Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Weekend Whets 10/4

American Cheese Month, October:  Celebrate cheese month with a passport to get discounts at cheese shops.

Spain’s Tapas Trail, October 1-8, 2013:  Participating restaurants create a unique tapa and drink pairing for $10.

Plate by Plate: Project by Project NY’s Annual Tasting Benefit , Friday, October 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 82 Mercer, Soho:  Charity event showcasing New York’s premier restaurants. Tickets $150.

North:  Nordic Food Festival, October 2 through 7, 2013, various locations, NYC:  Celebrate Nordic cuisine with lunches/dinners by Scandinavian chefs and cooking classes with Scandinavian chefs.

3rd Annual EscapeMaker’s Local Food & Travel Expo in Brooklyn, Saturday, October 5, 2013, noon to 5 p.m., Borough Hall, Brooklyn:  Exhibitors who are within a 50-mile radius of Brooklyn will be exhibiting.  Tastings and a special Made in Brooklyn market.

Chile Pepper Festival, Saturday, October 5, 2013, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn:  Celebrate chile peppers with live music, 40 food artisans, chocolate and gardens.

Czech Street Festival, Saturday, October 5, 2013, Noon to 5 p.m., East 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, and Staropramen Party,  5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, Manhattan:  Celebrate Czech Independence with Czech food and music.

Eats for India, Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., New York:  25-course cocktail party of Indian canapés to support clean water for India. Tickets $75.

K-Town Festival and Parade, Saturday, October 5, 2013, 10 a.m to 5 p.m., 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue (Parade  is on Sixth Avenue between 38th Street and 27th Street from noon to 2 p.m.), Manhattan:  Celebrate Korean culture with a parade and festival with Korean food and music.

Tastes Meatpacking District, Saturday, October 5, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District, Manhattan:  Outdoor food tastings to benefit Lab School.  Tickets $35-$45.

4th Annual Sugar Sweet Festival, Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The City Reliquary, Brooklyn:  Celebrates New York’s bakeries and bakers with a bake sale and baking competitions.

Slow U – Sustainable Seafood (Sashimi and More), Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 6:30 p.m., International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute), 462 Broadway, Manhattan:  Enjoy sushi as you learn about sustainable local fisheries and the family fishermen.

Slice Out Hunger, Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6 p.m., St Anthony’s Church – 154 Sullivan St (at Houston), Soho:  Sponsors match every dollar spent for Food Bank For New York City.  Tickets are $1 each.  Pizzerias include Lombardi’s, Rubirosa, John’s, Grimaldi’s, Joe’s, DiFara, Arturo’s and more.

Southern Italy and Genoa in the Early History of Pasta: Debunking the Myth of Arab Influence, Thursday, October 10, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 106 East 86th Street (between Park and Lexington), Upper East Side, Manhattan:  Dr. Anthony Buccini will argue that the origins of pasta making are from foodways in Southern Italy, not the Arab world. $25-$40.

Explore Brooklyn:  Italian Restaurant Week, October 10-17, 2013, Brooklyn:  Celebrate Italian American Heritage Month with discounts and deals at participating Brooklyn Italian restaurants.

NYC’s First-ever African Restaurant Week, October 13-20, 2013, NYC:  Celebrate African food with three-course prix fixes at NYC African restaurants.

Lopate and Locavores: Tips From Your Waiter, Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 7 p.m., The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, Tribeca, Manhattan:  Leonard Lopate leads a panel of service professionals from New York City restaurants to discuss dining etiquette, dinner date mistakes, tipping, how to get a great table without a reservation and how to get treated like a regular.  Tickets $20.

Soup Festival, October 19, 2013, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Smith Street, Brooklyn:  Judges pick the best soup from area restaurants.  Marilyn Gelber, president of The Brooklyn Foundation, and  Molly Simms, Senior Editor of Bust Magazine are the judges.  Money raised from the event benefits the Culinary Arts Program in the local public School For International Studies.

606 R&D Backyard Pig Party, Monday, October 21, 2013, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 606 R&D, 606 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn:  Live bluegrass music, Peak organic beer, mulled cider and your fill of pork and fixin’s!

