Showing posts with label beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beer. Show all posts


Satisfy Your Crustacean Craving at Ambrose Beer and Lobster

Last month the Seaport got a new venue that has our vote for awesome summer hangout spot. Ambrose Beer and Lobster (18 Fulton Street) hosted a fun-filled event featuring the longest lobster roll I've ever seen, music by DJ Kalkutta, and an appearance by Dashca Polanco from Orange is the New Black.

Ambrose Beer and Lobster

 First things first, we headed for the bar. Vaction-y drinks we sampled included the Starboard--Absolut Mango, watermelon juice, and Saint Germain--and the Shipwreck--Sailor Jerry rum, Malibu, Bacardi, lime juice, and grenadine. Just add sand :)

Ambrose Cocktails
Ambrose Cocktails
The decor is great. Very shipwreck meets fun times. There's even a giant lobster!

Ambrose Beer and Lobster

Ambrose Beer and Lobster

The food was just want you'd want while sipping a beer outside on the cobblestones. We tried the giant pretzel with spicy honey mustard and cheese sauce, lobster avocado lettuce wraps, truffle fries, and the aforementioned lobster roll. Can you tell they like their lobster here? Dascha Polanco likes it too (see below!).

Giant lobster roll
Giant lobster roll!
Awesome in New York with Dascha Polanco
Look who we met!
 lobster roll
Lobster roll
Dascha Polanco loves the lobster roll too!
Dascha Polanco loves the lobster roll too!
Lobster lettuce wrap
Lobster lettuce wrap
Giant pretzel
Giant pretzel
Truffle Fries
Truffle fries

Check out Ambrose Beer and Lobster for a warm summer evening of fun and let us know what your favorite menu items were!

Click to add a blog post for Ambrose Hall on Zomato


What You Missed at Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout

Remember when I told you about an epic taco event taking place this past weekend? Well, it was flipping fantastic and indeed epic.

Thrillist Taco Knockout pinataThrillist Taco Knockout event

Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout drew more than 600 people to the Hudson Hotel's Tequila Park Taqueria on Saturday May 2. There were pinatas and sombreros and tons to eat with 10 different tacos from NYC restaurants all competing for the acclaimed Taco Knockout belt. 

The 2014 Taco Knockout belt
Armed with empty stomaches, my pals and I had a mission to try all 10 in the 4 hours we were allotted and we felt the mission was more than doable. We were given our cocktail tickets and a fancy blue chip in which to vote for our favorite.

First things first...Milagro cocktails! I tried the "Freshest Margarita" while my friends sipped on the "Paloma Milagrosa."

Milagro cocktails at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Margarita at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Then we got right down to it. Here's the listing of tacos in the order we tried them and our thoughts on their merits:

Chef Alfonso Ruiz & Chef Tom Casatelli’s Sunset Pork with chipotle pineapple pork, pickled jalapeno corn tortilla, picked red onion & chipotle crema: This creation from Ho'Brah was a fairly standard taco, but delicious nonetheless. The meat was cooked nicely but the flavor combination was nothing special.

Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Chef Robert Cho’s Cho Nut Taco with smoked brisket, bacon, smoked kimchi, bourbon chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese, fried ramen crumble on a buttered fried tortilla with powdered sugar: This was a real flavor explosion from the chefs at Kimchi Smoke. They combined traditional Korean flavors with downhome-style BBQ deliciousness. The powdered sugar and fried ramen crumbles were unexpected yet welcome.

Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Tequila Park Taqueria Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw’s Chicken Vindaloo Taco with mango chutney, raita & crispy mee krob noodles: This was my favorite hands down and the one I voted for. I love it when flavor combinations from different ends of the world meet and this taco epitomized that concept. The only thing we wanted was a bit more heat.

Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Executive Chef Jesús Nuñez’s Taco y Olé with beef oxtail, fried egg cream, piquillo pepper, crispy jamon Serrano, herbs and pickled veggies: This taco, from Socarrat Paella Bar was another flavor fusion. We also appreciated how colorful it was, and I was a big fan of how the sauces mixed well in each individual bite.

Taco y Olé
Taco y Olé from Socarrat Paella Bar
Chefs & Owners Eduard Fraundeer & Wolfgang Ben’s Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco with ramp remoulade, radish and Austrian pumpkinseed salsa: "I love ramps," my friend exclaimed as she took a bite into this taco. The chefs from Edi & The Wolf really threw a curve ball with this taco, both because it was the first hard shell we had tasted and also because...schnitzel!?! It was much enjoyed, especially because of the ramps.

Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Chef Thomas Kelly’s Smoky Carnitas Tacos with manchego, crispy tortilla strips, corn salsa & creamy chipotle: Food truck cum storefront Mexicue went all-out comfort food with their taco. All together I thought it tasted reminiscent of a cheeseburger, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My only complaint about this taco was how much liquid spilled out whenever I tried to take a bite. Definitely not something to eat on a first date.

Smoky Carnitas Tacos from Mexicue
Smoky Carnitas Taco from Mexicue
Chef Barry Frish​’s Buffalo Chicken Taquitos with family secret buffalo sauce and bleu cheese/ranch dip: When we first saw these creations from Taquitoria, a conversation was instantly sparked on the glories of Costco taquitos my friends and I apparently both devoured in middle school (those were the days). These babies were served with a combination sauce that had a bit of a big kick. The glory of the dipping sauce was though that you could control how much you wanted. Thanks for the walk down memory lane Taquitoria!

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Executive Chef Adrian Ramirez’s Mahi Mahi BLT Taco with grilled mahi mahi, chipotle-piloncillo bacon, shredded lettuce, lime pico de gallo, agave cilantro aioli: Frankly, I'm surprised we didn't see more fish tacos. This version from La Esquina was perfect for me and almost earned my vote although my friends thought it was a bit too spicy. The thing that most impressed me about this taco was that the chefs were making the tortillas right in front of us. Talk about fresh!

Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Executive Chef Sasha Shor’s House-Cured Smoked Pork Belly Taco with poblano lime ranch and hot pink pickled onions: Talk about flavor! This taco from Tres Carnes was the ultimate in mega-rich taco with homemade pork belly that melted in your mouth. I also got a kick out of the hot pink onions.

House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
Executive Chef Brian Tsao’s Beef Bulgogi Tacos with wonton skins, Asian pear, kimchi slaw, toasted sesame & scallion: Last but not least, this taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya wins the award for most likely not a taco, but it was still good anyway. The crispy wonton shell gave it an interesting flair and the beef was flavorful.

Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Other scrumptious food items available throughout the event were super-creamy guacamole from Rosa Mexicano and all sorts of churros (some with bacon bits and dulce de leche and there was even a chocolate fountain!).
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
There was also fantastic entertainment by DJ Dirty Digits, percussionist Jimmy Lopez and flash mob performances by the Northeast’s finest mariachi band, Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino and folkloric dance group Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York. 

Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Where can I get one of those dresses?

As the event wrapped up and everyone yearned for their stretch pants, Mexicue was awarded the 2015 Thrillist Taco Knockout belt for their Smoky Carnitas Taco.

Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
And lastly, here are some snaps of my and my friends with our taco-eating hats on...literally :)

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Celebrate responsibly, please!


Get Your Tickets for Thrillist's Taco Knockout this Saturday--Unlimited Tacos, Cervezas and Churros!

Still looking for ways to fill your Cinco de Mayo weekend? I know a place where you can stuff your face with tacos, cocktails and cervezas in addition to help select the next belt-winning taco chef.

Thrillist Taco Knockout Logo

Thrillist is hosting their annual Taco Knockout this Saturday May 2 from 2-5 pm at Tequila Park Taqueria at the Hudson Hotel (356 W 58th Street @ Columbus). There are 2 ticket options: general ($65) which comes with unlimited tacos, cervezas, and churros as well as 1 custom cocktail and especial ($80) which adds on early entry (1pm) as well as one additional custom cocktail. Pretty much no matter how you shake it, it's an amazing deal.

Last year's event looked like a fine fiesta--and featured taco flavors like sriracha lamb and duck chorizo--so I can't wait to see what they cook up this year. I'll be there with my taco hat on so come say hi if you decide to spend your afternoon feasting al fresco with Thrillist!


Coney Island Brewery Celebrates Brooklyn History With New Beers

If there are 2 things we love around here, New York City history and alcohol that goes along with it are high on the list. Luckily, the Coney Island Brewing Company took it upon themselves to combine these awesome things.

The brewery was founded in a 2007 by Jeremy Cowen of Shmaltz Brewing Company. Jeremy brewed award-winning lagers under the Coney Island Craft Lager label, all designed with in-your-face artwork featuring iconic imagery and capturing the spirit and flavor of Coney Island.

