Archive for ‘Entertaining’

Wine with Your Flowers?

By , 12 November, 2010, 1 Comment

It’s a little out of our parameters, but this is too good to ignore. If you’re looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ for your dinner party this weekend–head over to Olivino Wines at 905 Fulton Street between Clinton and Vanderbilt in Fort Greene and select some vino plus professionally arranged flowers from newly set-up florist Amy Febinger. Buy by the stem or ask Amy for a personally arranged bouquet starting at $25 (she’ll be there every Saturday afternoon from now on). And though you may be able to get some half-dead roses for less, what makes this so special is the flowers, duh. Think tree peonies, ranunculus, California garden roses, anemones and more. I’m going to go out on a limb and say your guests are worth more than bodega buds. And always nice to support a new, small business!

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Next Up: Thanksgiving

By , 2 November, 2010, 1 Comment

Just got through Halloween and trying not to raid my children’s bags after every meal. Now I have to think about Thanksgiving? So be it. Lucky for us, it’s not hard to find fabulous local goodies in the hood. Here’s my first batch of suggestions–will try to find more as we get closer to the show.

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Provence en Boite (265 Smith St.)-These outrageous pies are lovingly baked by Pastry chef Matthieu, using pure butter, sugar and local organic fruits. Along with traditional pumpkin and apple, you should also consider the maple pecan, lemon, cranberry/orange and blueberry. Also, rustique tarts will be available in apple, apricot, peach and tarte tatin (an upside down apple tart). If you want one, you’ll have to call (718) 797 -0707, 48 hours in advance–but I suspect it’s well worth it.

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Stinky Brooklyn (261 Smith St.)-Don’t go to the supermarket for your bird this year. Splurge on one of Stinky’s Heritage Turkeys, raised happily in Vermont and fed only wholesome food- free of antibiotics and animal by-products. And though the cold weather may not go over well here in Brooklyn, these turkeys develop an extra layer of fat to keep themselves toasty–keeping them moist as they roast in the oven. Birds are $5.50 per pound for weights between 12-24 lbs. Better act fast–they’re going to go quick! Call (718) 522-7425 before the order deadline of 12pm, Friday 5 November.

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A Taste of Brooklyn-in the West Village

By , 8 October, 2010, No Comment

image via Daily News

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Here’s one to ponder. Two Carroll Garden dudes have decided to open a restaurant/bar which will serve all Brooklyn-based grub and drink–on W. Houston St. According to the Daily News,

“If you’re a tourist from Madison, Wis., do you think you’re going to go to Brooklyn? No,” said co-owner Billy Waite, who makes his bed in Carroll Gardens.
“There are a lot of people who have this mentality that you have everything you need in Manhattan,” said his business partner, Aron Watman, 32, who also lives in Carroll Gardens. “We wanted to showcase what Brooklyn has to offer.”
The bar will serve beer from Brooklyn Brewery, pickles from Brooklyn Brine and kielbasa from Steve’s Meat Market in Greenpoint. The bar and tables will be made from Coney Island boardwalk.

Of course, will a tourist give a toss that their kielbasa is from a Polish/hipster outpost? Will they realize that a trip to Coney Island takes about 45 minutes on the F train? Nah, they’re just going to see the word “Brooklyn” and think it’s kind of cool and “different.” Maybe the Brooklyner should offer discounted tours of the borough–or create a place-mat with 10 things to do in Brooklyn? Anyhow, it’s an odd decision, but interested to see how it works out for them.

The NEW Brooklyn Cookbook is Here

By , 28 September, 2010, No Comment

I don’t think anyone who lives here has to want for restaurants. These days, when we have the babysitter, we don’t even think of heading to Manhattan for dinner unless we’re meeting friends. We’re happy to walk to one of the many fabulous eateries that have opened in the Bococa hood in the past few years. And if we do get in a cab, we might just as easily go to Red Hook, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Prospect Heights or even Bed-Sty (friends took us to outrageously yummy pizza/pasta joint, Saraghina recently to sit in the magical garden and drink wine from a carafe). So it”s no surprise to see a cookbook come out of this burgeoning foodie scene. According to The Brooklyn Paper, Brendan and Melissa Vaughan have collaborated on the “New Brooklyn Cookbook,” with a collection of recipes from 31 of the borough’s best restaurants. Out on Oct. 5., “‘There’s an eclectic mix of different styles and types of food,’said Melissa. ‘That’s what we were out to represent.’”

