Showing posts from 2017

New Brew Friday- Double Dry Hopped Congress Street

It's New Brew Friday and if your in NYC you know it's been absolutely brutal outside this week.  I honestly thought my face might melt right off yesterday walking home from work. These 90 degree days are just too much for this lady so tonight it's all about rocking the AC and cracking open a couple of these awesome IPA's from Trillium.

Regular Congress Street has always been my favorite beer from Trillium.  It's made with Galaxy hops which are loaded with bright tropical flavors.  The double dry hopping of this beer just means its much bigger with a thick milky body and tons of juicy peach and mango aroma.  The flavor follows suit with more mango, peach and pine and a smooth creamy finish that reminds me of a creamsicle.  It's just perfect for this hazy hot weather we are having- cheers to the weekend!

Trillium Brewing
369 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

Western New York- Brunch at Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche is one of the newest restaurants to pop up  on Buffalo Street in Hamburg.  This little strip is becoming quite the food & drink hub with hot spots like Grange Community Kitchen and Hamm & Fatty's Beer Co. now dotting the street.  Along with new restaurants comes new ideas like BRUNCH! Years ago Buffalo was completely devoid of a brunch scene.  Coming from NYC the pure absence of mimosas and Eggs Benedict in the morning was just shocking.  Luckily this new generation of spots understands the importance of this mid-day meal and Carte Blanche definitely understands the importance of morning after carbo loading with this incredible Toast & Jam Spread.

Popovers and freshly baked bread served with a trio of whipped butter, bright raspberry jam and a buttery caramel sauce for those morning sweet tooth moments.

These popovers were excellent; crusty on the outside with a warm, eggy interior perfect for slathering with all those delicious spreads.

Chicken and Waffles …

Western New York- Lunch at Daniel's

I've always wanted to dine at Daniel's Restaurant.  It's won accolades for "Best Restaurant" and "Most Romantic" spot in Western New York for years but somehow it just never felt like the right time.  I was either busy with family on our sporadic visits or worried about asking friends to join in on a pricey tasting menu.  But recently Daniel's went through a little revamp adding on a beautiful outdoor patio, creating new weekly events like Martini & Oyster Mondays and opening up for lunch every Friday with a special, much more wallet friendly menu from 12:00-2:00.

We stopped in right around 1:00 PM and were able to get a table on the relaxing new patio outside without a wait.  A delicious bottle of Prosecco to begin and a few salads to share.  The Summer Special, a bright spinach salad topped with grilled watermelon, manchego cheese, marcona almonds and zesty vodka pepper gazpacho dressing.

And the classic Daniel's Salad with tomato tartare, …

Mace Bar

I've never noticed this sleek little cocktail bar on Avenue C and 9th Street.  Maybe I'm always distracted by the festive folks outside Esperanto or too busy gazing at the plants in the park across the street, but this is certainly not a place to overlook.  In fact it just might be the best cocktail bar in the city.

Barman Nico de Soto has created a cocktail list that focuses on the flavor profile of the drink rather than the spirit. The menu reads like a beautiful journey into someones spice cabinet with colorful pictures and detailed descriptions of each offering.

I'm obsessed with anything banana and coconut based so the Kewra was an easy choice.  However as soon as the words were out of my mouth I had immediate order regret.  It was such a hot day the last thing I wanted was a rich milky tiki drink.

Imagine my surprise when this arrived.  I almost thought the bartender had given me straight bourbon; but once I took a whiff the sweet aroma of bananas and vanilla came rushi…

Louis Sherry Chocolates

One of my favorite moments from the Summer Fancy Food Show came at the Louis Sherry Booth, where my eyes lit up at these gorgeous pastel colored tins filled with chocolate.  I had seen these tins before growing up.  I'm not quite sure exactly where, but they immediately brought back a feeling of love and nostalgia.

Turns out Louis Sherry opened in NYC back in 1881 at 662 Sixth Avenue.  His elegant tins became an instant success during that era as did his restaurants and the name became synonymous with the elite social gatherings in NYC.   Today the Sherry Netherland Hotel pays tribute to the Sherry name and his delicious chocolates in flavors like Jamaican Rum, Coffee Costa D'Oro and Pistachio Di Bronte continue to be sold around the city.  

I love the Sherry story and it's quite possible I found one of these tins at my grandparents house growing up- they are absolutely beautiful.  This is a fantastic gift for that special occasion and a wonderful remembrance of old New York…

The Office

One of the most anticipated new bars in NYC, The Office from Chicago's Alinea group, officially opened its doors Friday night and we just happened to score one of the last reservations.  Located at the top of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The Office took over the space that used to be MoBar while the attached Lobby Lounge is currently undergoing construction for the full service restaurant The Aviary.  For now the entrance to The Office is at a door to the right but according to Eater NY the future plan is for guests to enter through The Aviary, be escorted through the kitchen and then enter the bar in true speakeasy fashion from the back.  

The room is decorated with deep brown couches, soft lights illuminating pieces of artwork and a collection of antique office items like an old fashioned typewriter and thick stacks of leather bound books.  The bar currently has a small list of drinks specializing in Chartreuse and "Dusty Bottle Cocktails" created with vintage liquors a…

Ten Years of NYC Tastes at The Bar Bill

When I started this blog so many many years ago my very first post was about this tiny restaurant in East Aurora, NY the Bar Bill.  My photos were absolutely terrible; the camera on my then flip phone had about one pixel, but my love for the incredible food at this spot was real.  So here's an update on this classic Western New York Spot on the 10th anniversary of NYC Tastes.

