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October 08, 2014
By Suzy Buckley Woodward | Food
Photo courtesy of Kyle Johnson

“Timing is everything,” says Michael Schwartz (above) when asked to explain the wild success—and longevity—of his Miami Design District bistro Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (130 NE 40th St.; 305-573-5550).

It opened in 2007, when the farm-to-table movement was in full swing and a mini backlash was brewing against the lavish and swank. “It was a moment when people were ready to redefine what fine dining was, and that it didn’t have to mean getting dressed up to go to a fancy place where you’d talk quietly.” Almost overnight, Schwartz’s menu and simple, loft-like room earned him praise. “I’m not going to say I knew Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton would spring up next to me,” laughs the 50-year-old, who went on to open Harry’s Pizzeria (3918 North Miami Ave.; 786-275-4963) and The Cypress Room (3620 NE Second Ave.; 305-520-5197). 

Though in the end, it’s not the zip code but rather his memorable dishes—especially the particularly outstanding côte de boeuf—that fueled the Schwartz frenzy.

October 07, 2014
By Suzy Buckley Woodward | Food
Photo courtesy of Kyle Johnson

Zuma

Boaters dock their crafts at EPIC Marina, then saunter into the insanely popular downtown Miami eatery, where the Japanese-inspired brunch includes a buffet of sushi, sashimi and maki rolls. For a main course, think miso-marinated black cod. Desserts (top) change every weekend. At 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way; 305-577-0277; zumarestaurant.com.

The Biltmore

Brunch at the Coral Gables hotel is a long-standing tradition for many Miamians. Request a table in the outside courtyard alongside the fountain. A dozen food stations offer pancakes, French toast, sushi, caviar, pasta, paella, lamb and even a chocolate fountain. At 1200 Anastasia Ave.; 305-913-3200; biltmorehotel.com.

The Restaurant at the Setai

Reserve a courtyard table, where a jazz band provides the aural backdrop at the South Beach hotel. Load a plate with everything from Belgian waffles to Wagyu sliders at food stations dedicated to French, Italian, Asian and Indian specialties. For dessert, try the mango dome with Valrhona milk chocolate. At 2001 Collins Ave.; 305-520-6400; thesetaihotel.com.

The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne

Book a table on the alfresco terrace overlooking the ocean at the resort’s restaurant, Cioppino. Delicacies range from made-to-order omelets and crepes to sushi, caviar, charcuterie and a selection of more than 20 desserts. At 455 Grand Bay Dr.; 305-365-4500; ritzcarlton.com.

August 28, 2014
By Jason Chen | Food, Home + Design

How Thomas Keller Scrambles Eggs
Photo courtesy of Serge Bloch

Thomas Keller first collaborated with All-Clad more than a decade ago, and now the brand is launching the new All-Clad TK collection together with the chef, who opened The French Laundry in Yountville, California, 20 years ago. The 15-piece collection features flared edges for drip-free pouring, universal lids (which sit flush against the rim of the cookware, so only three are needed across the entire collection) and a wider base for faster heating at lower temperatures. “We really wanted to make cookware more practical for the home cook,” says Keller. “There are fewer pieces because each item is multifunctional—it all makes much more sense.” One of the chef’s favorite recipes is scrambled eggs made in the two-quart saucier, which features a uniquely curved shape that allows him to whisk the eggs without having anything stick to the corners. A four-piece set begins at $800; williams-sonoma.com.


OEUFS BROUILLÉS (Scrambled Eggs) 

Serves Two

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 farm-fresh eggs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crème fraîche, such as Kendall Farms brand
  • Kosher salt, to taste 

DIRECTIONS
Break eggs into a mixing bowl and beat until homogeneous. (You can also use a blender.) Strain eggs through a sieve into All-Clad TK 2-quart saucier. Add butter and place pan over a medium-low flame. Continually whisk over heat until mixture begins to thicken and form fine curds that are still very creamy and not completely set. Whisk in crème fraîche and cook for a few seconds longer. Season to taste with salt. (Add freshly ground pepper or fresh herbs such as chives or dill, if desired). Spoon eggs onto warm plates and serve right away.

