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July 2008 Archives - Restaurant Girl: Best Food Blog & Restaurant Guide
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Public's Yuzu Cheesecake

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By pastry chef Ellen Mirsky(Serves 6) For the yuzu cheesecake: 1/2 lbs soft cream cheese 1 tbs  yuzu ½  tsp vanilla 2 ¼  oz sugar  2 oz crème fraiche 3 oz heavy cream 1 3/4 sheets gelatin (bloomed) Directions: 1. In a mixer (such as Kitchen Aid), whisk the cream cheese, yuzu, vanilla, sugar, and crème fraiche together till it is soft and creamy.2. In another mixer bowl, whisk the heavy cream to soft peak and place the bowl in the  refrigerator till ready to use.3. Place a small pot of water on a high flame and bring to a boil. Put the gelatin in a small bowl, reduce the heat to a simmer and place the bowl on top of the heat. Stir constantly till the gelatin dissolves.4. Slowly temper the gelatin into the cream mixture. 5. Fold...

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New York’s Finest French Fries

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 in Best Of

Pommes Frites 123 2nd Avenue Btwn.  7th Street and St Mark’s Place (212) 674-1234 http://www.pommesfrites.ws/  Piled in paper cones, these twice-fried potatoes serve as the foundation for twenty-five different sauces, ranging from Vietnamese Pineapple Mayo to Irish Curry.  Leave your calorie counter at the door and indulge in the frites with poutine. Topped with Canadian-cured cheddar and doused in rich chicken gravy, it requires a fork and a brave soul to down an order in one sitting. Rare Bar & Grill 303 Lexington Avenue Btwn. 37th & 38th  Streets (212) 481-1999 www.rarebarandgrill.com Though this Murray Hill restaurant is better known for its burgers and steaks, take advantage of their $10 basket of fries with dipping sauces. Shoestring fries come in a crispy tangle, alongside thick and round cottage fries (with the skin on of course,) but it’s the pencil-thin...

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24 Prince's Pork Brine

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Chef Nikki Cascone of 24 Prince/Top Chef Chicago(For 4 chops or small loins) “Now that the warmer weather is upon us and grilling can become a regular routine in our menu options, here are some easy tips for success.  I love grilling pork; the flavor and texture from the grill only accentuates its sweet flavors.  Using lean and organic cuts can be very healthful as well. There are great pork farmers that can be easily accessed at places like Whole Foods and these days most local supermarkets stock them, as well. I recommend Berkshire Farms, one of my favorites.  I always prepare my pork in a quick brine so that the meat, especially the leaner cuts, stay moist and keep the flavor when cooking. As there is very little fat, the meat can get dry otherwise.  Here is...

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Q & A with Jerome Chang

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Chocolate molten cake with sea salt and pistachios and vanilla crème brulee made with Madagascar vanilla beans may sound like avant-garde desserts served in an upscale restaurant, but both sell for five dollars out of a truck parked on St. Mark’s Place. The DessertTruck is the brainchild of former Le Cirque pastry sous chef, Jerome Chang, who graduated from The French Culinary Institute.   Chang creates restaurant-style sweets that have earned the attention of publications, like Food & Wine as well as the New York Times.  With summer in full swing, Jerome helps customers cool off with a chilled milk chocolate and peanut butter mousse topped with caramel popcorn as well as a more unusual concoction of coconut tapioca with pineapple, cilantro “pearls,” and mojito granita.   Single/married/divorced? I am in a committed relationship with a beautiful chocolatier. What did...

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Forge

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 in Reviews

134 Reade St., between Hudson & Greenwich Aves. (212) 941-9401 Tue.-Sun., 5 p.m.-11 p.m. CUISINE Modern American VIBE Wintry Tribeca haunt OCCASION Casual date; group dinner DON’T MISS DISH Kampachi tartare; fettuccine “carbonara” PRICE Appetizers, $12-$18; entrees, $26-$34; dessert, $9-$11 RESERVATIONS Recommended Larry Forgione is often called the “godfather of American cooking.” His restaurant in St. Louis, An American Place, is a tribute to our country’s rich culinary history, a place where home-cooking standards like mac and cheese go to get refurbished. For Marc Forgione, Larry’s 29-year-old son, that’s a tough act to follow. But after working beside his father for a couple of years, he has opened an American place of his own, Forge, in Tribeca. The windows have been flung open onto the overheated streets. Customers have come in a summery mood, wearing sundresses and sandals. And...

