Here Are Some Of the Most Delicious Things I Ate For 3 Weeks

Here Are Some Of the Most Delicious Things I Ate For 3 Weeks

 

Cured Fish, Nordic Breads and Skyr Panna Cotta: YUM!!! My only complaint: too much food!

  • However, the fact that I only put on 5 lbs. (3 of which I’ve already lost) speaks to how healthily we were fed – especially when you consider we frequently had two breakfasts or  lunches per day based on our travel schedule.
  • I also realized that my German upbringing made me partial to the many versions of pickled/cured herring and salmon on menus.
  • Many of my fellow travelers were “so over” fish by the time we got to Iceland, they headed straight to The Hard Rock Café for hamburgers.
  • Other delicious items: home-baked Norwegian Fjellbrod served at breakfast with cloudberry and lingonberry jams.
  • And my favorite dessert, served in Iceland at the Hotel Geysir: the skyr (yogurt) panna cotta.
  • Unfortunately, I took not a single great pic of our meals but read on below for favorites from Kyoto to Greenland – and you’ll understand how easy it was to put on the poundage.

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This Secret Bushwick Café Is Crazy Beautiful

This Secret Bushwick Café Is Crazy Beautiful

 

Carthage Must Be Destroyed is MAJOR!

  • This 5 month old café – with no street sign – is out-of-this world beautiful. And eclectic. And very pink.
  • Once you find the unmarked driveway, look for the pink ducting and venting on the side of a warehouse and you’ll know you’ve come to the right spot.
  • There is also a worn out numeral 222 on a pole on the side of the driveway (see pic below)
  • The décor and ambiance is unlike anything I’ve seen before. They’re not too keen on having you take photos although I did get in quite a few as well as video before they told me that was verboten.
  • In the meantime, follow their instagram (it’s really good!).
  • They only serve brunch at the moment – hours are limited: 9am-2pm weekdays and 9am-4pm on weekends. The trek there is absolutely worth it. Thank you Emma Forster for the heads up on this amazing find.

Those of you who know me well, know that when I find something that I believe is going to be MAJOR, I literally have a physical reaction. I get short of breath and get agitated because my senses can’t take it all in – this is exactly what happened to me here.

Carthage Must Be Destroyed has the potential to be as influential on the culinary and design fronts as Roberta’s was back in 2008.

Here are the details:

222 Bogart Street (at the intersection of Ten Eyck and Bogart)
Hours: 9am-2pm (weekdays), 9am-4pm (weekends)
Menu: Very substantial brunch dishes – eggs, avocado toast, porridge etc. Everything we had was delicious
They take charge cards.

See below for more photos plus a video I snuck in of the interior.

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Have You Ever Met A French Cheese You Didn’t Like? Me Neither…

Have You Ever Met A French Cheese You Didn’t Like? Me Neither…

 

Invited to a wine and cheese pairing event at the French Cheese Board in Soho last Monday. Wines were by Chateau des Bormettes (imported by Wineberry America).

Highlights of the event:

  • The Crottin de Chavignol goes exceptionally well with the Rose. So much so, I was compelled to make a goat cheese purchase at the event.
  • The French Cheese Board is a great resource to dial up your cheese expertise e.g. if you’re having a party and want some tips on putting together perfect cheese platters, this is your spot. Ask for Charles Duque (French Dairy Board).
  • They also offer classes. I’m going to take the Fromage 101 class from cheese monger, Mary Connolly, who I met at the event (pic above, lower right).
  • This is also going to become my go-to for cheese purchases (vs. trekking all the way to Trader Joe’s). Prices are exceptional – and quality is top-notch.
  • I met some very cool food bloggers and instagrammers – including chubbychinesegirleats. Follow her!!  She’s one more former blogger who now only instagrams (51K followers).

Very fun and informative event. Thank you Laura Baddish of the Baddish Group for the invite. And if any of you are looking for a venue for an intimate foodie/wine/cheese event, this might be your spot. Reach out to Laura for more info.

Pics of the event below.

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Top summer drinking trends for 2017

Top summer drinking trends for 2017

 

Temperatures have been in the high-80’s all week in NYC so summer drinking season is just around the corner.

Here are some trends to enjoy:

Cynar Spritz

  • Edging out the Aperol Spritz this summer.
  • There’s also the Cynar Fizz (lemon, sugar and soda).

Amaro Is Booming

  • Amaro is increasingly popular, showing up on menus around the country from New York to Chicago, Milwaukee and San Francisco.
  • Bartenders in the Bay Area get a lot of the credit for popularizing amaro – from Palo Alto’s new Vina Enoteca restaurant which carries dozens of amari to San Fran’s Quince Restaurant which has an amaro cart roaming the dining room
  • Tony Hsieh of Zappos loves Fernet and has introduced it to his tech startup circle where every social occasion is a “Fernet moment.”
  • Bay Area spirits makers are also starting to distill amaro with a California twist. Link here.

 

Read on below for more summer drinking trends including the Prosecco and Rosé face off. The former doing an amazing job branding the category, the latter doing a phenomenal job in creating innovative products with outstanding packaging.

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What We’re Learning From Culinary Curators

What We’re Learning From Culinary Curators

 

Here are the top food trends I’m currently tracking.

