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D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Battle for Cassoulet Supremacy: D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Some foods fill you with joy, some excite you, then there are the ones that bring you back home. For us, it’s Cassoulet; the hearty, slow-cooked casserole-like meal traditionally made with gamey meats, pork skin, and white haricot beans. Everything about cassoulet is a delight for the senses. It looks, smells and tastes divine, like home. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to attend the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War. What better way to try as many Cassoulets as our stomachs would allow. There’s a great quote by Chef Andre Daguin that perfectly describes our Cassoulet adventure,

“Cassoulet is not a recipe; it’s an argument between villages.”

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

The culinary event, which anyone who purchases a ticket can attend, boasted 30 notable chefs who battled it out for cassoulet supremacy. So while there is a classic method and recipe to this traditional southern French dish, it can have many interpretations. And that’s what the Cassoulet war is about, honoring those interpretations. While we grew up enjoying a thicker Cassoulet, the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War allowed us to enjoy varieties we never anticipated. We’d love to say we tried all 30 but even with the small portions we were served, we barely made it to 13. If we haven’t mentioned before (and if you’re unfamiliar), cassoulet is very filling.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

If you’re looking to enjoy the fare of esteemed chefs from some of the US’s most renowned restaurants, this event is for you. We enjoyed Cassoulet from the chefs from Bar Boulud, Gramercy Tavern, Untitled at the Whitney, Gaby Brasserie Française, Fond, Ardyn, Villanelle, and much more from around the US. There were two Cassoulet categories in the war. One pitted the chefs take of the traditional recipe and ingredients; the other allowed the chefs to be adventurous with the ingredients and format in the “Revisited” Cassoulet category. For example, instead of the traditional white haricot beans, we saw Black Eyed Peas and Sea Island Peas; andouille sausage, brown sugar baked ham, and bacon replaced a few gamey types of meat; and in one instance, the traditional Cassoulet was reimagined as Beef Wellington.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet WarD'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

During the war, each attendee had to vote for their favorite. As you can imagine, this was quite difficult. We had several favorites but narrowed it down to the following Cassoulets: Phillippe Lievre of Le Rendez-Vous Bistro, Ryan Lory of Ardyn, and Dieter Samijn of Bar Boulud as out top three out of the few we tried. I’m sure if our appetites were bigger, we’d absolutely have more on our list.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Judges for the war included Philippe Bertineau, David Campigotto, Erwan Caradec, Christian Constant, Jean-Louis Dumonet, Elizabeth Falkner, Christophe Fazan, Sara Moulton, Andre Soltner, Jean-Jacques Rachou, Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, and Antoine Westermann. Winners of the Cassoulet War included Chef Andy Knudson of Marc Forgione, winning the best “revisited” category;  Phillippe Lievre of Le Rendez-Vous Bistro, winning the People’s Choice, and Dieter Samijn of Bar Boulud, won the judges’ decision.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

As if the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War couldn’t get more amazing, D’Artagnan showed support in ending world hunger by making a donation to Action Against Hunger, a charity organization that helps to eradicate hunger worldwide.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Although we could barely move, we fully enjoyed attending the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War. We highly recommend you attend next year’s battle.

Restaurant Review: Greenwich Steakhouse in the West Village

We hope you’re ready to discover another amazing NYC restaurant because we have one for you. Welcome to our culinary journey of one of New York City’s leading steakhouses, Greenwich Steakhouse. They recently announced new brunch, lunch and dinner menus prepared by the new Executive Chef Oscar Reyes, which we had to experience for ourselves.

For those not familiar, Greenwich Steakhouse is a three-story restaurant located in the West Village. Casual diners can take a seat at the bar on the first floor. The second floor, the Blue Velvet room boasts beautiful, blue velvet high back chairs, seating for 40 and dreamy wall-sized artwork, and The Grand Reserve Room, located on the third floor is reserved for private parties. We settled on the Blue Velvet room for our foodie adventure. For this culinary journey, we enjoyed four courses and cocktails – starters, entrees, dessert, and a digestif.

COCKTAILS

Greenwich Steakhouse offers cocktails in a variety of categories: fruity, light and refreshing, light and smoky, stirred and boozy, and non-alcoholic. Our goal was to try cocktails from a few of the categories. We started off with the Lady Luck, a sweet and fruity blend of vodka, fresh raspberries, lemon, St. Germain, and champagne; the Greenwich Swizzle, a light and refreshing concoction that may look tropical but boasts a fall-ish flavor thanks to bitters, and is served in a frosted glass; the almost rustic Sazerac, a rye whiskey-based cocktail with an absinthe rinse; and the non-alcoholic and very refreshing Perry St mocktail.

