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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NIGHTLIGHT: Dinner at Swifty's

There is no better NIGHTLIGHT ever than dinner at Swifty's, and if you were ever in the dark about this, thumb back through the posts to about May when we covered Literacy Partners, whom we really love (notice our shared passion for the correct use of whom and being able to communicate in English properly) when their event was upstaged only by dinner at Swifty's with Robert.  In fact, here he is now, counting down the days until Fete de Swifty!  

Obviously, we can't wait for Fete de Swifty, which even has its own countdown on our site.  Well, we must say, the only thing better than dinner at Swifty's with Robert is dinner at Swifty's with Blaine which was the fabulous highlight of recent times for Peachy Deegan!  Even in the lazy days of August when many restaurants are clamoring for business, Swifty's is just hobnobbing the upper echelon as we would expect them to....Seriously!  We saw some serious Movers and Shakers there tonight and are even up this late to tell you about it, but we respect their privacy.  Swifty's has been a Peachy's Pick since February, and they are our favorite.  We rarely say that or we would have never made it to nearly 5,000 posts.  They attract those that pursue excellence across the board, liberal and conservative, old and young, east side and west side, you get the idea. The standard we see here is excellence, and that is only reason why we love it.  By the way, they are nice people, and good people too and we don't just say that either.  If you just take a peek inside the address on Lexington between 72/73 it is not difficult to see why we have named them the best restaurant in Manhattan.  If you have a pulse or a palette, you know this already and we didn't need to tell you. You know Chef Stephen Attoe is a Mover and Shaker:

Tonight, Peachy Deegan had a lovely green salad with the classic Swifty's honey mustard dressing, followed by Rock Shrimp Risotto which is totally to die for and if you haven't had it yet, you haven't lived, you know, kind of like Trapeze School.  She had Rock Shrimp Risotto last time and is in love with it.  Blaine and Peachy had the brownie and the pound cake for dessert and if you don't have dessert at Swifty's, it is like leaving church without going to communion.  Get dessert.  There is nothing that you can order at Swifty's that arrives at your table less than perfect.  When have we ever said that before?  Keep looking. We had some excellent drinks too but we'll tell you about that another day.

Pat we missed you and we'll see you next time.  Be advised Patricia Attoe is a fabulous Mover and Shaker, and we hope you feel better soon:

We will rerun our review as it has been awhile...what are you waiting for!  It is almost Fashion Week, and you know the Fashionable Set dines at Swifty's!  

Tonight on Peachy Deegan:

Smile by Cosmopolitan Dental:

Dress by Donna Ricco:

Shoes by Dana Davis:

Blazer by Hunter Dixon:

Sunglasses by Modo for Jennifer Creel Exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman:

Hair by Pureology:

Makeup by Clinique:

Lipstick by Tom Ford:

Skincare by La Mer (stay tuned for what they have in store for September!):

Jewelry worn by Peachy inheirited, earned at school, and by Rumblefish:

Original Running of Peachy Picks Swifty's:

We first featured Swifty's in Tasty Tidbits:

And Swifty's was also our Valentine:

How did we know we were going to love them so much!
Today we say with extreme enthusiasm that Swifty's has graduated to Peachy's Picks.  Everyone on the Whom You Know dining panel could not have had a better experience than at Swifty's.  As you may have seen, Peachy Deegan appeared on the panel of Fox's The Strategy Room yesterday, and this has been a time of milestones for Whom You Know.  This is our 2,999th post and we celebrated with Swifty's last night.  What's classic is new again, and at Whom You Know we embrace the classic establishments of life and we cannot think of a better example of fine dining, fabulous atmosphere, and quintessential Manhattan than Swifty's!
As you can see, from the moment we arrived, our table was perfect.  If you are old enough to remember Mortimer's, and we aren't, those involved with Mortimer's (we have been told it was an amazing establishment) started Swifty's.  And it was named after Mortimer's Owner's dog.  However, in Peachy Deegan's experience she thinks the crowd here is pretty swift as in quick-witted, accomplished, sharp, etc so it really is a great name all-around.

Located on the loved Upper East Side of Manhattan on the east side of Lexington between 72nd and 73rd, Swifty's caters to the upper echelons of society quite literally who are in the know.  Remember, it's not who you know, it's whom you know.   From what we hear from some people, (and certainly these are not people that are clued in enough), Swifty's can have a reputation for being a bit too exclusive and only has an older crowd.

