Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's that time.

Well, here goes. After more than five years of writing, cooking, eating, and traveling, I've decided it's time to take a break from posting here on Queenie Takes Manhattan. I've had an incredible time sharing my culinary adventures with all of you since 2007, but I've decided to spend what little free time I have these days on a few other projects.

You can expect to see lots of me over on The Equals Project (I have my latest piece for them up in progress in another browser tab as I type), and hopefully there will be more still - eventually. In the meantime, I do hope you'll stay in touch via Twitter and Instagram, where I fully intend to continue spamming you all with my Saturday morning cappuccinos and Friday night Manhattans.

So long for now, kids - and thank you for reading!

Much love,

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?
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