My New York

I have called three neighborhoods in New York home over the last five years: Soho, Tribeca, and west Harlem. In Soho, I had an octogenarian neighbor who liked to sit on the stoop on warm days and talk about the Italian roots of the neighborhood. In Tribeca, I found small places among flashy restaurants that…

Writer in the Kitchen: Daniel Boulud

“Do you speak French?” Daniel Boulud, the award-winning chef and cookbook author asked me. We were seated at a quiet table in the corner of Cafe Boulud in the Four Seasons Toronto for a talk about New York, travel, and cooking. “I wish I did, but fortunately my partner does, which comes in handy during…

A Flick of the Wrist

My grandmother’s family came from Naples, and though I never had the chance to travel to Italy with her, there was always her cooking. She was a patient cook, a true believer in the “low and slow” philosophy that results in deep, developed flavors. She loved the ritual of spending an entire Sunday in the…

East Village Nostalgia

Instantly I was four again. I was wearing a brand new pair of Keds, in a small town shoe store on Main Street. While my sisters were fitted for their new shoes, I held the binocular-like device and brought it to my eyes. Inside, a colorful 3-D image of a barn and farm leaped out…

Writer in the Kitchen: Balaboosta

“Why do you ask me that, because you think I’m fat?” Israeli Chef Einat Admony looked me straight in the eye as she countered my question with a question — and then broke into a smile. We sat in the corner booth of Balaboosta, her restaurant on Mulberry Street in Nolita, for an interview for…

Writer in the Kitchen: Camaje

Before the writer gets to the kitchen, it was time to shop. I had signed up for Chef Abigail Hitchcock‘s always sold-out Saturday Chinatown Shop and Cook. The plan: meet in Chinatown at 10am to buy fish and produce, then head back to Camaje in Greenwich Village for an afternoon cooking course and fish feast….

Writer in the Kitchen: Glenmere Mansion

“Don’t muddle the flavors,” executive chef Ron Stella said. “Allow the ingredients to shine”. In the library of Glenmere Mansion on a sunny, Sunday morning, I sat down with the chef to talk travel, food, farms, and New York City. On assignment for Luxury Travel Magazine, I was looking forward not only to the fireplaces…

Best Meals of 2011

Narrowing down a year’s worth of eating to 5 memorable morsels is a challenging task. Sure, I loved the teeny oyster sandwiches at the Dutch — just like most other food bloggers in New York — and yes the lamb tacos at Empellon are delicious. But what makes a single bite stand above the rest…

Writer in the Kitchen: Locanda Vini e Olii

‘Eat More Tripe’ chef Michele Baldacci said enthusiastically as I was getting ready to leave his Tuscan-inspired restaurant. ‘How’s that for a title?’ We had just finished an interview and tour of Locanda Vini e Olii, his Italian restaurant (along with co-owners Rocco Spagnardi and Michael Schall) in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. From…

Restaurant Report: Tastes of the Mediterranean

New York City can meet any food craving at any time. For me, growing up in a household with an Italian background, that craving is often Italian. I want to walk into a restaurant and be smacked in the face with slow-cooked aromas that remind me of home. I want to read a menu that…

Writer in the Kitchen

Chef Paul McCabe looked down at my feet, making sure I was wearing correct shoes for the kitchen. ‘Those will do’ he said, motioning for me to follow him through the open kitchen and back into the prep kitchen of Kitchen 1540, the award-winning restaurant at L’Auberge Del Mar, a boutique getaway just north of…

Stretching for the Sun

There’s a small patch of grass in Hudson River Park where all the flowers are stretching for the sun. I have been nibbling on picnics in this spot since early spring, and watched these flowers first break ground to now being over two feet in height. People in New York are doing the same thing…

Pleasures Along the Pacific

Traveling is full of unexpected surprises. Sometimes, a meal we are anticipating is a complete disappointment. Sometimes, a simple breakfast can be elevated to something truly memorable. During my trip to San Diego last week I was reminded that no matter how much you plan and research, travel will find a way to venture off…

Meet Me at the Oyster Bar

It’s so civilized, sitting down to a hearty meal before departing on a long train journey. Since 1913, friends have been meeting for a meal at the Oyster Bar. This restaurant opened the same year as Grand Central Terminal, and still today, it’s a wonderful little spot for fresh oysters and people watching. In the…

Six Months of Brunch – Part II

Were you craving a leisurely brunch after last week’s post? If the descriptions of spicy, decadent, and gooey brunch dishes from last week weren’t enough – here’s the final three to round out my favorite six brunch spots in NYC over the last six months. Do you have any suggestions of places I should try…

Six Months of Brunch

Six months later, it’s time to reflect. Reflect on brunch. Now that I’ve been living in Manhattan for 6 months, I decided to write about 6 of my favorite brunch spots. These are the cream of the crop, and all managed to deliver (for the most part – I will note exceptions) great atmosphere, unique…

Favorite Culinary Moments of 2010

As the year comes to a close, I got to thinking about the best culinary moments of 2010. I sat down at tables from Dublin to Sicily to New York City this year, but a few moments of real culinary genius stand out from the rest. These were meals that I started craving the moment…

A Table on the Mediterranean

This week a new article for Luxury Travel Magazine, ‘The Spirit of Sicily: A Journey Into Italy’s Next Frontier‘ was published. Two special boutique hotels, and perhaps more importantly, the people behind these hotels, are described in detail in the article. Here’s a sneak preview of the full piece: From the moment I first stepped…

Pulling Up a Stool at Fallon & Byrne

In the early days of moving to Dublin, a friend stared at me in disbelief when I answered no to the question, ‘Have you ever been to Fallon & Byrne?’ That day we went in for lunch, and passing through the rows of vibrant produce and freshly-baked artisan breads I wondered if I’d been transported…

Restaurant Review: Electric Brasserie in London

I learned about the power of Twitter recently when I was planning a trip to London. While I’ve visited the city a handful of times, I’ve never successfully satisfied my London brunch craving. My London trip coincided with my birthday, and I thought there was no better time to explore a new neighborhood and indulge…

Restaurant Report: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

A few months ago in the dark month of January I began planning an Easter-weekend trip to Oxford and London. Budgets are always stretched thin in January, so instead of dining out, I read restaurant reviews, travel articles, and menus online that all convinced me this Easter trip could also be a foodie-getaway. As the…

Get on the Local Schedule

While some travelers have all the luck and seem to stumble upon buzzing restaurants or packed festivals without doing a bit of research – the rest of us can benefit from a little planning ahead. Getting on the local schedule almost always guarantees finding the type of atmosphere that will bring a destination to life….