Friday, May 30, 2008

More Shortcuts

- The Daily News is reporting that the infamous Shake Shack is coming to downtown Brooklyn. "The owner of the popular Madison Square Park stand - famous for its juicy burgers, frozen custards and unbearable lines - wants to bring a mobile "shake truck" to downtown Brooklyn, sources said yesterday. The Brooklyn truck could set up shop in the MetroTech plaza for lunch by the end of the summer. The truck is expected to hit other spots on weekends and at night." Maybe they can hang out by the potential Real World home, Belltowers. (please let it be there and not in my lovely Carroll Gardens!)

- The Brooklyn Paper is sadly saying that it might be a bit longer then we had hoped for the vendors to return to the ballfields. "... vendors are still awaiting city approval of that concession contract and high-end vending carts that are now required... The vendors’ paperwork appears misplaced in the Kafkaesque municipal bureaucracy." This might just force me to try making my own pupusas.

- It looks like the beloved LeNell's in Red Hook will be coming to a close if no lease agreement can be reached or a new location is not found. For more details on her impending eviction, jump over to Brownstoner.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Have Always Wanted to Try This Place...

I can't count how many times I have walked back Marco Polo and wanted to pop my head in out of sheer curiosity but I have yet to do so. It always seems like a throw back to the neighborhood of years past. Well, now is my chance to check it out. Marco Polo on Court is celebrating their 25th year Anniversary and to mark the occasion will have special prix fixe anniversary menus, three-courses at lunch for $19.83 — 1983 being the year Marco Polo opened its doors — and $25.00 at dinner — for the number of years the restaurant has been open. The special offer runs June 4-30.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hood Shortcuts

Porkchop Express is reporting that "Red Hook is NOT up and running. Per Cesar, “We cannot start until the city approves our permits [and these are] being processed as we speak. Unfortunately, that can still take a couple more weeks before we are given a go. Realistically speaking, we can probably expect to open Mid-June.”" Sad faces all around.

The Kitchn had a recipe roundup of summer cocktails. I will be visiting that in about 5 days after I have detoxed from this weekend.

The NY Daily News
has raves about Pomme de Terre which I still need to try.

The Brooklyn Paper
reports that the popular Tea Lounge in Park Slope will be closing in July due to rent hikes.



I had a friend in town this weekend and we decided to ride over on our bikes to Red Hook for brunch at Tini on Van Brunt. I have been there for mid afternoon drinks and snacks but had not had their brunch although it was one of those place, you could just tell would have pretty good brunch. It has a warm atmosphere, everything is made to order in a small, visible kitchen and you are greeted by the smiling owners every time you walk in. We were quickly seated outside and while the menu was largely a bunch of different variations on scrambled eggs, the ingredients seemed fresh and we were hungry enough, it didn't matter. My friend got the eggs with arugula and roasted tomatoes and I got the truffled eggs with parmesan. Each plate was accompanied by buttered hearty, 9 grain bread and roasted potatoes with mustard seeds. Definitely a place to bike to again.

Tini- 414 Van Brunt Street


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Neighborhood News: Shortcuts

The NY Times has a whole article in their Dining section about the tasty treats at the Brooklyn Flea: Nunu Chocolates, McClure’s Pickles, Kumquat Cupcakery, Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta and more!

Blue Marble Ice Cream, the organic ice cream parlor I have been dying to pop in on every time I walk to BAM, is opening a second location in conjunction with NY City Explorers (a creative childcare center) at 186 Under hill Avenue in the prospering Prospect Heights. (Brownstoner)

Brooklyn Brewery is hosting a Pigfest under the Brooklyn Bridge on May 31st.

Yet another new pizza joint has opened up, this one is Monty's Pizza at 90 Livingston between Boerum Place and Court (110 Livingston)

The Real Fort Greene has a rundown of the best brunch places in that area which if you are eating your way thru Fort Greene post the Brooklyn Flea, might come in handy. On a similar note, I finally tried brunch at Maggie Brown's on the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill border on Myrtle Ave on Sunday and man, was it tasty. The menu has a range of interesting combinations, unique to brunch and the biscuit with raspberry butter alone was worth the bike ride over.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Chestnut is Getting Bigger

GrubStreet reports today that Chestnut on Smith will be expanding into a separate bar space next door. "Look for a bar menu featuring small plates and a selection of handmade chocolates. In the bar, you'll be able to order from Chestnut's full dinner menu, but that option is not reciprocated in the dining room." Owners are expecting to open the expansion in the summer. Does this mean no more Zombie Hut? I hate to say it but we wouldn't be mad at that. UPDATE: They are building on the other side.