In addition to the recipes, which are accompanied by Michael Harlan Turkell’s good-enough-to-eat photographs, the cookbook highlights other Brooklyn trailblazers — cheesemakers, picklers, chocolatiers and rooftop farmers who also make the food scene tick. “We wanted to provide a representative sampling of the kinds of artisanal food producers making interesting products in the borough,” said Brendan. “They’re really as much a part of it as far as the restaurants go — it’s what makes Brooklyn unique as a food destination.”

Come help celebrate at “The New Brooklyn Cookbook” book party at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], 4 Oct. from 7-9 pm. For info, visit

Another Market-Driven Eatery Needs Your Help

By , 22 September, 2010, 1 Comment

Colonie Restaurant hopes to fill of one of Atlantic Ave’s empty storefronts soon–but they need your help to do it. Brooklyn Heights Blog first reported that the three co-owners of the proposed eatery would like to open the space at 127 Atlantic Ave (next to Floyd between Henry and Clinton) but still need to raise cash. To do so, they’re asking you to contribute via Kickstarter–a website that allows wanna-be entrepreneurs to get a project funded in a certain amount of time–or abandon said project. If the needed coin isn’t raised, no money changes hands. According to the site, the focus of the restaurant is “local, seasonal American cuisine with a definite bias to all things gastronomically Brooklyn, and [our] wine list will be unique yet super approachable and affordable.” Your help will buy them “a great counter top and bar stools, sexy kitchen appliances, beautiful pendant lamps, and cool tiles for the wall.” Incentives are being offered to everyone who contributes, though I don’t know exactly what they are. It’s certainly an interesting idea–let’s see if these go-getters can pull it off!

Seaport Flowers Comes to Henry Street

By , 7 September, 2010, 2 Comments

Seaport Flowers, a Brooklyn Heights staple, is moving shop to Abitare’s old space on Henry Street between State and Atlantic. The beloved store on Hicks Street closed on 20 August after 23 years of business and owners have been working frantically to get ready for a soft opening tomorrow. As well as stunning flower arrangements and accessories, you can expect the store to carry a small, special collection of plants and containers and one of a kind vintage pieces–thanks to the new space’s backyard. “The new location is wonderful since it sits in between Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill/ Carroll Gardens. Leaving the neighborhood was never an option, I LOVE it here. When the space on Henry Street became available allowing us to stay in the Heights and have a back yard, the choice was clear,” says owner Amy Gardella. Stop in and say hello if you get a minute and look for a grand opening TBA sometime in October.

Whiskey & Rye Tasting

By , 30 July, 2010, No Comment

It may not seem like the perfect summer drink, but whiskey is not only for sipping on a cold night or after a meal. It can be a subtle mixer for refreshing cocktails as well. To help you choose the perfect spirit, Red Hook’s Dry dock wine + spirits at 424 Van Brunt street, will be holding a tasting of American and Canadian whiskeys from Hirsch Selections and Old Pogue Bourbon this Saturday, 30 July from 5:30- to 8:30. Afterward, you can head home and pour my favorite whiskey cocktail recipe, perfect for the warm weather and simple to shake up anytime:

Auld Alliance
Shake together, 25ml measure of whisky, juice of half a lemon, 15ml of Cointreau, a dash of sugar syrup and ice. Pour into a highball glass, top with lemonade.

Nabe Grillin’ Guide

By , 30 June, 2010, No Comment

If you love the local food scene, but haven’t heard of Nona Brooklyn, it’s time to swing by their site and take it all in. The website and blog gives you daily updates on a plethora of BK restaurants and shops–letting you know specials and what’s fresh on the menu. It even allows you to personalize your favorites and get specific posts from the bakers, butchers, brewers, restaurants, shops, bars and farmers at local farmers markets. Today they’ve got a great guide to grilling and Bococa has some fabulous options.

