You have a long weekend and the weather is unseasonably warm for the NorthEast. A private rooftop cabin in NYC is just a subway ride away. The Greens is where you’re headed. A 65,000 sqft, high rise slice of upstate New York promises the coziest and safest of revelry inside your very own glass cabin. Upfront warning, your weekend visit is going to cost you a touch more than normal. $50 gets you a reservation. Everything you order is an addition but that’s ok because remember, you are paying for the ambiance on this boondoggle. The menu has all the greatest hits for compliance across all the standard eater types. A $28 fondue and a salumi plate top the list of apps for us. Moving into mains, it’s a hard choice between the truffle grilled cheese, fried chicken or a $30 meatball and polenta plate. Don’t sleep on dessert though. Three words. Chocolate. Pretzel. Popbar. Of course, none of this matters if your glass isn’t full. Choices have all the cozies. A solid whiskey collection, a bubbles list, a section they call martini hour, and even a 5 option deep negroni list make decisions tough. As far as we can tell the Autumnal Drinking list is where you start before venturing into all that other magic. Plus, that focus streamlines choices and gets you sipping while you sort the rest of your order. Think hot buttered rum or mulled cider fancied up in YETI drinkware with a $32 price tag, albeit serves 2.5 so we suppose that math is solid. All of this is great but you’re here for the cabin. It doesn’t disappoint. Heated floors, contactless ordering, a Molekule air purifier with a virtual fireplace, and floor-to-ceiling views of NYC for 2-10 guests makes us want to gather up our crew for a round of rapid COVID tests and head to the tip of Manhattan before the chill gets too deep for this to be pleasurable.
Thanksgiving 2020 is going to be an unprecedented one. Less family gatherings. Higher COVID 19 rates. More cooking in your home. That’s why we thought we’d offer a reprieve from at least one of those tired realities. Our top 10 Thanksgiving delivery dinners in New York City. Take a needed break from the kitchen and order in some gourmet. For this list we looked beyond the turkey because, let’s face it, a big bird is only good if there’s enough people around to eat it. If you’re in ear shot of DeBlasio, Cuomo and Murphy you know a full family gather is not the recommended agenda. Sure that day-after-turkey-sandwich is delicious but our list has leftovers potential we think puts that makeshift sando to shame. We’re not hating on turkey. We’re just mixing it up with some alt options since there is nothing traditional about this Thanksgiving. Let’s keep with the theme. Here’s our list with the star item called out on each. Most orders come with an array of sides and other accouterments. Cost runs from cheap eats to 5 star in home. You frugal festive Forkers can get away with only a $39.99 investment. For those of you posh revelers, our top end choice comes in at $588. Choose wisely.
The Breslin-Roasted Turkey Breast and Smoked Leg
Fields Good Chicken-Cascun Farm Whole Chicken + Cornbread
Popeyes-Cajun Whole Turkey
Jean Georges-Whole Roasted Organic Turkey and Sourdough Stufffing
M. Wells – Meat Pie
Mission Chinese Food – Whole Roasted Chicken with smoked sweet tea brine, five spice citrus glaze
Hometown BBQ – Whole Smoked Brisket
Kimika – Turchetta (think Porchetta)
Seamore’s – Salmon Roast
Forma Pasta Factory – Bolognese Lasagna
It’s getting cold. It’s getting dark. And, we’re all wondering what this shift to winter is going to do to our new found love of outdoor dining. Enter RESY’s Yurt Villages, a pop up restaurant city at your favorite restaurants around the country. We assume they will be heated because, well, they are yurts and its freezing. American Express card members had access for the last two days but today it opens to everyone at 11am so grab a spot before they’re gone. New Yorker’s will see some of their favs like Lilia and Crown Shy yurting it up. In DC, Fiola. In Philly. Zahav. Kann in Portland and Canlis in Seattle rep the pacific northwest. By now you must be envisioning that glamping spot you could never secure on airbnb BUT this reservation food is included. So lace up your redwings, grab your best made axe and head down to the yurt village for a night in the round. Second though, leave the axe at home.
