Forget those old fashioned star maps. If you want to spot a celebrity in Los Angeles, the best place is usually over a high-end meal and a great cocktail. Here, 10 restaurants for star gazing in Hollywood
The Tower Bar For a while there, it looked like Jennifer Aniston had made the Tower Bar—the dark-wood-and-brass-rails restaurant at the Sunset Tower Hotel—her personal commissary. Judging by reports in Us Weekly, she was on the premises more often than some of the part-time staff. We can’t really blame her: The maitre d’ at this 1929 landmark, the decorous Dmitri Dmitrov is something of a celebrity in his own right, and the shrimp cocktail ain’t bad either. Other notable sightings: Sacha Baron Cohen, Catherine Deneuve and Dolly Parton, Scarlett Johansson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 8358 West Sunset Boulevard, 323-654-7100
Cut Wolfgang Puck's name is synonymous with California cuisine and celebrity rubbernecking. His Beard Award-nominated steakhouse, Cut, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire doesn’t disappoint on either front. The steaks are perfectly marbled, and the brows on the guests—like Cindy Crawford, Mary J. Blige, and Anjelica Huston—are, ahem, smooth as marble. The B-list is welcome too: Heidi and Spencer from The Hills had their rehearsal dinner here. 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, 310-276-8500
(Credit: FilmMagic / Getty Images)
The Bazaar by José Andrés Spanish master chef José Andrés brings his whimsical tapas (e.g., a foie gras lollipop wrapped in cotton candy) to this Philippe Starck-designed eatery in the SLS Hotel. You might spot Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Aziz Ansari, LeBron James, David Beckham, Adrien Brody, or Eva Longoria dining or just shopping—there’s a pantry full of Spanish artisanal food items and even décor items on sale. 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, 310-246-5555
Madeo In April, Gwyneth Paltrow made the gossips cackle by taking a Town Car from the Stella McCartney boutique on Beverly the whole .06 miles to this old-school Italian joint. Maybe she just needed a private moment to unbutton the top button on her pants: The burrata here is so creamy it could have a second career in porn. Elizabeth Banks, David Beckham, Sidney Poitier, Riley Keough, and Avril Lavigne have all indulged recently. 8897 Beverly Boulevard, 310-859-0242
Soho House You have to be a member of Soho House—annual fees start at $1,800—to dine at this private bar in West Hollywood, but membership has its privileges—among them a grilled cheese sandwich with braised short rib and 180-degree views from 14 stories up. Interior views have included Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, and Jodie Foster. 9200 Sunset Boulevard, 310-432-9200
Katsuya (Photograph courtesy Katsuya)
Katsuya by Starck Hollywood The formerly, famously seedy corner of Hollywood and Vine has undergone quite a transformation in recent years. Among the improvements: Katsuya Hollywood, a Japanese standout known for its crispy rice with spicy tuna, Kobe filet with foie gras and plum soy sauce, and appearances by Halle Berry, Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford, Twilight's Kellan Lutz, Jessica Simpson, and Blake Lively. 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, 323-871-8777
Dan Tana’s The red-sauce Italian is ho-hum. There are almost no windows. The red leather banquettes wouldn’t be out of place at a roadside greasy spoon. And the prices are as artificially inflated as the boobs around here, bah-dum-ta! But since 1964 Dan Tana’s been a favorite of everyone from Karl Malden to Paris Hilton and family to Glenn Frey and Don Henley, who wrote a lot of Eagles lyrics at a booth near the front side of the bar. Other loyal guests: Sumner Redstone, Jon Hamm, Bill Maher, Seth MacFarlane, Channing Tatum, and John Mayer. 9071 Santa Monica Boulevard, 310-275-9444
Joan’s on Third You might see Amanda Seyfried, Kirsten Dunst, Robert Duvall, or Jake Gyllenhaal waiting in a too-long line to lunch amid the stinky artisanal cheeses and million varieties of fleur de sel sold at this LA gourmet market. Some things are just worth the headache. 8350 West Third Street, 323-655-2285
The Polo Lounge When LeRoy Neiman immortalized the crowd at the Polo Lounge in his famous mural, the canvas featured Hollywood royalty like Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Johnny Carson, to name a few. The menu for the in-house restaurant at the Beverly Hills Hotel hasn’t changed much in the years since the Rat Pack got besotted poolside, with predictably classic (or is it classically predictable?) fare like Maine lobster salad and veal Oscar on offer. But thankfully the crowd has been restocked, with the likes of Michael Douglas, Jennifer Aniston, Warren Beatty, Michael Kors, and Jack Black. Might be time for a new mural. 9641 Sunset Boulevard, 310-276-2251
Animal No tablecloths, no bread baskets, no cushions—no comforts, essentially. The food is the focus at Animal, run by the two dudes who starred in the Food Network’s2 Dudes Catering, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Serving head cheese, pig’s tail, pork belly, rabbit loin, and other nose-to-tail specialties, they’ve drawn in Mario Batali, Dustin Hoffman, Justin Timberlake and basically everyone else awesome. But if you’re vegetarian, you might want to do your gawking elsewhere. 435 North Fairfax Avenue, 323-782-9225. —Mickey Rapkin
“We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”—
Statistics can be used for benevolent purposes or for evil ones. Once each month, I’ll suggest ways in which you can exploit data to improve your lot in everyday life. I won’t advocate that you do anything illegal or (in my opinion) immoral. But statistical analysis is being used, and not always to your benefit, by everyone from your cable company to your real estate broker. Consider this your chance to fight back.