We strongly disagree on both points.  You could not meet a nicer restaurateur in Manhattan than Robert Caravaggi.  He and Chef Stephen Attoe are down-to-earth and really care about their clientele.  They are both accommodating and show a genuine interest in both what they do and how they do it, and who comes to enjoy their exquisite culinary experience.   The whole experience combined is absolutely genius.  When you visit Swifty's you feel like you are going to your favorite relative's country house for dinner that is prepared by the best chef in the family.  Also, no one on our dining panel is old, and even if we were age is just a number.

As a first course, Peachy Deegan had the smoked Irish salmon with potato galette and creme fraiche, and it was just as good as the Irish salmon that Peachy used to eat when she lived in Ireland.  Actually, it was better because we didn't have to go all the way to Ireland!  In addition to the salmon being the best in Manhattan, the entire presentation was beautiful, as shown below.
Peachy Deegan herself cannot be an expert in everything though she tries, and accompanying her to Swifty's was the fabulous Whom You Know dining panel.  We brought some of our most discriminating critics: two Europeans and two Americans equals four quite bright critics!  If you went to prep school in Connecticut like 50% of the Whom You Know panel did, you were excited when your parents came to visit your boarding school and took you out to the nicest restaurant in town.  Swifty's is just like this "nicest restaurant in town," and here is what the panel had to say:
Although I do not love the Upper East side as much as Peachy Deegan, since I am a devoted member of the dining panel and embrace fine food, I was so excited to try Swifty's.  In a word, it was really cool!  It is unequivocally the classiest old-school little restaurant I've ever been to in America.   It was abundantly clear that the people that dine at Swifty's are the people that achieve in life. At the entrance all the workers were polite and welcoming and service was prompt and efficient. The dishes were presented in an excellent manner: ready one after the other, without long waits between them. I absolutely loved the tuna carpaccio, shown above. The tuna was extremely fresh and delicate while the garnish was just purely healthy and natural. No strange sauce or condiments, just scallion, capers, ginger, herbs, salt pepper and olive oil. Very good.  You will love it too!
The crabcake dinner, shown above, was what Peachy Deegan ordered of course.  It was delicious!  Swifty's Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes were fresh, cooked well, and had the finest crab in them.  Paired with Creamed Spinach, Peachy gives them a standing ovation!  She even dreamed about eating more of them last night.  This was accompanied by Ayala Champagne, of course which is what 75% of the Whom You Know dining panel consumed except for our devoted white wine enthusiast.

Swifty’s has been around since 1999, which is impressive in ever-changing New York City.  Located on the Upper East Side, Swifty’s sure pleases the crowd.  The two rooms will appeal to all; it mixes High Society with your favorite neighborhood haunt. 

The menu features American and European techniques, with many a specialty to choose from. 

Host/Proprietor Robert Caravaggi was on hand to ensure we had a most gracious warm welcome.  With the wonderful ambience and ultra friendly staff on hand, you are guaranteed a wonderful evening.  Proprietor/Chef Stephen Attoe guarantees to deliver you a sumptous heavenly meal, obviously I could be a little biased being a fellow Brit!

Should you not be able to make it to this wonderful gem, don't despair.  They even cater to the crowds off premises with Swifty's event catering.

Perfectly dimmed lit rooms, and intimate seating make this a place to either catch up with good friends or have a romantic dinner.  Either way I can't imagine having a unpleasant experience at this wonderful restaurant.

I started with the Irish Smoked Salmon, it was served on perfectly crispy potato galette.  And, it was loaded with Creme Fraiche and lashings of red caviar.  The taste was just delicious, the flavors melted in my mouth.  For my entree I was keen to try the Grilled Black Angus Strip Steak, shown below.  Cooked to my perfection, it was so succulent.  It was a huge piece of steak, a great hearty meal in itself.  The wonderful bearnaise sauce was delightfully served on the side, so I was able to spoon the perfect amount for my own taste.  On the side was an abundant of crispy french fries.  Mouth watering dish, that only makes me want to go back for more!

Thank you to Peachy for arranging this, to Robert for all your gracious company and to Stephen for a wonderful dinner that will be remembered for a very long time.  I can't wait to return back to Swifty's, whether for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner you will too have a memorable evening! 


