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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: Caffe Dante Makes World's 50 Best Bars List, Best Hummus in NYC and Upstate NY Apple Picking Guide


  • This Video Explains What It Takes to Make Some of the World’s Best, Most-Labor-Intensive Noodles:  Called Nanshan noodles, they’re particularly laborious to create and require two people working together to stretch them out before tying them 60 times around sticks for drying. It’s an entrancing process to watch, and one that only 300 people know how to do.
  • Pastry Chefs Are in Demand. Why Aren’t Wages Rising?  In recent years, as fine food has evolved from highbrow preoccupation to a form of mass entertainment, demand for people skilled in the delicate art of dessert-making has soared.  Yet, according to Mr. Pfeiffer and 10 other chefs and restaurateurs, the salaries of pastry makers in the Chicago area do not appear to have budged much, if at all. The key to this puzzle tells us a lot about why the American economy isn’t necessarily behaving the way workers have traditionally assumed.
  • Wine Label Design Is More Important Than You Think:  But in the U.S., labelling laws are much looser, making it a designer’s free for all. What a label says about the liquid in the bottle can be a real mystery. So what’s the relationship between the label and the liquid, and which is more important when selling wine today?
  • This Pho-Stuffed Burrito Is Better than It Sounds: The mastermind behind the world’s first phorrito is chef Erwin Tjahyadi, a first-generation Indonesian-American who was raised in LA’s Asian food mecca known as the San Gabriel Valley.


  • What Happened When I Hung Out with the Cronut’s Inventor:  I’m here to learn how to make banoffee paella, a new dessert that will be exclusive to Ansel’s new London bakery. But it’s clear that three years in, the Cronut is still king. I notice that the majority of customers at the newly opened bakery are digging into the distinctive pastry as I wait for Ansel with a “DKA” (Dominique’s Kouign Amann, his take on the regional French cake-pastry) in my hand.

  • Free Paletas Herald The Arrival Of La Newyorkina In Greenwich Village: Starting tomorrow, however, Gerson's paletas—and her new ice cream!—get a more permanent presence on NYC's dessert landscape with the grand opening of La Newyorkina's Sullivan Street storefront. And to celebrate and give thanks to the good people of the city, she's giving away free ice pops all afternoon, from noon to 6 p.m.
  • World's 50 Best Bars: NYC's Dead Rabbit, Attaboy, Employees Only make list.  There was much mourning when Caffe Dante, a century-old Italian joint in the West Village, closed in 2015. In its place, Dante was born -- shedding the Caffe prefix and adding an aperitivo-heavy cocktail list that will whet your appetite for the small plates coming out of the kitchen. Dante is the only New York bar making its first appearance in this year's top 50, landing at 34.

  • The Absolute Best Hummus in New York:  At Chelsea Market’s colorful, counter-service outpost of the Philadelphia sensation, chef Mike Solomonov and his cooks tease extraordinary amounts of flavor out of their chickpeas for their excellent hummus.

  • Milk Bar Boogies Into Nolita With a New Layout and Opening Day Dollar Soft Serve:  This morning, crack pie sorcerer Christina Tosi opened a spiffy new location of her popular bakery Milk Bar at 246 Mott near Prince Street. The new outpost of the sweets shop has a layout that’s a bit different from the other six Manhattan locations, with two service counters that open out onto the street so Milk Bar fans can grab their Cereal Milk and keep on rolling down Mott. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: Carnegie Calls It Quits, 11 Best NYC Doughnut Shops and Murray's Cheese Makes It's Own Cheese

