Archive | November, 2012

Decorate Your Tree in Brooklyn

30 Nov

It’s time to deck the halls, so why not add a little BK to your holiday decor? I’m a fan of this Etsy designer, Neighborwoods, who makes Brooklyn wood maps and keychains. And for the holiday season, cute Christmas decor like this ornament. It comes in a sturdy keepsake slider box for easy gift giving and safe storage. Get yours here for $30. 

Drool of the Day: Biscuit, Ricotta and Honey

27 Nov

Eaten at Allswell in Williamsburg

Where to Buy a Holiday Cocktail Dress

24 Nov

(photo via Brooklyn Exposed)

It’s that time of year when my calendar explodes with holiday cocktail parties, which brings on the stress of what to wear to each and every one. My first step? Head over to Pink Pepper Boutique in Cobble Hill, where the shop is stocked with the latest in party attire and accessories.

When I’m looking for something to wear for a specific occasion, it can take several hours for me to find the perfect ensemble. But one thing I always know about Pink Pepper– they are never one to rush, and always take the time to find you exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike some other boutiques, the staff is patient, offering suggestions, but never pushy.

The manager of the shop, Nicky Johnson opened the store in 2011, after realizing how difficult it was to find a cocktail dress without heading over to Manhattan. She stocked the shop with brands like Rebecca Minkoff, Eli Tahari, Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Trina Turk, Black Halo, and Badgley Mischka, which are tough to find in the Cobble Hill area.

I’m obsessed with all of their latest pieces from BCBG, silky and sequin-y, and perfect for the holidays. Check out the BCBG Designs in the slideshow below and stop by before we get into the thick of cocktail party season.

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A Little Brooklyn, Upstate

23 Nov

This Thanksgiving, I escaped from the city to spend some time in Upstate New York. Of course, I didn’t go long before discovering a little bit of Brooklyn right in Syracuse. I drank and dined at Empire Brewing Company, where their craft beer is brewed in Brooklyn. The beer list boasts a variety of brews, like Black Magic Stout,  White Aphro (Belgian-style wit), Critz’s Pumpkin Ale, and a Downtown Brown, but I went with an IPA with hints of citrus.

You can find Empire Brewing Company brewing at Greenpoint Beerworks or on tap at over 100 bars and restaurants in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and in the Hudson Valley region. Or just take a trip Upstate! You can visit their website here for more info.

Foodie Journey: Blue Hill at Stone Barns

20 Nov

I’ve always dreamed about the day I would dine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, so when I saw an open reservation, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. If you aren’t familiar, Blue Hill is a restaurant/farm located just outside the city, and takes locavorism to an extreme with farm-to-table, unique cuisine from Chef Dan Barber.

If you’re located in the city, don’t let the commute to the restaurant scare you. It’s a super easy Metro North train ride and a quick cab to the farm. I arrived a little early, and had cocktails in the fireplace-lit lounge. I sipped on an herb-y collins concoction, until I was whisked to my table.

Each table is dressed in a white table and a four seasons journal, listing what’s in season for each month. There is no menu, but the eatery offers three prix-fixe menu options, with five, eight, or twelve courses. And unlike other menus, less courses doesn’t mean less food, just less variety. I went for the eight courses, which included a stalk of roasted brussels sprouts, mini sunflower seed whoopie pies, homemade brioche, a lobster meat dish, and a tree of kale and root veggie chips.

Mid-meal, the server notified us that they were taking us on a field trip, handing us our coats at the door. We were greeted by the chef outside, who showed us the farm’s compost and the potatoes cooking inside. We were also prompted to select an egg for our dinner– which we placed on the table when we came back indoors. Soon, the eggs reappeared in the form of an earthy mushroom dish topped with the soft egg. We also received a comport potato with some local grains– my two favorite parts of the eight courses.



We ended on a high note, with a dessert that was almost like a toasted marshmallow, a raspberry ice cream and sunflower seeds, along with some chocolate egg truffles.


While dinner was fantastic, next time I hope to make it at lunch when I can tour the farm and take advantage of the whole uber-local experience.

