90 Grand Ave. Englewood NJ

This new restaurant opened January 15th 2009 in Englewood, NJ 

 Long-time New York City chef, John Piliouras, and General Manager Michael Liristis, lead a staff of restaurant professionals in the operation of Nisi Estiatorio, opening in Englewood, New Jersey, on Thursday, January 15th.  Located at 90 Grand Avenue, (201) 567-4700, five minutes from the George Washington Bridge and steps away from the Performing Arts Center, Nisi embodies the beauty and serenity of the Greek isles with its dramatic renovation, delicious authentic Greek menu, and warm, welcoming attitude.  Nisi means island in Greek.

Chef and partner Piliouras, formerly of Manhattan’s critically acclaimed Molyvos Restaurant, brings his finely honed talent for authentic Greek food to his menu at Nisi.  Featuring pristine selections of fresh whole fish, sparkling seafood and complex dishes of superb lamb, pork and beef, he describes the menu as bridging the classic seafood display of Greece with the sophisticated, alluring dishes of a more urban restaurant.  In his own words, “This is a Classic French style of cooking, using the finest Greek ingredients.”  It is a menu of dishes both simple and complex, reminding some guests of their grandmothers’ recipes, but prepared by the expert hands of Chef Piliouras.

General Manager and partner Michael Liristis will oversee a dining room and a bar lounge area on the ground floor level, as well as Nisi’s secluded private dining room one floor below.  A dramatic renovation that completely transformed this space includes vaulted ceilings, soft curtains, and the installation of a waterfall as a backdrop to the fresh seafood display in the main dining room.  A glass-enclosed wine cellar housing 130 labels of well-chosen wines, about 40% Greek, is also a dining room focal point.  The spacious bar, with banquettes, cocktail tables and bar seating, is a warm and inviting blend of natural materials (chestnut wood floors, stone inlaid table tops) and stunning color. 

Mr. Liristis is training his carefully chosen wait staff in what the owners, the Mourkakos Family, describe as kerasma, the Greek word for hospitality.  It is that indescribable charm, that alluring something that a place has, and you know it when you see it.  Nisi serves dinner only at the present time, 5 to 11pm daily, opening Sundays at noon.  For one week, January 7 to the 13, Nisi will be undergoing its soft opening, dinner only beginning 5pm, offering a 20% discount on food.  The restaurant is closed January 14th.  To reserve, phone (201) 567-4700 or visit

New York City  Culinary Event

   May 31,2008



You could think you were at a posh Hampton culinary event on Saturday evening where staycationers gathered en masse under a white tent lit by large globular white paper lanterns on the last day of May where it both rained and shined.  It was abundantly clear that  several hundred customers enjoyed  25 neighborhood  chefs specialties who donated their time and treats for the first New Taste of the Upper West Side in a schoolyard on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 77th  Street.  And treats they were!

 From  organic multi veggie salads of Josie's, house specialties of old reliables as Jean Georges, Bar Biloud, Landmarc and sushi from Ruby Foo's  to Shake Shack and a uniquely blended après dessert from Eighty-One of fresh fruits as watermelon, cherry syrup and ginger with blueberry syrup over chopped ice, sweet preservative free cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, and the most delicious French chocolates  and anti oxidant filled delectable dark chocolate drinks from Jacques Torres.  Relative newcomers were no less notable each of whom  featured palate and health enhancing yummies  were Josie's,  Nice Matin,  Madeleine Mae, Telepan, Dovetail, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Gabriel's, Ocean Grill, Isabella's, Rosa Mexican's guacamole and Salumeria Rosi's  quality cured and cooked meats you have yet to taste the likes of whose chef, Cesare Casella,  gave take out doggie bags of their sample sausages to entice prior to his autumn opening on Amsterdam Avenue in  the Fall.  Soutine handed out  take home fresh baked richly textured cookies that prompted Ruth Reichl to say she was tempted to pretend she baked them herself.
The event, honoring Gail Green and Tim Zagat also featured regional wines, and Fiji water.  Gail told me that the first City meals started 35 years ago when she approached James Beard to help raise $35,000 in funds for feeding the elderly homebound .  Last year, although City meals raised 1 million year after year for homebound seniors, she suspects it may be a little less next year given our present economic climate.
 Let's prove that low ball estimate wrong.
Photos and Article by Bettina Cirone


  Gail Green boyfriend Steven

Wendy Sardinsky, Donny Evans, and  Gail Green






More than 100 Latin-Flavored, Great-Tasting Recipes for Working Moms


By Elsie Ramos

<< click here to order book >>

On the first season of Fox-TV's Hell's Kitchen, Elsie Ramos' simple food and no-nonsense approach to cooking drew accolades from star chef Gordon Ramsay and won her millions of fans across the country. In her first book, ELSIE'S TURKEY TACOS AND ARROZ CON POLLO: More than 100 Latin-Flavored, Great-Tasting Recipes for Working Moms (Wiley; $19.95; May 7, 2007), she compiles her best family-friendly weeknight recipes, including the turkey tacos and chicken soup that won raves from Chef Ramsay on the show.

