I want to talk about a “must share” super New York dining tip, and a dedicated group in Los Angeles that makes dining (and housing) more than an impossible dream.
Tocqueville, New York City
A new discovery for us, Tocqueville, just down the street from the fresh marketplace of Union Square, is an understated restaurant in an elegant space with ceilings that never stop reaching, graceful furnishings and art. A peaceful ambiance like a large private dining room where you’d like to invite your best friends and hear what they are saying. Tocqueville’s rare lunch menu, year round, includes a prix fixe three-course meal at the surprising price of $24.09.
The affable, bright, hard-working co-owner (along with husband, renowned Chef Marco Moreira), Joann Makovitzky spent some of her precious time explaining the enormity of creating Tocqueville from scratch. First in, the majestic stove deep in the underground kitchen. The rest was created above and around it. David and I were allowed to visit the amazing spot (and appreciated the relaxed and perfect servers after seeing all the stairs they had to climb)!
Katrillion kudos to Executive Chef Marco A. Moreira and Chef de Cuisine David Coleman. The extraordinary lunch’s amuse-bouche was creamy cow’s milk cheese from Massachusetts with tiny cubes of fig jam, tomato jam and honey comb. A revelation to David’s palate was a flute of sparkling Pinot Noir, which he knew was French Rosé Champagne but surprise, an Austrian wine. Perfect scallops, then, a family secret Shmaltz (!) chicken with crispy skin and tiny bits of veggies with the aroma of vanilla. David’s ‘03 Saint-Émilion from Château Roylland was all he dreamed it would be. We were more than satisfied but the dessert, a cornucopia of chocolate tempters and a tray of sorbets with true to the fruit flavors, pineapple (I’m craving this now), green apple, coconut/lime, mixed berry and a dense, dark chocolate could not be ignored. See all on their gorgeous Web site.
Shelter Partnership and Fritz
Fritz Coleman, Toluca Lake’s Honorary Mayor (and, you know, KNBC-TV Weathercaster), served as a delightful and dedicated MC for the 20th Annual Gala Dinner celebrating LA’s Shelter Partnership. Their 24 years of supporting homeless service providers and developing housing for the homeless lifted our hearts.
To help commemorate this important milestone, Shelter Partnership honored Judge Harry Pregerson with the Tom Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award for his life-long leadership on behalf of developing housing and critical services for the homeless. The Judge is a dapper, amazing rascal and his speech praised his “just as amazing” family. Also honored was Sheriff Lee Baca (who goes beyond Sheriff-ing to help the homeless, along with his strong efforts fighting addictions, gangs, domestic violence and so much more). California Mental Health Director Steven Mayberg Ph.D., who is responsible for implementing the Mental Health Services Act, was honored as well.
Shelter Partnership’s Executive Director Ruth Schwartz is a blessing to humankind. The unstoppable Arthur M. Kassel was the perfect Committee Chair. Tracy Wallace, Development Director for Shelter Partnership, Inc., is a Toluca Lake resident to be proud of.
Comedian Dom Irrera brought much cheer to the room, and our Fritz dazzled with his deft auctioneering, bringing good money for excellent prizes (including some personal Fritz tours of NBC!). Over 450 people attended from all sectors of the community, and raised more than $335,000 for Shelter Partnership’s work. Google Shelter Partnership, Inc. and be uplifted, and perhaps give them a lift.