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  • Air’s Champagne Parlor is All About the Bubbly

    Air’s Champagne Parlor is All About the Bubbly

    Beer, wine and even cider bars abound in NYC, but Air’s Champagne Parlor is one of the few area drinkeries devoted to bubbly. To be fair, the Riddling Widow briefly preceded it, but owner Ariel Arce was actually beverage director during its tenure, as well as Birds & Bubbles before that, and Chicago’s Pops for Champagne (not to mention Grant Achatz’s exclusive, original The Office) before that.  Meaning her reputation as queen of Cuvèe absolutely proceeds her.

  • Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017

    Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017

    If you’re already mourning the loss of summer, Oktoberfest is a reliable way to get you over the hump. Essentially spanning the duration of fall (kicking off on September 16th this year & extending all the way to October 31st, allowing revelers to seamlessly transition to Halloween), the 16 to 18-day festival is a giddy saturnalia of German culture…

  • Spotlight on the Finalists for the 2017 Vendy Awards

    Spotlight on the Finalists for the 2017 Vendy Awards

    As a fun challenge to the James Beard Awards, the Vendy ceremony — now in its 13th year — is dedicated to honoring the very best in street food.  So here’s who’s in the running during the September 16th event at Governors Island; from an artisanal twinkie baker to an upstart french toast sandwich maker, to a Chinese meat skewer purveyor, whose been tapped for the Vendy Cup…

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Seasonal Eats: Figs

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 in Seasonal Eats, Summer

When it comes to fruit, what could more impossibly exotic, unreservedly luscious, and yes, even as downright sexy as a fig? Native to the Middle East and western Asia — although currently just as popular, if not more so, in the Mediterranean — the intensely sweet and juicy fig has been around since ancient times (you know, that whole Garden of Eden thing). In fact, it was one of the very first plants cultivated by humans, predating barley, legumes, and even wheat!

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Where to Spend Labor Day Weekend 2013

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in Best Of, Holiday Eats

Labor Day is probably one of the more bittersweet holidays. Yes, it’s part of a sun-filled three-day weekend, but it’s also an inescapable indicator that summer is at its end. That’s why it’s best just to face the inevitable, and try to make the most of what we have left. So here are a few especially celebratory ways to spend this Labor Day — from a seasonal lunch of Soft Shell Crabs and S’mores at Recette in the West Village, to an Oyster and Absinthe party at Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, and even a last minute getaway to La Brisa de Tacombi in the Hamptons!

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New York’s Tastiest Summer Tomato Dishes

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 in Best Of, Seasonal Eats

For the better part of the year, tomatoes can be sadly lackluster and often tasteless. But come summer, these colorful orbs reach their peak, bursting with sweet, bright flavor. Delicious either raw or cooked, and found in varieties like Brandywine or striking Green Zebra, oblong Plum or tiny Cherry, the summertime fruit is incredibly versatile. Take the savory Tomato and Zucchini Bread Pudding at The Harrison, the Mussels and Heirloom Tomatoes in Lobster Broth at RedFarm, and the surprising and refreshing Strawberry-Tomato Sorbet at Oddfellows, each showcasing tomatoes equally well as part of an appetizer, entrée or even dessert…

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Gourmet Gossip – August 2013

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Gourmet Gossip

In this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting new restaurant opening, a devastating closing, a shocking chef shuffle, or a groundbreaking, must-try dish. That’s why we’re keeping you apprised of the industry’s most noteworthy bits and bites, from Shaun Hergatt’s return to the scene with Juni, Gabriel Kreuther’s impending departure from The Modern, and Eddie Huang’s spectacular stab at the small screen!

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Q & A with Atera’s Matthew Lightner

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in Chef Q&A

For a chef so new to the New York dining scene, Matthew Lightner has made quite an impressive, East Coast debut. An alumni of L’Auberge in California, Mugaritz in Spain, and Noma in Denmark to name a few, Lightner launched his first New York venture, Atera, in March of last year. And in just a short time, the avant-garde, modern American eatery has already garnered two Michelin stars, a spot on Bon Appetit’s Best 50 New Restaurants list, and a 3-star review from The New York Times.

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The Best New Restaurants of Summer 2013

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers

Summer tends to be slow season for buzzy restaurant debuts, but New York sure had a bumper crop of notable openings this year. Here are a few of our favorite new additions to the dining scene, from Michael White’s Costata in SoHo to Paul Liebrandt’s The Elm in Brooklyn and even Bunker, a Vietnamese eatery from an Eleven Madison Park alum in Queens!

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Restaurant Spotting: The Backyard at The Pines

The Pines

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 in Restaurant Spotting, Summer Eats

A restaurant with outdoor space of any sort already has a leg up in the city, even if it’s only a pair of rickety two-top tables deposited on the sidewalk. So the full blown, leafy backyard at The Pines in Gowanus makes it an idyllic summertime spot, a sunny reprieve from the restaurant’s dim, no frills interiors. So while you can still hunker down indoors with tender Squab with Parsnip and Blueberry and house-cranked Cappellacci with Oxtail and Crab Brodo, be aware that visiting The Pines’ backyard means stepping into a different restaurant entirely. Because Romano has re-imagined the scruffy urban enclave as a charming Basque cider bar and grill, offering a unique menu of wood-fired items, prepared from a makeshift, backyard kitchen.

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City Guide: Best of Bar Harbour

Posted on Aug 17, 2013 in

Coming soon!

