Grand Opening: Dr. Smood Opens Location in NY’s NoMad Neighborhood

Just like we do to our homes every spring season, we believe in doing the same for our bodies. A seasonal cleansing can do wonders for you internally. Getting rid of what may be causing you harm, aging you faster, etc. Of course, when we say cleansing, we’re not talking about the unhealthy cleansing trends and fads. You can cleanse your system while nourishing it thanks to the great range of organic smart foods from Dr. Smood, all of which are developed by scientists, nutritionists, doctors and raw vegan chefs. We had the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Smood, at the grand opening of their second New York location in NoMad (North of Madison Square Park).

Dr. Smood is the first smart food boutique café specializing in health beneficial organic food and beverages. The cafes (more locations will be opening soon) offer certified organic juices, coffees, teas, sandwiches, salads, soups and nutrient-rich grab-and-go snacks that not only boast real nutrition, minerals, and basic vitamins but are also very delicious. They also offer signature organic coffee, sandwiches made with their proprietary Performance Bread and pastries created from the pulp of their cold-pressed juices. Not only are Dr. Smood’s products tasty, they are life-prolonging, curative and energizing. Their slogan of “Smart food for a good mood” really is true, with choices that benefit your body, mind and your general well being. Each Dr. Smood cafe is designed for maximum comfort and wellbeing. Like all their other locations nationwide, the NoMad location offers comfortable seating, free WiFi, charging stations for your mobile devices, even specially devised music playlists for different times of the day.

We had the opportunity to try one of their detox programs, the Dr. Smood Intermediate Detox Program, for a week, and the results were amazing. The program offers a product selection system that allows you to choose your mood: yellow for immunity, blue for energy, purple for health, pink for beauty, green for detox and orange for power. Our program included drinking five juices, one mylk, and one booster every day.

The first thing we noted was of course how delicious the juices and smoothies were. The second thing we noticed, and this was very important to us, was the lack of headaches and migraines. In the past when we’ve tried juice cleansing, we’ve always experienced migraines because although we were cleansing our bodies, we were not being properly nourished. With Dr. Smood, we never had that issue, and we never felt hungry at any point during our week-long cleansing. The third wonderful thing about our Dr. Smood experience, which of course truly excited us was our clothes fitting a bit looser, as well as being able to get into clothes that we couldn’t previously get into. The compliments about our glowing skin and happier disposition didn’t hurt either.

If you’re ready to try a cleansing program that has no negative side effects, we urge you to stop by Dr. Smood’s new NoMad location at 1151 Broadway, or any of their other cafe locations nationwide.

 

Beat the Heat with San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream

As the saying goes, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”, and we’ve been screaming for the decadent San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream flavors since winter. Since Mother Nature has finally realized we’re in the warmer months, we can finally sing the praises of (and keep cool with) the sinfully delicious, and utterly indulgent range of San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream pints, commanded by Owner and President, Jonathan Tammara. The family owned San Bernardo Ice Cream has been in business for over 40 years by the same family and offers signature flavors created with natural flavors and the finest ingredients from around the world.

We were first introduced to San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream last winter, not the best season to enjoy frozen treats, but we survived thanks to the tropical heat setting in our apt. That’s a very different story now that we’re experiencing 90+ degree days. The San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream pints are available in seven delicious flavors: Amaretto Praline Pecan, Biscotti, Cannoli, Italian Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirl, New York Style Cheesecake, Spumoni, and Tiramisu. These most famous Italian ice creams flavors are made with only natural, quality ingredients for a pure, creamy and delicious ice cream experience. It is quite difficult to select a favorite, and every time you think you have one, the next flavor blows you away. Like their other “escape” ice cream collections, the San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Creams contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no high fructose corn syrup.

Amaretto Praline Pecan

The ultimate old-world indulgence, a rich amaretto ice cream filled with crunchy, sugar-covered pecans.

