Monday, March 31, 2008

Recipe: Delicious Spanish Frittata

-6 eggs, whisked
-4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
-3 onions, sliced (1 yellow onion and 2 Vidalia onions is a nice combination--the Vidalia onion gives sweetness to the final frittata)
-lemon wedges
-fresh bread
-2 roma tomatoes, diced
-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-organic olive oil
-salt and pepper
-flat parsley, chopped, for garnish

-In large pan, cook potatoe slices, turning frequently, until soft and brown on edges (about 15 minutes). Remove slices to bowl as they are finished cooking. Once potatoes have finished, add onions to pan and cook until caramelized. Add to bowl with potatoes. Add whisked eggs to bowl and mix together. Wipe out pan. Add more olive oil, and pour in egg mixture. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until set. Invert onto plate (or use special frittata pan!), return to pan and cook other side another 8-10 minutes until done.

-Combine tomatoes, olive oil and garlic. Toast bread in toaster or under broiler until very crispy, and just beginning to turn black on edges. Remove from heat. Scoop tomatoes onto bread.

-Serve with parsley, and lemon wedges.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Divine Wine (Only 5 Days Left!!)

Divine Bar East

I am SO sad that Divine Bar is closing! You have probably heard that due to the rent doubling for their space, they must go... Of course the west side location will remain open, but the big bland Times Square-ish spot is not my favorite. However, until March 29, you can pop in to the cute, cozy east side location, and enjoy the "Liquidate Our Liquids" Happy Hour from 5-7 (wine by the glass, $6 or beer, $3).

To snack on:
-Crostini (served with red pepper, white bean and spinach spreads - mmm condiments!!)
-Baked Brie in Warm Puff Pastry (my favorite here!) - select with honey walnuts and dates, served with sliced apples
-Cheese platters are always nice, with a variety of cheeses to choose from
-Sesame Crusted Chicken Satay

Divine Bar East
244 E 51st St (bt 2 & 3 Ave)
(212) 319-9463

Divine Bar West
236 W 54th St (bt Bwy & 8 Ave)
(212) 265-9463

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Check Out the Opera!! - Met Opera NYC

Stephanie Swinton How to be Fabulous

Metropolitan Opera

I love going to the opera! I love the combination of music, an enticing story, great costumes and captivating vocals. Check out the schedule online, and find a few stories that sound interesting to you. If it is an opera you really want to see, splurge for seats in the orchestra or close to the front. If, on the other hand, you are going by yourself, for entertainment or for educational purposes, check out the "Family Circle" tickets. On week nights, they are only $15!! The drawback is that you cannot see faces clearly, so for a large cast of characters (like War and Peace, or beginning scenes from Carmen) it is difficult to know which character is singing!!

DO NOT waste your attention reading subtitles for operas in other languages! Read the story beforehand while you wait for the theater to go dark, and turn off translating screens while you enjoy the music. Your purpuse at the opera is to already know the story, and to connect with the emotional impact of the music and scenery as you watch the story unfold!

Metropolitan Opera
62-65th St (bt Columbus & Amsterdam Aves)
(212) 546-2656

Note: Keep up to date with all the latest news and events by adding the Met to your contacts in Facebook.

DON'T CLOSE, Florent!!!


How will I ever survive without our favorite, flambouyant-waiter-staffed, 24-hour, quirky, Frenchie-fantastic delicious diner?? The Meatpacking district and $50,000 per month rent current realities don't neccessarily translate to success for all businesses...and I am so sad because of that! Of course, it appears that no one knows the official closing date, so go there soon and enjoy!

I like to visit for brunch (after a long night out, even say in CT!!) and, as you must realize brunch in NYC can be any time between 11am (quite early!) and 5pm!! Mimosas are superb, and waiters are amazing (even if they might playfully tease you for your hangover state lack of fast powered brains!) The goats cheese wrap, onion soup, poached egg dishes and anything with french fries are key items to order!

