Tag Archives: Ice Cream

Braving the Rain

You know you’re a dedicated food writer (or just fat) when you brave torrential downpours and hurricane winds for an ice cream festival at South Street Seaport.

A tiny cone of lemon verbena

The New Amsterdam Market is one of many markets in New York City that offers locally grown produce and other local edible goodies, such as wine, maple syrup, ice cream, and cheese. All the vendors come from the North East each weekend and bring their delicious stuff with them. They host special events and festivals all the time, so it’s worth checking back to their website to find out what’s on the menu for the fall.

Sunday’s ice cream festival featured New York staples such as Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream and MilkMade (mentioned here!), as well as Early Bird Cookery, Roberta’s, The Bent Spoon, and Marlow & Daughters. $20 got me 6 tiny cones of incredibly innovative flavors, some better than others.

Some bizarro but incredible flavors from Early Bird Cookery

Roasted peach with black pepper (by far the day’s winner! who knew sweet peaches with a spicy after taste of black pepper would be so divine?!)
Beet
Hay (yes… HAY) with local honey
Ginger and blackberry
Bourbon vanilla with sea salt caramel (more than 1 cone of this and I would’ve been drunk)
Fresh ricotta
Nectarine sorbet
Lemon verbena

The stand out flavors were the roasted peach with black pepper, as mentioned, the nectarine sorbet, and the fresh ricotta with an incredibly thick and creamy texture and perfect cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice blend. The rain was pouring down but I was radiating sunshine from within. See? That’s a happy face.

Double fisting!

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The Redhead

Wednesday night I spent a lovely evening with my friend Jason of NYC Daily Deals and I Dream of Pizza. One of the highlights was not being the only loser at the table to pull out a camera every time a dish was presented. Another highlight was the killer food. Can you say fried blueberry pie? This girl can.

The Redhead 349 East 13th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, New York, NY. The Redhead is a neighborhood joint with a bar occupied by locals and a cozy little dining room safe from the frat boys and hipsters that dwell in the neighboring NYU area. The menu is simple and brilliantly prepared, as if you were sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen… if your grandmother was super trendy and cool.

On the menu:
Flatbread with sausage, mushrooms, and mascarpone
Newport steak with fried green tomatoes, smashed ranch beans, and redhead steak sauce
Buttermilk fried chicken with cornbread and strawberry and spinach salad with almonds
Fried blueberry pie with lemon ice cream

Verdict: Hello, lovelyyyy. Fried chicken. Fried pie. But nothing was overdone or greasy. I didn’t leave the restaurant feeling like I’d just exited a Hardee’s. There wasn’t a single disappointing element in the meal, but the flatbread was the real star of te show: a crispy crust with melty cheese and perfectly tender toppings. It was almost like a pizza but sans sauce. After the little starter had disappeared I kinda wished I had another one. Or ten. Whatever. The fried blueberry pie was also incredible: tiny little empanada-like pastries filled with fresh blueberries and warm blueberry sauce over a scoop of tart lemon ice cream and topped with candied strips of lemon rind.

This here is comfort food at its best, y’all.

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Everybody’s Screaming!

Today was hot. VERY hot. I drank some ice water, I ate a popsicle, I took a cold shower. And guess what? I am STILL. SO. FREAKING. HOT. And you know what is on my mind? I think you can guess.

Ice cream. There is no better cold weather treat. I thought, in lieu of cooking or eating or even moving from the whisper of a breeze that blows through my apartment window every hour, I would do an ice cream roundup. Yum.

Time Out New York did a roundup of what they think are the eight best ice cream sandwiches in the city. I have yet to taste any on their list, but I highly suggest you pick up a copy of the magazine, if only just to drool while you melt into a puddle in your air-conditionless apartment. No? Just me?

Did you know the month of July is National Ice Cream Month? Who cares if it’s true! It’s an excuse to eat ice cream like it’s going out of style. And for the month of July, chefs at Kimpton Hotels across the country are offering special ice cream dishes like vanilla bean gelato with caramelized popcorn and caramel sauce (New York, NY) and Pennsylvania sweet corn ice cream with elephant heart plum and ginger gelato (Philadelphia, PA). For more info on your local Kimpton Hotel and their cheapo ice cream deal check their website.