STARTERS

PAN FRIED CALAMARI

Great calamari never disappoints and you’ll love the crisp yet succulent texture of this flavorful starter. Complimented with a warm, tangy sauce, you’ll devour every bite.

GREENWICH COLOSSAL CRAB CAKE

What you’re seeing above is half of one of the crab cake. Served sitting on a bed of creamy avocado, the combination of flavors was intensely phenomenal. We topped ours off with a bit of black pepper for a slight spark.

MAIN ENTREES

NEW YORK SIRLOIN

We have been thoroughly enjoying dry-aged steaks lately and this one was no exception. We requested our steak prepared medium well. The result was a tender steak with exquisite charring; it was mouthwateringly juicy yet and not at all chewy. In other words, perfect. We paired it with Greenwich Steakhouse’s Lobster Mac & Cheese and Creamed Spinach (see our Sides highlight below).

DOUBLE CUT VEAL PARMIGIANA

The delicious aroma rising from the dish was a clear indicator that this was about to be an unforgettable experience. Each tender bite of veal drenched in layers of sauce, aromatic spices and cheese was wonderfully satisfying. This is a must-have dish for any veal and cheese lover.

SIDE DISHES

LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE

We hope you’re ready for lobster mac and cheese with huge chunks of lobster in it because that’s exactly what you will be getting. Every spoonful yields lobster baked right in. The perfect fusion of down-home goodness with sophisticated flair.

CREAMED SPINACH

Sadly we didn’t get to get a photo of the spinach by itself but for good reason. the staff is so attentive that as soon as your food arrives, they begin to serve them on your plate. We caught the servers in time for the other dishes but the lobster mac and cheese distracted us. However, the Creamed Spinach definitely deserves its own fanfare. We loved that the Spinach wasn’t overly creamy or cheesy. The flavors, texture, and consistency were delightfully balanced.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

Rich in flavor, extra creamy in texture, this traditional side will have you reaching for multiple spoonfuls. The garlic was perfectly balanced without overpowering your other sides or main.

DESSERTS

TARUFO

If you’re going to try anything for the first time, this is the experience you want. This was our first time ever having a Tartufo and it was dessert heaven. The mash-up of two ice cream flavors, frozen cherries, caramel sauce, and the chocolate shell was almost too exquisite to devour, but we did.

TIRAMISU

An Italian dessert and coffee lover’s dream. If you love your ladyfingers truly soaked in coffee, you’ll love the Greenwich Steakhouse Tiramisu. Get ready for an explosion of rich flavors from the layers of mascarpone cheese, cocoa, and liqueur.

LIMONCELLO DIGESTIVO

After such a decadent meal, a digestivo is a must. The Limoncello cordial, an Italian lemon liqueur, is not only delicious, but it also aids in digestion. Though we may have had room for something else, ending our magnificent Greenwich Steakhouse journey with this cordial was sublime.

We highly recommend adding this upscale to your culinary list. Greenwich Steakhouse is located at 62 Greenwich Avenue; they are open Monday to Wednesday 5pm – 10pm, Thursday & Friday 5pm – 11:30pm, Saturday 5pm – 11:30pm, and Sunday 5pm – 10pm. For reservations, call (212) 553-5000 or book your table here.

 

 

Greenwich Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bokksu Tasting: An Evening with the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks

During the summer we introduced you to Bokksu, the ultimate foodie’s guide to Japanese snacks and a great gift idea for snack food lovers. Well, we’re back to remind you why it makes such a great gift during the holiday season; and to highlight meeting Bokksu Founder Danny Taing, the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks.

We enjoyed an evening of sushi, sake, and of course Bokksu snacks. We had the delicious opportunity to try some of Bokksu’s exclusive snacks, all of which are not available outside of Japan. It was wonderful to speak with fellow Bokksu fans, some of whom hold unboxing get-togethers, enjoy the variety of wonderful snacks; and meet the man behind the exclusive subscription snack box.

Some of the Japanese snacks we enjoyed include Green Tea Cream Sandwich, an assortment of Foliage Rice Crackers, Edamame Rice Crackers, Matcha Chocolate Covered Azuki Beans, Kinako Mochi, and Olive oil Salt Senbei.