Swifty’s is a quaint, well-known European-influenced restaurant on the Upper East Side. Upon entering, one will notice the ambience, privacy, comfortable accommodations, classic and refined artwork and subtle lighting of the restaurants main seating area. The restaurant also boasts a well-stocked bar centrally located.  When we visited at 7 pm, the restaurant seemed to be bustling with activity and few tables were open during prime dining hours. The restaurant would be a good date spot with plenty of excellent choices on the menu, including appetizers such tuna carpacchio, French onion soup, a litany of salads and other delectable choices. The wine and drink list was quite extensive.   Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by the manager/maitre d, a very friendly, immaculately dressed, passionate, knowledgeable gentleman who attended to all our requests with prompt and gracious service.  For starters we tried the French Onion soup, which was rich, flavourful and one of the best we have ever consumed.  

Following this, we began our main course of Venison with braised red cabbage and lingonberry sauce, shown below. The Venison was very lean and was perfectly complemented by the fruit flavoured sauce and the cabbage. The portion was just the right size.   For dessert, we finished with the chocolate soufflé, a ginger cake and a meringue cake. All were delicious and again not unduly filling as is often the case with desserts.   

Swifty's is our new favourite restaurant on the Upper East Side and is a MUST visit for anyone in the city looking for an authentic and diverse menu in a charming, old world environment.  
The main course were the scallops included in the special dishes of the day, shown below.  Formally, they were named the Nantucket Bay Scallops Meuniere.  The scallops were super tender and tasty. They were perfectly sauteed lightly with oil herbs and fresh lemon juice. The sides on the plate were two plain boiled potatoes and very light creamed spinach.  I loved the place, the upscale atmosphere, the friendly manners of the owner and the chef, and the professionality of the waiters. Ah I forgot about the delicious chocolate souffle, baked alaska and ginger cake at the end of the meal. And the after dinner drink of Sambuca was lovely.  That was the exquisite little touch of a great restaurateur.  AND, I'm definitely going back there when they'll have osso buco with milanese risotto as special of the day!!!

20 minutes notice is required for the Chocolate Souffle, shown below......delicious and tasty, I wouldn't want to think about the calories.  I didn't as the taste was so good!  Recommended to try the Steamed Ginger pudding and the Baked Alaska, there is nothing that will disappoint.  Served with Swifty's own homemade ice creams that are just to die for.  I recommend to wash these down with the house coffee and a little limoncello will complete the experience.

The Baked Alaska was so fabulous, we are sure Sarah Palin would march straight here in her Sorel Boots full speed ahead if she knew how excellent it is:
The Bananas Foster Baked Alaska had Macadamia Nut Ice Cream!  It does taste as good as it looks we can vouch.

Not only is Swifty's a great place to dine, but Swifty’s also caters in the tri-state area.  We hear they are big on Long Island.  As Robert says, “We travel well.”

On their site, they say:
Listed by Page Six as among the six "Hot Seats" resturants in NYC.BEST TABLES: The back room, where there’s more room to see and be seen
THE SCENE: Blue-blood, blue-haired ladies who lunch and the designers who sell them  questionable outfits.
REGULARS: Ralph Lauren, Pauline Pitt, Mary McFadden, Carolina Herrera, Mario Buatta.  [Now maybe everyone from Whom You Know too.]
INSIDE TRACK: Tell the maitre d’ that you’re negotiating to buy Avenue Magazine

We disagree with Page Six.  We think it is the hottest seat.  In a February Manhattan Blizzard, you need heat more than ever so head straight for Swifty's!  Tell Robert and Stephen that Peachy sent have not eaten properly in Manhattan until you have dined at Swifty's!  Not only do they pursue excellence, but they also go the extra mile to please and know those who visit them.  For after-dinner drinks, while others on the panel ordered Peachy asked Robert to surprise her (the Champagne Wishes column is at around 80 posts, how can we make up our minds sometimes?) and he made a better choice than even she might have with the poire aperitif.   Whom You Know highly recommends Swifty's.  It is simply one of the finest restaurants in Manhattan, certainly the best on the Upper East side by a mile, and Peachy Deegan's current favorite.  We love love love love LOVE Swifty's!


On Peachy Deegan:

Hair by Ruth Roche, Rare Salon/Pureology

Smile by Dr. Garo Nazarian, Cosmopolitan Dental

Dress by Diane VonFurstenberg

Shoes by Christian Louboutin

Skincare by Clarins

La Mer


Makeup by Clinique


Bare Escentuals

Yves Saint Laurent

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