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Holiday Sneak Preview: The 2018 Holiday Menu at Rosa Mexicano

Rosa Mexicano knows how to create a perfect celebration menu for each and every event in your life. Which is GREAT – because every month brings forth a new exciting reason to celebrate!  December is flush with holidays with meals suited for gatherings of friends and family, and Rosa is fully prepared for you to leave the meal planning up to them this year! You may recall the beauty of their Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) menu we highlighted back in October. Those rich flavors! The aromas! The bright florals decorating every course of the meal! The deliciously spooky and flavor-packed punch! If you liked that menu, you will love that we were invited to a very first taste of their December Holiday Menu – at my very first and most-favorite Rosa Mexicano location – Lincoln Center!

I love the Lincoln Center location so much because it was my very first Rosa Mexicano experience. It was here that I first fell in love with Rosa Mexicano. The restaurant is beautifully and classically designed with a modern, colorful twist. Large portrait windows on both floors let the bright light of the Lincoln Center area in. Framed by a beautiful staircase connecting two floors with ceramic divers leaping from 30-foot iridescent water wall. The ambiance is absolutely everything when it comes to holiday dining experiences. We had the pleasure of meeting Rosa Mexicano’s Regional Executive Chef Joe Quintana whose holiday menu was a delight to enjoy.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

The Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu is designed to feature the authentic flavors of Mexico around holiday time. Pulling traditional Mexican meals from local areas, that will delight your guests whether they be friends in town or visiting family joining you for the holiday season in New York City.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

This special menu begins with one of the best holiday punches I have had in some time. Ponche de Granada is an incredibly flavorful sangria-style punch that mixes smoky mezcal with pomegranate,  a touch of vermouth, a generous dash of Campari for a citrusy note, and cava wine. The spotlight of this cocktail comes in the form of a glass generously rimmed with avocado leaf salt. Avocado leaf salt has so many interesting additional notes of citrus and exotic spices well-suited for the pomegranate and mezcal that the punch is a firework of flavor that carries you throughout every preceding dish offered on the menu.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Our first course – a zesty Pozole Rojo – features a delicious braised pork and Hominy soup in a clear tomato broth base, infused with chile, green herbs, and roasted garlic. The clear tomato broth is poured onto the hominy and pork after it’s placed at your table. For those not in the know, Hominy is a type of corn that I found was the perfect showcase item in this soup. As a hominy first -timer, I was pleased. It added a hearty level of comfort to the soup without taking away from the robust pork, chile, and tomato flavors.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Crunchy El Jefe Fish Tacos were the up next – a promised crowd favorite – Mini tacos featuring a White flake fish sprinkled with the most flavorful bits of bacon, tiny chunks sweet potato, topped with mildly pickled, not-too-intense red onion that adding sweetness and crunch to each bite. Perfection with a squeeze of lime.

As we continued to the third course, sampling of each entree, we were impressed with how distinct and delicious each was.  Each complimented the next. You’ll want to try a bit of each yourself, and your friends and family will definitely want to share in the experience!

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

The first entree, Filete con Hongos, is a perfectly prepared Filet Mignon, served on a bed of mushrooms sauteed in a tequila cream sauce. Our knives sliced effortlessly through the filet with each bite; sizzling on the outside and a warm and rosy pink center.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

If poultry is your preference, the Mexican style achiote rubbed half rotisserie chicken Medio Pollo Pibil is for you. Generously rubbed with smoked paprika and achiote, a red seasoning traditionally used in Mexico, throughout South America and the Caribbean.  The results were so juicy and tender that I very boldly asked the chef for his secrets! Served with a side of A-MA-ZING paprika dusted roasted potatoes in a cream sauce, and an ample amount of habanero red onions for every bite of the meal, made this a hearty and flavorful option.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

This final entree is a personal favorite because It reminds me of many family gatherings in seasoning and presentation. A delicious fish dish, Pescado a la Veracruzana. Featuring a generous amount of pan seared white fish, smothered in a classic sauce of tomato, fried capers,  garlic, and roasted peppers. It is so good. Paired with grilled asparagus, this dish hits all the right notes of Old World, and New World – savory but not too heavy, with a bright snap of grilled greens and olive oil.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

For dessert, Mexican Cookies and Milk; featuring traditional house baked Polvorones, traditional Mexican cookies in two flavors, Pomegranate and Chocolate, paired with chilled Horchata, a delicious nog-like Mexican drink sprinkled with cinnamon and vanilla!

