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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cocktails

Daniel Boulud’s New Bar

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bar

© Wanderplay Studio
The design of Bar Pleiades is a nod to Coco Chanel and the lines of a '30s Art Deco bar cart.

 

New York City’s Upper East Side finally has a serious cocktail spot. Last Thursday, prolific restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s newest project, Bar Pleiades, opened with a cocktail program run by mixologist Cameron Bogue (formerly at DB Bistro Moderne’s Vancouver outpost). The bar is part of the $60 million dollar makeover of the historic Surrey hotel, which will reopen in November. Like the menus at the recently reimagined Café Boulud next door, Bogue’s cocktails are inspired by la tradition (classic French cuisine), la saison (seasonality), le potager (the vegetable garden) and le voyage (global flavors). Bogue makes everything from the rhubarb bitters in his Sloe Gin Fizz to the fermented ginger beer that gets mixed with saffron-roasted pear vodka and yuzu for his Beijing Mule—an ode to his recent motorcycle voyage across Asia.

Recipes

The Standard Hotel’s Beer Garden

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Kurt Gutenbrunner ringing the bell at the Standard Beer Garden.

© Jennifer Salerno
Kurt Gutenbrunner ringing the bell at the Standard Beer Garden.

It's not every day that a famous Austrian chef hand-feeds you a weisswurst, but that's what happened to me last night at New York City's Standard Hotel's Beer Garden.

Wearing lederhosen in honor of Oktoberfest and a jean jacket personally given to him by the fashion designer Helmut Lang, Kurt Gutenbrunner (The Upholstery Store, Café Sabarsky, Blaue Gans and Michelin-starred Wallsé) handed out huge rock-salt-encrusted pretzels baked by Amy's Bread to trendy New Yorkers and taught me the proper way to eat a weisswurst (peel off the skin, dip in sweet mustard and devour with or without utensils).

Gutenbrunner rang a bell behind the beer garden's sausage bar throughout the night ("In Germany we ring the bell to call people to eat," he said). But he was upstaged by a German street-cart favorite called curry wurst: a juicy grilled bratwurst topped with ketchup and curry powder and served in a bun on a bed of sauerkraut.

Hotelier André Balazs gave Gutenbrunner carte blanche to select the garden's Schaller & Weber sausages and German beers (the chef's favorite is the Bitburger Pils, which he describes as "a golden beer that tastes like Champagne, a slight bit of lemon and a touch of banana"). Balazs even named a sausage on the menu after the chef: the Cheddar "Kurt"wurst–a bratwurst oozing with the creamy cheese.

"I've never met anyone with a bigger vision than André, or anyone who cares so much about making the beer garden experience here as authentic as possible," said Gutenbrunner before leading patrons in a chant of a Bavarian drinking song that loosely translates to "One More Beer."

Here are 7 more amazing sausage recipes from the F&W archives, perfect for any Oktoberfest celebration.

Cocktails

New York Fashion Week with Padma Lakshmi and Mary-Kate & Ashley

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Top Chef host, cookbook author and former model Padma Lakshmi kicked off New York City's fashion week by judging hors d'oeuvres created by six fashion celebs in a cook-off at Bergdorf Goodman's BG Restaurant. The contestants included designers Peter Som (panko-fried oysters with blood-orange gastrique and tartar sauce) and Naeem Khan (chicken with 26 Indian spices, wrapped in lettuce), but the hands-down winning dish, according to Padma (and F&W's omniscient Kate Krader), was Lela Rose's corn crepe topped with lobster and a cilantro–pine nut salsa. Midway through the competition, Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue, peeked into the room, threw her head back with a rarely captured laugh and exited into the fashion ether.

Later that night, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen served watermelon-and-candied-ginger martinis to a packed room of crazed fans in an effort to promote their clothing lines Elizabeth & James and The Row. A few minutes into the service, Ashley said, "Is there music?" and the staff turned on some beats. Any good bar patron knows that you should always tip the bartender, so I dropped a dollar on the bar (a move that confused Mary-Kate and made it into the next day's paper). After all, leaving a tip never goes out of style–even if it's for a couple of billionaires.

Bars

Celebrating Craft and Canned Beers

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This Friday kicks off the second annual New York City Craft Beer Week, a 10-day event that includes incredible beer-pairing dinners hosted by top New York state brewers and star New York City chefs, as well as tastings, seminars  and bar crawls. Next month, a new type of beer-appreciation event will take place in Reno, Nevada. On October 23, the city will host the first-ever international canned beer festival. But don’t expect to find PBR or Miller. The event, dubbed Canfest, brings together a growing number of craft breweries, like Reno’s Buckbean Brewing Company, Maui Brewing Company and Oskar Blues, that eschew bottles for eco-friendly (and, some argue, more beer-friendly) aluminum cans. Celebrities from the beer world will serve as judges. The daylong festival will also include beer-and-food pairings and seminars with brewers.

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Bars

Sports-Star Foodies

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As New York magazine has observed, star athletes are turning into foodies. Tour de France teams now hire chefs trained at the elite Culinary Institute of America. NBA players are searching for authentic hummus. And earlier this year, hockey player Sean Avery of the New York Rangers even opened a sports bar/restaurant, Manhattan's Warren 77, serving incredible garlic fries and roast chicken.