Brooklyn Gifts: Wall Art

14 Nov

The holidays are coming up, and that means it’s time to start shopping for your favorite Brooklyn-ites. To help you get some ideas, I’m going to feature a Brooklyn-themed or made gift each week. This week, check out this metal-y Brooklyn wall art, which happens to look fabulous on exposed brick. You can get yours at By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens.

My Foodie Cat

13 Nov

My cat Basil has been reading up on how to recreate Al Di La‘s Spaghetti alle Vongole and Flatbush Farm‘s Braised Pork Belly here at home. 


Where to Eat Right Now: Brooklyn Sandwich Society

11 Nov

If you’re looking for a place to get unique, farm-to-table sandwiches, Brooklyn Sandwich Society is your place. The new eatery comes from Andres and Melissa, the co-runners of the Brooklyn Edible Social Club, one of the coolest supper clubs in Brooklyn. The duo decided they could reach more people with a restaurant, so they left their supper club behind and took things to the next level.

I ordered  “The Grand,” or pan-fried squid, baby bok choy, cilantro, and hot and sour glaze on ciabatta. I had never had squid on a sandwich but loved the chewy, meaty squid juxtaposed with the soft bread and slightly crunchy baby bok choy. Along with sandwiches, Brooklyn Sandwich Society serves up small plates like pan-fried veal sweetbreads, grilled polenta cake, and my pick, the steamed wild mussels in a garlic broth, served with fried bread.

Good news! The Brooklyn Sandwich Society recently started serving brunch too– offering dishes like baked duck egg with yellow corn grits, a cast-iron pancake, petite muffins with bourbon whipped butter, and a couple sandwich specials. Check out all of the menus here. 

Happy One Year Anniversary, Buschenschank!

10 Nov

(photo via The L Magazine)

Buschenschank is having an anniversary celebration and you’re invited! On Wednesday, November 14th, the restaurant at 320 Court Street will be celebrating their one year anniversary, as well as debuting their new fall/winter menu. On the night of the 14th, a complimentary chef’s amuse and festive glass of Prosecco will be served to those ordering dinner.

In addition to their usual meaty staples menu staples like oxtail stew and wurst platters, they’ll also offer specials like a winter salad of grilled radicchio with wilted escarole and bacon vinaigrette, Pappardelle Bolognese, crispy pork knuckle with braised red cabbage (a regional Alto Adige dish), and chicken confit with polenta and mushrooms.
Bonus! You can now cozy up by their fireplace in the back room and enjoy their new ratskeller is open to the public Friday and Saturday nights, with live music. One boozy hot cider for $5, please.
For more info and updates on special events, like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Tomorrow: Meet America’s Best Barista

9 Nov

Katie Carguilo, the winner of the 2012 U.S. Barista Championship, is making a special appearance at Smith Canteen tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 10th.  Carguilo will be the guest barista from 3 to 5 p.m,  crafting expertly pulled espresso drinks and two specialty drinks of her own creation. First, her winning submission from the barista competition, a mix of naturally processed Ethiopian espresso from Counter Culture Coffee, jasmine green tea, lemon juice, nectarine mash, simple syrup, vinegar and soda water. The second is like a macchiato— Ethiopian espresso with goat’s milk that has been infused with roasted beets and sugar then steamed. “The flavor profile of the drink is a bit challenging, but that’s okay because coffee, just like beets and goat’s milk, is an acquired taste.”

And of course you can’t have coffee without pastries. Smith Canteen Pastry Chef Stephanie Alexander will create complimentary pastries for each drink, a mini pain au chocolat, with jasmine chocolate, to complement the jasmine fruit espresso and a lemon Shaker tart to go with the beet macchiato.

At 5 p.m., Carguilo will sit down with coffee journalist and author Oliver Strand to talk about her championship win, how to make the perfect cup, East Coast versus West Coast coffee and more. The Q&A and reception that follows will be open to the public.

Carguilo is a Brooklyn-ite too and works for Counter Culture Coffee in Manhattan as a customer service representative. Earlier this year, she competed against 54 baristas at the national championships held in Portland, Ore., with a routine involving Ethiopian coffees. She is the first New Yorker to win the championship. Carguilo went on to represent the United States at the international competition in Vienna. Oliver Strand writes the Ristretto coffee column for The New York Times and is writing a book for HarperCollins about the state of coffee today.

Be sure to stop by!