Friday, April 28, 2017

Restaurant Round Up - April Eats

I'm trying something new here and sharing highlights of restaurants I tried and dishes I ate over the past month.  In NYC there's never a shortage of new places to try (I have an Excel spreadsheet to prove it) but sometimes it's hard to resist the draw of revisiting old favorites.

King - A delicious, simple meal with showcasing outstanding quality ingredients, and great wine too!

Sauvage - one of the best salads I've ever had (bitter radicchio with toasted ras el hanout), cauliflower, and rabbit were all standouts.

Sushi West - this has been my go-to sushi spot for over 7 years but I had almost forgotten about it.  A revisit proved it's just as good as ever and fair priced which is often hard to find with sushi.

Finally tried Dizengoff in Chelsea Market - have been back several times since.  It really is that good!

For Easter Sunday, we brunched at Joseph Leonard, a West Village standby.  I've favored Jeffrey's Grocery (from the same owners) over the years but am so glad we ventured across the street.  The Bloody Cesar is made better with bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts, all tied up in a beautiful bouquet on the bar.  We splurged for the fried chicken brunch for 2 (which easily fed 4).   

Enjoyed a celebratory cocktail at The Up & Up.  The door staff makes it feel a bit like Fort Knox getting in but once you're there, settle in for some delicious drinks.  

Everyone raves about the cronut but this little PB & J bostock was one of the best pastries I've ever had from Dominique Ansel.  And you can skip the cronut line for this and other pastries (also try the Kouign Amann)!  

A quick lunch on the Upper West Side at White Gold.  They're known for their kimchi hotdog, which was good (spicy!) but the rest of the meal felt a bit like a rip off.

They just opened a Milk Bar in the West Village, dangerously close to my apt.  I'm not a fan of the "cereal milk" flavor but love the "crack pie" - make sure you get the crunchy cornflakes (I went halfsies with chocolate chips) as a topping on whichever flavor you choose!

I'd love to know, what spots are top of your list??

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - 2013 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rouge

I'm sure I'm not the only one who regularly associates Sancerre with white wine (Sauvignon Blanc specifically) but I recently had my world expanded when I tried this Sancerre Rouge from Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy!  Made from 100% Pinot Noir, this is a great place to look for "bargain" Pinot Noir vs. better known regions in Burgundy.  

The Domaine is located in the eastern region of the Loire in the village of Verdigny with vines over 30 years old.  It was a bright, cherry red color, almost translucent in the glass.  Tart fruit notes blended with a bit of earthiness and spice made it a very food-friendly wine. 

We enjoyed this wine over dinner at the newish King restaurant on the boarder of Soho in NYC.  Our meal was delicious, despite a few service missteps.  I broke convention and paired a red wine with a beautiful halibut and radicchio dish, while stealing bites of a perfectly cooked hanger steak with bitter greens.   
Such gorgeous "Millennial Pink" radicchio!

Wine:  2013 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rouge
Purchased:  King, NYC
Price:  $27 retail

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - 2011 Wild Hog Vineyard Pinot Noir

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend!  We hit both holidays with a Passover Seder on Friday night in Connecticut and hosted Sunday night Easter dinner back at home.  Did you know that most of the world celebrates Easter with a traditional lamb dish but in America ham takes center stage?  We debated the two but went with this lamb recipe and it was absolutely delicious!  Our friends brought over one of my favorite wines, the 2011 Pinot Noir from Wild Hog Vineyards, it was a perfect pairing with the lamb. 

The lamb took center stage but we accompanied it with a spring herb salad with buttermilk dressing and roasted cauliflower with browned butter, capers and fried sage.
I was first introduced to Wild Hog by these same friends back in November for Friendsgiving (also a perfect pairing wine) and was immediately hooked.  They are a small, family owned and operated winery located in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation of the Sonoma Coast.  The grapes are farmed organically and picked by hand, production is small and limited.  

The 2011 Pinot Noir was like the best version of bright, fresh, cherries on a warm summer day.  Light, bright, perfect acidity and balance, yet juicy and mouthwatering, making it an easy drinker.  There was a hint of spice and an earthiness on the palate which made for a nice balance with the herbs in the lamb.  These friends are invited back any time if they continue to share this wine with us!!   