Inspired by Brooklyn's history, Coney Island Brewing recently launched 2 new beers and we got to try them!

1609 Amber Ale pays tribute to those bold pioneers whose ventures laid the foundation to "The Playground of the World," as 1609 was the year that explorers first set foot on the massive dune along the Atlantic that eventually became Coney Island. They created a bold beer, which they describe as a deep amber ale with a full malt, slightly nutty character and strong citrus hop nose. 

Overpass IPA recognizes the artists, musicians and renaissance souls that staked claim and built DUMBO. Coney Island Brewing created this creative beer to embody by the juicy citrus and tropical hop aromas in a deep golden, richly aromatic IPA.

IPA's aren't usually our first choice, but Overpass is smooth and enjoyable. As for the 1609, it's comforting and perfect for a winter night in (or out!). We also loved the super fun, colorful artwork.

To try both of these beers yourself throughout New York City--on tap and bottled--click here and cheers to history!

Full Disclosure: Coney Island Brewery sent us complimentary beer, but all opinions are our own.


Chow Down on Brooklyn's Yummiest

I'm all about giving the burgeoning food scene in Brooklyn it's fair share of the table space at giant food events like Choice Eats, mostly because I get to discover new flavors I might not seek out otherwise. (Since moving to Queens, I've been trying to explore my new borough as much as possible and my exploration of Brooklyn has admittedly been lacking of late.) This is partly why I got excited when I heard about the 4th Annual Tasting Brooklyn event! It's a whole gluttonous evening filled with Brooklyn's yummiest offerings!

Tasting Brooklyn takes place Tuesday 4/29 at The Green Building in Carroll Gardens (452 Union Street, Brooklyn) from 6:30-9:30 pm. The event will feature purveyors including AINY favorites Luke's Lobster, Dinosaur BBQ, Fairway Market, Robicellis, Brooklyn Oenology, Huckleberry Bar, and Sixpoint Beer. Did we mention it's all you can eat and drink!

Throughout the event there will be live soulful and eclectic music by DJ Nutritious and, new to this year’s festival, a contest for guests to vote for the “Best Dish” of the night. The winning restaurant receives one-month of free advertising on the Brooklyn Exposed site as well as a featured write-up.

General admission tickets can be purchased for $55 here, but for just $25 more you can get become a VIP, granting you early access and a special gift bag (including goodies from Sahadi', Pelzer's Pretzels, Peeled Snacks, Buttermilk Bake Shop, By Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Kitchenwith). A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the New York chapter of Slow Food, an international organization whose mission is to promote sustainable and responsible agriculture and make high quality, seasonal (and better tasting) food available to everyone.

We hope to see you there, but if you can't make it, stay tuned for our recap!


Down Some Brews with Flying Dog

If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, I'd highly recommend you check out the Flying Dog Brewery event taking place at Clinton Hall this Tuesday 4/22 from 7-10.

If you go, you will be one of the few to enjoy the incredible and rare 9.5% Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from the Maryland brewery. It is aged 180 days in whiskey barrels, which results in vanilla notes and whiskey warmth to compliment the sweet chocolate flavor and velvety texture. You will also be one of the first to try the new 10% Amarillo Single Hop Imperial IPA. This is brewed all for the hops, with a light malt backbone showcasing the floral, spice, citrus and sharp hop bite of Amarillo!

The event is free, but pay as you eat/drink, with new specials released every half hour including:
  • El Dorado Single Hop Imperial IPA - aromas of dried apricot and pineapple
  • Brewhouse Rarity Mint Chocolate Stout - made with brewery-grown mint, with more cocoa and peppermint. Sweet, minty and creamy!
  • GABF Gold-Medal winning Horn Dog Barleywine - 10% alcohol!
  • Kujo Coffee Stout - brewed with flaked oats
  • Doggie Style pale ale - in a live cask on the bar with a very special prize going to the person who taps the last glass
RSVP here to save your spot!

Clinton Hall on Urbanspoon


Tacos and Ice Cream and Barbecue...Oh my!

