Let me start by saying I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian. I prefer to think of myself as a flexitarian. Basically, I'll eat what I damn well please pending it doesn't kill me. I happen to enjoy vegan and vegetarian based dishes; I find them flavorful, creative, and healthy. More and more diners across the world are going meatless (no one forgot about you, Keto) for various reasons and certain cities like Austin, Portland (OR) and Philadelphia are excelling in meatless dishes. For months I'd been hoping to explore Philadelphia's booming meatless dining scene and I recently had forty eight hours to make it happen. I was hoping to try at least four places but due to technological difficulties and pure popularity I was only able to visit two (the best two): Vedge and Charlie Was a Sinner.Read More
In those frosty few weeks we had here in the Tri-State area I managed to visit some new and new to the area restaurants. Only one night did do cold prevail over new and delicious food. All I can say is that if this is how 2018 is starting I can't wait to see where it goes!Read More
Just when you thought there couldn't be any more pumpkin shenanigans I come up with this. It's a riff on one of my favorite scone recipes and is basically a pumpkin custard. Delicious any time, but my favorite is dessert; top this with some whipped cream and caramel and call it an evening!Read More
Going to college in rural New England was when I first learned that people went out to eat for breakfast. That sticky diner tables (which I mostly frequented in the late evening hours) probably became sticky because people consumed waffles doused in syrup at normal breakfast hours. That restaurants other than diners actually served breakfast. But upon my return to Westchester I dolefully discovered that there was not quite the plethora of restaurants churning out breakfast that I thought.Read More
Despite this endless summer we've been having I've been craving mushrooms. Like sauteed, tender, meaty mushrooms. I've also been really into baked pasta since they provide ample leftovers, which is clutch during coaching season. Ergo, I want mushroom lasagna.Read More
The title of this recipe alone has so much good stuff going on I don't know where to start. I suppose why I made it is as good a place as any. The lovely Christie invited the girls over to christen her cozy new patio and usher in fall this past week. While it would be nice to survive on wine and s'mores alone, we were going to need something more. To relieve our gracious host of at least one burden I offered to bake an entree.Read More
I've been fortunate to travel to some fun places across the globe but one of the more wild ones was my recent trip to Iceland. It's a place where you'll see a volcano out one car window and a glacier out another. And it's possible it might be raining on just one side of said car. A place with wild landscape and weather would, of course, have wild food. There are some great places in Reykjavik and beyond to sample both modern and traditional takes on Icelandic cuisine.
Walking around charming Reykjavik we discovered that there was more than fermented shark and Brennevin (Black Death liquor) to the belly of this small island country, starting with the dairy. When I went to Ireland I thought the butter there was great. Definitely not "American" but very good. Butter in Iceland? BEST THING EVER. By far the creamiest, most golden spread out there. And if the butter is good of course the whipped cream is too. Not overly sweet but definitely dense, it topped everything from my hot cocoa to ice cream to cake. This strong foundation in dairy is probably why Iceland has the world's best kept pastry industry. We visited Braud and Co and Sandholt, the top rated bakeries in Reykjavik and when I tell you we had three croissants or cinnamon rolls a day it's not an exaggeration. While Sandholt made a pistachio apricot pastry that was unique to their ovens and the most delicious item there, Braud and Co was where most of our money went.
Walking into the (purposely) graffitied building you find yourself in a small room with a single wooden counter, small refrigerated case, and a window into the production area. Depending on the time of day the baked good changed. My darling caramel granola roll (I KNOW) was only available in the afternoons. There were other flavors available, including one that used a licorice flavor, an Icelandic favorite. Our mornings were full of shatteringly delicious croissants and doughy cinnamon laden pastries (they called them rolls but they weren't quite shaped like one-who cares, they were fab). The takeaway here? If I lived in Iceland, I'd weigh a gazillion pounds.
Our dinners varied from the modern take on Icelandic favorites at ROK to the uber traditional Cafe Loki with platters of smoked meats and rye bread. ROK is new and trendy perfect in every way. Dishes like lamb chops with beet puree were artistically presented and the other dishes like scallop ceviche, roasted cod and potatoes, and "the best" tomato soup were inventive takes on staple foods. Bonus: a kick ass basil lemonade.
Cafe Loki is a simple cafe that serves combination style meals and is the best place to try fermented shark since they offer a "tasting" size for five dollars. Most other places have you commit to the full plate and trust us, you do NOT want the full plate. Loki's best item is their rye bread ice cream topped generously with whipped cream and caramel. The flavor of the ice cream is two fold: the pre-established dairy and the packed flavor of rye bread. I wasn't sure what to expect, maybe vanilla ice cream with chunks of bread? Nope, the whole darn ice cream is made of the bread, you can taste everything down to the texture of the crumbs.
Islenski Barinn was the last stop on our five day adventure. A good dining spot with enough options to please most appetites and price points. The menu is updated Icelandic pub fare with steaks, burgers, and sausages served in hefty portions. My reindeer burger was a lovely medium and, obviously, reminded me of venison, perhaps a bit gamier. The patty itself was an interesting consistency as the meat did not appear ground (or at least not that finely), which I think contributed to taste.
Our biggest surprise was the thick and savory lamb goulash from the rest stop/gas station in Vik. Side note: Would highly recommend finding lodging or camping in Vik for a night to have better access to points East. The food service was in the back corner, a completely wooden interior with decor from the 80's. The cook space is behind the counter and had multiple pots steaming away, contents eventually loaded into the front display case of hot trays. Usually when one thinks of goulash it is not visually appealing. However, it was BECAUSE this goulash was visibly appealing that we ordered some. Lamb unlike any other was tenderly swimming among potatoes and bay leaves in a thick, savory, brown sauce. It's your slow cooker dream come true.
Good food is not hard to find in Reykjavik and beyond. In fact, I'd consider the capital city a foodie destination. The best part of Iceland is that it's a place where the beauty and untamed elements of the land are evident in each bite. I can't wait to go back! Until the next dish, ciao!
If you're following me on the 'gram then you already know most of what I'm about to say. If not, I'm here to fill you in on my awesome few weeks working in Sonoma County, CA.
I spent the end of June/beginning of July working for Benziger Winery to learn more about sustainability. Their steadfast commitment to the land and community was the inspiration I needed, both personally and professionally, to become a more productive, sustainable member of society.Read More
I haven't posted since Italy, I know. I also haven't made anything or been anywhere worth sharing (California aside) until now. I've had this baguette in my freezer for weeks and finally decided to put it to good use. Great use, actually.Read More
Steph and I spent months on end planning our 11 day trip that covered Rome, Siena, Florence and Chianti. I would highly recommend traveling end of March to beginning of April since the crowds were large but manageable. The weather was also perfect: mid forties to fifties at night and mid sixties during the day. No need for layers but, man, get yourself some inserts for your shoes because we walked between 8 and 11 miles a day! Makes me feel less bad for eating my face off.Read More