  • Pastrami Bombshell: Carnegie Deli Is Closing For Good at the End of the Year.  Midtown’s Carnegie Deli has faced a number of setbacks and scandals over the last few years — including a year-long closure due to an illegal gas hook-up, a wage lawsuit filed by staffers, and the messy divorce of its owner and her husband, who was cheating with a waitress while allegedly helping her open a rogue location of the deli in Thailand. And now, proprietor Marian Harper Levine is deciding to throw in the towel. 
  • 16 Excellent Things to Eat, Drink, and Do in October: It’s pretty much guaranteed that every month in New York offers a bewildering number of new dishes to eat, drinks to imbibe, and food-themed events to attend. It would be impossible to pack in every single thing each month, and the hardest part often is just figuring out what to do with your limited time. So Grub will kick off the month with a short but sweet list of dishes, drinks, and events that should absolutely be on your agenda.
  • From Street Kid to Hamburger King: Snow cones were commonly referred to as “Hard Times Sundaes” way back in the Great Depression—being not just the rare treat that people could actually afford, but also a viable business venture for struggling entrepreneurs, due to exceedingly low overhead. And while it seems a clunky pseudonym for a Brooklyn food truck largely associated with burgers, it attains a striking lyricism when applied to the origin story of  its owner, Andrew Zurica—and not only due to the widely known parable of how he successfully rebounded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
  • The 11 Best Hard Cider Bars & Restaurants In NYC: New York boasts more cideries than other state in the country. From 2011 - 2015, according to data released by the organizers of Cider Week NYC (the Sixth Annual festival runs October 21-31), the number of producers jumped from five to 65, with production volume up 750%. And so, a beverage once relegated to those seeking sweet and carbonated drinks is now more seriously considered.

  • 5 Foods That Owe Their Existence to Dan Barber's Army of Agriculturalists: Farm-to-table cooking is no longer just a trend — at any restaurant worth its salt, it’s an assumption. This is thanks, in part, to Dan Barber, the chef/co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. But for Barber, this process starts even earlier than sourcing locally grown ingredients — at the genetic level. "It’s just another way of looking at a recipe," he says.
  • Amid Hills of Wine and Truffles, a Mission to Give Fungus Room to Breathe: But what happens when those resources compete? Vines require clear hillsides, and truffles need thick and damp yet clean woods. Today, hillside after hillside of Barolo is planted in neat rows of well-groomed vines more valuable than anything else that could be put on them. The forests, on the other hand, have been shrinking.
  • This Brewery Says It’s Invented Instant Craft-Beer Powder: Humans finally have a beverage besides powdered Gatorade that can survive the zombie apocalypse: Denmark’s To Øl brewery has created instant craft beer, a freeze-dried mix that, with a splash of liquid, turns into something that sounds a thousand times better than Lemon Drop Palcohol.
  • 62 Ways to Upgrade Your Desk Lunch: Innovative chefs are telling us that a sandwich made with Fritos and Funyuns isn’t just convenient, it’s delicious.


  • For the First Time Ever, Murray’s Conceptualized a Cheese From Start to Finish: In its 75 years in existence, Murray’s Cheese has never actually made its own cheese, so Annelies — which it created from initial concept into R&D, and then aged in its own caves — is a big deal. Murray’s worked with world-famous cheese-maker Walter Räss of Kaserei Tufertschwil, and the product (named after Räss’s wife, aw) is aged for three months in Switzerland and then another nine months here in New York. The project took three years in total.
  • Chandler and Monica's apartment in Friends costs a shit load more than we could afford: While it might have seemed attainable to live somewhere like that, Chandler and Monica must have been on far more wedge than we first thought to afford a place like that in Greenwich Village. You'd never be able to afford it in a million years.
  • Are We Having an International Singaporean Food Moment?  In his West Village restaurant Chomp Chomp, Wong serves hokkien mee with two types of noodles, eggs and seafood, while in Malaysia the hokkien mee is braised with a sauce that darkens the noodles. And Wong’s char kway teow is sweeter, wetter and darker compared to the Malaysian version, where it’s spicier, drier and lighter. 
  • A Sushi Yasuda and Nakazawa Chef Is Behind New York’s Latest Luxe Omakase Restaurant: The rise of the power sushi restaurant continues: Next week, on October 5, Akashi will open on the West Village’s Christopher Street, offering a 20-course omakase tasting for $200-plus. To justify the steep price, chef Yoichi Akashi has serious chops — he worked as a sushi chef at Sushi Yasuda, and then as the chef de cuisine of Sushi Nakazawa.
  • The 11 Best Doughnut Shops In NYC: THE DOUGHNUT PROJECT: Though this West Village shop has only been open just shy of a year now, the Doughnut Project has quickly become a leading creative force in the breakfast pastry world.

