Presenting the 80 Sips Challenge by Bottlenotes: Prix-Fixe Wining + Dining in NYC

Cheers to the 80 Sips Challenge in the Big Apple!

Eric Arnold, editor of The Daily Sip, a free, wine-centric e-newsletter from the folks at, is guest-blogging about the 80 Sips Challenge.

Restaurant Week is always a welcome time in New York dining: It’s a stretch during which just about anyone can get a taste of the sometimes-otherwise unaffordable. But what’s usually missing from the three-course lunches and dinners is an appreciation for wine pairing.

That changes starting Monday with the 80 Sips Challenge by For the next two weeks, several great NYC restaurants are offering pre-fixe lunches ($25ish) and dinners ($35ish) paired with wines from Brancott Estate in New Zealand, Conway Family Wines in California, and several red and white selections from France’s Roussillon region. The wine pairings cost extra, but these are all very wallet-friendly, high-quality wines that you’ll be able to find in your local wine shop, later on. And beyond enjoying the good food and wine, there’s some added incentive for dining out over the next couple weeks:

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Top Chef Contender Tiffany Derry Tells (Almost) All to The Daily Sip’s Eric Arnold

Chef Tiffany Derry wisely dodged Eric Arnold's questions about Angelo's mail-order bride.

Once more, OT’s usual commentators on the most recent edition of Top Chef – Caroline Potter and Ed Cotton — are both out of town – and Top Chef is a re-run. Fortunately, I was able to secure an anything-goes interview with former and current Top Chef-testant Tiffany Derry (who is also out of town but not away from a phone). If you don’t remember me, Eric Arnold, I’m the editor of The Daily Sip, a free, wine-centric e-newsletter; and you can usually find me waxing about the wines of New Zealand–and other booze-related topics – herehere, and here. As for Chef Tiffany Derry, when she’s not on your television screen or out of the country, she is the Executive Chef of the upcoming Private Social restaurant in Dallas [Ed. Note: We hope Private Social will be featured on OpenTable.]

We hear you’re out of the country. Where are you right now, and what’s the greatest thing you’ve eaten?

I am off enjoying some much-needed family time. I am a foie gras-head and it was done at Brennan’s Restaurant in Houston, Texas. They did this praline foie with French toast — and it was the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Last week was pretty lopsided, and the front-of-the-house person always has a big bull’s eye on him or her. Did you think Padma was going to tell you to pack up and go, or were you confident you’d hang on?

I am never confident when I am on the bottom. Sometimes you hear things slightly different from what they actually said. I honestly did not feel like it should have been me. I brought back so many plates of food and had so many bad comments that it was very overwhelming. I did the best I could to not show all the drama that was going on in the back of the house.

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