Showing posts with label Brooklyn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brooklyn. Show all posts

4/22/15

There Ain't No Party Like a Valrhona Party

When you come home from a party to a text from your friend that says "I have chocolate all over my hand!!!", you know it was a successful night.

Valrhona logo

Monday night (when all amazing parties happen don't you know?), said friend and I ventured out to DUMBO for the grand opening celebration of L'Ecole Valrhona--the renowned chocolate company's first Brooklyn and US outpost for pastry and chocolate chefs alike to network and learn new techniques. Alongside their professional pastry classes and think tank, this location will also offer consumer-facing workshops where amateur gourmets can master their favorite pastries in half-day, hands-on workshops comprised of no more than 12 students.

Valrhona party in Brooklyn

When we arrived at the 26 Bridge Street event space, we were welcomed with Champagne and a buffet of...yes...chocolate. 

chocolate and candy buffet

There were bon bons and caramels and fudge and truffles and ginger praline marshmallows and hazelnut eggs, and I thought, well screw dinner!


But we didn't have to forgo a savory dinner you see because there were all sorts of delicious non dessert stuffs passed around on never-ending trays by super friendly waiters. Given the fact that I only have 2 hands and the food came in waves as big and fast as those at Pipeline in Hawaii, my photos of these wonderful morsels are limited, but included: marinara chicken sliders, BBQ chicken cubes with coleslaw, citrus hamachi crudo (our fave!), seared steak on a potato with truffle, tuna tartare, beet and goat cheese tartlettes, and short rib lettuce cups.

marinara chicken slidersBBQ chicken cubes


As we were intermittently snarfing dinner and dessert (more to come on that), the founding pastry chefs of L'Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn--Sarah Kosikowski and Derek Poirier--took the stage to say their thank yous among many other legendary pastry chefs.

Valrhona chefs at party


We then made the rounds and saw some "live art"... 

Valrhona party live art

Valrhona party live art

and took an obligatory photo in the Sharingbox photobooth...

sharingbox photo booth from Valrhona party

But then the rest of the dessert came out. There was an American side with things like key lime pie, brownies, and cupcakes and a French pastry side offering desserts with much fancier and unpronounceable (by me) names. See below for gluttonous photos:

French pastry chocolate mint

French pastry floating island

French pastry

caramel brownies at Valrhona party

American pastry


Chocolate French pastry

American pastry

Key lime pie at Valrhona party

chocolate cupcakes at Valrhona party

dulcey choux at Valrhona party

chocolate tart at Valrhona party

Just when we thought the night was winding down (and you thought this post was over, didn't you?), we turned to hear the beat of several very loud drums coming from outside. Soon the whole party was dancing to the rhythm of a 6-person reggae band, complete with several drums, a tambourine-like instrument, and a saxophone. They even started a conga line, and of course we joined in. Because why wouldn't you join a conga line on a Monday night?

reggae band at Valrhona party

reggae band at Valrhona party

As we left, we were handed L'Ecole Valrhona branded gift bags with all sorts of goodies inside: a cast iron pan, a chocolate cookbook, and of course, an assortment of chocolate bon bons.

Gift bag from Valrhona party

chocolate bon bons from Valrhona party

So circling back, I too had chocolate on my hand when I got home (...and my forearm and my phone). Considering I also popped a few pre-wrapped caramels into my purse on the way home, I'm likely to be finding remnants of this night and party throughout my life in the coming weeks. Would I trade it for a thing? Nope.

Check out L'Ecole Valrhona here and get your chocolate conga line on!

4/17/15

Shop 'til You Drop with Kooba in Fort Greene

Spring shopping on your mind? Then head to the Fort Greene General Store tomorrow for a Kooba trunk show with discounts, organic juices and a chance to win a new bag!


What: Kooba trunk show
Where: Fort Greene General Store, 218 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn
When: Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 4-8pm
Details: First 25 customers will receive a goody bag that includes select spring merchandise and a postcard that provides a discount code to use on www.kooba.com
RSVP: here!

2/19/15

Coney Island Brewery Celebrates Brooklyn History With New Beers

If there are 2 things we love around here, New York City history and alcohol that goes along with it are high on the list. Luckily, the Coney Island Brewing Company took it upon themselves to combine these awesome things.


The brewery was founded in a 2007 by Jeremy Cowen of Shmaltz Brewing Company. Jeremy brewed award-winning lagers under the Coney Island Craft Lager label, all designed with in-your-face artwork featuring iconic imagery and capturing the spirit and flavor of Coney Island.

Inspired by Brooklyn's history, Coney Island Brewing recently launched 2 new beers and we got to try them!

1609 Amber Ale pays tribute to those bold pioneers whose ventures laid the foundation to "The Playground of the World," as 1609 was the year that explorers first set foot on the massive dune along the Atlantic that eventually became Coney Island. They created a bold beer, which they describe as a deep amber ale with a full malt, slightly nutty character and strong citrus hop nose. 

