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The Queens Economic Development Corporation, the Queens Tourism Council, and lead sponsor Fairway Market are proud to announce that the borough's premiere food-and-networking event, Queens Taste 2014, will take place at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Avenue in Flushing, from 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M. on Tuesday, 29 April.
The reasons to attend are as diverse as the borough itself. Foodies can expect to feast on everything from sweet to savory; Mexican to mainstream; and crunchy to creamy (including artisanal specialties prepared by Entrepreneur Space clients). And, of course, there will be various libations to fortify the spirit of the event.
As part of the fun, clowns from the Big Apple Circus will perform magic tricks and distribute free red clown noses to all attendees (or at least to those who want one). In addition, QEDC and the Queens Historical Society will host a table exhibiting memorabilia from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs—both of which took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Finally, this event affords a perfect venue for networking. QEDC hopes to attract some 1,000 attendees, with most either residing in Queens or doing business in the borough. Thus, Queens Taste 2014 provides a convivial setting in which to meet like-minded individuals, talk shop, and exchange business cards.
Queens Taste 2014 costs $100 for an individual ticket, or $175 for two. Proceeds support QEDC's ongoing efforts to attract and maintain jobs in the borough through business services, neighborhood development, the E-Space, and marketing attractions through QTC and the Discover Queens brand. As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductible as permitted by law.
To enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Queens Taste 2014, please click on: https://www.facebook.com/ItsInQueens.
Queens Taste 2013
Tuesday, 29 April 2014, 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M.
* * *
To view last year's event, please click on the link: Queens Taste 2013
The Queens Economic Development Corporation and lead sponsors Citi and Fairway Market are proud to invite you to the borough's premiere food-and-networking event, Queens Taste 2013, at Citi Field's Caesars Club from 6 P.M. till 9 P.M. on Tuesday, 14 May.
The reasons to attend are endless. First, the food, which will be as diverse as the borough. Expect everything from sweet to savory, Mexican to Trinidadian, and crunchy to creamy. For example, Rego Park's Ceviche Bar is planning to bring Peruvian delicacies such as ceviche (of course) and chicha morada, a refreshing drink made from purple corn and cloves. Meanwhile, Sunnyside's Dog & Duck Gastropub will serve duck hamburgers, and Sac's Place will offer pastas that are handmade in Astoria by the owner's mother.
In addition, clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that QEDC operates in Long Island City, will showcase their artisanal specialties such as gourmet cheesecake balls, and healthy chickpea concoctions.
Then there are the drinks. Forest Hills-based wine provider Nestor Imports and LIC's Court Square Wines headline a spirits group that includes Brooklyn Brewery, Genesis Brands, Manhattan Beer Distributors and Chopin Vodka. (Yes, some of the drink purveyors are based outside of Queens, but they all have a big presence in the borough.)
As a distinct bonus, this year's theme will focus on Sandy Recovery. QEDC asked Fairway Market to be the lead sponsor largely because the business took pains not to lay off any employees despite a lengthy shutdown of its storm-damaged Red Hook store.
Tickets to Queens Taste 2013 are priced $125 apiece, or $225 for two. Proceeds support the QEDC's ongoing efforts to attract and maintain jobs in the borough through business services, neighborhood development, the E-Space, and marketing attractions through the Queens Tourism Council, and the Discover Queens brand. As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
To purchase tickets online, please visit www.queensny.org/qedc/queenstaste. For more information, please visit www.queensny.org, call (718) 263-0546, or send email to email@example.com. See you there!
Queens Taste 2013
Caesars Club, Citi Field
123-01 Roosevelt Avenue (126th St)
Flushing, N.Y. 11368 (map)
Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M.
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To view last year's event, please click on the link: Queens Taste 2012.
Mark your calendar and whet your appetite! Queens Taste 2012, the borough's premiere food-and-networking event, will take place Tuesday, 1 May, from 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M. at Citi Field's Caesars Club in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Enjoy a broad spectrum of flavors and textures—from sweet to savory, Asian to Italian, and crunchy to creamy—served by the two-dozen participating establishments. Sample, for instance, the vegetable samosas and chicken biryani of Baluchi's Indian Restaurant in Forest Hills, the duck confit of Sunnyside's Dog & Duck, and the pistachio-crusted monkfish in lemon butter sauce of Uncle Peter's of Jackson Heights.
For dessert, try the Moroccan cookies, specialty ice pops, brownie lollipops, gourmet cupcakes, nut bars, designer marshmallows (!), and other artisanal treats of some 25 Entrepreneur Space clients. (E-Space is the food-and-business incubator of the Queens Economic Development Center in Long Island City).
