Foodie with Mr. Peanut, FNCE 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Top-Notch Trip To Palm Beach's Brazilian Court Hotel

By: Anne M. Raso

I have always loved Cafe Boulud in New York and always use it to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. About 18 months ago, I discovered that they had a location in one of the top boutique hotels in the world, The Brazilian Court which is smack dab in the center of Palm Beach. I reviewed it here back then and admit that I found both the setting and the food even more alluring than the Upper East Side (Manhattan) location. There is just something wonderful about the quietness of the dining room and the way the huge windows look out onto the lushest and most exotic greenery in Palm Beach, including many large Bird Of Paradise plants.
Brazilian Court Courtyard Fountain

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Taste Testing McDonald's Mighty Wings

By: Finance Foodie 

Just in time for the Fall season, McDonald’s brought back the popularity and fun of chicken wings to customers seeking any time and any reason to enjoy them. McD's Mighty Wings are a natural bone-in chicken wing that comes in two varieties, a drummette or a wingette. They are breaded to provide a crispy bite of home-style flavor and seasoned with cayenne and chili pepper for an extra kick of spice. For a customized flavor experience, customers can pair their wings with one of nine sauces (including my personal fave - the Tangy BBQ!).
3 Piece Mighty Wings

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sugar High at the 5th Annual New England Dessert Showcase

By: Jessica Cickay

Shortly after celebrating my wedding in September and my birthday early in October, I continued feeding my sugar high at the fifth annual New England Dessert Showcase at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. There were no shortage of ways for me to continue riding my recent delicious wave of dessert, as bakeries and restaurants from all over the region had their sweetest offerings on display for me taste and, in all honesty, shove in my sugar-loving face.
Whoopie Pies

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Putting the "S" in Sexy: New “Super Playboy” Product Line from Playboy Fragrances Debuts at New York Comic Con

By: Finance Foodie

New York Comic Con. Where Halloween comes early in the Big Apple. Where hundreds of thousands of nerds and pseudo nerds in costumes descend upon the Javits Center showing off their love for all things superhero and a villain. Where at every turn, a cluster of Batmans and Robins emerge, followed by a few Poison Ivys, Mary Janes and Lois Lanes.
Comic Con Entrance

Monday, October 14, 2013

Circolo 45: This Hip East Village Italian Draws Circles Around The Others!

By: Anne M. Raso

I love the light and airy front dining room at the mega hip Circolo 45 and the way it contrasts with the dark and moody back room. It's nice that a restaurant has two sides to enjoy. The atmosphere is no pressure and the service is pleasant and attentive. The food never disappoints. Executive Chef Daniele Sicuranza takes Italian and does it both traditionally and with a fusion feel. It just depends what you order.
Interior of Circolo 45

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's a Date Kinda Place at Ofrenda West Village

By: Finance Foodie

Last Thursday night, the Mister and I were faced with our usual conundrum: In a city as expansive as the Big Apple, where to go for dinner? We were feeling a little spicy (but wanted something a bit more festive than our usual burrito bowls at Chipotle), so we decided to check out Ofrenda, a cute and casual Mexican spot in the West Village. Having passed by this hard to miss spot on 7th Ave South numerous times, I was drawn in by its patio seating combined with the nice balmy Fall night.
The man with the thick accent 13
The Man With the Thick Accent Cocktail 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

High Rolling: Distinctive Experiences on the Las Vegas Strip

By: Finance Foodie

Las Vegas. A city that epitomizes excess and carefree-dom. Where blowing a few grand in one night is brushed off the shoulder like dirt. For those looking to escape after a stressful week at work or just celebrating life, here are three decadent must do experiences that will have you feeling like you're the boss. After all, as they say, living well is the best revenge.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ken + Cook: A Comfortable Place That Really “Cooks”!

By: Anne M. Raso

Ken + Cook's Chef Malik Fall should be proud of his simple yet artisanal menu with moderate prices and generous portions. This charming eatery is in a space at 19 Kenmare Street that used to be a wise guy "hang" for 70 years; the space still has all the original character that it had when the place was built, including exposed brick and tin ceilings. It's nice the way the whole front wall is open when the weather is warm enough, and it's got the feel of a neighborhood place.
Photo Courtesy of: Ken + Cook

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Muscle Shoals: A Rock Documentary With "Muscle"!

By: Anne M. Raso

I am a real aficionado of rock docs, and director Greg "Freddy" Camalier's Muscle Shoals covers the story of FAME Studios in--you guessed it--Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The studio is right along the banks of the Tennessee River, which is also known as the "Singing River." Native American folklore claims that musical spirits live in the river and that their talents spread to all who believe!
Muscle Shoals Movie Poster

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Power Lunch: Cheesy Egg Spinach Pasta Recipe

By: Finance Foodie

As a follow up to my protein packed breakfast, my creative juices kicked into overdrive to create a healthy, delicious yet filling meal for lunch. Unlike the days of leisurely long lunches as a student, my lunch breaks are now limited to an hour, so I also needed something I could cook quickly the day before that is easily packed and reheated. So without further ado, I present the Cheesy Egg Spinach Pasta!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Murray Hill: The Perfect Place For Weekend Family Fun!

