Girl Meets Food - New York http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork New York City's Offbeat Local Guide Mon, 01 Jun 2015 02:17:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Drink in NYC Views on Manhattan by Sail’s Champagne Brunch Sail http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/06/drink-in-nyc-views-on-manhattan-by-sails-champagne-brunch-sail/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/06/drink-in-nyc-views-on-manhattan-by-sails-champagne-brunch-sail/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 02:17:10 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1229 Photo Credit: Olivier Palade As much as very few New Yorkers will admit it, there’s something to be said about enjoying the city [every once in a while] as a tourist. Now, no one’s suggesting a stroll through Time’s Square here (because that would be outright crazy), but seeing the city through the lens of a […]]]>

Photo Credit: Olivier Palade

As much as very few New Yorkers will admit it, there’s something to be said about enjoying the city [every once in a while] as a tourist. Now, no one’s suggesting a stroll through Time’s Square here (because that would be outright crazy), but seeing the city through the lens of a passerby is sometimes like seeing it for the first time all over again. And no matter how long of a New Yorker you’ve been, everyone remembers that first magical trip to New York, New York.

All the photos, all the selfies (even before the ubiquitous selfie stick), all the “I Love NY” gear! Sometimes it’s fun just to relive that first memory of NYC, and if there’s brunch involved, why ever not?

With a full disclosure that it’s definitely a very touristy activity, Sunday boozy brunch with Shearwater Manhattan by Sail is one “un-New Yorker activity,” so to speak, we’re happy to indulge in.

The Champagne Brunch Sail is an ideal way to spend two hours on Sunday afternoon eating and drinking on a boat with the sights of New York City as live theater. For $95 per adult, brunch buffet includes unlimited mimosas (actually made with champagne, not Prosecco), coffee and tea service, and an array of brunch items like bagels, salmon, muffins, croissants, quiche, fresh fruit, parfaits, and other munchies. Not exactly 5-star dishes, but you can bet the drinks will be flowing nonstop with the staff’s commendably attentive service — and generous champagne to orange juice portions.

Manhattan by Sail Champagne Brunch Sail

Brunch aboard the Shearwater [Photo Credit: Olivier Palade]

 

And can we talk about the views?! As New Yorkers, we know it’s somewhat uncool to get all googly-eyed and squeaky when the Statue of Liberty comes into view or you realize you’re staring at a perfectly framed downtown Manhattan — but c’mon — we’re just so in love with this city! Hands-down the views were the absolute highlight of the Champagne Brunch sail, and there isn’t quite anywhere else you’ll see these sights in such a lovely setting (not to mention a mimosa in your hand).

Shearwater Manhattan by Sail Champagne Brunch Sail

Shearwater Manhattan by Sail Champagne Brunch Sail

All in all, there’s a moral to the story: Sometimes it’s okay to be a tourist in your city — as long as there’s a view and a drink. Trips depart every Sunday at 11:00 am. 

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Kick off Grill Season with Maille Mustards Bistro Collection http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/05/kick-off-grill-season-with-maille-mustards-bistro-collection/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/05/kick-off-grill-season-with-maille-mustards-bistro-collection/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 17:12:45 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1218 Could it be really be true? Has summer finally arrived?! That answer would be YES. With Memorial Day weekend in full swing, it’s about that time to start planning for a grill-tastic summer! If there’s one thing New Yorkers love after months of hibernation and bone-chilling cold is a long, hot season of outdoors activities […]]]>

Could it be really be true? Has summer finally arrived?!

That answer would be YES. With Memorial Day weekend in full swing, it’s about that time to start planning for a grill-tastic summer! If there’s one thing New Yorkers love after months of hibernation and bone-chilling cold is a long, hot season of outdoors activities — all, of course, including an abundance of food and drink.

Grilling, BBQs and picnics are the optimal way to soak up the sun and celebrate the return of warm weather. But we are New Yorkers, after all, and our palates demand something a little extra special. Enter: Maille mustards.

The gourmet vinegar and mustard shop, first opened in Paris in 1747, recently launched a limited edition set of Parisian bistro-inspired mustards just perfect for grilling season. Obviously not your everyday Dijon mustard, this 3-piece set is an ode to warm weather meals and refined tastes — which, in a nutshell, means it’s really freakin’ good. (Not to mention, how cute are those jars and little wooden spoons sitting snugly in a gingham-print box?!)

The Maille Boutique Bistro Collection

The limited edition collection (also perfect as a host/hostess gift!) runs for $45 for all three 3.8 oz mustards or $12 each. The white wine mustard varieties in this box include:

  1. Lemon and Garlic: Perfect for grilled fish, as a dip with artichokes or crudités, or as a spread on a garden burger.
  2. Toasted Onions and Wild Thyme: Perfect with roasted lamb, grilled cheese, or — of course — a gourmet burger.
  3. Fine Herbs (Parsley, Chives, Chervil): Perfect with a summer salad, quiche, or grilled veggies (or a burger!)

The Maille Boutique New York

The Maille Boutique Bistro Collection is available until August 2015 on the Maille website or in-store at the one-of-a-kind Maille Boutique in New York on the Upper West Side — where, by the way, you can shop a plethora of gourmet mustards, vinegars and other delicious goodies. And did we mention the mustard bar?! Yes, you can actually get mustards on tap here.

Ready. Set. Grill.

