Desserts »French Macroons

from Cookie Road, 94 Franklin St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I enjoyed the pretty, sugary delights of French Macroons in Paris but am happy to learn that I don’t have to wait for another trip there to enjoy them again. Greenpoint’s own Cookie Road now features a variety of enticing flavors like Blueberry, French Chocolate and Tangerine.

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Posted on June 20, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Roland Topor

Artist and Renaissance Man of the Surreal

There’s so much awesomeness to admire in the career of Roland Topor that it’s hard to know where to begin. As a visual artist he’s created surreal and creepy magic. As an actor he was Renfield in Herzog’s Nosferatu and had a cameo in my favorite Yugoslavian filmmaker, Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie. As a writer his novel The Tenant was adapted into the fantastic Roman Polanski adaptation and as an designer he (along with Rene Leloux )created one of the most visually stunning animated films of all time, Fantastic Planet. I’m in awe.

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Posted on March 21, 2010

Style Icons: Female »Cleo de Merode

Belle Epoque Dancer

As one of France’s most beloved dancers, Cleo de Merode caught the eye of artists (Gustav Klimt) and kings (Leopold II), the latter of which resulted in scandalous rumours that haunted her throughout her life despite the lurid tales of an affair being wholly untrue.

She gained even more admiration from a wider audience when she joined the Folies Bergere. Here’s a link to a 1897 article about her stateside arrival which describes her actual upbringing as much more humble than the royal background she claimed . I find her beguiling and the fashions she dons in her many portraits to be inspiring and beautiful. There are many to gaze at below/after the jump.

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Posted on March 14, 2010

Recipes »40 Garlic Clove Chicken

from Cooking Light

It seems that 40 Garlic Clove Chicken is a modern day classic: so many of my cooking friends have already made it and recommended it in one form or another. Perhaps it has to do with what a gourmet, straight-out-of-a-restaurant taste you get from relatively little effort. Sure, it takes a bit of time to prep all the cloves (and yes, it truly calls for forty cloves if you make the full recipe) but the results are more than worth it.

I really can’t express how tender and flavorful this is, and with so few ingredients! If you’re enjoying a romantic night in with someone you love, don’t hesitate to make this – after all, if you love each other, who cares if both of you have garlic breath?

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Posted on February 7, 2010

Movies »The Red Balloon

the red balloondirected by Albert Lamorisse (1956)

The Red Balloon is a beloved daydream-like classic. It plays daily at the Museum of Moving Image and was perfect Christmas weekend viewing on my laptop. The simple yet stunning little movie celebrates imagination, childhood and France and makes you joyful to have memories of any of those things. With its wordless story of a boy’s friendship with a big red balloon, a delightful score by Maurice Leroux, and beautiful images by Edmond Séchan, The Red Balloon has been charming audiences of all ages for decades.
Producer, writer director Albert Lamorisse cast his own son as the little boy who, along with the neighborhood kids (bullies included) is dressed impeccably stylishly French (rollneck grey sweaters and small school boy briefcases).

If you’ve missed this tiny masterpiece, watch it now on Netflix instant.

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Posted on December 26, 2009

Restaurants »JoJo

jojo pavlova
160 East 64th Street

In Jean Georges’s mini gourmet empire, Jojo is perhaps the coziest spot, nestled in a narrow brownstone in the east sixties. While a nice meal out above 14th street can occasionally be quite treacherous for a long-haired couple that, through rich people glasses, look like a pair of dangerous hipster hillbillies hell-bent on taking the family jewels, if fellow diners made side comments and gave us horrified looks, we were so engrossed in great company and good food, we certainly didn’t notice.