Let’s start with that confounding multipiece puzzle of modern life: the local salad bar. Odds are that it’s a pretty bad deal. You plop a few items into a plastic box, and next thing you know you’re forking over 13 bucks. There’s got to be a better way.
Of course salad bars provide for a certain measure of convenience, but the ingredients I crosschecked were, on average, 70 percent more expensive at the salad bar than on the shelves. Cucumber, for instance, was just $1.49 per pound in the produce aisle. Other ingredients were more reasonably priced — and a few were actually cheaper at the salad-bar rate than anywhere else in the store, providing for “Moneyball”-like opportunities for arbitrage. So the fight against Big Salad Bar is winnable yet. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:
1.The choice of lettuce is key. Avoid romaine ($3.06 per pound off the shelf) at all costs — and consider baby spinach ($6.67) and mesclun ($7.99) your friends. They’re good for you, too.
2.Too much dressingwill weigh down your value proposition. Ranch and Italian ($3.99 each) are to be skipped; blue-cheese dressing ($4.65) — or simple oil ($4.26) and balsamic vinegar ($5.10) — offer a comparatively better deal.
3.Veggies can be a trap, but especially beets ($1.84), carrots ($1.69) and red onion ($1.99). A few white button mushrooms ($3.99) can perhaps be indulged in. The real value, however, is in sun-dried tomatoes — cheaper at the salad bar than on the store shelves ($9.99).
4.Go crazy on toppings. Check out how high the prices for walnuts, almonds, gorgonzola crumbles and croutons are in the graphic above. Much to its credit, Whole Foods doesn’t stock the best salad topping of all — bacon bits, obviously — in its salad bar. Why? Because it costs a whopping $21.28 per pound. With any luck your local salad-bar merchant isn’t quite as savvy.
Season each wing evenly with kosher salt, ground black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and a little cayenne pepper (the amount for each is totally up to you)
3 scallions (optional)
For garnish, chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp oil or non-stick cooking spray for the baking sheet
For the glaze:
1/4 cup honey (or more)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or more)
1 tsp lime zest
1 to 2 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce
Season the glaze with cayenne pepper, black pepper, a pinch of salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, cumin, and chili powder (I literally used 1-3 shakes each)
Kosher salt to sprinkle on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray evenly with non-stick cooking spray or brush 1 tablespoon of oil all over the bottom of the foil lined baking sheet.
For the glaze…
Combine all of the ingredients except the lime juice, into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a soft, controlled simmer and allow to reduce for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste as you go, adjusting the seasoning as you see fit. Add the lime juice at the very end, and stir. Remove from heat, cover loosely, and set aside to keep warm while the chicken cooks. As the glaze sits, it will thicken and become stickier by the minute — just a heads up.
For the chicken…
Rinse the chicken wings under cold water quickly, then pat each wing completely dry with paper towels. Season each chicken wing all over with kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and a little cayenne pepper. If using the scallions, place them on the bottom of the greased foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange each wing flatter side up (see photo for reference) on top of the scallions, leaving at least 1-inch of space between each wing. If you arrange the wings too closely together, they will steam rather than crisp up. Sprinkle the lime zest over the top of each wing, evenly.