NOTE
I prefer to eat my eggs soft and somewhat creamy with small curds, but if you prefer your eggs with larger curds or more well done than I do, whisk less and cook more. Thomas Keller

August 27, 2014
By Jay Cheshes | Restaurants, Food

Milan's Hottest New Restaurant: Carlo e Camilla
Veronica Meewes / www.mywellfedlife.com

For years, Segheria, a former sawmill on the edge of Milan, was one of the city’s hottest venues for a fashionable event—for hosting exclusive, invite-only runway shows, art installations and A-list soirees (Sting performed at one of them), this was the place to book.

But this past spring, Tanja Solci, the freelance art director behind the unfinished industrial space, decided to make it far more accessible, and joined forces with top chef Carlo Cracco to open a restaurant, Carlo e Camilla.

The new spot features a tiled bar, crystal chandeliers, long communal wood tables and an open-door policy (walk-ins are welcome) that’s kept it packed every night. The offbeat food and cocktails often mirror each other—a poached egg with licorice and lavender might be paired with a bourbon cocktail with lavender smoke—making for a daring approach in this wine-obsessed city.

Carlo e Camilla’s eclectic yet minimal decor is also a real draw. While keeping the rawness of the space intact, Solci has filled her family’s once abandoned lumberyard with a striking mix of modern and flea market finds—a Ron Arad table lies beside antique steamer trunks that belonged to her grandmothers; Capellini chairs sit in front of old, mismatched Ginori plates. The mood boards she started with lean against a wall in the pebbled courtyard out front, showcasing in clippings and sketches how the whole look came to be. “My idea of modernity is respecting memories,” she says, “but also doing something up to date.” Via Giuseppe Meda 24; 39-2/837-3963, carloecamillainsegheria.it.

August 08, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Books, Food

dimsum.jpg
Photo courtesy of Kevin Koh / Lighted Pixels

In today’s world of gluten hostility, it almost feels rebellious to handle a cookbook exalting flour in all its glutinous forms. But chefs Janice Wong (2am:dessertbar in Singapore) and Ma Jian Jun have delivered exactly that in their collaborative (and now English-translated) effort, Dim Sum (Gatehouse). The subtitle itself, “A Flour-forward Approach to Traditional Favorites and Contemporary Creations,” might as well be a warning label.

Here, however, flour is key as the cause behind the consistency, appearance and flavor of each mouthwatering dumpling, bun and pastry featured. (There’s even a flowchart that explains the connection between them: high gluten = elastic skin = shao mai.) Consider the number of flour casings (“skins”) that are listed—crystal, elastic, chewy, matte, stretchable, transparent and sticky—not to mention the cloud-like buns and flaky pancakes that appear across these pages.

Equally important, however, is the latter half of the book’s subtitle, which declares the chefs’ quest to rethink traditional dim sum dishes for a modern palate and sensibility. While classic flavors are ever-present—shrimp, pork, crab and custard appear throughout—their inventive combinations of dill and turbot, foie gras and cognac, anchovy and scallop, tripe and yuzu have likely never appeared on the menu at your local Chinatown tea parlor.

The result is an elevated approach to an unctuous dining experience and a collection of 90 edibles as beautiful to look at as they are tasty to imagine. Though each dish’s recipe fits on a single page—the design and layout of the book are as modern as its culinary mindset—do not be fooled by the brevity. These dishes call for techniques, proper equipment and patience—and maybe a new appreciation for gluten—that will likely take time to master. gatehouse.com.

August 08, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Food

Subscription to Have: Try the World
Photo courtesy of Cory Pavitt

Subscription boxes may be a dime a dozen these days, but every so often something special arrives at our door. While we already call on Monthly Express for all our beauty needs, it’s Try the World we’ll turn to for gourmet goods, sourced from around the globe.