If you recall my raving about at the namesake restaurant, you’ll understand that it was simply impossible for us to pass up the heavenly foie gras brulee, which, served with a spiced fig compote, was every bit as amazing as I remembered. For entrees Jim and I split a venison special with pomegranate seeds and pears topped with a flavorful reduction sauce and the truffle-tastic salmon featuring brussel sprouts so good even Jim finished his, truffle mashed potatoes (with real, honest to goodness chunks of black truffle) and an incredible truffle vinaigrette… both were the kind of dishes that induce people to roll their eyes in incredulity. A lovely spritzer passion fruit and chili bourbon drink was the perfect accompaniment. For dessert, there’s nothing better than high class pavlova, one of my favorite and one of the most hard to find desserts.

Jojo was the famous Vongerichten’s first venture on his own and when it opened 18 years ago it stunned restaurant goers and critics. It’s been gussied up with a makeover since then (including velvet and candle sconces) but it’s still a go-to bistro for reliably awe inspiring dishes without too much fussiness.

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Posted on December 26, 2009

Recipes »Pate and Cornichon Sandwiches

pate cornichon sandwichClassic French Sandwich

Cornichon and Pate is a classic French sandwich. We started it all off right with the supremely excellent chicken liver pate from Marlow and Daughters. It’s a simple delight that’s simple to make: just spread a thin layer of butter and dijon, then a thicker layer of pate onto crusty French bread. Add sliced cornichons, and you’re all set.

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Posted on November 15, 2009

Restaurants »Jean Georges (Best Restaurant)

jean georges foie gras brulee Here's what I said then (on January 5th)

I have always wanted to eat at one of the big ones, New York's best eating establishments like Le Bernardin, Daniel, Per Se, or Jean Georges, but they were simply too expensive… Enter Jean Georges' phenomenal $28 lunch, a comparatively economic way to enjoy the finest foods in a refined environment. It was the perfect spot to celebrate my sister's engagement and with much excitement we all headed over to Trump Tower one Saturday afternoon.

We decided to each get three dishes and a dessert and of course had to try their cocktails, especially when one contains Makers, seltzer, passionfruit juice, and chili – yum. I'll tell you now, with drinks and additional dishes, the bill will balloon before you know it, but I will also tell you know that it is completely worth it – and if you don't believe me, listen to this phrase “Foie Gras Brulee“.

But I am getting ahead of myself, lets begin with the setting: a large airy room with giant ceilings, tall windows, gleaming whites, the greatest two seater chairs I have ever seen, and attentive service. A classy, clean and simple yet elegant backdrop for the delicious food to come.

It all began with an amuse bouche of smoked salmon, warm cauliflower soup, and tangerine. Next Meghan and I opted for the Sea Trout Sashimi that came displayed like abstract art with trout eggs, lemon, dill and horseradish. It was wonderful and fresh tasting. Adam was thrilled with his brussel sprouts with avocado, pistachios and mustard vinaigrette.

My sister and I agreed again on second courses, along with the rest of the table, with the delectable Foie Gras Brulee. One of the single best dishes I have ever had. The crisp sugar shell with the creamy richness of the liver atop the toast was balanced perfect with just a bit of tartness from the Pineapple-Meyer Lemon Jam. Truly heavenly. Jim had gulf shrimp with silky pumpkin, ginger and basil – a dish clearly so good, it was gone within seconds of this photo.

For mains, we ordered (Meghan) sweetbreads with licorice, grilled pear and lemon, (Jim) veal with quince-pineapple compote and roquefort, and (Adam and myself) Black Cod with Honshimehi Mushrooms and Lemongrass Consomme. All were truly excellent. These items are currently still available on the autumn menu, but the dishes changes seasonally, so you may find a whole new world of flavors available pretty soon.

Already the lunch dessert menu has changed slightly, so my apologies if my recollection of the exact ingredients is a bit shaky from here on without the menu to guide me. My sister and I had a taste of Autumn dessert which included a berry mousse with meringue and a cinnamon doughnut. Jim had the “caramel” which included a chocolate pop, coffee-cardamom ice cream, caramel curd, dehydrated sponge, and roasted pineapple sorbet while Adam went chocolate crazy with chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream, warm chocolate gnocchi, grapefruit and basil. To top it all of we were given tasty chocolates, tiny cookies, and hand cut vanilla, banana, and berry marshmallows.

