Archive for October, 2007

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I Forgot About the Environment Yesterday!

October 16, 2007

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Yesterday was Blog Action Day, and I had signed up and promised to post something eco-friendly on my blog. And… I forgot. So, I thought better late than never. Here’s one of my favorite eco-living places to shop for kitchen goodies: VivaTerra. They sell handcrafted work that is from the “purest ingredients and sustainable resources possible.” Plus, everything’s pretty. I really love the Root of the Earth bowls, baskets, and platters—they’re hand-carved from the discarded root balls of Chinese fir trees into varied shaped bowls. It looks a lot like the decor I saw at Irving Mill last night!

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I’m a Sucker for Seasonal Restaurants

October 16, 2007

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Last night I went to the opening night celebration of Irving Mill—the new restaurant on E. 16th Street that took over the old Candela space. It serves Greenmarket-inspired, seasonal American cuisine under Chef John Schaefer, formerly of Gramercy Tavern. I loved Candela—the super-romantic, Gothic decor was over-indulgent and cozy at the same time. But the new space is completely revamped. Matching the “seasonal” concept, there’s beautiful wood tables, warm autumn colors, and fall veggies and husks all over the place. There’s a really stunning stone, chest-high table in the middle of the restaurant that sorta takes your breath away. And the space is just as giant as Candela was—super high ceilings and all left completely in tact. But as I mentioned, I’m a sucker for seasonal restaurants. I love Cookshop, and I love Alias even more. I think, though, I’ve never been to either of those restaurants in the winter, spring, or summer. Why does seasonal equate to autumn? Still, the menu (don’t get too attached—it’s printed on paper so they can change it whenever they want to according to new items) has an Autumn Tasting Menu for $58 that sounds delish:

  • Fresh Hearts of Palm with Avocado Cream, Arugula and Citrus Salad
  • Roasted Sea Scallops with Cauliflower, Golden Raisins and Capers
  • Monkfish Schnitzel with Red Cabbage, Celery Root and Black Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Bintje Potatoes, Shallots, Smoked Bacon and Nicoise Olives
  • Poire Williams Profiteroles with Seckel Pears, Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Spiced Almonds, Poire Williams Caramel OR Caramel Creme Brulee with Pecan Pie Tartlette

I didn’t get to taste much of the food—it was difficult to attack the canapes coming out of the kitchen. But the few items I did shove in my mouth—some fried oysters, a scallop ceviche, and a mushroom grilled cheese type thing—were all yummy. So here’s rooting for a successful season!

Ohhh…. Grub Street was clever enough to bring a camera. Check out the pretty photos.

Photo via.

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New New Restaurant on Ave B

October 15, 2007

Just across the street from 18 Ave. B (now, officially, called Zaitzeff… ugh), is another brand new LES restaurant called Cantina. According to the host at the door, they’ll be serving “Pan-Latin home-cooking.” I didn’t see a menu, but the idea sounds delicious. And the inside decor looked homey and relaxing. They had a soft-opening over the weekend—there’s still brown paper taped to the windows! But the host mentioned that they’d be officially open this week. Also, they’ve got a license for beer, wine, and champagne, which is the answer I received when I asked if they had a liquor license. I guess it’s different. Chef Jason Neroni, the former chef at Porchetta and 71 Fresh Clinton Foods, is on-board as a consultant, and the place is owned by Jason Swami of Movida. Sounds interesting. My favorite part of the Eater post of Cantina’s press release is the statement that the design is supposed to be a “ghetto hodge-podge.” My kind of place.

I didn’t take a picture—sorry!

