Category Archives: Food

Sushi Seki serving great dishes for New York City

Chef SekiOn June 30, 2016, there was a unique opportunity to sample some amazing dishes from Sushi Seki on 46th Street.  The talented Chef Seki provided a taste of some of his best seafood creations.  Founded in 2002, our Upper East location has been notoriously known as a late night den for New York’s elite, top chefs, and a sushi haven for those that call the Upper East home.

Sushi Seki is the creation of Chef Seki Shi. Chef Seki began his culinary journey at a young age, working with his Mom to perfect the art of crispy rice. After graduating from high school, Chef Seki continued his study in Tokyo, where he discovered his true passion for cooking.  Authentic Japanese cuisine intrigued him and drew him to the culinary details and fundamental techniques that are the foundation of his innovative cuisine today.

“Never stop learning” is the philosophy of Chef Seki. Chef Seki developed his knowledge of fish at the famed Tsukiji Market; one of the largest fish markets in the world. Chef Seki began working as a dishwasher and eventually advanced to become head kitchen chef and within a few years, a sushi chef.

IMG_1832In 1991, Chef Seki moved to New York City. Chef Seki explored his talent by working at various restaurants to enhance his experience including Sushi of Gari. Chef Seki has since become one of the masters in the art of fine sushi.

In 2002, Chef Seki opened Sushi Seki on the Upper East Side. His commitment to selecting only the best fish in the most trusted Japanese markets, has allowed Chef Seki to build his reputation.

In 2014, Chef Seki opened his second location in Chelsea. Chef Seki along with his family of NYC’s finest sommeliers and sushi chefs are committed to the “never stop learning” attitude by creating and balancing the flavor of the fish with simple ingredients, a classic style and expansive sake and wines, paired perfectly to each meal.

Chef Seki is known for his signature sushi classics using the finest seafood available in the world, and taking his lucky clients on a culinary journey.  His classic style shines through as he caters to guests’ individual tastes.  At Sushi Seki: Bar & Oysters his newest outpost in Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Seki continues to surprise his guests with a Chef’s tasting menu at the exclusive 6-seat Kappo counter.  Here, he continues to treat his discerning clientele to the finest dishes prepared according to the season and the guest’s taste.

Sushi SekiThe newest Sushi Seki Bar & Oysters , which is considered the flagship location located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen on historic Restaurant Row. Our latest endeavor features two distinct ambiances within the stunning, bi-level space.

The main floor, with large bar, perfect for pre and post theater dining, provides a casual and contemporary experience, featuring an open kitchen, a communal table, a 76-seat dining room, and a special $100 Kappo tasting menu.  Japanese artisanal cocktails, as well as a full selection of premium wines, sakes and beverages complete the experience.

Opened in 2014, our Chelsea location features two semi-private tatami rooms, a 16 seat sushi bar, a six seat bar, and a 48 seat dining room.

IMG_1842Upstairs features an artisanal whisky and sake bar followed by three Tatami rooms for private dining, while an exclusive 13-seat sushi bar offers lively, theatrical entertainment for the entire 72-seat dining room. We recommend the “Omakase” tasting, a daily selection of fish prepared “from the heart”, available on request.

 

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Chef Michael Symon and Lipton team up for Lipton Bright Bites

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Photos used with permission by Michael Symon

With a hearty laugh and larger than life personally, Chef Michael Symon really does seem to cook with soul. Recently, Michael partnered with Lipton Tea for Chef Fest. This new partnership with Lipton consists of Michael hosting a series of experiential dining events at cities across the U.S.

With June being National Iced Tea Month and the Fourth of July festivities closely approaching, he has taken his own slant to tea-centric cooking. When asked about how he managed his busy career, he gave credit to his wife of 27 years and stated, “what a great partner she was to have in the restaurant business.”

As a result of Michael growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, he creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard or spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.”

When asked about one of his favored dishes, he quickly stated “The crispy chicken with honey and topped off with half and half ice tea.” He even included the recipe.

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Photos used with permission of Lipton and Michael Symon

Twice-Fried Chicken with Spicy Honey
By Chef Michael Symon
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
3 to 4 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 cups Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 bay leaves
6 thin slices lemon, seeds removed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 qt. lard or canola oil, for frying

Spicy Honey
1/2 cup Sriracha
1/2 cup honey
Whisk together and set aside for serving

Directions
Whisk together the Lipton Half and Half Iced Tea and Lemonade, honey, salt, bay leaves and lemon slices. Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. This can be done in a gallon-sized bag. The next day remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.

