Sunday, December 16, 2012

Um, hi!

Hello, my darlings, my doves, my gentle readers. I know, I know - it's been ages. In my defense, the last couple of months have been among the busiest in recent memory, complete with 16 hour workdays, two weeks in Austin, a quick business trip to Chiacgo...and so on.

But, but, but! I had no intention of abandoning you, and I have every intention of putting things right. With that in mind, here are a couple of the remarkably delicious things I've enjoyed over the last ten weeks, along with a promise: I'll be back soon in full force.


 Three pea salad from Ottolenghi's Plenty.
Shrimp mole from Frontera Grill in Chicago.

Plateau de fruits de la mer at Clark's in Austin.

Rib-eye fried rice at Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin.

Chicken salad sandwich with gribenes and homemade pickles at Mile End Sandwich Shop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Drinking it in.

The last couple of weekends, I've taken advantage of the near-perfect early autumn weather to enjoy a few laps around the Central Park Reservoir followed by a stroll down to Joe for a post-workout caffeine hit.

These outings have only added to the love I've been feeling for the Upper East as of late.

We're something of the red-headed stepchild up here, what with our reputation for stuffiness and terrible restaurants, but things have been improving like mad. Plus, we have most of the good museums.

 It's okay; your Metrocard will work up here, I promise. Come visit!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Queenie's Treasury

Happy weekend, kiddos! It's a gray Saturday here in New York, and I have a day of chores and errands ahead of me. Before reality sets in, though, let's take a look at this week's Treasury.

Up first, these gorgeous posters from Brooklyn Larder, a wonderful specialty foods shop that sits on Flatbush Avenue at the intersection of Park Slope and Prospect Heights. All of the posters are marvelous, but I'm particularly partial to these two, representing salumi and gelato. (Head over to their site to see the others, including beer, cheese and pastries.)

I'm loving these gold, crystal-studded pyramid earrings from Etsy seller Tiny Armour. They're  a little bit tough, a little bit girly, and all around awesome and right up my alley. (They come in rose gold, too, for those looking to embrace that particular trend.)

As a city-dweller, I'm always on the lookout for ways to bring the outdoors in. Right now, as autumn bears down on us, I'm loving this birch sculpture from Urban + Forest. It's simple and neutral, but would add texture and oomph to any space. I'm seeing it as part of a soothing gray, navy and white bedroom, yes?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Drinking on the Bowery isn't what it used to be.

Over the last ten years, the Bowery, once the place where dreams went to die - usually in a flophouse - has become the place where hotels and restaurants go to open. Several of my favorites are on or within a stone's throw of the Bowery (Peels, Five Points, DBGB, Acme), and now I can most definitely add the bar at The Bowery Hotel to the list. 

The drink that did it? Their Black Manhattan, made with bourbon, bitters, and Averna. Averna - an Italian liqueur made with herbs and caramel - replaces the traditional sweet vermouth, and does a super smooth job of it. 

And just look at this little dandy on their cocktail coasters. I can't quite tell if he's a gentleman or a Five Points gangster, but either way, I like his attitude.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Something neue.

I love it when Louisa comes to town. Not only because I get to spend tons of quality time with my best friend (living thousands of miles apart can be rough), but also because having her here reminds me to take full advantage of the wonders of the city.

When she was in town in September, we spent a day on the Upper East Side. We managed to do some shopping (thank you, Joe Fresh and J. Crew Collection), but before that could happen, we needed sustenance. Enter Café Sabarsky, one of the very best things within walking distance of my apartment.

Housed in the Neue Galerie - itself dedicated to German and Austrian art - Café Sabarsky is a recreation of the cafes of Austria, right down to the Thonet chairs, Hoffmann fixtures and sausage-rich menu. On this visit, we ordered a green salad to share, plus two different plates of sausage (my roasted bratwurst came with riesling sauerkraut and dijon potatoes; Louisa's was flavored with cheddar).

The food (and the coffee and hot chocolate we enjoyed afterward) was, as always, delicious. But, for me, Café Sabarsky is always about the experience as a whole. That gorgeous room, that wonderful atmosphere...that sparkly chandelier. I just love it there. I'd say it's something you could only find in New York, but that's obviously not true. But I'm sure glad it's here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Late summer supper.

A few weeks ago, my friends Nick and Louisa were in town, which always means I'm in for a few good meals. Even though they've swapped the wilds of rural Ohio for the wonders of Austin, they're still aiming to get a serious New York food fix whenever they visit. Their first night here, we met our friends Liz and Carrie for dinner at Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton's perennial neighborhood favorite, best known for its insanely delicious (and popular) brunch. 

I ordered a Junipero Gibson (a gin martini garnished with housemade pickled onions) and nibbled on fried chickpeas while I waited for the others to arrive. (They were coming from pre-dinner drinks at Ten Bells; I was trekking in from having my hair done by the lovely Holly in SoHo.) The cocktail was perfectly cool and crisp, and kept me company all through dinner (and for a while afterward, to tell the truth).

