Tuesday, November 25, 2014

121 Restaurant

I love everything about the Hudson Valley region.  The gorgeous hills, the crisp clean air and all of the wonderful restaurants that source their food directly from farms in the area.  121 Restaurant is one of these fine places and with the return of their chef Beck Bolender from Jean Georges this place is really hitting its stride.  Normally I would avoid any kind of Americanized empanada but not here...

...these were so buttery and crisp I almost didn't want to delve into the ham and cheese goodness in the middle.  They came with hot sauce and salsa verde but these didn't need anything...they were perfection on their own.  Instead I used the hot sauce on my incredible Breakfast Tacos filled with nuggets of crisp chorizo and fresh avocado.

And although this salad doesn't exactly look pretty it was awesome.  That long crust is actually filled with a creamy goat cheese fondue...

...mixed with bitter greens and a pear vinaigrette.   We were too full for dessert but a quick drink by the fireplace bar and I was ready to settle in for another round.  121 was delicious and definitely worth the hike up to North Salem.  

2 Dingle Ridge Road
North Salem, NY 10560

Monday, November 24, 2014

Return to Paulie Gee's

As 2014 winds down I start to think about all the incredible bars and restaurants I've enjoyed over the past year and surprisingly one of my favorites from 2013 keeps on popping up in my head- Paulie Gee's. This Greenpoint pizzeria is simply amazing.  The puffy chewy crust, the fresh herbs and incredible toppings...here's some glamour shots from our last visit.  When I look at this picture all I think is YES, YES, YES!!!  

This is the Hell Boy and it my be my favorite pizza in the world.  Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, sopresetta piccante and parmigiana reggiano all drizzled with Mike's Hot Honey.  It's spicy and sweet...one piece is never enough. I truly think I could eat this whole pie if no one was looking. 

Mr. T likes the Ricotta Be Kiddin' Me made with Canadian bacon, sweet Italian fennel sausage, fresh basil and dollops of ricotta.  You really can't go wrong with any of the pies here...Paulie Gee's is where its at.

Paulie Gee's
60 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Brew Friday- A Special SARA Edition

Today's beer comes from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, a tiny brewery located just south of Santa Cruz. SARA specializes in Belgian ales, usually aged in some sort of wine barrel with various yeast and bacteria.  I was lucky enough to try out Brackish, a Dark Farmhouse Ale brewed with grains of paradise and sea salt.

Brackish has a spicy herbal aroma with lots of dark berries, lemon zest and black pepper. The taste is just crazy...it's salty like a Gose but with tart berries, oak, chocolate and roasted malts.   This is one of those beers where each sip brings out a new flavor. I absolutely LOVED this beer. Unfortunately it's only been brewed once so if you get a chance to try this beauty enjoy it to the fullest because you probably won't see it again- Cheers!

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chocolate Cake at Gramercy Tavern

Ever since Nancy Olson left as Gramercy Tavern's pastry chef, I feel the need to stop in once in a while and ensure that things are still running smoothly.  This springy Chocolate Cake with Concord Compote, Buckwheat and Toasted Almond Ice Cream is a clear indication that things are on track...

....paired with a creamy Founders Porter for extra dessert bliss :)

Gramercy Tavern
42 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Beer Events!!!

November is always a big month for beer drinking.  Between Thanksgiving, the heart of football season and just the fact that it's dark at 5:00; these are all good reasons to settle into a nice frothy beverage.  Plus it's the month three of my favorite places have incredible events going on:

Blind Tiger- VSK

Tomorrow is Blind Tigers annual Very Special Keg where they ransack the cellar for some incredibly rare and tasty treats.  I've been coming to this bar for over 12 years now and can tell you that this is one hell of an event.  The list this year includes Cantillon Iris, Founders KBS, Hill Farmstead Anna and Firestone Walker Parabola just to name a few.   Plus there's always a surprise or two waiting in the wings.  Just beware if your not a big fan of crowds then you may want to sit this one out and come say hello to the wonderful Tiger family another day.  

One Mile House- 3rd Anniversary

It's hard for me to believe that One Mile House is only 3 years old.  I feel like I've been coming to this bar all my life!  They have great food, wonderful staff and always a fantastic beer list.  Thursday's line up includes Westbrook Mexican Cake,  Omnipollo Nebachunezzer and a whole slew of hard to find locals like Sixpoint Barrel Aged 3 Beans and Finback Barrel Aged BQE.  Come out and say congratulations to Gerard and the crew!

Hops Hill- Imperial Stout Night

It may be one of the newest craft beer bars in Brooklyn but this cozy place already has a steady following of loyal customers due to a great beer selection and knowledgeable bar staff.  The draft list for Imperial Stout night is still coming together but so far it's looking pretty phenomenal. If you needed an excuse to check this new place out here it is:

  • Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break Natale
  • Prairie Bomb
  • Prairie Christmas Bomb
  • Oskar Blues TenFidy
  • Two Roads Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
  • Evil Twin Doughnut Break
  • Captain Lawrence Frost Monster Imperial Stout
  • Off Color Dino'Smores
  • Barrier Morticia Russian Imperial Stout
Cheers to a beery November!