Tag Archives: NYC

Graeter’s Great ‘Scream — Midwest Team Takes On NYC

Graeter's 'Scream

Selection of Graeter’s ‘Scream

Graeter’s Ice Cream is not entirely new to me. My sister-in-law in grew up in Cincinnati, home to this fourth-generation family-owned churner, and has been speaking the praises of Graeter’s for years.  But until recently native fans had to rely on mail order if they  hoped to find their favorite treat outside of the midwest and I could only sample their scoops on return trips home to Michigan. Good news for NYers {and me}: last week I received an email announcing these infamous midwest-made pints are taking on the NYC artisanal food scene and will be available in all D’Agostino stores.

This announcement also offered to ship a few fan favs my way for a taste test. I, of course, didn’t want to be rude and decline such a thoughtful offer. And so arrived four frozen flavs — Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip and the Ohio State-inspired Buckeye Blitz {chocolate-peanut butter ice cream chock full of peanut butter cookie dough}.

Graeter's Famous Massive Chocolate Chips

Graeter’s Famous Massive Chocolate Chips

The verdict of the taste test? As a Notre Dame alum, you’ll never hear me speaking the praises of the Ohio State Buckeyes, but in this non-football face-off, the Buckeye Blitz outperformed the rest of the competition in my book. You’ll never hear me turn down anything with peanut butter. The good news is the win was not a landslide — every single pint exceeded expectations. What really set these scoops apart was not some off the wall flavor combination like bacon and bourbon {which seems to be what all the new fangled ice cream kids are making these days}, but the simple quality of good ingredients. It only takes one bite of their massive — and I mean MASSIVE — chocolate chunks to know exactly what I mean. They aren’t hard, break-your-teeth, frozen bits of pseudo-chocolate — they’re soft, gooey, pieces of fudgey heaven. And this is coming from a girl who is not a chocolate addict.

It’s nice to see hometown heros moving to the big city. And while I’ve lived here for over 10 years, and have some favorite frozen finds, I am 100% cheering for this new line-up — the sampling won’t end after these pints are empty.

More ‘Scream Teams:
SF Best: Bi-Rite Ice Cream Done Right
I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream
Victory Garden: A Victorious Frozen Yogurt Twist
Goat Town’s Non-*Goat* ‘Scream

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NYC Best: Num Num, Num Pang

num pang spread

num pang spread

Num num num num — ‘nough said. Num Pang is a Cambodian sandwich shop in NYC and is the Cambodian term for bread or sandwich. A midweek lunch excursion took me from our flatiron office down to their union square outpost for one of the better lunch discoveries I’ve had in a long time. Their menu lists several mainstay made to order options, as well as a few special seasonals.

All the sandwiches are served with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo on freshly baked bread. My choice? The grilled khmer sausage with asian slaw, a cup of greenmarket gazpacho soup and a blood orange lemonade to wash it all down. I probably don’t need to provide much of a detailed explanation for you to read that list and need more convincing of its deliciousness — the perfect combinations of fresh ingredients, married together with Cambodian seasonings for 15 minutes of simple eating enjoyment. My only advice: go early and midweek to avoid the lines.

Map: 140 East 41st or 21 East 12th Street
Reservations: Not Taken
Delivery: Yes!
Phone: 212-255-3271

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Do This!: Dine with a Banker Turned Monk

Dine with a Banker Turned Monk

Dine with a Banker Turned Monk

Yes, you heard me correctly. When most people aim for Wall Street, they don’t typically land in a Monastery. But for Rasanath Dasa, this journey started early in life as a search for deeper understanding of what we’re all here for. While he pursued one path of societal-defined success, earning an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, an MBA from Cornell University, working as a strategy consultant at Deloitte and as an investment banker at Bank of America, he was simultaneously learning from the renowned spiritual leader Radhanath Swami and starting his lifelong practice of Bhakti Yoga.

Intrigued? So was I. I had the pleasure of dining with this banker turned monk and count it as one of the most unexpected evenings I’ve stumbled upon in NYC. With an enlightening story to share, Rasanath is hosting several small dinners a month as an opportunity to invite you into his world while enjoying a vegetarian meal cooked by monks and eaten in the traditional style at the monastery {think coconut curried vegetables with ginger, sweet potatoes and cauliflower, served over jasmine rice with cumin seeds}. You might have to get on the waitlist as these evenings are selling out weeks in advance, but you can book or add your name to the SideTour list HERE.

