The NYC Chocolate Project: Cocoa Store

Located at 15 E 18th Street the Cocoa Store is easily the smallest chocolate shop that I’ve been in. What they lack in space, they make up in creative use of that space. The walls are lined with some of the priciest chocolate I’ve had, and the jewelry-style display case makes their limited selection of truffles feel extra special.

The Cocoa Store in NYCNYC Chocolate Shops

Cocoa Store is a “retailer of prestigious chocolate brands from around the world”, and carries primarily five chocolate brands: Amedei, Domori, Castronovo, Dick and Taylor, and Harper Macaw.

You can buy single truffles from the display case, or chocolate bars and collections from behind. I definitely recommend the miniatures collection in front of the register, in this case your best bet is to acquaint yourself with the flavors of the chocolate offered before committing to a whole bar or collection.

Cocoa Store NYC register

Out of all the chocolate shops that I’ve been to, the Cocoa Store offers the most intense (and expensive) chocolate. If you, or someone you know, are hardcore chocolate connoisseurs – the kind that know the bean location and cocoa concentration of their chocolate – then you and they will love this place. Especially dark chocolate fans.

Initially I was sort of skeptical of the prices I saw at the Cocoa Store, however a little digging proved that the chocolates offered here are the real deal – they’re boutique chocolates with a world-wide following. Amedei’s single plantation chocolate, Chuao, is considered by some very influential chocolatiers to be possibly the greatest chocolate in the world. Food & Wine’s Pete Wells wrote an excellent article on the chocolatiers here, it’s well worth reading whether or not you’re a chocolate fan.

Cocoa Store NYC display case

Domori, another specialty chocolate, was founded in 1997 and are credited with restoring the cultivation of Criollo beans. In 2002, Gianluca Franzoni opened a plantation in Venezuela where he is cultivating varieties of Criollo that are on the verge of extinction.

Castronovo, owned by one of few female chocolate makers in America, Denise Castronovo, offers sustainable American craft chocolate. “Castronovo sources the cacao beans and contributes to providing an income for indigenous people who live off of the rainforest.  The prestigious awards she has received, including 7 World Final International Chocolate Awards, and 8 Academy of Chocolate Awards from London are just the result of her lifelong commitment.” – Cocoa Store

Amedei Chocolates NYC Cocoa Store

Dick and Taylor source their cocoa from around the world, using only organic cocao and organic cane sugar. With options like Black Fig, 72% Maple Coconut, and a limited release Vietnam Tien Giang with tasting notes of spice cake, apricot, and almond butter, you really can’t go wrong trying at least one. Each 2oz bar runs about $8.50, and ranks as a small, affordable luxury. Plus, the packaging is absolutely beautiful.

Harper Macaw chocolates are sourced from two of Earth’s most threatened biomes – Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests. Their mission? Turning chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation. You clearly see their inspiration in the creative and eye-catching design of their chocolates.

Harper Macaw Chocolates Cocoa Store NYC

On my first visit I ended up spending roughly $80 on chocolates – I had a few pralines and truffles, an Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, Domori Napolitains D-Fusion Sleeve, a Single Origins Sleeve, a Domori Pret a Porter Chocolate Gift Bag, and a Criollo sleeve.

The sleeves are the best way to familiarize yourself with the varying degrees of cocoa content, bean sources and flavors, while the chocolate gift bag is great for gifting and easing yourself into the serious and intense flavors offered. The bag itself seems to be themed around hazelnuts with exception of the Rum and Chestnut ‘Cuneesi’ Pralines – which utilize chestnut cream and Agrimontana chestnuts liquor instead.

Amedei Chocolates in NYC

My favorite was the Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, which features a minimum of 70% cocoa content, and dried red fruit (strawberry, cherry, and raspberry). I always love the marriage of tart and sweet, and while the dark chocolate here isn’t exacting teeming with sugar, it’s still beautifully done.