Hydrate (or dehydrate) yourself with a vast selection of beverages. Taste local wines from the Queens County Farm Museum, and from the Castello di Borghese Vineyard on Long Island. Throw back a few suds from Brooklyn Brewery and Manhattan Beer Distributors, but don't forget to sip the refreshing fermented teas from Astoria's Beyond Kombucha, and the Turkish coffee from the Turkish Cultural Center.
This year's restaurants include Austin's Steak & Ale House, Baluchi's Indian Restaurant, Bourbon Street, Dazies, Euro Grill & Salad Bar, F. Ottomanelli Burger & Belgian Fries, Giardino, La Bella Cucina, Leo's Latticini (Mama's of Corona), Magna Ristorante, Marbella, McClure's Pickles LLC, O Lavrador Restaurant & Bar, Papazzio, Pop Diner, Riverview Restaurant & Lounge, Russo's on the Bay, The Dog & Duck, Uncle Peter's, Vetro, and White Castle.
Five taste masters will select the Best Appetizer, the Best Entrée, and the Best Dessert.
Tickets to Queens Taste 2012 are priced $100 apiece, or $185 for two. Proceeds support the Queens Economic Development Corporation's ongoing efforts to attract and maintain jobs in the borough through business services, neighborhood development, the Entrepreneur Space, and marketing attractions through the Queens Tourism Council, and the Discover Queens brand. As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductable to the extent permitted by law.
Queens Taste 2012
Caesars Club, Citi Field
123-01 Roosevelt Avenue (126th St)
Flushing, N.Y. 11368 (map)
Tuesday, 1 May 2012, 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M.
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To view last year's event, please click on the link: A Taste of the World in Queens 2011.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Or, if you prefer Cantonese to Mandarin, Gong Hey Fat Choy! Regardless of how you pronounce it, here's wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year!
Ba bao fan (pronounced bah·bou·FUN), or eight-treasure rice, is a traditional dessert with which to celebrate the occasion. A mound of glutinous rice with a red bean paste center, crowned with eight jewels (usually almonds, walnuts, melon seeds, dates, raisins, dried apricots, and other dried fruits), this sweet course represents a precious way to ring in the new lunar year.
Happy Year of the Dragon!
Learn to pronounce and to write "Gong Xi Fa Cai" in Chinese:
Soup & Bread is blowing back into Brooklyn from the Windy City today, 17 November 2011. After making her New York debut in Brooklyn last year, organizer Martha Bayne returns to the borough to ladle out soup and promote her new book, Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time. Part cookbook, part social history, her publication contains recipes, a brief history of soup, and an exploration of the social role of soup in our culture.
Begun in Chicago, Soup & Bread brings together chefs, musicians, and artists to prepare and distribute soups to help foster community and raise money for charity.
Littlefield Performance and Art Space
622 Degraw Street (between 3rd & 4th Avs), Gowanus, Brooklyn (map)
Have you heard about the FDA's latest attack on nutritional supplements? If enough of us don't comment by 1 October 2011, that agency could take anything developed after 1994 off the market, including the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) that helped extend the life of a loved one of mine.
I urge you to read the following article from the Alliance for Natural Health USA, and spread the word:
If you wish to make your voice heard, please click on the link below:
The Children's Aid Society's first-ever Summer Recipe Contest is underway. Submissions for original recipes will be accepted via Facebook through Monday, 18 July 2011. Initially, the judges—Liz Weiss, Janice Newell Bissex, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, Julie Negrin, and Erica Wides—will pick their 10 favorite healthful, easy-to-make recipes. Thereafter, from 21-28 July, public Facebook votes will determine the top five.
The five Grand Prize winners will be announced at the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday, 29 July, and will receive gift certificates to the exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant, PRINT. Restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, al di là Trattoria, and Mae Mae Cafe. Enter for your chance to win.
The Children's Aid Society
There's another merger about to take place on Wall Street: Milk Street Cafe, a popular restaurant and corporate catering company in Boston's Financial District, launches its new venture in New York's Financial District tomorrow. And Milk Street is going public, so to speak, by inviting everyone to attend the morning's Opening Bell ceremony for complimentary cookies and coffee from 10:00 till 11:00 in the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.
After 30 years of success on Milk Street, founder Marc Epstein saw an opportunity to broker his gourmet fare on Wall Street. His new restaurant opens one month after the SBA named him Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year. Marc and his wife, Beth, welcomed the press to a private preview earlier this month. Having spent five years of my career in this building, I couldn't resist the opportunity for a "homecoming."
Marc Epstein talks about Milk Street Cafe's Wall Street opening
Like its Boston counterpart, the New York menu offers considerable diversity. Unlike the Beantown location, however, the Gotham space is massive: a 23,000-square-foot food hall, featuring a 15,000-square-foot area comprising three kitchens. Inspired by Eataly, the food hall concept affords a wide variety of stations and speciality counters to suit an extensive array of tastes.