  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Suddenly Closes All 12 Manhattan Locations: Specialty coffee chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf abruptly closed all of its Manhattan locations last week. West Side Rag reports that the LA-based company decided to shut down operations at all of the 12 locations in New York last Saturday, October 1. The outposts were all franchises, not company-owned. A spokesman told the Upper West Side blog that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf would be reopening stores in New York with new owners, though it’s not clear when it will happen or if its at the same locations. Signs on some stores only note that they’re "temporarily closed for remodeling."
  • Babbo Acquires a King’s Ransom of White Truffles: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, mere hours ago we crossed over into what is without a doubt the greatest season to be a diner in New York City. The white truffles have arrived at Babbo which means that we are firmly entrenched in autumn in New York.

  • Nom Wah Is About To Explode Fast Casual Dumplings All Over New York: Take a good look around when you check out the new counter service outpost of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Nolita — that food, decor, and vibe may soon be replicated all across New York. The historic dim sum restaurant’s new fast casual location at 10 Kenmare Street is the testing ground for a whole slew of new, all-day dim sum restaurants, according to general manager Zhiyu Lai.

  • Chinatown Fusion: Aux Epices: Tucked away on a side street a half block past the border of Chinatown and lovingly attended in one of the classic narrow spaces one finds in New York City, sits Aux Epices (French for ‘with spices’), a re-invention of ‘Chinese’ food as Malaysian and French cuisine which turns a typical Chinese menu on its head. The restaurant proves that a narrow foot print, often a requirement in NYC, does not limit the quality or imagination food preparation and presentation can attain. The single row of tables along only one wall, as that’s all the room the restaurant affords, extends deep inside and is where I’ve had one of my favorite meals in NYC. And shockingly only $25 for lunch for two and we were stuffed.

  • Alex Raij’s New Tekoá Dinner Menu Is Eminently Craveable: And so a couple of weeks ago, the unlazy couple Alex Raij and Eder Montero made good on their plans for Tekoá, the all-day Cobble Hill coffee shop they opened six months ago. At 5:30, they dimmed the lights, converted the pastry counter into a liquor bar, set the tables with cloth napkins, and launched dinner service.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: NYC 10 Most Instagrammable Doughnuts, Danny Meyer Raises The Parental Leave Bar and Chinatown Ice Cream Fish Cones

  • Harold's Meat + Three Tries On Southern Tradition In NYC: Last year, a "legal technicality" shuttered Harold Moore's beloved Commerce restaurant, but the chef is back with a new restaurant inside the sleek Arlo Hotel Hudson Square, channeling the Southern tradition of the "meat-and-three." Appropriately dubbed Harold's Meat + Three, the restaurant serves a version of the Nashville-based tradition where customers select a protein and then choose three sides to accompany it. Unsurprisingly, Moore's version takes the humble, cafeteria-style offering and turns it all fancy-like.
  • A Guide to New York’s Delivery Only Restaurants: Delivery-only restaurants, or restaurants without dining rooms, are popping up like crazy in New York City — and you might not even know that you’re ordering from them. Big names like Maple and Ando market themselves as virtual restaurants, but others have launched on common delivery platforms without noting that they don’t have brick-and-mortar storefronts. Here’s a breakdown of the major players in New York so far.
  • The Best Jewish Desserts for the High Holidays: One of the most pervasive customs associated with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah is to consume treats like apples dipped in honey — thought to ensure a sweet new year.  Which means if you’re observant (or just constantly in search of a sugar rush), you’re practically obligated to eat dessert!  From the pistachio and fig-laced halvah at Seed + Mill, to the babka-blessed ice cream at Mekelburg’s, here’s a few of our favorites…
  • NYC's 10 Most Instagrammable Fall Donuts: Is it never not a great time to eat a donut? As the craze only continues to deepen, bakeries and restaurants have been seriously amping up their fried dough game — especially when it comes to fall flavors. Below are the season’s most shareable creations. 



