Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Two Ways to Explore Brooklyn: By Foot and By Bus

Are you mystified about Brooklyn? Brooklyn is the second largest borough in New York City and holds a myriad of cultural and culinary attractions.  Here are two ways to explore it, one by foot and one by bus.

Local Expeditions

Local Expeditions are walks and bike tours curated and led by local residents passionate about a topic.

This walk through Brooklyn is perfect for theater lovers, music fans, and anyone curioous about Brooklyn’s past. The tour meets in front of BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, and ends at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center 262 Ashland Place (at Fulton Street), Brooklyn. http://local-expeditions.com/expeditions/the-downtown-brooklyn-cultural-district/

Brooklyn Academy of Music

Once described as a “regional attraction to rival Times Square,” downtown Brooklyn was a popular destination of shops, restaurants and theaters. It is now enjoying a revival with the Brooklyn Cultural District, Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center, and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (where you can drink and dine while you watch).

The tour is led by theater historian Cezar Del Valle and will explore downtown Brooklyn’s theatrical past, present and future. Sites visited  include those of the legendary Paramount and Fox theaters, the 14th and 15th largest movie houses built in America.

The walk ends at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center. Opened in 2013, this was the first major house for classical drama to be built in New York City since Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in 1965.

Tickets are $30 per person.

Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center

Foods of NY

If you’re a foodie, you will love Foods of NY’s culinary tours.

It takes a while to explore (and eat your way through) Brooklyn, so a bus tour is actually a good idea if you want to cover a lot of distance in a short period of time. If Brooklyn were not part of New York City, it would still rank as the fourth largest city in the US, with 43 distinct neighborhoods with people from almost every country. With that comes an amazing array of traditions, history, and, of course, lots of fabulous ethnic foods. https://www.foodsofny.com/foods-ny-tours-2/the-best-of-brooklyn/#book-now

Table 87 Italian Cuisine

The half-day food, history, and cultural journey traverses four Brooklyn neighborhoods where you’ll learn about Brooklyn’s immigrant past and present. Areas visited include Williambsurg’s Hasidic area, Greenpoint’s Polish neighborhood where you’ll sample kielbasa and pierogies, North Williamsburg’s hipster areas with lots of street food and pizza choices, and more. All told, you’ll have six tastings of some of Brooklyn’s most representative cuisines from Middle Eastern to Italian, from hipster to traditional. Plan to come very hungry!

KROWLEWSKIE JADLO Polish Cuisine

Pick up and drop off are in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. After getting a taste of Brooklyn, you might just want to stay there a bit longer and make your way back to Manhattan by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge for its glorious views of both Brooklyn (look behind you) and Manhattan (in front of you).

Tickets are priced at $125 per person.

Dining out Ideas for Mother’s Day in Brooklyn and Manhattan – Seven Last-Minute Ideas

Still haven’t booked a reservation? You’ll thank me for these ideas.

Switch things up this Mother’s Day and celebrate with an Israeli feast at Miss Ada in Fort Greene. A twist on the traditional brunch, Miss Ada will be offering an a la carte menu with items that are a riff off of traditional Israeli dishes and savory pastries. Notable highlights include Yemeni pastries such as the Jachnun, a flaky dough coated with a date honey that has been slow-cooked in an oven overnight and topped with brown egg, tomato and schug; Malawach, a layered pan-fried bread paired with a hard-boiled egg, tomato and schug; and Ziva, a flaky pastry with layers of the malawach filled with sweet potato, fontina cheese, asiago and mushrooms. You have a choice of dining indoors or outdoors on the patio surrounded by fresh herbs and vegetables. The beverage menu features five different variations on the classic Bloody Mary and homemade kombucha. 917-909-1023. 185 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn. www.missadanyc.com.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the whole family at SUGARCANE, the raw bar and grill situated along Dumbo’s historic waterfront. Live jazz entertainment will be provided by NYC brass band, the Hudson Horns while you indulge on a range of seasonal brunch specials created for the occasion by Chef Partner Timon Balloo. Highlights include an acai bowl with house-made yogurt, quinoa and granola, strawberries, and avocado sorbet; and pork belly mojado with pickled onion, queso fresco, fried egg, and spiced shiso jus. Pair with wine, beer, and specialty cocktails such as the Frogroni (frozen negroni). A new kids menu is also available, in addition to mocktails such as the virgin spicy mule made with jalapeño, shishito syrup, ginger beer and yuzu. 718.473.9555 55 Water Street, Brooklyn www.sugarcanerawbargrill.com/brooklyn

