Tag Archives: NYC

Little Italy Isn’t Dead: Albanese Meats and Poultry

Periodically, there’s an article about how Little Italy is dead or dying. Yes, it’s more of a tourist destination and less of a neighborhood where Italian people live. There are still some Italians there, and there are Italian-American-owned businesses there. A recent article in the New York Times made me want to write a series on Little Italy Isn’t Dead and feature some of the businesses there.

Albanese Meats and Poultry

Albanese Meats and Poultry reminds us that Little Italy used to encompass a much larger area that included Elizabeth Street. In fact, when the Italians settled in the area, they lived near people from the same villages or regions. Mulberry Street was for Neapolitans; Elizabeth Street was where Sicilians lived. And indeed, the founders of Albanese Meats and Poultry were from Sicily. Moe Albanese is the current owner, who took the shop over from his parents who immigrated from Sicily. They opened it in 1923, when his mother, Mary, was only 18 years old, according to an interview with Moe by photographers James and Karla Murray. According to a New York Times article in October 2017, Moe still works there, though he is in his 90s. The shop was recently featured as the butcher shop in the Amazon show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

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Weekend Whets 3/14

Japanese Restaurant Week, through March 16, 2014, Manhattan: Showcases restaurants serving Japanese cuisine.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, through March 23, 2014, Hudson Valley, New York:  Showcases restaurants in the Hudson Valley.

PI(E) Day, March 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m., City Grit, Nolita, Manhattan: Multi-course meal featuring savory & sweet pies.  $55 for one; $95 for two.

Bacon Fest: 6 Courses of Gourmandise Bacon by Sex on the Table, Saturday, March 15, 2014, 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tribeca, Manhattan: Bacon tasting for Sex on the Table members or prospective members.

Chef Owen Clark Pop-Up Dinner at The Saint Austere, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 6 p.m. or 9 p.m., The Saint Austere, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Six-course dinner with ($95) or without wine ($66).

St. Patrick’s Day:  Irish Cheese and Whiskey, Monday, March 17, 2014, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Bedford Cheese Shop, Gramercy, Manhattan: Sample Irish cheeses and whiskies.  $70.

Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, with Samira Kawash, the author of “Dislocating the Color Line,” and the founder of the website Candyprofessor.com, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, Manhattan: Lecture on cultural history of candy in America.

pHFood POP Up Dinner Hosted by Ted & Honey, Friday, March 21, 2014, 6 p.m., Ted & Honey Cafe, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn: Dinner from locally grown, organic and sustainable ingredients.

Crow Hill Supper Club Presents: A Royal Purim Banquet by NYSHUK, Saturday, March 22, 2014, 7 p.m., Crow Hill Supper Club, Brooklyn:  Dinner of ten salads, from pickled cauliflower to matbucha, a roasted red pepper and garlic salad, a classic dairy couscous of Moroccan Purim served with dried fruit and nuts, a spicy fish dish called chraimi, and a”Mishloach Manot”–a massive spread of cookies.  $70.

Ides Of March: Feasting In Ancient Rome, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side: Learn about dining etiquette and meals of Ancient Rome.  $45.

Warriors in Motion 1st Annual Master Chef Celebration, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Metropolitan Pavilion, Chelsea, Manhattan: Tastings from many of NYC’s top restaurants and chefs.

System + Taste: Food In Postcolonial Hawai‘i, March 27, 2014, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Village, Manhattan:  Discussion on how colonial histories shape current food systems.

Hot Sauce Expo, March 29 & 30, 2014, Penn Plaza Pavilion, Midtown West, Manhattan: Hot sauce vendors, eating contests and more.

April

Just Food Conference, April 5 through 6, 2014, Teachers College, Columbia University, Manhattan:  Conference on making locally grown food available to New Yorkers.

Westeros Feast – Dinner with Release of Fire & Blood, April 6, 2014, 7 p.m., Jimmy’s No. 43, East Village, Manhattan:  A Westeros-inspired feast.  $55.