This dish is perfect for backyard parties and other summer events. Fans of Michael Symon can check out his website. In addition, they can check out some his latest new via social media: Facebook,Twitter and Instagram. Also, fans of The Chew can see Michael and his co-hosts weekdays. And all summer long, people can enter to win a trip to one of the local Lipton Chef Fest events by visiting LiptonBrightBites.com.

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Maison Kayser opens their first store in Brooklyn, New York January 2016

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Photo used with permission from Maison Kayser.

Good cuisine and New York City go hand in hand. Within this metropolis there are many specialty restaurants and small bistros to dine, have lunch or simply grab quick bite. Whatever the choice, there are normally several great places available to enjoy delicious food.

Founded by Eric Kayser in Paris in 1996, Maison Kayser is an authentic artisanal French Boulangerie which simply means that the bread and other baked goods are mixed and baked on-site all day long. This allows guests to have access to fresh made products at anytime.

Throughout his career, Eric Kayser has built his reputation on his passion for bread. With the patience he has during the baking process, patrons are able to smell over 200 different flavors once the bread is sliced and ready to eat. He actually compares the process of making bread to creating a good wine. In a recent interview, he stated that, “Even as a child I knew I wanted to be a baker,” and with the quality of his products and his incredible skills, it is evidence of the authenticity and innovation in the world of French artisanal bakeries.

Eric was born into a family of French bakers, dating back four generations. In fact, he started his baker apprenticeship at age 14 and was exposed very early to the art of baking by perfecting his techniques for five years with the “Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France.”

In 1996, he opened his first bakery, Rue Monge, in the heart of the Quartier Latin in Paris, France. It was an immediate success and as of today, Maison Kayser has over 100 shops in over 20 different countries! Some stores are located in some of the largest cities in the world, while others reside in smaller cities where customers equally enjoy fresh baked bread.

326f46613a482a50c095402bd161e9abEach Maison Kayser location around the world is organized in the pure tradition of the French Bakery. The most ancestral techniques are combined to produce bread, including the use of liquid leaven, and innovation with the most high performance, modern, state-of-the-art bakery equipment.

In August 2012, the first Maison Kayser opened in the United States, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Since then, several other locations have opened in New York City to a wide reception and now in January 2016, Maison Kayser is opening their first restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. Like Manhattan, Brooklyn is becoming another exciting and growing neighborhood so this was definitely a perfect location to open a new store. One thing for sure, each guest can expect to have the same delightful experience and service that is given in any of the other stores currently in operation.

Current and future New York City customers in should know, that in addition to having an artisanal French bakery retail shop, most Maison Kayser locations feature a French style sit-down café, that offer a wide selection of Eric’s favorite savory prepared dishes.

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Vanessa Lachey talks about being super parent and Popsicle Partnership

VanessaThe always beautiful and smart Vanessa Lachey has been on our TV and movie screens for many years, first as a beauty contestant, then as a hip MTV host to having various guest appearances on some of television’s hottest shows and feature films.

These days, she has stepped into an even more important role as a wife and a mother. She recently entered into a partnership with Popsicle. As a working mom with two young kids, Vanessa knows parents sometimes feel like they need a superpower to get everything they need to do all done! This lead her to do something to inspire parents. She is partnering with the Original Brand Popsicle to help spread the word about their first-ever comic book.

Being the mother to a little, SuperHeros are huge in Vanessa’s household! And this summer, Popsicle released its first-ever comic book in partnership with SuperHero expert, Marvel Custom Solutions. Families can get a hard copy of the comic at select stores now, and the digital comics are on Popsicle.com.

Popsicle pops are one of Vanessa’s family’s favorite summertime treats, and sharing a Popsicle with your kids is a great way to spend family time together. Sold in the iconic yellow box, they help save families from summer “evils” like heat and boredom with their refreshing taste and bold flavors.

Other families can join in on the SuperHero fun by visiting Popsicle.com to view and interactive video and even play a few fun games. To learn more about Popsicle, families can ‘like’ the Popsicle Facebook fan page at Facebook.com/Popsicle, and can follow Popsicle on Twitter athttp://Twitter.com/Popsicle.

 

Gabriel Olsen/ Getty Images for Popsicle

Chef Antonia Lofaso Discusses Career, Family and New Venture With Breyers

ChefAntoniaSummer is one of the best months to enjoy foods and try new dishes. Although new recipes can be tried at anytime, there is something special about the warmer months and people getting together to share food. Whether someone hosts a barbeque with family and friends or just invites them over for dinner, sharing new food ideas with others creates bonding in one of the best ways.

This summer Chef Antonia Lofaso has gotten together with the well-known brand, Breyers to create fantastic dessert recipes which are delicious and easy to make. This venture is one she is proud of since Breyers ice cream is hormone-free which means the brand does not use milk from cows that are treated with hormones. Also, they use 100% rainforest alliance certified vanilla beans so not only is the dessert tasty, it is made with ingredients that are better for you and your family.

Antonia Lofaso is probably best known for her role on Bravo’s Top Chef (season 4) and she is one of America’s most loved chefs. During her time on the show, she shared her massive her culinary skills with her feisty Italian personality on Top Chef: All Stars. Since Lofaso has gone from television personality to business owner and is currently executive chef and owner of Black Market in Studio City, California. With this success of the first venture, she then opened Scopa: Italian Roots in Venice, California.

With a lifelong passion for cooking, Lofaso chased her dreams and has managed to balance her busy career with being a single parent. She shares her secrets and tips in her book “The Busy Mom’s Cookbook” re-released in paperback released in this Fall, and now with her Breyers campaign she has achieved another of her goals as a chef.

Before the world got to know her from her time on Top Chef, Lofaso attended the prestigious French Culinary Institute, and upon graduating was hired at Beverly Hills’ best known restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. Under the mentorship of Executive Chef Lee Hefter, Lofaso refined her skills and technique, and spent six years working at the famed LA hot spot. After mastering the cuisine at Spago, Lofaso made the difficult decision to leave and pursue a new adventure. Within weeks, she was hired by SBE to run the kitchen at their new upscale L.A. supper club, Foxtail.

Upon starting her new role at Foxtail, Lofaso’s career encountered a monumental boom when Bravo came calling and recruited her for season 4 of its highly acclaimed cooking competition show Top Chef. This was something different for Lofaso, but she was definitely up for the challenge. This was an opportunity that she wanted to make count.

In addition to her restaurants and television experience, Lofaso can also include private chef to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in her repertoire. Today, she currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Xea. In an interview, she recently disclosed that one of the best ways for her two bond with her daughter is in the kitchen, which is something she had the pleasure of doing with her mom growing up. These thoughts and memories help her set the stage for her Breyers campaign bringing the love of good food with family and friends.

The Breyers recipes Lofaso shares are scrumptious, healthy and so easy to make which can allow parents to include their children during the food creation process. Chef Antonia Lofaso has accomplished many of her dreams successfully so far in her life and she shows no sign of slowing down. Fans and food lovers are sure to be thankful for this because there will be more to come in the years ahead

Le Midi Restaurant Invite Only Grand Opening in New York on November 13, 2013

9722c30115fad27f87fa048a9aa0b6a6As if New York City didn’t already have enough great places to dine, here is another to definitely add to your list. In fact, once you dine there for the first time, you are guaranteed to come time and time again. Le Midi is an exciting French bistro with cuisine so delicious you will swear that you are dining in France. The restaurant has a very lovely decor and creates an atmosphere where guests can enjoy outstanding food with friends.

Currently, the restaurant is already open daily for brunch, lunch an dinner. Also, Happy Hour takes place everyday from 5 pm to 7 pm, but the official invite only grand opening is not until November 13, 2013. On that specific day, dinner service will resume after 9 pm.

Le Midi’s owner Andrew Song has spent quite a bit of his adult life in London and France and he always enjoyed french food. This is very apparent by the authentic taste of the prepared meals. When deciding to open his restaurant a few years ago, french cuisine was his top choice. As a result of his time in France and world travel experience, Le Midi can bring quite a bit of the French experience to New York.

0d1ca2abee3d7ed51a665af556a07223While recently at an exclusive tasting, guests were treated to a vast array of choices on the menu. By the time the guests, left they were quite please and thoroughly enjoyed every dish from the appetizers to the main course and to dessert.

For more information on Le Midi, visit their website. You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Smooth Blat Vodka launches in New York City on June 11, 2013

e3d54ad5d80a2011e1b04b29d4a04c6dThe fabulous city of New York City hosts many great events. From major awards shows to fashion runway shows, there is no lack of fun things to do when in this great city. As well as high profile events featuring some of the hottest celebrities, NYC is also one of the best places to kick off the launch of an up and coming brand in the United States.