Along the East River next to the historic South Street Seaport, Industry Kitchen is your choice for waterside dining with a view. Mother’s Day brunch will be served a la carte from Executive Chef Braulio Bunay, the creator of the 24kt gold pizza. His creations for mom include braised short rib pizza with fontina, shaved asparagus, BBQ sauce, cheese stuffed crust; and the Golden Rose with sweet ricotta cake, chocolate dome, warm raspberry rose coulis, and his signature 24kt gold leaf. Pair with wine, beer, cocktails, and a view of Brooklyn. 212-487-9600  70 South Street www.industry-kitchen.com

For moms seeking something sweet, Dante, the Australian-American cafe in the West Village, will be offering three special pastries in honor of Mother’s Day, supplementing their weekend brunch menu, frangipane tarte with fresh berries and mascarpone, lemon and coconut drizzle cake with vanilla gelato, or macadamia and white chocolate blondies with caramel apple buttermilk gelato. For lighter options, Dante’s brunch also features a number of veggie-centric dishes such as the Green Breakfast Bowl with quinoa, peas, green beans, avocado, arugula and soft poached egg, and the Salmon Bowl with cucumber pickles, avocado, baby kale salad, dill and soft poached egg. Celebrate with a cocktail creation like the Salty Dog with Absolut, fluffy pink grapefruit juice and black lava salt.  212-982-5257. 79-81 Macdougal Street www.dante-nyc.com.

New American restaurant with South American influences, Fifty has a special Mother’s Day brunch. Executive Chef and Ecuadorian native Luis Jaramillo will utilize fresh, seasonal ingredients to prepare dishes that include from those found in Ecuador. Menu highlights include house-baked Nutella babka French toast with berries in syrup, whipped cream, and salted pistachio; and seafood bloody Mary ceviche with shrimp, octopus, fried calamari and celery. I recommend the Spritz Me Up cocktail with pama pomegranate, amaro montenegro, and prosecco to complete the celebration. 212-524-4104. 50 Commerce St. www.fiftyrestaurantnyc.com.

For a Mother’s Day dinner, book a reservation at The Milling Room, a seasonally inspired American restaurant just off of Central Park. After a beautiful spring day in the park with mom, stop in for a la carte options prepared by Executive Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark. Highlights include salmon belly crudo with blood orange, radishes, scallion; and spicy vongole bucatini with Manilla clams, garlic, white wine, Thai chili, miso and breadcrumbs. Kick off spring with a specially priced rosé, a perfect finish to the meal, such as Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Brut Rosé 212.595.0380. 446 Columbus Ave. www.themillingroom.com

At celebrity hot spot Philippe by Philippe Chow, you can treat Mom like a star this Mother’s Day Executive Chef Philippe Chow has been serving traditional Chinese cuisine for the past 12 years, catering to the many well-known influencers and celebrities including Cardi B, Rihanna and Anna Wintour. For Mother’s Day an a la carte menu will be presented family-style with dishes such as chicken satay, Peking duck and green prawns. For dessert, a slice of lemon cake with summer berries topped with black sesame ice cream is a special creation for Mother’s Day Pastry Chef Terri Dreisbach. 33 E 60th Street 212-644-8885 www.philippechow.com/nyc

Carnivores Take Note: Tickets still available for April 25 Brisket King Competition in Brooklyn

Brisket King of NYC returns for a seventh year to a new venue in Williamsburg. It makes perfect sense to crown the King of Brisket in Kings County, aka Brooklyn, right? There will be plenty of brisket, beer, cider and spirits. More than 20 chefs will compete for the glory of being the Brisket King NYC 2018.  The new location is 110 Kent Avenue. The event will be held from 6-9:30pm.