Ahhhhhhh Choice Eats, that fabulous glutton-inducing grub free-for-all that challenges even the strongest to a battle of overstuffing. "How long can I stay upright?" you ask yourself as you meander pass line after line, table after table you've already visited (maybe twice in the case of Salted Caramel Crack ice cream) in search of that one last amazing bite. Ultimately you succumb to biology, as we all eventually do, bottle of water in hand, your bed not far on the horizon. At least you get to wake up the next morning (in my case for all of your benefit) to photographic proof of everything you ate the night before. Get ready for an epicurean hysteria.

The event was held in a new, rather remote location at Basketball City on the river just north of the Manhattan Bridge. The space allowed the evening to flow with slightly less congestion, but as the night wore on, the lines for whichever restaurants still had food after 8pm seemed to each run into each other (all the more reason to go VIP for this one!). There were 84 restaurants, including an entire row full of dessert, and just under 3,000 attendees. Major successes of the night were BBQ and meat in general and eclectic desserts.

I hit the ground running eating with a couple of my blogger friends, Stephanie and Dave (Laura came a little bit later), and we never really looked back. First up...vegetables! You have to get the digestive system prepped after all and the folks at Dirt Candy know how to work a piece of broccoli! Their broccoli hot dogs with broccoli sauerkraut didn't make me miss meat for a second. Which leads me perfectly into my next bite (and many after that)...Kuma Inn whipped up flavorful Adobo braised pork shoulder and pan de sal bites while Swine served adorable yet delicious bacon-wrapped dates with chipotle blue cheese sauce.

Broccoli Hot Dogs from Dirt Candy
Adobo braised pork shoulder and pan de sal from Kuma Inn
Bacon-wrapped dates with chipotle blue cheese sauce from Swine
Next stop, an Astoria outpost I've been meaning to try for a while, Bear, served Siberian Style Dumplings in a light crema dill gravy so good that I ate all three! Mable's Smokehouse out of Williamsburg served my top dish of the night (and clearly a crowd favorite as they ran out early!): smoked beef brisket with candied yams. The crust on the brisket was damn near perfect and the yams were anything but what your Aunt Ida always makes for Thanksgiving--these things tasted like what diamonds would taste like, if you could eat diamonds, that is.

Siberian style dumplings from Bear
Beef brisket and candied yams from Mable's Smokehouse

The Little Prince served excellent and fresh steak tartare with fried capers, aioli and grilled bread, while Alobar took the creative route and served their beet tar tar with hearts of palm, apple coriander nage, goat feta and scallions

Steak tartare from The Little Prince
Beet tar tar from Alobar

Luke's Lobster was back with their usual fervor, although they decided to mix things up and offer crab rolls instead of the shrimp rolls they've been serving for at least the past 3 years. Red Hook Lobster Pound also opted to change their pace and served creamy lobster bisque instead of their usual rolls.

Main crab roll from Luke's Lobster
Lobster bisque from Red Hook Lobster Pound
Xe May Sandwich Shop served an array of sandwiches--I tried the flavorful lemongrass chicken with chili mayo but didn't care for the tortilla. Max stood out by offering lasagna we deemed "the good kind of mushy," and I liked the one-bite red endive cups with smoked salmon, avocado and creme fraiche presented by Anella. It was simple, elegant, and refreshing among a sea of heavy meat dishes.

Lemongrass Chicken from Xe May Sandwich Shop
Meat lasagna from Max
Red endive cups from Anella

Harlem joint Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken seemed to bring every item from their menu, and the crowd was eating it up with a line forming early on. I really liked their mac 'n cheese and collard greens.

Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken

Back to the meat, John Brown Smokehouse served house cured pastrami that was extra moist and Ovelia Psistaria Bar served an interesting take on Middle Eastern meat with Greek coffee steak with mushroom halloumi poutine. I was a big fan of the burnt ends at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue as well as the beef meatball with classic tomato sauce and parmesan cheese from The Meatball Shop.

House cured Pastrami from John Brown Smokehouse
Greek coffee steak from Ovelia
Burnt ends at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue
Beef meatball with classic tomato sauce and parmesan cheese from The Meatball Shop

One of my favorite Astoria brunch spots and soon to be featured Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives restaurants, Queens Comfort, served up their Atomic Mac and Cheese with cheddar, fontina, sriracha and buttermilk ranch sauce. It had quite the kick!

Atomic mac and cheese from Queens Comfort

Most intriguing and successful dish of the night went to Williamsburg's Egg Restaurant with pimento cheese on pork crackling bread. The name doesn't even do it justice as there was so much complexity going on I almost couldn't handle it. Another particularly delicious concoction was the "Braciole" Tortelli served with toasted garlic and herb croutons from Rubirosa. Khe-Yo served crunchy coconut rice (I could seriously pop these like candy) with Kaffir lime sausage and baby iceberg lettus.

