Friday, December 21, 2007

New Year's Eve Prix Fixe

New Year's Eve gets very expensive in NYC. Everything has a cover, even the not-so-great bars, while the restaurants all have special menus that cost a lot.

We thought it might be nice to go with friends of ours to River Cafe for a low-key dinner. We were prepared for the $125 (still expensive, but worth it) prix fixe menu but when we called we were shocked to find out that the cost for New Year's was $450 per person, which includes a champagne and caviar cocktail hour. And can you believe it, it's completely booked as of this morning.

If you like seafood, one nice and well-priced option (in my opinion) is the Mermaid Inn. It's not in Brooklyn, but there is a location in the East Village and a new outpost on the Upper West Side. Here is a link to the menu. There are two seatings and the pricing is reflected ($50 & $70 menus).

Zagat offers a round-up of high-end prix fixe options, which does include the Mermaid Inn.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

$7.8 M Penthouse Listing in Clocktower

Check out this Sotheby's listing for a $7.8 million penthouse in the Clock Tower (1 Main St.) building in DUMBO. Pretty nice!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Brooklyn-Made Food & Drink

A thread from Chowhound looks at food and drink native to Brooklyn. Here's the list that readers have come up with so far.

  • McClure's pickles
  • Junior's cheesecake
  • Brooklyn Brewery beer
  • Jacques Torres chocolates/hot chocolate mix
  • Steve's Keylime Pies made in Red Hook
  • Black Hound Cookies
  • Six Point Beers/Ales from Red Hook
  • Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup
  • Baked brand cookies (my add)

Anything missing? What's your favorite?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Interview: Carla's Closets

Whether you've been blessed with a big closet or are like most New Yorker's and your apartment resembles a closet more than anything, stylist Carla Nemiroff of Carla's Closets can help you get organized and make life, well, easier.

In this Q&A, Carla offers some helpful tips and tricks as we head into colder weather and a natural time to purge old clothes and coats to donate them to charity.

What is Carla's Closets all about?

Carla’s Closets is all about making your life easy. I believe that women especially need to make a conscious effort to treat themselves with lots of love, and Carla’s Closets is all about making this happen in a very practical way. The interior and exterior of us are one in the same; if you take care of one, the other feels better. I don’t promote being high maintenance and superficial. I encourage others to keep it simple and practical with moments of pampering and indulgence to create those simple pleasures, like putting on something that makes you feel just that fantastic.

What is the number one mistake people make when organizing their closets?
I think the number one mistake people make when organizing their closets is that they aren’t realistic. Most of us wear maybe 50% of our wardrobes if we’re lucky. There are things in each of our closets that for a number of reasons, we never want to put on. You’ve got to ask yourself why you’re not putting something on, and then decide how to change that, or get rid of it; they’re just clothes at the end of the day.

What advice would you give people as we head into sweater season in terms of organization?
As we enter sweater season it’s really important to take an inventory of what you’ve got in the closet already. Sweaters are the bulkier things in our closets and there’s only so much room for them. Take a count of how many sweaters you’ve got, and then break them down into categories by color and type. This could mean you’ve got 10 black sweaters and one non-black, so guess what? Don’t buy any black sweaters this season! (And maybe think about getting rid of a few you haven’t worn the last few seasons) Or this could mean that you’ve got 6 cruddy “raking the leaves” sweaters, and only 2 nice ones that could pass for a night out to dinner. Be real with what you’ve got and what you really need most. Many of us hold onto cruddy things for too long, and before you know it, that’s all you’ve got going on in your closet. No wonder you feel like a schlep!

When is it time to purge old clothes?
I try to encourage all my clients to purge each spring and fall from their closets. You have to get rid of at least a few things each year to make room for the new things that you are most definitely going to buy, don’t kid yourself. Anything that looks worn or just isn’t doing it for you anymore, lose it.

In terms of your style, what designers or celebrity looks inspire you?
I love classic designs with a twist that are going to fit my body and last me style-wise for a long time to come. A few of my favorites are Theory, Nanette Lepore, Diane Von Furstenburg and Mackage for outerwear.

What are some of your favorite stores?
Department stores will always be my number one when shopping with clients for the simple fact that I can hit so many different departments in the least amount of time. A few affordable chain stores I love are Club Monaco for classic looks and Armani Exchange for funkier pieces.

How can people get in touch to schedule a consultation?
If a client wants to get in touch have a consult they can just email me through my Web site or give me a call directly!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Worst Brooklyn Bartenders

Gridskipper has posted its list of the worst bartenders in Brooklyn as part of what it's calling Mean Week.

DUMBO's Superfine made the list at No. 6. Here's what they had to say:
While many of the bartenders at Superfine are very nice not to mention super fine, there are a few that really go out of their way to not get you a drink. Often, beverage orders are accepted, then the bartenders… go and chat with their friends after belittling you for asking about the drink specials.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Recipe: Holiday Biscotti

I have never made biscotti, but when I saw Giada make her recipe on TV it actually looks quite simple. Below is her recipe from Food Network. I plan to make up a batch this weekend and will let you know how they turn out.

Holiday Biscotti
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.