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Treat Mom Sweet with ginnybakes Cookies for Mother’s Day http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/treat-mom-sweet-with-ginnybakes-cookies-for-mothers-day/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/treat-mom-sweet-with-ginnybakes-cookies-for-mothers-day/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:07:00 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1140 Here we go, another holiday, which means more reason to celebrate with FOOD! Yes! Of course, we love food, but this day is all about Mom — so how better to say how much you love her than with some snacks that are as sweet and wholesome as she is? Enter: ginnybakes, a brand of sweet and […]]]>

Here we go, another holiday, which means more reason to celebrate with FOOD! Yes! Of course, we love food, but this day is all about Mom — so how better to say how much you love her than with some snacks that are as sweet and wholesome as she is?

Enter: ginnybakes, a brand of sweet and simple cookies that — simply put — are yummy and have ingredients that you can actually pronounce. Sold!

Here’s a little backstory to these delicious cookies and why they are the perfect gift for your mom this Mother’s Day. ginnybakes began with a simple idea: how to create a sweet treat that is delicious, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free — basically finding a way to indulge mindfully while satisfying that ever-present sweet tooth.

And really, who better to create such a good-for-you treat than a mom? ginnybakes creator and certified holistic nutritionist Ginny Simon is a mother herself, who wanted to combine her passion for nutrition and an active lifestyle. In doing so, she was able to create a smart treat not only for herself but for her entire family, as well. Mom stamp of approval: check!

“ginnybakes is my fifth child; my girl after four sons,” Simon told Huffington Post. “She gives me the deepest sense of fulfillment as to who I am, and where I could make a difference in my own life and those that I touch through our products. I am a sincere believer that home baked goods and delicious food are what bring people together to gather, talk, love and connect. That, along with my passion for helping others lead healthy lives filled with mindful indulgences, is why I created ginnybakes.”

GinnyBakes cookies

ginnybakes Chocolate Chip Love Cookies [Photo Courtesy: ginnybakes]

For those that already eat gluten-free, the Chocolate Chip Love cookies are a gluten-free spin on the classic chocolate chip cookie. We put these cookies to the test with some of our gluten-free friends, and they not only loved the flavor, they also told us:

“These are the best gluten-free cookies on the market!”

Okay, so you don’t know our friends, but don’t think that you have to have a dietary restriction to enjoy these noms. Here’s how we see it: A cookie is a cookie is a cookie is a cookie…but only if it tastes good. It doesn’t hurt that ginnybakes makes us feel a little less guilty for sneaking a sweet snack or two throughout the day, and that’s why it’s the type of snack we know Mom would love, too.

Our personal favorites are the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss cookies. The secret weapon ingredient: coconut! These cookies are special because they have just the right amount of refreshing coconut (which will help Mom pretend she’s on a little tropical vacay for a few minutes) mixed in with a classic chocolate chip cookie.

And just to reiterate (because your skepticism is still pretty apparent) these cookies are: organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher. It’s like dreams really can come true…!

So, obviously we love a good cookie, but what we love most is that you know what you’re eating. So when you give these to your mom, you’re not only saying, ‘I want you to enjoy something sweet on Mother’s Day, but also I don’t want you to put crap in your body.’ Because what else screams love if not that?

Just in case your mom’s not so much for the coconut chocolate chip, ginnybakes also offers an entire rainbow of flavors:

  • Coconut Oatmeal Bliss
  • Double Chocolate Happiness
  • Sweet Cinnamon Love
  • Ginger Crisp Love
  • Cranberry Pistachio Bliss
  • Chocolate Chip Macadamia Love
  • Butter Crisp Love
  • Dreamy Vegan Delight

gb Cookies - group

You can also purchase mini sized cookies and GB Go options as well, which makes it easy for Mom to take these cookies on the go with her (because you know Mom still loves carrying around treats in her magic, carry-all bag). At price points of $6 (for a package of 11 cookies) to $24 (for 24 GB Go cookies), these cookies are too good not to grab by the load, so switch up the flowers this year for something edible and delectable.

Got the munchies yet? Check here for a list of stores that carry ginnybakes cookies or buy them online on the ginnybakes website. Sign up for the email newsletter and you’ll even get $5 off your next purchase (so you know… you can buy a box for yourself to “taste test” before gifting them to Mom).

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Sakura Matsuri Welcomes Spring with Tea, Wagashi, Cherry Blossoms http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/spring-arrives-in-nyc/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/spring-arrives-in-nyc/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 20:48:35 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1174 New Yorkers pride themselves on their innovations in food, finance, and fashion — just to list a few. But traditions run deep, too, and to welcome spring, thousands flock to Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri. This year’s Sakura Matsuri will be held the weekend of April 25 and 26. Sakura (“cherry blossom”) Matsuri (“festival”) is a […]]]>

New Yorkers pride themselves on their innovations in food, finance, and fashion — just to list a few. But traditions run deep, too, and to welcome spring, thousands flock to Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri. This year’s Sakura Matsuri will be held the weekend of April 25 and 26.

Sakura (“cherry blossom”) Matsuri (“festival”) is a New York City tradition. Begun in 1981 to celebrate the garden’s renowned cherry blossom collection, the festival now features over 60 performers, demonstrations, and workshops.

