Archive | January, 2012

Flea Find: Put a Bird on it.

31 Jan

One of these days, New York is going to freeze over NYC-in-February style, and when it does, you’re going to need something warm to wear. I found this super cute sweatshirt at the Brooklyn Flea, and while it reminded me of the Portlandia scene “Put a Bird on it,” I can’t help but like it. Visit the Flea at One Hanson Place to score some cozy goods.

Because real crack is bad.

30 Jan

Spotted at By Brooklyn at 261 Smith Street

Housewarming Gift Alert

27 Jan

Have a friend that finally decided to make the move over the bridge? Show her your support (and excitement) with this Brooklyn Wine Bottle Stopper from DaisyMaeDesignsShop on Etsy. It features a colorful map of Brooklyn and the surrounding area from a vintage atlas. Get your here for $28.

5 Reasons to Try Isa

26 Jan

photo via Zagat Blog

I ate at new-ish restaurant Isa in Williamsburg last week, and if you haven’t been there yet, I suggest you recommend making a reservation there soon. Need a reason? Here’s five.

1. Orange Wine

I read that Isa was serving up orange wine, along with the more traditional red, white, and rose options, so I had to go for it. What’s orange wine? It’s a dry wine made from white wine grape varieties that have spent some maceration time in contact with the grape skins. It’s not actually made from oranges, but it adds to the dining experience.

2. Uber-Seasonal Menu

The menu at Isa changes everyday, so you never really know what to expect when you arrive for dinner. Be ready to try some unique flavor combinations that you wouldn’t normally see on other menus.

3. It’s that cabin feel

As a New Yorker, you probably don’t get to spend much time in a cabin. Isa has a rustic woodsy look. It’s cozy and warm that makes you feel like you’re camping…. camping in a really beautiful and expensive cabin. Maybe more like an expensive ski lodge then?

4. The bread service

Sure, the bread is not the star of the meal– the appetizers, entrees, and desserts have a leg up on the bread. On the other hand, the bread at Isa is definitely a bonus. It’s baked in house, warm, and addictive. No bread bowl will go empty.

5. The experience

There’s no doubt that Isa is unique. It’s quirky and a little odd– with a menu full of peculiar combinations, like “sardine, skeleton, and olives,” or “spotted prawn with black garlic aioli.” It’s worth giving it a try and checking out the unique menu choices of the day.

Find your Nerd-Mate.

23 Jan

Are you still looking for the nerd of your life? Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo is coming to the rescue with Nerd Nite: Speed Dating, the place to find that special nerd, or at least someone you can spend some time with, bonding over your nerdy interests. The evening of February 3rd will kick off with fellas seeking lasses, followed by lasses seeking fellas, then finally a presentation from the staff. Get your tickets here. 

Join the Local Roots NYC Supper Club.

22 Jan

In a food rut? Awaken your taste buds and try something new with my favorite CSA, Local Roots NYC. The group holds a supper club spotlighting chefs and local ingredients. On Wednesday February 1st, the group will host their third supper club with guest chef Matthew Leif of Landhaus. Held in the beautiful exposed brick mezzanine at 61 Local, this dinner sits 30 and will feature a four course menu with ingredients from the CSA’s  farms and other neighboring farms.

The star of the show will be the apple. Each dish will show the versatility and wide range of flavors of apples, one of the few fruits that are available in the winter season. The meal will include a starter, a first course, a main course, and a dessert. Get your tickets here for an amazing meal with some good company.

Sip on this.

21 Jan

Order the sage cucumber julep at The Post Office in Williamsburg

Where to Eat Right Now: Traif

19 Jan

crispy pork belly, cauliflower, peperoncini, romesco, parsley-garlic

I listed Traif as one of my top 5 restaurants to try in 2012 (a foodie new years resolution), and last night I finally trekked to Williamsburg to try the much-raved-about eatery. Becoming Brooklyn twitter friends told me it would be “porkgasmic,” and to “try EVERYTHING,” so I was mentally prepared to drool publicly. The waitress suggested that with a group of four people, 8-10 dishes would be a good dinner portion, as the entire menu is small plates to share.

Although I wanted to take the advice of 27 and Frugal and order everything, we chose:

1. bacon-wrapped blue cheese–stuffed dates, spinach a la catalana (thanks for the advice secondstrokeny)

2. roasted brussels’ sprouts, grapes, puffed rice, tomatoes, herbs, chile vin.

3. salt & pepper spicy white shrimp, golden pineapple, sweet potatoes

4. crispy pork belly, cauliflower, peperoncini, romesco, parsley-garlic

5. bbq, braised short rib sliders, sweet potato fries, smoked paprika aioli

6. sauteed broccoli rabe, roasted portobella-truffle toast, fried egg

7. seared scallops, butternut squash, huckleberries, pistachios, sage

8. “Chinese hot pot” of shrimp and mussels

roasted brussels’ sprouts, grapes, puffed rice, tomatoes, herbs, chile vin.

The dishes came out in waves, making the dinner more exciting, since it was always a surprise to  see which would come out next. Our verdict? We loved the spicy shrimp, crispy pork belly,  sauteed broccoli rabe, and seared scallops (my fave) the most. We followed up the dinner with two desserts: the bacon doughnuts, dulche de leche, with coffee ice cream and nutella mousse with pear, chocolate bark, & peanut brittle. I struggled to share the nutella mousse with the rest of the table, but luckily the group allowed me to eat more mousse because I was going sans bacon doughnuts.

seared scallops, butternut squash, huckleberries, pistachios, sage

I think the most unexpected part about Traif is the atmosphere. It’s casual and relaxed despite it’s mature menu. We sat on the back enclosed patio with space heaters, and while some may not appreciate that esthetic, we liked feeling as comfy as possible as we gathered around our brussels sprouts. As my friend and fellow Traif diner Leslie said, “It works in Brooklyn.” Add Traif to your must-try list in 2012, and check out the full menu here.

The latest in Brooklyn cookbooks: One Girl Cookies

18 Jan

Already have Baked‘s cookbook? The New Brooklyn Cookbook? You’ll want to get your hands on a copy of One Girl Cookies’ new book filled with recipes like Chocolate Chip Pistachio Pound Cake and Sicilian Frozen Truffle. It’s convenient for those days that are too cold to trek down to the shop for a sugar fix. The desserts are elegant and classic, making for pretty cookbook pages. Check out the video for the trailer of the book below.

Here, it’s survival of the hippest.

17 Jan

Park Slope dweller Jessica Caramico created a screen printed tee and tote company, Brooklyn Bits. With her own Etsy shop, she’s showcasing and selling her Brooklyn-centric illustrations. I just discovered this design, “Survival of the Hippest” for $16. Get yours here.