Monday, 29 April 2013

BlackBook Chats with EMM Group Pastry Chef

BlackBook recently stopped by to chat with Thiago Silva – the 28-year-old Brazilian executive pastry chef behind all of Mark Birnabum's and the EMM Group’s restaurants. Thiago is also the one behind the creation of The General's most esteemed and talking about dessert: it's cereal topped doughnuts. Yup, you heard right. When asked about the doughnut creation, Thiago replied:
“A lot of people think I was high when I came up with the idea,” Thiago says. “But I wanted a breakfast item, so I combined my favorite breakfast cereals with my really great doughnut recipe.”
And don't worry. There's a delicious doughnut from out menu across all of the restaurants. At CATCH NY, CATCH Miami, Lexington Brass, and Abe & Arthur’s, you’ll find one signature doughnut. For our CATCH Miami location, you'll be privy to our key lime doughnut. At The General, it's the green tea flavored one. For the rest of Mark Birnbaum's hot spots it varies. Anything from something like a pumpkin flavored doughnut to peaches and cream.

Thiago, who’s also had no formal culinary training was doing his thing long before EMM Group added him to their elite crew of chefs and staff. In the past he's even made cakes for folks such as Brooke Shields, three cakes for Sofia Vergara, and the entire New York Giants squad, the day after they won the Super Bowl.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing Dine at Mark Birnbaum's Catch

When Mark Birnbaum and the EMM Group opened Catch on October 1, 2011, they never could have image who would walk in two years later on April 19th - New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing and Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. The two superstars stopped down in the Meatpacking District to enjoy the fine ambiance and food of Catch.

Who would have thought that the two athletes would have casually strolled in on this Friday night in April.

Catch Restaurant

There we no ill feelings as Mark Birnbaum, who was born and raised in New York City catered to the Bulls hall-of-famer. Hosting two of the NBA's most valuable players and some of basketballs most iconic personalities was a pleasure in itself. Catch has come a long way in the less than two years that it has been open, credit Mark Birnbaum and EMM Group's tenacity and work ethic. 

For those not familiar with Catch, the restaurant builds upon its strong culinary foundation, as Chefs Huynh and EMM Group shift the focus to seafood with dishes like Crispy Whole Red Snapper for two with Oyster Mushrooms, Peppers and Chili-Garlic Sauce, Dungeness Crab Tagliatelli with Flying Fish Roe & Scallion Tomato Sauce, Crab & Chorizo Stuffed Calamari with Chickpeas, Piquillo Peppers, Mint & Chili-Lime, and an array of cold carpaccios including Salmon Belly Crudo with Watercress, Sweet and Sour Onions, Yuzu & Garlic Crumble.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

New York City at Night

Over the years, a number of people ask 'where to go in NYC come night fall." Aside from the obvious answer and mentioning the spots that I, Mark Birnbaum have helped develop such as Catch Roof and SL, there's a bustling nightlife all over the boroughs. That's why New York is one of, if not the best place in the world and why the EMM Group is based in Manhattan.

New York city is like non-other in the sense that once night hits, you have that feeling of being young and free. It creates such an ambiance and indescribable feeling that just pulls you in.

Since EMM Group was developed in 2006, Mark Birnbaum has built a strong venue portfolio and a solid reputation as a leader in the hospitality industry. Doing so in a city that can eat people up on a daily basis. There were no doubt struggles and obstacles to overcome and you don't get to be named by Forbes as one of the 'Kings of NYC Nightlife' and featured in GQ without grit and determination.

While others can sit back and wallow in what they built, Mark Birnbaum is always looking to keep things moving forward. Whether its the opening of a new establishment like Catch Miami or working on the already thriving holdings that are already well established, Mark is never one to take a back seat to things.

As EMM Group comes up on it's 7th anniversary, Mark and everyone at the company is looking forward to the future in the greatest city in the world (New York) and beyond.

(img src)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mark Birnbaum in a New York Minute

A lot can happen in a New York Minute. In case you missed it, yesterday was Mussel Monday's at Mark Birnbaum's Lexington Brass restaurant downtown. On such a beautiful day in New York City how can you go wrong with some of the freshest food in town.

Mark Birnbaum Lexington Brass

Aside from the delicious seafood that Lexington Brass serves up, there's a slew of enjoying Lobster Mac n Cheese, Deviled Eggs, French Onion Soup, Braised Short Ribs and platters of oysters and littlenecks at any hour, from breakfast to lunch through dinner and late evening reprieves.

When Mark Birnbaum and EMM Group opened the restaurant back in 2011 he had a whole new dining experience in mind. The 100-seat American bistro located on the ground level of the luxury Hersha Group features classic American bistro fare conceptualized and executed by Abe & Arthur’s Executive Chef Franklin Becker. had this to say about the fine NYC restaurant:
Patrons will be treated to sophisticated yet familiar favorites from a menu of fresh, locally sourced, sustainable dishes. Highlights from the breakfast menu include jam-filled pancakes with berries & lemon cream and a Spanish scramble with chorizo, rock shrimp and hash. For lunch, midtown moguls can indulge in a sirloin steak sandwich with truffle fries, or opt for lighter fare with grilled shrimp & couscous or yellowfin tuna ciabatta with avocado & tomato jam. For dinner, patrons can enjoy a range of options from buttermilk fried chicken and biscuits to sweet corn ravioli with chanterelles to spicy fluke ceviche with watermelon. Lexington Brass also will offer a thoughtful beverage program, which includes kombucha tea, three local wines and four local beers on tap, including one signature lager which was crafted and brewed in EMM Group’s name.
Lexington Brass is open 7 days a week. Stop in today and enjoy some of New York's finest of food and drinks. And don't forget that tonight, Tuesdays at the Jazz Room at The General continue with music by DJ Sinatra. If you'd like to reserve your seat don't hesitate to shoot an email over to

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mark Birnbaum Names to UJA 40 under 40

Mark Birnbaum

UJA 40 under 40: Mark Birnbaum, Eugene Remm and More

UJA-Federation of New York unleashed their 40 under 40 list of the top movers and shakers in the New York community. Participants were chosen for their “drive, determination, achievement, character, and the ability to serve as leaders of the community.” One of those named to the list was EMM Groups own Mark Birnbaum.

