Boo! Just when you thought it was safe to go out to eat. These are the trends that are scaring local diners—read ’em and see if you can spot the local restaurants that inspired them. Also, while we’re at it, go ahead and share the scariest trends that you’ve witnessed. Don’t look now, but some of this mess is coming to a restaurant near you.
1. No Reservations for Groups of Fewer than Six. Oh, you’d like to dine on Friday at 8 pm with three of your best friends, but just try to get into some of our hottest restaurants. Owing to an epidemic of dishrag diners who don’t honor...
You actually don’t get any better than figs and prosciutto, unless you use La Quercia prosciutto on the dish. This fetishized producer of American hams slings a melting perfumed veil, kind of like a piggy sort of silk. Pair it with the honeyed fruit of figs, great olive oil, and arugula’s peppery crunch, and you have yourself a delicious start to a glorious evening.
You know all that stuff about building a better mousetrap? Well, that goes double in the world of restaurants. Just look at Starbucks, which took something to which Americans were already addicted (coffee), made it a tad better, added a Norah Jones soundtrack, and sold the crap out of it on a global scale. Or McDonald’s, whose big innovation back in San Bernardino was to eliminate time-consuming table service and expensive plates. Turns out that self-service and disposable paper goods were the key to billions served.
Looking at the collection of HotPlates over the last year, I realize that the grouping makes my life seem like a whirlwind of negronis, foie gras, and bone marrow. Not true! This week, I redeem myself with the suggestion that I eat breakfast. Admittedly, this was a bloodthirsty, sybaritic affair of black pudding, snappy links, Irish bacon, home fries, a grilled tomato, perfectly cooked eggs, and an ocean of coffee. And at noon, too! But it was delicious and just the thing after a thrilling night of negronis and foie gras. Mmmm.
Eileen’s Country Kitchen
964 McLean Ave, Yonkers ...
Halloween. When else can you dress up in silly costumes, act like an idiot, and get paid in candy? Love!
Bugs and Brews at The New York Botanical Garden
October 28, 7 pm
Members $20, non-members $30
Over 21 Only
Listen. We’re talking a dreamy nighttime garden of artfully carved pumpkins, copious craft beer poured by candlelight, and the opportunity to rub shoulders with spooky creatures as they walk the night. I’ve even heard that there will be a fabulously gorgeous food writer serving big-butt ant brittle...
There now are two new ways to spend loads of cash at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, as if going to dinner at the icon weren’t stinging enough. Blue Hill Market just launched, in time for the holidays, and promises the restaurant’s fans the chance to live an (almost) total Blue Hill lifestyle. Look for ceramics, glassware, linens, soaps, scents, T-shirts,and hats—honey, too. Our favorite picks are from the tableware used in the restaurant, like Brooklyn Slate Company’s slate trays, or Deborah Ehrlich’s long-necked glass beakers, which are locally designed in the Hudson Valley.
Or, if you’d like more face time with the stars of BHSB, you can surf over to
Like porn shops and triple-X theaters, distilleries must be sited at a safe distance from schools and churches, so that these vice-stoked engines of sin can’t lure innocents from the path of righteousness. Of course, this law was instituted before every 9-year-old had access to a laptop and the wide world of porn, but Port Chester’s StilltheOne Distillery lies dutifully exiled to the semi-industrial neighborhood behind Costco, down a rutted slope that ends in the Byram River. You won’t find any children playing in this gravel.
It’s soooo tempting to go back and say, “Just in time for Halloween, folks!” but that would be disrespecting the long tradition that backs this dish. Chef David DiBari’s blood pudding is a luxurious few mouthfuls whose flavor is clearly animal-based, yet its texture is deceptively silken and fluffy. Texture is deceiving—like most of DiBari’s cooking, the budino is as carnal as you get, with pigs’ blood, shank, and fat going into the recipe. Yet, cream, egg, and allspice leaven their heaviness, and the small timbale is served over favetta—Italian broad bean...
Divertimento da Cozinha: Visiting Chef Series at 42
October 19, November 9, and December 1
Check out this amazing three-part dining series in which Chef Anthony Goncalves of 42 hosts other chefs for evenings that celebrate eating and cooking together. This week, on October 19, Chef Goncalves will host Luis Americo, and together they will offer an eight-course menu paired with Portuguese wines (see below). On Wednesday, November 9, Chef Goncalves will host Chef Marco Gomes, who will be visiting from Portugal to collaborate on a menu that celebrates the Old-World Portuguese table with new techniques, and on Thursday, December...
Butter seems to get the heavy rep in the pastry world, with the tattooed young cupcake killers flaunting their overindulgence in the semi-solid, yellowy fat. Butter may just be the bacon of the pastry world (that is, when it’s not bacon), but let’s take a moment to consider butter’s mother: cool, silky cream. This fat-soaked, super-premium product (skimmed from proletarian milk), forms the rich and rippling base of the classic Latin-American tres leches cake, a dessert made with the three milks: cream,...
We’re talking dirndl skirts, swelling bosoms, and beer steins, folks: Think the St. Pauli girl http://www.flickr.com/photos/safoocat/2368627413/ with a buzz and seriously lowered standards. Now that I’ve got your attention, it’s Oktoberfest time, when usually uptight German people gather together at communal tables, sing songs, and listen to oompah bands. Here are some outdoor beer events to make autumn more welcome.
October 16, 2 - 4:30 pm
$60 per person
Look for a four-course, German-inspired menu with beer pairings and...
Let’s be frank. How much wine or booze can you really drink in an evening? Mario Batali is famed for downing a case of wine in a single sitting with business partner and Greenwich, Connecticut, resident Joe Bastianich, while, personally, I have only seen one serious oenophile put away two bottles and then stand up unaided. I’m not judging. Kudos to those guys if they can walk out of the restaurant (and not directly into rehab), but the question that always plagues me is, “Can they even taste the wine after drinking five or six full glasses?” I know that after several glasses of wine, it’s difficult for me...
The problem with “farm-to-table” is that the phrase has been relentlessly copied, and often not with anything particularly noble to say. What was once a refreshing notion in the progress towards more ethical dining is now a viral catchphrase employed to move a variety of goods. Farm-to-fork, farm-to-glass, farm-to-fridge, farm-to-market, farm-to-closet: I’m sure you get the picture…but with lessening focus each time.
Julia Sexton, restaurant critic, food writer, and CRMA award-winning blogger, is a rampant traveler who will go anywhere to try anything. When not furtively sneaking cinghiale sausage past airport bag sniffers, she cooks and writes at her home in New Rochelle. A regular in Westchester Magazine’s pages, where she reviews local restaurants, Sexton’s food writing has also appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe. This fall, look for the debut of Sexton's book, Hudson Valley Chef's Table, published by Globe Pequot Press. She'd love to hear from you, so email any rants, questions, and comments to the Eaterline, email@example.com. Follow Julia Sexton on Twitter @JuliaSexton