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Showing posts from 2017

Taste Talks Takes Over Brooklyn!

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It was a great weekend to be a foodie in NYC as Taste Talks swept into Williamsburg for the 5th year. The 3 day conference kicked off Friday night with The Tastys at the gorgeous Weylin Theater. Over 25 awards were handed out with top honors going to folks like Greg Baxtrom from Olmstead for Best New Chef East, Kenji Lopez for The Food Lab and Alice Waters for Outstanding Chef overall.


There was also a great panel with Claus Meyer (co-founder of Noma) regarding his Brownsville Community Culinary Center which is really helping to change the landscape of that area.

Jeremy Oertel of Donna Cocktail Club and Natasha David of Nitecap were slinging incredible cocktails at the Awards After Party... 

...along with some of NYC's best food like meatballs from The Meatball Shop, Fried Chicken from Pies & Thighs and delicious Peanut Butter Crunch ice cream from Oddfellows.

Saturday was all about food knowledge with a series of seminars held at the William Vale and Whythe Hotels while the Futur…

It's a Great Poke Kind of Day

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I thought summer was over last week but then the sun came out this afternoon and it became the perfect day for a poke lunch from Gotham Poke at Madison Square Eats.


I always get the Spicy Big Eye Tuna bowl with a base of spring greens and white rice.  I love the spicy sliced jalapenos mixed with the crisp refreshing slices of radish.  Its colorful and delicious; just perfect for enjoying in the park on such a bright lovely day.

Gotham Poke at Madison Square Eats
5th Avenue between 25th & 26th Street
New York, NY 10010

New Brew Friday- Folksbier Brewing

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Today's New Brew Friday we're heading just a few blocks north of Other Half to check out Folksbier in Carroll Gardens.


This new little brewery is quite possibly the cutest little log cabin I've ever seen.  It's what I'll refer to as "Brooklyn Rustic" with an open window overlooking a garden out front with a view of brownstones in the distance.

Wood panels and picnic tables fill the long tasting room with gorgeous detailing of animals etched onto the tops of the bar stools.

The tasting room has a mix of ales, German style pilsners and some fruit forward Berliners on draft.   I tried out Recurring Dreams 6 & 7; both tasty Oat Pale Ales the first finished with Lemon Drop and Wakatu hops and the second with Citra & Mosaic.  

Folksbier has a small list of cheese and pretzels just perfect for enjoying alongside some fresh beers. We came here after a particularity crazy release at Other Half and the quiet rustic ambiance was exactly the kind of calming break…

Great Weekend Events

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The approaching Fall season always makes me think of three things-  food festivals, football and beer. And even though we still have a few weeks of summer left, there's some great events coming up this weekend to start the celebration.

All Star BBQ 2016
Taste Talks- This three day conference is coming back to Brooklyn for the 5th year in a row with a weekend full of tastings, food panels and awards curated by the great chefs Wylie Dufresne and Andrew Carmellini.   Friday night kicks off with the Tasty Awards at the Weylin Hotel where some of the biggest industry influencers like April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig), Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy) and Ken Oringer (Toro) will present awards in 30 different culinary categories.  
Saturday the symposium takes places with demos and tastings around sushi, wine and cocktails alongside the Future Food Expo which showcases everything new and exciting in food from around the world.  Sunday the fun continues with the awesome All Star Cookout where chefs p…

Return to Momosan

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Now that summer is officially winding down its time to tuck back into big warm bowls of ramen from the Iron Chef himself Morimoto! 



Momosan's Tonkotsu ramen is one of Mr. T's favorite bowl of noodles; studded with thick cuts of pork, soft poached egg and a spicy garlic broth.

When I'm having a noodle craving I want Momosan's Tantan;  a creamy blend of coconut curry, ground pork, red miso, aji tama and pork chasu.  It's got all that rich meaty goodness of a regular ramen but with a spicy, nutty kick that I absolutely adore. I'm already planning to enjoy the first snow fall of the season slurping down these noodles at their front window.

