Tag Archives: burgers

Swedish Midsummer Festival in Battery Park

Every year the Swedish Embassy takes over a slice of Battery Park for a huge midsummer festival complete with a maypole, Swedish folk band, dancing, Swedish meatballs, pickled herring, and aquavit. Even if you aren’t remotely Swedish, it’s worth heading down here on the Friday of the solstice to toast to the longest day of the year.  (more…)

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Back Forty West

Exterior, Back Forty West

When the beloved Savoy closed, there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon: the original chef and owner Peter Hoffman would be opening another restaurant in the same space. Before the phrase “farm-to-table” became ubiquitous, it was just this guy riding his bike to the Union Square Greenmarket every morning in the ’90s, picking out fresh local produce to serve that night at the restaurant. (more…)

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Usually when friends want to go out to dinner, “British” is not on their top list of desired cuisines. Nevertheless, the buzz about British restaurant Whitehall has been building since it opened six months ago, and it’s full almost every night. We stopped by recently to see what gives.  (more…)

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The Bowery Diner

When Mathieu Palombino, the French-trained chef who conquered the genre of pizza at Motorino, decided to turn his exacting attention to the American diner, it was exciting news. To what heights would he take the lowly tuna melt, the burger, the “diet plates” heretofore characterized by Jello and cottage cheese? The almost comically varied menu of your typical New York diner, which includes everything from fried eggs to the rarely-ordered fish of the day, seemed ripe for transformation.

Interior, the Bowery Diner

But the menu is a blessing and a bane. Just as, when you sit down at your corner diner, you view the various categories on a multipage menu with skepticism – can they really make pad thai as well as they can make pancakes? – the scope of dishes the kitchen must do well proves daunting here.  (more…)

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Best Outdoor Dining 2011

As much as we complain about the heat, it’s so nice to be able to dine al fresco when summer finally comes to New York. But what we’re looking for isn’t any old table plunked on a sidewalk next to a major truck route, but a nice setting, fun scene and preferably some good food. Here is an opinionated guide to the best outdoor dining in town.  (more…)

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Recipe: Special Sauce

One of the best things about going to Burger King as a kid – other than those gold paper crowns – was the “special sauce” on the burgers. It probably wasn’t anything more special than a mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard, but it was still more exotic than what Mom made.

At a recent barbecue, we decided to make Pat La Frieda burgers more special with our own grown-up version of special sauce, a chipotle mayonnaise recipe cobbled together from several similar ones. But this version includes all the key secret ingredients – chipotle, adobo, lime and garlic – in particularly spicy, smoky proportions. It’s ridiculously easy to make and adds an extra layer of deliciousness to burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs or grilled fish. Added bonus: the resulting sauce has the same peculiar orange color as your childhood favorite “special sauce.”  (more…)

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Burger and Barrel

There’s a common misconception that a restaurant has to focus on things like fish, tofu and radishes to attract a female clientele. But what New York women want is often defined by what they don’t want: multiple TVs over the bar, the smell of bleach masking the smell of stale beer, and guys in backwards white baseball caps. But red meat? Most of us are actually fine with that.

Burger and Barrel proves that a restaurant doesn’t have to go on a diet to appeal to women, since we appreciate a good burger just as much as the guys do. We just don’t want to eat one in a crap place. (more…)

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Vandaag may not be a German restaurant per se – the name is Dutch for “today,” and the staff will only categorize the food as “Northern European-inspired” – but Germans would probably be surprised at how popular this type of cuisine has become in New York now. During a recent trip to Berlin, our Danish and German friends pled with us after we took them to the third German restaurant in a row: Please, no more German food! In Berlin, it seems they’d much rather go out for Italian.

Not here. New restaurants Edi & the Wolf, Heartbreak and Vandaag are all serving variations on German food within a six block radius of one another – and generating a lot of buzz. Fortunately, there’s substance behind the fad at Vandaag, which brings real craftsmanship to the idea of a modern Northern European restaurant.  (more…)

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Fish Tag

Sometimes it feels like there are two parallel New Yorks: the men’s New York, consisting of sports bars and barbecue joints, and the women’s New York, with its wine bars and California-light restaurants. Any guy walking into Fish Tag, the new Upper West Side seafood restaurant helmed by bad-boy chef Ryan Skeen, would find lots of single, attractive women with newly blown out hair, drinking white wine and sharing plates. But alas, all the guys seem to be next door at the grittier, meatier Sunburnt Cow. Boys: will they ever learn?

Smoked Octopus, Fish Tag

Which is too bad, because despite the inconsistencies at this new hot spot, there’s plenty to recommend Fish Tag to both genders. There are 10 craft beers on tap and even more by the bottle, rare bourbons and even more scotch. In addition to that smoked salmon, Fish Tag has a whole charcuterie board of meat, an impressive selection of cheese and a kick-ass burger.