By: Anne Raso

The Brother Jimmy’s BBQ location in Murray Hill is considered their “flagship store” and one of the few eateries in NYC with permission to smoke meats in their basement. On top of that, they are one of the few restaurants able to spit roast a full size pig, something they did in honor of their fifth birthday recently. VIPS from the food press as well as longtime neighborhood customer came to eat the hog “on the house”! (Bet you can’t name too many people who would have a party where anyone in the neighborhood could turn up and eat for free.)
Wooden Pigs Hanging

Thursday, September 19, 2013

James Gandolfini's Last Hurrah: Enough Said Movie Premiere

By: Anne M. Raso

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of, sadly, one of the last movies starring the great late James Gandolfini--the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy Enough Said, which hits theaters on September 20th. The movie is simply one of the best romantic comedies to come down the pike this year.
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus, Enough Said

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2014 Part 2: The Catwalks

By: Anne M. Raso
(Continued from Part 1)

Now that the parties are done, on to the real reason why all people fashion gather in NYC during the first week of September - the fashion shows! This past Mercedes Benz Fashion Week showed off the collections for Spring / Summer 2014, and while few people will really ever purchased the expensive ensembles shown on the catwalks (well, at least Daisy Fuentes for Kohl’s is affordable to the average American woman), it was a taste of trends to come.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2014 Part 1: Celebrities And Chaos!

By: Anne Raso
(Part 1 of 2)

The parties during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this season were fantastic and in full swing again (do people really go to the shows anymore?) Team Finance Foodie doesn't sleep so we can bring you all the deets - so without further ado, let's take a look at some of the festivities we hit up during the week!
Melissa & Joan Rivers at Benefit Cosmetics Join The Realvolution Party

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vroom Vroom Goes the Trucks at the 2013 Vendy Awards NYC

By: Finance Foodie

The Vendy Awards, the first and largest street food event series in the country, is an annual event to benefit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization that provides advocacy and legal services for more than 1,500 vendor members. The Vendys, which have been New York City’s most beloved street food competition for nine years, has expanded nationally to include events in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Chicago.
The Vendys

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just Say “Aah” To Aangan: Classy Indian Fare On The Upper West Side!

By: Anne M. Raso

My recent visit to the classy Aangan was an exceptional experience. It is a clean, modern space with only about a dozen tables and an exquisite multicolored Indian chandelier on the ceiling. The service was super-attentive, the location was super convenient (right in view of the 1 train stop) and the portions were well-sized. All dishes seem to come out of the kitchen in ten minutes or less as well. I started out with my favorite Indian drink of all, Mango Lassi ($4.95) that was rich and tasted like it was made with fresh mango puree. You can get rum put in it for a couple of dollars more and this was the first time I have ever encountered and alcoholic Lassi! Quite good and strong, but I prefer the original. The regular Lassi was so thick it barely went through my straw and the paper umbrella was a cute touch.
Assorted Appetizers

The Diet Debunker: A Closer Look at the Hottest Diets

Brought to you by Retrofit

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The Tail of Two Brains: Mind vs. Gut

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Light Up Your Life at Bell Book and Candle NYC

By : Finance Foodie

Last year, I had the good fortune of being introduced to the quaint West Village gem Bell Book and Candle (BBC). Although that visit only consisted of drinks, their whimsically quirky named cocktails had me dying to experience more of this place.
Photo: BBC

Friday, September 6, 2013

Courtney Thorne-Smith Hosts The New Atkins Made Easy Book Launch

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend the recent The Atkins Made Easy book launch at the Bouley Test Kitchen in Tribeca hosted by actress Courtney Thorne-Smith of Two And A Half Men who also just happens to be the Atkins Diet celebrity spokesperson. Press got the rundown on the book and new eating plan from Thorne herself (as well as Atkins Vice President of Nutrition & Education Colette Heimowitz and The Skinny Chef, Jennifer Iserloh, who developed the new book's recipe) while sampling low carb appetizers.
Photo: Atkins

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Just Say "Wen"! Chaz Dean Introduces New Products (And Brings His Beloved Dogs Along)!