 

Coconut Curried Vegetables and Jasmine Rice with Cumin Seeds

Coconut Curried Vegetables and Jasmine Rice with Cumin Seeds

Can’t wait to add a monastic dining experience to your calendar? 

The Bhakti center is launching a summer lineup of other classes and events that sound just as cool as free opera in the park or a private supper club on the UWS.

Cooking Classes with a Monk

You’ve heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” We are indeed that, and so much more. Moods, attitudes, and energy levels are all intricately linked to our daily diet. Gita Wellness is a cooking class and dining experience, which explores the dynamic world of food and health, as unfurled by the culture of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Date and Time: Friday, June 1st, 7-9pm
Location: Bhakti Center (25 1st Ave.), 1st fl.
Course Fee: $25 (includes class and full-course meal)
Register: Click here and select ‘Gita Wellness’ under offerings of interest

A Monastic Twist on Dinner and a Movie

GS Summer Film Series is a special monthly event during the summer of 2012 that will take you on a unique cinematic tour of the human condition as seen through the eyes of the Bhagavad-Gita and three of its teachers. The Bhakti will be hosting  an evening movie, which will be followed by dinner and a discussion.

When: June 16th at 5:00 p.m. at the Bhakti Center {and July 21, Aug 18}
What: Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce. An entirely new foray into the realm of cinema and consciousness.
Register: Click here and select Summer Film Series under offerings of interest

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Do This!: Mike’s Knife Sharpening Truck Rolls City-Style

Mike's Upper West Side Knife Sharpening Truck

A year and a half ago I wrote about the importance of getting your knives sharpened once to twice a year depending on how much of a work out they get. And now I’m here to admit I didn’t listen to my own advice. In NYC, it’s not the most convenient thing to have to lug your knives around in search of a professional sharpener. I love Samurai Sharpening in Chelsea Market, but even that is a subway ride away and requires some planning. So imagine my delight when I turned the corner onto my street this past Sunday and saw a truck I’ve been chasing unsuccessfully for the past 10 years.

Mike’s Sharpening is the exciting answer to your dull knives. Mike’s mobile business has been rolling through the streets of the Upper West Side long before the food truck craze entered our vocabulary. With man’s best friend in the passenger seat and a bright red bell hanging out the driver’s side window, he alerts the neighborhood of his arrival old-school style. Like kids run to the Good Humor man, city cooks swiftly stride down the block carrying their chopping companions in search of a honing treatment. While you sit on the curb, Mike brings your knives back to life in a matter of minutes and for far less money than speciality kitchen shops around town. When I offered my advise that he should create a twitter account to notify sharpening seekers of his whereabouts, the man of few words just smiled and shook his head. I love the charm of a man who has been sharing his skill from inside the four walls of his truck for years, with nothing but his tools and canine companion to keep him company. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years until I find him again.

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 Mike’s Truck or Samurai Sharpening, to hone the edges and your knife skills.

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8.ate@eight Deliciously Different Valentine’s Day Gift and Dinner Ideas

♥ Text Me ♥ Recipe 4 Love ♥ Table 4 Two ♥ Be Mine ♥ Cool Cat

You’ve found that special someone who likes long walks on the beach too, but you’re late to the game planning Valentine’s Day? Never fear, if you’re in need of some good inspiration to show your love, here a list of a few of my favorite ideas — whether you’re looking for a romantic night in, a unique meal out or a gift of food that is the way to your love’s heart.

♥ Labor of  Love With Your Own Hands ♥

Cocktail Kick-Off: Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
When In Doubt, Roast a Chicken: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
When in Doubt, Roast a Hot and Spicy Chicken: Some Like it HOT Pollo alla Diavola
Spice it Up: Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes
Bourbon and Flames to Heat Things Up: Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster
Bedtime Snack: Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Breakfast in Bed:
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg w/ Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

More 8.ate@eight Recipes HERE

♥ Wine & Dine ♥

10s Across the Board: The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
An Aphrodisiac’s Evening: Lovin’ Me Some Oysters @Mermaid Oyster Bar
Interactive Eating: Love, Love Shabu Shabu: Fun to Say and Eat
Butt. ‘Nough Said: Momofuku That Pork Butt is Good!
Slurping is Sexy: NYC Ramen Wars: Ippudo vs. momofuku noodle bar
Smoked Meat is Sexier: 18 Meat Dishes for Men & BBQ Heaven @Fette Sau
Cozy and Romantic: August in April
Single and Looking for Love: Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole

More 8.ate@eight Favor8 Restaurants HERE

♥ Gifts A Dozen Times Better Than Roses ♥

Take a Kick-Ass Specialty Class: Sign-Up for an Underground Sidetour 
Ice Cream Gram:
Send Your Valentine an Ice Cream Gram from Milkmade
A Gift to Warm the Soul: Blue Bottle Coffee Brews One Brilliant Cup at a Time
Artisanal Meats, Cheeses & Chocolates! Artisanal Specialty Foods Digested

♥ Text Me ♥ Recipe 4 Love ♥ Table 4 Two ♥ Be Mine ♥ Cool Cat

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Do This: Take an Underground Sidetour to Get You Through the January Blues

There may not be snow on the ground yet, but I for one am looking for a little inspiration to get me through January — and the 3°F with windchill is not helping matters. Enter Sidetour, an online marketplace that recently launched this Fall, promoting “authentic experiences. real people.” Or a tagline I am going to apply: really cool experiences, with really cool people we should all know more of {you, of course, do not need to be really cool, but you do need to be real and ready step off the beaten path}.

Sidetour created a platform for anyone with an expertise to host and promote unique events, allowing the host to set everything from the date, price and size of the group to suit each artisanal experience. The result? A collection of underground, undiscovered ways to fill your calendar that break the monotony of your typical social flings {we know you love Pastis, but isn’t it time to try something new?}. It’s the year of private supper clubs, pop-up anything and being the first to know about gems you won’t find in a guidebook or on any Top 10 lists. Whether you’re a native to NYC or a visitor who just tossed their Lonely Planet in the garbage in favor of an authentic experience, Sidetour plays right into the idea of bringing passion and the uncharted together to provide you with something memorable and inspired.

Brooklyn RootedEnjoy Brooklyn Rooted: an Artisanal Dinner Party for 8, with the Chef Who Won Last Night’s Chopped on The Food Network

 

 

 

 

Indian Food and Beer PairingOr Taste Flavorful Indian Food with the Perfect Beer Pairing Prepared by a Contestant from NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant

 

 

 

Dine with a Banker Turned MonkHow About Dining with a Banker-Turned-Monk at an East Village Monastery?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear not, if you’re outside the NYC area, Sidetour plans to expand to other cities this year. And if you’re on a January cleanse after one too many Christmas cookies, check out events that span other areas of interest beyond just food. Hey guys, these would make for great date ideas…several that caught my attention:

Explore the Epicenter of Graffiti Culture at 5Pointz

Get an Insider’s Glimpse into Manhattan’s Historic Jazz Scene

Explore Cutting-Edge Art in Chelsea with a Gallery Insider

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NYC Best: Kalustyan’s Ingredient Haven for Foodie Curiosities

4,000 Varieties of Spices, Herbs, Coffees, Teas and More

You’ve settled down on your couch with your largest unsoiled cookbook, determined to test your culinary skills and whip up a spectacularly artful culinary masterpiece. But as you scan your lofty ingredient list, you start to question where one can find avocado leaves or za’atar. Surely the local bodega doesn’t carry these items and it’s likely to be a stretch that even the two-level Whole Foods will stock such curiosities. But before your inner Julia Child is deflated, let me introduce you to Kalustyan’s, NYC’s landmark for specialty foods and spices {and the place to grab a killer falafel}.

Carrying over 4,000 varieties of spices, herbs, sweets, coffee, tea and snacks from all over the world, Kalustyan’s shelves stock pretty much any culinary ingredient your adventurous heart desires . Even the seemingly most basic ingredients, such as cinnamon, presents the option of choosing from 10 different types of stick to ground and Sri Lankan to Vietnamese. Need mustard? I count over 40 varieties on two shelves. Looking for good olive oil? Then you’ll have to start with which country you want the olives to originate from — Lebanon, Greece, Spain, Italy, Syria….

