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Cognac's On the Rise in the Cocktail World

Only a short time ago, the notion of Scotch cocktails seemed a bit absurd to many drinkers—isn't Scotch supposed to be served neat? But as bartenders became acquainted with more affordable blended Scotches marketed for mixing, Scotch cocktails started popping up at bars across the country. Cognac is, in many ways, a similar case: a generally pricey spirit whose higher-end bottles are indeed best enjoyed straight, but whose more affordable brethren can shine when mixed. As we're seeing mixology-focused cognacs hit the market, perhaps the cognac cocktail is on the verge of a comeback. More

Where Bartenders Drink in Las Vegas

No one knows a city's best drinkeries like its talented bartenders. And that goes double in a city like Las Vegas. It's the glittering casinos and all-night clubs that draw most visitors' drinking dollars. But both on the Strip and off, it's possible to find great bars that don't demand bottle service or crazy table minimums. More

Where Bartenders Drink in Philadelphia

No one knows a city's bars like the talented men and women who work behind them. So we're going straight to the source, asking bartenders about their own favorite drinking establishments in Philly, from dive bars to fancy cocktail spots. More

Bartender Picks: The Best Craft Distillers

We're seeing more and more small-scale distillers popping up around the country (and the world!)—but of course, not every newbie with a pot still is making delicious booze quite yet. Bartenders get a chance to taste all sorts of spirits, so we asked for their tips on the craft distillers that are really making great stuff. More

Ask A Bartender: Good Substitutes for Expensive Spirits

Are more expensive spirits usually better than the bottom-shelf stuff? Sure. But price doesn't always indicate true quality, and sometimes, we just don't have the budget for lots of fancy spirits. We asked bartenders around the country: Which bottles do you find great substitutes for more expensive ingredients? More

Does Mission Cantina Make the Best Burritos in NYC?

YARRRRRRRR EVERYTHING YOU WROTE ABOUT BURRITOS IS WRONG

Oh wait, sorry, I thought that's what I was supposed to comment when someone writes about burritos / any Mexican-or-Mexican-inspired food in NY. Anyway. These look quite tasty. It's good to hear the tortillas are great, because you're right, that's where so many fail (in NYC or elsewhere). Also, because by birthright I'm obligated to drop my "California native" cred in any burrito discussion: get over yer this-is-overpriced bellyachin'. Plenty of burritos in SF are $7+, $8+ by the time you load them with avocado. An extra buck or two is really not that consequential. Yeah, I used to get $5 burritos in California too, but that was in 1993 and wasn't in a trendy city neighborhood. And I'd bet Bowien is using higher-grade meat than my beloved Taqueria La Bamba.

Measly $5 tacos in sub-par tortillas, we can all keep bitching about, but a burrito this size is a meal, and those whining about the price surely could find bigger injustices to weep over.

Where to Eat and Drink in Williamsburg When St. Anselm Quotes a 2-Hour Wait

Yep, Spuyten Duyvil is the most convenient -- great beer, shared backyard. But for whiskey I'm a big fan of Post Office.

9 Brooklyn Restaurants With Great Cocktails

I have. In fact, I lived in Prospect Heights for the last couple of years. I think both James and the Vanderbilt make lovely drinks, particularly for the neighborhood, but in terms of inventiveness and quality, wouldn't put them up there with the ones on this list.

Ask the Critic: My Brooklyn 'Vacation,' a Guide for Manhattanites

Hey guys, don't hate on the question-er. She was very clear in her email -- they're an older couple who want to get to know Brooklyn, but it's a ways for them. I'm guessing they don't live on the L and it's two stops back to the East Village. It's not that crazy that an older couple doesn't want a 90-minute subway ride or $45 cab ride (depending on where they live) on a Saturday night; I wouldn't ask my parents to make that trek for one dinner, if they were in town. This isn't some 23-year-old naïf who's too myopic Manhattan for the outer boroughs.

I liked this question because it was so genuine. I roll my eyes at the "Oh gosh, there's stuff to do in faraway Brooklyn!" trend pieces too, but when I got this email I thought—oh! It makes sense that she might want to do that.

A Tasting Tour of Sunnyside's Top-Notch Turkish and Lebanese Food

I LOVE YOU FOR WRITING THIS. look out sunnyside, i'm gonna eat you!

What Regional Sandwiches Do You Wish You Could Find in New York?

Massive oyster po' boys for $8.
... a girl can dream right?

Ask the Critic: A Farewell Food Tour of NYC

Good call on the foie gras, Maggie!

Ask the Critic: Here's How Tipping Actually Works

@phobos512: Hah. Well, that's not SO terrible. I was sort of envisioning someone sitting there with his wallet thinking "Well, you get $3, you were slow in refilling my water so you only get $1," and so on. In your example, it's actually nice to think that someone wanted to actively tip the runner at all.

