Cocktail Hour: Pok Pok’s Hot Toddy

13 Apr

It’s finally spring, but that doesn’t mean you should forego Pok Pok’s Hot Toddy, which is smooth and comforting in any weather. Dangerously addictive, this medicinal libation can also be found at the Whiskey Soda Lounge next door.

Korean yuzu is the star here; you'll want to spoon the pieces out once the bourbon is all gone.

Korean yuzu is the star here; you’ll want to spoon the pieces out once the bourbon is all gone.

Pasta Night at Red Gravy

2 Apr

Every Monday and Tuesday, Red Gravy hosts Pasta Night, where those glorious hand-pulled noodles are $15 a pop and happy hour drink specials go on till the doors close. We couldn’t decide what to eat, so we ordered everything on the menu.

Orecchiette, laced with spicy lamb sausage and broccoli rabe, and garnished with a welcome heap of ricotta salata, is the one pasta on Red Gravy's menu that never goes out of season. And for good reason.

Orecchiette, laced with spicy lamb sausage and broccoli rabe, and garnished with a welcome heap of ricotta salata, is the one pasta on Red Gravy’s menu that never goes out of season. And for good reason.

Maccheroncini isn't just fun to say, it's also delicious to eat. Asparagus, leeks, and pecorino are balanced with house-cured pancetta and egg.

Maccheroncini isn’t just fun to say, it’s also delicious to eat. Asparagus, leeks, and pecorino are balanced with house-cured pancetta and egg.

The campanelle is by far the most surprising pasta on Red Gravy's current menu. Breadcrumbs and meyer lemon elevate the dish far beyond the conventional clam pasta.

The campanelle is by far the most surprising pasta on Red Gravy’s current menu. Breadcrumbs and meyer lemon elevate the dish far beyond the conventional clam pasta.

Taleggio ravioli is loaded with hearty pancetta and balanced with crushed walnuts and pear. Tip the bowl back and slurp; you'll be forgiven.

Taleggio ravioli is loaded with hearty pancetta and balanced with crushed walnuts and pear. Tip the bowl back and slurp; you’ll be forgiven.

Conchiglie is for green-lovers. And while verde is my favorite color, the charred broccoli pesto might be a bit too one-note for me. Still, the noodle--a cross between a chickpea and an olive--is a rarity.

Conchiglie is for green-lovers. And while verde is my favorite color, the charred broccoli pesto might be a bit too one-note for me. Still, the noodle–a cross between a chickpea and an olive–is a rarity.

Dish Tips: Pasta Night is every Monday and Tuesday, but Red Gravy changes their menu often. Head over before the campanelle and maccheroncini are out the door. The orecchiette, fortunately, is a mainstay at 151 Atlantic Avenue.

A Burger A Week: Anella’s Burger

29 Mar

There’s only one kind of burger at Greenpoint’s Anella, and it’s phenomenal. Spare to the point of elegance, this is all about the meat (a mix of short rib and brisket!). The only thing you need to add to this baby is the bacon jam (why wouldn’t you?), which might be the best two dollars you spend all day. Did we mention the patty is a mix of short rib and brisket?

As you can see, Anella is not shy with its cheddar. The house pickles and a few crisp leaves of verdant lettuce are welcome accompaniments for the fluffy, well-toasted brioche bun.

As you can see, Anella is not shy with its cheddar. The house pickles and a few crisp leaves of verdant lettuce are welcome accompaniments for the fluffy, well-toasted brioche bun.

Rating: 9.5. This burger gives fellow Brooklynite, Diner, some serious competition. The fries–the best we’ve had outside of Five Leaves–certainly don’t hurt. Neither does the aforementioned bacon jam, or the garlicky, whipped gribiche (if ketchup isn’t your thing) that arrives with them.

Cocktail Hour: Locanda Vini e Olii’s Sicilian Old Fashioned

29 Mar

Hidden inside “Lewis Drug Store” is a prescription for pure bliss: the Sicilian Old Fashioned from Locanda Vini e Olii.

Amaro Lucano elevates the typical Old Fashioned into something extraordinary. Old Overholt Rye, Muddled Orange, Peychaud's Bitters, and some brown sugar do the rest.

Amaro Lucano elevates the typical Old Fashioned into something extraordinary. Old Overholt Rye, Muddled Orange, Peychaud’s Bitters, and some brown sugar do the rest.

Brother’s Pizzeria in Elm Park, Staten Island

29 Mar

One of the perks of teaching in Staten Island is the pizza, and Brother’s Pizzeria on Port Richmond Avenue is our favorite parlor in town. One of the reasons why is its old-school charm. Another is the ability to get positively pie-happy by mixing and matching slices as diverse as a gooey, thick Sicilian with a thin and crispy Grandma. If that isn’t reason enough to eschew the no-slices offering at nearby Denino’s (a legend in its own right), there’s also the tattooed, back-slapping brothers behind the counter who might even tell you a joke while your pizza bakes in the oven.

Brother's is known for its pillowy Sicilian squares, and for good reason.