Kalustyan's is a condiment heaven

Kalustyan's is a condiment heaven

But be sure not to get lost amongst the array of choices and shelves of alluringly yellow-labeled packages, because one of the other best kept secrets at Kalustyan’s is the mediterranean deli on the second floor. If you manage to find the stairs between the stacks of airy pita and crisp halva, you’ll be guided by the scent of garlic, spiced meat and salty cheeses. Grapeleaves, falafel, hummus and baba ganoush are just some of the treats you can sample from this homemade hideout. If you’re at a loss for what specialty to select, simply ask the charming Syrian man behind the counter who will share tales of the home country and offer an opinion of his favorite dishes. As someone with a Lebanese heritage, I can assure you this is the real deal.

So whether you’re looking for a unique gift for the food-lover that has everything, or an obscure ingredient from some faraway land, Kalustyan’s is the place that every wanderlusty foodie should travel to.

123 Lexington Ave {btw 28/29th}
New York, NY 10016
212-685-3451

Store Hours:
Mon – Sat 10am-8pm
Sun/Holiday 11am-7pm

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Bobby Flay Serves Up Tasty Taco Talent at New York City Wine & Food Festival

There was no shortage of taco talent at this year’s Food Network Wine & Food Festival Tacos & Tequila event hosted by renowned master of southwestern cuisine, Bobby Flay. With a $200 price tag per ticket, the evening included the opportunity to taste a selection of taco creations from over 35 of New York’s most celebrated chefs and restaurants, with all the proceeds going to Food Bank NYC and Share our Strength. If you missed this year’s NYCWFF, you can still help raise money for these charities by bidding on a month of Farm to Table Freshocracy deliveries and other seriously delicious auction items HERE.

Tacos and Tequila

With a chilled tequila cocktail in one hand, party goers were free to sidle up to the likes of Jonathan Waxman from Barbuto, Scott Conant of Scarpetta or Kin Shop’s Harold Dieterle to name a few {full list of celebrity chefs HERE}. “What do you have for me tonight Harold?” With the swiftness of a Top Chef champion, he rattled off the list of deliciousness almost too quickly to note: “Tonight we have braised beef brisket and bone marrow tacos with radish sprouts, fried taro root, roti, and yellow bean aioli…Enjoy.” Thank you — I will and I did. The thing about an event like this, is you would be challenged to eat your ticket price in food, so being strategic about your sampling choices is key. If you jump too quickly at the tables near the entrance, you may miss a real gem in the far back corner.

Jonathan Waxman

So what was my favorite of the evening? The hands down winner for me was Scarpetta’s spiced crusted lamb neck tacos, filled with goat cheese crema, on blue corn tortillas. Everything from the richness of the lamb to the sharp, yet creamy goat cheese and the the blue corn that served as a well thought out flavor component {as opposed to strictly an ingredient vehicle}, really made this hand-held sample sing. If it wouldn’t have been a wasted “punch in the tasting card” to go back for seconds, I would have, but alas, we were on to the next…
Best innovation of the evening? Delta’s flight attendants rolling through the crowd with a cart of breath mints, hand wipes and toothpicks. Why can’t I get this kind of service on the plane?

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The Dutch: American Fare for Wait-Worthy Exploring

Asparagus Okonomiyaki and a Poached Egg

You know the sign of a excellent restaurant is one that you walk by at the opening hour of 5pm with a glance at empty tables assuring you of a seat, only to be proven wrong with an hour-long wait when you return a mere 30 minutes later {at a time which still rivals the early-bird special.} But this should come as no surprise for diners at The DutchAndrew Carmellini’s latest and greatest outpost in the heart of SoHo.

The good news: if your dining preferences are flexible, you can score a lively seat at the bar or window-counter, where you can digest the scene of high-powered, loafer-wearing dudes and well-heeled ladies who are happily sucking down oysters, while washing it down with a whiskey or wine.

But this scene will only distract you momentarily until the waitress presents the deliciously spicy cornbread and a menu that will leave you torn and asking for recommendations. My eye was immediately caught by the Asparagus Okonomiyaki with a Poached Egg — for those who aren’t familiar with okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory egg pancake that can be topped with a variety of ingredients, The Dutch’s nod to this traditional dish’s flavors was genius. With a topping of rich yolky goodness, uniquely papery bonito flakes and a traditional sweet worcestershire-like sauce, the asparagus spears were merely a raft carrying the unlikely {and absolutely perfect} Japanese flavors…at a restaurant that describes itself as being “American-focused fare.” If I hadn’t already polished off the cornbread, the plate would have been wiped — and I mean wiped — 100% clean.