  • Mew Men, Bar Fortuna, Maison Kayser East Village, and More NYC Openings: Mew Men is a new ramen restaurant that opened last week from the team that previously opened Her Name is Han and the new Korean small plates restaurant Atoboy. At Mew Men, the theme weighs heavy on music and sound, where a sheet music stand at the entrance holds the restaurant's menu; music cases are used as legs for the dining tables; and the ceiling is lined with stage light fixtures. 
  • West Village Coffee Bars Remake NYC’s Classic Breakfast Sandwich: Eater's senior critic samples five terrific sandwiches at cafes below 14th Street.
  • Murray's Cheese Introduces Annelies: Murray’s Cheese, New York’s most iconic cheese shop, introduced a brand new cheese to its exclusive Cave Master line this week. It is the first-ever cheese created from initial concept into R&D by Murray’s and then aged in Murray’s Cheese caves.
  • The West Village's Mah-Ze-Dah Is Instantly One Of NYC's Best Bakeries: Locals are understandably thrilled that the spot is finally open (the coffee, by the way, is from the first-rate Intelligentsia), but Mah-Ze-Dahr is a true destination bakery as well. Ahmad and Barbera are indeed working that magic here in the West Village, and this is instantly one of the best general pastry shops in NYC.

  • What Do Anna Wintour and Bob Dylan Have in Common? This Secret Garden: Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District, a landmarked community of 21 row homes, with 11 lining Macdougal Street and 10 running parallel on Sullivan Street. Between them is a large interior courtyard shaded by maples, sycamores and elms and surrounded by an Engltowish-style hedgerow.  It’s a secret garden in the middle of the city, hidden from the street. Each home comes with its own small backyard that borders on the larger common area shared by all.

  • Dean & Deluca May Be Taking Over The Spice Market Duplex: Doors haven’t even closed yet at ginormous Asian-themed clubstaurant Spice Market, but word is that a new tenant is already in the works for the space: gourmet grocery chain Dean & Deluca. The Post cites sources who say landlord Midtown Equities will be bringing in the trendy grocer and cafe company after Spice Market closes on Thursday.
  • Los Mariscos, the Seafood Stand From the Los Tacos No. 1 Team, Debuts Today Inside Chelsea Market: Ceviche, oyster shooters, and fish tacos from the team behind hit taco stand Los Tacos No. 1 are now available in Chelsea Market. Co-founder Christian Pineda soft opened the seafood spin-off Los Mariscos over the weekend, and as of Monday, it’s open to the public for lunch. Expect fish and spicy tacos, a special ceviche with fish, clams, shrimp, and octopus, and two kinds of aguachile, a ceviche with chile pepper.

  • The Absolute Best Clam Pizza in New York: Pasquale Jones; At this swanky pizzeria outfitted with a pair of roaring wood-fired ovens, chef Ryan Hardy serves an exemplary rendition of what could be called the modern New York clam pie.

  • Soft Serve in Fish-Shaped Cones Is the Newest NYC Sweets Craze: The newest long line, Instagram-friendly treat in New York is a fish-shaped ice cream cone filled with soft serve at new Chinatown shop Taiyaki NYC. It opened earlier this month and already sports crazy lines for its big-mouthed fish cone. The ice cream shop’s social media game has been strong. Taiyaki is a cute traditional Japanese treat that’s usually filled with red bean paste, and it’s been served in New York in for years. 

  • Get Ready for Mister Dips, Andrew Carmellini’s New Burger and Soft-Serve Stand: Fresh off of opening a rooftop bar you’d actually want to go to, Andrew Carmellini is ready to unveil the next part of his culinary operations in Williamsburg’s William Vale Hotel. This afternoon at 4 p.m. sharp, he and the Noho Hospitality Group crew will launch Mister Dips, a new burger and soft-serve stand. Bringing things back down to Earth in throwback fashion, Mister Dips will operate out of a chrome retro-fitted 1974 Airstream RV — which looks like a mobile diner — in the hotel’s Vale Park.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: Taco Truck Wins Vendy Awards, Los Tacos No. 1 Branches Out and Dizengoff Goes Family Style

