Tag Archives: bk

eater’s digest: bklyn larder

Photos by Lauren DeFilippo

By mid-summer in New York City, the average food lover has spent plenty of time outside—grilling hot dogs, veggies and ribs; packing improvised picnics of bread, cheese and wine. By now, your “signature salad” may seem a bit redundant, or the humidity may have you researching a raw food diet. In other words, it’s the ideal time to let someone else do the cooking. And for that, there’s no better place than Bklyn Larder.

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Started by the same team behind renowned Brooklyn pizza spot, Franny’s, Bklyn Larder is not your average boutique grocery store. Community-focused in its vision, the Larder is a seasonal, local and eco-conscious shop, with much of their day-to-day produce coming from the nearby Grand Army Plaza of Union Square greenmarkets. The bread is also locally selected from some of the city’s best artisans—Grandaisy, Bien Cuit and Orwasher’s.

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Heirloom tomato and cucumber salad with fresh oregano and red wine vinaigrette

This savvy approach to sourcing translates into incredibly fresh and photogenic food, from an heirloom tomato and cucumber salad to an organic berry tart with vanilla pastry cream. It’s worth noting that the Larder also specializes in cheese, so whether you’re looking for local, raw milk, aged imports or a taste of each, the shop is stocked with an excellent selection.

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Organic berry tart with vanilla pastry cream

One of my favorite seasonal bites was an English pea salad with farro and dill buttermilk dressing, a cool and refreshing spin on grains.

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English pea and farro salad with dill buttermilk dressing

I also appreciated the aged prosciutto da parma from Pio Tosini, which beautifully complemented the naturally leavened, tangy dough and dark crust of a Bien Cuit baguette.

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Pio Tosini’s exceptional prosciutto di parma and raw cow’s milk blue cheese from Blue Cellars at Jasper Hill

For those in more of a rush, the shop has wrapped sandwiches to go, prepared with such care that the words pre-made seem misleading. On the contrary, if you’ve time to peruse the Larder’s provisions, the thoughtfully curated goods extend to hard-to-find grains, tinned fish, oils and chocolates. I especially enjoyed the exceptionally creamy walnut and honey White Moustache yogurt that I spotted in the dairy case.

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A range of refined grains are among the Larder’s pantry staples.

For those too far removed to enjoy the Larder in person, you can still snag a pint of the shop’s prized gelato and sorbetto, which recently became available for nationwide shipping.

Don't forget dessert: from their signature gelato and sorbetto, to these beautifully brûléed s'mores cupcakes, the shop's not short on sweets.

Don’t forget dessert: from their signature gelato and sorbetto, to these beautifully brûléed s’mores cupcakes, the shop’s not short on sweets.

So whether you stop in to prep a simple picnic, cater a house party or stock up on top-notch staples, Bkyln Larder’s the type of shop that will have you lingering, daydreaming, yearning and scheming. You might even find yourself asking the happy, helpful staff if they’re hiring.

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eater’s digest: brooklyn crab

I’ve always been the type who is eager for fall, who looks forward to long pants, chilly outdoor evenings and the chance to take a bike ride without breaking a sweat.

That said, since the temperature dropped 20 degrees (overnight), I’ve been mourning the loss of my New York summer. And, in specific, craving a return to my favorite seafood shack, Brooklyn Crab.

Luckily, the crab shack is open year-round, given the happy heating of the upstairs deck. So now seems as good a time as ever to get a bit nostalgic. To lean back into the not-so-long-ago days of ‘yore, when we biked, boozed and bean bagged away our steamy Sundays in Red Hook.

…And to imagine another side of Brooklyn Crab. A hood-and-boots, hot toddy game of corn hole. Followed, of course, by a round of whole bellies and the impressive Brooklyn Crab Royale.

The pre-game (literally). Corn hole at Brooklyn Crab.

Enjoying some of the many boozy options on the breezy upstairs deck.