Amedei Toscano Red

After doing my little bit of googling research into the brands sold at the Cocoa Store, I really feel much more enthusiastic about this little shop. You’d be hardpressed to find brands like Amedei elsewhere and I only know of one other place – 2beans – that carries Domori. In terms of access, the Cocoa Store is part of what makes the city so great – that we have the ability to hop on the train or bus and are able to access luxury chocolates, possibly the greatest chocolates, quite easily.

Cocoa Store
15 E 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-8005

https://cocoastore.nyc/

The Sweetest Treat from the Heart of Brussels: Planète Chocolat

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year! 2016 has been a crazy ride to say the least, so it’s only fitting that we end it on a sweet note. Every year my family has a fun little New Year’s Eve party where we screen Poseidon (the Kurt Russel one) and King Kong (the Jack Black one) and go all out on hors d’oeuvres and sweets. There is nothing so magical as ringing in the new year with decadent chocolates and sparkling bubbly on the tongue. This year will be extra special as we’ll be adding Planète Chocolat chocolates – straight from Brussels – into the mix.

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Planète Chocolat is one of the few artisan chocolateries to be found in the heart of Brussels. Made from 100% pure cocoa butter, without artificial flavors, or genetically modified foods, Planète Chocolat is dedicated to creating delicious chocolates that just as much a treat for the eyes as for the palate.

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Although Planète Chocolat is not in NYC, and couldn’t be a part of our NYC Chocolate Project, they do offer 24-hour express delivery via DHL. So if you’re looking for a super last minute gift, or some excellent chocolates to share with family and friends at your New Year’s Eve party, Planète Chocolat have got you covered.

chocolate-collection

Planète Chocolat were kind enough to send me a box of one of their Christmas collections. There are about 18 different kinds of chocolates included in the Christmas Box of Chocolates: Orange Ganache, Caramel Chocolate, Praline & Honey, Amands Au Café, Praline Citron, Ganache Truffle, Noix de Muscade (nutmeg), Belgian Cookie (speculoos), Cocoa Ganache, Coffee, Cinnamon, Honey & Chestnuts, Pralines Honey, Praline, Praline Coffee, Praline Rice, Pralines Coconut, and Pralines Mint.

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The chocolates themselves are all very good, my favorite being the Cocoa Ganache which is much more intense then the Praline – which will be a hit with Nutella lovers – another favorite of mine. This chocolate is perfect for gifting or keeping on hand, you simply can’t go wrong with this crowd-pleasing collection.

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To find out more about Planète Chocolat and their amazing shipping times click here – and definitely take a peek at the Christmas Box of Chocolates for your holiday entertaining!

Straight from London: Artisan du Chocolat

I can’t believe the holidays are already here. I know it’s only October, but really, people have clearly brought out the pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, and are only a hop and a skip away from rocking around the Christmas tree. It’s thrilling, and if the weather would be a little more autumn and a little less winter I would be even more excited (no, but seriously, it’s been icy cold here in the city). If you haven’t already started thinking about the holidays, then now’s the time. My favorite gift to my mother last year was these amazing chocolates from Artisan Du Chocolat. Because the famed chocolatier is located across the pond in London, naturally some gifts like this one will take a little more forethought and planning.

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The chocolates can take up to a couple of weeks to transport, I ordered early in December last year and sat the box on a cold windowsill until Christmas morning – they arrived with plenty of time to spare. I’m not sure if the excellent shipping was because I live in NYC, so I would definitely advise giving yourself a week leeway if you live on the West Coast or in the mid-west or basically anywhere else that’s not the East Coast.

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These photos are from last years’ haul, but Artisan du Chocolat has whipped up some new and exciting offers for this year’s holiday season including an advent calendar for children and one for adults as well. The calendars are a great way to familiarize yourself with their chocolates – or you can pick up any of their assortments.

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Last years’ Holiday Beseen Assorted Tin was fantastic, featuring some of Artisan du Chocolat’s best chocolates – ganaches, salted caramels, chocolate pearls, coated nuts, etc. An assortment like this is perfect for holiday gifting, and also really great to keep around the house for holiday visitors.

