Archive for the 'New York' Category

BonBonBar 2010 Holiday Newsletter… Blogged

Saturday, February 6th, 2010
Payday loans

Order Cheap Viagra

Hello,

Happy Holidays!  Even though I have been quiet on the newsletter front, it has been busy at BonBonBar.

The most exciting news is that I have been hard at work writing a cookbook! It is called Beautiful Candymaking, and it is due out in the Fall of 2011 through Sterling Publishing.  The book will feature my take on a wide range of candy recipes — from toffee to fudge to caramel corn — along with candymaking tips/techniques and gorgeous photography courtesy of The White on Rice Couple.

After developing so many recipes for the book, I thought that it would be a good idea to recharge and seek new inspiration for the company’s confections.  So, BonBonBar will be closed from December 23 to February 1 as I eat my way around France, Italy, Brazil, and California.  I am looking forward to returning with refreshed ideas for new products, but it most likely also means that, unfortunately, some candies will be rotated out in the new year.

As always, thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm.  Happy customers have always been my favorite part of this BonBonBar adventure, and you have given me the amazing opportunity to run a truly artisan food company that will be going into its fourth year. I am grateful, and lucky.

All the best for a happy and sweet holiday season, and I hope that BonBonBar treats will be a part of it!

Thank  you!

Nina

Founder & Chief Chocolatier,BonBonBar

MORE BONBONBAR NEWS

So far, our candy bars are being featured in Fine Cooking, DailyCandy, and The Huffington Post’s 2010 holiday gift guides.

If you would like to place your holiday orders in advance of when you would like them to ship, please let us know in the comments of the order.

All orders placed during the break will ship after February 1.

Whimsy & Spice in Brooklyn

Friday, June 20th, 2008

1

Part of the fun of having a blog is being able to share things that I like with my readers, and part of the fun of having my own artisan business is meeting others with similar businesses… So, this post combines the two.

I’ve gotten to to know Jenna from Whimsy & Spice, a Brooklyn-based artisan sweets company that she and her husband, Mark, founded a few months ago. They specialize in handmade cookies and marshmallows that taste as delicious as they look on their website and etsy shop (they also sell at the Brooklyn Flea). In some ways, I think of them as “the east coast me’s,” and aside from the fact that they’re in my native Brooklyn, I think it’s because their flavor combinations are exactly the kind that I like — honey and lavender shortbread, chocolate chilli cashew biscotti (cashew, my favorite nut!), chocolate orange cardamom shortbread (I tinkered with cardamom in my Orange Bar, but couldn’t get it just right, so this cookie fills in the gap of flavor/texture that works for the combination), cinnamon chocolate malt biscotti (Malt in a cookie! I also tinkered with putting malt in the shortbread of my Malt Bar), rose and black pepper thumbprints, and well, all of their others. Their shortbread cookies also happen to be in my favorite shape — something about scalloped edges for cookies with a delicate snap makes them taste better. They make marshmallows, as well, and we don’t even overlap our flavors. So, if you’ve been wanting chocolate or caramel marshmallows, now you know where to find them.

And they blog — check out sweet fine day! Oh, and they like my sweets, too. 🙂

1

An East Coast Weekend: From Fried Green Tomatoes to Wiffle Ball

Saturday, July 7th, 2007
1

I went home to the New Jersey to surprise my Mom for her birthday last week, and in between wiffle ball games with my brothers, I scavenged for food in the area, including a brief trip to New York. So, here are the food highlights… and then some.

1

At Momofuku in NYC, the Fried Green Tomatoes with Anchovies, Chervil, and Kimchi was one of the most boldly delicious plates of food that I’ve had in a long time. The perfect bite involved the cold and spicy kimchi hitting your tongue first, followed closely by a piping hot wedge of green tomato that crunches open to let loose its almost molten interior, and then finished with the sharp salty tang of the slightly chewy anchovies and chervil. It reminds you how much flavor food can have. Even though most dishes contain elements of crunch/chew/salt/hot/cold, this was one of the few that made it seem special, like an elaborate balancing act. And now I much prefer the wedges of fried green tomatoes to slices; there’s more room for flavor and texture that way.

1

Unfortunately, my Momofuku Ramen, which ironically came out in better focus than the FGT’s, was insipid at best. Everything in it seemed over-cooked and tired. During last year’s visit, my bowl had been perfect, bordering on transcendental.

And I got to sit at the counter directly in front of the cooks, which was great entertainment.

1

The caramel ice cream sandwich from ‘Wichcraft in Bryant Park was boring and very sweet… though there was a ballerina for entertainment.

1

I went to Columbus Circle to get something from Bouchon Bakery at 5pm on Sunday, but the prices stood out more than the small variety of food remaining ($4.75 for a donut, $3.75 for a linzer cookie??). I didn’t get anything.

I was amused that Per Se had ratatouille on the menu, echoing Thomas Keller’s involvement in the Pixar movie.