Place the chicken wings on the middle-lower oven rack and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush 1 to 2 coats of the glaze glaze over each wing. Place the chicken wings back into the 450 degree oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on these last 10 minutes, because depending on your oven, it can caramelize faster than you’d expect and burn. Allow the wings to rest and cool for 10 minutes, then brush with one more layer of glaze right before serving. Sprinkle just a tiny pinch of kosher salt over each glazed wing to help bring out the flavors.
Serve with lime wedges and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
If using “party wings” smaller than the regular parts of a whole chicken wing, reduce the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes.
Where do you even begin when it comes to fancy cheeses? Which are mild, and which are stinky? Which will melt well on my burger and which is better appreciated off a cheeseboard with a smear of good honey?
For each cheese in this list, we’ll talk a bit about the following features:
Country of Origin: The country where the cheese was first developed. In some cases, the name of the cheese is protected, meaning that unless it is produced via strictly controlled methods in a specific region of the world, it cannot bear the name. Roquefort or Manchego are examples of cheeses like this. Other cheeses originate from a certain area but are now produced around the world. Gouda is an example of such a cheese. In general, the latter type of cheese will vary in quality far more than a protected cheese.
Type of milk: Cheese always starts with milk, but the animal it comes from can make a profound difference on its final flavor. Cow’s milk is the mildest, with a creamy, sweet flavor that translates into a more subtle base flavor in the cheese, so aging and ripening play a prominent role in the development of flavor in these cheeses. Sheep’s milk has a mild grassy flavor with a tangier backbone and less buttery sweetness than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is the gamiest of all, with a definite hay/barnyard funk to it.
Aging: Most cheeses are aged for a period of time in a temperature-controlled environment. During this process, moisture evaporates leading to a denser paste and a more intense flavor. Bacteria get to work inside the cheese slowly digesting proteins and converting the texture of a cheese from grainy and crumbly to smooth and creamy (eventually, as enough moisture leaves, a cheese can become grainy and crumbly again, like in a good parmesan). Bacteria on the exterior also play a role in developing a rind and enhancing flavor.
Tasting Notes: Here we’ll discuss what to expect when you eat a bit of the cheese and any key characteristics you should be looking out for.
Best Uses: Is the cheese best on its own? Cooked into a specific dish? Served with a specific drink? We’ll tell you here.
Tasting Notes: The blue pockets of mold that dot a chunk of Roquefort are colonies of the mold Penicillium roquefort, found naturally in the caves of Roquefort, France. It has a moist, crumbly paste, and a sharp, sweet and nutty flavor from the yeast with distinct grassiness from the sheep’s milk. It’s best eaten in the fall, when cheese made from early spring milk is just coming to market.
Best Uses: Eaten as is, or with nuts and honey.
Country of Origin: France (Normandy)
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: At least three weeks
Tasting Notes: The outer rind is a layer of penicillium candidum. Take a look at this fungus under a microscope, and it resembles the tufted head of a dandelion. That’s why you’ll hear it referred to as a “bloomy rind” cheese occasionally. As one of the most widely produced French cheeses, its quality can vary significantly. Some Camemberts are handmade and name-protected (the raw-milk Camembert de Normandie, for example), while others are mass-produced from pasteurized milk (like “Le Châtelain” brand pictured). Because of their short aging period (just over three weeks), you will not find any raw milk Camembert in the U.S. Rich, buttery, and spreadable, Camembert has a mild, mushroomy aroma.
Best Uses: Eaten as is, on sandwiches, baked in a crust, breaded and deep-fried (giddy-up!)
Tasting Notes: Younger cheeeses are mild and salty, somewhat like a young feta. As the cheese ages, it acquires nuttier, tangier flavors and a drier, coarser texture.
Best Uses: On tacos, salads, in soups, over rice, on casseroles, over beans, in guacamole, etc.
Country of Origin: France
Type of milk: Goat
Tasting Notes: The French word chèvre literally translate to “goat,” and is used to refer to any cheese made from goat’s milk. Colloquially in America, however, chèvre refers exclusively to fresh goat’s milk cheese, it is unaged and eaten almost immediately after it is made. Fresh chèvre tends to be moist, bright and acidic, with a lemony flavor and slightly chalky finish in the mouth. You’ll find it sold in vacuum sealed logs, sometimes flavored with herbs, spices, or garlic.
Best Uses: Crumbled in salads, breaded and fried, in sandwiches, in macaroni and cheese.