James Beard Food Conference, Monday and Tuesday, October 21 & 22, 2013, Convene Conference Center, Manhattan:  Explores The Paradox of Appetite: Hungering for Change.  Tickets $500.

Book Release Party for Mast Brothers: A Family Cookbook, Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 6 p.m., Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn:  Mast Brothers share stories and recipes for American classic recipes.  With admission, you’ll receive a signed copy of the book, a complimentary beverage and hors d’oeuvres.  Tickets $50.

Iron Chef Cooking Competition with GE Monogram, Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Manhattan:  You and a team compete creating dishes with a secret ingredient.  $45.

Culinary Luminaries: Edna Lewis, Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 6 p.m., Wollman Hall (B500), Eugene Lang College, 65 West 11th Street, Manhattan:  Event discussing the life and work of Edna Lewis.

Food Film Fest, October 23-27, 2013, New York:  Watch the films and eat the food too!  Ticket prices vary.

Brooklyn Crab’s 1st Annual Oyster Fest, Saturday, October 26, 2013, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Brooklyn:  Unlimited tastings of regional craft beer with oysters.  Tickets $45.

Choctoberfest NYC, Saturday, October 26, 2013, Jimmy’s No. 43, New York:  Celebrate Fair Trade Month with a competition among homemade beer, cider, wine, mead, soda, kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir and other fermented foods that feature chocolate.

Get My Goat, October 27, 2013, 5:30 p.m., The Farm on Adderley,  1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn:  The Farm on Adderley and Slow Food NYC feature a dinner menu with goat including roasted goat, goat cheese and goat’s milk. $30.

November

Cooking Lesson! How to Create a Week’s Worth of Healthy Dinners in a Snap, Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7, 2013, 7 p.m. to  9 p.m., Freshmade NYC, Manhattan:  Chef prepares four recipes for tasting and gives you recipes to take home. $40.
New York Taste, Monday, November 11, 2o13, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Waterfront, 269 11th Avenue, Manhattan:  New York magazine’s food festival with tastings by New York’s finest chefs.  Tickets $100-$195.

Festa di Tartufi, Friday, November 22, 2013, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Del Posto, Manhattan:  A celebration of Piemontese white truffles, Barbaresco and Barolo.  Mario Batali and Antonio Galloni host a five-course meal by by Executive Chef Mark Ladner.  Tickets are $1,000.

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Weekend Whets 9/20

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87th Annual Feast of San Gennaro, Thursday, September 12, 2013 through Sunday, September 22, 2013, Little Italy, Manhattan:  Italian festival with Italian food vendors, games and entertainment.

delicious pizza with creamy mozzarella from Italian Food Center on Mulberry Street

delicious pizza with creamy mozzarella from Italian Food Center booth on Mulberry Street

Culinary Class:  Ravioli, Friday, September 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Westchester Italian Cultural Center:  Learn how to make ravioli with four different fillings such as cheese, spinach, mushrooms and squash.  $50-$60.

Viva La Comida!, Friday, September 20, 2013, 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Queens:  Celebration of the area’s local businesses.  Food vendors, food trucks, music and pop up shops.

First Annual Lobstah Palooza, Saturday, September 21, 2013, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., The Well, 272 Meserole Street, Brooklyn:  Full lobster dinner and DJs.  $35-$40.

Stone Street Oyster Festival, Saturday, September 21, 2013, Noon to 6 p.m., Stone Street, Lower Manhattan:  Part of New York Oyster Week.  A party with music and oysters.

Taste of the West Village 2013, Saturday, September 21, 2013, noon to 4 p.m., The Yard at P.S.41, Greenwich Avenue and Charles Street, West Village:  Sample cuisine from West Village restaurants.  Tickets $40.

The Ultimate Peruvian Experience, Saturday, September 21, 2013, 7 p.m., Raymi Restaurant, Manhattan:  Afro-Peruvian music and 3-course meal. $65.

