April 19, 2010

red horse : legion : williamsburg

The three guitar players of Red Horse, fronted by Adam Gerard

Adam Gerard

Grant William Anderson

When a band lists “Anheuser Busch, evil women, and the Stones” as their influences you can be sure you’re in for a night of catchy licks. Red Horse is sure to have you humming some of their songs the next day.

A favorite local haunt known as Legion hosted the show and poured the drinks. Steps away from the Graham Avenue subway and saturated by neon light from the neighboring White Castle, stepping in transports you into a scarcely lit room lined with one of the finest selections of bourbon, scotch, and beer in the neighborhood. The show took place in the back room. Past the fireplace and through a small hallway leads you into the small and musty room reminiscent of a basement.

A quick acoustic set with a Dylanesque vibe was played by Zeph, one of the three Red Horse guitar players. Shortly after Red Horse hit the stage and played an energetic set with all three guitar players entwined to set the tone for the night. Their mix of a lo-fi, somewhat southern sounding rock and roll provides a smooth transition into some of their tracks that have a much more country sounding twist to them. Red Horse is plainly a fun rock and roll band that will be sure to build a solid fanbase as they continue their musical endeavors. They’re good friends and a band I’m proud to call myself a fan of, I’ll be eagerly awaiting their debut album “Hard Control” due out in Spring 2010.

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April 14, 2010

Juliette : Williamsburg

A steaming cappuccino to start the brunch off right.


The Painted Hills Beef Hash with applewood smoked bacon, poached eggs, and sriracha hollandaise.


The roasted banana stuffed french toast with toasted walnuts and maple-bourbon syrup.


The Pino’s Spicy Lamb Burger with aged Boucheron cheese and hand cut french fries.

When I moved to Brooklyn almost three years ago, Juliette was one of the first places I ventured into for brunch. It’s warm, open and inviting. On weekends the bustling brunch crowd can be a little much to handle, but if you get seated in the sunlit side room you’ll be transported to a more laid-back atmosphere where the smell of fresh espresso wafts through to perk you up.

This past Sunday we went to Juliette for brunch and of course, anticipating the wait, wandered upstairs to the rooftop bar to sip on a spicy bloody mary and some whiskey lemonade concoction that the bartender whipped up on a whim. The host soon shouted my name over the crowd and offered us our table. I started with a cappuccino, which I wish I could tell you what they use, but I just don’t know. All I know is that it is delicious. It’s frothy and smooth and gives you just enough of the caffeine jitters.

This particular trip we were lucky to have the company of my mom who was in town visiting. She ordered the french toast which was sweet and salty. There was just enough crunch to the bread and the bananas rounded out the sweetness of the maple-bourbon syrup. I ordered the beef hash with poached eggs. I’ll admit the selling point for me was sriracha hollandiase sauce. DELICIOUS. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the hash had perfect parts beef, potatoes and bacon. It was indulgent, yet not too heavy. However, the star of the meal was Jake’s spicy lamb burger. He had it cooked medium so it was nice and juicy with a nice crispy outer layer. The Boucheron cheese was soft and gooey with a slight tang that smoothed out the spicy flavor of the lamb.

Little tip: I highly recommend stopping by Juliette during their weekday happy hour from 4-8 pm where you can sample some of their sliders for $2.50. This includes the lamb burger! They keep a decent stock of French wines and the bartenders make a mean bloody mary. The only downer in my opinion is that the rooftop is now a rooftop bar only. I miss the old days when you could enjoy a crisp mimosa with your eggs upstairs, but alas now you can only enjoy your mimosa.

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April 07, 2010

dbgb : east village

The Plateau de Fruits de Mer: oysters, mussels, clams, tuna tartare and crab claw.


The Tunisienne: spicy lamb & mint merguez with hash browns.


The Viennoise: pork & emmenthaler cheese “kaiserkrainer” and housemade sauerkraut.


The Yankee: 6 oz beef patty with Vermont cheddar, iceberg, tomato & vidalia onion on a sesame bun essex st. pickle & fries.

The Daniel Boulud helmed DBGB Kitchen & Bar is a very crucial stop for any true carnivore. The space is open and beautiful. From its sleek façade etched with quotes from foodies throughout history to the copper pots from Chef Boulud’s superstar friends lining the shelves, the restaurant is the perfect mix of uptown meets downtown. 

We’ve gone for brunch several times and finally brought the camera along. To start, nothing beats their Plateau de Fruits de Mer (petite). The seafood is fresh and sweet. The oysters are perfectly briney, the clams succulent and the shrimp plump. The standout star is without a doubt the tuna tartare. The tuna is meaty with chunks of cucumber and a perfectly spicy aoli whipped through.     