Beth Epstein describes the new Milk Street Cafe
Milk Street Cafe's food hall features made-to-order breakfasts, made-from-scratch breads, desserts and pastries, a pasta bar, Asian specialties, a sushi bar, two create-your-own salad bars (one vegetarian, one not), homemade soups, a grill, a rotisserie, and a carving station. The wide-ranging menu is the brainchild of Executive Chef Steven Mettle (formerly the Executive Chef at AIG).
Don't look for cheeseburgers here, however—everything is kosher. All fish and produce are processed in the kitchen; vegetables are "locally sourced if possible, and organic when available," explained Chef Mettle. Pictured below are a few tempting samples:
The diverse culinary team includes chefs trained in Asian specialities. I sampled some of the tasty Eastern comestibles of sushi chef Eugene Lee and wok chef Allen Ong.
Of course, something smooth had to accompany all that. We were treated to three rich beverages.
"Our emphasis is on the best food and the best hospitality," says Marc Epstein, "We believe that customer service is paramount and we want to create the best experience possible." Décor plays a major role in that experience. The Epsteins spent a year-and-a-half renovating the existing Art Deco interior—vacated six months earlier by Mangia—and adding updated appointments to yield a style known as "Hollywood Regency."
Rather than displaying stock tickers and other distractions, the dining areas offer a relaxing escape for bulls and bears alike. With a seating capacity of 150, "we wanted to create a respite," Beth Epstein told me. To that end, a large mural by Shanee Epstein (Marc's sister) adorns the rear dining section. Affectionately called the restaurant's "Monet," this work also serves as the backdrop for the company logo.
Milk Street Cafe's opening will also introduce some innovations to the Big Apple. A couple of firsts include sophisticated whirlpool Produce Soak sinks to wash fruits and vegetables, as well as FLAT table bases (from Australia) that use bungee cords to level and stabilize eating surfaces. In addition, clerks will use nifty handheld checkout devices called Line Busters to expedite credit card payments. Why can't other restaurants adopt this sort of technology?
I enjoyed my 40 Wall homecoming. Things have changed for the better over the decades. As I recall, back in the '80s, the only places for food in this building were the company cafeteria and 40 Below, in the basement. I wish there had been a place like Milk Street Cafe.
Milk Street Cafe
40 Wall Street (between William & Broad Sts),
Financial District, Manhattan (map)
By bus: M5
Comestiblab: Were you aware that 40 Wall Street was, very briefly, the world's tallest building? When the 70-story tower opened in May, 1930, plans showed its 927 feet rising two feet higher than the soon-to-be-completed Chrysler Building.
Walter Chrysler had other plans, however. His architect, William Van Alen, designed a stainless steel spire that was furtively assembled and bolted onto the crown of his skyscraper, rendering it the world's tallest at 1,048 feet—a title it surrendered just 11 months later to the Empire State Building.
During the week of June 6-12, the NYC Department of Health will offer fitness events to promote BeFitNYC, a citywide campaign to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle using the Big Apple as a big gym.
The events are free and open to the public. Please click the image below to view the schedule.
Links to additional information:
My friends at Hallo Berlin Express asked me to help spread the word about the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival this weekend on the avenue from 42nd to 57th Streets. It's New York's oldest and largest annual food festival. (I recall attending my first one about 1980.)
Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
42nd to 57th Street (Hell's Kitchen), Manhattan
May 14-15, 2011; 12:00 Noon till 5:00 P.M.
(Rain or shine)
For more than 70 years, Essex Street Market has been a source of comestibles for Manhattan's Lower East Side. It was built in 1940 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to move pushcarts and vendors indoors, off the teeming streets. Today, the market continues to house an eclectic mix of food purveyors within its historic walls.
Some of my Essex Street Market favorites include chocolates from Shoppe Roni~Sue (a 2010 Comestiblog Valentine's Day pick), and cheeses from Saxelby Cheesemongers and Formaggio Essex. Sadly, I can no longer buy meats from a butcher shop that has operated here for four generations. Jeffrey Ruhalter, who represented the market's last remaining original vendor, closed Jeffrey's Meat Market recently.
The fortunes and flavors of its vendors may have changed over the decades, but now Essex Street Market itself is in jeopardy. In her blog, The Saxelby Almanac, Anne Saxelby reports that redevelopment plans call for the possibility of razing the historic building and moving the vendors elsewhere. Can we afford to lose another Lower East Side icon?
Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street (NE corner Delancey St),
Lower East Side, Manhattan (map)
For further information about Essex Street Market and how you can help, please visit the sites below:
By submitting your name and email address, you'll be allowed to download Favorite Healthy Recipes, a free digital book from FOOD & WINE. The catch: you'll receive a subscription to the (forthcoming) daily e-newsletter "Food & Wine Daily," as well as periodic offers from American Express Publishing. Be sure to read the privacy statement.
