Hill Country Food Park Opens in Downtown Brooklyn

“Marc Glosserman, who brought his Texas roots to New York and founded the various Hill Country restaurants, has turned what was his barbecue place in Brooklyn into a spacious food hall with an outdoor vibe. “I want it to be like a gathering of food trucks,” he said. Here, there aren’t trucks, but rough-hewed stalls to provide sustenance from morning (coffee and Du’s Donuts) until night (Van Leeuwen ice cream and cocktails). Fried chicken, including some new sandwiches, will be on offer, along with baby back ribs and other barbecue. And there’s Austino’s, for square pizza Texas-style; Bluebonnets, serving vegetable-forward sandwiches and salads; and Nickie’s Tex-Mex specialties, including tamales, nachos and burgers with salsa. Libations are soft, hard and in-between. On the second floor, a sprawling new version of Hank’s Saloon, a venerable dive bar that is closing in Boerum Hill, will be installed by early next year.

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New NYC Ramen Restaurant Ichiran Is the Ultimate Spot for Introverts

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“Calling all introverts. A Japan-based restaurant, Ichiran, known for its solo dining booths, has just opened its second location in New York City. The popular Midtown ramen restaurant allows customers to enjoy their meal without distraction.

Here’s how it works — you place your order by filling out a form specifying exactly what you want. A waiter takes the form without uttering a word, and a few moments later the steaming bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen appears. You enjoy the ramen and when finished, you push a button and the empty bowl is taken away. All of this happens without a single spoken interaction.

The idea of solo dining first occurred to the creator of Ichiran when he noticed all of the distraction that came with eating in a restaurant. Thus, the flavour concentration concept was born. By sitting alone, diners are able to solely focus on the taste of their food, and therefore fully enjoy the experience of the ramen.”

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Popular Bushwick Seafood Spot Heads to Williamsburg Waterfront This Spring

“Popular Bushwick seafood restaurant Sea Wolf will set up shop this spring in a new luxury real estate development rising on the Williamsburg waterfront — a much more high-end locale compared to the restaurant’s original digs in Bushwick.

Sea Wolf has plans to swing open within the residential and commercial project under development at 420 Kent Ave., at South Eighth Street, in a “polished,” nautical-inspired version of its original outpost, according to a news release. Owner Daniel Cipriani says the “boat-like,” low-ceilinged space has a windowed front, making the view of the East River, three bridges, and Manhattan skyline a main draw.

The upscale waterfront spot is a prime slice of Brooklyn real estate that has attracted big-name chefs like Danny Meyer, who launched taco stand Tacocina this past summer in nearby Domino Park. Cipriani’s personal connection to the water — his lifestyle revolves around fishing and surfing — attracted him to the space, which he says will have a more “refined” menu than his Bushwick location.”

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102-year-old Orwasher’s Bakery is preserving NYC nostalgia while adapting to the times

“The original Upper East Side location of Orwasher’s opened in 1916 on East 78th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues by a Hungarian immigrant named Abraham Orwasher when a swatch of Yorkville was known as “Little Hungary.” The Orwashers used family recipes for the high-quality rye, black, and grain breads of their homeland, baking them all in a basement brick oven and delivering the loaves by horse and carriage. Thought the Upper East Side location looks small from the outside, there were, literally, millions of pounds of dough being mixed there. Doing a quick calculation, Keith estimates that this amounted to more than 10 million loaves of bread over its 103-year history. Today, Orwasher’s churns out between 9,000 and 10,000 loaves a day!”

“He describes the vintage East Side store as “an oasis.” When you walk in, “it seems like you’re going to a country store in Vermont.” But even though the 1,200-square-foot West Side location on the corner of 81st and Amsterdam is a bit more modern, the customer base is quite similar. A lot of people used to travel across town and now have a store closer.”

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Women Challenge the Gluttony Ceiling at a July 4th Ritual

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual American hot dog competitive eating competition. It is held each year on Independence Day at Nathan’s Famous original, and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, a neighborhood of BrooklynNew York City.

If you know the name Joey Chestnut (men’s hot dog eating champion with a record total of 70 dogs this July 4th), you should also know the names Sonya Thomas and Miki Sudo.  Ms. Sonya Thomas holds the female hot dog eating world record of 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  Ms. Sudo’s hot dog tally of 38 this year beat the fourth-place total in the men’s division.

Among the 15 female contestants were a hairdresser, a taxidermist, a truck driver, a marine mammal trainer and a fashion model from New Zealand.  “You have to be physically fit to stand up there for 10 minutes and go full force” said Nela Zisser, the 24-year old model.

Each contestant has his or her own eating method. Takeru Kobayashi pioneered the “Solomon Method” at his first competition in 2001. The Solomon method consists of breaking each hot dog in half, eating the two halves at once, and then eating the bun.  “Dunking” is the most prominent method used today. Because buns absorb water, many contestants dunk the buns in water and squeeze them to make them easier to swallow, and slide down the throat more efficiently.  Other methods used include the “Carlene Pop,” where the competitor jumps up and down while eating, to force the food down to the stomach.

The women trained throughout the year by exercising, eating healthy and practicing techniques at smaller competitions such as gobbling dozens of Twinkies in six minutes.

Ms. Mary Bowers of Beverly Hills, California said she hoped the women’s competition would eliminate a cultural stigma that often discourages eating among young girls.

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The Spritz: It’s All Built on Bubbles

Spritz culture is rooted in the cities and towns of Northern Italy.  The drink can be found at restaurants, cafes and even at the airport.

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif (an alcoholic beverage served before the meal to stimulate appetite) in Northeast Italy. The drink is prepared with prosecco (Italian white) wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, CampariCynar, or, especially in Venice, with Select. The glass is then topped off with sparkling mineral water. It is usually served over ice in a lowball glass and garnished with a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.

Thanks to the recent publication of a light-hearted book named “Spritz”, these drinks have become popular and American bars will serve them this summer.

American bartenders have taken the liberty of creating their own spritz concoctions.

At the Llama Inn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the bartender mixes gin, fino sherry, strawberry shrub, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, Spanish sparkling wine and Perrier for the Señorita Spritz, a pretty pink concoction.

At Montana’s Trail House in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the owner piles Aperol, grapefruit juice and sparkling white wine atop a base of Mezcal with agave syrup.

Summertime is the perfect time for something light, refreshing and bubbly.  One bartender on the Lower East Side is quoted as saying, “Who doesn’t like something that feels like its dancing on your tongue?”

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Brooklyn Winery Team Opens New Crown Heights Restaurant

brooklyn-made-wines-01.w600.h400.jpgCrown Heights now has another new restaurant to add to its list – this time, it comes from the team behind Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Winery. Owners Brian Leventhal and John Stires will open the doors to BKW on Tuesday at 747 Franklin Avenue. They’ve brought on chef Michael Gordon, formerly of Bouley, to design the pared-down menu. Some highlights include konbu-cured mackerel with whipped feta and roasted grapes, root beer glazed pork ribs, and homemade donuts with butterscotch and lavender. The wine list will of course be well curated, with flights offered for those who are feeling indecisive and full bottles available to take home.

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