Consulting the extensive menu.

The fresh, briny house oysters.

Fried Ipswich Whole Belly Clams

The overflowing Crab Royale: lobster, king crab legs, snow crab legs, jonah crabs

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supper club: september

One of my goals in moving to Brooklyn was to start a supper club. So mere days after moving into my new place, I kicked things off with a dinner party for friends old and new.

Co-hosting was my graphic designer/photographer sister Lauren, whose eye for detail (and grocery lugging skills) helped make this party not only tasty, but beautiful. Check out her shots of the dinner below, and stay tuned for more supper club updates!

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Menu:

Gin, lillet blanc and basil cocktail

Homemade, spicy heirloom pickles – carrot, cauliflower, and radish

Arugula, orange and fennel salad with lemon-ginger vinaigrette

Grilled pineapple

Sweet and spicy grilled shrimp

Baked mole chicken

Butternut squash, black bean and coconut rice – Inspired by Tartelette

Asian slaw

Blackened hazelnut haricots verts and mangetout – Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi

Passion fruit custard with red wine glaze and toasted nuts**

Coffee and chocolate ganache birthday cake**

**Both desserts were made by our incredible friend, pastry chef Molly Marzalek-Kelly, of Baked NYC

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behind the knives: mardi miskit of brooklyn fork and spoon

Photos by Corry Arnold & Bethany Pickard

Rebecka & Mardi of Brookyn Fork and Spoon

In just over a year, Mardi and her Brooklyn Fork and Spoon co-founder, Rebecka, have turned their amateur culinary ambition into one of the borough’s most celebrated supper clubs. I was lucky enough to attend their Greatest Hits Supper at a historic mansion in Clinton Hill, where I sampled some of the duo’s best dishes to date. 

How did Brooklyn Fork and Spoon get its start?

Rebecka and I met through mutual friends and have always shared a love for cooking. Rebecka chronicles her delicious baked goods on her blog, and I have documented my passion for cooking for the past 2-3 years as well. With her sweet tooth and my love of all things savory, we always thought that it would be fun to collaborate on something.

Ricotta, Red Scallion, Honey & Thyme Bruschetta (Photo by Mardi Miskit)

We discovered the supper club scene through a friend’s site, Underground Dining NYC, and thought the concept was a perfect opportunity to join forces. But when we attempted to check out a few supper clubs ourselves, our RSVP’s were often met with “sold out” emails (I now understand why). So we decided to just go for it. We organized a test run for ten of our friends, traded free dinners for website design, and crossed our fingers. Our friends provided us with some great feedback, and with a few tweaks, we announced our first supper to the public. Now, about a year and a half later, we just hosted our Greatest Hits Supper and met our 200th new face.

How do you think BK Fork and Spoon fits into or is different from the supper club “craze” of the past few years?

Historic mansion ambiance at the Greatest Hits supper

Many guests have commented that they enjoy our laid-back atmosphere, in comparison to other supper clubs they’ve attended, which we attribute to the crowds we attract. We also want to make our dinners affordable, despite our often high food and drink costs, so we suggest a $40 donation. The vegetarian aspect also attracts many people (even the carnivores!). Most people find us through word of mouth – previous guests or local press.

Is there an overall philosophy or style of cooking that you subscribe to?

Backstage salad prep: mesclun greens, toasted pecan, pecorino & truffle vinaigrette

Rebecka and I aren’t vegetarians, but we both eat mostly plant-based diets. (That said, neither of us will hesitate to indulge in a cheeseburger when the craving strikes.) We’re also both huge cheese fiends. I actually don’t like using the word vegetarian to describe our supper club because I tend to associate the word with a lot of fake meat and soy products, which is not the kind of food we prepare.