To download your free e-book, click on the link below:
The Asian Pacific Americans, a volunteer employee organization at NBC Universal and its partners at azix inc., together with the Japanese American Association, the New York Restaurant Organization (NYSRA), FEED, and the restaurant industry, have organized the Dine Out for Japan Relief campaign taking place at various restaurants in the greater New York area. From Wednesday, 23 March through Wednesday, 30 March, participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the Red Cross to assist the tsunami relief efforts in Japan.
Please visit the websites below for more information and a list of participating restaurants:
Have a Foodie Holiday is the theme of this year's windows at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue.
We begin with a "revolutionary stew" of innovators and trail blazers:
More star chefs:
And end with enough coffee to make anyone illy:
Barneys New York
660 Madison Avenue (SW corner 61st St),
East Side, Manhattan
By train: N,Q,R to 5 Av / 59 St (exit NE corner 60th St)
By bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32
Wijnanda Deroo's fascinating photographic exhibit Inside New York Eateries opened last week at Robert Mann Gallery in Chelsea. With subjects ranging from plebeian to plush, her images offer a diverse exploration of notable Gotham restaurant interiors past and present.
Except for murals and other decorations, Deroo's photographs contain no human figures, thus allowing the viewer to focus on architecture and furnishings rather than on food and dining. Moreover, this absence of people creates a unifying tension to her collective work.
Many of the photographs evoke personal memories that span decades. Who hasn't been to Yonah Schimmel's Knishery, or Lexington Candy Shop? Or to The Russian Tea Room, 21, Grand Central Oyster Bar, and The Four Seasons? I still recall pleasant luncheons at Jerry's erstwhile SoHo location, and delightful meals in the spectacular setting of the now-defunct Tavern on the Green. I also remember romantic dinners at Café des Artistes that were followed by a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. My oldest recollection, however, is of the dingy Nom Wah Tea Parlor, an extant Chinatown fixture that looks just as it did half a century ago.
Finally, though I've never been to Lederhosen, Deroo's image—a corner table by a kitschy mural of Schloss Neuschwanstein amid the Bavarian countryside—has piqued my curiosity.
Robert Mann Gallery
210 Eleventh Avenue (between 24th & 25th Sts),
Dates: 9 December 2010 - 29 January 2011
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 A.M. till 6:00 P.M.
By train: C,E to 23 Street
By bus: M23
Fox Television's Hell's Kitchen (Raw! Raw!! GET OUT!!!) is casting immediately for next season. The show's casting producers have put out the following call:
Do you think you have what it takes to work side-by-side with world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay? If so, we want you!
If you are interested in auditioning, PLEASE EMAIL IMMEDIATELY:
Please put "HELL'S KITCHEN" in the subject title. You MUST include your full name, age, telephone numbers, PHOTO, where you live-state, about your culinary experience, why you would be the perfect contestant for the show, and what sets you apart from the rest! Do not just send us your resume! YOU MUST WRITE US AN EMAIL and include the info requested!
Fox Television's Kitchen Nightmares is casting immediately for next season. The show's casting producers have put out the following call:
If your restaurant is having problems and you want Chef Gordon Ramsay to come into your establishment, troubleshoot your problems, and try to get you back on the road to success, contact us NOW!
To be considered:
Place "KITCHEN NIGHTMARES" in the subject line and Include: Your name, contact info, name of your restaurant, where you are located, type of cuisine you serve, how many seats you have, how long you have been open, photos or website if available, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, why you need our help. The MORE INFO THE BETTER.
The 17th annual Taste of Times Square takes place today from 5:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. on West 46th Street (between Broadway and Ninth Avenue) and on Broadway (between 45th and 47th Streets). Over 50 area restaurants offer tastes of their signature dishes representing cuisines from around the globe. Tickets may be purchased at $1 each and redeemed at the tasting tables.
Please visit the Times Square Alliance website for more details.
Here's a little bonus for tax day: From noon till 2:00 P.M. on 15 April, Energy Kitchen will throw in a free sandwich with the purchase of a beverage. Choices include a California Wrap, a Chicken Burger, or a Bison Cheesesteak Wrap—all under 500 calories.
Please visit their website for locations:
As part of the campaign, donations are being accepted during the entire month of February for those who are unable to attend one of the nationwide events. Donations can be made via PayPal and advanced tickets to any of the five events can be purchased by visiting flanboyanteats.com or cococooks.blogspot.com. Tickets are $30 in advance, with limited door sales in each city.
The New York event will be hosted by Christy Spackman of balancefood.blogspot.com at the NYU Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, 35 W. 4th Street, 10th Floor.