The original idea of the event was to celebrate NYC culinary traditions, slow-cooking through the lens of brisket, inspired by NYC culinary history. NYC brisket will be on display, with results inspired by the BBQ from all parts of the U.S.

Having been to the event before, I recommend that you go with friends so you can divide and conquer the many brisket and drink stations. And, of course, go hungry! Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brisket-king-nyc-2018-tickets-4272352621 for $85 per person.

Previous winners have included hometown favorites:

2012 John Brown Smokehouse, Queens
2013 Daniel Delaney, BrisketTown, and the People’s Choice: Mighty Quinn’s BBQ
2014 Will Horowitz, Ducks Eatery, 90-day dry-aged brisket
2015 Billy Durney, Hometown BBQ, Red Hook, Brooklyn
2016 Ari White, Wandering Que, (kosher)

2017 Sruli Edelman, Izzy’s Smokehouse (kosher), Brooklyn

2017 Winner Izzy’s Smokehouse

This year’s competitors see the return of some from the past, along with new entries with chefs from outside of NYC as well:

Cherry Street BBQ, Chef Lawrence La Pianta, Toronto

Hill Country BBQ, Chef Ash Fulk, NYC
Randall’s BBQ, Chef Jared Male, opening soon  in NYC
Chef John Gower of Quiet Waters Farm, from England, with John Patterson, The Salt Cured Pig
Chef Jesse Jones with John Sauchelli of Jersey Barnfire Sauce
Dinosaur BBQ, Brooklyn
Salt and Bone BBQ, Queens
El Atoradero, Chef Noah Arenstein
Judd’s Memphis (kosher)
Kimchi Smoke, Robert Cho
Brooklyn Q, pitmaster Robert Fernandez
Ribs Within collaborating with Hunts Point BBQ Eatery and Meat Shop, pitmaster Robbie Richter, original pitmaster for Hill Country BBQ and Fatty Cue, NYC

Smokehouse Tailgate Grill, Mamaroneck, NY, pitmaster Eric Johnson
Lex Taylor, TV chef
Main House BBQ (kosher)
Papa Smokem, Chef Mario
Sands Jerk Hut
Willie B’s

Celebrity judges include Dana Cowin, former editor of Food and Wine, cookbook author Peter Kaminsky, Bravo’s “Top Chef” contestant Grayson Schmitz, food writer and professional carnivore Nick Solares, the Texas huntress Ashley Chiles, author David Rosengarten, Gear Patrol’s Bryan Campbell, cookbook author Donna Gelb, and Food Network’s Vivian Chan.

Spirits curated by Modern Distillery Age :
Astoria Distilling
Empire Spirits
Frederick Wildman & Sons
Hudson Whiskey
Market Street Spirits
NY Distilling

Craft beer and hard cider:
Original Sin cider
Shmaltz Brewery (kosher)
Sixpoint brewery
Austin East Ciders
Bronx Brewery
Lagunitas brewery
Essentia water

General website www.brisketking.com

Co-founder / executive producer Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43, Food Karma Projects). Other co-hosts of the event include Brisket King NYC co-founder Jake Schiffman (The Food Network), Jonathan Deutsch (Drexel University), Annie Hauck-Lawson (Mompost), Mory Thomas (f/o Food Network), Cricket Azima (Kids Food Festival).

12 of the Sweetest Treats and Special Menus in New York City This Easter

Evelina, the charming Italian restaurant in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, offers a special lunch menu to celebrate Easter created by Executive Chef Lanfranco Paliotti (Daniel, Boulud Sud). Highlights include braised Salt Meadow lamb with parmesan grits, flash fried squash blossom with buffalo mozzarella, rabbit loin porchetta, and ricotta, lemon, and vanilla pancakes with orange flower.