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But what really makes Artisan du Chocolat worth the swoon-worthy shipping fees are, of course, their salted caramels. Or more specifically, their Original N°1 Salted Caramels. I first discovered them when I was at The London years ago at a press event where our parting gift from the team at Gordon’s restaurant there was a few of these salted caramels.

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These sea salted caramels where originally created for Gordon Ramsay’s menu at Claridge’s in 2002 or 2003. I’m not shocked that Chef Ramsay placed them on his menu as they really are a special treat. Unlike most salted caramels, this chocolate solidly encases a surprise of liquid sea salted caramel. Artisan du Chocolat uses pure untreated grey salt which is “harvested by hand from clay marshes, holds a wealth of minerals and trace elements that enrich its taste.” Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I’m a massive fan of passion fruit desserts, anything tart or even citrusy appeals to my sweet tooth. If you’re like me and like a little tart to cut through your sweet, the Passion Fruit Sea Salted Caramels are right up your alley. These chocolates are delightfully intense.

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Artisan du Chocolat chocolates are all prettily packaged, if the conversion rate was friendlier I would definitely buy them as gifts for all my friends and clients. For now I’ll make a holiday tradition out of ordering these for the woman that brought me into this world (and myself!).

More details on Artisan Du Chocolat, and to order them, click here.

How Bootler is Simplifying Online Food Delivery

bootler-chicago*This post is sponsored by bootler, all opinions presented are my own.*

The hottest question in my house is “What is for dinner?” And on Friday nights, it also happens to be the main source of contention. Of course we’re ordering out, but what are the delivery fees? How quickly (or slowly) will the food arrive? And are we sure that we’re getting the best price from all our delivery service options? If you live in Chicago, then Bootler has got you covered. And luckily for me, they’re headed to New York soon too!

bootler-service

If you don’t know, Bootler is an online aggregation service for food delivery. Bootler works with 6 different food delivery services to allow customers to pick restaurants, compare prices and availability, and ultimately save both time and money. As someone who occasionally feels overwhelmed by all the delivery options out there, this is music to my ears.

bootler-food-delivery-comparison-service

Check out their quick vid for more info:

Bootler is simple, you just enter your address and select what type of food you’re craving from the restaurants available to your location. They recently launched their mobile app in September and are growing exponentially – did I mention we can expect them in New York City soon? I’m so excited! They’re also headed to more major cities too! Of course this means while you Chicagoan’s are currently enjoying some Epic Burger Delivery, soon I’ll be searching on Bootler for my own epic burger too.

bootler-app

With 100,000 visitors per month, and 2,000 people ordering via Bootler daily, I cannot wait to take advantage of Bootler’s service. You can also order alcohol from Bootler in Chicago from a delivery service called “Saucey” – so we know where you’ll be getting your New Year’s beverages from!

chicago-bootler

The ordering process is wonderfully simple – you search and pick where you would like to order from, you create your custom order, then you can compare the different delivery services’ and select which one to place your order with. Ta-dah! Pizza (and champagne from Saucery, if you’re over 21) just in time for Friday movie night!

Find out more and sign up with Bootler here.

Rethink Sweet with Buddy Valastro & Whole Earth Sweetener Co.

Buddy Valastro has recently partnered with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. in a campaign to Rethink Sweet, featuring new and exciting ways to make tasty treats using Whole Earth’s line of sweetener – and if the Cake Boss says it’s good then you know it’s good! Whole Earth Sweetener Co. offers a line of lower calorie, non-GMO sweeteners that have 50% fewer calories per serving than their traditional counterparts. Fortunately for me, I was able to see the sweetener put to the test firsthand when I was invited out to the Lackawanna Cake Factory & Filming Studio out in Hoboken a few weeks ago. I don’t often find myself in that neck of the woods, but I don’t think twice about crossing state lines when cake is involved.

