Archive for May, 2019

Five “Foodie” Suggestions for New York

May 13th, 2019

Really kept busy moving around on a return visit to New York & Brooklyn this early May with always so many things to see and do. Culinary adventures were at the top of the list but also enjoyed art (our fav The Frick Collection on East 70th with anticipated expansion in 2020 including a second floor) and theatre (the inspiring new musical Come From Away is highly recommended). Enjoyed two special expensive menu dinners at the upscale Le Bernardin & Per Se that are both deservedly lauded but some of the best values are truly worthwhile checking out as well. Impossible to make a list that doesn’t go on forever but here is your scribe’s Top 5 to include in a forthcoming trip:

1. HUDSON YARDS: What a an architectural wonder and fun place to tour. Truly spectacular. Be sure to include a walk along the nearby elevated greenway park The High Line either before or after. Our fav from Las Vegas Milos has opened on the 5th floor of Hudson Yards. Recommend the weekend prix fixe lunch special of 4 superb courses for $57 including sensational starter of grilled octopus with yellow split pea fava and main of the whole grilled sea bream. Many shops to visit in the centre but note the new essential oils at MUJI. Good lesson to practise your wine smelling skills with their pure plant materials of flowers, leaves & fruit misted into therapeutic aromas. Interesting range of many from citrus ones (orange & yuzu), herbal (eucalyptus & rosemary) and floral (geranium & lavender).

2. WORLD TRADE CENTRE: A must but so many things to see. Amazing to walk through it all with the wide open spaces and experience the overall feel. So many classy shops in the Brookfield & Westfield Centres. Also like the food opportunities and happy hour specials (5-7pm) especially at extremely popular Eataly. Their Vino E Grano restaurant inside has wonderful Italian food (yummy home made tagliatelle with fresh porcini mushrooms) plus most drinkable wine special choices at only $30 a bottle for an early dinner before the theatre.

3. AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT – L’Artusi: So many fantastic Italian choices. Can’t really go wrong. Our fav is L’Artusi at 228 west 10th where all the dishes and the service sings – a delicious Ricotta Tortelloni with morels, peas, favas, and pecorino. Sensible wine prices by the glass like $16

4. LUNCH OF A TRENDY MIX YOUR OWN BIG HEALTHY BOWL: Boy are these places ever crowded. So many to choose from but Cava on 42nd is always jammed with a patient fast moving line-up. Tasty menu of ingredients starting with a base of grains or greens with your picks from there. Look at the attached menu. Two other chains your scribe also recommends with a similar concept are SweetGreen & Nanoosh. Excellent healthy value trendy lunch for sure around only $10+.

5. STARBUCKS RESERVE ROASTERY: You may or may not downgrade the quality of Starbucks coffee since it opened in 1971 at the Pike Place Market Seattle. But you will be impressed to see their showcase that is both a workshop and a stage at 61 Ninth Avenue in New York. WOW. Coffee roasted on site, artisanal breads, pastries, and even pizzas traditionally baked at Princi Bakery, and even cocktails at Arriviamo Bar. Locals take home a bag of better Starbucks Reserve coffee straight from the roaster Scooping Bar. What a necessary tourist tour for the foodie to see.

Find your own unique New York food experience. Please post it.


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Ask Sid: best one or two vintages in the last 6 decades for Red Burgundy?

May 9th, 2019
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Question: Would like your knowledgeable opinion on the best one or two vintages in each of the last 6 decades for us Red Burgundy collectors?

Answer: Wow that is quite a Burgundy collection you must have over a 60 year span. Yes the current decade is having a super run with all their quality years though some have been short crop challenged by the weather. Riper 2015 showing impressively (as are so fresh 2016) and I have admiration for those surprising 2010. The first decade has those balanced reluctant long aging 2005, rich softer 2009 and less consistent 2002. Last century finished with those fantastic never disappointing 1999 but those 1991 are underrated but often outperform some more hyped 1993 & 1990. In the eighties I believe 1985 is clearly best as is 1978 though some bottles of 1971 can challenge. Some sixties are now drinking marvellously especially the 1962 vintage but 1966, 1964, and well stored 1961 can also excite with their older style complexity. Enjoy your journey!

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SMORGASBURG – A unique expanding outdoor diverse Food Festival

May 6th, 2019

Food trucks are everywhere in many large cities today. The variety of food choices available together with their casual fast take away service is becoming increasingly popular. The concept has now been launched at an even a higher level with Smorgasburg. This past weekend in New York experienced both the new Friday afternoon one outside the World Trade Centre and the original 9th anniversary Saturday food market of over 100 food outlet pop-ups together in East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront overlooking Manhattan. Also have a Sunday one on Breeze Hill in nearby Prospect Park. Both were jammed with lots of locals and tourists enjoying the wide food choices ranging so diversely from Sudanese snacks, Jamaican dishes, to Canada’s Flying V poutine. Sampled several dishes with the wood burning Pizzas pretty darn authentic and tasty indeed for $13! Six visiting ones from Osaka Japan was a feature this weekend with choices that included a Piedmont fusion idea of Truffle Tajarin with Clam Dashi broth for $15. Line-ups everywhere with lobster rolls from Lobsterdamus, Big Mozz mozzarella sticks, and watching fascinating Chinese JingBing crepe sandwiches freshly made. Home Frite hand cut potatoes brined roasted and fried with gourmet sauces including home made ketchup were addictive to your scribe. A really fun family outing being enjoyed by so many. It is a worthwhile “foodie” knowledge lesson even if you don’t eat but you will be tempted to try something. Expansion mode is on with Los Angeles, Japan, and Brazil debuting. Perhaps your city will be next. Recommend exploring a Smorgasburg.


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Ask Sid: Recommend region for undiscovered white wine value to pair with food?

May 1st, 2019
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Question: What wine region do you think has the best undiscovered white wine value for pairing with food?

Answer: Tough call as many wine regions around the world are doing an excellent job producing well balanced white wines that match well with food. However with global warming many wineries are picking earlier and trying to preserve natural acidity. Classic Chablis has suffered from recurring frost and hail issues with smaller crops and higher prices. I believe Muscadet (from the western end of the Loire Valley in France) using the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety remains a super value with a fresh crisp style of palate refreshing acidity that is particularly well suited for all preparations of seafood. Some aged complex yeasty examples “sur lie” are still available in the local caves for importing. More are now showing up in wine shops and on restaurant wine lists that are good buys. What region would you suggest?

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