NYSF Review: Mandolino Ristorante and Pizzeria

Mandolino Ristorante


In the fading light of dusk along East 13th Street, a bright light appears: Mandolino Ristorante and Pizzeria. Opened this year in January, it is a new treasure in the neighborhood.

As you walk through the doorway, an immediate feeling of warmth engulfs you. Among the coziness of the wood tables, the checkered napkins, and multi-textured ceiling, there is a friendly hustle and bustle, and an aroma of herbs and spices that add to the atmosphere.
The gracious welcome of Carolina, one of the co-owners, only enhances the feel.

I began the evening with a glass of wine. The Mandolino wine list pairs nicely with the menu selection and is more than reasonably priced. I had the Casata Parini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo a smooth, full-bodied red that proved to be the perfect complement to the first dish, La bufalina, a firm creamy portion of buffalo mozzarella cheese, served with arugula and prosciutto, a dry cured ham with a salty tenderness to it. The presentation itself was beautiful.

Next I had one of my all-time favorite dishes, Linguine alle vongole: linguine with sautéed manila clams. Mandolino Ristorante did not disappoint.

The dish had a velvety finish to it. Often times there is too much oil in the preparation but the balance of flavor, the garlic and fresh herbs, was delightful. Executive Chef Antonio Resvan Costa explained, “I cook the pasta in the clams and olive oil, and finish with Italian parsley.” As not to waste a bit of it, I dipped the pheasant bread that accompanied my meal in the last of my portion; ahh, culinary bliss.

Mandolino RistoranteAs I waited for the next entrée, my waiter, Ottavio continued to be hospitable, knowledgeable and attentive. I asked him if he was related to the owners or chefs, and with a flash of an endearing smile he responded, “We have the Italian blood.”

The next entrée arrived as a special dish not found on the menu. It was a medley of octopus, mussels and shrimp, simmered in cherry tomatoes, olive oil and white wine. The result was a rich seafood combination. The flavors stood up boldly but yet blended in an appetizing blend.

As Chef Antonio shared, “The food is simple, so there is no room to mess up.” He went on to explain his passion for the ingredient themselves, and his cooking style that creates the dishes themselves. His passion adds to the warmth and welcome. And although not related to Carolina and Chef Agostino, he adds, “I feel I’m home here.”

I’d have to agree.

As I waited for dessert, the friendliness and warmth that I experienced upon arrival continued throughout the evening.

The feel is one of family. And, at the heart of Mandolino is just that: family.

Owner (founder) Pizza Chef Agostino Cangiano and his wife Carolina, became not only business partners but friends with Cesar and Mary Guevara. Cesar and Mary also know Carolina’s family.

Carolina describes the journey of opening the restaurant as one of “bumping into angels” along the way. Ironically the when the tiramisu arrived, and I took a bite of the coffee soaked ladyfingers, the milky sweet, buttery flavor of mascarpone cheese and the dusting of cocoa, and I could only think one thing, “heavenly.”

Take some time and join Mandolina on their journey. Stop in for lunch or dinner, savor the good food, and enjoy the welcome of family.

5 Cheeses Every New-Yorker Has to Try

New Yorker Cheeses

Good food is important, not only for the nutrients but also for the tastes that make food so enjoyable. One of the most delectable and tasty foods out there is cheese. Cheese is great with crackers, wine, and so much more. If you are a New-Yorker, then you know just how great cheese can be for parties, diners, and even just a movie night at home.

If you’re new to the gourmet cheese game and you know how delicious cheese can be, we have a few options that will make your mouth water from gourmet cheeses to organic cottage cheese. Here are five cheese brands that every New-Yorker needs to try at some point and what you need to know about each one.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

One of New York’s, and Seattle’s, finest cheese brands, Beecher’s Homemade Cheese is known for their delicious Mac & Cheese made from their fine homemade cheese. Their cheese is perfect for cooking and enjoying with scotch, beer, and wine. They have incredible selections and flavors available as well.

You can buy these cheeses at the Flatiron District, or you can buy online, which is great if you have previously visited but don’t live in New York yourself. Beecher’s also has gift collections, side dishes, and staples along with their fabulous cheese. Their Flagship cheese is the most popular of their selections.

Beecher's CheeseMurray’s Cheese

An award-winning cheese brand, Murray’s Cheese has some of the finest and tastiest selections to boot. Cheeses like aged cheddar, Irish cheddar, and even manchego, there are no limits to the possibilities with these cheeses.

Aside from their incredible cheese, the company also offers New-Yorkers and others the possibility to purchase items like meats, side items, gift items, and even hand-selected pairings for wines, chocolates, whiskey, and beer. You can take a quick trip to the chocolate paradise on Madison Ave before swinging by Murray’s to pick up a bit of cheese to enjoy with your chocolate.

Murray's CheeseStinky Bklyn Cheese

Stinky Bklyn is just a funny name for an incredible cheese brand right in the heart of Brooklyn. New-Yorkers will love this cheese because they have a little something for everyone. Some of their best options are the Beehive cheese, blue cheese, cheddar, and more. You can purchase just plain cheese, gift baskets, wine and spirits, and more.

Stinky Bklyn also offers a month club where you get special gift items with cheese each month. You can order wholesale, and the company caters as well. Their cheese is made from the best ingredients, and they are perfect for sandwiches, which the store in Brooklyn also sells. If you visit Brooklyn often, you don’t want to pass up on their cheeses.

Barnyard Cheese

Though it has a southern name, their shop is right at the heart of New York City. Barnyard Cheese has a wide selection of delicious cheeses that pair great with bread, chocolate, wine, or other items. They even have a selection of meats that pairs great with their cheese.

Barnyard has a selection of cold and warm sandwiches as well as house drinks that are all made to serve with their fine cheeses. Order a cheese platter, or just have lunch in their New York store. Whatever you are looking for, they have the right cheese for you.

Ideal Cheese

A great New York option, this is perfect for all things cheesy gifts. They have over 250 different varieties of cheese for you to choose from, and they handpick each cheese for their special gift baskets and monthly plans. If you are into all things cheese, Ideal Cheese has great options for you.

They even have cheese from around the world that is specially crafted for their brand. Ideal Cheese even sells delicious cooking oils and specialty meats that go well with their cheese. With great recommendations, you can find exactly what you are looking for to give as gifts or even keep for yourself.


Cheese is amazing, and that is no understatement. Cheese goes great with drinks, snacks, and more for things like parties or even just sitting at home. New-Yorkers are no strangers to cheese and all its delicious goodness. There are so many incredible cheese shops and brands in New York, and we have chosen five of the best to tell you about above.

If you live in New York or plan to visit shortly, be sure to take a trip to a few of these shops. If you want to purchase their cheese again later, most brands even ship around the country so you can enjoy the delicious fine cheese no matter where you live. It’s not cheesy to enjoy the delicious taste of cheese with your favorite sides or your favorite drinks like wine, beer, or whiskey.

Tasting La Maison du Chocolate: Is This Chocolate Paradise?

La Maison du Chocolate

La Maison du Chocolate on Madison Ave introduced a preview of their 2018 Valentines Collection last Tuesday. Add in bubbles and you have the most perfect Tuesday evening on the Upper East Side.

The space is elegant with an understated decadence. It’s a room full of chocolate!! Beautifully merchandised but also reminds you of a sweet Shoppe in Paris or a quaint Mom and Pop Store if Mom and Pop were beautiful French people kissing you on both cheeks.