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NYC's Best Breakfast Treats

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 in Best Of

Doughnut Plant 379 Grand Street Btwn. Essex and Grand St. (212) 505-3700 The “Blackout” doughnut is a tasting experience that I liken to a chocolate-induced state of Nirvana.  Imagine an exceedingly rich chocolate doughnut oozing with smooth chocolate pudding.  It’s not only in a chocolate crumb-spackled glaze.  It’s devious and messy, but completely worth the sugar rush. Russ and Daughters 179 East Houston Street Btwn. 2nd Ave. and Chrystie Street (212) 475-4880 This classic Lower East Side shop has been serving smoked fish and other Kosher specialties for several decades, nearly perfecting the bagel sandwich in the process.  Our favorite combination is lox with the caviar cream cheese.  This lush cream cheese with bursts of black caviar plays the perfect complement to the lox. Buon Pane Union Square Greenmarket, nr. the corner of 15th St. Every Monday at the...

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Scarpetta's Summertime Soft Shell Crab with Pea Puree

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Chef & Owner Scott Conant Ingredients: 2 cups extra virgin olive oil 1 shallot, thinly sliced lengthwise Kosher salt 1 cup frozen peas 1 to 1 1/4 cups chicken broth 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for a garnish 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for a garnish 2 slices bacon, preferably thick cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick lardons 1 cup very thinly sliced asparagus (from about 10 asparagus) 1 cup very thinly sliced green beans (from about 25 green beans)  1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion (from 2 large or 3 medium shallots) 1/2 cup finely diced carrot (from about 1 medium carrot) 1 cup flour 1 tablespoon paprika, Freshly ground black pepper About 2 cups soy oil or peanut oil for pan frying 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned Preparation:Make a pea puree: In a...

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Collapsible Rolling Musicooler

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 in Gizmo Girl

This handy summer gadget is a mobile beach party.  The Collapsible Rolling Musicooler has its own portable radio, CD player and plugs to hook up your own MP3 player and can hold 54 twelve ounce cans to boot. Don’t you just hate it when your speakers get covered in sand?  Finally an excuse to spend hours making your next playlist… Collapsible Rolling Musicooler Care to share your favorite kitchen gizmo? Email...

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Q & A with Jacques Torres

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Jacques Torres doesn’t just love chocolate, he lives it.  Beginning his career at France’s Hotel Negresco, Jacques has traveled the world to perfect his craft, a chocolate passion that has led to numerous cookbooks, television shows, and the coveted title of top pastry chef for France’s prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier competition.  Despite all of his experience, Jacques has only increased his desire for learning and discovery, incorporating fresh and seasonal flavors into a line of innovative chocolates that is straight out of Willy Wonka.  At any of his three New York locations, customers can cool down this summer with a smooth, dark iced chocolate, huge chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, or the “Love Bug,” a white chocolate truffle with a key lime center. Single/married/divorced? Married for less than a year. What did you want to be when you grew up?...

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Hamptons feast! Best new restaurants on the East End

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 in Best Of, Reviews

  Going to the Hamptons used to mean grilling at home. One good reason was local produce, local fish and local meats. But it was also nearly impossible to get a reservation at the best restaurants in the area. Now everything’s changed. Suddenly there are a lot of restaurants worth leaving home for. Some of them will become fixtures (with impossible reservations) before long. These restaurants share a real pride in what Long Island grows – fresh sweet corn from the farm stand just down the street, flounder straight from the dock, rosé from a neighboring vineyard, sweet strawberries hiding under their leaves in a nearby field. For young chefs here, it’s a perfect opportunity. There’s a captive audience of diners who are accustomed to eating in the best restaurants in Manhattan and around the world. Read more: Classic...