Italian Biscotti

An all-time Italian favorite transformed into a creamy frozen treat. It boasts biscotti ice cream with a vanilla base, with a dash of almond and finished up with almond slivers, chocolate-covered biscotti pieces, and a thick caramel sea salt swirl.

Cannoli

Even better than you remembered it. Painstakingly crafted with ricotta cheese and blended with pieces of chocolate-covered cannoli shell, this cannoli ice cream evokes the warmth of an authentic Italian kitchen.

Italian Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirl

In true Italian cheesecake fashion, this ice cream base includes real mascarpone cheese and is topped off with a thick, decadent raspberry swirl.

New York Style Cheesecake

This luscious, authentic New York-style cheesecake ice cream conjures up the Big Apple with the magic of graham cracker pieces, real cream cheese, and rich sour cream.

Spumoni

A traditional Italian dessert, taken to the next level. Bernardo’s signature Spumoni includes chocolate swirled with pistachio, strawberry and vanilla ice creams, mixed with fresh sliced cherries and pieces of almonds, and topped off with a tantalizing hint of amaretto.

Tiramisu

The only thing better than tiramisu is tiramisu ice cream. This fabulous re-creation of an old Italian classic includes marsala wine and an authentic mascarpone cheese base to complete the experience.

The San Bernardo Italian Escapes Ice Cream collection is available in 16oz Pints and 48oz Scrounds and are a delicious way to cool down in this sudden and instant heatwave we’re experiencing. Get to know more about San Bernardo and their ice creams by visiting their website, www.sanbernardoicecream.com.

National Doughnut Day with Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC

Is there anything better than the deep-fried and sweet mounds of yumminess that are doughnuts? If there ever was a sweet treat to be celebrated, it is doughnuts. It’s impossible to dislike them, and thankfully we got to properly celebrate the dessert! In honor of this very important desert food, acclaimed mixologist Adam Seger hosts Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC, the newest hotspot located in New York’s South Street Seaport EVERY Thursday evening. The months’ old bar (it’s just a little over 6 months old) is lively and intimate all at once. We had the pleasure of partaking in this amazing blend of confectionery and cocktail heaven just in time for National Doughnut Day.

These alcohol-infused, bite-sized doughnuts bring new meaning to the term Amuse-bouche because your mouth (along with your taste buds and stomachs) will be so happy once they indulge in these boozy doughnut holes. Our night’s indulgence included two types of doughnut holes, Old-fashioned Glazed, and Double Valrhona Fleur de Sel (chocolate covered holes topped with sea salt). What makes these doughnuts “drunken” are the accompanying boozy sauces and sides including the decadent Bourbon Dulce de Leche Sauce, Boyd & Blair 151 Vodka Cardamom Whipped Cream, Pimm’s Spiked Mango, Pineapple, Habanero Marmalade, Dark Rum & Cognac Chocolate Sauce, and last but certainly not least, a boozy Cereal Milk Ice Cream.

Fair warning to those of you who will no doubt enjoy this experience, these boozy sauces, and sides do not have “essence of alcohol” or “flavored with alcohol”, these are made with full on booze, you can definitely get tipsy off this experience. The whipped cream and marmalade by themselves are enough to knock you off your sober feet. To experience Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC, you’re escorted to a secret room behind a bookcase called the Green Room, a dimly lit hidden enclave few will notice if not paying attention.

Surrounded by bottles of alcohol, walls filled with photos of iconic, framed photos, and a vast library of infused spirits curated by Master Bartender and Advanced Sommelier Adam Seger, created with The Tuck Room’s Heizenberg machine, you and your guests will greatly enjoy this modern speakeasy’s secret room.

All this was enjoyed at the end of this adventurous evening. Our evening of Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC begun with some very interesting and amazing Heizenberg infused cocktails. We decided to go with whatever cocktails were placed in from of us by the wonderful and attentive bar staff, Adam called it “Autopilot”.