I’ve been going to Raffetto’s for as long as I can remember to stock up for our traditional Italian Sunday suppers. My father grew up just a few blocks away on Thompson Street and when I moved to the city in the 90’s I was at Rafetto’s every week. Over the years a lot has changed around the neighborhood but Raffetto’s still has the simplicity and old-world charm of doing one thing really really well. I don’t think the pasta chart has changed since I was a kid. Pick a flavor. Pick a size. Done. One thing that has changed at Raffetto’s is Sarah Raffetto, the fourth generation great-granddaughter of Marcello Raffetto. She grew up and opened a pop-up pasta restaurant inside the shop. With her partner Emily Fedner, of @foodloversdiary, they offer intimate meals on Sunday and Monday when the retail shop is closed. Dubbed Petite Pasta Joint, the experience is a food and story filled evening hosted by the two carb fanatic founders. We expect nothing short of the fresh and perfect Rafetto’s pasta paired with some equally delicious sauces and sides. Currently, it seems events are by inquiry only. We can only imagine COVID restrictions are to blame.
Last weeks debacle by our former NYC mayor was just another notch on the ever chipping political follie tree. Shouldn’t it have tiiiiimbeeeeered by now? This mistake, and for those of you who had not heard-check this, caused a lot of attention on an unexpecting Philadelphia landscaping outfit. The reverberations quickly took over the world reaching Dublin and the peeps at Rascals Brewing quite quickly. Debuting their limited edition Four Saisons Total Landscaping Saison beer was not only marketing genius but set up to be quite tasty too. Only available in Ireland for now, you might have a tough time getting your hands on it but I think we can all get tons of benefits from revisiting the can visual every once in a while for a chuckle.
We never thought of putting garam masala on cold greens either but a few nights ago we were treated to such a salad. A sprinkle of this quintessential Indian mixture onto crispy fresh fennel, juicy grapefruit supremes and the occasional candied ginger, worked better than I would have ever guessed in making our tastebuds dance. With a bit further investigation (Raiding our friend’s pantry) we discovered this triad of masalas from the late, great chef Floyd Cardoz in collaboration with Burlap and Barrel. Chef Cardoz passed from complications of COVID-19 in March 2020 but left a legacy through his compassion, teachings and artifacts, like these spices. Burlap and Barrel partners directly with small farmers to source spices that have never been available in the US before and help improve the livelihoods of their partner farmers. This collab was no exception. Working with Chef Cardoz’s wife and business partner Barkha Cardoz, as a memorial to his love for the cuisines of India and his passion for sharing them with the world, the three masalas are uniquely different but all Chef Cardoz. The garam masala is floral, sweet and aromatic. Second in the trifecta, the Goan masala has an earthy, pungent, gingery complexity flavor profile. Lastly, the Kashmiri masala brings the heat with a fennel, ginger and aromatic profile anchored by the Kashmiri chili. Aside from being great on your favorite greens, this trifector collection is a fantastic way to pay homage and connect with a chef who made a huge impact on the culinary world.
This November is one of the most important elections in our history. Collectively we have the power to shape our future, as we always did it just seems extra important this go round. The pride in this power is palpable and you might just need something a little more lighter-hearted than the recent headlines to show your patriotism. This donut flag tee should do the trick while reminding you of the sweet reward you can indulge in after you hit the polls. No matter your affiliation, or lack there of, be prepared for long lines and hunger pangs. Which reminds us to plug this equally important effort for those experiencing food insecurity. It helps those in that situation to vote and receive food. A true win-win. Back on topic, this donut vote garb will keep people on line smiling and you out of the crosshairs of a more unsavory voter. Now the only thing you need to decide is if your a yeast or cake donut lover. There it is, yet another divide. Why is there always 2 dominant choices? Can’t there be room for a strong third. In the case of donuts we supposed that would be cronuts.
