Chef and Menu Report: W/O 1/18/15

January 23, 2015 | 12:28 PM By Kate Kolenda, Editor

International
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a multitude of new partnerships with culinary leaders to feature innovative branded experiences onboard Norwegian Escape, the line’s largest ship ever, which will begin sailing from her homeport of Miami in November 2015. Food-lovers will delight in vessel’s culinary experiences, which will be helmed by James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces and Miami restaurateurs Jose Mendin, Andreas Schreiner, and Sergio Navarro of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group; in addition to new beverage concepts The District Brewhouse, featuring craft beers from Wynwood Brewing Company, and The Cellars—a Michael Mondavi Family wine bar.

Houston
As the Super Bowl approaches, Brennan’s of Houston celebrates with an upscale take on a classic football snacking fare. Executive chef Danny Trace of the city’s Texas-Creole dining destination offers Blue crab nachos with fire roasted corn, St. Andre queso, avocado, Mirliton pico de gallo, and lime crema, crowned with an ounce of Petrossian caviar. Other elevated game day snacks from Brennan’s of Houston include Borracho lamb chili, absinthe mac and cheese, and Jimmy's shrimp corndogs.

Miami
Revered winemaker Maggie Harrison, will be hosting a dinner at Azul on January 30 that will showcase new wines from Antica Terra and Lillian Wineries. The selection will feature 2012 vintages a year described as the most promising in Oregon history by leading U.S. wine critic Robert Parker. Chef William Crandall will be providing a four-course prix fixe to complement it all, with dishes like stuffed quail with mushroom glaze and whipped cannellini.

Jen Massolo brings back the distilleries and craft beer, this time at The Fillmore on Miami Beach for two whole days. One day will be dedicated to trade and the other will act as a tasting gallery to the public. A complimentary trade day will kick off on January 30, dedicated to artisanal vendor tastings and in-depth panel discussions. Panel discussions will take place during the tasting hours, between noon and 3 p.m., and will touch upon industry-important topics like “How to Choose the Right Distributor” and “Florida Beverage Law 101” with Ryan Malkin (3:30 to 5:00 p.m.). On January 31, CRAFT will open-to-the-public, showcasing an amplified evening that will fill the senses with artisanal spirits, beers, cocktails and food pairings. A culinary sampling with some of the city’s most authentic eats include Cypress Room and chef Jeremiah Bullfrog, each which will prepare complementing bites alongside nine select mixologists to offer the perfect cocktail and food pairing. Tickets for the consumer Tasting Gallery Experience can be purchased for $65 per person for general admission (3 to 7 p.m.) or $85 per person for VIP admission (4 to 7 p.m.).

New Jersey
Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen – located at the historic Vail Mansion in Morristown – has just launched Sunday brunch in their oyster and wine bar. From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., brunch-lovers can enjoy executive chef Kevin Sippel’s brunch offerings such as short rib and potato hash with scrambled egg and country bread; Gianduja chocolate crostini with caramelized bananas; and lobster salad with frisee and Riesling potatoes. Head bartender Christopher James’ has created a list of signature drinks to complement the menu like the Bloody Mary with 86 Co. Aylesbury Duck vodka, JHBK bloody mix, and Rick’s picks; and the Cannonball Shrub with Botanist Gin, spiced cranberry shrub, lime, angostura, and topped off with bubbles. 

New York
212 Steakhouse in Midtown East, the only restaurant on the East Coast officially approved by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association from Japan to offer authentic Kobe Beef, has a new executive chef, Keith Geter, alum of Terrance Brennan's restaurants including Picholine, Artisanal, and Brennan's Seafood and Chophouse, as well as upscale restaurants abroad in Anguilla and Abu Dhabi. Additionally, the restaurant has launched a new lunch menu, featuring a $25 two-course prix fixe option, offering choices of mussels with white wine and garlic, and wild mushroom and truffle risotto with leeks, truffle oil, and aged Parmesan, among other dishes. There are also sandwiches like the steak sandwich slathered with garlic mayo, and the house burger adorned with shallot marmalade and black pepper ketchup.  The restaurant's selection of quality steaks and sides are also available for lunch.

Braven Brewing Company of Bushwick, Brooklyn has launched their new White IPA. A blend of two distinct styles, the brew delivers the signature hoppy bite of and American IPA balanced by the softer wheat touch and hints of spice traditionally found in a Belgian white ale. It’s available year-round; for more information, visit the brewery’s website.

Brooklyn’s Hella Bitters is proud to announce three new flavors:  Smoked Chili, Ginger Lemon and Orange. Months in the making and years in the dreaming these flavors expand our line, offering both professionals and cocktail fans everywhere dynamic new flavors from the trusted makers of Hella Bitters. They’ve also redesigned their Craft Your Own Bitters Kit so that all the same components fit into a box half the size, proving that good things can come in small packages.

This month, Greenpoint bourbon bar The Moonlight Mile introduces a new menu of hot cocktails for the seasonal cold weather. Cocktails range from the more traditional Hot Toddy to Devil’s Juice, made with High West double rye, blood orange liquor, habanero and honey syrups, and topped with shaved Belgian chocolate.

On Sunday, January 25, The Spotted Pig will host their first-ever Burns Night, a Scottish tradition that celebrates the life and works of 18th Century poet Robert Burns. Chef April Bloomfield will offer a three-course family-style menu of traditional Scottish fare to be paired with whiskies throughout the evening. Dishes include stilton pie, haggis and venison, and for dessert, Clootie dumplings with dried fruit, suet, sugar, and spice; and Cranachan: a traditional Scottish dessert of whipped cream, whisky-soaked oatmeal, honey, and raspberries. Amidst all of the celebratory eating and drinking, there will be readings of Robert Burns' poetry, along with bag pipe performances. The event costs $100/ per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations will be accepted and should be made in advance by emailing the Spotted Pig team

Tavern on the Green has unveiled their new menu from chef Jeremiah Tower, who has brought some culinary nostalgia to the dining landmark with dishes like a classic iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing and cherry tomatoes; roasted marrow bones with white wine, lemon poached escargot, herbed butter, and Viennoise crust; and carbonara penne pasta gratin with peas, smoked bacon lardons, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, and cream.

Time Out New York and Openhouse NYC will be hosting The Big Cheesy: the winter edition of the grilled cheese competition paired with frosty winter brews, on January 24 and 25 from noon to 7 p.m. Guest will enjoy a mouthwatering lineup of grilled cheese contenders including Sons of Essex, Hudson Common, Eggs Travaganza, Twist and Smash'd, Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen, and Fame by Alex Mitow. Tickets are $30 and provide exclusive access to taste sandwiches from the six featured contenders, enjoy two beers courtesy of Goose Island and vote for your favorite in the Big Cheesy People's Choice Award.

San Francisco
With the recent lift of the foie gras ban in California, Ame Restaurant, the acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant located on street level of The St. Regis San Francisco, has reintroduced the coveted ingredient in a delectable dish: foie gras ramen. Homemade ramen noodles are served in a rich, spicy miso broth with a pair of duck wontons, mustard greens, slices of Tokyo leeks, and toasted sesame seeds, topped with the star of the dish – a sautéed foie gras steak.