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Since we enjoyed the Ponche Granada so much, we had to pay our compliments to Courtenay Greenleaf, the Master Mezcalier who curated the exotic punch. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or year’s end victory, Rosa Mexicano wants to put the ‘Feliz’ in your celebration.  Happy Holidays Ahead!

The Rosa Mexicano 2018 holiday menu is available exclusively on December 24th and 25th, from  12-9pm.

 

 

 

 

 

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER

Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar Returns to NYC

As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, and this perfectly describes Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar, a celebration of the 20s-inspired cocktail bar. We had the pleasure of attending the Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar’s return to New York, the final leg on the multi-city tour. We were in for a night full of vintage, apothecary cocktails (slightly modernized) created by the event’s mixologist, Kenyon Aubin Oster.

Everyone loves a great pop-up bar and Eataly USA brought the best of vintage cocktails and the amazing The Great Bitter Bar, across the U.S.! Cocktail lovers were able to follow the spirited “Grand Tour” to experience these exclusive signature cocktails created by Eataly and its bitter producers such as Fernet-Branca, who shares the values of tradition and quality as the eatery. Paired with some of Eataly’s most delicious pizzas, we enjoyed five amazing cocktails, Fernet-Branca-style.

Inspired by the roaring 20s and the Art Nouveau period, The Great Bitter Bar is a pop-up bar that will be hosted at all Eataly USA locations during the year. The menu is dedicated to vintage, apothecary cocktails with the iconic herbal flavors of Fernet-Branca, which has been crafted according to a secret family recipe in Milan since 1845. The Great Bitter Bar held its final pop-up bar experience in the Big Apple at Eataly NYC Downtown. The cocktails, pictured below, included the Ferneta-groni, the Toronto, Fernet Me Not, Fernet Cola, and the Milano 75.

While they were all unique and delicious in their own way, we had an absolute favorite. But first, let us tell you about each cocktail. We love Negroni (our Negroni Week activities prove that), so we love this more robust version which for lack of a better word, seemed more masculine than the classic Negroni; sweet cocktail fans will love the slight syrupy sweetness of the Toronto; love ginger beer? Then the Fernet Me Not is for you. We loved the refreshing effervescence and subtle sweetness of this cocktail; if you love a cocktail that really plays up the herbal-ness of Fernet-Branca, the Fernet Cola, made with the famed Italian cola, Mole Cola; lastly is the Milano 75, the Italian version of the French 75. This was our favorite cocktail by far; deliciousness in a glass and a cocktail we’d love to have again….soon.

The pop up launched at the beginning of this year at Eataly NYC Flatiron on January 29th and ran until February 11th. In Chicago, the bar made its Midwest debut from March 19th to April 1st; it was at Eataly in Boston from May 14th – 27th and Eataly L.A. took place from June 18th – June 30th.

Each location featured a specially crafted cocktail unique to that city. We thoroughly enjoyed the Ferneta-groni. The recipe for this not-so-classic take on the classic Negroni cocktail is below:

1 1/2oz of Malfy Gin Originale
1 1/2oz of Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz of Fernet-Branca
stirred, up

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?

Rosa Mexicano Celebrates Day of the Dead with a Special Menu

Tomorrow is more than just Halloween; it is the beginning of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos. In honor of Mexico’s holiday remembering and honoring the dead, we partook in Rosa Mexicano’s Night of Spirits; a special evening of savory food, exotic drinks paired with desserts, with entertainment by Agave L’Amour and DJ jojoSoul. Known for serving New Yorkers authentic and innovative Mexican cuisine since 1984, we were beyond excited to enjoy an evening at Rosa Mexicano Union Square, where they are serving a special Day of the Dead menu at all 11 locations nationwide from Oct. 31st through Nov 4th. The menu will not only honor your loved ones, it will celebrate the memory of Rosa Mexicano Founder, Josefina Howard.

