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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

Big Numbers for SOS Fund-Raising Dinner

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© Ellen Silverman
Key Players from Harvest Dinner Dream Team

Earlier, we chronicled the debut of Gramercy Tavern's  fantastic, but only-available-as-a-special-at-lunch burger (with homemade burger, bun, everything). Now here's more good—in fact great—news from Gramercy. Their recent Autumn Harvest Dinner, which featured chefs like Grant Achatz from Chicago's Alinea and Sean Brock from Charleston's McCrady's cooking alongside GT's Michael Anthony and pastry chef Nancy Olson, raised an amazing $253,000 for Share Our Strength. Among the highlights: Achatz's Pheasant with Apple Cider and Autumn Fragrance, which came with this advice from the waiter: Don't eat the hay ride (the leaves and grass in the dish's outer bowl). And chef Daniel Humm raising several thousand dollars by spontaneously offering a dinner at the chef' table of his outstanding Eleven Madison Park restaurant.

Restaurants

Another Danny Meyer Burger Comes to NYC

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© Brian Hill
Gramercy Tavern's brand new burger

When it comes time to build the Burger Hall of Fame in New York City, restaurateur Danny Meyer will undoubtedly have his own wing. Back in the day, his Union Square Cafe put tuna burgers on the map; then there's his little chain of Shake Shacks. (In fact, I propose that the BHOF be erected in Madison Park, next to the original Shake Shack.) Now, another Meyer spot is stepping up with a super deluxe burger—Gramercy Tavern. Here’s what chef Michael Anthony does to make GT burgers so stupendous: he butchers, then grinds the beef in-house; sets it on a house-baked bun with cloth-bound cheddar and, among other things, three kinds of onions (wood-grilled charred onions, pickled onions and fresh onions), house-made ketchup and smoked bacon mayo. What with all the in-house work, the burger is a lunchtime-only special, and it might last only until the heirloom tomatoes (another burger garnish) go out of season. So I’d get there soon. And hope that the next order of business is GT’s version of a Shake Shack frozen custard concrete.

And.. here's more just out good—in fact great—news from Gramercy Tavern. Their recent Autumn Harvest Dinner, which brought in chefs like Grant Achatz from Chicago's Alinea and Sean Brock from Charleston's McCrady's raised an amazing $253,000 for Share Our Strength.

Cocktails

Highlights from NYC’s Brewer’s Bash

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© Evan Miller
Brewer's Bash at Eleven Madison Park.



I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to end NYC Craft Beer Week than closing down Eleven Madison Park (which happens to have one of the best craft beer lists in the city) to throw a crazy beer-themed party. Tables were removed from the dining room; picnic tables were added outside and two bands were brought in to jam. Six awesome craft brewers were pouring their beers alongside awesome beer-friendly food from chef Daniel Humm.

Here, the highlights:
*Going back for seconds, thirds and fourths of Humm’s ridiculously delicious fried chicken and decadent foie gras.   

*Fantastic brews from Ommegang, Goose Island, Victory, Captain Lawrence, Allagash and Brooklyn Brewery.  

*Sampling beer cocktails made by Eleven Madison Park’s mixologists with A Voce chef Missy Robbins. My favorite was the Ceylon Sophie, a mix of Goose Island Sophie Farmhouse Ale, amontillado sherry, lemon juice and ceylon cinnamon.

*Hitting up the cask ale tasting led by Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver with L’Artusi’s Joe Campanale and Kevin Garry.

Menus

Santa Barbara Cheat Sheet Part I

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A recent long weekend in and around Santa Barbara turned up some awesome food, quirky new tasting rooms and, of course, phenomenal wines. Here, my cheat sheet:

*Nothing makes me happier than a great breakfast (particularly after a morning surfing the 54-degree waters in Ventura). Locals hit Jeannine’s for the Stumptown coffee, eggs Benedict and a chance to potentially see star surfer Kelly Slater, who is known to drop by after a surf, and D’Angelo Bread for the most perfect triple berry scones.

* Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company is back at the helm of Wine Cask (he ran the wine shop–restaurant–wine bar from 1981 to 2007) with a new partner, Mitchell Sjerven, owner of Bouchon and Seagrass restaurants. The wine bar serves seasonal, local dishes like mushroom risotto, roasted beets and goat cheese and duck confit flatbread. There is, of course, an awesome wine list. Doug gave us a taste of a special Margerum M5 Wine Cask blend he’s working on just for the restaurant. The Wine Cask tasting room will most likely become a tasting room for Margerum wines.

*Emma and Justin West, the talented young husband-and-wife team behind the tiny two-year-old Julienne restaurant are getting a ton of buzz for their daring (by Santa Barbara standards) farm-to-table food. The restaurant uses all local seafood from boats out of the Santa Barbara and Ventura harbors; ranch-raised meats (they frequently butcher whole animals in-house) and local produce. Menu highlights include the braised lamb tongue with shaved radishes and roasted garlic; grilled squid with pickled French beans and radicchio, and abalone with potatoes, celery and onion in a saffron-sea broth.

Check back tomorrow for wine country highlights.

Cocktails

Highlights: Day 2 Le Grand Fooding

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© kate krader
Le Fooding celebrities Jeffrey Steingarten and Daniel Patterson.

Saturday night of Le Grand Fooding, the irreverent food event featuring chefs from NYC and San Francisco at PS1, had a different cast of characters, and its very own highlights.

Most-Worth-It Line/Heros of the Night
: Pizza Moto, the Brooklyn-based mobile pizza oven, made pretty much perfect margarita pies for a crowd that stretched across the length of PS 1. And they did so all night, making pizzas way past closing to feed all the event staff.

Celebrity Sighting: Vogue’s Jeffrey Steingarten who camped out for most of the night near San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, where he critiqued the hay Patterson used to smoke his vegetables.

After Party: At the terrific nearby bar Dutch Kills, Jim Meehan and his crew from PDT previewed a new double shake-to-high-five that you might see if anyone ever does a remake of the movie Cocktail.

Added Benefit: All net proceeds from Le Grand Fooding went to benefit Action Against Hunger.

 

Cocktails

Highlights: Le Grand Fooding

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Aziz Ansari on line for fried chicken at Le Fooding.

For anyone who didn’t score a ticket to the two-day all-out foodie extravaganza at PS1 in Long Island City, NY, it’s hard to understand the allure of Le Grand Fooding. The lines are long, even by NYC Shake Shack standards. The NY vs SF theme was played out nine months ago. (A he said/he said blog between Momofuku’s David Chang and Daniel Patterson, chef at San Francisco’s remarkable Coi restaurant, devolved into nothing; Patterson said Chang was his best friend there.) So why is it such a super fun event? My main theory is that less, not more, top-flight chefs, pizza-makers and mixologists make them all the more memorable. Here are a few other reasons I loved Day 1. My Highlights of Day 2 coming tomorrow.

Most-Worth-It Line: For fried chicken, from Seersucker in Brooklyn, NY.  Some people said they clocked an hour waiting. Still, the chicken was outstanding, crispy and hot and well spiced.

Celebrity Sightings
: Jake Gyllenhaal (in full beard camouflage); Aziz Ansari, who smartly positioned friends in every line so he got to taste everything, then left to go to the secret Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs concert.

MVP: Jim Meehan, the brains behind F&W Cocktail books. He patiently shook about a million Belvedere Parkside Fizz cocktails to fortify the line-standers.

Menus

Preview: New York Craft Beer Week

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© NY Craft Beer Weej
NY Craft Beer Week

The third annual New York Craft Beer Week officially kicks off today and runs through Sunday, October 3. I asked event director Josh Schaffner to help me navigate my tasting schedule. Here, his cheat sheet:

