June 13th, 2010
This story originally appeared on Metromix.
Brisket blowout! Top pitmasters keep the ‘cues smoking and the crowds coming.
June 12, 2010
As the 17 pitmasters at the Big Apple BBQ demonstrated, there’s no right way to cook a pig—or cow, or sheep. Barbecue mavens rolled in from 13 states, including NYC’s own Blue Smoke, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Rack & Soul. And, as Charles Grund—who presided over Hill Country‘s1,500 pounds of brisket—explained, ”Barbecue is a thing where everybody does something just a little bit different: their own flavor, and their own different technique. There’s not a whole lot of people doing it exactly the same way, so there’s not a whole lot of cutthroat.”
Indeed, the 125,000 atendees who were expected for the two-day festival chomped on barbecued brisket, whole hogs cooked up two ways, ribs done in myriad technqiues, a smorgasbord of sausages, and even that Owensboro, Ky., special, barbecued mutton. Everyone had set up the night before, and some stayed up all night tending fires and preparing meat.
But it was all worth it the next day, when the hungry crowds showed up toting kids, dogs and Wet-Naps. “Taste the meat, taste the spice, taste the salt,” exulted ‘cue granddaddy Mike Mills, of 17th Street Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, Ill., gesturing at his baby back ribs. “You’ve got a rodeo in your mouth.” …
Read the rest and see more photos on Metromix.com.
Photos by Gabi Porter
June 3rd, 2010
This story originally appeared on Grub Street.
Order your wine on tap at Vesta Trattoria, an Astoria wine bar that pours glasses from a keg. Four handles draw wine from 28-bottle kegs that are pressurized and stay good for months — not that Vesta can keep it around that long. “I would say 80 percent of the people drinking wine are drinking [from the tap],” owner Giuseppe Falco told Grub Street. The attraction is that you’ll never get a past-its-prime pour, and the absence of bottles and labels reduces waste as well as cost. “Our cheapest wine by the glass went down by a dollar,” Falco said, noting that all the tap wines sell for $6 to $8 per glass.
On tap now are two whites and two reds: a 2008 Cabernet Franc, a 2008 Estate Merlot, a 2009 Chardonnay, and a 2009 Grand Cru Sauvignon Blanc, all from Raphael Vineyard in Peconic. Falco plans to expand his offerings, assuming that he can get other vintners interested in the keg system. “This is what we’ll all be doing soon,” he says.
Read the original story on Grub Street.
Photo: Courtesy Vesta Vino
June 1st, 2010
A drink before dinner? Try a drink for dinner with meaty libations that are a boozy meal in a glass.
Meat mania has set in so hard that we’re no longer content to just eat the stuff. Or maybe it’s just that flesh is the last frontier for mixologists, who’ve already added all manner of botanicals and offbeat vegetables to liquor. These days, we’ve fully entered the carnivore cocktail craze, a boozy parlor trick popping up on drink menus across New York City.
As with many trends, East Village curve-racer PDT takes partial credit for getting the party started—their Benton’s Old Fashioned is famously done with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup and Angostura bitters. And Brooklyn Brewery even cooked up a bacon beer, though they’ve never sold it for public consumption (brewmaster Garrett Oliver told us about it in January).
Here are five carne cocktails we’ve decided to chew on.
Read the rest of the story, and see more pics, on Metromix.
Photos by Melissa Hom. Pictured: Boqueria’s Gilda Maria.
May 21st, 2010
The stretch of 28th Street just west of Sixth Avenue is not an area where one expects to find the kind of artisanal, housemade offerings that are now de rigueur in so many downtown and Brooklyn restaurants. Yet Roberto Bellissimo, the chef of Blu restaurant in the Hotel Indigo, which opened last fall, will soon be offering house-infused grappa as an after-dinner cap-off to his Italian menu.
Bellissimo grew up in Toronto making grappas with his grandfather, who hailed from Calabria in Italy. In traditional fashion, the chef’s “nonno” would use up extra fruit at the end of a season by throwing it into a batch of the liqueur. “He had a pear tree and a fig tree,” Bellissimo recalls.
About three months ago, the chef took apricots he’d frozen during the summer crop, along with pears, pineapple, and jarred Morello cherries, and sealed them in a grappa bath in oversize mason jars. The resulting four flavors are meant to be ordered after the meal, “like a digestif,” explains Bellissimo. …
Read the rest of the story on Fork in the Road.
May 21st, 2010
Most restaurants that offer house-made pasta want you to think it’s crafted by a real Italian grandmother, even when the reality is more often a scruffy 20-something who’s never been to Italy.
Unless, of course, you’re dining at I Trulli.
There, the high priestess of the pasta station is Dora Marzovilla, the 74-year-old mother of owner Nicola Marzovilla.
Since I Trulli’s opening almost 16 years ago, the elder Marzovilla has been rolling out snakes of dough, breaking off nubs and deftly fashioning them into a variety of precise shapes. Her delicate ear-shaped orecchiette make perfect vessels for a rich rabbit ragù, and pillows of ravioli encase creamy Robiola cheese. …
Read the rest of the story on Tasting Table.
Photo courtesy of I Trulli restaurant.
May 15th, 2010
This story originally appeared on Metromix.com.
Photo Credit:Tod Seelie
Downtown’s hungriest turned out for the 16th annual Taste of Tribeca, and they couldn’t have had a nicer day for it. Among the 65 neighborhood restaurants serving small bites (attendees had the tough choice of selecting six) were big names like Nobu and Bouley, along with old favorites like Walker’s and Tribeca Grill.
