Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food News!

Milk Bar (670 Vanderbilt Ave., at the corner of Prospect Pl., 718-230-0844) is hosting another one of their special Wednesday night pop-up dinners this evening. $25 gets you dinner plus beer and wine. Tomorrow's dinner will be hosted by "Not Dining Out in Brooklyn" author Cathy Erway. The menu looks super tasty and is sure to be a lovely time. Click on the link for more details.

On Saturday, May 21st, Fairway Market (480-500 Van Brunt Street) is hosting a Customer Appreciation BBQ in their parking lot. There will be tons of food, drinks and entertainment. The fun starts at 11am and lasts until 3pm. There will be raffles and give-aways as well!

And next Thursday, at The Brooklyn Museum, Chocolatier Jacques Torres, along with filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus will be on hand to present Kings of Pastry, a film about France's prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition which takes place every four years. It's never been filmed before and is sure to be quite a spectacle. Not sure if there will be free chocolates, but admission to the movie is free with admission to the museum.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner at Hill Cafe

I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner at Hill Cafe, (17 Putnam Ave., off Fulton St., 718-230-3471) a new-ish spot in Clinton Hill that serves a French-Moroccan influenced menu in a dark & cozy space. There are only a few tables opposite the bar, along with a larger table by the front window. They also have a backyard garden, which I'm sure will be lovely in the warm weather, but I didn't get a chance to take a look.

The menu lists items ranging from pasta, seafood to vegetarian dishes & meats. I decided to get the Half-Roasted Free-Range Chicken with BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and a side of veggies. I was really impressed with this dish. The sauce was -excellent-. The chicken was tender and juicy, the potatoes smooth and the veggies simply steamed and slightly buttery. I also chose a side of Fried Sweet Plaintains which were served with a slightly spicy harissa sauce. Tasty!

My friend ordered the Baked Halibut Filet with an olive-pistachio tapenade, asparagus and artichoke in a tomato & tarragon broth. The fish was mild but the broth and veggies in it were delicious. She also got a side of Kale which was also lightly sauteed and spiced with red pepper.

For dessert we picked a Raspberry Crumble from the list of specials. I was a bit disappointed with this. I was expecting it to be warm and it was not. It also reminded me of pound cake, and did not have enough crumble for my taste, and not enough raspberry. The citrus sauces were tangy and flavorful though, and I expect that the regular desserts (chocolate mousse, apple tart) would be quite good.

I loved the chicken, enjoyed the meal as a whole, and found the service to be warm and attentive. If I lived in the area, I would make this a regular spot for sure.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Food News!

The 3rd-Annual Guactacular will be taking place on Sunday, May 8th at The Bell House. 20 "avocado hopefuls" will be competing for cash & other prizes. Hosted by NY Nachos, chips will be provided by Frito Lay and avocados will be fresh from Mexico. Brooklyn Brewery will also supply one beer to each attendee. Tickets are $15/$18 at the door, but I recommend you buy yours early as they always sell out way in advance of the event. For more information, go here.

Register by May 20th for the first Best Birthday Cake Contest to be held on Saturday, June 11th at the IKEA in Red Hook as part of their all-day Relay For Life event. The contest will be hosted by Fairway and the American Cancer Society of Brooklyn and will take place that evening at 5pm. They are looking for 30 professional bakers and 20 non-professional bakers to participate in the contest. There will be prizes and a fireworks display afterward. Contact Kristen LaGrua at for information on how to register. Good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food News!

This sounds like a great event! There's a panel discussion on The Growth of the Brooklyn Food Industry this Sunday, March 27th at 2pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Participants on the panel include author Sherri Eisenberg of The Food Lovers Guide to Brooklyn, Renato Poliafito & Matt Lewis from Baked, Eton Chan from Eton and ben Van Leeuwen from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Admission is free with a ticket to BHS ($6 for adults, $4 for Students & Seniors). Sounds great, I only wish they'd be serving samples!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lunch at Van Horn

****UPDATE - Van Horn has Closed. 6/3/15****

There's been a ton of press covering the opening of Van Horn, (231 Court St., between Baltic and Warren Streets, 718-596-9707) the new much-needed sandwich shop in Cobble Hill. I went recently, excited to try the much talked about Fried Chicken Sandwich and check the place out. I don't know what other people have been eating, but my lunch companion and I were disappointed.

