Food + Drink
Hankering for something hot and sweet this bitter-cold February? If you're in New York, you're in luck. Monday marked the beginning of the 28-day long Hot Chocolate Festival at The City Bakery, which is renowned for its viscous cups of cocoa topped with giant, creamy homemade marshmallows.
This year's new flavor is Moulin Chocolate Rouge—a blend of pomegranate, espresso, dark chocolate and lemon. Read more about how City Bakery owner, Maury Rubin, comes up with these inventive cocoa flavors in Time Out NY here. Check out the other 27 delicious flavors. (And yes, those are strands of marshmallows you see below.)
Move over Carrie Bradshaw, Sheikh Mohammed wants a Red Velvet cupcake, too. Today, New York City’s beloved (and occasionally maligned) Magnolia Bakery opened in the UAE at the Bloomingdale’s in the The Dubai Mall—a big move since its only three other locations (for now) are in Manhattan.
Well, maybe not glam, but Burger King’s new "Whopper Bar" in South Beach, Miami—an industrial-chic, “boutique” rendition of the distinctly unglamorous orange-themed fast-food chain—will grill you up something called a “Black & Bleu Steakhouse XT” (oh la la, beyond-fries French).
Care to wash down that seven-ounce, flame-broiled beef patty with a nice cold beer? The Whopper Bar offers a selection of artisanal American brews, serving everything from, uh, super-hip Budweiser to luxe Miller Light.
With my snowboarding skills firmly intact, I decided this season I would head west again (after three years) for some real-deal riding. Here are my highlights from my January jaunt to Vail and Beaver Creek.
Avanti and Pickeroon, Vail (lift ticket $97 a day)—often-groomed, excellent mix of intermediate and advanced slope.
Larkspur Bowl and Golden Bear, Beaver Creek (lift ticket $97 a day)—the bowl was next to empty and made me shout, WOOHOO, multiple times; I renamed Golden Bear “Honey Bear” because it was such a sweet ride.
Favorite après-ski spots:
Garfinkel’s, Lionshead (drinks for two $15)—lots of picnic tables outside, making it easy to spot your friends; I accidentally stayed après après.
Los Amigos, at Vail Village (drinks for two $15)—watch tired experts and out-of-their-league beginners make their last run down the black-diamond Pepi’s Face, and be thankful you’ve already loosened your boots.
After much prodding by a Bronx-born friend, this past weekend I finally checked out the borough’s Belmont section—a.k.a. Arthur Avenue, named for its main drag—and finally understood the hype. Teeming with pizzerias, pastry shops, and seafood merchants, this former immigrant neighborhood is a slice of old Italy. Whether you’re a New Yorker or a tourist, Arthur Ave. an authentic, distinctive, and tasty NYC outing. Plus, I’d wager a few thousand lire that it’s one heck of a Valentine’s Day destination (hint, hint).
As we grazed on fresh olives and cheese at the charmingly old-school Arthur Avenue Retail Market, my friend and I stocked up on imported Italian ingredients, everything from dried bresaola to hand-rolled fettuccini. I dream nightly about the creamy, caramel-y fromaggio Prima Donna that the affable Mike’s Deli guys urged me to sample.
I’ve just returned from a blissfully relaxing trip to the deep Caribbean. After the Christmas rush, my family annually escapes to the West Indies for a week of sailing, diving, and, with months-in-advance reservations in place, great food! As French and posh as ever, St. Bart’s seemed virtually unaffected by the unfavorable economic climate—with Microsoft magnate Paul Allen’s 416 foot mega-yacht Octopus in the lead, an unparalleled collection of pristine 150+ footers took up their usual spots on Gustavia’s glitzy dock.
That is, until a powerful tide and unforeseen surge forced the multimillion dollar vessels to leave their front-row seats on the flashy dock and retreat to the outer harbor (where our relatively diminutive sailboat lay), leaving the high-profile passengers to be shuttled in their heels and tuxes to the mainland in lieu of stepping right off their boat onto dry ground. A nice reminder that being on a boat does, in fact, involve being in contact with water!
They must put crack in the fried chicken at Gus's in Memphis. My sister has lived there for years and has always gone on and on about this place. Whenever I'd visit from New York, I wanted real Southern barbecue, whether the Bar-B-Q Shop or the Three Little Pigs. But last month, she insisted. So I went. And I'm a total convert.
Washingtonians are treated to one of the best international dining scenes in the world. Everyone in D.C. knows where to go for the best Ethiopian (Meskerem), best Scandinavian (Domku), and best Trinidadian (Teddy’s Roti Shop). Tucked into different neighborhoods in Northwest, many of the international restaurants in D.C. are quite affordable.
But when I go home to D.C., my favorite place to eat is the Lebanese Taverna. The staff are affable, the vibe is congenial, and the food is uh-mazing. The shared small dishes always makes a dinner feel more like a party. I try and get a big group together so that we can try different things. I can’t leave without ordering the Foole M’daas (fava beans with garlic and lemon) and the shrimp Arak. Trust me on this one.
Seems we at T+L aren’t the only ones on a constant search for the perfect carry-on bag. Enter New York mixologist Jim Meehan, the brains behind PDT—a hidden lounge attached to a hot dog joint in Manhattan’s East Village, serving classically and seasonally inspired drinks (recently named the World’s Best Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award '09, with Meehan as American Bartender of the Year).
Resolving to lose weight in 2010? Don’t let your drinking habit get in the way!
The Liberty Hotel in Boston is hosting informative (and delicious) “Finally Fridays,” serving up “Sleek Cocktails” with 150 calories or fewer.