Walking around all day sampling pickles, chocolates, crackers, cheeses, sauces, and more you would think one would get "full". But despite all the tasting, we made time to dine at some of New York's unique restaurants after a long day of shopping at the Specialty Food Show. Most came on recommendation - others by invitation - but all were enjoyed!
Prune | 54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003 | (212) 677-6221
Our friends Bonnie Storm and Nena Talcott of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Napa Valley invited us to an AMAZING meal at Prune on Saturday evening prior to the start of the Summer Fancy Food show. We always have a great time dining with Bonnie and Nena, as they are true foodies and oenophiles, but our meal at Prune ranks right at the top of good times shared! James Beard award-winning Chef/owner Gabrielle Hamilton turns out imaginative dishes in a small, relaxed space that satisfied our need for a new food experience yet left us feeling as if we had just had a great meal in the home of friends. Perfectly prepared lamb chops and a buttery pork scaloppini were the main course hits, but the star of the evening was dessert. Bread & Chocolate alone would bring me back. Toasted rustic bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with slightly melted Callebaut chocolate was served warm and finished with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel. Can't wait to try our own version of this one at home...we'll be using Grove 45, of course!
Roberta's Pizzeria Brooklyn | 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 | (718) 417-1118
We love all things Brooklyn and ANY excuse to explore the Brooklyn food scene puts us in a VERY good mood! We hit the jackpot on our latest visit. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce hosted the first Brooklyn Eats, a food and beverage trade show for Brooklyn producers and a jackpot for those of us in search of hot new products to stock our shelves. Visits with old friends from Owl's Brew and Tumbador Chocolate led to great new connections and great new finds. And we fell in love with Steve & Andy's organic candied citrus peels... a great addition to trail mix, cupcakes, fresh fruit salads or as a snack straight out of the bag.
To top off a near perfect day, we shared an unbelievable meal at Roberta's with friends and fellow foodies Kitty Keller (KL Keller Foodways, Oakland, CA) and Linda Sikorski (The Pasta Shop, Oakland, CA). Our adventurous foursome started with an appetizer of fluke - a light, summery dish prepared with English peas and fresh mint. Next we moved on to 'Nduja..... a spreadable, spicy salami from the Calabrian region of Italy. Thick slabs of rustic bread tempered the heat of the 'Nduja, and multiple glasses of chilled wine and cold beer did their job in cooling us off. Finally, as Roberta's is known as a pizzeria, we felt obligated to share one of their famous pies. We devoured the Fennel Fantasy...a savory pie of melville, pork sausage, fennel & pistachio.
Great food, great drink, great friends... in a great atmosphere. It doesn't get much better, and we can't wait to return!
Uncle Boon's | 7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 | (646) 370-6650
David Porat of Chelsea Market Baskets hosted a lovely dinner for a group of foodie friends, and we were thrilled to be included. From the street, Uncle Boon's is quite unassuming. Thank goodness for David's keen palate and eclectic taste that led us to this hidden treasure! David was able to procure the back room of the restaurant as a sort of private dining room for his guests. The atmosphere was incredible and truly felt like stepping into someone's personal study, the walls filled with artifacts and photos of a life well-traveled. Dinner was served family style, giving everyone an opportunity to try a variety of Uncle Boon's Thai flavors. A highlight of the meal was the grilled blowfish tail, which nearly everyone was trying for the first time. The Kai Yang Muay Thai (half rotisserie chicken) was also a favorite and the various dipping sauces offered a range heat and sweetness, depending on your preference. Khalum Pli (rotisserie cabbage) was quite spicy, but balanced with mild coconut flavors (and a swig of ice cold beer). We can't wait to return and order everything else on the menu!