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Free Dessert Day!

15 Sep

You are now granted a once in a lifetime opportunity – the chance to act like a kid in a candy store! As part of a nation-wide promotion for the premiere of Top Chef: Just Desserts hosted by Gail Simmons, you are entitled to a free dessert at participating restaurants! From NY to LA, prepare to feast your eyes on a dessert for 2.*

Visit OpenTable to take your pick from participating restaurants (there are honestly so many restaurants included, it will be hard to choose!)

*The offer stands if you make a reservation and each diner orders an entree. Still better than nothing, if you ask us!


Restaurant Line Up: FALL 2010

10 Sep

Although the sun and warmth will continue to shine way into October, fall will come sooner than later.  This means new schedules, new trends, new fall clothes and new restaurants! Fall 2010 looks delicious, with lists upon lists of new, trendy and notable restaurants and specialty markets from some amazing chefs and restauranteurs. New projects are coming from known chefs such as Tom Colicchio, Masaharu Morimoto, and Marcus Samuelsson, to Food Network favorites like Alex Guarnaschelli and Pat and Gina Neely (I’m sooooo ready for a Neely restaurant, their trip up north is long over due! Can you just imagine all that pork and barbecue goodness? My mouth is watering).

I forsee a very active fall season, and I have already packed my fork and knife in my handbag. Check out these 3 major lists of new restaurant openings and the fall forecast for food!

Wall Street Journal

NYCGo

New York Times

See you there!

Restaurant Review: Arabelle

4 Sep

In this day and age of continuous pop up restaurants, food trucks, and cheap eats, curious eaters (including myself) forget that there are restaurants inside hotels dishing up amazing food. I reminded of this when my chic eating partner and I set out for a afternoon bite at Arabelle, inside of The Hotel Plaza-Athenee in NYC.

Imagine, if you will, a little old world luxury tucked inside a posh in-block on Madison ave. Chandeliers, afternoon tea, and a table crumber were all apart of this lunch experience. And a great thing – no posh dress up required! Comfy luxury! Participating in the extension of Summer Restaurant Week, Arabelle had a impressive 3-course menu. Although I didn’t personally enjoy my entree, I would loved for my appetizer and dessert to come in a larger bowl 3x over! They were delicious. Arabelle was a little too old school for my taste, but I do recommend it for anyone who wants to enjoy a little piece of luxury and afternoon tea in the city that never sleeps! Here is what we dined on:

Chilled Summer Corn Soup


Pan Roasted Gnocchi with Shrimp

wild mushrooms and Porcini Essence

Braised Short Rib

Blue Cheese mashed potatoe and summer squash

Crusted Swordfish

wilted greens and fingerling potatoes

Chocolate Terrine

Berry Coulis and flaked sea salt

Apple and Almond Tart


ARABELLE

37 E. 64th street @ Madison Ave.

New York, NY 10065

212.606.4647

LABOR DAY PARTY IDEA: Seafood Boil!

4 Sep

Labor Day is here and just like that, summer is coming to a close. Dear summer you will be missed! Time to cram all the last minute parties into your agenda before its time to break out the sweaters.

No elaborate Labor Day plans? This is a great party for an intimate group of friends who just wanna kick back and relax before equinox hit us (and fashion week creeps up!). Gather up all your friends, melt some butter, and get ready to crack everything from lobsters, crabs, and mussels, to beer tops, jokes, and smiles!

photo: foodnetwork.com

***This recipe is suited for you to add/subtract any seafood and accompaniment that you and your guests enjoy. Feel free to mix and match!

