Recently there has been an increase in the number of eateries focusing on healthy, clean-eating dishes, as more and more people are forming dietary restrictions and adapting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. With so many health-conscious eateries around the city, you no longer need to settle for tofu, bland veggie burgers, and "facon" to have a healthy, satisfying meal. Opening right before Hurricane Sandy, Table Verte in the East Village offers diners of all kinds, an approachable, flavorful meal consisting of market-fresh vegetable dishes using French culinary techniques. Even the most carnivorous meat-eater you know won’t be looking around for a burger after a dinner at Table Verte.
Anyone who has been paying close attention to the culinary trends of right now is very much aware that the next “it” cuisine is that of Peru, a cuisine that has been slowly and quietly trying to break into the American palate for at least a decade. A handful of chefs and food writers had heralded the advent of Peruvian cuisine in this country years ago, but it had been premature, and many food enthusiasts were left waiting for a wave of Peruvian restaurants - both haute and humble - that never seemed to arrive. This country wasn’t ready yet. Not only did we lack the food culture that we have today with all its foodie bloggers and gourmet food trucks, it was almost as if gringos had yet to resolve their issues with Latin American cuisine. Although many Latin Americans were already fans of the varied and sophisticated cuisine of Peru, the general American population still thought that Latino cuisines were either confined inside a tortilla or served with a heap of rice, beans, and plantains. Peruvian cuisine did not fit neatly into any of those compartments. With the rise in Latino chefs and the spread of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Americans began to understand that Latin American cuisines could be elegant and sophisticated and complex. We began enjoying spicier, bolder flavors. We started to become huge fans of ceviche to the point that almost every menu now features it. We were also about to be introduced to a chef who was steadily building momentum in Peru and who would introduce the rest of the world to Peruvian cuisine.
Pennsylvania 6 is a new hot spot parked right near Penn Station (go figure), giving commuters an alternative place to booze and dine. But it's so damn good that we have a feeling locals will be flocking here, too. Hailed as a cross between Oak Room and Oyster Bar, owner Chris Coco brought on Culinary Director Brian Cooke and Chef Scott Swiderski to oversee the creation of the menu. Executive Chef Humberto Leon (formerly of STK Downtown) serves patrons classic American cuisine such as beer braised short ribs and succulent organic roasted chicken. The menu also emphasizes the raw bar, which shells out fresh oysters and shellfish. Pair any dish with their out-of-this-world side dishes, like the sweet corn pudding, and prepare to be in heaven.
Just like the other big cultural festival in Miami, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival consists of a variety of different events simultaneously occurring over a period of several days. The main event every year at SOBEWFF occurs at the Grand Tasting Village right on the sands of Miami Beach with the rolling surf and hot bodies working on their tans only steps away. Hosted this year by Whole Foods Market, the Grand Tasting Village was a sensory overload for any lover of food, wine, and spirits. Besides sampling food from over 35 local restaurants, there were also representatives from vacation destinations, new food and cooking products to try out, cocktails made with some well-known and not-so-well-known liquors, and lot’s of wine. In between getting tipsy and nibbling on tasty morsels, attendees were able to watch cooking demonstrations from some of the most popular TV cooking personalities like Anne Burrell, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many others. Occurring over a two day period, here are some highlights from the first day of the Grand Tasting Village on Saturday, February 23rd.
This year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival kicked off with a bang on February 21st at Moët Hennessy’s The Q, presented by Omaha Steaks and sponsored by Miami Magazine. Previously known as the BUBBLEQ, the shortening of the name has in no way diminished the the grandiosity of this event, the importance of the chefs and cooks participating, nor the quantity of fantastic dishes available to sample. A happy marriage of champagne and barbecue, this year’s The Q was hosted by that queen of indulgent Southern cooking, Paula Deen, along with her sons Jamie and Bobby. The Deen family, however, were not the only celebrities present as foodies were able to meet some of their culinary heroes, like Todd English and Geoffrey Zakarian, as well as sample some of the cuisine that has made them famous. With over 40 of the nation’s top chefs, including many local favorites, it was a delicious challenge trying to sample everything, and while most things were pleasant, there were a few dishes that really stood out.
With the biggest award show falling this weekend, it's imperative to be prepared -- all the celebs are, after all. As you watch the hottest start walk the red carpet, sip on Oscar-worthy cocktails, full of bling, posing power, James Bond appeal. Whip up one of these camera-ready concoctions and get ready for your close up!
Pucker Bold Berry Bling
1 ½ parts Pucker Vodka Raspberry Rave
3 Fresh Blackberries
2-3 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 part Soda
1 part Lemon-Lime Soda
Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Gently squeeze the juice from the blackberries and add the berries to the shaker. Tear basil into small pieces and add. Add vodka and shake vigorously. Add soda, lemon-lime soda and pour into a Collins glass.
Dining in Fort Lauderdale is getting a lot more exciting! We’ve all heard about those secret, underground dinners in foodie hotspots like Los Angeles and NYC where nobody knows what will be on the menu or who will be attending. Well, South Florida foodies are in store for something just like that but a little better in that proceeds from the dinner go to a good cause. Today, February 20th, at 7:00 PM tickets go on sale for The Traveling Plate’s second underground dinner of the year benefitting ARC Broward Culinary Institute. While the menu won’t be revealed until the February 28th dinner, we do know that Chef Steve Zobel of d.b.a./café will be in charge, so pretty much anything is possible.
For the true epicurean, there are few finer things in life than pairing good food, good music, and and good wine. In South Florida, we can add beautiful weather to that trinity. Starting tomorrow, February 21st, the B Ocean hotel’s B’stro on the Beach is partnering with the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens for their monthly Concerts Under the Stars on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Begin the evening with a selection of cheese, charcuterie and wine at B’stro while gazing upon the Atlantic Ocean only steps. Then stroll over to the historic Bonnet House for an outdoor concert on the veranda while enjoying complimentary wine, dessert, and coffee.