Country of Origin: Greece
Type of milk: Sheep and goat
Aging: About 3 months
Tasting Notes: Feta is one of the many cheese worldwide to be a protected designation of origin product, meaning that a cheese may only bear the label “feta” in the E.U. if it comes from either mainland Greece or Lesbos, and is made with at least 70% sheep’s milk (the remainder must be goat’s milk). A brined cheese, it is made by soaking freshly pressed curds in salt water. Tangy and moist, feta can range from completely crumbly to moderately creamy and pairs well with fresh summer fruit.
Best Uses: Broiled with olive oil. Crumbled in salads. Sandwiches. Use in place of Cotija in tacos and other Mexican dishes.
Country of Origin: Italy (Campania)
Type of milk: Cow or Water Buffalo
Tasting Notes: Mozzarella is a fresh, pulled-curd cheese made from the milk of water buffalo (for mozzarella di bufala) or cows (for mozzarella fior di latte). The curds are heated in warm water and stretched by hand before being rolled into moist balls. The balls of cheese can then either be sold fresh, or packed in a salty brine to add flavor. Fresh and dairy rich, mozzarella is prized for its texture and mild creamy flavor.
Best Uses: Fresh with a drizzle of olive oil, coarse salt and pepper. With tomatoes in a sandwich. Pizza!
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: at least 4 months
Tasting Notes: Emmental is what many people think of when they hear “Swiss cheese” (yes, holes and all). It’s is considered an “Alpine-Style” or “Mountain” cheese, meaning it originated from the milk of cows that are led up the Alps to graze over multiple seasons, and its curds are cooked and pressed together firmly. The holes you find are bubbles of carbon dioxide gas created as the bacterium Propionibacterium freudenreichii consumes lactic acid. This cheese has a certain sweetness with a piquancy that hits the back of the tongue on the finish. What is more, like all Alpine cheeses, it is a great melter.
Best Uses: Fondue, grilled cheese, casseroles.
Country of Origin: England
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: No minimum, but good ones are generally aged at least one year
Tasting Notes: Cheddar is a cow’s milk cheese that originated in Somerset, England. Cheddar is not only a noun, but it’s also a verb; “to cheddar” refers to a cheesemaking process whereby the curds of the cow’s milk are cooked and then milled into rice-size pieces. The pieces are then pressed into large blocks, and the blocks are stacked one on top of another to press out any remaining moisture. Cheddar cheese made in this traditional fashion are dry and crumbly in texture, with a deep, tangy, nutty flavor. A far cry from the smooth mild American-style cheddars you might find on top of a burger. Cheddar-style cheeses vary dramatically in quality, so it’s a good idea to talk to your cheesemonger about them. The color ranges from ivory to straw to deep yellow in color, depending on the season and the feed of the cattle.
Best Uses: As is, in sandwiches, grilled cheese, casseroles.
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: At least 4 weeks, but better ones are aged at least a year
Tasting Notes: Gouda is a semi-hard to hard cow’s milk cheese from Holland. Like Cheddar, its quality and flavor can vary wildly from the mild, creamy wax-coated lunchbox versions of our youth to those specimens that are hard, crumbly, and deeply flavorful. Long-aged goudas will have a crunchy texture due to crystals of concentrated calcium lactate or and the amino acid tyrosine that form as the cheese loses moisture, just like a good parmesan.
Best Uses: Young they can be melted. Aged cheeses are best as-is or grated into salads or over casseroles.
Country of Origin: Italy (Lombardy)
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: Six to ten weeks
Tasting Notes: At over a thousand years old, Taleggio is one of the world’s oldest soft cheeses. The washed rind cheese is in a family of cheeses created by monks who made cheese from the milk of their grazing cows in order to eliminate waste. The story is that the monks repeatedly washed the wheels clean of any mold that began to grow on their surfaces. Little did they know, they were actually fostering the growth of a slew of new bacteria on the inside and outside of the cheeses, contributing to pungent flavors and even more pungent surface smells. Taleggio smells sort of like… feet. Rich, buttery, meaty, feet. Its soft rind is edible, though it acquires a grainy texture from its repeated wash with salty brine.
Best Uses: As is.
Country of Origin: Italy
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: At least 12 months
Tasting Notes: There are a number of hard cheeses on the market that are sold under the name “parmesan.” These are not to be confused with true Parmigiano-Reggiano, a protected cheese that can only be produced in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia in Italy. Aged for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 36, it’s a hard, dry, crumbly cheese that has great crunch and deep caramel-y, nutty flavors.
