Events, New York City Eats

summer has only begun…

Summer of 2011 has been eventful so far and I admittedly love it!   It’s always been one of my most dreaded season of the year because I do not do well with heat, humidity and  did I mention summer in New York City rancid smell is unbearable.  This may sound depressing to some people but the only thing I ever looked forward to during summer is longer daylights and juicy watermelon.   Since working for a non-profit local, regional farmer’s market, New Amsterdam Market, I’ve been enlightened and introduced to many amazing food, from fresh seasonal produce to dining at restaurants who cooks and source ingredients mindfully.

Things I ate at the market today 7.10.2011 includes:

Maple Sugar on Pretzel Stick Cotton Candy from Liddabit Sweets 

Sour Cherry Soda from P& H Soda & Co.

Avocado Ice Cream from La Newyorkina

Mast Brothers Chocolate Chocolate Cookie from Blue Bottle Coffee

And a specially made a BOMB Mi (Chef Scott Bridi’s interpretation of a Vietnamese Bahn Mi with handmade pate and pork rilette, cilantro, sriracha mayo, and pickled garlic scape ) from Brooklyn Cured. – it’s da bomb!  yeah Breuklen

In addition the market highlights a lot of fresh, vibrant and seasonal produce.  Today was a  fruit day.  I end the day with  5 types of fruits to carry home and perfect for any fruit salad, jam, tart, yogurt, honey…  Or simply enjoy the fruit on its own with a gentle wash under running cold water.

Blueberry from Flying Fox

Hand picked apricots and blueberries from Flying Fox

Peaches and sour cheeries from Toigo Orchards

And the smallest plums I have ever held and tasted from Do Re Me Farms

I am fascinated by the abundance of fruits and the variety that grows in the NY State and in the Northeast region.  The vastness and richness of what our region provide is a gem and we need to appreciate it more and it starts by supporting and eating local.  Come say hello at New Amsterdam Market.  Every Sunday 11am -4pm near the Old Fulton Fish Market.  South Street,  (Between Beekman St & Peck Slip)

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I apologize I have not been writing as diligently as I like to but all that will change soon or at least that is my goal.   As a recap of my summer thus far :

Rockaway Taco: Fish Taco and Chorizo with Guac Taco

7. 9. 2011 – Sunbathing at Far Rockaway Beach and a bite at Rockaway Taco with friends.  Far Rockaway is an example of gentrification as it continues to with new restaurants and food concession opens on the boardwalk.   The neighborhood feels less threatening, much safer and a lot more trendier than 2003.  And the beach is fairly clean comparably to any beach within New York City with waves suit for a surfer.

7. 2. 2011 – Hiking and foraging for mushrooms at Bear Mountain in the Hudson Valley region with family.  My mom has her eyes on fungi.  She spotted a number of different mushrooms which we only photographed and left it untouched in the wild. 2 years later the Appalachian trail which cuts through  here from Maine to Georgia have completed building steps along the trail making the hike extra leisure and easy but still mesmerizing to walk through with tranquil sounds of nature.

6. 29. 2011: Celebrated my awesome mom’s 55th birthday at a vegetarian Korean restaurant, Hangawi,  with an elaborate menu.  The decor of the restaurant transports you to Korea and the floor seating design will make anyone sitting in lotus position look like a master yogi.  What I enjoyed most was to eat barefooted as it is an dining etiquette.

6. 28. 2011:  Shake Shack  now closer to home.  Visited their newest outpost in Financial District.  Shroom burger is the best option for any vegetarians.  Wash it down with  a milkshake or concrete!

6. 24. 2011:  Used my novice oyster shucking skills at my friend Anneliese’s birthday home-cooked party.  On the birthday menu included East Coast Oysters, Seafood Paella, Greenmarket tossed salad, baguette with cheese and quince (YUM), and Adirondack ice cream affogato!

Radegast Hall & Biergarten: Pretzel, Grilled Sausages, Sauerkrauts and Fries

6. 23. 2011:  Took advantage of the free East River Ferry from Pier 11 to North 6 Williamsburg to celebrate first week of summer solstice with friends at Radegast Hall & Biergarten with draft beers and sausages and sauerkrauts.  Pretzel is freshly baked and soft with unique condiments on the side.  A great comfort dish is their Spatzel with gouda cheese, cabbage and Hunter’s bacon like a classic mac n’ cheese.