Every two months, members receive a new mint-green box filled with treats from a different city—Paris, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Istanbul and New Delhi, in that order. While the sequence stays the same, the products from each locale will differ each time a new box is shipped. (Don’t like a particular city? Feel free to skip it at any time. Or order each à la carte.)

Curated with the help of in-the-know local experts—chef Christophe Schmitt of Le Diane; French DJs Marvin and Oscar; and filmmaker Nicolas Slomka all contributed to the recent Paris selection—each box is an authentic collection of premium goodies not easily found anywhere else. (The latest Tokyo box, for example, came with Morinaga, an iconic caramel candy with over 100 years of history.)

Complete with a playlist, movie recommendations and local tips, Try the World does more than give a small taste of the world’s unique cuisines; it invites its travel-savvy members along for the ride from the comfort of their own kitchens. trytheworld.com.

July 01, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Food

 Grand Banks Oyster Bar
© Courtesy of Grand Banks

When it comes to summertime, New Yorkers cherish any amount of outdoor space, whether found on a rooftop, a patio or a wooden sailboat docked at Tribeca’s Pier 25.

The 142-foot schooner Sherman Zwicker, built in 1942, lowered its gangplank yesterday and welcomed the public aboard for exhibitions on maritime history, a curated lecture series on aquatic sustainability and an alfresco oyster bar called Grand Banks.

Developed by brothers Alex and Miles Pincus, founders of the sailing school Atlantic Yachting, and restaurateur Mark Firth, co-founder of Brooklyn favorites Diner (85 Broadway; 718-486-3077; dinernyc.com) and Marlow & Sons (81 Broadway; 718-384-1441; marlowandsons.com), the Sherman Zwicker project plays to a seafaring theme. That includes the menu, which, in addition to serving sustainably sourced oysters (Naked Cowboy, Malpeque, Kumamoto), offers seasonal dishes like scallop crudo, lobster rolls and grilled peaches and “nautically inspired” cocktails (many made using Navy strength rum) alongside beer and wine.

While the boat bar will be docked in Tribeca until October, Firth is considering taking the moveable feast elsewhere, with possible stops in Brooklyn, New Orleans and Key West. As he says, “Lets see where the wind blows us.” Pier 25, Hudson River Park; 212-960-3390.

June 27, 2014
By Robert Khederian | Food

Caviar, Redefined: Pointy Snout Caviar
Photo courtesy of Diggy Lloyd

Though just three years old, Pointy Snout caviar is attempting to redefine one of the culinary world’s most beloved luxuries. After enjoying roe one evening on a beach in Kenya, husband-and-wife team Michael Kline and Alexandra Du Cane were inspired to disprove caviar’s reputation as a purely formal indulgence. “[We want our customers to experience] it in unexpected places,” says Kline. “At the beach, in a bar with an artisanal cocktail, a special midnight feast!”

In June, Pointy Snout expanded its presence with three new lines—and three different price points—of sturgeon caviar that is farmed sustainably in northern California. Its most inexpensive offering, Caviar de Table, starts at $50 for a 20-gram tin, and the brand seeks to access a demographic that has never considered the delicacy an attainable luxury. “We want to reintroduce it to a new audience, a more youthful one, curious, engaged, thoughtful,” explains Du Cane. “We want them to experience these amazing flavors, so sensual, and have fun with them.”

We had a chance to taste Caviar de Table alongside the two higher-priced lines—Caviar Avant-Garde (a 90-day aged ossetra caviar) and Caviar Nouveau—and its bright, salty flavor complemented light bites and a sparkling glass of Champagne perfectly.

In short: Nobody will know it doesn't break the bank. Though at $450 for a 200-gram tin—the size we would reach for when wanting to share with a few friends—it's hard not to think of this as a splurge, especially with a younger crowd in mind. But when the same-sized tin of Caviar Avant-Garde rings in at $1,100, Caviar de Table seems like a delicious steal. store.pointysnout.com.

