Archive | February, 2014

Making a Cheese Run at Bedford Cheese Shop

28 Feb

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.44.03 AMWhen I’m in the Williamsburg area, I can’t help but stop in the Bedford Cheese Shop to stock up on my cheese plate fix-ins. The shop feels old-fashioned (in a good way), and is filled with independent and local products (beyond the cheese), from Anarchy in a Jar jams to Mast Bros. Chocolate. Aside from visiting, cheese tasting, and picking up artisanal goods, you should also Bedford Cheese Shop to take part in their cheese classes. Tonight they’re offering a “Cheesemaking 101” for those who want to learn how to make their own cheese at home, and other upcoming classes include “Fondue… For You!” and The Perfect Mac & Cheese. Drool.

I’m excited that Bedford Cheese Shop will be a part of The Sauce’s Coastal Escape on March 5th– a 5-course dinner paired with beer from The Brooklyn Brewery. The event is sold out, but stay tuned for more fun events! 

 

Where to Eat Right Now: The Runner

25 Feb

photo 2The Runner in Clinton Hill opened its doors just weeks ago with the mission to create a comfortable escape for its patrons, with “American Heritage” cuisine. While many new American restaurants in Brooklyn exude pretentious vibes and overly complicated cocktails and menu, The Runner prides itself on its simplicity and warmth. The cozy wood-burning fireplace behind the bar adds a relaxing element to the experience, especially during a Polar Vortex.

Chopped salad

Chopped salad

Unexpectedly, the cocktails were an absolute standout. I recommend trying the Smoky Mountain, created with Jack Daniels Whiskey and Smoked Sherry– in fact, the staff smokes the sherry themselves, giving it a rich and unique flavor, combined with the orange-infused whiskey. I ordered the fresh oysters, 3 of each variety, one briny and meaty, another less so, as well as the Chopped Salad. While you’ve probably seen and tasted almost every trendy kale salad of the moment, this one was one of my favorite things on the menu. It’s topped with pistachios and has brussels sprouts, kale, AND cabbage. The staff recommends trying a bunch of dishes and sharing, so I also recommend the Spaghetti Squash with basil & pine nuts, and the Salt-baked trout with a caper sauce. Don’t skip dessert. The Runner makes all of their own ice cream, and the Molasses Ice Cream is sweet, but not overpowering, and super refreshing at the end of the meal.

Salt-Baked Trout

Salt-Baked Trout

The bottom line: The Runner’s attention to detail, simple and clean menu, and warm atmosphere make it a must-try Brooklyn dine spot. Bonus: brunch is coming soon.

Molasses Ice Cream & Lemon Sorbet

Molasses Ice Cream & Lemon Sorbet

 

 

Not Just for Beer Drinking: Radegast Hall & Biergarten

21 Feb

radegastYou might picture Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg as the spacious place with a giant beer selection, a place to drink and maybe grab a pretzel if you’re hungry. I recently discovered, it’s so much more than that. Of course, Radegast has the impressive beer list, but also a fun atmosphere and menu to match.

I ordered the pretzel and pickles to start, thinking I’d get something similar to the cart pretzel on 42nd Street, but instead, I received a platter-sized pretzel, with just the right amount of  crispy on the outside, and doughy goodness on the inside, served with (addictive) beer cheese and mustard. The pickles were a nice touch– but all I really wanted was the warm and salty pretzel. Don’t miss the latkes either– they’re parsnip, carrot and sweet potato; a flavorful spin on the traditional, served with applesauce and sour cream. I wouldn’t usually order a salad at a beer garden either, but the Smoked Trout Salad was beckoning me– and out came plate piled high with the trout, baby arugula, fava beans, fennel, radish, cherry tomato, onion, and the most creamy lemon-dill dressing. Other menu highlights: Moules Frites, Grilled Smoked Porkchop, and lots of Bratwust from the grill.

On top of the food selection, Radegast also has live music every night, with no cover; I visited when a swing band was playing, which got the crowd around the bar dancing. And surprisingly, if you’re a non-beer drinker, there are still plenty of options, from cocktails like the “Reformed Presbyterian” (a whiskey-lime-ginger mix), to a wine list with everything from Gruner Veltliner to Nebbiolo.

Get more info on Radegast’s specials, upcoming events, and menus here. 

smoked trout

 

 

You’re Invited, The Celestial Vineyard: South African Wine Paired Dinner

17 Feb

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 7.36.42 PMOn February 26 at 7pm, escape the numbing nights of winter on a South African journey in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Lifestyle club The Sauce teamed up with Madiba Restaurant to present The Celestial Vineyard: a South African wine paired dinner. From sea and earth to sky, experience an edible exploration of the region’s seasonal cuisine, brought to you by Chef Mark Henegan.