Please visit the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&ref=ts&gid=296075025866
Soup and Bread are blowing into the Big Apple from the Windy City today. This free weekly soup dinner, begun at The Hideout in Chicago, makes its New York debut at Brooklyn's Bell House this evening. From 6:00 till 9:00, organizers Martha Bayne and Sheila Sachs will ladle out soup contributed by local chefs and bloggers. (Of course, they'll also have copies of their new Soup & Bread Cookbook for sale.) This free, family-friendly event is designed to raise money for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH).
The Bell House
149 7th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avs), Gowanus, Brooklyn
By train: F,G to Fourth Avenue
By bus: B37, B75, B77
Indulge your champagne taste at one or more of these free bubbly tastings:
Tuesday, 29 December:
This tasting features two Italian sparklers from Candoni: the delicate, fruity Prosecco; and the more sweet, less alcoholic, frizzante Moscato D'Italia.
Long's Wines & Liquors
7917 5th Avenue (between 79th & 80th Sts), Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Free.
By train: R to 77th Street
By bus: B63
Under $22 tasting
Five affordable sparklers "off-the-beaten-path" will be poured at The Greene Grape's two stores.
The Greene Grape
765 Fulton Street (between S Portland Av & S Oxford St), Fort Greene
By train: C to Lafayette Av; G to Fulton St
By bus: B25, B26, B52
55 Liberty Street (NE corner Liberty Pl), Financial District(212) 406-9463
By train: 2,3 (IRT) to Wall St; 4,5 (IRT),J,M,Z (BMT) to Fulton St; A,C to Broadway-Nassau
By bus: M1, M6
Tasting times at both stores: 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Free.
Wednesday, 30 December:
Discover why the folks at The Greene Grape believe that "champagne from those who both grow their grapes and bottle their juice is superior to negociant champagne." Five grower sparklers will be poured at The Greene Grape's two stores.The Greene Grape
See above for locations and directions.
5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Free.
Thursday, 31 December:
Heather Hamilton at Long's Wines in Brooklyn invites you to compare the citrus and apple flavors of the French Louis Roederer Brut Premier (91 points—Wine Enthusiast) with the pear, spice, and hazelnut flavors of the American Roederer Estate Brut.
2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Free.
Since 1983, The Food Bank For New York City has devoted itself to ending hunger through various programs designed to provide emergency food assistance, information, and support "for community survival and dignity." An independent, non-profit organization, the Food Bank procures and distributes comestibles to a network comprising roughly 1,000 food assistance programs throughout the city.
With the number of needy New Yorkers having doubled to some four million over the past six years, the Food Bank's donated food assets have reached an unprecedented low. Regardless of your views concerning recent bailouts of financial institutions, this bank could really use your help.
Food Bank For New York City
39 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10006
Anahad O'Connor of The Caucus, the politics and government blog of The New York Times, reported that a number of spelling errors appeared on the menu at President Obama's state dinner last night. Among the mistakes: a reference to a wine from Oregon's Wilamette (instead of Willamette) Valley; a description of a dish made with chick peas (instead of chickpeas); and the unhyphenated name of Thibaut Janisson Brut, a Virginia sparkling chardonnay.
The author also condemned the misspelling of Grenache as follows: "The correct spelling of the popular varietal, one of the most widely planted types of red grape in the world, is actually 'Grenache' with only one 'a,' not two." Sorry, Mr. O'Connor, but Grenache, when described as a type of grape, is correctly called a variety, not a varietal. (The wine produced from the grape variety is the varietal.) If you're going to split hairs, at least try to use the proper terminology.
Can KFC do a grilled chicken giveaway right this time? Find out for yourself today, Monday, 26 October 2009 when participating restaurants offer one free piece of Kentucky Grilled Chicken per person.
I have to admit that the Colonel's grilled samples were hot, succulent, and very tasty.
Every year, the first Friday in June designates National Doughnut Day. This holiday originated in 1938 with the Chicago Salvation Army to help feed the hungry during the Great Depression, as well as to honor the Salvation Army's female-volunteer "Lassies" of World War I. Often using helmets as cookware, the Lassies prepared thousands of doughnuts for American infantrymen—or doughboys—behind the front lines in France. The first Salvation Army doughnut was served in 1917.
As a tribute to the Salvation Army's work, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, and a number of others are providing free doughnuts today. Participating Krispy Kreme stores are giving away one doughnut per customer without any requisite purchase. Participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, on the other hand, are offering one free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage.
To give back:
Visit the LaMars site for doughnut facts and a trivia quiz:
The plastic corks are popping and the André Cold Duck is flowing to celebrate Comestiblog's ignominious first anniversary. It is hard to fathom why the weblog of comestibles, eating, drinking, and dubious taste was permitted to endure an entire year—or, for that matter, why it was allowed to begin in the first place! There's really no excuse.