Along with the above-pictured snacks, we also enjoyed exclusive snack reveals from their November and December holiday boxes. These artisan snacks included the White Chocolate Strawberry, the world’s first chocolate-infused strawberry. It is a delectable organic strawberry which has been carefully preserved with and infused with White Chocolate for a delicately tart and sweet confection, unlike anything you have tasted; handmade Apple Hard Candy, and Sweet Potato Langue De Chat.

Last but certainly not least was the Holiday Bokksu “Snow Festival” snack box, a Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. box featuring Hokkaido delicacies. The Holiday Bokksu is the first to feature a pristine white and gold box, with limited edition gourmet Bento boxes available. Hokkaido, due to its unique climate and agricultural focus, is renowned for its wide variety of gourmet cuisines and artisanal delicacies.

The December Bokksu features innovative new snacks including the Mimosa of Snow White Chocolate and Cheddar Cheese bars, alongside all-star favorite Bokksu classics such as the White Strawberry (pictured above). Delicate melt in your mouth savory snacks includes the Milk Mochi and the Potato Butter Rice Crackers. The Holiday Bokksu also includes their brand new private label Mikon Orange Candy and a warming Hojicha Green Tea Latte pairing from gourmet maker Hoshino. You can purchase the holiday Bokksu as a subscription or by itself.

The Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. with a collectible Bento box – $79.00
The Classic Bokksu – $39.00 (less with subscription)
Tasting Bokksu – $25.00 (less with subscription)

What do you think of these delicious snack offerings from the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks? Will Bokksu be added to your holiday gift list for the foodies in your life?

RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Pulperia Upper East Side Rustic Latin Cuisine

Three years ago, blogger buddy, Christine Ongsueng, an I had the pleasure of reviewing La Pulperia Hell’s Kitchen. It’s only fitting that we return to experience the menu of the La Pulperia Upper East Side location. Seafood savvy Upper East Siders have known about La Pulperia Upper East Side for four years. Now that the 2nd Avenue line is in full swing, it’s easy for everyone else to get to the restaurant– it’s right off of the 86th St. stop. Join us as we share our second experience from Chef/Owner Carlos Barroz and Victor Medina.

Atmosphere

Unlike its sister location, the La Pulperia Upper East Side is spacious and airy, yet inviting and cozy. Named and designed after the general stores or pulperias of South America, the decor features accents of reclaimed Brazilian wood and handcrafted tiles from Mexico lining the bar floor.


The front and bar area is a great meeting place for friends while the tables in the back make for a great date night option. The staff is as attentive as they are beautiful but you won’t have to worry about them hovering. Dining at La Pulperia assures you for a night of complete sensory satisfaction. Our dining experience consisted of wonderful libations, delectable starters, and mouthwatering entrees. Unfortunately, we were too full for dessert

Cocktails

The Coquito Passion


Christine: For something refreshing and lightly fruity, you can’t go wrong with The Coquito Passion. Made with Bacardi Silver, Don Q Coconut Rum, passion fruit puree, agave nectar, and topped off with a sprig of mint, it’s like a tropical paradise in a glass. I can’t ever resist anything that mixes up rum, passion fruit, and agave. It was the perfect drink to imbibe on a balmy September night.

Upper East Side Lady

Glasgow: In celebration of the ending of summer, we wanted a cocktail that was slightly sweet yet a bit tart. The elegant Upper East Side Lady cocktail was a perfect choice. Featuring Strawberry infused gin, Elder Flower liquor, lavender nectar, and Gold flakes, this lightly floral cocktail was a great choice to start our evening.

Starters

Lobster Taquitos


Christine: I usually shy away from things that are described as spicy but the operative, and convincing word here, was lobster. I love lobster and I was eager to try it enveloped in a crispy wonton taquito with some avocado cream and grilled pineapple. There is a bit of a kick to these due to the spicy Kewpie mayo. However, the citrus juices from the pineapple along with the equalizing and smooth avocado cream helped to offset the spiciness.

Glasgow: The seafood lover in me was in pure bliss. The combination of creamy avocado and spicy Kewpie mayo, the smoky sweetness of grilled pineapple, and fresh lobster was divinely enhanced with a generous squeeze of lemon. Although this starter was delicious on its own, the zest of lemon added another dimension to its flavor.

Fried Oysters


Christine: Determined to train my palette to more spicy dishes, we ordered this appetizer containing 5 black ink tempura-covered oysters that sit on top of a small dollop of spinach cream and topped with chipotle mayo, blue cheese, and scallions photogenically cradled in a shell-shaped serving dishes. Who would have thought that oysters would go so well with an almost mousse-like spinach topping? Be forewarned that the lightness of the spinach cream and mayo can be a bit deceiving. While contemplating the complex mix that overwhelms the blackened oysters, the spiciness permeates your taste buds and lingers long after you’re done. For my next helping, I made sure to squeeze some lemon on top to cut back on the spicy mayo’s attack… then again I could be just a wimp.