“Sakura Matsuri is BBG’s biggest event of the year and the largest annual event in an American public garden. The festival’s innovative programming—from traditional tea ceremonies and Japanese folk dance, to robust Taiko drumming and the crowd-favorite Sakura Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show—attracts one of the largest, most colorful audiences for a cultural event in the city,” says Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, Director of Communications at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Indeed, one look at the website is enough to boggle the mind, and you have to wonder how so much activity can be squeezed into just two days. Here is the Girl Meets Food guide to the festival for our typical busy New Yorker.

1. Experience a bit of traditional Japan

sakura matsuri brooklyn

Tea masters Soumi Shimizu and Sōkyo Shimizu, leaders of the Sohenryu-Style Tea Ceremony. [Photo Credit: Liz Ligon.]


On both days, the Main Stage at Cherry Esplanade will feature performances of traditional Japanese arts, including thunderous taiko drumming, elegant and colorful Kabuki Buyo dance, and Samurai sword performances. Of course, there will also be tea.

2. Enjoy modern Japanese fashion

sakura matsuri brooklyn

Members of BBG’s Parasol Society. [Photo credit: Liz Ligon]

Front row at a fashion show? Yes, please! Saturday is the Parasol Society Fashion Show, and Sunday is the Sakura Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show.

3. Learn from the experts

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s experts will be conducting tours of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and there will be a special demonstration of the Japanese art of flower arranging. For a display of the art, head to the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium. Meanwhile, the Steinhardt Conservatory’s Bonsai Museum will be open with members of the Friends of Bonsai club available to share their knowledge. Their private collection will also be available for a rare peek.

4. Explore the rest of the Garden for a bit of quiet

Reina-Longoria advises that the Plant Family Collection, Rock Garden, and other areas off Cherry Esplanade “offer a bit of quiet amidst the activities.” The latter includes the Rose Garden, Bluebell Wood, and Tree Peonies (map here).

5.  Try the specialty food offerings

SMminamoto

[Photo courtesy: Minamoto Kitchoan website]

And saving the best for last: the food! “A Japanese menu will be available in addition to the Yellow Magnolia Canteen offerings,” says ReinaLongoria. Meanwhile, the Osborne Garden will host the Japanese Market, where ROYCE’ Chocolate Shop and Minamoto Kitchoan Wagashi Shop will have seasonal Japanese confections and sweets for sale.

Social calendar already full? Out of town that weekend? No worries!

“Hanami—the Japanese cultural tradition of enjoying each moment of cherry blossom season—lasts about a month at BBG,” says Reina-Longoria. “Once the festivities of Sakura Matsuri are over, visitors can come back and enjoy the blossoms along Cherry Esplanade, Cherry Walk, and in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. BBG offers guided tours every day the Garden is open April through May that highlight the flowering cherries and other spring blooms—the tours are free with admission!”

She adds, “Many visitors like to return near the end of Hanami in May to view the gorgeous blanket of pink petals beneath the trees on Cherry Esplanade, the final picturesque stage of cherry blossom season.”

To make sure that you have the timing right, check out BBG’s CherryWatch Blossom Status Map.

brooklyn botanical garden

Cherry Esplanade at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. [Photo credit: Rebecca Bullene]

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden will take place on April 25 and April 26, from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.

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Olé! El Original Finally Lassos in Tex-Mex to NYC http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/ole-el-original-finally-lassos-in-tex-mex-to-nyc/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/ole-el-original-finally-lassos-in-tex-mex-to-nyc/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1124 It’s a widely known, sadly accepted fact among thousands of expats living in the city: Tex-Mex food does not exist in New York. Though there are entire neighborhoods dedicated to the cuisines of possible hundreds of cultures here, you would be hard pressed to find even one establishment that truly encapsulates the glory that is […]]]>

It’s a widely known, sadly accepted fact among thousands of expats living in the city: Tex-Mex food does not exist in New York. Though there are entire neighborhoods dedicated to the cuisines of possible hundreds of cultures here, you would be hard pressed to find even one establishment that truly encapsulates the glory that is Tex-Mex cuisine (Bbq does not count). Crazy isn’t even close to describing this mystery.

But the heavens may have just parted after hearing the cry for queso from the many disgruntled [and hungry] expats. Enter: El Original, the lovechild of seventh-generation Texan and James Beard Award-winning food blogger and cookbook author Lisa Fain. Recognizing the need for a solid Tex-Mex joint in NYC, Fain paired up with a few of her Texan friends to bring the larger-than-life culture of the Lone Star State to the concrete jungle —and starting with a gorgeous 7,500 square feet space redone in reclaimed barn-wood-timber in Hell’s Kitchen seems more than appropriate for a place to start (seriously this place is gorgeous). Throw in endless (complimentary!) chips and salsa, a refreshingly veggie-friendly menu, killer cocktails, and some of that signature Texan hospitality, and we have got NYC’s first-ever legit Tex-Mex restaurant. (Oh, and there’s queso.)

Following a soft opening in late March, El Original celebrated its grand opening on April 10 to full house of hungry folks enjoying food, drinks and live music. As New Yorkers and expats, alike, rejoice over the long-awaited arrival of Tex-Mex, Fain gave us a insight into how it all began and why El Original is the real deal for the ever popular, ever elusive regional cuisine.

Lisa Fain HomesickTexan

Photo Credit: Jan Cobbsmall

 

GMF: How do you describe Tex-Mex cuisine, and how does it differ from traditional Mexican or other Latin-inspired Mexican you find in NYC?

