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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
Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Giving Thanks to Friendship: Celebrating Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s

It occurred to me the other day that I’m the only one in my immediate clique that lives in New York City. The others in my caravan live across the pond in Jersey. While the city unites us for various events and revelries, quite often there has to be a good reason to stay late in the city, venture out into the depths of lower Manhattan or justify a late night uber home. Now while the very natures of our friendships are enough, let’s face that with the annoying hustle and frustrating bustle of our day-to-day, some days you have to relinquish your good intended presence to just being there in spirit. Outside of just hanging out, some people may be cajoled to find further justification in dancing the night away, seeing a sold-out show or catching a must-see movie. However, my friends all have seasoned palettes and nothing gets us together more than good eats, great energy and anchoring the deal with top-shelf cocktails.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

So when I got the invitation to spend the birthday of one of my dearest friends with one of my favorite whiskey brands, the pot was sweetened and the seal of approval was stamped. The satisfying Basil Hayden’s, that beloved and delectably slick bourbon kicked off the season on November 1st with a pretty amazing Friendsgiving in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Held at the posh event space 501 Union, upon entering I knew why the trip to BK for this Bronx guy was worth it. The bar was serving up unique cocktails curated for the event that showcased just how wonderful Basil Hayden’s is. Their Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is very smooth, has just the right amount of sweetness and packs enough weight to flavorfully hold its own when paired with other cocktail ingredients and spirits. However, don’t just take my word for it. Here are the cocktails that were on tap for that memorable evening:

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

First up was the Basil Hayden’s Boulevardier. I tried it with their bourbon and combined with the bitter Aperol and the herbal sweet vermouth it made for such a balanced drink. The mild espresso-like bitterness of the licorice-like Aperol played up to the bourbon so nicely. Next up was the Basil Hayden’s Highball, which I also requested with their bourbon. The lightness from the club soda and the citrusy sweet kick from the lemon soda created a light and refreshing almost summery cocktail with a herbal grown edge from the presence of the basil.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

After two bourbon-centered cocktails, I needed to try one of their latest offerings, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Perfect on the rocks, the dark rye has less sweetness naturally and more of a distinguished oaky spicy weight, but no less smooth and delicious. This was a perfect wind-down of a sipper before dinner.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Dinner featured two new cocktails for each course. The Ward Eight wonderfully combined their bourbon, the citrus power of grenadine, lemon and orange together with the refreshing cooling pop of mint for a clean sipper that evoked a great spiked Summer lemonade. Finishing up was the Havoc In Nelson County, a surprisingly island-fresh cocktail that took the wonderful rarely seen flavor of banana and mixed it with orange bitters for a flavorful, diverse drink that hits several areas of the palette pleasantly with soothingly familiar notes. Speaking of dinner, our culinary journey, heralded by Chef Paul Donnelly, boasted offerings similar to the Basil Hayden’s Friendsgiving at Peachy’s: an appetizer of Strange Flavor Burrata; a first course of Steamed Baby Branzino and Northern Chinese Style Roasted Golden Beets; a second course of Crispy Lamb Ribs and Salad of Watercress with assorted vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Feast your eyes on these delights below:

APPETIZER

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

FIRST COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

SECOND COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

DESSERT

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

What the evening with Basil Hayden’s recreated was the makings of classic friendship lore. The drinks were flowing, the food was stellar and the energy was upbeat and positive. How comforting to know that the sweet sip & the relaxing savor, the honest pleasantries & the communal savorings can all conspire together to recognize an evening of old and new friends.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

All in all, when Friendsgiving happens, good spirits in both physical and social forms, must ensue. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Rye varieties are available now at your finer wine & spirit retailers.

Sheila G's Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites

Chocolate Indulgence: Treat Yourself to Sheila G’s Decadent Holiday Snacks

Do you know what Thanksgiving week means? It means the holiday season has officially begun and it’s time for all thing merry. So we’re beginning our holiday season with a sweet treat. Last year we had everyone drooling with our Brownie Brittle Releases Decadent Holiday Snacks feature, and today we’re doing it again. With some new flavors under their belt. Join us in a little chocolate indulgence with Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites, the perfect snack for the true chocoholic.

Sheila G’s sources and uses Fair Trade Certified cocoa, and pairs it’s rich, creamy, chocolate with a mix of savory, crunchy, chewy ingredients Thicker than a sliver, thinner than a candy bar, with a bit of snap to it, every bit of Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark delivers richly satisfying flavors and textures. This goodness packed slithers of indulgence are available in four flavors: Cashew Toffee, S’mores, Caramel Pretzel, and Dark Chocolate Almond. Each bag of Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark retails for $4.49 each.

 Sheila G's Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites

What makes Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle Bites so amazing? Sheila’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle is baked to crispy perfection, cut into bite-sized pieces, and covered in rich, creamy chocolate. They are deliciously snackable, wonderfully indulgent and so addictive. Brownie Brittle Bites are the perfect pop-in-your-mouth snack treat! We’ve been indulging in the very popular Brownie Brittle Bites, are now available in milk chocolate caramel and peppermint dark chocolate flavors for $4.49 per bag.

Sheila G’s decadent holiday snacks are perfect for you to share with friends and family, or to  enjoy all by yourself.  Indulge yourself in the sinful yet divine combination of chocolate chips, caramel, chocolate, and peppermint delights. The choice is deliciously yours.

The Sheila G’s holiday products are available now and sold at retailers nationwide as well as online on www.browniebrittle.com. Grab a bag or two and enjoy.

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?

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?

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.

 

 

 

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