 I started with a special kale salad, which went so fast and was so delicious that I forgot to snap its photo.The kale was shredded and dressed with crumbly cheese, garlic and lots and lots of olive oil. I've had many kale salads, but this one was something special. My main was the grilled steak with a tomato and onion salad. The steak was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the rings of red onion were just crunchy and spicy enough to set off the sweat, meaty tomatoes. A bit of bleu cheese butter rounded things out, and reminded me of one of the things I love about Prune: the food is exuberant, but not overdone. They know that all you need is a touch of cheese in each bite, not an overwhelming heap of it on the plate.

In another nod to disappearing summer, we ordered a side of peas for the table. They arrived, beautifully green, perfectly cooked (English peas, snow peas and - my favorite - sugar snaps), spiked with horseradish and topped with honeycomb. The horseradish accentuated the peas' natural vegetal bite, while the honey upped their sweetness. Peas, amplified.

Finally, dessert. We went a bit over the top here, ordering three different ones to try. A rhubarb bourbon bread pudding, a summer pudding with whipped cream, and a pound cake with fruit syrup. All three were wonderful (and the blazing color of the summer pudding outshone the rest), but the bread pudding was my very favorite. The perfect end to a late summer feast. Next time, squash and brussels sprouts will replace tomatoes and peas, and nothing will be quite the same.

Now there's an excuse to go back if ever there was one, right?

Monday, September 24, 2012


Blue Bottle makes one remarkably delicious caffé mocha. Consider yourselves informed, insert a The More You Know gif here, etc.

Either way, get yourself to the nearest Blue Bottle as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Queenie's Treasury

Hello, my doves! Today is the first day of autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), so it seems fitting to share with you some of the things I've been craving (food and otherwise) in the name of the new season.

First up, these delicious Tate ballet flats from the ladies at Marais USA. I absolutely love the animal print, and I'm delighted that feminine, pointy toes are back in this fall. Just imagine these with a pair of cropped trousers or a full skirt. Perfection, yes?

Next, a lovely little print from Ana Victoria Calderon's shop on Etsy. The colors are just perfect for autumn: a little muted, a little soft, all cozy and warm. Just looking at it makes me crave apple cider. And bourbon.

Finally, some actual food! This plum and mascarpone pie screams early autumn to me, what with its gorgeous purple color and rich, caramelized glaze. And mascarpone makes everything into its best self.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Windswept wedding.

We've had some wild weather in the northeast as of late - tornado warnings every other week or so, which are, simply put, not normal for this part of the world. A couple of Saturdays ago, a tornado touched down in Queens, and I headed out of the city for a seaside wedding in my hometown, Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

Most of the (spectacular) rain fell before things got underway, but the evening remained damp and breezy throughout. The views were gorgeous and moody - plus, I had a sparkly clutch (my prized, vintage Whiting & Davis, which I bought on eBay for a song about 8 years ago) and a well attended to glass of bubbly to brighten things up.

Sadly, I didn't smooch anyone on the dock. But I sure hope someone did, because it was awfully pretty.


See, I'm alive! (And I took this picture of a really pretty pre-autumn sky over the Plaza last week as proof!)

Sorry it's been so quiet around these parts of late, kids. I've been a bit crazed, both personally and professionally, and haven't had time to tend to the blog as you've come to expect - and, frankly, as you deserve!

I'll be back soon with lots of stuff (a few delightful meals out and about, plus one or two late summer recipes to use up that eggplant and zucchini). In the meantime, thanks for being patient and awesome and dedicated and delightful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I've been trying to enjoy the last of summer's bounty these days. The evenings are falling earlier and earlier, but I managed to sneak in a meandering twilight stroll around my neighborhood last week. The Guggenheim looked gorgeous all lit up by the setting sun to the west.

The tomatoes have been ridiculously good. I made a little sauce with the San Marzanos and ate the heirloom ones with avocado and red onion.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I stopped into Joe for a pick-me-up cappuccino and a delicious hour of reading. I've been plowing through books on my Kindle this summer; I just finished The Dog Stars and started a Louise Penny mystery.

I spied this cookbook when I popped into Barnes & Noble to pick up a gift for a friend. I'd never heard of Leon (a restaurant in London), but I think I might need this book sooner rather than later. Anything with a cover like this one has to be full of deliciousness. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Queenie's Treasury

Happy long weekend, folks! (Well, American folks. Happy regular weekend, rest of the world!) It's a sunny, hot day here in New York, and I'll be heading back out into is just as soon as I refuel with my iced coffee. In the meantime, here are a few tidbits to keep you entertained while you prepare for your Labor Day festivities. (Mine include shopping; your mileage may vary, of course.)