This is the most important election our life, and probably yours too. No matter which way you lean, your voice is needed and important to truly understand what we stand for and care about. To that end, voting is not as easy as you’d think and getting to the polls even harder especially with the pandemic. Amplifying the already growing food insecurity faced in our country, getting to the polls versus waiting on a food line is a choice that most likely leads to your vote not being cast. To combat this The Infatuation, Zagat, and The Migrant Kitchen have joined forces and launched Feed the Polls, an effort to bring the maximum amount of voters to the polling stations by using free meals as the incentive. The hope is to help every American have a voice, which is what we want, now more than ever. Helping is simple, a $10 donation buys one meal.
Adult cereal and adaptogens are quite old but both are fairly new to most of us. Dare I say trendy. Off Limits is a new cereal brand developed by Emily Miller, famous for all sorts of breakfast stuff like books and tours. Watching my grandmother eat her daily milk doused bowl of bran and wheat germ with a yuck face had me running for my Tony the Tiger well into my 30’s. These days, as a smarter, slower metabolism, dude an alternative was in order. We’ve highlighted some of these new cereal brands before. What takes Off Limits to the next level are these wonderful little adaptogens added to the crunchy O’s. Adaptogens are things you’ve heard of but don’t really know what they are aside from “they are good for you”. Originally created in 1947, I told you they were old, to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress, today they promote other benefits such as anti-inflammation and hormonal balance. They have crazy names like rhodiola, schisandra and, most trendy, ashwagandha but they are basically roots and plants you can find in various parts of the world. Ashwagandha is the adaptogen in one of the two current Off Limits flavors, Zombie. The green O’s are made from rice, oat, and coconut flour with notes of vanilla and pandan. BTW, pandan is a Southeast Asian plant that when crushed gives off a sweet, floral scent. The other flavor is Dash. Championing a caffeinated female rabbit mascot, these dots are a chocolatey, coffee goodness guaranteed to pep you up. There are three different coffee ingredients in them. WOWO. No chill adaptogens in these. Together these two options get you up in the morning and put you down at night hence their claim that this is cereal for any time of day. As cereal nerds, we like that idea a lot. Aside from the quality and taste, the design of everything from the box to the website wins in our book. Emily partnered with Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One for the character development and Pentagram partner, Astrid Stavro for the visual identity. She didn’t stop there. We opened this post with “old stuff but new to us”. Continuing on the old is new theme, they even brought back the free toy inside, although it’s not inside. It’s more a carnival ticket system approach. You accumulate tickets with each purchase and then can go shopping in their online toy store for stuff like mascot keychains and other fun tchotchkes. Next time you are hankering for your childhood, need a boost but hate 24hr energy, or need to mellow into slumberland drop some Off Limits in a bowl and fix that need in a most delicious and fun-loving way.
Good Humor and RZA ice cream truck jingle just dropped with the goal of ending the racist roots the current song subliminally drives into our brains. Here in Queens, this oppression is monotonous most afternoons. The song is derived from “Turkey in the Straw”, an old mistral song. If that doesn’t mean much to you take a listen to this NYTimes podcast. Now that you understand why that connection is horrific, watch and listen to the new tune here. Leave it to a Staten Island rapper and a 100 year old ice cream company to bring some equality-based joy into our lives amidst one of the darkest times in our country’s history. I always said, “You can count on ice cream to always bring a smile.” I never thought it would simultaneously help deconstruct generations of systemic racism. If you are so moved by this to obtain a music box of your own to perhaps gift your local ice cream truck proprietor, Nicholes Electronics specializes in pre-programmed, looping, music boxes for just such an application.
