Tag Archives: Iron Chef

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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Dinner Club: Barraca

Last night was the first meeting of my dinner club.  Greenwich Avenue was quiet and almost desolate on the cold midweek night.  In contrast, the crowd through the windows of Barraca appeared lively and warm in the soft glow of dim lights and glasses of sangria.

A fan of Chef Jesus Nunez and his cooking at Gastroarte, I had to head downtown to try his new venture, Barraca.  The specialty here is paella, and there are many to choose from.  There are also tapas and entrees.

Our group decided to get tapas.  Here they are, in no particular order:

roasted brussels sprouts with fava beans and ham

grilled cuttlefish with parsley ali-oli, preserved lemon and kale

fondue with hazelnuts, apricots

Spanish potato omelette, ali-oli and bread with tomato

mollete bread sandwich with pulled lamb, Manchego cheese, Guernica peppers and piquillo ali-oli

grilled octopus and baby potatoes, roasted peppers and pimenton de la vera

“broken eggs” served with crispy potatoes, pork belly, fried green peppers and Tetilla cheese

crispy potatoes with brava sauce and ali-oli

pork belly and collard greens

In addition to these, we also got bread with tomato, olive oil and salt and flatbread with oven-roasted vegetables and black olives. Some of these dishes were personal orders, so we all didn’t try everything that’s pictured. My favorite dishes were the brussels sprouts–roasted to perfection, the crispy potatoes and the fondue. The fondue added a sweetness to the savory dishes on the table.  Cuttlefish was new to most of us and we thought it a bit chewy.  Pork belly seemed to be a hit for the evening along with the omelette and breads.

The first dinner club meeting was a success.  If you’d like to attend a future event (one is planned for this Saturday), please let me know.

Restaurant Week: Gastroarte

I always like to catch a few restaurants during Restaurant Week in winter and again in summer.  A lot of New Yorkers do not like Restaurant Week because they feel that the quality is not as good and that portions are smaller.  Most Restaurant Week regulars, however, know that there are a few great bargains for fine cuisine hidden in that extensive list of restaurants.  Gastroarte is one of them.  I’ve written about Gastroarte before, as I’m a fan of Chef Jesus Nunez’s beautifully artistic creations modernizing Spanish cuisine.

Chef Nunez greeted us before we ordered and recommended we try the pear salad and hake fishballs, as being signature dishes.

pear salad with Valdeon cheese, quince and walnuts

Where are the cheese, quince and walnuts, you ask?  Hidden beneath the pleasantly dressed mixed greens.

Another appetizer option: a creamy golden corn soup studded with English peas, fava beans and Serrano ham.


My friends ordered hake fishballs, mussels, shrimp and roasted cauliflower in a Mediterranean sauce. Hake, similar to cod, is abundant here in New York and very popular in Spain.


I ordered the marinated pork ribs with vegetables, a spicy sauce and cumin yogurt. I enjoyed this dish very much.  The perfectly cooked pork was topped with a lovely, spicy barbecue sauce.  With a sizable portion, it was quite filling.

For dessert, we all opted for the torrija with vanilla cream and strawberries. None of us had had torrija before, but it is similar to French toast. This dish was like a comforting, warm bread pudding with berries.

torrija

The Restaurant Week menu at Gastroarte provides an opportunity to try the restaurant’s classic dishes and whets your appetite for more of Chef Nunez’s creations. Chef Nunez will be put to the test against Chef Michael Symon on the July 29th episode of the Iron Chef. Judges include Jose Andres and Andrew Zimmern. It’s no secret I’m rooting for Chef Nunez!