Tag Archives: Brooklyn

AFB: Where to Go

HEY NEW YORKERS!  Need some restaurant inspiration this week?  Here are 5 spots to try.

Just Opened, Casual: the fried chicken and apple pie at Hill Country Chicken, 1123 Broadway nr 25th, in Flatiron.

Sexy Small Plates/Bar that You Haven’t Been to Yet: L’Oubli for a brandy smash, steak tartare, a glass of wine, croque monsieur, a country pate, more wine.  From Eric Demarchelier’s son Benjamine.

Well-Reviewed Asian ‘cue: Fatty ‘Cue for Heritage pork ribs slathered in smoked fish sauce and Indonesian long pepper sounds cool. As does Red Curry duck with sweet pickled daikon, washed down with a cold bottle of Tiger.  91 South 6th St, Brooklyn

The Sweet Little Favorite that Never Disappoints and is Cheap: Lovely Day. 196 Prince nr Elizabeth, Nolita.  This lovely little vintage-Asian-gamine Thai spot was closed for the longest time due to a fire, and is now BACK. Ginger-fried chicken and chow fung noodles, yesssss.  And it has a brand new downstairs level with more seats so now you don’t have to wait so damn long.

The Upscale but Pretty Farm to Table Restaurant: ABC Kitchen. Love roasted squash with parmesan and lemon, roasted carrot and avocado salad, spaghettini with shrimp and red chili flakes,  and am crazy for the Sundae: salt caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Inside Hill Country Chicken


Inside L'Oubli

Fatty 'Cue

I love Lovely Day

ABC Kitchen's Kitchen

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Gems: Roberta’s in Bushwick

 

The scene at Roberta's

The scene at Roberta's

 

I don’t want to tell you about this place.  I’m sorry, but I don’t.  I feel like I must, though, because it’s a little jewel in a not-so-jeweled spot and I want to show my support… But oh how I wish I could keep this place a secret so I don’t have to wait for a table after the word gets out.

 

grilled country bread with ricotta, peas, mint, arugula

grilled country bread with ricotta, peas, mint, arugula

 

The Specken Wolf pizza

The Specken Wolf pizza


It’s called Roberta’s, and it’s a few things.  It’s a pizza place, if you can call a place that puts out ethereal little pies like the Specken Wolf (speck, mushrooms, onions, oregano, mozzarella $14) with handmade mozzarella and glorious strips of fresh speck and delicious crust just a pizza place.  It’s a restaurant with a small menu and a cash only policy, which doesn’t really matter when everything on the menu is under $20, including things like wood-roasted Berkshire pork chop with farrow, nettles and oyster mushrooms or linguine with big juicy clams.  It’s the home to its own garden, which is built atop giant shipping containers in the back, the things that grow in the garden, like herbs and tomatoes, go directly into your dinner.  It’s also home to a radio station, where chefs and wine experts talk shop inside the shipping containers that also serve as the radio station studio.   Roberta’s is it’s own culinary-culture temple.

 

a bite from the cheese pizza

a bite from the cheese pizza

 

the main course: green salad accompanying a gorgeous pig butt, slow-roasted with fennel pollen and various herbal wonders

the main course: green salad accompanying a gorgeous pig butt, slow-roasted with fennel pollen and various herbal wonders

pork fell apart

pork fell apart. pork from heritage foods.


Roberta’s is also a hike for most as it lives on a relatively barren street in Bushwick, but it’s a worthy hike.  The food is seriously good, the vibe is mellow, and there is a level of authenticity and ingenuity to the place that’s really inspiring.   I went there for a family dinner of sorts.  Now I don’t recommend taking a big group there as the kitchen will want to kill you (we had an in via Erin Fitzpatrick, host of the radio wine show “At the Root of It” which she tapes in those shipping containers I was talking about).

Roberta’s: 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY.  For more information, photos, menus, etc, visit their website.

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A Preview of Summer Ease

still from Hitchcock's Rear Window 

 

still from Hitchcock's Rear Window

At present, I am laying on my floor as that is the coolest part of my apartment and having a Rear Window moment.  A row of brownstones across the street regularly offer me a glimpse into fairly normal life, but tonight, perhaps fueled by the 80 degree heat, cherry blossom-scented air and the rich sapphire sky, a couple has gone up to the roof directly across from me and are fully making out. I try to avoid glancing that way but I can’t help it… they’ve been at it for about fifteen minutes now.  I try to focus on my screen and the point of this post- the impending joys of summer- but can’t help glancing (er, staring) over to see if they will ever come up for air.  

Then it strikes me:  that is the joy of summer.  Summer is all about giving in- to the sun, to love, to a crush, to ice cream, to laziness, to that extra cheeseburger, to skimpy clothes, to margaritas during lunch hour, to harmless voyeurism, to every indulgence we spend all winter dreaming of.  As for the wanton couple on the roof… may we all have such fun. So grab a bottle of wine, sneak up to the roof and don’t pay any attention to the mostly bemused chick across the street.

Sunday Summer Sammy: rosemary ham, hot and sweet peppers pickled by the Italian father of my friend's fiancee, mayo, gouda, whole grain baguette from greenmarket.

Sunday Summer Sammy: rosemary ham, hot and sweet peppers pickled by the Italian father of my friend's fiancee, mayo, gouda, whole grain baguette from greenmarket.

Naturally, this would be a great time to segue into sandwiches, which was what I had intended to start with here but lovers on a roof seemed, I don’t know, sexier.  If the lovers represent the joys of summer, the sandwich represents the ease of summer.  No one wants to cook unless it’s over a grill in the open air.  And at no other time of year would I ever be content to make a sandwich with the remnants of yesterday’s picnic and eat it on my fire escape with a glass of french lemonade.  Fire escape dinners might be the quintessential summer-in-the-city meal.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window: possibly one of the classiest thrillers ever.  Buy it here.

