If this time of year makes you crave Thanksgiving eats (mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce…), hit up Talde in Park Slope. The Asian-American restaurant from Dale Talde, now offers Turkey Ramen served with a stuffing roulade, pickled cranberries, creamed spinach wontons, and mushroom tare gravy served tableside. Genius.
By becomingbklyn on November 21, 2014
By becomingbklyn on November 7, 2014
I’m frequently asked , “What’s your favorite restaurant in Brooklyn?” This is a loaded question that’s difficult to answer because there are just so many restaurants that I like in different ways for different things, so I respond “For what?” For pancakes? For a birthday party? For seafood? For a date? So I usually give my list of five solid choices that can’t really can’t go wrong. One of those is always The Saint Austere. I always refer to it as “one of the most underrated restaurants in Brooklyn,” since I think it deserves some more buzz.
The cozy atmosphere, communal seating, and warm and attentive staff make for a comfortable dining experience. I suggest it as a date spot, or a small-group restaurant, because seating is limited. The Saint Austere also offers one of the most affordable Chef’s Tasting menus in the borough– $45 for four generous courses, or $65 with wine pairings (which are completely worth it).
The menu is filled with comfort food favorites, from homemade pastas to roast chicken, and I particularly liked some of their new fall offerings with a hearty, warm-you-from-the-inside-out ability. Try the Brussels Sprouts with Honey Sambal and Lemon Yogurt, Creamy Polenta, crispy Fritto Misto, and Housemade Cavatelli.
Please end with the Tiramisu– my favorite dessert that The Saint Austere makes unique with an espresso granita on top of the creamy custard.
By becomingbklyn on November 1, 2014
By becomingbklyn on October 29, 2014
I’m a sucker for frozen desserts, so when I discovered Monsieur Singh, the Brooklyn-based brand behind frozen lassi, I knew I had to conduct a taste test. What’s lassi? It’s a blend of yogurt, herbs, and spices, and a popular food in India, conceived by Ayurveda, a 5,000 year old wellness system. For centuries, lassi has been popular in India for improving digestive well-being, boosting the immune system and energizing both mind & body.
Monsieur Singh makes three lassi flavors: Mango, Honey Lemon & Pineapple Banana. I loved the rich and creamy texture of the Mango, the simplicity of the Honey Lemon, and the sweet and refreshing Pineapple Banana (which might be my favorite). I also like that you can buy lassi in two sizes: the traditional pint for when you really need a lassi fix, or a smaller push-pop for when you need a little taste. I found that in comparison to frozen yogurt, the flavor is much more intense (thanks to those herbs and spices) which made it much easier to savor.
You can find Monsieur Singh in markets like Foragers and Whole Foods, on Good Eggs, and even at Smorgasburg. See the full list here.
By becomingbklyn on October 17, 2014
We love New York City, but once in a while, we all need a breather. Start planning your Fall weekends with northern excursions. I’ve picked out some of my favorites.
- For Apple Picking
If you’ve visited any farmers market or joined a CSA here in Brooklyn, you’ve probably heard of Fishkill Farms. A family owned-farm for over 100 years, Fishkill has endless apple picking and 15 acres of veggies. This weekend is Fall Fest, which means hay rides, apple cider donuts, and BBQ. I find that many apple orchards near the city are over-crowded and over-picked, but Fishkill isn’t.
- For a Splurge
It’s pricey, but it’s the best dining experience you’ll ever have. I promise. Blue Hill at Stone Barns is an impeccable farm-to-table restaurant within the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. You’ll need to make your reservation in advance, and I suggest arriving a little early to check out the grounds, filled with hiking trails and farm animals. There is no menu– it’s a complete seasonal tasting of what’s fresh on the farm. Even the smallest radish will likely be the most spectacular and flavorful radish you’ve ever had.
- For a weekend of Craft Beer + Art
Beacon, New York has been compared to Brooklyn before, for its charm, hip restaurants & bars, and cool art scene. I can see the similarities, but it’s certainly a more relaxed and casual atmosphere (and much smaller), perfect for a city escape. Hit up Dia: Beacon, a large art exhibition sitting on the Hudson River. Then, head to The Hop. It’s a craft beer tasting room and shop that serves up fantastic gastropub grub and a massive cheese plate. Staying longer? Check out The Roundhouse at Beacon Fall, Dogwood, and Homespun Foods.