In the heart of Parisian Gardens

La Maison du Chocolate’s Valentine’s collection is a stylized study in Parisian landscape architecture. Nicolas Cloiseau sets the stage for strolls through Paris’ verdant pathways and hidden ponds, from rows of linden trees to the orangeries of the gardens. Tenderness is infused into this year’s Valentine’s Collection depicting the City of Lights in a beguiling melody of fragrances and flavors…

La Maison du Chocolate

La Maison du Chocolate


As I look at this collection box I imagine myself as Mary Poppins and jumping into a chalk sidewalk drawing taking me to Paris.
La Maison du Chocolate
The box: Kim Roselier Illustrator

My heavenly Tasting…

The Valentine Collection is a quartet that sings to your taste buds in notes of ginger and sea salt and citrus composed in a velvet melody.


Dark chocolate ganache features an orange/blood orange infusion to underscore the nuances of the citrus’ finest flavors. The ganache is gently stirred with both the citrus’ juice and the zest to awaken the crisp, bubbling notes of the finest chocolate.

Fruity Jasmine

With its more moderate tones, the fruity sensation of a sweet mango gelée, mixed with a subtle dash of vanilla, is juxtaposed to the delicate undertones of white jasmine flowers.  In a rich, creamy ganache the fruit and infused flowers are enhanced with salty a touch of caramel.  (My personal favorite)

La Maison du ChocolateLemon tilleul honey

With a sweet rush of milk chocolate, the floral symphony of Parisian linden trees envelop our palates with delicate flavors.  The sour melody of the lemon juice complements the herbal whiff of the ganache and leaves room for the creamy notes of honey.

Zested Ginger

Just imagine Parisian energy coded into short sequences. Ginger and lemon tones alternate each other in a dark almond praliné with accents of caramelized nuts. The spicy, peppery rush of one shakes up the acidulous side of the other in an exhilarating pairing, which is sure to be noticed.


Orangeraie: dark chocolate ganache with the juice of blood oranges, and oranges with a zest infusion.

Fruity jasmine: milk chocolate ganache with a jasmine infusion on top of a vanilla mango gelée.

Lemon tilleul honey: milk chocolate ganache with tilleul, tilleul honey, enhanced with lemon juice.

Zested ginger: dark chocolate praliné with almonds and ginger with zests of candied lemon.

Available in the boutiques and online on January 24, 2018

La Maison du Chocolat

Madison Boutique – 1018 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075

(718) 361 9161





Tips For Getting Into The Food Industry

the food industry

Have you received countless compliments on your delicious food? Do you love to get into the kitchen and let your creative side take over? Well, it sounds like you would make a good addition to the food industry. You would truly be surprised at how much money you could make by just starting up a small home based food operation. Even though you probably have fun cooking and it doesn’t even seem like work, a business is a business and there are several things that you need to be aware of. In fact, so many home food businesses fail because they are not aware of these simple facts.

You Must Know The Laws And Regulations

Just because you are starting a small home based food business out of your kitchen it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be required to meet certain laws and regulations. In fact, in some states you might even be required to have your kitchen certified just as a commercial kitchen would be. Licensing, permits, and zoning laws are other things that you are going to have to look into before you can get up and running. Make sure that you adhere to the laws and regulations; otherwise the law could persecute you.

You Have To Create A Market For Your Business

While you might have some of the tastiest treats around, it doesn’t mean that there is a market for what you are selling. Without a market, how do you expect to make any money? Before you fully invest in your business it would be best to start out small and sell your product to your local neighbors, PTA parents, and even at local establishments. Start out with inexpensive items that can be easily packaged, so you don’t burn all your profits on advertising and packaging. Check out canyoumicrowaveit.com for some unique and great ideals.

Make Sure You Become A Legal Entity

Most individuals make the mistake of sticking with the hobby mindset. Most small home food businesses are started as a hobby and unfortunately; the individual that started the business sticks to that mindset. This can be a huge mistake, because it can open you up for lawsuits and all kinds of other liabilities. You need to either get registered as an LLC or a corporation. It might even be a great ideal to speak with an attorney about getting legal representation.

Don’t Be Afraid To Consult Professionals

You might think that since you are a small business you can do everything on your own. Sure, you might be able to handle the cooking and creation of the menu, but what about the accounting and website creation? Have you actually ever created a website before, or have you ever taken an accounting class? Never be afraid to seek professional assistance for tasks that are out of your realm of expertise. Even if you can tackle some of these other tasks on your own, just think about the money that you are going to save by hiring someone else.

Top Places for Gourmands in NYC

gourmands in NYC

For all of you foodies making a trip to New York, you’re in luck. You’ve chosen what is probably the most gourmand-friendly place to see, and taste. There are plenty of chances to feed your inner street food critic or simply enjoy striking a strange meal off of your bucket list. So, choosing the top places for gourmands might be a bit tricky. What is the type of food which you prefer? Though, in the end, a visit isn’t everything. If you fall in love with the Big Apple, like many have before, moving here would be a perfect thing to do. If that would interest you, let us take you for a short tour around the best gourmet spots in the neighborhood, shall we?

gourmands in NYC
Text: If you’re a gourmand in NY seeking a great spot, you should know what your preferences are.

Before heading out to the streets of New York, know what kind of a gourmand you are

First things first, let’s get this out of the way: every spot in a city as big as NYC will have a bad review or two. Why, you might ask? To each their own. This phrase comes to mind when we touch this topic. There are simply one too many people living in NY with tastes as different as day and night. Hence, so you won’t find yourself in a situation to be leaving a food review which isn’t positive, we’d suggest this. Think about what kind of a foodie you are. Are you conscious of the way you live and enjoy taking care of your body? Maybe grabbing a quick, but healthy, meal on the way to work is your scene? Or, are you perhaps conducting business over dinner a lot? Then, you ought to choose a nice restaurant as your new haunt. After you’ve got your preferences figured out, choosing the restaurant won’t be too much of a problem. After all, there are plenty of top places for gourmands in NYC to pick from.

Let’s start with a classic for all food lovers: A piece of Italy in New York

Italian cuisine may just be among the most popular these days in the world. And, in NYC, which is a melting pot of numerous cultures, there are plenty of places which will serve great Italian. However, we want to pick out the top places for gourmands in NYC who are seeking a taste of Tuscany. Hence, we decided to highlight Marta here. It is a wonderful place for anyone who’s seeking a slice of carefully made pizza after their stressful day. With the elegant, yet welcoming feel of the tall wood-fired ovens and the comfortable dark wood of the interior, Marta is a definite people pleaser. And, after you’re done drinking some of the authentic wine with your delicious meal, head to the bar for a cocktail or two. The staff is among the most easy-going and friendly in NYC, so don’t hesitate asking for some advice on your choices.

Next, head out to explore the East in the West: Introducing Japanese cuisine in NYC

Japanese cuisine in NYC
For all those foodies seeking a taste of Asia in NYC, this may be the perfect spot.

In the recent years, Japanese cuisine has become more and more popular. If you’re among the generation which has been following anime in youth, this will be your favorite on our list. It’s time to try the food that Naruto has been recommending to you for ages, right? Head out to Ivan Ramen and try your hand at slurping these noodles. If you’re worried about how authentic these dishes are, you shouldn’t be. Ivan Ramen is among our top places for gourmands in NYC because it is ‘for real’. The owner, Ivan Orkin, actually spent a lot of time in Japan studying the art of ramen. But, this NY food spot is definitely for those who aren’t into too much experimenting, as well. Ivan Ramen mixes traditional Japanese ramen with the familiar tastes from your home in the USA.

Among the top places for gourmands in NYC is definitely: The spice of Mexico in north

Some Mexican spicy treats are on almost every foodie’s list. If you’re browsing through New York looking for a good spot, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. From food stands to actual restaurants, there aren’t many chances for disappointment. The rule of the thumb goes: pick the stall with the long line, right? However, once in a while, a gourmand needs to take a seat in a classy place and still eat quesadilla. Cosme may just be the place to fulfill those demands. It ranks among the best Mexican restaurants across the country and is a perfect mixture of class and home. The menu ranges from light brunch meals to a proper dinner for a date. The only trouble here would be getting a reservation, as the place is always full. Like we’ve already mentioned, a long line naturally means great food. We’d suggest visiting them at about five thirty in the afternoon and trying to grab a walk-in table.

And finally, we advise that you enjoy an American meal with a Mediterranean twist

gourmands in NYC
While a lunch is a great idea, some gourmands need a night out with a great cocktail, too.

As we’ve already mentioned, NYC is a bit of a melting pot for different cuisine. You can find almost anything here, no matter which part of the world you’re interested in exploring. But, after you’re done exploring the globe in the Big Apple, you will get a bit homesick, right? The perfect spot to head out to then is Meadowsweet. This is a place which has it all. If you’re looking for a quick brunch with your friends, you won’t be disappointed. Any gourmand will enjoy the light meals with their pick of delicious wines on the side. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer a dinner date, this still may be the place for you. Check out their online menu and see exactly what you’d prefer on your plate. The extra plus about Meadowsweet is that, while they aren’t a vegetarian restaurant, they won’t say no to a requested vegan entrée. Finally, our tip is to take your pick of their desserts and cocktails, as well. There isn’t really a wrong choice in this place.

So, after reading all this, wouldn’t a move to Brooklyn be a perfect thing to do? If you’re a gourmand, there’s no doubt about it. Start searching for Brooklyn moving services and arrange your move to NYC, the best place in the world for food lovers!


This New York Festival Brew Our Mind

NY Festival

“Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.” – Thomas Jefferson

Micro Brews, Gastro pubs, sommelier’s – so many experts and connoisseurs of everything coffee. Juan Valdez is not real and coffee is good.

The NY Coffee Festival was held during October 13-15. Project Waterfall is the official charity partner of this brilliant Festival. 100% of profits go to deliver clean water and sanitation in coffee producing communities. The New York Coffee Festival 2017 aims to raise over $100,000 for Project Waterfall. All funds raised will support clean water projects in the Rulindo district of Rwanda in partnership with charity: water.

I love coffee, but I went for the food.

Bluestone, Tuck Shop and more…

Bluestone looked great and seemed to be doing a great business. Always had a line. Unfortunately I go to these events to do tastings and not pay almost $9 for avocado toast…

Next to them was Tuck Shop. Again lines too long to wait for a kale salad. I would have liked to be able to review their food and not just say it looked lovely. Which it did.

NY Coffee FestivalAs a food blogger I felt I needed to review the food but this event was all about Coffee.

Coffee. Coffee. Tea and tea. It was a coffee haven. This was evident by the crowds that I experienced on a Saturday afternoon.

The Coffee Con…super bowl of caffeine .

Surprisingly I wasn’t taken away by the hit of coffee aroma when I walked in. Which is one of my favorite sense memories to all that is right in the world.

Like the smell of clean sheets or fresh cut grass.

Roasted chestnuts and giant pretzels. Coffee is a scent I identify with the streets of NY.

Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion. 3 Floors of labs, coffee demos, coffee quizzes, educating all about all there is to know about beans…it’s a fruit.

Caskai: Tastes great and boosts your day

Caskai was one of my favorites. Joel Jeldreks and his sister in law were extremely welcoming to all. Spending time with everyone to educate and share this discovery. New to the states the process of shaving the husk of the coffee bean. Cascara comes from what is called the ‘natural coffee process’ whereby the coffee fruit is dried whole and then the husk is removed from coffee seed after fully dried – this dried husk is Cascara.

New York FestivalJoel was so gracious and had me sample many of their items. Caskai sparkling cascara infusion was refreshing and a crisp light flavor. The cascara is grown in the highlands of panama and Nicaragua, spring water from the Austrian Alps, a touch of organic cane sugar, a shot of carbonation, citric acid and smile.

It tastes great and providing a little boost to your day, premium sun-dried cascara has quite a nutritional story. A truly balanced superfood, Cascara contains a full combination of beneficial nutrients that includes powerful anti-oxidants, essential amino acids, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Potassium, essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6), Carbohydrates, Fiber, Protein and a natural caffeine kick as a back note.

The NY Coffee Festival Experience…

I came upon Dona Chai. Pretty Booth and very friendly. Tea…chai it was nice. Refreshing…I was in need of caffeine.

I made my way through the many many coffee fans standing and drinking at booth after booth.

Danny Macaroons served me a lovely salted caramel macaroon. Gluten Free Soft and chewy with a hit of sea salt and a light drizzle of caramel.

Weaving in and out of the crowd I found Vanessa Patisserie based in Brooklyn. I was impressed with the Beautiful caneles. Madelines and all the mini pastries Beautifully displayed.

New York Food FestivalGotham Coffee Roasters served me a lovely chai latte.

Tim Tam from Australia offering their lovely tim tam biscuits and challenging all to the Tim Tam Slam.

Swiss Water Process and Kris Wu educated me on the process of taking the caffeine out.

“Our internally developed Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is introduced to the beans and caffeine removal begins. Caffeine ventures out on its own, away from the coffee beans into the GCE until the ratio of soluble compounds in the GCE to the compounds in the coffee reach the point of equilibrium. Caffeine and GCE flow continuously through our proprietary carbon filters until all the caffeine is trapped and separated from the GCE. Then the GCE is refreshed so that it can be used again and again to remove more caffeine.”

NYC FestivalFlat Brew coffee spread espresso was probably my most satisfying taste of the day. Sweet, smooth taste with enough espresso flavor to appreciate and feel like you just got a generous shot of creamy coffee in a spread. It was the caffeine I was looking for all day.

Festivals like this can be overwhelming but from the amazing coffee, vendors ranging from Bodum, de’ Longhi, Starbucks, Tim Tam, and so many more. The Lab Program including the sensory Perception Master Talks, Music, Art, Latte Art and coffee masters this is an experience you should not miss next year.

Top 5 Famous Chefs in NYC in their Uniforms

famous chefs in NYC

As you know, the classic Chef Uniform is a complex combination of usefulness and profound respect for tradition. Rooted in the decorum of 200-year-old French Cuisine, each part of the uniform has a role to play. The huge toque was meant to keep sweat off your brow and keep you head cool. The double-breasted shirt protects the chef from heat or spills. The aprons serve both as protection and impromptu oven mitt. Each item has a function, or should we say, used to have a purpose. Do today’s Chefs continue to honour the traditional uniform?

Looking at some of the most reputable female Chefs in New York City, we can see that it entirely depends on the individual.

Cooking her upscale Mexican dishes, Daniela Soto-Innes usually wears a white short-sleeve shirt, not necessarily double-breasted, and sporting a tipped collar. Her apron, worn over the head rather than simply tied at the waist, is black. Chef Soto-Innes is not a fan of the traditional high toque; no such thing is found on her head.

Her colleague and recipient of several Michelin awards, April Bloomfield, wears a traditional chef shirt that has a more conventional round collar. She also favors short sleeves. Her apron, full size in length, is stripped. Once again, gone is the toque, no hat for April.

famous chefs
April Bloomfield on the right. Photo by Breville USA

Amanda Cohen, manager of a vegetarian restaurant, can be seen wearing a cross between a traditional chef shirt and something more modern. Her short sleeves shirt has a tipped collar rather than a round one. Did you know that in her restaurant, there are no tips? She prefers paying her employees higher wages. Same as her colleagues, there are no hats in sight in Amanda’s kitchen.

Suchanan Aksornnan, a specialist in mixing Spanish and Asian cuisine into wonderful dishes, wears a somewhat traditional uniform that is entirely black, apron as well. Her shirt is double breasted and the collar is round. Her apron is black and contrary to her colleagues, she wears a black chef’s cap.

Our final chef is Angela Dimayuga who wears a short-sleeves, tipped collar white shirt covered with a white apron. She is the only chef to wear a more traditional white hat that is significantly shorter than the tall toque.

It is always interesting to discover NYC chefs in their restaurants and learn about their stories. They each bring a unique flavor to the Big Apple.

From our observations, it appears that the traditional Chef Uniform is changing, evolving, especially for the women of the field. The most obvious item to gradually disappear is the tall white toque. It is replaced with riders’ cap, black or white Asian caps, shorter toques, caps with short lids facing forward or backward, or black mesh lids. Despite the historical signification of the piece, the white toque is almost completely gone and it is doubtful it will ever make a comeback into New York kitchens. Some of you might be nostalgic about the loss, but ultimately, it will not affect the quality of the food.

NYSF Alert: New Food Trucks and Carts in Prospect Park !

Prospect Park


Prospect Park is a beauty. Regarded as Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, we love every aspect of it. We love its long meadow and Zoo, its large Memorial Arch and paddle boats, its super comfy 3+ miles stretch for running, its dog beach and children’s water park, and of course – its delicious Saturday farmers market. We love their fresh fruits and veggies of all sorts, fish and pork, breads and cheeses, and much more.

However, Prospect Park Alliance is now bringing Breakfast Tacos, Donuts, Dumplings and much more to various locations around the Park.

So who’s going to serve you at Prospect Park very soon? Well, we’re told that the new vendors coming to the Park are: King David Tacos, Carpe Donut NYC and Anton’s Dumplings. For more information about Prospect Park’s food offerings, visit prospectpark.org/food.

“One of the top requests from park patrons is more food options in the Park,” said Sue Donoghue, President of Prospect Park Alliance. “This year we reached out to local businesses to seek interesting and affordable food options for the Park. These new vendors will join our existing vendors, including the Bluestone Café at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Smorgasburg Prospect Park, and concessions the Alliance operates seasonally at the Prospect Park Carousel and Parade Ground.

Prospect Park FoodKing David Tacos is known for its authentic, Austin-style breakfast tacos. It will be stationed at Grand Army Plaza seven days a week (Mon-Fri, 7-11 am; Sat & Sun, 7 am-12 pm) year-round. The delicious mobile cart will offer three signature tacos made fresh each morning at a central kitchen: BPEC (bacon, potato, egg and cheese), Queen Bean (refried bean (v), potato, egg and cheese), and Or’izo (Mexican chorizo, potato, egg and cheese), with seasonal sides and gluten-free options. King David Tacos is a woman-owned and Brooklyn-founded business, established by Liz Solomon Dwyer, a native Austinite, in June 2016.

Carpe Donut NYC was named Best Donuts by New York Magazine. It will be located at the Vanderbilt Loop (Sat & Sun, 8 am-4 pm). This food truck features hot, fresh, handmade donuts using the highest-quality organic and locally-sourced ingredients. This season, they are featuring the FroDo—a donut ice cream sandwich hand packed with organic vanilla Blue Marble ice cream.

Anton’s Dumplings will be stationed at 9th Street and Prospect Park West (Wed-Mon, 11 am-11 pm). This cart offers Russian cuisine, and was created by a group of Russian-Americans who wanted to share their love for pelmeni. In its first year of business, it was named one of the best dumplings by New York Magazine’s Grub Street. Anton’s offers three kinds of dumplings—potato, chicken, and Siberian—with untraditional toppings including soy sauce, Sriracha and smoked Gouda fondue.

In addition to all that, Mohammed Islam will add a second hot dog cart at Lincoln Road and Ocean Ave, an addition to the location at the Long Meadow Ball Fields.
See you at the Park !


5 Tips to Protect Your Restaurant from Embezzlement

Protect your restaurant

Most small businesses have minimal profit margins so when 5% of your revenue is loss to fraud; it represents a significant amount of money that could represent the end of your restaurant. We have to face the fact that despite our denial and high level of trust, when there is opportunity, pressure and rationalization, our employees will steal from us. To confirm that employees are taking advantage of you, when you have suspicions, is to look for patterns in sales, disappearance of products, and lighter cash flows. Some strategies might be less obvious such as having made payments for shipments that never arrive or using the company credit card to make personal purchases. Regardless of the type of fraud, you need to look out for yourself. If you can prove an employee is stealing from you, firing him or her is probably the quickest and cheapest way to get rid of the problem.

Although this is unfortunate, it should not be surprising as 75% of restaurant employees have confessed that they have previously helped themselves at least once to money or goods in their workplace. This represents billions of dollars in losses every year. Here are some of the ways your employees are stealing from your restaurant. The most inoffensive one is by using their cellphone while on the clock. Every time they check their screen, they interrupt their work and cost you money. Diminution in productivity results in financial losses in every business. You can reduce this loss by having a clear cell phone policy and scheduling regular breaks for your employees.

Another trick is for waiters to charge the customer the right amount for a drink or meal, but to key in a different item, usually at a lower cost, on the cash register. The employee pockets the difference and by the time you realize the subterfuge, it is too late. Sometimes, your employees take advantage of the availability of the food or drinks you offer, especially in small restaurants or where finger food is available such as in mezza restaurants. To protect yourself from such fraud, put locks on cupboards and have detailed inventories. You may want to feed your employees before their shift, a strategy that might pay off in the long run.

A long-lasting way to steal is the infamous dine and dash. Although it might legitimately happen on occasion, it is an easy way for a waiter to pocket some cash as it is illegal for you to deduct your loss from the waiter’s pay or tips in New York. The best protection against such fraud is to install video surveillance. If you cannot afford the real thing, place fake cameras and signs around the dining room so waiters and customers think they are being recorded. Another useful trick is to have a host at the front of the restaurant to intercept customers too eager to leave before settling their bill. Having only one official entrance through which people come in and leave is also helpful in this type of theft. Don’t despair and be vigilant, you have worked hard for your business, don’t let negligence take it away from you.





3 Benefits of Cooking With Clean Water

Cooking With Clean Water

Do you know what is in the water you drink and use for cooking? It comes straight from your tap and has been processed by your local water board; you must assume it is safe to drink.

If you are lucky enough to live in NYC then you may feel particularly confident; it is known for having the best tasting water in the country; despite the fact that much of the 1 billion gallons delivered every day comes from reservoirs as far away as 125 miles from the city.

Is NYC Water Safe To Drink

Unfortunately, while this water is safe to drink and may have one of the best tastes in the country, it is not completely devoid of additives and chemicals. In fact, TimeOut recently discovered that the water in NYC actually has several chemicals which have potential health risks to people living within the city.

All the toxins, such as bromodichloromethane, are within government guidelines; but this does not mean they do not have potential effects for your health.

The Solution

To give yourself peace of mind it is a good idea, no matter whether you live in NYC or elsewhere, to indulge in a high quality water filter system. The best ones are those which have a reverse osmosis water filter built into them.

The reverse osmosis filter works through 5 stages to ensure all minerals, particulates and even fine particles are removed; leaving you with clean and even better tasting water.