 As a mom with six boys and a full-time job, Elsie understands all too well the struggle to get satisfying, healthy meals on the table quickly, night after night. "My own recipes were developed out of necessity-and desire," she writes. "I became a single mother at the age of twenty-five with three boys (a set of twins and an infant) and had to work full time, but wanted to keep my meals as nurturing as possible with what little that we had. I became quite creative and resourceful, drawing on the tastes I grew up with, and the groceries I could afford. In those days it was all about the meals."

 This collection of more than 100 dishes utilizes easy-to-find ingredients and offers short cooking times without sacrificing quality or flavor. The recipes deliver practical solutions for tasty, easy-to-prepare food like Elsie's Baked Ziti and Elsie's Shepherd's Pie.

 The author's Puerto Rican heritage gives the book a Latin flair, with home-style recipes for Arroz con Pollo, Fried Sweet Plantains, Puerto Rican Stuffed Meatloaf, and more. The delicious dishes are divided into wide-ranging chapters: Soups and Stews, Appetizers and Sides, Rice Dishes, Other Main Dishes, Basics, and Drinks.


As an added bonus, Elsie provides several rules for simplifying shopping and weeknight cooking,




A Fashionable Taste of New York

(Click picture for web-site)

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AYUDA for the Arts

Celebrated the fifth annual charity benefit
A Fashionable Taste of New York"

November 8, 2006
at New York City’s COPACABANA

    There were from twenty-five to thirty of New York's top restaurants providing amazing culinary   creations to celebrate this event, including a Live Auction and Casino with valuable prizes.

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Photos by Sandy Reyes and Gloria Cianelli







Legal Sea Food

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offers New York an Educational Dinner on the Benefits of Oysters

 WHITE PLAINS, NY   Legal Sea Foods invited local, New York-area journalists to a dinner highlighting the nutritional benefits of oysters and other sea fare Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant.

The event was part of the restaurant’s Oyster Experience – a hands-on and delicious six-week promotion running in all 30 Legal Sea Foods restaurants along the East Coast this season. During the White Plains event, Legal Sea Foods served several oyster specialties from its current Oyster Experience Menu, as well as other seafood dishes that convey the quality and nutrition that Legal Sea Foods exemplifies. 

“Oysters are such a healthy and delicious part of our menu and we have seen them become more and more popular over the past few years,” observed Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO of Legal Sea Foods.  “As a trendsetter in the industry, we felt it was our duty to educate guests on the many benefits of enjoying oysters.” 

The health benefits of oysters are certainly well-documented. The bivalves are rich in protein, low in fat and calories, low in cholesterol, and also nature’s best source of zinc. Legal’s promotional oyster menu suggests the delicacy can be “experienced” in a variety of delicious ways: a simple and clean preparation on the half shell, baked with various types of stuffing and toppings, or even enriching a savory stew.  

The oyster menu  categorize selections by region so diners may compare “Eastern Oysters” to “Pacific Northwest Oysters.”  At least six species of oysters will be available daily during The Oyster Experience.


I can attest to the health benefits of the oysters since I was there and tasted the delicious fresh quality and different ways they were served. After dinner I felt a burst of energy and a feeling of well being I kissed everyone goodnight and talked my colleague’s ear off. In the car going home I even gave the women driver a generous tip.

When I got home, I read the Legal Sea Food pamphlet the oyster experience and I quote "Rich in protein, Each serving of six medium oysters contains six grams of protein.  The protein found in oysters is particularly high in tyrosine an amino acid used by the brain to help regulate mood and adapt to stress." 

I now understand why I felt so wide-awake and the good mood I was in something that usually does not happen after you eat and a long night.

By Gloria Cianelli                                                                                   


Legal Sea Foods Cookbook  


Roger Berkowitz & Jane Doerler

 The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook is a must read  for anyone who yearns for a safe fresh delicious fish dish, filled with 200 simple put recipes from appetizers to desserts and a guide to  various cooking wares. 

 Most importantly it helps you pick your fish and what to look for to know it is fresh, and of course the many ways to prepare and cook fish. these are essential tips. My book will be in the kitchen at all times I cannot wait to invite some friends for a seafood dinner and impress them with my newfound cooking skills. Thank you for this wonderful book, oh by the way do you know about Lobster in the Microwave, well you will just have to buy the book. Bon Appetite!

Photos & Article by Gloria Cianelli 
Photo by Bettina Cirone


<< Click Here for Slide Show >>



Closing Night of the New York Film Festival at

O' Neals'

October 8, 2006

<< Click on O'neals' for website >>

Laura Dern & LodgeHarrigzan

Annette Inssdorg &Mom

 Silvia Miles & O'neal (owner)


Photos by Bettina Cirone





The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are the creators, with Jay Allison of the NPR's Hidden Kicthens and two Peabody Award-wining radio series, Lost & Found Sounds and The Sonic Memorial Project.