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First off, the inside of the factory/filming studio smells insane! Like butter and sugar and everything good and lovely to eat. If you don’t know (I didn’t!) the factory is where all of the Cake Boss cakes are made. This means not just the wedding cakes, but the store-bought Cake Boss cakes that you see at other bakeries and places like BJ’s. Basically they bake up all the pieces of the cakes and pastries and send them off to be assembled closer to the location of where you would buy them.

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We were given a tour of much of the factory, which was super exciting. There were giant mixers, a room where we saw employees rolling out innumerable pastries, and so much more – but my favorite had to be the decorating room.

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I actually tried my hand at cake decorating a few years ago and it is hard work, and I for one do not have the knack for it. While I’ve resigned myself to the life of a mere cake-eater, I have such an appreciation for the decorating team at Lackawanna Cake Factory –  if you’ve seen the show, or have been on their website, then you know that their work is beautiful.

Buddy also stopped by to tell us a little about why his partnership with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. –

“As a fourth-generation baker, quality and taste are a top priority, and Whole Earth Sweetener Co. uses ingredients sourced from nature, like stevia and monk fruit, which are crafted and manufactured into a great tasting line of lower calorie sweeteners that you can’t find anywhere else. Not only do Whole Earth Sweetener Co. products taste great, they also let you indulge in the sweet foods you crave and love, but with fewer calories.” – Buddy Valastro, Cake Boss

He also spoke about working with Whole Earth’s Sweetener and how he went through a testing process of using the sweetener and altering some recipes to accommodate any changes in the final product. He really stressed how that was most important to him – that what you bake tastes good, which is why he really loves Whole Earth’s sweeteners because it is a lower calorie sweetener that was still an excellent tool for him as a baker to make great treats.

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After having a couple of slices (yes, it was that good and I have no control over what happens when me and cake are in a room together) of cake made with the sweetener, I was completely sold! We also decorated these cute gingerbread men that were also made with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. – I put my, albeit limited, decorating skills to the test and created this little gingerbread man who is clearly ready for colder weather.

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Whole Earth Sweetener Co.’s range of products feature a Baking Blend, Turbinado Raw Cane 50, Whole Earth Sweetener Honey 50 and Whole Earth Sweetener Agave 50 – which are now available in 45 states from more than 60 select retailers as well as on amazon.com. To find out more about Whole Earth Sweetner Co. click here.

A Better Snack: Olives From Spain

This post is sponsored by Olives From Spain

Every year, Spain’s top wineries get together to celebrate their latest and greatest offerings with both wine novices, connoisseurs, and industry professionals. Hosted by the Trade Commission of Spain, Spain’s Great Match was packed this year. Thanks to Olives From Spain, I was able to attend and not only get a peek at popular vinters, but also dine on the country’s other favorite – olives!

Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.comOlives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com 

I’m actually a hardcore olive eater – if you’ve been following me on twitter or Instagram you might know this already. Not only do they rate as one of my favorite snacks, but they are a strict requirement for my cheese plates. I mean, really, a cheese plate is not a cheese plate unless there’s a decent Manzanilla olive somewhere on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually know too much about olives, aside from my preference for the Spanish Olives mix at the grocery store. Luckily, the Olives From Spain team was on hand to school me on some interesting facts:

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Did you know that most olives are used solely for oil extraction? I had no idea! And while the time it takes for every olive to go through the process required to get them ready for eating may vary, only a select few are deemed suitable for consumption. I love that – it makes my snacking olives feel that much more special. Speaking of special, the olives served at Spain’s Great Match by Olives From Spain were something extra – just look at these Olives with Marcona Almonds (another Spanish specialty), diced piquillos, and Carables cheese. So, so good.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

But my favorite was the Queen Olives stuffed with goat cheese, and served with a slice of apple, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. Queen Olives are named for their size, which the Olives From Spain folks informed me correlates to their price. The larger the olive, the more expensive it is. I’m familiar with stuffed olives – I’ve had them with piquillos, lemon, and almonds, but up until this event, I’ve never had them with goat cheese. I expected the cheese to come across as sharp and bitter, but the combination of the olive with the cheese, apple, and honey struck such an ideal balance that I had to restrain myself from snapping them all up and eating them myself.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Spain’s olives not only deliver great flavor and make a great low calorie snacking food, they also pack in a surprising amount of iron and fiber! There are currently more than 300 million olive trees in Spain, so there’s plenty to go around (or at least enough for my snacking habits). Which is a good thing, seeing as how Spain produces about half of the 145,000 tons of olives we import every year. Suffice it to say, the US is a massive fan of Spanish olives.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

How do you enjoy your olives? Do you serve them as a table snack? Or do you use them in marinades, salads, or stews? Olives from Spain are so versatile, but if you’re looking for a creative way to serve some look no further than http://olivesfromspain.us/ for more recipes and to learn more about your favorite Spanish olives!

How Target & Archer Farms Are Changing the Way We Drink Coffee

I am a dedicated coffee drinker. Dedicated. I like mine iced, blended into a slushie beverage, or simply drip brewed and served hot. But like everyone else, I am also interested in not only the flavor of my bean, but also who and how it is being sourced. And if you’re a K-Cup user, you’ve also probably been a little concerned with what happens to that K-Cup after you’ve used it too. Target, as usual, is on the ball and has heard customer concerns. This month Target is rolling out an expanded line of Archer Farms coffee featuring a few farm-to-cup improvements.

Archer Farms Coffee Bean Bar

I was invited to spend a morning with Target and Archer Farms highlighting these new improvements. I not only got to sip from Target’s new coffee additions, I also got to see how Target is looking out for the environment, the coffee producer, and the consumer. Oh, and I was able to see my face recreated in a cup of coffee (check in out on instagram!). Basically, my ideal kind of morning.

Target Archer Farms Coffee EventCold Brew Coffee Concentrate from Target

During the event I was able to speak to Emily Olsen, Senior Food Product Development Engineer for Target. Emily spoke to me about the entire process behind the bean, and invited me to see if I could taste the differences between four of Target’s newest coffee’s. Emily, whose job involves tasting loads of coffee (talk about dream job) and finding out what customers like us want, pointed out the fruity and acidic qualities of the coffees depending on the region that they come from, as well as the manner of their processing. It was so cool speaking to her, unfortunately I haven’t yet developed a coffee testers discerning tongue – they all tasted amazing to me, haha!

Farm to Cup at Target

Target was the first mass retailer to offer fair trade coffee. But they haven’t stopped there, they now offer 32 fair or direct trade options. Because of this commitment to fair & direct trade, they’ve also improved on quality and now will be offering 12 coffees with all-natural flavoring – and yes they’ll be ground, bagged, and available in single-serve pods for you K-cup folks!

Target Archer Farms New Coffee

Speaking of single-serve pods, I was thrilled to hear about Target’s environmental efforts. Before I broke my K-cup machine (a sad tale, really), I was constantly concerned with the amount of waste that I was creating. Target is now using Real Cup Technology, which relies on BPA-free translucent packaging. A Target rep spoke about the amount of waste created by traditional single-serve pods, and highlighted the extreme differences in waste produced with their new pod design, and it is significantly reduced. Basically, the new cups not only can be recycled, the filter and grounds are made easily separated (which you couldn’t do with traditional single-serve pods), so the grounds can also be composted. It’s so great to see Target roll out this massive initiative, with so many single-serve cups used daily, the damage – or in this case the amount of prevention can comparatively have a massive positive impact.

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But there’s more – all of Target’s single-serve pods benefit Waterwise, a clean water non-profit committed to cleaning the water supply in Ethiopia through creating sustainable and innovative wet mills. In addition to all this good, Target has also redesigned their bags and boxes to feature more than 50 new pieces of art that represent where that coffee was grown or the type of coffee in that package. I’ve seen many of them and they look great – you definitely won’t be hiding these bags in the back of your cabinet!

Archer Farms Coffee Redesign

I’m so excited about this new development and can’t wait to get brewing! These new changes roll out in stores on August 7th!

