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Taste the Best of Italy This Weekend

Looking for something free to do this weekend? Head to Tutti Matti, a new restaurant in Long Island City, for a free tasting of homemade pasta, pizza and original cocktails.

Details are below – see you there!

When: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EDT)

Where: Tutti Matti – 47-30 Vernon Boulevard, NY 11101

RSVPhttps://tasteitalianfood.eventbrite.com

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Hometown Bar-B-Que

Arguably the best BBQ in New York City, the picture below speaks for itself. Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, Brooklyn is doing things right. Yes, it’s a little bit of a trek to get there (for all you Manhattanites), but it’s worth the journey. The menu is filled with brisket, pulled pork and lamb belly, as well as artery-clogging sides like mac and cheese. Top it all off with a brunch Bloody Mary with candied bacon and you’ve got yourself quite the meal.

Tip – check them out on weekends when there is live country music, but get there early or you’ll be stuck waiting in a VERY long line.

Hometown BBQ

Hometown Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy Pi Day! Now about about this gem of a pizza from MOD Pizza, a fast-casual build-your-own pizza restaurant where you pick the toppings and they whip up a custom pizza – in a matter of minutes. Mozzarella, gorgonzola, chicken, jalapenos, buffalo and marinara sauce equal a spicy pizza.

MOD Pizza Calexico Willow Grove, PA

3 Super Bowl Recipes to Get Game Day Ready

Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and the big game won’t be complete without fantastic food. As you start planning your Sunday menu, below are some delicious recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Ham and Jam SlidersHam and Jam Sliders from Executive Chef Beau MacMillan, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, AZ

Cheddar Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbs. buttermilk
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion, including tender green tops

Preparation:

  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper and kosher salt until well mixed.
  • Mix in butter until pea sized. Add cheddar cheese and green onion and stir and toss lightly to combine.
  • Stir in 1 cup buttermilk until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball.
  • With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a rough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Space the balls about 1-inch apart. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk.
  • Bake at 350˚F for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Red Pepper Jelly (Yields 2 1/8 quarts)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 3/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 package Certo liquid pectin

Preparation:

  • Place peppers in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped, but not pureed.
  • Place chopped peppers in a large bowl with cider vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well.
  • Put mixture in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add Certo and continue to cook at a slow rolling boil for 35 to 40 minutes, until you can “drag” a spoon around edges of pan or until it passes the jelly test coating the back of the spoon or dripping from spoon very slowly.

Snake River Farms American Bone in Ham 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Snake River Farms American Bone-in Ham

Preparation:

  • Heat oven to 275˚F. Place ham in a roasting pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Heat for approximately for 12-15 min. per pound. When center of ham reaches 125˚F allow the ham to rest for 15-30 min. Keep covered with foil while resting.

Assembly:

  • Slice biscuits in half and rub with a generous portion of red pepper jelly. Slice ham thinly and place in between biscuit halves. Enjoy!

Chipotle BBQ Pork Ribs

Chipotle BBQ Pork Ribs from Executive Chef Caleb Lara, Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard

To prepare Chipotle BBQ Ribs:

  • 10 lbs. of pork ribs
  • Rub the racks with prepared seasoning rub and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or overnight
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the pork rib racks slowly for three hours until done
  • Glaze with Chipotle BBQ sauce during the last hour

BBQ Pork Rub

Ingredients:

  • ½ tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon ground onion
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • Whisk together all the ingredients and store in an airtight container

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 4 Cups ketchup
  • 1 1/3 Cups brown sugar
  • 1 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Cup lemon juice
  • 6 Chipotles in Adobo
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Preparation:

  • In a sauce pan, sauté garlic in butter until soft
  • Add all other ingredients and simmer until thickened
  • Puree and season with salt and pepper

Crispy Rock Shrimp With Sriracha Aioli

Crispy Rock Shrimp With Sriracha Aioli from Executive Sous Chef Richard Pelliccia, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

Ingredients:

  • Rock Shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • Buttermilk – as needed
  • All-purpose flour- as needed

Sriracha Aioli

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups Mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup Champagne vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • ¾ Cup Sriracha
  • 5 each Scallions, fine dice
  • 1.5 Tsp Cayenne pepper
  • ½ Tsp Celery salt
  • ¼ Tsp Coriander, ground
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Pre-heat fryer to 350 degrees
  • For the aioli sauce, combine all items together with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place aioli in cooler for use later.
  • Place shrimp in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk to shrimp, just enough to coat the shrimp.
  • Add a small amount of salt and pepper to the shrimp and thoroughly mix until coated
  • Add shrimp slowly to the bowl of flour
  • Mix shrimp with hands until coated with flour and no longer feels wet
  • Place shrimp in fryer basket and lower into the fryer
  • Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove shrimp from fry basket and drain off excess oil
  • In a separate bowl, add shrimp and small amounts of sriracha aioli to taste
  • Place in a serving dish and enjoy

 

 

 

Hot Chocolate Festival 2016

February is here and it’s the annual Hot Chocolate Festival at City Bakery! Check out the calendar and indulge in a rotating menu of delicious liquid chocolate.

