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R BlockSexy Sazerac

Celebrate Mardi Gras With The Official Cocktail Of New Orleans (Not a Hurricane)

“The two Sazeracs had loosened her up a little and it looked as if we might become buddies.” —James L. Rubel, No Business for a Lady, (Gold Medal Books, 1950).

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R BlockYardbird: Bringing the South to South Beach

When someone brings up “The South,” it’s a safe bet they won’t mention Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.  While it’s true that geographically speaking, Florida is the most Southern state in the Continental U.S. and Miami the most Southern metropolitan city, South Beach is more likely to conjure up cultural associations with places like NYC or LA.  Yet, this is where you will find one of the country’s most successful new restaurants that has taken Southern cuisine to task. Read more »

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R BlockIn Search of the Holy Grail (of Beer)

Everyone in Europe seems to have an opinion when it comes to beer. On a recent Saturday night, I found myself at a pub in Rotterdam. The conversation at my table drifted from Oscar picks to Dutch politics before hitting a lull. To offset the momentary silence, I mentioned Belgian brews. Egor, a Dutch-Irishman sitting across from me, piped up: “Do you know about Trappist beers?” Read more »

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R BlockBitter Beauties

No, not a room full of your exes – bitters are Weapon X of many a bartender, and the unsung hero of many a classic cocktail. “Think of bitters as the spice rack behind the bar,” says Joe Fee, co-owner of the four-generations-old bitters producer Fee Brothers.

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R BlockPerfectly Pimm’s

Unlike the Serve and Volley This Wimbledon Favorite Has a Secret Recipe

The Pimm’s Cup gets its name from Pimm’s No. 1 – a gin based, tea colored liqueur (though some maintain it’s a bitter) that is the base for this classic summer cocktail. Read more »

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R BlockInnovations in Grazing

They say that this is the way people shop for gourmet foods in Europe—by snacking and sipping while shopping in large, compartmentalized stores—but will it work in the United States? Looks like it. Roughly five years in the making, both Eataly—Mario Batali’s much-ballyhooed emporium next to Madison Square Park—and Todd English Food Hall—a collection of restaurants in the basement of the Plaza Hotel— remain as popular as ever. Read more »

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R BlockThe Old Bay State

Whether they’re blue claw crabs off the shores of Long Island or Dungeness crabs from the West Coast, crabs are a delicious and excellent food for summer.  While restaurants ship these tasty crustaceans in from a variety of locales, the best crabs are (arguably) from Maryland. Read more »

d-east-deck-night-into-state-room

 

Departure looks like something a teenage Tony Stark might have drawn in his spiral notebook while daydreaming in history class. Indeed, this elegant restaurant and lounge high atop the LEED-certified Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, Ore. is as sleekly engineered as Iron Man’s suit. Read more »

lantern

 

The farm-to-table concept is more than just a passing fad; rather, it’s a movement here for the long haul.  While some restaurants are in their infancy in terms of creating farm-to-table business models, perhaps starting with a few menu items that feature local foods or a installing compost bins, others are far ahead of the curve. Read more »

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R BlockCask On Tap

America Is in the Midst of a Slow Beer Revolution

 

For much of the 20th century, American beer was weak and watery. By the mid-1970s, mass consolidation and industrialization of American beer made local and regional brews almost unheard of. Today, America is in the midst of a craft beer renaissance. Read more »

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R Block(Sur)endipitous

If you’re spending a getaway on the cliffs of Big Sur, watching the sunset as you enjoy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, chances are you’re probably thinking you’ve done pretty well for yourself. And if, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking that nothing could be better than this, we’d have to tell you – you’re wrong. Read more »

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R BlockIPA – The Real King of Beers

Despite Budweiser’s snarky/defensive commercial during the Super Bowl, craft beer continues to enjoy a rennaisiance of sorts that does not seem to be waning anytime soon. Even Eric Asimov, in a New York Times article waxed poetic about the James Beard Award winning restaurant Eleven Madison Park and their, wait for it, beer menu? Yup, 130 selections that they will pair with any food. Read more »