The cocktails we enjoyed included the DrinkupNY, consisting of Balsam Magnolia Blossom Oolong New York Aperitif Wine, Perrier, and lemon; a modern interpretation of a Sidecar, featuring an infusion of Luxe Pierre Ferrand, California Nectarines, Nutmeg, and Sage with a float of Prosecco on top; a libation inspired by an English cocktail with Ginger bitters, Chartreuse, Cognac, and Fresh Lemon Juice; and a cocktail infused with Tequila, Fresh Cherries, Pomegranate, and lime. Since man can’t live by cocktails alone, we dined on wonderful starters by James Beard Award-winning chef Sherry Yard.

REUBEN CROQUETTES

These savory balls of yumminess were the perfect foodie delights to begin our culinary journey with The Tuck Room NYC. Each bit is filled with delicious crispy pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and sits upon a “thousand island” sauce.

BRIOCHE CRUSTED CRAB CAKES

Just when I thought I’d tasted heaven with the Rueben Croquettes, the crab cakes, which featured Old Bay Remoulade, Frisée + Citrus Salad, and Yuzu Vinaigrette took that feeling to another level.

SPICED + SWEET PORK BELLY WRAPS

Last but not least on the foodie adventure before our sweet tooth journey begun was the above pork belly wraps featuring Butter Lettuce, Nuoc Cham Caramel, Limes, Radishes, Jalapeño, Fresno Chile Aioli, and Cilantro.

All this was enjoyed while sitting at the bar, listening to what could only be called as the perfect classic bar music, as episodes of BarTales (the new single-city documentary series featuring Dale DeGroff, Gaz Regan, Adam Seger, and David Wondrich) plays on the flat screen directly above. This entire evening felt like we crossed something off our bucket list. We promise you will enjoy everything about Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room. So if you’re looking for an amazingly delicious and intoxicating foodie experience, head over to the South Street Seaport and indulge in a night of Drunken Doughnuts at The Tuck Room NYC.

Verday Chlorophyll Water: Antioxidant & Cleansing Green Water

Welcome to the spring season, the time of renewals, rebirths, and spring cleaning. It is the time we purge ourselves of the things we don’t use or need anymore; a chance to make our lives a little lighter, a little less clogged. Of course what’s true for our wardrobes and apartments is very much true for our bodies. Could your body use a spring cleaning? But of course you do, we all could! We were recently introduced to Verday Chlorophyll Water, an antioxidant and cleansing, thirst-quenching water that provides the antioxidant and cleansing benefits of a green juice, and will help your body’s spring cleaning efforts.

Available in five delicious natural flavors: Blueberry, Watermelon, Coconut, Cucumber, and Lemongrass & Ginger, Verday has zero calories, zero diet sweeteners, zero preservatives, and is vegan, non-GMO, paleo, and gluten-free. The secret to Verday Chlorophyll Water is, of course, Chlorophyll, the nourishing green nutrient that allows plants to harness energy from the sun. Chlorophyll is considered a super food, it promotes healthy skin, it curbs your cravings for junk food and lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, helps to boost your immune system by promoting the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells in the body, and promotes healthy digestion.

As previously stated, Verday Chlorophyll Water comes in five flavors, the newest being Blueberry Chlorophyll Water (our favorite flavor), and is just the right blend of juicy sweet and fresh berry tart. The Lemongrass & Ginger Chlorophyll Water has a touch of zing and spice; the refreshing and natural Cucumber Chlorophyll Water is exhilaratingly crisp and cool; the Coconut Chlorophyll Water is refreshing and deliciously tropical, and the Watermelon Chlorophyll Water is sumptuously summer-esque.

Each bottle of Verday Chlorophyll Water is packed with 100mg of Chlorophyll, the same amount of Chlorophyll in two shots of wheatgrass, four cups of spinach, or twelve cups of arugula! Get a 12 pack of 16 oz. bottles of Verday Chlorophyll Water for $39.99 on www.drinkverday.com.

Restaurant Review: Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building

Going into midtown is not really the thing to do for New Yorkers unless you work in the area. We usually try to avoid the area, however, with a wonderful restaurant like French Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2 at the Solow Building, avoiding this area is not an option. What’s cool about the location of Brasserie 8 1/2 restaurant, given all the craziness around midtown, is the fact that you can retreat to the centrally located, spacious, and well-decorated haven for a well-prepared quick lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch.

