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Showing posts from February, 2014

The End of NYC Craft Beer Week

There's still three days left before NYC Beer Week officially ends for the 2014 season so try to get in a few more around town if possible.  Here's a few last pick's:

Other Half Raises the Bar at the Jeffrey- One of NYC's newest breweries is taking over some of the taps with favorites like Green Diamonds, Motueka Pale Ale and Doug Cascadian.  I'm especially excited to see their new Hop Showers on the list which is supposed to be fantastic.Split Thy Skull at Mugs Ale House-  The name says it all...don't come to this event unless your ready to settle in and drink some heavy hitters as every beer on the list is at least 8% or higher.  I'd suggest trying out the Evil Twin Biscotti Break Natale for a creamy, roasted porter with the sweetness of cherry and chocolate.Back to the Future at Fourth Avenue Pub- I'm pretty excited about every beer on this list but the Ithaca Brut 2011 and Peekskill "The Aristocrats" is the reason I'll be showing up rig…

Quality Italian

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My friend was in town for a quick visit and asked if we could meet for "a massive steak near the Carnegie Club".  Talk about the easiest food request ever!  I had been dying to try out a full meal at Quality Italian, the sister restaurant of Quality Meats, and the location was perfect.  So after a quick check on Opentable we found ourselves at the restaurant dining on huge Stone Crab Claws and drinking wine in preparation for our meat-fest. 



The Bistecca Fiorentina Porterhouse for two completely fit the bill as being "massive".  It arrived to the table sizzling slightly with a nice buttery shine on top and a crispy char on the edges.  The meat was well marbled and cooked perfect...not exactly up to par with Luger's but certainly not far away either.

The Bone-In Filet Mignon was also surprisingly "massive".  I can usually finish a filet with ease but I got about halfway through and had to hand it over to the men....although that didn't stop me from e…

ROYCE Coconut Baton Cookies

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There's not much better in life than ROYCE's signature NAMA chocolates, but their incredible Baton Cookies come in a very close second place.



There are two flavors to choose from hazelnut or coconut, with each cookie individually wrapped inside the box. 



I've been on an insane coconut rage lately so naturally I chose those.  One side a thin crispy coconut cookie, the other a smooth side of creamy chocolate.



Together an incredible delight perfect for just about any occasion...nibbling alongside a morning espresso, a quick afternoon pick me up or my personal favorite late at night alongside a big creamy stout (Bourbon County if possible).  It's like a little slice of heaven:)

ROYCE

Vinitaly International/Slow Wine 2014

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It was all about Italy inside the Metropolitan Pavilion during the annual Vinitaly International/ Slow Wine 2014.


The main room was filled with the best in Italian wine but first I was off to the Prosecco Wine School for a class on sparkling wine and food pairings.


I was so surprised when I walked into the room and saw Lou from Di Palo's down in Little Italy.  This guy knows a thing or two about meats and cheese so it was fun to see him out from behind the regular store counter and hear some of his thoughts on food pairing.

Then it was onto the floor for the walk around tasting where I saw quite a few of my old favorites being poured...


...and found a brand new favorite Papale made from 100% Primitivo Grapes.


The color of this wine was absolutely gorgeous; ruby red with a strong aroma of cherries, tobacco and licorice with a soft flavor of berries and quite possibly the most incredible mouthfeel I've ever experienced in a wine..thick on the tongue but silky and smooth.


Another surp…

Sushi Dojo

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In a city filled to the brim with sushi joints it can be hard to stand out, but this tiny little space in the East Village just shines with a funky atmosphere, extensive sake list and fantastic sushi.  Here's a run down of our $45 omakase directly from Chef David.   


White Snapper

Striped Jack

Golden Eye Snapper with rock salt and lemon

Amaebi (sweet shrimp)

Botan Ebi

Fried Head of Botan Ebi

Needle Fish

Horse Mackerel

Lean Tuna

Fatty Tuna

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Happy Friday- Welcome NYC Beer Week

It's the opening night of NYC Beer Week and even if you didn't buy tickets to the opening bash at Grand Central Station there are still a TON of fantastic events you should consider checking out this week.  Here's a few I'm excited for:

Stone Brewing Cask Ale Fest at The Jeffrey- Smoked Porter with Espresso and American Oak and Ruination with Lemon Peel and Amarillo are just two of the fourteen unique and delicious beers the Stone Brewing team has put together for the event.CASKALOT at 508 Gastrobrewery- Head Brewer Chris Cuzme brings together some of the best in the NYC craft beer scene like Sixpoint, Kelso and Birreria for a celebration of cask conditioned ales.Cigar City at The Blind Tiger- Rum Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov- BOOM!Maine Beer Co Takes the Taps at The Jeffrey- Lunch, Peeper, Mean Old Tom.  They're all great and they should all be making an appearance.Those are just a few of the fantastic events going on around town so go out and get yourself some great…

Maysville

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A serious craving for southern food was the perfect excuse for brunch at Maysville Saturday morning.  The big windows up front were perfect for watching the snow as we perused the menu.  Everything sounded delicious...



...Quiche with kale, squash and ricotta and Thick Cut Brioche with collard greens and gravy were big contenders, but in the end the plain old Biscuit Sandwich with soft scrambled eggs won.



Loaded with a mound of tender vinegar braised pork the sandwich was really quite tasty, although the eggs were a far cry from being "soft."   The fluffy biscuit soaked up all the braising juices after just a few bites making this definitely a knife and fork kind of sandwich.  



