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Slow Food NYC Benefit Dinner at Kings County Distillery

22 Sep

On Wednesday, September 10, I attended Parker Red’s Farm to Fork Dinner benefiting Slow Food NYC at Kings County Distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The dinner was supporting Slow Food NYC’s Producer Summit, an event bringing together local farmers, chefs, and distributors to discuss challenges and celebrate successes of the current local food system. The Producer Summit will be held at Hawthorne Valley Farm in early November, and the hope is to create “an actionable strategy to strengthen and expand the supply chain of organic and sustainably-grown food to New York City restaurants.”

FTF Whiskey Dinner Invite - Final

The evening began with live music, radishes with butter and salt, boiled peanuts, charcuterie, and a tasting—moonshine, bourbon, and chocolate whiskey—made from corn and barley grown onsite at the distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Continue reading

Figs in my Belly Traveled to Kansas City: A “Guide”

2 Sep

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Back in July (doesn’t that feel like forever ago now?!), I hopped on a tiny airplane headed to Kansas City, Missouri to visit my friend Elizabeth and her friends and family. The trip was filled with food, drink, music, and fountains.

Below is my little guide to this lovely city, and a few random photos that I snapped during the trip. Surely, I missed some hot spots, so if you have any KC places that are not to be missed, let me know!

Coffee

Drinks/bars (also see the restaurants for good drinks, too)

Restaurants

  • Story.-great restaurant, excellent desserts, 10$ dinners on Sunday
  • Bluestem-go to the lounge for happy hour snacks and drinks
  • Room 39-causal lunch (great for sitting at the bar), more upscale dinner
  • The Westside Local-kale hummus, friendly servers
  • Cafe Europa-order the classic lemon cake from the pastry case; go for dinner or Sunday Supper
  • Port Fonda-Mexican food, margaritas
  • Beer Kitchen
  • Succotash-unique little breakfast spot; the “vegan sink” and the “cake and a smile”
  • Minsky’s-good for delivery or take-out pizza
  • Füd-vegan
  • Cafe Gratitude-vegan

Barbecue

  • Oklahoma Joe’s-the Z-man sandwich is supposed to be awesome
  • Gates Bar-B-Q-their sauce is good, burnt ends sandwich, more of a fast food type place

Sweets

Markets

  • City Market-go on the day when they have the farmer’s market
  • BADSEEDorganic farmer’s market

Shopping

Museums and Things to Do

A few random photos from the trip:

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Coffee at  Oddly Correct

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Don’t miss out on the happy hour drinks and snacks (and desserts!) at Bluestem

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Live music at The Westport Saloon

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A must-order if brunching at Story.: ricotta fritters

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The desserts at Story.are insanely good!

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A visit to The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

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Burnt ends sandwich at Gates Bar-B-Q

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The Kale Hummus at The Westside Local!

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A stop at Loose Park to check out the Rose Garden

Marco’s Trattoria, Brooklyn

29 Aug

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Yesterday evening, I met my friend Michelle in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn for a meal at one of her favorite restaurants, Marco’s. A sweet Italian trattoria owned by Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg of  Franny’s and Bklyn Larder.

The menu changes often, depending on the season and the markets. As per Michelle, some staples like the Wood-Grilled Bread with Olio Verde extra virgin olive oil and the Wood-Grilled oysters with pickles and black pepper will almost always be on the menu. While it was a difficult decision (we wanted to eat everything on the menu), we decided to save the bread and the oysters for next time and try some new (to both of us) dishes.

The 2013 Bisson Glera LIGURIA Prosecco felt like a celebratory way to toast the meal. Our Prosecco arrived with forest-green olives sprinkled with fennel pollen. Next up came the:

Eggplant w/Pecorino Fiore Sardo (not pictured)

The soft eggplant bites were tossed with a heavy pour of olive oil and a generous shaving of cheese. With little bits of chopped celery (I think it was celery? Whatever it was, it was good) and again, fennel pollen.

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Another difficult decision arose when it came time to order a pasta. We ultimately chose the:

Spaghetti w/ fennel, chilies, lemon & bottarga di muggine

Neither of us had ever tried bottarga di muggine, which is basically shaved fish eggs. We were told that bottarga is similar to an anchovy in adding that salty depth of flavor. While it was certainly different than anything we had ever tried, the bottarga-specked spaghetti grew on us. More fennel pollen, plus sautéed fennel bulb. The pasta was also *perfectly* cooked.

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Our main dish was the:

Scallops  w/ cherry tomatoes, basil & pine nuts

Nothing like bursting sun-gold baby tomatoes. We wanted to lick the plate.

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And for an extra veggie side we ordered the:

Radicchio & Spinach w/ garlic & Piave

The radicchio and spinach were slightly charred, highlighting a sweeter flavor in these usually bitter lettuces. The garlic was very thinly sliced and crisped to a little garlic chip. Sometimes I forget how good the sides can be at the right restaurant.

