Volume 20, Number 46 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 10 - 16, 2010

B.P.C Beat
Covering Battery Park City

By Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Wade Burch, executive chef for Merchants Hospitality, sitting in SouthWest NY at 2 World Financial Center. SouthWest NY will be open on Thanksgiving from noon to 9 p.m. At 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, SouthWest NY will serve dinner at a community table.


Thanksgiving in Battery Park City:
There’s no reason to spend Thanksgiving alone. SouthWest NY at 2 World Financial Center will have a community table this year. Enjoy a feast and meet some neighbors! Wade Burch, executive chef for Merchants Hospitality, which owns SouthWest NY and Steamers Landing in Battery Park City, and Merchants Café just across West Street at 90 Washington Street, is preparing food for all three restaurants, with enough turkey for 900 people. “I’m trying to give people a Thanksgiving experience as though they were at somebody’s house,” he said. “I went with the tried and true things that I’ve eaten all my life.” Chef Burch grew up in Texas and spent childhood Thanksgivings at his great-grandmother’s house in Mineral Wells, where, he said, “there would be five generations and around 70 people.”

Dinner at the SouthWest NY community table will start at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25). The meal will begin with a choice of roasted pumpkin bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and maple clabber or a salad of autumn lettuces with spiced pecans, dried cranberries and port wine vinaigrette. The main course will be roasted Tom turkey with apple and herb stuffing, cranberry-jalapeno compote, glazed yams, green beans almondine and gravy. The dessert will be pumpkin pie with whipped cream. At the community table, the cost of the dinner ($25.95 plus tax and tip) will include tea, coffee, soft drinks and a glass of house wine. To reserve a seat, call 212-945-0528 and say that you want a seat at the community table. Reserve early to ensure a space!

SouthWest NY will be serving the same menu on Thanksgiving day from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. for $25.95 plus tax and tip, but beverages are only included at the special community table dinner. For more information about SouthWest NY, go to www.southwestny.com.

Steamers Landing on the Battery Park City esplanade between Liberty and Albany Streets will also be open on Thanksgiving from noon to 9 p.m. as will Merchants Café at Washington and Rector Streets. The menu is the same as the one at SouthWest NY at the same price. To reserve a table at Steamers Landing, call 212-432 1451. To reserve at Merchants Café, call 212-363-6000.


Battery Park City resident Deb DiIorio at Izzy & Nat’s, 311 South End Ave. On Nov. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Izzy & Nat’s will hold a free reception (with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres) at which Battery Park City resident Glenn Plaskin’s book “Katie Up and Down the Hall” will be sold, with all the proceeds going to AmsterDog, a charitable organization founded by Ms. DiIorio that rescues dogs and cats from shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized and finds homes for them.

Izzy & Nat’s benefit for AmsterDog:
Battery Park City resident Deb DiIorio loves animals and in March of this year founded a charitable organization called AmsterDog to find homes for dogs and cats that were in shelters, slated to be euthanized. Battery Park City resident Glenn Plaskin, author of the book “Katie Up and Down the Hall” about his late cocker spaniel, Katie, and how she brought a group of strangers together and made them into a family, loves Izzy & Nat’s, the deli at 311 South End Avenue. He also has great respect for Ms. DiIorio, calling her “the pillar of the canine community here. No one does more for dogs than she does.”

All of this came together when Brooke Phillips, owner of Izzy & Nat’s, Mr. Plaskin, Rosalie Joseph, who has been active for years in Battery Park City charitable endeavors, and Paula Galloway, who was one of the founders of the Battery Park City Dog Association, thought of holding a benefit with the proceeds of the sales of Mr. Plaskin’s book going to animal rescue. “We wanted to support a grassroots organization within the community,” said Ms. Phillips.

Ms. DiIorio’s AmsterDog was the unanimous choice as beneficiary.

On Thursday, November 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Izzy’s will host a (free!) reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres. The restaurant has purchased 100 copies of Mr. Plaskin’s “Katie Up and Down the Hall,” and will be selling the books to benefit AmsterDog. Bobby Concister of Le Pet Spa at 300 South End Avenue is donating pet toys and Lilac Chocolates is making chocolate giveaways shaped like dog bones.

Ms. DiIorio said that she started animal rescue after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She knew that there were hundreds of thousands of animals in New Orleans that had been abandoned by their owners, or whose owners were dead, and she also knew that there were people in Battery Park City who wanted to go to New Orleans to rescue the animals. She asked friends and acquaintances to donate $250 each and quickly raised enough money for Animal Search and Rescue, a division of Battery Park City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), to send some Battery Park City residents to New Orleans.

Since founding AmsterDog in March of this year, Ms. DiIorio has placed around 100 animals. She is currently trying to find foster homes for 15 dogs that had been left at Animal Care and Control of New York City on East 110th Street. “They try to save the dogs,” said Ms. DiIorio, “but if they don’t have enough space, they have to put them down.”

Since the downturn in the economy, Ms. DiIorio said that more and more pets have been abandoned by people who couldn’t afford to keep them.

She said that money raised at the November 18 reception will go to help a dog named Sujata — “a pit bull mix who’s in a foster home in New England and needs eye surgery.” A veterinarian has donated his services, but hospital and other expenses will come to $1,200. Ms. DiIorio hopes to be able to cover that bill and have enough left over to help the other dogs on her list.

Canstruction at the World Financial Center: On November 10 teams from some of the city’s top architecture and engineering firms are going to pull an all-nighter in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center as they arrange 100,000 unopened cans of food into wildly imaginative sculptures that will be on display through November 22 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. When the sculptures are dismantled, the food will go to City Harvest to feed hungry New Yorkers.

The display is part of Canstruction®, an event that takes place in 150 cities worldwide and is now in its 18th year. Visitors to the free exhibit can help by donating cans of high-quality food (such as tuna and vegetables). The “can-structions” will be judged for Best Meal, Best Use of Labels and Structural Ingenuity — but the real rewards are also likely to be the knowledge that so many people will be fed when the exhibit is taken down.

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