Why You Should Spend Time around Brooklyn’s Bedford Avenue

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Chilo’s Tacos y Tostadas

Brooklyn’s food scene has blown up and it’s full of so many hidden gems. With so many bodegas (no complaints though) and renovated apartments, it can be difficult to find delish dines. Thankfully, finding hidden gems are my specialty. And once I’ve found a standout spot, there’s a compulsion to spread the world! One of my favorite areas for great, diverse food is around Bedford Avenue in Bed-Stuy. I’ve rounded up a few of my go-to gems for quick, quality, finger-lickin’ delicious bites! Oh yeah… they’re also easy on the wallet!

Napoleon Southern Cuisine and Bakery

1180 Bedford Ave.

(347) 663-3069

Website: http://napoleonsoulfood.com/

If you ask me, there should be more southern soul food hautes in Brooklyn. Who can get enough of succulent fried chicken, savory sautéed or stewed veggies, and fluffy biscuits? I can always find this and much more at Napoleon’s Southern Cuisine and  Bakery.  When you visit try the drool-worthy Uncle Nay’s Chicken and Waffles including a Red Velvet waffle option! If you’re all about chicken you can get it smothered, jerked, friend, or baked. Meatloaf, turkey wings are available too. Check out their to-die-for desserts: sweet potato cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, and banana pudding. Although, closed on Mondays, all are welcome to a southern Sunday dinner, Tuesdays through Sundays. Reserve  Monday for a one-day cleanse, and then return to the oh-so-good ‘southern comfort.’

Home Frite

1047 Bedford Ave.

(347) 627-3266

If thick, perfectly fried hand cut fries are your jam, than head to Home Frite.  Created by Bed-Stuy residents, Ian Vernon and Crystal Lingle, in 2013, these Belgian style French fries first started as a pop-up at Smorgasburg. Now, it has a storefront on Bedford and a booth in the DeKalb Market in downtown Brooklyn. Served piping hot, fries paired with your choice of luscious gourmet dipping sauces like herb-ocado, lemon garlic aioli and curry ketchup. The fry frenzy menu choices are taken a step further with the Cheese Burger fries (it’s just like it sounds, minus the bun). Or, you can opt for the wings, chicken sandwiches, or “meaty” veggie burger.

Home Frite- Crispy Chicken Salad and Fries
Crispy Chicken Salad & Fries w/ herb-ocado & curry ketchup

Chilo’s

http://chilosbk.com/

Imagine  a place which makes ‘Taco Tuesday’ a weeklong event. That’s Chilo’s. Tacos, tostadas, and tortas galore are faithfully served in the taco truck parked behind Chilo’s (the bar). This favored Mexican street food spot has a cult following, and it’s easy to be sucked in. Delicioso aromas of chorizo, smoked beef, pork belly, and carnitas waft into the air while being prepared outside. There are even bold selections like huitlacoche (corn mushroom or Mexican truffle), and nopales (cactus). Pair your comida with a marg or adult slushie in the al fresco dining area, and chillax for the rest of the evening.

Fancy Nancy

1038 Bedford Avenue (corner of Bedford Ave. and Lafayette)

(347) 350-7289

https://www.fancynancybk.com/

Known for being a groovy retro dinning space with whimsy  cocktails and a stellar food menu to match, Fancy Nancy, provides a sense of belonging for all guests. Friendly faces and warm greetings set the tone for a satisfying experience. This neighborhood joint’s serves delightful dishes like the all-time favorite Twice Cooked Duck Wings with smoked habañero honey sauce, plus Roasted Sweet Potato  and Avocado salad, and the succulent Fancy Burger 2.0 with peppercorn cheese sauce. All dishes pair well with the cold beer on tap, natural wines (chemical and additive free) and dope glamour drinks, like the Calamity Jane with whiskey, black tea and spicy honey.

 

 

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Roasted Sweet Potato + Avocado Salad
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The Montgomery Old Fashioned Review

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If you are an Old Fashioned cocktail lover, here is a thoughtful twist on your reliable go-to. The Montgomery Old Fashioned at Pig Bleeker in New York City, is a welcomed sipper for whiskey drinkers and an approachable intro for Scotch novices. The combination of chocolate bitters and semi-sweet orange curaçao (citrus flavored liqueur) adds an appetizing texture to the tipple as it’s not too sweet. But, the swill’s showstopper is the hefty pour of Scotch Whiskey which ties the ingredients together. Tom Walker, bar manager at Pig Bleeker, suggests using a single malt Scotch if you’d like to indulge, but a quality scotch blend would do just fine. Either way, The Old Fashioned Montgomery inspires creativity to honor the classics, while embracing modern interpretation.

Wan to make The Montgomery Old Fashioned at home? This lovely bev is simple to make and you can check it out on POUR.