It wasn't me!

Wine:  2011 Wild Hog Vineyard Pinot Noir
Purchased:  gifted by a friend
Price:  $27-$30 retail

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - 2014 "Zephyr's Block" Fogline Vineyards Chardonnay

I recently started off a Friday night with this Chardonnay from Fogline Vineyards.  The winery is located on the Sonoma Coast, with the Chardonnay growing at the fog line of 850 ft elevation.  The microclimate includes warm days and cool nights with wind and coastal fog, the perfect conditions for prime-time Chardonnay!

It was a great wine to start the night.  bright citrus on the nose and a palate bursting with crisp apple and pear notes.  It was almost a bit too tart for me as I tend to like a more creamy mouthfeel, but again as an aperitif wine, it was great.

Purchased:  At Winery
Price:  $38

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - How To Taste Wine (Like You Know What You're Doing)

This week, I was honored to share my simple tips and tricks for wine tasting 101.  I say this with one caveat:  there's a time and a place for focusing on the tasting process and there's another time and place for crushing rose to the face, I leave it to you to decide when, where, and how but at least you have these building blocks from which to lay a foundation of wine knowledge!

Head over to my friend Emily's blog for the full article

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - 2012 Telmo Rodriguez "Gazur" Ribera Del Duero

This might just be one of my favorite wines in recent memory.  The perfect Sunday night accompaniment to our Mediterranean feast that included this chicken recipe with fresh pita and the most insane hummus from Dizengoff (the hype is real, this s*it is so insanely good)!

100% Tempranillo that is hand-picked, fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts and aged in cement tanks for 6 months, I imagine this wine was a bit rough with so little aging but 4+ years later it's deliciously smooth with bright red fruit and hints of spice (cinnamon especially which really sang with the shawarma spices!).   

Sadly I think this may have been a random bottle in our local wine shop, I'm going to have to call asap and buy every last bottle they have in stock!  This wine was so delicious yet didn't break the bank, a perfect "house wine" to have at the ready!

Wine:  2012 Telmo Rodriguez "Gazur" Ribera Del Duero
Price:  $18
Purchased:  Verve Wine

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wine Wednesdays - 2014 Domaine Bergeret Christian Et Fille Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge

I can't keep up with this weather, today it's 60 degrees and last weekend might have been the coldest I've ever been in my 8 years in NYC!  On Friday night I had ambitions to finish up a leftover bottle of sub-par Pinot Noir and test out a classic Burgundian winter dish, Coq Au Vin, the epitome of cozy!  

While we used the sub-par Pinot for the cooking wine, we opened up this 2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge from Domaine Bergeret Christian.  Chassagne-Montrachet is more classically know for Chardonnay, so it was interesting to try a red wine (made of Pinot Noir grapes) from the region.  Upon first opening, all I could smell and taste was alcohol.  We decanted twice before pouring back into the bottle and letting it breath a bit before trying again.  Once we sat down to dinner, the wine had completely changed.  Now instead of purely alcohol, the nose was full of bright red strawberry bandaids!  I say that in the best way as I'm a fan of Brettanomyces.  There was lots of acid but balanced fruit, it was light and bright, but it definitely had a certain "funk" to it, not bad, just different. 

Not the most appealing dish to photograph but overall flavor was delish once we got it right!

Now for the Coq Au Vin, this is the first time that Ina let me down!  Her recipes are usually a home run but this one, not quite so.  We salvaged it and the overall flavors were really good, but cooking time took twice as long as stated.  If you want to give it a try yourself I'd make the following changes:  double the amount of bacon or use pancetta, use skin-on thighs vs. a whole chicken as the dark meat was significantly better than the white, make sure you brown the chicken very well otherwise you will get grayish-purple boiled chicken, double the mushrooms, and reduce the amount of liquid (wine + chicken stock) by at least half a cup, after the recommended cooking time it was extremely watery, we ended up boiling off and reducing for an additional 45 minutes to get a thicker sauce.   

Price:  $35
Purchased:  Verve Wines


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