Need a new red wine for Fall? I suggest Red Hook Winery’s “Rebirth From the Sea.” It’s a Merlot-Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon blend that’s deep & rich with big flavor. Plus, I just discovered a new wine accessory to make it taste even better– this unique Twist Decanter from Uncommon Goods. Pour the wine into the decanter to aerate it, and then when your guests arrive it will be ready for drinking. The curves allow the wine to aerate as it travels through the glass. And whether you notice a taste difference or not, it’s mesmerizing to watch and a pretty way to serve your favorite bottle.
By becomingbklyn on September 22, 2014
By becomingbklyn on September 19, 2014
I was lucky enough to indulge in a two-week honeymoon in The French Riviera– a land of warm sun, good wine, stinky cheese, and rolling countryside. A place where lengthy holidays and afternoon garden naps are the norm, and regular dips in the Mediterranean are a necessity. Our journey began in Nice, a city on the sea, where we spent our days on reclining chairs on rocky beaches followed by nights drinking rose at breezy beachside restaurants.
If you visit, I suggest trying a few things:
Nice Market Tour: I’m not usually one for guided tours, but this one was worth it. Karine from Les Petits Farcis, a Nice Native, took us through the tables of olive oils, mushrooms, figs, cheeses, plums, and pears, showing us the local culture through the food we sampled. We ended with a lunch of Salade Nicoise (and more Rose).
Restaurant Jan: Definitely the best meal of my trip, Restaurant Jan is an unassuming little spot with a four course tasting menu + wine pairings. I loved the charming details and friendly staff. Make a reservation. The cuisine is essentially French, but with notes of South African flavors, because of South African chef Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
A trip to the village of Eze: Eze might be a dream. The postcard-esque views surrounding narrow, winding streets, on top of a mountain feel like they cannot possibly be real. Dine at the top at La Chevre D’or; it’s worth a drive outside of Nice.
If you visit Nice, definitely contact Julie Mautner of Provence Post Travel; she has the best suggestions.
Stay tuned for the next two parts of our journey: The Provence Countryside + St. Tropez.
By becomingbklyn on September 18, 2014
If you catch me at a football-related event, I’m most likely there for the food. So I fully support your decision to host a tailgate party… and I have a few suggestions. Check out my round-up, as well as Dale Talde’s Chicken Wings recipe below, if you prefer to make your own.
- Deviled Eggs from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
As a Syracuse grad, I have a soft spot for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, especially the deviled eggs. They’re Creole Deviled Eggs, actually, a family recipe from Founder and Pit Master John Stage’s childhood. Creole seasoning and spiced mustard add an unexpected kick and Southern flare.
- Fried Buttermilk Chicken Bites from Brooklyn Winery
A winery might not be the first place you expect to find football food, but Brooklyn Winery does it right with these bites, made with soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh herbs.
Clearly, chicken wings are a tailgate favorite. And I trust anything that Chef Dale Talde creates. These are more than just your average wings– they’re Gluten-Free Kung Pao Chicken Wings with Buttermilk Ranch. Recipe below.
Dale Talde’s Kung Pao Chicken Wing Recipe
2 Tablespoons annatto seed
1 each star anise
1 Tablespoon schezuan peppercorn
2 cups vegetable oil
Kung Pao Sauce:
¼ cup rice wine
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup +2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
¼ cup +2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
¼ cup +2 Tablespoons chili bean sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup +2 Tablespoons schezuan oil (recipe above)
Method: Bring everything up in cold oil. Steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain and Reserve
2 cups rice flour
1 cup water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
1 packet of ranch powder
Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix rice flour and water until smooth. Rinse and dry chicken wings. Dredge wings in wing batter and fry until golden brown. Drain excess oil off wings then toss in kung pao sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro and sliced scallions. Serve with buttermilk ranch.
By becomingbklyn on September 17, 2014
My favorite CSA, Local Roots NYC, is teaming up with Chef Anthony Williams for a 3-course dessert supper on September 26th at 61Local. Specially designed for this evening’s event, diners will share an intimate experience as the chefs prepare each dish table side. Of course, Chef Williams’ desserts will use local and seasonal produce. Check out the menu below. Read: There will be ice cream-filled doughnuts. I don’t think you need another reason to attend. If you do, you should note that diners will enjoy a complimentary glass of wine upon arrival. Tickets are $35 and only 20 seats are available per seating. Get ‘em here.
By becomingbklyn on September 15, 2014
It’s almost time for apple desserts– crisp, muffins, pies, turnovers, and dumplings. But I’m still latching on to the last days of warm summer days and bright produce. So instead, I made pineapple crisp. It has that refreshing summer flavor (thanks to juicy pineapple), but the warm cinnamon spice of Fall too. The spiced rum adds a subtle boozy flavor too. Just try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting; it’s challenging.
- 1 golden pineapple, peeled, cut in half, cored, and sliced into half moons
- 1/3 cup dark rum (Or Owney’s works too)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ( I buy mine in bulk at Sahadi’s– the best)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 3 tablespoons flour (this is a good one)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Optional: Phin & Phebes Vanilla Cinnamon Ice Cream for serving
Cook and caramelize pineapples in non-stick pan until softened. Add rum and cook off alcohol.