Best Uses: Grated on salads and pastas. The harder, saltier rinds are perfect for adding flavor to many Italian soups.
Country of Origin: Spain
Type of milk: Sheep
Aging: 60 days to 2 years
Tasting Notes: Made from the milk of Manchega sheep, it’s a firm, compact cheese that ranges in color from ivory to straw yellow. Younger manchegos have a buttery, rich texture that borders on creamy, while the aged version develops a deeply salty flavor and crunchy tyrosine crystals as it dehydrates.
Best Uses: As is. Spanish membrillo (quince paste) is the ideal accompaniment for it.
Country of Origin: United States of America (California)
Type of milk: Cow
Aging: About one month
Tasting Notes: Very mild and buttery in flavor with a bit of tang, Monterey Jack is one of the few all-American cheeses. Because of its young age and relatively high butterfat content, it’s a great melter. It often comes mixed with hot pickled peppers to make Pepper Jack cheese.
Best Uses: Melted in casseroles, grilled cheese, over chili, cheese dip, any time you want a good melting cheese.
Batons “Sticks” of vegetables around 12mm/½ -inch thick and up to 7.5cm/3-inches long. Usually cut before cooking.
Brunoise A very fine dice up to 2mm/¹/12th inch square. Usually cut before cooking. Often used as a garnish.
Chips/French Fries/Crisps Chips and Fries are”sticks” of vegetables between 5cm/2-inches and 10cm/4-inches long and up to 2.5cm/1-inch thick. Crisps are very thin slices no thicker than 6mm/¼-inch. Both are cut before cooking and are usually deep fried until crispy.
Chunks A piece of cut vegetable larger than 3.75cm/1¾-inches. Usually cut before cooking.
Cubes Pieces of vegetables from 12mm/½ -inch to 36mm/1½-inches square. Can be cut before or after cooking.
Dice Pieces of vegetables between 6mm/¼-inch and 12mm/½ -inch square. Can be cut before or after cooking.
Grated Thin pieces of vegetables created using a grater. They can be any length depending on the vegetable used but are always wafer thin.
Julienne Strips of vegetables usually 3mm/ ⅛- inch square up to 5cm/ 2 inches long standard. Often a mandoline is used for accuracy. Often used as a garnish.
Mashed Vegetables which have already been cooked until soft then further broken down with a fork or masher.
Matchsticks Thin “sticks” of vegetables no thicker than 6mm/¼-inch square and 5cm/2-inches long.
Paysanne Very thin slices of vegetables no larger than 6mm/¼-inch square. Most often used as a garnish.
Purée Vegetables which have usually already been cooked until soft then mashed, then made smooth by rigorous beating or passing through a sieve. With some vegetables a food processor can be used.
Shred Vegetables cut into thin strips generally no wider than 6mm/¼-inch. Usually done before cooking.
Slices Vegetables cut into similar size flat pieces. Can be lengthways or widthways, from 6mm/¼-inch to 2.5cm/1-inch thick.
Sulfrino Balls Sulfrino vegetable ballsaremade with a very small melon scoop, sometimes called a Parisienne scoop, up to 12mm/½-inch in diameter. Most usually used for garnishes.
