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New York’s Best Summer Sips

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 in Best Of, Summer

You won’t hear us complaining, but it’s definitely hot outside.  (We’d take the heat over frigid temps any day.)  Besides, there’s plenty of places to grab an ice cold drink (not the alcoholic kind).  In fact, the options have gotten a lot better than your average iced tea or coke.  There’s grown up slushies, made with fresh fruit purees and herbs, Arnold Palmers with fresh-squeezed lemonade, and milkshakes.  (No one said cold wasn’t sweet.)  All of these libations are non-alcoholic, so they’re perfect for the hottest part of the day.  When you’re through with work, you can spike your ginger-blueberry mint slushy with tequila. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain Address: 513 Henry Street (Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn) Phone: (718)522-6260 Website: At the forefront of the soda fountain renaissance, Brooklyn Farmacy is definitely onto something.  We only wish there was a Manhattan...

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New York’s Best Summer Soups

Posted on Jul 17, 2011 in Best Of, Summer

When we think of summer, soup isn’t exactly the first thing to come to mind, except gazpacho of course.    The cooling combination of tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar has made gazpacho a summer staple.  Light and flavorful, this chilled, Spanish soup can be the perfect beginning to a meal, or lunch in and of itself.  Lately, we’ve noticed (and eaten) some very creative renditions and a few non-gazpacho. From super seasonal toppings at Salinas to Balaboosta’s honeydew and cantaloupe version, we’ve compiled our favorite, cold summer soups from around the city. Tia Pol 205 Tenth Ave. (at 22nd St.) (212)675-8805 Website: What better place to get Spain’s most famous soup than at one of the city’s best Spanish tapas bar?  Served in an elegant glass, this gazpacho follows the classic recipe of cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, sherry vinegar...

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July Food Happenings

Posted on Jul 15, 2011 in Best Of

New York is a hard core foodie town with plenty of culinary events to attend in this summer.  July alone is chock full of food happenings, everything from restaurant week deals to Hamptons fundraisers and, of course, the annual Meatopia festival where you gorge yourself silly on all things meat cooked by some of the best chefs in the country.  Here’s a few of our favorites: Taste of Two Forks – July 16 Website Usually you have to choose between the North or South fork when you book a weekend out East. At this Saturday’s event, you’ll get a taste of both. Hosts Dan’s Papers, Marcus Samuellson (Red Rooster) and Good Day NY’s Rosanna Scotto, you’ll sample wines from local vineyards, beers from the Southampton Publick House, and dishes from Long Island’s best, including Jamesport Manor Inn (prosciutto salad;...

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New York's Best Pickles

Posted on Jul 11, 2011 in Best Of

Thankfully, pickles aren’t seasonal, but we find ourselves eating a lot more of them in the summertime.  Now that the weather’s hot, a cool, crunchy bowl of pickled vegetables sounds a lot more appealing than warm, sauteed or fried vegetables.  Chefs and artisanal food shops have become so creative with everything edible, including pickles. (Our love for them borders on a fetish.)   There’s a lot more to pickles than classic Kosher Dills these days, like pickled okra, beets, and  Here’s a few of our favorite shops to stock up in the pickle department. Sour Puss Pickles Various Vendors Website: If you This Brooklyn-based company produces small batches of all things pickled, sourced from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and even a rooftop garden in Brooklyn.  (The vinegars for pickling are from nearby as well.)  Sour Puss Pickles makes everything...

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Summer's Best Cocktails

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 in Best Of

We’ve waited all year for the warm weather, the sunshine, and of course, cool, summery cocktails.  If you’re going to drink, New York is the place to do it. Where else can you get a snow cone doused with tequila?  There’s spicy margaritas, pickled martinis, and even an oddly refreshing sugar snap pea libation at Rouge Tomate.  There’s no better way to beat the heat then sipping a cocktail on a rooftop bar, lounging in a garden, or chilling inside by the air conditioner.  We’ve tasted more than our fair share and rounded up a few of our favorite for 2011. Negroni Rubirosa Address: 235 Mulberry St. between Prince and Spring Sts. Phone: 212-965-0600 Website: Negronis immediately transport us to Italy, so of course, this bitter orange cocktail is one of our favorite aperitifs.  The negroni and its...

