Archive | December, 2011

New Wine Shop in the Heights

31 Dec

After eating brunch at Iris Cafe, I took a walk down to Pier 6 and discovered Waterfront Wines, a brand new wine shop. Waterfront specializes in products made in accordance with local traditions, through sustainable practices. Their selections highlight classic production methods, including organic, biodynamic, and natural wines made in accordance with local traditions.

I browsed the shop, excited to see brands I had never discovered before, and picked out a Cava for my New Years Eve celebration. I also couldn’t resist grabbing a bottle of Malbec too. Buying on a budget? Waterfront has a table extending through the middle of the store filled with bottles $13 and under. PLUS the staff is super helpful in making good recommendations for any occasion. Make sure to check it out at One Brooklyn Bridge Park near Joralemon.

My Waterfront Wines selections

My Brooklyn New Years Eve Plans

29 Dec

I had a difficult time deciding at which Brooklyn spot I would ring in the new year. After careful deliberation, I picked Alma for dinner. With a $50 prix fixe and the ultimate rooftop dining experience, I knew it would be ideal for a new years eve celebration. The menu includes paella de Mexico, braised duck tacos, mexican churros with caramel sauce, and more delectable picks.

AFTER dinner, I’ll  be heading to one of my favorite bars of all time– 61Local. At midnight, they’ll be serving up some off-the-beaten-path fizzy stuff like hard ginger beer, hard apple cider, and a fizzy red blended from Red Hook winery in Brooklyn.

Sound good? Come out and join the party. And even if you can’t make it, I’ll be sure to post about the festivities here with plenty of pictures.

Must-Try in 2012

27 Dec

I have a long, long, LONG list of Brooklyn restaurants I want to try. So long, that I need to write them all down to remember them. I’ve picked out my top five here. Have you dined at any of them yet?

1. Isa

Ever since I read the five star review in Time Out New York, I’ve been dying to go to Isa in Williamsburg. I hear the food is very

Isa, photo courtesy of Urban Daddy

seasonal, as the menu changes every day, and they even have orange wine. I don’t know why that is appealing, but it sounds like fun. Urban Daddy calls it a “rustic mediterranean cabin” that’s “intensely romantic.” That’s it. I’m going.

2. Traif

Combos like “sauteed brocoli rabe, roasted portabella truffle toast, and fried egg” & “salt & pepper white shrimp, golden pineapple, and sweet potatoes” really get me. Which is why I could probably spend hours engrossed in Traif’s menu. Those exciting combos plus their cocktail/wine list have made me really want to hit this spot up for some time. I just can’t decide whether to try brunch or dinner first. Thoughts?

A course at the Chef's Table

3. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

I’m kind of embarrassed that I haven’t been to the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare yet. It’s close to my apartment and it’s known as one of the top restaurants in the city. What have I been waiting for? It’s a prix fixe meal with over 20 small plate courses. PLUS it’s BYOB and the only Brooklyn 3 Michelin Star restaurant.

4. The Grocery

I feel like I’ve been to every restaurant on Smith Street except The Grocery. Clearly that needs to change. I’m liking the dinner menu, but can’t help but drool over the dessert menu– with gingerbread steamed pudding, chocolate fig cake, and buttermilk pannacotta served with a grape sorbet. AND if you’re around this weekend, they are having a New Year’s Day pancake breakfast. Score.

5. Pillar & Plough

My Twitter friend @ohthatlaura insisted that I try Pillar & Plough at Hotel Williamsburg, and I’m totally following her lead in 2012. Ingredients on the menu are all handpicked from local farms, like the Grilled Octopus with blood orange, caramelized endive, and white beer. AND the artesian cocktails are an added bonus.

Where will you be dining in 2012?

 

Smorgasburg fans, welcome SmorgasBREWERY!

22 Dec

If you flocked to the Williamsburg waterfront this summer for a taste of some of the best local tastes at Smorgasburg, you’ll love the latest from the Brooklyn Brewery– SmorgasBREWERY! Every Sunday this winter, New York’s best food vendors will offer their tastiest treats inside the brewery. The weekly feast will also include free brewery tours, and some of the opening week vendors included Kumquat Cupcakery, Mile End, and Brooklyn Oyster Party. Check it out Sundays from 12pm-5pm through March, except December 25th and January 1st.

 

Becoming Brooklyn’s Breakfast Essentials

21 Dec

I’ve always been a breakfast-loving kind of girl. Eternally a morning person, I secretly get pretty pumped to wake up and eat breakfast. I always make sure my kitchen is stocked with a few essentials. Check out my picks.

1. Early Bird Granola

A word of warning before you try this granola: you will almost 100 percent become addicted once you grab your first handful. This crunchy  essential comes in three different varieties, Farmhand’s Choice (my fave), Choc-a-doodle-doo, and Jubilee. And now they even make granola bars for those on-the-go days. Top your yogurt, munch with milk, or just gobble it up straight from the bag.

 

2. Brewklyn Grind Coffee

I recently discovered Brewklyn Grind, and I’ve since become obsessed. These Brooklyn guys know their coffee. They only source the finest 100% certified Arabica coffee beans around, carefully hand selecting each coffee based on specific quality and taste attributes. I’m sipping on the Brewklyn Harrar blend, which is super rich and earthy.