The 10 Best Restaurants for Celebrity Sightings in New York
When a hot new restaurant opens in New York, it’s a safe bet that Jay-Z and Beyoncé are not far behind. Keeping that kind of wattage coming back is the real trick. Here, 10 restaurants for (celebrity) people watching
Locanda Verde Andrew Carmellini's Italian tavern opened in 2009, in the Tribeca space that formerly housed De Niro's ill-fated Ago. De Niro, who also co-owns Locanda Verde, couldn't reel 'em in on star power alone, but Carmellini—the original chef de cuisine at Café Boulud—has proved that If you build the perfect lamb meatball slider, they will come. And that sometimes “they” will be Jennifer Aniston, Chelsea Handler, and neighbor Meryl Streep. 377 Greenwich Street, 212-925-3797
The Spotted Pig Chef April Bloomfield has made this gastropub a go-to for late-night meaty indulgence. Bloomfield is by all accounts what you call a stickler, disallowing chili-pepper pants in the kitchen and mayonnaise on the burgers; reportedly Lou Reed alone is permitted to have onions on his, and only because an errant server set a precedent. The second floor here is like Madame Tussauds, where you might see investors Jay-Z, Michael Stipe, or Fatboy Slim … or Courtney Love, whom owner Ken Friedman, a former music-biz exec, once famously allowed to raid Bloomfield’s pantry. 314 West 11th Street, 212-620-0393
ABC Kitchen It’s locavores gone wild at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Beard Award-winning restaurant at ABC Carpet & Home—a farm-to-table spot that sometimes feels more like celebrity-to-trough. In happier times, Katy Perry and Russell Brand dined here. Kanye’s been. And in March, President Obama joined the likes of Russell Simmons and Deepak Chopra here for a $35,800-a-plate fund-raiser. 35 East 18th Street, 212-475-5829
Spice Market (Photograph courtesy Spice Market)
Spice Market Southeast Asian nibbles courtesy of Jean-Georges; flashbulbs courtesy of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who chose this meatpacking outpost for an attention-grabbing dinner with her family back in April. Other recent notables: Hugh Jackman, Christina Aguilera, and Jill Zarin (from The Real Housewives of New York, who, as we all know, runs with a fabulous circle of people). 403 West 13th Street, 212-675-2322
Bar Pitti This downtown Italian spot is known for its outdoor seating and beautiful-people watching. Construction, with some unfortunately placed scaffolding, has been something of a buzzkill this summer, but the models still abound. Heidi Klum is a fan; ditto Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Ron Perelman, Donna Karan, and Gerard Butler. If there’s no one here, look next door at Da Silvano for the likes of Anna Wintour, Mayor Bloomberg, and Jack Nicholson. 268 Sixth Avenue, 212-982-3300
Acme The long-standing Cajun dive of the same name was reborn in late 2011 as a Nordic bistro helmed by Mads Refslund, a founder of Copenhagen’s Noma. With specialties that include “duck in a jar” and black heirloom carrots with pine, lardo, and blood orange, the new Acme has attracted highbrow patrons like Chuck Close and Salman Rushdie (spotted by the New York Post huddled with a “mystery babe” during Fashion Week). 9 Great Jones Street, 212-203-2121
The Dutch (Photograph by Noah Fecks)
The Dutch The bar is loud. The lighting is dim. The giant, head-on Hawaiian shrimp are succulent, and the rabbit pot pie is as rich as Warren Buffett. And late at night, on this once-quiet Soho corner, Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly have been known to sup near the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Jude Law. But if no one’s on display the night you’re there, who cares? We’ve never had a bad meal that started with chipotle cornbread. 131 Sullivan Street, 212-677-6200
The Waverly Inn After Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter opened this spot in the ground floor of a West Village townhouse in 2006, it rapidly earned notice for its buttery biscuits and absurd star wattage. It even (very briefly) had its own coy, self-promoting blog on the VF website: “A recent Tuesday evening found the Waverly verily chockablock: a pair of rock legends in one of the main room’s two horseshoe-shaped banquettes, an investment legend holding court in the other. Elsewhere: a former police commissioner, a sprinkling of talent agents, a fleet of fashionistas. (They do actually eat, you know.)” It remains a kind of neo-Elaine’s for the downtown set, attracting notables from Fran Lebowitz to Lindsay Lohan. 16 Bank Street, 917-828-1154
Marlow & Sons No culinary tour of Williamsburg would be complete without a stop at Marlow & Sons, a whimsical hipster bodega with a wood-paneled oyster bar and killer craft cocktails. Yeah, it’s impossible to get a cab back into Manhattan at the end of the night. But Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren—both recent diners—don’t take taxis. Brooklyn is dead; long live Brooklyn. 81 Broadway, Williamsburg, 718-384-1441
Super Linda From the outside, Super Linda still looks a bit like the Greek diner that was perched on the corner of West Broadway and Reade Street for all those years—almost an eyesore in an otherwise hip Tribeca. Thankfully, the interior got the high-end once over along with the kitchen; Matt Abramcyk's Latin American cantina feels like a Buenos Aires escape, what with its burlap sack upholstery, wooden blinds and gorgeous women packed three deep. It's exactly what you'd expect from the Beatrice Inn vet and his partners, Serge Becker (La Esquina, Miss Lily’s) and Richard Ampudia (Cafe Habana). And it packs in a glam crowd for Baja fish tacos and in-house ceviches. By glam crowd, of course, we mean recent guests like Michelle Williams, Jay-Z, Cee Lo Green and Nick Jonas. 109 West Broadway, 212-227-8998
Okay, okay. I know I’m on a seafood kick this week. Ya see this sandwich? It’s messy. Ooohhh so messy. One of those kinds of sandwiches that you need a cold beer chasin’ it down. That’s my kind of sandwich.
