Until 44 B.C., the Ides of March was just a fancy way of saying March 15th. Ides simply meant the appearance of the full moon, and was marked mid-month in the ancient Roman calendar, which was the fifteenth day of Marcy , May, July or October and the thirteenth day of the other months. Since, Julius Caesar’s death and later Shakespeare’s first production of Julius Caesar in the 1600s the meaning of “Ides of March” is so much more than a lunar phase. So, as a tribute to the Ides of March we’re sharing some Caesar Salads to die for!
Fried Olives and Focaccia set the stage for a meal at Petaluma where they serve a classic Caesar salad with Parmesan and anchovies.
The croutons are always a point of contention whether you like them small or chunky, thin or thick, lots or none at all. At Sons of Essex they take it even further and make a unique crouton to top their Caesar. Their salad of chopped romaine lettuce is topped with Kossar’s Bialys croutons unless it is brunch in which case you’ll find waffle croutons.
Of course in San Francisco, you’ve got the Fog City Diner serving their salad with sourdough croutons. Their whole leaf Caesar salad is topped with a white anchovy vinaigrette.
If you want that “old school” feel you can head to New York’s Post House for their table-side Caesar salad service.
East Coast “mini chain” Chop’t is perhaps the fast food of the future with a focus on better ingredients. CHop’t makes small batches of dressing without using sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Chop’t serves a traditional Caesar salad made with romaine and shaved Pecorino and offer a lighter Spa Caesar dressing which is under 50 calories. For a twist, there is the Mexican Caesar with cotija cheese, jalapeños, tortilla chips and a Mexican Caesar dressing. This month, through April, a new Caesar will be The Sardinian Caesar which is made with Organic Baby Kale, FreeBird Grilled Chicken, Fiore Sardo Cheese, Flatbread Crisps, Romaine Lettuce, and served with a Creamy Lemon Caesar dressing.
Chef Laurent Manrique not only has a unique twist on Caesar salad, but two Michelin stars to boot! The Carlton Hotel’s Millesime serves a grilled Caesar salad. Chef grills the hearts of romaine until soft and then they are stuffed with parmesan and browned under the broiler. The salad is then draped with slices of smoked sable and topped with a parmesan vinaigrette ($8).
If the way to your loved one’s heart is through their stomach and you are planning on making a romantic meal at home, you can top dinner, or perhaps enjoy an afternoon delight by heading to Sweet Revenge for a little treat this Valentine’s Day.
NYC’s Sweet Revenge has a perfect plate full of sweet little somethings to share with your true love. The petite dessert plate includes miniature versions of the Casablanca cupcake, a pistachio cardamom cake topped with a luscious rosewater buttercream, and a mini Ma Cherie cupcake, black velvet cake concealing a cherry jam center and enveloped in a bordeaux cherry chocolate ganache. Also on the Valentine’s day plate are two white chocolate truffles with raspberry centers and two chocolate covered strawberries. These are paried with a choice of Il Vino Dell Amore, a moscato spumante, or Lunetta Prosecco both from Italy.
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar has a new West Village Location and they aren’t going to be able to fit all their love into 24 hours so they’re celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 13th and February 14th. The three course Valentine’s Day menu will have some special treats like Jacques Torres’truffles and Champagne served with fresh berries.
Also on the menu this Valentine’s Day will be a goat cheese brulée with mixed field greens toasted walnuts, marinated beets and truffle, walnut sherry vinaigrette or a baby arugula salad with green apple, walnuts, sweet dates, Manchego cheese and honey balsamic vinaigrette to start. The second course includes goodies such as seared scallops with kale purée, chili marinated jicama, strawberry and sweet anise kale crisp or a cocoa braised beef short rib with truffle cauliflower mash and tempura mushrooms. For dessert, there is a choice of twenty layer crêpes cake, Jacques Torres truffles, dark chocolate cake or a silky chocolate mousse all served with a glass of Monbazillac Château Belingard.
Why not celebrate Valentine’s day more than once?
We’re starting a Monday’s Menu feature because sometimes you just need to start your week off with some reading material that is a little more uplifting than the newspaper.
To kick it off we’ve got New York City’s Sweet Revenge. Since we’re waiting until everyone has thrown in their towel for New Year’s resolutions, we’ve jumped ahead to February with some Valentine’s Day (or perhaps anti-Valentine’s day) inspiration. For those of you who have already kicked caution to the curb, go ahead, make a reservation!
- 62 Carmine St., New York, NY 10014
- Subways 1 – Houston; ACE/BDFV – W. 4th
- Phone (212) 242-2240
- Mon – Thu 7am – 11pm, Fri 7am – 12:30am,
- Sat 11am – 12:30am, Sun 11am – 10pm
Nothing’s fishy about Santa Claus, but that doesn’t mean that there are no fish on the menu this time of year. While you are laying out Santa’s cookie plate on Christmas Eve, many are finishing up their feast of seven fishes. A Southern Italian tradition, celebrated in many Italian-American communities as well, the feast of seven fishes is enjoyed on Christmas Eve. It is a Roman Catholic tradition and the menu includes from 9 to 13 seafood dishes. If you don’t have a Nonna to orchestrate the feast, here are seven fabulous restaurants to enjoy some fresh seafood of the season.
Hearth in New York’s East Village. New York’s Lupa Osteria Romana. Alexandria, Virginia’s Vermilion. Chicago’s Publican . Boston’s got a North End feast at Prezza. In Los Angeles, Providence provides La Viglia. Trump SoHo’s Quattro, NYC
Photo courtesy of Hearth.