The event benefits arts programs at P.S. 150 and P.S. 234, and the short set turned out in full force, many with painted faces, dancing to the sounds of City Winery’s live bluegrass band. Diners queued up for dishes like pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw and watermelon from Walker’s and Duane Park Patisserie’s molten chocolate cake. Maybe it was the sunshine and the outdoor setting, but barbecue seemed to be on every plate—from the bratwurst at Schaller & Weber’s hot dog cart to further mini-pulled pork sliders from Tribeca Grand Hotel.
Restuarateur Drew Nieporent, whose Nobu, Tribeca Grill, and Centrico all made showings, emceed the American Lamb Meatball Challenge (a dumpling cookoff sponsored by Tang’s Natural Dumplings also went down). The Tribeca pioneer pronounced this year’s event “spectacular,” and had to think hard when asked how many years he’d been in attendance. “This started 16 years ago and Montrachet opened 25 years ago,” he said, as though he couldn’t quite believe it.
Read the rest of the story and see more photos on Metromix.com.
April 30th, 2010
To fete Mother’s Day, six chefs dish about their favorite recipes from Mom.
It’s not often we’re shown the softer side of celebrity chefs. More frequently, they seem to be releasing profane cookbooks or abandoning brides at the altar—makes for better tabloid fodder, we suppose. Yet there’s nothing like Mother’s Day to bring out the biggest softie in anyone—especially us.
To that end, we’ve handpicked six top New York chefs and quizzed them about their favorite dishes from Mom, and the inspiration gained at Mom’s apron strings.
Read on to learn about Harrison chef Amanda Freitag’s third-generation meatballs; the chicken-wing dish that Kuma Inn’s King Phojanakong named after his mother; the Bromberg brothers’ mom, who was a locavore before her time; and other important culinary mommas. It’s Mother’s Day after all, so don’t forget to call yours. And maybe treat her to a bite to eat: All of the dishes featured in this story are available at the chefs’ respective restaurants …
Read the rest of the story on Metromix.com.
Photo by Jori Klein Jacobs.
April 27th, 2010
This story originally appeared on Fork in the Road.
Eddie Huang has returned from a recent jaunt to Taiwan and is busily making plans for Xiao Ye (formerly Crackhaus), his 50-seat Orchard Street restaurant slated to open in mid-June. Huang gave Fork in the Road the exclusive on the menu of small bites and shareable plates, revealed below. The chef explains that Xiao Ye will be his chance to explore Taiwanese classics like red-cooked meats and fried chicken. “I really want to put in my time and tackle some of these dishes before I go do the more modern, crazy stuff,” he says.
Like at Baohaus, where buns are stuffed with Niman Ranch pork and Angus beef, Huang plans to emphasize quality ingredients. He hopes to use sustainably sourced meats, especially chicken–”free-range chicken is always used in Taiwan,” Huang says (a topic he also blogged passionately about while abroad).
On the small-plates menu, he’s in talks with several meat purveyors about getting his own blends of pork and beef for the dumplings, and can’t resist a boast: “We’re going to take dumplings to a level you’re not seeing elsewhere.” House-made master stocks will go into everything from soups to sauces, and spice powders will be ground in-house from Chinese medicinal herbs.
Yet despite these ministrations, Huang wants to keep prices “30 percent lower” than at other Asian drinking-and-eating spots. A full liquor license and hours till 2 a.m. on weekends should also help draw a crowd. “I wanted to have a cool place with really good food that doesn’t kill young people with the price–it’s really for me and my friends,” he tells us, which is a more subdued version of what he expressed on his blog today: “It sucks that by the time you can afford the dope shit in life, you’re old, ugly, and probably have diabetes. So, I don’t want to perpetuate that.” Sounds good, as long as the LES customer base doesn’t end up being like the dessert: drunken fruits. Check out the full menu below.
See the rest of the story on Fork in the Road.
April 23rd, 2010
This story originally appeared on Fork in the Road.East Village scenester spot the Smith unrolled a new weekday breakfast menu yesterday.
A few new items have been introduced, along with existing weekend-brunch dishes, and the offerings are served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. during the week. Since, let’s face it, “power breakfast” and “East Village” don’t really go together, we have an inkling that another part of the menu will appeal most to neighborhood residents: the half-price Bloody Marys, mimosas, and Bellinis, which ring in at $6, rather than the usual $12. If three hours of Tuesday-morning happy hour is your cup of booze, then you can check out the menu here.
Read the original story on Fork in the Road.
April 22nd, 2010
This story originally appeared on Grub Street.
Baohaus chef Eddie Huang has been in Taiwan for a few weeks now, gathering inspiration for his new restaurant (and, as you can see in a local news video, making buns at a culinary school). The chef tells us that when the restaurant opens in mid-June, it won’t be called Crackhaus as previously planned, since that name was struck down when he tried to form an LLC. “I’ve been really inspired by my trip in Taiwan, and especially the night food scene where the stalls don’t open until late night,” he e-mails. “In America, brunch is real popular, but there’s like reverse brunch in Taiwan where people come out around 11pm/12am till 4am especially to eat night market food, its called Xiao Ye. That’s the name of the new restaurant: Xiao Ye.” Hey, it’s not the easiest to remember, but then again, Huang has already said he’s going for an “abrasive” vibe.
Read the original story on Grub Street.