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R BlockThe Art of BBQ

If you have a relative who lives below the Mason-Dixon Line, at some point, they’ve probably preached the gospel of “good barbecue” at you. Down south, it’s, unquestionably, serious business and less a way to kill a lazy Sunday evening than an art form. Read more »

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R BlockGin Is In

It may have been invented by a 17th century Dutchman, but today there is no more an oh-so-Anglo spirit than gin. With its unmistakable notes and bouquet of juniper, gin, as one of the “five clears,” makes way into just about every mixed drink in a bartender’s repertoire. Read more »

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R BlockBest Places To Watch a Game in NYC

5 Classy Sports Bars to Catch a Game in New York City

New York is never short of professional sports team to watch on TV, with more professional sports teams (Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, Nets) than any other city. Add to that major golf and tennis tournaments, College Football, College Basketball, World Cup soccer, The Olympics, boxing and virtually any other sporting event with a Neilson rating above 1 and you’ll likely find it at any decent New York City sports bar.      Read more »

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R BlockCold Comfort

Cold, dark winter weather that persists for months on end leads many to seek warmth in food; the kind of satisfaction that comes from ingesting lots of calories under the pretense that there are still months left before your weekends will be spent on beaches, pretending you know how to surf. Read more »

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R BlockWhiskies A Go-Go

What a difference an “e” makes. In 2008, New York Times writer Eric Asimov set off thunderbolts when he did up an otherwise non-confrontational whiskey review. His most dire of offenses? He used the American spelling of the spirit: w-h-i-s-k-e-y. And nothing gets a thistle up a Scotman’s kilt like that “e.” Read more »

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R BlockRaine’s Law Room

The “Mad Men” craze sparked the return of a number of retro trends. Bartenders are finally pouring proper cocktails and women’s sheaths and pencil skirts are returning to store shelves. But no homage to the good old days is complete without the speakeasy and New York City has one of the country’s chicest versions. Read more »

 

Belles and beaus are readying their bells and bows for the premier event of the South: the Kentucky Derby. And amid the horses and hoop skirts, that oh-so-Southern cocktail, the mint julep itself, is poised to make its annual gallop through the world consciousness. Read more »

 

From caviar to quail, eggs have long been a staple in the diets of cultures throughout the world. This adaptable protein, with its versatile cooked textures, finds limitless ways of featuring in breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert. With so many ways to serve and enjoy eggs, they hold a place in many famous dishes – as the main event or a tasty, delicate accompaniment. In the restaurants of New York, eggs have certainly hatched the creativity of the city’s top chefs, and, with Easter fast-approaching, ‘tis the season to enjoy them. Here’s a list of some of the most unique and best egg dishes in NYC:

 

Soft-cooked Hen Egg With Caviar, Onion Soubise and Potato

At Momofuku Ko, enjoy Korean chef David Chang’s renowned soft-cooked egg with caviar, a signature dish borne from a lifetime of inspirations and influences. For this plate, Chang cooks the egg for precisely 5 minutes and 10 seconds. After much experimentation, this is his conclusion for the exact amount of time needed to bring a slow-cooked egg to perfection.

 

Momofuku soft-cooked hen egg with caviar

 

Momofuku Ko

163 First Ave. 
New York, N.Y. 10003

 

Shakshuka

The menu at Miriam, a top spot for brunch in Park Slope, offers plenty of memorable egg-centric options; the Shakshuka, however, is a standout. This traditional Israeli egg dish, believed to have Algerian and Tunisian origins, is comprised of two poached eggs in tomato pepper sauce with a side of hummus & pita.

 

Shakshuka at Miriam

 

Miriam

79 Fifth Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215

(718) 622-2250

 

Oeufs Paradou

Paradou, located in Manhattan’s trendy meatpacking district, offers a delicious take on Eggs Benedict: Oeufs Paradou, comprised of poached eggs, smoked salmon, sautéed spinach and hollandaise sauce. In the rear of the restaurant, sit outdoors in the garden area and enjoy this dish with unlimited champagne for the perfect spring time brunch.

(Added bonus: Paradou also offers Shakshuka as well!)