Restaurant Review: Ristorante Morini

A typical day for me involves taking a rather long, but not arduous, journey uptown by way of Madison Avenue. There are worse avenues to travel. And every day, for quite sometime, I pass Ristorante Morini and make mental notes to eat there. Thanks to Gilt City, I finally got my chance. Being of the kind that spends hours reading Yelp reviews and following food blogs, I was well aware that Ristorante Morini was not only one of the restaurants belonging to Michael White’s Altamarea Group but also that it had a pretty darn good reputation. And judging by my experience it’s a reputation that’s well-earned.

Ristorante Morini BarRistorante Morini

Upon entry, the first thing you’ll notice about Ristorante Morini is their gorgeous bar, which adds character to the white tablecloth atmosphere. The restaurant does consist of two levels, with the top accessible by elevator. Drawing a fair, but not crushing crowd, their prix fixe lunch menu is one of the better ones that I’ve seen in the city. For our appetizers my guest, Rosemary from NYC Style & A Little Cannoli, had Bocconcini – tomato-braised chicken-eggplant meatballs with mozzarella di bufala and garnished with torn basil.

Ristorante Morini Chicken MeatballsRistorante Morini Meatballs

The meatballs were insane – perfectly tender, and packed with flavor. They tasted like they had some kind of sausage in them, but I’m not certain. I had the Tonno – bigeye tuna tartare, crispy fingerlings, radish, and parsnip crema. I’m a massive tartare fan, so I eat tuna pretty often. This tartare was fresh, and I loved the texture added on by the crispy fingerlings, but the most spectacular addition to this tartare was the crisped capers. They tasted like they had been briefly pan fried, which gave this instant pop of saltiness that enhanced the whole dish.

Ristorante Morini Tartare

For our main, she had grilled sea bass, served with cauliflower, pine nuts, golden raisins, and saba. The dish was plated beautifully, and according to Rosemary, very delicious. I had the Milanese, a crispy veal cutlet wrapped in bruschetta, and served with aged balsamico and cream spinach. I loved it, it’s so filling that I couldn’t even finish all of it (which rarely happens, haha!).

Ristorante Morini Sea Bass

For dessert we had the Budino – a sweet italian custard or pudding – this one featured Gianduja, chocolate crema, banana, and hazelnut gelato. Rosemary had the Panna Cotta, one of my favorite desserts, this was a vanilla panna cotta with citrus, pistachio, toasted meringue, and blood orange granita.

Ristorante Morini DulceRistorante Morini BudinoRistorante Morini Panna Cotta

The toasted meringue were so tiny and perfect! They were really reflective of the entire meal which was clearly executed perfectly and done with attention to every detail. I cannot wait to bring my friends and family here – next time I’m definitely trying their pasta, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about! Want to dine at Ristorante Morini yourself? Right now Gilt City had an amazing deal for dinner and brunch at Ristorante Morini – check them out here! While you’re there be sure to check out Gilt City’s other local offerings!

May 11th Event Alert: The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event!

The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event | read more at nyctalon.com

Happy Friday! I’m kind of bummed because today is absolutely gorgeous out and I’m stuck at home ridiculously sick. Leave it me to wait until the beautiful beginning of spring to get monstrously sick. Well done immune system, well done. But enough of my complaining, I’m super super excited to share about this amazing event with you guys. The Village Voice, which if you don’t know throws quite a few exciting food events every year, is hosting their FIRST annual The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event!

The Village Voice Brunch Eats Tasting Event | read more at nyctalon.com

This is the first year of what I expect will be an extremely popular event – I’ve written about it before, NY’ers LOVE their brunch food! The breakfast-for-dinner food event will be held on top of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck & Space Shuttle Pavilion and will feature 20+ of New York City’s top restaurants and bakeries lauded in the Village Voice. Expect their best bites, mouth-watering brunch dishes plus themed cocktails like bellinis, mimosas, bloody marys and (naturally) coffee – all while enjoying music under the stars.

