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Nordic Cooking In Season

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Trendwatch

You could say 2012 is the year of Nordic cuisine.  Americans have been culinary adventurers for decades now.  We’ll eat anything we can get our hands on, but lingonberry sauce, smoked herring, hay-smoked meats, and cloudberries have never really made it into our dining repertoire until now.  Enter what many have dubbed the New Nordic Cuisine. Let’s be honest it: Ikea’s food court, with its Swedish meatballs, lingonberry sodas, cinammon-cardamon buns and seven kinds of herring had a lot to do with it.   But when a Cajun restaurant in NoHo gets transformed into a chic, Nordic restaurant, you know it’s officially having its moment.  This is a new brand of Nordic food with fresh, clean flavors, wild herbs, wild berries, wild game, edible weeds and plenty of farm to table ingredients. We’ve sampled the city and picked a...

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Trendwatch – Eggs In Fashion

Posted on Apr 16, 2012 in Trendwatch

Not long ago, eggs weren’t exactly considered haute cuisine, nevermind a dish that chefs or diners got excited about.  But those days are over and eggs are  having their moment in the spotlight. Take the celebrated “Farmer Egg’s” at Acme: It’s not as simple as it sounds, of course.What arrive from the kitchen is are two hollow eggs teeming with steamed cauliflower, aged parmesan cheese and egg yolk, crowned with cauliflower foam and ingeniously served on chicken wire and hay. Floyd Cardoz devotes an entire section of the menu to eggs at North End Grill, his newest venture in Battery Park.  Cardoz meditates on eggs every which way, including a standout coddled eggs with grits and a scotch egg in watercress soup. There’s duck eggs and quail eggs, free-range and organic, and they all come poached, scrambled, fried or...

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New York’s Tea Parlor Trend

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 in Trendwatch

With all the buzz around coffee these days, tea sometimes gets neglected.  And while New York’s experiencing a coffee revolution, there are just as exciting things happening in the world of tea.  We can’t help but notice several new tea spots determined to change the way we see and sip tea.  There’s the French-inspired Bosie Tea Parlor with a Bouley-trained pastry chef turning out killer macaroons and one-of-a-kind David’s Teas  made with everything from popcorn to chili and chocolate.  Here’s a few of our favorites… David’s Tea Address: 275 Bleecker St., btwn. Jones and Cornelia Sts. (multiple locations) Phone: (212) 414-8599 Website: We can thank Canada for this exciting, new tea shop, which just recently opened in Manhattan.  David’s Tea (pictured above) ups the ante with one-of-a-kind blends that will change the way you think about tea.  Think we’re exaggerating?  How...

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In Fall Fashion: Peruvian Food

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 in Trendwatch

Maybe it’s wrong, but we’re always a little skeptical about fusion. Some traditions just weren’t meant to be mixed. While it might sound like an oxymoron, Peruvian cuisine is an authentic fusion.  Glance at a Peruvian menu and you’ll discover Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and African influences. Peru’s a melting pot of sorts with over five hundred years under its belt to integrate those countries flavors and ingredients into one cuisine. Take lomo saltado for example. This traditional dish of meat, potatoes, ají amarillo chile, onions, and tomatoes, all sautéed with soy sauce and vinegar. Chinese technique for Prehispanic and European ingredients. Talk about a food synergy. Aside from pisco and ceviche, or as they spell it in Peru, cebiche, it’s never fully made it into New York’s “gastroconsciousness” until recently. Peruvian cuisine is suddenly in the spotlight this...

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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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The Pop-Up Restaurant Trend

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 in Trendwatch

Does restaurant quality food need to be confined to the traditional restaurant model?  The answer is quickly becoming no.  With the influx of pop-up restaurants and roving supper clubs, the landscape of New York’s dining scene seems to be shifting.  Pop-ups give temporary homes to novel ideas and unique talent that may not have the resources to plunk down capital on a permanent home. A pop-up restaurant is a temporary restaurant installation. It could be a try out for a more permanent restaurant, something more like a “food exhibit”, or a one-night stand. A good example is What Happens When, a pop-up collaboration orchestrated by John Fraser (Dovetail). The project that started as a fund-raising effort on Kickstart, a website that generates funds for pet projects and startups, has taken residency downtown for 9-months and will cycle through four “movements” or...

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Trend Watch: Gourmet Ice

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 in Trendwatch

Chefs are famous for being perfectionists and that includes cocktail chefs.  First, bartenders started serving homemade infusions, soon followed by housemade bitters, tonic water and even sodas crafted in-house. The latest fixation among barkeeps is ice.  They’re determined to serve your drink chilled not watered-down.  Small, square cubes don’t always cut it.  Different liquors work best with different sizes and shapes of ice.  Hand cut, artisanal, non-melting – this is the verbiage being thrown around in new, and serious, cocktail establishments nowadways.  There’s crushed ice for creating snow cone-style cocktails and swizzle stick ice cubes that run the length of your highball. While it’s anticipated that Grant Achatz’s forthcoming Chicago bar Aviary will be the forerunner in ice cube culture with 14 shapes and varieties available come opening, Forty Four at The Royalton comes pretty close.  This sleek, midtown...

