Friday, August 29, 2014

New Brew Friday- pseudoSue

Three day weekends deserve a beer of epic proportions and what's more epic than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! The pseudoSue from Toppling Goliath Brewing is named for the largest T-Rex fossil ever discovered and this mammoth American Pale Ale deserves the name.  The nose has big beautiful aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and mango with a gorgeous orange body that's so crystal clear I get goosebumps just looking at it.



The flavor is all tropical fruit with lots of juicy mango and a smooth creamy mouthfeel.  I can't think of a better way to usher in the long weekend. Cheers!

Toppling Goliath

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lunch at Paneantico

I rarely get out to Bayridge, Brooklyn; something that's a total mistake on my part.  I love the friendly neighborhood vibe, the gorgeous views of the Verazzanno Bridge and the incredible little bakeries and restaurants that line the streets.


One of these cute little places is Paneantico, a small cafe that serves up big Italian hero's, fresh baked pizzas and an absolutely amazing house salad.  This bowl is filled to the brim with lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant, red peppers and an entire ball of fresh mozzarella.


Everything is then doused with a homemade Balsamic dressing that is simply delicious.  You can order either small or a large...this happens to be the small you see above and I ended up taking about half with me home for dinner that night.


However I did save room for one of their delicious baked goods...a crisp chocolate cannoli filled with thick creme.  I could definitely get used to this Bayridge lifestyle.

Paneantico

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Korzo Haus

I never really thought a fried cheeseburger sounded very tasty until I stopped into Korzo Haus.



This tiny Slovakian cafe in the East Village is famous for this specialty...one beef patty, topped with cheese then encased in langos bread, fried and cut in half.  The result is a juicy, delicious burger with surprisingly no grease at all.  The bread kept everything evenly cooked and chock full of flavor.


The menu is tiny...a handful of toppings for the burgers (including a tasty beet ketchup), goulash and Halusky, basically a bowl of fried Spatzle.


It's quirky and fun, not a place for those on a diet but best enjoyed after a couple of beers.  Cheers!

Korzo Haus

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ranchero Scramble at The Smith

Two flour tortillas, scrambled eggs, salsa, cheddar cheese, beans and avocado on top...



...it's saucy and spicy, fantastic for a lazy Sunday morning brunch and the perfect complement to the best item on the menu...


...three crispy, salty slices of candied bacon!

The Smith

Friday, August 22, 2014

Francois Payard Bakery

My parents are visiting this weekend so I was scouting out some of my favorite dessert places near their hotel.  Of course scouting turned into eating as it usually does when pastries look this incredible.


This is the Dulce Creme Brulee Tart....a flaky almond shell filled with a thick dulce de leche ganache, fluffy vanilla bavarois and a handful of candied almonds on top.


This was the perfect combination of salty and sweet..that buttery tart just sealing the deal.  Extra Bonus Francois himself was in the back while I was there! A firm winner in the parent dessert tour.

Payard Patisserie

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vermont- Worthy Burger

We had time for just one pit stop on our drive back to NYC and I have to say we chose a pretty great one. Worthy Burger is a craft beer and burger bar right in South Royalton, Vermont. It's a casual set up...you order your food at the bar, take a number and they buzz you once your food is ready.  The small menu consists of six different burgers with various topping options like caramelized onions, bacon and fried green tomato.  The toppings sounded incredible but since this was my first experience at Worthy I wanted to try the burger in it's most natural state...medium rare with cheddar cheese and a side salad with cucumber ranch dressing.


I think I was stuck in salad mode from the delicious Crisphead I had eaten all week at Prohibition Pig.  The cumber dressing was awesome but I found myself wandering over to Mr. T's crispy, delicious french fries much more often that he wanted me too :)


The burgers are grilled on Vermont hardwood and arrive with lettuce and onion on a Worthy bun.  Everything about this burger is tall...I had trouble getting my hands around it but once I tasted the sweet smoky flavor of the meat I tossed the toppings and focused solely on that and the Cabot Cheddar cheese.