The simply dressed salad was a nice accompaniment to the meat, although I much preferred the mini cornbread muffin they gave us.  It was buttery and crisp on top, dotted with sliced apples inside and just perfect for slathering with one of my favorite things in the world...apple butter!

There's just so…

Restaurant Week at Cafe Boulud

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There is one place I must visit every restaurant week and that's Cafe Boulud.  The setting is absolutely gorgeous, I feel like I'm tucked away inside an elegant French townhouse when I'm there, the service is flawless and the food is of course amazing.  We began this visit with a Fried Truffle Risotto amuse bouche.


Then moved onto our appetizers the first a Duck Terrine with whole grain mustard, pickled vegetables and toasted sourdough.

The second a Wild  Mushroom & Barley Soup with extra virgin olive oil and italian parsley.

Of course the duck was fabulous.  Boulud is a genius when it comes to working with slabs of animal fat.  It was the soup actually surprised me... much lighter than I expected with a wonderful earthy flavor, reminiscent of a soup my grandmother used to make every Christmas.   

For entrees Christine enjoyed the hearty Pot-au-Feu while I devoured a wonderful Pan Seared Trout with winter bean fricassee, black olives and lemon zest.

Then it was time for the…

A Serious Salad at Philosophe

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Did you ever have a salad that completely blew your mind!  Ummmm....yeah...your probably saying no and already moving on to check out some other food blog but before you do I beg you to listen.  This is seriously one of the most rocking salads I've had in a long time.


Le Philosophe starts with a base of shredded kale, tosses the greens with toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted squash and slices of pickled chili before slapping on a few slabs of thick, crunchy bacon and a perfectly fried egg on top.


This had everything going for it...fantastic textures, an array of flavors...spicy, smokey, sweet.  I've honestly never had a salad that was so satisfying and crazy delicious.  I walked out of Philosophe feeling like I won the lottery.  When is the last time you can say a salad did that?

Le Philosophe


Classic Burger at Joe Junior

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I love so many things about my neighborhood...my coffee shop FIKA, the fresh produce at Eataly and just a little further east my favorite diner in the world Joe Juniors.  This place is always filled to the brim with local characters and the food is simple and delicious.  When I'm craving a tasty burger with no frills this is the place to go.  



A thick smashed patty which is slightly salted with a nice char, melted american cheese, classic potato bun and sides of a dill pickle and crisp golden fries.  This is comfort food at its finest.

Joe Juniors

New Brew Friday- Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

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Today's New Brew Friday comes to you from Funky Buddha Brewing in Florida.  With beers like Lemon Meringue Berliner, Rice Krispies Ale and Carrot Cake Wheat it's tough not to be a little intrigued in their offerings.  So when I had a chance to sample a bottle of the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter I was incredibly excited.


The beer pours a dark brown, almost black with a HUGE coffee aroma and just a little bit of foam lacing the glass. The mouthfeel is incredibly silky smooth and the flavor is absolutely nuts!  Smokey and sweet playing integral roles but somehow it's perfectly balanced.  I'm pretty sure I would drink this beer every day if I had the chance...with a big stack of chocolate chip pancakes preferably:)  Cheers!

Funky Buddha Brewery

Mini Cupcakes at Molly's

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It's a disaster outside...the only reason to brave this weather is for something sweet like a trio of delicious cupcakes from Molly's in the West Village.



The Boston Creme is just gorgeous with curled white chocolate on top and a thick pastry creme filling while the Flourless Chocolate Cake comes stocked with a thick  of fudge...

...but the Coconut Macadamia Nut was my favorite of three.  Thick coconut mousse, salted buttercream frosting and macadamia streusal on top...

...don't worry these are mini!  Three is just the perfect amount :)  
Molly's Cupcakes

A Little Bite at Casa Mono

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I don't spend nearly enough time at my little corner Spanish spot off of Gramercy Park.  The open kitchen and gorgeous bottles of wine are so inviting...the briny bowl of olives swimming in oil don't hurt either.



Casa Mono serves all small plates...perfect for sharing a few bites with friends but also an excellent choice for a solo quick meal.  I stopped in one evening for a bite of Quail and Cockscomb with black garlic and wild mushrooms.



The quail was cooked perfect with strong elements of both sweet and savory from the abundance of black garlic coating the bird and an assortment of mushrooms of all shapes and sizes.  I chatted with the chef as he prepared through the open kitchen..one of the perks of dining at the bar.  Plus I just found out they will be participating in Restaurant Week this year!  What a perfect excuse to enjoy this neighborhood staple all over again.               

Casa Mono

Triomphe

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Tucked away inside the Iroquois Hotel sits Triomphe, a cozy french restaurant right in the middle of the theater district.  When I first entered the dining room I felt like I had been let it on a secret.  It was small and intimate with white linen draping the tables and jazzy french music playing overhead.  There was an air of casual elegance perfect for a special get together with friends/family or a romantic night out.  Unfortunately the lighting was so low my pictures came out terrible, so I had to borrow some courtesy of the Triomphe website which you'll see below.  Onto the food!  To begin the"Harlequin" Soup, black truffle, cauliflower, hubbard squash.



This dish was really a work of art...smooth creamy cauliflower soup swirled into a thick puree of squash all topped off with a shaving of black truffle.  It was warm and comforting but also light enough that I didn't feel weighed down as I do with many cream based soup.  My companion ordered the Marinated Bison Ca…