69 Gansevoort Street
(212) 989-5779

Somewhere Besides Blue Ribbon?

Ditch Plains

OK, Well I know it is not possible to ever tire of Blue Ribbon, but say you desire some variety for a Sunday morning brunch (or otherwise) outing...

Try the dark blue space right across the street!! You will love the intimate atmosphere, good strong coffee, nice waiters and completely adequete menu. And, no waiting like at Blue Ribbon!! That is amazing, and rewards the needs of instant gratification! Mmmm...

Try ordering French toast, a grilled chicked sandwich, or any of the egg specialities on the brunch menu.

Ditch Plains
29 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 633-0202

Celebrate the Irish!

Molly's Snug and Molly Pitcher's Ale House

Stop in to Molly's Snug to toss back a couple of pints of Guinness with some old, drunk Irish patrons. You will feel like you are in the UK!!! After you have enjoyed drinking beer with the old-timers, walk through the doorway to Molly Pitcher's Ale House, whice is much larger, less stuffy and full of young people (probably all from the UES). At this down-to-earth bar, grab a table, order a Harp beer, and split a fish and chips (make sure to ask for malt vinegar!) You will be sure to have a lovely Irish style evening!

Molly Pitcher's Ale House
1641 2nd Avenue (@85th St)
(212) 249-3068

Recipe: Stephanie's Fabulous Lamb Stew

I couldn't find a recipe to encompass all the flavors, textures and ingredients in this recipe, so I had to invent it!

Marinate Lamb:
-lamb, cut into 1" cubes (preferably fresh, from a farmer's market)
-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
-1 large shallot, thinly sliced
-juice of 1 lemon
-5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, whole
-organic olive oil
-fresh ground pepper
-cayenne pepper
-ground ginger

-4 roma tomatos (seeds removed), diced
-1/2 bottle red wine
-1 carton organic vegetable stock
-4 medium-large potatos (yellow skin)
-3 cloves garlic, sliced
-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
-2 celery ribs, cut in half, and then cut into small strips
-3 small yellow onions, diced
-black raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
-dried tarragon
-ground ginger
-1TB dried peppercorns
-1/2 bag brown dry lentils
-grated lemon peel (from squeezed lemon used in marinade)

-Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

-Place lamb in shallow dish. Cover with slices of 3 cloves of garlic, slices of 1 shallot, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, some cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, and olive oil. Turn to coat. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning once.

-Place potatos in glass dish. Stir with sliced garlic, olive oil and salt, pepper and tarragon. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 hr. Remove from heat and set aside.

-In a large frying pan, sauté carrots, garlic, celery and onions in some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

-Heat 2 TB of olive oil in large stewing pot. When hot, add lamb. Brown on all sides. Add red wine. After 10 minutes, add vegetable stock. Simmer 30 minutes, then add tomatos. Add all spices and salt and pepper.

-After 1 hour, add all cooked vegetables, and add lentils. Also add grated lemon peel, 3 whole cloves garlic, and left over lemon peels. You can also add whole pepper corns. Cook for another hour.

-When vegetables are soft, stew is thick and lamb is falling apart, you may stop cooking. Add raisins.

-Ladle stew into bowls. Top with parsley. Serve with heated whole wheat pitas, topped with a bit of olive oil and garlic (if desired) if you wish.

Eat Austrian Food, Feel Like You Are in Europe (Check Out Some Art)

Cafe Sabarsky

If you have never been to the Neue Gallery, take a walk around and look at the art and amazingly beautiful architecture of the building.

Whether you go to look at the art or not, the Cafe Sabarsky on the first floor is a fantastic place to have lunch, or coffee and dessert. The breakfast looks amazing, but you must arrive before 11am! I recommend the superb beef goulash with spatzle. Choose a strong coffee, or esspresso with whipped cream, interesting pots of tea, or syrup flavored waters from the drink menu.

Cafe Sabarsky
85th St @ 5th Ave
(212) 628-6200