Pulse almonds, light brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, ginger, agave, flour, and butter in food processor. Fill 1-lb loaf pan or baking pan of choice with pineapple and top with crisp mixture. Cook in a preheated 400-degree oven until brown and bubbly on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with a scoop of Phin & Phebes Vanilla Cinnamon Ice Cream.
By becomingbklyn on August 22, 2014
If you’ve dined at Cherry at The Dream Hotel, you’re probably picturing a dark, sleek, Manhattan-esque, upscale restaurant attached to a trendy hotel. The new location, Cherry Izakaya in Williamsburg, is a spin on that restaurant, but with a more relaxed vibe. The decor was inspired by 1970′s Tokyo and designed by studio hOme, who has designed a number of other Brooklyn restaurants. Patrons are greeted by a large bar upon entering, serving up signature cocktails, sake, and shochu, as well as homemade sodas with unique flavors like Red Pepper (my fave) and Honey Dew with celery lime and basil. I was also a fan of the unique house-made garnishes, like a bit of candied fennel for nibbling whilst drinking.
Plates at Cherry Izakaya are meant to be shared. Order a little bit of everything. I recommend the earthy mushroom Gyozas, the crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad, Little Fried Fish (which are exactly what you would think they are, but look similar to French fries), the Black Caesar Roll (a maki roll inspired by the salad), and Salmon Tartare. Plus the Omakase is much more affordable than others– at just $36.
Check it out with a group of friends who like to try lots of different dishes, or with a date who likes to share.
[Photos by Rebecca Fondren]
By becomingbklyn on August 21, 2014
I just got married in June, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, of course. But if there’s one thing I learned, wedding planning can be overwhelming and downright exhausting. And it shouldn’t be. That’s why I’ve created a guide with some of my favorite vendors to give future Brooklyn brides and grooms a little guidance. Check out my list.
The Venue: Frankie’s Spuntino 457
With a beautiful garden and charming converted carriage house, Frankie’s won us over. In Brooklyn wedding terms, the venue is affordable, and perfect for a wedding of 75 people or less. We had our ceremony in the garden and a 5-course dinner in the stable, complete with homemade pasta, an oyster bar, and ricotta cheesecake.
The Flowers & Design: Roquette Catering
As you might have guessed by the name, Roquette Catering is skilled in the art of wedding catering, but because our wedding was at a restaurant and already catered, I chose to use Roquette for my flowers and wedding design (another skill!). They took my wishy washy description of art deco-Gatsby-Brooklyn-vintage and transformed the space into a magical gilded garden. I couldn’t recommend them more. The ladies behind Roquette also have an event space in Red Hook, Atelier Roquette, that you should definitely check out.
The Photographer: Rima Brindamour
Photos are the one thing that live on after the wedding, so you should choose this person carefully. I recommend Rima Brindamour. She’s professional, has great vision, and knows how to get a perfectly posed portrait as well as a candid fly-on-the-wall kind of shot. She has packages to fit a variety of budgets.
The Cake: Hannah Kirshner of Sweets & Bitters
Hannah doesn’t do wedding cakes full-time because most of her time is invested in her magazine, Sweets & Bitters. However, when she does do a wedding cake, she knows how to make it delicious. I wasn’t into the fondant-y, tasteless wedding cake– I wanted something memorable. Hannah gave us a private cake tasting with two amazing choices based on my description of what I was looking for– Lemon Poppyseed & Pistachio. Both were equally good, but I went with the lemon. She also made it gilded with white flowers to match our decor.
The Band: Tribute String Quartet
A string quartet that plays songs that everyone knows? I knew I needed to have that for my ceremony and reception. They were polished and fantastically talented, covering songs from The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Smiths, and more. Our guests were all singing along.
The Rehearsal Dinner: Vekslers
The rehearsal dinner was one of the most difficult things to figure out. So many restaurants have outrageously prized rehearsal dinner packages, and many didn’t have the private space that we needed for 25 people. We love Vekslers because they worked with us to create a menu that everyone would enjoy, they took care in the private space set aside for us, and worked hard to make sure we were all happy. And you know with lots of people, that’s a feat. The food was spot-on, as were the cocktails.
The Favors: By Brooklyn
We chose to give our guests little bottles of Frankie’s olive oil, but I also give my rehearsal dinner guests favors. By Brooklyn helped me create mini boxes of Liddabit Sweets sea salt caramels and even designed personalized tags. They know how to add a little Brooklyn to your event, for sure.
The Post -Wedding Brunch: Brucie
I never even realized that a post-wedding brunch was a thing. But I never turn down an opportunity to brunch, so we selected Cobble Hill restaurant, Brucie. We dined in the gorgeous back garden, which I recommend for a nice weather month wedding. And if you choose this spot, come hungry. The food is endless, and my guests are still raving about it today (I was eating frittata for a week straight after our event). Brucie will also work with you to create a menu that works with all of your guests dietary needs, and is super seasonal. The bloody mary and mimosa bar is a must.