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La Maison Mère

When you think Parisian food, do you think filet mignon or pastrami? Tarte au chocolat or cheesecake? If the answer is the former, it’s time to revisit Paris, because the latest dining trend sweeping the city is cuisine new yorkais.

Cheeseburger, La Maison Mere

Traveling across the Atlantic to patronize ever-encroaching American chains like Starbucks is not recommended, but new Parisian places like Marcel and La Maison Mère are worth a visit to experience the French take on delicatessen classics. Basically imagine a Cordon Bleu student interning at Katz’s, and you’ve got the picture.  (more…)

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Brindle Room

Though it’s a noble goal, authenticity isn’t always what you want when seeking out imported regional specialties. Take saucissons bourguignons. Few New Yorkers would likely complain that there isn’t enough tripe in French sausages here. Just pork and beef is fine, thanks.

Interior, Brindle Room

Likewise, though authentic poutine has its devotees in Quebec, you might not want to recreate it exactly. Fast food fries slathered in mystery-meat gravy and piled with heaps of cheese that’s a cross between regular and cottage cheese is an acquired taste, even in a drunken state at 1am – which is generally when poutine is consumed in Montreal, under the fluorescent lights of a take-out shop. (more…)

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The New "It" Food in Paris? Le Cheeseburger

Food fads look even stranger when viewed through the eyes of a foreigner. Like the as-yet-unexplained gin and tonic craze last year in Barcelona (one bar’s sign read: “17 Different Kinds of Gin & Tonic!”), the cheeseburger fad is taking Paris by storm. Though it has gotten the most press because of Ralph Lauren’s new gourmet cheeseburger restaurant on Boulevard Saint-Germain, “Le Ralph’s,” the cheeseburger craze started with young, hip kids in Paris before a big name designer usurped it.

Menu, Le Ralph's

We decided not go to “Le Ralph’s” after one look at the fancy brass-framed menu outside. Le Cheeseburger: 27€. Le Hot dog: 15€. Le Club sandwich (a runner-up for most faddish American food in Paris): 20€. If I’m going to spend more than $30 for a beef dish in Paris, it had better be a steak. (more…)

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Henry Public

If you didn’t know this Cobble Hill space was an old TV repair store until just a couple months ago, you would think new gastro pub Henry Public had been here forever. Past an antique bar, refurbished gas lamps and black and white photos of Frederick Douglass and the old Brooklyn Eagle headquarters hang in the dining room, where the wood paneling and marble fireplace date the room to sometime around the turn of the last century. But this carefully curated mix is actually the result of years of scavenging by owners Jen Albano and Matt Dawson, also the team behind the Brooklyn Social Club, who’ve created an old-timey bar and restaurant that actually feels authentic.

Henry Public, Dining Room

Though it opened just a couple weeks ago, the place was already packed with a mostly local crowd on a recent weekend night. Many were there for the drinks: pre-Prohibition cocktails involving things like egg whites and obscure liqueurs. (more…)

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Prime Meats

Prime Meats - ExteriorWhat’s the magic formula for opening a restaurant in this economy? Old-timey décor and bartenders in handlebar mustaches and suspenders? Gourmet burgers on the menu? The people behind several successful inexpensive-but-charming restaurants at the helm?

Prime Meats, the new German-inflected Brooklyn restaurant by Frankie’s Spuntino owners Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, has doubled down on previous winning elements to come up with a seemingly foolproof recipe for success. And so far, everyone’s loving it: the wait for a table on an August weekday night was almost an hour. In the roomy bar area, the ceilings are pressed tin, Victorian brass lamps hang over the bar, and a vintage butcher shop mirror with “Prime Meats” etched on it reflects the grown-up, very Brooklyn crowd. (About three out of five men in the place had beards, including owner Frank Falcinelli, who was sitting in the corner.) Seeing this kind of steampunk setting yet again made us wonder if Freeman’s Taavo Somer and Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske are wringing their hands somewhere, wondering what they hath wrought. (more…)

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More Burger Tips

The Resto Burger

The Resto Burger

As we head into the holiday weekend, the Times Dining section has a handy article on how to grill burgers. Some of the pointers, from 30 chefs with major burger cred, echo the ones in this earlier Gastro Chic article on what not to do when grilling burgers. Some are good new tips.

The final burger recipe is pretty unrealistic for a home chef, however, since it involves searing the burgers on a grill then finishing them in the oven. Most people’s outdoor grill is nowhere near their indoor oven. Also, I’ve noticed that guests tend to freak out if you abscond with a whole tray full of burgers. (more…)

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