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A BYOB Find

October 14, 2007

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In the city, BYOB restaurants are a girls’ best friend. Screw diamonds, give me a cheap bottle of wine, a cheap restaurant tab, and a table full of friends. Cheesy, I know. But true. When J and I ate a huge, yummy dinner at Georgia’s Eastside BBQ (with a full doggy bag to take home), we spent a grand total of $30 including tip. And we did the same thing Friday night when we hit up Bodeguita Cubana. We splurged on our bottle of wine ($20), and then spent $30 for dinner. And it was delicious. J got a braised beef dish with rice and beans… I stupidly got the pollo. I’m not usually so boring, but it was good as far as chicken goes. It’s a teeny tiny little place—probably seats about 15 to 20 people really squished. But that’s the charm. And you can’t beat dinner for that price… with a good buzz from splitting a bottle of wine included. We got a cocktail at this really annoyingly pretentious bar afterwards called SB3 (which some googing showed me stands for Sexy B@*tch 3… why? i don’t know), and we spent the same amount that we did on dinner. I know, not our smartest move. Won’t do it again. It just wasn’t our kind of place—I’m sure great cocktails, but a little too shi-shi. But Bodeguita Cubana is down-home delicious and you should check it out. And while I’m sharing the secrets, check out this entire BYOB list from NY Mag.

UPDATE: Apparently Bodeguita Cubana couldn’t make it and is closing

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Cupcake Cookbook Giveaway

October 12, 2007

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Black*Eiffel is really stepping it up this week—I always love their posts, but I’m extra in love today. They’re offering a giveaway for the yummy Cupcakes! cookbook. Enter by Monday to win.

PS—One of my friends told me my blog has become a little too cupcake-heavy. PSha! I say! There is no such thing as too much cupcake.

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Take a Shot for Every “Sexy Nurse” You See

October 11, 2007

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I am immersed in the holidays at work—since the magazine publishes so far ahead of time, we’re already done with Christmas! But I must remind myself that it is only October, and focus, FOCUS, on Halloween. I have no idea what I’m going to be. I usually borrow something from the closet at work and make a silly outfit—I’ve been hoarding a coconut bra and hula skirt for a year straight now. But whatever I throw together, I’d love to have these Halloween drinking glasses and shot glasses that I saw at Black*Eiffel to celebrate. And they’re super easy to make! Matthew Mead has templates you can download at his site, and then you just have to cut out the shapes from black masking tape. He also provided a very orange cocktail to treat your guests.

1 ½ oz Vodka
1 ½ oz Triple Sec
1 oz Carrot Juice
1 oz Citrus Energy Drink

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir. Strain over ice into prepared balloon glasses. Garnish with an orange wheel, and serve. Yum, yum.

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No More Chocolate Fountain

October 9, 2007

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I was walking on Avenue B last night towards Croxley Ales (amazing $.10 wings), when I noticed the lack of the infamous chocolate fountain. Right next door to Croxley, there’s usually a small cafe with a cocoa fountain on the street with a few dipping accoutrement. Personally, I thought it was disgusting. Do we know how many fingers were dipped in the molten liquid? Still, I know Jo the MasterBaker loved it. But alas… that cafe (and the fountain with it) are no more. It’s now a very sophisticated restaurant with a much more upscale decor and much simpler menu (for now, at least). The restaurant is currently unnamed, but their makeshift menu says, “18 Ave. B.” The menu is pretty meat and potatoes… literally. There are 4 different kinds of burgers, and the sandwiches are chicken, chicken salad, turkey club, tuna salad, and BLT. The sides: Idaho fries, sweet potato fries, and mixed fries. So… seriously, meat and potatoes. When I asked what the restaurant is becoming, he mentioned that they hoped to be a brunch spot. The current breakfast menu looks plain, but yummy: pancakes, french toast, omelette, egg sandwich, etc. I got the feeling that they are brand new and still finalizing all the details, but I didn’t think that the menu matched the decor very well. I didn’t eat there, so I have no idea whether the cuisine is any good. But the atmosphere is nice and clean. If you check it out, let me know what you think. And let me know what the name ends up being—that’s the fun part.

UPDATE: Jo just send me an email that Imbible actually attended the opening, so check out their review.

Photo via.