 

Oefs Paradou at Paradou

 

Paradou

8 Little West 12th St.

New York, N.Y. 10014

(212) 463-8345

 

Deviled Eggs

A typical summer staple, this dish is delicious year-round at The Spotted Pig. Buttery, with a touch of dijon mustard zing and a dab of chile flake spice, these deviled eggs are hailed by some to be the best in the city. Plus, this spot aims to use local ingredients, so you can be guaranteed that you’re supporting regional farmers as you chow down on their produce.

 

Deviled Eggs at The Spotted Pig

 

The Spotted Pig

314 West 11th St.

New York, N.Y. 10014

(212) 620-0393

 

Deconstructed Eggs Benedict

If you love eggs but also adore inventive food, come here for the ultimate creative culinary experience and a dash of eccentricity with your meal. At this LES restaurant, Chef Wylie Dufresne’s dishes are manifestations of “molecular gastronomy,” a movement in food and technology. His deconstructed Eggs Benedict – a neat arrangement of bacon squares, toast cubes and deep-fried-hollandaise – might be the tidiest looking version you’ve ever seen, but it certainly does not lack flavor.

 

Deconstructed Eggs Benedict wd-50

 

wd-50

50 Clinton St.
New York, NY 10002

(212) 477-2900

 

Forget the too-sweet daiquiris, piña coladas and cuba libres that you associate with a certain type of beach vacation. Dominican export Brugal makes dry, sophisticated rums that deserve a lighter touch – and a second look.

 

Brugal was founded in 1888 by Andrés Brugal Montaner, and the family remains heavily involved to this day, with the company’s chairman and most of its board members being comprised of descendants of Don Andrés. The brand grew through the 20th century, and, thanks to distribution in the United States, Canada and Europe, Brugal is currently a major Caribbean export.

 

For an experience that is indeed miles away from the traditional (for better or worse) rum cocktail, I recommend Brugal 1888. Named for the year the company started, this dry spirit (new for 2012) is aged in wood casks for a distinctive flavor. Rum-o-philes recommend drinking this one as you would a whisky or Scotch: Neat or on the rocks so that its delicate flavors can unfold on the palate. Most well-stocked bars have a good bottle of single malt but how many have a good bottle of rum? We’re adding this to our list for out-of-the-box bar gift.

 

For a refreshing summer drink, on or off the beach, few quaffs beat the minty mojito. We made ours using Brugal Blanco Especial and their proprietary recipe (see below). Rather than soda, the recipe calls for ginger ale, not a bad idea at all considering the natural rapport of rum and ginger in a Dark & Stormy. Too balance out the extra sweetness from the ginger ale we recommend only one tablespoon of simple syrup as opposed to the standard two – and you can easily forego the simple syrup all together if you wish. 

 

Gin has its stalwart supporters, whisky its devoted diehards – even tequila has an outspoken contingent. We think it’s time to take another look at rum. As far as we’re concerned, any spirit that counted serious drinkers like Hemingway among its fans can’t be written off that easily. Here are a few cocktail recipes designed to change your opinion of the sugar-cane derived drink:

 

Brugal Mojito

 

1 ½ oz. Brugal Blanco Especial Rum

8 to 10 Fresh Mint Leaves

Half a Lime

1 Tbsp. Simple Syrup

Ginger Ale

 

Using a muddler or spoon, crush mint leaves and squeeze lime in a tall glass. Cover with simple syrup and fill glass with ice. Add rum. Fill glass with ginger ale. Mix all ingredients. Garnish with mint.

 

Hemingway Daiquiri

 

2 oz. Brugal Blanco Especial Rum

¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

½ oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

½ oz. Maraschino liqueur

 

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with lime. 

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R BlockA Green Light for Red Farm

“Rustic barn” and “Chinese food” may not be two things you’d normally put together, but at Red Farm, creative Chinese fare combines with country barn-like interior design to create a unique and cozy dining experience. Newly opened in the lower West Village, owners Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeldin have incorporated the “farm-to-table” trend into their cuisine as well. Read more »

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R BlockABC Kitchen: Gourmet Green Dining

The French painter Paul Cezanne once wrote that, “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”

His pronouncement has proved prescient, if not necessarily in the way he predicted. The first shots of the food revolution in the United States were, arguably, fired by Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, who raised the banner on behalf of local, organic and sustainable cuisine. Read more »