F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
Wine Bars

NYC Escape from Shopping Madness

default-image

Midtown Manhattan this time of year is one of the more frenetic places one can find oneself, but I've found an excellent escape hatch. Go to the I. M. Pei-designed Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street, go through the revolving doors, up the stairs, to the right, and you'll find yourself at the hotel's new Garden Wine Bar. It's an oddly serene space—you know you're in a hotel, but because the wine bar is elevated above the main entrance, the main thing you perceive are the enormously high ceilings of the marble-pillared lobby and the leafy branches of the trees that decorate the bar; what you don't perceive is the bustle of people entering and leaving the hotel.

That would be nice but not worth a mention except that the Garden also has a terrific wine list, with almost all of the 200 selections available by the glass or by the bottle. A few examples: at the low end, a crisp 2007 Pra Soave Classico ($12 glass/$48 bottle); in the high-middle range, Slovenian cult producer Movia's fantastic 2003 Veliko Bianco ($25 glass/$97 bottle); and at the truly high end, a gorgeous 2006 J. M. Boillot Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet ($40 glass/$150 bottle). Also, unfinished by-the-glass bottles are passed along to other venues in the hotel, which means that once something is opened, it's effectively guaranteed to be poured through within a day or so, an important consideration when you're talking about $40-a-glass wines. 

Admittedly, those prices aren't bargain basement, but this is the Four Seasons, hardly known for a bargain basement sensibility. Throw in impressive cheese and charcuterie offerings—including some terrific, spicy Nduja from Boccalone in San Francisco—as well as a good small plates menu, and you've got an ideal place to take a vinous break before heading out into the maelstrom of last-minute shopping again.

The Garden Wine Bar
Four Seasons Hotel
57 West 57th Street
New York, NY
212-758-5700

Cocktails

36 Hours in New Orleans: Part 1

default-image

Domenica

© Domenica
The dining room at Domenica, John Besh's new restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel.

 

I just made my first trip to New Orleans and after canvassing friends, chefs and cocktail experts plotted an epic eating and drinking itinerary. This is one city where classic spots rival—maybe even one-up—new places. Some highlights:

Saturday afternoon: Shrimp and oyster po’boys (dressed, of course) at Mahony’s, a new favorite of F&W Best New Chef 1999 John Besh.
 
Late afternoon: Historical cocktail crawl through the French Quarter with stops at Muriels, Old  Absinthe House, the bar at Antoine’s and Pat O’Briens (for the essential Hurricane).

Evening: Dinner at Domenica, John Besh’s stylish new Italian restaurant in the recently renovated Roosevelt Hotel. Besh protégé Alon Shaya oversees the kitchen and is a talent to watch. On the menu: crispy-thin, bubbly-crusted pizzas; a salad of thinly shaved tentacles of octopus carpaccio mixed with citrus and fennel; torn sheets of pasta (stracci) in a thick oxtail gravy with fried chicken livers; slow-roasted goat with chanterelles.
 
Post-dinner: Pre-night-out Sazerac at the Roosevelt’s legendary Sazerac Bar.

Late-night: The Cure is a much-buzzed-about cocktail spot uptown in a renovated 1905 firehouse. Co-owner and head mixologist Neal Bodenheimer opened the place in February and makes everything from the bitters to the cocktail cherries in-house. Bar Tonique lies on the outer edges of the French Quarter on Rampart Street. Bodenheimer also developed the cocktail list for this serious drink spot run by the crew of the Delachaise. It has a quieter vibe than The Cure, but equally excellent artisanal cocktails like the Champagne Cocktail, made with grapefruit bitters.

Super, super late-night: Mimi’s for live music, a night-ending pint of Abita Purple Haze and some tapas-style bar snacks including the "Trust Me”—that night, local braised lamb in gravy.

Bars

New cocktails at Má Pêche (a.k.a. Momofuku Midtown)

default-image

Even for me, it was too early to start drinking cocktails at lunch yesterday at David Chang's Má Pêche, temporarily located in the lounge of the Chambers Hotel in midtown Manhattan (sometime this winter, it will move to a permanent home in the former Town space). I couldn't have had one, anyway: Don Lee doesn't start serving his ridiculously good cocktails until 5 p.m., when the hostess stand turns into a bar. On the just-now-official drinks menu, Lee has installed classics like Dark & Stormys, Manhattans and Negronis, as well as ingenious items like the Sesame Old-Fashioned, made with toasted-sesame-infused Cognac, and my new favorite, the sake-based 7 Spice Sour, flavored with togarashi, the Japanese seven-spice powder (lucky me, I got to preview it when Lee was testing it out at Ssäm Bar).

Cocktails

Buenos Aires Cocktails

default-image

Albert's Rocket at Home Hotel
 I eat meat pretty sparingly, so my trip to Buenos Aires helped me fill my beef quota well into 2010. I was craving vegetables only two days into the trip, but luckily, I found an inventive way to get them: cocktails. The Home Hotel, funded by U2 producer Flood and Crowded House bassist Nick Seymour back in 2005, has vintage wallpaper, an enchanting back garden and a fantastic bar. The Scarlett the Tart, made with beet juice, was a deep fuchsia, but my favorite drink was Albert's Rocket, made with tequila, egg whites, simple syrup, lime, olive oil and arugula. With the greens strained out, only a hint of the arugula's pepperiness remained, giving the frothy drink a great kick.

Bars

First Official Late Night at Death + Company

default-image

It’s official: Death + Company, the destination bar in NYC's East Village manned by Joaquin Simo (also the supersonic deputy editor of the book Food & Wine Cocktails), has extended its hours thanks to a new liquor license. (How has the almost-three-year-old establishment survived without an actual liquor license for so long? Good question.) Simo reports from the front line on the first day of their new hours (Sunday–Thursday, 6 p.m.–1 a.m.; Friday–Saturday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.): “That first night, a busy Friday, was kind of crazy. We had a great night, even getting Phil Ward to come down the block from his agave emporium [Mayahuel] to stir himself up a Manhattan behind the bar he helmed for so long.”

Cocktails

Daniel Boulud’s New Bar

default-image

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

default-image

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

default-image

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

default-image

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.

beer
 

 

 

 

 

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.