Archive | March, 2013

Take a Wine Tour with Jarro Brooklyn.

29 Mar
New to Cobble Hill, Jarro Brooklyn is hosting an Italian wine tasting  on Monday, April 1st, 2013. The “tour” will include some classic, and some not-so-well-known varietals, inspired by the Giro d’Italia bike race, which traverses the whole country. If you’re familiar with wine regions, you may be excited to know there will be wine from Piemonte, Lombardia, Toscana, Marche, Campania and Sicilia, and if you don’t know regions, just know there will be lots of wine to try!
 Chef Rodrigo Nogueira will prepare his signature brand of pintxos to pair with the wines. It will start at 8pm and cost $35 per person, not including tax or tip. Reservations are encouraged, by emailing
Get on it!

Drool of the Day: Sweet Potato & Chickpea Falafel

26 Mar
Spotted and eaten at Brooklyn Winery. Fantastic wine-pairing food.

Spotted and eaten at Brooklyn Winery. Fantastic wine-pairing food.

3 Bloody Marys to Drink Right Now

20 Mar

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know I take photos of (and drink) bloody marys every chance I get. So I want to share a few of my more recent bloody encounters. Here are three to sip on soon!

1. Diner in Williamsburg

Seriously one of the best I’ve had in a while. It was tall and spicy, but still simple and classic– garnished with a lemon, a slice of carrot, and a green olive.

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2. Brucie in Carroll Gardens

They’re new on the brunch scene– but serving up uer-garnished bloody marys. If you like a little garden in your bloody, this is it.

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3. Speedy Romeo in Clinton Hill

I recently visited Speedy Romeo and I’m completely obsessed with everything about it– right down to their bloody mary made with soju, San Marzano tomatoes, and lemon.

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Snack on This: Whimsy & Spice

19 Mar


Shortbread Cookies. Biscotti. Brownies. Thumbprints. Sandwich Cookies and Marshmallows. Local confectioner Whimsy & Spice has everything you need to satisfy your sugar craving. Founded in 2008 by the husband and wife team of Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park, Whimsy & Spice launched their business at the first ever Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene with 3 shortbread flavors, 2 different kinds of marshmallows, 2 biscotti, a brownie, and a sampler gift box. Three weeks later they began shipping their products beyond the NYC area. Now in business for more than four years, they have nearly 30 products in rotation and have shipped to every state in the US– making it a great gift for your Brooklyn or non-Brooklyn friends.

I get mine at Stinky Bklyn. Learn more about Whimsy & Spice here. 

Enter to Win 2 Tickets to The BIG CHEESY!

18 Mar

Super cool brunch-centric site is giving away two free tickets to the SOLD OUT The Big Cheesy, a grilled cheese competition on March 23 & 24th. And since so many of my readers are food-obsessed people like me, I had to share this contest with you.

So here’s how to enter. Share the photo below on your Facebook wall. THEN, submit your very best food pic to Brunch Critic on Facebook or on Twitter. On Friday, they’ll pick a winner to attend the grilled cheese event (complete with plenty of sandwiches and beer from Sixpoint. Read more about the competition here. 

Good luck!

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Drink the Month Away with The Dekalb Classic

15 Mar
Bartender Stephanie Anderson of Madiba Restaurant

Bartender Stephanie Anderson of Madiba Restaurant

Dekalb Avenue homes some of my favorite cocktail spots and talented bartenders, but where can you find the best? The Dekalb Classic will determine that. Through the month of April, five of Dekalb Avenue’s best restaurants will compete for the grand titles of “Best Cocktail” and “Best Bartender.” Chez Oskar, Roman’s, Dino, Madiba, and Walter’s will create their own signature cocktail to compete.

So how do you get in on this event? All you have to do is buy a $50 ticket, which gets you a signature cocktail at each location. After tasting the cocktail, you’ll collect a stamp, and with all 5 stamps you can vote for your favorite AND enter to win an $80 dinner at the restaurant of your choice.

The bartenders will also be competing, like Stephanie Anderson of Madiba Restaurant, pictured here.

Get your ticket and let’s grab a drink together. The event kicks off April 1.

Eating at the Barclay’s Center

11 Mar

photo 1I finally made it to the Barclays Center for a Nets game, but  I have to admit,87% of the reason I wanted to go was to check out the Brooklyn food selection. The sports arena is stacked with local eats like Fatty Cue BBQ, Habana Outpost, Bed Stuy Grill, and Paisano’s Meat Market. You’ll also see some sweet treats like Junior’s Cheese Cake and rice crispy treats from Stinky BKLYN.