Don’t Give Up the Ship Review

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There’s a sexy new kid on the block in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. As a previous brothel, now turned cocktail lounge, Barely Disfigured has created quite a delicious stir since November 2017. Challenging the conventions of classic French cocktails, ‘Barely’ serves modern takes on the traditional swills. One such drink is Don’t Give Up the Ship: a combination of gin, Fernet (an Italian amaro or bitter), and sweet vermouth. At first sip, a burst of citrus greets you. Then, the harmonious blend of  gin, bitter sweet fernet, and orange bitters  shines together  for a smooth finish. This refreshing treat is one, you definitely wouldn’t want to give up.

Find out more about Don’t Give Up the Ship on POUR, where you can see how to create the drink and find out juicy stories from behind the bar.

Peat’s Dragons Review

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Photograph by Matthew Messina

One of the few original cocktails bars in New York City, Clover Club captures the revelry of the 1920 prohibition era, with touches of modern influences. The large saloon offers overs 30 spectacular cocktails. The beverage menu is thoughtfully divided into categories, such as Stirred, Sours & Fizzes, Royales, and more. It’s almost impossible for guests to not be impressed by the library.

One favorite is Peat’s Dragons – a smoky take on a Manhattan. Although named after the children’s story, the swill is quite mature as it uses a peaty scotch whisky, (hence the name), and a smoked style Sfumato amaro. This boozy-forward bev is briskly stirred and strained into a two-part glass: part is poured into a chilled glass and the remainder, into a mini carafe cradled in crushed ice. Since Peat’s Dragons is served like such, the flavors are smooth and free to mingle, creating a frosty, long lasting sipper.


Thirsty for more? Check out Peat’s Dragons on the Clover Club episode of POUR with Beverage Director, Tom Macy.

Smoky Goodnight Moon Review

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Photograph by Matthew Messina

Meet the Smoky Goodnight Moon – a grown-up nightcap inspired by the beloved childhood story, only available at Alice’s Arbor in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Don’t let the name fool you, this smooth swill is no sleeper. It consists of all-star pairings of bourbon, spiced rum, and honey, topped off with a splash of lavender. The thoughtful balance of flavors create an inviting sipper, sure to please an array tastes.

Plus, as if that wasn’t enough to wet your whistle, there’s has an off-menu element… smoke! The smoke comes from a wooden cedar board which is scorched (by a torch!) and then covered by a lowball glass to capture the smoky goodness. Then, the shaken cocktail is poured into the glass releasing a seductive cedar aroma. The on-menu version is Goodnight Moon, but if you want the smoky wow-factor, just ask!

Check out how the Smoky Goodnight Moon is made, here on POUR.

Jet Away for Oktoberfest

It’s Oktoberfest and Samuel  Adams, in conjunction with Jetblue Airline, is kicking off the festivities in style. For the very first time, Sam Adams will sponsor an inflight beer tasting for passengers attending  the Great American Beer Festival® in Denver, Colorado.  The festival (October 5th until 7th) is the premier U.S. beer event which celebrate American craft beer and breweries at the Colorado Convention Center.

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Jim Koch (Brewer and Founder of Sam Adams)

While airborne, an exclusive tasting will be led by Brewer and Founder of Sam Adams, Jim Koch. Beer-lovers will enjoy the beloved, gold medal-winning, Samuel Adams  Octoberfest brew, known for its smooth, creamy, yet slightly sweet malty flavor. That’s not all… two additional secret selections from the iconic brewer will be savored during the flight, while passengers engage in Oktoberfest-themed activities (with many surprises!) to help the time fly by.

Interested in this unique getaway? Visit www.JetBlue.com and book your seat on JetBlue Flight No. 97 which departs from New York City’s JFK Airport at 8:22 PM on Thursday October 5th. Sit back, relax and enjoy a new mile-high experience. Prost! (Cheers!)

Tantalizing Summer Treats in NYC

The most tempting draw to dessert is that it’s not a necessity, but instead, a novelty. Desert has a special meal-completing  touch which adds to each rewarding bite. For many, dessert is hands-down the best part of dining. Sweet-tooth fanatics wouldn’t dream of ending their feast without a sugared treat, and rightly so! New York has some innovative alternatives to the typical summer frozen eats. Take a break from the typical and venture to tantalizing, drool-worthy summer  desserts around the city. A few are even dressed with Pop Rocks and paired with booze! (Seriously!)

 

Nix

Nix
Honey Custard (top)  Carrot Cake Moon Pies (bottom)

 

The cool, creamy, and texture-focused sweets at Chef John Frasier’s veggie haute, Nix, is sure to satisfy an array of sweet-seekers. The whimsical selections such as Dirt Pudding with gummy worms, Carrot Cake Moon Pies, and peachy Honey Custard will evoke fond childhood memories while impressing grown-up taste buds. Plus, each bite or spoonful shall brighten the sunniest of summer days. Desserts at this Michelin -starred dine are not to be missed!

