Tag Archives: Restaurants

What I’ve been Up To

Restaurants:

Butter: Celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a gorgeous dining space and her restaurant week menu was very impressive and delicious.  I peeked into the kitchen and saw Ashley from Top Chef Season 6.  We asked the waiter if she could come out and say hi.  (I told him I was a famous food blogger.)  Apparently she was too slammed in the kitchen so we were denied.  Funny that the kitchen was slammed because she didn’t look busy when I peeked in earlier, and our dessert took so long to come out that the waiter gave us a free glass of wine.

Ciano: After my Meatball Madness event I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Shae Gallante’s new place, the name taken from one of my favorite wine’s Montepulciano. I became friendly with the Sous Chef Tyler who I’ll always remember re-instated a famous lesson to me (in reference to plating the meatballs) Fingers were meant for burning. Ciano was amazing, rich Italian food with a dining room designed by Vogue.  Tyler also gave us a tour of the upstairs private dining area and wine tasting room.  Reminded me of how the Lion restaurant has these secrete little private dining room spaces.  Of course try the meatball appetizer but don’t get the Tiramisu.  The pastry chef isn’t Italian.  Go for the Pistachio Cake with cherries, butternut squash and farmer’s cheese gelato.

James: A seriously delayed attempt at me getting to Brooklyn.  Named after the owner’s grandfather this charming little spot was participating in Brooklyn’s restaurant week.  I know a place is good when I’m desperately torn between the pre-fix and ordering off the regular menu.   But the spinach and escarole soup with garlic chips and ricotta mousse was a fine first course followed by a roast pork loin with mushroom fennel stuffing and a been stew.

 

Talks:

Is Local Agriculture Good for the Environment: The Hidden Costs of Food in New York City at the Museum of the City of NY

First of all I hate getting up to this place, dam you upper east side.  You have to walk through this seedy neighborhood on 106th street until you finally see Central Park in the distance.  Anyway, the lecture was packed.  The panel included:

Gabrielle Langholtz, editor of Edible Manhattan, and moderator

Peter Hoffman, chef and owner of Savoy

James E. McWilliams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (Little, Brown, 2009)

David Owen, author of Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability (Riverhead, 2009);

Jennifer Small, owner and farmer from Flying Pigs

The main point was the debate between using more land to raise better product and feed fewer people, or use less land (factories) to produce more food of a lesser, cheaper quality.   Moderator Gabrielle Langholtz, to me is a trusted news source of publishing and advertising wholesome and sustainable food.  Edible Magazine,  is a place I go for advice on trying to live locally and greener.  With all her might she tried to get hard answers out of the panel.  What do we do?  What is the answer?  All seemed to say, ‘It’s a complicated question’ and I’m not sure we really got anywhere.  There were a lot of environmental terms that got thrown around that went over my head.  But I did relate to Peter Hoffman when he said, (paraphrased) I can buy the local trout from Brooklyn, but it won’t taste as good as the salmon I could get shipped from Alaska.  But ya know what, I have a good relationship with that salmon fisherman, he comes from a long line of responsible fisherman and while the carbon footprint might be greater, I’m getting a better product with a responsible undertone.

It seemed on more than one occasion the answer was to eat more vegetables.  The pig farmer even chimed in and said after years of raising pigs she has found herself eating less meat.  Mostly because she savors it more.  And on a little tangent, there was an episode of the Fabulous Beekman Boys where they slaughtered two pigs.  It was obvious that they developed a personal relationship with Porky and Bess and have more respect for the meat and meals provided by them.  

Hopefully one of these days I’ll finish Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and move on to James McWilliam’s Just Food as there were multiple questions from the audience that seemed to be easily answered by reading a passage from the book.

Personally, I go half and half.  I look for cage-free eggs, but in these cold winter months I’ll buy produce from Mexico.  I support local farmers not only for the mission but for their entrepreneurial spirit.  I’m looking into joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and maybe buying some meat from the farmers market this summer.

 

An Evening With Amanda Hesser

Amanda Hesser was a food writer for the NY Times and has now started a new food blog called Food52. She is most noted for a piece she wrote where she bashed the food of Emeril.  Somehow I’m not surprised.  She’s been working hard at Food52 which is a place for people to share recipes.  The best community recipes are tested, awarded and then eventually made into a cookbook.  The first book was recently published The Essential New York Times Cookbook. I was able to get some answers out of her as an aspiring food writer.  She said the best writing samples to submit is your own original work.  Which would be my blog.  Also, she recommended reading material that is outside of your category to help you become a better writer.       


Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I’ve always been fond of pigs

Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows that I have a thing for pigs.  It mostly started with my adoration for Miss Piggy from the Muppets and then later grew into a general favoritism towards the animal.  For awhile back in 6th grade I protested by not eating any kind of pig whatsoever.  But in the case of the Red Wattle Pig, the only way to keep them breeding is to eat them!  Last night I went to Almond restaurant and ordered the Red Wattle Pork Chop Adobo with charred tomatillo-avocado relish.  DELICIOUS.  Definitely the best pork chop I’ve EVER eaten.  The waiter mentioned how this type of pig isn’t very popular on American menus because it has a lot of marbelization.

Their meat is deep red and interlaced with rich veins of fat. When cooked the fat liquefies, imbuing the meat with moisture and a complex broth that seems perfectly balanced to appeal to every carnivorous neuron that still pulses in our primitive brain centers. To eat properly roasted red wattle pork unadorned by spices and condiments is to partake of one of the greatest and purest culinary delights. (taken from Greenfire Farm’s website)

Up until the early 1970s they were thought to be extinct until a small herd was found in Texas.  These guys are heritage animals which refers to lines of farm animals unchanged by genetic modification. The pigs are raised in a “humane” way. They aren’t raised in confinement or given growth hormones or stimulants.

So the lesson here is save the pigs by eating them!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Haiti Dine Out Night

One of the great things about NY chefs is there continuous outpouring of generosity, not only to local food charities but to global causes.  Owner Philippe Massoud of ilili, in the Flatiron district declared January 24 Haiti Dine Out Night in NYC. Ten percent of sales will go to as-yet-undecided Haiti relief charities. Plus, they’re asking servers to give 5 percent of their tips from that night.

Here is a link from Grub Street, but a recent news report said there are already 37 restuaronts on the list.

Hearth and Boqueria are great choices and I’ve been meaning to check out Knife + Fork.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Great Food, Good Hearts

City Harvest has posted their 2010 Edition of Great Food, Good Hearts, a guide to New York’s most generous restaurants.  One of the great things about food culture in New York is that sucessful chef’s and restauronteours are so generous to those in need.

Download the full list here: http://www.cityharvest.org/restaurant-guide/Picture 1

Some of my personal favorites on the list:

Hearth – 403 East 12th St.  Great ambiance and focus on season, and locally sourced ingredients.

Scarpetta– 355 West 14th St.  Based on previous posts one can gather my slight obsession with this place.  A portion of the famous spaghetti dish goes to charity!

The Stanton Social– 99 Stanton St.  Creative menu with a great ambiance.  Awesome for sharing and big groups.

Rickshaw Dumpling Bar– 61 West 23rd St.  A neighborhood favorite, Anita Lo took a great product and adapted it to modern face-paced living.  And the truck is fun to follow on Twitter!

Tabla – 11 Madison Ave.  Solid Indian food (even my plane jane mother loves this place!) with awesome service and ambiance.

Dawat Haute Cusine of India – 201 East 58th St.  Another Indian classic.  Some Indian friends took me here and I was widly impressed!

Hudson Cafeteria – 356 West 58th St. I also feel so NY posh when I go into the Hudson Hotel.  And this restaurant has great food and the open kitchen pit makes for great entertainment.

Honorable Mentions that are on my hit-list:

Aldea – 31 West 17th St.  Has been getting great reviews and Mediterranean flavors sound great!

Annisa– Anita Lo is an awesome chef and contributor to the community.  Would love to patron her place!

Blue Hill– 75 Washington Place.  One day when the gods of reservations work in my favor!

Dirt Candy – 430 East 9th St.  Such an interesting concept on modern vegetarian, and always on the food blogs

The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St.  Joey Campanaro is another great contributor to the community.  Would love to stop in for the famous meatball sliders!

Locanda Verde – 377 Greenwhich St.  Right up there with Blue Hill and the gods of reservations.

Market Table – 54 Carmine St.  I met Mikey Price at the New York Wine and Food Festival Chef’s panel.  I real believer in educating kids about healthy eating.  My kinda guy!

Any of the Momofuku’s

Spice Market – 403 West 13th St.  I can’t believe I haven’t made it there yet!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized