Archive | August, 2013

Sip on This: Apple Gin Rickey

31 Aug

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Whiskey Soda Lounge is finally open, and it’s a fun place to grab a cocktail– particularly the Apple Gin Rickey made with apple drinking vinegar, gin, lemon and soda.

Celebrate Autumn with a Fall Equinox Dinner

30 Aug

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On September 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm, head to Madiba in Fort Greene for the first of its on-going Fall wine dinners in association with boutique and canonical vineyards in South Africa. The first event will be in partnership with Noble Hill – an estate located in the Simonsberg-Paarl region of the Western Cape, 30 miles outside of Cape Town– and will feature a special live performance by Guy Buttery, South Africa’s quintessential acoustic export.

A three-course dinner will be aptly complemented by paired wine by owner of the Noble Hill Estate, Mr. Kristopher Tillery. He will take you on a journey of each wine, carefully selected for each dish, and guide you along some history of the estate and the vine. Mr. Tillery’s passion for his estate’s creations is unmatched and his often bashful dedication to the winemaking process will leave you with a lingering appreciation for this fine craft.

Get your tickets here. 

Seersucker Takes on Manhattan

29 Aug

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One of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants, Seersucker, has some exciting news– they’re coming to the Rock Center in Manhattan this September. Chef Robert Newton of Seersucker will be in residence for two weeks with Executive Chef Anthony Prontelli and his crew, cooking up some of his best Southern dishes.

Seersucker at the Rock starts Friday, Sept. 6th, and runs through Friday, Sept. 20th. Chef Newton created a special menu that reflects his seasonal, ingredient-driven approach to Southern cuisine. Highlights include Seersucker’s classic biscuits with slow-roasted plum marmalade and salted molasses butter, fried green tomatoes with shaved country ham, pimento cheese puée and pickled collard green stems, pan fried catfish with hoppin’ john rice and Kentucky worcestershire butter sauce, and of course, fried young NJ chicken with buttermilk dressing. Newton will be incorporating some of his favorite New York City Greenmarket sources and wines from New York and Virginia will be offered, as Newton is a big supporter of winemakers from each state.

Seersucker at the Rock will feature both prix fixe and a la carte options, and will be available at lunch and dinner. It will be offered in addition to Rock Center Café’s menu.

If Seersucker can get Becoming Brooklyn to eat in Midtown, they must have something great going on!

(photo by Philip Greenberg)

Putting the “Sweet” in Sweet Chick

22 Aug

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Sweet Chick in Williamsburg is known for its fried chicken & waffles, but you shouldn’t stop by the Southern-inspired restaurant without ordering dessert. Pastry Chef Roni Ross is whipping up decadent Southern desserts with a Grandma-meets-Williamsburg style. I stopped by for the ultimate dessert tasting and tried each item on the menu so I could give you a full report.

Here’s a rundown:

Mixed Berry Biscuit Bread Pudding ($10) – Served up in a cast iron skillet, this bread pudding  is made with biscuits, mixed berries, and topped with strawberry ice cream and a rum caramel sauce. It’s big enough to share with a partner, or could really just be eaten as a meal. It’s not overly sweet, and is well balanced with the scoop of cold ice cream.

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Butterscotch In A Jar ($8) – This one is uber-rich. Its a butterscotch pudding topped with a layer of chocolate ganache and espresso shortbread cookies. I love that it’s served in a jar too.

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake ($8) – Surprisingly, I had never had this classic dessert before, but loved the unique twist of pineapple tequila sauce on top. Of course, for some extra sweetness, the slice has a heaping scoop of Il Laboratorio del Gelato vanilla ice cream too.

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Lemon Bar ($9) – I think this might have been my favorite. Despite my usual attraction to chocolate over lemon bars, this one was incredibly dense and luscious. The coconut sorbet and citrus sauce topped off the dish perfectly.

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  • Dark Chocolate Old Fashioned ($12) – I didn’t care that it was 3pm, I wanted to try the boozy Old Fashioned, and I’m glad I did. It’s mixed with King’s County Bourbon that’s infused with Mast Brothers Chocolate, plus aged rum and peach bitters. It’s probably better post-meal, but also went well with the Butterscotch in a Jar.
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Sunday at Sea with The Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

20 Aug

Last Sunday, I spent the day aboard The Jewel, dining on lobster rolls, whoopie pies, ceviche, and oysters, whilst boating along the harbor. It was all thanks to the Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., a sustainable seafood market, raw bar, and cafe opening this October. The star of the show was obviously the lobster roll– a hot buttered bun overflowing with fresh lobster meat. The boat also had an open bar (with plenty of Sixpoint) and dessert from Cookie Fairy Sweets, one of my favorite BK bakers.