Bobo Lamb salad at Edible's Seven Ingredients Festival

6. 18. 2011:  Attended the Edible Local Seven Ingredients event during their Eat, Drink, Local Week.  7 ingredients: Rhubarb, Strawberry, Peas, Chives and Green Garlic,  Oyster, Lamb and Yogurt.   Appetizing appetizers all evening long.

6. 9. 2011:  Volunteered at Tasting Table Lobster Rumble (General admission: $130; VIP admission: $250; Volunteered: FREE)  17 different lobster rolls to sample from and all  intrinsically different.  Some lighter than other, other more mayo, more butter, more bun…mmm  I helped two chefs from Boston, MA,  B & G Oysters & Menton to griddle countless numbers of hot dog buns and ate countless of lobster rolls.   The team I helped out B & G Oysters were of course the best!

6. 7. 2011:  Grand Opening restaurant, Casa Nonna Party.   American food meets American Italian food.  Cute petite cup sized milkshakes.

And summer in New York City has only begun…

Addresses:

Casa Nonna ///310 West 38th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenue) New York, NY 10018

Radegast Hall & Biergarten /// 113 N. 3rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11211

Shake Shack /// Multiple locations: 215 Murray Street New York, NY 10282

Hangawai /// 12 East 32nd Street New York, NY 10016

Rockaway Taco /// 95-19 Rockaway Boulevald, New York NY 11693

New Amsterdam Market /// South Street Between Beekman Street & Peck Slip, New York NY 10038

text and images © iluvpotato 2011

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A Look into Cookbooks, New York City Eats

A Look into Cookbooks: The Frankies Spuntino & Eating My Way through 2010

My dad unexpectedly had an emergency family matter to attend in Fuzhou, China this past Wednesday and will not be back until mid-April.  What this means is I have the entire kitchen to myself!  With the cookbook I received as presents and bought as a treat of my own and with the excess time in the less busier time of the work year this means I’ll be doing the primary ingredient shopping, prepping, cooking and experimenting during the winter months.

A cookbook I came across after having the restaurant name Frankies 457 buried in the back of my mind when a friend of mine had rave reviews is The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual. It is very unlikely I ever purchase a cookbook of a particular restaurant and especially before even dining at the restaurant.  The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual however, is a beautiful addition to any kitchen library.  With only 200 plus pages with gold trimming on the edges of the pages and amazing detailed pencil renderings of the recipes and tutorials, it has the essence of Cook’s Illustrated publications to an ancient Medieval book of wizardry.  The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual introduces to the cosmopolitan diners the traditional Italian cuisines presented in a contemporary setting for the modern palate.  What I love most in the cookbook is the unexpected and out of ordinary instructions from how to grow your very own avocado tree beginning with the avocado pit. – is this possible in New York City?   I guess I will have to try to see and of course I look forward to trying many of the recipes in the coming months.   There are also non-culinary tips that may come suitable is the use of olive oil other than the use for cooking, olive oil can be used for hair and cuticle treatment.  Though, Frankies 457 olive oil is too good to be pampered for the scalp when it is meant to be savored dipped in no other than excellent rustic artisanal bread from Grandaisy Bakery.

For our annual year end holiday gathering my friends and I celebrated the Winter Solstice at Frankies 457.  As Jeffrey Steingarten in The Man Who Ate Everything said you can tell it is an exceptional restaurant based on the quality of bread.  I live by those words and it is very often true and although Grandiasy Bakery distributes to Frankies 457, it is a fine choice.  The Frankies is all about knowing the purveyors and that is perhaps the secret to their success providing only the finest ingredients.  The olive oil used at Frankies 457 is imported from Italy from a family owned olive orchard in Sicily under the Frankies 457 label and it is outstanding.  It is absolutely addicting and it is guaranteed everyone will be wanting more across the communal table.   Other recommended dishes is the Cremini Mushroom & Truffle Oil crostini ($3) and their signature dish Pork Braciola Marinara ($14).

#10 Frankies 457 /// sums up my food excursions for the year 2010 as one of my top 10 most memorable eats.  I can chug a whole canister of Frankies 457 Olive Oil!

