Laren Spirer

I'm yet another lawyer obsessed with food. When I'm not eating, drinking, cooking, or thinking about what to eat, drink, or cook, I can often be found cycling, running, or swimming, likely in preparation for a triathlon.

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  • Location: NYC
  • Favorite foods: Lobster (but mostly when eaten outside), truffle butter, homemade raspberry jam, comte and other cheesy things, lamb, dark chocolate, potato chips (my achilles heel), a perfectly ripe tomato, all things porky.

Mix It Up: A la Louisiane at Eleven Madison Park

Yes -- you'll notice that in both recipes, the glass has been washed with absinthe.

Trends We Noticed at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2013

Sadly, they're not available for retail purchase.

Serious Eats Goes on a Juice Cleanse: After The Juice

Had a very similar experience (, but all in all it drove home how central eating/drinking is to my social life, and how doing a cleanse like this made it very difficult to keep up both social and work obligations. In the future, like you, I'd consider a veggie-heavy/vegan diet for a short period in lieu of all-juice. Maybe something like this ( Congrats for making it through in once piece!

Supplies/Ingredients for a Beginner Mixologist

Supplies/Ingredients for a Beginner Mixologist

Mix It Up: The Joey Ramone at Peels

My mistake!! Jeffry Ross Hyman was his given name.

Meet and Eat: Jason Littrell, Bartender, Rising Star Award Winner

Actually, yes, I have. I don't find him to be pretentious at all, but rather excited to share knowledge and make sure you're having a good time on the opposite side of the bar!

Head to Malaysia Beef Jerky in Chinatown For All Your Meat Jerky Needs

I ADORE this place!

Mix It Up: Tuesday the 13th at Cienfuegos

Thanks for asking, Kathryn -- I was going to ask the same. Also, if you read carefully, I never said that Charlotte was a bartender, for the record.

Does the New Bourbon from Maker's Mark Live Up to All the Hype?

It's delicious! Love the spicy notes.

Mix It Up: The Thistle Hill Cocktail at Thistle Hill Tavern

Yes!! I'm so Manhattan-centric that the Rob Roy didn't come to mind when I wrote it. I need to start drinking more Rob Roys. :)

Meet & Eat: Marc Murphy, Chef, Restaurateur

Didn't know -- thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Mix It Up: The Pig & Pepe at Maialino

Light and refreshing! But with a slight essence of pork . .

TGI Fry-Day: French Fry Salad at The Grocery

This salad is delicious -- had it as part of the chef's tasting menu once.

Is Your Pet Named After a Food (or Food Critic)?

I had a hungarian sheepdog (a Puli) named Paprika.

Lobster Rolls from the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

I was just there! LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Mix It Up: Booze You Can Use

@resolutejc -- will see what I can do for you (and BTW, it's Laren, not Laura!)

@moffett & @NWCajun -- a perfect example of differing opinions! Taste, after all, is subjective.

Mix It Up: Booze You Can Use

@resolutejc -- you don't care for those particular spirits, or those particular cocktails? If you let me know what you like I may be able to come up w/some suggestions!

Mix It Up: Booze You Can Use

@resolutejc There are actually four recipes!! Follow the links in the article for recipes for a Manhattan and two variations of an Aviation. Cheers!

Mix It Up: Booze You Can Use

@SPS Thanks for pointing that out. My understanding is that Creme Yvette is a proprietary version of creme de violette.

Mix It Up: The Leona Helmsley at Hearth

The drink above was $12.

Meet & Eat: Adam Roberts, The Amateur Gourmet

Yes - Adam used "Photo Booth," which is why the image looks flipped.

Best Tiki Bars in NYC?

Joe Swifka, who used to create tiki drinks at the now defunct Elettaria, is working at Flatiron Lounge serving tiki drinks on the weekends, I believe. You might want to call to double-check his hours.

Mix it Up: Stocking Your Home Bar

Is there a Mexican market that you'd suggest in NYC?

Off the Beaten Path: Qingdao Cuisine at Flushing’s M&T Restaurant

If there's an expedition, I want in!

Slow Cookers -- Hot or Not?

I've recently received a slow cooker (a.k.a crockpot) as a gift and am deciding if I want to keep it or exchange it. On the one hand, I am very excited by the notion of coming home to a delicious-smelling apartment and having food for the week. On the other hand, why wouldn't I just cook in my dutch oven on the weekend, the way I do now? Plus, I can't really fathom browning meats and veggies (which is still necessary, from what I gather) before I head to work in the morning -- I can barely make it out the door on time as it is.

Would love your input, pros/cons, recipe ideas, etc.

Meet & Eat: Noel Cruz, Carmine Club Café

Watch Noel Cruz at work for just a few mintues and you can immediately sense his dedication to his craft. His years of experience at Punch & Judy, craftbar, Dani, Elettaria, and elsewhere shine through at his newest venture, Carmine Club Cafe, where you'll feel welcome from the moment you walk in. He's recruited a crack team including Joe Vigorito (formerly at Lupa and dell'anima) in the kitchen and Davis Anderson (formerly at Il Posto Accanto) behind the bar at the West Village eatery. We caught up with Noel just as he brought the restaurant into full swing after a few weeks of limited service; they're now serving in both the upstairs bar and cafe area and the downstairs dining room. More