Ask the Critic: Here's How Tipping Actually Works

@smprada: Good point. When I'm talking about specific tip distribution schemes, I'm talking about New York City ('cause that's what I know); but a tip-based system in the service sector is the reality across America, so if you're eating at a restaurant anywhere in America other than a very few, mostly very high-end spots, 15-20% is expected.

10 Lesser-Known Cocktails You Should Be Drinking

Does a Seelbach count as lesser-known? I've been super into them recently.

Great post!

Ask a Bartender: What's the Most Unlikely Place You've Ever Had A Great Drink?

@RaptorEsq I have it on good authority that it was the Scores on W 28th...

Taste Test: The Best Sourdough Bread in San Francisco

@jlargentaye: Mayfield Bakery is fabulous, totally agreed.

@JKLA: Did you get Acme from an actual Acme location, or from a different retail location? Have always found their bakeries' bread better than what you get at a random market.

International McDonald's Items We Wish Were in the USA

McDonald's Chile empanadas: not so good.
McDonald's Chile soft-serve ice cream: SO GOOD. markedly better than the US version. at least it was last time I was down there!

Ask the Critic: 'Real' Chinese Food in NYC

@SteveSCT: Yes, great point. A number of these restaurants have extraordinarily long menus, trying to appeal to everyone, but they don't do everything well.

Click on the Serious Eats reviews linked above for an idea of what to order! ;)

Where should I eat in Kentucky? Which distilleries to visit?

I really enjoyed Hillbilly Tea -- just had a quick sandwich but it was one of the better catfish sandwiches I've ever had.

Jim Beam does an incredibly professional, detailed tour; Maker's does a tour that's a bit less involved, but the place itself has tons of charm, bright red barns and all the rest of it. Beam is much much closer to Louisville, so depends on where you're staying and how much you're driving.

Ask the Critic: Where to Eat in Downtown Brooklyn, Best NYC Pizza

@beccas & rachel5453: Thanks, guys! Keep the suggestions coming!

We Raise Our Glass to Managing Editor Carey Jones!

@all: thanks so much for the comments! I'm planning to stay in the food-beverage-travel writing world -- specifics still to be worked out. But I'll still be poppin' up here with Ask the Critic and Ask a Bartender, and jump on my Twitter if you want to keep up on my other goings-on!

25 Cocktails Everyone Should Know

Great piece. What's your preferred rum for a Planter's Punch?

Ask a Bartender: What Cocktail Should Disappear Forever?

@franko: Fair point!

11 Awesome Negroni-Like Cocktails To Try in NYC

love Punt e Mes! yum.

11 Awesome Negroni-Like Cocktails To Try in NYC

It is indeed! (as noted in intro.) Red Rooster named the cocktail, we're just reporting it :) But Boulevardiers definitely fall into the "Negroni-like cocktail" category.

Eat Your Way to O'Hare Airport: Where to Feast Near Chicago's Blue Line, Plus 12 Essential Bites

I want... all of this. Wow. Great post, Nick!

Best Restaurant for Fancy Pants Deliciousness

@Fritesandgeeks @ag3208: I like this question; stay tuned!

Gadgets: Mastrad Egg Poaching Cups

I have a similar poached egg contraption, and I'm totally in agreement; I could "really" poach eggs if I wanted to, but have nowhere near a 100% success rate and am perfectly happy with the shortcut.

Fried Chicken at Hattie's Chicken Shack in Saratoga Springs, NY

Thanks, Maillard; fixed!

Gong Bao Chicken

If you've ordered takeout from a Chinese restaurant in your life, you've probably either seen or tasted Kung Pao chicken. And I'll admit that it's a dish I've loved and still enjoy. But the Westernized version is missing the key ingredient that is the star of the authentic Sichuan version, known more commonly as Gong Bao chicken: Sichuan peppercorns. It's their unique, mouth-numbing effect that gives the dish its spicy, warming quality. More

Where to Drink in Dublin: An Irish Bartender's Guide to Pubs and More

The fine editors at Serious Eats asked me, a 15+ year Dublin bartender, to opine on the best ways to imbibe in my city. This guide is intended for newcomers to Dublin and should give you a very rough idea of where to go and what to drink (whilst simultaneously preventing you from coming to harm on your first night). What happens after that is your own business: I take no responsibility for your safety, wellbeing, personal finances, romantic entanglements, hangovers, the stock market or anything else that happens while you're here. If you go home with stories to tell, well, then you've got the idea. More

