Cheese Party

If you love cheese and want to have a fun dinner this winter, try a cheese party.  I have a raclette maker, a grill that easily melts slices of raclette.


The raclette is then eaten with accompaniments like bread, pickles, pickled onions, vegetables, olives or whatever you like to eat with cheese.


Raclette is a cheese from Switzerland that is heated and then scraped onto your plate.  There used to be a restaurant in NYC called Swizz where you could get raclette but it closed not too long ago.  So now I have raclette parties!

I got my raclette from Murray’s Cheese.  In addition to raclette, I got some other cheeses to try:  roncal, a Basque sheep’s milk cheese that is a bit gamier than manchego;


fiore Sardo, a smoked Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese;


castelrosso, a creamy cow’s milk cheese from the Piedmont region of Italy;


and mimolette, a French cow’s milk cheese that gets its flavor from mites.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)


All of the cheeses were delicious.  My favorite was the castelrosso.  I just love the creaminess of it.

We had wine from Falanghina grapes, a fruity ancient wine from the Campania region of Italy.  The one I got was Falangina “Sannio” Terra di Briganti from Astor Wines, from the Benevento province of Italy (the region where my father’s family is from).  It was a great wine to go with our cheese selection.  (Interesting historical tidbit–the Terra di Briganti winery is in Casalduni, Italy, and was the site of a peasant massacre in 1861.  Terra di Briganti means land of the brigands.)



Rosh Hashanah Treat

Shana Tova!  Celebrate with some teiglach, a yummy dessert of fried dough in gingered honey syrup with candied fruit and nuts.  I bought mine here.


Weekend Whets 9/26

Eat in Astoria, through September 28, 2014, Astoria, Queens:  Specials at Astoria restaurants.

New York Oyster Week, September 11, 2014 through September 28, 2014:  Various events around NYC celebrating oysters.

Plate by Plate: 16th Annual Tasting Benefit, Friday, September 26, 2014, 6 to 10 p.m., Chelsea, Manhattan:  Tasting benefit showcasing restaurant samplings.  Benefits Henry Street Settlement.

Grand Central Oyster Frenzy, Saturday, September 27, 2014, Noon to 4 p.m., Grand Central Oyster Bar, Grand Central Station:  Sixteen different oysters and shucking contest.

DISH: Greenhook Ginsmiths, Brooklyn Farmacy, and Jam Today Too, Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 7 p.m., Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Nolita, Manhattan:   Readings and stories  told by New York chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, food authors, bloggers and critics.

African Smörgǻsbord – a Taste of the Foods and Wines of Africa, Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Scandinavia House, Midtown, Manhattan:  Taste the food and wine of Africa with slide show and raffles.

Italian Restaurant Week, October 8 through 15, 2014, Brooklyn:  Discounted lunches and dinners at participating restaurants.



Weekend Whets 9/19

San Gennaro Festival, September 11, 2014 through September 21, 2014, Little Italy, Manhattan:  Italian religious and cultural festival with food, games, music, religious procession and more.

New York Oyster Week, September 11, 2014 through September 28, 2014:  Various events around NYC celebrating oysters.

North Nordic Food Festival, September 13 through 20, 2014, NYC:  Cooking classes, tastings, dinners and more celebrating Nordic cuisine.

Central Park Smorg, Friday, September 19, 2014, 5 to 9 p.m., Central Park:  Smorgasburg brings 30 food vendors to Central Park Summer Stage for one night only.

Oktoberfest 2014 at Frying Pan, Saturday, September 20, 2014, Noon, Frying Pan, Chelsea, Manhattan:  Traditional German food like schnitzel, wurst, Bavarian pretzels, potato pancakes, strudel and kraut with music, costumes and more.

Meat Hook presents a Brunch Without Boundaries at Brooklyn Grange, Sunday, September 21, 2014, Noon, Brooklyn:  Rooftop brunch with lady butchers and a lot of meat.

Sweets & Bitters Game Night at Orchard, Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 7 p.m., Orchard, Brooklyn:  Food-themed game night.

September Love With Food Box

This month’s Love With Food box is all about spice–spicy tortilla chips, cinnamon-spiced popcorn, 5-spice caramels, spice mix, soy sauce, hempseeds, as well as chocolate cookies and superfood.


No More Unlimited Breadsticks at Olive Garden?

OK, that headline gives the appearance that I care that investors want to limit unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden.  (I didn’t even know there were unlimited breadsticks.)  I don’t but … honestly, the investors should be happy that some people consider their food Italian … and actually eat there.  I, for one, don’t.  But come on, how cheap can you be?  I have to wonder where the investors dine for Italian food–Italy, perhaps?  Or Babbo?  Ai Fiori?  Del Posto?  Marea?  I wonder if they ask for seconds on bread (and do they get cheap, soft breadsticks like the kind at Olive Garden or real Italian bread from one of the area bakeries).  One of my arguments for mom and pops–your money goes into the hands of the person who cooks your food, not passive income for investors.

California Law Protects Yelpers Writing Negative Reviews

A new California law protects consumers who write negative reviews about a business on sites like Yelp.  It especially protects them from disparagement clauses, clauses that some businesses put in their terms of service that seek to prohibit consumers from complaining about the business or even fining them for doing so.  Of course, this law protects protected speech not defamatory speech.