#9 The Frying Pan ///It’s a favorite Chelsea art scene hangout.  The restaurant is on a tugboat on the dock of Pier 66.  The garlic fries are delicious with bulbs of actual garlic cloves as seasoning and the fries are fried to a nice degree of crispness.  It’s so good, it’s ashamed the vampires are missing out.

#8 The Kati Roll /// Thanks to my friend Anita resourceful knowledge in Indian cuisine after her trip to India.  This little joint with two locations in Manhattan, Midtown and West Village is our go to spot after an intense steamy hot yoga workout at Yoga to the People.  The menu is ingenious as it is non-english literate friendly user.  The menu is in pictorial images similar to the images you see when learning the alphabet.  Other than the menu the Kati Roll which is an Indian liked burrito.  It is a popular street food in India, a paratha Indian flat bread wrapped with meats, potatoes, paneer or egg.  Good for a quick dine in or on the go bite in their nice heat retaining brown paper bag.

#7 Salt & Battery /// Next to Tea & Sympathy, this fish and chips shop brings justice to little Great Britain in the Greenwich Village.  A key destination in reminiscent of London.

#6  Zaytoons /// Everything on the menu is worth salivating over and a trip to any of the 3 Brooklyn outpost.  The variety of Middle Eastern dishes offered is fun for a large group to dine to sample dishes that goes around and what makes Zaytoon even better is it is budget friendly.

#5 Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery /// You cannot get more hole in the wall than this Mexican taco paradise in Hell’s Kitchen.  Hidden in the back of a Mexican bodega store.  The tacos are greasily dripping deliciously good but the kitschy ambiance with a jukebox that plays American hit songs like “Total Eclipse” & “Unchained Melody” in Espanol is the real treat.

#4 Ippudo /// Best lunch on one of the hottest days this summer a bowl of hot ramen with  no one better than to share with my 100% pure blood Japanese friend Hiroko Shono, who just text me gave birth to a baby boy!  Welcome Hunter Takumi Cheng on a blizzard day!

#3 Golden Dragon Boat Cafe & Bakery /// After watching  Samantha Brown Hong Kong/ Macau episode with her visit to renowned Magaret Cafe e Nata Egg Tart cafe in Macau, I was craving for a Portuguese egg tart.  With very few bakeries left in Chinatown, New York City that specialize in egg tarts but only found as a decadent dessert during dim sum hours, Golden Dragon Boat Cafe remains one of the very few that still has the art in the tart. Tai Pan, Fay Da, Golden Unicorn and Lai Sum does not count. With various sorts of egg tart to your fancy, there is the traditional egg tart with the full yolk, or for the healthy cholesterol conscientious there is the egg white tart and rarely any bakeries has the Portuguese egg tart but found here ($1 each).  The bakery is full of senior regulars as an afternoon tea parlor past time and the staff at the cafe are considerably courteous for a Chinatown bakery.

#2 New Amsterdam Market /// I stumbled upon this outdoor public food market in my neighborhood in late June in what it has become a turning point in my life, literally.  It was love at first bite.  With over 50 plus food vendors from all over the Northeast region, the New Amsterdam Market introduces itself as a weekly Sunday market this Fall season gathering farmers, artisans, purveyors supporting local small business and educating us how great food tastes locally.  I had my first authentic smørrebrød and witnessed a new generation in coffee.  Favorite finds are not limited to The Bent Spoon, Shandaken Bake, Orwasher’s Bakery, Fleisher’s Grassfed Meats,  Nuts + Nuts and Stone Barns.  It is now closed for the winter but it will be back in action come Spring 2011!

#1 Jimmy’s No. 43 & Wild Gourmet Food Nov 21st Supper /// 2010 was a year in food where the concept of Farm to Table really caught on as  more than a food trend but a food habit in the food scene.  Though no other than the guest chef at Jimmy’s No. 43 had improvised with the remaining of Wild Gourmet Food produce from the New Amsterdam Market, had pulled off a spectacular meal.  It was the best of both culinary world.  The fresh water crest and the amazing exotic wild mushrooms morsels and my very first ever sunchoke gathered by the lovely couple Les Hook and Nova Kim in Vermont from the Wild Gourmet Food.  The menu and the dishes the owner Jimmy Carbone and the guest chef at Jimmy’s No. 43 composed was pure magically delicious.  To this day I am still day dreaming the tossed water crest salad, mixed wild mushrooms with bacon and sunchoke and the hearty, comfort, creamy shepherd’s pie.

