Friday, June 14, 2013
|Your tour guide will feel like family!|
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
MUST EAT ITEM: Tom eats a hamburger from the shop every day. To him, it is the perfect “feel good” food. Made with marinated premium ground beef from Pino’s Prime Meat Market up the street on a brioche bun from Grandaisy Bakery in TriBeCa with lettuce tomato and cheese. Tom made mine with muenster and after he raved about their bacon, I just had to add it to my burger.
Now, I have been bit of a “burger connoisseur” around NYC and this is up there with the best! The extra step of marinating the meat is what sets this burger apart from the rest. Unfortunately for us, the recipe is top secret!
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: Tom’s recipes are full of secrets and these secrets are one of the many things that set this sandwich shop apart from others. When I asked Tom where he gets his bacon he said “outer space” and I believe him, it was out of this world!
Simple breakfast sandwiches are brought to a new level with Tom’s “secret” egg seasoning that gives the eggs a home-style fluffy quality. I stopped in the next morning for Tom’s go-to breakfast sandwich “The American” with bacon, scrambled eggs and American cheese on a toasted brioche roll. The most popular breakfast sandwich is “The Bedford” with turkey, scrambled egg, avocado, muenster cheese and spinach on multigrain… hmmm… maybe tomorrow…
Don’t let all of the secrets make you feel like you’re an outsider. Rabbits is probably the most chill place on all of our tours. You feel more like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house than at a café. They want customers to get what they want and are more than happy to customize their menu items to your liking. Everything is made to order, so as they say if your impatient call ahead. But I suggest you order a glass of their homemade fresh squeezed lemonade (which Tom admits to drinking way too much of) and relax. You become cooler and cooler every minute you hang out at Rabbits.
Stick around long enough and you wont be able to resist the organic triple chocolate chip cookies… They are magical!
Friday, April 12, 2013
MUST EAT ITEM: Nathan is obsessed with the grilled cheddar and fig sandwich, which we taste on the Chelsea Market Tour!
Made with Cabot Vermont Cheddar and Mitica Fig Jam (the jam is sold at Lucy’s Whey) it’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty that Nathan craves. Every day, he finds a way to sneak away to their hidden office under the stairs before of after the daily lunch crowd descends on the market to have one. (How very Harry Potter of him.)
“The mission of Lucy’s Whey is to showcase quality American cheeses, support the craftspeople and farms who make and grow good food, and educate the public about artisan cheeses.” All of their cheeses are carefully selected, but when asked for some highlights, Nathan says his “comfort cheese” is the Pleasant Ridge Reserve, an Alpine style cheese similar to a Gruyere.
If you’re planning a wine and cheese party, Nathan recommends the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, because it’s sure to please both cheese experts and cheese novices.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: Speaking of wine and cheese party… don’t overlook the importance of the presentation of your cheese. Lucy’s Whey has beautiful olive wood cheese boards that are handmade in Tunisia. Or if you want to stick with the American theme, they also carry boards by Brooklyn Slate Company. A must have for any NYC “foodie.” Either one will definitely take your next party up a notch.
Alas, all parties must come to an end and maybe you have some left over cheese… I’m guilty of throwing it in a ziplock and saying goodnight… if I’m being diligent, I’ll wrap it in plastic wrap, but Nathan informed me that is not a good idea either. Plastic wrap suffocates your cheese, which masks the flavor and increases spoilage. Nathan recommends purchasing “Cheese Paper” (sold in the store). A two-ply paper, one side standard butcher paper, the other has a film that allows the cheese to breath and gives it the right amount of humidity.
A small price for such a precious commodity.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Recipe courtesy of Original Greenwich Village Tour Guide Sephrah!
Yield: 2-3 side dish servings
Friday, April 5, 2013
MUST EAT ITEM: You MUST try John’s signature savory cheesecake with artichoke hearts and Benton’s Country Ham topped with tomato caper salad.
Of course, cheesecake is a must have on any trip to NYC, but John’s savory version brings the experience to a whole new and more sophisticated level. After some diligent “taste testing”… Rachel, the manager of Home Restaurant recommends pairing it with the Shinn Estate Red. A wine made by the founders of Home Restaurant David Page and Barbara Shinn who now spend full time at their winery on North Fork of Long Island. The wine & cheesecake pairing is often offered for $15 during happy hour from 5pm to 7pm.
It’s an exciting time at Home Restaurant! This past Thursday, April 4th they celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a 4-course prix fixe that combined “throwback classics” and new favorites including the savory cheesecake. They are also getting ready to launch their new spring menu. Home prides itself on serving local seasonal produce and John is looking forward to having more options with the changing season. I took John’s suggestion and tried the duck liver mousse cooked in sherry, probably not something I would order without a personal push from the Chef and I was pleasantly surprised and would encourage more people to give it a try.
John also recommended the roasted pork shank with spring beans (right now, gigante), wilted greens and spring onion which was melt in your mouth delicious!
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: All amazing suggestions… but what does John eat on a regular basis?!? Like many restaurants, the staff has a “family meal” at about 4pm before the restaurant opens for dinner. John usually takes a back seat and lets his kitchen staff do their thing. Yaya makes a mean meatloaf wrapped in bacon… hmmm that might be a fun addition the menu.... And for a restaurant that specialized in local cuisine, John loves when Alejandro makes Mexican food. John will soak beans ahead of time to give Alejandro a hint that it’s time to go south of the border.
After the restaurant closes it’s home to his family in Brooklyn, but “if it’s a good night” he’ll first cap it off (and you can too!) with a Bulleit Rye on the rocks, which I had the honor of John’s company for a round after I finished my meal.
I hope it was a good night… it sure was for me!
Friday, March 29, 2013
MUST EAT ITEM: Paul confesses he is “boring” when choosing what to eat before Emporio gets busy with the dinner crowd. He could eat pasta every day and his favorite is the Pappardelle Ragu, hand cut spinach pasta with traditional Bolognese “sugo” (aka sauce). The secret is the meat! Beef, veal and the end of the prosciutto instead of the commonly used parmigiano reggiano rind for flavor. And I gotta tell you, it is NOT boring!
Emporio is known for their Roman style pizzas, which you can try on our Nolita/ Noho Tour. Paul is partial to the classic Margarita and says it definitely stacks up to the pizza he tried on his trip to Italy.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW: You can experience Emporio on many levels; happy hour is from 5:00 to 6:30 where you can enjoy $5 house wine and complimentary slices of pizza, olives and polenta bites.
Then head to the romantic back dining room with the giant skylight and enjoy the daily specials, which is where the chef and his staff get to experiment and have fun. I took Paul’s recommendation and tried the wild striped bass with pureed leeks, Brussels sprouts and Umbrian lentils, which was absolutely gorgeous!