The evening begins with a soul-warming cocktail hour featuring Greenhook Ginsmiths, and then flows into courses paired with wines from Ken ForresterHaute Cabriere, and Rustenberg Estates.

As you drink and dine, enjoy the rhythmic beats of Zimbabwe-born Max Wild and the work of artists from Brooklyn’s E Gallery.

Get your tickets here. 

3 Brooklyn Brunch Dishes to Try Right Now

13 Feb

I’m brunching my way through the borough and always on the lookout for new brunch must-eats… or drinks. In my latest brunch outings, I’ve come across three dishes to order right now.

1. Wild Mushroom, Leek & Goat Cheese Frittata at Bocca Lupo

I’m a regular at Bocca Lupo for dinner and their wine selection, but recently visited for brunch and discovered the mushroom frittata, by far one of the most hearty vegetarian brunch dishes. It’s thick and packed with earthy mushrooms, creamy goat cheese, and a light leek flavor. Definitely a good choice for all-weekend energy. It’s so filling that you probably don’t need the grilled toast on top– but I’m not complaining.

mushroom

2. Baked Eggs at The Vanderbilt

Not only does this dish contain baked eggs, but it’s also a warm bowl filled with grits, kale, butternut squash, and cheddar. It’s rich and decadent in a savory way. And while I’m not usually a grits person, The Vanderbilt created the perfect combo of kale, squash and sharp cheddar. Pair it with the Sriracha brussels sprouts, another can’t miss dish.

baked

 

3. Bloody Mary at Henry Public

No, it’s not a dish, technically, but it’s a such a flavorful drink that it might as well be. Henry Public is doing the Bloody Mary right– with shallot vodka, tomato, horseradish, celery bitters, and plenty of spice. The garnish is beautiful too; the drink is topped with skewered layers of pickles and radishes.

bloody

 

Taste a New Kind of Chocolate Bonbon

7 Feb

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 5.19.56 PM

If you haven’t dined at The Chocolate Room before, I suggest stopping what you’re doing right now and ordering something decadent off their choco-centric menu (The Brownie Sundae, please). Not only does The Chocolate Room serve up cakes, ice cream, brownies, and cookies, but they also make their own chocolate candies– particularly a variety of to-die-for truffles.

For Valentine’s Day, I recommend getting a selection of Raspberry Cayenne Heart Bonbons for something sweet and spicy. Sample them for yourself on February 12th at The Sauce’s Aphrodisiac Cocktails & Toys for Couples event at Gallery Nine5. Guests will learn how to make their own Atsby Vermouth cocktails, as well as taste some Aphrodisiac bites and take part in a sex toy workshop.

Get your tickets here. 

Skip the roses, get pralines this Valentine’s Day.

5 Feb

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 7.37.47 PMPralines are one of those treats that I’ve heard of before, but growing up in New Hampshire, they weren’t a common sweet snack. After giving Brooklyn-made Love Sweet Love Pralines a try, I’m sad I’ve been missing out on them all this time. Love Sweet Love makes bite-sized treats with Georgia pecans and goats milk; they’re also gluten-free. I love the crunchy yet fudge-like texture, the sugary vanilla sweetness, and the nutty flavor with each bite. Love Sweet Love was created by New Orleans Native Courtney Feemster, when she couldn’t find good Southern-style pralines in New York. After getting some good feedback on her homemade candies, she began selling them at festivals and markets.

The pralines are currently distributed by Fare Trade NY, but will soon be available online. However, you can try them on February 12th at The Sauce’s Aphrodisiac Cocktails & Toys for Couples. Get your tickets here. 

The Sauce’s Aphrodisiac Cocktails & Toys for Couples

2 Feb

vday editedOn February 12th, join The SauceAtsby Vermouth, and Gallery Nine5  for an arousing evening of aphrodisiac cocktails and bites, giving you the tools for an intimate Valentines Day. Couples will take part in a sex toy workshop as well as learn how to contruct the perfect vermouth cocktails. As you sip and taste goodies like bonbons from Brooklyn’s The Chocolate Room, explore a private showing of Chilean artist Ignacio Muñoz Vicuña’s work. Each couple will depart with an aphrodisiac goodie bag, including Tiny Oven Macarons to keep the mood alive at home. Tickets are $150 per couple.

Get your tickets here.