I’m trying to come out a little more on the blog every day; it’s hard in the beginning, ya’ know? I want you to know me for who I really am. I possess social graces that I use when necessary. But when I eat a sandwich like this, they fly right out the window. That’s okay.
My Mom taught me to be confident in whatever I wanted to be, do, eat or drink (thanks, Mama!). Some people don’t think it’s appropriate that I drink alcoholic beverages. That’s okay, too. I look so forward to “Thirsty Thursdays”! I can take the heat, though. My big girl panties are always in full effect.
Sorry to talk about panties in a blog post about food
. I had an extra container of crabmeat that I purchased when I recently made Crab, Corn & Egg Casserole. I thought I might need both containers but I didn’t.
So I slapped some Swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread brushed with melted butter seasoned with Old Bay. Then I smothered it with caramelized onions.
I added sliced avocado & crabmeat (& another slice of bread brushed with Old Bay butter). Cooked it for about 5 minutes (2 1/2 minutes on each side) over medium heat. O.M.G.!
Now, I really can’t take credit for all of this. I thought I had had come up with an ingenious recipe. I searched the web & saw that That’s So Michelle beat me to the punch. I changed it up a little, but I still need to give a fellow sista food blogger some credit where it is due.
So, put your bibs on, pop a cold one & enjoy this deliciously messy sandwich. Cheers!
Summer is the time for having adventures with your friends. And since it only lasts a couple of months, it’s important you don’t waste any time trying to decide which cocktails you’re going to drink. So here are the beverages that are guaranteed to help you and your pals have a completely awesome summer. postedabout 2 weeks ago
Jeremiah Weed is known for reviving us in the hottest of temperatures with Roadhouse Tea, Lightning Lemonade, and Spiked Cola flavors. ZZ Top will be relying on them heavily this summer, because they’ll be kicking the summer off right by promoting the first song they’ve released in 9 years, called “I Got To Get Paid.” Check it out on the right!
If you don’t knock back at least a few tequila-infused margaritas over the summer, even your grandmother will be disappointed.
Not all of us can afford an exotic vacation this summer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t drink like there’s sand in our bathing suits. The rum in daiquiris are perfect for tricking our minds into thinking we’re on a sequestered island, even if we’re just in midtown.
Sangria is wonderful because it comes with fruit, which means if you’re on the beach and starving but you don’t want to abandon your chaise lounge, you can order a pitcher and get enough energy to keep relaxing.
The Mint Julep is the traditional bourbon drink of the Kentucky Derby. You’re supposed to drink it while wearing a glamorous and extravagant hat, but it also does the trick when you’re looking to celebrate the fact that your boss finally learned your name.
If your summer fling decides to bail on you mid-summer (!!!), make yourself a Bloody Mary and all the vodka and Tabasco sauce will give you the kick in the behind that you really need to find another (better) one.
Piña Coladas originated in Puerto Rico, and they actually won’t let you visit if you haven’t developed a taste for them before you arrive. So to prepare for the possibility that you meet someone who offers to whisk you away, drink as many as you can because otherwise, you’ll have to stay home.
Even though the real thing is definitely better than any cocktail, the liquified version of Sex On The Beach ain’t half bad. You can make it with either orange juice or pineapple juice, and it’ll definitely perk you up when the other kind isn’t readily available.
Blueberry Lemonades are crisp and sweet, and the vodka is very good for helping you feel confident in swimwear. And don’t worry about not having any free hands if your bikini comes undone — somebody will definitely come to your rescue (if not out of concern for you, then for a sip of your beverage).
If terrible weather suddenly ruins your amazing beach day or postpones your barbeque, an easy solution is to grab yourself some rum and whip up a hurricane. That way, you still get to enjoy yourself AND show mother nature that she’s going to have to try a lot harder to get you down.
John Dalys are like Arnold Palmers, except mixed in with the lemonade and iced tea is vodka. They are the best way you can reward yourself for golfing with your significant other’s parents without making any dirty jokes.
A Tom Collins is just a mixture of carbonated water, gin, lemon juice and sugar, so it’s pretty easy to make. It’s refreshing and well-respected, and is great when you want a night off from the fruity stuff.
Negronis are Italian, and even though their color can make them seem innocent, they pretty serious cocktails. They are quite boozy concoctions and can hit you hard because they are usually consumed before meals, but let’s be real: that’s never stopped anyone.