First up (and I realize I'm late to the party on this one), the incredible work of designer Olympia Le-Tan, who creates embroidered clutches and handbags based on classic book covers. I want them all, of course, but since they cost about $2,000 apiece, I'll have to settle with admiring them from afar for now.

I first spotted Christine Lindstrom's work in West Elm (I love the way they're showcasing independent artists in each collection these days), and I love her richly hued watercolors. Her Etsy shop is full of wonderful prints, stationery, and original works. If I had to choose just one, it would probably be this watercolor, entitled Grove, which puts me in mind of a fairy tale forest.

On this Labor Day weekend, I'll leave you with a little bit of Paris. Freunde von Freunden's interview with textile designer Céline Saby is great, and I absolutely love the photos of her salon and apartment. The latter has a sort of Parisian surfer chic vibe to it, and I can't get enough of it, or this little reading nook in the windows. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Montauk, part three: breakfast.

My friend Stacey is my Food Wife. She has impeccable taste, serious cred, and a remarkable ability to throw a ridiculous cocktail party at a moment's notice. She volunteered to make breakfast the morning we spent in Montauk, and that turned out to be a really, really good idea.

She made an incredible batch of slow-scrambled eggs with cheddar and chives. She cooked up some Black Forest bacon from the venerable Schaller & Weber. Best of all? She made some of the most delicious biscuits I have ever had. Light, fluffy, tender. Pretty much perfect.

That's why I food-married her.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Montauk, part two: Lunch time.

Our first order of business in Montauk? Two hours on the beach. Our second? Lobster rolls.

After spending some time sunning ourselves on the sand, we piled into our cars and headed west to Amagansett, home of The Lobster Roll, better known locally as Lunch. The paper placemats on our table listed endorsements from celebrities as varied as President Nixon, Barbra Streisand, and Christie Brinkley & Billy Joel (in case you thought this restaurant was new, it's clearly not).

We ordered drinks (mine was the Lobster Ale, which was pleasantly satisfying and a bit round in the mouth) and lobster rolls - plus some clams casino. (Thanks, Stacey!)

As you can probably guess from its given name, Lunch is known for its lobster rolls, and they were pretty good. Flavorful meat, tasty toasted buns, and a touch (perhaps too heavy a touch) of celery. I liked the mayonnaise to lobster ratio and the not-at-all mayonnaise-y coleslaw, but there was something missing here, some alchemy that I've found in other rolls that just didn't make itself known. Solid, though? For sure.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Queenie's Treasury

Happy Saturday, kids! I've had something of an unusual week, what with my whirlwind trip to Montauk and a very busy couple of days at work. I'm ready to enjoy the weekend, and have already been for a run and visited the Greenmarket. Before I head back out to sun myself and read in Central Park (wearing SPF 30, minimum, of course), let's take a look at this week's Treasury!

First up, the gorgeous, almost unbearably cool Brooklyn abode that's home to Solange Knowles and her family. It seems like a seriously fun place to be - not to mention effortlessly stylish and comfortable. I wouldn't mind an invite, is all I'm saying.

Next, some exciting news courtesy of SF Girl By Bay, who attended a launch party for the new collaboration between The Curiosity Shoppe and The Shops at Target. Everything looks great, but I'm particularly excited about this continental US-shaped serving board. It will most definitely be making an appearance chez Queenie come October 20, when the line becomes available.

Last, but certainly not least, these incredible photographs by artist Alberto Seveso, created by injecting water with two different inks. Don't they make you think of billowing, delicate silk? I cannot get enough of these.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Montauk, part one: the beach.

A couple of weeks ago, my friends Matt and Marcia invited me and our friend Stacey to join them in Montauk for a couple of days. They'd rented a house for the week to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary, and wanted to have friends out to join them in the revelry.

Obviously, I said yes.

Montauk is a tiny little village out on the eastern tip of Long Island's South Fork - in fact, it's so far east that it's the easternmost point in the state of New York. It's long been considered the chillest part of the Hamptons, thanks to its history as a surfing and artist-friendly enclave. (Rufus Wainwright married his longtime partner at their home there just yesterday.)

Town laws forbid chains of any kind, so all of the hotels are tiny and charming, and Starbucks is nowhere to be seen. Hipsters have invaded in recent years, but I have to say: they weren't too annoying.

Several hours of both days were devoted to serious beach time. The waves were strong (both Marcia and Matt took serious bangs when coming in from paddle boarding), and the sand was soft.

And though I didn't snag a photo, I can tell you that the stargazing was likewise amazing from the beach. Matt, Stacey and I trekked down there one night (powered by a not inconsiderable amount of wine and bourbon) and laid back on the sand. It's rare for a New Yorker to see more than a couple of stars at once; to see clouds and bands of them - and to understand why we call it the Milky Way - is a rare treat, and one to be savored.

And we ate a lot, too. More on that soon.
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