Some other Jean Georges restaurants have begun a Winter promotion due to the economy where lunch is $24 and dinner $35. Call the restaurant to make sure they are participating.

London Roundup
Spicy and Tasty
Hiroko's Place

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Posted on November 2, 2009

Hunks »Jean Claude Killy

jean claude killyIf you were like me, you may not know the first thing about professional ski racing in the 1960's?but I am about to tell you the first thing about professional ski racing in the 1960's: Jean Claude Killy ruled it and was stunningly handsome. Now we know.

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Posted on September 28, 2009

Drinks »The Ten Bells

Any place with dollar oysters until seven is good in my book, but The Ten Bells goes one step beyond by offering a civilized old worldy atmosphere and a menu of great French and Belgium beers. I've yet to take advantage of their other menu items, but am eagerly awaiting the day I can get out of work early enough to gorge on beer and oysters again. When it happens, I will cherish it.

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Posted on September 7, 2009

Desserts »St Honore Pastisserie

astoria st honore patisserieWe stumbled across the adorable French pastry shop, St. Honore Patisserie in Queens after seeing it across the street while enjoying another satisfying meal at Taverna Kyclades. I was craving something sweet and was impressed with the selection in the window.

We opted for a passion fruit mousse cake to share as well as a frilly meringue cookie with sprinkles. Both were yummy and the staff was as sweet as their goodies.

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Posted on August 31, 2009

Style Icons: Female »Brigitte Auber

brigitte auberYou may not recognize her name, possibly even her face if you've not seen To Catch a Thief (to which I say, really??) and there's little information available about Brigitte Auber to be found aside from her role in Hitchcock's breezy thriller that never manged to make her a big name in the US.

For my money though, and I am sure I'll have resistance, the cranky Frenchy with her boy cut and sideways glances stole the movie right from under Grace Kelly – yes, even with the to die for white frothy gowns, easy rich lady day frocks and the killer ensemble of gold lame panniers.

You could go way worse for an icon of relaxed summer beauty than Brigitte – starting with that haircut that might be just the big change you're looking for? If you don't want to be that drastic, try tying a black scarf around your head, getting a flattering unique one piece, through on some stripes (the seasons easiest way to be cool) and learn to look adorable while pouting.

See all the looks here.

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Posted on July 27, 2009

Restaurants »The Adore

amore sandwichThe Adore deserves it's name because:

a. the space – with natural wood and giant airy windows is adorable, and

b. as it was packed even after peak lunch hours, it seems to be universally adored by those who know about it. And it's little wonder with their large selection of fresh sandwiches, salads and soups at comparatively reasonable prices.

I was taken with the inclusion of a warm anchovy sandwich – simple and yummy like everything we tried, that I paired with a potato leek soup. Unlike most creamy, heavy versions, this one is with a clear broth that's salty but not too much and chock full of chopped up fresh veggies. Fresh and home made really were the words for the day. Shaun's mustard dressing was also not heavy, but clearly made from scratch with ground up mustard seeds.

We sat upstairs where views of green trees outside add to the strikingly pleasant atmosphere. Even though it's fairly square in the middle of NYU and Union Square bustle, once you're inside you feel transported. Where exactly to is up in the air. The place is Japanese owned and run, (and therefore has rules that drive some Americans crazy if you read all the yelp and menu pages complaints) but they serve solid French sandwiches in a farm house/ loft setting. Truly a gem to anyone that discovers it and if you're in a rush, they have pastries and coffee to go downstairs but you'd miss out on the peace the inside offers.

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Posted on June 1, 2009

Style Icons: Male »Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson I have really been into the photo journalist look in general.
So why not recognize the father of photojournalism himself?

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Posted on November 28, 2005