  • Sunset Park Taco Truck Crowned NYC's Best Mobile Food Vendor: The 12th annual Vendy Awards unfolded on Governor's Island once again on a spectacularly beautiful Saturday afternoon this past weekend. The fete, which crowns winners in a variety of categories related to mobile food vending, is both a competition and a fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project, which supports all types of vendors operating on city streets and sidewalks. As has become routine, the bees also enjoyed the day's bounty.
  • Seven Courses at Per Se with a 3-Year-Old: On Sunday, September 18, the high-backed, cushy seats at Thomas Keller’s famed Per Se restaurant were filled not with couples celebrating anniversaries, but with the future generation of foodies. The restaurant's premiere First Timers Lunch was already underway when my Ralph Lauren blazer-clad three and a half-year old, Teddy and his Mickey Mouse stuffed friend and I settled into a cozy two-top overlooking Columbus Circle. The plan: a seven-course meal, where kids under 16 eat free and the ticket price is slightly reduced for adults. 
  • Celebrated Gypsy Brewer Evil Twin Will Open a Brewery and Taproom in New York: Evil Twin’s new home will be in a former banquet hall with 10,000 square feet of production room, enough to brew an additional 5,000 to 8,000 barrels of beer. “This is a place where we can play around, experiment, do one-off batches,” Jarnit-Bjergsø says; he also notes that they’ll be working more with the restaurants, like Mission Chinese Food, the NoMad, and Blanca, with which Evil Twin often collaborates.
  • 20 Great Restaurants In The Theater District: Unfortunately for the people who appreciate sailor costumes and a good Cole Porter number, this is exactly where the theater district is. The thing is, you can find good food here - it’s just harder to locate. It might not be as good as the stuff downtown, but that’s just something you have to come to terms with. Here are twenty places to get an actually-good meal before you see Wicked for the tenth time.

  • The Global Street Food Chefs Rack Up Miles For: If you really want to know the right way to season a blood sausage in Seoul, what to do when you get the munchies in Bilbao, or where to get your hot dog slathered with a mound of shrimp salad in Norway, you have to ask a chef.
  • 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America: OpenTable Releases Its 2016 List: OpenTable has just released another of its popular and much-anticipated lists: The 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America.  This year’s honorees are located in 30 states and Washington D.C., with California topping the list (it’s home to 17 restaurants).
  • Fred Armisen and Bill Hader Made the Perfect Prestige Food-Porn Parody: Juan Likes Rice & Chicken, the title of the faux doc, follows the chef and owner of a remote restaurant in Colombia — “a 40-minute walk from the nearest road” — who has earned three Michelin stars on the strength of his rice and chicken.
  • High-fat cheese: the secret to a healthy life? A diet rich in cheese might actually be good for our health, according to a new study.  A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that eating cheese could help to improve health by increasing our levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol - thought to offer protection against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.


  • Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery Is Now Kicking Out the Jams on Greenwich Avenue: Doughnuts, brownies, and vanilla choux are ready to go at chef Umber Ahmad’s long-awaited first brick-and-mortar bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr. The cafe and bakery at 28 Greenwich Ave. has been in the works since she raised more than $35,000 on Kickstarter two years ago, and Ahmad finally swung open the doors to the public at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning.

  • Owners of Los Tacos No. 1 Embark on Maritime Odyssey With Opening of Los Mariscos: The purveyors of some of the city's finest tacos and breakfast burritos are planning a new restaurant inside Chelsea Market specializing in fish tacos, seafood salads, and cocktails. Dubbed Los Mariscos, the new spinoff of Los Tacos No. 1 is slated to open this weekend near the original taqueria. 
  • Dizengoff Launches Israeli Family-Style Dinner Next Week: The hummus and pita aficionados at Dizengoff will finally be making their debut of dinner next week, the first time the hitmakers from Philly be offering a menu of more than just hummus in New York. Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s Chelsea Market outpost will be the first Dizengoff to serve dinner, run by chef Emily Seaman.

  • God Bless Mr. Donahue's Retro Comfort Food: In a cubby above the vintage Pepsi-branded letter board menu at Mr. Donahue's, a vintage peaked policeman's cap nests next to a photograph of the man who wore it, Purple Heart veteran and former NYPD detective Frank Donahue. The brim of this family heirloom faces out toward this throwback Nolita lunch counter, which chefs Ann Redding and Matt Danzer built in his memory.