The main street location of Brasserie 8 1/2 is great because not only is it near trains and office buildings, it’s not in the midst of clustered tourist hubs. On a fairly warm day, we headed away from the hustle and bustle of the noisy New York City streets to experience their sophisticated French cuisine. As soon as you head downstairs, you’ve entered in its quiet and serene open environment to enjoy a great culinary experience, courtesy of Chef Franck Deletrain, and an attentive staff.

Our culinary journey at Brasserie 8 1/2 started off with a few delightful wines, including a lovely Sancerre (French wine), crisp Chardonnay, and a sublime rose. They were the perfect pre-starters to wake up our taste buds for the onslaught of decadent french flavors we foodies were about to indulge in.

APPETIZERS

White Asparagus with Chanterelles Mushrooms, Fromage Blanc Flan, & Smoked Duck

DAVID: This was a delicate dish with distinct deep flavors. The smoked duck was buttery tender and its richness balanced nicely with the subtle tartness of the asparagus. The Fromage blanc flan was creamy, light and airy and surprisingly held its own against the pleasant earthy weight of the Chanterelles mushrooms and the smooth comforting texture of the white beans. It was like an eclectic garden farm remix dish.

GLASGOW: Because of my allergy to mushrooms, sadly I couldn’t partake in this dish but the look of content and satisfaction on David’s face said all I needed to know.

Grilled Octopus with Sunchokes Mousseline, Fingerling Potatoes, Espelette Pepper

DAVID: This was a melt-in-your-mouth freshness with a delicateness that octopus must have in order to be perfectly balanced with the fragrant charring. The sauces paired with it were savory and sweet adding nice opposing dimensions to the lovely neutrality of the octopus. The fingerlings added a nice familiar balance to the mélange of flavors with just a touch of creaminess.

GLASGOW: Every bite of this multi-textured appetizer was so flavorful. Octopus tends to be a bit gamey and chewy, but this perfectly grilled delight. I love the slight touch of nuttiness and sweetness the Sunchokes added to the dish, and the slight char on the octopus did not take away from its “melt-in-your-mouth” consistency. The Fingerling Potatoes added a touch of a rustic feel to the overall dish.

MAIN COURSES

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

DAVID: This dish was textural overload in a great way. The light crispy outer of the crab cakes fell perfectly into the soft sweet and tender inner. Take the sweet and briny notes and add them with tang and sharpness of the horseradish and pickled red onions for a refreshing tartar sauce remix that doesn’t overpower but adds a nicely artisanal element to this dish. The sea beans create a smooth edge to the briny properties of the dish. It was a lovely arrangement of accents for the crab cakes.

GLASGOW: Although I had one one bite of the crab cake (I was saving room for my own entree), the sweetness of the crabmeat will forever remain with me. Even now, my taste memory is remembering the perfectly crisp crust (not too crisp) and the light yet juicy interior. My favorite part? No sign of any oily or greasy residue was left on the tongue, just a mouthful of fresh, sweet crabmeat.

Grilled Lamb Chops

DAVID: This was a rustic yet refined dish that had familiar elements offered up in a refreshingly remixed way. The delicate coffee rub on the tender buttery chops lent the sharp vibrant and deep flavor of the coffee nicely to the gamey loveliness of the lamb. The grilling of the chop sealed the deal for a nice marriage of smoky flavors and aromatic textures. The fingerlings, tomatoes, and asparagus were pleasant and piquant and a good pairing with the organic nature of the grilled chop and the earthy rub that created an air of hearty elegance.

GLASGOW: I must say, the taste of this dish was not what I expected. The full dish includes Fingerling Potatoes, Green Asparagus, Coffee Rub, and Charred Tomato Relish. I was fully expecting to have the very distinct taste of coffee with every bite of this dish, but I was pleasantly surprised (I’m not really a fan of coffee but I was just going against my norm) to not even get a hint of coffee. The coffee rub actually gave the lamb chops a very rustic, earthy flavor, with the fingerling potatoes and charred heirloom tomatoes adding to its earthiness. Of course, the lamb chops themselves (which I got medium well) were perfectly charred and smoky. In a word – sublime!

