festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Happy one year anniversary to Alobar! Since opening in November 2011, this cutting-edge dining destination in Long Island City has taken “pub grub” to new heights, and has become renowned for serving rustic nose-to-tail American fare paired with carefully selected craft beers, whiskeys and handcrafted cocktails. Alobar even earned a coveted place on Michelin Guide’s 2013 Bib Gourmand List.
To celebrate its first anniversary on November 15th, Alobar is hosting a week of especially delicious events:
Whiskey Tuesday with Four Roses Bourbon | Tuesday, November 13th: To kickoff the celebrations, Beverage Director Chess Lankford presents a complimentary tasting of Four Roses Bourbon, along with a brand rep to share insights on each variety of the Kentucky spirit.
Alobar Charcuterie Night | Wednesday, November 14th: Paying homage to its favorite meat curing styles, Alobar is offering one large platter of eleven of the tastiest house-made delicacies ($50; serves 2-3), with varieties including: Pig Ear Terrine, Duck Breast Prosciutto & Foie Gras-Apple Terrine.
Anniversary Beer Dinner | Thursday, November 15th: Commemorate Alobar’s one-year with an indulgent 5-course menu (including Smoked Trout, Grilled Quail & Rosemary Sausage, Roasted Rack of Lamb & Braised Shoulder, and more) paired with beers from San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company ($50 for dinner & pairings, view the full menu here).
Weekend Pig Roasts | Friday & Saturday, November 16th-17th: Kick up your heels and get ready to pig out at Alobar’s weekend-long pig-filled feast served family-style ($30 per person for mains & sides).
Reserve your spot today! AlobarNYC.com | 718.752.6000 | 46-42 Vernon Boulevard, LIC NY
And to savor the flavor of Alobar at home, mix up their addictive Maple Bacon Popcorn recipe:
Maple Bacon Popcorn | Recipe from Alobar (serves 6)
Preheat an oven to 350°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon strips and cook until crisp, turning occasionally. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.
Crumble bacon. Toss bacon, drippings, maple syrup, black pepper, and salt with popcorn. Spread popcorn mixture in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, rotating trays halfway through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Images courtesy of Alobar Restaurant
Thursday night, the 5th annual New York City Wine and Food Festival kicked off with two of the weekend’s most anticipated events. And though I would’ve loved to witness food royalty roast Anthony Bourdain, the Italian in me couldn’t bear the thought of missing one of my favorites—Meatball Madness hosted by the lovely Giada De Laurentiis. “This is the best Meatball Madness ever,” Giada exclaimed about the ‘always sold out’ event, which is in its fourth consecutive year.
The large-scale tasting showcased dozens of the city’s best chefs, who rolled out their version of the perfect bite. Hundreds of meatball maniacs packed into SoHo’s 82 Mercer to sample 36 different types of saucy spheres—in styles ranging from traditional Italian polpette with tomato gravy to pretzel-stuffed Austrian balls and Spanish oxtail albondigas.
Judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Anne Burrell, along with Pat LaFrieda and Mark Pastore of sponsor La Frieda Meats, crowned Gabe Thompson of the soon-to-open L’Apicio the night’s big winner for his Amatriciana version. The carnivorous crowd also casted their votes and Donatella Arpaia snagged the coveted People’s Choice Award for her mother’s classic recipe of melt-in-your-mouth tomato braised veal meatballs.
Aperol Spritz cocktails, a selection of vino and sparkling San Pellegrino refreshed partygoers, while a display of cake pops from pastry hotshot Johnny Iuzzini provided some sweet relief. Meatball Madness started off the NYCWFF in delicious fashion and everyone seemed to have a ball—while devouring dozens!
More than 40 chefs, hundreds of hungry carnivores, thousands of pounds of meat. Last Saturday’s Meatopia on Randall’s Island was an ambitious culinary spectacular where whisky and beer flowed freely and meat reigned supreme. Event founder Josh Ozersky seriously upped the ante from last year’s meat-filled fest and successfully executed one of the most organized and enjoyable food events of the year—in spite of some wet weather.
Some of the highlights and best bites from Meatopia 2012:
The talented lineup of chefs and pit masters showcased at this year’s “City of Meat” (including Marc Forgione, Alex Guarnaschelli, Franklin Becker, April Bloomfield, Naomi Pomeroy and many others) focused on utilizing whole animals, and dished up a dizzying array of meats prepared in every way, shape and form. A few of the most mouthwatering dishes included Pat LaFrieda‘s whole marinated Creekstone steer, Justin Smillie‘s succulent spit-roasted short ribs, Portuguese paella with soft egg and jalapeños from Anthony Goncalves, tender grilled rib steak with bone marrow butter and pickled grilled onions from Marc Forgione, and the undeniable crowd favorite, Aaron Franklin’s BBQ beef brisket—which blew away any preconceived notions of what brisket should taste like.
While the event was in full swing, dark grey clouds rolled in and the sky opened up on the carnivorous crowd. Luckily, the Amstel Light and Diageo tents provided shelter from the rain, along with music, entertainment and unlimited tasty beverages. While weathering the storm in the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky tent, I had a blast watching Discovery Channel’s Jimmy DiResta handcraft an entire wooden bar from scratch and downed delicious whisky cocktails like the “Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits”—my favorite drink of the night, and the perfect complement to the savory all-meat menu.
Congrats to another successful Meatopia! Looking forward to even more meaty madness in 2013. And to tempt your taste buds in the meantime, dive into the peachy punch cocktail recipe below:
Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits Recipe
1 ounce George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
1/4 ounce Stirrings Peach Liqueur
1/2 ounce Olorosso Sherry
1 teaspoon Amaro CioCiaro
1/2 ounce black tea
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Slices peaches and strawberries for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker; Shake well. Pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with sliced peaches and strawberries. Cheers!
Imagine traveling the globe in a single weekend, without ever leaving New York City.
The 2nd Annual Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar is an exciting multi-cultural extravaganza taking over NYC’s Lexington Armory from September 28–30. During this fun-filled weekend of events, you’ll feel like you’re being transported from region to region around the world — as you enjoy authentic international cuisine and beverages, cultural performances, live music, artisan shopping and tons of interactive experiences.
TASTE YOUR WAY AROUND THE GLOBE
Savor mezcals from Mexico, spices from Morocco, rums from Barbados, global street food from some of NY’s most popular food trucks and so much more! And at select sessions, you can sample flavors from celebrity chefs including José Andrés, Scott Conant, Michael White, Masaharu Morimoto, Tim Love, Johnny Iuzzini and Jose Garces.
I’m honored that Travel + Leisure asked me to be an official Global Bazaar Ambassador. Join me for an international experience like none other by purchasing your tickets here. And for schedule info, visit TravelandLeisure.com. Hope to see you there!
Carnivores, get your appetites ready! Meatopia is back and it’s better than ever.
On September 8, the massive meat celebration presented by Whole Foods will feature the most ambitious line-up of chefs and entertainment in the event’s history. “For as long as I’ve been putting this event on, this is the coolest one by far,” says founder Josh Ozersky. “…we have the greatest chef roster that’s ever come together preparing dishes that aren’t available in their restaurants… You go there to eat and drink and learn about the joys of progressive meat-eating.”
Highlights from Meatopia 2011:
This year’s carnivorous carnival will showcase a best butcher competition, live music, unlimited samples of all natural, humane meat dishes from more than 40 of the country’s most celebrated chefs (including Michael White, Adam Perry Lang, Marc Forgione, April Bloomfield, Sean Brock, Aaron Franklin and Michael Toscano), premium beer, wine and spirits, and Pat LaFrieda of Food Network’s Meat Men cooking up a whole, 1000-pound Creekstone steer. Hungry yet?
And check out my recap from last year’s Meatopia here.
Who doesn’t love throwing a good party? But instead of just feeding and entertaining guests, here’s your chance to make a real difference while playing host. Join KitchenAid for 1,000 Cooks for the Cure—a weeklong, DIY fundraising initiative with the goal of reaching 1,000 parties in homes and offices across the country.
From Friday, July 20 — Sunday, July 29, 2012, plan a party of any kind—whether an office potluck, a family barbecue or weekend brunch with friends. Rather than accepting hostess gifts, food or wine, you can encourage guests to bring a small donation for Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help in the fight against breast cancer.
Any party host that raises $50 or more will receive a FREE plate designed by Jacques Pepin in the mail, and anyone who hosts a party and registers it on our website will automatically be entered to receive the ultimate “thank you” from Jacques Pepin himself—a 3-day trip to NYC to attend one of his private cooking classes!
Participating is as easy as pie:
1. Host a Party. Invite your friends and family to help raise money for the cause. Download KitchenAid’s hosting guides here and use their pretty pink product images and logos to plan your own unique soirée.
2. Register Your Party. Quick and easy online registration here.
3. Share Your Stories. Upload party photos and stories on KitchenAid’s Facebook page.
Cook for the Cure® is a program that gives people with the passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer, and the partnership between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and KitchenAid has raised over $8 million in the past decade. Let’s keep cooking together to bring an end to breast cancer!
For more information, visit KitchenAid.com.
With a killer cocktail scene and some of the bar industry’s best talents, New York City is a spirited force to be reckoned with. So when the Top 10 Finalists for the 2012 Spirited Awards were announced, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple is representing across the board.
Held during New Orleans’ annual mixology festival, Tales of the Cocktail, the Spirited Awards will honor the world’s best bars, bartenders, writers, cocktail experts and more. Following a rigorous evaluation of hundreds of nominees, ten finalists have been selected in each of 17 categories.
Finalists from NYC include Dutch Kills, The Clover Club and Mayahuel for Best American Cocktail Bar, while The Tippler, Flatiron Lounge and Macao Trading Co. are among those nominated for Best High Volume Cocktail Bar. Best Restaurant Bar standouts include The Beagle, Lani Kai and Saxon + Parole, and my dear friend Todd Richman of Sidney Frank is up for the Best American Brand Ambassador award — not only can Todd mix up a serious cocktail, but he’s also one of the most stand up guys you’ll ever meet. Congrats!
Check out the full list of finalists here. The top ten in each category will then be whittled down to a final three on Thursday, June 7th. Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 28 at the Spirited Awards ceremony, as part of the 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail celebration.
A heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees, but of course, I’d like to especially raise a glass to my NYC friends and favorites who made the list this year. Cheers!
Image courtesy of Tales of the Cocktail