It’s been an eventful year on many levels and at times dramatic.  With the welcoming of a newcomer to the Yeung family, baby Audrey Lucia Yeung whom I have an instinct has inherited the foodie genes savoring on brioche at a tender age of 10 months.  To my very own career change for the happier and more meaningful.  As another year proceeds and as we wind into a new decade, simply enjoy and appreciate what surrounds us in which I remind myself to everyday.   To everyone who has been a support for sharing your words of wisdom, giving me courage to pursue a career in food and to everyone who remains a loyal reader of my monthly food thoughts and to those who shared a meal with me in 2010.  Holiday Cheers & Merry eating!

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New York City Eats

Opah! [Yay in Greek] Weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Fleisher’s, Jimmy’s, Orwasher

It has been awhile since I have eaten from a food truck.  Since most food truck I have had in the past always seems to disappoint me.  Finally, Souvlaki Gr a food truck I will go back to again and again and even take the action to hunt down in where they are located.  Parked on the corner of 21st and 6th ave outside of the latest Trader Joe’s at 10pm on a Wednesday with Greek music blaring you cannot miss it.  Souvlaki is a popular Greek street food and essentially is a seasoned, tender grilled meats (chicken, pork, or beef).  Souvlaki Gr has a very straightforward menu,  with options on a stick, on a pita, or a burger.  I went with a Chicken Souvlaki Pita ($3.50) with onion, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce and best surprise is the french fries in the pita.  I like my meats and potatoes especially after hot yoga.  The pita was soft and warm rolled up into a twist stuffed with a good proportion of chickens, onions, tomatoes and french fries.  Not too much to the point where it is messy but enough to satisfy your hunger.  The tzatziki sauce is a light yogurt taste with a creamy texture.  I think I am a sucker for all kinds of street foods from any ethnic culture and Souvlaki Gr is added onto my list.

Jimmy’s No.43 Lamb Stew

It’s an endless adventure  week after week there is an intriguing vendor at the New Amsterdam Market. In my fifth weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market edition, from Kingston, NY is Fleisher’s Grassfed & Organic Meats. To the Julie Powell fans out there may be familiar with Fleisher’s Grassfed Meats from her post- Julie & Julia blog, novel to movie phenomenon.   Julie Powell’s latest novel Cleaving is based on her butchering lessons from Fleisher’s Grassfed Meats.  This is not why Fleisher’s Grassfed Meats is popularly known and well-respected.   The omnivore dilemma taken into effect as early as the Industrial Revolution only in recent years media has taken this issue into concern where a lot of meats are factory processed and animals are mistreated with antibiotics and hormones causing many, nation wide with chronic illness and obesity.  Fleisher’s Grassfed Meats is in the mission and on the food movement convincing carnivores and vegetarians alike to taste this difference, where they source their meats, cows, chickens, pigs, and lambs free-range, organic and from local farms to provide nutritional, healthy eating experience with ethical practice. Brought from Kingston, NY at the market there were bacon, sausages and chops all in sous-vide-esque, air tight sealed in plastic bag to maintain the freshness and flavor of the ingredients.  I was recommended to have the bacon which Fleisher’s take pride in and their beef -lamb sausage.  The third generation owner Josh Applestone went from vegan to owner of a butcher shop, I think Fleisher’s has convinced me to put aside my differences in the no beef diet at the moment and savor the goodness.

Along with the meats, I stocked up on half a loaf of cabernet rustica from Orwasher’s Bakery. With a retail bakery located on Upper East Side, Orwasher’s Bakery sells artisanal rustic bread and it is delicious to pair with a dab of extra virgin olive oil, some hearty soup or my personal favorite toasted with melted mozzarella cheese.  In addition, I purchased freshly picked scallion from Queens County Farm as a garnish for my soba noodles and a bundle of carrots from Do Re Me Farm for my carrot juice.

