Food-friendly events for the weekend and beyond.
Now that it's over, I wanted to step back and observe a bit, tallying up the trends and themes I noticed throughout the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.
Amaz Soya does streetside sweet tofu on Flushing's Roosevelt Avenue, but the big draw is their extensive toppings bar.
A Brooklynite myself, I'll admit to a tinge of favoritism when I declare that there's no better borough for pizza. Or, to be a little more diplomatic, let's say that it's home to the city's greatest concentration of top notch pies. We've got the classics, like Totonno's, Grimaldi's, and Di Fara, along with a slew of (relative) newcomers—Roberta's, Paulie Gee's, and Best Pizza, to name just a few. And, of course, there's Franny's. We finally made it over to their new-and-improved location to check in on their pies.
If you open a brasserie these days, you have to take bread seriously. Case in point is Lafayette, the new French restaurant in the old Chinatown Brasserie space on Lafayette Street. Walk in the door and the first thing you're greeted with is a counter displaying racks of brown loaves and glistening pastries that are an immediate sign of the eatery's ambition.
There's no shortage of pork chops in this neighborhood, but Paris' rendition ($6) stands out. For one there's the size of the thing: three big blades of centimeter-thick pork spread across the plate.
It's the first full week of gross weather in New York, the first of many to come, so we want to know: What are you eating to get through the heat?
Eben Freeman gained acclaim as a cocktail man at wd-50 and later at Tailor, his work regarded as innovative and boundary-pushing. He's now the director of bar operations for Michael White's restaurant empire, the Altamarea group. And in that role, he's the man behind the cocktail menu at Costata, which opened last week.
If you live in New York and you like sweets, you owe it to yourself to try Levain Bakery's famous chocolate chip cookie. But what about their other, less well known dessert products? Is Levain a one trick pony? To find out, I bought a slice of their Sour Cream Pound Cake ($3.50).
Santa Cruz bakes its pan dulce throughout the day. It does fresher, tastier versions of the Mexican pastries than pretty much anywhere in the borough, and it does so for a dollar a pop.
While the Gala is the centerpiece of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the five-day conference is filled with events, tastings, seminars, and party after party. Here are more of our favorite sips.
During the darkest days following Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast, there was no greater sight than watching help pour in from unlikely places. One was New York's food truck community, and now we have a chance to honor their work.
The newly minted Sen occupies an ambitiously large space on 21st street in Manhattan. The menu is a congruous blend of traditional and modern: classically prepared sushi and a broader, more eclectic kitchen menu with pan-Asian focus. If the concept sounds less than original, it's worth mentioning that Sen is an offshoot of the nearly two-decades-old Sag Harbor restaurant renowned for their sushi.
Bamonte's is a red sauce joint so old and distinctive that it is older than many of the dishes on its menu. It still holds up today.
When Leah Cohen isn't plating dishes of crispy pata or grilling pork jowl, she's often not far from her restaurant Pig and Khao on the Lower East Side. She lives around the corner from her restaurant, after all, but if she's not eating in her own kitchen, there are endless options around the neighborhood. Here are some of her favorites.
Intelligentsia Coffee, no longer content with strongholds on the West and Middle coasts, opened its eighth coffee bar this week in New York City's High Line Hotel, finally heralding a flagship NYC location for the Chicago-based specialty roaster, along with new pourover methods and a custom built espresso machine.
Nightingale 9, Rob Newton's new effort at Vietnamese cooking in Carroll Gardens, seems poised to bridge all sorts of gaps, such as the false one between traditional Asian cooking versus modern and the more real one between casual eating and studied cuisine. Though his food veers towards traditional Vietnamese forms, there's something about his cooking that reminds me of Tien Ho's tenure at the then-Vietnamese-esque (and damn good) Ma Peche. It's thoughtful, precise, and pretty original.
As a casual neighborhood with greater ambitions, the restaurant doesn't fail. But it doesn't fully succeed either.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Team Rubicon, a group of military veterans with first response training, was one of many civilian organizations that made an immediate and instrumental impact on New York's recovery. Now they're heading to Oklahoma to lend a hand, They're seeking funding, and New York food businesses are doing their part.
One day the pastry chef at Crave Fishbar had a stroke of brilliance: why not top their cupcakes with sprinkles made from scratch?