Glasgow: I have to admit that I had never tried fried Oysters before but I am so happy that La Pulperia Upper East Side was my first foray into this delicacy. As a fan of spice and spicy foods, every bite was bursting with the right amount of heat and flavor. The flavor and texture layers of Black ink tempura, cream spinach, blue cheese, and chipotle mayo is an exciting feast for your taste buds. I must also comment on our slight addiction to the amazing cream spinach the fried oysters are plated on. I can enjoy it on and with just about everything.

Entrees

Mocqueca Mixta


Christine: If you’re like me and you tend to have a problem deciding what to get, then this bowl’s for you. It’s a little bit of everything– mussels, squid, shrimp, white fish, bacalao, chorizo, soybeans, and green coconut rice mixed with dende oil and all cooked to perfection in a creamy curry. This flavorful dish is the heart of La Pulperia, seemingly simple but refined. Every dip into the bowl will find your utensil of choice (be it a fork, spoon, or bread) with a generous helping of any of the main ingredients swimming in the coconut milk based curry. Though the green coconut rice is a side, it is very much worthy of praise all on its own. I could have eaten an entire big bowl of it. It’s the best compliment to the stew, bringing out the unique flavors of both the seafood and the chorizo.

12oz Hanger Steak w/ Spinach Mac & Cheese & French Fries

Glasgow: Since our starters were seafood, I decided to switch it up and try the La Pulperia Upper East Side 12oz Hanger Steak. This succulent and mouthwatering steak comes with great rustic sides including spinach mac & cheese, grilled broccoli rabe, and chimichurri sauce. The spinach mac & cheese was so amazing we ordered another and paired it with a side of french fries. Every bite a foodie’s dream. The variety of aromas, flavors, and textures tantalizes and hypnotizes you before even taking a bite and I happily surrendered.

Much like the Hell’s Kitchen location, our experience of La Pulperia Upper East Side was a dream. From the ambiance, staff, cocktails, and food. We were in culinary heaven from start to finish. We highly recommend treating yourself to this great rustic Latin restaurant.

 

 

La Pulperia - 2nd Ave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc: The World’s Largest All-White Dinner Party

We’re sure many of you have attended an all-white party or at least an all-white get together with friends and family; but have you ever attended an all-white dinner with over 6,000 people? That is the concept of Le Diner en Blanc, the world’s largest all-white dinner party. The legendary all-white French-inspired pop-up dinner has become THE culinary event of the year in the U.S. and cities around the world. This year over 130,000 people in 80 cities across 30 countries will partake in this global dining event.

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc NYC – Eric Vitale Photography

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc NYC – Eric Vitale Photography

The spontaneous and secretive dinner event is held at iconic public spaces whose locations are revealed only at the last minute. Dressed head-to-toe in chic white, diners will gather at the iconic undisclosed location to dine and dance under the stars. New York was the first city in the U.S. to host Le Diner en Blanc and on September 17th, the wildly popular all-white dining experience will make its return to New York City for its the 8th consecutive year.

In an exciting first, renowned chef and Michelin Star recipient restaurateur, Marc Forgione (you may be familiar with his eponymous restaurant, Marc Forgione, and his steakhouse, American Cut) will be curating four special picnic baskets for guests in New York who order through Le Diner en Blanc.

We had the opportunity to speak to Chef Forgione about his menu for the event and his first experience with Diner en Blanc (the answer to our latter question will be answered after the event). We posed the following questions:

  1. How did he select the menu for Diner en Blanc?
    • Chef Forgione has four meal options planned for Diner en Blanc. Each unique that will offer something for all. The first is built about things NYC is known for – Pastrami Spiced Ribeye, rye bread, and black & white cookies. The 2nd is for seafood lovers and will feature Chili Lobster, spicy rolls, etc. Vegetarians will love the 3rd option featuring Sri Lankan veggie curries, delicious dipping sauces, etc. Last but not least, a meal with all white foods to match the event – chicken in a creamy white sauce, white mac & cheese, onion puree, etc. You’ll just have to attend to see for yourself.
  2. Was there any dish he’d be apprehensive about serving because of the event’s color theme?
    • Unlike us, Chef Forgione is not worried about getting stains on your white outfit. Only that you’re enjoying the food.
  3. We asked about the pop-up he did for the U.S Open
    • Guests of the US Open had the opportunity to enjoy the signature dishes of his steakhouse, American Cut in celebration of the US Open’s 50th anniversary, including the above mentioned Pastrami Spiced Ribeye and Chili Lobster.
  4. Any plans for Chef residences or kitchen takeovers in other restaurants?
    • While there are no current plans for chef residences, Chef does have something big planned. Sadly we have to wait patiently to find out.
  5. Any plans to appear on another cooking show?
    • Although there are no plans, he’s open to any opportunities but notes that he is “just happens to be a chef that won a contest”. We love chefs that are passionate about their craft who basically go by food first and foremost attitude. You can always taste the love they have in their cooking.
  6. Favorite dish to eat or prepare.
    • Basically what he offers at his restaurants. He cooks what he loves and offers what he loves. That’s a big bravo from us. We knew a fashion company owner who always stated if you don’t wear your own product, why should anyone else. We feel the applies here.

Cooking fans may recognize Chef Forgione as the youngest winner of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef”, Season 3. At just 31 years old he is the youngest winner in the show’s history. He is also one of the Iron Chefs on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. His father Larry Forgione is a culinary legend who revolutionized American-style cooking in the ’70s and ’80s.

Forgione noted, “I’m excited to be a part of one of the biggest, most sensational events in the world. I’ve always heard that Le Dîner en Blanc is an unparalleled and revolutionary experience and I can’t wait to contribute some of my signature dishes and inventive flavors to the party!”

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc NYC – Hal Horowitz Photography

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc NYC – Hal Horowitz Photography

Official local partners of the 8th edition of Le Dîner en Blanc New York include Champagne Jacquart and The Knot. While Luxury Retreats, Sofitel and ONEHOPE are the 2018 Le Dîner en Blanc U.S. national partners. Le Diner en Blanc is by invitation only, traditionally issued by friends and those who have participated in the past. Or just join their very long waiting list. We had some burning questions we needed answers to and connected with one of the organizers, Peter Kohlmann. Check it out below:

  1. What can a first-time attendee expect from Diner en Blanc?
    • The experience of attending a Diner en Blanc is so unique and magical in part because the evening unfolds as a true “Pop-Up” French picnic with the individual expression of creativity sprinkled throughout the secret location. From the very beginning, guests see the beauty of a public space transform its self into a beautiful setting for dinner and dancing. As a first time attendee, my strongest suggestion in making the logistics of attending manageable is to plan, practice and pack light! A first-time attendee needs to remember, they are bringing everything to the location – AND taking everything with them at the end of the night. You can be creative but also smart in how you transport your things.
  2. Why the color white? Why not blue, yellow, or rotating color options?
    • The color white mass is such a serene and beautiful non-color. When you look at the guests and everyone is dressed in white, we all become the one. It creates an aura around an atmosphere that is lively and fun.
  3. What’s the most outrageous thing that has happened at Diner en Blanc? or favorite moment?
    • Every Diner en Blanc is unique to its setting, city and time of year. For New York, our guests bring the very best of table decor, fashion, and culinary creativity. Outrageous is a hard word to pin down when talking about Diner. From an actual working carousel centerpiece which served the guests their food as it spun, to guests wearing light-up clothing that sparkle when the sun sets, it’s all amazing to see.
  4. How far in advance do you have to plan each Diner en Blanc?
    • Shortly after we close the books on one year, we begin planning the next. It’s a huge event with a lot of logistics associated with it and our goal every year is to give our guests the most unique and inspiring experience we can.

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc

Le Diner en Blanc NYC – Hal Horowitz Photography

The event has become a beloved tradition across the country, with new cities joining the adventure every year. In some cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Le Diner en Blanc has become THE social gathering of the year. Four international cities have joined the party this year: Toowoomba in Australia, South Georgian Bay and Trois-Rivières in Canada, and Madrid, Spain. Five new countries: Santiago in Chile, Cartagena in Colombia, Havana in Cuba, Taipei in Taiwan, and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania have joined as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Diner en Blanc International Inc.
Restaurant Review: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

Restaurant Review: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

A little over a year ago we had the pleasure of attending the opening of Chefs Club Counter, the first “fine-fast” concept. Recently, we enjoyed dining at its counterpart, Chefs Club New York, an innovative restaurant concept which features a rotating cast of chefs as part of their Chef-in-Residence series. We love this concept because it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the culinary talents of multiple chefs without having to travel all over the country. Chefs Club New York is currently on its fourth Chef-in-Residence, Abraham Conlon, co-owner of Chicago-based Fat Rice. We had the pleasure of experiencing the menu from this casual eatery (founded in 2012) that focuses on a global food exploration of the modest traditions of Macau and prepared with a respect for ritual, custom, and technique. So join us as we explore the wondering cuisine of Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York.

