Dominique Ansel on What Could be His Next Cronut®

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Photo by Vincent Ma

At the by now legendary Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho the madeleines, mini shell-shaped cakes, aren’t baked until they’re ordered, he explains, “so you can enjoy them just out of the oven.” Which pretty much sums up his obsession with providing the best pastries in the city.

Hard to believe it’s been four years but in the new celebrity pastry chef’s words, “when we first launched the Cronut®, it was just another new item. Our very first flavor was Rose Vanilla, and I decided from then on, we’d develop one flavor each month. For us, it’s not about cutting and pasting, but really pushing to develop something new.”

After launching “almost 80 different flavors since the start, never repeating,” you would think it would have been enough. Yet not only does the menu change every 6-8 weeks, but with a seemingly never-ending supply of glorious flavor creations – like peppermint cherry and this month’s blood orange almond – the still adored Cronut® is apparently never going away (It’s now available in Tokyo, London and soon to be Los Angeles.)

But what we really wanted to know from Ansel was…what will be his next Cronut®?

Photo by Thomas Schauer

I  DKA or Dominique’s Kouign Amman, which he describes as “almost like a caramelized croissant, with tender and flaky layers on the inside and a crunchy caramelized crust on the outside. I have one every morning for breakfast.”

 

II  This summer get ready for a seasonal soft serve window, with flavors like burrata and balsamic caramel, micro basil and confit strawberries.

 

III  DKA Ice cream sandwich takes that caramelized croissant, slices it in half and adds a perfect scoop of salted caramel, chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Other flavors available.

 

IV  The Matcha Latte with a sakura marshmallow (cherry blossom) that flowers in the hot beverage. Available all year long.

 

V  Frozen S’mores are the camping treat you can eat all year long. A cube of vanilla ice cream wrapped in a chocolate cookie, covered in marshmallow and bruleed to order. Served skewered on an applewood smoked willow branch, you won’t miss the great outdoors one bit.

 

VI  The Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot, already almost as well known as his most famous creation, is a chocolate chip cookie filled with cold milk – amazing! But plan your trip – these comforting treats are only served after 3 PM.

 

Photo by Thomas Schauer

Five Reasons the Pinknic Festival Will be a Summer ’17 Foodie ‘Must’

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When Chris Santos isn’t judging the Food Network’s Chopped, or jetting off to Las Vegas and LA to check on new outposts of Beauty & Essex, he keeps close to his favorite place, Manhattan – where he lords over one of its most high-profile food events. Indeed, in his second year of creating menus for Pinknic, the all-day Governor’s Island rosé and music extravaganza, the “rock star” chef is changing the way people think about festival eats.

With the best of Vandal, Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social` filling gourmet picnic baskets, he seems thrilled to be challenging foodie perceptions: “It seemed like a very unique event, like they were on to something new and cool.” The rub? Pink- and white-clad attendees can choose from three fully stocked baskets, or opt for a la carte choices in the Food Court.

Here are our top five reasons Pinknic will be an early summer “can’t miss.”

 

 

Pink macarons…

…with raspberry and rose ganache. A nod to Chef Santos’ pastry “Big Sexy,” it’s the perfect way to kick off a day of rosé sipping. Available at the Pinknic Food Court.

Each basket…

…comes with a reusable “Rosé All Day” tote bag to commemorate the occasion, as well as a variety of sparkling waters and thirst quenchers in flavors like watermelon lime and strawberry lemon.

Nothing pairs better with rosé,,,

…than a full stomach – so each basket contains a full three-course meal for two people. With a vegetarian option featuring charred miso asparagus and nori wasabi-dusted soba noodles, even the carnivores might be tempted to cross over. However, meat-eater options include shaved sirloin sandwiches on pretzel rolls or pork belly BLTs with lobster aioli.

Can’t decide…

…between the shrimp roll with old Bay dusted potato chips or the sushi grade tuna tataki with lo-mein noodles and sesame? Grab them both and share.

Frosé!

…How do you make rosé better? Blend with ice and serve chilled. Grab one and head to the Ferris Wheel for stunning views of the city. Magic!

Pinknic returns to Governors Island this June 24th and 25th

 

10 Things You Need to Eat at Smorgasburg 2017

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How could there possibly be a better way to spend an NYC weekend, than eating your way through the more than a hundred food vendors + trucks that make of the annual festival of indulgence that is Smorgasburg (get it?) – which is underway once again. It will take place every Saturday at Williamsburg’s East River Park and Sunday at Prospect Park, between now and the end of October; and from donuts to short ribs to Shanghai street food, this is our handy guide to what you absolutely need to try.

