In the kitchen with Top Chef’s Jennifer Zavala, produced for aroundphilly.com

Tags: Video Top Chef

Photo set - the Donut Showdown.

Good morning Greenpoint…

On the way to pickup coffee at Cafe Royal, wandered through beautiful McGolick Park, noticed this old shuttered luncheonette and stopped by my #1 local pizza joint, Vinnie’s

Tags: Greenpoint

It’s a cold, overcast, late Saturday afternoon and the weather personifies my mood. Feeling a bit like a wayward traveler in a Cormac McCarthy novel, I tie up my steed (bike) to the lamppost outside and shiver into the Brooklyn Winery. Inside, everything is wood and warmth and I shoot straight for a seat at the bar.   

The space may appear rustic but its offerings are anything but; there’s little chance of a bar fight breaking out here. Though technologically very advanced, the winery’s tap system feels old fashioned, with wine poured straight from the barrel. Unlike a lot of wine bars, there’s no pretense or snobbery, or even pressure to seem like you know the seasonal vicissitudes of the viticulture of the Finger Lakes region.

With the Finger Lakes in mind, I get a good rundown of what’s on offer, and settle on the “Untitled,” a 2010 dry Riesling from Nutt Road Vinyard, Seneca Lake. It might seem odd to be drinking white wine on such a cold day, but I’m in the mood for reverie, and each sip draws me closer to a specific place, a specific time, a wonderful memory. I ravish a vegetarian flatbread, dotted with caramelized onions, blackened cauliflower, kale, and Gruyere. I order more wine and fall deep in thought for a while…or longer.

I settle the tab and head back out into winter Brooklyn. Fortified by good wine, it doesn’t feel as cold, even though day and night are just saying hello. There is the lightest scattering of flurries falling, brought out by the glow of the street lights. It is eerily quiet. For a moment, it seems like a scene from a movie, or a dream. I take a deep breath, grab my bike and ride into the darkness.                      

Tags: Brooklyn Wine

I might not have graduated to the Rameniac level yet, but I do love me some ramen. And as the frosty fingertips of old man winter push fall away, my thoughts inevitably turn to slurping noodle bowls in cozy confines with powdery snow blanketing streets outside steamed up window pains. 

Back to reality…it hasn’t started snowing quite yet but it is cold outside. Inside Momofuku Noodle Bar, the situation is hot, sizzling. Toward the back, intermittent puffs of steam are wafting out of the open kitchen as batch after batch of noodles are submerged into boiling water. Servers move kinetically with an uncanny ability to slide through the tightly packed room, delivering noodle bowls and pork buns to eager patrons. Everything fast, everything delicious.  

We slink onto stools, squeezed next to another group who immediately start chatting us up. Beers arrive cold followed by sticky, pillowy fried oyster buns. Only a few minutes pass before the heavily pork infused noodle bowls land in front of us. Conversation slows as it usually does when food is this good. But just then I look up from my bowl, take in the scene and the smells, look around and remember. Yes, this is why people come to New York City. 

A few photos from a wonderful meal at Frankies 570….go for the crostini. 

Second Chances: The post Thanksgiving lunch
Like most people, I love love love Thanksgiving leftovers. This year, the collard greens are what I find myself still thinking about days later. Here I am studying the recipe over lunch.

Second Chances: The post Thanksgiving lunch

Like most people, I love love love Thanksgiving leftovers. This year, the collard greens are what I find myself still thinking about days later. Here I am studying the recipe over lunch.

Street Food: Smorgasburg (Video Edition)!

A fall afternoon at the Smorgasburg in Williamsburg;Including appearances by Brooklyn Cured, Mighty Quinn’s, Spicy’n Sweet, and Danny Macaroons.