Also of interest, the crew responsible for Farm on Adderley and the recent Pomme de Terre have filed for a liquor license for a place tenatively titled "Edelweiss" at 1118 Cortelyou, the former home of Cortelyou Vintage. (Ditmas Park Blog)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Edible Brooklyn Party & Rosewater

Last night was a evening of many food delights. I met up with a couple friends (including From Love With Paris) for Brooklyn Uncorked 2008, hosted by Edible Brooklyn. The event was held at BAM and pretty much took up both floors of the lobby and cafe. There were lots of choices for food and beer on the first floor and even more options of wine on the second. After deciding on white wine for the evening, I think I tried at least 8 tastings of Long Island's finest :) We nibbled on some cheese and other random goodies before jetting over to Rosewater on Union for a proper dinner. I had only been to Rosewater for brunch (which was delicious) and everything on their ever changing seasonal menu looked fantastic. We settled on the Pork Belly with Lentils & Sour Cherry Puree and the Beef Tataki as appetizers. Both were really great especially the Pork Belly. My eyes were bigger then my stomach but I went with the Spring Risotto (Pickled Ramps, Nettles, Fiddlehead Ferns, Poached Egg) as an entree. The egg on top was a great twist on the risotto and Fiddlehead Ferns are only in season for a short period time so it was extra special.
According to The Kitchn, Fiddlehead Ferns "are harvested only in certain regional areas and only in the Spring. They're most commonly found in the Northeast and the Great Lakes states where the ferns grow in wet, brackish forests. Each spring when the snow melts, the ferns push their way up through the forest floor, uncurling slowly. It's at this moment just before they uncurl that they are harvested." Also interesting, "A tip for the inexperienced: fiddlehead ferns contain a toxin that causes stomach pain in humans when ingested. The toxin is destroyed by the heat generated during cooking, so as a result, the fiddleheads must be cooked thoroughly before eating. Deer are the only mammals known to be able to eat the fiddleheads and not be affected by the toxin."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hood Updates

I am have been awful about updating lately and still don't have a full cooking post but here are some recent developments in the neighborhood:

- I walked by Chicory on DeGraw the other day and it is now closed :(
- Jessie's Kitchen on Smith is closing soon - although one might ask, when was it actually really open
- Red Hook Food Vendors are going to set up shop at the Brooklyn Flea as well- yipeee! (Brooklyn Flea)
- New pizza place on Court and 4th, South Brooklyn Pizza and on Smith there will be an ice place, right in time for summer--- Uncle Louie G's (Brownstoner)


Monday, May 5, 2008

Guacamole for a Spring Sunday

Guacamole is one of my favorites in fact you can rarely go wrong with anything avocado in my book. Despite rainy forecasts, here in NY, we got an amazing warm spring day and it inspired to make homemade guacamole.

I took two ripe avocados, one finely chopped tomato, half an onion and one clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper and lots of freshly squeezed lime juice and mashed it together. You can add cilantro but I am not a fan at all. I also added half a mango as I love the added sweetness. Yum!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kentucky Derby This Weekend!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby this weekend, I feel obliged to post a recipe for Kentucky Derby Pie and Mint Juleps.

I had the pie once (on New Year's Eve of all times) and it was delicious. Super sweet so a little goes a long way. Best served warm.

Derby Party Pie

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

4 teaspoons bourbon

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup pecans (you can chop them if you like, for a smoother texture.)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the sugar. Mix in melted butter and bourbon. Stir until you have a gritty paste. Stir in cornstarch, then the pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into a nine-inch piecrust and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cool for about an hour. The pie should be served warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top. (It can also be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.)

Mint Juleps

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish


  1. Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
  2. Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter.