HENRI on Fifth

HENRI on Fifth – 279 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

I recently was invited to check out HENRI on Fifth, a new restaurant and bar in Park Slope. Located in the space formally occupied by Aperitivo, HENRI On Fifth is serving Brooklyn with an eclectic fusion of small bites, shared fare, locally sourced staples and bespoke cocktails.

HENRI on Fifth in Park Slope Brooklyn

HENRI on Fifth in Park Slope Brooklyn

HENRI on Fifth has a fun selection of retro board games to play. We immediately jumped on Operation (remember how awesome this game used to be?) and Jenga.

HENRI on Fifth Jenga in Park Slope Brooklyn

The space is casual, yet very energetic, and I can see the board games as a perfect way to spend a night.

HENRI on Fifth Menu in Park Slope Brooklyn

The restaurant has innovative dishes that reflect the owner’s, Binh Douglas, heritage – Vietnamese, Native American, African American, German and French. Seasonally-changing and comprised entirely of small plates intended for sharing, the menu ranges from Banh ‘Mini’ Tacos to Sriracha Deviled Eggs, with a creative Grilled Cheese Soldier selection, plus salads, soups and sliders.

HENRI on Fifth Grilled Cheese in Park Slope BrooklynThe classic grilled cheese is made of cheddar and fontina cheeses on buttered Pullman bread. In one word, delicious. Sriracha deviled eggs join the party with a devilish kick.

HENRI on Fifth Grilled Cheese in Park Slope BrooklynOne of the hits of the night was the Die Klassische, an incredibly cheesy grilled cheese served on pretzel bread.

The Verdict

Live near Park Slope? HENRI on Fifth is a great new bar/restaurant. Bringing international fare, craft cocktails and retro board games to Fifth Avenue, HENRI on Fifth joins a casual atmosphere, great service and upscale food for a perfect combination. 

Food Event: The Big Cheesy

Looking for a way to make this weekend delicious? Check out the The Big Cheesy, hosted by Time Out New York and Openhouse NYC, and vote for New York City’s best grilled cheese!

The Big Cheesy will be held on January 24th and 25th from noon to 7 p.m. at Openhouse Gallery (201 Mulberry Street). Buy your tickets fast because it’s sure to sell out quickly.

The Big Cheesy

Darrow’s Farm Fresh Takeout

Darrow’s Farm Fresh Takeout – 115 East 18th Street, Manhattan, New York

There’s a newcomer in the Flatiron/Union Square food scene. Perfect for the work crowd looking for a healthy, nutrient-rich lunch, Darrow’s aims to provide New Yorkers with high-quality food using local and organic ingredients.

Darrow's Farm Fresh TakeoutDarrow’s features a menu that spans breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have an in-house nutritionist, Julie Starr, to make sure that every meal – from granola, chai pudding, and frittatas for breakfast; to sandwiches, salads and special functional plates for lunch/dinner – are designed to keep you energized throughout the day.

Darrow's Farm Fresh Takeout

I had the chance to try a bunch of dishes off the menu and they definitely were very tasty and had me leaving Darrow’s feeling really good about myself.

Black, Red and Wild Rice Salad

Black, Red and Wild Rice Salad

Black, red and wild rice salad is made up dried berries, hazelnuts, apples, pomegranate and spinach, topped with delicious and creamy sheep’s yogurt. This was addictively good. Highly recommend!

Charred Broccoli and Red Pepper Skewers

Charred Broccoli and Red Pepper Skewers

Even side dishes as simple as charred broccoli and red pepper skewers were delicious. This side dish had an almond butter satay sauce that gave these simple veggies just the extra taste needed to make them something I (the guy who hates vegetables) would regularly order.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Another side dish, roasted Brussels sprouts, is served with Oaxacan-style peanuts.

Darrow's Farm Fresh Takeout

The interior of Darrow’s features a bunch of tables each with self-service iPads that sends your order directly to the kitchen. From there, your order is brought to your table and you can pay via the iPads as well. Sounds like a dream for those that want an undisturbed atmosphere with no hassles.

The Verdict

Darrow’s has some pretty delicious food that not only tastes great, but is really good for you. I see Darrow’s as similar to Dig Inn, but with much more space and room for seating. This place is going to do great in the work lunch scene. The only downside are the prices. Some lunch/dinner items cost $13.75, with chicken or salmon costing an additional $7/$8. That makes a $20+ lunch – a bit pricey in my book. Stick to sandwiches and salads in the $9/$10 range for more reasonable dining options. 

Darrow's Farm Fresh Takeout on Urbanspoon

Market Place Kitchen and Bar

Market Place Kitchen and Bar – 33 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, Connecticut 

Walk into Danbury’s farm-to-table hotspot, Market Place, and you’ll find a packed restaurant and bar filled with young professionals and couples. The farm-to-table theme is pulled through with a reclaimed wood and brick interior, and dividing wall separating the restaurant from the bar scene.

Market Place encourages the use of local, organic and sustainability harvested food and the menu reads almost like map, noting the source of many ingredients.