Grilled Swordfish, Summer Beans, Mustard and Pine Nuts

It’s summer and right about now the Swordfish are hanging out in local waters, so with the temperature rising, this sea born Grilled Swordfish and Summer Bean entree with Mustard and Pine Nuts was an appealing choice. I also stand firmly behind the claim that mustard is the best secret ingredient that can be added to a dish — it’s sharp, peppery, colorful and ready to go at a moments notice. And given that swordfish is a meatier fin-friend, it easily stands up to the strength of the mustard. The dish was straightforward and simple, and for that I loved it.

The Skim: Whether you’re looking for a scene or a sensational supper, The Dutch is the SoHo selection for you. If you’re able to get a reservation, great, otherwise go early or willing to wait — but whatever the way, just go!

Map: 131 Sullivan @Prince
Reservations: Taken! {start calling}
Phone:  212-677-6200

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Victory Garden: A Victorious Frozen Yogurt Twist

Salted Caramel and Pretzel Twist

It seems only appropriate after writing about my hot pollo alla diavola that I should now cool down your palate with a mouth-watering suggestion to try Victory Garden, a recently opened frozen yogurt shop that is churning out a new twist on an old favorite.  Everywhere you turn there is a frozen yogurt shop these days — ones where you can personally load up your bowl with as much yogurt and toppings as you want {and have no one to blame but yourself when it costs you $10}, chains that have developed a cult craving culture for a weird tartness that doesn’t at all remind me of dessert, and others that lure you in with the promise of being fat-free, while lining their walls with plexi-containers of sugary gummy candy. But that is neither here, nor there — the fact is, America loves FroYo.

While most ice cream or frozen yogurt shops start with cow’s milk to create their creamy confections, Victory Garden saw an opportunity to showcase a new kind of ‘scream, using fresh goat’s milk. The appeal? Goats eat a lot of greenery, which translates into a vitamin-rich milk. In addition to its health benefits, people with lactose intolerance have an easier time digesting goat milk than cow’s milk — victory for lactose intolerant lick-lovers!

But what really matters, is how it tastes. Victory Garden’s goat milk base is slightly tarter than what you would find from a traditional cone, but for someone who seeks savory sweets, that gets a big vote in my book. It’s still creamy and sweet, without being too much so. But the innovation does not stop there — inspired by traditional Middle Eastern dessert called dondurma, which often incorporates floral essences that are meant to please the palate and elevate one’s state of mind, Victory Garden’s flavors and toppings change with the seasons, and feature local favors that reflect the bounty of the earth. Hmmm, intriguing.

On tap: Victory Garden Herbal Blend, Orange Blossom Vanilla, Damascene Rose & Mastic, Lavender, Neroli Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Rosemary to name a few. Unclear on which of these off-the-charts flavors would be the way to go for my first Victory Garden twist, I sampled the victory garden herbal blend — at first bite, you will know immediately that this no ordinary treat. It smelled and tasted like a beautiful little pot of bright, summery herbs. In the end I went with the salted caramel with a pretzel topping — yes I really do fall in the savory camp. It was light, crunchy, sweet & salty, delightfully refreshing and as promised, pleasing to the palate. Victory achieved.

The Skim: Can’t eat cow’s milk based ice cream?  Looking for inspired flavors to excite your regular frozen yogurt habit?  Victory Garden is your winning ticket back to the world of frozen treats and will not disappoint your search for a world beyond vanilla.

Map: 31 Carmine Street

Need to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth:
SF Best: Bi-Rite Ice Cream Done Right
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning
Under the Bridge, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory Treat
I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream

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Do This!: Summer Cheese Extravaganza!

Jessica Wurwarg Shares Some Great Pairing Information

Summer Cheese Extravaganza!

When: Saturday July 23
7:30 p.m. until the cheese runs out…

Where: MikNic Lounge
200 Columbia St. between Sackett and Degraw
phone: 917 770-1984

What: Free Cheese Tasting {yes, FREE}
Learn about a selection of amazing cheeses and how to pair  them with wines, beers or spirits
Did I mention it’s FREE? So get there early before the supply runs out!
Local artist, Chris Mancuso, will also be doing an on-the-spot painting.