After wandering from vendor to vendor for a while trying to decide what I’d eat during the Brooklyn vs. Dallas game, I chose Calexico’s crispy fish tacos. So Brooklyn lost the game, but the food was still a winner.

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Where to Brunch Right How: Hunter’s Restaurant

10 Mar

bloody hunterIt’s taken me a while (in foodie time) to get to Hunter’s, just because I was afraid of being disappointed by a mediocre brunch, when I know there are so many other Brooklyn spots I could have a fantastic brunch. But I went for it, and I’m glad I did. Hunter’s opened a few months ago in a cozy little Smith Street space, a space that many other restaurants have failed before, which also increased my worry levels. It’s got exposed brick walls, wood tables and a rustic decor that fits it’s “Hunter” theme, but not in a cheesy or kitchy kind of way.

I especially liked the bar setup, which lends itself to a weekend afternoon drink or a Friday night cocktail. I chose a table close to the front of the restaurant, and ordered a bloody mary. It came with an elaborate garnish of veggies and meat (which I kind of wish I knew before I ordered), but was spicy and full of horseradish ( just the way I like it). I paired it with a kale salad. I was prepared for a dinky bed of greens, which can sometimes happen when you order a kale salad at a restaurant, but was pleasantly surprised to receive a hearty plate of kale, chickpeas, roasted squash, and hardboiled egg, topped with a mustard seed sauce. It resembled a Christmas wreath, and had layers of flavor thanks to the “grilled” preparation.


Because I couldn’t finish without trying another item on their extensive cocktail menu, I went for the “Katniss Everdeen,” a mixture of apple jack, St. Germain, White Lillet, and bitters. It was sweeter, but not too sweet, and was a nice body-warmer on a chilly March afternoon.

If you aren’t an order-a-salad-at-brunch kind of guy or girl, and I’ll tell you I’m usually not, other options include yogurt pancakes, a seasonal omelet, and an egg sandwich. Here’s the rest of the menu for you to check out. 

So you heard it here– visit soon; I wish I visited sooner.

An ‘Arbol’ Grows in Brooklyn

4 Mar

Please welcome back guest poster Caitlin O’Connell, foodie, tumblr-er and Brooklyn native. Caitlin brought this awesome program to my attention, and I wanted to share with you all.


Brunches, lovely parks, and artisanal pickles aside, one of the greatest things about Brooklyn is the cultural– and aural– diversity you encounter across its various neighborhoods. Shifting storefronts and ever-expanding room for development have created an environment friendly to burgeoning businesses dedicated to promoting bilingualism. Local programs like Park Slope’s Juguemos a Cantar, which offers an immersive Spanish-language experience for kids, provide a comfy yet educational setting where transplanted Brooklynites can catch up in their native tongue and broaden their children’s linguistic horizons.

Juguemos opened in Park Slope in 2001, when local resident Alejandra Novillo, originally from Buenos Aires, recognized the neighborhood’s Spanish speakers needed a place where they could continue traditions from their home countries and foster an appreciation for the culture in their kids. Alejandra has cultivated a sense of community and partnership within the families who participate in her program, even kindling a desire among English-speaking adults to immerse themselves in a new language and culture. Juguemos has grown to include a variety of classes and events (including a tango night!), and operates in multiple locations throughout the Slope.

Patricia Linardi, a teacher and bilingual specialist at Juguemos who also hails from Argentina, emphasized the value of having such an accessible program in Brooklyn. “We are offering parents excellent tools for their kids to develop new skills to succeed in life,” she said. “They’re not only learning another language, they are getting a chance to get better jobs in the future.”

So next time you’re strolling around the neighborhood (perhaps cruising for a new caffeine fix), keep an ear out for an unfamiliar language and your eyes peeled for any bilingual programs. For more information on Juguemos, visit them on Twitter @JuguemosACantar.


For the Brooklyn Bro…

4 Mar

jerk 2Want to show your appreciation for your favorite Brooklyn bro? Try “Thanks, Bro,” a nationwide gift delivery service that lets you say thank you beyond the traditional flowers or chocolates. Instead, they send what bros love most: beef jerky and beer. I decided to give it a try and test the product on a bro I know– my boyfriend. I received the package promptly in the mail, and he immediately went for the jerky.


“These guys know what’s up,” he said after taking a bite. The jerky came along with all kinds of obnoxiously comical items like a “Please Jerk Responsibly” wrist band and a tee shirt stating “I Survived the First Annual Thanks, Bro Jerk-Off.”

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So why does this service exist? Thanks, Bro is on a mission to “banish the oppressive stigma of bro-on-bro gifting.” Maybe your bro won’t appreciate your bouquet of roses or a giant fruit basket, but he could definitely use a meaty snack and a six pack.

They’re here to serve– order your next thank you here.