People always argue over the best wings in Buffalo.  The contenders range from the birthplace of the wing The Anchor Bar, to Obama favorite Duff's but most people I know (at least those that I care to hang out with :) all agree the best place for wings is the Bar Bill.   

They make all kinds of flavors from Honey Dijon and Tereyaki to Zesty Honey Pepper and Cajun but the best are always the Medium Style Buffalo Wing and the delicious Honey Butter BBQ.

These wings are plump and juicy with crisp outer edges and a sweet buttery sauce that leans heavy on the spice for Buffalo style.  Steer clear of anything more…

New Brew Friday- Hudson Valley Moon Roof

It's New Brew Friday, the last day of June and I have a four day weekend coming up.  This is a serious time to celebrate with some local suds the Moon Roof from Hudson Valley Brewery.

This hazy orange DIPA has been double dry hopped with Citra, Azacca and Idaho 7 hops giving it strong hints of melon on the nose with big flavors of melon, sweet mango and ripe pineapple with a bright juicy finish.  These guys brew up in Beacon, New York and have been taking over the taps in almost every bar I visited the last two weeks. Really great local brews perfect for this long holiday weekend.  Cheers!
Hudson Valley Brewery 2 Churchill Street Beacon, NY 12508

Summer Fancy Food Show 2017

Each June the Specialty Food Association kicks off their annual Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center; three days filled with a staggering amount of the latest and greatest in the food and beverage industry.  This year was the biggest event yet with over 180,000 different specialty food products on the floor.

Obviously with that many items I wasn't able to taste everything but I certainly did try (my body is still recovering).  Here are some of my favorites from the show and some food trends to look forward to in 2017.

Healthy beverages continued to dominate the show with hundreds of specialty coconut waters, vegetable driven energy drinks and things like Oxigen Water which contains 100 x's more oxygen than regular water by using highly stabilized O4 molecules. It promises increased stamina, higher mental clarity and improved endurance.  I honestly drank this most of the festival and really did feel energized.

Apple Cider Vinegar and ginger were two ingredients that a…

Back to Barbounia

Ahhhhh my neighborhood happy hour spot Barbounia.  I love absolutely everything about this gorgeous Mediterranean restaurant.  The long sleek marble bar, the festive music overheard and of course the cocktails

I'm a little obsessed with the Basilka made with pressed basil, pear and St. Germain.

I also love their small plates like spicy feta with jalapenos and lightly fried rings of calamari.

Every food order comes with their incredible fresh baked rosemary bread that's perfect for sharing.  Happy Hour runs from 3:00-7:00 PM seven days a week with deals on wine, cocktails and champagne.
Barbounia 250 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10003

New Brew Friday- Aslin/Stillwater Recess

It's New Brew Friday and time for a collaboration beer from two great breweries on the east coast Stillwater Artisanal in Maryland and Aslin Brewing in Virginia- Recess.  

This beer pours a gorgeous deep pink color with tight little bubbles that cling to the sides and bottom of the glass.  The aroma is big fresh raspberries with a tart creamy raspberry flavor balanced with a hint of lime.  This beer is dry, sour and incredibly refreshing.  Perfect for crushing during this summer heat- Cheers to the weekend!

Aslin Beer Company
257 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA 20170

Cookie DŌ

Ahhh New York City food crazes... There was the year of the Cronut, the year of the cupcake, the year of the rainbow bagel.  Now it seems like the year of cookie dough has arrive and that's thanks to this tiny new spot DŌ.

My childhood favorite cookie dough right from the bowl now available in multiple flavors and safe.  No more fear of salmonella!   DO offers all sorts of great flavors like Brownie Batter and Oatmeal M&M, Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle and Fluffernutter but I like the classics- one scoop of chocolate chip and a dollop of Sugar Cookie sans topping. 
The line stretches across the street and can last up to two hours on sunny days so stop in at open (right around 11:00 am) for a quick bite or be prepared to wait.  
Cookie DŌ 550 LaGuardia Place New York, NY 10012

Brunching at The Smith

I always get a little stressed out when I'm asked to pick a spot to eat near the Lincoln Center.  There are a lot of great places in that area for sure but I find so many of them to be overpriced and geared towards the tourist crowd.  Luckily the Smith opened its doors a few years ago and although it is also overpriced in my opinion it is easily the best brunch spot in the area that consistently cranks out delicious food with excellent service.

Hot Potato Chips layered with a blue cheese fondue and blue cheese crumbles... 

...a decadent Breakfast Pot Pie stuffed with sweet sausage, bacon, eggs and cremini mushrooms encased in a fluffy cheddar biscuit...  

...and the Simple Scramble with home fries and crispy smoked bacon.  Not exactly a healthy meal but certainly a satisfying start to the weekend.

The Smith
1900 Broadway at 66th Street
New York, NY 10023

Rainy Days at Radiance Tea House

Saturday was such a cold, wet mess the only thing Mr. T and I felt like doing was curling up with a big bowl of matcha at Radiance Tea House.

I used to frequent the Midtown West location quite a bit but this was my first time at the East Side restaurant.  The space was a bit smaller and more sparsely decorated but the tea and food list was just as extensive as always.

After some soothing sips of tea and biscuits an order of Szechuan style wontons arrived.

I am absolutely OBSESSED with these dumplings lately.  Ever since Yaso Tangbao took wontons off their menu I have this insane fear deep down that they will be erased from menus everywhere and can't stop eating them.  The radiance dumplings were much firmer than most with big chunks of fresh white meat chicken sprinkled with green onion and cilantro.

Mr. T added on an order of Golden Crispy Oversized prawns and these were seriously the biggest shrimp I've ever seen; easily four to five times the size of a regular shrimp with a del…