Brother’s is known for its pillowy Sicilian squares, and for good reason.

We suggest ordering spinach with your slice of white. Dollops of ricotta and a healthy sprinkling of garlic round out this excellent pizza.

We suggest ordering spinach with your slice of white. Dollops of ricotta and a healthy sprinkling of garlic round out this excellent pizza.

We've previously featured Brother's pink vodka slice on The Best Thing I Ate Last Week, but the glorious Grandma, pictured here, is no slouch: thin and crispy, with a smattering of fresh basil.

We’ve previously featured Brother’s pink vodka slice on The Best Thing I Ate Last Week, but the glorious Grandma, pictured here, is no slouch: thin and crispy, with a smattering of fresh basil.

If you're looking for cheese, look no further than the pan pie. This is the closest to deep-dish you can find without making the trip to Chicago.

If you’re looking for cheese, look no further than the pan pie. This is the closest to deep-dish you can find without making the trip to Chicago.

Thin but flexible enough to fold is the classic margherita, which is layered with fresh mozzarella and some more of that fresh basil.

Thin but flexible enough to fold is the classic margherita, which is layered with fresh mozzarella and some more of that fresh basil.

Brother's is old-school and so is its cheese pie. The sauce, which is slightly-sweet, is the real star here.

Brother’s is old-school and so is its cheese pie. The sauce, which is slightly-sweet, is the real star here.

Grade: Highly recommended, especially if you are with a group and want some variety. Nearby rival Denino’s only offers pizza by the pie.
Dish Tips: You can’t come here and not order a pink vodka slice, but stay for the others, particularly the Grandma and the Sicilian. If you’re hankering for the sandwich, the Chicken Parmigiana is out of this world.
Good For: A casual lunch or dinner. Brother’s is no-frills, but it is also cash-only. Bring those bills.

Cocktail Hour: Yerba Buena Perry’s Cholula

5 Feb

We’ve reviewed Yerba Buena Perry; we’ve also showcased its extraordinary dishes multiple times on our The Best Thing I Ate Last Week, but this West Village hangout has got some lethal cocktails, too. This week we feature the Cholula.

Mezcal is combined with combier, cucumber, agave, green pepper, and lime for a kick of smoky and sweet.

Mezcal is combined with combier, cucumber, agave, green pepper, and lime for a kick of smoky and sweet.

A Burger A Week: Rye’s Double Cheeseburger

2 Feb

Rye in Williamsburg serves up one of the best happy hour deals in Brooklyn: a $5 double cheeseburger.

The cheeseburger at Rye is not only delectable, it's also a serious bargain.

The cheeseburger at Rye is not only delectable, it’s also a serious bargain.

The two patties are slider-sized, medium-rare and accompanied by a smattering of pickles and endive, and a healthy coating of melted American, everything held together by a crunchy grilled bun. This is the American classic done right.

Rating: 8. Rye’s double cheeseburger is so good–and so cheap–you’ll probably want two. Happy hour at Rye is Monday through Friday, from 5:30 to 7pm.

Cocktail Hour: Tryst’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Ale on draft

24 Jan

Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida crafts some of the best beer on the east coast. Fortunately, Tryst’s excellent draft list is heavy on local flavor. This Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Ale is a marriage between a Belgian strong ale and a 1,000 pound pumpkin (you read that right), roasted and donated by the Atlantic Hotel.

The notes are plenty of pumpkin, spice, and something nice (vanilla?)--but the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Ale avoids most pitfalls of pumpkin beers (the ubiquitous chemically-laced, cloyingly sweet aftertaste) in favor of a  Belgian strong ale kick.

The notes are plenty of pumpkin, spice, and something nice (vanilla?)–but the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Ale avoids most pitfalls of pumpkin beers (the ubiquitous chemically-laced, cloyingly sweet aftertaste) in favor of a Belgian strong ale kick.

A Burger A Week: Tryst’s McTryst Burger

24 Jan

We’ve already featured Tryst’s delicious fish taco on our The Best Thing I Ate Last Week, but the McTryst burger ($8 during happy hour!) is no slouch.

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Tryst goes for classic over complex: the patty is adorned with only a wedge of fresh, crispy lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, and Beemster gouda. But the under-toasted sesame bun was lacking any crunch, and the prime beef was slightly overcooked and underseasoned, making for more than one dry bite.

photo-135

Rating: 5.5. As far as the classics go, Diner and Arthur’s Tavern still take the cake–or ketchup–but this happy hour offering is one of the best deals in Delray.

Cocktail Hour: Dada’s Cuban Cure

24 Jan

Delray Beach’s Dada is an ode to artistry in the kitchen and behind the bar. The restaurant began as a rum bar and it’s no surprise that the best drink on the extensive cocktail menu is the Cuban Cure.

Hibiscus and ginger add a complex spice to the grapefruit bitters and squeeze of lime. Sip this slow.

Hibiscus and ginger add a complex spice to the grapefruit bitters and squeeze of lime. Sip this slow.

Dada house-ages six different batches of rum.

Dada house-ages six different batches of rum.

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