The best part of the event: they never ran out of food. Usually big events with 300+ people don’t prepare enough food for the crowd, but the Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. did it right. The sea views weren’t bad either. Check out my photos from the event below.

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Lunchtime at Shelsky’s

16 Aug

photo 3“I was sick of driving to the city for my Jewish food fix,” Peter Shelsky said. “I didn’t want to wait in line anymore. So I opened up my own place here in Brooklyn.” A Manhattanite since birth, Peter moved to Brooklyn for a girl (who is now his wife) and brought his Jewish food with him, starting Shelsky’s Smoked Fish on Smith Street. Now, he has a a sandwich list with a cult following and a small market of specialty Jewish products– from Gefilte Fish (which he claims is amazing diet food) to Matzo Meal.

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The “Peter Shelsky” sandwich (obviously named for himself) was a childhood concoction– or Gaspe Nova, Sable, Pickled Herring with Cream Sauce and Onion, Scallion Cream Cheese, served up on a Bagel or Bialy. “I like mine on the verge of burnt,” he added. But the most popular items on the list are the “Great Gatsby” sandwich, filled with salmon and horseradish cream cheese, and “The Brooklyn Transplant,” with Fatty Kippered Salmon, Apple Horseradish, Cream Cheese, Pickled Herring Salad, served on Pumpernickel or Rye. Of course, I had to go with the Brooklyn Transplant, which had just the right amount of smoky, sweet and salty notes. But if there’s one thing Peter says a first time Shelsky’s patron must try, it’s the Whitefish Salad, made with a clean smoke in Wisconsin.

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When Peter isn’t snacking on smoked fish, he’s eating at local spots like Jolie Cantina and Battersby, or grabbing noodles in Chinatown. “I never met a noodle I didn’t like,” he said. He raved about his favorite French, Mexican, and Chinese dishes, but it’s clear that Jewish food has his heart. Amongst the Rugelach and Halvah, you’ll find his Bar Mitzvah photo album on display, so you know he has some street cred, if you couldn’t already taste it in the bagels and lox.

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Visit Shelsky’s Smoked Fish at 251 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens and read up on the menu here. 

Drool of the Day: Churros at Gran Electrica

15 Aug
Served with chocolate and caramel

Served with chocolate and caramel

Win 2 Tickets to The Good Festival by Local Roots NYC

13 Aug

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My very fantastic CSA Local Roots NYC is hosting The Good Festival, an evening of local music, food, and skill sharing on Saturday, September 7th at Brooklyn Fireproof in Bushwick from 5pm to midnight. First up, local chefs and artisans will offer workshops and cooking demos in the backyard from 5-7:30pm. There will even be a 12-foot inflatable beehive housing a curated collection of programming. PLUS, you can listen to some cool Brooklyn-based bands with crazy names  like Gunfight, Milk Dick, Her Happy Hookers, Crazy Pills, and more.

Tickets are sold at the door for $7, and $10 for those who would like to donate a small portion to our youth education program, called “CSA in the Classroom.”  Festival go-ers are invited to bring food-related books for the book swap and all non-swapped books will be donated to Housing Works Bookstore.
Want to go? You can win 2 tickets by tweeting or instagramming your most “psychedelic” food photo and tagging #thegoodfest and @becomingbklyn. I’ll select the winner on September 3rd, 2013. Get weird with your food, people.

Spend Your Sunday at Sea

9 Aug

If there are two things that make summer awesome, they are:

1. Fresh fish

2. Boat rides

That’s why I’m excited about the “Sunday at Sea” event from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. on August 18th from 2-5pm. For $60, you can spend the day aboard “The Jewel” taking off from the India Street Pier in Greenpoint, plus indulge in a Jumbo Lobster Roll, Ahi & Watermelon Ceviche, East & West Coast Oysters and Whoopie Pies. To pair with your meal, there will be an open bar filled with beer and wine, along with live music.

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All proceeds from this event will go toward Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.’s (GFLC) official opening this Fall (projected opening date: October 2013, and I can’t wait). The first of its kind facility in Brooklyn’s burgeoning Greenpoint neighborhood, GFLC is a specialty sustainable seafood market, raw bar, and cafe. The facility will include a fresh seafood market, display butchering area, a grocery/sundries area, raw bar, beer and wine, along with a communal seating area. In addition to fresh seafood and packaged prepared foods, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. will also feature daily ready-to-eat hot food specials.

To learn more about Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.’s mission and to hear co-owners Adam and Vinny discuss the upcoming event, you can listen to their recent interview with Nathaniel Coburn on Heritage Radio’s Community Sessions. 

Get your tickets to the event here. The boat begins boarding at 1:30pm. See you there.