Overpass IPA recognizes the artists, musicians and renaissance souls that staked claim and built DUMBO. Coney Island Brewing created this creative beer to embody by the juicy citrus and tropical hop aromas in a deep golden, richly aromatic IPA.


IPA's aren't usually our first choice, but Overpass is smooth and enjoyable. As for the 1609, it's comforting and perfect for a winter night in (or out!). We also loved the super fun, colorful artwork.

To try both of these beers yourself throughout New York City--on tap and bottled--click here and cheers to history!

Full Disclosure: Coney Island Brewery sent us complimentary beer, but all opinions are our own.

2/2/15

Take a Trip Around the World...With Grilled Cheese

There are two kinds of adults in this world--those that think board games are meh and those who could literally spend all day playing them. We think that those in the latter category are, well, awesome and we have found the perfect new bar for all these cool folks to congregate, play games to their hearts' content, and munch on the best damn grilled cheese in Brooklyn.


We recently attended the press preview night for HENRI on Fifth (279 5th Avenue, Park Slope), which recently opened with an eclectic menu (grilled cheeses of the world!), a cupboard of all your favorite board games from Operation! to Hungry Hippos and Cards Against Humanity, and a comprehensive list of bespoke cocktails.


First things first, I sampled the Dirty Henri with gin, cucumber, and moscato. This drink was a little sweet for me, but I loved the freshness of the cukes. Friends who tried the other 4 drinks on the menu (one bourbon, one whisky, and one house-infused rhubarb vodka) agreed with me on the sweetness pattern, but that could all be attributed to the opening night jitters of a heavy-handed bartender. 


The stars of the night were the grilled cheeses. The owner told us that the restaurant was named after his little son, Henri, who inherited German and French heritage from his mother and Pan-Asian genes from himself. Therefore, the menu includes a mix of all these influences. For example, you can order a grilled cheese sandwich in 3 different ways:
  • The Classic (American): Cheddar and fontina on pullman bread
  • Le Classique (French): Gruyere and caramelized shallots on garlic toast with sherry thyme au jus
  • Die Klassische (German): Muenster, sauerkraut and brautwurst on pretzel bread with beer mustard dip
All were amazing, but days after I still find myself craving the American version. Simple, cheesy goodness. The German, however, was definitely the most unique grilled cheese I've ever tried. All sandwiches come cut in fours (easier to share!) and with shooters of tomato bisque or butternut squash soup.


The Classic
Die Klassische


Other standouts of the night included the Sriracha Deviled Eggs and the Korean Bahn Mi Taco. 

Sriracha deviled eggs -- We could eat a tray of these
Bahn Mi Taco
Before heading out, we had to indulge in some board game action. I'd say we broke some sort of Jenga record...37 rows! Props to Dave from Barton's Bites for being an excellent player!


And just to make things even better, we found this on a shop near the bar. So it's a legit neighborhood :)


If we lived in the area, this would be a go-to spot. I can't imagine a better way to end a workday than with a Classic grilled cheese and a rousing game of Pac Man (they have the old school game tables!) followed by a epic round of Jenga.

Henri on Fifth on Urbanspoon

1/8/15

Your City By Drone

I came across this phenomenal drone-filmed video that captures all of NYC's 5 boroughs and just had to share. Not that I often forget, but it's great to be reminded of how awesome of a city we live in.


Note to self: I need to check out the graveyard of half-sunken ships in Staten Island featured around 2:40!

12/5/14

Bust Our Your Wallet for this Holiday Craftacular

Holiday shopping season is in full swing and we're here to remind you that nobody wants that awful smelling pine candle you've been storing in your coat closet with re-gifting plans in 2014. Instead, why don't you head on over to the BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular happening this Saturday and Sunday at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint.


BUST, the magazine "for women with something to get off their chests," designed the event to include over 200 vendors selling handmade crafts, delicious foods, gorgeous vintage finds and more. There will be a DJ and free goodie bags for the first 300 attendees. Make-and-take craft workshops and artist demonstrations will spark your creativity and give you the chance to make a gift for yourself or someone else. Wrap your gifts in style at the wrapping paper station, handcraft a card for someone special, and don't miss the Ugly Sweater Selfie Booth.

Last, but certainly not least, there will be a cat cafe. A CAT CAFE! Take a little break from shopping with adorable, adoptable cats and a nice cup of tea all while benefiting a number of great animal rescue organizations.

Tickets are $3 and available at the door.

Deets:

  • When: Saturday, December 6 + Sunday December 7 (11am - 7pm)
  • Where: Brooklyn Expo Center (79 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222)
  • How much?: $3

12/2/14

Belay and [Adult] Beverage

Now here's a fun event combination for you. Flavorpill is taking over the Tuesday night group belay class at Brooklyn Boulders next week for some rock climbing followed by partying with Mike's Harder Tea + Lemonade and Mike's Harder Tea + Peach Lemonade to cool down.


