This past weekend, my friend Katie and I decided to catch up over an excellent meal at Esca and an off-Broadway show called Spiegelworld. Both were amazing and fascinating and I had such a great time.
Here's what went down at Esca:
Esca is a fantastic southern Italian trattoria specializing in seafood. There is a beautiful patio space out back, and since it was a nice evening, that's where Katie and I chose to dine. Interestingly enough, this restaurant is also a collaboration between Dave Pasternack, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich. So already I had high hopes for my dinner. Read More
Do you know what the Great GoogaMooga Festival is? It's a real thing. It's a real, awesome thing.
GoogaMooga is a food festival. It is also a music festival. The festival lasted 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and was hosted in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. Several well-known.restaurants, breweries, and wineries were present at the event. Additionally, well-known musical acts (such as The Roots and Daryl Hall & John Oates) closed out the events each night. General Admission to the festival was free, as long as you could score a ticket. There was also an "Extra Mooga" experience that you could purchase for an obscene amount of money and you would have access to a bunch of really cool events with celebrity chefs. I didn't take advantage of that because really, it was too expensive and I just wanted to hang out with some good friends and get a few bites to eat.
I showed up on a sunny Saturday afternoon to partake in the day's events. The day's events included demos, presentations, and bands at various locations within the GoogaMooga grounds. Upon arriving, one of the first things I saw was a huge and beautifully colorful cake. Yep. That's right. Read More
Wow, I've just realized that I haven't done a review in a long time. In fact, I haven't done one since last summer! This isn't to say that I haven't been gallivanting around town and checking out new spots. I just haven't been focusing on it like I should have been. I'm about to fix that. I have a few reviews coming your way. I'm on a travel stint which will last approximately two weeks, so my home-cooked meals shall be non-existent for a hot minute.
Instead, I will tell you allll about this cool venue in New York City called City Winery. In case you haven't put "two" and "two" together yet, this is a winery which happens to be located in NYC. Can you really get much better than that? I'm pretty sure it would be difficult to top this. But they try. Because City Winery is also a popular music venue. There's a musician or a band playing on the built-in stage just about everyday. What don't you love about that?
During the week, the Barrel Room at City Winery is open for lunch. The Barrel Room happens to be an attached 30-seat cafe/tasting room with 11 wines on tap. Did you just hear what I said? 11 wines on tap. Sweet be-jeebus. Read More
I've been doing a lot of food reviews on this blog lately. A lot of reviews and a lot of eating. I can't help it. Summertime is here and the NY food trucks have come out in full force. Even better, there are a ton of food events during which those food trucks get together and I can sample just about all of them at once. Yes, please. I'm on it.
This week's food event? The Midtown Lunch Birthday Party. Midtown Lunch is a website dedicated to finding New Yorker's a decent lunch. Originally, as you have probably guessed, the idea was to help find New Yorker's a decent (and cheap) lunch in the midtown area. However, they've now expanded to include other areas of NY and a few other cities. Obviously, you can also check out the site anytime of the day and not just for lunch. So anyhow...did I mention the website turned 5?! That's right. The big 5. So the Midtown Lunch crew decided to throw themselves a birthday party complete with all-you-can-eat food and all-you-can-drink beverages. Because why not? The ticket cost was $55 if purchased in advance and this included food and drinks for a full 3 hours. Can't beat that. Read More
For the past two weeks, I've been meaning to head across the rivers (yes, "rivers", as in more than one river) to check out Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For opening weekend, May 21st, I was in California. The following weekend, I was swamped with errands and didn't find the time to make it there. This past weekend though, I just knew I had to have a Smorgasburg outing.
Wait, what? You haven't heard of Smorgasburg? Read More
I haven't done a review in a while, so there's no better time than the present. Actually, looking back through my blog posts, Ive never reviewed an actual restaurant, so this will be a first.
Several few weeks ago, my friend Anjelika introduced me to Balthazar Restaurant, which is a French restaurant in NYC's Soho district. After a leisurely brunch there, I was hooked. So when my mom visited me over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided we should go back again. Wow, I'm glad we did.
As soon as my mom and I arrived, we were informed that since we were early (we showed up at 9:30am), we couldn't place an order until 10am, when Brunch is served. We chose to sit anyway and our server Carol came over to introduce herself. Best. Server. Ever. If you go there, you should request to sit in her section. For real.
My mom and I each ordered a cappuccino and Carol provided menus so that we could peruse the brunch possibilities. However the cappuccino kept stealing my attention. It was amazingly thick and creamy with just the right amount of foam on top of the espresso and milk. I heart caffeine.
Carol stopped by again and discussed each menu option with us so that we could make informed decisions. In the end, we chose two appetizers and two entrees. Carol received our order just prior to 10am and I think we were the first order into the kitchen for Brunch that day! Read More
I just took the most amazing cupcake workshop ever! Well, I've never taken any cupcake workshops before so by default, this is the best I've ever taken. But even if I had, I still think this would have been the best.
I took the class at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) which is just across the river from Hoboken, in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. Chef Melanie Underwood was our instructor for the Cupcake Workshop 1 class. She was so knowledgeable and it was such a pleasant experience to get all my cupcake-related questions addressed in one location on one day. Read More
This week, THK decided to take a little field trip. Let's face it, all this cooking has left my freezer a little overstuffed, so I took a break and headed on over to Brooklyn. The main attraction? The Brooklyn Brewery
I've been meaning to go to this brewery for a while. I almost made it earlier this year, but the key word there is "almost". In actuality, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood in which the Brooklyn Brewery resides is not that far from Hoboken. I hopped on the PATH to 14th St in NYC, then transferred to the L and got off at the first stop in Brooklyn. It took me about an hour and a half to make it to my destination. And that includes the pit stop I made to the Cupcake Stop, which happened to be conveniently located in Union Square that afternoon. (Yummm...I need to blog about that place someday!) But seriously, an hour and a half is little to ask for when you consider the prize waiting at the end of your journey.
I jumped off the L train at the Bedford Avenue stop, which is the first stop after crossing the East River. I was met by the obligatory hipsters and a random girl in a silver sequined skirt. Yep, Williamsburg is a little quirky, but still cute. About 5 blocks later, I ended up in front of a large yellow brick building. I wasn't too sure at first that this was the actual location. Although their website, brooklynbrewery.com, provides an actual address, the street they directed me to is filled with warehouses. There were numerous false alarms before I found the actual brewery. The huge "B" label above the warehouse doors clinched the deal. Unfortunately, I didn't actually get a picture of this, but trust me, it's there. Another Brooklyn Brewery label greeted me as I stepped inside a pair of huge warehouse doors. See picture above.
Fun Fact: their label was designed by Milton Glaser, who designed those "I Love New York" t-shirts. Read More
Making it to the Dessert Truck has been a goal of mine for the past 12 months. I don't hold on to too many dreams this long. I either do something about it or I let it slide on past. The Dessert Truck was special enough to stick it out.
For those of you who do not know, here's a little background on the Dessert Truck. The Dessert Truck is literally a truck that is parked around New York City where any passerby can buy high-end desserts for non-high-end prices. The chefs make everything from scratch, from the homemade vanilla ice cream to meringues to decadent sauces for their chocolate bread pudding. Also, they have been featured on the Food Network for a little show called "Throwndown" with my personal friend Bobby Flay. Well...technically he's not really my friend but he did open a Mesa Grill restaurant in the Bahamas and I've eaten there, so it's just a matter of time before we become bosom buddies. Read More