The beer list at Worthy was incredible.  Dave Brodrick aka the "Beer Dude" and founder of Blind Tiger oversees the menu. I was only sad we didn't have time to sample some more before heading out the door.


Great beers, good burger...this place might be a bit off the beaten path but certainly "worthy" of a return visit.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vermont- Warren Store, Hill Farmstead and Prohibition Pig

I mentioned that we've been busy lately and that didn't even include our trip to Vermont.  It's was Mr. T's birthday and the day started out at the crack of dawn with a trip to the Warren Store for breakfast.  Their bacon, egg and cheese was incredible...crisp, salty bacon on top of fresh Cabot cheddar cheese on a buttered English muffin...


...the Triple Chocolate Chip cookie was also amazing and when you get there early it's still nice and warm from the oven.


Then it was off to Hill Farmstead to pick up as much delicious beer as we could possibly fit in the car.


It was a gorgeous day outside so standing in line a few hours didn't seem bad at all.


But we were starving by the time we finished so we walked over to the little stand out front and ordered up some tacos.
                  

The pork ones were incredible and she really took her time making a tasty cilantro free version just for Mr. T.


Then we drove back into Waterbury and spent the rest of the day just lounging around town eating and drinking (the two things we do best).


Prohibition Pig was amazing....everything from the crispy Duck Fat Fries to the Chick'n Biscuits drizzled with raw honey was delicious...


...but our favorite dish was the Crisphead Salad topped with Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese and Mad River Valley Ranch dressing.


It was so good I went back the very next day and had it again!  We ended the night with a Vanilla Bread Pudding from Reservoir complete with a single candle for Mr. T.  I'd say it was a pretty great birthday.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Brunch at Buvette

I felt like I'd hit a wall last week.  The last three months have been filled with so many trips, visitors and all around craziness Mr. T and I haven't had a day to just be alone and relax a little.  So when Saturday rolled around we planned a total break day...nothing to do, no one to see...it was glorious!  We slept in super late ( I could have slept for days), walked down to Washington Square Park and lounged in the sun for a while then stopped into one of my favorite little French bistros for brunch- Buvette.



We sat in the tiny back garden and sipped on Mimosas made with fresh squeezed orange juice...


...then dove into a plate of fluffy, buttery scrambled eggs topped with pecorino and prosciutto...my favorite breakfast combination of all time.
  

... and a plate of thick buttery waffles wrapped around crisp bacon, melted gruyere and a sunny side egg...the ultimate breakfast sandwich!  It was delicious and serene...the perfect way to get a  little recharge.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sour Cherry Sundae at Gramercy Tavern

In an effort to cure the Monday blues I head for something sweet.  Usually a Lindor truffle will do but for those really tough Mondays I head to the bar at Gramercy Tavern.



Three scoops of creamy Sour Cherry Ice Cream, sour creme whip, loads of real sour cherries on the bottom and hot fudge with a sprinkle of salt on top.  Those Monday blues seem light years away...

Gramercy Tavern


Friday, August 8, 2014

New Brew Friday- Resurgence Brewing

Buffalo has jumped into the beer boom as other cities have; where once there was only Flying Bison and Pearl Street, two new breweries have emerged that are just awesome.  First it was Community Brew Works, NY's first Nanobrewery and now just across the street sits Resurgence, a sprawling brewery located inside an old warehouse with large brewing tanks on one side and a beer garden on the other.  The space features an indoor bar complete with picnic tables, TV's and giant sized Jenga...



...and a beautiful outdoor garden for sipping beers in the sun or playing Bocce.  They have nine rotating beers on tap and a tasty Sangria for non beer drinkers.  I loved checking out some of the Buffalo themed brews like Sponge Candy Stout and Loganberry Wit although the crisp, piney IPA was the favorite.



Resurgence offers a handful of food options including charcuterie from Martin Cooks and Gramma Moras burritos.  These guys are keeping it local and it seems like their doing it right...the place was packed on a Saturday afternoon.  Cheers to the newest addition to the Buffalo beer scene.