You will also notice 3 specific benefits when cooking with clean water:

1. Improved Taste

Any water which has chemicals in, particularly chlorine, will have an altered taste. This is something you may not notice as you have always drunk it this way. However, once you remove these chemicals and additives you will be aware of how much better it tastes.

This translates into your cooking. Each of the flavors in your food will be clearer and more noticeable when they are not tainted by the influence of these minerals in your water.

2. Clean Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables need to be washed before they are eaten; this is to remove any chemicals and other substances they may have picked up while in the soil. However, if you wash them with unfiltered water you may be adding just as many contaminants to them as you have removed; altering the flavor of your food again.

You can appreciate the pure taste of the fruit by washing it in filtered water.

3. Reduced Sodium

Finally, water from your tap is likely to be hard water; as many as 90% of the households in France have naturally occurring hard water. The consequence of this is that many homes already have water softeners fitted. These remove the calcium and magnesium from the water and replace it with soap.

Although this prevents damage to your appliances and makes it easier to get lather; sodium is another mineral which has to be monitored when being added to your body. Cooking with water that has not been filtered through 5 stage reverse osmosis may mean excessive exposure to salt; this will affect the taste of your cooking and can affect your long term health.


Whether you enjoy the best tasting water in the country or not, you will find that a water filter will provide you with clean water which tastes even better and offers several benefits when cooking. IT might be time to go shopping for a water filter!

Exploring The Enormous Benefits Of Healthy Meal Delivery

Healthy Meal Delivery


Do you happen to live a hectically busy lifestyle? You’re not the only one. Millions of Americans have a difficult time trying to make it from day to day, because their work is consuming. This makes it nearly impossible for these individuals to sit down with their loved ones and share a healthy meal together. The good news is that there are some ways to simplify your life. With the right meal delivery service, you’ll be able to eliminate a few complexities, save time and grow closer to your family. The perks associated with Sun Basket can be found below.

Totally Healthy With Maximum Convenience

As you probably already realize, getting access to healthy foods can be far more difficult than you could ever imagine. This is one of the major perks associated with Sun Basket. The company has gone above and beyond to ensure consumers can access healthy ingredients conveniently. The company provides access to healthy ingredients, which are organic and produced with no GMOs. Even better is the fact that all of these ingredients can be delivered directly to your door!

Environmentally Friendly

Another thing to remember is that getting packages in the mail is not always environmentally friendly. In many cases, the packages cannot be disposed of easily or in a green manner. This is another big advantage associated with Sun Basket. The company utilizes completely recyclable and compostable packaging. With this company, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a meal delivery service, without having to worry about harming the environment! The hand-selected ingredients will arrive in an insulated box, so you can guarantee that they’ll be fresh and delicious.


Sustainability is more important than ever before. It looks as if Sun Basket understands this wholeheartedly. The company has gone to great lengths to team up with ranchers and fisherman that can be trusted. According to company execs, all its foods are responsibly sourced and Sun Basket puts significant emphasis on sustainability. They also claim that all their farming and production techniques are designed to protect the environment, the animals and the public at large. When you enjoy one of their delicious meals, you’ll be able to do so with a clear conscience. With that being said, you can get this special coupon code and place your order if you’d like.


Many seniors and people with disabilities have difficulty accessing healthy foods. In the past, those vulnerable had to rely on other people to take them to the grocery store or purchase their groceries for them. While this is perfectly okay, they do not want to feel like a burden. With food delivery services, everyone can access healthy, fresh foods and have they’re delivered to their front door.

Cut Meal Preparation In Half

Busy families have very little time to invest into preparing homemade meals. With this said, it is not unusual for those people to stop at a fast food restaurant to feed their family. As you already know, fast foods are filled with unhealthy ingredients, which are linked to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

With food delivery services, you will receive healthy, ready-made foods right at your doorstep. These foods only require about 30 minutes to prepare and heat up, so you and your family can eat healthy without delay.

We Got a Taste of the US Open: Was it Good as Federer?

US Open


2017 US OPEN Food Village is a celebration of all your Celebrity Chef Hero’s.

Queens is lovely this time of year. Tennis is in Flushing. Every Summer the world watches the best of the best in Tennis and those fortunate to experience this 2 week event will also have some of the best food offered by the best of the best chefs.

Walking into the “village” makes me imagine what it would feel like to be in Olympic village. The sights, sounds and smells.

It’s the taste of the US Open that has created a culinary experience combined with World class Tennis. Fans coming from all over the world. This is not to be missed

wine bar food
A culinary experience. Photo by Faith Rein

Jennifer Cox, vice president of culinary at Levy Restaurants, who works with the chefs on their U.S. Open menus, spoke about the event: “Our fans are here for an entire day and sometimes that’s three meals,” she added. “And you can actually eat three meals a day here and have something different”

Encouraging all to experience everything offered from the culinary All-Stars to all the top concessions offering Pat Freida’s meats.

2nd year for Korilla BBQ by Ed Song, one of my favorites the KBOP Bulgogi. Purple rice bowls served with carmelized kimchi, beansprouts fire roasted corn, garlic spinach. With a choice of marinated ribeye (YES!) braised ginger seasame chicken, slow roasted pork shoulder in gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) and organic tofu with choice of Korilla’s signature sauces.

The list continues with Marcus Sameulsson Mojito Restaurant & Bar – try the Short Rib “Ropa” Vieja – Carmelized pineapple, pickled red onion, crushed plantains, beer mole. The biggest hit at my tasting table. It was Sunday dinner at Grandma’s. If Grandma was a celebrity chef.

Josh Capon Lure – Lobster BLT Applewood smoked bacon, jersey tomato on a brioche roll with salt and vinegar chips oh and so much succulent lobster !! Did I say Lobster ?? Oh, yes I did! This man is quickly becoming one of my top 3 favorites.

Josh Capon
Yummy Lobster Lure. Photo by Faith Rein

David Chang – Fuku offer’s the Fuku Chicken Sandwich. This isn’t just an ordinary boring chicken sandy. David Chang doesn’t do boring. Habanero brined thigh, pickles and Fuku butter. Looks like a simple chicken sandwich on a bun…but punches you in the face then with a gentle slap and a wow…I can’t stop eating this.

David Burke -BLT Prime – personally I love David Burke ever since I had his cheesecake pops. He doesn’t disappoint. .A Must have…”Clothes line” Bacon. Black pepper maple bacon and yes served strips hanging on a clothes line.

BLT Prime
BLT Prime anyone? Photo by Faith Rein

He also is at Angry Taco. Fish Taco’s? Yes Please!

Ed Brown and Morimoto – Tuna Tarte on Asian Crisps. The perfect bite. Sushi by Morimoto…bow to the king. No one does it better.

Aces, Tony Mantuano – Wine Bar Food – offered the Ouzo Shrimp, shrimp with potatoes, Jalapenos and Greek Ouzo. This had to be amazing since I never got to try a bite. Passed plates never made it to me as the 100+ press grabbed them first.

Korilla BBQ return with 2 locations in the village and a new Poke stand. Poke Yachty. Poke is all the rage now. Choices of classic tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, crab and shrimp and tofu poke bowls.

Creperie by Le Chef Paul – NEW stand of sweet and savory crepe’s

Joju – popular to Queens this Vietnamese modern sandwich offerring : Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi – classic lemongrass chicken thighs. Loaded Banh Mi Fries – fries topped with house sauce, spicy mayo and green sauce, pickled daikon and carrots, and chopped cilantro and jalapenos with a runny egg.

Banh Mi Bacon Dog, Juicy hot dog loaded with Banh mi fixings and bacon.

