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Posts tagged ‘NYC Restaurants’

Healthy, Delicious, and Dangerously Addictive: Hampton Chutney Co.’s Dosa

Seasonal Dosa at Hampton Chutney Co.

It was a gray February morning, a Sunday. It was wet– whether it was snow or freezing rain I couldn’t tell, but I walked down the cobblestones of Prince Street hoping I could avoid a fall long enough to reach an eating establishment without the usual weekend brunch wait.

Between Broadway and Lafayette, I recognized the familiar grass-green sign hanging above the Hampton Chutney Co., and shuffled a bit faster to get inside.

The Hampton Chutney Co.’s original location is in Amagansett, NY, and while in high school, especially when heading out to Montauk to surf in the summer (or working next door at the surf shop), Hampton Chutney was always one of my favorite spots to stop for lunch. While the Soho location doesn’t have the charm of the swinging screen door, or outdoor picnic benches, and omnipresent wind-chimes– it does have the same mellow meditation soundtrack of indian chants, and of course, what is really important, the ever-so-addicting dosa.

A dosa is an Indian take on the crepe, made with rice batter and black lentils. It is very light, and more crisp than the French classic– but the inside is still slightly tender and chewy. It is filled with a variety of savory items, the most traditional is the Masala Dosa ($7.95) with spiced potatoes– but Hampton Chutney offers many combinations like Avocado, Tomato, arugula, Jack Cheese, and Grilled Chicken ($11.95), a Seasonal Dosa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Portobello Mushroom, arugula, and Jack Cheese ($10.95), they even have a Breakfast Dosa made with Two Eggs, Spinach, Roasted Tomato, and Jack Cheese ($8.95).

Each Dosa is served with a choice of Cilantro, Curry, Mango, Tomato, Peanut, or Seasonal Pumpkin chutney. These chutneys are also available for purchase, and are a really great way to spice up weekday lunches on sandwiches and salads, or even used alone as a dip. Out of habit, no matter which dosa I get, I always seem to go with the Mango Chutney. It is the perfect blend of sweet and tart, with just a little heat. With the flavors in the Seasonal Dosa, in hindsight, I should have gone for a more mild flavor, that would have complemented the flavors a bit more (maybe the pumpkin?).

Daily soups are also offered, as well as the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had (on sourdough with tomato and avocado… yum!). And as for drinks, they don’t offer bloody marys on Sundays, but I was happy with their warming Cardamom Coffee with more than a hint of spice. They also have delicious Chai Tea (iced and hot), and Mango Lassis, a light yogurt drink with mango that is a meal in itself. The freshly baked cookies (especially the White Chocolate Macadamia) where also a favorite of my friends and I, although I didn’t get one during this visit.

Any quick and inexpensive meal that can transport me back to a summer afternoon in the Hamptons in the middle of February is certainly one I’d recommend to anyone, whether they are familiar with the Hamptons location or not. With so many variations, the dosa makes a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack that is super healthy and offers something unique if you are tired of sandwiches and wraps. There is also a location on the Upper West Side on Amsterdam Avenue between 82nd and 83rd, and both NYC locations deliver.

The Hampton Chutney Co.
68 Prince St (Between Broadway and Lafayette)
464 Amsterdam Ave. (Between 82nd and 83rd)
Amagansett Square, Main St, Amagansett, NY


Upcoming Events in NYC

There are a few really interesting foodie events coming up in New York City starting tomorrow, all featuring some really amazing local talents, and plenty of cocktails, beer, and meat.

Sunday, January 22nd:

Cochon 555
Only a select number of tickets ($125) remain for this event, but it sounds like a really great way to spend your Sunday. Five chefs (Bill Telepan, Peter Hoffman (Savoy), Brad Farmerie (Public), George Mendez (Aldea), and Sean Rembold (Marlow & Sons), will each prepare a different breed of heritage pig, and the winner will go on to the national tournament. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Brewery will be serving beer, Murray’s Cheese will also be there, and according to NYMag there will be wine, oysters, and caviar as well.

Tuesday, January 25th:

Good Spirits at Le Poisson Rouge
From 5-8pm Edible Magazine will host this seasonal cocktail pairing event where they have matched “mixology-minded chefs and food artisans” with “spectacular, storied spirits.” Tickets are $40 and available here.