Resurgence Brewing

Community Brew Works

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Buffalo- Martin Cooks

Martin Cooks opened last year inside Horsefeathers market to rave reviews.  The main draw is dinner where they offer a 5-7 course prix fix menu every night.  What's so great about the dinner?  Well it changes weekly so you never know what wonderful creation will come out next and everything is prepared in the open kitchen so diners at one of the 16 bars seats can sit and watch "Martin" as he "Cooks".  

Unfortunately 16 bar seats means reservations are tough and they were booked solid on my last trip.  We stopped in for brunch instead, offered a la carte, to check out the space and get a little taste of Martin's cooking.



Steak & Eggs arrived as a hoagie stuffed with slices of juicy meat and melted cheddar on a soft sourdough roll.



"Simply Delicious Pasta" was just that...tomatoes, garlic and basil tossed with a little oil and ribbons of pecorino on top.



Both of those were wonderful but the absolute stand out was the Greek Turkey Burger...a hefty patty layered with hummus, spinach, melted provolone and a cherry pepper aioli.  It was just bursting with flavor- definitely a must order if it's on the menu.



I absolutely loved the clean industrial feel of the room and long winding bar.  Not to mention a small but well appointed beer and wine menu including New England Brewing Ghandi Bot.



This is just an exciting little restaurant, one I happily look forward to dining at again on my next trip.

Martin Cooks

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Niagra on the Lake- Ravine Winery

Located just across the Canadian border sits Niagara on the Lake; a picturesque little town filled with all sorts of quaint shops, gorgeous parks and surrounded by a ton of wineries, one of which is Ravine Vineyard. This 34 acre winery also houses a gorgeous organic restaurant overlooking the hillside. The menu changes daily based on fresh ingredients from neighboring farms and their own certified organic garden.  Last visit began with an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Prosciutto...


...followed by a toothsome Hand-cut Penne with Smoked Ham Hock...


...and a Margarita Pizza from their wood fired oven.


It was only lunchtime but any meal with my family is an excuse for dessert so we ordered all three! Pistachio White Chocolate Cake with berry compote and whipped creme fraiche...


...Pecan Financiers with milk chocolate mousse and apricot curd...


...and a Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta.


Everything was phenomenal from start to finish; the pasta being the standout dish for it's surprisingly deep smokey flavor. 


Ravine offers tours and tastings in it's shop next door or you can just head outside after lunch for a free tasting under the beautiful blue skies of Canada.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dinner at Elm Street Bakery

I was so excited to hear my favorite breakfast stop back home just started serving dinner.  Elm Street is well known for rolling out some incredible baked goods but food straight from their wood burning oven was on a whole new level.



Burrata sprinkled with salt and pepper then drizzled with a bit of olive oil.


It was creamy and delicious as burrata should be but almost a bit upstaged by the bread.  This was some of the best I've ever had...thick and nutty with the perfect chew.  It must have come fresh from the oven just moments before.  


Preserved Swordfish Belly Tartine used that same incredible bread as a base this time layered with delicate slices of watermelon radish, capers and anchovy aioli.


Even more delicious bread arrived for our next course...a fatty Bone Marrow and bacon marmalade.  Everything just tasted so flavorful and clean.  Their commitment to fresh, local ingredients shined through in each dish including the finale...dessert!


A jar of Strawberry Rhubarb pie with toasted marshmallow and a glass of Java Head stout.  I can't think of a better way to end a meal.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Brew Friday- Torst

It's Friday and the first day of August which means Summer time is running out!  Time to get in all those last fun summertime moments.  Oh wait it looks like rain again...okay let's just go hole up at Torst instead :)



Our last visit we shared two Evil Twin beers a Lil'B and Imperial Biscotti Break.  Both are the same American Porters but the Biscotti has vanilla, almonds and espresso added to the base beer to give it a slighter sweeter flavor.  This place never gets old. The tap list is always changing, the staff are incredible and the food....that Daniel Burns is no joke.  

Torst