 

 

 

 

 

The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel New York 

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James’ Peachtree Fizz + Palm Court Summer Verrine

 

Move over afternoon tea, booze-paired desserts have arrived in The Palm Court of The Plaza Hotel. All summer long, an exclusive NOLET’S Silver cocktail and dessert pairing menu will be offered in the iconic hotel. Relax in the picturesque Palm Court with a made-to-order gin martini served tableside from the NOLET’S Martini Cart while enjoying a decadent dessert, flawlessly created by Pastry Chef Matthew Lambie. Chef Lambie thoughtfully highlighted the sophisticated flavor notes in NOLET’S Silver Gin and paired them with two addictive desserts: Hibiscus/Violet Vacherin and Palm Court Summer Verrine. The verrine is paired with the refreshing James’ Peachtree Fizz cocktail (with peach puree and lemon juice) while the Vacherin complements the Gin Blush sipper (with Chambord and raspberry puree). This is an ideal must-visit opportunity while taking a staycation, if you don’t have a chance to escape the city this summer. These selections will be available to all until Labor Day.

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Gin Blush + Hibiscus/Violet Vacherin

 

il Buco

il Buco is of course one of New York City’s most beloved dines known for its impeccable mix of northern Spanish and Mediterranean influences. Not only are the savory dishes a thoughtful fusion of tradition and innovation, but the same creativity overflows into the desserts as well. One such selection, the chocolate ganache, is a silky, semi-sweet confection, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with Pop Rocks! The creative play on sweet and savory with a bang, is as much of a thrill to eat as it is a cold, bold summer delight.

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Chocolate Ganache

Rave-Worthy Memorial Day Mixers

Summer is knocking on the door; so, why not welcome it with a spectacular cocktail? Start the season with a sunny Peach Lemonade Punch using NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin or stir up a delish Truly Sangria for Memorial Day. Sip your way through summer with these refreshing chillers perfect for poolside, beach-side, and after-five.

Peach Lemonade Punch with bottle

Peach Lemonade Punch

Ingredients:
750 ml NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
2.25 L Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
375 ml Elderflower Liqueur
2 Bags Frozen Peaches

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or infusion jar and stir.

Serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a peach slice or raspberry skewer.

 

Aperol SpritzAperol Spritz

Ingredients:

3 Parts Cinzano Prosecco

2 Parts Aperol

1 Dash Soda

Ice and a slice of Orange

Directions:

Add ice and a slice of orange to glass.

Pour in the Prosecco, the Aperol and add a dash of soda. This avoids the Aperol settling at the bottom.

Quick stir and sip away!

 

TRULY Sangria (1)Truly Sangria

Ingredients:

6 oz. Truly Spiked & Sparkling Pomegranate

2 oz. Red Wine

1 oz. Brandy

1 oz. Raspberry Flavoring (ex. Monin)

Assorted citrus (oranges, etc.) and berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

Squeeze of orange and lime wedges

Directions:

In advance, soak fruit in brandy.

Combine 6 oz. Truly Spiked & Sparkling Pomegranate and 2 oz. red wine in a red wine glass over ice and brandy-soaked fruit.

Garnish with orange slice

NOTE: To make batch sangria, use 3:1 ratio of Truly to red wine.

Hibiscus Dragon Fruit Margarita

Dragon Fruit Margarita with straw

Ingredients:

2 oz Patron Reposado Tequila

2 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

.75 oz Cinnamon Hibiscus syrup

.50 oz Fresh Lemon

.25 oz Triple sec

Pinch of Sea Salt

2 Dashes Hellfire Bitters

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a shaking tin and fill half way with ice.

Shake for 5 seconds and strain into a hollowed out Dragon Fruit with ice.

Garnish with pineapple spikes, mint and flaming lemon half.

 

SgroppinoSgroppino

1 ½ parts elit Vodka

1 scoop of Lemon Sorbet or another different flavor

3 parts Prosecco

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender with a bit of crushed ice.

Pour into a coupette and garnish with fresh lemon zest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Simply Perfect Margaritas At Home

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Patrón has announced its 2017 Margarita of the Year, the Coralina Margarita. After a world-wide search with thousands of thirst-quenching hopefuls, live voting on social media allowed imbibers to support their favorite tipples. This year’s champion beautifully showcases the oaky Patrón Reposado coupled with the Patrón Citrónge Orange and hibiscus to create an instant attraction for the most discerning of palates.

Want to try this highly coveted winner? This year, Patrón teamed with Cocktail Courier (think  Blue Apron for cocktails) to offer an opportunity to make the Coralina Margarita at home. Another top-rated marg’, the Mumbai Margarita, is also available to try. This addictive east-meets-west fusion also uses Patrón Reposado, mixed with mango puree and spicy rose syrup. I tried shaking up this tantalizing drink and it was a smashing success! Very simple to make, loaded with fresh, quality ingredients and great to taste.

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The home delivery service offers an array of seasonal cocktails, crafted by trailblazing mixologists.  All cocktail information, including number of servings, is included in the kit and easily accessible online. Kits provide everything needed for the DIY sips except for bar tools and serving glasses. The easy- to-follow directions, garnishes, and packaging is very convenient; an ideal set-up for a fabulous time!

Whether you are a spirits aficionado, or you just enjoy a superb sip, the Patrón – Cocktail Courier combo is simply perfection.