Archive | October, 2013

Drool-Worthy Dish: Brunch Time

31 Oct

If you usually head to Sweet Chick for their fried chicken and waffles, you might want to consider switching it up next time. The hearty Black Bean Cake and Scramble is worth ordering– and it’s hard to believe it’s meatless. The dish is served with arugula, sour cream, black pepper, and parsley, and finishes with a spicy kick. Pair it with a bloody Mary for the ultimate brunch.


Where to Eat Right Now: Shalom Japan

22 Oct

Jewish + Japanese cuisine? I was unsure as to what I’d be tasting at Shalom Japan, a new-ish restaurant in Williamsburg with the unique concept. It’s a collaboration between chefs and owners Aaron Israel and Sawako Okochi, highlighting their connections to their roots, but also the American seasonal flavors and ingredients of New York.

The restaurant is on a quiet block, with a casual vibe, and they take reservations, which is rare for a new BK spot. I indulged in the Chef’s Tasting Menu, a $65 tasting with a little bit of everything. I liked that the portions were hearty, and not too “precious” with emphasis on well-rounded, unique flavor combinations. Here are a few highlights from my dinner.

Shalom Japan 11-1I think it’s hard to go wrong with warm bread and butter, but this Sake Kasu Challah with Raisin Butter had just the right amount of crispy-ness on the outside and a soft, pillowy inside.

Shalom Japan 15The Shalom Japan team might laugh at me, but this dish reminded me of a gooey grilled cheese taken to the next level. It’s Aburaage Pouches with Raclette, and Green Tomato Relish. Aburaage is a Japanese food made from soybeans, and the middle had the consistency of a melty cheese, with a kick from the relish.

Shalom Japan 24It’s hard to say, but I think the tuna was my favorite dish of the evening. It was so fresh and tender, reminiscent of sashimi; I savored every bite.

Shalom Japan 26



I love lox, and I love rice bowls, so I was excited to see this dish on the menu– a Lox Bowl with Rice, Daikon, Avocado, and Ikura. The hearty rice, combined with the smooth and smoky lox, with the crunch of the daikon made for a unique mix of textures and flavors. I’d order this again, and again, and again.

Learn more about Shalom Japan here. 




Local Roots NYC announces Pop-Up Thanksgiving CSA

21 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 6.48.37 PMMy favorite CSA, Local Roots NYC is offering a pop-up Thanksgiving CSA to celebrate the holidays– for both members and non-members. The pick up is on Tuesday November 26th at several locations: 61 Local (Boerum Hill), Brooklyn Farmacy (Carroll Gardens), Harefield Road (East Williamsburg), and The Pencil Factory (Greenpoint).

The Pop-Up CSA offers local and sustainable Thanksgiving options including fresh, whole turkey, smoked maple bourbon ham, ready-made veggie loaf, vegetables, fruit, farm-pressed cider, artisanal caramel popcorn, hand-made pies, artisanal cheese, bread, and hot honey. Plus, all shares will come up with recipe cards for some new ideas.

Can’t pick up? If you’re a member, you can opt for home-delivery at an added cost anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx on either Saturday November 23 or Sunday November 24.

Learn more and order here. 

It’s Time to Taste Red Hook

15 Oct

tasteRed Hook is home to some of my favorite restaurants in the city, like The Good Fork, Fort Defiance, and Baked. So I can’t wait for the Taste of Red Hook, going down on October 22, 2013, from 6-9pm at Pioneer Works. You’ll have the  chance to  sample some of the best eats of the neighb, bid on silent auction items, and meet the youth who make up Red Hook Initiative– all to raise money for the cause. More than 40 local restaurants, distilleries, and wineries will offer a wide sampling of their signature dishes and drinks.

And now, The Red Hook Initiative needs the help more than ever with the damage caused by last year’s Hurricane Sandy. Many of the participating businesses, including Pioneer Works were damaged in the storm. All proceeds from Taste of Red Hook will go to RHI, winner of the 2012 New York Magazine Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. RHI employs 75 local residents, most of whom are teenagers. Many of these youth participants will be present at the event to speak about their role at RHI.

I attended the event last year, and think it’s one of the best tasting annual events in the city. The tasting portions are hearty, the crowd is friendly, and the silent auction prizes are worth your bid.

Get your tickets here. 

Sip & Snack at Bergen Hill

10 Oct

I was sad to lose Brooklyn’s Bourgeois Pig on Court Street, but thrilled to see Bergen Hill open recently. The eatery has a much cleaner look, with a sushi bar-like setup, and a menu filled with seafood dishes and snacks. Bergen Hill also offers a fantastic cocktail menu, perfect for pairing. I sipped on the Meiji Collins, made with Dry Sake, Ponzu Shrub, Togarishi Sugar, and seltzer. Before you order one of everything on the main plates portion of the menu (you’ll want to), start with the Crab Toast, topped with crab, apple, toasted corn, and guacamole. 

Other winners: the octopus with onion purée, farro, escarole, raisins, harissa vinaigrette and scallop with pickled cherry, hazelnut, espelette oil, mustard green.

Meiji Collins

Meiji Collins

Crab Toast

Crab Toast


Becoming Brooklyn’s Apple Crisp Recipe

8 Oct

I crave the cinnamon-apple-nutmeg flavor of Fall, and one of my favorite ways to satisfy it is a warm plate of apple crisp. I whipped up a batch over the weekend with a recipe I created from my own flavor intuition. I selected my apples from the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket; Honeycrisp is my favorite variety.



For the filling:

8 medium apples, peeled and sliced

The juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons orange juice

lemon & orange zest

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

a touch of salt

For the topping;

1 cup flour of choice (white, whole wheat, gluten free)

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not instant)

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all filling ingredients together so the apples are fully coated. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients of the topping, then blend the butter into the mixture (sometimes it helps to use your hands). Pour the apple mixture into a greased 9×9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the topping onto the apples evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Serve with Phin & Phebes Vanilla Cinnamon Ice Cream.



Becoming Brooklyn Eats LA

1 Oct

On a recent quick LA excursion, I was determined to discover some of the best Los Angeles eats and drinks in just two days of travel. Somehow, I managed to pack in a few hearty meals, and picked out some of my favorite dishes along the way.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 7.13.08 PM

The food highlight of the trip was my dinner at Son of a Gun, which ended in this Italian Hamburger– an ice cream sandwich made with a brioche bun, chocolate ice cream, caramel, and sea salt. If you go, be sure to also try the lobster roll, octopus salad, and smoked mahi fish dip. Just be prepared to wait on a weekend evening.




On a hunt for a brunch spot, I came across Red Hill, a comfy and casual spot with refreshing vegetable juices, and an indulgent mole with a yam biscuit, egg, avocado, tomato and pickled cabbage. I expected to stand in a crowd outside the restaurant in a brunch-craving crowd like I do in New York, but surprisingly, brunch didn’t seem like “a thing” there.


Next, I visited Mohawk Bend, a bar with 72 beers on tap, an extensive wine list, and an enticing list of unique cocktails. I went for something refreshing after my spicy mole,  an “Agua Fresca” concocted with watermelon juice, citrus, and vodka.


On my last LA morning, I discovered Millie’s Cafe, a diner-esque spot in Silver Lake, and ordered the massive green burrito,  filled with eggs, veggies and cheese, and topped with a green sauce and guacamole. I couldn’t help but agree with my LA friends on the superiority of West Coast Mexican food.

Next visit, I’m hoping for more dining time.