Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Ten Things In 2012.

As 2013 rapidly approaches, we pause to take a look at our top food memories and discoveries of the year.

Jill: My itinerant adventures included a spring trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rice, summer visits to New York City and Cleveland (yes, a worthy destination) and a last-minute trip to San Francisco spurred on by World Series baseball. Below are a few things of note as I look back at the year that the world was supposed to end.

1. One-Course Meals.

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In 2012, I realized that while I may not be able to afford three courses of fine dining, I can create my own buffet of great eats by visiting several places for one course each. San Francisco was the perfect backdrop for this style of eating, and I found myself slurping oysters not once, but twice in the ten-day stay. The key, by the way, is to be upfront with servers from the beginning. And to tip a little extra before heading out for the next snack.

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Green Dreams.

On Friday night, I ate so much barbecue I thought I felt my arteries hardening. Seriously. (Wild-boar rib chop, though—totally worth it.) Yesterday,  I had a brisket sandwich for lunch and Shake Shack for dinner. Today, all I can think of is vegetables.

My mouth is currently watering over the memory of this smoked-trout salad from Boerum Hill’s Rucola, in which bitter frisee and radicchio, coins of soft, creamy potato, and pungent flakes of Shelsky’s fish are roped together with a horseradish dressing and punctuated with crunchy, tangy pickled onions. Yes, please.

Rucola
190 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York
718.576.3209

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Gastronomical Geography.

I never pay attention to where I am when I visit New York City and her boroughs. Instead, I blindly follow the natives — mainly Maya — around from restaurant to bar to coffee shop to bar to restaurant. And the touristy things? They’re pretty low on the list of priorities. I’ve seen more of Buttermilk Channel than I have the Statue of Liberty.

In my most recent trip, we shared Maya (and her one bedroom apartment) with her mom and sister; she wasn’t as available as she’d been in the past. With the exception of a few meals, we would be navigating the city on our own, with heavy reliance on the map function of the iPhone. The result was mixed: more mess-ups on the subway and a chance to do something touristy. (Enjoy the shot above taken from the Staten Island Ferry.) Somehow, though, we managed to stay hydrated and well fed.

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Hooky Day.

Last week, I took a day off.

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I slept in. I had a leisurely breakfast and a large cup of bodega coffee, then hopped the train to the Rockaways.

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Sandwich Spotlight: Buttermilk Channel.

The Subject: A-B-C grilled cheese, from Buttermilk Channel.


In Buttermilk Channel‘s world, A is for apple, B is for bacon, and C is for cheddar, an alphabet I wholeheartedly condone. Nonetheless, the rest of the brunch menu—the warm lamb and romaine salad‘s combination of fried capers, roasted cauliflower, and anchovy dressing is my damsel-in-distress begging for rescue; the fried pork and waffle, a deep-fried chop from a mysteriously gargantuan species of pig, paired with a cheddar-laced waffle, speaks for itself—had always proved too much to resist.But this time around, still full from a weekend of decadent dining, I was finally in the mood for something a touch lighter.

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Daring Do.

Jill: Do or Dine oozes of hip. We’re talking the kind of hip that never crosses my radar, aside from the occasional interaction with folks who happen to work at Abercrombie & Fitch’s design department. The servers wear yellow hip-huggers with tassles and drink tall boys of Coor’s Light before and after each trip to your table. The kitchen staff looks like Mario or Luigi or both. And the menu descriptions are abrupt and full of intentional misspellings that if you don’t get then we’re not going to tell you. It’s a place where everyone wears whatever replaced Urban Outfitters and American Apparel once that stuff went out of style. And it’s a restaurant that I would have felt extremely uncomfortable in had I not shown up already warmed up by a bottle of wine with Maya at Sample.

Maya: I would’ve been similarly trepidatious if this restaurant had opened in Williamsburg, say, but Do or Dine is located catty-corner from my old apartment. I obsessively monitored the restaurant’s progress while it was in the construction and renovation stages, and I’d been in the neighborhood longer than most of its arriviste hipster clientele—both of which made me utterly and misguidedly proprietary. A meal or three during the summer, before the back patio was completely packed every night and while the place was still BYOB, didn’t hurt.

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Friday Five: The Brooklyn Flea’s Winter Wares.

Jill: Brooklyn Flea: the weekly market that fittingly sells repurposed and crafty wares in a bank repurposed as a three-floor mall, filled to the brim with furniture, boots, hand towels and jewelry that we can only dream of owning and with people who are way cooler than you or I will ever be. Maya and I visited this past December with a mission: to visit as many of the basement food vendors as humanly possible. And although I became momentarily distracted and purchased a porcupine-screened tea towel, we completed our task with precision and professionalism. (Porcupines are obviously the new bacon-owl-mustache. Duh.)

Maya: Though the allure of the Flea has diminished for me (thanks both to the ubiquity of the mobile vendors and to my awareness of what vintage goods  bought at flea markets should cost), it was worth the trip just to introduce Jill to some of New York’s premiere food-truck players. Today’s Friday Five highlights some of the things we managed to stuff in our beaks.

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Housewarming.

I moved into my new apartment at the beginning of October. Except for the all-too-brief summer between my junior and senior years of college and, pre-New York, a few months spent in Bucharest, this is the first time I’ve lived on my own.

I kind of love it.

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Culinary Confluence.

Nearly a year ago to the day, I wrote about some new developments in my section of Bed-Stuy, and since then, there’s been a veritable explosion of food-and-drink business in the neighborhood. Within a few-block radius, there’s a great coffee shop, a lovely café with solid fare, a tiny sliver of a Cuban restaurant, and a Vietnamese sandwich place, all just around the corner from my apartment. Best of all, though: That bakery I talked about finally opened, caddy-corner to two—count ‘em, two—sit-down restaurants. Less than a minute from my door. Cue the squealing.


Though it’s impossible to overstate my excitement at this turn of events, it took me a little while to get across the street to try them both out. (What can I say? Bad habits are hard to break.) This weekend, the confluence of time and money was finally in my favor, and on Sunday, when the recent heat wave broke, dinner on the patio at Italian resto Sud sounded like the ideal way to celebrate. We quickly ordered two glasses of wine, and they were delivered just as speedily, along with a complimentary dish of olives and a bowl of bread—almost as if someone told the management that the way to my heart is through carbs and booze. In other words, my kind of service.

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Old Faithful.

Last weekend I went to an old favorite with one of my oldest friends. Nothing new to report—the food is still amazing, the service gracious, the dining room bustling—but please join me in lusting over the wares of Buttermilk Channel.

We started with the Star of the Sea bloody mary, made with celery-and-peppercorn-spiked vodka, and watched the bartender shuck the garnish just minutes before he dropped it on top. It tasted every bit as fresh and delicious as you would imagine.

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