Lisa Mamounas
Lisa Mamounas on Food and Art

Lisa Mamounas' Culinary Insiders

An Insiders Guide to Armory Week Dining

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Wim Delvoye, Marble Floors, 1999 (photographed charcuterie - including precision-cut salami and mortadella)

It’s that time of year when New York swells with over 60,000 international collectors, gallerists, curators and those that just appreciate art. With trying to maneuver numerous alternative fairs and social functions surrounding the Armory Show, the real question may be…where are the best new places to eat? For those who love the culinary scene just as much as the art one, this is for you.


An exquisite journey to the heart of Japanese dining, Neta is an intimate restaurant where even the top chefs go to dine for their uni and toro fixations. Despite a full menu, the only real two choices for you to decide upon is narrowed down between the $95 or $135 chef’s choice, omakase, dinner, depending on your appetite and how much you still have left over after the Wim Delvoye you just bought at the ADAA Art Show.

Neta, 6 West 8th Street, New York, NY 212-505-2610


For those who haven’t been back to New York since the last Armory Show, don’t miss this newly celebrated restaurant, created by the talented owners, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, of the award-winning Eleven Madison Park. Whether it’s ordering the signature whole-roasted chicken with foie gras, black truffle and brioche in their main dining room, drinks at the bar (another chef hangout) or meetings in The Library, the sophisticated food in a refined European castle-like setting will not disappoint.

1170 Broadway at 28th Street (inside the NoMad Hotel), New York, NY 212-796-1500

Salvation Taco

For fans of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, this recently opened taquería by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman features inauthentic or should we say, deliciously reinterpreted, Mexican cuisine. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and even brunch with grilled lamb tongue tortas or crispy fried pig ears for your weekend hangover, half of the menu features different types of tacos, served with fresh masa tortillas continuously pressed behind the bar. These warmed tortillas are perhaps best served with the Jacob’s Ladder Feast, a savory short ribs dish which can be shared by two.

145 East 39th Street (in the lobby of the Pod 39 Hotel), New York, NY 212-865-5800

Cherrywood Kitchen*

Scheduled to open on March 8th, this New American bistro by former Nobu and Jean-Georges chef, Chris Cheung, will serve rustic dishes, many of which are smoked by, you guessed it, cherrywood. Highlights of the menu included a braised bacon soup with winter melon, smoked sweet chili-glazed ribs with apple kale slaw and for vegetarians, winter vegetables with crisped smoked maitakes, steamed in a lotus leaf with jasmine rice.

300 Spring St, New York, NY 646-559-2328 * Please call first to confirm the restaurant is open as the opening date may be delayed.

Alder *

Wylie Dufresne may be well-known for his molecular gastronomic dishes served at the renowned wd~50, but it’s casual pub fare that will rule the menu at his newest restaurant, scheduled to open on March 6th. However, modernist dishes do come into play with a Caesar salad that does not come in a bowl, but is served instead as individual bites and a clam chowder with oyster crackers made of actual oysters.

157 Second Avenue near East 10th Street, New York, NY 212-539-1900, no website * Please call first to confirm the restaurant is open as the opening date may be delayed.

Dominique Ansel showing his re-interpretation of a Will Cotton sketch which will be featured on the Spring menu at his bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery

To satisfy one’s sweet tooth, only a few blocks away from VOLTA, a French bakery is a must and this former Executive Pastry Chef of Daniel, knows how to delight. Besides collaborating with such well-known artists as Will Cotton and Marina Abramović, Dominique, named as one of the “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the US” is a creative genius in his own right. Don’t miss his signature DKA (“Dominique’s Kouign Amann”) and imagine a crunchy, buttery, caramelized croissant. It’s personally made by this renowned chef, who wakes up at 3 AM to make this delectable treat. And, as a small aside, Dominique celebrated his recent birthday dinner at Neta.

189 Spring St, New York, NY 212-219-2773

The Bocuse Restaurant

For those looking to spend some time outside of NYC, a two hour trip by car or train to the Culinary Institute of America may just be one of the highlights of your week. Opened on February 15th, with a dedication dinner attended by the legendary Paul Bocuse, which included a birthday celebration for his 87th birthday, this modern as well as traditional restaurant features creative and re-envisioned French classics. Don’t leave without ordering the Black Truffle Soup V.G.E. Élysée.

1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 845-471-6608

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Lisa Mamounas is the founder of Culinary Insiders (, which goes behind-the-scenes, offers exclusive VIP access to restaurants before they open to the public and creates unique events, tours and trips with celebrity chefs.

The Corporate Division is a branch for local and large-scale international events, creative consulting, and artist/chef collaborations, including a recent collaboration between Daniel Boulud and Vik Muniz, featured in Food & Wine magazine, as well as dynamic artist/chef events with major cultural institutions, such as MoMA, Lincoln Center, Art Chicago and the Armory Show. Additional clients include American Express, American Cancer Society, JPMorganChase and Young Presidents Organization, among others.

Culinary Insiders is supported by a prestigious board of world-renowned chefs/restaurateurs including Daniel Boulud, Drew Nieporent, Mauro Maccioni and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Lisa is also an avid contemporary art collector, sits on the Patrons Advisory Board of Art Dubai and is a member of the Associates Council of MoMA.

For additional information, please email

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