3. That’s my Jam!

That’s my Jam! is a homemade jam & jelly company based in Bushwick. Their products are made without preservatives, in small batches, using organic and local ingredients whenever possible. They have ah-mazingly unique flavors too, like Vanilla Peach,  Cherry Bourbon, Habanero, and Watermelon Jelly. Or, just go for the apple butter. You won’t regret it.

BYOB Printing in Gowanus

20 Dec

Gowanus Print Lab empowers its neighborhood and patrons to print dancing visions and dreamed-up images to almost any surface within its massive, fully equipped facilities– and now it’s going BYOB. You can create your own tees, shoes, or stationery with your own artwork whilst sipping on your favorite alcoholic beverage. Check out today’s Groupon deal for an uber-discount:

  • For $35, you get a BYOB screenprinting class for one (an $80 value).
  • For $65, you get a BYOB screenprinting class for two (a $160 value).
  • For $95, you get a BYOB screenprinting class for four (a $320 value).

Take your friends, a date, or your co-workers. Get it here.

Learn to concoct winter cocktails.

19 Dec

I’m a huge fan of the Brooklyn Brainery. They offer tons of unique classes, whether you’re interested in Hindi script, beekeeping, or the history of cheese. I’m into one of their latest offerings, an oh-so-seasonal class called “Winter Cocktails: Hot Drinks for Cold Nights.” Class instructor J Soma is offering tips on hot toddies, mulled wine, hot buttered rum and more to keep winter at bay. You’ll “explore the manifold variations of the toddy, pinpoint the history of wassail and learn to accept that yes, nutmeg does belong in everything.”

The class is on Monday January 16th from 8:30 to 10pm and Thursday January 19th from 8:30 to 10pm, for just $35. Sign up here.  

You need a little BROOKLYNrehab.

18 Dec

Still looking for a last minute gift idea? Check out BROOKLYNrehab. The designer is Alyssa Zygmunt. She’s a fashion designer by day, collector and crafter by night, and she has handmade, vintage, and found pieces in her Etsy shop. For the holidays, I’m especially loving the ornaments pictured below, but her non-holiday pieces are worth taking a look at too. See the whole collection here.

Three Brooklyn Ways to Beat Depression.

16 Dec

For many of us, a little depression kicks in around the holidays– whether it’s the winter blues, the rough economy, or a tad bit of loneliness. Some Brooklyn time usually cheers me up, albeit temporarily. I’ve picked three of my favorite ways to subside depression in the borough over the bridge.

1. The Chocolate Room

My go-to cure for sadness. It’s science though, really, chocolate has been proven to boost your mood. So here’s what you do; go in with your chin held high. Take a deep whiff of the cocoa aroma, and grab a seat in the back. Order the brownie sundae. Trust me on that. You won’t be to help but smile when the waiter brings you the hot fudge-laden tower. For the extra sad: pair it with a chocolate stout.

The “I want to be alone” alternative: a pint of Steve’s Bklyn Blackout Ice Cream.

photo via The Kitchen Files

2. Henry Public

picture via Eat it

I don’t (usually) recommend drinking yourself into oblivion to cure depression. That would be irresponsible of me. BUT sometimes a drink or two at a nice spot can make you feel a little bit better, right? Take a walk to Henry Public. They’re serving up a variety of beers and wine, but their cocktails are worth going for. I like The Wide Awake Cocktail, with gin, lemon, ginger (fresh & liqueur), and islay scotch. It tastes a little like sunshine, I think. If sunshine wasn’t a ball of fire. Pair it with the turkey leg sandwich, and voila! Smile.

The “I want to be alone” alternative: a six pack of Brooklyn East India Pale Ale from American Beer Distributors.

 

3. Brooklyn Bowl

Bowling is just kind of funny, isn’t it? It’s awkward, kind of nerdy, but who can deny it’s ability to make you laugh? The best part of Brooklyn Bowl, is that it’s not just bowling. It’s paired with live music and delicious food. This weekend, make plans to see a show and bowl a little bit. Tomorrow’s shows include The New Orleans Suspects and Stylofone. Ps. Get the Mac & Cheese (ultimate comfort food).

The “I want to be alone” alternative: buy this Brooklyn Bowl platter, make your own mac, and play Wii bowling.

Still sad? Email me at becomingbklyn@gmail.com. I have plenty more happy-fiers.

Shop Curated Gifts from Brooklyn Artisans

14 Dec

The Locally Grown gift bundle from With Love, From Brooklyn

I recently discovered “With love, from Brooklyn,” just in time for the holidays thanks to twitter friend Denis Hurley. It’s a curated gift site with picks from Brooklyn artisans, perfect for any Brooklyn-ite on your shopping list. I’m loving the “Breakfast in Brooklyn” bundle, filled with goodies like Brewklyn Coffee and granola from Granola Lab. You’ll also love the “Tea it Up” gift set, with everything you need for your tea break.

Buying from “With love, from Brooklyn” is a great way to support local businesses too, like The Good Batch, Nunu Chocolates, Bakes, and Brooklyn Cruiser. Check it out for yourself here.