DESSERTS

Warm Molten Chocolate Cake

DAVID: The softness of the cake is perfect and just airy enough to take on the smooth depth of the espresso ice-cream that created a rich creamy pleasantness when it hit the molten ebony center. The balance of bitter and sweet created a deep finish reminiscent of the espresso that often finishes a great meal.

GLASGOW: I always get chocolate deserts but wanted something different, so I passed on trying this dish but visually, it’s sinfully decadent, and David was very happy.

Bosc Pear Tartlette

DAVID: The tart is decadently sweet, creamy and smooth and a great compliment to the fragrant spicy cinnamon ice-cream and the nutty aromatic toasted slivers of almond. The indulgent pear and the woody accompaniments created quite a finish.

GLASGOW: An amazing and elevated take on the classic apple tartlette, this Bosc Pear Tartlette is a reward for your taste buds. It was heaven in every bite, not overly sweet, the crust not too crunchy or hard, and although we’re in full spring mode, I thoroughly enjoyed these fall flavors. The pairing of cinnamon ice cream and almond Frangipane with the pear gave the perfect nod to the fall season without being too heavy on the reference.

The stylish French Brasserie 8 1/2 is located at 9 W 57th St, just steps from Fifth Avenue. While satisfying and rewarding your palate on their sophisticated French cuisine, you will love the breathtaking original artwork by Léger, Matisse and others favored by the Louvre.

Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil: The All Season Hydrator

As one who has used an almost immeasurable amount of body moisturizers to keep our skin hydrated throughout the year and through the various and vastly different seasons, we can 100 percent say there is nothing like the hydrating and protective benefits of coconut oil. Of course, the best coconut oil to use is a high-quality one that leaves the raw nutrients intact; that coconut oil is 100% virgin coconut oil, Skinny & Co Coconut Oil.

Skinny & Co Coconut Oil is the only raw, 100% alkaline coconut oil in the world; it is made with hand-picked wild-Harvested, not plantation grown coconuts. What makes Skinny & Co Coconut Oil even more amazing is that is cold-processed, not just cold pressed, thanks to their patent-pending Nutralock System. You already know coconut oil has over a hundred uses. You can cook with it, substituting it for butter and other oils, condition your hair, Oil pulling, and of course use it as a moisturizer on your face and body.

You will immediately notice the difference between Skinny & Co Coconut Oil and other brands. It absorbs much better into your skin and keeps it hydrated and moisturized all day, even on the coldest winter days. We’ve been using Skinny & Co Coconut Oil for two seasons now and our skin couldn’t be happier. It’s become our go-to lip, scalp, and skin moisturizer, makeup remover, cuticle hydrator, and cooking oil.

The 100% raw coconut oil isn’t the only product we’re loving from Skinny & Co Coconut Oil. You’ll love the Coconut Oil Bar Soaps (available in five scents); the deeply hydrating Skinny Shampoo Bars that delivers intense hydration to your hair without creating excess oils (your hair will love you for this); the Whipped Body Butter that’s perfect to use as an all over moisturizer, hair mask or conditioner, or shaving cream; the Skinny & Co. Sugar Scrub, a pH balanced scrub that can be used as an all-over body exfoliant, prep for self-tanner, and as a lip scrub; and a Clarifying Moisturizing Facial Oil for blemish-prone and oily skin types. We know what you’re thinking – why would I put oil on my oily skin? This 100% oil moisturizer helps clarify and balance by removing impurities and congestion from the surface of the skin. These wonderful products are just some of the great skincare products from Skinny & Co, check out their site to see more.

Do you use coconut oil in your beauty or skincare regime? Are you looking to trying a great coconut oil? Don’t take our word for it, check out Skinny & Co’s customer reviews and see who else is loving their coconut oil.