SEAFOOD BOIL

1 package Crab boil seasoning

1 lb. boiling potatoes (baby red skin potatoes are good for this)

6 ears of corn, cut in halves

1 head of garlic, cut in half (no need to peel)

2 sweet onions, peeled and cut in half

Beer or dry wine  (I love Budweiser for this)

1 fennel bulb, cleaned and cut in large pieces

4 whole smoked sausages, cut into chunks (adds smokey flavor!)

seafood of your choice- whole lobsters, clams, muscles, shrimp, whole crabs, crab legs, etc

melted butter (for dipping)

cracked sea salt, and cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of mostly water, beer or wine, and crab seasoning to a semi boil. Add potatoes, corn, garlic, onions, sausage and fennel and cook till a fork slides in potatoes. Scoop out potatoes and corn and set aside. Add in whole lobsters, and cook till they turn pink. Add the shellfish of your choice (i.e. clams,mussels, crabs) to boil next, cooking till they turn pink. Add shrimp last, and continue to cook until all seafood is cooked through. Place mixed seafood, corn, and potatoes into platters, and place in the middle of the table, or line a table with plastic table clothes, and newspaper, drain liquid and pour seafood, corn, and potatoes on the table for your guest to serve themselves!

FOODY BOOK Review: “Medium Raw” by Anthony Bourdain

22 Aug

Anthony Bourdain

“Six o’ clock in the morning is when the pains raisins come out, and already the customers are lining up in the dark outside this tiny Parisian boulangerie waiting for the first batch. The baguettes are ready -piping hot from the brick oven, fabulously deliberately ugly and uneven in shape, slashed crudely across the top. They’re too hot to eat but you grab one anyway, tearing it open gingerly, then dropping two fingers of butter inside. It instantly melts into liquid- running into the groves and inner spaces of white interior. You grab it like a sandwich and bite, teeth making a cracking sound as you crunch through the crust. You havent eaten since yesturday lunch, your palate is alseep and just not ready for so much sensation. The reaction is violent. It hurts. Butter floods your head and you think for a second you’re going to black out”

– Anthony Bourdain, author of Medium Raw

This, MASQUE readers, is pure lust after food. That butter description made me a little hot! From chef-turned-author Anthony Bourdain, his follow up to the New York Time Best Seller Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw takes the reader in another realm of the food industry. I highly suggest reading both novels if you desire a deeper ,”raw”  and uncut look into the food industry.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Steak Frites NYC

22 Aug

I know I say food is good all the time – I cant help it, it’s my job (no really, it’s my job!). Although I get to eat some pretty and wonderfully delicious things, every now and then I crave real food – meats, starches and veggies. Nothing fancy or expensive, nothing applied to the plate by a mega chef with tweezers. No gelees, chorizo foam, or foie gras. Sometimes my palate is just that simple.

Photo: Grub Street

I have found this place. A beautifully intimate atmosphere with great service, great wine, and wonderfully good food. This place (that I’m drooling over as I type) is Steak Frites in NYC. I can’t even begin to describe my experience here because everything was cooked perfectly, the menu suited everyone’s liking, and a wine pairing was even noted for an added bonus on the Restaurant Week menu. There was no need to stray to the regular menu because the Restaurant Week menu was so fulfilling.

Steak Frites reminds me of a repeat offender for good food. My lamb was cooked exactly to a medium rare temp as I had ordered, the vegetables in my ratatouille still had a slight crunch, and my pomme puree was buttery and smooth. My glass of Malbec red wine matched perfectly as the menu suggested!  (Sorry, I got excited from the memories of licking my fork and my naked lamb bones, don’t judge me!). Here’s what my friends and I  indulged in:

Icy Blue P.E.I Mussels
White Wine, Pastis, Shallots, Tomato, Fennel, and Herbs de Provence.

Jumbo Lump Crake Cake
Corn, Cranberry Relish

Seared Canadian Salmon
Lobster, Maine Crab, and fingerling potato hash

Filet of Beef “Oscar”
Lump Crab meat and asparagus

Rack of Lamb
Pomme Puree and Ratatouille

New York Strip
Chopped Spinach and crushed potatoes

Apple Tart
Caramel Ice Cream

Pot de Creme Au Chocolate

Profiteroles “Dame Blanche”

Steak Frites
9 East 16th street (btwn Union Square West and 5th ave)
N.Y. N.Y. 10003
212.675.4700
http://steakfritesnyc.com/

Can Twitter Lead You to Amazing Food?