June 25, 2014
By Nicole Schnitzler | Food

Three Ideal Japanese Breakfasts
Maya Jimenez

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, but its benefits—not unlike those of sleep or hydration—are especially appreciated on the road. The Japanese version of the meal, with its satiating, sky-high protein content and lower sugar dosage, which help mitigate midday fatigue, is prized for being hearty, not heavy. And the menus are becoming increasingly prevalent at hotels worldwide. Here are three of the best.

Clement, The Peninsula, New York
Chef Brandon Kida brings his Japanese heritage to the menu at The Peninsula hotel’s brand-new Clement restaurant, where dishes composed of locally sourced ingredients receive an Asian flair, such as miso-accompanied Elysian Fields lamb or Barnegat Light scallops paired with yuzu and apple. Look for the same range at daybreak: A bento box of grilled sockeye salmon, tofu-rich miso soup and pickled vegetables is teamed with a tamagoyaki—a rolled, paper-thin Japanese omelet that is an alternative to the restaurant’s fluffy American version. At 700 Fifth Ave.; 212-903-3918; newyork.peninsula.com.

Le Cinq, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Executive chef Eric Briffard’s dedication to fresh, carefully sourced products helped earn this hotel restaurant two Michelin stars and a local following. The morning-time fare follows suit. One look at Briffard’s ten-plate Japanese breakfast reveals the hyper-specific stops around Paris he took to complete it: daikon turnips and spinach from a Japanese garden in Île-de-France; soya and rice from Japanese delicatessen Workshop Issé; and steaming pots of genmaicha from the tea room Jugetsudo, in the Sixth Arrondissement. At 31 Av. George V; 33-1/49-52-71-54; restaurant-lecinq.com.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Guests need not travel far from London’s Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park to get a taste of the world—or the talents of three different chefs. For traditionally inspired British bites, leave it to the team at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and the crew at Bar Boulud satisfies midday French-bistro cravings. But morning hunger pangs are eradicated in the lovely main dining room, thanks to executive chef Chris Tombling, whose Japanese breakfast is a tray of ten components, including ginger-laced tofu, dried seaweed and a detoxifying juice selection of spinach and pineapple or carrot and ginger. At 66 Knightsbridge; 44-20/72-35-20-00; mandarinoriental.com.

June 11, 2014
By Jessica Colley | Food

The Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams by The Gander
Jessica Colley

Cravings shift with the seasons, but comfort food always finds a home on the table. Pasta is a consistent crowd-pleaser—especially in the form of a revamped classic.

At The Gander (15 W. 18th St.; 212-229-9500; thegandernyc.com)—a new restaurant, located in New York’s Flatiron District, from chef Jesse Schenker of Recette—the ethos focuses on elevating familiar dishes. Schenker’s take on spaghetti with clams at the restaurant tosses housemade spaghetti with a lobster-clam sauce, three types of clams (razor, geoduck, littleneck), guanciale and braised fennel.

“This dish is one of my favorites on the menu,” says Schenker. “The adapted version here [easy for home cooks] works well using readily available items. It’s a great recipe for summer entertaining—it’s light and briny, and summer is prime season for fresh, succulent clams.”

Spaghetti with Clams
SERVES 4

1 lb spaghetti
16 oz clam juice
8 oz heavy cream
½ leek, chopped
½ Spanish onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed whole
20 littleneck clams, in shells
1 ½ cups dry white wine, such as a neutral Pinot Grigio
2 fennel bulbs, diced
2 cups dry vermouth
Pinch of fennel seeds

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Meanwhile, heat clam juice in a pan over high heat and cook for about 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally—making sure it doesn’t burn—until juice is reduced by half. Add the cream and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until viscous. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in another pan over high heat and add the leek, onion, garlic and clams. Add white wine and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leek, onion, garlic and clams, set aside in a bowl and reserve liquid in a separate bowl. Add 2 tbsps butter to the pan and add fennel, vermouth and fennel seeds. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce until sticky, about 40 minutes. Add pasta, clams and sauce to the pan with fennel, toss and serve.

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