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We recruited Michelle’s fiancé (!!), Matt, to join us for dessert:

Rye Chocolate Cake w/ mint gelato (pictured, left)

Semifreddo w/ Amarena cherries, cocoa nib & Pianogrillo extra virgin olive oil (pictured, right)

Both desserts were phenomenal. The rye in the chocolate cake lends a deeper dark chocolate flavor. And the olive oil semifreddo had the perfect crunchy, salty richness that I always crave in my desserts.

 

Can’t wait to come back for more good eats, Marco’s!

 

Marco’s Trattoria

295 Flatbush Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11217

Breakfast at Bartavelle in Berkeley, CA

28 May

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This place is a real treat. If you are looking for a good coffee and a bite to eat in Berkeley, Bartavelle is not to be missed.

I am almost always in the mood for a thick slice of avocado toast (sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, sea salt, and marash pepper), especially when paired with a soft boiled egg. The Persian breakfast was very light and fresh and included organic lebneh, feta, cucumbers, fresh herbs, za’atar and seasonal cherry jam, served with Acme pizza bianca.

Bartavelle is located where Cafe Fanny used to be, right next to Acme Bread on San Pablo Ave. and Cedar St.

While I am nostalgic for Cafe Fanny’s poached eggs and cafe au lait in a bowl, Bartavelle is quickly filling that ache.

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Life Is Busy, But We Still Need To Eat

23 Apr

It is too easy to fall into eating the same things everyday, so I’m trying to shake up my routine a little, and give you some inspiration to shake things up, too! Today’s post compiles some snapshots of the food I’ve been eating lately.

Most of the foods pictured are quick to prepare yet still filled with nourishing, colorful ingredients. Life is busy, but we still need to eat.

Have you tried any new or different foods recently?

Breakfasts: A warm bowl of oatmeal with a dab of nut butter usually hits the spot for me in the morning. Below are some other fun breakfast options:

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A variation of a single-serving oatmeal protein pancake. Combine 1/3 c. quick oats, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder, chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon. Add some fruit to the batter, i.e. 1/4 cup of frozen berries. Cook on a lightly buttered non-stick skillet for about 3 minutes. Flip, and cook for another 3 minutes. Top with something yummy, like plain, whole milk yogurt with a little drizzle of maple syrup.

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Whole wheat toast with cottage cheese and black pepper. A quick way to get in some protein and whole grains first thing in the morning. Add a side of frozen mango cubes for refreshing brightness.

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Speaking of mango, here’s a classic bowl of plain yogurt with granola, chia seeds, and mango slices. As you can see, my brain is already on “warm, sunny weather” mode.

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Another simple breakfast or snack: CRUMPETS. Like an English muffin, the airy wholes of a crumpet are the perfect vehicle for a slick of salted butter and a little jam (I used guava/apple jam). Nut butter, avocado, or a runny egg also sound like excellent crumpet toppings.

Light lunches and snacks: I usually like to make my own lunch at home. I have to remind myself that simple is often the answer. Last week was Passover, so I tried to get creative with matzo…

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Matzo spread with hummus and topped with boiled egg and cucumber slices. To boil an egg, place it in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil. Once boiling, shut the heat off and cover the pot for 10-13 minutes, depending if you are using a large or extra-large egg. Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and slice!

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Eating out during Passover is a fun adventure. This matzo was topped with smashed avocado, chili flakes, cumin, and lemon. Can’t go wrong. At The Commons Chelsea. 

Quick, easy weeknight dinners: Keeping some easy staples like frozen/canned vegetables, tofu in the fridge, grains in the pantry, and even fish in tins means a healthy dinner is almost always accessible.

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Whipped up a tofu vegetable curry for dinner one night. With a few apple slices and peanut butter on the side. This is a go-to meal for me, but I changed it up by using a little baby corn. Organic canned baby corn gets drained and rinsed and added to the curry with some fresh broccoli. A different vegetable than I would normally use, and I appreciate the change. Did you know you could “dry sauté” tofu? Slice the tofu and place it in a heated, dry non-stick skillet. The heat takes out all of the excess moisture, and still gives it a nice “crust” because the skillet is non-stick. Now the tofu is ready to soak up all of the yummy curry sauce (a similar effect to “pressing” tofu).

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First time buying a tin of sardines! I made Ellie Krieger’s pasta with sardines. Whole wheat fusilli, broccoli rabe, golden raisins, and pine nuts tossed with sardines. Add Parmesan for a little extra salty goodness.

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Taco night. Corn tortillas toasted on the gas stovetop flame. Smear with refried black beans. Top with leftover chicken, and some sautéed bell peppers and onions. A little salsa or hot sauce for acidity.

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Rainbow Nachos. Blue corn tortilla chips, carrot ribbons, black beans, smoky gouda, spinach. Toast in the oven for ~7-15 minutes. Top with avocado and plain Greek yogurt.

Some noteworthy restaurant eats:

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Carrots | Fluke from The Pines in Gowanus, Brooklyn

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Green Falafel “with everything” from Taim in Nolita

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Rice Bowl with Marinated, Grilled Tofu from Community Food & Juice in Morningside Heights