Jessica Wurwarg (Cheese Guru)
Miki Mosman (Miknic proprietor)

RSVP to wurwarg@gmail.com so they can make sure to have enough good curds on hand.

Public Transit Directions: Take the B61 Bus or the F to Bergen or Carroll.

See Amazing Past Cheese Events with Jessica:
Historic India House Shares Spectacular Cheese and Space
Do This!: A Taste of What to Expect @ Artisanal Premium Cheese Classes
8.ate@eight #2: Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!

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Getting Local, Personal {and Naked} with Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43

Local Naked Cowboy Oysters from the Long Island Sound

Local Naked Cowboy Oysters from the Long Island Sound

When I co-founded Freshocracy with my partners, we set out with the primary mission of making it easier for busy New Yorkers to get back in the kitchen and cook from scratch. But our secondary mission was to delight our customers with the simple and intense flavor of locally harvested and seasonal ingredients that taste like real food is supposed to taste. You can’t argue with a sweet, juicy field red tomato when it’s picked at its peak and comes straight from the farm to our customers’ tables.

Eating local or calling yourself a locavore may seem like a new trend or matter of awareness to most of you, but there are a few trailblazers in the New York food scene who have been upholding this food philosophy since before it was a coined phrase. Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 {an East Village locavore-centric artisanal beer and food den} and founder of The Good Beer Seal, is a man everyone should know. He is an avid supporter of local farmers {check out his menu or join a small-farm CSA with pick-ups at Jimmy’s}, an innovator in planning fantastically fun food fests {Cook Out NYC, Meatopia, Taste of Tribeca, The Great New York City Shuck ‘N Suck} and an educator in what it means to enjoy good food and good beer {local oysters and beer tastings every Wed/Thurs + other local-centric events}

In honor of Edible Manhattan’s Eat Drink Local Week, I chatted with Jimmy to understand what inspired his love and respect for all things local…and then slurped down a few Long Island Naked Cowboy Oysters and cold brews at the Jimmy’s No. 43 Eat Drink Local Oyster Event to fully appreciate how he spreads the local love.

While Jimmy grew up with a sensibility that food from local farms is the freshest, getting access to it wasn’t always as easy as going to Union Square on the weekend with your resuable bags. It wasn’t until Jimmy opened his first restaurant, Mugsy’s Chow Chow, in 1994 that he started going to the greenmarket to shop, but even then the market was smaller and his menu wasn’t entirely dedicated to local ingredients. In 2002, with his lease running out he renamed the restaurant to Patio Bar and reinvented the menu to be more focused on the market. The result was amazing food, but there was still a disconnect between his diners’ undeniably positive reactions and their understanding of the local influence on their meals. In Jimmy’s words, “people thought it was weird.” The seminal moment in Jimmy’s locavore timeline came after he opened Jimmy’s No. 43 in 2005. Jimmy hired a new chef to go to the market five days a week to source their dairy, produce and meat from local purveyors. After setting a number of standards for their menu, Jimmy’s No. 43 was awarded Slow Food NYC’s Snail of Approval seal {an award recognizing quality, authenticity and sustainability of the food supply of the City of New York.} Six years later, Jimmy’s continues to serve up an inspired menu that could only be made better by enjoying one of the many fine microbrews on his bar list. His local philosophy and New Yorker’s reception of it finally converged.

But just because Jimmy uses high quality, local ingredients, doesn’t mean his menu will put a large hole in your wallet. Jimmy very smartly works with farmers to select cuts they have excess supply of, keeping his costs low while helping these small producers sell their inventory. If his regular good food menu and good prices aren’t enticement enough to spend some time sipping beers and noshing at No. 43, then swing by on Wednesday or Thursday for $2 local oyster night. If you’re lucky, Eddie Oysters, the fastest shucker in the land, will be on hand to entertain and feed you. Oyster Trivia: don’t be afraid to slurp one too many of those slippery little suckers — they are only 10 calories a piece!

The thing I love about Jimmy is the casualness of the world he has created. It’s not about didactic local teachings, but enticing a community of diners and sippers with a consistently good local food and beer atmosphere. Lure them in with a stellar menu and fantastic food events and perhaps they will leave with a better understanding of what it means to Eat Drink Local. We at Freshocracy certainly hope so too!

