Friday, April 17, 2015

New Brew Friday- Convivial Suarez

Today's New Brew Friday comes from Grassroots Brewing in Vermont; the precursor to Shaun Hill's current brewery Hill Farmstead.  Convivial Suarez is a saison/farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus and lemon that clocks in at 6% abv.  The first thing you notice about this beer is the color.  It has a shockingly gorgeous deep pink body with a frothy ring of bubbles that create nice lacing around the glass.

The aroma has big notes of lemon zest, hibiscus and lime with some of the classic barnyard funk from most Grassroots/Hill Farmstead saisons. The taste follows suit with lots of lemon and berry flavors; it's tart but creamy with a nice refreshing finish.  I was lucky enough to have this on tap at one of my favorite bars Hops Hill.  This beer just screams spring and it was wonderful to usher in the season with such a delight.  Cheers to the weekend!

Hill Farmstead/Grassroots Brewing

Thursday, April 16, 2015


My first experience at Marta was good.  I loved the ultra thin cracker crust and fresh toppings, but really wanted to explore more of the menu.  This time I brought multiple dining companions and had the opportunity to try out much more like these Green Risotto Croquettes.

Each log was filled with rice, mozzarella cheese and herbs then fried until brown and crispy. I was surprised how much just a squeeze of lemon juice brought out the bright flavors of the herbs inside.  There was no need for any other sort of sauce...these were delicious on their own.

The classic Margherita was wonderful; simply seasoned with just a little olive oil and basil.  I actually liked this much better than the Margherita di Bufala from my previous visit.  

But the best pie of the night was easily the Salsiccia topped with Pork Sausage, Cremini Mushroom, Mozzarella and Pecorino.  Everything on this pie just worked creating a gorgeous medley of rich, savory flavors.

For dessert Olive Oil Affogato with Oilo Verde, Honeycomb Candy, Vanilla Gelato, Kumquat and Blood Orange.  It wasn't quite as life changing as the Olive Oil Coppetta from Otto but it was certainly worth the order.

Reservations at Marta are still impossible to find on Opentable but don't give up.  I called the day before and scored a Friday night reservation with no fuss at all.

29 East 29th Street between Park & Madison
New York, NY 10016

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


There are lots of reasons to dine at East Village hotspot Narcissa.  The delightful vegetable preparations, always so fresh and creative  The trendy scene, a gorgeous room filled with even more gorgeous people and of course the incredible southwestern Narcissa burger.

It’s a big, juicy blend of short rib and brisket from Pat LaFrieda that’s pan fried giving the outer shell an excellent char.  Then it’s topped with a mound of fresh guacamole, manchego cheese and watercress all on top a brioche bun. 

There’s nothing delicate about this burger you just have to dive in and relish in all its' rich messy glory.  Don’t worry about those gorgeous people staring at you from across the room.  They decided to order salads instead of lavishing in these thin, crispy fries that have the perfect salty crunch with each bite. 

And most certainly don’t forget to order a cocktail or two. The Pear Tree with rum, ginger and rosemary is a great savory way to round out the meal.

Narcissa Restaurant
25 Cooper Square (5th & Bowery)
New York, NY 10003

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lunch at Hibino

When I'm having a serious sushi craving in Brooklyn Heights there's only one place I go to- Hibino. The food is always fresh and their lunch specials are some of the best in the city.  In addition to a daily rotating Obento Box with entree choices like Grilled Salmon Collar and Pork Sausage, is their classic Sushi Lunch.

It includes a piping hot bowl of Miso Soup filled with silky strands of tofu...

...and a small green salad dressed with a light ginger vinaigrette and your choice of two rolls. My last visit I tried the Scallion Yellowtail and Spicy Tuna.

I find many spicy tuna rolls are filled with leftover cuts of fish, the mayo covering up the lines of fat giving the roll a gross stringy texture.  At Hibino the roll is filled with a big, fresh square of tuna then topped off with a dollop of extra spicy sauce.  It's so clean and easy...never a gross roll here.

All of this incredible food for only $10.00.  It's really one of the best deals in Brooklyn.

333 Henry Street @Pacific
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dirck the Norseman

There are so many reasons to check out the massive German beer hall in Greenpoint Dirck the Norseman.  From the cozy fireplaces in the winter to the live music on the weekends this place has a little something for everyone.  Here are my Top 5 reasons to make the trek:

#1- Chicken Schnitzel
This stunning piece of poultry is so large it barely fits on the serving plate.  It's pounded flat but somehow retains a tender, juicy interior that's coated with crispy breadcrumbs and served with a beer-peppercorn sauce.  It's big, gregarious German food at it's finest.

#2- The Wedge Salad
I always love a good wedge salad but Dirck really kicks it up a notch using thick cut chunks of bacon and a house-made Bacon Maple Blue Cheese dressing studded with red onions and rosemary.  

#3- French Fries
German beer halls always seem to have the best fries (I was addicted to Zum's for a long time) and here is no different.  They're thinly sliced, crispy skin on fries, served with two delicious dipping sauces.  The serving is huge so one order is more than enough for a few people to share.

#4- The Beer
It's easy to love a big, crisp German beer but check out some of the other Greenpoint offerings.  I highly suggest the Zealander, a big Double IPA that's full of bright citrus flavors and incredibly refreshing.  It's one of the best local beers I've had this year.

#5- Brewery Tours
Every Sunday at 1:00 Greenpoint Beer & Ale Company offers personalized, guided tours of the brewery that include an in depth look at the brewery process, the brewers behind the scenes and four half pints of that delicious Greenpoint Beer.   Reservations can be in advance for just $15 a person.

7 North 15th Street at Franklin
Brooklyn, NY 11222