If Staubitz Market is the place you always seem to walk by (222 Court Street at Warren) but haven’t been to yet, we’ll give you a reason to check it out. A longtime Brooklyn institution for those in-the-know (since 1917), the Staubitz crew always serves up its famous Niman Ranch pulled pork and slow-smoked, St. Louis-style BBQ ribs if you’re looking for some great ‘cue. But for those of you headed out of town, Staubitz has another great option: the Weekend Package, where they’ll work with you to build a customized package of hot dogs, sausages, meats, and anything else you want, neatly wrapped up and packed in ice for your journey. And better yet, they’ll do this all for free for their grill-lovin’ brethen (and sis-stren)!
G Esposito and Sons (357 Court St), aka The Pork Store, is a Carroll Gardens classic that’s a mandatory voyage for any pork-lover or grill master. For sausage aficionados, they’ve got some excellent summer grilling choices, including a tomato-basil sausage and a pepper + onion sausage ($7/lbs for each). For those looking to shake things up, you can ask them to hit you up with some Spiedini (pictured), a pork tenderloin and mozzarella shish kebab with olive oil and bread crumbs. Expert grillers only–just kidding, these are really easy and really tasty.
Love fish on the grill but worried about where it’s coming from these days? The guys at Fishtales on (191 Court Street) have you covered. They get up at 2am to be first in line at NYC’s New Fulton Fish Market, and they tell us the swordfish, halibut, and salmon are looking fantastic. If you want to cook something up that’s light, tasty, and very quick, any one of those on the grill is a fantastic way to lighten up the meal. Red Hook Lobster Pound (284 Van Brunt St) has become an icon of the New Brooklyn Food Scene by putting a BKLYN-spin on a once-fancy food: lobster. What do we mean by BKYLN-spin? Quite simply, a focus on sourcing the best freshest lobster directly from the boats harvesting them in the Gulf of Maine, and a dedication to making the best, most authentic traditional lobster rolls you can get in New York City minus all the fuss and frills of our neighbor to the West. Owners Ralph Gorham and Susan Povich bring the lobsters down directly from Maine in the back of her tricked-out van in just a few hours (they stay nice and cool in their kiddie pool), and the freshness is insane. They are great in the old-school boiled approach, but if you haven’t tried lobsters on the grill before, please, just put a lobster-shaped search light in the sky and we’ll come over and help you. We’ll work for food, as usual.

Trader Joe’s Love

By , 29 June, 2010, 1 Comment

I know most of you don’t need a reason to head into Trader Joe’s on Court and Atlantic. The cavernous grocery has won hearts since it opened back in 2008. But last weekend, I threw a baby shower in my garden and after heading to my other true love, Sahadi’s, for chocolate seashells and dark chocolate covered orange rinds, I grabbed some last minute supplies at the Joe’s. I had no extra time to get flowers so I scooped up three bouquets of African roses for $3.99 each. They were small, delicate roses and I’m happy to report, still going strong on my table today (more than I can say for roses I’ve gotten from expensive flower shops in the hood). Secondly, I threw a container of the edamame hummus in my basket for luck. Out of all the things I put out for these ladies to nosh, everyone kept coming back to that–asking what it was and who made it. All in a day’s work on Atlantic Ave.

Think Pink

By , 15 June, 2010, No Comment

Nothing says summer like a bottle of rose wine. And if you’re a sophisticated wine drinker, you know that doesn’t include sickly sweet white zinfandel. Though fans of this pink refresher have culminated over the past few years to make it a popular pick for any outdoor festivity–you may want to get a little update on your choices for this season. Our pals at Brooklyn Wine Exchange are here to help with a showcase of organic rose wines from Rosenthal Wine Merchants, tomorrow evening, 16 June, at 7pm. Sign-up for this class begins at 6:30pm for non-members (members are welcome). Don’t be late–it’s sure to fill up quickly!