If you’re talking about great seafood in Brooklyn, chances are you’re talking about the fish restaurant Bergen Hill, a snug outpost located in a quiet corner of Court Street in Carroll Gardens. The chef, Andrew D’Ambrosi, cooks out of a kitchen that seems to have been built for a doll, not a fully grown man. It’s about 3 feet by 5 feet and has no oven; it includes four induction burners, one sandwich press and a toy-sized electric oven. (Don’t complain about your kitchen!)
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Writing a New York Times Best Seller is no easy task. Neither is keeping a New York City restaurant packed and popular for a decade and a half. But Gabrielle Hamilton has managed to do both. Her 2011 memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, proved that she was as good a writer as she is a chef. Now she’s finally giving her fans the cookbook they’ve been clamoring for. And the release just so happens to coincide with Prune’s 15th anniversary as one of New York’s most-beloved restaurants.
One Girl Cookies is one of Brooklyn’s most-beloved bakeries. Gem-size butter cookies, cream-filled whoopie pies, swirl-topped cupcakes and frosted layer cakes make this shop, located on a tree-lined street in Cobble Hill, an oasis of sweetness. Since opening in 2005, husband-and-wife team Dave Crofton and Dawn Casale have created a neighborhood spot for life’s most delicious treats and most precious milestones. Open its glass-paned door and a bell jingles — friends meet, couples fall in love and toddlers take their first steps. The couple have opened a second, larger cafe in Dumbo, have written a cookbook and are planning a third cafe for Industry City in Sunset Park for early 2015.
Crofton, the baker, has created a breakfast menu that offers all sorts of wonderful ways to start your day right: a fruit, granola and yogurt bowl (both the granola and the yogurt are made in-house), as well as muffins, scones, and savory and sweet breakfast breads. While he is a baker, he’s also mindful of serving a breakfast menu that’s actually good for you. “I think about health a lot when I create breakfast recipes,” says Crofton. “You can easily include whole grains in most breakfast muffins, breads, and scones. It makes them heartier and more filing, which is an important way to start the day.”
“I am not someone who just throws butter at things or sits around reducing heavy cream,” says Eric Korsh, Executive Chef of Danny Meyer’s rustic American restaurant, North End Grill. Korsh, who has helmed the kitchens of A-list spots like The Waverly Inn and Calliope, is all about good honest cooking. “This whole idea of healthy food, I think, is about cooking beautiful food — a nice vinaigrette, a lovely lean protein,” he said. “I think all good cooking is healthy cooking.”
If you’ve cooked from Plenty, Israeli chef and London restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling and award-winning cookbook, it’s probably dog-eared and food-stained from loving overuse. (Baked eggs with yogurt and greens, Brussels sprouts with tofu, and soba noodles with eggplant and mango, are personal faves.)
Now comes the hotly anticipated follow-up, Plenty More, in which Ottolenghi unapologetically celebrates the wonderful world of vegetables one cooking method at a time — braising, steaming, roasting, char-grilling and frying. In keeping with his signature inventive and vibrant style, Ottolenghi’s recipes in Plenty More feature rather exotic pops of flavor — yuzu in a dish of candy beets with lentils, sorrel and mustard in a bowl of fresh sweet peas, sweet labneh on a plate of warm baked rhubarb, and tahini on a sweet mess of honey-roasted carrots, featured below.
George Mendes, the chef of the restaurant Aldea, grew up feasting on his mother’s elaborate Portuguese meals. While he went on to cook for culinary icons such as David Bouley, Roger Verge, Alain Ducasse, and Martin Berasategui, he has always remained true to his culinary roots in Portugal. In 2009, he opened Aldea (the Portuguese word for village), as a culmination of his Iberian experiences and Portuguese heritage. There’s sea urchin toast with cauliflower puree, shiso and lime, a cucumber and wild strawberry salad with smoked sardines, fresh dill, and yogurt, and sea-salted cod with fennel puree and charred corn.
These days you can’t travel more than a few miles without running into a juice bar. They’re even popping up at airports across America. But not all juices are created equal. Food Network squeezes out the competition with the nation’s freshest ingenious health-boosting concoctions.
In 1995, Charles Phan opened The Slanted Door in San Francisco’s Mission District and introduced the dining public to the relatively unexplored cuisine of his native Vietnam. The restaurant became an overnight sensation. Since then, Phan has moved his restaurant to the historic Ferry Building, earned a James Beard Foundation Best Chef of California Award, and been inducted to the James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who of Food in America.” Read more
The Fat Radish, which opened in 2010, is one of those perfect New York City restaurants. The uncomplicated, slightly British, vegetable-focused menu traces the seasons with local as its mantra. The design is that effortless combination of reclaimed barnyard and weathered industrial chic. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. And the folks in the seats all look as though they might have just walked off the set of Girls. All the pieces come together courtesy of owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, self-taught cooks who are passionate about good ingredients, great design, and feeding guests well.
At Narcissa, André Balazs’ and Michelin-starred chef John Fraser’s buzz-worthy restaurant in The Standard Hotel in the East Village, ingredients are sourced from Balazs’ Hudson Valley Farm, and seasonality shines on the menu. The result: food that’s almost as beautiful as the people eating it.
Fraser, who just launched lunch in at Narcissa last week, explains that he tried to create a menu that would appeal to all kinds of appetites. “Some people indulge and want to eat and drink way too much, and others don’t want to feel like they are going to spend the afternoon in a food coma,” he said. “As I have gotten older, I have recognized that the way I eat dictates how I feel. I think about that when I create my menus.”