Fat Rice at Chefs Club New YorkRestaurant Review: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

For those of you not from Chicago, Fat Rice explores and shares interpretations of heritage recipes from Lusophone cultures found along historic spice trade routes of the maritime Portuguese. To enjoy the full menu you’d have to go to Chicago but there are lots of delightful options to indulge in at Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York. to start things off, we found our way to The Ladies Room, an intimate setting where you can indulge in a unique drinking experience. This completely red room features cocktails that highlight both global and Midwestern flavors through house-made infusions, elixirs, and potions. You will find dishes from Macau, Malacca, Azores, Portugal, Goa, and Madeira.

The Ladies Room at Chefs Club New York The Ladies Room at Chefs Club New York The Ladies Room at Chefs Club New York

This gorgeous red room at Chefs Club New York offers a variety of creative cocktails, rare wines, and decadent sipping spirits. We love their concept of cocktail sharing between two and four people. The single-serve cocktails on the menu include Moonshoes (Ford’s Gin, Umeboshi Vinegar, Elderflower Tonic),  Side Hustle (Ming River Baijiu, St. George Terroir Gin, St. George Rye Gin, Punt e Mes), and O’Porto (Quinta do Infantado 10 year Tawny, House made Ginjinha, House made Shiso-Cumin Bitters). The large format (sharing) cocktails include the Thunderdome For Two (Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Two James Dr. Bird, Allspice Dram, Fernet Branca, Gingerbeer) and the Burning Bird For Four (Santa Teresa Anejo, Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Plantation Pineapple Rum, Contratto, Amaro Lucano). Since we were not a quartet, we decided on the Thunderdome (pictured below)

It was the perfect way to awaken our taste buds for the meal that would soon follow. Check out our Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York Instastories for more behind the scenes of The Ladies Room and this cocktail. We couldn’t help but think of (and sing) that 1980’s song “Meeting in the Ladies Room” by Klymaxx. You may be wondering why is it called the Ladies room, it turns out at the Fat Rice Chicago location, this not-so-secret room is right by the ladies room. It’s a fact that we women do go the ladies room in packs, so why not create a true escape, with cocktails, when we need one. Because this is a limited run Chef-in-Residence, the entire Fat Rice menu wasn’t available but we promise you will love the options.

APPETIZERS

Bacalhau da Vovó

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

This divine combination of house-cured salt cod (many know this as salt fish or bacalao) spread, topped with black olives, chili and mint, and served with Papo Seco (Portuguese bread) was something we were anticipating ever since we first laid eyes on the Fat Rice menu. And it did not disappoint! Every bite was a memory of growing up near the beach, carefree days in the Caribbean and home cooked meals. Seasoned to perfection, we hope to find a way to talk Chef Abraham Conlon into offering this as a main dish because we could have happily wolfed down a second or third helping.

Presunto + peaches

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

Don’t let the simplicity of this dish of Fermin Iberico ham, basil, and burnt vinegar fool you. It is bursting with a wonderful combination of sweet, juicy, and slightly salty flavors that both delight and entice your palate. Trust us when we say this will go down quickly.

MAIN ENTREES

Pork Cheek

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

If you’re a fan of Vindaloo, the Indian curry dish, you’re going to love this spicy vindalho eurasian achar with charred scallions. We paired it with the delightful coconut rice (see below) and every bite of this staple pork dish was delicious and wonderfully peppery. This is what our palettes were waiting for. If you love your meals with a kick, this is a must. We also loved the resulting flavor from eating it with the raba raba.

Po Kok Gai

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

If you are ordering this, make sure you order a side or two of the Portuguese bread to go with the coconut rice. Dipping that delicious warm bread into creamy, savory decadence is almost life changing. Those of you who don’t like spicy foods will be happy to hear it isn’t spicy although we’d love if it had a little kick. This dish boasts fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs with chouriço, potatos, tomatoes, a hen egg, coconut curry, sao jorge, and topped with black olives.

SIDES

Coconut Rice

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

The mild flavor and touch of slight sweetness of this rice, topped with fried shallots and sesame seeds, is a wonderful base to enjoy the multilayered flavors of Fat Rice’s dishes. The best part,it literally goes with everything.