Hidden Treasures from the Cellar, Vintage Beers from Brooklyn Brewery at Back Forty:
Back Forty(190 Ave B at 12th st) will be hosting Brooklyn Brewery for a special pairing event featuring some of their vintage unreleased brews. The menu is available on the restaurant’s website, and tickets are available here for $103 (including tax and tip).

Wednesday, January 26th

SLOW U: Good Meat with Author Deborah Krasner at Brooklyn Kitchen

Deborah Krasner author of “Good Meat” the “The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat” will talk about the good meat movement and how it impacts the environment, our diet, and the way we cook. Tom Mylan of the Meat Hook will do a beef sashimi tasting to demonstrate the qualities of different meat cuts. Proceeds of the event will benefit Slow Food NYC, and Krasner will be signing copies of her new book which features over 200 nose-to-tail recipes.

6:30 pm at Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets $25, available online.

Candle Cafe: Vegan Farm to Table on the Upper East Side

Soba Noodle Salad with sprouts, shiitakes, edamame, carrots, daikon, snap peas, red cabbage, and sesame seeds with a creamy wasabi dressing

Sandwiched between Le Steak on one end of the block, and J.G. Melon (home to arguably the best burgers in Manhattan) on the other, is the Candle Cafe one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city. The cafe is always very crowded, and pretty noisy (the constantly running juicer in front of the restaurant accounts for most of this), but the healthy, tasty dishes in this casual dining spot are well worth a few minute wait.

There is one menu for both lunch and dinner that changes seasonally at this farm-to-table restaurant, but some items are staples year round like the delicious Mezze Plate with hummus, quinoa tabouli, olives, warm parata bread and homemade wonderfully tart and sweet lemon-date chutney. Daily specials are always offered, including one or more soups, a salad, and a wrap (these specials are updated everyday on the website if you’re ordering take-out or delivery).

BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potato Sandwich with wilted kale, grilled red onion, and a shallot sage aioli

There is a great selection of salads ranging from a vegan take on the classic caesar salad, to Asian-inspired flavors in the Soba Noodle Salad pictured at the beginning of the post. There are also several sandwiches, including my favorite, the BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potato Sandwich. This savory sandwich is served warm, and has a great blend of texture and flavor. The shallot sage aioli complements without overpowering, and I always find myself using all of it, probably counteracting anything that was healthy about the dish.

Heartier entrees such as a stir fry, veggie lasagna, and pomegranate Grilled Tofu with garlic-shallot-potato mash, sautéed greens and crispy sage with roasted vegetable gravy and parsley oil are available and are all priced under $20.

The juice bar also serves up several different varieties of fresh juices and smoothies which are available to-go. Wine and beer is served at the cafe as well.

While this type of cuisine is not for everyone, even many skeptical friends of mine have really enjoyed the creative use of vegetarian proteins. The chefs have done an amazing job of giving the soy products on the menu texture and flavor beyond your average tofu– but the veggie-centric selection may be a bit daunting for a date with your burger-loving boyfriend (right Annie and Billy?) The smell of wheat-grass and ginger when you enter may turn some off from the start.

If you are interested in the Candle Cafe’s cuisine but are looking for a more upscale dining experience, try their sister restaurant Candle 79 just around the corner. Worlds apart from the bright lights, chatter, close tables, and hum of the juicer, Candle 79 offers a quiet, elegant atmosphere, with many more menu choices (still 100% vegan).

Candle Cafe
1307 Third Ave (Between 74th & 75th st)
(212) 472-0970

Candle 79
154 e. 79th st (at Lexington)
(212) 537-7179

The Dragon Bowl at Angelika Kitchen: So Perfect it Gets it’s Very Own Post.

Photo: NYMag

“Oh, you’re one of those people.” My Chef Instructor replied, and rolled his eyes at me, after I told him how excited I was for salad day at the French Culinary Institute. After bechamel, hollandaise, and duck confit, I was craving some serious green-age. Maybe it is weird, but by the end of the week especially, I am always craving something heavy on the vegetables. Angelika Kitchen is one of the oldest, and probably my favorite vegan restaurant in the city. With a diverse and creative menu, always focusing on seasonal produce, I (almost) always find myself ordering the same thing. Sure, it is a little boring in comparison to the some of the dinner specials– like the “Nut A-Stew About Nothing” an African inspired ground nut stew featuring roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green peppers, turnips & tomatoes, simmered with ground peanuts, coriander, cinnamon, cumin & cayenne; topped with spiced tempeh croutons, & served with a brown rice-teff blend. But, still, I remain faithful to their famed Dragon Bowl.