Eddie Oysters Gettin' Naked

More Local Goodness:
Freshocracy {and yours truly} Featured on Good Food Jobs
Summer Lovin’ Me Some Oysters @Mermaid Oyster Bar
NYC Best: Purely Good Food & Wine

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Do This! Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week Kicks off this Saturday

Eat Drink Local Week 2011

Local. Local. Local. We at 8.ate@eight and Freshocracy think Local is where it’s at. Not only are there amazing foods being harvested within 250 miles of NYC, but there are amazing people doing things with this food {and drink}. This is one of my favorite weeks in the city each year — everything from local oysters to local brews are being showcased in a series of seriously summery shindigs. So clear your calendar and devour all the goodness coming our way from Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week!

Saturday June 18th — Festival of 7 Ingredients

Those are seven stellar spring foods–in this case strawberries; peas; chives and green garlic; rhubarb; lamb, oysters and yogurt–produced or farmed or fished locally. Each has delicious stories to tell, and to jump start Eat Drink Local Week Edible Manhattan is hosting a festival and tasting (oyster stew! green garlic and chive quesadillas! spicy lamb salad with pea greens!) and includes wine from Wolffer Estate in Long Island and beer from Kelso of Brooklyn.

When: Saturday 6/18 6 to 9pm
Where: OpenHouse Gallery in SoHo at 201 Mulberry Street
Tickets: $25  HERE

Wednesday June 22th — Taste of Greenmarket

The benefit of all benefits to raise money for the Greenmarket Youth Education Project. Just check out this incredible lists of chefs:

Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern
Dan Barber of Blue Hill & Blue Hill at Stone Barns
April Bloomfield of The Spotted PigThe Breslin & The John Dory Oyster Bar
Marco Canora of Hearth & Terroir
Mary Cleaver of The Green Table & The Cleaver Company
Marc Forgione of Marc Forgione
Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter
Kurt Gutenbrunner of Cafe KristallCafe SabarskyBlaue Gans & Wallsé 
Rick Hickman of The Green Table & The Cleaver Company
Lauren Hirschberg of Craftbar
Peter Hoffman of Savoy & Back Forty
Patti Jackson of I Trulli
Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern
Bret Macris of Rose Water
James Meehan of PDT
Marc Meyer of CookshopFive Points, & Hundred Acres
Marco A. Moreira of Tocqueville Restaurant
Deborah Racicot of Gotham Bar and Grill
Julie Reiner of Clover Club & Lani Kai
Aaron Sanchez of Centrico
Justin Smillie of Il Buco
Bill Telepan of Telepan
Karl Franz Williams of 67 Orange Street
Galen Zamarra of Mas (farmhouse) & Mas (la grillade)

When: Saturday 6/18 6 to 9pm
Where: Studio 450 450 West 31st Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $225 General Admission 7 to 10 PM; $350 VIP Tasting 6 to 10 PM Purchase tickets

June 26th — Beer and BBQ

Beer and barbecue at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack to kick off Eat Drink Local on the East End. Look for all seven ingredients, including a roasted lamb with yogurt and chives, smoked oysters, plenty of peas and strawberry-rhubarb something.

When: Sunday 6/26
Where: Townline BBQ in Sagaponack
RSVP: call Townline, 631.537.2271, or buy your tickets here.

JUNE 29 — Meet Your Maker

“Meet Your Maker”: a local food and drink artisan tour at the Brooklyn Brewery. In celebration of Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week Edible is teaming up with The Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Bottle, Brooklyn Winery and Mast Brothers Chocolate for a night local food tours and beers.  $15 gets you a tour of one of four businesses and a gathering at the Brewery for beers afterwards.

Where: The Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn
When: Wednesday June 29th, 6 to 9pm
Tickets:
Reserve your space here.

JUNE 29 — Strawberry Social

The Strawberry Social: to raise funds for Food Systems Network NYC at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden.

Where: La Plaza Cultural Community Garden; 9th St. and Avenue C
Tickets:
 $50 Reserve your space here.