Nearby Miss Ada gives  you both a charming outdoor space and a holiday brunch menu with sweet and savory dishes inspired by the streets of Israel. Featured are include Yemeni such as the jachnun, a flaky dough coated with a date honey that has been slow-cooked in an oven overnight and topped with brown egg, tomato and schug; malawach, a layered pan-fried bread paired with a hard-boiled egg, tomato and schug; and ziva a flaky pastry with layers of the malawach filled with sweet potato, fontina cheese, asiago and mushrooms.

Another Brooklyn favorite, Greenpoint’s Sauvage – from the team being the wildly popular Maison Premiere in Williamsburg — will be serving a special brunch menu for Easter with dishes like the decadent almond French toast with persimmon, coconut and mascarpone; or an egg white frittata with tomato confit, spinach and raclette .Melding the outdoors with the indoors in a manner true to its “wild savage” name, the restaurant is a lush profusion of planted herbs and botanicals with large windows facing nearby McCarren Park.

Add a little taste of Paris by visiting Le District, the French market place located in Brookfield Place. At atmospheric Beaubourg, you’ll enjoy Sunday brunch outside on the terrace with beautiful views overlooking the Hudson River, while sipping on mimosas and enjoying entrées such as Fresh Ham Benedict, with smoked tomato, poached eggs, béarnaise, and baby field greens. In keeping with the French esprit, a pastry basket with assorted croissants, a cookie plate and a cocktail are included.

For a Spanish-inflected Easter brunch, Basque-inspired Ortzi by Jose Garces in the new LUMA Hotel Times Square will offer a 3-course Easter Brunch with dishes including tortilla Española, a Spanish potato omelet with spinach, roasted peppers and tomato jam; and Spanish shrimp Eggs Benedict with asparagus, English muffin, and Nora Chile hollandaise. Dessert treats include Crema Catalana with cinnamon and citrus custard, topped with brûléed sugar.

Feeling like something sweet for the holiday? Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer’s Easter CrazyShake The Peeps Shake is a cherry shake with a vanilla frosted rim with Easter M&Ms, topped with yellow chick Peeps, whipped cream, Easter sprinkles and a cherry.

The Palm Court at The Plaza will be having an Easter Grand Buffet that mixes sweet with savory, seasonal favorites. Choose from holiday specials such as strawberry spring salad with dry aged goat cheese, pine nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette, a carving station with herb-roasted rack of lamb with mint chimichurri sauce and bourbon, and apricot-glazed ham with violet mustard. Don’t miss the special holiday dessert, a Gianduja chocolate egg with a banana cream center and hazelnut sable.

All-day brasserie Bowery Road from Chef Ron Roselli (Locanda Verde, The Standard Hotel Meatpacking) takes its inspiration from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, serving up a seasonally appropriate Easter special of Green Eggs ‘n Ham with salsa verde and spring pea deviled eggs alongside LaQuercia prosciutto.

For Easter at Marco Canora’s East Village restaurant Hearth, guests can celebrate brunch and dinner by arranging a medley of small dishes or choosing the “Family Easter Feast.” Starters spotlight spring flavors like the stracciatella with ramps and shoots, or sourdough bruschetta with peas, Feta and chile. Also featured are charred Norwich Meadows carrots with lemon confit and sunflower, and gnocchi sardi with pancetta and peas. The family dinner skews more traditional with roast lamb leg roulade, potatoes, spring vegetables and broccoli casserole.

Riverpark offers brunch with views of the East River. Tom Colicchio brings out the best of spring with brunch specials such as grilled bread and ricotta with rhubarb and thyme; smoked brisket hash with fingerling potatoes, spring onions, asparagus and poached egg; and Nashville hot chicken with skillet corn bread, honey butter and house-made pickles. Desserts are ingredient-driven as well such as the restaurant’s signature “Cereal & Milk” with chocolate ganache cake, caramelized rice puffs and vanilla malt.