LF: Tex-Mex is thought to be imitation Mexican food, but it’s not. Instead, Tex-Mex is a regional American cuisine. It incorporates elements from many cultures, such as Native American, Spanish, German, French, and English, much like the state of Texas itself.

GMF: When and how did the concept of El Original begin?

LF: Two of the other partners, who are also Texan, like myself were missing good Tex-Mex in New York City and had been talking about opening a Tex-Mex restaurant for a couple of years. I joined up with them in August and things took off from there.

 

El Original NYC

Sizzling fresh vegetable fajitas, $18-32

 

GMF: Something that is characteristic of Tex-Mex cuisine is its use of fresh ingredients and its veggie-friendly options. What kind of emphasis did you and your team put on making sure this as evident on El Original’s menu?

LF: You’ll find lots of meat-free options on our menu, such as spinach enchiladas, vegetarian fajitas, green chile tamales, and black bean tacos. There are also lots of gluten-free options as well since many Tex-Mex dishes use corn tortillas, which are gluten free. Likewise, at El Original, we make everything from scratch every day, so the food is as fresh as it can be!

GMF: You actually have [real] queso! What do you tell diners when they ask what “real” queso is?

LF: Real queso is the pot of gold at the end of the Tex-Mex rainbow.

El Original NYC

Ooey-gooey Chile con queso, $7-11 [Photo Courtesy: El Original]

 

GMF: Tell us about the role of food in your life growing up as a seventh generation Texan.

LF: I come from a farming family, so all my life I’ve been surrounded by good, fresh food. When I was young, I spent time at my great-grandmother’s farm planting seeds and picking crops, so at an early age I gained an appreciation for all the work that goes into getting food on the table. Likewise, most of the people in my family love to cook, so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen helping with meals.

GMF: Who or what has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to cooking new dishes?

LF: Everyone in my family loves to cook, so they’ve been my largest inspiration and influence. Also, when I travel back home to Texas I spend a lot of time driving around the state trying new dishes, which is always a great source of ideas, as well.

GMF: Your favorite Tex-Mex dish and drink?

LF: My favorite Tex-Mex dish is refried beans. I could eat that with a stack of handmade flour tortillas every day and be happy.

El Original NYC

Spicy fresh cocktails: “Fourteen Shake Margarita” Mexican Martini & Pablanito [Photo Courtesy: El Original]

 

GMF: What’s next to come for El Original, and how do you think its opening will influence the Tex-Mex scene in NYC?

LF: We hope to share the glory of Tex-Mex with New York for many years to come!

El Original is located at 975 10th Ave (corner of 50th St and 10th Ave) and open Sun-Wedn, 5pm-12am; Thurs-Sat, 5pm-1am. Walk-ins are good, but why not just make reservations on OpenTable?

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Billet and Bellows is Williamsburg’s New Neighborhood Bar http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/billet-and-bellows-is-williamsburgs-new-neighborhood-bar/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/04/billet-and-bellows-is-williamsburgs-new-neighborhood-bar/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1086 There are few places in New York City that upon walking in you instantly feel at home. Williamsburg’s cozy, chic, completely gorgeous Billet & Bellows cocktail bar is of that rare commodity. The latest creation of metal artist and longtime Williamsburg native Kristina Kozak, Billet & Bellows is as much a neighborhood locale as it […]]]>

There are few places in New York City that upon walking in you instantly feel at home. Williamsburg’s cozy, chic, completely gorgeous Billet & Bellows cocktail bar is of that rare commodity.

The latest creation of metal artist and longtime Williamsburg native Kristina Kozak, Billet & Bellows is as much a neighborhood locale as it is a piece of art —which comes as no surprise since Kozak is well known for her affinity for beautiful things. Take a stroll through Williamsburg, and you’re bound to run into any one of Kozak’s metal creations. (You know you’ve stopped to stare at that gorgeous fence outside of Whisk on N. 4th and Bedford.) You may have even picked up a gem or two from Kozak’s antique shop that held residence not long before Billet & Bellows opened its doors.

kristina kozak metal fence

Photo Source: Kristina Kozak

But what does a metal worker know about mixology and gastronomy? Turns out just enough to make you know you’ll be back again for more.

Trust an artist to create art, we say — and Kozak did just that when she opened Billet & Bellows late last year. From the custom made metal barstools to the custom designed green, onyx stone bar that snakes through the length of the space in a giant curve, Kozak’s vision is clear in every inch of the bar.

“I’m a woman, and I love curves!” Kozak says about her unique bar design. “Plus this way you can see and talk to the person over there easily.”

She’s got a point, there. Tell us why the linear bar design is still so popular?

billet and bellows

Adding to her impressive cocktail menu of tantalizing concoctions that are another ode to her artistry, Kozak launched a small plates menu last month consisting of what she calls “elevated bar food” — things like ooey-gooey Skillet Mac and Cheese, $10; Baby Bliss potato skins with Dublin cheddar, crema and scallions, $8; and the never-can-fail grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere, caramelized onions and tomato soup jus, $10.

billet and bellows mac and cheese

Photo Source: Billet and Bellows

“I think these are things that I would like to eat,” Kozak says. “But I want people to drink. I didn’t want this to be a restaurant. I didn’t want to make burgers.”

She may not have reinvented the wheel with the the small plates menu (albeit it’s all really good), but one thing is for sure: Somewhere in between the gorgeous interior and carefully thought out drinks/food menu, Kozak gave birth to her newest creation — Williamsburg’s newest hangout spot.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone Kozak doesn’t know, and you’re likely to catch her chatting it up with any one of her many friends in the neighborhood. And before you know it, you’ll have made three at least three friends by the time the night is finished over good drinks and noms. (True story — this happened to us.) What’s better than that on a night out in this city of strangers?