If you live in New York City, you will literally trip over the endless ice cream options offered in and around New York. Two of my favorites include the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich at Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a split red velvet donut, or cookies and cream ice cream sandwiched between a plain cake donut) and the pistachio ice cream at Sweet Melissa in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Ice cream! Way better than the Mr. Tasty blaring his abominable song on your street corner, and way more legal than taking a dip in the Lincoln Center fountain.

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Why go out for a hamburger when you’ve got steak at home?

This past weekend, I found myself completely caught up in the summer heat with an intense craving for some red meat. I wanted a freshly grilled burger or a sizzling steak or even a Zweigle’s hot dog with that delicious crispy skin you can only get from a charcoal grill. Nothing says summer to me like the smell of grilled meat. Well… maybe grilled meat followed by some ice cream.

On the menu:
Ribeye steak
Steamed broccoli with goat cheese and walnuts
Baked potato

While there is nothing very complicated about this meal, it’s a classic, it’s sure to please any meat eater, and it can be created in a quick thirty minutes.

Steak

Heat an oven-proof skillet to high heat with 1 Tbsp of canola oil
Season the ribeye with salt and pepper, and sear the meat for around 2 minutes on each side
Put the entire skillet in a 450 degree oven for around 6 minutes (if you’re making a thinner piece of meat, take the steak out after 4 or 5 minutes)
Let the meat rest for fifteen minutes after it comes out of the oven

*A few notes on steak:

  • In order for the steak to really hold in all the juices, the outside layer needs to sear. When you place your steak in the skillet, don’t move it around at all aside from the single flip.
  • Never cut your steak open immediately after it’s removed from the heat (or taken out of the oven). Meat contracts when it’s heated and all the juices run to the center. It needs at least 15 minutes after it’s been removed from heat (longer if it’s a big honking piece of meat) to relax and release and let the juices redistribute. If you cut a piece of steak straight off the heat, all the juices will run out onto your plate. And that ain’t cool.

Broccoli

Trim stalks off of the broccoli and cut into bite-sized pieces. Throw the pieces into a pan with an inch of water at the bottom. Turn the heat to medium and let the broccoli cook until the water is 99% gone. Plate broccoli and break up goat cheese over the top while it’s still hot enough to slightly melt the cheese. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.

And for dessert? Ice cream. And when your local grocer, has a sale on Ben & Jerry’s… well, it’s like fate made that decision for you, now didn’t it?

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Brooklyn is Burning

In most areas of the country, brunch is the meal between typical breakfast and lunch hours. In New York City, brunch is an all-out weekend booze fest during which you are encouraged to eat breakfast food between the hours of 6AM and 5PM and drink “breakfast cocktails” to excess. Needless to say, it is my favorite meal of the week.

This weekend was the first ridiculously beautiful, sunny weekend in New York and I soaked it up to the fullest by traveling to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn where brunch is like a religion.

Cafe LULUc Located on Smith Street between Baltic Street and Butler Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. I can’t speak for Cafe LULUc in the winter, but in the warm spring and summer months, the front doors are completely open and the back patio is open, creating a sparkling sunny garden terrace vibe. Warm breeze and Latin music drifted through the cafe, the back tables on the patio surrounded a huge tree that sporadically and poetically dropped purple flowers from its branches, and the clientele is a mix of cool Brooklyn hipsters and gorgeous young families. I didn’t even mind all the babies in the vicinity of my table, and trust me… that’s saying something.

On the menu:
Eggs benedict, with french fries and a green salad
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, with french fries and a green salad
Mimosas

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

Verdict: Delightful. Eggs benedict is my go-to brunch dish and this did not disappoint. 9 out of 10 times when I order eggs benedict, the poached egg is borderline hard-cooked but these eggs were done PERFECTLY. The Hollandaise sauce was creamy and subtle, the accompanying french fries were thin and crispy, and the small side salad had a dreamy basil vinaigrette dressing that lightened everything up. The mimosas were $7 a piece, which seemed a little steep to me, but every meal on the menu was a bargain at under $10 so it all evened out. And after two “light on the orange juice” glasses of my most favorite breakfast cocktail combined with the steamy summer heat and a belly full of food, who cares how much they cost anyway? Not this girl. Not even a little.

I am also a fan of brunch because it’s technically lunch and after lunch you’re allowed to have dessert. So… I did.

Pistachio ice cream with bumblebee sprinkles

Sweet Melissa Cremerie, 276 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY. You know how sometimes when it’s hot out you eat your ice cream so fast (to keep it from melting, of course) that you can barely even taste it? No? Yeah, me neither. Anyway… this was delicious.

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Skippy 2.0

photo c/o MilkMadeIcecream.com

During the summers of my youth in lovely Rochester, NY few sounds brought greater joy to my little heart than the ringing bell of Skippy, the ice cream truck (was he called Skippy everywhere? Or is this another local word that I’m unaware of?). I remember begging for a dollar and then chasing that truck down the street, hoping for some sickly sweet frozen dessert that would promptly melt down my forearm because I ate so freaking slow.

Nowadays, there is an easier and way chicer way to have ice cream delivered to you, and it’s called MilkMade. This brilliant company will deliver handmade ice cream to your door, once a month for three months at the low, low price of $50 (I know, it seems a little steep but with flavors like Coffee and Donuts made with Crop to Cup‘s Uganda Bugisu coffee and REAL Doughnut Plant donuts, I’d say: worth it). Their focus is on using products from local companies and creating stellar combinations of flavors you won’t find in the grocery store.

If you’re outside their limited delivery area, you can also find them at the Greenpoint Food Market. The next market is May 22. See you there? That’s what I thought.

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Jean-Georges Nougatine

Sometimes, even as a lover of food, I forget why New York is great. It’s loud, its manic pace is constant, and as the weather gets warmer, the city gets smellier. I’m ready for a change. But then, out of the blue, I have a New York moment and I remember why there is no place like this place and how I will never be able to find another like her.

Jean-Georges with a Lady Who Lunches - a blurry camera picture because we were trying hard to be classy and discreet

When I sat down at a Jean-Georges restaurant near Central Park on Wednesday for lunch and Jean-Georges himself walked out of the kitchen, I felt like 13-year-old-Lauren would have felt if Jonathan Taylor Thomas had walked out of the kitchen. I’m not ashamed to say I got butterflies. He’s just that good.

Nougatine New York Magazine praises this little sun-filled restaurant at 1 Central Park West as “possibly the least heralded and most overlooked restaurant in town.” My good friend Becca invited me to lunch as payment for a cake I made her (seriously, does baking have its perks, or what?) and on the hottest day of an unseasonably warm April, we sat down for a posh meal where the dining room is run like a well-oiled machine and the Ladies Who Lunch throw birthday parties with Tiffany blue boxes as table favors.

On the menu:
Warm Beets and Rich Yogurt
field mache and lemon oil
Shrimp Salad
with avocado and tomato champagne vinegar dressing
Salt and Pepper Calamari
with citrus-chili dip
Roasted Red Snapper
with broccoli raab and sweet garlic-lemon broth
Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin
with miso butter and roasted brussel sprouts
Creme Caramel
with sacristan (puff pastry twisted and dipped in sugar) and citrus
Jean-Georges Warm Chocolate Cake
with vanilla bean ice cream
[the prix fixe meal allows you to choose 2 small plates plus a dessert for $26]

Salt and pepper calamari

Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin (blurry because I barely had time to snap this picture before I dove into the deliciousness)

Verdict: To. Die. For. “What’s in that, crack cocaine?” I wish I could say my dining partners and I said this only once. Everything was so delicious, warm, inviting. Each bite left all the right pleasant notes in my mouth. The portions were perfect, and I left the restaurant feeling sated and glowing. Forget the temperatures outside. I was radiating sunshine from inside. The prices at Nougatine are far more reasonable than any of Jean-Georges’ other restaurants in Manhattan, but it’s still not a cheap meal. I make it a point to seek out affordable, delicious meals in New York so believe me when I tell you this: if I had only $100 to spend on one final meal in New York City, I would take it to Nougatine.

Red Snapper

The famous Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake with vanilla bean ice cream

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