First tip? Skip breakfast.

1  @duckseasonnyc

Brooklyn Duck Poutine with duck fat fries, duck bacon and aged cheddar

2  @ubekitchen

The top selling halo bowl with salted ube ice cream served in a hollow dragon fruit gourd. Top with your choice of red mung beans and fresh fruits like blackberry, mango and jackfruit. And of course, toasted coconut – because why not?

3  @destinationdumplings

From lamb dumplings with tzatziki to jerk chicken with yuzu pineapple salsa and peking duck dumplings with Hoisin sauce, it’s all amazing.

4  @carnal_bk

Get carnal: smoked short rib, marrow basted and topped with arugula, snap pea and horseradish pesto. Or pork shoulder sliders, slow cooked and tender with a rub made of coriander and ‘nduja (pureed and seasoned pork). Charred pineapple and leek gremolata set it all off.

5  @pop_pasta

Donuts aren’t just for dessert anymore. These handheld pasta and sauce bombs have even hit TV’s the Chew – @pop_pasta is blowing up. Choose from Aglio e olio, red sauce, carbonara or bolognese.

6  @rollplaynyc

“Namchos” or nachos with a Vietnamese twist from @rollplaynyc, featuring marinated beef and pickled carrots over crispy shrimp chips topped with cilantro and special sauce. Their namesake spring rolls are full to bursting with fresh cut veggies, and your choice of caramel pork belly, lemongrass flank steak, glazed tofu or jumbo garlic shrimp.

7  @dulcineanyc

A churro ice cream sandwich is the answer to every question. Ice cream flavors change daily with classics like nutella and strawberry updated with peanut butter and almond milk. The churros are crisp and made daily and sometimes dipped in chocolate. Add your choice of chocolate sauce, crumbled cookie pieces and sprinkles to what is a ridiculous flavor bomb.

8  @outerborough

Pancakes for lunch? Yes, when they are Taiwanese style scallion pancakes filled with crispy popcorn chicken, scallions and cilantro from @outerborough. Popcorn chicken not your thing? Switch to thin sliced braised beef with pickled carrots and borough sauce, a creamy tangy treat. Or try crispy tofu with mint and cucumber, sure to satisfy every palate.

Thank you @omgitsbomb and @ny.foodie for helping us @smorgasburg's top posts this weekend. 🙌

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9  @ohhts

Virtuous, gluten-free and somehow still decadent, @ohhts’ new treat banana bread overnight oats features caramelized banana and layers of thick, creamy yogurt. Other flavors include cherry pie, strawberry shortcake and hint-of-vanilla.

10  @jianbiangcompany

Find Shanghai street food in your Brooklyn backyard with @jianbiangcompany. Their crepe-like batter is spread thin, crisped and then filled with your choice of eggs, beef, chicken, pork or tofu, sweet bean chili sauce and scallions. Folded and wrapped to go, this is the perfect snack for walking around the packed grounds and doing some quality people watching.

10 Things You Need to Eat at the New honeygrow Brooklyn

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Image by Jason Varney

We could not be happier, as Philly import honeygrow has just opened its first Brooklyn location – featuring organic and locally sourced meats and vegetables. The salad bar and stir-fry noodle options are endless, with fully customizable touch screen ordering. Don’t like walnut lemon dressing? Try sriracha tahini. Add organic spicy tofu or Creekstone Farm Beef to your vegan kale salad. Switch from mustard rye broth to sour cherry BBQ and red coconut curry.

Or just head to the honeybar and choose from a selection of fresh fruits and toppings like local yogurt, honey, maple syrup and dark chocolate chips. It was inspired by Founder/CEO Justin Rosenberg’s daughter gnoshing happily on apples and honey during a family dinner.

Overwhelmed by choices? Here are our 10 top picks.

 

  • NY Pastrami Stir Fry Image by Jason Varney
  • Make it Grain Image by Jason Varney
  • honeybar Image by Jason Varney

 

NY Pastrami

Egg white noodles, mustard-rye broth, pastrami, sauerkraut, green beans, bell peppers, red onions and pickled cucumbers. Only available in Brooklyn!

Spring Thai’m

Thai chili lime vinaigrette, romaine, shrimp, snap peas, carrots, scallions, mint and fried shallots.