  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor Is Opening A Second NYC Location: Longtime popup spot Old Bowery Station will be transforming into a full-time restaurant in the coming months when it's converted into the second NYC location of historic dim sum restaurant Nom Wah Tea Parlor. A new location for the restaurant will be coming to the 10 Kenmare space sometime soon, according to Bowery Boogie; a new Twitter account also confirms the move.
    • Nom Wah Is Opening a Counter Service Spinoff in Nolita: Dim sum legend Nom Wah Tea Parlor is opening a second New York location after more than 100 years in Chinatown. Owner Wilson Tang and his team started posting on social media over the weekend about Nom Wah Nolita, a new location at 10 Kenmare St.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cooking With Pietro

Since 1983, Monte’s Trattoria has been up and running all thanks to the amazing Chef Pietro Mosconi.  Chef Pietro was born in the Emilia - Romagna region of Italy in a small village, in the province of Piacenza.  It was here that Pietro discovered his passion for the traditional Northern Italian cuisine, which has influenced his cooking to this day.

Each time I walk into Monte’s, I am overly welcomed by Pietro, his lovely and homey staff and the smell of his kitchen.  Being so lucky to work with his fine establishment and having his restaurant be a part of our Heart of the Village food tour, I have come to really value and admire Pietro and his restaurant.  So, I decided to ask him if he could teach me a few things about Italian Cuisine and his style of cooking. This traditional establishment is definitely a special one, so I am happy to now share a few recipes that Pietro has taught me.

But first...

Speaking of Tradition - Here is a little background info on the formal meal structure of a traditional Italian meal.

The following is eaten in order - 

Aperitivo - The opening of a meal, which usually starts in either one restaurant or bar and then moves to another to begin the actual first course of the meal.  This is usually considered as something separate from the rest of the meal.  The drinks for an aperitif include sparking wine (usually prosecco) or a cocktail (negroni, spritz or americano are the most common) or a martini with ice.  Also, the Aperitivo always includes small bites such as olives, nuts, cheeses or small quiches while drinking. 
Antipasto - Usually cold and lighter than the first course.  Foods eaten could include salumi, cheeses, breads, vegetables or maybe even shrimp cocktail.
Primo - Basically your first course, consisting of hot food, a bit heavier than an antipasto and is usually a carbohydrate based dish. Some examples would be risotto, pasta, soup, polenta, casserole and lasagne.
Secondo - This course may include different meats or fish. 
Contorno - A side dish if you will.  Commonly a contorno is served along side a secondo and could be raw or cooked, hot or cold.  Most of the time these are vegetables.
Insalata - If your contorno consisted of leafy veggies, you may not have an insalata.  But, if you did not have your vegetable contorno, an insalata would be served at this point.
Formaggi e frutta - Probably the best part of the meal! An entire course dedicated to local cheeses & seasonal fruits coming from specific regions of Italy. 
Dolce - Tiramisu, panna cotta, pie, cake, panettone, gelato, sorbetto - these are all examples of the delicious desserts that may follow your meal.
Caffe & Digestivo - The second best part of the meal (in my opinion) and the conclusion of the meal.  Digestivo means exactly how it sounds - something to ease digestion after a long meal.  First have your Digestivo, which could be grappa, amaro, limoncello or a fruit / herbal based drink.  Afterwards you will have your caffe!  Most often an espresso or macchiato.  An important note - Never order a Cappuccino!

Thats a lot of courses, right?  Unfortunately, we don’t always have this much time to enjoy a meal.  So with that in mind, I decided to learn three out of 9 courses, which are most necessary when having a meal.  Also, thinking about the average American meal, this would be a bit more of a typical dining experience whether at home or in a restaurant. 

The three recipes I will be sharing with you via Pietro are ...