Also available favorites: Dean & Deluca, Melt Shop, Neopolitan Express, Emirates Sports Café’, Heinken Red Star Patio Café’ & Bar, and more…

Signature Drink at the US Open – Grey Goose Honey Deuce. As of the 2016 tournament, nearly a million Honey Deuces had been sold since the cocktail’s inception.

What’s it made of?

1.25 oz Grey Goose vodka

3 oz Fresh squeezed lemonade

0.5 oz Chambord or premium raspberry liqueur

Crushed ice

Frozen honeydew melons for garnish

The best part? The frozen honeydew melon balls used as a garnish (I always like the vodka part too) Resembling tennis balls, they remind imbibers what the US Open is really about (not that the drinks and food at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center aren’t great on their own).

There is so much to see and do and eat and drink at this years US Open.

This is not just for Tennis fans. Not just for food lovers. This is one of those life events you need to check off your list.

Where and when?

New York’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from August 28–September 11 for the U.S. Open…

Festival Alert: The Brew Hop is Back

Brew Hop

Hey there! Remember last year when I said, “If you missed the Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival held at Randall’s Island Park on Sunday on September 18th (2016) get your running shoes and beer palate ready, and mark your calendar for next year.”
Well, the time has come! Are you ready? I’m most definitely ready for the beer, and even considering getting my out-of-shape self (okay, TMI) out there for the 5K run! How about you? Come on, go for it!

In addition to the great run, and the great beer (and even the great food!), a portion of the proceeds from the Second Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival will benefit a great cause: The Oceanic Global which is an organization that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerging tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change.

What better way to spend a Saturday in October? Looking forward to seeing you there! Cheers, Kate

The Brew Hop


Set To Take Place On Saturday, October 21st

On Randall’s Island

the brew hopFeaturing 13 Local Breweries, With More To Be Announced

**Early Bird Tickets Now Available While Supplies Last**

Check out The Brew Hop’s 2017 Promo, here: https://goo.gl/W4QX25

First Annual Brew Hop featured on ForbesTime Out,

 NewsdayNew York Daily NewsamNewYorkThrillist, and more!

The Brew Hop is excited to announce their second annual 5K + Craft Beer Festival, coming to Randall’s Island Park on Saturday, October 21st. Tickets are officially on-sale to the public today, with Early Bird tickets available while supplies last. The event will feature unlimited tastings from craft breweries around the Greater New York Area and beyond, such as: Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Bronx Brewery, Interboro Spirits and Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective, Coney Island Brewing Company, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Brewery Ommegang, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Citizen Cider, SpikedSeltzer, SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewing Co., and more to be announced.

On the heels of a successful first annual event in 2016, the event will once again give attendees the chance to combine their love for running and craft beer. The day starts off with a 5K race (Check In starts @ 10am | Race @ 12pm) followed by a festival until 4pm for attendees to indulge in the best beer and food New York City has to offer. The post-race festival will feature music, lawn games, brewery row, local food vendors such as Dom’s Mac Truck and Sweet Chili, and seating areas.

With excitement towards The Brew Hop, organizer of the event Joey Garofalo explains, “The Brew Hop aims to bridge the gap between two of America’s favorite pastimes: running and beer! Start off with a 5K race with waterfront views of the NYC skyline and once you cross the finish line, you’re in a craft beer festival featuring the best beer and food NYC has to offer. Running is always better when there’s beer at the finish line!”

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Oceanic Global, an organization that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerging tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change. Beer festivals and race events typically produce a lot of waste. The Brew Hop has made a commitment to go 100% plastic free to support Oceanic Global’s mission of reducing single-use plastic consumption and oceanic pollution. For more information, please visit: http://oceanic.global/.


The Brew Hop – Second Annual 5K + Craft Beer Festival

DATE: Saturday, October 21st

TIME:  Check In Starts: 10:00 AM

Race Starts: 12:00 PM

Festival: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

VENUE: Randall’s Island Park, NYC

TICKET INFO: 5K + Beer Fest: Early Bird – $59.95, Advanced – $69.95, Same Day – $79.95

Beer Fest Only: Early Bird – $44.95, Advanced – $54.95, Same Day – $64.95

TICKETS: https://goo.gl/RgfYvF

For the latest on The Brew Hop please visit:







Festival Alert: The New York Coffee Festival is Back!

New York Coffee

We can’t start the day without a cup, so we’re definitely going…

The New York Coffee Festival, the city’s flagship coffee event, is back on its third consecutive year! The festival will take place this October 13-15 in its new home at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 19th Street).

What’s in the works? The producers promise to further expand the festival this year with even more vendors, new lab sessions, latte art demonstrations, and more.

According to Allegra Group CEO, Jeffrey Young, “The New York Coffee Festival is back for its third year with more to offer than ever before. Visitors can expect awe-inspiring exhibits, fascinating workshops and talks and delicious street food – all while enjoying as much coffee as they could possibly want!

This year’s Coffee Festival will include over 100 innovative exhibitors, including: Bluestone Lane Coffee, Devoción, La Marzocco, Ally Coffee, Califia Farms, Flat Brew, Nobletree, and more. The three- day festival will also feature the Coffee Masters NYC barista championship, The Lab program featuring an exciting line-up of interactive demonstrations, educational workshops, talks and tastings, the Coffee Music Project, and the Coffee Art Project.

NYC coffee festival

New York Coffee Festival: Last Year…

In addition to offering hundreds of free samples from the highest quality specialty coffee and selected speciatly food brands, The New York Coffee Festival is also the official launch event of charitable Coffee Week NYCTM, which promotes the vibrancy of the coffee industry while also raising money for clean water and sanitation projects in coffee producing communities. 50% of all ticket sales will be donated to Project Waterfall with funds directly entrusted to NYC-based charity: water. Through these donations, Project Waterfall will be able to continue bringing clean water to coffee countries such as Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. For more information about charity: water and their recent projects, go to http://www.charitywater.org.


WHAT: The New York Coffee Festival

WHEN: Fri., Oct. 13th – Sun, Oct. 15th 2017

Friday, October 13 | Trade Session (2pm – 7:30pm)
Saturday, October 14 | Morning Session (9:30am – 12:30pm) Saturday, October 14 | Afternoon Session (12:30pm – 3:30pm) Saturday, October 14 | Late Session (3:30pm – 6:30pm) Sunday, October 15 | Morning Session (9:30am – 1pm) Sunday, October 15 | Afternoon Session (1pm – 4:30pm)

WHERE: The Metropolitan Pavilion | 125 W. 18th St. | New York, NY 10011 TICKETS: www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com/tickets

For the latest on The New York City Coffee Festival, please visit:

Website: www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/newyorkcoffeefestival


Podcast Alert: “It’s Saturday Night in New York City”

Saturday night in New york city

A new cool podcast is out there, “In The Service”, gutting the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Food and service Industry.

“Anyone who’s spent any time as a server, dishwasher, or chef will certainly recognize—perhaps with some fondness—the ordeals cheerfully and humorously recounted here.” -The AV Club

The podcast showcases the restaurant industry from the perspective of Kath Howells and Clair Matson, two rad chicks living and serving in New York City, who met working together at a restaurant, became friends and took their unique friendship to the next level by starting a podcast together.

“We met working at a restaurant downtown last year and became friends quickly. We would go out after our nights working together to dish about how our night went- ranging from the customers to our coworkers and the best and worst stories that we had. We have so many stories and know so many people who are currently or have previously worked in the industry that we wanted to start a show to share them. In The Service is a podcast for everyone – industry workers, non industry, food enthusiasts, drink lovers and for anyone who likes to laugh.”

