© Jen Murphy
The Fresh Pepper cocktail at Eos in Miami
Before flying back to NYC after my quick trip to Miami last week, I made sure to check out Eos
, the new restaurant from star chef Michael Psilakis (of NYC's Kefi
, Mia Dona
and Gus & Gabriel Gastropub
. Eos is on the 15th floor of the new Viceroy Hotel
, which combines the whimsical design of both Kelly Wearstler and Philippe Starck. The food was exceptionally tasty and beautifully plated—from the orange marlin sashimi with speck, apricot and pistachio butter to the ultratender smoked octopus to the decadent lobster-and-sea-urchin risotto with caviar, fried herbs and egg yolk. Another surprise: an ambitious cocktail list. I politely declined the server’s top pick, the Pepper Fresh, but she sent me one anyway and it was one of the most unusual drinks I’ve ever tasted—a mix of vodka and freshly squeezed lime and yellow bell pepper juices muddled with spearmint. Bell pepper juice in a cocktail? Somehow it worked geniously.
Summer is usually internship season. But summer is nearly over and fewer than a fifth of recent college graduates have job offers. Now TravelOregon (the state's tourism organization) has launched an internship contest; the seven winners will work alongside a top Oregon rancher, distiller or chef for a week. Applicants have until September 18 to submit a short video and make a case (in 140 words or less) for why they are worthy of the all-expenses-paid internship. A few of the opportunities:
*Work alongside Food & Wine Best New Chef 2007 Gabriel Rucker, at Portland’s awesome Le Pigeon restaurant.
* Explore the art of vineyard-designate winemaking from Lynn Penner- Ash, winemaker at Willamette Valley’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars.
* Make artisanal cheese with David Gremmels of the excellent Rogue Creamery.
* Turn hops and grains into craft beer with brewmaster Jamie Emmerson of Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery.
* Learn about craft spirits and get a degree in mixology with distiller Jim Bendis of Bendistillery.
When I heard about a trip called Shootin' & Drinkin', I knew I had to check it out. What a wacky combination. The trip to the Hudson Valley is offered by a cool new Manhattan-based outdoor adventure company called Urban Escapes, and combines clay shooting and whiskey tasting—though not at the same time, I was assured by Bram Levy, the director and also one of the guides. The day starts with a two-hour lesson on clay shooting (basically firing a shotgun at clay targets). After riding through the forest in golf carts stopping at various stations to shoot clay discs, the group calms their adrenaline rush with a tasting of artisanal vodkas and whiskeys at Tuthilltown Distillery in nearby Gardiner, New York. Not all of Urban Escapes' trips are so Wild West. River tubing and wine tasting down the Delaware River sounds a lot more low key.
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:
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
2 dashes rosewater
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.
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.
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.
I got to know Mike Harney when I co-authored his book, The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea. He's fun company, as well as refreshingly unpretentious when it comes to talking about tea, so I'm looking forward to the tea-tasting class he'll be teaching on July 25 at the International Culinary Center of the French Culinary Institute in NYC. During the first part of the class, Deconstructing Earl Grey, he'll serve samples of the different Chinese and Indian black teas that go into the classic blend, along with its signature bergamot citrus. If all goes according to plan, he'll end the evening with tea cocktails from FCI's own mad scientist, Dave Arnold.
Bored with plain water and in need of nonalcoholic liquids to help me get over the post-Aspen
cold that's knocked out several F&W editors this week (possibly from late-night parties at 212 House
), I stopped by Green Canteen
, the first restaurant to become LEED certified in New York. After a fragrant house-made ginger soda and a peanut butter-banana milk shake, I'm on the mend and ready for more drinks. Here are a few I'll make this summer, whether I'm sick or just hot:Gingery Fuji Apple Soda
(above)Rhubarb Soda Green Tea SodaAlmond-Tea Milk ShakesPrune Whip Shakes
© Bill Bettencourt
At last weekend’s F&W Classic in Aspen
, superstar sommelier Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine
in Boulder, Colorado, said that this economy means there’s never been a better time to be a wine drinker. So funny, because I was thinking there’s never been a better time to be cocktail obsessed in New York City. While it’s still easy to find very pricey drinks (especially if you choose to socialize on hotel rooftops), there are some remarkable cocktails for under $10 all over town. Specifically, the $6 Hudson Sour (bourbon, apple liqueur and lemon) at Damon Wise's Frugal Friday
in Manhattan, the $9 Steinway Punch (rye, lemon, Curacao and soda) at Dutch Kills in Long Island City
and the $9 Applejack Sazarack (applejack, absinthe and bitters) at Prime Meats in Brooklyn
(PM’s $5 daily changing punch can also be terrific, depending on what they're ladling out of the punch bowl that evening).
With one of my coworkers planning a wedding, a hot topic in the Test Kitchen has been catering companies and all the add-ons they offer. There's the ubiquitous chocolate fountain (which has grossed me out since I learned that it takes gallons of oil to keep it flowing properly) and the late-night coffee bar. My colleague Kate Heddings has not stopped talking about the mashed-potato bar she encountered at one wedding, with toppings ranging from chili to caviar. The latest add-on in Austin? Snow cones. But instead of flavoring the shaved ice Snoopy-style, with artificially colored, faux-fruit-flavored syrups, local event-planning company Caplan Miller uses liqueurs like Kahlúa and Baileys Irish Cream.