And hey, just in case you like zombies with your cocktails, Kozak will even turn on the bar TV — which she says is reserved for special occasions — to “The Walking Dead” on Sunday nights. Other requests are gladly taken.

Billet and Bellows is located at 177 Grand Street in Brooklyn and open Sunday-Wednesday, from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am; Thursday-Saturday, from 4:00 pm to 4:00 am.

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Mad Men Dining Week in NYC: Bottoms Up, Fedoras On http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/mad-men-dining-week-in-nyc-bottoms-up-fedoras-on/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/mad-men-dining-week-in-nyc-bottoms-up-fedoras-on/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:51:02 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1100 There is a host of classic old-fashioned food consumed in the AMC hit series, “Mad Men”: Beef Wellington, shrimp cocktail, and Waldorf salad to name a few. And of course “Mad Men” wouldn’t be complete without booze — lots of mind-numbing liquor to distract you from the crude comments from chauvinists-slash-ad-execs, secret love affairs and broken marriages. […]]]>

There is a host of classic old-fashioned food consumed in the AMC hit series, “Mad Men”: Beef Wellington, shrimp cocktail, and Waldorf salad to name a few. And of course “Mad Men” wouldn’t be complete without booze — lots of mind-numbing liquor to distract you from the crude comments from chauvinists-slash-ad-execs, secret love affairs and broken marriages. While the 1960s and 70s perhaps offered little in the way of innovation and creativity when it came to new cuisine, wouldn’t it still be lovely to go back to a simpler time of rib eye steaks and a Tom Collins or two?

Well this is your week! From March 23-29, you can relive this classic era with the help of participating NYC restaurants in the Mad Men Dining Week. Step back in time, and dine at some of the oldest and classiest joints this city has to offer — all-the while pretending you, too, belong to the glitzy world that was 60s NYC.

All participating restaurants are offering a two-course lunch from a prix-fix menu for $19.69 and/or two “Mad Men”-inspired cocktails for the same price. But before you get your frilly rompers in a tizzy over all the food/drink/Don Draper-eque madness, check out our list of NYC hotspots where you’re bound to get the best “Mad Men” fare. Get ready to party like it’s 1969, y’all.

Le Cirque

We all know Megan’s signature meal is the French dish Coq Au Vin. If Don could ever take a hint, he would have surprised her for a fancy night on the town at this New York staple for fabulous French fare, Le Cirque in Midtown East. Slip into a flirty get-up like Megan’s dress when she serenaded Don with “Zou Bisou Bisou”, and try Le Cirque’s Soup du Jour “à la Mad Man”,followed by Poulet à la Royale (king-style chicken in puff pastry), and end with a sweet Ile Flottante. Then, go out and take on the town with a man who, you know, isn’t cheating on you in every other scene.

le cirque new york

Photo Credit: Eric Laignel

Check out the full Le Cirque Mad Men Dining Week prix-fixe menu.

Arlington Club

Remember when Lane Price and Pete Campbelle went at it in season four? It may have been one of the most timid looking fist fights in history, but Lane went out with a bang when he socked Pete in the face once and for all. Somehow the men found a way to patch it up in the end, and we can only imagine them dragging themselves into a late-night spot to reconcile things over one of the most rectifying foods known to man: the burger. Arlington Club’s deluxe Arlington Burger Club Burger (say that three times fast) is an ode to all the rough-housing, Mad Men themselves, and comes complete with cheddar cheese from upstate, pepper-crusted bacon, and BBQ sauce. Then numb your pain and sorrows with Banana Cream pie, with a side of rum ice cream and gooey, hot vanilla fudge. Worth a punch in the face or two, we’d say.

arlington club burger

Photo Source: Arlington Club Facebook

Check out the full Arlington Club Mad Men Dining Week prix-fixe menu.

Barbetta

When Betty and Don dropped everything and jetted to Rome in season three, they dined at a picturesque outdoor cafe that included all the essentials of a 1960s Italian meal, including ridiculously long bread sticks that were perhaps just an inch or so shorter than Betty’s beehive. You can spend the afternoon at Barbetta in Times Square for a similar traditional Italian atmosphere (role-playing Betty and Don style is optional, but recommended). Try classics like Penne alla Bolognese, Minestrone Giardiniera, and Bue Barolo (beef braised in red wine with polenta).

barbetta new york

Photo Source: Barbetta Facebook

Check out the full Barbetta Mad Men Dining Week prix-fixe menu.

Carnegie Deli & Restaurant

Didn’t that pastrami sandwich in season seven “Time Zones” look A-mazing? To quote Pete:

“Its pastrami with coleslaw right on the sandwich.”

And that, my friends, is the Brooklyn Avenue. If your mouth was watering in that scene, then you should definitely run down to Carnegie Deli & Restaurant in Midtown West for their famous pastrami or corned beef, made the same way since 1937. For dessert, cleanse the palate with The Classic Plain Cheesecake. You won’t get any closer to 1960s and 70s-style artery-clogging diner food than here—and yes, it will be everything you imagined it to be.

carnegie deli

Photo Source: Carnegie Deli & Restaurant Facebook

Check out the full Carnegie Deli & Restaurant Mad Men Dining Week prix-fixe menu.