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Restaurant Girl's fave Hamptons spots

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 in Best Of, Reviews

  The classic lobster roll is what’s for lunch at Lunch, off the Montauk Highway. BABETTE’S Marvelous breakfast. Get the whole grain pancakes. 66 Newton Lane, East Hampton, (631) 329-5377 BLUE DUCK BAKERY & CAFE French baguettes and sunflower bread. 30 Hampton Road, Southampton, (631) 204-1701 BRIDGEHAMPTON CANDY KITCHEN Old-school soda fountain with great milk shakes, malts and lime rickeys. Main St., Bridgehampton, (631) 537-9885 DURYEA LOBSTER DECK Best barefoot outdoor dining on clams and lobsters. 65 Tuthill Road, Montauk, (631) 668-2410 DAVE’S BAR & GRILL Locals want to keep the wonderfully fresh fish here all to themselves. 468 West Lake Drive, (631) 668-9190 GOSMAN’S Chefs buy their seafood here. Enough said. 500 West Lake Drive, Montauk, (631) 668-5645 LUNCH A dynamite lobster roll. 1980 Montauk Highway on Napeague, (631) 267-3740 ROUND SWAMP FARM Fantastic fresh-baked blueberry and strawberry...

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Classic Hamptons restaurants that are still going strong

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 in Best Of, Reviews

Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton remains the top table in town. DELLA FEMINA As much about the guests as its fine American cooking. Cuisine: Modern American. Don’t-miss dish: Maine Day halibut with local asparagus; Strawberry shortcake. 99 North Main St., East Hampton, (631) 329-6666 EAST HAMPTON POINT A terrific view of the harbor matched by a terrific raw bar. Cuisine: New American. Don’t-miss dish: Gazpacho oyster shooters; milk chocolate Ovaltine semifreddo. 295 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, (631) 329-2800 FRESNO A romantic garden with excellent wine list. Cuisine: American. Don’t-miss dish: Calamari with coriander-chipotle aioli; grilled pork chop. 8 Fresno Place, East Hampton, (631) 324-8700 LA PARMIGIANA Families flock to this Southampton spot for its pastas and pizzas. Cuisine: Casual Italian. Don’t-miss dish: Spaghetti with frutta di mare; baked lasagna. 48 Hampton Road, Southampton, (631) 283-8030 MIRKO’S...

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Miranda

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 in Reviews

Miranda offers a marriage of Mexican and Italian food.   A block north of Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, old women sit in lawn chairs along the sidewalk, fanning themselves with the crossword puzzle. Kids play catch in the middle of the street. A cyclist stops to high-five a friend through the large open window of a restaurant. It’s a new spot, open only since December, but already it seems to belong to the old neighborhood. It’s called Miranda. Inside, the tables are set with dishtowel napkins and grandmother china. Most nights, the co-owner, Mauricio Miranda, greets you at the door. And if he’s not there to greet you, you might want to come back another night. That’s how much difference his presence makes. The other co-owner is Miranda’s fiancée, Sasha Rodriguez, who is the chef. She and Miranda met...

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Hundred Acres is not even a ghost of its old self

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 in Reviews

‘Hundred Acres’   Imagine a restaurant on a quaint, tree-lined street. Nearby, a few lonely restaurants attract just enough attention to survive. But this one is haunted – haunted by the ghosts of restaurants past. Perhaps you’ve eaten in a place like this, where yesterday seems as vivid as the present. You go to the door you’ve always gone to, only to find it’s moved 40 feet north. A young female hostess greets you, and yet you can’t help expecting to see the gruff, French maitre d’ who stood at a different door for 20 years. A grandfather clock – junked long ago – stands stubbornly in the corner sounding the stroke of midnight. And the newly gray walls suddenly fade to dingy green. You open the menu and it’s a palimpsest – traces of the old menu visible...

