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Eating Events

Posted on Apr 27, 2011 in Eating Events

The first half of May is packed with some terrific food events. From an Asian Street Food Festival to the annual James Beard Awards, this coming month is shaping up to be a busy one for chefs and foodies alike. We’ve got the details on a few happenings that we’re most excited about. See you there… Luckyrice Southeast Asia is at the top of my to-do travel list, but in the meantime, I’m excited for the Luckyrice Night Market. As part of a weeklong festival of Asian inspired events, by night Dumbo turns into a street food mecca. You’ll find ethnic foods from Korea and the Phillipines alongside hip, new fusion eats like kimchi-topped hot dogs. During the festival, there will also be a cocktail party at the Bowery Hotel and an omakase dinner with Chef Masaharu Morimoto. New...

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Ingenious Microplane Herb Mill

Posted on Apr 26, 2011 in Gizmo Girl

As you probably know by now, we’re obsessed with the best, new kitchen gadgets.  (Our drawers are crowded with tools to prove it.)  And now that spring is here, we want to make the most of fresh herbs from the Greenmarket or grocery store.  But unless you’re a professional cook or Martha Stewart, chopping herbs finely and evenly (without tearing them) isn’t as easy as it looks.   That’s where an herb mill comes in handy.  We don’t want name names, the blades on last year’s contraption have already dulled, so we were in the market for a new one. One of our favorite kitchen tool sites, Chef’s Catalog has several mills to choose from, but the Microplane Herb Mill (pictured right) is by far our favorite.  There’s literally hundreds of tiny and sharp blades that manage to chop...

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Q & A With Porsena's Sara Jenkins

Posted on Apr 25, 2011 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Chef Sara Jenkins has successfully pulled off a hat trick in the East Village.  She runs three wildly popular restaurants, all located within just a few block radius  Veloce, Porchetta, and Porsena, her newest, pasta-centric venture, which opened in November.  Each of her eateries specializes in a different Italian staple  pizza, roast suckling pig sandwiches, and noodles.  The single concept focus has paid off for the chef: “It wasn’t a conscious decision to do these types of restaurants, but the advantage is that you can really concentrate on doing one thing well,” Jenkins says.   Jenkins has three hit restaurants and is looking to open more Porchetta outposts around the city. This from a woman who grew up in Tuscany, surrounded by farmers with no electricity and no running water. She may even write a memoir: “I would really like to...

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Trend Watch: The New Asian Fusion

Posted on Apr 24, 2011 in Trendwatch

There are few food words that hold a worse connotation than Asian Fusion.  Asian fusion evokes images of diners lounging on Chinoiserie red banquettes, while nibbling on Chinese chicken salads and desserts artfully garnished with chocolate sauce drawings.  But maybe it’s time to put this prejudice behind us because a new tide of  Asian Fusion cuisine seems to be upon us and frankly, it’s exciting.  Case in point: Los Angeles’ famed Kogi Bbq Trucks. In fact, you might say that chef Roy Choi and his Kogi Bbq trucks are largely responsible for this Asian fusion 2.0, particularly the mash-up of Latin and Asian cooking by way of Korean tacos. Their Korean tacos have launched hundreds of imitators across the country, including the Kimchi Taco Trucks and Korilla BBQ trucks on the other side of the country. Kimchi Taco hit...

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Q & A with Chef Masaharu Morimoto

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

It’s fair to say that no one in America (and perhaps the world) can cook Japanese food quite like Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The original Iron Chef & former Nobu chef is just as skilled at turning out traditional sushi and kaiseki meals as he is at Asian fusion.  (And it takes a lot for a chef to convince me of the merits of fusion.)  And yet, somehow whimsical creations, such as sashimi with burrata or a foie gras croissant with a soft duck egg and red miso achieve a level of brilliance. The Hiroshima-born culinary superstar went from being a bad boy, who used to sneak out a window to go downtown when he was an apprentice in Japan, to owning restaurants all over the world, everywhere from New York to New Delhi. While he no longer returns to...