1

Back in NJ, Umberto Pizzeria in Fair Haven is my pizza of choice. It’s a mom & pop pizza shop with a Sicilian pizza that has a gooey top, pillowy middle, and crunchy bottom. They don’t deliver, but we’ve been taking it out for years. Their NY-style is also quite nice.

1

The Steak au Poivre at Avenue in Long Branch was velvety and juicy, and satisfied my steak craving.

1

The restaurant is on the water above the beach that now has palm trees (!).

1

I also wandered into my parents’ garden and yard, in search of any and all things edible among the beguiling greenery and flowers.

1

.

1

.

1

.

1

I was delighted to discover that the cherry tree that I used to be only vaguely aware of is actually a sour cherry tree.

1

My parents had already picked most of them for liqueurs, but I had plans to make a pie, or compote if need be, the next day with the rmg few… but they disappeared overnight! Either by the birds or spoilage, I guess.

At least this one will be forever in mid-bite…

1

Then there were the black raspberries…

1

And the wild black raspberries. The immediate gratification of impromptu berry-picking is one of the greatest pleasures I know of.

1

There were blueberries in the making.

1

And apples.

1

And pears.

1

And there are always more flowers…

1

.

1

Socialverse is Here!

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Please enjoy this shameless plug for my boyfriend’s new website, Socialverse!

1

You may already know that Chad’s good at thinking up dreamy birthday cake ideas, but you should also know that his true area of expertise is software engineering. With Socialverse, I like to think that his company has developed a way for people to walk the world from the comfort of their computers.**

When you sign up, you get your own little doppelganger who can stroll around a map of the US. While you can explore cities and states that you dream of visiting, the site is mostly geared towards local search and social networking. So, you can chat up locals and friends near and far as well as browse businesses. Of course, people like us would probably first think to check out and add our thoughts to the restaurants and markets, but even I sometimes need to go to the hardware store or see a dentist. Socialverse lets you put your favorites on the map and find new places to go.

I suppose that it’s like citysearch and yelp, but Socialverse is cooler because it’s in real time (using Web 2.0 in clever ways) and you can actually see where these places in the country are b/c “you” are there, too.

In a typical move, Chad has thoughtfully provided lots of goodies that go above and beyond basics. So, here’s a cheat sheet to my favorite things that you can do that might not be obvious right away:

  • Click on the “online” line on the upper right of the screen to see who else is online. Click on someone’s name to move closer to them.
  • Place your blog (as an object) in an area where people will find it useful. You’ll find Sweet Napa already on the map somewhere in LA.
  • Find the nearest ATM.
  • If a location isn’t on the map yet, add it and talk about it.
  • Use additional motions — such as sleeping, meditating, dancing, and acting scared.
  • Adjust your appearance — clothing, size, hairstyle.
  • If you are a business owner, you can promote your business online.
  • Check the weather.
  • You can’t zoom in or out on the main map, but if you click on “Self” then “Mini Map” in the “Navigate” menu, you can see where you on a zoomable mini map.
  • Share photos.
  • Search local classifieds and post your own.

Please keep in mind that this is, as Chad says, “the early public beta.” There are still bugs, but he’ll happily be the victim of anyone’s criticism… or suggestions… or insouciant banter. When the basics are ironed out, the long-term goals are to make it a nexus of local search for any type of person, business, or organization you may be interested in, and in turn, a way to build relationships and become closer with your community. More features will be added — such as perhaps coupons and ads for shops around the corner being implemented, trees being planted, menus being posted, icons being customizable, and whatever people want that the world can support.

So, feel free to sign up, check it out, and tell everyone you know about it. The world is wide open.**

**Right now, the map only functions in the US, but there are plans to make it international down the line. Also, the faster your internet connection is, the faster you’ll be able to do things. Broadband is recommended. It is also only compatible with Firefox and IE for now.

The Modern – New York

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

The Modern at MOMA was my finale fine dining experience in New York, and my Dad and I loved it for its delicious take on vibrant dishes that match the art collection in the museum.

In fact, I can’t help getting a little sentimental about it because it made me excited about food in a way that brought me back to that pivotal year: 1999. I was 19 years old and living in NY during the year that I took off from college. I’d backpacked alone across Europe for a few months, and then went to NY to work at a theater and with a photographer to supplement my interest in film. Of course, the whirlwind of Europe was great, but it was in NY that I appreciated what it meant to really know a place and its people. A lot of that happened at dinners with my Dad. We started off at classic local places, but we became curious to try those restaurants we kept reading about in the newspapers…

To suddenly find yourself becoming familiar with the likes of Nobu, Le Bernardin, Aquagrill, Aquavit, Jean Georges, Provence, Verbena, Rosemarie’s, City Hall, Montrachet, Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Tribeca Grill, Il Cantinori, Alison on Dominick, Bouley, Ideya, Pearl Oyster Bar, Danube, Layla, The Mercer Kitchen, Blue Water Grill, Union Pacific, Balthazar, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, and Gotham Bar & Grill, is, in a word, amazing. I don’t think that I’ve become blase about dining at fine restaurants and I know I’m extremely fortunate to be able to go them, but I have expectations now… and with them comes analysis and quite a bit of cerebral and sensory activity. In 1999, it was pure wonder. And my Dad and I experienced it together while getting to know each other better. He may say that I introduced him to the martini, but he introduced me to a city that is filled with the amazing food that still serves as my foundation and ideal. In fact, my earliest memory of an amazing dessert was at Montrachet: a cool Passionfruit Pavlova with Warm Berries.