Of course there's no reason to wait that long for a meal at Momosan.  Soft Shell Crab Baos are currently on the menu and those certainly won't last until the winter months.
Momosan Ramen 342 Lexington Avenue between 39th & 40th Street New York, NY 10016

Cafe Sabarsky

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The family week continued after Upland with a stop at the Arlo Rooftop for a bottle of rose and then onto an itzakya dinner at Sake Bar Hagi before the Book of Mormon.  Monday we decided to uptown to my fathers favorite place in the city for lunch Cafe Sabarsky.  This gorgeous restaurant is styled after the great Viennese Cafes from the turn of the century.  In addition to hearty platters of Bavarian Sausage and Wiener Schnitzel, Sabaraky is the perfect spot to indulge in some wonderful desserts.


My father and I always get the same thing the beautiful Klimttorte, a chocolate and hazelnut layer cake studded with smooth chocolate ganache and a shiny gold leaf.  It's a rich, elegant dessert that pairs perfectly with one of their strong Viennese coffees.


My Mom always gets the classic Apple Strudel while my brother tried out the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, a light chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries.  I honestly don't think there's any dessert here that I wouldn't …

Brunch at Upland

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My family came in for a quick visit last week and we kicked things off with brunch at Stephen Starr's buzzy restuarnt Upland.   I always enjoy Stephen Starr restaurants.  Even his big spots like Buddakan and Morimoto, while somewhat over the top, always leave me feeling excited. They bring me back to the way I first felt when moving to NYC so many years ago. Upland has very similar characteristics. Although much more laid back than bumping Buddakan his crisp blue and white checkered linens and gorgeous dining room lined with peach filled vases makes an exciting, more refined NYC impression.


The brunch menu has a variety of egg dishes alongside pizzas, pastas and sandwiches.  I highly suggest the Quiche Lorraine, a smokey bacon and gruyere stuffed pie that was impossibly light.


Two Eggs served with a thick slice of grilled country bread, spicy pork sausage and buttery smashed potatoes.


Or for something a bit heartier the Porchetta & Egg Sandwich loaded with fresh arugula, guindill…

Everything Wonderful at Nur

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The block of East 20th Street between Park Avenue and Broadway has always been a favorite of mine.  The beautiful Gramercy Tavern has been there for ages and newer restaurants like Barbounia, Fusco and ever crowded Sugarfish have really made this block a culinary Disneyland. The newest restaurant to pop up on this street is Middle Eastern gem Nur.  A place so tiny its easy to miss just walking by but quite possibly the best restaurant on the entire block.
Nur was opened by Gadi Peleg of Breads Bakery and Israli star Chef Meir Andoni.  When I first saw the menu online I knew I absolutely had to come and try out one of my favorite dishes from our last London trip the Jerusalem Bagel.


This warm pretzel like roll was very similar to the one we had at The Barbary but with a fluffier texture studded with sesame seeds and served with a delicious za'atar and lima bean messbaha.  I love this bagel; it puts all other regular NYC bagels to shame with its cracly exterior and warm cloudlike inna…

Modern Indian Cuisine at Badshah

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The Hell's Kitchen restaurant scene grows bigger and better every day, most recently with the arrival of Badshah, a restaurant helmed by Babu Ji veteran Chef Charles Mani. The small space is bright and lively with an open window overlooking the hustle of 9th Avenue and a playful mustache mural on the back wall depicting the whimsical characteristic of Chef Charles himself.

The menu here is listed as Modern Indian cuisine but Chef Charles will tell you that's he prefers the term "inauthentic".  He learned the foundations of Indian cooking from his mother growing up in Chennai but has since furthered his academics with a culinary degree and is constantly tinkering with classic dishes and remaking them in his own "inauthentic" style.


The meal began with Gol Goppa, a traditional Indian road side dish of crispy semolina stuffed with chutney.  This bite sized snack was surprisingly beautiful with bright red and green chutneys hidden in in the center.  It was the pe…

&Pizza

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When &Pizza made its New York debut I honestly wasn't that excited.  I knew people in Washington D.C. were obsessed with this place but New York City already has tons of amazing pizza shops. How could this be any different?