2016 City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival Calendar

Dominique Bistro

A cute, artisanal French Cafe located in the heart of the West Village, Dominique Bistro is a showcase to the rich history of French food.

Dominique Bistro opened late last year and I was invited in to check out what head chef and namesake, Dominick Pepe, was dishing out. 

The restaurant is a Parisian-style cafe on the corner of Christopher and Gay Streets. The front of the restaurant has an enormous floor to ceiling window looking out onto Christopher Street and I was lucky enough to be seated in an ideal spot to take advantage of the view. The interior features an open kitchen with pops of French cultural flare scattered throughout. The vibe is classy and modern, and welcoming and inviting. It’s the kind of place I’d like to spend an afternoon sipping on wine.

The food exiting the open kitchen is comforting French fare. You have your classics such as Croque-monsieur, as well as authentic countryside dishes such as beef bouillabaisse.

I sampled a range of dishes. To start I tasted the ahi tuna tartare, pear salad and tomato soup. The highlights however were the main courses – beef bourguignon with braised beef, carrots, onions, mushrooms, potatoes and a red wine demi, and fettuccine with chanterelles, burgundy truffles in brown butter.

The bourguignon was my favorite dish. It hit the spot and helped warm me up on a cold January night. This hearty beef stew had a gracious serving of beef and seemingly dissolved after a few bites. Delicious.

Let’s not forget about dessert! I opted for the chocolate mousse and a heaping serving of sweetness came out. We’re not talking about any prim and proper chocolate mousse in a dish. This is a large hunk of chocolate mousse plopped down on a plate and decorated with strawberries.

Dominique Bistro has gained a spot on my list of recommended restaurants in NYC. It’s the perfect quaint West Village cafe where you can sit and enjoy a casual glass (or bottle) of wine or treat yourself to some heartier French fare.

Dominique Bistro  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

An Italian Feast: Patrizia’s of Brooklyn

Want to have an Italian feast with a few hundred of your closest friends? Head to Patrizia’s of Brooklyn and you too can experience the party that takes place in Williamsburg.

This place is amazing and ideal for large groups. It’s a celebration all night with diners waving their napkins in the air as table after table celebrates a birthday, anniversary or just a fun night out on the town.

Come hungry. A family-style menu is available for around $55 per person that includes an all-you-can-drink feast with multiple courses of cheeses, veggies, pizzas, pastas, seafood, meats and desserts. There’s so much food that it never seems to stop – course after course after course comes out. Luckily, you have endless amounts of wine and beer to wash it all down.

I highly recommend Patrizia’s of Brooklyn. I definitely will be going back and encourage you to check them out for your next celebration!

Patrizia's Pizza and Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

MOD Pizza

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The New York City lunch scene is dominated by build-your-own salad places. That’s all good and great, but what if you replaced that salad with a pizza?

I give you MOD Pizza, a fast-casual build-your-own pizza restaurant where you pick the toppings and they whip up a custom pizza. And don’t worry, you won’t be waiting around for 20 minutes like regular pizza places. The MOD team has perfected the art of turning around a finished product super quick – in a matter of minutes.

I recently checked out MOD Pizza in Willow Grove and loved it. The restaurant was bright, airy and gave off the vibe of a place I’d want to sit down at, relax and dominate a pizza.

Instead of picking my own toppings, I opted to try one of MOD’s own creations, the Caspian. We’re talking a pizza made with mozzarella, gorgonzola, BBQ chicken, BBQ sauce and sliced red onions. Love at first sight (and taste).

The Caspian hit the spot. The pizza came out in a matter of minutes, tasted great and had an enormous amount of toppings. I’m sure this place is a hit for the weekday lunch crowd. For the price, you can’t beat MOD. It has to be one of the best deals in town.

MOD Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Olio e Piu

The interior gives off a rustic feel – the perfect decor for chef Dominick Pepe to serve up authentic, hearty and healthy Italian meals. We’re talking everything from seafood to authentic Napoli pizza to pasta to crisp autumn salads anytime of the day or night. That’s right, they’re open 24 hours.

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I’ll be honest. I devoured a ton of food at this restaurant. It was all so good! Delicious Polpette di Vitello Ripiene – veal stuffed meatballs with ricotta, arugula, parmesan and marinara sauce – came close to rivaling my mom’s secret recipe. I indulged in very rich Spaghetti alla Carbonara. The pasta was perfectly cooked al dente and once that egg broke, it blended together into a very decadent carb-loaded dish. And what’s a meal without dessert? The Tiramisu was one of my favorite dishes of the night. This dessert was so light and creamy, but at the same time satisfied my chocolate craving with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. No complaints here – it was all delicious.

With great food, a great location and service that lets you leisurely enjoy your meal while taking it all in, I can see why Olio e Piu is a neighborhood favorite. I highly recommend checking this place out. It fits the bill for everything from drinks with friends to dinner with your parents. Stop by and let me know what you think!

Olio e Piu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Olio e Piu

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