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend Chaz Dean's Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Hair & Body Care launch at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Rooftop recently and admit I was impressed with the new products I got to sample from the line. Dean has really kept with natural scents of the season, and his Fall Apple Spice Cleansing Conditioner will undoubtedly be a sellout. It truly smells like apple cider with cinnamon sticks--and guests at Dean's launch were more than enthusiastic to try the drinks that matched perfectly to the product. Like his other cleansing conditioners, Fall Apple Spice Cleansing Conditioner is soy based and features botanicals and natural oils that leave you with healthy hair. The fact that there is no detergent or stripping agents in his products make them some of the best on the market for maintaining color. There is a Fall Apple Spice Replenishing Treatment Mist and Treatment Oil to round out the set and I confess that I have been using the mist as a personal fragrance and just not as the final touch in my hair regime.
Chaz Dean

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Getting My Protein On: Pistachio and Almond Oatmeal Breakfast

By: Finance Foodie

During the days at my new job, the work is so hectic that grabbing a snack in between meals is near impossible. By lunchtime, my famished and cranky body usually heads towards the fastest and greasiest item in site (I'm looking at you Five Guys...). Fearing artery blockage and weight gain, I decided I couldn't keep living like this. After examining the situation, I realized the root of the problem was my nutrient and protein light breakfast of Dunkin Donut's iced coffee and bagel. Delicious at initial consumption, but no wonder I was starving by lunch.  Feeling creative and inspired, I rummaged through my pantry one day for a healthy concoction, and BOOM! - born was the Savory Protein Packed Oatmeal!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mumbles: A Neighborhood Fave That Puts A Fun Twist On The Classics!

By: Anne M. Raso

Mumbles is the type of local eatery that makes Manhattan great. They do a little of everything, the food is consistent and the portions are huge. Best of all, the prices are cheap and there are theme nights where you get out-of the ordinary items or you might get your fave menu item for less. Mumbles is such a place. Many years ago (20+) it was up in my ‘hood at 83rd and Second and was a place that was always packed with people from all walks of life, but mostly folks from the neighborhood who spent several nights per week there. Mumbles also offers large, high quality drinks—they have many flavors of margaritas for $11 (or even cheaper during Happy Hour). My dining partner loved her Mango Margarita made with Cuervo Gold tequila, Triple Sec, lemonade and mango juice.
Photo Courtesy of Mumbles NYC

Friday, August 23, 2013

Olio e Piu: Rustic Neapolitan Fare In The Heart Of The West Village!

By: Anne M. Raso

I fell in love with the rustic charm of Olio e Piu the minute I stepped in. It was a perfect 76 degree evening and the ceiling to floor front panels were opened to reveal colorful sidewalk tables that looked out on legendary West Village sites like the Jefferson Market Library and and CE Bigelow Pharmacy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Buns Out: Time Out New York x Amstel Light's Battle of the Burger NYC

By: Finance Foodie

Everyone’s always looking for the best burger in the Big Apple, so Amstel Light and Time Out New York set out on a quest to find and crown that restaurant. Last night, hundreds of burger loving New Yorker's (including yours truly) came out to the Hudson Hotel and tasted 15 of Gotham’s standout burgers, voted for the night’s top-patty and, of course, had some Amstel Light to wash all that meaty goodness down.
So who were the winners? Read on my friends....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We on a Boat: Sunset Sailing on the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise

By: Finance Foodie

As the end of summer nears, I've been trying to maximize all my weekends to the fullest (now that I'm no longer in grad school, unlimited free days are a thing of the past). This week's adventure had me on a boat. A mighty big boat in fact...
The Bateaux: Photo Courtesy Entertainment Cruises Co.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Taste of Italy at Marcony Ristorante

By: Finance Foodie

It's been almost 5 years since my last trip to Italy, but I can still taste the savory goodness of the spaghetti and the sweetness of the tiramisu that was ever present in the endless sidewalk cafes. Now I try to indulge in carb-y Italian cuisine only sparingly, but when I got the invite for a "Taste of Italy" lunch at Marcony Ristorante, hosted by chef and owner Marco Pipolo, well I had to cash in my "splurge" meal day and check this place out.
Zucchini and Figs

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Guerlain Spa at The Waldorf Astoria: It Doesn’t Get Much More Luxurious Than This, Folks!

By: Anne M. Raso

I am sure many hard-working professionals who need a serious pampering break often wonder if it’s worth it to spend hundred of dollars for a massage (or other services) at world famous spas that many feel are just for the rich and famous, aka “the beautiful people”!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Turn Around for Eight Turn Crepe Soho

By: Finance Foodie

Eight Turn Crepe, a new fast-casual restaurant offering delicious, hand-crafted Japanese-inspired crepes, recently opened its doors to its first-ever U.S. location in SoHo, NYC. This new restaurant serves better-for-you crepes, made fresh-to-order and served in a traditional Japanese cone-style – and they’re delicious! Feeling guilty after a late night of partying, my dining companion and I decided this would be a much better lunch option than the usual hangover fair of greasy burgers and fries. So with our sunglasses on (to hide our bloodshot eyes), we meandered slowly downtown to test these new fanged creations out.

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