Tag Archives: Chelsea

Socarrat: A Seductive Spanish Cellar Worthy of Date- or Girl’s- Night

Socarrat Paella Bar

I’m craving the warmth of the holiday season. And I’m not talking about the 61 degree day we’re having on December 6th. I’ve tried turning on the TV Yule Log and listening to a little Annie Lennox Christmas Cornucopia, but what I really want is a night out at the kind of place that warms your face and your mood the moment you push aside the winter-proofing velvet curtains hung inside the door.

I first discovered Socarrat Paella Bar in the Fall. Brick walls adorned with antique mirrors, wood-planked ceilings dropping tulip-shaped lighting, high tables forcing the intimate lean toward your dining company — I loved it before I even placed the napkin in my lap.

Socarrat Paella

But of course it’s the measure of the menu that truly wins my heart — and Socarrat seduces successfully. Choose from any number of traditional tapas, from the steeply priced{and worthy} $22 24-month dry-aged Jamon Iberico, to the more reasonable and finger-aioli-lickin’-good, patatas bravas. The left side of the menu offers a generous list of bite-sized options that can be shared amongst friends or in a friendly game of toothpick wars with your date.

But what you really want to hold out for is one of Socarrat’s eight paella options {menu here}. Placed atop cleverly elevated and off-set paella pedestals, you can easily sample several pans despite the intimacy of the small table setting. The pricing averages $23 per person, but the paella pays back 10-fold with its heaping dish of fresh seafood, spanish-seasoned meats, colorful veg and the prized caramelization of the rice bed {know as the socarrat}.

The Skim: Even if it is summer, Socarrat Paella Bar is an option you want to keep high on your dining list when you’re looking for warmth. Excellent Spanish wines, flavor-bursting paellas, easily sharable tapas are all encased in a perfectly intimately-lit setting that is suitable for a fingers-crossed date night or an evening with your closest friends.

Map: 259 W. 19th {8th Ave} or 284 Mulberry {Houston}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone:  212.462.1000

Seconds on the Spanish Senorita!:
Barcelona Digested: Food for Foodies
recipe goodness :: peppers padron at home
recipe goodness :: celebrate with stand-out spanish sangria
recipe goodness :: barcelona favorite recreated | balsamic chick pea salad

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Do This!: New York Times Cookbook Launch Party @ Chelsea Market

New York Times writers Amanda Hesser, of The Essential New York Times Cookbook and Melissa Clark, of In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite team up for a joint book launch event celebrating 20 of the city’s best chefs. Each chef will prepare delectable bite-size nibbles of their favorite New York Times recipe, while Sixpoint Craft Ales, Russ & Daughters, and Cienfuegos will quench your thirst with beer, egg creams, and good ol’ fashioned punch.

All proceeds  will benefit the Wellness In The Schools program, a New York City community based organization that works to improve the environment, nutrition, and fitness in NYC public schools.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, 7-9pm
Where:
Chelsea Market
How: Buy Tickets here {$50}

Who: Amanda Hesser
and Melissa Clark
Who Else: Read on!

Alex Raij * TXIKITO
April Bloomfield * THE BRESLIN
Ben Van Leeuwen * VAN LEEUWEN ICE CREAM
Bill Telepan * TELEPAN
Brian Bistrong * BRAEBURN
Bruce and Eric Bromberg * BLUE RIBBON SUSHI
Dan Barber * BLUE HILL
Dan Silverman * STANDARD GRILL
Dorie Greenspan * Author of “AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE”
Frank Castronovo & Frank Falcinelli * FRANKIES SPUNTINO
George Mendes * ALDEA
Karen Demasco * LOCANDA VERDE
Marc Murphy * LANDMARC
Michael Anthony * GRAMERCY TAVERN
Michael White * MAREA
Marco Canora * TERROIR
Pichet Ong * SPOT DESSERT BAR
Sara Jenkins * PORCHETTA
Sisha Ortuzar * RIVERPARK
Zak Pelaccio * FATTY CRAB
_________

