For every intricate cocktail that ends up on a menu at your favorite bar, odds are there were a dozen more drinks that didn't make the cut—some outright failures.
Which restaurants excel at breakfast for dinner? We have some suggestions.
Many of the best bartenders are constantly designing new drinks, revisiting old ones, and revamping the bar's menu. But every once in a while, there's a concoction that feels truly exciting.
This week on Ask the Critic: Getting to know Alphabet City.
A busy Saturday night at your favorite bar might have a great energy, and for the bartender, lots of tips—but on Tuesday, you get to relax a bit more, have conversations, try drinks you haven't before. We asked bartenders across the country: What are your favorite nights at the bar where you work?
In this week's mailbag: where should I go for New England-style seafood?
Ever had a terrible Valentine's Day date? We bet that these bartenders have witnessed worse from behind the bar.
In this week's mailbag: what bars and restaurants are best for hunkering down and enjoying the cold weather?
At Serious Drinks, we see more flavored spirits than you could possibly imagine. Green tea vodka. Cinnamon-roll vodka. Cherry-flavored SoCo. We'd just about always prefer a fresh infusion to a bottled concoction, but we're always looking for a diamond in the rough. So we asked a number of bartenders: Are there any flavored spirits that you actually use?
Exorbitantly priced plates "for two," $16 cocktails and $25 burgers—it can seem like prices in Manhattan only go up. Looking for hot restaurants that won't set you back a C-note? Some recommendations here.
Some bartenders fuel their shifts with espresso —others, with beer and shots of Fernet. What is your bartender drinking behind the bar? We asked, they answered.
This week on Ask the Critic: "The ideal place for a bunch of middle-aged guys who want to spend an evening catching up with each other and ignoring the wider world."
We asked professionals across the country about the most essential tools for a home bar. Here's what they recommended.
This week on Ask the Critic: A food-loving couple who want to dine well in New York, but want their baby to be welcome, too.
While winter might not have fresh peaches or strawberries, and might not be the best time for your most refreshing cocktails, there's plenty to love about the season.
Just as directors can make bad movies and bands release terrible albums, there's no guarantee that a new restaurant from a given chef will succeed. But there are a number of restaurants I've got my eye on for the new year.
This time of year, nothing tastes better than a hot toddy—or spiked cider, or mulled wine, or anything else that properly warms your insides. We asked bartenders across the country about their favorite hot cocktails.
Having attended, oh, a few hundred food events in the last few years, I can tell you that they're not all created equal, and you're right to be a smart shopper. If two or more of us from Serious Eats are covering at an event, odds are at least 50-50 that one of us will turn to the other and whisper "Who's actually paying $150 to be here?" before the first hour is up.
While plenty of holidays bring out lively crowds, nothing tops New Year's Eve for alcohol-fueled shenanigans. And the bartenders on-duty that night see it all. We asked bartenders around the country for their favorite New Year's Eve stories; here's what they had to say.
Every year, I get a hundred press releases (and that's a conservative estimate) about Christmas and New Year's, Eve and Day both—special menus, ticketed parties, 3-course prix fixes, 8-course tasting menus... the list goes on. And every year I think, "I wish the restaurants that weren't changing a damn thing would send me a press release."
'Tis the season for carols, snowmen, and lots and lots of punch. We asked bartenders across the country: What's a great punch for holiday entertaining—with nothing too complicated? Here's what they had to say.
As time goes by, cocktails that once seemed novel become commonplace; spirits once unfamiliar show up everywhere. And every so often, it's good to stop and take stock. Here are the cocktail trends I saw popping up in 2013—from low-proof cocktails to crowd-pleasing punch, vegetables to sous-vide.
New York is a fabulous place to find such gifts, whether you're looking for locally made products or taking advantage of our many and varied food shops. Here are a few gift ideas, all purchasable in New York, and some just for New Yorkers. Take a peek.
Music is key to any great bar experience—and the soundtrack is one of the most important decisions a bar operator can make. We asked a few our favorite bartenders around the country: What's on your Friday night playlist?
This week on Ask the Critic: Can any restaurant satisfy a vegan, a gluten-free guy, and a man who'll only eat steak and lasagna?
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.
When you saw the S'mOreos in our roundup of 14 Things To Make with Oreos, did you think, "Man, if only I could watch an animated gif of a S'mOreos being squished down over and over again for eternity..."? Well, so did we. So did we.
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.
Let's talk about Restaurant Week. If you don't dine out often, or if you're used to thinking of New York restaurants as prohibitively expensive, it can seem like a great deal. But in the New York of 2012, it's possible to get an excellent 3-course meal for $35 (the Restaurant Week rate) any day of the year. Here are 20 suggestions.
This list rounds up some of the most traditional, classically Brazilian dishes. They are basic dishes that hail from all over: the Northeastern area of the country, the Amazonian jungles, the quick take-away shops in Sao Paulo.
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?
On the Serious Eats calendar, you'll see a big, fat star on November 1st. Why? That's when the Serious Eats book comes out—and we can't wait to share it with all of you.
Few have attempted to try all 33 different flavors of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory; fewer have succeeded without medical assistance. But we've boldly gone where no others have gone before.
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.
A first look at the vendors at the Brooklyn Flea's new food market, Smorgasburg.
When I heard that work was taking me to Dallas, I put out a note on various social networking sites, asking for a recommendation for a good burger. Several chains were mentioned, but just one local joint came to the surface: Twisted Root Burger Company.
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.
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.
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.
Bread baskets are one of the greatest pleasures of dining out. Have you ever eaten a bread basket that was so delicious you couldn't stop eating it? Or one that even out-shined your actual meal? We have—and since New York City is a bastion of the impressive bread basket, we set out to determine our favorites.
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.
[Photos: Carey Jones, Patrick Gorman] Every now and then, when we write about a place that's managed to stay on the edge of the media spotlight, we get a few angry emails. Well, we get the appreciative ones first—"This...
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.
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.
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.
Bowls received thumbs-up all around, thanks to the saffron-infused broth and bursts of fresh lemon and cilantro in this Moroccan-Style Chickpea Soup. It's similar to Harira soup, a Moroccan dish traditionally served during Ramadan, which I would eat on any holiday.
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."
There are few food smells quite as hypnotic as the Cinnabon smell. You know it. At just about any mall food court, airport, or train station, it's there lingering, taunting you. But after 25 years, the Cinnabon counter is making room for a new dessert—and it doesn't even have an addictive aroma. The cupcake.
What makes a really good roasted chicken sandwich? Really good roasted chicken. That's what you'll find in the pollo hero ($6.50) at Milanes, a Dominician lunch counter in Chelsea.