For lunch, I heard great reviews on Jimmy’s No. 43 Braised Beef Brisket on Brioche but I have yet to try.  Instead Jimmy’s No.43 is serving this week the lamb stew with zucchini and locally used ingredient Cayuga Farm white beans($5).  The variety of ingredients are complex and pairs well all together.  The flavors are good though the stew could have been more soupy to give the heartiness of a stew.

Addresses:

Souvlaki Gr/// check website

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Oct 17, 2010)

Fleisher’s Grassfed & Organic Meats/// 307 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401

Orwasher’s Bakery/// 308 East 78th Street New York, NY 10075

Queens County Farm/// 73-50 Little Neck Parkway Floral Park, New York 11004

Do Re Me Farm /// 342 Maple Avenue New Hampton, NY 10958

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New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Butternut Squash Soup, Kombucha, and Ricotta

Butternut Squash Soup from Table Tales at New Amsterdam Market

If you’re looking for something seasonal and local you’ll most definitely find it at the New Amsterdam Market.  At it’s peak are root vegetables and my ultimate favorite of the Fall season is Butternut Squash.  Table Tales, a catering company with a cafe in Lower Manhattan is a weekly vendor at the New Amsterdam Market.  They do free sample of their amazing meaty pasta sauce on artisanal bread weekly and sell the pasta sauce by the jar to recreate the magic in your home kitchen.  This week, cleverly Table Tales kicks off the more autumn like weather with a Butternut Squash Soup ($5) for a 12oz pint size.   The butternut squash soup comes with a mini toast which gives a nice presentation.  The flavor is pure butternut squash puree to a nice thick, consistent, creamy texture.  I believe vegetable stocks were used oppose to chicken stock but be sure to ask, for vegetarians out there.  Table Tales butternut squash soup is overall spoon licking good and is a delicious complement to my Porchetta sandwich from Porchetta.  Yep, it’s my second Porchetta in the last 3 weeks.  It’s so worth the 9 mile run afterward.

Later I had a freshly brewed draft kombucha from Kombucha Brooklyn.  If you never had a kombucha or heard of a kom-bu-wha?  It is the latest healthy beverage craze.  A kombucha is essentially a brewed fermented tea but fizzles and it is stocked at supermarkets like Whole Foods with different brands.  A mainstream kombucha brand is Synergy in which the pretty assorted CMYK color drink can really fool you.  When I had my first Synergy Kombucha, little did I expect the beverage to be 1.) carbonated, 2.) the intense scent of vinegar, 3.) Holy crap : IT’s ALIVE!   Anyhow that was the first and last time I’ll ever have a kombucha I thought to myself, or at least a Synergy kombucha.  Until I tasted Kombucha Brooklyn.  Few weeks back I sampled a concord grape flavored Kombucha Brooklyn and it was good!  So the vendor recommended the Dry-hop Kombucha Brooklyn ($3 per cup) which the name is derived from the essence of dry beer (alcohol free).  Personally, I like dry Japanese Beer and indeed the Dry-hop Kombucha Brooklyn had a similar quality.  No vinegar taste that lingers in your breath or more annoyingly in your hand because it is brewed fresh locally in Brooklyn.  If you never had a Kombucha before try Kombucha Brooklyn and not some manufactured Synergy.  Kombucha is said to be highly good for you as a remedy to cure or prevent cancerous related disease and very beneficial to regulate menstrual cycles.

To wrap up my weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market experience, there is nothing more heavenly than cheese.  There are several cheesemonger vendors with this week from Providence, Rhode Island, Narragansett Creamery.  I bought a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese ($5) in which I have yet to try but I have a good instinct it’s going to be love.  At the market the Narragansett Creamery vendors were diligently giving free samples and one of the many included their award winning 1st prized World’s best ricotta cheese and there was a blue ribbon to prove it but foremost the taste itself really proved the deserving award.  The ricotta cheese was paired with a burst of concord grape which initially I thought was an unusual pair but it made a lot of sense.  Cheese, wine and grapes anyone?  The creaminess of the ricotta cheese was rich.  With the complement to the concord grapes, the ricotta cheese had a light yogurt flavor.  I’m looking forward to unwrapping the the ball of fresh mozzarella cheese in which I can assure it will be a bundle of joy.