During the past 12 months, the curious ruminations and pointless musings posted on these pages have generated opprobrium far beyond my wildest imagination. Yet, despite all the importunate recommendations to the contrary, I've decided to continue this affront to the blogosphere by prolonging my failed experiment to determine whether it is really possible for Comestiblog to degenerate into even greater ignobility.
Tanoreen, the popular Bay Ridge, Brooklyn restaurant, is moving across Third Avenue to usher in its second decade. Within the next two months, Rawia Bishara's "Middle Eastern cuisine with Mediterranean aromas" will be served in the dining room vacated a year ago by the venerable Mr. Tang (whose take-out branch continues to operate next door.)
For the time being, wistful diners who pass 255 Smith Street, Brooklyn will have to adapt to the patois of Little Italy to enjoy some of their Gallic favorites. In January, Patois, a 1997 pioneer of Smith Street's restaurant row, closed its doors with the promise of reopening across the street in the near future.
Last Wednesday, meanwhile, the Mulberry Street incarnation made its debut. Although the new digs are brighter and cleaner than the recently abandoned ones in Carroll Gardens, they somehow lack that je ne sais quoi. Nevertheless, "the food is the same," I'm reassured.
Incidentally, Patois' prix fixe menu ($9.95 from 11:30 A.M. till 4:00 P.M.; $19.95 after that) represents an extraordinary value.
The future of the Manhattan location is uncertain, however. Will the new Patois will continue to operate should indeed the newer one open at 254 Smith Street? Stay tuned. But in the meantime, bon appétit!
177 Mulberry Street (near Broome St), Little Italy, Manhattan
By train: 6 to Spring Street; J,M,Z to Bowery
By bus: M1, M103, B51
Free food? Sign me up! This weekend starts a little early at F. Martinella on Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Although this retro-themed deli opened in November, its coming-out party takes place today through Sunday (19-22 March) in the form of a Grand Open House. Enjoy food samples, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, prizes, and much more. Please visit their website for details.
Everything I tried was delicious, incidentally.
119 Court Street (NE corner State St), Downtown Brooklyn
Thursday through Sunday,
10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
By train: 2,3,4,5 to Borough Hall
By bus: B75, B61, B63
Champagne and chocolate are not necessarily ideal partners, but they're not bad together—especially if both are free. Join Le Dû's Wines from 3:00 P.M. till 6:00 P.M. for a Valentine's Day tasting of Georges Gardet Cuvée Saint Flavy, Henriot Brut Souverain, and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 2002, as well as a sampling of the exquisite chocolates of Jacques Torres—all gratis. Not a bad way to set the mood …
Le Dû's Wines
600 Washington Street (between Morton & Leroy Sts), West Village, Manhattan
3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Free.
By train: 1 to Houston Street
By bus: M8, M20, M21
Latest reports indicate that the peanut butter-borne salmonella outbreak is responsible for 575 illnesses and possibly eight deaths in 43 states. As a result, over 1,550 products have been recalled nationwide.
Ever try an Arabian Nights or Earl Grey Tea hot chocolate? Baker-and-owner Maury Rubin tempts us with these and other daily flavors throughout February at his 17th Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival. Other creative con-cocoa-tions include the ever-popular Banana Peel, the Sunken Treasure, the Passion Fruit Cream, the Hot Chocolate A-Go Go, and, on Valentine's Day, the Love Potion. Since City Bakery hasn't a license to serve alcohol, it'll be interesting to taste the Beer and Bourbon cocoas. The festival culminates with a surprise finale on the 28th.
The City Bakery
3 West 18th Street (near Fifth Av), Flatiron District, Manhattan
By train: 4,5,6 (IRT),N,Q,R,W (BMT),F,V (IND),PATH to 14th Street
By bus: M1, M2, M3, M5, M6, M7
Morton's, the new steakhouse in Brooklyn, will offer a complimentary tasting of wines and spirits today and tomorrow. Join fellow imbibers for free booze at the bar from 5:30 P.M. till 8:00 P.M. on 29 & 30 January and again on 5 & 6 February 2009.
Morton's The Steakhouse
339 Adams Street (at the Booklyn Marriott), Downtown Brooklyn
By train: A,C,F to Jay St-Borough Hall; 2,3,4,5 to Borough Hall
Misplaced your invitation to the Inaugural Ball? You could still have a presidential meal at the Wall Street Burger Shoppe. They're offering a special today on their pizza-like Obama Burger—a four-ounce hamburger with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.