BREAD by Amy’s Bread
CHEESE by Lucy’s Whey and Cellars at Jasper Hill
SNACKS by Martin’s Pretzels, Nuts + Nuts, & Food Should Taste Good
SWEETS by Valrhona Chocolate & Liddabit Sweets
_________

BEER by Sixpoint Craft Ales
EGG CREAMS by Russ & Daughters
PUNCH by Cienfuegos
_________

MEDIA SPONSOR by Edible Manhattan
BOOK SALES by Posman Books
BIODEGRADABLE TABLEWARE by Sustainable Party
MUSIC by Finger On The Pulse

Learn more on the event’s Facebook page and for more on Amanda’s book tour stops across the country, you can also follow The Essential New York Times Cookbook’s Facebook page.

What Else Is Happen’ @ Chelsea Market?
New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats

NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

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New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats

Chelsea Market After Dark

New York City Wine & Food Festival kicked off Thursday night with several star-studded events attracting celebrity chefs, industry big-wigs and foodies for a weekend long line-up of good food for a good cause. The weekend is jam packed with 120 day and nighttime events, seminars, demos, book signings and dinners with up close access and to some of the biggest culinary names and their tasty creations. The best part about it all {besides this being foodie heaven} is that 100% of net proceeds go directly to Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, two community-based organizations focused on helping to fight hunger — allowing us to literally put our money where our mouth is.

Alton Brown Sock Puppet Blue Print

What better way to launch into a series of eating and drinking events, than by attending the Chelsea Market After Dark event hosted by Food Network great and host of Good Eats, Alton Brown. Every single business operating out of Chelsea Market also showed up with some of their tastiest creations to design an evening centered around an assortment of flavors and bites for foodies to sample as they socialized through the halls of the former Nabisco factory, which is now home to some of NY’s best specialty food shops.

Alton Brown, looking awfully fit and sharp in his corduroy jacket, hosted his own mini-bash amongst some of his set props and scientific paraphernalia, generously mingling and taking photos with the crowd. As fans inched in around him, I jumped in for an intro and took the opportunity to learn a few things worth sharing:

Favorite Kitchen Utensil: His Brain
Most Important Dish to Learn for New Cooks: Eggs {I agree!}
Favorite Spice: Cumin {have you tried my cumin egg salad recipe Alton? We might be new friends}
Favorite Recipe: Whatever his wife makes {always a good answer}

Alton Assuring Me He'll Attend My Next 8.ate@eight Supper Club

Know Your Beef

A True Chemist

Taste Buds Dissected

Chelsea Market is one of my favorite places to shop, with everything from bakeries and farmstand meats to an olive oil filling station and kitchen supply store, there is no shortage of places you can stop in to pick up the makings for a weekday dinner or artisanal products for a unique gift. After hangin’ with Alton’s whimsical puppets and props we explored the rest of the market for other worthy discoveries. Lots to taste, but here are some highlights:

The Lobster Place: Fresh shucked oysters
One of my favorite places to pick up fresh fish or seafood — they have a huge selection of whole, filleted and pre-seasoned fiddies, the prices are reasonable and there is a chowder and sushi bar for a quicker bite when cooking is not an option.

The Lobster Place Shuckin' Oysters

Pure Food and Wine: Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts with Cashew Cheese, Caramelized Shallot and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Don’t run away when I tell you Pure prepares only raw-vegan and organic food. They are doing things with fresh ingredients that would make you believe magical cooking techniques were involved, but in fact everything they serve you has not been cooked. The flavors are extraordinary, the presentation beautiful and you don’t leave feeling in need of undoing a button or two.  I love meat just as much as the next carnivore, but this was MY FAVORITE bite I sampled the entire evening. There’s something to say for not messing with nature.