The Fried Chicken Sandwich does look impressive, and comes with a large dollop of zesty slaw, however the meat was on the dry side and fairly tasteless as well. My friend had to get extra sauce on the side to juice it up, and at $12, it's quite a steep price for a mediocre chicken sandwich.

We also got a side of Mac 'n Cheese. This, too, was disappointing. It was more like a wedge of pasta casserole, and had the powdery taste of a mix rather than real cheese. For my lunch, I chose the BLT, which was good. The bun was toasted with garlic aioli, and while the fillings were minimal, they were tasty.

All in all I found Van Horn underwhelming. The space is nice, simple and clean, with a number of tables plus a bar with seating. I will go back to try some of the other items on the menu (Pulled Pork perhaps), but I'm not racing back anytime soon. Oh well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breakfast at Milk Bar

I had the good fortune to go to Milk Bar, (670 Vanderbilt Ave., at the corner of Prospect Pl., 718-230-0844) recently, a bustling little cafe that serves incredibly delicious things. Whether it's the coffee, the baked goods or the main meal, it's all beautiful and tasty.

I ordered a full order of the Full Eggs, which means that I got two slices of incredible bread, each topped with ham, melted cheese, tomato (I also got it with avocado, which is extra) and a poached egg. Fantastic. You can get a half order of this, which is just one slice of bread with all the toppings. They have a vegetarian version, a plain version and a version sans eggs. I recommend going all out though!

The hubby decided to get the Scrambled Eggs on Croissant, which also came with ham & tomato and cheese. The croissant was flaky, moist and yummy, and made for an excellent bed for the sandwich fillings.

I also couldn't resist getting an order of the Cinnamon Toast, thick cut sourdough bread, topped with butter, cinnamon & sugar. It was decadent - just sweet enough to satisfy the need for sweet, and buttery enough to make it a sort of hearty treat.

And like I mentioned earlier, the Latte I had was not only fabulously flavorful, it was also gorgeously presented. I love this place and it's friendly owner, with whom we chatted after our meal. He's also got Cafe Madeline in Ditmas Park. Anyone been?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dinner at Tabare

There's a new-ish little spot on a quiet stretch of S. 1nd Street (a block from Rye) that I just fell in love with. It's called Tabare (221 S. 1st, between Driggs & Roebling, 7347-335-0187) and they offer a mix of Italian & Uruguayan food. It's super tiny, with maybe 10 table, and a short bar with a few stools, but it has charm and coziness to spare. It's perfect during the cold, winter months to get some comfort food, and I suspect that it will be a delight in the summertime when the seasonal menu changes and they open the heavy drapes and windows.

On this trip, my friend and I tried a variety of appetizers, salads and mains, starting with the Empanadas. You get to choose two from three varieties, one meat, one fish & one veggie. She ordered the Tuna and Black Olives and the Caramelized Onions, Gruyere and Fontina Cheese. They also came with two dipping sauces and were a delight. Flaky, crispy dough, stuffed with the delicious, flavorful fillings.

I started with the Kale Salad with red onions, creme fraiche, anchovy and lemon zest. It was incredible. So tart and creamy! It looks like it was drenched with the cream, but since it was cut with the lemon juice so instead it was quite light. The anchovy was a nice tough as well, and not overpowering at all. I still think about this salad and it's been weeks!

My friend also ordered the Roasted Beet Salad with toasted pistachio, ricotta salata and mint. It was a lovely salad, with lots of beets and the other ingredients nicely proportioned. It was served with a vinaigrette that enhanced the subtle, earthy flavors.

For my main, I got the Churrasco, Grass-fed skirt steak served with tapenade-baked potato, arugula salad and chimichurri. The meat was tender and delicious, especially with the chimichurri sauce, a wonderful blend of cliantro, garlic & olive oil. The baked potato with olive tapenade was OK. I think I actually would have preferred a little butter instead of the intensely flavorful olive spread. The arugula salad provided a nice, fresh contrast to the heavy meat. The portion was pretty big, with two large pieces of steak.

All in all it was a delicious dinner. The menu has a number of wines and cocktails available and the staff were friendly and easy-going. I highly recommend Tabare. Let me know if you had room for dessert!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey Readers,

My apologies for the long-absence and infrequent posting. Lots of good stuff has been happening in my life, but that has made regular writing & posting less possible. I will be back tomorrow though with a New Post on a New Restaurant, so stay tuned!!!