Premier event producer Evette Lewis will host a star-studded New York launch party for Blat Vodka, the only vodka that is 100% free of impurities. Already recognized on the west coast by well known supporters such as actress Tori Spelling and celebrity designer Richie Rich, Blat Vodka is ready to introduce New York to the purest super premium vodka in the world.
Powered by a unique-to-the-brand proprietary process that removes all impurities, Blat raises the bar on the cocktail experience by guaranteeing to be the smoothest and purest tasting vodka in the world that enhances not changes the flavor of the drink.

Developed by the Award Winning Peter Schmidt Group, Blat Vodka’s bottle is intently designed to be clear and consistent with pure lines to emphasize Blat’s guaranteed purity and smoothness.

“We are not content with the distillations of other premium vodka brands so after three generations investigating, we invented a new proprietary method that we call “E+F system” to improve our product,” says creators and brothers Fernando and Esteban Banús. “We developed Blat Vodka with a well-kept secret to make it the most premium brand for vodka connoisseurs and hope to make a grand debut with our New York City event.”

This “invitation only” event will be held in the Trump World Bar on, Tuesday, June 11th from 7pm – 10pm. Located in the heart of midtown on 845 United Nations Plaza (48th & First Avenue) just across from the UN, this event will be filled with the Tastemakers of NYC.

Guests invited to this event include: Deborah Cox, Keifer Sutherland, Wyclef, Wood Harris, Shakira, Jim Caviezel, Ntozake Shange, Rafael Picon, Tito Puente Jr., Mem Nahadr, Dan Mullholland, Mario Torisiello, The W Hotels, The Starwood Group, Daniel Boluff, Danny Myers, Karen Gravano, Lil’ Kim, Sandy “Pepa” Denton, Philip Bloch, and Yandy Smith.

Red Carpet arrivals begin at 7:15pm. RSVP required to attend. For more information on Blat Vodka, please visit: www.blatvodka.com.

Harlem Shake – Burgers & Shakes in Old-School Harlem Style

4f41fa85ae137b9383324f9137c8ecb7Harlem Shake, a neighborhood-oriented burger and milkshake joint embracing the Harlem of old, opens May 16, 2013, bringing high-quality, affordable fare to local residents and visitors alike.

Inspired by Harlem’s rich culture and energy, owner Jelena Pasic and partners developed the concept for Harlem Shake as an area go-to for familiar eats like griddled burgers, New York hot dogs and hand-spun shakes in an inviting, comfortable setting. The restaurant takes its name from the iconic Harlem Shake dance, the original iteration of the Internet’s latest viral sensation.

 “Our aim is to celebrate the soul of the neighborhood and reinvigorate modern Harlem with a bit of nostalgia and a nod to pop culture,” explains Pasic. “Not to mention, bring residents and visitors high-quality, affordable offerings in a welcoming environment.”

Harlem Shake offers a love note meant to embrace and pay homage to the area’s past with a space designed by 13-year Harlem resident Dennis Decker to feel as if it has been a beloved local institution for generations. Careful thought and consideration went into restoring the building at the corner of Lenox Avenue. & West 124th Street, with details meant to recall a dry goods store that was built in the 1800s then converted to a diner in the 1940s and run through the latter half of the 20th century.

Anchoring the space and continuing the tribute to old New York is Harlem Shake’s “Wall of Fame” celebrating famous and notable patrons and friends with photos personally signed to the restaurant. From actors and musicians to politicians and athletes, each notable has a special connection to Harlem. Another defining feature, “Miss Harlem Shake,” greets diners from the back wall of the restaurant. The life-sized lenticular photo depicts Harlem resident and fashion model Shannon Thornton showing off the real Harlem Shake as guests walk by. Other unique design features include walls covered in nearly 300 vintage covers of JET magazine, a tobacco and water leak-stained tin ceiling and a two-story tall corner vertical 1970s-era neon sign that reads BURGERS.

Harlem Shake’s menu also offers diners a taste of what it would have been like to set up shop in the restaurant 50+ years ago by taking a playful approach to classic burgers and fries. Set amid the clean yet well-worn ambiance, guests tuck into the signature Harlem Classics – two 2-ounce custom blend Pat la Frieda beef patties ground fresh daily and griddled smashed-style for crisp browning and served on a toasted Martin’s Potato Roll with house-made condiments. Specialties include the Pigskin Classic topped with crisp fried pork rinds and the Jerk Fry Burger topped with jerk-seasoned, triple-cooked fries and smoked jerk mayo, as well as juicy turkey burgers and house-made vegan burgers.

