Category Archives: local eats

james restaurant: new favorite brooklyn brunch


Two Farm Eggs, Duck Sausage, Fingerling Potatoes   9

Blackberry Stuffed Brioche French Toast   9

Spinach Salad, Shiitake Mushrooms, Pine Nuts,Parmesan   11

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Blueberries, Berry Syrup, Mint   10

Crepes with Parmacotto, Manchego, Marjoram Béchamel   10

Pulled Smoked Pork with Cheddar Scones   12

Frittata with Goat Cheese, Olives, Spinach and Potatoes   9

Malpeque Oysters with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce   15

Beef Burger with Vermont Cheese on Brioche, Herb Fries   14

Steak and Eggs with Choron Sauce and Herb Fries   18

Artisanal Cheese WITH Chaichou, Aged Gruyere, Stilton  12

Herb Fries
NY State Greens with Sherry Vinaigrette
Double-Smoked Bacon
Duck Sausage
Berry Salad


today’s brunch found my ladies and me in prospect heights, where i hardly ever go for food other than to beast, at the lovely restaurant james as pre-game for the andy warhol exhibit at the brooklyn museum.  everything was delicious, driving us to gluttony.  between the 5 of us, we tried the ricotta pancakes, crepes, frittata, pulled pork, farm eggs, and a side of herb fries (plus the requisite cocktails).  all wonderful. james opened a couple of years ago and i’d honestly forgotten about it until i got online this morning to seek out a new brunch option for us and stumbled upon the ny times blurb from then.  it was good enough that we were joking about hitting the museum and then going back tonight for their sunday supper.  the restaurant itself is really beautiful, too, at the corner of st marks and carlton, street level of a brownstone with tin ceilings, long bar, large windows that make it feel light and larger than it is, whitewashed with dark trim and an antique but not gimmicky aesthetic. parfait.

pics and menu excerpt taken from james‘ site


best downtown brunch of late: public

nolita restaurant, public, serves one of the better brunches i’ve had in ny, at a pretty damn reasonable price.  cool exterior and interior, with a wrap around bar you can perch on while waiting for your table and a partially exposed front seating area perfect to enjoy the late summer/early fall still-warm days.

my friend had the turkish eggs which looked great, as well, and i opted for their variation on florentine–

“Tea-smoked salmon, spinach and poached eggs on toasted sourdough with yuzu hollandaise”

absolutely delicious as were the house bloody marys with which we washed down our gluttony protein fixes.  pitch perfect, cheaper than freemans and not the yelling, drunken frenzy of essex.  my new favorite.


Aperol Spritz

Drink Type: Cocktail – A


2 oz. Prosecco – (more Prosecco drinks)
1 1/2 Aperol Orange Liqueur – (more Aperol Orange Liqueur drinks)
1 dash(es) Soda or Seltz – (more Soda drinks)


The perfect Spritz is prepared in a wine glass, or rock. Add ice, Prosecco, dash of seltz and top with Aperol. This is to avoid that the Aperol settles on the bottom. Garnish with a slice of orange.

from chow:  Aperol, an apéritif that started being imported to the United States last year, is an Italian favorite; it was invented in 1919 in Padua. Still made with the exact recipe of the original spirit, Aperol is a burnished orange color and is flavored with a subtle blend of bitter orange, gentian root, rhubarb, and other roots and herbs. Only 11 percent alcohol, it’s less potent than most wines (though, because it’s a spirit, a restaurant needs a liquor license to sell it) and is often served over ice with soda and a slice of orange. Like any good apéritif, it neither fills you up nor gets you drunk.

Though it’s been around for almost a century, Aperol has experienced explosive growth in Italy over the last five years and is currently consumed by 3.4 million Italians every day, according to Lynn Lackey, a brand manager for Skyy Spirits, which distributes both Aperol and another famous apéritif, Campari.

“Because of that remarkable growth in Italy,” Lackey says, “we thought the time was right to bring it into the States.” She also points out the growth in the category of flavored spirits—vodkas, rums, and tequilas—that suggests a place for the orange-flavored Aperol. “Orange,” she says, “is especially popular.” The rollout started in select American cities last summer. “The bartenders we’ve introduced it to have really responded,” Lackey says. “They enjoy its mixability and its complex flavors.” Mauro Cirilli, wine director for Perbacco in San Francisco, likes the Aperol Spritz, a combination of Aperol and Prosecco that is the apéritif of choice in his native region, the Veneto in Italy

mediterranean golden jewel blend salad

this is my new favorite thing to eat, trough-size portions.  i had never heard of golden jewel blend so did some research to discover it’s an Israeli special couscous blend inspired by traditional North African dishes, made with larger-size semolina pearls than the traditional variety.  so yummy.  i think the recipe i dug up to post below will just need a bit of tweaking to get the balance right with the mint, but i think it is this flavor plus the kalamatas, feta and sun-dried tomatoes that add all of that deliciousness to the blend.  thank you lassen and hennings for again introducing me to a great dish.