Pimento cheese on pork crackling bread from Egg
'Braciole' tortelli from Rubirosa
Crunch coconut rice from Khe-Yo

Below-the-border cuisine was heavily represented in several successful permutations. Murray Hill hidden secret Mexico Lindo prepared banana leaf steamed local rabbit tacos with cascabel mole rojo and butternut squash, garnished with micro cilantro and almonds. Also, Fonda served delicious cochinita pibil--Yucatan style Achiote marinated slow baked port shoulder with oregano and pickled onions.

Banana leaf steamed local rabbit tacos from Mexico Lindo
Cochinita Pibil from Fonda

Although I'll admit we laughed at the name for a hot second, the Dark Men noodles from Tabata Noodle Restaurant were entirely different than anything I'd ever had and I definitely wanted more. No there weren't any bits of men (or women for that matter!) in the cups, but there was black sesame paste noodle soup with spicy ground pork and scallions.

Representing the Aussies, quite well actually, Sheep Station plated flavorful roasted leg of lamb sandwiches with sautéed onions, tomato, garlic mayo, and baby arugula on a po boy roll.

Roasted leg of lamb sandwich from Sheep Station
Before we get to the sweets, lets highlight some of the flavorful greens. Telepan Local surprised me with their broccoli rabe with white anchovies (I couldn't bring myself to eat it), egg yolk puree and parmesan. Also, Bunker prepared a Vietnamese style long bean salad with watercress, kaffir, red onions, peanuts and toasted coconut flakes.

Broccoli rabe from Telepan Local
Long bean salad from Bunker

Now for the best part (if you are not totally sick of staring at endless food pictures yet)...Choice Sweets! First up, and my favorite, was the ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery. Even after trying new-to-me flavors "Sweet as Honey" and "Gather 'Round the Campfire," the good old "Salted Crack Caramel" is still my hands down favorite. Fay Da Bakery was also a repeat favorite from last year with their bubble milk tea and other goodies.

Ample Hills Creamery Ice Cream
Bubble Milk Tea from Fay Da Bakery
Robicelli's was a hit with their chocolate chip cookie bars and I thoroughly enjoyed the do-it-yourself popsicle bar from La Newyorkina.

Chocolate chip cookie bars from Robicelli's
Popsicle bar from La Newyorkina
Another ice cream purveyor, Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., scored points with me with their cedar creamsicle with orange foam--it was woodsy and refreshing all at the same time. East Village favorite Edi and the Wolf also surprised me with their super rich chocolate gianduja with milk crunch strawberries and caramel.

Cedar creamsicle from Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
Chocolate gianduja from Edi and the Wolf
To wash it all down, I headed over to the Singlecut Beersmiths table for their Keith English Pale Ale. I'm not usually a fan of IPAs, but I liked this a little better. Their 19-33 Lagrrr is still one of my favorites.

Before we left, we had to take advantage of the exclusive VIP lounge upstairs (and take the opportunity to catch our breath and get some space away from the very crowded venue). Little did we know, there were still lots of amazing bites to be eaten!

Something I would have been very sad to have missed if I never made it to the VIP section was a large selection of special donuts from The Donut Plant. This place is seriously AWESOME. I ordered the cashew and orange blossom cream donut, but also tried the coconut cream and peanut butter and jam. All were YUMMY!!

The Donut Plant spread
Cashew and orange blossom cream donut from The Donut Plant
As you can imagine, we were beyond stuffed at this point but we examined the rest of the samples in the VIP area anyway. I mean, it's VIP so it had to be good right? Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue served dry rubbed Texas style barbecue which definitely held it's own, but was not as good as Mabel's Smokehouse or Fletchers. Clarke's Standard, one of my go-to lunch spots, sampled their cheeseburgers, and Grandaisy Bakery had a wide array of baked goods. We tried the cauliflower flatbread.

Texas Style Barbecue from Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue
Cheeseburger from Clarke's Standard
Cauliflower flatbread from Grandaisy Bakery
Alas, the food was eaten, the drinks were sipped dry and everyone went home fat and happy. Until next year Choice Eats...or you can just hold out 2 more months for Choice Streets!!!