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What To Do This Fourth Of July

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 in Best Of

July Fourth is like the perfect storm of holidays – warm weather, sun (fingers crossed), barbecue, beer, and if you’re spending it in the city, spectacular fireworks.  But there’s a lot more to do than watching the fireworks this weekend, like Nathan’s annual, hot dog eating contest where food is a spectator spot.  If you can’t backyard barbecue, Dinosaur BBQ ain’t no conciliation prize. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite options for the holiday weekend. Nathan’s Famous Address: 1902 Surf Ave. between the Boardwalk and 19th, Brooklyn Website: Every July 4th, Nathan’s hosts its hot dog eating contest, which transforms the boardwalk into a festive hot dog party.  Watch Joey Chestnut attempt to eat his way to a 5th consecutive win, then treat youself to one, that is if he hasn’t finished them off himself.  These...

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New York’s Best Thai Desserts

Posted on Jun 21, 2011 in Best Of, Dessert

We’re crazy for Thai food: The scent of fish sauce, coconut milk and peanuts mingling in a bowl of rice noodles.  It doesn’t get much better.  When you’re through with the heat of a spicy duck salad or chile-rich curry,  there’s nothing better than a cool, creamy dessert.  Apart from gelato and fruit pies, Thai sweets are some of our all-time favorites.  Fact. There’s the more commonplace mango-topped sticky rice or coconut custard over black rice. And then there’s the more exotic, like an egg yolk in syrup, preserved bananas, or coconut milk with tapioca-dusted water chestnuts.  You can find them not just at Thai restaurants, but grocery stores that carry Southeast Asian products. Pure Thai Shophouse 764 9th Ave. (between 51st and 52nd) (212)581-0999 Website: We love this little Hell’s Kitchen eatery for its spicy chicken with...

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Where To Dine for Father's Day

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 in Best Of

Father’s Day is right around the corner (Sunday, in fact), so you might want to get on that dinner or brunch reservation.  Thankfully, there is still time and reservations available at some pretty great restaurants around the city.  Whether your dad loves Italian, barbecue, American, deli or steaks, we’ve got you covered.  Marc ForgioneAddress: 134 Reade St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts.Phone: 212-941-9401Website: www.marcforgione.comChef Marc Forgione may be the only Iron Chef in his family but he certainly isn’t the only chef. His father, Larry Forgione, is a culinary legend, often called the “Godfather of American cuisine,” earning three stars at the River Cafe.  Since it’s Father’s Day, his son Marc will be honoring fathers everywhere with a special menu showcasing the techniques and ingredients that his father helped popularize. Cedar plank salmon and bison tartare nod to Larry...

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New York’s Finest Ice Cream Shops

Posted on Jun 15, 2011 in Best Of, Summer

If you’re like us, the recent heat has been making you crave the sweet, cool relief of ice cream.  These gelaterias and ice cream trucks can serve as oases during your hot summer walks.  We listed a few of our favorites, some new and trendy and some old NYC classics.  There are ice cream types for everyone, whether you’re looking for exotic flavors, authentic gelato, or want to top your sundae with everything but the kitchen sink.  Can’t stand the New York heat?  Go get some ice cream. At Restaurant Girl, we look forward to the summer warm weather and the ice cream that goes hand in hand with it (mostly we’re excited about the ice cream.)  There are a million different types of cool sweets to be had in New York, from Italian ices to gelato, soft-serve to...

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Rose Season – Our Favorite Bottles For 2011

Posted on Jun 12, 2011 in All Things Wine

Summer is the season for rose.  Of course, you can drink it all year round, but it’s the perfect match for oysters, lobster rolls, summery salads and even a burger off the grill.  Nowadays, winemakers make rose from all types of grapes in all different varieties — from earthy and aged to light and bubbly.  Together with Brian Quinn, co-founder of the traveling wine saloon The Noble Rot, we’ve picked a few bottles of rose we’re excited about from as close as the North  Fork of Long Island or Napa Valley to Spain, France, and Italy. Bedell Cellars 2010 Taste Rosé This vineyard produces lots of great wines, but we’re particularly charmed by Bedell’s 2010 rose, which happens to taste as good as it looks.  The label on the bottle is a commissioned photo of a Marilyn Monroe-look alike...