At DBGB it is no question where Chef Boulud’s loyalty lies, and that is in the meats. The Tunisienne has spicy lamb and mint merguez with which I substitued the usual lemon braised spinach and chickpeas with hash browns. The merguez was exactly what you want out of a sausage: crispy outside, moist inside. It had more spice flavor over heat. The hash browns, however, were a little underwhelming. I find it kind of difficult to ruin hash browns, but these were flavorless and greasy. The Viennoise, a pork and emmenthaler cheese “kaiserkrainer” with housemade sauerkraut was a perfect blend of sour and savory. The ribbons of melted cheese swirled with the smoky pork complement the sweet and sour flavors of the sauerkraut. The Yankee burger, like many other bloggers will attest to, isn’t anything extraordinary. It’s well seasoned and well cooked, but nothing that leaves you demanding “gimme more!” The fries on the other hand are delicious. They are cripsy and salty- everything you’d want in a fried potato.

Dessert is easy at DBGB. Just check out what seasonal ice cream sundaes they’re serving. We forgot to take pictures, but I promise you we’ll be back again.

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April 01, 2010

Paulie Gee’s : Greenpoint

Paulie and his son Derek, the official “stick man,” in front of the Stefano Ferrara wood-fired oven they had shipped in from Naples.

The master working with his locally grown, fresh ingredients.

One of the simplest, yet freshest, salads around: baby arugula with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and shaved Parmagiano-Reggiano.

The Delboy: fior di latte, Italian tomatoes, Soppressata Picante, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The King Harry: fior di latte, Italian tomatoes, Prosciutto di Parma, Pecorino Romano, fresh basil.

It’s only necessary and appropriate that we begin this blog with an experience close to our hearts, and bellys, Paulie Gee’s pizzeria in Greenpoint. We both have been following Paul Giannone’s pizza endeavors for months. I personally was ecstatic to learn that not only was he opening his own restaurant, but one in my neighborhood!

The great thing about Paulie Gee’s is that it hasn’t quite hit Roberta’s status yet, but the pizza and atmosphere are pretty comparable. Those self-proclaimed pizza connoisseurs like ourselves flocked to this gem on opening night and entered a dimly lit, warm and cozy interior designed by Build It Green, the same people who helped conceptualize Manhattan Inn. The entrance is located on a quiet stretch of Greenpoint Avenue and the large wooden doors give you a pretty decent idea of what’s to come. The inside is very reminiscent of an old (albeit romantic) farmhouse. A small bar stretches one side of the first room with tables lining the other. The back room is where it’s at though. The ceilings are high, the tables aren’t packed together and you have an incredible view of the wood-fired oven and the man himself, Paulie Gee.

In the couple times we’ve visited the service has been great. They’re friendly, down to earth and attentive. If you want red pepper flakes or extra olive oil, they’ll bring it. You don’t feel rushed, yet the service is prompt and thorough. Also, don’t be afraid to go chat up Paulie! He loves talking to the customers and hearing feedback.

The menu itself is very simple and the specials are something to look forward to. The ingredients are all laid out for you and all are unbelievably fresh. Paulie even makes his own cheese! He uses sausages from The Meat Hook and plans on using Rooftop Farms for specialty pies.

To start, there is nothing better to me than a simple arugula salad with freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The greens are like butter and the cheese adds the perfect amount of saltiness. Mix in a great olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and you’ve got a refreshing, light appetizer. Now when it comes to pizzas I’m the type of person who sticks to what’s tried and true. That for me is the Delboy. Soppressata Picante is one of my absolute favorite pizza toppings and Paulie’s is slightly crisped and perfectly spicy. The Regina takes what could be a basic pizza to delicious new heights. The fior de latte cheese is creamy and salty, the tomatoes fresh and the dough perfectly fluffy yet still maintain the crispness that only wood-fired ovens can achieve. I do, however, have one gripe about the King Harry pie. The prosciutto was just a little too difficult to chew after being cooked. It was buttery and sweet, but just a tad rubbery. Maybe if it was sliced into thinner ribbons it would complement the pie better instead of ending up in one big ball inside your mouth.

Overall, Paulie Gee’s is a must-eat and we are very much looking forward to enjoying the local beer and wines once they receive their liquor license. Greenpoint has officially upped the pizza ante!

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About

bon vi·vant
Pronunciation: \ˌbän-vē-ˈvänt
Etymology: French, literally, good liver
Date: circa 1695
a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink

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