1 3/4 quarts water
2 pounds of Golden Jewel Blend
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 cups kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup red onion, diced
6 ounces fresh spinach, julienne cut
4 tablespoons oregano, fresh, chopped
8 tablespoons mint, fresh, chopped
2 cups lemon vinaigrette
(1:1 lemon juice/olive oil w/garlic, salt & sugar to taste)
1 tablespoon garlic, fresh, minced
1/2 pound feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring 1 3/4 quarts water to a boil, stir in Golden Jewel Blend. Reduce to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes, or until liquid is gone. Cool quickly on sheet pan in a thin layer. Slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil into fresh squeezed lemon juice while whipping continuously. Add garlic, then sugar and salt to taste. Add all remaining ingredients (except feta cheese) and mix well before adding vinaigrette (you may choose to reserve 1 cup vinaigrette to adjust flavor of salad after it is chilled).  Chill salad and garnish with feta cheese before serving.

Yield: About 32 1/2 cup servings

the san remo–penultimate summer 2010 cocktail

i recently had this at scarpetta–though apparently, it may be found at other scott conant establishments like faustina (and the corollary second floor bar at cooper square hotel)–and it is quite possibly the best slightly bitter, slightly citrus/tart, delicious cocktail i have ever sipped my way through.  now, to buy the ingredients and experiment with different ratios to varying degrees of success in my own home until i perfect:

the menu lists the ingredients as the following:

San Remo– carpano antica, st. germain elderflower liqueur, campari, citrus & a hint of bourbon

so, of the rest i was familiar but new to me is the first one, carpano antica, which is a red vermouth, not too difficult to find, and described below by dean & deluca:

Carpano Antica Formula Red Vermouth

“From the Turin, Italy producer of Punt e Mes–a sweet vermouth–comes Carpano Antica, an exceptional red vermouth. With a recipe dating back to 1786, this is the smoother, less-sweet version of Punt e Mes. While some might feel inclined to use Carpano Antica as a mixer, the best way to enjoy it is straight up or with a few rocks. While we love Punt e Mes, we consider Carpano Antica the vermouth for grown-up palates.”

grazie mille

cienfuegos, nyc

from the folks at death & co, and mayahuel, now their rum bar, pics from nymag

conceptualist feast, a razor, a shiny knife: landscapes of quarantine

(i love the idea of this, though not beef; eyes out for the next to come)

Landscapes of Quarantine

Beyond epidemic control

And a very good day to you:

It is my pleasure to invite you to the Storefront for Art and Architecture to participate in our interpretation of the “Landscapes of Quarantine.” Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) and Nicola Twilley (Edible Geography) have curated a multi-disciplinary group of eighteen artists, designers, and architects, each of whom was inspired by one or more of the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political, temporal, and even astronomical dimensions of quarantine.

At it’s most basic; quarantine is a strategy of separation, containment and isolation — the creation of a hygienic boundary between two or more things, for the purpose of protecting one from exposure to the other. Typically, quarantine is thought of in the context of disease control.  But quarantine should not be considered only in that context.  Hence our exploration of its myriad applications, culinary among them.

During the exhibition, we have planned a series of quarantine-inspired dinners at the gallery. The range and application of quarantine concepts will be developed through the presentation of a six-course meal (menu below), as well as through performance and art in many mediums developed specifically for the event.

As a clear example of quarantine in food, we will be presenting a time lapse display of the dry aging process by Master Purveyors, which has been supplying the likes of Peter Luger and Keen’s Chop House with dry aged USDA prime beef since 1957. This will follow the transformation of a full sirloin cut from its raw butchered state to its highly sought after and prized intensified dry aged state, the result of its being quarantined in a temperature and humidity controlled space for at least 21 days.  The presentation of this beef and its butchery will be part of the program on the night of the meals, as guests savor custom aged beef.

As always these events are not only for professional chefs or foodies; they are for anyone who loves food, regardless of culinary knowledge or experience. We produce these evenings to effect a communal environment of social interaction, education and fun.

Dates/Times for event:
Saturday, 10 April
Sunday, 11 April
Guests are invited and encouraged to come at 16:00 for cooking demonstrations, dinner will be served at 19:00

Price:  $152 per person – Includes meal, paired with cocktails and wine, cooking demonstrations, exhibit

Knife sharpening
Butchering Beef
Sous Vide Applications
Slow Egg cookery
Interesting Applications for an iSi whipper

Steelhead Trout Roe, Juniper, Citrus, Angelica, Licorice
Neutral Spirit Citrus Cocktail

Hirame, Tonshi, So-su, Yasai
Unflitered Sake

Pheasant, White Truffles, Black Truffles, Thyme
In Cot We Trust

24-Day Dry Aged Rib Steak, Potatoes, Spinach, Blue Cheese, Tomatoes, Lettuces, Bacon

Soft Cow’s Milk Cheese, Fresh Fruit, Toast

Appelton Rum

Menu was written with Daniel Castaño, Michael Lee, Demian Repucci, Andrew Rosenberg and Danny Zlobinsky

A selection of cocktails and wines will be paired with the meal with the assitance of Damian Gutierrez from Cabrini Wines, Matt Franco and Jonny Cigar (who will also be performing at the events).

to rsvp for the event:

for more on michael cirino and the ideology:  a razor, a shiny knife

pic and info from the site and invite, respectively