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A Few Of Our Favorite Links

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 in Best Of

Though we wander the internet all day reading about new trends, restaurants, “chefscapades,” and other news, we realize you may not have quite as much time on your hands, so we’ve decided to compile a list of our favorite stories each week, posted on every food-centric site from Eater, Grub Street, Village Voice Serious Eats, to the New York Times. After all, the food world is just as exciting and turbulent (if not more) than the real world. This week, we especially loved Elle Magazine’s piece on “Food Bloggers Who Turn Their Passion Into A Career”, featuring Eater NY’s editor, Amanda Kludt.  If you’ve ever wondered how to make it happen, you can read how 101cookbooks, Tartelette & Goodies First made it happen, too.  Just as good was Alan Sytsma’s recap of Top Chef Masters on Grub Street NY, although we may be a...

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Greatest Garlic Chopper

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 in Gizmo Girl

Over the years, we’ve bought, tested and tossed (in the garbage) quite a few tools that claim to ease the burden of chopping garlic and eliminate the lingering smell it leaves on our hands.   Apparently, garlic has stumped a lot of inventors.  While some worked to magically remove the smell, they didn’t chop.  While others chopped, they left us with the task of getting the garlic into to the saute pan or pot by, well, using our hands.  We all but gave up on the perfect garlic gadget until now. This Garlic Rocker Chopper (pictured right) does the job of both.  All you have to do is rock the chopper over the garlic. Then scoop up all of the crushed garlic into the chopper and deliver to your pan.  You never have to touch the garlic with your...

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Antonucci's Cafe – Reviewed

Posted on Apr 19, 2011 in Best Of

While the Upper East Side is a perfectly lovely place to live — with plenty of great grocery stores, delivery options and old school Italian joints — it isn’t exactly a dining destination.  After all, dining out is entertainment, and like anything else, we all want to see the new hit movie, broadway show, or eat at the new, hot restaurant.  With the opening of Jean Georges’ The Mark and Cascabel Taqueria, the Upper East Side has certainly gotten better, but it’s still got quite a ways to go.  While it’s not my first choice, I’ve always been an open-minded eater, so I was happy to meet friends at a place they love called Antonucci’s Cafe on 81st Street, just off Third Avenue.   Now, I’ve lived in New York for over fifteen years and I’ve never heard of Antonucci’s,...

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New York's Best Seafood Sandwiches

Posted on Apr 17, 2011 in Best Of

With the weather getting warmer, we’ve got one protein on our minds: Seafood!  While New York may not be considered a seafood mecca like New England, we can more than hold our own on the fish front.  And because almost anything is better in sandwich form, we’re looking forward to creative and regional renditions from some of the city’s best chefs and shops.  Sure, you can get a stellar lobster roll at the Red Hook Lobster Pound or The Mermaid Inn, but we’ve discovered seafood sandwiches far beyond lobster, like the fried shrimp po’ boy at Cheeky Sandwiches,  or even a Montreal-style lox sandwich, served right in Brooklyn. Cheeky Sandwiches – Fried Shrimp Po’Boy Address: 35 Orchard St., btwn Hester & Canal Sts. No phone Just because you didn’t make it to New Orlenans for Mardi Gras this year doesn’t...

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Passover Cucumber Soup

Posted on Apr 14, 2011 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

The Passover seder usually involves heavy, traditional foods of the braised meats and stuffed cabbage sorts that   But  with spring (and bathing suit weather) right around the corner, we’re craving a lighter holiday dish.  Chef Gazala Halabi the owner and chef of both Gazala and Gazala Place — where they bake their own pita daily — is on the same page. For Passover, she’s serving a vibrant cucumber soup that you can re-create at your seder this year. It’s a simple no-cook dish that will keep you away from the stove and give you more time to socialize. And post-holiday, this refreshing cucumber soup is perfect on a hot summer day. Chilled Cucumber Soup By Gazala Halabi Ingredients •    8 oz “Burpless” cucumber – any of the long, thin-skinned variety; chopped fine, with skin on •    8 oz Yogurt;...

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Bunny Whoopie Pie Pan

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in Gizmo Girl

Cupcakes jumped the shark long ago. And while everyone’s declaring pie the new cupcake, I beg to disagree.  Aside from both being desserts, pie has nothing in common with cupcakes. Now whoopie pies are another story.  Just like cupcakes, a whoopie pie is composed of moist cake and frosting, except the frosting is in the middle — a little like a frosting sandwich. And whoopie pies are just as trendy these days as traditional fruit pies. Seeing that Easter is just around the corner, I wanted to make whoopie pies in festive Easter colors, like yellow and pink.  But Sur La Table did even better than that with this bunny whoopie pan (pictured right).  If you don’t know how to make whoopie pies, they also sell whoopie pie kits with foolproof mix for the cake and icing in flavors,...

