Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Taste Talks & The New York Coffee Festival

Summer's coming to a close which means shorter days, cooler temps and lots more food festivals! There's of course the New York City Food and Wine Festival in the middle of October followed by the incredible Star Chef's ICC.  And in just a few weeks caffeine and BBQ lovers have two great weekend events taking over the city Taste Talks and the NYC Coffee Festival.

Taste Talks will be held out in Brooklyn again this year with Chef Sean Brock curating the event.  It all kicks off with Mission Chinese Food's Low Country Boil followed by a Chicken & Waffles Brunch, the Future Food Expo, multiple tastings, workshops, panels and of course the All Star BBQ at East River State Park.  I still think about that spicy Boar Collar from Andy Richter of Pok Pok the inaugural year. The fest runs September 9th-11th and tickets can be purchased here.

The New York Coffee Festival returns taking over the 69th Regiment Armory again September 16th-18th.  Fest goers can expect over 70 exhibitors, many with brand new coffee products not yet seen anywhere else; Latte of Arts Live where some of the city's best baristas will be teaching the art of making beautiful lattes and the amazing Espresso Martini Bar which will provide a delicious range of coffee cocktails.  The full schedule of events is on their website and tickets can be purchased here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Momosan Ramen & Sake

Iron Chef Morimoto opened a ramen bar in midtown and because it's the incredible Morimoto this place is much more than just a noodle joint.  There's rich chunks of house made Peking Duck inside a crisp goyza shell with cucumber, hoisin and a sweet apricot chili sauce.

There's a satisfying Braised Pork Belly Bao served with a wedge of lettuce and a smear of mustard mayo...

...and one of the most incredible poke bowls I've had in NYC to date.  Thick cubes of soy marinated tuna tossed with nori and scallion atop a bed of fluffy white rice.  I seriously have dreams about this bowl.

And then of course there's Ramen available in small or large size with four different variations including spicy curry coconut and steamed Tokyo Chicken.  We got the standard Tonkotsu with thick strips of pork, mushroom and soft boiled egg all inside a silky, creamy broth.  

Everything about Momosan was fantastic.  I really enjoyed the fun decor, the service was great and I love that they offer ramen in two different sizes.  I usually struggle to finish a big bowl on my own (especially with all the delicious starters) so a smaller option is perfect. This place is amazing and people definitely know about it so go early or expect to put in a serious wait for a spot.

342 Lexington Avenue at 39th Street
New York, NY 10016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Return to Ed's Lobster Bar

Saturday night I had a shocking revelation. The summer was almost over and I had yet to enjoy a single lobster roll.  Mr. T and I were actually on our way to Parm for their incredible mozzarella sticks but as we walked past Ed's all thoughts of Italian food went out the door and seconds later we were sitting at the bar with cocktails in hand and lobster rolls on our plate.

Two top loading buns toasted on the grill with butter then stuffed with fresh claw meat, mayo and a sprinkle of herbs.  I was trying to be somewhat healthy with greens on the side but the long crispy french fries Mr. T got were a much better choice. 

Paired with a refreshing John Daly this meal couldn't get a better summer time vibe.

Ed's Lobster Bar
222 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Brunch at Bar Sardine

Sunday was another one of Mr. T's "couch days" which of course I just never enjoy.  The thought of sitting in one place all day just watching TV or playing videos games has absolutely zero appeal.  Apparently people find it relaxing; I think I would gouge my eyeballs out from boredom. So I set out on my own with Mr. T encouraging me to go do yoga somewhere and find my inner peace.  Obviously I did not go do yoga (I tried it once- not for me) but I did find my inner peace and an incredible burger at the cute little West Village spot Bar Sardine.

I came here about two years ago when this spot was known Chez Sardine and enjoyed a wonderful brunch of Baked Eggs with ricotta cheese. Since then the name has changed along with the menu to include fresh new items like Asparagus Primavera with fried egg and salsa verde, Grilled Cheese with eggplant-tomato tapenade and of course the Fedora Burger.

The patty's a blend of chuck and brisket topped with layer of smoked cheddar cheese, thinly sliced cucumbers, onions, fried potato sticks and BBQ mayo.  Now I'm not a huge cucumber or onion fan but I decided to go with the standard order and I'm happy I did.  Everything on this burger just worked together; the cooling cucumber, the smoky/sweet BBQ sauce and salty potato sticks that gave a satisfying crunch with each bite.

The sturdy grilled potato roll maintained all of the toppings and sauce without turning me or my plate into a soggy mess.  This burger was just fantastic; easily one of the best I've had this year and one of the most affordable as well at just $14 (fries are extra).

Delicious solo brunch for me, couch day for Mr. T; pretty perfect Sunday for the two of us :)

Bar Sardine
183 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Brew Friday- Union Square Greenmarket Edition

It's an absolutely gorgeous day to be in NYC.  The sun is shining, there's actually a cool breeze instead of the crazy humidity we've had all week and the Union Square Greenmarket is hosting its 2nd Summer Friday of the year with the Beer and Spirits of New York Pop Up.

All evening local brewers, distillers and cideries will be on hand giving out free samples of their beverages like From The Ground Brewery in Red Hook and Plan Bee Brewing in Poughkeepsie; possibly the nicest brewing couple in the business churning out refreshing honey Saisons and Wild Ales.

Aaron Burr and Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cidery...

...and my favorite local distiller Port Morris with their stunning Pitorro Coquito.  Every time I have this spirit I'm floored.  It's got those great coconut, vanilla and cinnamon flavors of a regular coquito but there's no work.  It's all right there in the bottle ready to go.

In addition to the free samples there are various food vendors on hand from the neighborhood, an entire wine/beer/cider garden and live music.  The great people of Grow NYC put this event on and really do an incredible job of promoting local farmers in our area.

So get outside and check out some great new brews this weekend- Cheers!

Union Square Greenmarket