3 Aug

My Twitter page (@SpeedyLVFoodie, follow me!) is always open on my laptop at home and on my blackberry when Im on the run. My twitter usage varies – some days I’m submerged, others I forget it exists. I vent on twitter, post pics, ask questions, and I’ve even made some great networking contacts on Twitter.

I read an interview with a business man a few days ago, regarding his food truck and how he determines his daily location. His answer? Twitter. A second interview highlight a handful of food trucks in and around NYC, and took note of most of them being absent of phone numbers. Looking twice, they only have Twitter profiles!

Can Twitter lead you to amazingly good food? I follow a few restaurants and food related things on Twitter, always linking me to homepages. I stumbled across one of my (now) top-ten restaurant picks from a networking contact though Twitter via a twitpic of the food she was eating.  Apparently Twitter helps the foodies out also. Check out and follow some of the cool and delicious food twitter pages!

@KelvinSlush -Natural slushy truck

@desserttruck – Gourmet Desserts

@FeastNY – Restarant News and Updates

@nyccravings – NYC Cravings Food Truck

@rickshawbar– Rickshaw Dumpling Bar Food Truck (chicken and Thai basil dumplings)

@streetsweets – Freshly Baked Sweets

@goburger – GO Burger

@biggayicecream – Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (soft serve w/ exotic toppings like olive oil or Wasabi-pea powder)

Summer Peach Recipes

2 Aug

No one likes to eat anything heavy when its 100+ degrees outside. Summer brings out the best produce at your local farmers markets, so use them to your advantage. Seasonality is key to eating fresh, and now is a great time to try the freshest picks right off of the farm! Right now, its peach season, and juicy peaches are abundant. Try these two recipes utilizing farm fresh peaches for your next summer gathering:

peaches

Grilled Peach Salad w/ Balsamic Brown Sugar Vinaigrette

1lb field mix salad greens, washed and dried  (can also be found at farmers markets! SCORE!)

5-6 fresh peaches, washed

1T. mustard

1/4c. light brown sugar (more or less depending on your taste)

1/2c. balsamic vinegar

1c + 2T. extra virgin olive oil

salt-n-pepper, to taste

Wash and dry field greens and set aside. Rinse peaches, and leaving the skin on, cut into 1-in thick wedges.  Toss in a bowl with 2T. extra virgin olive oil and place on a hot grill. Cook just until grill marks appear on peaches, take off grill and set aside. To make vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a medium size bowl. Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until  the vinaigrette comes together. Season with salt and pepper.  Assemble salad by placing greens on bottom of plate and grilled peaches on top. Spoon small amounts of vinaigrette on top and enjoy!

Mango-Peach Sangria (adapted from Food & Wine Mag)

In a saucepan, cook 1/3c. sugar with 1/3c. water until the sugar dissolves; transfer into a pitcher and refrigerate until cold. Stir in 1c. Grand Marnier, 1 bottle of Viognier wine, 1 chopped mango, 2 peaches cut into thin wedges, and 1/4 c. mint; Serve immediatly.

(P.S. if making the sangria for a party please double, even triple the recipe. Thats how good this recipe is. I haven’t had sangria better than this!)

Cheap food at Delicious Prices!

2 Aug

I hate to admit it, but within two years my financial situation has changed – just like everyone else’s. Though a glum wallet, a lot of my free spending has gone towards dining out and ordering anything that my stomach desires, thanks to cheap food at great prices.

We can blame the economy, but my stomach is thanking the economy! Continue reading

NYC Summer Restaurant Week Extended!

31 Jul

I knew this was going to happen, it happens every year and it makes me smile! NYC Summer Restaurant week has been extended to run through September 6th! Lunch is $24.07* and Dinner is $35.00*. So get out and experience some of the big name favorites like NOBU, Mr. Chow, and Cipriani Wall Street!  See ya there!

*Saturdays excluded; Sunday participation optional; Beverages, gratuities, and taxes are not included.