Butts, Legs & Sides, April 8, 2014, 7:30 p.m., City Grit, Nolita, Manhattan:  Bo Ssäm Feast & Fried Chicken Fest.  $55 for one; $195 for four.

A Taste of Fifth Avenue, April 9, 2014, 6:30 p.m., The Grand Prospect Hall, Brooklyn: Sample tastings from local restaurants.

A Persian Feast, April 12, 2014, 6:30 p.m., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan: Group discussion of Middle Eastern art and culinary history followed by a hands-on cooking class.  $150.

Taste of the Lower East Side, April 24, 2014, Lower East Side, Manhattan:  A tasting of restaurants in the area.

Food Book Fair, April 25 through 27, 2014, Brooklyn: Event showcasing books by those in the food world.

Queens Taste 2014, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing, Queens:  Tasting and networking event celebrating the borough.  $100.

May

Grand Gourmet – The Flavor of Midtown®, Thursday, May 1, 2014 Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East, Manhattan: Tastings from area restaurants.

Dinner: Sparks Steak House

I’m rounding out famous New York City steakhouses with Sparks Steak House.  From the moment you are greeted by the host, you feel the classic, upscale feel of Sparks.  The dark wood and large-framed Hudson River school landscape paintings on gold and burgundy walls evoke a time gone by.  The bar has quite a hopping after work suit crowd.  Clearly, it’s still a place where the good old boys do business meals and deals.

On my visit, I got a steakhouse classic, the sliced tomato and onion salad.

sparks tomato and onion salad

For sides, we shared the creamed spinach and hash brown potatoes.

creamed spinach and hash browns

I got a filet mignon.

Sparks filet mignon

My friend got prime sirloin steak.

Sparks sirloin

For dessert, I got the house special, strawberry Romanoff, a special cream made with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and Grand Marnier.

strawberry romanoff

My friend loved his steak and the sides.  My steak and salad were good.  The dessert wasn’t as great as I’d hoped it would be by the sound of it.  But I highly recommend Sparks as it is a great steakhouse with a classic New York atmosphere and good food.

Sweet Potato Tater Tot Casserole

A great addition to your Superbowl party is inspired by a dish that I love–Totchos at Reunion surf bar in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.  Totchos are nachos made with tater tots instead of corn chips.

tater tots

I thought I would try to recreate this with sweet potato tater tots.  However, it turned into sweet potato tater tot casserole, and it was also delicious.  Sorry for the Martha Stewart-esque photo.  (Sour cream is not so photogenic.)  This casserole was much more yummy than it appears.

Sweet Potato Tater Tot Casserole

1 bag frozen sweet potato tater tots

1 can vegetarian chili

2 avocados

1 packet guacamole mix

1 package jack cheese mix

sour cream

Cook tots according to package directions.  Grease a casserole dish.  Add cooked tots.  Top with chili, then cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melty.  Remove from oven.  Top with prepared guacamole mix, then sour cream.  Serve.

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NYC Supermarket Ratings

I’ve written about NYC supermarkets before.  They leave little to be desired next to supermarkets in other parts of the country.  It’s no surprise that Associated, Key Foods and C-Town have the most violations.  However, they are often the most affordable, and I can’t say, as a shopper, that the more expensive chains are that much better.  The Upper West Siders love their Fairway, but check out its rating.  Anyway, you can look up supermarkets in your area and see their rating in these NYC supermarket ratings.

Save Village Halloween Parade!

OK, this post isn’t about food, but it’s about a NYC institution.  One that I love and have been participating in for 16 years:  the Village Halloween parade.  This year is the parade’s 40th year, but it may not happen if it doesn’t get the funds to survive.  You can help:  donate!

This was my costume in 2001 as a tribute to firefighters after 9/11, and it landed me on the news.

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This was my costume in 2003 as a tribute to the troops overseas.

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Probably my most popular costume with the crowd was head-to-toe pink in 2002.

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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.