Dragon Bowl

The Dragon Bowl is composed of rice, beans, tofu, sea vegetables & steamed vegetables; and served with your choice of dressing. The dressings include the House dressing, a puree of tahini, scallions & parsley, Tangy Basil, Black Sesame– with wasabi, garlic &toasted sesame oil, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Creamy Carrot– with ginger & dill, and Brown Rice Gravy– Brown rice flour roux with a savory blend of herbs, spices & tamari. My favorite is the Black Sesame, a really garlicky delicious mix that goes really well with the asian-inspired dish.

The veggies change seasonally, the greens are usually kale, chard, or bok choy, and last night the vegetables were a blend of winter squashes. The regular portion is just $13, and is the perfect amount of food if you’re hungry (if you’re really hungry try some of their breads and spreads). The bowl also is available in a half portion, which especially if your party gets some appetizers, is the perfect amount of food, and only $9. The Dragon Bargain ($18) and Wee Dragon Bargain ($14) include the bowl (of half bowl) plus a cup of soup and a bread and spread.

Angelika Cornbread and Tahini Spread

It makes a great lunch, or the perfect dinner– especially after the work week and sometimes not so great eating habits. My friend Annie and I enjoyed a meal there on Saturday, and she was so happy to have some nutrients after a day stuck is the office surrounded by sweets. Another plus is the restaurants BYOB policy– it makes it a great spot for a reasonable meal (that won’t bog you down, or put you in a food coma) before going out. Though no reservations are accepted I’ve never had to wait more than 15 minutes, even on a busy weekend.

Angelika Kitchen is located on 12th st between 2nd and 1st avenues. It is such a convienient location, and since I am always in the area, I stop in pretty often. Next time you’re in the area, I would make it a point to check it out, even if you are not a vegetarian, for a delicious Dragon Bowl, or any of their other menu items.

The Great NYC Shuck ‘N Suck aka The Tale of the 72 Oysters.


Me, Stephen, and Jamie at the Shuck 'n Suck

“When you get to three dozen, no matter how good you feel, stop.” These were the words of advice Sebastian, the chef at Planet Bliss had given me when I told him I was going to an all-you-can-eat oyster festival. Stephen and Jamie (of laughed on the cab ride down to the South Street Seaport. 36 oysters… that was going to be easy.

To kick off the fourth annual NYC Food Film Festival, Atlantic Grill, Jimmy’s no. 43, Patron Tequila, Ultimat Vodka, teamed up with the other festival sponsors (The James Beard Foundation, Whole Foods, Edible Manhattan…) to hold The Great New York City Shuck ‘N Suck last night, which featured 4 short films about the bivalves, unlimited cocktails crafted by mixologist Allen Katz, the Shuck N’ Suck contest with local experts, and of course, oysters.

Because we could not enter the actual contest, we decided to compete amongst ourselves. We devised a game-plan that involved a loop beginning with the bar, circling through the oyster selection, then right back to the bar to start all over again. Jamie and I both started with the Green Preservation cocktail with Patron tequila and fresh cucumber (and you thought I would have learned by now how well tequila and oysters mix…), while Stephen started with the vodka-based Watermelon Mint cocktail.

First we tackled some Malpeque Oysters from Prince Edward Island. Sweet and medium-sized, these first few went down incredibly easy. Then there were the Watch Hill oysters from Rhode Island. These were a little larger, and a lot more briney .

Refreshing the Watch Hill oyster supply

We looked on impressed with the speed and apparent ease employees from Jimmy’s no. 43, and the Atlantic Grill, shucked the oysters for the anxious crowd. We never had to wait more than a minute to load up our paper containers with more delicious oysters.

The Beau Soleil oysters from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, were extremely tiny and sweet. These slow-growing oysters were tender, and tasty, and looked at if they would be impossible to open without breaking their delicate shells.

Opening Beau Soleil oysters from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

Next there were Widow’s Hole oysters from Greenport, NY, which were featured in a film later in the evening as well as Fanny Bays from British Columbia that were featured in the film, The Perfect Oyster.

By the time we were on our third lap, we switched to the Harpoon Brewery I.P.A, and began to slow down. We realized we had only been down at the Water Taxi Beach for about twenty-minutes, and had already consumed at least a dozen oysters each. We continued on. By the time we got to the last table of Malpeque’s, we were dripping with sweat, brine, and defeat. It became very apparent we were in need of some sustenance, and we had just overheard the last of the Bacon-Wrapped Fried Oysters were gone. We sampled some Roasted jalapeno Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Oyster Grits, and Tuna Tartare on Rice Crackers, but without saying anything, we could tell by the vaguely pained look on each of our faces, it was time to sit down and start counting.

The final count was 22 for me, and I must say, more than a full dozen short of that 3-dozen mark, I was feeling it. As the sun began to set, the oysters continued to be piled up on platters of melting ice cubes, for the hungry crowd. We watched the actual Shuck ‘N Suck contest, where pairs of two professionals (Jimmy Carbone from Jimmy’s no. 43 was in it) shucked, and sucked, 24 oysters as fast as they could. What we did in 30 minutes, they did in approximately 2. Once Carbone was declared the winner, and the audience began to prepare for the films, we decided it was time to get some land food. Though the festival was fun while it lasted, there was a lack of any edibles that would balance a stomach full of raw oysters. And thus, we left, conquered by the tiny mollusk, and ventured elsewhere for a steak.

Two Boys–and Dinner at Northern Spy Food Co.– a Restaurant that Doubles as a Market

Source: Northern Spy Food Co.

Stephen was having a hard time trusting me in making the decision about where we would go to eat this week after taking him to Candle Café, a delicious, but 100% vegan eatery on the Upper East Side. The name Northern Spy might have thrown us both off a bit at first, but we chose the hybrid market/restaurant on 12th street after I proved to Stephen that they did in fact serve meat, namely pork meatballs.

We would be meeting Max, a CIA grad who studied under Gordon Ramsey for two-years, and is currently working at Eleven Madison Park—the Flat-Iron restaurant lead by James Beard Foundation award-winning chef David Humm’s vision of creating sophisticated modern take on market-driven French cuisine.

The sun had mostly gone down by the time we showed up, and Northern Spy was extremely busy. The front of the buildings composition of narrow windows and a wood-framed glass door was charming, and gave us, as well as any passersby a clear peek into the restaurants warm, simple interior.

Max had already obtained a beer (four beers are served on tap for $6 a pint), and once he joined us we were immediately seated by the windows, along the handcrafted blue-hued benches. Stephen and I went for the two Long Island bottled beers available, Blue Point Toasted Lager, and the Southampton Double White ($5 each).

Our waitress quickly went through a long list of specials all featuring local harvests. The rest of the menu also featured only produce that was in season and could be bought at local farms and markets, as well as local farm-raised chicken, and pork. For appetizers the menu featured three varieties of salad, as well as one listed in the specials. Max chose the House-made Head Cheese ($12) for us to start with, made with pastured pork, and served with pickled vegetable salad, Dijon mustard, and crostini. The appetizer came out quickly, but it took a few minutes to get a set of bread plates for sharing. The head cheese itself was tasty, but the crostini was a bit too toasty and thinly sliced to eat easily.

House-made head cheese

For entrees Stephen and I both decided on the simple Chicken and Egg Sandwich, a delicious combination of crispy chicken thigh, poached egg, and chimichurri on a soft, squishy, artisan roll. Accompanied by fresh greens in light lemony vinaigrette for ($12) the sandwich was perhaps a better choice for lunch, but overall very good. The chicken was moist with a perfectly browned seasoned skin intact, the egg was not so runny that it made it difficult to pick up and eat, and the chimichurri provided great flavor.

Front, Pork Special, Behind a glimpse of the Chicken and Egg Sandwich

Max chose the Pork, which is prepared differently daily. Today it was crispy pork belly served over a bed of arugala with red-potatoes. He enjoyed the dish, but felt it could be a bit crispier, and a little saltier.

We spoke at length about how each of us felt about a restaurant who’s primary selling point is that it uses exclusively local food and produce, and it was clear that Max wasn’t sold. But he did agree that what made Northern Spy Food Co. unique and worth trying was the market behind the bar. Shelves are lined with treats from New York purveyors, some used in the dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. McClure’s Pickles can be purchased there, as well as Early Bird Granola, and many other items (Wild Hive Polenta, North Fork Potato Chips, Liddabits Dark Chocolate Sea-Salt Caramels, Katchkie Farms Tomato Jam, and many more.)
Source: Northern Spy Food Co.

