food

Milk & Hops

Exterior, Milk & Hops

Wedged between a Starbucks and a Chase Bank is an unlikely interloper among the chain stores on lower Broadway: Milk & Hops, a sliver of a market and bar dedicated to all things cheese and beer.

This space has bottled beer and packaged food for sale on one side and a long marble bar running down the other. Here you can order up various spins on grilled cheese sandwiches, plus a selection of seasonally rotating cheese and beer. On a recent visit, there were some trusty cheese standbys like Bayley Hazen Blue and Kunik, but also a few rarities like Red Dragon, a Welsh cow’s milk cheese made with ale and studded with mustard seeds. (more…)

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Cocktail Recipe: Tequila ‘n’ Tears

Tequila n Tears Cocktail, Gastro Chic

wise man once said that we are only allowed to mope about the election until Thanksgiving. So make the most of the last few hours of moping – or steel yourself for right wing encounters – with this cocktail, which I originally developed as an election night “mazel tov cocktail” but have since renamed “tequila ‘n’ tears.” It involves a hefty amount of Mexican-made tequila, tropical fruit juices, lime for sourness, plenty of bitters, a salty rim and an edge of fiery spice.  (more…)

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Upland

Upland-10

Prolific restauranteur Stephen Starr has created many restaurants that loom large in our collective New York memory, but most are not memorable for the food. If you ever had a girlfriend who wanted a “Sex and the City” type experience when visiting New York, all you had to do was book a table at the latest Stephen Starr place. They were all consistently glitzy, sleek and populated with pretty young things. But now Starr has made an interesting match with chef Justin Smillie, who’s just as serious about food as Starr is about setting the scene.  (more…)

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Chilo’s

Taco Food Truck, Chilo's

This sunny corner spot by the owners of Mayfield, also in Bed Stuy, opened just in time for outdoor dining season. The main attraction is the back patio, which in Hot Bird fashion holds several picnic tables and a food truck. It’s not quite as large a space, so you may find yourself jockeying for position during peak hours, but think of it as an excuse to make friends with your neighbors.  (more…)

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The Map Is Back! Gastro Chic Restaurants and Bars

gastro chic restaurant map

The map is back! All the restaurants and bars reviewed on this site, all in one place. Click through here to find it on Google Maps, or look for it anytime in the right sidebar of the homepage of Gastro Chic.

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Maille Mustard Store, Upper West Side

Maille Mustard Store UWS

So apparently there’s this neighborhood in New York called the “Upper West Side.” Who knew? As a downtowner I rarely go above 23rd Street, but much to my surprise a whole crop of fancy stores has opened up on Columbus Avenue near the 72nd Street 2/3 express stop. Stroll past Maje, Theory and Reiss and you’ll find the newish Maille mustard store, a little slice of Paris in New York.  (more…)

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Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Open Kitchen view 2, Chefs Club

There’s something to be said for good bones. Restaurant decor can go a long way in transforming an odd space into a good one – see Claudette, for example – but when you start with something as architecturally impressive as the interior of the Puck Building, you have more leeway in what you can hang on the walls – and put on the menu. It’s an unusual concept to open a restaurant that’s not the vision of any one particular chef or restauranteur but a magazine. Fortunately Chefs Club by Food & Wine Magazine gets a certain gravitas from the surroundings, whereas otherwise it might seem utterly newfangled. (more…)

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Claudette

Exterior, Claudette NYC

So a new French bistro opened in the neighborhood. This wouldn’t be so remarkable if it weren’t for the closing of so many bistros in Greenwich Village and the East Village over the last decade – often to become a TD Bank – but Claudette, started by the guys who brought you perennially popular Rosemary’s, was big news from the start. “It’s right around the corner from your apartment,” my mom said when we dined here on a random Monday night, months after it opened. “You should make it your neighborhood place.”

“We haven’t been able to get in until now!” This was sadly true. (more…)

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Trattoria La Griglia

Grilled Branzino, Trattoria La Griglia

Milan might not be the place that springs to mind when you think of great seafood, but there are some surprisingly good fish restaurants in this city. One of them, and one of the best values, is Trattoria La Griglia on Viale Premuda.

(more…)

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Distilled

Distilled Sign, Distilled NY

A popular, relatively new place on the main drag of Tribeca, Distilled fills up on a weekday night with people who seem to have made it their neighborhood canteen. Indeed, Distilled’s motto is “redefining the public house.” With its soaring ceilings, big glossy dining room set with casual four-tops and a bar that runs along the entire side wall, it has the feel of a modern day dining hall. But this isn’t just the place to load up on drinks and grub on your way to somewhere else. Distilled has the kind of food that merits a special visit.  (more…)

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Santaella, San Juan, PR

Dining Room, Santaella

On our second trip to Puerto Rico, we stayed in San Juan, where you have not just the beautiful beaches of Isla Verde but also the sophisticated restaurants that are part and parcel of a life in a big city. San Juan, founded by the Spanish in 1521, is a rambling mash up of old and new. In the Santurce neighborhood surrounding La Placita, a crowd comes out to drink and dance salsa on a Friday night, spilling out of the Taburna Los Vazquez and onto the streets, where you can go buy a mojito or a greyhound made with freshly squeezed grapefruit and stroll through the plaza.  (more…)

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Recipe: Orange Bread

My aunt recently gave me a whole trove of recipes from my late grandmother. Hand-written on index cards, they contain some midcentury curiosities we would probably never want to eat again (deviled egg casserole, anyone?), but also a few gems that might otherwise be forgotten.

As soon as I came across this recipe for orange bread, I remembered eating it as a child in her kitchen, though that was a long time ago now. My grandmother had a meat grinder bolted to the kitchen table for grinding her own hamburger meat. This recipe used that grinder on orange rind to mince it into small pieces. (Now everyone would freak out about E. coli before doing that.) You can do the same with a food processor. Whether or not you want to “test for doneness with broom straw,” as her original recipe suggests, is up to you. (more…)

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Recipe: Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms and Leeks

One blustery day in Paris I was craving French comfort food – not so much a specific thing, but the idea of it. There would be chicken and leeks and mushrooms and a very French sauce.

We were renting an apartment with a kitchen, but I didn’t want to buy a bunch of groceries we’d just have to throw away later, so the recipe would have to be simple. So this is a chicken fricassee-slash-coq au vin blanc, made without chicken broth or lots of extraneous ingredients. Instead, white wine, butter and cream do all the work. Serve with rice for a comforting meal with a French accent.  (more…)

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Atrium Dumbo

Of all the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Dumbo is perhaps the most radically changed since the bad old days of early ’90s New York. Where there once were abandoned factories, artist squats and dark, deserted streets, there’s now a buzz of pedestrian activity, luxury condos and even a fancy florist taking up two storefronts. Atrium Dumbo is a sign of the times, bringing artisanal food and $13 cocktails to a once forlorn area right by the river.  (more…)

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Alder

When Wylie Dufresne’s 71 Clinton Fresh Food opened in 1999, it was notable – and notorious – for luring wealthy uptown diners to the Lower East Side, then the land of artists and immigrants. Blocks away from early hipster hangout Max Fish, Clinton Street was clogged with black Town Cars loitering outside while their well-heeled charges dined inside, drawn by news of Dufresne’s molecular gastronomy.  (more…)

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