They make these RED hot dogs in Maine. Locally they are called red snappers and are what everyone from Kittery to Caswell uses in their summer backyard BBQ’s. We picked up a pack of Rice’s (one of two OG competing makers) before we left the state to try the red dye, natural casing snap for ourselves. There are two bits of folklore important in this maker story. One, sometime in the late 18th century, the red dye was added as a marketing gimmick to have their dogs standout amongst the 30 other competing butchers. Two, after World War II, Rice headed down to NYC where he heard a few German sausage makers, turned soldiers, turned POW’s were being held. He interviewed them and hired one to create his hot dog spice mixture. Kidder & Rice, the companies original name, was sold to a few larger industrial meat purveyors over the years until W.A. Bean and Sons, Rice’s original competitor in 1898, bought the Rice name back from Tyson Foods. Today W.A. Bean and Sons pump out 500,000 pounds a year of Rice’s original recipe. With all that history we were intrigued what a naturally cased, steamed Red #40 food dye, pork and beef dog would taste like. The snap lived up to the legend. The taste was on par with the Nathan’s of the world but the marketing trick was what hit the home run for me. The contrast of the red dog, yellow mustard and green relish just makes it stand out and create conversation. Just like when you repeat this story to your pals when you try one. What’s still confusing is W.A. Bean and Sons also makes a red snapper. How they both “stood out” with the same marketing trick is unclear as is who was first. Regardless W.A. Bean and Sons now make both recipes so I suppose that origins moment is moot.
These days events are, well, not really events at all. With social distancing still the norm the shoehorning of events into virtual versions is the best we can do. Add food to that challenge and you really need to innovate to make it awesome. The crew at The Infatuation gets our applause for their All-You-Can EEEEEATScon success. We’re only one week in but the Bagel + Lox debate was fierce, informative and most importantly a lot of (virtual) fun. Let’s break it down. First off, the name. All-You-Can in front of their live event name makes it inclusive and makes us think of the buffet at the Bellagio. Both great. Second, instead of two days of concentrated food debouchery they set up a 4-week schedule with a major moment each week. We already mentioned the schmear schmearing. Coming weeks tease a BBQ, pizza and dessert debate. All prefaced with the adjective GREAT. Alluding back to the fun you’ll have but also winking an eye at the definitive nature of the outcome being referenced for years to come. Third, and maybe our favorite, they nailed it on the how to make virtual feel physical by partnering with Goldbelly. For those living inside your pantry, Goldbelly is the food delivery company that brings you iconic food from the best of the best right to your door. For the Bagel + Lox debate a Russ & Daughters spread was the recommended food companion for debate noshing. Assorted bagels, Nova lox, cream cheese, coffee and even a chocolate babka comes with a branded tote and mug from the old school, mainstay, New York bagel shop. In addition to all of that you get to see a lot of food fans all in one place. For now this is how it has to be. Sure we’d rather be in person but I’m looking forward to the next three weeks of great food debates and food deliveries. Register for free and get ready for BBQ next. July 22-Aug 12 at 7pm in Zoomland
EatOkra is the anti-yelp. A resource that is, in their words, “a food-themed directory that encourages fellowship through one specific avenue, black food”. If there is a single reason why food has been such an important part of our lives, this is it. A window into culture, but more importantly the people and the stories that make up that culture. In 2016 Anthony Edwards Jr and Janique Bradley launched the EatOkra App when they noticed there were no resources for black owned restaurants. As the two began to catalog them for the app they discovered there were many. With the help of their third co-founder, UX/UI designer Justin Johnson, GetOkra was born. In the four years since launch the app has added more than a dozen cities. As we sit squarely in this radically necessary 2020 shift this directory becomes an incredibly important resource to support for our black community. Not to be overshadowed, you’ll also have the opportunity to devour some of the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted.
This brings us to an equally important point in this post. Supporting black owned food businesses is one way to raise awareness and support in an ongoing way. This movement is not a today and tomorrow thing but a “this year, next year and so on” thing. Supporting black owned food business’, restaurants, farmers and packaged goods is a worthy way to vote two to three (sometimes four) times a day for something that makes an immediate impact. We’ve pulled together this list of links that have been curated by some amazing people across the country. Thank you all for doing this work. Start with downloading the EatOkra App. I’m sure they are adding to their listings thanks to these curators. We’ll be highlighting many of them in weeks to come and hope you’ll choose to support the ones in your community often.