You must be 21 to participate and RSVP here as space is limited (they'll confirm attendees via email).

Deets:
  • What: Go HAM with Flavorpill & Mike's Harder
  • Where: Brooklyn Boulders (575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY)
  • When: 12/9, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Price: FREE

11/25/14

Better Than All The Rest

The best. It's what everyone strives to be, right? So would a celebration of the best be, well, the BEST thing ever? 

Join Thrillist in toasting to the Fest of the Best, a tasty event featuring the best of NYC restaurants in 2014. Participating restaurants include: Bacchanal, Blenheim, BLT Fish Shack, Blue Water Grill, Crave Fish Bar, Emily, French Louis, Margaux, Monarch Room, Randolph, and Seoul Chicken.


It's al going down ​on Saturday, ​December ​6th from 1-​4​ PM at Villian (50 N 3rd St between Kent and Wythe, Brooklyn). ​Samsung will be on hand to host a "Food Porn Lounge," complete with food stylists who will teach everyone how to properly style their #foodporn shots. Guests will additionally enjoy unlimited specialty cocktails provided by Grey Goose. At the end of the night, one restaurant will be crowned with the People's Choice Award for "Best of 2014."

Early bird tickets are available at this link for a discounted rate of $55 (for a limited time)​. General Admission tickets will then go on sale for $65.

10/22/14

Want Some Stink With Your Cider?

Cider week is upon us! Having just returned from the Basque region of Spain, I'm newly educated in the intricacies of cider making (and drinking!) and have a whole new appreciation for this beverage. It's more than Martinellis y'all!




Our friends at Stinky Bklyn--in Chelsea--and Back Label Wine Merchants (107 W 20th Street) are celebrating in the best way possible...with a stinky cheese pairing class! On Saturday 11/1 from 4-5pm you can join them to taste a selection of handpicked ciders and cheeses for only $40. The best part is that you get a $20 voucher for anything in the store at the conclusion of your class.

If you want to sip your cider in Brooklyn, the flagship store (215 Smith Street) will be hosting several FREE classes for the duration of the week:

  • Victory Brewing Co. Tasting, Thursday, October 23 @ 6-8 pm: Draft and bottle tastings from Pennsylvania's famed Victory Brewing Company. Beers featured will include Wild Devil, a Brett-fermented IPA, and Storm King, a bittersweet Imperial Stout. They'll also be offering 20% off growler fills!
  • Wolffer Estate Cider Tasting, Saturday, October 25 @2-4 pm: Hailing from the Hamptons, Wolffer Vineyard and Cidery will be in-store with samples of their Dry Rose and Dry White ciders. Borrowing fermentation techniques from their wine production, their ciders are crisp and refreshing, and are great in lieu of wine for your dinner or cheese board.
  • Cider Mimosas, Sunday, October 26 @ 1-3 pm: Say what?? Cider Mimosas? That's right, they're mixing up fresh, tart cider from Champlain Orchards in Vermont with NY's own Critz Farms Rippleton Original Sparkling Hard Cider. It'll become your new Fall brunch libation of choice.
  • Virtue Cider & Crown Finish Caves Cheese Tasting, Saturday, November 1 @ 1-3 pm: They'll be pairing a variety of Virtue ciders with cheese from Crown Finish Caves in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. One featured cheese will be the Humble Herdsman, washed in Virtue's Red Streak. Our beer buyer Aiyana Knauer both suggested and ordered the Red Streak for washing to Benton of Crown Finish Caves, so this tasting will bring all elements of the cheese (and cider) full circle!
  • Guerrilla Hot Sauce Tasting, Saturday, November 1 @ 3-6 pm: Go sample fresh, local hot sauce made by Stinky Bklyn's own cheesemonger Brendon Doyle!
For more NYC Cider Week events, please click here. Happy sipping!

10/14/14

Uncommonly Great Gifts

Searching for the perfect gift is never easy. You may think you know the perfect item to bequeath to your BFF for her promotion or your father-in-law for his birthday, but how do you decide where to purchase from? Enter Brooklyn-based Uncommon Goods.


The 15-year-old retailer is the perfect place to shop for everyone from your mom, your dog, your boss, and (because why not?) yourself. We're a big fan of their selection of NYC-centric items and eco-friendly packaging, not to mention their commitment to supporting individual artisans and designers. To test out their service, Uncommon Goods recently sent me a pair of their Fern Frond Earrings ($68).


How unique, right? I can't tell you how many compliments I've received on a simple pair of earrings! What I loved most was how they came packaged in a sock-like pouch made of recycled t-shirt material. Score one for the planet!

Among the aforementioned NYC-themed items, our favorites are the following:

Manhattan Rooftop Honey Flight ($45)

Elements of Nyc Pillows ($35-$55)

Hand Embroidered City Pillows ($158)

DIY Embroidery Poster - Brooklyn Bridge ($20)

Comment below with what strikes your fancy. Happy shopping!