Wall Street Burger Shoppe
30 Water Street (between Broad St & Coenties Slip), Financial District, Manhattan
By train: R,W to Whitehall Street
By bus: M9, M15, Downtown Connection
As our busy schedules find us scrambling to buy last-minute gifts for friends and loved ones, we often overlook those who could also use a little holiday kindness.
Since its founding in 1982, City Harvest has dedicated itself to feeding New York City's hungry men, women, and children. Through contributions, food-rescue, distribution, and education, this non-profit organization has helped reduce hunger in our city.
In addition to monetary contributions, food donations, and volunteer programs, there are numerous other ways to help City Harvest accomplish its mission. Among them: buying Holiday Cards or a City Harvest apron (or both!), making online purchases (at no additional cost) through Shop for Charity, purchasing "City Harvest blends" from serendipiTea, and ordering a $40 prix fixe lunch ($5 of which is donated to City Harvest) at Le Bernadin.
City Harvest, Inc.
575 Eighth Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10018-3069
Fight the recession by phone. A new (beta release) service, Lunchtimedeals.com, offers, as the name implies, luncheon discounts at specific restaurants. Coupons are sent by email and can be printed or routed to a cell phone (redeemable by displaying the text message to the cashier).
A broader service, 8coupons.com, was launched last year. In addition to dining deals, this site offers printable and text-message coupons for discounted entertainment, shopping, and services.
Both services are free.
While others agonize over selecting the perfect Thanksgiving wine, I prefer to simplify things by serving my seasonal favorite, Beaujolais Nouveau. Clearly, I'm not alone. The so-called first wine, or vin primeur, is so popular that it accounts for roughly a third of all Beaujolais production. (Incidentally, unlike other reds from France's Burgundy region, Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape, not from the Pinot Noir vinifera.) Besides, what wine would be more apropos of a harvest celebration than one produced from grapes picked within the past two months?
I should point out that Beaujolais Nouveau is not a great wine and does not improve with age. It is easy to drink, however, owing to its lack of tannins, abundance of fruit, and "just-squeezed" vinosity. Furthermore, its light body affords an ideal introduction to red wine.
According to French law, you'll have to wait till the stroke of midnight to sample this year's vintage, however. In 1985, the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine designated the third Thursday of November to be the wine's official release date. Thus, a number of wine merchants will commence their Beaujolais Nouveau tastings tomorrow.
One of the liveliest celebrations—replete with accordionist Phoebe Legere—takes place this Saturday, from 2:00 P.M. till 6:00 P.M., at Brooklyn's Red White & Bubbly. Sample wines from Georges Dubœuf as well as from Domaine Dupeuble (made without carbonic maceration; imported by Kermit Lynch). (For those unable to wait until Saturday, Red White & Bubbly will open a couple of bottles for tasting Thursday afternoon.) The tastings are free.
Red White & Bubbly
211-213 5th Avenue (near Union St), Park Slope, Brooklyn
(718) 636-WINE (9463)
After standing on long lines to cast your ballot today, reward yourself with a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a scoop of ice cream—all gratis. The following merchants are offering election-day perquisites:
Starbucks: A free 12-ounce cup of drip coffee. (http://www.starbucks.com/)
Krispy Kreme: A free red-white-and-blue, star-shaped doughnut at participating locations, while supplies last. (http://www.krispykreme.com/)
Ben & Jerry's: One free scoop of ice cream, from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. (http://www.benjerry.com/)
Most important, however, is to vote.
With interest accruing, the wait is almost over for the Trader Joe's Brooklyn debut. Doors open officially on Friday, 26 September, 2008 at 9 A.M. The beautiful new store occupies the 1923 Florentine-style palazzo that once housed the erstwhile Independence Savings Bank (originally, South Brooklyn Savings Institution) at the northeast corner of the Cobble Hill Historic District. Greg Glei, the former crew captain at Trader Joe's in Hadley, Massachusetts, will be at the helm in Brooklyn.
The impressive banking floor will once again be a place for customers to pick up their dough (as well as many other foodstuffs, of course). Artist renderings of iconic Brooklyn scenes—painted from old photographs of Downtown Brooklyn, Ebbets Field, Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Prospect Park's Horse Tamers portal—overlook the groceries and the 18 registers from the southern wall of the mezzanine level.
The store's offerings are arranged in two distinct areas: dry, packaged items on the banking floor; produce and other fresh foods under the mezzanine, to the left as you enter. The architects have deftly combined old and new to create a spacious, light, and airy space. Kudos to Trader Joe's Corp. for banking on this gracious building.
You'll still have to visit 14th Street to find "Two Buck Chuck" (Charles Shaw wines), however. New York state law limits a company's alcohol sales to one store only.
