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Summer Fancy Food Show 2018

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The Javits Center was transformed into a food empire last week by the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show; a three day extravaganza of 2,600 exhibitors showcasing 200,000 specialty food products.  It's absolutely impossible to try every single item but I did my very best.


MilkBoy was the big winner this year taking home three Sofie awards.


Their milk chocolate with crunchy caramel & sea salt won gold followed by roasted almond and white chocolate with blue potato chips.  I'm a big fan of any kind of chocolate laced with salt so I found myself at this booth every single day.


I'm also a huge fan of butter so the folks over at Epicurean Butter pretty much stole my heart with their thick, creamy varietals like Chili Lime, Black Truffle and Roasted Garlic & Herb.


Barcoop Bevy took home a Sofie award in the Top Innovations category for their Cucumber Mojtio cocktail mix...

..along with Sauces 'n Love for their incredible Pumpkin Gnocci in mushroom sauc…

Brunching at The Studio

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Sundays morning brunch at the Studio always begins with some kind of pastry; a thick Chocolate Morning Bun, a flaky Sourdough Croissant or a slice of the delightfully swirled Chocolate Coffee Babka.


After something sweet a brunch classic with a Middle Eastern spin, like the NYC bagel & lox with cream cheese reinvented here with a sour labneh and smoked salmon on a sesame crusted Simt bagel.


Or the Poached Eggs with a beautiful spring pea humus studded with a rich lamb merguez and a fluffy grilled pita on the side.


Sunday mornings are always best starting at The Studio.

The Studio
23 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010

RIP Anthony Bourdain

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Les Halles was one of the first nice restaurants I dined at when I moved to Manhattan. I didn't know anything about Anthony Bourdain at that point.  I honestly didn't know much about NYC food in general. I had come to the city jobless, with very little savings and no real plan for the future except that Mr. T (my then college boyfriend) had landed a decent job here.  We spent most of that first year inside our tiny apartment, getting out occasionally to "brown bag" a beer in the park or hit up Gray's Papaya for their Recession Special.  Not exactly fine dining but the kind of entertainment that fit our budget at the time.  So when Mr. T's sister said she would take us out to a great NYC restaurant for dinner, we were beyond excited.

I can still remember walking up Park Avenue and seeing that shiny moonlit writing on the front window that said Les Halles.  We pushed open the door and entered into what I can only describe as complete chaos. Big groups crowded ar…

Happy Hour at Zadie's Oyster Room

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NYC is filled to the brim with oyster happy hours. If you happen to love Blue Point oysters then your golden, that's the oyster of choice at 90% of these happy hour spots.  But if you don't love Blue Points and crave a different selection of East and West Coast at a reasonable price, then head to Zadie's Oyster Room in the East Village.


This bright, cherry little spot on East 12th has a small but excellent list of both wine and beer with $1.50 Chefs Choice Oyster and sparkling beverages half price from 5:00-7:00 each day.


I've had everything from Big Rock Petite of Cape Cod to Moonstone of Rhode Island and Fanny Bay of British Columbia.  


In addition to the oysters Zadie's has some wonderful small plates perfect for sharing like the Deviled Eggs with bottarga and creamy Smoked Trout Pate served with thick sliced brown bread.  This is the perfect spot for just about any seafood lover be it date night, solo or with a group of friends.  Zadie's never disappoints.

Zadi…

The Broken Shaker NYC

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It's officially rose & rooftop season and the hottest new spot for both happens to be right across the street at The Broken Shaker NYC.



This happening bar on top of the new Freehand Hotel boasts fun splashy pink drinks and lots of outdoor seating for just about any sized group.



The west side of the restaurant has a row of two tops over looking Lexington Avenue...



...while the north side has room for larger groups with bright wicker chairs and kitschy wooden tables bringing a festive tropical feeling to the space.



The menu has a list of classic cocktails from the original bar in Miami along with a few new drinks made just for NYC, like the Everything Bagel Gin Fizz and the Curry in a Hurry, an homage to the fast casual Indian restaurant just up the street.



The tropical, jungle like decor continues inside with a colorful DJ booth up front...



...and wooden walls matched with shiny tiled stools that evoke images of a very strange cruise ship.



I dove into the Bad Attitude cocktail, a blen…

Brunch at Chez Ma Tante

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Pancakes have never really been something I seek out in restaurants.  I see them mostly as a vessel for maple syrup and butter (two of my favorite condiments) rather than a crave worthy brunch dish. However after just one bite of the pancakes at Chez Ma Tante last weekend, my mind has been changed forever. 


These beauties arrived piping hot with a spongy, fluffy interior and a crisp, almost brunt exterior that left the edges of each cake crunchy and almost caramelized.  On top a heavy dose of pure Vermont Maple Syrup and a pat of rich, creamy Normandy butter.  These pancakes were perfect; soft enough for soaking up all that wonderful syrup but crisp enough to give each bite a satisfying crunch.  


In addition to the incredible pancakes Chez Ma Tante has some fantastic brunch cocktails beyond the usual Bloody Mary or Mimosa.  Mr. T ordered a refreshing John Daly (iced tea, lemonade & beer) while I sipped on the Pick Me Up Negroni with espresso.


There never seem to be tables available o…

It's Negroni Week!

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Today is the official kickoff to Negroni Week; a party launched in 2013 to celebrate the fabulous pink drink while raising money for charities all over the globe.  Simply find a participating venue, purchase a Negroni and that bar will make an immediate donation to a charity they have chosen such as Autism Speaks, No Kid Hungry or Mercy Corp.
Classic Negroni~ Dante at Genuine
We plan to check out apertivo spot Vini e Fritti who's featuring a reserve barrel aged Negroni and special house white Negroni to support City Harvest and Red Hook favorite Fort Defiance who's serving up a special Caffe Negroni made with cold brew coffee for Lambda Legal. 
There are literally thousands of bars and restaurants participating all over the world, so check out the Negroni Week Website to see a list of participants and their menu for the week.  There's never been a better time to be a Negroni lover than right now.
Negroni Week Participating venues all over NYC