A Dinner for Haiti, Sunday, September 22, 2013, Louro, West Village:  Nossa Mesa Supper Club at Louro restaurant features a Haitian-inspired menu.  $65.

Celebrity Chef Benefit Dinner at Hearth, Monday, September 23, 2013, 7 p.m., Hearth, Manhattan:  Seven course dinner with each course prepared by a different celebrity chef, including Michael Symon.  All proceeds will go directly to A Life Story Foundation.  Tickets $325.

Tasting Table’s Macaroon Workshop with Danny Macaroons, Monday, September 23, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tasting Table Test Kitchen and Dining Room, 495 Broome Street, Manhattan:  Learn how to make coconut macaroons from Danny Cohen of Danny Macaroons.  $50 ticket includes macaroon demonstration and workshop, reception with small bites and cocktails, a box of your own macaroons and a signed copy of Danny’s new book, The Macaroon Bible.  Must be a subscriber of Tasting Table.

Chef’s Table with Jimmy Bradley, Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sur la table, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan:  Chef/owner of The Red Cat prepares dishes and serves them as each is prepared.

Fall Feast, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 7:30 p.m., 38 Prince (between Mott and Mulberry), Nolita:  Farm to table dinner featuring Union Square Greenmarket items.  $55.

11th Annual Taste of the Village, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Washington Square Park, Village:  Over 30 local food and wine vendors and jazz.  Tickets $50.

Savor the Season, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 6:30 p.m . to 10 p.m., Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan:  Celebrate 20 years of Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets in New York City with tastings from chefs and restaurants north of 96th Street, including Marcus Samuelsson.

The Joy of Sake, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 6 p.m . to 9 p.m., The Altman Building (135 W 18th Street), Manhattan:  Sake tasting. Tickets $95.

Le Fooding, Friday, September 27, 2013, and Saturday, September 28, 2013, 7 p.m., Brooklyn:  Time’Mach’Inn dinners with menus celebrating food trends in recent decades in NYC.

Grand Central Oyster Bar’s Oyster Frenzy, September 28, 2013, noon to 5 p.m., Grand Central Oyster Bar.

Smoke @ ICC, Saturday, September 28, 2013, 4:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., Pier 57 at 15th Street, Manhattan:  Teams from around the country compete to smoke the best brisket in 4 categories.  Public tasting, beer garden and live music.  Tickets $65.

The 10th Annual NYC Dumpling Festival Eating Contest, Saturday, September 28, 2013, noon to 5 p.m., Sara D. Roosevelt Park on East Houston Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets, Manhattan:  All proceeds benefit the Food Bank For New York City in this dumpling eating contest with men’s and women’s divisions.

Taste of France, Saturday, September 28, 2013, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.,  and Sunday, September 29, 2013, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Bryant Park, Midtown, Manhattan:  A celebration of all things French with cooking demos and tastings.

OCTOBER

The Big Smoke, Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn:  A menu of smoked meats and beer from Brooklyn Brewery.  Tickets $45.

Plate by Plate: Project by Project NY’s Annual Tasting Benefit , Friday, October 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 82 Mercer, Soho:  Charity event showcasing New York’s premier restaurants. Tickets $150.

North:  Nordic Food Festival, October 2 through 7, 2013, various locations, NYC:  Celebrate Nordic cuisine with lunches/dinners by Scandinavian chefs and cooking classes with Scandinavian chefs.

3rd Annual EscapeMaker’s Local Food & Travel Expo in Brooklyn, Saturday, October 5, 2013, noon to 5 p.m., Borough Hall, Brooklyn:  Exhibitors who are within a 50-mile radius of Brooklyn will be exhibiting.  Tastings and a special Made in Brooklyn market.

Slow U – Sustainable Seafood (Sashimi and More), Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 6:30 p.m., International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute), 462 Broadway, Manhattan:  Enjoy sushi as you learn about sustainable local fisheries and the family fishermen.

Slice Out Hunger, Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6 p.m., St Anthony’s Church – 154 Sullivan St (at Houston), Soho:  Sponsors match every dollar spent for Food Bank For New York City.  Tickets are $1 each.  Pizzerias include Lombardi’s, Rubirosa, John’s, Grimaldi’s, Joe’s, DiFara, Arturo’s and more.