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Dish Spotting – David Burke Kitchen

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in Dish Spotting

Did you ever eat ants-on-a-log when you were growing up?  I can still remember assembling this childhood snack, made of celery stalks (the log) smeared with  cream cheese and topped with raisins (ants) at summer camp and Girl Scout meetings.  (Though I don’t remember liking it.)  But the very grown up version served at David Burke Kitchen happens to be delicious. David Burke is famous for his whimsical cooking style — a style I sometimes find precious or gimmicky   and his new restaurant in the James Hotel follows suit.  Instead of the classic, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with  almonds that you might find on any tapas menu, Burke’s menu features bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with, well, peanut butter strangely enough as well as lobster & crab dumplings curiously skewered on a lobster leg with the shell still intact. But I...

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Easter Dining Out

Posted on Apr 12, 2011 in Best Of, Holiday Eats, Spring Eats

Most people spend hours, even days, preparing a memorable Easter Sunday meal.  After all, Easter’s a serious religious and food holiday with traditions, like roasted lamb, ham, and hot-cross buns. Though it’s fun to host friends or feed your family, sometimes you just don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen while everyone else is hunting for eggs.  It just happens to be a great holiday to bypass the kitchen and make a reservation.  Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, you’d be wise to seize the marvelous, Easter brunch options around the city. Manhattan’s got plenty of great brunch spots to start and they all up the ante for this holiday with everything from sweetbreads with baked eggs at Michael White’s Osteria Morini, wood fire-roasted lamb at Peasant, or poached eggs with fontina sausage buns and hollandaise at The...

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Q & A with Veritas's Chef Sam Hazen

Posted on Apr 7, 2011 in Chef Q&A

Chef Sam Hazen has a history of proving people wrong. When he was first starting out at  Le Gavroche in London, the French chefs dubbed him “Chef McDonald” because they didn’t think the lone American in the kitchen could cook. Six months later, he was their boss.  And twenty years later, Hazen proved naysayers wrong again by successfully transitioning from the trendy, super-sized Tao in midtown to the intimate setting of Veritas in Gramercy.  “People were skeptical in the beginning,” Hazen said. “But nothing is impossible and Veritas is testimony to that.” Hazen re-opened and revitalized the 11-year-old Veritas this year, creating a new menu of indulgent dishes, like brioche-crusted lobster with roasted bone marrow and the newly acclaimed roast chicken. But just like the Veritas that rose to prominence under Chef Scott Bryan, Hazen’s restaurant focuses on pairing...

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Sneak Peek – Coppelia

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 in Sneak Peek

Right around this time each year, as the weather finally begins to warm up, we start cravingLatin flavors and its vibrant spices. So we were excited to find out that Julian Medina, the chef behind both Yerba Buena outposts and Toloache, had plans to open a “Latino diner.” And we’re even more thrilled to learn that it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just this week, Chef Medina flung open the doors of his funky eatery in Chelsea.  Decked out in checkerboard floors and red and blue leather banquettes (meant to evoke the bench seat of your uncle’s old Chevy), the space has all the underpinnings of a classic diner. Bar stools, coffee service and a dessert display scream greasy spoon, but nothing is as conventional as it looks. The coffee is Cuban and consulting pastry chef Pichet Ong has stocked...

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Passover-Friendly Dining Out

Posted on Apr 3, 2011 in Best Of

April is a big month for holidays, what with Easter falling on April 24th and Passover beginning the evening of April 18th. Just as Christians give up something for lent, be it meat, chocolate, or whatever else they’re fond of, the Jews give up bread (and all things leavened) for eight days. In Jewish foodie years, that’s a painfully long stretch to go without fresh-baked bread, burgers, pizza, cake, cookies and anything else that rises. For Passover-abiding New Yorkers, temptation is everywhere.   Your co-worker brings cupcakes in for a birthday? Nope, you can’t eat that. Date wants to take you to a new pizza place or burger joint? Guess you didn’t meet them on J-Date. Or you walk by LeVain Bakery and catch the scent of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.  It’s absolute torture.  But this...

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