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Gizmo Girl’s Chill and Grill Outdoor Kit

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Gizmo Girl

Nothing says 4th of July weekend like a big bbq on the beach.  The Chill and Grill Outdoor Kit just might be Gizmo Girl’s favorite gizmo – it combines functionality with its built-in grill as well as convenience with its adjoined cooler.  And with a strap like a tote bag, hauling the goods never seemed so easy.  Have a happy 4th of July and a mean BBQ. Chill and Grill Outdoor Kit Care to share your favorite kitchen gizmo? Email...

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Gizmo Girl’s Grill Tray

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Gizmo Girl

This week’s gizmo takes full advantage of our summer grilling possibilities: the Grill Tray conducts and retains heat from your charcoals, allowing for your cheeses to melt on your nacho chips and chicken fajitas to reach that perfect char.  Made from aluminum alloy, this gizmo even comes with a little family history – they’re handmade at a Pennsylvania family’s foundry dating back to 1892.  Now that’s what we call an heirloom. Grill Tray Care to share your favorite kitchen gizmo? Email...

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Gizmo Girl’s Professional Multi-Chopper

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Gizmo Girl

Forget knife skills – the Professional Multi-Chopper can chop your way through any onion, cucumber, tomato and potato.  With three different pushers and four interchangeable stainless-steel blades, the chopping options are endless. No more tears in cutting onions, and frozen French fries are an item of the past.  And it’s compact size makes for easy storage. Professional Multi-Chopper  Care to share your favorite kitchen gizmo? Email...

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Wallse’s Halibut with Cucumber, Dill, & Chanterelles

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Executive Chef & Owner Kurt Gutenbrunner (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: 4 Filets of Halibut 2 Onions 1 Bunch Dill, Washed and Stems Removed 1 Cup Olive Oil 2 Cucumbers 1 lb. Chanterelles 3 T. Shallots, finely chopped 2 T. Thyme, finely chopped Canola Oil for cooking Wondra Flour for cooking 2 T. Butter 1 Lemon, Juiced DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 375.  Coarsely chop Onions, place into a shallow baking dish, brush with Canola oil, and cover with foil.  Bake until Onions are soft, approximately 30 minutes.  Cool and puree the onion using a blender.  Reserve the Onion Puree until ready to use. 2. Blend Olive Oil and Dill until smooth.  Chill the Dill Oil until ready to use. 3. Seed and dice 1 Cucumber (Save the seeds and do not peel).  Reserve until ready to use. 4. Peel...

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Q & A With Akhtar Nawab

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Elettaria, one of the more recent editions to the West Village dining scene, serves an American menu with a spicy Indian twist, courtesy of chef/co-owner Akhtar Nawab’s upbringing.  Born in Louisville, Kentucky, but raised on a myriad of authentic Indian dishes, Akhtar brings his knowledge of both worlds to the table; an impressive list of culinary experiences (most recently the European Union) contributes as well. Beginning his career at San Francisco’s Bizou, Akhtar continued to work on the West Coast before coming to New York’s Gramercy Tavern, where a growing partnership with owner Tom Colicchio led to the opening of Craft and Craftbar, for which he was the chef de cuisine. With such a wealth of American and European cooking under his belt, chef Akhtar has created a menu with interesting takes on such classics like chicken with asparagus...

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Best of NYC’s Summer Cocktails

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 in Best Of

These days New York’s finest mixologists seize the fruits of the summer as much as the chefs do… PDT 113 St. Marks Pl., nr. First Ave. (212) 614-0386 Short for “please don’t tell,” the secret’s out about this East Village cocktail den.  Connoisseurs collect for Jim Meehan’s Hemingway Daiquiri or the High Roller Menu.  But right now, the hot weather drink to order is the East India Cocktail, made from fresh-squeezed pineapple and orange juice with a kick of cognac. Then again, there’s always Up-To-Date — a spicy rye cocktail with hints of citrus and chamomile. Elettaria 33 W. 8th st., nr. MacDougal St. (212) 677-3833 The at this funky Village haunt have conceived an imaginative cocktails to complement the Akhtar Nawab’s cooking.  The Mai Tai (pictured right) screams summer, but we were just as swayed by the absinthe-spiked...

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