Address:

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Oct 10, 2010)

Table Tales /// 265 Water St  New York, NY 10038

Kombucha Brooklyn /// Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Narrangansett Creamery /// Dearborn Street, Providence, RI, 02909

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Events, New York City Eats

Le Grand Fooding & Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Home/Made, Early Bird Cookery & Do Re Me Farm

April Bloomfield The Spotted Pig, Le Grand Fooding

STUFFED.  On Friday Sept 24, my sister and I went to the 2nd annual Le Grand Fooding at PS.1 MoMA.  This year with a thematic theme: throw down San Francisco vs. New York City chefs / West coast vs. East coast.  With chefs including from New York City David Chang from Momofuku, April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig and chefs from San Francisco Laurence Jossel from Nopa, James Syhabout from Commis.  This theme derived from David Chang’s comment earlier  ” $#*! every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate with nothing on it.  Do something with our food.” – Look who’s talking?  Unfortunately, I did not get around to taste Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts dish so who am I to judge, but the combination of Beets, goat cheese, and walnuts… how innovative (sarcastically).

Food was spectacular at the Le Grand Fooding though waiting on lines after lines with the cost of our admission was absolutely annoying and disappointing.  I suppose the wait is considerably reasonable in comparison to how some of these participating chefs requires advance reservations for their restaurants up to 6 months to 1 year? -whoo   I was really excited to finally try April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig cooking.  The only female chef of the evening.  She created an exclusive dish for the event, cheese inspired a Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie.  I mentioned earlier that I don’t eat beef but I’m not a strict no beef diet person and it’s April Bloomfield!  To the fashionista she’s a Diane Von Furtensburg and to the graphic designers she’s a Paula Scherr.  April Bloomfield reinvented the British gastropub cuisine with a sophisticated modern comfort food twist and the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie was amazing!  The Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie were served pipping hot from the oven in a average muffin sized tin.  The pie had a quiche and pot pie essence.  With the exterior similar to a quiche topping off with grated  Bleu D’ Auvergne cheese with a swift of Bleu Cheese aroma in the air.  A bite into the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie the braised beef brisket was cooked to tenderness.  The proportion of cheese, crust and beef filling was cooked to perfection with layers of excitement and the taste was flavorful.

Events like Le Grand Fooding needs to be strategized.  We enjoyed April Bloomfield’s pie while on line for Laurence Jossel from Nopa (SF), Wood-grilled Pork ribeye, smoked tomato jam on artisinal bread.  The choice of tomato is very clever as it is one of the most seasonal fruits or vegetable however you like to classify it.  The dish was served bruschetta style on a nicely glazed extra virgin olive oil toasty artisinal bread with a generous  couple of  quarter inched sliced wood-grilled pork ribeye topping with tomato jam.  The tomato jam was excellent and overall it was fresh and every component and every flavored shined.

Next we waited on line in anticipation for the wine and pizza pairing from Pizza Moto (NY) and Pizzaiolo (SF) .  Unsure which was by whom. There was a seasonal heirloom tomato pizza and a calamari pizza.  Both pizza were delicious though I prefer my pizza cheesy and both lacked the cheesiness.  To end the evening, we finished off with James Syhabout from Commis (SF) Scallops with smoked stone fruit emulsion licorice herbs.  The line was the least longest but looks can be deceiving.  Chef Jams Syhabout has the execution all planned out and the scallops were very fresh and meaty.

Several dishes I did not get around to or were disappointingly out of:  David Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts (NY) ; Rich Torrisi Pickle salad (NY); Jeremy Fox’s Vegetables on a plate (SF) and Robert Newton’s Tennessee-style fried chicken. (NY)

San Francisco or New York City?  Hmm… I was born and raised in New York City and have lived here for over twenty-two years of my life but I also love San Francisco, the one and only west coast city I have gone back more than once and had considered in moving to.  The food in San Francisco is incredible.  San Francisco being closer to the Mexico border and to South America and to the Asian countries, the multicultural flavors are bold and are generally authentic.  Whereas New York City is a greater population of melting pot of multicultural and with the influence of the old inspiring the new creativeness.  Thanks to April Bloomfield’s Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie, I would give the title to New York City.  Her dish was awe-inspiring and I always appreciate chefs who cooks their food rather only having their name under their dish.