Old-school, handcrafted milkshakes dominate the drink program at Harlem Shake with straightforward flavors like Chocolate and Red Velvet thoughtfully made with whole, all-natural ingredients. The lineup of shakes highlights local products like ice cream from Blue Marble, organic milk from New York Fresh Milk and peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co., as well as seasonal fruit and hand-spun additions like house-made salted caramel sauce and malt.

Rounding out the menu are New York-style all-beef hot dogs with far-flung flavors from Texas and Mexico, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheeses/melts and creative kale and legume salads, as well as fries hand cut from Kennebec or sweet potatoes and double-fried in beef tallow (also available in vegetable oil for a vegetarian/vegan option). A rotating selection of vintage real sugar sodas and regional specialty sodas (Cheerwine Cherry Soda, Vernor’s Detroit Ginger, Foxson Park Birch Beer), and a selection of draft beers and house wines are also available.

Open seven days a week, Harlem Shake is located 100 W. 124th Street in Harlem. For further information, please visit the website, follow the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter, email info@harlemshakenyc.com or call 646-508-5657.

Experience Corner Social in Harlem, New York

43d3960ee69a5939dfe835571ec69ceaNew York is one of those places that many people know about around the world. There are so many great sites and historic neighborhoods. Whether is it, Chelsea, Tribeca or Harlem, visitors will have a memorable experience in this great city.

Speaking of Harlem, if you are traveling to NYC and are just around the corner why not get a littlesocial and have a great brunch, lunch or dinner with friends and family. You have the pleasure or choosing an appetizing meal when visiting the Corner Social.
After just celebrating their first anniversary in March 2013, Corner Social is a great spot where Harlem Locals, tourists and other visitors take eating and drinking seriously. The eatery is well placed and located at the northwest corner of 126th and Lenox.

In other words, it is dining and drinking destination that embraces the very best of Harlem. There is a warm, inviting, vibrant, pulsing scene. Corner Social offers late night dining, outdoor seating, special DJ nights, in addition to daily lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, a 18-brass tap bar and year round custom catering for events large and small.

As a proud member of the Harlem community, Corner Social sources ingredients from local vendors that serve the community and partners with local organizations that further the interests of the Harlem neighborhoods it serves.

The food was quite delicious as well. There were so many choices on the menu that it was hard to decide. Overall, the experience was a pleasant one and would definitely recommend to others.

For more information on Corner Social in Harlem, visit their website and be sure to tell your friends. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Maison Harlem: A French Bistro in New York

3459eb7312f3777d58645282001b1446With a clever mixture of a little bit of France and a lot of Harlem, Maison Harlem is a restaurant that you definitely have to visit when coming to New York City. Located in the heart of West Harlem at 341 St. Nicholas Avenue (at the corner of 127th and St. Nicholas), the décor is quaint and cozy. It is just one of the newest editions to a neighborhood that has such a rich history and thriving community.

The restaurant features a charming rustic interior that perfectly complements the mouth-watering French Bistro style menu and superb wine selection.
While having lunch there with a friend, I decided to try the Chicken Paillard, which consisted of breaded chicken breast with tarragon sauce and frisee salad. My friend chose the grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce on a bed of ratatouille. The food was beautifully prepared, deliciously seasoned and savory to the tongue. Since we were quite full from the dish, we chose not to have dessert, but the choices they offered almost made us reconsider.

Maison Harlem is just a little over two months old and is run by two food- and wine-loving French New Yorkers, Romain Bonnans and Samuel Thiam. Samuel grew up in Paris, where restaurants were a family business and he moved to the United States to pursue a dancing career. With a creative mind, he always stayed connected to his deeply-rooted passion for the art of French food. Romain, from Toulouse, France, is an amazing chef now living in NYC with his family. As a successful owner/co-owner of three other restaurants in NYC, he understands what it takes to create the perfect gastronomic experience. The two partners met in New York, realized that they shared a vision, and the Maison Harlem concept took flight.

The beautifully designed restaurant offers an incredible bright and airy space with lots of exposed brick and a comfortable and enjoyable ambiance. I have the say that my experience was very pleasant and delightful. The staff was very attentive and the food was divine and tantalizingly. I am definitely going to spread the word to others about this new jewel of Harlem. It promises to be an exciting part of the neighborhood for a long time to come. Check out out the website at Maison Harlem.