Tag Archives: brooklyn fare

Top Noms of 2013

13 Jan

2013 was truly the best year of my life.  And most of my best memories of the year include (or entirely revolve around) amazing meals.

It was really tough to narrow it down to the top 10 this year with so many amazing meals, so I’m cheating a bit.  (To see the Top Noms of years past, check these links: 201220112010, and 2009)

Second Runner Up: After a lot of buzz and rumors of impossible reservations, we were lucky enough to walk in and get a seat at the bar at Chez Sardine.  This sticks out in my memory both for the amazing, creative food and for the fun of watching them construct it while peering directly into the kitchen from our bar seats.

Chez Sardine

First Runner Up: After two amazing meals at WD-50 (still in the top 3 of all time meals) we were excited to try Chef Wylie Dufresne’s more casual new restaurant, Alder.  Our entire meal was creative and great, but the chicken liver toast was a huge stand out that I still think about all these months later.

Alder: Chicken Liver Toast

#10: Our honeymoon was filled with a bunch of absolutely amazing meals, but our meal at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR really stood out for its freshness and unique use of ingredients. The trout lox paired so incredibly well with the raspberries. An unexpected match made in heaven.

Le Pigeon: Trout Lox

#9: We couldn’t wait to try Betony when it opened since it was from alumni of one of our absolute favorite restaurants, Eleven Madison Park.   We fell in love with the “Tuna Melt” with melted fontina cheese and there was sculptural beauty (and flavorful beauty) in the Marinated Trout Roe. Any other year this could be a #1 restaurant, but not in 2013.

Betony: Marinated Trout Roe on a puffed rice cracker with cucumber

#8: While we couldn’t take pictures of the Brooklyn Fare Chef’s Tasting menu, you will have to trust me that it all looked and tasted delicious.  We were very excited when they opened up a grocery store near our apartment in Manhattan and can’t wait to try their restaurant.  The Uni with White Truffle was so incredibly amazing and made me fall in love with uni (after a lot of “what’s the big deal?” in the past).

Brooklyn Fare Chef's Tasting

#7: For our date anniversary dinner, Mike took us to Del Posto, where we enjoyed the beautiful place almost as much as we enjoyed the near flawless meal.  It has certainly earned its stellar reputation as being a top restaurant in New York.

Del Posto: Lobster

#6: In what world does The French Laundry in Napa Valley, CA come in as #6 for the year?  I still am in a bit of disbelief that we didn’t love this famous restaurant even more.  In the end, it was probably one of the most perfect meals I’ve ever had, but it just wasn’t surprising.  But the oysters and pearls have truly earned their place in culinary history.

The French Laundry: Oysters and Pearls


#5: Coming back from the honeymoon, we had one last hurrah at The NoMad in NYC.  We tried the famous chicken, which had the audacity to not just be perfectly cooked with impeccably crispy skin, but also stuffed with foie gras and black truffle.  It was every bit as good as I hoped it would be, as was the rest of the meal.

The Nomad: Roasted Chicken

#4: Blanca was another Chef’s Tasting menu that didn’t allow us to take pictures of the meal (bummer), but this private room behind Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick, Brooklyn offered surprises around every corner. There were more than 25 meticulous courses, including a stand-out king crab with plankton butter sauce and not a single bad dish in all 25.

Blanca: Chef's Tasting

#3: Anytime someone asks where they should go in NYC if they want a nice meal, I recommend Colicchio and Sons.  It never fails to impress and we went back to see if the Tasting Menu could live up to our opinion from the previous time.  Each dish built upon the last and they were all expertly crafted. I have especially fond memories about the uniqueness of the potato bavarois dome with Hackeback caviar and vodka cream with homemade potato chips.

Colicchio & Sons:  Tasting Menu


#2: A huge surprise was how much we fell in absolute love with Canlis in Seattle, WA during our honeymoon.  Every dish was great and service was so warm and so welcome.  It’s hard to pick a favorite part of this meal, but I still remember how much I enjoyed their preparation of foie gras with homemade brioche to spread it on.

Canlis: Foie Gras

#1 (THE #1): I was so excited to finally try Chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago, IL at the very end of the year.  Every moment of this meal was special and fun and incredibly delicious. Even if it hadn’t been as entertaining and creative, the taste of the food alone would have made this the meal of the year.  The rest, and especially the cleverness, made this the meal of a lifetime.  The best meal we have ever, ever had.  The white truffle risotto that they brought out as a special treat was hands down the most amazing thing I have ever eaten.  It is worth a special trip to Chicago just to have the good fortune of eating here.