Vegan Kale

Mustard soy vinaigrette, green kale, organic roasted spicy tofu, apples, carrots, roasted beets, red onions, and radishes.

Sour Cherry BBQ

Egg white noodles, roast pork, bell peppers, green beans, red onions, and fried shallots.

Make It Grain

Orange sherry vinaigrette, wheat berries, red quinoa, organic arugula, grapes, roasted carrots, feta and roasted cashews.

Classic Cobb

White balsamic vinaigrette, chopped romaine, roasted FreeBird chicken, hardboiled egg, crispy bacon, apples, grape tomatoes, avocado, and crumbled blue cheese. 

Sweet Soy Five Spice

Brown rice, togarashi spiced turkey, green beans, red onions, and sesame seeds.

White Bean Tuna

House made red wine & Dijon vinaigrette, romaine, organic arugula, tuna, hard-boiled egg, herbed white beans, grape tomatoes, pickled peppers and red onions.

Honeybar

Strawberry, blueberry and pineapple with buckwheat or clover honey, toasted coconut, dark chocolate chips, and house made whipped cream.

 

 

PREVIEW: NYC’s Taste of the Nation with Danny Meyer

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Awesome food, great cause – as Danny Meyer of Union Hospitality Group will chair (along with Anita Lo of Annisa and Bryce Shuman of Betony) NYC’s Taste of the Nation on Monday, April 24th.

Attendees will get to spin cotton candy with Brooklyn Floss or sip one of 10 different varieties of rosé in the “Rosé Garden,” all while raising money for No Kid Hungry. And the food? Heavenly nibbles will be provided by Gerardo Gonzalez of Lalito, Eli Sussman of Samesa, Sam Mason of Oddfellows Ice Cream, Juwnghyun Park of Atoboy, and Nick Anderer of Maialino and Marta, to name just a few.

Some of what to expect from the more than 40 food and cocktail stations? Curried chickpea tamales with charred poblanos from Lalito; gnochetti with rabbit ragu, guanciale and fava beans from Freek’s Mill; and deviled eggs with prosciutto di parma from Pig Bleecker.

What we’re most excited for, though, are the Donut Derby – where the Doughnut Project will go head to head with Underwest Donuts for the winning title – and indulging our sweet tooth at the Candy Carnival, featuring local handmade sweets.

The event begins at 6PM for VIP tastings, 7PM for other tickets holders.

Taste of the Nation

Five Fab Springtime Wines, by Sweetbitter Author Stephanie Danler

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You may remember Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler’s mega-hit book from last summer, the story of a young woman’s year of expanding her palate via food, wine, and other pleasures. All is seen through the lens of a Manhattan restaurant based on Danny Meyer’s exalted Union Square Cafe, where she had worked. Since then, the iconic spot has changed locations; and we checked in with the author on the eve of the paperback release (April 4).

“For anyone who has worked there or has an intimate relationship,” she says of the restaurant, “it’s such a sentimental, emotional landmark. I was so blown away [by the new location], it’s so much better in every way. The space is comfortable but pitch perfect. The gnocchi is still light as a pillow. I was not prepared for how wonderful the experience was…maybe I was a little skeptical.”

 

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One thing Stephanie Danler is not skeptical about is wine. With spring here and summer on the horizon, we asked her for her top five warm weather picks and how best to enjoy them.

“The mystery is still there with wine,” she insists, “in a way it’s not there with food. There is still that $5 sparkling wine in Barcelona you can’t get here. There are still secrets. Rosé can never be over. We called it a quaffer or a quaffable wine – it’s not a wine that you age and drink with a steak, it is notprecious. There are incredible wines that happen to be pink.”

Le Masson R12

“Red but serve chilled, perfect grill wine.”

Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rosé

“This wine is bananas, aged years before it’s released. I think it’s hard to find now but so, so worth it.”

Bugey Cerdon

“Demi-sec, versatile. Drink over ice or with strawberries as dessert.”

Dry Sherry

“A miracle and the most undervalued alcohol in the world. I used to run sherry classes. It’s never stuck. Drink as an aperitif with chilled seafood. Heaven.”

Domaine Tempier

“I buy one bottle every year. It’s a huge splurge but it’s a whole experience.“

 

domaine-tempier-bandol-cuvee-speciale-la-migoua-provence-france-10366006

The Next Great Wine Destination? Brooklyn

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Most wineries bank on their location. After all, who doesn’t want to tour an idyllic vineyard with rolling fields and ripening grapes? But curiously enough, a city block in Brooklyn houses some of the most interesting wine and food in the region. The best part? You can get there by subway – which beats hopping a plane to Napa or The Loire.

