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Thrillist Feature: NYC’s Best Winter Cocktails

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 03:12 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

While the weather outside might not be frightful just yet (what’s up, El Niño), it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. And there’s no better way to embrace the spirit of the season than with boozy holiday drinks. To help spread the joy, I tracked down some of best festive cocktails available now in New York City.

anfora cocktails
Check out my recent feature on Thrillist here highlighting the best drinks to get you into the holiday spirit at top watering holes including AnforaCafe CloverCedar LocalClover Club, Evelyn Drinkery, Gotham Bar and GrillHecho En Dumbo, MaharlikaMr. Jones, Park Avenue WinterPiora, Spritzenhaus 33Wallflower, and White Oak Tavern. Cheers!

Image courtesy of Anfora

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Roasted-Squash Salad: From Houseman to Home

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 10:12 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Yesterday, I had a fantastic lunch at Houseman restaurant in Hudson Square with a bunch of food industry friends, and the meal was a knockout—from the double-decker burger with caramelized onion and roasted mushroom relish to the French onion soup sandwich, and everything in between. One particular dish stood out as it was like nothing I’ve ever tasted before: the roasted-squash salad. Wow.

houseman roasted squash salad
Tender, sweet kabocha squash gets coated with a vibrant dressing of herbs, pistachios, feta cheese, and vinegar-plumped currants—creating a bold flavor-texture punch that beautifully showcases the season. If you can’t get to Houseman to experience the real thing soon, lucky for you, Sam Sifton published the recipe for this vegetarian stunner in the Times so you can recreate it at home. Enjoy!

Houseman’s Roasted-Squash Salad
Originally published in the NY Times

  • 5 tablespoons dried currants
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 kabocha squash (approx. 3 to 4 pounds)
  • Approx. 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup chopped parsley, packed
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, packed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approx. 3 to 4 limes)
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup firm feta cheese, diced
  •  
    Step 1: Put the currants in a small bowl, and pour the white-wine vinegar over them. Allow them to macerate for several hours or overnight, though in a pinch you can allow them to plump up while you prepare the squash. Heat oven to 450.

    Step 2: Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, peel both halves (if you like: the skin of the kabocha squash is edible) and slice the squash into 1/4-inch half moons. Dress the squash lightly with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with the salt. Place the squash on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and roast until soft and caramelized, approximately 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice during the process. Remove the squash from the oven, and set aside to cool.

    Step 3: Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, combine the fennel seed, sumac and coriander, then
    add the parsley and cilantro, and stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, and stir to combine. You want a wet mixture and may need to add a couple of extra tablespoons of oil to get it.

    Step 4: Drain the currants, reserving the vinegar, and add them to the green sauce. Add the lime juice, pistachios, cheese, 6 tablespoons olive oil and 5 teaspoons vinegar from the pickled currants to the green sauce. Taste, and add more lime juice or vinegar if you like, along with a spray of salt.

    Step 5: Place squash on a warm platter, and spoon the dressing over the top.

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    Lowlife Brings High-End Dining to the Lower East Side

    Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 09:11 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

    Power duo Hugh Crickmore, former partner of Mas (farmhouse), and chef Alex Leonard, of two Michelin-starred Blanca, teamed up to open Lowlife on the Lower East Side.

    lowlife nyc
    Officially open to the public on Monday, the 70-seat restaurant showcases a thoughtful approach to seasonal ingredients. The à la carte menu, which draws inspiration from Japanese culinary techniques, features refined dishes—including lamb tartare with mint and shrimp salt, borscht with raw cream and trout roe, and yakitori-style chicken grilled on a robata—all elegantly plated, though the setting is casual and comfortable.

    Leonard is embracing more complex techniques and flavor combinations, while allowing the ingredients to shine. Much of the kitchen’s produce hails from an organic Catskills farm owned by Crickmore’s brother, breads are sourced from Roberta’s in Brooklyn, and the chef makes his own vinegars, pickles, kimchee, freshly-churned butter, and cheese in-house.

    With beautifully presented modern fare, a wine list focused on natural and sustainable winemaking, and a mid-century-modern-inspired interior, one thing is certain about this Stanton Street newcomer: there’s nothing lowlife about it.

    Lowlife, 178 Stanton Street, 212.257.0509, lowlifenyc.com | Image: Melissa Hom for Grub Street

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    Thrillist Feature: Secret NYC Menu Items You Need To Know About

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:11 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

    It’s no secret that some of the best dishes at NYC restaurants aren’t found on the menu. These special-request, unlisted items are created by chefs exclusively for diners in the know. All you have to do is ask, and you shall receive. But what exactly should you be asking for?

    Parsnip Sundae_Dirt Candy
    Check out my list of the 15 best off-menu eats that you can score right now—from badass burgers (Ai Fiori, Gramercy Tavern, Virginia’s) to over-the-top pizzas (Marta, Nicoletta, Roberta’s) to specialties from the sea (Seamore’s, Oceana), and many more! Read the full article featured on Thrillist here.

    Parsnip sundae courtesy of Dirt Candy

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