1221 Avenue of the America
New York, New York 10020
April 8, 2010
$175 per person inclusive
Visa Signature Price:
$165 per person inclusive
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HOST VENUE - Oceana
The new Oceana, located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, just west of Rockefeller Center and only a few short blocks from Manhattan's theater district, offers a diversity of options for cocktails and dining, chief among them a marble raw bar. Oceana also features a spacious and lively full-service bar, and three unique settings for private dining, in addition to the main dining room. There is now also a Chef's Table in the kitchen where guests have an intimate view of Executive Chef Ben Pollinger at work, who earned three stars from The New York Times, and one Michelin Star, along with critically acclaimed Pastry Chef Jansen Chan. Starting in 2010, Oceana will take advantage of its new location to offer outdoor dining for sixty or more guests, weather permitting.
With floor-to-ceiling windows looking out looking out onto both Sixth Avenue to the East, and 49th Street to the North, the new Oceana is more generous in both space and menu offerings, making the innovative seafood cuisine of Chef Pollinger available to the broadest possible audience. "The way our menu is constructed, with composed dishes as the heart and soul, and simply prepared daily offerings and whole fish to round it out, I can buy the freshest seafood on a whim, or I can shop the Farmer's markets, and then create dishes for the menu spontaneously, or feature great ingredients on their own. This combination of
menu offerings is the goal, the dream, of every chef."
Lunch and dinner menus offered in every seat of the house, from bar to main dining room, are simply stellar. A daily selection of fresh, whole fish make an excellent dining option, displayed center stage on the raw bar at the new Oceana for all to enjoy. Prime meats and naturally raised fowl round out a most inviting savory menu selection. For dessert, Pastry Chef Jansen Chan brings along Oceana favorites, like the doughnut platter, along with newly conceived creations, each artfully presented thanks to his degree in architecture.
Wine and cocktails at Oceana's new home follow the same generous trend. With a full bar, and a raw bar, for both cocktails and dining, Oceana is eager to develop business destined solely for this purpose. Creating cocktails with the same pure, natural ethos that Chef Pollinger uses to create his recipes, you will find on the menu: fresh squeezed juices, an exciting new line of sparkling fruit juices, homemade syrups and natural seasonings. Signature cocktails are complemented by a well-composed wine list, made up of about 500 selections featuring 37 varietals that are deep in whites and seafood-friendly reds. Oceana's team continues its strategy of serving three-star American seafood cuisine with the same intuitive, approachable yet professional service diners have come to expect for almost two decades of dining with Oceana. "We createdthis Oceana to honor a new day in seafood dining," says owner, John Livanos. "We have an incredible variety of menu choices and dining options, from the most innovative cuisine to the freshest seafood in its purest form. It is very gratifying for us to launch our new Oceana, made for today's diner."
GUEST CELEBRITY CHEF - Michael Schlow
RESTAURANT - Radius, Via Matta and Alta Strada
Executive Chef and Owner of Radius, Via Matta and Alta Strada restaurants – is recognized as one of the leading chefs in the United States. Since moving to Boston from New York City in 1995, Schlow has been at the culinary forefront, helping define and shape the city’s restaurant landscape. He opened his first restaurant, Radius, in January 1999 and succeeded in creating what many call the “Best Restaurant” in Boston. Radius, which features Modern French cuisine, has received many accolades and awards, including being recognized as one of the top “25 Best American Restaurants” by Gourmet, “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine and “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire. The year 2000 was a very good one for Schlow as he won the distinguished James Beard Award of Excellence for “Best Chef in the Northeast,” was named “Best Chef in the Country” by Sante, and was given the “Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence,” handed out to only six chefs per year. Radius also received Boston’s highest culinary honor in 2006, a perfect 4-star review by the Boston Globe, one of only two restaurants to hold that distinction. In 2002, Schlow opened Via Matta, an exciting, authentic Italian restaurant in the Back Bay section of Boston. An instant hit, Via Matta was named one of “America’s Best Restaurants” by Gourmet and “Best New Restaurants in America” in Esquire.
The following year, Michael was involved in the opening of yet another successful operation, Great Bay, which featured sophisticated seafood and among its many awards was voted “Best Seafood Restaurant in Boston” by Boston Magazine.
In May of 2006, Schlow launched Good Essen, a company that handles all of his culinary activities and ventures. The name pays homage to his grandmother, a great cook who often said “good essen”, which translates to “good eating” in Yiddish. It is thru Good Essen that Michael consults for companies such as the Marriot Renaissance, The Greatest Bar, and others.