Goat Cheese on Foccacia Home/Made

To end the week and the final weekend of September 2010 is my weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market. For this week of Sept 26, I had to try the weekly vendor Brooklyn, Home/Made‘s signature goat cheese on foccacia and at Home/made served coffee brewed by Brooklyn’s Kitten Coffee. The goat cheese spread on foccacia is highly recommended and by far the best chevre cheese I have had or perhaps ever.  The goat cheese is not overly pungent but with the fresh goat cheese taste still in existence and pairing with the freshly baked foccacia bread with the right amount of consistency and thickness is absolutely heavenly delicious.

I sampled the remainder ice cream flavors at the Early Bird Cookery from Cocheton, NY which was Blueberry and the oddly unusual but favorable beer & pretzel.  It was towards the end of the day so the ice cream were not as frozen.  The beer & pretzel flavor an obvious adult ice cream is surprisingly good and will definitely stir up a conversation with the process of developing the beer & pretzel flavor with the vendor just like in those black and white western cowboy films at the saloon with a draft beer and a friendly conversation with the bartender.

At it’s seasonal peak, I bought a bundle of fresh beets from the farmer John Pahucki  Do Re Me Farm located New Hamptons, NY.   I am very excited to attempt in cooking raw beets for the first time.  I usually buy the packaged beets from Trader Joe’s which are convenient, healthy and delicious.  With some advice from local experts I am confident to attempt a better version of David Chang’s beets, goat cheese and walnuts. HA.

Addresses:

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Oct 3, 2010)

Home/Made /// 293 Van Brunt Street Brooklyn NY 11231

Early Bird Cookery /// Cochecton, NY

Do Re Me Farm/// 342 Maple Avenue New Hampton, NY 10958

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New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Green Brown Orange, Wine Stomp, & BACON

If you haven’t visit the New Amsterdam Market yet, what are you waiting for?!  So here is what you missed…

Anthony Road Winery Wine Stomp @ New Amsterdam Market

Anthony Road Winery from Penn Yann, Upstate NY hosted a public wine stomp event inviting visitors to get their feet massaged in a barrel of high quality Chardonnay grapes.  The wine stomp was very popular.  Afterall how often do you have Chardonnay grapes pampering your feet?  The aftermath of the wine stomp I’m not too sure about… Dare to sip on white wine with the stomp contribution of many New Yorkers?  I can assure it is a multi-region blend.

Lunch with Green Brown Orange

This week guest vendor Green, Brown, Orange served some seasonal prepared dishes at the New Amsterdam Market.  Green, Brown, Orange is a catering, cafe, and private party business with a cafe located on the Lower East Side.  Green for Catering.  Brown for Cafe. Orange for Epicerie.  The dishes were served from a hot buffet stand consisting, mushroom frittata, beets & carrots salad, and  fingerling potatoes ($4 each).  I tried one of everything with an agua fresca ($3) which is a very refreshing grapefruit mint lemonade beverage.  The dishes are very rustic and the taste transports you to a country farm.  The fingerling potatoes and carrots are unpeeled which I am not accustom to but I appreciated the notion that nothing goes to waste. The crunchiness of the julienne carrots and beets is a nice contrast and are lightly seasoned.  The mushroom frittata was, what can I say, it has the combination of eggs and mushrooms both of my favorite.

Bourbon-Coffee-Bacon-Caramel Kettle Popcorn @ Liddabit Sweets

The ultimate foodie favorite is the infamous BACON!  There are some unusual innovative bacon out there and Liddabit Sweets acknowledges this craze with their bourbon- coffee- bacon caramel kettle popcorn ($5)  Bourbon – checked.  Coffee- checked.  Caramel – triple checked.  Bacon- checked.  I love kettle popcorn, kettle potato chips,  the process using kettle really enhances the ingredient.  Liddabit Sweets bourbon-coffee-bacon caramel kettle popcorn was heavily empowered by the caramel taste, depending on whether you are a caramel fan this could be heaven.  The bacon bits was disappointingly inconsistent with nearly a strip of bacon in my bag of bourbon-coffee-bacon caramel kettle popcorn but the flavor of skillet fried bacon vs the sweetness of the bourbon and caramel gives you the desire of asking for more.  Liddabit Sweets offers a variety of treats at the New Amsterdam Market handmade with love and perfect for any gift baskets.