Cocktail Roundup by Characters

And just in case you’re still struggling with your choices, you can comfort yourself in some boozy beverages just like your “Mad Men” spirit animal. Here’s

  • If you are a Peggy: A combination of headstrong, sweet, and packing a lot of punch, try Delmonico’s (conveniently named) The Peggy. Includes creme de cacao, heavy cream, brandy, nutmeg, and an orange twist. Sweet with a punch.
  • If you’re more of a Joan: Radiating self-confidence and proficiency, relax at Benjamin Steakhouse and sip on the crimson punch. It’s got purity vodka, lemon juice, cranberry juice, raspberries, and Chambord — fabulous and fierce, just like you.
  • Maybe you’re a Meghan: dazzlingly witty and talented French dame. In this case, head to Brasserie for a French 75. This cocktail has sparkling wine, Bombay, gin, and a splash of lemon bitters. Classic and chic at every step.
  • Fancy yourself a Roger: Got fantastic charisma and old-school charm? Stop in at Blue Water Grill for a Mad Vesper. This is simply Skyy Vodka, Beefeater gin, and lillet. Smooth, but never too sweet—just like the man himself.
  • If you’re just Betty and Don together: Call them the quintessential 1960s couple, they were outwardly perfection and class (er, even if they had other issues…) Empire Steakhouse has an appreciation of the couples of yesteryear, mixing up Betty’s and Don’s go-to poisons: Tom Collins and an Old Fashioned. Don’t worry about what happens later, enjoy the moment now—because it is oh-so-good.

Remember: Mad Men Dining Week lasts through Sunday, March 29. So go on, spend an afternoon reveling in the glamour of old New York; the one of white gloves, vintage Stetson hats, and never absent of a cocktail. Next week you can get back to work.

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Girl Meets NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2015 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/girl-meets-nyc-restaurant-week-winter-2015/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/girl-meets-nyc-restaurant-week-winter-2015/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 18:12:35 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1060 In a time when we’re all at our wit’s end with this cold, snowy, rainy mess, we feel OK splurging on a few good meals—especially since we spent most of the past few months hibernating. We heard NYC Restaurant Week say, “Come on out hungry bears. We’re here to fill you up and get you […]]]>

In a time when we’re all at our wit’s end with this cold, snowy, rainy mess, we feel OK splurging on a few good meals—especially since we spent most of the past few months hibernating. We heard NYC Restaurant Week say, “Come on out hungry bears. We’re here to fill you up and get you ready for Spring.” Naturally, we listened. And. Ate. Up.

Here were some of our favorites dishes during NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2015.

Dinner at Bar Primi

The restaurant that glorifies the most important dish of all— the pasta!  Taking what Italians call the first dish “primi piati” and making it the center of their menu, the folks at Bar Primi know how to create the perfect ambiance for carb-loading. Not only is the inside of the restaurant cozy and warm, but so is the food.

Although the pasta got us in the door for for NYC Restaurant Week, it was the homemade ricotta crostini appetizer, $10, that really impressed. And for a place known for its truly glorious pasta, this was a bittersweet realization.

Topped with ricotta was hazelnut, truffled honey, and rosemary (UH, YUM) the crostini appetizer summon three simple words: Flavorful, creamy, and refreshing. Combined with the freshness of the ricotta, it is an imaginative and truly surprising flavor profile that you otherwise may not have seen coming. For so many distinguished flavors, this appetizer defines the meaning of harmony.

Bar Primi app

Although Bar Primi’s strozzapreti (a similar shape to cavatelli) pasta dish, $18, was fresh and quite delicious, it sadly fell short of that “OMG” factor. Maybe simple was what they were going for, but the dish was lacking in flavor and had us reminiscing about the first course. The mushroom and marsala ragu definitely added that earthy flavor, which is used a lot during the winter, but it was too subtle and underwhelming.

Even the octopus appetizer with fingerling potatoes and red hot peppers was more impressive and creative than the pasta, which is to be appreciated — but makes for another disappointment at a “pasta place”.

Bar Primi

 

Lunch at Boulud Sud

We found more pasta at Chef Baniel Boulud’s Mediterranean-inspired, Boulud Sud and Executive Chef, Travis Swikard did not disappoint. With similar flavors as Bar Primi’s strozzapreti, it was the pesto at the base of the dish that tied in what was missing from the former.Boulud Sud Cavatelli

Not to be overshadowed by the main, there was plenty of  ‘oooh’s and ‘ahh’s withBoulud Sud’s modern dessert. Rose panna cotta with pistachio gelato and sponge cake was the perfect cleanse of the palate to end a large lunch. Boulud Sud dessert

Dinner at Lido in Harlem

Taking a break from the cold on a miserable rainy night, dinner at Lido is Harlem is a must when you’re craving something cozy— which was exactly the case in our stopover during Restaurant Week.

Lido has happy hour at the bar every day from 5:30-7:30— red wine please!  Wondering what our favorite entrée was? The pasta do you say? Why yes, the spinach tortellini with sage pesto, roasted butternut squash and walnuts, $18, confirmed yet again that simple wins the race…and our slow and steady eating made it even better. (Isn’t that what they say?) These flavors were the perfect wintry mix, and the pasta itself had the perfect dough to filling ratio.
Lido Apps

Appetizers were a nice start to the meal, but none were extraordinary. Lido’s pasta was the true star of this meal. Shown here is the butternut apple soup, arugula salad with roasted pear, parmesan shavings, and walnuts, $12, and a homemade organic ricotta crostino with sautéed crimini, deep fried sage and truffle oil, $9.