Antipasto - Mozzarella in Carozza
Secondo - Frutti di mare - Mare Chiaro 
Dolce -  Zabaglione al Marsala

Mozzarella in Carrozza: (Literally meaning mozzarella in a carriage) traditionally in the shape of a pinwheel 
Recipe for 1-2 people (double ingredients for bigger parties)
Preparation time:  15 min

Ingredients - 

* Mozzarella or Muenster cheese
* Grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
* Any fresh Italian white bread - crusts removed 
* flour
* 2-3 egg whites
* vegetable oil - for frying in deep fryer or butter or olive oil for at home in a skillet 

Instructions - 

Pietro begins by cutting both the Mozzarella and bread in the shape of a circle.  *Cheat with a glass cup or jar*
(You will need two pieces of bread and one piece of cheese to make make this into a sort of sandwich)

With a platter of flour, Pietro tosses around the circles of bread and mozzarella until covered with flour on both sides. With the bowl of egg whites, he dips both the flour covered bread and mozzarella into the egg whites.  After covered and wet, Pietro puts the bread and mozzarella together like he is making a sandwich.  Once together, he transfers them over to a platter with grated parmesan cheese and covers both sides equally. 

Lastly, Pietro places them in the fryer for one minute until lightly crisp and golden in color.

If you are like me and do not have a deep fryer,  just sauté on the stove using either vegetable oil or butter!

Simple as that and your done!  Time to eat!

*Side Note - Pietro likes to serve his with a slice of lemon on the side.
He also told me that people have been known to serve the carrozza with a red sauce or maybe even a pesto.  

To be honest, no added sauces are even necessary as there is so much flavor coming out of these fresh ingredients. 

This is melt in your mouth tastiness ;)


Frutti Di Mare - Mare Chiaro:
(meaning light sea) opposed to Mare Scuro (meaning dark sea) which usually consists of chopped tomatoes 
Recipe for 1-3 people 
Preparation time:  20 -25 min

Ingredients -

* Salt 
* 2 tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil
* 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
* Angel Hair Pasta
* Pinch of fresh Parsley
* Pinch of hot pepper Flakes
* Fish Stock
* Your choice of clams, shrimp, mussels or octopus (3 - 4 of each)

Instructions - 

To start, Pietro heats the water for the pasta.  When the water is boiling he adds the pasta and a touch of salt.  Cook pasta al dente.

In a separate sauté pan, Pietro mixes the olive oil and chopped garlic.  Once the garlic begins to brown, he adds fresh parsley, hot pepper and fish stock.  He then sautés everything together, while adding his chosen seafood. 

Pietro sautés the mixture between 2-3 min or until clams / mussels have opened up.

When the pasta is cooked and the seafood is sautéed, Pietro removes everything from the heat.
He places the pasta on the plate and pours the mixture of seafood and sauce over pasta!

Simple and delicious! 

Zabaglione al Marsala:
(often spelled Zabaione a Marsala)
Recipe for 1 or 2 people
Preparation time:  10-15 min total

Ingredients - 

* 1 spoonful sugar
* 3 egg yolks 
* 1 lemon
* 1 spoonful water
* dry marsala wine
* touch of vanilla

Instructions - 

Chef Pietro has been serving this simple Italian dolce for years so he basically eyes everything!  Anyway, here is how he does it!  

He starts with one large bowl.  He adds 1 spoonful of sugar, a touch of vanilla and three egg yolks.  He then shaves off a small piece of lemon skin from a lemon and tosses it into the mixture.  From there Pietro takes one of the broken egg shells, fills it up with Marsala wine and pours it in.  With a spoonful of water to finish it off he whisks the ingredients together.  From there Pietro is ready to walk the mixture over to the stove.  He switches from a whisk to a wooden spoon, which is the traditional way to stir the mixture over the double broiler.  (TIP:  You want to make sure to keep mixing, otherwise it will start to boil or curdle).  As he stirs, the mixture thickens more and more gaining a fluffy and soft consistency.  You want to keep it over the double boiler for only about 30 seconds or until smooth.  

Continue stirring mixture even after it's taken off heat.  Pour into a champagne or cocktail glass.  The Zabaglione can be served warm or at room temperature.  Pietro likes to serve his with some sort of berry.  You can have the berries lay at the bottom of the glass for a little surprise at the end of your tasting or a top of the dessert.  A little wafer or cookie could be a tasty accompaniment too!  

Now you too know just how simple Italian cooking can be!  With minimal and fresh ingredients you can create the best meal possible!

Now start Cooking!

