THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Everybody Eats Where? Swifty's and the Fete de Swifty's

I know that my first blog was on the long side, so I will try to make this one short and tasty.
If you would like more information on me, check out my first blog post from October 27th.

Within the first week of my arrival back in NYC after being away for three months, I hit four of my favorite haunts, Estiatorios Milos, Harry Cipriani, Swifty's and the Bemelman's Bar at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side of NY. Don't worry, I am not going to write about them all today. Phewwwwww!!

Swifty's on Lexington between 72nd and 73rd Street is an one of the loveliest restaurants in NYC. I wrote about it in my book Everybody Eats There. Host with the most Robert Caravaggi and his partner Steven Attoe, who is also the chef, own what is the destination spot of many of NY's blue bloods and bold face names. It is kind of neighborhood club where everyone is welcome.

Every year towards the end of September, Robert and Steven host, along with Liz Smith, the kick-off to the NY social scene, The Fete de Swifty's. The Fete benefits the NY City Family Justice Initiative which is supported by the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence. Those seeking assistance are able to consult with a prosecutor, receive therapeutic counseling, and apply for housing and financial aid in their native language while their children play safely.

The Fete takes place every year on a tented 73rd Street between Lexington and Third. . This year the honorary hosts were Tim Gunn, Mariska Hargitay and Nicole Kidman. Mayor Bloomberg and a who's who of the NY financial, fashion and art world were all there.

The theme for the Fete was A Carnival in the Big Apple, there were clowns, games galor and of course lots of yummy food all catered by Swifty's, and Glorious Food handled the raw seafood bar. I filled my tummy with tastes of the scrumptious baby lobster rolls, miniature crab cakes, coconut grilled shrimp, mini hamburgers, hot dogs and a cold seafood bar serving Florida Stone Crabs, jumbo shrimps and oysters. There were buffet tables for pizza squares one having figs and Gorgonzola which was devoured by one and all, there was also a Mexican themed table offering baby burritos of pork and chicken along with all the trimmings, including a damn good guacamole (I should know, coming from Los Angeles). There was a chili station offering healthy alternatives of turkey and vegetarian chili served in tartlett shells, and a table with jalapeno biscuits waiting to be filled to the brim with either roasted brisket of beef or one of the best pineapple glazed hams this side of the Mississippi.

Both Swifty's and the legendary Glorious Foods cater some of NY's glitziest parties. I always know when I see their name on an invitation that I will not have to worry about the food. (I hope to have a sit-down with famed caterer Sean Driscoll of Glorious Foods one of these days.)

I had brunch on Marathon Day Sunday at Swifty's with some friends from abroad. The menu is full of American classics like Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon or smoked salmon, wonderful and light blueberry buttermilk pancakes (yes that is possible) served with Vermont maple syrup, and other treats such as a cheese souffle served with a tossed green salad, Swifty's famous sauteed jumbo lump crab cakes served with the best creamed spinach I have ever had, a chopped cobb salad, and for those with a conscience, there is a half a pink grapefruit "brulee", tuna carpaccio with ginger, green onions and capers, grilled chicken paillard, and Mediterranean style yogurt with fresh berries and honey. But I would recommend splurging and going for the really good but unfortunately high caloric items on the menu! Hey, if you eat it early enough in the day, you can go for a walk or run in Central Park where the colors of autumn are absolutely glorious.

I plan on visiting Swifty's next week to try one of the new items on their menu a game paella if I can pull myself away from ordering my usual, the jumbo crab meat salad on a tomato aspic with mache, or the comforting roast chicken and mashed potatoes along with more of that creamed spinach. They also prepare one of the best Dover soles I have ever had and something I have been craving after seeing the film Julie and Julia...for that matter, I have also been craving a great boeuf bourguignon. I have to search for that dish here in NY because the recipe in Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking is just too complicated and time consuming for New Yorkers on the go.

Swifty's is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and if you want truly comforting, delicious American cuisine in a beautiful setting, with an elegant clientele, run, don't walk to Swifty's. You won't be disappointed.

Swifty's is located at 1007 Lexington Ave
Phone: 212 535-6000