JUNE 30 — Oyster and Beer Party

A Long Island oyster and beer party to end Eat Drink Local, at Jimmy’s No. 43. This all-you-can-eat event will offer up precious Blue Points along with “Naked Cowboy Oysters,” wild-harvested bivalves named after the infamous Naked Cowboy himself (heads up, word is he will be making an appearance).  Craft beer and wine (sourced from the East End of Long Island) will be available for purchase.  Featured beer will include Greenport’s Duck Porter, and wines will be from the Paumanock region vineyards.  Notable shuckers will attempt to dethrone Jimmy’s No. 43 champ, Eddie “Oysters,” winner of the 2010 NYC Food Film Festival’s Great New York City Shuck and Suck.

Where: Jimmy’s No. 43
When: Thursday, June 30; 5 to 10pm
Tickets: $35 Get your tickers here!

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Do This!: Freshocracy Greenmarket Cooking Demo This Sunday

Freshocracy

NYC’s local farm-to-table
grocery and recipe delivery service. 

The tools to put better meals on your table. 

“Freshocracy takes real ingredients, from real local farms, and wraps them in a bow with a recipe card that promises success at the table.”
— Keith Gibson, Grazin’ Angus Acres Farm

Come Meet and Try Freshocracy!

When:  Sunday 6/12 from 12-2pm
Where:  77th Street Greenmarket (@Columbus Ave)
What:  Christina and Andreas will be running a cooking demo of their favorite Freshocracy recipe: Ostrich Tacos with Lime-Pickled Radishes
Why:  Why not?!
  • Meet Christina (or just say hi)
  • Watch, taste, ask questions, ooh and ahh
  • Introduce neighbors and friends to the new farm-to-table delivery service that so many New Yorkers have come to know and love!
  • Meet the farmers who are working hard each week to bring you such amazing seasonal farm-fresh food!
  • Did we mention free food?
See What People Are Saying About Freshocracy:

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Do This!: Brewers PicNYC on Governor’s Island

Are you one of those people who gets excited when everyone else leaves the city for the weekend? “Be gone and leave us to enjoy some of the finer things this city has to offer — like good food and good beer on an even smaller island than we live on…with sand!”

Brought to you by Food Karma Projects (producers of Pig Island, Meatopia 2010 and Brewers 4 Brewers), Brewers’ PicNyc {how clever} is a two-day celebration {May 29-30/11am-5pm} of everything that makes NYC great: street food, craft beer and music on Governors Island’s historic Colonels’ Row.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Added Value Farm – a sustainable farm on Governors Island. This is Governors Island’s official 2011 kickoff, and the unofficial beginning of summer, so spend your Memorial Day weekend eating well and doing good. What a lineup!

Food Vendors: Asia Dog • The Bistro Truck • Cup Cake Stop • Desi Food Truck • East Village Meat Market • Familia Camarena Tequila • Gorilla Cheese NYC • Gotham Artisinal Sodas • Izze • Jimmy’s No. 43 • Joy Ride • Kimchi Taco Truck • Kombucha Brooklyn • Luke’s Lobster • Orwashers Bakery • PizzaMoto • Pizza Truck NYC • Sour Puss Pickles

Beer Vendors: Brooklyn Brewery,Goose Island, Sixpoint and Two Brother’s!

Free ferry to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more directions click here.

Buy Tickets Here

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Freshocracy On Fox News Live!

Wow, what a week! After launching Freshocracy under the radar just a few weeks ago, we somehow got picked up by Fox News Live {Video: HERE}! One week later, I’m riding the subway down to News Corp. with two bags of fresh greenmarket ingredients, recipes and pre-measured seasonings to show the entire world how easy it is to get back into the kitchen and cook from scratch {seriously, we’re taking all the hard work out of the equation!}

We’re small, but growing and our goal is to make it really easy for busy New Yorkers to put better meals on the table. We do all the planning, shopping and some of the pre-measured prep to deliver everything you need to make dinner easily. The best part about it {well there are many things} is that we source the absolute best ingredients from the local farmers’ market — you just can’t get quality and flavor like this elsewhere. All you have to do is pull out a few pots and pans, follow our easy directions and enjoy!

So if you know any busy working urbanites, new moms or just lovers of good food who are looking for an exciting cooking experience to be apart of, spread the word about Freshocracy! Ramp butter, green garlic, 100% grass-fed beef, 100% Berkshire Pork, mustard greens — are all part of next week’s delivery. Oooooooh!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and see all the amazing things we’re doing!

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Filed under 8.ate@eight, Do This!, Eat Here!, NYC Best