Short answer- because it's all about variety. For just $10 you get a long, thin pie with any amount of toppings you want.  Meaning you can literally create a pie in hundreds of different ways.  They have a few specialty pizzas already to choose from but even those can be customized.  For this visit I chose half Gnarlic pie and half American Honey with extra mozzarella on both.

The Gnarlic side had garlic ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and grilled onions studded with a bright basil pesto; while the American Honey side toted a spicy tomato sauce base with pepperoni, arugula, red pepper flakes and goat cheese layered with some sweet hot honey.  

Both sides were delicious; I loved the thin crispy edges of the pie and the balance of strong garlic and spic…

New Brew Friday- De Heeren Van Liedekercke 20th Anniversary Blend

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It's New Brew Friday and time to crack open something wonderful, my favorite style of beer a delicious gueuze. Mr. T and I bought this bottle in Brussels back in February at De Heeren Van Liedekercke.  It was brewed by Brouwerij Lindemans, a blend of one and two year old Lindemans lambic with a two year old Girardin lambic, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of De Heeren restaurant.



Opening this beer was a bit frightening.  As I cracked the cap the cork shot straight up and pushed itself over halfway out before I was able to stop it.  I held it for a minute slowly letting the cork rise and thankfully the bottle didn't gush; just a puff of smoke and everything settled.

The aroma of this beer was big on barnyard funk; lots of hay, sour lemon and green apple.  The flavor was full on funkiness; tons of brett, wet hay, a bit of sour cherry with a tart acidic finish.  It was a great celebratory beer and the perfect start to the weekend. Cheers!

Lindemans
Lenneksebaan 1479
Vlezenbeek Belgi…

Superiority Burger

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When Superiority Burger opened two years ago all the hype and rave reviews were just too much for me.  As someone who is quite a serious meat eater (steak tartare is my favorite dish in life) I just assumed everyone was wrong and that all these vegetarians didn't really know what they were talking about.  I assumed it would taste like cardboard and I assumed I would hate it.  Well I assumed incorrectly.  I love this crazy little veggie burger!


No one seems to be quite sure exactly what its made out of but definitely got some nuts and grains, maybe mushroom; I'm not really sure what else but it doesn't really matter because you just need to know it tastes delicious!

The texture is a little bit mushier than normal burgers but pass by that small quibble and focus on the rich, salty flavors smothered in melted Munster cheese, lettuce, tomato and dill pickle.  

Not only are the burgers delicious but the sides are incredible as well.  Crispy brown potatoes doused with fiery hot sau…

Cookie Goodness at Besfren

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I have a new favorite cookie spot in NYC and it tastes every single bit as good as it looks- the Triple Chocolate Cookie from Korean bakery Besfren.


This enormous cookie doesn't just look incredible, it tastes amazing as well.  It's thick and soft in the middle, like it had just come out of the oven with crunchy brown edges around the rim and TONS of chocolate chips- the classic bittersweet chip, dark chocolate and milk chocolate squares.  The dough has a wonderful buttery brown sugar flavor that just pulls it all together.  I am absolutely in love with this cookie.  I honestly just wish it was a tad smaller because I have no will power and devour the entire thing.  

Besfren
315 5th Avenue at 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016



Catching Some Rays at Pier I

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Summer in the city means long leisurely afternoons at Pier I Cafe, soaking in the suns rays and catching a nice breeze off the waters edge.   


Located right off 70th Street at Riverside Park this casual cafe is a hidden oasis in the heart of the city.  It's quite similar to the Boat Basin but with more of a family friendly vibe.  There's lots of outdoor seating and a casual menu including burgers and hot dogs in addition to more upscale items like Blackened Salmon with corn & tomato salad and Grilled Skirt Steak.

I like to take a walk up here late on Friday afternoons for their delicious Cesar Salad topped with sheets of Parmesan cheese and creamy dressing.  Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and some sunshine, it's the perfect way to kick off the weekend.
Pier I Cafe
500 West 70th Street
New York, NY 10023