A Little Bite of D.C.Dining

The last two months of my life has been absolutely insane.  So insane that I never even got around to talking about my quick trip to D.C.where we ordered just about everything on the brunch menu at Kyirisan beginning with their amazing pastry platter.

Doughnuts Holes glazed with red miso, strawberry and Bavarian creme alongside flaky croissants, buttery biscuits and two wondrous pastry delights; the Molly's Pocket, a chocolate and coconut caramel glazed square stuffed with cream cheese and and the Vanilla Custard Bao; a delightful spin on that doughy dim sum staple topped with a crackly creme bruele glaze and stuffed with creamy vanilla bean custard. 

Continuing on with the sweet portion of the meal with a stack of thick, fluffy Blueberry Pancakes topped with a huge square of delicious Yuzu Butter...

...before moving into more savory brunch dishes like this towering Panko Crusted Chicken Sandwich with cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles and avocado all topped with a truffle aioli on a b…

New Brew Friday- Fifth Hammer Brewing

It's New Brew Friday and today we're checking out the brand new Fifth Hammer Brewing in Long Island City, Queens.  This enormous spot opened by former Gun Hill and 508 Gastorbrewer Chris Cuzme boasts 15 barrels and a huge tap room filled with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs perfect for lounging on a weekend afternoon.

We tried out quite a few of their selections and our two favorites were the bright sour berliner weisse Cherry Giggle Gaggle and the crisp hoppy pale ale Tasty Feelings.  In addition to the awesome glassware all of the tap handles are made from actual hammers which makes for a fun unique atmosphere.  This area of LIC is becoming its own little beer hub with other great spots like LIC Beer Project and Transmitter just blocks away.  Cheers to New Brew Friday!
Fifth Hammer Brewing 10-28 46th Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101

Brunching at Markt

Cold windy Saturdays are the perfect excuse to stay under the covers an extra hour or two, lounge around all morning in PJ's and finally ease into a delicious neighborhood brunch.  Markt was actually my favorite restaurant when we moved to NYC about 15 years ago.  Back then it was located in the Meatpacking District and was one of the few places in the city to get a good Belgium beer.  

Of course now Belgium beer is everywhere and the new location on 6th Avenue, while not quite as fancy, has still got a great vibe and a fantastic menu for any time of day.  My Eggs Benedict was absolutely on point; a perfectly poached egg drizzled with Hollandaise sauce on top of crispy Canadian Bacon and a side of sliced potatoes.

Mr T couldn't resist one of the freshly baked croissants; flaky and buttery with the perfect amount of chew and sidled by butter, jam and Nutella.

I couldn't resist adding on a bright springy Juniper Splash with gin, prosecco and blueberry shrub to my meal.  Even wi…

StarChefs Congress Day III

The StarChefs Congress closed out this year with a festive celebration entitled Bad Hombres y Mujeres.  Which was a really incredible array of some bad ass chefs cooking some of my favorite food in the world- tacos! 

Luis Acre Mota & Rigo Cervantes from LES spot La Contenta were grilling up some delicious octopus tacos alongside a gorgeous and refreshing hibiscus cocktail.

Top Chefs contender Katsuji Tanabe from Mexikosher on the Upper East Side was doling out some creamy Corn Esquites layered with cheese and paprika...

..while Chef Jake Rojas of Tallulah's Taqueria in Providence, Rhode Island cooked up my favorite dish of the day Tacos de Lengua con salsa fesca (Beef Tongue Tacos).

The meat in this taco was incredible.  So rich and tender; held together by a perfect corn tortilla and a douse of fresh lime juice with hot sauce.  I honestly haven't had a Beef Tongue dish of any sort in years and this was a fresh reminder to never shy away from such a flavorful meat.

Chef Erik Ra…

StarChefs Cocktail Congress

Monday night the StarChefs Congress turned into an incredible cocktail party with mixologists from all over the country shaking up fabulous drinks.  

I kicked off the night with a bit of bubbly from Jacob Tschetter of Grand Army in Cobble Hill.  His Strawberry Champagne Mojito was a beautiful and refreshing start to the evening. 

Kevin Denton, former bar director of WD-50 and current mixologist for Pernod Ricard created a bright green Emerald City with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Gitana Fino en rama Sherry, apple juice, honey and  the ever popular matcha.
Easily the most creative drink of the night came from A-K Hada of Please Don't Tell in the East Village.  Her Peking Duck cocktail managed to bring the savoriness of this classic Chinese dish from dinner plate to shaker glass.

Mixologist Jeremy Oertel from Brooklyn favorite Donna went tropical with a creamy pineapple Brancolada of rum, Branca Menta and coconut cream.

Yeal Vengroff of The Spare Room in Los Angeles continued the fruit forwa…

StarChefs Congress Day II

Day Two of StarChefs kicked off with the amazing Somm Slam, easily one of the best events of the congress where top sommeliers battle it out in a head to head wine and food pairing challenge.  The competition inside the circle was fierce but outside things were heating up as well at Eat@ICC featuring the theme All in The Family. 

Chef Jose Mendin of the Pubbelly Group cooked up a comforting Mofongo Ramen studded with fried chicken and sofrito with a rich Kikkoman soy-cured egg...

...while local Chef Christopher Rendall of Flinders Lane created a homey coconut curry broth with thai basil, laksa and chunks of Glacier 51 Toothfish. 

Italian family comfort was found in Nona's Meatballs from Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton at the Hillside Supper Club...

...while Chef Kwame Williams of Vital Dining went back to his Jamaican roots with a crispy Cod Cake served with ackee, stewed peppers and cassava dumplings.

One of my favorite bites of the day were the Braised Pheasant Leg Hand Pie from Che…

StarChefs Congress- Day I

StarChefs kicked off it's 12th Annual Congress Sunday at the Brooklyn Expo Center with a star studded line up of chef's slinging some incredible eats.  My first bite of the day was from local boy Chef Jeff McInnis of Root & Bone in the East Village with a decadent Pork Belly Biscuit drizzled with Nespresso Whiskey Maple Syrup.

The theme for the Congress this year was "Cook Your Culture" encouraging chefs to cook using the flavors and techniques that define them as individuals.  This could be seen in every facet of the conference from the giant Roasted Skull Island Prawns with Calabrian chiles... the toothsome udon noodles and fried garlic in the Pork Belly Ramen from Chef Jeffrey Hansell of Ox lot 9 in New Orleans.  These Chefs were all cooking straight from the heart.

American Food Carts was the theme for Sunday's Eat@ICC and what's more American than the hot dog.

Chef Greg Laketek brought the Chicago heat with a classic Chicago Style Dog layered with …