Italian Restaurant Week, October 10-17, 2013, Brooklyn:  Celebrate Italian Heritage Month and Columbus Day with some Italian food in Brooklyn.

Sugar Skull Decorating Workshop, October 13, 2013, 12:30 p.m., Fabriscope, 41 Willow Place, Brooklyn:  Learn how to make sugar skulls for Day of the Dead Mexican holiday.  $50.

Tasting Table Presents an Evening with Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Friday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tasting Table Test Kitchen and Dining Room, 495 Broome Street, Floor 2, Manhattan:  Chefs sign their cookbook.  Ticket includes cookbook, canapes, unlimited drinks.  $60.

Chocabaret:  A Chocolate Tasting Set to Music, Sunday, October 20, 2013, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, Midtown:  Chocolate tasting and singing by Chef Jackie Gordon.  $60.

Get My Goat, October 27, 2013, 5:30 p.m., The Farm on Adderley,
1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn:  The Farm on Adderley and Slow Food NYC feature a dinner menu with goat including roasted goat, goat cheese and goat’s milk. $30.

Plates for Change: Neighbors Together’s Fall Chef Showcase, October 30, 2013, 6 p.m., The Green Building, 452 Union Street, Brooklyn:  Event featuring the signature dishes of New York restaurants, such as David Chang’s Momofuku, Ryan Angulo’s Buttermilk Channel and Jehangir Mehta’s Graffiti.  Event honors filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, co-directors of A Place at the Table, a documentary about the effects of consumer insecurity in the food industry.

Weekend Whets 8/9

Rosa Mexicano Ice Cream Festival, July 31, 2013, through August 25, 2013, local locations in Manhattan and Hackensack, NJ:  Try homemade Mexican paletas, or ice pops; raspado, or Mexican snow cones; ice cream desserts like ice cream stuffed churros or ice cream and sorbet in flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine.

Lobster Bake Party, Sundays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hotel Chantelle, 92 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side:  A weekly event through the summer. $29.92 per person for 1 whole Maine lobster, steamed little neck clams, baked red russet potatoes and corn on cob.

Hudson County Restaurant Week, through August 9, 2013, participating restaurants in Hudson County, NJ:  Celebrate Hudson County restaurants with discounted prix fixe menus.

Marlow Summer Fair, Sunday, August 11, 2013, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., parking lot across from Diner and Marlow & Sons, Brooklyn:  Sausage & Peppers, Grilled Corn, Snow Cones, Draft Beer from Single Cut and more.  Four tickets for $35.

In Our Own Backyard, Thursday, August 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Museum of the City of New York, Manhattan:  Food and drink sampling from local vendors and restaurants.  Tickets $20 until August 15.

New York City Restaurant Week 2013, through Friday, August 16, 2013:  Celebrate NYC restaurants with $25 lunch and $38 dinner menus.

Tomato Fest 2013: Food Systems Network NYC (FSNYC)’s Annual Celebration of the Tomato, Sunday, August 18, 2013, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Green Table, Chelsea Market, Manhattan:  Celebrate tomatoes with drinks and bites.  Tickets: $50  FSNYC members; $55  non-FSNYC member; $75 ticket + annual membership (includes $5 discount). All proceeds benefit FSNYC.

The Brooklyn Slur, Slow Food NYC Monthly Happy Hour, Monday, August 19, 2013, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Terroir Park Slope, Brooklyn:  Meet the Slow Food NYC leaders and sample some Terroir wine, sherry, mead, ciders, beers, veal and ricotta meatballs, panini, salads, cheese, and more.

How to Prepare a Korean Feast, Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn:  Learn how to make kimchi and shop for a Korean feast.

Blues BBQ, Saturday, August 24, 2013, 2 p.m., Hudson River Park:  Blues musicians along with Brother Jimmy’s and Dinosaur BBQ.