Mark couldn't be more delighted to be named for such an honorable award. Through the years he has come from upstate nightlife promoter to one of the most respected hospitality moguls in the tri-state area and arguably in the country. He has been able to take concept to creation and build some of the most sought after restaurants and clubs in Manhattan. 

As one of the co-founders of the EMM Group, he has created a successful hospitality business, with venues that include: FINALE at 199 Bowery in the Lower East Side, Abe & Arthur’s, SL and the iconic Tenjune in the meatpacking district, and The Chandelier Room at the W Hotel in New Jersey. Mark Birnbaum has also established CATCH and SL inside The James Royal Palm in Miami. Mark has been featured in GQ Magazine and been labeled as one of the "Kings of New York Nightlife" by Forbes Magazine.

With things not looking to slow down in the near future, Mark Birnbaum is looking forward to all that's still to come in 2013. In early 2013, Birnbaum took the CATCH concept and headed to the Miami market, opening a second location of the widely popular seafood restaurant in South Beach at the James Royal Palm. Also opening is a Miami outpost of SL at the hotel – SL Miami – that will be sure to attract the same stars and revelers that frequent EMM Group’s New York venues. 

You can take a full look at the entire list of people who were named to the 40-under-40 list here. A formal 40 under 40 event is planned to take place this fall to honor Mark and all others named to the list. 

(Img src)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Mark Birnbaum Essentials

Everyday Essentials: Mark Birnbaum, EMM Group

In case you missed it, Mark Birnbaum sat down with GQ a little while back to talk about a few essentials he needs to keep EMM going. As the article mentioned, here are a few things that Mark mentioned help turns things up, getting things done, and chill things out:

  • Boxing: With the business hours being a bit all over the place, Mark is all about maintaining his health. That's why sweating it out at the gym three to four times a week can help.
  • Smartphone: The way that technology and the business world moves these days, Mark needs to be mobile and on-the-go. Always being able to stay connected helps him stay ahead of the curve.
  • Aston Martin: Growing up in a family that way part of the automotive business, Mark holds a close place in his heart for great cars. 
  • Watches: Not only is it part of the style, but it's something that saves him from looking at his smartphone non-stop and always keeps him conscious of his time. As we all know, time is an important thing.
  • Comfortable Sneakers: Whether it's opening up a new spot in Miami or just keeping up with the day-to-day activities of EMM, a comfortable pair of sneakers is definitely something that can't be overlooked.
  • The Knicks: Not only do they provide a nice little distraction for the day-to-day happenings but there's nothing like sitting court side at Madison Square Garden with thousands of other screaming fans rooting for your hometown team. 
While these are only a few things Mark Birnbaum uses to make sure things keep moving forward, he's open to hearing what you can't live without. What is it - your favorite lunch spot or hotel?

Read the full article as it appeared in GQ here:

(Img src)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Mark Birnbaum Excited The General's Bakery is Open

Mark Birnbaum - The General
The General, New York City

Mark Birnbaum shakes up the breakfast world with The General's cereal-inspired doughnuts

In case you missed it, Lower East Side Asian hotspot, The General isn't only rolling out some great food for lunch and dinner, it also has a great bakery as well. The restaurant whose kitchen is run by Top Chef Season 3 winner, Chef Hung Huynh is rolling out cereal-inspired doughnuts along with a number of other great delicacies starting at 6 a.m. every morning. 

The General, which is owned by Mark Birnbaum of EMM Group boosts an elegant dining experience with environments ranging from the seasonal outdoor patio to the Cafe, pastry counter, social hightop tables nestled right around the bar and an elegant dining room to top everything off. 

In case you're wondering why The General, which is an Asian themed restaurant created a classic American menu for its bakery, you're not the only one. Pastry chef Thiago Silva recently sat down with DuJour Magazine to give them a sneak peak into what went into creating these cereal-inspired doughnuts and the rest of the items on The General's bakery menu. 
DuJour: The General is Asian-themed. Why create a classic American menu for its bakery? 
Thiago Silva: I wanted to do something that is familiar, approachable and something that everyone loves. I did manage to add Asian ingredients into a few donuts. For example, the Fruity Pebbles has a kaffir lime-infused custard, which makes it taste like the cereal.  
DuJour: What inspired the cereal donuts? 
TS: I'd been developing a doughnut recipe before we even had a concept for The General, and I came up with a great recipe for the dough. I wanted to stick to the breakfast theme, and I thought about how I always ate cereal for breakfast when I was on the go. Therefore I designed cereal-inspired doughnuts so people could come in and grab doughnuts before they start their day.

Aside from the cereal-themed doughnuts, Mark Birnbaum also says guests can indulge in a number of other delicious pastries and savoy foods including, pretzel bombs - pretzel rolls filled with egg, cheese and a choice of back or ham. 

When will you be visiting The General

Excerpt from DuJour Magazeine