Want to update your sandwich repertoire?  Start here.

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Blue Marble Ice Cream at the Brooklyn Flea

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Sunday Morning

 

Strawberry Croissant and Latte from Joyce Bakery in Prospect Heights; my windowsill

View from my window

1. Wake up, aim to run three miles with the reward being a pastry of my choice from Joyce Bakeshop. Successfully achieve goal and hightail it to bakery.

This croissant can be found here at www.joycebakeshop.com

This croissant and other luscious baked goods can be found here at http://www.joycebakeshop.com

2. Enjoy a buttery, crispy croissant filled with strawberry preserves and a nice warm latte.

3. Look at contents of refrigerator and note with mild amusement the disproportionate amount of champagne (5 bottles) to other beverages (a bottle of Ronnybrook milk and a half-empty bottle of some ginger tonic).  Decide to do something with a little bottle I received as a party favor.

img_3088

4. Cut 2 oranges, juice them, add Piper-Heidsieck champagne.  Enjoy the perfect mimosa, because it’s Sunday and I have nothing else to worry about.

5. Turn on CBS Sunday morning and chill out.  Resolve to go out and buy NY Times, and read it in the park.  

At First Bite wants to know… what’s your perfect Sunday?

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A Big Bite of Brooklyn Flea Market

 

Tortillas heating up Brooklyn Flea; the crowds that eagerly await them.

Tortillas heating up Brooklyn Flea; the crowds that eagerly await them.

When my cooler-than-he’ll-admit friend Michael, the man behind style and design site A Continuous Lean, suggested we bike over to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Ft. Greene, I knew well enough to get there hungry.  I heard that the now legendary food vendors from the Red Hook ballfields had relocated here, and that this giant outdoor market was filled with some pretty delicious artisanal food offerings.  

The sun shone, the birds sang and the food vendors set up shop alongside surprisingly well-curated booths carrying vintage clothing, jewelry, antiques, art, records, books and things.  Rows and rows of things, and if it weren’t for the pit stops to pick up a bite or two along the way, I might have gotten lost among endless arrays of pendant necklaces (I bought one with an awesome magnifying glass!)

Let me tell you right now, these are no dirty-water-dog stands.  You will not find stale pretzels and unless the kebabs are made with grass-fed meat from a local farm, no kebabs.  You might sample fresh key lime pies, a nice sharp New York cheddar, soups, brat, etc. It’s all local, artisanal food made by people who are real proud of their product.  We sampled Elsa’s empanadas (filled with beef, raisins and olives) before deciding it was pupusa time; unfortunately everyone else thought it was pupusa time too, resulting in a line looked like Shake Shack’s.  Check out pics from our food tour below.  One of the highlights was a decadently creamy strawberry ice cream made the night before- it had just set and literally melt in my mouth.

 

Elsa's Empanadas, which were super tasty but sadly served cold :(

Elsa's Empanadas, which were super tasty but sadly served cold :(

Fresh-baked cookies at Choice

Fresh-baked cookies at Choice

Major Pupusa Action

Major Pupusa Action

Rick's many pickled options- I went for a jar of pickled green tomatoes

Rick's many pickled options- I went for a jar of pickled green tomatoes

Making open-faced ricotta, arugula and sopressata sammies at Salvatore Bklyn

Making open-faced ricotta, arugula and sopressata sammies at Salvatore Bklyn

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

Delicious little cupcake bites for $1

Delicious little cupcake bites for $1

Baked goods from Choice

Baked goods from Choice

Belgian Waffles from Wafels Dinges (you probably see their street truck around town)

Belgian Waffles from Wafels and Dinges (you probably see their street truck around town)

Blue Marble ice cream- umm, INCREDIBLE.

Blue Marble ice cream- umm, INCREDIBLE. Thanks MW for pic.

 

The World We Live In... yesterday I'm happy to report, was pretty awesome.

The World We Live In... yesterday I'm happy to report, the world we live in seemed pretty awesome.

 

Brooklyn Flea Market: On Saturdays from 10-5PM in Ft. Greene, on Lafayette between Clermont and Vanderbilt. Read a short food article from nymag.com here.

Get more information on the flea market at www.brooklynflea.com

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Arepa Addiction

 

my favorite arepa, de pabellon

my favorite arepa, de pabellon. Photo from http://www.caracasarepabar.com

I am in the mood for a sandwich, but not any kind of sandwich.  I want an arepa from Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village.  If you have never had an arepa, you need to go.  Now.  It’s like a Venezuelan version of the English muffin, made with cornmeal, fluffier, softer, sort of like the texture of Asian steamed buns, but not as dough-y.  It is sliced in half and filled with all sorts of goodies- roasted pork, black beans, sweet plantains, avocado, chicken, whatever.  It’s FILLED, and you take one bite of these rich, complex arepas and there is a 97% chance you will have juices running down your chin, but you don’t care because that bite was SO GOOD, and you’ll just wash it down with fresh strawberry juice or maybe a cocada, a coconut shake with a sprinkling of cinnamon.  My favorite arepa at Caracas is called “de Pabellon,” it’s filled with shredded beef, spicy black beans, a generous sprinkling of white cheese and sweet plantains.  It’s the perfect mix of sweet and heat.

mmmmm......

mmmmm......la reina pepiada, a mix of shredded chicken and avocado salad

the cocada, coconut milkshake

the cocada, coconut milkshake

Caracas Arepa Bar, there are locations in East Village and now Williamsburg, BK.  Visit their website here.

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