While we disagreed about some things, Max has an incredible knowledge of food, and it made for an interesting dinner. One thing I certainly came away with from with two food-loving boys is you really cannot forget about the old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Talking about duck fat, and braised meat seemed to get both the guys doe-eyed and salivating, so girls take note.

Just six months after opening, it seems as though Northern Spy has begun to establish itself, at least in certain circles of diners. I was impressed with the simple yet delicious combinations of seasonal ingredients and look forward to trying it again in July once more produce becomes available. The fare is not overly creative, or pretentious in any way, and very reasonably priced (the most expensive meal is the Roasted Bobo Chicken at $18). Overall, I would recommend it to anyone interested in eating locally, healthfully, or are looking to find some amazing food products from the area for yourself or as a great gift.

Check out the entire current menu here.

Also, stay tuned for updates on Stephen’s Blog Eternally Hungry starting up this summer.

Upper East Green Eats

Vegan Friendly Steam-Table and Mezze Buffet at the Green Bean Cafe

Every morning on my walk to work, I pass Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and even Subway (now offering a breakfast menu). I walk into my healthcare job and see co-workers and patients with pastries, bacon egg and cheeses, buttered rolls, and sugar-filled juices and drinks. What ever happened to breakfast being the most important meal of the day?

For those of us in the neighborhood, who are starved for time, and something nutritious for breakfast, check out the Green Bean Cafe on 75th and York. Opening at 7am and delivering free of charge (within a 7 block radius) this tiny eatery offers a great variety of healthy breakfast (and lunch) options.

The Green Bean Cafe (75th and York Ave)

Organic smoothies ($4.50-$7.00) like the Jolly Green Giant (Apple, Banana, Pineapple, Kale, and Spinach–blended) to the Golden Ticket (Banana, Pineapple, Peach, Mango, Coconut water, Raw chocolate powder) there are delicious combos full of fresh fruit and other add-ins (bee pollen, spirulina, flax seed, whey or hemp protein, and many more) that will keep your energy level up for hours.

Organic Juices are also offered, and they have a great variety of both fruit and vegetable blends, as well as pre-bottled fresh squeezed OJ for those who need something to grab-and-go.

Also ready-made are Brown Egg Wraps with organic eggs, peppers, potato, onion, diaya cheddar, and salsa– a nutritious alternative to that Egg McMuffin, or Sausage Egg and Cheese, and just as fast.

My favorite are the amazing Fresh Baked Muffins, most are gluten-free, dairy-free, or completely vegan. Just $2.50 each, there is a great selection (Banana Choc. Chip, Carrot Raisin, Blueberry Crumb, Raspberry Almond), and if you get there early enough they will still be warm.

They also have house-made Raw Maple Granola served with fruit and nut milk for $5.50 and Organic Hot Oatmeal ($2.00).

The space is very small, and often crowded, but cozy, warm and welcoming even in a rush. I love getting a muffin and coffee there in the morning, or grabbing a Avocado and Tempeh BLT ($6.75) for lunch.

View the entire menu here. And make sure you stop in the Green Bean Cafe next time you’re on the Upper East Side for fresh healthy food, and something a little more unique for breakfast and lunch in a neighborhood of bagels and toss-your-own salad bars.

Inside the Green Bean Cafe (

New Taste of the Upper West Side

The following article from today’s New York Post features Chef John Fraser (of Dovetail) who will be part of a panel discussion this Friday (May 21st, 2010) morning from 9:30-11am at the Museum of Natural History, along with Food Network’s Ellie Krieger, Kate Krader (Food & Wine Magazine), Bill Telepan (Telepan), Lee Schrager (Food Network Wine & Food Festival), Steve Cuozzo (NY Post), and Dr. Joel Fuhrman a nutritional medicine expert. The panel will discuss healthy eating, buying local, school lunch programs, and restaurants on the Upper West Side. For more information, and a list of other events (such as the Best of the West tasting on Saturday featuring over 40 of the Upper West Side’s most celebrated chefs) visit the New Taste of the Upper West Side‘s website.

Article source= the New York Post, May 19th 2010