We had the chance to preview the featured menu which boasted a traditional Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) feast, prepared by Joe Quintana, Regional Executive Chef for Rosa Mexicano. We began with the very special and delicious Maravilla Punch, a blend of Hibiscus and Mezcal, served in a traditional handmade Mexican punchbowl (featured above). Foodies will love the Roasted Bone Marrow, a Chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño , and toast; the Estofado De Cordero, a Lamb shank stew with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata; and the Costillas A La Barbaco, a Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs served with charro beans and jalapeño cornbread.

 

The evening celebrated the powerful rituals of Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which included the Ofrenda, an altar where you may display portraits of your departed loved ones, in a moving ceremony of remembrance. Four desserts were paired with a unique variety of four Agave spirits: Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol.

All four spirits have been specially curated by Rosa Mexicano’s Courtenay Greenleaf, one of New York City’s few Master Mezcaliers. Agave Spirit Sponsors For Night Of Spirit Events + Calavera Cocktail included Montelobos Mezcal, Casa Noble Tequila, Bacanora Rancho Tepúa, Fidencio Mezcal, LA HIGUERA. la Venenosa raicilla, Ancho Reyes, Tromba Tequila, Derrumbes Mezcal and Milagro Tequila).

 

The Rosa Mexicano Day of the Dead menu of meals include:

Appetizers:
Empanadas de Camote (Corn and sesame empanadas, stuffed with sweet potato, peas and spiced pecans). Served with chipotle sauce.

Roasted Bone Marrow (Served with chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño and toast) – see second food photo
Paired with: Tromba Añejo tequila.

Entrees:
Estofado de Cordero (Lamb shank with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata)  – see first food photo

Trucha a la Parilla (Whole grilled trout over pumpkin seed pipián, topped with citrus salad)

Costillas a la Barbacoa (Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs with charro beans and jalapeño corn bread) – – see last food photo above

Dessert:
Tamal y Camote (Roasted sweet potato and cajeta tamale served with pomegranate sauce and vanilla ice cream).

Rosa Mexicano’s Día de los Muertos meal will be available at these locations:

  • New York City: First Avenue, Lincoln Center, Union Square, Tribeca
  • New Jersey: Riverside
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Washington, DC: Penn Quarter
  • Maryland: National Harbor
  • South Beach, Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

CMX CinéBistro New York Elevates the Dinner & A Movie Experience

The term dinner and a movie have long been stated, but CMX Cinemas has elevated the traditional date night experience to new delicious heights with the opening of the NEW CMX CinéBistro New York experience. CMX Theaters, the eighth largest movie theatre chain in the U.S, promises and delivers a VIP movie-going experience at the CMX CinéBistro New York. With a full bar and kitchen, guests are able to enjoy the full experience of enjoying a 5-star dinner and the latest movie release in one location. We had the pleasure of partaking in a VIP dinner-and-a-movie experience prior to the grand opening; enjoying an array of remarkable curated cocktails, and delectable culinary dishes by Chef Isaac Stewart.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

The 45,500 sq. ft, newly enhanced CMX CinéBistro New York theatre comes complete with cutting-edge audiovisual technology. Luxury-seeking moviegoers will enjoy an upscale and relaxing experience with its high-end décor, oversized upholstered reclining seats with leather accents, in-seat dining with seamless service and an exceptional assortment of wines and handcrafted cocktails made to order by top mixologists. We loved the option of seeing what seats were available and selecting our own seat.