Temple Court in the Beekman Hotel features old and new classics, reinvented with Colicchio’s signature, seasonal touch. This Easter, guests can enjoy a two-course brunch with family-style appetizers such as doughnut holes with banana caramel or citrus-cured salmon with bagel crostinis, followed by mains including pork belly hash with roasted Brussels sprouts, apples and eggs; or a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon , gruyere, spicy aioli, arugula and a roasted tomato on a poppy seed roll.

The exclusive Polo Bar in midtown will serve a classic Sunday brunch to celebrate Easter with dishes such as popover Benedict with poached eggs, creamed spinach, ham and gruyère; Ralph’s corned beef hash with sunny-side up eggs, sautéed kale and cayenne hollandaise; and challah French toast with fresh berries and Vermont maple syrup. Reservations must be made by phone.

New Year’s Eve Fun in New York – Brooklyn and Manhattan edition

If you don’t mind being in the cold, New York City’s outdoors New Year’s Eve festivities are pretty cool.

Take a look at some of these happening in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Be prepared for long security check-in lines, dress warmly and leave your large bags at home. A flask filled with your favorite libation should suffice to keep you warm!

Coney Island USA will host its 4th annual NYE celebration in Steeplechase Plaza with a fireworks display from the historic Parachute Jump. Select boardwalk restaurants and attractions will be open, including B&B Carousel, Deno’s Wonder Wheel  (just like in Woody Allen ‘s 2017 movie Wonder Wheel) and the Thunderbolt roller coaster. A digital burst ball drop rings in 2018, followed by a Circus Sideshow Fire Spectacular at 1am http://www.coneyisland.com/event/newyearseve2017

Celebrating its 20th year, the Time’s Up New Year’s Eve Bike Ride & Afterparty will reverse direction, going downtown instead of uptown, and ending at an indoor dance party. If you’re in Manhattan, start the ride at the park in front of the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and 5th Avenue at 9:30pm, or join in at Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Broadway at 10pm. Brooklynites can start their ride at the Brooklyn-side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge at 9:30pm to ride into Manhattan.  End point is the party at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in the East Village, 155 Avenue C.   Free valet bike parking.  http://times-up.org./node/1861/1514773800/event

The Empire State Building will ring in 2018 with a festive, multicolored LED confetti lighting on Dec 31, 2017. Five minutes before midnight, the building will switch to its signature white lights, sparkling in the New Year through sunrise on January 1, 2018. For a great view, stand by the Little Church around the Corner, 1 East 29th St. and look up. If you’re curious about future Empire State Building lights, view the schedule at http://www.esbnyc.com/explore/tower-lights/calendar.

Runners can lace up for the four-mile NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park on NYE. After going through security via entrances at West 72nd Street and Central Park West or East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, registered runners and their +1 will gather at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Kicking off at 10pm, the race (to which many wear costumes) will conclude by midnight with a spectacular fireworks display at its completion.. http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2017/nyrr-midnight-run

Really Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Reservations Still Available

If you’re like me, you often forget to book a reservation until the last-minute, or suddenly guests appear and you need more space so dining out works better. For all who find themselves in situations like these, here are a dozen great choices in New York City still offering Thanksgiving meals, with choices reflecting the wonderful ethnic diversity of our city.  Happy Turkey Day!

The East Pole on the Upper East Side offers a full American-inflected Thanksgiving menu. For just $85 per person, you’ll enjoy a three-course meal along with sides for the table and an optional four-course wine pairing for $45. Starters include options like Wild Mushroom & Ricotta Crostino with Truffle Oil & Herbs; or Black Barley Risotto, Autumn Squash and Goat Cheese Sage.  Entrees include Heritage Turkey Breast, Roasted Chestnut Ragu and Butternut Squash, or Seared Diver Scallops with Carrot Ginger Mash and Fig Salsa.  Dessert are traditional Pumpkin Pie as well as Goat Cheese Cake. http://theeastpole.brinkleyspubs.com/

