Archive for September, 2011

Buvette Gastroteque

photos: m&j

We’ve spent our summer enjoying this Parisian-inspired West Village gem, artfully created and lovingly curated by chef Jody Williams In the former Pink Tea Cup Space at 42 Grove Street (just off Bleeker) that is now open, airy and full of wonderful detail and a fabulous menu of glorious dishes. For us, the standout is breakfast, preferably on a weekday when one has a chance to linger and, perhaps read the paper (they don’t take reservations and lines are now forming outside on the street on week nights and weekends). This is a very special place – thank you Barrie I, for the fantastic recommendation last spring when it first opened!

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farm to table meals on the European farm

photos: Jeremy Fenske, Elaine, Skinner, Andrea Wyner, Outstanding in the Field

We cannot think of many settings or meals more delightful than the ones we just read about in the New York Times Sunday Travels section about the European organization Outstanding In The Field which pairs local chefs and farmers to produce extravagant dinners amid orchards and fields while driving its roving bus around Europe this fall. The company, which was founded in 1999 has sold out farm-to-table meals across the United states with cooking stars like Gabrielle Hamilton (writer of Blood, Bones & Butter which we both recently enjoyed immensely). The European tour features 6 meals from Ireland to Spain, England, the Netherlands and Italy – where the tour wraps up at an organic farm in Tuscany where the chef has been planting crops specifically for the eight-course dinner. At $220 to $300 a meal, we can’t think of anything more fun and inspiring and wish we had the month free to indulge in this amazing foodie travel fantasy – please send us pics if any of you are able to go!

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream taste test

photos: m&j

What do you get the guy that has everything (Dad)? How about a delectable assortment of inventive, seasonal frozen concoctions packed on dry ice and shipped right to the door in St. Michael’s from Jeni’s. We ordered an assortment of five flavors: peach buttermilk, goat cheese with red cherries, queen city chocolate cayenne, salty caramel and sweet corn and black raspberries. And then did a taste test around the dining table with all nine family members, ages 7 to 76 and found that the dark horse, goat cheese with red cherries was the long shot unanimous winner with peach buttermilk coming in a close second and sweet corn and black raspberries third … the seasonal/fruity combinations definitely won out in our family. But all flavors were unanimously beloved and gobbled up by all – we cannot recommend Jeni’s ice cream or the family taste test enough and will make it a family birthday tradition from now on!

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History on the Half Shell

photos: m&j

We just discovered this 2006 gem, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky. A portrait of the once-famous oyster beds of New York Harbor that “beautifully illustrates food’s ability to connect us deeply to our particular place in the world and shows how our nourishment is so vitally tied to the health of the natural world.” “The Big Oyster is a zesty love song to a bivalve and a city  — intelligent, informative, and impossible to put down.” As ladies who love New York history and anything to do with oysters (and who happen to curate a fairly vast historical oyster shucking implement collection) we were absolutely riveted- thanks for the wonderful reco, JJ!

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Jane Eyre

© Focus Features, 2011

We’re still not quite sure how we missed this one last spring (as it is right up both of our romantic as well as cinematographic alleys) but Cary Fukenaga’s 2011 version of the Brontë classic, Jane Eyre, is a stunning, naturally lit film with all the darkness and mystery that the original Gothic novel emanates – with the lovely Mia Wasikowska as Jane, Michael Fassbinder as the dark and mysterious Rochester and a wonderful as always Dame Judy Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. Fukenaga opted for a dark and foggy palate, using candle light for some gorgeous Barry Lyndonesque scenes that truly deliver. With lots of deep blues and browns and some dawn and dusk shooting in and around Thornfield Manor location that will take your breath away – this remake is destined to become a classic. With Cinematography by Adriano Goldman, Art Direction by Karl Probert and Set Decoration by Tina Jones – thanks for the great reco, Kim!

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Alexia shoot snaps

photos: m&j

What a gorgeous week of potatoes, dip and sauce recipes we enjoyed with our friends at DDB, San Francisco and Alexia – thank you for this fun and delicious opportunity!

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Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

photos: m&j

We’ve been trying to become “regulars” at this completely adorable Carroll Gardens old-fashioned soda shoppe with a hip, local foodie twist. The location housed an actual pharmacy, which opened for business back in the earlier part of last century. It has been reopened with all the original detail you’d expect from the local soda fountain in a town like Bedford Falls in the Frank Capra film. The Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain hand makes all their own sodas from herbal syrups (like cola from cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender and citrus peels) and sell all kinds of delicious items for the pantry from local (mostly as local as Brooklyn) purveyors. Plus, founder Peter Freeman and his friendly, young staff are just really nice and fun to hang out with. Our favorite BF&SF items: the homemade pies (especially peach), the root beer float with Adirondack Creamery vanilla ice cream, the chocolate egg cream made with none other than Fox’s U-Bet Syrup, McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix, Anarchy in a Jar strawberry balsamic jam, Odin’s New York State Pearl Cocktail Onions with rosemary and juniper and the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain’s own “Farmer Jacks” homemade caramel corn and peanut mix. Not to be missed, the vanilla ice cream, broken pretzel, caramel sauce and whipped cream concoction, dubbed the “Sundae of Broken Dreams” is a little slice of heaven. The Farmacy closes fairly early in the evenings (10 :00pm weeknights and Sundays and 11:00pm on Saturdays), so plan accordingly – the experience is well worth making a special trip.

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essential summer fare

photo in paper in m&j photo: Francesco Tonelli for the New York Times

Summer is almost over, so it’s only fitting that the Wednesday Times Dining section featured the remembrances and recipes of five food writers who share their idea of the idyllic summer ingredient and meal. The grilled peaches are making our mouths water. And, frankly, we can’t wait to try them all!

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Labor Day at the Bay

photos:  m&j

Such a lovely time to enjoy the heirloom tomatoes and all the local farmers market has to offer. Our seven-grain bread was baked by a nearby farmer who actually grows his own wheat – and with perfect micro arugula from the lovely Pot Pie Farm, fresh basil from the garden and perfect striped German yellow and Cherokee purple tomatoes with a little cherry balsamic vinaigrette and fresh mayonnaise – our end of summer sandwiches were absolutely delish!

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Healthy Choice tv shoot snaps

photos: m&j

A completely beautiful and delicious week of food and its stunning accoutrements we enjoyed with our friends at Sapient Nitro and Healthy Choice – a pure pleasure!

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