The theater has six auditoriums, two on each level, ranging in size from 46 to 64 seats; and immersive bars in the common areas. Since the CMX CinéBistro New York theatre has on-site bars, you must be 21 and over to attend after 6pm.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd StCMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

During our CMX CinéBistro New York VIP experience, we truly enjoyed the personalized service allotted to all guests. Our evening started off with a cocktail created by one of the on-site mixologists. The immersive bars offer a variety of artisanal cocktails ranging from classic to stylish modern options. Before our movie, we opted for the wonderfully crafted and equally delicious Strawberry Mango Lemon Drop. While seated, we opted for the equally delicious Pomegranate Elderflower Soda.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

To take advantage of the in-theatre dining at the CMX CinéBistro New York theatre, guests must arrive 30 minutes before showtime. This allows time to place your order and have plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy your meal. Speaking of meals, while we could order the typical movie fare of popcorn and soda, we wanted to experience the full VIP service. We ordered the Lobster Cannoli as our starter; the BBQ Spiced Rubbed CAB Cowboy Ribeye as our main; and the Caramelized Banana Cheesecake for dessert.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

The CMX CinéBistro New York theatre offers a wonderful, sophisticated and varied menu. Check out some of the dishes below:

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

Don’t worry vegans, you are not left behind; CMX CinéBistro New York theatre offers such dishes as Korean Cauliflower Wings, Meatless Cobb Salad, and Lentil Kefta Veggie Burger. All in all, the experience was top notch. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive; the cocktails and dinner were divine; it’s the perfect dinner and a movie date night….elevated, of course. Well worth the return visits.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

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

New York Welcomes the 1st EVER Jarlsberg Pop-Up at Sockerbit

Jarlsberg Cheese, the nationally recognized brand of cheese with a mild, mellow and nutty taste is celebrating over 60 years of its Norwegian heritage. New York is the chosen location for the first-ever Jarlsberg Pop-Up at the wildly popular Swedish candy store, Sockerbit. Located in the West Village, the candy store is transformed into a Nordic cheese haven.

Jarlsberg’s roots go back to 1956 when their original recipe was developed in Norway. Their cheese is known around the world for their nutty, mild flavor and large holes. As one of Norway’s most iconic brands, Jarlsberg connected with Sockerbit’s Scandinavian style – “Sweet & Swedish” meets “Nutty & Norwegian” became a natural, fun fit! Learn about Jarlsberg’s rich history and their cheese making process.

The Jarlsberg Pop-Up is open from now through October 7th; visit this fun pop-up to enjoy samples and pairing advice at the Tasting Table; inspiration on creating your best cheeseboard ever; and plenty of other tasty treats. Their Tasting Table features Jarlsberg cheese plate inspiration by Brooklyn based food blogger, Marissa Mullen. Visitors to the Jarlsberg Pop-Up can also watch Marissa build two fabulous cheese plates on September 29th from 4 pm – 6 pm, which attendees will then have a chance to sample.

“We are thrilled to be debuting our first ever Jarlsberg pop up store In NYC,” says Valerie Liu, Marketing Manager for Jarlsberg.  “Some of life’s best moments revolve around enjoying food with family and friends – and we can’t wait to share amazing cheese plates and pairing concepts to inspire your next special occasion.”

With high-end cheese wares provided by BOSKA Holland, this Nordic trio comes together to create a memorable and delicious experience. Not only will you be able to enjoy samples, but you can purchase Jarlsberg cut fresh from the 22lb wheel; any size or shape you desire. When you buy Jarlsberg cheese at the pop-up, bring home a BOSKA Holland mini cheese planer as Jarlsberg’s free gift.

Another NYC-based sponsor of the Jarlsberg Cheese Pop-Up Store is ABC Beer (Alphabet City Beer Co.).  This craft beer store and bar in the East Village gives you the opportunity to expand your experiences with brews.

ABC Beer at the Jarlsberg Cheese Pop-Up

“One of the few things we love just as much as sweets is cheese, and especially Scandinavian cheeses. This is a great opportunity to experience the best of both worlds,” says Steffan Ernberg, co-owner of Sockerbit.

Celebrity Chef George Duran was at the Jarlsberg Pop-Up and will visit again to share his favorite Jarlsberg pairings. He also provided personalized tips on making your next special occasion even more memorable and delicious.

One of our favorite things from the Jarlsberg Pop-Up was the tire swing, which we couldn’t resist getting on for a fun Instagram boomerang. The pop-up has interactive areas to take photos and a hashtag printer on-site so you can take home printed copies of your Instagramable moments. There are so many reasons to come visit the Jarlsberg Pop Up. You only need one to experience the world of Jarlsberg Cheese for yourself.

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.