Pure Food and Wine Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts

Jacques Torres: Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies
Everyone who knows me knows I’m not big on sweets, but after taking a bite of these I would recommend to all you chocolate lovers to run and get one for yourself. The Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookie was top notch, but the mudslide cookie was a chocolate champion, replacing the butter in the recipe with more chocolate and creating a richness that will make your head spin.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats: Pulled Pork Sliders
After too much chocolate on the tongue, I had to wash it down with something savory again. One of the most popular tables of the evening {as evidenced by the line} was Dickson’s Farmstand Meats pulled pork sliders. And I can understand why — using all locally sourced, artisanal pork, they topped this guy off with a creamy, pickley slaw/spread/relish — whatever you want to call it, it was good. Full of flavor and texture it was MY FAVORITE CARNIVOROUS bite of the night.

Dickensons Farmstand Meats Line Awaiting Pulled Pork Sliders

DFM Pulled Pork Sliders

Yum! ‘nough said.

More to come on other NYC Wine & Food Festival events. In the meantime, stop by Chelsea Market if you haven’t already discovered this mecca of artisanal and good food goodness. Its factory feel is cool enough to check out on its own, but I could get lost for hours among the ever increasing number of shops and stands bringing some of the freshest and best food products to New Yorkers.

Map: 75 9th Avenue @ Chelsea Market

Other Chelsea Market Favs:
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning
Hands On with Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network’s NYCWFF Demo
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

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Reliably Good American Bar and Bites @ Rye House

RYEHOUSE: 11 West 17th Street

Sometimes you just want a good reliable NYC bar and restaurant — a place you can grab lunch mid-week, a cold beer after work with friends or a handcrafted cocktail on a saturday night with intriguing ingredients such as orange blossom water, egg white and small production rye. It’s hard to find all those things in one destination, but Rye House has succeeded in creating a reliable bar and restaurant menu with reverence for traditional American spirits and cuisine.

I met my friend for lunch on a cold rainy day and shook off the chill with a soup and sandwich combo. It pleasantly reminded me of something I may have been able to order if I sauntered in off the cobblestone street of New York City circa 1850. The Spring Onion Potato Soup with a sourdough crouton and provolone was served in a sturdy handled bowl and was just the hearty starter I needed.

RyeHouse Spring Onion Soup

The “Pittsburgh” sandwich was the perfect pairing to go with the simple flavors of the onion soup and had its own warming qualities with a unique combo of grilled andouille sausage, provolone, house slaw, fries all stacked together and served on a wooden plank. The spice of the sausage was nicely mellowed out by the crisp slaw, and while the fries weren’t exactly necessary on the sandwich, they added a different sort of salty, crispy bite that made this a lunch to remember {lunch menu HERE}.

RyeHouse Pittsburgh

The Skim: With a long welcoming bar placed near the front and high tables along the wall, the casual atmosphere of Rye House invites you to stop in for whatever you’re in the mood for — a good craft draft, a creative cocktail or memorable, but simple American cuisine. Rye House also holds weekly beer tastings featuring a changing selection of craft brews, so this may just be the perfect place to discover some of the names appearing at NY Craft Beer week.

Map: 11 West 17th Street {Btw 5th & 6th Ave.}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 212.255.7260

Pour Some More Por Favor:
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand Crafted Cocktails
Not so Standard Biergarten
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole

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NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

Samurai Sharpening at Chelsea Market

Knife sharpening is one of those things we should all do more often {tips to properly care for your knives below}. A good sharp knife is not only safer to use, but makes the labors of kitchen cutting far easier. We let it go because who really wants to carry around their kitchen knives in search of someone to eliminate all dullness and put our chopping skills back on track. And then comes the day when you just can’t stand it anymore — you could cut better with a butter knife.

Get Your Knives Sharpened!

If you’re in NYC, finding a good knife sharpener is not always easy. A Google search results in articles dating back seven years. Clearly this is not one of those things you can find at your local corner market. But the good news is a sweet sharpener called Margery Cohen, who runs Samurai Shapening, can service those knives easily while you take a stroll through Chelsea Market. She’s been camped outside Bowery Kitchen Supply for the past 13 years, every Wednesday and Saturday from 12pm-6pm, and has been sharpening knives for over 25 years after she got her start working at a fish market at the Jersey Shore in 1974. She is an artist by trade, but has honed these skills and our knives for the sheer joy of keeping our kitchens on point and chatting with the thousands of Chelsea Market patrons who have passed her sharpening block over the years.