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New York’s Best & Most Interesting Barbecue

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 in Best Of

New York is on its way to becoming a bonafide barbecue town.  What makes our city so unique is that we’ve got so many different styles of barbecue from all over not just the country, but also the world at-large.  While Hill Country’s focus is authentic, Texas-style beef brisket, Daisy May’s offers a gigantic Oklahoma-style beef rib. But there’s more than just classic American barbecue, as chefs and pitmasters have mastered ‘cue from all over the world, like Malaysian, Korean, and Thai.  We’ve highlighted our favorite, traditional low and slow dishes, along with some modern and global renditions as well.  The grills have been fired and summer has officially begun. Modern Twists on the Classics Fette Sau – Pork Belly Address: 354 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Havemeyer St. (Brooklyn) Phone: (718) 963-3404 When Joe Carroll, the owner of Williamsburg beer temple,...

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Spring Pizza Crawl

Posted on May 17, 2011 in Best Of

Pizza is trendier than ever.  If it weren’t such a genius combination of flavors and textures, it probably would’ve seen its fifteen minutes long ago.  But tangy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and warm, crusty dough is a foolproof formula for satisfying a universal craving for comfort food.  And in New York, pizza just keeps getting better.  New pizza joints open every week — some with charcoal ovens or brick, some with thin crust or thick crust pies, and some with traditional or offbeat toppings.  Now that the weather’s warmed up, it’s the perfect season for a pizza crawl.  We visited some of our favorite haunts and several few new ones and here’s a few of our favorites. Keste Pizza & VinoAddress: 271 Bleecker St., near Jones StPhone: (212)243-1500Website: www.kestepizzeria.comOne of my first stops was a re-visit to this Bleecker...

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Best Waterfront Dining in New York

Posted on May 12, 2011 in Best Of

In the restaurant business, location can make or break you. Unfortunately, the food doesn’t always live up to the setting it’s served in.  We want to seize the warm weather this season, so we’ve rounded up our favorite waterfront spots with not just a great view, but great food. For starters, there’s Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark with a charming terrace overlooking the East River, along with the smart, seasonal cuisine he’s famous for.  If you’re craving something laid-back, try Rockaway Taco, located on an oceanside boardwalk. Randazzo’s Clam Bar Address: 2017 Emmons Ave. near E. 21st Street (Brooklyn) Phone: (718) 615-0010 The menu at this seafood joint has hardly changed in over fifty years and that’s exactly the way the locals like it.  If you haven’t been to Randazzo’s, it’s worth a field trip to Sheepshead Bay for family-style portions of perfectly...

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New York's Best Brasseries & Bistros

Posted on May 8, 2011 in Best Of

It used to be that you had to travel to Paris for good brasserie or bistro cooking.  But nowadays, the lines between the bistro and brasserie have blurred and we have plenty of both stateside with top notch food. Whether you’re craving the timeless brasserie setting or something as classic as escargots on a Williamsburg rooftop, the city is your oyster.  Bon appétit! Juliette Address: 135 N 5th St between Berry St and Bedford Ave, Brooklyn Phone: (718) 388-9222 Website: This charming bistro in Williamsburg has excellent French food and plenty of character.  And when the weather permits, guests can dine on a romantic rooftop terrace.  The menu features broiled escargots, croque monsieur, salmon tartare, and a butterscotch pot de creme.  As you’d expect in this hipster hood, vegetarian options abound, including a wild mushroom strudel and a warm cauliflower salad. I’ve never had...

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Mother's Day Reservations

Posted on May 5, 2011 in Best Of

One day a year, you have to get your mom out of the kitchen and treat her to a great meal, cooked by someone other than herself.  Considering Mother’s Day is less than three days away, you might want to make a reservation quickly.  But where to go?  Whether your mom is fond of fondue or dim sum, or a fan of Top Chef Masters, we’ve got a few ideas that will impress her this Mother’s Day… Ai Fiori Address: 400 Fifth Ave., between 36th and 37th Sts Phone: 212-613-8660 Website: Ai Fiori is Michael White’s newest, New York venture and an excellent option for Mother’s Day dinner.  The menu can be tackled two ways, a la carte or in a $79, four-course set menu.  It’s a pretty safe bet your mom will be impressed with both the...

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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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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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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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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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