Chickpea Stew with Eggplants, Tomatoes, and Peppers

My original plan was ratatouille, one of my absolute favorite seasonal meals. I picked up eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and set about finding a recipe. The problem is, I'm already quite fond of this one and couldn't find another that excited me in the same way. Luckily, I came across a recipe that uses all of the above vegetables, then adds some chickpeas and bell peppers. How could that be bad? More

Where to Eat Near the Bronx Zoo

When it comes to the Bronx, everyone talks about Arthur Avenue. But few know that there are some tasty options for munching near the Bronx Zoo—aside from the standard, often underwhelming Italian-American sit-downs over in Fordham-Belmont. From roti in Allerton to Albanian burek on Arthur Avenue and Yemeni food in Van Nest, there are plenty of interesting options. So if you're heading up to the Bronx to hang with the gorillas and the giraffes this summer, make sure to check out our guide to what's worth eating close by first. More

The Best Falafel Sandwich in New York City

It's hard work, but someone had to do it: hunt down the best falafel sandwich in New York. What makes it the best? Falafel with crispy shells and tender interiors, not too dry, with a good internal balance of chickpea, parsley, and spice; pita that's fresh-tasting and delicious; sauces and toppings that add to the total package. Here's the Top 7, ending with our winner—the best falafel in New York. More

Torrisi Italian Specialties: Spectacular Dinner Menu, Way Beyond the Red Sauce

Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, chef-owners of the proudly Italian-American Torrisi Italian Specialties, prove in their recently-launched dinner service that their understanding of serious food extends far beyond red sauce. Having eaten the insanely good sandwiches and side dishes at Torrisi for lunch a number of times, I thought that when we walked through the door at Torrisi for dinner, we were going to find elevated southern Italian red-sauce specialties—something like what the Frankies, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, do so very well at Frankie's 457 and their other ventures. That would have been good enough for me. But dinner at Torrisi Italian Specialties is a culinary and gustatory tour de force. More

First Prize Pies and Four and Twenty Blackbirds: Will NYC Get the Pie It Deserves?

New York's never been a great pie town. We have lots of great baked goods and lots of talented pastry chefs, but somehow our pies have never made it onto my nationwide pie honor roll. But with artisanally inspired handmade food in Brooklyn appearing at every corner and market, and the borough's do-it-yourself food culture growing ever-larger, we knew that a pie culture couldn't be far behind. Pies 'N Thighs started it, and now to pie lover's rescue come two pie companies—Four and Twenty Blackbirds and First Prize Pies. More

Healthy & Delicious: West African Vegetable Stew

If you asked me ten years ago if I would ever consider becoming a vegetarian, my answer would have been, "Hell no," followed by a string of surprisingly vicious obscenities. You might have cried. And I wouldn't have felt bad about it afterward. But dishes like this West African Vegetable Stew are just as filling and flavorful as meaty ones. Healthy as hell and simple to make, it possesses a wonderful sweet heat and heartiness. More

Big Burger Showdown: The McDonald's Angus vs. Burger King's XT

After my first fast-food foray, the Mac Snack Wrap, Serious Eats asked me to compare Burger King's new XT sandwich and McDonald's Angus Burger. I was ecstatic about a second chance to review products from two of our nation's iconic chains. But how do you taste a freshly, um, manufactured Burger King burger next to a McDonald's Angus and not have the contest be biased towards the home restaurant? Solution: home and away games, Champion's League-style. More

Tasting Tour: A Guide to Paris Baked Goods

Any food lover traveling to Paris could easily spend weeks, months, or years gobbling up all the serious eats the City of Lights has to offer. From the brasseries, boulangeries, the bistros, and beyond, it's almost too much to take in. So we decided to turn to our friend David Lebovitz to get a handle on a manageable bite of the France's capital city — its baked goods. More

Seriously Malaysian: How to Make Rendang

Rendang are dishes that are as integral to Malaysian cookery as laksas or satays. A rendang is a dish of meat stewed slowly in a coconut-curry liquid. Aromatic pastes are added in the beginning. As the meat stews in the paste and coconut milk mixture, the liquid reduces until only the oils of the coconut milk remain. To finish, the meat is lightly browned in the remaining coconut oil. The resulting dish is intensely flavorful and tender yet crisp and sticky on the outside with bits of browned aromatics. More

A Sandwich a Day: Doubles at Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop

Not to be confused with the other two inferior Ali's Roti Shops in Brooklyn, Ali's Trinidad & Tobago Roti Deli Grocery in Bed-Stuy serves what are probably the best doubles ($1.25) this side of Trinidad. For a quarter of the cost of a Di Fara slice, you get a sweet and spicy chickpea curry that's flavored with tamarind and sandwiched between two disks of turmeric-scented deep-fried, naan-like bread known as "bara." More