“We can pick and choose,” explains Jessica Petti, Director of Front of the House Operations for Brooklyn Winery. “[Our grapes] are picked on the stem and go on a refrigerated truck straight here.”

Freshness is key, with the grapes arriving on the vine within seventy-two hours of being picked. The Brooklyn location receives deliveries from as close as Long Island or Upstate New York and as far away as California.

 

BrooklynWinery_Riesling

 

“The truck doesn’t stop, there’s a thermometer, and the wine maker can track [the temperature] as it’s traveling here. We know when the grapes arrive they will be as fresh as possible.”

No matter what time of the day or night their wine maker, Connor McCormack, greets the truck; and everything, crushing, fermenting, happens onsite. What is he most excited about for the summer?

“A sparkling Blanc de Blanc wine, made in the champagne method, with chardonnay grapes from the Finger Lakes. The sparkling process is very long, so we’ve been waiting five years to release this one. It has very delicate bubbles and light acidity, perfect for oysters and crudo celebrations.”

 

© Khaki Bedford Photography / www.khakibedfordphoto.com

The rosé also isn’t to be missed, and was so popular that they ran out last year. Just released again for the season, the Grenache based wine, he says, “looks very light, but it really packs a punch, with bright strawberry notes.”

And the food? Brooklyn Winery’s events are epic, with their popular cocktail hour stations pairing sensational wine with seasonal eats. “We have a raw bar that people go crazy for,” McCormack enthuses. “Two kinds of local oysters, shrimp cocktail, house made cocktail sauce and mignonette…and a dim sum station.”

The not surprising favorite for the season? A Lower East Side station featuring house cured pastrami reubens and local pickles. Nosh on a classic deli treat paired with excellent local wine and you’re still just a train ride away from home.

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2016 Open House at The Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

Forget Brunch: Sunday Roast at the Beatrice Inn is the New Thing

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“Sunday Roast isn’t brunch, it’s anti-brunch,” says Chef and owner Angie Mar of her newest offering at the historic but still trendy and zeitgeisty Beatrice Inn.

No one leaves hungry, with a selection of bone in prime rib and full English breakfast, including house made cannellini beans and blood pudding. The deviled crab, fried rabbit and waffles, and pork lard scones, served with house made raspberry conserva, are all clever plays on the traditional/English.

Besides, she insists, “It doesn’t make sense to do what everyone else is doing.”

But diners arriving on the luxurious side of 12PM to 8PM can still sink their teeth into a 45-day dry-aged burger, grilled to perfection, smothered in red wine braised onions and d’Affinois cheese. You might be jealous of that brioche bun for soaking up the drippings but all is quickly forgiven.

The presentation? Antique silver plates, sourced by the chef herself on Portobello Road, hold food that is thoughtful and primal, delicate and messy, as all lazy Sunday meals with family and friends should be.

“At the end of the day the Beatrice should feel like your home,” the chef continues. “When you cook absolutely unapologetically and organically, when it’s laid out in that format, I think people are more prone to be excited and accepting. I don’t do brunch.”

Her one exception? Scotch eggs: perfectly soft-boiled and jammy, covered in lamb sausage and a crunchy coating, crisped to perfection.

Since the menu the changes seasonally, what will the coming months bring?

She reveals, “Spring and summer mean grilled meat, fruit, and herbs.”

With the Beatrice’s cozy leather banquets, parquet floors and plentiful of mood lighting, a leisurely Sunday Roast seems to slow down time itself. What better way to both start and fuel the week?

 

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Angie Mar’s Recipe for Lamb Confit with Rhubarb Mostarda and Horseradish Gremolata