4-Hour Duck Fat-Braised Berkshire Pork Belly

4-Hour Duck Fat-Braised Berkshire Pork Belly

The 4-Hour Duck Fat-Braised Berkshire Pork Belly appetizer is delicious, but slightly salty and didn’t have the melt-in-your-mouth goodness I expect from pork belly.

Prosciutto di Parma Flatbread

Prosciutto di Parma Flatbread

Prosciutto di Parma Flatbread is covered with a thin layer of sweet fig balsamic that counters chunks of savory Vermont goat cheese.

Stonington, CT Sea Scallops

Stonington, CT Sea Scallops

I didn’t have the fortune of chowing down on the Stonington, CT Sea Scallops, but were told they were delicious. The scallops were a good size and sat on top of a spinach risotto with cauliflower crème, cranberry compote and a pear reduction.

Kobe Burger

Kobe Burger

The Kobe Burger definitely must be one of the best in Southwestern Connecticut. Oozing with flavor, it’s has caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, provolone cheese and truffle aioli, all on top of a toasted brioche roll. It’s served alongside a mini fry basket filled with sweet potato tater tots.

Horseradish-Crusted Wild Scottish Salmon

Horseradish-Crusted Wild Scottish Salmon

Horseradish-Crusted Wild Scottish Salmon comes out with wheat berries, Brussels sprouts and an applewood-smoked bacon aioli.
Deep-Dish Pecan Pie

Deep-Dish Pecan Pie

And of course, we can’t forget about dessert. Deep-dish Pecan Pie immediately caught my eye and it didn’t disappoint. I’m still coming down from the sugar high from this dessert that came with scoop of vanilla bean gelato and cinnamon-whipped cream.

The Verdict

We left Market Place Kitchen and Bar stuffed to the brim. The food, with only a few missteps, delivered incredible flavors and lived up to expectations. I was a huge fan of the prosciutto di Parma flatbread, Stonington, CT sea scallops and horseradish-crusted wild Scottish salmon. You’ll definitely be paying for it though. Entrees are in the high $20s/low $30s and appetizers in the mid teens. Come hungry and leave happy. Just make sure that you make a reservation. This Danbury hotspot is sure to stay that way for a while to come. 

Market Place Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Village Voice “Choice Eats” Pre-sale Starts Today!

Forget those New Year’s resolutions, it’s time for one of the best food events of the year! Tickets to the The Village Voice’s 8th Annual Choice Eats tasting event are available for pre-sale starting today through Tuesday, January 13th using the exclusive code: EATSPR.

This year’s event will feature an array of 50+ handpicked restaurants from all five New York City boroughs, and will take place on Friday, March 13th from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion 

The Village Voice has released the first round of 18 participants including 2 Duck Goose, 606 R&D, Awadh, Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, Butter & Scotch, Commerce Restaurant, The East Pole, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Huertas, John Brown Smokehouse, Littleneck, Luke’s Lobster, MAX , No. 7, The NoMad , Spicy Pot, Thai Rock, Tuome and many more to be announced.

Village Voice Choice Eats

The Philly Cheesesteak: The Why & The How

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to visit cities popular for specific foods, Philadelphia and the Philly cheesesteak is definitely on your list. Thanks to VISIT PHILADELPHIA, when you make the trip to Philly you can now know how to order this iconic sandwich like a local and what makes it so great.

Everyone has their favorite spot for a cheesesteak, but here are a few notable places to check out:

  • Cosmi’s Deli is a relative newcomer among the cheesesteak contenders, winning recent accolades from Philadelphia magazine.1501 S. 8th Street, (215) 468-6093, cosmideli.com
  • It may be across the street from the oldest cheesesteak joint in town,but Geno’s Steaks is a formidable competitor going roll for roll with Pat’s for nearly five decades. 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com
  • The brisket cheesesteak at Jake’s Sandwich Board can be adorned with either mild provolone and caramelized onions or, less conventionally, wasabi spread and crunchy onions. 122 S. 12th Street, (215) 922-0102,jakessandwichboard.com
  • Jim’s Steaks has multiple locations, but the classic smell of fried onions wafting down South Street makes that outpost a memorable one. 400 South Street, (215) 928-1911, jimssouthstreet.com
  • A small shack amidst shopping plazas, John’s Roast Pork is frequently cited as one of the city’s top steak spots. Its secret weapon? A crusty seeded roll. 14 Snyder Avenue, (215) 463-1951, johnsroastpork.com
  • The original home of the cheesesteak, Pat’s King of Steaks is still owned and operated by the Olivieri family.9th Street & Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546,patskingofsteaks.com
  • Rick’s Philly Steaks is a third-generation spinoff of Pat’s, started by the “Prince of Steaks” Rick Olivieri,who exported his cheesesteak savvy to Kennett Square. 148 W. State Street, Kennett Square, (610) 444-7425,rickssteaks.com
  • With rolls from Conshohocken bakery, a plethora of cheese choices and daily-cut sirloin, Spot Burger’s food cart has been repeatedly named a favorite among cheesesteak lovers. Locations vary, (484) 620-6901,twitter.com/spotburgers
  • Every sandwich at the award-winning Tony Luke’s is worth ordering, and the deliciousness now spans multiple locations across state lines. tonylukes.com