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Jewish Food Redefined

Posted on Feb 8, 2011 in Trendwatch

Until just recently, Jewish cooking was far from fashionable or even flavorful, for that matter.  In the last year, new restaurants are featuring Jewish cuisine, everything from Montreal deli food to “New Jewish” cooking with a Mediterranean edge.  There’s even a rumor that Jeffrey Chodorow is teaming up with Kutschers, the Poconos’ most famous hotel-resorts, known forits Jewish foodstuffs, like borscht, smoked fish and potato latkes.  There’s everything from the very un-kosher Traif in Brooklyn to old school steakhouses like Sammy’s Roumanian or Octavia’s Porch in the East Village.  Here’s a few of our favorites: Old School: Katz’s Address: 205 E Houston between Ave. A & Essex St. Phone: (212) 254-2246 Website: When did Katz’s become a tourist destination? The out-of-towners seem to be outnumbering the New Yorkers these days.  You can’t blame them for wanting to taste the mythical pastrami or corned beef at this Lower East Side deli.  The sandwiches are stuffed to towering proportions if you...

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Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 in Trendwatch

Seasonal menus used to be the exception.  Now, they’re the rule.  These days, chefs showcase seasonal ingredients from small, local farmers.  Diners would rather eat domestic wagyu than Japanese wagyu and American caviar than Beluga caviar.   Farm-to-table dining’s become trendy, but some restaurants take it more seriously than others.  There’s Greenmarket pioneers that have been around for years, like Dan Barber’sBlue Hill, and some terrific newcomers, like The Local Store.  Here’s a few of our favorites: The Local Store Address:316 E 49th St., btwn. Second & First Aves. Phone:(212) 935-4266      It’s rare to find small-town charm in midtown Manhattan, but that’s exactly what Chef Richele Benway’s Local Store brings to this neighborhood.  Part restaurant, part bakery and part wine bar, this new spot is a haven for locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients.  For lunch, try the prosciutto, apple and brie...

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New Orleans Grub on The Rise

Posted on May 2, 2010 in Trendwatch

While we didn’t make it down to New Orleans’ Jazz Fest this year, we certainly ate like we did this weekend  right here in New York.   NoHo (short for New Orleans) grub has suddenly come into fashion this spring, and it’s about time crawfish, gumbo and Po’ Boys get their due.   The Redhead, located in the East Village, and its flawless fried chicken first caught the attention of foodies last spring.  Since then, we’ve eaten oyster po boys at Choptank, Cajun fried shrimp at Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and muffalatas at Mara’s Homemade.  More importantly, we’ve noticed a lot more Southern cooking on the dining scene as newcomers and neighborhood standbys alike have been making some creative Cajun and Creole dishes around town. The Redhead Address: 349 East 13th Street Phone: (212) 533-6212 The buttermilk fried chicken may...

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Tasting Talent in The Goodie Bag

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 in Trendwatch

You know how when you eat something alone in the kitchen it’s almost like it never happened?  (Those calories don’t really count because no one saw you do it.)  The only drawback is that no one got to share it with you either.  There’s no one sitting across the table to delight in the divinity of dessert, no one to to convince, “You’ve got to try this.”   There’s also less fanfare for the chef who made it.  You swooned in vein. That’s how I felt about the apple cinnamon muffin I devoured after a four-course meal at Marea.   It was a parting gift from the restaurant, baked by the pastry chef, Heather Bertinetti.  And it was one of the best muffins I’ve had — wonderfully moist, packed with golden raisins and soft, sweet chunks of apple.  Thank god...

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Tasty Trends:Spring Forward

Posted on Mar 3, 2006 in Trendwatch

Daniel, Craft, Bouley, Per Se,oh my!  I could go on, but I won’t make you jealous with all of the delicious details.  Think of it as The Fashion Week of Food as thirty-eight of the city’s biggest chefs cooked up a sublime storm all in the name of C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts).  It was every foodie’s whet dream this year and I, a culinary martyr, left no dish untasted, no plate uncleaned, to bring you the hottest trends in food for spring: RETRO DESSERTS      From Olives’ surprisingly satisfying Black cherry ice cream float, topped off with a rice krispie treat, to Atelier’s gourmet homage to the Mallomar (hazelnut biscuit bottom), classic favorites are making a comeback in cuisine.  The pastry goddess herself, Craft’s KarenDeMasco, was out in full form, personally frying up cinammon doughnuts with the...

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Food Trend Watch – Apple Cake with Bacon?

Posted on Feb 25, 2006 in Trendwatch

   I remember it like it was yesterday — the first time I saw salt curiously sprinkled atop a potentially perfect dark chocolate torte.  I admittedly rolled my eyes and dismissed it as another celebrity chef’s whimsical attempt to drum up attention.  I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to be wrong. Suddenly, it all made sense.  Salt was the perfect complement to chocolate, evoking the rich complexity of the cocoa bean in all its well-deserved glory.   But pastry chefs didn’t stop there: wasabi, pepper, chile, even cilantro.  The unlikely marriages that have taken place in the past year in the dessert world have rocked the very foundation on which my favorite course has so firmly stood. But bacon?  I cringed at the mere sight of syrup carelessly poured on perfectly good breakfast bacon. That is until one fateful fall...

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Posted on Jan 30, 2006 in Trendwatch

SALTY & SWEET —  This season’s culinary odd couple is dessert seasoned with sea salt as the city’s top chefs discover the magic of salt.  From Le Bernadin’s sumptous “egg” filled with milk chocolate crème, caramel foam, maple syrup and sea salt to david burke and donatella’s chocolate and caramel layers with a pinch of sel de gris and sea salt ice cream to boot, salt is getting the recognition it deserves as the quintessential seasoning, intensifying the flavor of just about anything.  Growing so popular in the art of pastry, this condiment is even showing up at trendier restaurants, like Butter, where a chocolate semifreddo is perfectly paired with Hawaiian sea salt and caramel. FOOD & WINE – Many of New York’s newest and hippest restaurants are planning to bring food and wine pairings to the masses.  While...

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