By becomingbklyn on October 9, 2014
Have you met Tim Miner, one of my favorite Brooklyn bartenders? I first met him at The Jakewalk, where he was serving up my first Fall cocktail favorite, the Mr. October. Since then. he’s dreamed up a new Autumnal drink and shared the recipe with Becoming Brooklyn. Get in touch with your inner mixologist and make one yourself, or visit Tim at The Long Island Bar to get one expertly shaken.
The New England Fizz
1oz El Dorado 8yr. Rum
1oz Appleton Estate V/X Rum
3/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2oz Boiled Cider
2 dashes St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
2oz Doc’s Draft Hard Cider
Combine all ingredients (except hard cider) in a cocktail tin and shake. Strain into a rocks filled Collins glass and top with hard cider. Garnish with a lemon wheel. Enjoy.
By becomingbklyn on October 3, 2014
What I Like About Kale Chips: They are made of nutritious & delicious kale.
What I Dislike About Kale Chips: You basically have to eat them with a spoon because they break apart when you look at them.
Enter Supereats. They’ve re-designed the kale chip to make it extra crunchy and dippable, much like a tortilla chip. I think even non-kale-chip fans would enjoy it. It all started when co-founder Aaron’s dad had a very close call after getting blind-sided with heart disease, and started focusing more on healthy eating. Realizing there were few healthy chip options, their brand was born here in NYC.
The chips come in 5 flavors: Sea Salt, Chili Lime (my fave), Ranch, Cheddar, and Tomato Basil. You can find them in several Brooklyn markets, like Park Natural, Kihm’s Millennium Market, and The Bad Wife.
By becomingbklyn on September 29, 2014
Cold brew coffee is all over Brooklyn markets right now, but I’m more excited about my latest discovery Dona Chai. It’s a bottled tea concentrate, perfect for making your own chai tea lattes at home. Dona Chai is crafted with fresh cold-pressed ginger, a unique process that perserves the quality of the ginger root. That means it retains all of its vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes– as well as has a more distinct flavor. The blend of whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean, cloves, black pepper, ginger, and black tea, create a sweet-spicy balance that works so well for Fall & Winter.
Dona Chai can be served hot or cold, but I chose on ice, with equal parts milk & concentrate. You can buy yours in Brooklyn shops like Campbell Cheese & Grocery, Greene Grape Provisions, Berg’n, and more.
By becomingbklyn on September 24, 2014
After spending a few days in Nice, we drove North West to Une Campagne en Provence, a charming chateau on over 400 acres of sprawling land covered in grapes, ducks, and even a few donkeys. Martina & Claude, the owners of the property were incredibly accommodating, providing a decadent breakfast (read: mini croissants) each morning and plenty of suggestions for what to do in the area. Une Campagne is off the beaten path– literally down a series of narrow winding roads, but so incredibly peaceful and beautiful, you’ll feel completely relaxed and at home during your stay. A little different than the Brooklyn streets I’m used to, I suppose. If there’s one thing I was most looking forward to while being in the French Riviera, it was a truffle hunt. Yes, truffles. That’s where Johann and Lisa Pepin of Les Pastras came in. A Franco-American couple who fled Chicago in 2013 to take over the Pepin family vineyard, they left their city jobs to focus on growing grapes, olives, apricots, cherries, figs, black winer truffles, and more. When in season, they offer truffle hunting tours. We took them up on it, and went out with two shaggy little dogs with their specially trained truffle-sniffing noses. As we walked the property, grabbing a fresh fig or raspberry along the way, Johann taught us all about their truffle hunting strategy and the produce sprouting on their grounds. Within just 30 minutes, the dogs had already dug up several truffles. Of course, the tasting part, we took them back to Johann and Lisa’s home, where Lisa had whipped up some truffle hors d’oeuvres to pair with locally made champagne. I love that oil & truffle enthusiasts can even adopt their own trees and receive a shipment of olive oil or truffles– I want both. But the generous Lisa & Johann are sharing much of what their farm earns– they give 50% of the profits from their products to the One Family Orphanage in Haiti and they buy a fruit tree for the orphanage for every tree adopted here at Les Pastras. If there’s one thing you do while in Southern France, make it a visit to Les Pastras.
By becomingbklyn on September 22, 2014
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.