The Hair: James Corbett Studio
I have to give a shout-out to a non-Brooklyn spot– James Corbett Studio. They did my hair, along ith my mom and all of my bridesmaids. Each lady’s look was personal and unique, and every hair stylist there is incredibly talented.
Getting Beautified: Tres Belle Spa
The ladies who work at Tres Belle Spa are probably the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They give THE BEST facials, and will help you look your best on your big day.
Wine: Red Hook Winery
Do you need red, white, and/or bubbly for your wedding? Go local with Red Hook Winery. They’re accommodating, helpful, and give the best tastings on the planet. Even if you aren’t getting married, you should go there for a tasting. Today.
What We’re Wearing:
My Dress: Lazaro
My Shoes: Madison Harding
Makeup: Beauty By Brette
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew
The Groom’s Suit: Sarar
The Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Calvin Klein
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged affordable, Atelier Roquette, best brooklyn wedding venues, Brooklyn wedding favors, Brooklyn wedding guide, Brucie, Frankie's 457, rehearsal dinner, Roquette catering, Tribute String Quartet, Vekslers, wedding brunch, wedding flowers, wedding venues | Leave a response
By becomingbklyn on August 11, 2014
We’re getting down to the last few weeks of summer, so it’s about time you started your Summer 2014 Brooklyn Food (and Drink) Bucket List. But where to begin? I have a few suggestions. Here are my top five picks.
Hay Rosie recently opened in Carroll Gardens, offering up unique ice cream flavors from Sriracha Popcorn, to Lemon Bar, and Sage Chocolate Chip. The tiny tasting room is worth a visit, and you can even stock up your freezer with their ice cream “cubes” instead of pints. I suggest the Malted Chocolate with Honeyed Peanut Butter Swirl if you’re into that kind of thing.
2. The Pines’ Yard Menu
One f my favorite Gowanus hot spots, The Pines, created a “Yard Menu” for summer, served in their charming backyard. Head over on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for items like blistered shishito peppers, lobster rolls with bloody mary mayo, and free DIY s’mores.
3. Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ Blueberry Pie
Fresh blueberries are one of the best things to come out of summer. Four & Twenty Blackbirds has managed to elevate the blueberry pie while keeping it simple– with a crisp, buttery crust and sweet blueberry filling that oozes onto the plate with each forkful.
4. Lobster Joint’s Lobster Bloody Mary
True, you can enjoy a bloody mary anytime of year, but I prefer The Lobster Joint in Greenpoint in the summer, when I can sit in the back picnic tables with a lobster roll and lobster roll bloody mary. The spicy, horseradish-filled cocktail is topped with a giant chunk of lobster claw. Ah-mazing.
5. Alma’s Fish Tacos
Alma makes this list not only for the fish tacos (read: crispy battered fish with crunchy cabbage and radishes in a soft corn tortilla), but also for the gorgeous rooftop views of the city and the sweet frozen margaritas. It’s the ultimate summer dinner destination.
By becomingbklyn on August 1, 2014
My favorite summer brunch destination? Home/Made, the Red Hook restaurant with welcoming vibes, a quaint garden, and plenty of comfort food. The ladies behind the restaurant, Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson create a warm atmosphere that make you feel like you’re dining in your home kitchen (but with much better food).
For those of you who believe “eggs are eggs” and they cannot be elevated beyond that, try the eggs at Home/Made. I don’t know what their secret is, but the wild mushroom and fontina scramble takes the usual skillet to plate scrambled eggs to the next level. It’s served with buttery, garlicky Potatoes Provencal and a thick slice of grilled walnut bread. I. Can’t. Get. Enough. Most recently, Home/Made exceeded my expectations when I tasted their special– Fiddlehead Toast with Homemade Ricotta. The combination of creamy ricotta and earthy fiddleheads on the crisp toast was perfect.
Make sure to sit in the backyard, a charming spot with a sprouting herb garden, with a grapefruit mimosa, enjoying the last few weeks of summer sunshine.
By becomingbklyn on July 17, 2014
Here’s how to give your pantry a Brooklyn Makeover: Switch out your common sriracha, mustard, granola, and relish with a local purveyor’s goods; I recommend Ft. Greene Farms. The brand recently launched with four small batch, all natural, locally sourced products: Charred Sriracha Sauce, Whole Grain Mustard Spread, Homemade Granola, and Hot Pepper Relish. Each batch consists of no more than 250 jars, with each jar being cooked, filled, and labeled by hand.
Ft. Greene Farms was created by Nate Meshberg (of Chef Michael White’s Marea & Morini, and Tasting Table Corporate Kitchen). He found himself experimenting with new condiments and side dishes in his spare time, and wanting to share those creations, he launched Ft. Greene Farms with the freshest goods from local farms.
I taste tested each item, and was astounded by the quality and amount of flavor packed into each product. The mustard became my go-to aoli ingredient, the sriracha made its way into my stir-fry and soba noodles, and the granola took on a granola bowl at breakfast. I had never purchased a pepper jelly relish before, but it quickly became my favorite of the four– a fantastic addition to a grilled cheese sandwich and plenty of cheese plates.
Ft. Greene Farms succeeds in elevating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Get yours here.