La Toscana nel Mondo Brinda Per Arcobalena D’Estate, Saturday, August 24, 2013, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Per Lei, Upper East Side, Manhattan:  Celebrate Tuscany’s art, music, theatre, food, history, nature, and tourism. Tuscan wines will be offered at the cash bar with complimentary appetizers, along with live performances.  For those who have an interest in  Tuscany to meet one another and join the Tuscan Association of New York. Please call for more information.  RSVP by August 21st. Space is limited.  tuscanassociationnewyork@gmail.com

Ultimate BBQ Bash Southampton Summer 2013, Saturday, August, 31, 2013, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Southampton Historical Museum, Southampton, NY:  Say goodbye to summer with a bbq, desserts, wine tasting and complimentary beer.  Live music and a DJ will entertain.  Tickets $60-$110.

Taste Talks, Saturday, September 14, 2013 and Sunday, September 15, 2013, Brooklyn:  A two-day event with discussions and workshops on food, featuring Mario Batali, Wylie Dufresne, Dan Barber, Alessandro Porcelli, April Bloomfield and more.  Talks include those on food porn, food photography, Brooklyn food, gluten and more.

The 10th Annual NYC Dumpling Festival Eating Contest, Saturday, September 28, 2013, noon to 5 p.m., Sara D. Roosevelt Park on East Houston Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets, Manhattan:  All proceeds benefit the Food Bank For New York City in this dumpling eating contest with men’s and women’s divisions.

Brooklyn Flea’s Ice Cream Bonanza

Today was a gorgeous day to be out and about, so I went to the Brooklyn Flea’s Ice Cream Bonanza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I sampled ice cream from many vendors:  honey lavender from Luca & Bosco, salted caramel from Fort Grace, Thai from Odd Fellows, mole from La Newyorkina, banana whama and coconut key lime from Phin & Phebes, Old Bay corn from The Bent Spoon and sweet as honey and ooey gooey butter cake from Ample Hills.  My favorite was the ooey gooey butter cake from Ample Hills.  This was seriously delicious ice cream!

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Weekend Whets 8/2

Rosa Mexicano

On my visit to Rosa Mexicano’s Ice Cream Festival opening night, I got the ice cream selection.  From left to right:  plantain and peanut butter, honey-amaranth crunch and sweet cream with shaved Mexican chocolate and cajeta swirl.  If you are a peanut butter lover, the plantain and peanut butter is very peanut-buttery.  The sweet cream was a bit disappointing, as it sounded so flavorful with chocolate and cajeta, but it fell flat for me.  My favorite was the honey-amaranth crunch, creamy and sweet with a little bit of crunch.  I want to return to try the raspado and also the alegria ice cream sundae.

Rosa Mexicano Ice Cream Festival, July 31, 2013, through August 25, 2013, local locations in Manhattan and Hackensack, NJ:  Try homemade Mexican paletas, or ice pops; raspado, or Mexican snow cones; ice cream desserts like ice cream stuffed churros or ice cream and sorbet in flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine.

Paper’s Super Duper Market, Friday, August 2, 2013, through Sunday, August 4, 2013, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 6 p.m. on Saturday, 268 Mulberry Street between Houston and Prince, Manhattan:  Try artisanal food from around the country.  Humphry Slocombe, San Francisco’s delicious ice cream, will be back this year, yum!  I loved it last year.

Brooklyn Flea’s Ice Cream Bonanza, Saturday, August 3, 2013 and Sunday, August 4, 2013, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:  Try organic and interesting flavors of ice cream from Brooklyn and beyond.

Lobster Bake Party, Sundays, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hotel Chantelle, 92 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side:  A weekly event through the summer. $29.92 per person for 1 whole Maine lobster, steamed little neck clams, baked red russet potatoes and corn on cob.

The Billion Oyster Project, Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 7 p.m., Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park:  Take a look at the park’s oyster gardens and discuss the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School’s plan to put a billion oysters back in New York Harbor.