1. Los Angeles: the food city of the moment (Source: LA Times)

  • So many trends start here: avocado toast, things in a bowl, Egg Slut, Kogi food trucks.
  • The line between high and low is being obliterated: a chef in a truck can be as talented and respected as a chef in a temple of cuisine
  • Also tracking what the culinary curators lined up for the major West Coast festivals (Coachella, of course, and in June, the Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl)
  • Coming out of those events: More Asian cuisine with items made with Matcha and Poke Bowls still big.
  • The discovery and sharing of food has become just as important as discovering and sharing music. “I knew [band] before it was cool” has turned into “I ate that before it was cool,” because unique food with quality ingredients is more accessible than ever. And given the marketing power of social media, it’s more picturesque. (Source: LA Weekly)

Read on below for more on Mexican influences, and my take on what the popularity of Le Coucou vs. Le Cirque tells us about shifting tastes and trends not only in food but in real estate, society and culture in NYC.

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MADE NICE: Daniel Humm Takes Fast Casual To A Brilliant New Level

MADE NICE: Daniel Humm Takes Fast Casual To A Brilliant New Level

 

Made Nice opened last week and it is wonderful with exceptional food. Leaves Sweetgreen and Cava Grill in the dust.

Here’s what makes Made Nice especially nice:

  • It comes to us from Daniel Humm, Chef of Eleven Madison (just named best restaurant in the world!!
  • The ambiance – there’s a real kitchen, with real chefs. Daniel Humm was even in the house when we were there last Friday (pic above left). The mural is by Shepard Fairey.
  • The staff  – incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and clearly happy with what their doing.
  • The food – delicious and beautifully presented.
  • They serve wine!!
  • Their website is gorgeous.

Here’s what we had:

  • Salmon Rosti: Frisée Salad, Smoked Salmon, Dill-Caper Relish, Potato Crouton, Pickled Onion & Buttermilk Vinaigrette – $15 (and even tho they discourage substitutions, they did eliminate the soft-boiled egg for me)
  • Curry Cauliflower: May have been my favorite dish! Cauliflower Stew, Tofu, Couscous, Coconut, Lemongrass, Watercress, Almond & Grapes – $11
  • Chicken Rice: Braised Chicken Thigh, Basmati Rice, Parmesan, Marinated Tomatoes, Scallions, Rosemary & Lemon – $14
  • Cod Provencal: My least favorite. Seared Cod, Chickpea Purée, Braised Fennel, Tomato, Olives & Crispy Chickpeas – $15
  • Milk & Honey Soft Serve: LOVE!! Milk Ice Cream, Honey Brittle, Oat Shortbread & Buckwheat Honey – $6

Only downside, prices are a little high – but not outrageous. Also watchout if you do takeout:  the paper bags are not sized for the containers so by the time you get back to your office or home, you may have a soggy mess to deal with.

Location: 8 West 28th Street; Hours: 11am-10pm (Monday-Saturday; Closed Sundays)

More pics below.

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Atlanta Has An Excellent Food Scene: Here Are The Standouts

Atlanta Has An Excellent Food Scene: Here Are The Standouts

The Optimist

 

Spent last weekend in ATL and had the most exceptional series of dinners, lunches and cocktails. Here are the top 5 starting with my absolute favorite:

The Optimist (914 Howell Mill Road NW)

  • This is my favorite restaurant. Kudos to Ford Fry for coming up with such a winning combination. The Optimist delivers all the essential elements of a great dining experience: phenomenal food, great vibe and ambiance and knowledgeable, friendly waitstaff.
  • Another major plus: you can have a conversation with your table mates. The decibel level of the music encourages conversation. Other restaurants, please take note!!
  • Here’s what we ordered: ceviche, tuna poke, octopus, kale salad with chorizo and calabrian chilis (amazing!), most of the fish dishes (all wood-hearth roasted). And for dessert, make sure you get the salted caramel ice cream. Also, the Dogwood cocktail is a winner (made with 10 Old Fourth Distillery vodka, Torres orange brandy, house-made orange cordial, lemon, 18.21 Creole bitters).
  • The Optimist is located in an old ham-aging house. The outdoors resembles a seaside fish camp – complete with mini golf. It was rainy on Sunday so the outdoors was shutdown but next time!

Read on below for additional favorites including Staplehouse.

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The Flower Shop: Avoid Food, Head Straight To The Basement Man-Cave

The Flower Shop: Avoid Food, Head Straight To The Basement Man-Cave

 

  • Best thing about our visit to this brand-new hot spot in Chinatown was being seated next to Tony Hawk, skateboard legend (and one of the investors).
  • A stellar group of hospitality pros is behind this place including several guys from the Major Food Group (Carbone, Parm etc)
  • It’s been open for about a month and is attracting hordes of cool skater/hipster boys (and the girls who love them).
  • Those in the know, immediately head downstairs because that’s where the action is.
  • The downstairs has been “decorated” to simulate a Wisconsin basement rec room: lots of fake wood-paneling, pool table, gas fireplace, orange carpeting, Budweiser lamps, and an assortment of knickknacks that dial up the midwestern vibe.

  • We made the mistake of ordering food – our cute waiter from Hawaii made it all sound so delicious but I would advise you to come here to drink and maybe order some fries.
  • Should you be starving and decide you need something more filling, here are some things NOT to order: the fried chicken, the tuna poke, the beet salad. I also would bypass the cocktails and go straight for beer, booze or wine.

Photos below as well as info on who is involved in this project. It’s a star-studded group so despite the food missteps, I see this becoming the new MAX FISH. Definitely has that kind of vibe.

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