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Easy Crab Cracker

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 in Gizmo Girl

With the end of summer drawing closer, we need to savor the season’s best treats while there’s still time. That means eating all the fresh produce we can find, indulging in scoop upon scoop of adventurously flavored ice cream, and best of all, relishing the wonderfully messy crab boils that are just made for warm weather. But let’s get real: The delight of succulent crab meat after a perfect beach day is one thing, but we’re not nearly as fond of the arduous process of splitting open those tough claws and risking piercing our fingers on sharp shell edges. That’s why we’re so thrilled to discover the handy little WiseCracker, a specially designed crab cracker that makes eating fresh crab safe, effortless and nothing but fun.

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New York’s Tastiest Summer Cocktails

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 in Best Of, Summer

There’s no other word for it… summertime cocktails are just so fun. From frosty Margaritas and fragrant Mojitos to fruity Sangrias and spicy Micheladas, each makes you feel like you’re relaxing on a tropical island somewhere — even if you’re merely sipping from a plastic cup on the stoop of your brownstone, or on a crowded restaurant patio along a city street. Since New York’s cocktail scene is only getting better and better, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the usual suspects this season. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most unique summer cocktails, from the Ouest Daisy at Lafayette to the Big Daddy Kane at Tribeca Canvas and more!

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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Recipes, Soups

Sad about summer drawing to a close? If there’s one silver lining to the season’s inevitable end, it’s this — vine-ripe tomatoes are at their glorious, juicy peak. So make the most of intriguing heirloom varieties like smoky Black Pear, smooth Yellow Valencia, meaty Brandywine and tart Green Zebra by combining them in a scrumptious cold Gazpacho, just bursting with summer freshness and flavor!

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First Bite: Quality Italian

Quality Italian

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in First Bite, Reviews

It’s refreshing to find a restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously. So many restaurants do, and who can blame them really? You invest a fortune into a space and concept, then pray it will succeed. That’s serious business… but it’s still just dinner. That’s exactly what I love about Quality Italian. It’s just plain fun. And the food happens to be excellent if you don’t take it too seriously. Sure, you could overanalyze their pie-shaped Chicken Parmigiana as being too cheeky. Like a pizza, it’s served in a pizza pan and sliced with a metal pizza cutter. Then, there’s the Baked Clams, which are topped not with the usual breadcrumbs, but strands of toasted Angel Hair Pasta & parsley, and finished tableside with a white wine butter sauce. Genius.

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Where to Eat at New York’s Top Transportation Centers

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 in Best Of

Whether or not you choose to take the LIRR to Fire Island, a plane to Puerto Rico or just the PATH to Jersey City, you’re still destined to spend at least a few hungry hours in NY’s transportation centers. That’s why we’ve rounded up the precious few dining bright spots, from the glittering Oyster Bar at Grand Central to Alex Raij’s brand new Spanish tapas spot, Piquillo, at JFK.

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Q & A with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in Chef Q&A

Who doesn’t know the name Masaharu Morimoto? He was everyone’s favorite competitor on the original, Japanese cooking show, Iron Chef, and continues to be just as popular on its Food Network spinoff, Iron Chef America. Morimoto introduced the America to an entirely new brand of Asian fusion with his restaurant Morimoto (which currently has outposts in Philadelphia, Florida and NYC), dreaming up dishes like “Duck, Duck, Duck” — a trio of Peking-style duck leg, a duck egg, and a roast duck sandwich made with a foie gras-infused croissant — as well as Rock Shrimp Tempura, glazed in a sauce inspired by Buffalo Chicken Wings.

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Drink Spotting: The Desert Shandy at Betony

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 in Drink Spotting

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s good food to be found at Betony. After all, executive chef Bryce Shuman worked at one of the city’s preeminent fine dining institutions, Eleven Madison Park, for over five years. And like his EMP mentor, Daniel Humm, he doesn’t allow any of the details to escape his purview, from the homemade breadbasket (cheesy Frico & needle-thin Breadsticks, followed by piping hot Caraway Rolls with salted butter) to the perfectly curated cocktail list.

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Our Favorite Fried Dishes for Summer

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 in Best Of, Summer

Have you ever noticed how many foods seriously weaken your resolve to eat healthfully each summer? Ice cream. BBQ. And oh yeah, deep-fried everything. I mean, how can we be expected to rock sundresses, bikinis and itty-bitty short shorts when Belly Clams and Fried Chicken so perfectly complement the season? Resistance is especially futile when you consider divinely crunchy bites, like the Stuffed Zucchini Flowers at Charlie Bird and the Le Grand Aioli (a mixed plate of crispy goodness) at Marlow and Sons.

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The Coolest Popsicles in New York

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 in Best Of, Dessert, Summer

The sweltering summer heat has everyone craving some sort of frozen treats. (I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty much all we’re thinking about.) Remember how excited you used to get about The Good Humor Man’s Strawberry Shortcake Pops and Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Ice Cream Pops? Well, that’s child’s play compared to the new wave of frozen sweets, made with everything from fresh herbs to seasonal fruits and artisanal ice creams. Lest we forget our favorite, alcohol-spiked popsicles – a cocktail & dessert in one!

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Glide: Clip-on Knife Cleaner

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 in Gizmo Girl

As foodies, we all know there is something special about a home-cooked meal. After all, being Martha ain’t as easy as it looks and sometimes the cooking process can be less than elegant or even downright messy. Just try chopping garlic or onions to add to a simmering sauce. It’s a hassle when you have to constantly swipe the blade with your fingers to clean off all the goods. Not to mention it’s a dangerous habit, as you can slice your finger on the blade when you try to clean it. Oh, and did we mention your fingers will reek for days? Yep.

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