Plus, the Voice has just released the first round of 8 participants including The Black Ant, Butter & Scotch, Calle Dao, Le Fond, Nha Minh, Osteria Cotta, Streets BK, and Underwest Donuts!

VIP Guests will receive a VIP gift bag and have access to the VIP Shuttle Pavilion, while all guests will sample and sip from 20+ attending vendors aboard the top of The Intrepid’s Flight Deck, amongst properller planes that were used during World War II, guests will also enjoy full access to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ($22 Value).

Tickets on sale here!

Also, Brunch Eats is accepting volunteer applications until April 27th to assist the Voice team on-site at the event. All volunteers will receive a free general admission ticket to the Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival. For more information and to apply, visit here: http://microapp.villagevoice.com/brunch-eats/2016/volunteer.php.

Sponsors for Brunch Eats include: Califia Farms, Whole Foods Market, Vita Coco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Frames NYC, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Polar Beverages, and Green Mountain Energy.

EVENT DETAILS:
The Village Voice’s First Annual Brunch Eats Breakfast-For-Dinner Food Event
DATE: Wednesday, May 11th 2016
VENUE: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck
    12th Ave & W. 46th St. | Manhattan, NY 10036
TICKETS: On Sale: Wednesday, March 30th @ 10AM — http://bit.ly/BrunchEatsTix
General Admission Ticket – $60 | VIP Ticket – $85
TIME: 8PM – 11PM
For the latest on “Brunch Eats” please visit:
www.bruncheats.com

Best for Brunch: Dominique Bistro in the West Village

Brunch is pretty much a NYC staple. It seems like we’ve altogether abandoned the idea of “lunch” for a menu featuring both breakfast and dinner hybrids, and I’m sure not complaining. Brunch is my new favorite meal (followed shortly by dessert), and finding great brunch spots is sort of a personal mission of mine. A couple of weeks ago, with fork in hand, my friend and I were invited to stop by Dominique Bistro over in the West Village. Located on the cutest corner, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped away from the bustle of everyday busyness when you arrive at Dominique Bistro.

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That relaxed kind of energy is maintained throughout. The inside of Dominique is modern, but relaxed and the service is attentive, but not overwhelming. You won’t be bothered by persistent servers here. In the mornings quite a few people stop by just for the coffee, and when we arrived there were already a few couples brunching. Dominique Bistro does sport an open kitchen set-up, but it’s all very well done and you definitely don’t hear the clatter of plates or pans coming from that corner. In keeping with that elegant Parisian feel, the actual restaurant is pretty small, but tall ceilings and large open windows open the space up in such a way as you don’t feel crowded at all.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.comDominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

The brunch menu is ideal – you have savory options like Truffle Eggs, Eggs Provencal, and the classic brunch stand-bys Eggs Benedict and Avocado Toast, as well as a sweeter option in the Belgian Waffles served with fresh berries and chocolate mousse. I opted for the Duck Hash, boasting duck confit, potato, poached eggs, lardons, and arugula, while my friend had Eggs Benedict with prosciutto cotto.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.comDominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

I’m not going to lie, I should have stopped half-way through the Duck Hash. It was insanely filling, but the flavors were so on point that I had to restrain myself from licking the plate. The Duck Confit was perfectly tender, and the lardons were crisp, a perfect accompaniment to the poached eggs (also done perfectly). There was no part of that dish that I didn’t love. My friend loved her Eggs Benedict. “This is exactly how brunch should be” she said, sipping her expertly made cappuccino “great food, done well enough that it almost feels too decadent for breakfast”.

Dominique Bistro in the West Village, NYC | read more at nyctalon.com

Since then I’ve been poring over their menu, making plans to eventually head back to dinner. With entree options like Bouillabaisse, Duck Confit, and my personal favorite – Beef Bourguignon, Dominique Bistro is perfect for brunch, but definitely sounds like a sound option for dinner too! I can’t wait to head back!

Dominique Bistro
14 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 756-4145

http://www.dominiquebistro.nyc/