It is worth mentioning that the salad stood out among its fellow apps, contributing something unique with flavors lacking on other Restaurant Week menus. The pears were caramelized just enough to bring out the sweetness against the peppery arugula.

So that’s a wrap for NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2015. Check out more pics on the Girl Meets Food New York Istagram accountWhat were your faves? Share with us below in the comments, so we know where to start prepping for NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015.

In the meantime, here’s where to find these restaurants:

Bar Primi
325 Bowery
212-220-9100

Boulud Sud
One Lincoln Plaza
20 West 64 Street
212-595-1313

Lido
2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
646-490-8575

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2015 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is a Must-Attend http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/2015-nyc-vegetarian-food-festival-is-a-must-attend/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/03/2015-nyc-vegetarian-food-festival-is-a-must-attend/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:59:48 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1018 To get winter-worn New Yorkers thinking forward to Springtime and sunshine, The 2015 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival kicks off this weekend, March 14-15, at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion. In its fifth year running, NYC Vegetarian Food Festival will be a weekend to celebrate the importance of plants in not only healthy and delicious foods, but our everyday lives […]]]>

To get winter-worn New Yorkers thinking forward to Springtime and sunshine, The 2015 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival kicks off this weekend, March 14-15, at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion. In its fifth year running, NYC Vegetarian Food Festival will be a weekend to celebrate the importance of plants in not only healthy and delicious foods, but our everyday lives as well. The festival lineup boasts a repertoire of visionaries in the vegetarian and vegan cooking movement, including chefs, vendors and entertainers who have one thing in common: They are all about that veg. Here’s a look at what’s lined up during this must-attend two-day veg fest.

Champions of Vegetarian Cuisine

A host of professional nutrition experts and award-winning authors are scheduled to discuss the topics of vegan and vegetarian cuisine on the festival’s agenda. Rich Roll will be signing copies of his new book, The Plant Power Waywhile speakers like Chef Adam Sobel (founder of the gone-but-never-forgotten Cinnamon Snail food truck), and top cardiologists Joel Kahn and Robert Ostfeld will take the stage to talk about the benefit of vegan diets. And for you especially big animal lovers (though what vegetarian isn’t?), Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization that advocates for farm animals, will remind you how awesome you are for all your non-meat-eating.

nyc vegetarian food festival

Photo Credit: Splice Photography; Photo Courtesy: NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Facebook

Live-Action Cooking

Get your thrills and spills through live cooking demos! For pros and amateurs, alike, there will be plenty of opportunity to soak up expert vegetarian and vegan cuisine tips from the pros, while enjoying a little live cooking theater— not a bad deal, if you ask us. Headlining the live cooking demos are top chefs J.L Fields (Vegan chef extraordinaire), Fran Costigan (aka the “Queen of Vegan Desserts” for—what else?—her out-of-this-world vegan desserts), and Chloe Coscarelli of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars— the first ever vegan chef to win a culinary competition on TV.

Veggie Samples Galore

And no food festival would be complete without plenty of noms to sample, so come ready to snack! International, national and local vendors well armed and ready with vegan food (and product) samples to remind you, once again, why livin la vida meatless can be so freakin’ good. Meet the folks behind plant conscious companies like Green Mustache, Love Beets, Herbivore Clothing Company, Upton’s Naturals, and The Peanut Principle and check out their wares first-hand. Returning by popular demand again is Rescue Chocolate, a company well known for making scrumptious bars and truffles and respected even more for donating all its profits to various animal rescue organizations. 

Did we mention your ticket gets you a free entry into the raffle benefitting this year’s charity partner, Evolve For Animals? Yeah, so that’s more free stuff for you + more help for the animals. Talk about a win-win.

nyc vegetarian food festival

Photo Credit: Splice Photography; Photo Courtesy: NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Facebook

Family Friendly Events

This weekend is also designed to be a learning and engaging experience for the young ones, the organizers have made sure to include activities for the whole family. The Kumquat Kids Area, sponsored by the Solutionary School, will host some super fun activities designed especially to teach youth about healthy eating and nutrition in a light-hearted, interactive way. Check out just a few of the things scheduled below:

  • GrowNYC will present “Eating a Rainbow”, a program that will help to point out the health benefits of a nutritious diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Registered dietician Dr. Annie Hauck-Lawson will lead a fun show-and-tell show, “Worms Do Wonders: Kitchen Scraps turn into Black Gold for the Garden!” red worms in a compost bin
  • Veggiecation‘s Brannan Robson will head up a super fun shamrock smoothie-making session, while Brian Yanish (author of ScrapKins Build-It Book) will show kiddos how to turn everyday junk into beautiful art.
  • Teen vegetarian spokesperson and philanthropist Chloe Falkenheim will lead a “veg teen meet-up” while the Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will sponsor a festival scavenger hunt and present the “Planetary Problem Puzzle” for middle- and high-schoolers to get their noggins churning.
nyc vegetarian food festival

Photo Credit: Splice Photography; Photo Courtesy: NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Facebook