130 Court Street (SW corner Atlantic Av), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
By train: 2,3,4,5 to Borough Hall; M,R to Court St; F,G to Bergen St
By bus: B61, B63, B75
Feeling your eights? They're offering dim sum at the reduced price of $1.50 today at 88 Palace in Chinatown to celebrate 8/8/08 and the start of the Olympic games.
88 East Broadway (under the Manhattan Bridge), LES / Chinatown, Manhattan
By train: F to East Broadway
By bus: M9, M15, M22
Confronted with the loss of space caused by elevator construction in their building, Chambers Street Wines in TriBeCa is moving "up the street." Most wines will be discounted by 20% until Saturday, 9 August. Please visit their website for details.
Chambers Street Wines
160 Chambers Street (bet. Greenwich St & W. Broadway), TriBeCa, Manhattan
By train: 1,2,3 to Chambers Street
By bus: M22, M20
One really needs a scorecard to keep track of the comings and goings of food establishments at the corner of Henry and Cranberry Streets in Brooklyn Heights. The latest casualty is the Wine Bar at 50 Henry Street, which opened in January. Its shutdown Tuesday was a result of the alleged skullduggery that also led to the closings of Busy Chef, Oven, and the Blue Pig across the street in the Cranlyn. The establishments are all under the same ownership.
According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, manager and co-owner Dan Kaufman has been arraigned on multiple charges of credit card fraud and identity theft. Kaufman allegedly obtained $25,000 through the use of customers' credit cards.
Please click the link below for the full story:
Dave and Laura Shea's foray into the world of retail is drawing to a close. Last year, they opened applewares, a small kitchen-supply shop, near their acclaimed applewood restaurant in Park Slope. The store's closing sale (with markdowns of 15% to 75%) is in its final week. Here's a good opportunity to buy that toaster or coffee maker you've wanted.
As their message states: "We're selling everything from locally made pottery to Mac knives; we're even selling some of our highly prized antiques including two fully working cast-iron gas stoves!"
548 10th Street (bet. 7th & 8th Avs), Park Slope, Brooklyn
By train: F to 7th Avenue
By bus: B67, B75
Don't blame the Transit Authority for this subway incident. I've heard of a bread knife, but this is somewhat extreme! According to the New York Post, a Queens man is suing Subway for $1 million after he allegedly found a knife with a 7-inch blade embedded in the sandwich he ordered at a restaurant on West 35th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It's unclear whether the 27-year-old Astoria man will eat fresh again, but if his suit is successful, he'll surely live green.
Please click the link below for the full article:
The wait is almost over. The unofficial start date of the 2008 season for the Red Hook food vendors is Saturday, 19 July. The much-publicized delays have been due to compliance issues with the Department of Health. Let's hope there are no further snags.
Bay & Clinton Streets, Red Hook, Brooklyn
By train: F to Smith-9th Streets
By bus: B77
By boat: Water Taxi from Pier 11 (Wall Street) to Ikea
How about some refreshing iced tea on a hot day? If you're in SoHo, consider stopping by Sanctuary T to celebrate their first annual Iced Tea Festival. From now through 10 June, you can sample up to five of their daily blends gratis.
Beyond the five ready-made selections, Sanctuary T offers a dizzying selection of over 70 whole-leaf loose teas and flowering-art teas to be enjoyed in the restaurant or at home. My favorites were the Blackberry Lemonade, Pineapple Rooibos, and Peppermint Moon. Drink up!
337B West Broadway (NE corner Grand St), SoHo, Manhattan
By train: A,C,E to Canal Street
By bus: M6 (uptown)
When was the last time you had a beef burger for $1.20 or a tuna sandwich for just 50 cents more? How about a cup of tea or coffee for 35 cents? Was it 30 years ago?
To celebrate their thirtieth anniversary, Eva's in the West Village has turned back their cash registers to 1978. Consider a fish filet sandwich for $1.70 or, for a big splurge (the most expensive item on their retro menu), chicken supreme with brown rice topped with soup for $3.90.
Eva's also features a fair number of Mediterranean sandwiches that are equally affordable, such as Kufta with grilled feta cheese (in a toasted pita with fresh vegetable salad and tahini dressing) for $2.10 and Baba Ganoush (mashed eggplant, spices, and vegetables) for only $1.30.
But hurry, this offer is valid until Friday, 23 May only. Please visit their website for a coupon.
11 West 8th Street (bet. Fifth Av & MacDougal St), West Village, Manhattan
By train: A,C,E,B,D,F,V to W 4th Street
By bus: B8
Here's to the man who changed how the world regards (and drinks) Californian wines. Robert Mondavi died at his home in Yountville, California this past Friday at the age of 94. James Laube's article in Wine Spectator affords a thorough look at the life of the great winemaker.
Please join your humble Comestiblogger in a toast to Mr. Mondavi as I raise a glass of (what else?) Opus One.
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