Dining at Balaboosta with an Expert

Last week, I received an invitation from Naama Shefi, Israeli food specialist and past Director of Public Programs and Events at the Consulate General of Israel in NYC. She asked me to join her at Balaboosta in Nolita, NYC, for lunch with a dozen strangers who had signed up to eat with her and learn more about Israeli cuisine.

Through a program called I Want More Food, founded by Jeff Orlick,  these food adventure seekers were scheduled to meet and eat with Shefi as their insider guide. Continue reading

Print Restaurant Tells All

Do you check online restaurant menus before you call for a reservation?

Take a look at the online menu for Print Restaurant, 11th Ave. at 48th St. in NYC, and you can learn a lot.  Ride your cursor over the ingredients and you will find a whole lot more than overblown descriptions of flavors.

You will discover that the impossibly magenta oranges in the Blood Orange Salad come from Isabelle’s Orange Orchard in New Orleans.  The butternut squash that serves as a tasty whipped landing for the Pan-roasted Snapper comes from Paisley Farm, which coordinates a co-op of upstate NY farms consisting of 25 like minded farmers seeking to distribute their crops. Continue reading

Cooking Heart Healthy Foods with Jennifer Abadi at the JCC in Manhattan

Invite me to a cooking class?  I am in!
 I love them all: demos, hands on, famous chefs, home-style cooks … I am eager to be inspired by some unfamiliar flavor or technique.
But with the steep cost of these classes,  I need to choose carefully.
For me that means honing in on classes that focus on using health conscious, vegetarian or kosher ingredients. While perusing the online schedule for the JCC in Manhattan, I ran into a class being taught by Jennifer Abadi called Delicious Heart-Healthy Foods.
When I saw the menu, I knew I needed to attend.

Kutsher’s Twist on Borscht Belt Favorites

 

Finally, someone has reinterpreted our favorites and created Jewish food with a twist.

I heard Alan Wilzig and Zach Kutsher in conversation at the 92STY/Tribeca in January. They were chatting about the legendary Kutsher’s Country Club in the  Catskills, the namesake and inspiration for the recently opened restaurant, Kutsher’s Tribeca.

These business partners summoned up images from a different era, one where vacationers ate heaping piles of whatever tasted great, without any concerns about fat, chemicals or origin of ingredients. And it was unlimited.

Ah, the good old days! Continue reading

Kosher, Vegetarian, Locavore, Omnivore…


Living in Fairfield County, CT., we are blessed to have properties that are often zoned with a couple of acres of land.  It’s very peaceful but can be a little isolating if you want to connect with your neighbors.

Sometimes we mistakenly imagine that once our kids no longer need friends to ride bikes with “on the block”, we don’t need our neighbors much anymore either.

Mondays at Dovetail in NYC

Mondays are the perfect night to visit Dovetail in NYC.

 

Chef/Owner John Fraser has carved a meatless Monday niche for vegetarians and those who are kosher like me.

 

Options are plentiful and preparations are elegantly plated in this contemporary dining room with a casual but grown up vibe. No need to settle for just any ol’ salad or vegetable laden pasta here.

The Monday night vegetarian menu is prix fixe at $46. which includes three generous courses and dessert. There are three options in each of these categories and a list of eight desserts made by pastry chef Michal Selkowitz.

If you relish great vegetarian preparations that celebrate the bounty of each season, plan ahead in order to reserve your Monday night table. I waited two weeks for a res at a decent dinner hour.

Continue reading

Rouge Tomate for Healthy and Delicious Eats on the UES, NYC

When a friend called from just outside of Aspen to see if we could meet him for dinner in NYC, I sprung into action to find the ideal place.   P. had entertained us in July by sharing the magnificent and exclusive golf course and dining area at the  Roaring Fork Club. How to reciprocate and hit the right vibe and great menu choices in our neck of the woods?

Rouge Tomate, just one block east of Central Park on the Upper East Side, was the perfect choice. It has a breezy and bright interior which strikes a sophisticated chord with plenty of blond woods and red accents ( yup, it is rouge). There is lots of breathing room between tables and best of all, there are private booths in the back of the generous dining room.
When I mentioned to Rachel, the Maitre d’, that we were entertaining a guest from out of town, she gladly guided us to my favorite area in the back. Continue reading

The Boathouse Moves Inland to Millstone Farm for the Evening

Whenever possible, I jump at the opportunity to attend farm to table events.  Not only is the setting guaranteed to be magnificent but the menu is always designed around items picked from the field on the same day. The flavors burst with freshness and there is plenty to eat for those who are vegetarian or lean in that direction.

John Holzwarth, Chef and Owner of the Boathouse Restaurant in Westport, moved his operation to Millstone Farm, Wilton, on October 11, illustrating  his deep connection and commitment  to CT. farms.    He designed the menu around available crops providing lucky diners with a feast of the seasons.  The menu was posted in advance, making this a great opportunity for vegetarians to check out the scene.  In my experience, chefs are willing to switch out a dish for those with dietary restrictions,  so be sure to ask, in advance,  if something doesn’t suit your preferences. Continue reading

Visit the Stand for Juice and More

The Stand Juice Company opened a second location in Fairfield , CT five weeks ago and they are rockin’ already.  Carissa Dellicicchi and Mike Hrizdo, the dynamic husband and wife duo behind the Stand in Norwalk (opened in 2006), complement each other perfectly.

Carissa is the cook and creative force and Mike is the organizer and funny man. They first met in Miami at a raw foods market and bonded over their love for organic veg eats and their passion for exploring the connection between better eating and healing the body.

In their Fairfield location,  they have created a sunny and inviting space from an industrial outbuilding that was once part of a rubber factory complex.  The brick walls, generous windows, painted ducts and cement floor speak to the history of this group of buildings which now form a campus of athletic and recreational facilities called the Sports Plex. Continue reading

Napa Round-up and Farewell

Here’s a round up of the final days of our extraordinary eating  (yes, and drinking)  adventures in Napa Valley. I could have spent another few weeks there, speaking with passionate food growers, vintners and chefs.  But alas, the east coast called us back to our reality.
I chose to visit Robert Sinskey Vineyardsfor many reasons.  They are fully organic and biodynamic, they grow all of their own grapes, they have an abundant cooking garden from which their chefs pull fruits and veggies and best of all, they serve lunch.I started at 11 AM with  the farm to table tour, which takes guests through the  culinary garden,  the cellar and then on to their stone terrace for lunch. Continue reading