New Restaurant Alert: Chefs Club Counter Launches in New York City

Attention foodies, there’s a new culinary haven now open in the iconic neighborhood of Soho, NYC. Encompassing the famed corner of Spring and Lafayette, at 62 Spring Street, is Chefs Club Counter, the first “fine-fast” concept brought to life by Stephane De Baets, the Belgian entrepreneur behind the game-changing restaurant group, Chefs Club.

Stephane de Baets

An off-shoot of Chefs Club, Chefs Club Counter will offer a quick and affordable fine food options for customers eager to partake in popular dishes from some of the world’s best chefs in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The menu, curated by Culinary Director Didier Elena, a 20-year Alain Ducasse alumnus, features select dishes available in a limited quantity for a limited time. We had the pleasure of indulging in Chefs Club Counter’s “fine-fast” food concept with the culinary geniuses Chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eggslut‘s Alvin Cailan, and George Mendes.

George Mendes

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alvin Cailan

The VIP preview of Chefs Club Counter’s decadent bites included possibly the most amazing burger we’ve ever tasted, the JG (Jean-Georges) Burger Sliders, Duck Rice, Grain Bowls, Tomato, and Stracciatella, and Wild Mushroom and Chicory Pizzas, and the celebrated LA favorite, Eggslut Crostini from Chefs Club Counter roster: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, George Mendes, Linton Hopkins, Magnus Hansson, and Eggslut’s Alvin Cailan.

As if these delectable bites weren’t heaven enough, the dishes were paired with Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé, which flowed throughout the evening, much to our delight. Almost 600 guests were in attendance to sample the exclusive and limited edition menu, including downtown’s creative luminaries enthusiastic foodies, neighbors, and influencers from all walks of life.

Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé – David White

We’re not sure how long the menu will remain the same but we highly recommend you head over to Chefs Club Counter try their delicious fare as soon as you possibly can.

Celebrate International Margarita Day with a “Margarita” Margherita Pizza

We have every intention of celebrating the upcoming International Margarita Day by drinking a round or two of delicious Margaritas but believe it or not, there are more ways to enjoying a margarita than just drinking one…….how about eating one. In celebration of International Margarita Day, February 22nd, Patrón Tequila has released the first-ever edible margarita pizza entitled the Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza. Alcohol-infused food is not new, we personally grew up on the alcohol-soaked black cake, but we’re seeing this food trend making a big resurgence in culinary markets we hadn’t before. Just last year we enjoyed Patrón Tequila-infused ice cream and popsicles at their National Tequila Day event.

Here’s what you need to know about this mindblowing and one-of-a-kind pizza:

This amazing bit of delicious food art is inspired by the signature Patrón margarita and was customized by Chef Michael Armstrong of upscale Mexican hotspot, Bodega Negra, located inside the trendy Dream Downtown Hotel. The $500.00 Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza is infused with Gran Patrón Platinum tequila (retail value, $200.00) and Patrón Burdeos (retail value, $500.00).  The colorful pizza pie boasts layers of the most insane, over-the-top toppings, such as Osetra caviar, black truffles, tomato, avocado, glazed lobster, and mango, both cooked in Patrón Burdeos, pickled onions, and crema-infused with Platinum Patrón. All perfectly layered on top of a thin, flour tortilla crust.

They say good things come to those who wait and anything good is worth waiting for, which is good because the Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza takes 45 minutes to create,  and it must be ordered two days in advance. Enjoying this medium-sized culinary journey is ideal for a group of  2-3 friends, preferably accompanied with an equally delicious Patron Tequila Margarita, like the Tropicante Margarita, created by Alexander Kady of Denver, Colorado, which we will highlight in our Patron Margarita write up.

 

Fair warning folks, you can only partake in this indulgence until International Margarita Day; after February 22nd, the limited edition, Platinum “Margarita” Margherita Pizza is gone for good. Are you up to indulging in this indulgent first ever “Margarita” Margherita Pizza?