1) The first annual Brewer’s Bash at Eleven Madison Park is being billed as the beer version of the restaurant’s insanely fun Kentucky Derby party. “The goal is to recreate the Derby party for beer,” says Schaffner. “Eleven Madison Park came to us to collaborate, and they are really serious about the beer at their restaurant.” The draw: Six brewers and their craft beers, two live bands, a cask tasting with Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver and six beer cocktails paired with chef Daniel Humm’s beer pretzels and beer cheese, foie gras terrine, pickled vegetables and other beer-friendly foods.
2) As awesome as the Brewer’s Bash sounds, Schaffner’s pick for the must-hit event of the week is the beer-pairing dinner at Mas Farmhouse on September 29. Roving chef-brewer Sean Z. Paxton is teaming up with Mas chef Galen Zamarra for a six-course meal that will pair beers from six different breweries with dishes such as orange-glazed escargot.
3) Must-try beer: Pretty Things will be debuting a brew from Edwardian times at Swift Hibernian Lounge.
4) New brewery to seek out: Schaffner is excited about the beers being made by Barrier, a tiny new brewery in Oceanside, New York. Try them all week at Dive Bar.

Menus

A Locavore Tribute to Central Park

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© Rosewood
The restaurant at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel.

 

Hard-core foragers like “Wildman” Steve Brill have proven that great ingredients don't have to come from country farms. Now, chef James Sakatos of The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, is going extreme-locavore with his new Tastings of Central Park menu, which debuts tomorrow. The iconic New York City hotel is just blocks from the park, and the menu will highlight park ingredients such as oyster mushrooms, chickweed, sheep’s sorrel and sumac berries. Don't expect to find anything too crazy, like squirrel or pigeon, though. The park produce acts as an accent in dishes like sumac-spiced Amish chicken, sautéed dandelions and potato-crusted black bass with park-sourced braised burdock.

Restaurants

Fashion's Night Out Cheat Sheet

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jim denevan

© c/o Anthropologie
Jim Denevan creates art in Siberia.

While fashion editors are sprinting from tent to tent during Manhattan’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, food lovers can hit up these supercool fashion-food partnerships for Fashion’s Night Out on Friday, Sept. 10.

Anthropologie recently sent Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field, to Siberia, Russia, to create the world’s largest piece of art. Between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., in front of Anthropologie's Chelsea Market location, Denevan will be making a giant street drawing inspired by the project. For a sneak preview, click here.

Scott Sternberg, the owner and designer of Band of Outsiders, is so obsessed with cookies that he’s even started a cookie blog. On Friday, the Ace Hotel lobby will be turned into a French flea market where Sternberg will have a cookie-themed booth with dessert genius Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.

Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten and Momofuku chef David Chang will be at the new Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel, hosting an artisanal-whiskey tasting paired with some of Momofuku's cult-favorite dishes.

Guest bartenders from the Taj Mumbai will be pouring Indian-inspired cocktails at a fabulous India event at designer Charles Nolan's boutique. Designer Radhika Gupta is curating acollection of folk are created by the "Gondh" tribal group who live in Indian jungle villages; Suki Cheema will be showcasing his fabulous new Indian-inspired home collection; and Vosges will be supplying curry- and spice-flavored chocolates.

Restaurants

Sneak Peek: LIncoln's Signature Lasagna Verde

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© Kate Cunningham

Here’s a question Jonathan Benno gets a lot: Why is he changing from the French-influenced kitchen at Per Se to cook a 100 percent Italian menu at Lincoln (opening September 26rd, give or take a few days). After all, he worked in France, not Italy, and cooked in French restaurants. “I always liked Italy the best,” he says. “I wanted to focus on one cuisine and represent it as well as I can.” At Lincoln, he’ll take traditional Italian dishes and tweak them—sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little bit. A case in point: his outstanding lasagna verde Bolognese, with layers of rich three-meat Bolognese sauce and plenty of gooey mozzarella, which he’ll pretty much bake to order in individual springform pans. He makes the delicate pasta with dehydrated spinach (he gets it in 50 pound bags from Ohio; he says it’s the same place Ronzoni sources its spinach from). He’ll probably make it for his old boss Thomas Keller when he comes to check out Lincoln. Is he nervous to cook for Keller? No. “It’s easier to cook for him than a lot of other people,” says Benno. “By now, I pretty much know what he likes.”

An adaptation of Benno’s elegant and delicious lasagna verde Bolognese, for home cooks, after the jump.

And for more pasta recipes, check out 's just-out October wine issue, featuring all things Italian-American. 

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