For Lamb Confit:
4 bone in lamb shanks, 1.5-2lb each
1c garlic cloves
1Tbsp rosemary leaves
¼ tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning lamb shanks
⅛ c olive oil
Canola oil to cover, about 8c
For Rhubarb Mostarda:
6 c sliced rhubarb
¼ c white wine
¼ c white wine vinegar
½ c sugar, or to taste depending on the ripeness of the rhubarb
¼ tsp salt, or to taste
5-7 cracks of black pepper
2 cloves
3 sprigs thyme
1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
For Horseradish Gremolata:
3 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish
2 Tbsp each finely chopped parsley & mint
Zest of 2 lemons
Directions
Lamb Confit:
Season the lamb shanks liberally with kosher salt. Let sit in the refrigerator while you make the garlic paste.
In a food processor, place the garlic cloves, rosemary, and ¼ teaspoon salt. While the food processor is running, slowly add oil to create a paste.
Coat each lamb shank in the garlic paste. At this point, at the restaurant, we let it marinate for 24 hours, just to make sure the flavor really gets in there. If you can’t wait, you could also cook the shanks that day and they’d still be lovely.
Preheat the oven to 250°. Place the the marinated shanks in a deep baking dish or casserole, so they fit snugly, and cover completely in canola oil. Cover with a lid or foil, and then place in oven. Cook until lamb is fragrant, soft, tender and almost falling off the bone, about 2.5-3 hours. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to serve.
Do ahead: you can confit the lamb and it can be stored, in the oil in the fridge for up to a week. Remove from oil and bring to room temperature before you sear off and serve.
Make the Mostarda:
Place rhubarb, wine, vinegar, and sugar in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid reduces to just under syrup consistency.
Add pepper to taste.
Turn off the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard until dissolved. Set aside until ready to serve.
Tip: To preserve the rhubarb’s bright, beautiful color, transfer the mostarda to a bowl and place in refrigerator immediately. The mostarda can be reheated right before serving.
Make Horseradish Gremolata:
Mix grated horseradish, chopped parsley, and lemon zest well. Set aside until ready to serve.
To Serve:
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove lamb shank from oil, removing as much of the garlic paste as you can, it will help you obtain even browning.
Heat a pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Brown each lamb shank on all sides, making sure the color is a beautiful golden brown, and the meat is a little crispy. Place shanks in a casserole or baking sheet, and place in oven to heat completely through, about 8 minutes.
Transfer lamb shanks to a serving platter. Spoon warm rhubarb mostarda over each shank, and sprinkle with gremolata. I like to finish each plate with more freshly grated horseradish and a drizzle of good olive oil for sheen and richness.
At the Beatrice, we serve this on top of a beautiful stone ground polenta, however you could serve this with a side of delicious stuffing, or a stunning rice pilaf and it would be equally as delicious.

Send Away the Clowns: The Circus Makes a Final Pass Through Brooklyn

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Image courtesy of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Strobe lights pulse to the beat of a live band as white helmeted astronauts blast off into space. Massive bubbles dangle from the ceiling, filled with flexible, tumbling women swinging their ponytails.

No, this isn’t a BangOn! warehouse party in Bushwick – it’s the final season of the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus. With ticket sales down and the elephants no longer in the show, well, they just can’t keep up with the changing times.

The circus is indeed closing. Just another of those things you thought would always be there – and then suddenly it’s not.

 

 

A radically shifting culture has made it so. To wit, there’s a great running gag in Modern Family, where gay character Cameron is always insisting his clown act is perfect for children’s parties – with the little ones ultimately concluding that he’s totally lame. Yeah, there’s a “gay prejudice” metaphor in there – but it’s mostly about the kids thinking that the circus is kind of icky old people stuff.

And with the rise of cosplay, the selfie generation can dress up all year round and be photographed, rather than paying to see someone else do it. Ringling Bros was up against a changing zeitgeist.

As for the disappearance of the elephants? Pressure from animal rights groups.

 

 

 

Some things never changed, though: the smell of buttered popcorn still fills the air. Hawkers sell swords with flashing lights and bags of cotton candy larger than your head. The sounds of children crying and laughing can be heard in equal measure.

And yet, this is the Barclays Center, where you can purchase a kosher pastrami sandwich or a locally sourced burrito. The beer selection is sublime and local with a range of New York State brews.

Nevertheless, the final show is anime brought to life. The ringmaster’s jacket glitters with crystals as he introduces an intergalactic showdown with a go-cart riding Tatiana who threatens to take over the circus. Lions and tigers roar and roll over each other at their trainers’ command. The clowns have a snowball fight…on ice skates! A nearby boy, swinging a glowing light saber is asked about his favorite part of the circus. His reply? “Everything!”

The Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus is a right of passage that will be lost to all future generations. Still, for some of us, the $12 elephant cup filled with shaved ice may be overpriced – but the memories certainly aren’t.

(Ringling Bros Circus will be at the New Coliseum in Uniondale, NY from May 12 – May 21)

 

 

#RinglingBros #OutOfThisWorld #🌎🚀

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