In January of 2007, Chef Schlow opened a casual Italian restaurant, Alta Strada, in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, MA. The restaurant is fast-paced, approachable and features a separate specialty gourmet market. In May of 2008 Schlow added a second Alta Strada to his emerging restaurant group, this time at the wildly popular MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut.
He is also the author of “It’s About Time: Great Recipes for Everyday Life”, published by Steerforth Press in 2005.
Schlow did his early training at the Academy of Culinary Arts in New Jersey and then began his career with renowned New York restaurateur Pino Luongo, immediately adopting a commitment to the elegance and simplicity of true Tuscan cooking.
“Less is more” became a trademark as Schlow spent time at Luongo’s Manhattan hot spots, Coco Pazzo and Le Madri, even-tually becoming the Executive Chef of Luongo’s famed Long Island institution, Sapore di Mare. He further matured and honed his skills at Craig Shelton’s Ryland Inn, which helped finesse Schlow’s early education. He remains a devotee of Shelton, Luongo, Jean-Louis Palladin and Joel Robuchon.
The many accolades that have been bestowed upon his various restaurants have helped to solidify Chef Schlow’s culinary reputation, bringing him to national attention. He makes numerous television appearances on network and cable food programs, including the Today Show, Top Chef Masters, Nightline, Good Morning America, Food Network, and the CBS Morning Show. His presence is requested at the most prestigious culinary events including The Masters of Food and Wine in Carmel, CA, The South Beach Food and Wine Festival, The World Culinary Summit in Dubai, and the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore.
He participates in numerous benefits and charities in Boston and around the US, and won a humanitarian award for his creation of A Dinner of Hope, a black-tie affair benefiting children with AIDS.
Michael resides in Boston, Massachusetts but quietly remains a devout Yankee fan.
HOST CHEF - Ben Pollinger
RESTAURANT - Oceana
Ben Pollinger, Executive Chef at Oceana Restaurant, has a unique cooking style that artfully blends the freshest seafood with the finest ingredients from a global pantry. Sensitive to the seasons, and with a preference for buying local, he has received critical acclaim first in July 2008 when Oceana was awarded three stars in the New York Times, and again in October that year when Oceana was awarded a Michelin star for the second year in a row. Pollinger's recipes are a reflection of time well spent abroad, working in, and dining at, some of the world's most prestigious restaurants. Each dish he creates embodies a passion for, and love of, all things from the land and the sea, and his fervent desire to share them at the table. Ben Pollinger believes in a being a good steward of our planet, and he lives this philosophy at work and at his New Jersey home where he tends to a 500 square foot organic garden that provides many of the vegetables and herbs that flavor Oceana's global seafood cuisine.
Pollinger discovered a passion for his career while cooking part-time in his college dormitory at Boston University. After working several years in local restaurants, he attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating as class valedictorian. He then headed to Monte-Carlo to work for one year at the world-renowned Le Louis XV under Alain Ducasse. During his stay in Europe, Pollinger explored the local culture, traveling extensively throughout the neighboring countries of France, Italy, and Spain, fully developing his love and respect for the local flavors of each culture, the seasonal ingredients inherent to all, and the relationship between pristine native products and the true art of cooking.
Upon returning to New York, Ben Pollinger worked under Christian Delouvrier at Les Celebrites and Lespinasse. He then spent eightand-a-half years working with renowned chefs Michael Romano at Union Square Cafe and Floyd Cardoz at Tabla. As Chef de Cuisine of Tabla, Pollinger learned about true Indian flavors, and expanded his global repertoire of flavors, textures and colorful combinations of ingredients. It was during this time that Ben was greatly influenced by Danny Meyer's emphasis on hospitality, a quality he now brings with him to the experience he creates at Oceana since joining this restaurant as Executive Chef in 2006. Pollinger generously donates his time to various charitable organizations such as City Harvest, Share Our Strength, Autism Speaks and The James Beard Foundation. He also serves on the Curriculum Advisory Committee at the French Culinary Institute and as an advisor to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Oceana Restaurant, the flagship of the Livanos Restaurant Group, has been serving superbly fresh, innovative seafood cuisine for almost two decades. As the leader of its kitchen today, and tomorrow, Chef Pollinger has designed a state of the art kitchen at Oceana's new location, 1221 Avenue of the Americas at 49th Street, and is bringing Oceana to an ever-growing audience of seafood lovers of every appetite and description.