Monte's Trattoria 

Blog by - Jacqueline Stewart 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: What To Eat At San Gennaro Festival And Mad. Sq. Eats, Dizengoff Hummus Gets Stars and By CHLOE Gets Sweet


  • How the Sugar Industry Spent Decades Manipulating Health Studies: Underhanded as it was, the $100 million that Coca-Cola spent on “health research” before it got outed last year is apparently just the tip of the sham-science iceberg when it comes to hiding sugar’s bad health effects: Newly discovered documents show that in the ’60s, Big Sugar secretly funded important research that effectively swayed nutrition guidelines and health policy in America for the next 50 years. 
  • Three Foods That Might Not Survive Modern Diseases: In the U.S., the expansive global market often insulates consumers from noticing the effects of these food pandemics: If your favorite Tuscan olive oil disappears from shelves, a fine Andalucian version from Spain is probably the next shelf over. But it’s that worldwide reach that also hastens the pandemic-like spread of these food maladies. If left unchecked, certain aisles might one day be empty.
  • An Updated Guide to What’s Wrong With Restaurants Today: A rant about the annoyances of eating out in NYC from Eater's senior critic.
  • Data Dive: Tracking the Poke Trend. It certainly feels like the poke bowl was the dish of the summer — and turns out the numbers support that. But is interest in the Hawaiian dish here to stay? According to data provided by Foursquare (the app for discovering new places), the Hawaiian food "trend" has actually been imminent for quite some time. Eater recently mined that data to explore the roots of the poke craze — and project what the scope of Hawaiian dining might look like in the next few years.


  • The Spicy Spoils of China’s Boom, at Hao Noodle and Tea: The traditions invoked by the menu come mainly from Beijing, Shanghai and Ms. Zhu’s hometown, Chongqing. The interpretations are contemporary. The portions are generally bigger than a street snack but smaller than one of those platters that descends with a thunk on the Lazy Susans of Chinatown.
  • Filipino Food Arrives, in a Taco, at 2nd City and Swell Dive: First to open was 2nd City, in May in the West Village. The chef, Jordan Andino, named it after Cebu City, the first capital of the Philippines, where his mother, a model, actress (“Dude, Where’s My Car?”) and Pop artist, grew up. He learned to cook from his father, a chef in Toronto with roots in Batangas, south of Manila, who had his son peeling and beheading shrimp in commercial kitchens from the age of 9.
  • Online Bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr Opens Its West Village Storefront Next Week: After interminable delays, online baker Umber Ahmad has an opening date for her long-awaited brick-and-mortar shop. Next Thursday, the West Village will become home to the first physical destination for the entire Mah-Ze-Dahr line, including the crackly edged brownies, cocoa-cookie-crusted cheesecake, and brioche doughnuts that have earned Ahmad and her chef-partner Shelly Acuña Barbera a devoted following since Ahmad launched the brand in her apartment three and a half years ago.

  • Rebelle Will Soon Be Offering This Spumoni-Inspired Croissant From Sadelle’s Baker: As good as a freshly baked croissant larded with a staggering amount of cultured butter is, it may be even better the next day, split in two, dipped in simple syrup, spread with frangipane, reassembled, and rebaked — a persuasive argument for recycling if there ever was one. Melissa Weller, the head baker of Sadelle’s, is expounding this theory for a pop-up weekend-brunch pastry program beginning on the 24th at the Nolita restaurant Rebelle. 
  • What to Eat at the San Gennaro Feast: The Feast of San Gennaro runs along Mulberry Street between Canal Street (on the south) and Houston Street (on the north). It takes place east to west on Grand Street between Mott and Baxter Street, and east to west on Hester Street between Mott and Baxter Streets. Here are a few of the restaurants which will be offering their delicious Italian food and tasty treats. 

  • Everything you need to know about the Dumpling Festival coming to NYC: Who doesn’t love a good meat pocket? (Was that sexual?). Anyways, the 13th annual Dumpling Festival rolls into NYC on September 24, and we could not be more excited. Head to Sara D. Roosevelt Park (noon to 5pm) and munch on stuffed-dough creations including Kung Pao Pork with Kimchi, Lemongrass, Buffalo Chicken, Edamame as well as Kale and Vegetable dumplings. 

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