Raba Raba

Food Photography: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

This earthy side dish boasts a collection of stir-fried mixed seasonal greens, balichāo, and trumpet mushroom (although we skipped on the mushrooms). Believe it or not, it’s is incredibly flavorful on its on but doesn’t compete with the flavors of the main dishes. Definitely a must. Vegetarians will especially love it.

DESSERT

Chocolate Mousse

Food Photography: Chocolate Mousse Dessert: Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

There’s nothing about this dessert that we can tell you that this above photo doesn’t showcase. It is as delicious as it is beautiful. If you’re a fan of coffee-based desserts, this is for you. The mousse features single origin são tomé beans, coffee streusel, and madeira gelée. It’s one of the most popular desserts at Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York. You can clearly see why.

Bebinca

Food Photography: Coconut Custard at Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

We couldn’t go to a restaurant with a Portuguese influence without trying the traditional baked coconut custard. Every spoonful divine (and licked clean). This is another dish you may end up getting two of. It is just that creamy and delicious.

DECOR

Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

Located in the iconic Puck Building, Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York is located in Nolita. In three months, another out of this world chef will take over the kitchen for several months to offer everyone a unique culinary experience.

Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York

One of our favorite design details of Chefs Club New York (aside from the breathtaking Ladies Room) is the humongous Pink Himalayan salt boulder encased in glass above the bar and the map showcasing all the territories that has inspired the Fat Rice menu. For more information about Fat Rice at Chefs Club New York, visit www.chefsclub.com and definitely make a reservation to indulge.

 

 

 

Chefs Club by Food & Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

NYC Mexican Restaurants

Is Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde the Best Brunch in NYC?

We had the great pleasure of finding out for ourselves. Join us as we regale the tale of the very indulgent culinary journey we took to find out if the new Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde is the best Sunday brunch you will ever experience. If you are not yet familiar, Vida Verde is a Mexican-inspired cocktail bar tucked away in the sometimes stiff neighborhood of midtown west. To say it is a colorful and most welcomed oasis in the middle of a concrete desert is an understatement. Honestly, you can get lost in the eye-catching colors and striking artwork that makes up the decor. Let’s put it this way, imagine walking into a secret room of a grey house filled with every bold color imaginable……that is what we thought when we arrived at Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde Cocktail Bar.

The Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde promised a fantastic line up of specialty cocktails by Vida Verde’s star bartenders, a Mezcal tasting, an amazing taste of their brunch specialties menu including tacos, tortas, small dishes, and desserts. It did not disappoint! First up was delicious cocktails that celebrated the colors of the rainbow. We indulged in the Mango & Habanero Margarita, Paloma de Tamarindo, Classic Frozen Margarita, Red Sangria, and the amazing Juna Punch Wonder Punch Bowl which is as delicious as it is vibrant. We enjoyed these wonderful libations with a round of light bites including Chips, Salsa and Guacamole….to start.

After we were properly soused with our starter cocktails, it was time for the Mexcal tasting. We learned all about the cultivation, harvesting, cooking, fermenting, and distilling processes of some of Mexico’s leading Mezcal brands. Some of which we got to sample. Vida Verde actually offers classes on spirits daily, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about your favorite alcohol or get to know a new one, Vida Verde is the place to be.

After the Mezcal Tasting, we went into full-on brunch mode. The Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde menu is decadent. You will enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless brunch and a pinata at two price levels. For $40.00, you can enjoy a brunch entree and bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Beer or Cava. For $50.00, you also get a brunch entree and bottomless Margaritas or Micheladas, and Palomas. Speaking of entrees, the choices are vast for Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde. Feast your eyes on some of what’s available to enjoy:

The extensive brunch menu features so many choices. Some of Vida Verde’s Boozy Brunchacha brunch menu items we enjoyed included Chilaquiles, Mexican Poutine, Grilled Steak Fajitas, Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Torta, Avocado smash on Tortilla, and Garden Frittata, many of which are pictured above and below. Our most gluttonous moment came when we first laid eyes on the Aztec Pancakes. The word divine doesn’t begin to do justice to how delicious this banana, brown sugar, cocoa, and whipped cream delight, so we’ll just let you droll over the below photo and tell you to visit Vide Verde to experience it for yourself.

As we previously stated, your boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde experience comes with a pinata, making your time there even more wonderful.