I also learned about the pleasure of exploring food with others, and it was fun to explore the food with my Dad at The Modern. We got the prix-fixed three course meal, but you choose the dish for each course yourself and they serve you ample amuse bouches, palate cleansers, and mignardises so that you feel like you’ve lost track of the courses. Each dish came out looking beautifully, with a taste to match, and you were never quite knew what was next, but you sure were looking forward seeing it, tasting it, sharing it (we said “you have to try this” a lot), and talking about it.

So, it was that kind of meal — the kind that where you alternate between admiring the food and enjoying the company. With culinary school behind me and the unwavering support of both my parents (my Mom is especially wonderful about making sure that I’m able to make good food myself; and both were way more thrilled about culinary school than they ever were about law school, to their undying credit), it made me realize how far I’d come in the food world. I try to appreciate the fancy and the humble — taking in each on their own merits — and although I am more familiar with food now, it’s fun to extend my admiration for it by trying to figure out how it all comes together, almost alchemically. There’s still a lot of wonder.

In other news, the service was polite and attentive, but a little spotty answering questions, as if they were uncertain about the food. The wait staff wears suit-like uniforms, and jackets are required for gentlemen diners… so everyone looks stylish.

And our table for two was right next to the window, overlooking the statue garden, which is well-lit at night.

1

Amuse Bouche – Lobster Ravioli. Watermelon, Feta, and Pineapple Skewers.

2

Butter, cubed.

1

Amuse Bouche – Nettle Soup with King Crab and Purple Potato.

1

Pheasant and Burgundy Truffle Veloute, Millet Blinis and Celeriac Julienne. This arrived with the vegetal arrangement in the middle, like a bare plant w/ roots, and then the veloute was poured in by the server, so that it looked like a planted plant. Cool. I especially liked the use of millet here, and how the veloute looked creamy, but was not dominated by the flavor of cream.

2

Spanish Mackerel and Hamachi Tartare with Sea Beans and Toasted Sesame Seeds. This picture doesn’t do justice to the dish as it was — which was more elegant. The sesame dominated just a little too much for me, but otherwise, it was fresh and full of many flavors.

1

Braised Veal Sweetbreads Dusted with Fennel Pollen, Escarole, Preserved Lemon, and Caper Salad. These were so silky. I loved the fennel pollen and salt dusted on them, too. I was disappointed by the amount of salad at first, but it was such a great refreshing contrast to the rich and earthy tones of the rest of the dish that I came to greatly appreciate it.

The waiter arrived at our table with a portable work service topped with crockery, and actually plated this all while tableside. My Dad’s dish came out exactly as my dish was finished. That was impressive.

On the other hand, though, it took a long time for the dish to be plated, and the watchful silence was a bit awkward. It also gave me the time to realize that, in effect, I’d ordered a soup and salad (and would go on to order a soup for dessert, no less).

1

Colorado Lamb Chops and Braised Shoulder with Heirloom Shell Beans, Natural Jus.

1

Palate Cleanser – The combination of strawberry, lemon, and tomato was wonderful here, with the tomato as a sly acidic backdrop to two tart fruits.

1

Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Lemongrass Infused Green Apple Soup and Concord Grape Sorbet. The concord grape sorbet was amazingly intense and smooth — perhaps made with a pacojet.

2

Milk Chocolate Dacquoise and Raspberry Sorbet. The creaminess and crunchiness — as well as the milk chocolate — made this irresistible. I believe that it had a hazelnut dacquoise and a cookie inside.

1

Fromage Blanc Sorbet (I believe), Lemon, and Raspberry (or Strawberry). The crunchy, sweet cone was the perfect touch for this.

1

Mignardises.

1

Orange Spice Tea Cake. The party never ends at the Modern. This is given as you leave — to enjoy for breakfast.

Drinkswise, the Gemini Martini was a standout; made of Grey Goose Orange Vodka, Amaretto Disaranno, Acerola, Pink Grapefruit & Lime Juice. It popped with a rich orange flavor, and my Dad stuck with it all evening. I liked the flavor of the Sandia — with Bacardi Grand Melon, Cantaloupe, Dill, Lemon, and Tonic, but the pervasive slivers of cantaloupe made it very difficult to drink.