Athletes may need to start keeping their inner restaurant critic in check though. San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie was recently fined $2,500 after Tweeting that the bad food served at training camp may be the reason his football team can’t seem to reach the Super Bowl.

Wine

Pop-Up Wine and Design

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MadCrush
 

The coolest new place to take in great design, food and wine is MADCrush . This new pop-up bar appears for the first time tonight at NYC's great new Museum of Arts and Design. Restaurant design genius Stephanie Goto created the space largely from recycled wine boxes and crates and it will appear on the museum’s seventh floor every Thursday from 5 to 10:30 p.m., until the end of August. The menu: wines by the taste, glass and bottle from Crush Wine & Spirits. Del Posto’s Mark Ladner is cooking for opening night. Future guest chefs will include George Mendes of Aldea and Scott Conant of Scarpetta.

Recipes

Moonwalk in Queens

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© Sarah Kaufmann

NASA celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon this week by handing out slices of a giant moon pie, and a San Diego woman known as "The Cheese Lady" sculpted a five-and-a-half-foot-tall astronaut from a 1,920-pound block of Wisconsin mild cheddar. I commemorated the historic event on a smaller scale at supercool Queens, NY, bar Dutch Kills with a Moonwalk, a fruity sparkling cocktail that was the first the astronauts drank upon their return to earth. Here's the original recipe for the drink, created in 1969 by Joe Gilmore, the head barman at the Savoy Hotel in London:

The Moonwalk
Makes 1 drink

Ice
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
2 dashes rosewater
Chilled Champagne

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Grand Marnier, grapefruit juice and rosewater and shake lightly. Strain into a chilled coupe and top with Champagne.

Cocktails

Boston Mixology 101

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Star Boston mixologist Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli recently launched a “Do Try This At Home” series of cocktail classes at Craigie on Main's bar in Cambridge that is part history lesson, part hands-on cocktail laboratory and part cocktail tasting. Just back from last weekend's Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, Tom hosted the first two-hour class, “Bar Meets Apothecary: Drops, Dashes and Ounces—the Impact of Bitters.” Future classes will focus on vermouth and the savory-drink pantry. Tom is also contemplating a winter-warmers lesson for November.

Winemakers

Friday Night Tribute to Alice and Olivier de Moor

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Friday evening found me hanging out at the Lower East Side wine bar Ten Bells with a couple of friends who were in from Paris and with the wines of Chablis producers, Alice and Olivier de Moor. This pair has been making wine together in Chablis since 1994, striving to makes wine in the most hands-off way possible by using organic grapes, pneumatic presses to squeeze the grapes, gravity to move juice from one phase of winemaking to the next and without the addition of sulfur. Strangely enough, we didn't try any of their Chablis, but ordered three of their other wines, which led to an impromptu investigation into what else they can do. Each was dramatically different from the next, but all had clean, driven acidity and graceful balance, as might be expected from people who are experts at Chablis. Here was the line up:

2006 Alice & Olivier de Moor Bourgogne Aligoté ($23; find this wine)
In Burgundy, the grape variety Aligoté is often overshadowed by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but this wine, with its ripe green-apple zip and stony minerality, shows that it has some potential of its own.

2006 Alice & Olivier de Moor Bourgogne Chitry ($25; find this wine)
The de Moor's Bourgogne Chitry comes from a region just beyond the Chablis appellation. This chardonnay is long and streamlined with delicate sweet citrus fruit and peppery baking-spice notes.

2007 Alice & Olivier de Moor Sauvignon de Saint-Bris ($22; find this wine)
This region to the southwest of Chablis produces old-vine sauvignon blanc that tends to be much fuller and more lush than in other regions like the Loire. This vintage from the de Moors keeps giving and giving bright candied lemon flavors with intriguing salinity.

These all were nice accompaniments to the garlicky baby eel salad, thick brandade, salty boquerones, and grilled octopus and potato salad that we had with them, making for not only a study in de Moor wines, but in all things seafood, as well.

Menus

NYC's Best New Outdoor Dining

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© Diane Bondareff

There aren't any of Southwest Airlines' famous rapping flight attendants at The Southwest Porch, the airline-sponsored pop-up dining patio in New York City's Bryant Park. Instead, there are some great new sandwiches from 'wichcraft, the popular Bryant Park kiosk that's part of the Craft family of restaurants.

“We thought it'd be fun to do interpretations of iconic foods from each city on Southwest Airlines' new flight routes from New York,” says Sisha Ortúza, 'wichcraft's chef and co-owner (with star chef Tom Colicchio). Ortúzar came up with a menu that includes an NYC meatball parm sub, a Chicago bratwurst with sweet sautéed onions and (my favorite) a Baltimore soft-shell-crab sandwich with watercress and a tartar sauce made with lemon aioli and house-made pickles.

Now if only Southwest would offer the sandwiches on their flights, I might be inspired to bust a rhyme—although a couple of the ginger margaritas at The Southwest Porch might do the trick.




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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.