Short Stack Eggs Bookbinding Party, Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 6 p.m., Kitchensurfing Townhouse, 456 Carroll Street, Brooklyn:  Short Stack is a series of small-format cookbooks about ingredients.  This party will feature Ian Knauer, renowned cookbook author and writer, who will prepare some of the recipes from his Eggs book while attendees stitch their own book.

The NYC Taco Challenge, Thursday, August 8, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Studio Arte, 17th Floor, 265 West 37th Street, Midtown Manhattan:  Tasting and judging of six different tacos.

Hudson County Restaurant Week, through August 9, 2013, participating restaurants in Hudson County, NJ:  Celebrate Hudson County restaurants with discounted prix fixe menus.

New York City Restaurant Week 2013, through Friday, August 16, 2013:  Celebrate NYC restaurants with $25 lunch and $38 dinner menus.

How to Prepare a Korean Feast, Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn:  Learn how to make kimchi and shop for a Korean feast.

Blues BBQ, Saturday, August 24, 2013, 2 p.m., Hudson River Park:  Blues musicians along with Brother Jimmy’s and Dinosaur BBQ.

Two for Tuesday: Spumoni

National Ice Cream Month is nearly over, so I’m featuring spumoni.  I have a memory of the best spumoni at Villabate Bakery in Brooklyn (before it became Villabate Alba).  Where better to try spumoni than at L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  L&B is a pizzeria that sells spumoni and ices as well.  It’s still owned by the same family as the original owner.  There are outdoor tables outside, and you can walk up to the window and either order pizza or spumoni/ices.  On my visit, I got both.  I saw a lot of people with plastic cups of the signature spumoni with its distinctive green, brown and yellow color representing pistachio, chocolate and vanilla.  So I got one too while my friend got plain vanilla.  While it was a smooth treat, I prefer my spumoni with pink cherry in it.  Also, I prefer the lemon ice at L&B to the spumoni.

Spumoni L&B

The second spumoni I sampled was at the recent Giglio Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from an Uncle Louie G’s stand.  It had the same vanilla, chocolate and pistachio in yellow, brown and green.  However, it was smoother than L&B and had more flavor.  I really enjoyed this one.

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Two for Tuesday: Brooklyn Pizza

I finally made it out to Brooklyn to try Totonno’s in Coney Island and L&B Spumoni Gardens’ pizza in Bensonhurst.  Pizza is a controversial topic, I realize.  My grandmother talked about wood-fired pizza from Naples.  My mother grew up on coal-fired pizza.  As my family worked in the pizza business and owned a pizzeria, I’m pretty critical of pizza.  Among aficionados, Totonno’s has a history and is known as some of the best pizza.

Totonno's
On our visit, we didn’t have to wait on line.  There was one table available.  There are no frills here.  You sit; they bring you paper plates and plastic cups.  You have your choice of canned or bottled soda and water.  Service is rushed and not friendly.  Because of the demand and lack of space, you may have to share a table with other patrons, as we did.  We ordered the large plain cheese pie, which is a steep price at $19.50.

Totonno's pizza
The three elements of pizza are crust, sauce and cheese.  With a coal-fired oven, one would expect the blackened bottom and a certain flavor.  Sally’s Apizza in New Haven has the perfect coal-fired crust.  Totonno’s crust didn’t have that blackened bottom, and the dough was lackluster.  The tomato sauce was bland–just a tomato taste.  The cheese was also pretty flavorless.  I had really wanted to love this place because of its history, but I felt it was lacking in taste.  I really don’t think it’s worth a trip out to Coney Island just for this pizza.

L&B
L&B Spumoni Gardens is a subway stop and short walk away from Totonno’s.  Here, the specialty of the house are Sicilian-style pies.  For those who don’t know, Sicilian style pies are square pies that are more doughy.  My mom says that when she was young, Sicilian pies came with tomato and onion, but that is not how they are served today.  The pie at L&B is good, but where’s the cheese?  I understand the sauce is on top of the cheese, but I don’t think there’s enough cheese.  It’s unfortunate because the sauce is very good, slightly sweet and with oregano.  With more cheese, this would be one hell of a Sicilian pie.

L&B Spumoni Gardens pizza