Pre-Festival Feast

And of course…there’s more yummy eating! For those who want to get in early on the action, a pre-festival dinner will be held on Friday, March 13 from 7-8:30 pm at the National Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. Chef Jay Astafa of 3 Brothers Pizza Café (also Jay Astafa Catering) and winner of PETA’s “Best Vegan Pizza” award, will be serving up a three-course vegan feast to get the veggie party started. Get ready to tuck in for, what is guaranteed to be, one fingerlickin’ meal. Take a look at the menu below:

  • First course: White asparagus panna cotta, king oyster mushroom scallop, and chilled potato leek soup
  • Second course: Cauliflower steak chimichurri featuring purple cauliflower puree, beluga lentils, rainbow chard, and almond romensco
  • Third course: “Cheesecake” with carrot coconut gelato, walnut crumble, pineapple coulis, and crystallized ginger

And for the extra fancy-schmancy among you, a pre-festival, pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres reception will be be held from 6-7pm with live entertainment by BET comedian Alex Carabano. The menu for this special ticketed event includes:

  • Crostini with mint-sorrel pesto, green peas, and cashew parmesan
  • Chipotle and coffee-braised carrot mini tacos
  • Mini beet burgers
  • Sparkling Kevita drinks

The 2015 New York City Vegetarian Food Festival will go from 11am-6pm on March 14-15 at Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, and with so many amazing ways to celebrate and learn about a plant-centric lifestyle, we say this is a must-attend event for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters, alike! Get out there and love some animals, y’all.

To buy festival tickets at the ‘early bird’ price, go here, and purchase your dining tickets to the pre-festival dinner here.

 

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CoffeeCon 2015 Plans to Perk Up NYC http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/02/coffeecon-2015-plans-to-perk-up-nyc/ http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/2015/02/coffeecon-2015-plans-to-perk-up-nyc/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:50:11 +0000 http://www.girlmeetsfood.com/newyork/?p=1004 All photos provided by: CoffeeCon Alright New Yorkers, look alive! CoffeeCon 2015 is headed to the concrete jungle next Saturday, March 7, 2015. And let’s be real—the timing couldn’t be more ideal. This city is more than ready for a little—shall we say—perk-me-up after a particularly grueling month of bone-chilling cold. Created for coffee lovers of […]]]>
All photos provided by: CoffeeCon

Alright New Yorkers, look alive! CoffeeCon 2015 is headed to the concrete jungle next Saturday, March 7, 2015. And let’s be real—the timing couldn’t be more ideal. This city is more than ready for a little—shall we say—perk-me-up after a particularly grueling month of bone-chilling cold. Created for coffee lovers of all types to taste coffee from around the world, learn various roasting techniques and more, CoffeeCon is sure to be the most fun you’ve ever had with jo. Here’s the quick and dirty on what you can expect at CoffeeCon NYC.

All-Day, Unlimited Coffee Tasting 

What better scenario can you imagine than spending an entire Saturday sipping coffee samples by some of the top artisan roasters? More than 20 roasters (i.e. Blue Bottle, Booskerdoo, Cafe Grumpy, Georgio’s, Irving Farm, La Colombe, Modcup, Native Coffee, Oren’s Daily Roast, Scotty D’s Jamaican Blue Mountain, Toby’s Estate and Unique Coffee) will be present to talk shop, and attendees will get to taste and compare more than 100 different coffees and brewers. There’s no limit to how much you can have, people! Plus, local bakers and confectioners will have tasty treats on-hand to pair perfectly with all that jo.

coffee con

 

CoffeeCon is revolutionary,” creator and coffee expert Kevin Sinnott told Girl Meets Food NYC. “I don’t say that lightly, but unlike a wine tasting, which requires a clean glass and lots of good wines, coffee requires on-site, moments-before brewing and that, and the scope of beans from the city’s top roasters sets us apart from any coffee event ever. Plus, there are on-site classes. I hang around experts, and believe me, no one knows enough about how to brew coffee. It all happens in one day. There are foodie treats, chocolate and prizes.

Like we said…can you imagine a better scenario?

Enriching Hands-On Classes 

In addition to the one-on-one time they’ll get to chat with coffee experts on the exhibit floor, CoffeeConners will have the unique experience of taking a variety of classes hands-on classes to sharpen their brewing skills. From mastering the art of Turkish coffee with Turkish Coffee World to learning the craft of blending coffee with chocolate from Li-Lac Chocolates, there’s more than one class you’ll want to hit up. A 2.5-hour interactive seminar led by George Howell (a limited ticket event) will also help people understand the ins-and-outs of coffee making, plantation to cup. Visit the official website for full description of CoffeeCon classes.

coffeecon nyc

Awesome Prizes Up For Grabs

Okay, now nothing is better than unlimited coffee, treats AND awesome prizes. After you’ve had enough coffee to last you through the the official break of Spring, you’ll have the opportunity to walk away with some sweet loot of your own. All attendees are automatically entered with a ticket purchase, and drawings will be held at 12:45 pm and 3:45 pm on the main floor. Some of the prizes you can win: A Gene Cafe CBR-101 Home Coffee Roaster (valued at a cool $600), Porcelain Immersion Coffee Dripper by Bonavita, Cafflano Klassic Portable All-in-One Coffee Maker, among other awesome coffee gear.

CoffeeCon NYC will take place at Broad Street Event Venue on March 7, 2015 from 9 am-4 pm. Go here to buy your tickets, and check out a preview below from last year’s event.

San Francisco Coffee Con 2014 from chris sithi // spleenyfilms on Vimeo.

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