At Brooklyn Fork and Spoon, I want to share my love for vegetables, grains and legumes and to show people how a meal can be incredibly satisfying without leaving you in a “food coma” (something that many guests have commented on and which brings a big smile to my face). I prepare all of the appetizers and main courses and Rebecka creates all of the desserts, fresh-baked bread or focaccia. We have very different cooking styles, but the meals always seem to fuse together nicely.

What do you wish you knew before starting your supper club?

Serving the main course: mac ‘n’ goat cheese, caramelized shallots, aged gouda

That cooking a family-style dinner for a large group of friends is quite different from plating each dish in a restaurant format. In the beginning, sometimes timing between courses was a bit off, but it’s a great new skill that both of us have since learned.

I also wish I knew that hosting a singles supper would not be as easy as it sounds. The RSVP’s came pouring in from the ladies, but the guys proved to be shy, or just uninterested in an evening of food, wine and single ladies (what gives, fellas?). In the end, we reeled in some dudes, and – while there seemed to be more business networking than romantic connections – the evening proved to be a really fun experience.

What has been the most interesting or unexpected aspect of running BK Fork and Spoon?

Waiting for leftovers at the Greatest Hits supper.

I would have to say the fact that we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to our dinners. We set out to do this for fun, but, before we knew it, we were being listed in Brooklyn Magazine‘s “Top 20 Things to Do in Brooklyn This Summer”.  We now sell out suppers in minutes, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Any anecdotes from dinners gone-wrong or almost-gone-wrong?

At one of our very first suppers, one guest arrived with a less than happy look on his face. We thought he was going to ruin the entire evening, but, by the end of the night, he became the life of the party and even started a little dance party. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s to keep the wine flowing. After a glass or two, the quiet ones start to open up, great conversations ensue, and new friendships are formed.

Advice for those who would like to start a supper club?

Refreshing, seasonal blueberry tarts with coconut whipped cream.

You have to love cooking and more importantly, love cooking for other people. Rebecka and I keep going simply because of our love for it. We find inspiration in meeting new people and watching new relationships form at our dinner table over a meal that we have put our all into.

What’s next?

Once the cooler days kick in, we’d love to look into having a few outdoor suppers. We’ve done a few themed suppers (vegan, gluten-free, breakfast for dinner) and we look forward to throwing in some new twists. We’d also love to start doing some cheese and wine pairings, or perhaps some classes. If anyone is interested in collaborating or offering up their outdoor space to us, don’t be shy!

Any preferred shops/markets that you source from?

We’re lucky to have a great market down the street from us with tons of local produce and quinoa pasta (which I always cook with), so I often pick up much of our food from there. When I’m on the hunt for something more unusual, I’ll bike over to the Greenmarket in McCarrenPark. I was desperate for red scallions for our last supper and, sure enough, I found them there.

When you do eat out, what are some of your favorite local restaurants?

One of my favorite little spots is a place in Greenpoint called EAT. It’s a very small space that serves the most delicious, fresh and simple seasonal dishes. Of all the places I’ve eaten, it reminds me most of the foods we prepare at Brooklyn Fork and Spoon. Another favorite in Greenpoint is Calyer. Their poached parsnips with smoky yogurt and savory granola is one of the most unique and incredible plates I’ve ever come across.

Vibrant and savory – the Red beet and ginger puree

Mardi was also generous enough to share her recipe for my favorite dish that evening, a beet purée that had even the beet-haters swooning.

Red Beet & Ginger Purée

Ingredients
  • 2 medium red beets
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 one-inch by two-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Greek yogurt (to top the purée)
Instructions
  1. Slice ends off of beets and wrap them individually in tinfoil.
  2. Place on a baking sheet in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Remove the beets from the oven, peel off the skin and slice into small pieces. Let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add beets to food processor along with ginger, vegetable broth, olive oil and scallions. Blend until well pureed.
  5. Add the goat cheese and salt. Blend again.
  6. Pour mixture into bowls and top with a dollop of greek yogurt, a few extra scallions and a sprinkle of cracked pepper.
  7. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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