Care Tips for Kitchen Knives:

  1. Use A Proper Cutting Board – Most importantly, boards and surfaces made of glass, ceramic, marble etc will damage the cutting edge in the first cut {that includes cutting on dishes!}. Wooden and plastic boards are better and have a much lower dulling effect. For the best result use very soft disposable paper or card cutting boards.
  2. Store Knives Well — Keep in a knife block or drawer covered in a sheath to prevent from damaging the edges.
  3. Hand Wash Knives — After each use clean your knives with a sponge and warm soapy water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher where they can knock against other utensils or plates and damage the thin blade.
  4. Keep Knives Dry — Knives such as carbon steal knives can rust very easily if left to dry in a drying rack. Be sure to towel dry immediately after washing and use.
  5. Steel Knives Regularly — A knife’s edge has a tendency to roll to either side and even though you can’t see it, the tip loses it’s point. Taking your knife across the a steel before or after each use, will keep the edge at a point and prevent it from getting flat and dull quicker.
  6. Sharpen Every 6-9 Months — Depending on frequency of use, chopping technique and care, your knives will need a little TLC every 6-9 months. Buy a sharpening stone or visit a professional knife sharpener, such as Samurai Sharpening, to hone the edges and your knife skills.

Go on, add a visit to Margery to your “To Do” list and get those knives back on point. Samurai Shapening is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 12pm-6pm at Chelsea Market {75 9th Avenue Between 15th & 16th Streets}

While you Wait, Try:
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?

A Sharp Knife is a Happy Knife

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The Red Cat: Comfortable Quarters & Cuisine

When you think of the color red or a cat {some people anyway} what comes to mind are feelings of warmth and comfort. Dining at The Red Cat evokes touches of both these, not only through one of the best, consistently excellent New York restaurant menus around, but also through the impeccably decorated space, where red walls, antique lanterns and dark wood always sets the mood for a memorable meal and experience.

A menu must: The Tempura Green Beans with hot mustard sauce. I order it every time as an app and always wonder how a green bean can taste SO good. As the saying goes, everything tastes better fried. Indeed! And with the salty tempura and spicy mustard, the green bean becomes the perfect vehicle for a french fry-like snack, but with a little nutrition thrown in.

Tempura Green Beans

But equally as delicious and probably also worthy of a menu must list, is the Shrimp Corn Cakes with Celery Root Salad and Red Chili Oil. It may not sound like anything overly exotic, but the flavor combination of the shrimp corn cake {a twist on the more commonly known crab cake} and the crunchy, fresh celery root with the slightly spicy red chili oil really makes you savor every bite and wish you weren’t sharing with your table guests.

Shrimp Corn Cakes with Celery Root Salad and Red Chili Oil

For my entree I had the Grilled Buttermilk Pork Chop with Cranberry Bean And Corn Succotash, with White Wine Bacon Butter. Pure mmm mmm mmm. I don’t know if it’s the buttermilk {makes me think of pancakes}, or the succotash {so fun to say} or maybe the bacon, yes the BACON! that makes this dish sit squarely in the comfort zone of your taste buds, but you CAN NOT go wrong ordering this entree. It’s simple, yet flavorFUL, and with every bite you enjoy the core ingredients.

Grilled Buttermilk Pork Chop

The Skim: If you haven’t already paid a visit to The Red Cat, well then what are you waiting for? And if this is already one of your favorite restaurants in NYC, then maybe it’s time to pay it another visit, because there are so many comfortably good, reliable items on the menu it’s only prudent to try them all. {227 Tenth Ave btw 23rd/24th Streets}


8.ate@eight Favor8
Seal of Approval

Put a Pork Chop and Corn Salsa on Your Plate @ Home:
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa

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NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market

I’ve decided to share one of the best kept secret’s in NYC: where to find the BEST falafel. This may stir up some debate, so please bring it on. Nestled inside the artisanal food haven of Chelsea Market, is Ruthy’s, an otherwise standard bakery and cafe where at first glance you can grab a bagel, panini sandwich or side salad that is probably not too different from any other lunch-crowd driven sandwich and salad counter. But if you know what to order, you’re in for one of the most delicious, best value-for-money falafel sandwiches in all of NYC.