While you are no doubt enjoying your boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde surrounded by the amazing artwork, let the spirit of Frida Kahlo inspire you to explore Vida Verde’s newly opened Rooftop Margarita Market. This hidden oasis boasts a stunning handpainted mural by renowned artist, Victor “Marka27” Quinonez, wonderfully colorful decor and a menu that promises 10 flavor varieties of margaritas. This is no surprise since Vida Verde is known to have the largest Mezcal and Tequila selections in NYC.

So to answer our question, there is no doubt this is the best brunch we’ve experienced. But don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself.

The Tuck Room’s Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas Cocktail Experience

The holiday season is a time of boundless festivities and activities to celebrate. While there are several childhood activities we have enjoyed as an adult during the holidays, none was as amazing as enjoying the Twelve Days of Christmas as told through specialty cocktails. We were back at our favorite modern Speakeasy, The Tuck Room for their Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas cocktails. You may remember we celebrated National Doughnut Day with an evening of their Drunken Doughnuts, an experience you can enjoy every Thursday night, and one we highly recommend.

The Tuck Room NYC’s Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas cocktails (there are actually fourteen because The Tuck Room give you three options for Three French Hens) includes (feel free to sing along). Our livers wouldn’t allow us to partake in all, but we did enjoy quite a few:

DAY 1: Partridge in a Pear Tree – St George ‘Terroir’ Spruce Tip Gin, Heirloom Pears, Genepy Alpine Liqueur

DAY 2: Two Turtle Doves

Sour Mash Bourbon, Deconstructed Turtle Chocolates

DAY 3: Three French Hens

Calvados, Cognac, Armagnac, Almond Financiers, Bouche de Noel, Coconut Rochers

DAY 4: Four Calling Birds – Wild Turkey 101, Redbreast 12 Year Irish Whisky, Eagle Rare Bourbon, Whistle Pig Rye (when pigs fly), Crispy Duck Skin, Quatre Epices

DAY 5: Five Golden Rings – Homemade Goldschlager

DAY 6: Six Geese a Laying –  Grey Goose, Nutmeg, Almond Eggs

DAY 7: Seven Swans a Swimming – Seagrams 7 Crown Whisky, Smoked Salmon, White Grapefruit, Fennel, White Pepper

DAY 8: Eight Maids a Milking – Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, Buratta, Pesto

DAY 9: Nine Ladies Dancing

Appleton Female Master Distiller Year Rum, Ron Zacapa Female Master Blender Rum, Grenada Three Sisters Distilled Rhum Agricole, Nine Exotic Citrus

DAY 10: Ten Lords a Leaping – Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Scotch, Laird’s 100 Proof Apple Brandy, Honeycomb, Winter Spices

DAY 11: Eleven Pipers Piping – Balsam Rose Vermouth, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Syrup, Rhum, Cherries

DAY 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Dewar’s 12 Year Old, A Dozen different Holiday Treats

Our journey through the Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas started with The Tuck Room’s Adam Seger having us experience the very essence of each specialty blend via liquid nitrogen. Check out our reaction to DAY 5: Five Golden Rings, made with Homemade Goldschlager (di you see the beautiful golden shimmer?)

Before all this begun, Adam and his amazing team warmed us up with three delicious libations, the DrinkupNY cocktail, a blend of Balsam white Magnolia Blossom Elderflower, New York Aperitif wine, and a housemade tonic; The Kiss cocktail, featuring House-infused lemon berry vodka, rare tea cellar lemon berry tea, Aperol, fresh lemonade, and naughty mint; and lastly a not-so-classic Mulled Apple cider (check them out below):

In between cocktails, we feasted on Reuben Croquettes, “K-Town” Short Rib Sliders, and Brioche Crusted Crab Cakes.

Last, but certainly not least, because all of this happened on a Thursday night, that only meant one thing – DRUNKEN DOUGHNUTS!!!! Our already decadent night of Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas cocktails ended with indulging in Underwest Donuts Lavender, Chocolate, and Peppermint donuts. These donuts were accompanied by Bourbon Dulce de Leche, Boozy Chocolate Sauch with Dark Rum and Red Wine, Beth’s Black Raspberry Jam spiked with Campari, and Boozy Whipped Cream with Cardamon Syrup, Boyd & Blair 151 proof.

It was the perfect ending to an almost indescribable and incredibly wonderful experience. Although Christmas has come and gone, there is still time to enjoy The Tuck Room’s Twelve Heizenbergs of Christmas cocktail experience, but once the limited edition blends are gone, those curated cocktails are gone. And of course, Drunken Doughnuts can still be enjoyed every Thursday.  For more information, visit www.thetuckroom.com.