Alinea: White Truffle Risotto


Alinea: Scallop


We are so incredibly fortunate.  Thank you, 2013.



RECIPE: Honey Roasted Root Vegetables Over Watercress

19 Nov

Have I mentioned how excited I am to have Brooklyn Fare Manhattan right next door?  On my way home from work one day, I stopped by and picked up every root vegetable I could find.

Turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, golden beets (I find them very similar to regular beets, but without the pink fingers!) and some brussels sprouts (which are not a root vegetable, but are still delicious when roasted with root veggies).

It took me over an hour to peel and dice it all, but it was incredibly relaxing.

I then tossed all the pieces with honey, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper.  When tossing vegetables with honey, I find that stirring it beats them up a bit much and the honey is hard to distribute. So I take 2 big bowls and keep transferring the mixture from one to the other. Works like a charm!

photo 1

I roasted them (on a pan wrapped in foil) at 425 and expected it to take about 40 minutes. But at 20 minutes I started to smell some burning so I took off the foil and set the timer for 10 minutes, hoping to caramelize them without more burning.

But alas… there was a good amount of burning. I think this was because I poured the excess liquid on top of the vegetables, which pooled on the sides and burned… (tip: don’t do that)

photo 2

What’s amazing is that none of the vegetables actually burnt. It was just the extra honey around the edges.  The Silpats were a bit browner, but everything cleaned up super easily (tip: soak in water while still warm and immediately scrub. Stuff burned in the oven sticks really badly but cleans up instantly when you catch it quick).

photo 3

I then put watercress in a bowl and dressed it lightly with Persian Lime Oil and Coconut Vinegar (I love specialty oils and vinegars, but a simple splash of oil and vinegar with a twist of lime would do the trick!) and a dash of coarse salt (always a good compliment for a peppery green)

photo 4

It was absolutely frogging delcious.  The honey brought out the sweetness and deep flavors in all the root vegetables and the slight bitterness of the watercress added a peppery note to cut through the richness.  And it was a totally vegan, somewhat healthy meal!

photo 5

A great recipe that is very easy, but a bit time consuming due to the peeling and chopping!


RECIPE: Honey Roasted Root Vegetables Over Watercress

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


  • 3 big carrots
  • 3 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4 small beets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • Pinch of course salt
  • Squirt of lime (or any citrus)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Peel and chop all vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Toss with honey, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper
  4. Spread vegetables onto baking sheets (with sides) but if there is extra liquid, try not to get it in the pan. (Use as many pans as needed to have vegetables in one layer.)
  5. Cover with foil
  6. Roast for 20-40 minutes until fork tender (but not mushy)
  7. Remove foil and roast for 5-10 additional minutes until honey has glazed and vegetables begin to brown
  8. Place washed watercress into bottom of a bowl and dress with oil and vinegar and toss on pinch of course salt
  9. Spoon roasted vegetables on top of watercress
  10. Can be eaten warm or cold (stores nicely for lunch)


Brooklyn Fare Manhattan is OPEN

3 Nov

Brooklyn Fare has become quite famous for their (impressive) Chef’s Table, which we tried for my birthday dinner this year.  It is Brooklyn’s only 3 Michelin Star restaurant and our experience agreed that it warranted each of those stars.

Besides being a very cool dining experience, it is also a gourmet grocery store.

It was announced recently that they were opening up a Manhattan outpost, and it just so happened to be a half block from our apartment. (It’s on 37th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

An area severely devoid of grocery stores.

So we have been keeping a keen watch on the storefront for its opening, which finally occurred last week.

photo 3

We went for a visit to get some groceries today and, as no surprise, this is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

It was organized quite well with lots of great fresh produce.  Including these insanely oversized yams.

photo 1

They also have a lot of more gourmet groceries, including a few of my clients, such as this half an end-cap for Garofalo Pasta (we do media advertising for small to mid-size brands… my day job).  I was turned on to Garofalo Pasta when they came in as a new client, and quickly came to appreciate the brand. Great pasta. Truly.

photo 2


I was also quite impressed by their cheese section and their prepared foods looked great.  I’m a bit concerned that their check-out area is quite small, and that this little secret won’t stay a secret forever.  I can see this becoming quite crammed as soon as word gets out, but for now, I’m going to appreciate being in on a little neighborhood “gem” (that happens to be one of the most buzzed about places in Brooklyn these past few years).

Brooklyn Fare Manhattan may not replace my love affair with Fresh Direct (not only do they deliver, but their prices are very good), but it’s great to have them so close.  I am sure we will be frequent visitors and I cannot wait for the Chef’s Table to open up at this branch.

Welcome to the neighborhood!