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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the Big Apple is celebrating this romantic time of year by showing off its sweet side. Created in 2011, NYC Chocolate Week is the first event in New York City entirely dedicated to the art of preparing chocolate. During this ten-day culinary showcase, dozens of participating restaurants and their chefs will highlight chocolate’s irresistible qualities through exclusive food and wine pairings and specialty desserts.
From February 4-13, chocolate lovers have the opportunity to indulge their sweet tooth at romantic spots including Café Noir, La Bergamote Bistro, Artisanal, Ayza West Village and L’Atelier du Chocolat. Details vary by location, but many offer complimentary confections and decadent dessert samplings along with your meal.
Need a little more temptation? By attending a NYC Chocolate Week event, you’ll also be supporting official charity partner Action Against Hunger in the fight against malnutrition worldwide. Giving back never sounded so sweet.
For more info and a full list of participating restaurants, visit ChocolateWeekNYC.com.
Image courtesy of AyzaNYC.com
Williamsburg has seen its fair share of French bistros pop up recently, but Le Barricou charms like no other spot in the neighborhood. Jean-Pierre Marquet’s cozy candlelit haunt has a 19th-century ambiance, with dated newspaper clippings plastered on the walls, an elongated wooden bar and vintage accents scattered throughout the rustic interior. A floor-to-ceiling window facade opens to sidewalk seating on Grand Street and an intimate wine lounge displays antique furnishings and a wood burning fireplace. While the décor may be reminiscent of a classic Parisian parlor, the cuisine is far from old-fashioned with a menu featuring refined French fare.
Chef Joab Masse elegantly showcases locally sourced produce and organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free proteins. The signature Le Barricou salad was served with shaved watermelon and thinly sliced radishes, apples and pears over watercress; sweet honey maple vinaigrette and the hot-flavored flesh of spicy black radishes created a striking flavor contrast that I found addicting. Vegetarian options include light house-made ricotta and wild mushroom stuffed ravioli cradled in delicate tomato, garlic and white wine sauce and creamy seasonal vegetable risotto kissed with truffle oil. The night’s standout entrée was a tender Creekstone Farms Black Angus hanger steak, massaged with garlic confit and caramelized shallot-red wine jus. Reviews were mixed on the hefty grilled Berkshire pork chop, which arrived crusted with thick anchovy tapenade; unfortunately, the too salty taste (I’m admittedly not an anchovy fan) kept me from enjoying the succulent meat, though my dining companion raved about it. I only wish the menu described how prominent anchovies are in the dish.
The bistro’s full bar serves expertly crafted cocktails and exclusively French wines, while the knowledgeable, attentive staff and inviting atmosphere made for a truly delightful dining experience. Merci, Le Barricou.