Moving East, Tikka Indian Grill in Kew Gardens (Queens) and Williamsburg (Brooklyn) is serving an Indian-inspired version of traditional American fare with a prix fixe, three-course menu for $16.95.  The meal begins with a plate of savory street food. The main course features Tandoori-grilled Breast of Turkey, infused by Indian spices together with sautéed pumpkin and zucchini, and garlic cilantro rice. For a sweet finish, dessert is a traditional Saffron Zarda, a rice dish infused with sweet spices.  BYOB. http://www.tikkaindiangrill.com/

Michelin-starred Rebelle takes you to Paris with a menu referencing classic French dishes and techniques with a nod to Chef Eddy’s time at Spring in Paris. The $78 per person prix fixe menu includes a choice of Kale, Apple and Walnut Salad or Roasted Squash with pears and brown butter for appetizers; Roast Beef, Pan-seared Halibut or Roasted Turkey as a main; and a section of appropriate side dishes such as Foie with fat, Stuffing; Traditional Stuffing; Green Bean Casserole; Sweet Potato Brûlée, Brussels Sprouts with lardons, or roasted mushroom. Served family style, desserts include traditional Thanksgiving favorites, apple, pecan pie or pumpkin pie.  http://rebellenyc.com/

At beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant and wine bar Vinateria, owner Yvette Leeper Bueno and Executive Chef Joshua Bedford will bring a  three-course menu featuring dishes like Roasted Baby Pumpkins stuffed with lamb sausage and farro; Grilled Sardines with lemon and olive bagna cauda, Whole Grilled Dorade with bitter greens; Roasted Leg Of Lamb with saffron cous cous and port reduction; Roast Pennsylvania Duck with toasted chickpeas, red watercress and warm spices; Warm Fig Tartlet; and Lemoncello Tiramisu. www.vinaterianyc.com

We’ll toast with Margaritas this Thanksgiving at the Thanksgiving Fiesta at Rosa Mexicano. It’s a three-course Thanksgiving Fiesta  for $40/person, featuring Sope de Calabaza: pumpkin soup garnished with pomegranate and toasted pepitas; a choice of two entrees: Chile ancho-roasted turkey with choice of mole xico or traditional gravy served with four sides, including Cranberry Salsa, Sweet Plaintain-Huitlacoche Stuffing, Mexican Chorizo Potatoes and Fall Roasted Vegetables, or Enchiladas de Pavo with pulled roasted turkey, topped with mestiza crema and orange-spiced crispy Brussels sprouts; and Empanadas de Manzana for dessert, filled with apples and cranberries and topped with vanilla ice cream. Guests can imbibe a special Thanksgiving cocktail: Blood Orange Cranberry Margarita with housemade cranberry bitters.  www.rosamexicano.com

This Thanksgiving, Michelin-starred chef Eduard Frauneder is serving an Austrian-inspired Thanksgiving feast at the Village’s Edi & the Wolf for $63 that includes. Choose Blue Hubbard Squash Ravioli, Salad with Boursin and acorn squash, or Potato Leek Soup to start. Your entree will be either a traditional Roasted Turkey with stuffing or Braised Short Rib with pommes puree, chanterelles and garlic brown butter. For the table, you’ll enjoy maple whipped sweet potato and roasted Brussels sprouts. Desserts are the restaurant’s wonderful apple strudel or a traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. http://www.ediandthewolf.com

Remember New York City’s Oystering Prowess with a special Thanksgiving and Oyster dinner at Maison Premiere the James Beard Award-winning oyster house and cocktail den of Williamsburg has Chef Lisa Giffen, who has worked under such esteemed chefs at Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse, at the helm. This Thanksgiving, Maison Premiere offers a three-course prix fixe turkey dinner for $75/person A selection of fresh-from-the-sea oysters will be available à la carte, a wonderful starter to Butternut Squash Veloute with truffle whipped cream and balsamic; or Foie Torchon with fig compote and pistachio appetizers. The mains offer a seafood choice, Turkey Breast with a less-traditional turkey leg roulade with liver and Mirliton stuffing, or Housemade Pasta with chicken liver, Treviso and Fresno chilies. Desserts are both French and American in spirit, with a choice of Pumpkin Pecan Tart or Rhum Cannelles. www.maisonpremiere.com

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