Once you discretely ask for the under-promoted falafel sandwich {which can’t be found among all the pre-made paninis and salads in the cooler} grab a seat and be prepared to wait a few minutes as one of the workers jets to the back to cook the falafel to order and begins stuffing the pita with all the other key, smile-inducing ingredients. When you get your sandwich I suggest you find a dark corner where no one can see you devour the goodness, because I guarantee you will have sauce dripping down your elbows and veggies falling into your lap, and hey, we can’t have you worried about looking good in the midst of this delightful experience.

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So what makes this the BEST falafel? Once you open the double-wrapping of foil and parchment you will see that this is no ordinary stuffed pita. At first glance you will see what looks like typical sandwich filling — tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber. But as you start to chip away at the sandwich you will soon discover new and exciting accompaniments that have been stuffed between the bread — roasted eggplant, sweet yellow and red peppers, jalapeno, diced pickles, tahini, hummus all contribute a range of spicy, sour, sweet and creamy flavors that are the perfect complement to the crispy falafel found at the base of all this goodness. About half way through this sandwich you will wish you had more napkins, and unless you are really talented at keeping it all together, it will be time to inevitably move into fork mode as all the juice from the veg and sauce starts to seep into the pita {or on to your lap}. The best thing about all of this: it only costs $4.95. Any other pre-made or specialty sandwich on the menu goes for twice that! I challenge you to find me a better falafel sandwich.

The Skim: Forget that you’re in a rush to get back to your desk and take an extra 5 minutes to order one of the best falafel sandwiches NYC has to offer. For $4.95 you will no doubt get your money’s worth and might not even need to order dinner after you down this very generously stuffed deep pita. {75 9th Avenue @ Chelsea Market}

Check out other Chelsea Market good eats:
Ronnybrook: Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?

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Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?

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Thanks to the renovation of the High Line, Chelsea Market is abuzz more than ever. Over the past two years a lot of great new purveyors of local and artisan food products have claimed a spot in the market to appeal to professional and casual foodies alike. One of my favorite shops is the Ronnybrook Milk Bar, which is both a great place to pick up some premium organic dairy products, as well as a fun place to grab a bite to eat. With milk crate-stacked walls and pull-handle glass front refrigerators showcasing Ronnybrook’s old-fashioned glass bottled milk, the food bar has the feeling of being run right from the farm. The glass bottles aren’t the only thing old-fashioned about Ronnybrook though — the farm prides itself on producing “beyond organic” local products from a herd of grass-fed, free range cows that are hormone and pesticide free, just as farming used to be.

“Our cows’ health is more important to us than the label.”

The Milk Bar’s menu goes beyond their udderly delicious creamline milk, with items such as the Free Range Roast Chicken sandwich with spicy aioli, avocado on a baguette or the homemade Hummus with warm pita, tahini, mushrooms, olive oil and pickles. But don’t fret, you will not leave without enjoying the creamy goodness of the Ronnybrook Farm. Before we even ordered we were presented with an ‘amuse bouche’ single shot of a super premium vanilla milkshake — a delightful and unexpected surprise! But it didn’t stop there — midway through my chicken sammie, our server brought us another shot of a chocolate milkshake, followed by a third shot at the end of the meal of an apple milkshake {not my favorite}. If they weren’t so generous with the free milkshakes, I might have been tempted to order some ice cream for a post-lunch treat, but as the title says…

The Skim: …Or The Creamline — know where your food comes from. You don’t have to be a hemp-wearing, tree-hugging hippy to understand the benefits of chemical-free, locally produced sustenance. If you haven’t given Ronnybrook a try, stop in for a bite to eat at the Milk Bar and nab some free samples — maybe then you’ll fall in love with the creamy goodness. {Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave.}

Check out other Chelsea Market Good Eats:
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s

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