Address:

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Sept 26, 2010)

Anthony Road Winery/// 1020 Anthony Road Penn Yan, NY 14527

Green Brown Orange/// 61 hester street new york, ny 10002

Liddabit Sweets/// Find Liddabit Sweets at the Weekly Sunday New Amsterdam Market

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New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Nectarine Ice Cream, Tamales & Porchetta

Where can you find freshly brewed kombucha, homemade kimchi, and Porchetta under one roof?  Or in this case under the Lower Manhattan FDR Drive highway?  It will be the New Amsterdam Market, now in it’s 3rd annual and introducing weekly Sunday markets beginning this fall.  It’s a food lover paradise with all the local farm fresh produce selling handpicked heirloom tomatoes to made -to- order Maine lobster rolls.  New Amsterdam Market showcases a wide selection of local farmers, artisans, purveyors, and independent small moms + pops food business.  Each vendors are specialized in a particular food and are a connoisseur and more importantly passionate in what they do.

Nectarine Flavored Ice Cream The Bent Spoon

Being New Amsterdam Market is now a weekly Sunday market I will be making my weekly visits a weekly eat.  Nearly making my way through a quarter of the market,  I was stuffed with free samples from vendors.  For this weekly free sample pick of  Sept 12, 2010 goes to The Bent Spoon.  Located in Princeton, NJ, The Bent Spoon, an artisan ice cream using only fresh ingredients to create their bold and unusual flavors.  I was given a sample of the nectarine and was presented in a cute 2 inch sugar wafer cone.  The nectarine flavored ice cream borderline sorbet taste had a light but bold nectar flavor.  It tasted of fresh picked peaches and was absolutely delightful!  Most vendors will be at the New Amsterdam Market every Sunday throughout the season, with a few new additions too and a few will make occasional appearance.  Catch The Bent Spoon at the New Amsterdam Market again on Oct 17!

Vegetable + Cheese Tamales Great Performance & Katchkie Farm

There is something for everyone at the New Amsterdam Market for the sweet tooth in all of us and for those who are seeking something savory.  For this weekly out of pocket pick of Sept 12, 2010 is the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales.  I was first introduced to tamales while visiting San Francisco in 2004 and it remains to be the best I have ever had.  Though the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales are comparable.  Great Performance is an upscale catering company in New York City and it is perhaps the only catering company using fresh farm ingredients to table from their very own organic Katchkie Farm located in Columbia County, NY.  Tamales is a staple Mexican comfort food dish, pounded corn based with any ingredients desired, it is wrapped in corn husk and steamed.  To the Chinese tamales are equal to zongzi (sticky glutinous rice with fillings), prepared similarly.  Though I prefer tamales over zongzi…yeah, I am disgrace to the Chinese.  Tamales are lighter in comparison and the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm’s vegetables & cheese tamales ($4 each) with a green salsa side condiment is moist, savory and the green salsa side dipping gives a nice kick.  The cheese in what I believe is mozzarella filling is a nice surprise tucked in the center like a hidden treasure.  The Great Performance & Katchkie farm will be back at the New Amsterdam Market on Nov 21!

Porchetta slider from Porchetta

One of many participating vendors that will be at the New Amsterdam Market throughout the Fall season through Dec 19th is East Village, Porchetta. Since watching Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel with recent coverage on Porchetta, I could not stop dreaming of getting my hands on one.  Sure, East Village is a walking distance from where I live but the slider portion Porchetta ($5 each) at the market is a wallet friendly sampler before deciding on splurging for a $10 Porchetta sandwich at the restaurant and for $10 if it means more pork, count me in!  It’s incredibly seasoned with Italian herbs and slow cooked pork and crispy pork skin served on a ciabatta roll.  The only flaw is it was wrapped in aluminum foil and cold when I was hoping it was made-to-order.  Nonetheless, the first bite is a pork fiesta in your mouth!

You don’t have to wait till a month or two to try all the good eats sold at New Amsterdam Market the wait is only now in 7 days away!

Addresses:

New Amsterdam Market /// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Sept 19, 2010)

The Bent Spoon/// 35 Palmer Square W Princeton, NJ 08542

Porchetta/// 110 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009

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