Kath and Clair invite a special guest each week who is currently or has previously been in the industry so they can share their special experience. Guests are usually regular staff, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, comedians, and business owners. The show’s topics range from bad Yelp reviews, tipping culture, and sexism in the industry, to dating in the workplace and dealing with drunk diners. Guests range from sommeliers, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, comedians, and business owners.

Here’s a sample:

Episode 4: “Waitress Was Mean” – Our favorite Yelp reviews about ourselves and our co-servers feat. Jen Neal. Everyone thinks that they’re a restaurant critic and reviewer on Yelp and Open Table. Kath and Jan discuss how they think these public reviews have affected the restaurant industry and their jobs as servers. Yelp is also the reason that they’ll never use their real names during service. Here to chat is special guest, Jen Neal about her experience in the industry pre and post Yelp!

So if you like to eat, drink, or laugh, then “In The Service” is for you!



NYSF REVIEW: A Trip Back to Old New York With The Tuck Room

the tuck room

A new review by Tiara Budd


If you ever find yourself venturing down by the South Street Seaport, you should run (not walk) over to the beautifully decorated and chic restaurant The Tuck Room for the ultimate dining experience. Located inside the same building as the iPic theater, The Tuck Room is a place not to be missed. From the outstanding hospitality to the instant feeling of being taken back into old New York with a modern twist, this restaurant is a gem.

My experience at The Tuck Room started with a beautiful seat by the window with the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Around me, diners laughed and caught up with friends while singing along to the popular hip-hop and rap music that the DJ in the back of the restaurant played. As I scoured the menu, I could see why The Tuck Room can be called a drinking and dining den. The cocktail list was extensive and would make even the pickiest drinker happy. I felt overwhelmed with the choices and finally ended up choosing the Big Apple Margarita. The drink was not only delicious but also Instagram-worthy, which is always a plus in my book. After a few hushed moments of indecisiveness, I began my amazing food experience with The Tuck Room.

The menu is not as lengthy as the cocktail list, but everything on it sounded and smelled absolutely amazing. As I glanced around the restaurant, there wasn’t a dish that didn’t look delectable and I found myself unsure of what exactly to order for me and my friend who was also in attendance. Finally… we made a decision. For starters, we settled on the signature crabcakes and reuben croquettes. The appetizers quickly arrived and I eagerly dug into my meal with anticipation and excitement.

Reuben croquettes
Reuben Croquettes. Photo by Tiara Budd

Reuben croquettes

The croquettes were bite sized and I could have easily ate ten of them if I had the chance to. The slight taste of pickle, which I’m generally not a fan of, actually complemented the pastrami and gave my tastebuds an interesting pop. The Thousand Island sauce that accompanies the croquettes pairs well with the cheese and is a nice addition to the dish. The breading completely covers the croquettes but aren’t dry or overbearing. In my opinion, this delectable appetizer reminded me of being able to eat a whole Reuben in one bite and I LOVED it.

Brioche crusted crabcakes

crusted crabcakes
Photo by Tiara Budd

Since this appetizer is one of the most popular dishes ordered at the restaurant, I couldn’t contain how excited I was to take a bite into the crabcakes. I’m a huge fan of seafood and often find that I’m disappointed in how most places make crabcakes with very little crab and too much breading. The Tuck Room knocked me out of the park with how flavorful and meaty my three crabcakes ended up being. The taste of crab hits your senses immediately and the bread is a sheer afterthought that I welcomed. These crabcakes were the opposite of my typical experience and were all crab, very little bread. However, the addition of the breading does give the crabcakes a more crisp element as the crab is actually sandwiched in between the brioche buns. After I chowed down on the crabcakes, I immediately told my server that these crabcakes were the best I ever had in the city…and I wasn’t lying.

Tuck Room Marrow Burger

the Tuck room
Tuck Room Marrow Burger. Photo by Tiara Budd

I have been dying to try a marrow burger for the longest time, so when I saw that The Tuck Room offered one, I almost squealed with delight. After downing my appetizers, I licked my lips and awaited my burger. This burger is huge and can be overwhelming to amateurs who aren’t use to a meal of this caliber – but not me. This dish was well-charred and had a slightly smoky taste to it that I genuinely enjoyed. The bacon that sits on top of the burger is caramelized with a kick of spice that not only surprises but also delights. As I wrapped up my entree, I found the taste making me reminiscent of family holidays and barbeques in the park. Well-flavored, perfectly seasoned, and undeniably good is the only way I can describe this burger.


From the unbeatable customer service to the well-crafted cocktails and filling dishes, The Tuck Room is looking like my next regular hangout spot. While the dishes are a little pricey, you won’t walk away feeling disappointed or wishing you had spent the evening at your go-to burger spot. So switch up date night or grab your girls and head over to The Tuck Room and I promise… it’ll keep you coming back for more. See you there! 

About the Author:

Tiara Budd
Tiara Budd

Tiara Budd lives in New York and is determined to eat (and Instagram!) her way through the city. In her free time she loves exploring new neighborhoods, reading books from the library, and traveling all around the country.

Top 5 Tips For Visiting New York City For The First Time

Visiting New York City

Many people dream of visiting New York City for the first time, but are also very intimidated because of the huge crowds and towering buildings that exist in the vast metropolis.

That being said, you don’t have to let this deter you from the visiting the city you’ve always wanted to see.

If millions of other tourists visit New York each year, why can’t you?

The truth is that visiting New York and sightseeing all of its incredible destinations is perfectly manageable so long as you follow some practical tips.

Here are the top five tips for visiting New York City for the first time:

1. Just Wander Around 

You shouldn’t feel afraid to just wander around the city to see all that you want to see. New York is actually the safest big city in America. Walking around the city is also easy, as there are preciously few hills and most of the city is flat. The very act of walking around New York and seeing all the people and shops that exist will be an awesome experience on its own even if you don’t get to see any of its famous destinations.

2. Consider Taking A Bus Tour Or A Cruise 

If you’re still worried that you will get lost by walking around New York on your own, and if you want to sightsee its many iconic landmarks, then you should consider buying a ticket for a bus tour or cruise like those that are offered by Top View NYC.

3. Eat Dinner Early 

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you would be best served by eating dinner earlier rather than later. The reason why is because native New Yorkers tend to eat dinner anywhere from seven to ten o’clock at night, so by eating during that time you may not even get a table at a particular restaurant you wanted to eat at.

Visiting New York City
Not easy getting a table…

4. Don’t Drive Your Car 

It’s no secret that traffic in New York is awful, and parking is extremely limited and sometimes non-existent. You want your trip to New York to be delightful and memorable rather than frustrating, so you would be better served either exploring the city on foot or going on a bus tour. You’ll see more of the city that way so you don’t waste your time driving.

5. Always Dress For The Weather 

New York can be particularly cold during the fall and winter months, do dress for the weather. That means wearing a hat, warm boots, and a coat. It can rain often during the spring and summer too, so bringing an umbrella would be wise as well.

So be prepared, visiting New York City for the first time in your life is sure to be a magical experience for you. The tips in this article will help to enhance your overall experience so that it’s equally as memorable and exciting as it is safe.

Fashion or Function – Which is More Important For a Chef’s Uniform?

chef's uniform

Visit many of the best eateries in NYC and you are likely to be served by waiting staff who are better dressed than you. While outfits for dining out have become more casual in recent times, the same cannot be said for restaurant uniforms. The emphasis is on smart but fashionable, at establishments such as Carbone. The uniform is all part of the overall ambience.

Fashion does not stop at the kitchen doors. Chefs are also moving away from traditional whites, and wearing everything from black aprons to multi-colored pants. The thirst for fashion, as well as practicality is the reason why chef wear design business Tilit has become such a sought after brand since Jenny Goodman and Alex McCrery started their design journey, back in 2002. Even designer chef’s outfits need to be practical though. They still have to take in the basic design principles of traditional uniforms.