Don’t spend the summer thinking the only things you can do with cucumbers are put them on your eyes and eat them in salads. Instead, educate yourself on their third use by lounging by the pool and drinking cucumber-mint gimlets.
8 The jar of mulberry jam I made last week. It’s not the most nutritious thing, but it’s the most important: There will come a moment, close to the end, when this jam will remind me of my old life as a human.
9 Tools! Let’s count them all as one item: Paring knife, corkscrew, can opener, heavy wooden rolling pin.
10 Water purification tablets? Iodine? A book that explains how to use them?
Your own go-bag snack suggestions are welcome below.
2) Mark Iacono vs Benny Geritano: The most shocking chef story of the year: in April, news broke that Lucali pizzeria owner Mark Iacono was brutally stabbed in a knife fight with lifelong acquaintance and alleged mob associate Benny Geritano. The attack, which happened in broad daylight in front of Joe’s Superette in Carroll Gardens, left Iacono in the hospital with severe wounds. Rumors swirled that the fight may have been related to a mob shakedown or a love triangle, but charges against both men were dropped after a series of court dates in May and June. Once the dust had settled, Geritano told the Daily News, “Mr. Iacono is a great guy…I know him my entire life. He’s the greatest.”
We’re all about trying to keep things simple but fun and personal. That’s why we love these pops. You can use store-bought Oreos, marshmallows or brownies and add some melted chocolate and some pretty sprinkles and you’ve got a quick, fun and pretty treat!
Kick your sugar habit without relying on the artificial stuff. A nutritionist and chef picks her top natural sweeteners
Photograph by Sang An
I used to be a sweets freak. I carried licorice like cigarettes, rewarded workouts with chocolate. Not anymore.
Since becoming a holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef, I’ve cut out processed foods and refined sugars. It’s prompted positive changes in my energy, mood, and sleep. I even shed a few pounds. And because sugar contributes to depressed immune function, bone loss, and more, I know reducing my consumption has improved my health.
But I managed to keep my sweet tooth—without turning to artificial sweeteners. Instead, I cook with natural, less-refined alternatives like these favorites. They’re not an excuse to eat unlimited sweets, but by choosing ingredients that retain nutrients, I make desserts that actually nourish me. Here’s what I use.
1. Coconut Palm Sugar A no-brainer sugar replacement that’s rich in potassium and iron. Similar in taste and appearance to brown sugar, it can be substituted 1:1 for white or brown sugar without making other changes. Find it at natural foods stores and some supermarkets. Recommended brand: Coconut Secret
2. Dates A sweetener and a whole food. The caramel-like Medjool variety is my go-to for raw desserts (like these Cocoa-Date Truffles). Dates add a complex sweetness and bind ingredients well. I also slice this quality carb onto my oatmeal in place of brown sugar. Pick organic unsulfured Medjool dates
4. Maple Syrup Another favorite, and not just because I’m Canadian. It adds depth—plus manganese and calcium—to marinades and homemade granola. And it’s great in baked goods: For basic cakes, replace 1 cup sugar with 1 cup syrup, and reduce other liquids by 1/3 to 1/2 cup to compensate for the extra liquid (you’ll get the hang of it). I prefer grade B for its robust taste. Recommended brand: Buy local. We like Blis B Grade Michigan Maple Syrup
5. Mesquite The mesquite tree, common to the American southwest, produces a beanlike pod that can be dried and pulverized for use as a sweetener or flour. It’s gluten-free, with a low glycemic index, and high in fiber and protein. Sprinkle mesquite powder onto oatmeal, add it to smoothies, or replace a percentage of regular flour in baking recipes. Mesquite adds a warm, mellow caramel flavor to almost any food that needs a touch of sweetness. Recommended brand: Navitas Naturals
6. Blackstrap Molasses This robust, mineral-rich by-product of refined white sugar is viscous and nearly black in color. It adds a wonderful depth to stews and chilis and tastes great in smoothies and hot beverages. Unsulphured and organic is best. Recommended brand: Wholesome Sweeteners
7. Brown Rice Syrup Thick and honey-colored, and only about half as sweet as sugar, brown rice syrup is derived by culturing cooked rice with enzymes to break down the starches, then straining off the liquid and reducing it to the desired consistency. It’s great over pancakes, in coffee or tea, or substituted for other sweeteners in baking. High-quality rice syrup should only contain brown rice and filtered water. Recommended brand: Lundberg