The basic design of the toque

The toque, or chef’s hat, was based on the design used for hats worn by priests of the Orthodox Church. The original color was gray. The color was changed to white in the 19th Century, based on the design ideas of Chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who also came up with the idea of the height of the hat representing the seniority of the chef.

Photo by Capt. Jason Smith, U.S. Air Force
Photo by Capt. Jason Smith, U.S. Air Force

Design features of a chef’s jacket

The traditional chef’s jackets, that most people are familiar with, are white. The color was chosen as stains show up more easily, and it’s easier to bleach a white jacket. These jackets are made from double thickness material, to help protect chefs when hot materials are spilt in the kitchen. The jackets are also reversible, so that stains can be hidden away until the jacket is washed.

Chefs also often wear aprons which are made of the same materials, and with the same considerations in mind. They are not designed to be waterproof, in the face of a large amount of water.

How a chef’s pants are designed

In the past, chef’s pants were often patterned with black and white checks. This traditional design has given way to different colored patterns over the years. However, the pants are still normally designed to be loose, so that air can circulate easily. This is a necessary design factor when the pants are being worn by chefs who are working in hot kitchens all day long.

Now that designers, such as the team at Tilit, are on the scene, chef uniforms are becoming more known for being fashionable. However, much of the basic functionality is still required. Anyone who is working as a chef needs a uniform that is practical to wear in the kitchen environment, for hours at a time. The best chef wear designs take this into account, and factor in fashion and comfort as well. These uniforms cover all the bases, and mean that a chef can be comfortable and protected, as well as looking good.

5 Smart Tips for Restaurants Looking to Participate in an Outdoor Event

outdoor event

Whether you’re a chef that’s stuck in the kitchen or a restaurant owner looking to drum up more business, why haven’t you embraced the great outdoors?

Going beyond the comfort of your kitchen to participate in a local outdoor event such as a charity BBQ or banquet may seem daunting, but consider some of the benefits of doing so including…

  • Testing the waters of a mobile food business, competing with the rise of food trucks
  • Capitalizing on the popularity of tailgates and outdoor fare by experimenting with new dishes
  • Showing local customers that you’re part of the community rather than just another restaurant in the crowd

That said, a successful outdoor event requires some special attention to detail as you’re often working with a limited kitchen. Keep the following five tips in the back of your mind whether you’re considering a local event or you’re only a few days away from your big outdoor gig.

Only Bring Your Best-Sellers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but in terms of what you’re serving up, don’t make the mistake of trying to bring too much. Ideally, you should only bring your best-selling items versus experimenting with new fare. Think of a local event as an opportunity to showcase your best products to hopefully lead people back to your brick-and-mortar restaurant down the road.

For example, a burger joint that sells a dozen styles of burgers should only bring three or four along for their outdoor event. The same rule applies to side-dishes: while it’s great to give people options, having fewer puts less work on you and encourages your patrons to make a choice sooner rather than later. In short, you can reap the benefits of having a smaller menu.

Bring Extra Help Along for the Ride

There’s nothing more annoying than being short-staffed, but it’s even worse when you’re stuck at an outdoor event. Think about it: long lines and slow turnaround times are a terrible first impression to leave on local foodies, right? As a rule of thumb, try not to do everything yourself and make it a point to at the very least have someone dedicated to the kitchen while someone else runs the register.

outdoor events
Bring extra help

Plan for the Weather

Simply put, you need to plan for the elements accordingly when it comes to your attire and protecting your food or gear. Whether you’re trying to beat the heat or stay out of the rain, keep a close eye on

the forecast and dress comfortably for the occasion.

Accept as Many Payments Options as Possible

If your restaurant only accepts cash, you’re inevitably leaving potential customers out in the cold. Investing in a payment processor such as Square is an absolute must; meanwhile, having to deal with cash less often means that you can turn around orders quickly.

Prepare as Much as You Can in Advance

Ideally, you should make a point to cook as much as you possibly can prior to your event so you don’t have to make everything fresh. For example, you can prepare condiments, topping and cuts of meat in advance and cook them to-order at the event rather than deal with needless prep. The time you spend in preparing could effectively make or break your event.

There’s a lot to keep in mind when participating in a local outdoor event, but it’s certainly not impossible to pull off for a first-timer. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to serve up some serious grub and make the most of your time outdoors.

NYSF Review: Regina’s Grocery Brings You back to old-style NYC Kitchen

Regina’s Grocery
Roman and Regina. Photo by Faith Rein
A new fresh Review by Faith Rein


While hoards of NYers flee the hot humid summer weekend to any shore. I was left to my city to discover new adventures and hidden finds.

Last Saturday I braved the heat and crowds of Canal Street to make my way to Regina’s Grocery on Orchard Street.

As I turned the corner on Orchard it was as if time turned back. The empty street and deafening quiet reminded me of old New York. Like in my Dad’s era a piece of the old neighborhood. You could picture kids playing stick ball in the street. I spot Regina’s Grocery written across the big picture window with the welcoming red framed door and picture window’s dressed in lace café curtains like my grandmother had in Brooklyn.

Regina’s Grocery Regina grew up in Bedsty and brought her home cooking to the Lower East side. The place itself is charming as you enter listening to Frankie Valli and a perfect mix of any other Italian artist you can think of from the 50’s and 60’s. Black and white tile floor and tin ceiling to match.

Roman the owner and son of Regina greeted me with a warm hello and handshake. While Regina stood behind the counter. Not your typical Nonna but a classic beauty with style and a bit of sass.

The relationships between a mother and son are always special. This one took it a step further to form a business of love and talent.
Regina’s recipes and Roman’s idea’s.

The menu is inspired from family member’s. They’re also pictured on the wall. Uncle Jimmy has tattoo’s..he’s a neighborhood kid. Hot and spicy which is how the inspiration came for his sandwich.

They brought out a pasta and pea salad (not on the menu) it was a nice start. A bit heavy on the pea’s but the sauce was perfect for a hot summer day. Regina makes it fresh every day. I was disappointed that the pasta is not made in house but as Roman explained fresh pasta is made to be served immediately. Right now Regina is focusing their summer menu of amazing sandwiches and side dishes. Hot items will be coming including Sunday Gravy, meatballs and a few other surprises.

I had to try The Uncle Jimmy.

Regina’s Grocery UNCLE JIMMY
Prosciutto, Fresh Mozz, Hot Sopressata, Smoked Ham, Arugula, Regina’s Hot Pepper Spread, EVOO, Balsamic & Roasted Reds on Striato Bread

I loved Uncle Jimmy. He said it was hot and spicy and that it was. Perhaps a bit too hot for some but the meat choices were very balanced and I adored Regina’s hot pepper spread. The bread was a good choice but perhaps it was the early afternoon situation where it sat for a while and got a little too crispy crusty. Somehow I did manage to get through it.

I can’t say enough about the Hot red pepper spread. It has the right balance of heat and spice and a bit of sweetness. I would spread this on everything.
More of that genuine home cooking Regina…please.

Sauces and spreads are available for purchase.

Regina’s Grocery As discovery’s go this was a good one.
The charm of Regina’s is worth stopping by.
The food is worth staying and the people are worth coming back for.

Regina’s Grocery
27 Orchard St. (Between Hester St. and Canal St.)
P. 347 680 4361 | Hours: 10AM-6PM
For more information please visit: www.reginasgrocery.com
Instagram @reginasgrocery | Facebook /Reginas-Grocery




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