Hearth, in the East Village NYC, is like a granddaughter’s chic yet cozy NYC appartment with a modern American kitchen and every once in a while a well loved Nonna stops by or her recipes are pulled out of a special spot in the kitchen and smells rejuvinating a classic Italian heritage waft through the air. Their Feast of Seven Fishes ($65) includes clams oreganata, salt cod, white anchovies, grilled calamari salad, shrimp and mussel stew, fried flounder, and of course a little dessert.
Photo courtesy of Lupa.
Lupa, is serving La Vigilia ($85 or $130 with wine pairings) from noon until 9:30 in addition to a limited Lupa menu on Christmas Eve. The feast includes a crudo of red snapper with meyer lemon and aleppo pepper, fried Baccala stuffed peppers with anchovy and ricotta Fritelle and semolina sardines, a charred mackerel salad with grapefruit, risotto with manila clams and mussels, cavatelli with Maine crab, seppia and sea urchin, olive oil braised halibut, eel with fried chickpeas, swiss chard and green farro, and of course dessert.
Photo courtesy of Vermilion
Vermilion’s Feast of Seven Fishes tasting menu has something for pescetarians and vegetarians alike so that you can bring the whole family. The five course tasting menu ($75 or $110 with wine pairings) includes chef’s seasonal canapé, a marinated seafood salad of bay scallops, shrimp and squid with kohlrabi and apples. lobster tortelloni in a roasted shellfish broth, pan roasted Virginia rockfish with Kent Island clams and pasta, line caught Willamette Valley, OR swordfish with mushrooms and spinach and of course dessert.
Photo courtesy of Publican
Chicago’s Publican feast of seven fishes ($55) is offered a little early on December 18th and comes with a bit of a twist. Instead of the expected wine pairings Publican’s feast comes with an optional beer pairing. The five course menu will be served Sunday, December 18th from 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. On the menu will be a bagna cauda with crudités and fried smelt, a salad of pickled shrimp, persimmon and avocado with crostini, saffron macaroni with squid and clams, a whole roasted red snapper with mussels and dessert. In addition, an abbreviated a la carte menu will be available.
Photo courtesy of Prezza
In Boston’s North End Italian traditions are not taken lightly and Prezza will be going all out for their Christmas Eve feast. The five course dinner ($60) will be served from 5:00 to 9:00. On the menu will be crispy shrimp with an Italian slaw and cherry pepper aioli, wood grilled squid and octopus with white beans, tagliatelle with scallops, shrimp, garlic and olive oil, wood grilled swordfish with saffron rice, beans and mussels and of course dessert.
If you’re not up for the entire feast of fishes then this one might be for you. Over in Boston at Towne Stove and Spirits, Chefs Lydia Shire and Mario Capone are working together to create two special appetizers for their Christmas Eve menu which are their nod to The Feast of Seven Fishes. The Octopus Carpaccio ($18) is served with hot cherry pepper oil, saffron aioli and crushed potato. The Baccala (salt cod is one of the essential ingredients for the feast!) is served as a fritter ($15) with a sun dried tomato pesto and crispy capers.
Los Angeles’ Providence will be serving their Christmas Eve feast ($120 or $170 with wine pairings) from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The feast is inspired by the chef’s Grandmother Josephine and Great Grandmother Domenica Cimarusti. The full menu is available online but to pique your interest, at Providence you will start with a calamari salad followed by sea scallops served with black truffles.
Quattro at Trump SoHo is offering their Cena di Magro described by The Gastronaut as a lighter dinner with a focus on fish so as not to overwhelm the diner before their Christmas day feast. It is the “lean meal” before the feast. Some of what you will find on Quattro’s menu is the key Branzino (salt cod) served with an artichoke salad, a Peeketoe crab salad with lemon saffron aioli and chicory salad, crispy shrimp with procini mushrooms, a risotto with bay scallops, leeks and taragon, black and white taglialini with baby octopus ragu, ablack cod with cannellini beans, and roasted Maine lobster with asparagus, lobster dumplings and a lemon emulsion.
Buon appetito and Buon Natale!
Trump SoHo NY - Library snacks and hot toddy (with fireplace in background)
You don’t have to be a guest at Trump SoHo to enjoy this cozy city escape. Trump SoHo’s TASCHEN Library is open to the public. With their newly launched cocktail and dessert menu you can step out of the cold and enjoy some time by the fire in a fabulous setting, cocktail in hand. Grab a friend or two and you might never leave.
The TASCHEN Library is suspended above the Trump SoHo’s lobby. Decked out with Fendi Casa couches, surrounded with book-lined shelves, and centered around a roaring fireplace, you’ll feel like you’ve left the city for a friend’s estate. While you sit fireside you are invited to sip on the Library’s new cocktail offerings, such as
the Thai Hot Toddy and the Amber Spice with pumpkin puree, and nibble on
comfort confections like the homemade Italian custard-filled doughnuts, *
Photography Max Flatow
The last of the turkey has been transformed into an enchilada, sandwich or stew and it is time to move on from pumpkin pie spice to some other seasonal sweets. If you want to head to the Flatiron district and step into the opulent DUO Restaurant & Lounge you will feel like Clara in the Nutcracker transported to a magical place. Lorraine Belkin’s DUO S’Moretini brings you back to your childhood roasting s’mores over a summer fire while creating a grown up experience of snow-white, fluffly marshmallows in a cocktail.
The S’Moretini combines Vodka and Crème de Cacao with marshmallows, chocolate and a graham cracker-dusted martini rim for the ultimate s’more cocktail experience. If you’re spending the night in, sisters and DUO owners Sabina and Lorraine offer you the recipe to their signature winter cocktail so you can indulge without leaving home.
Rim a martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed graham crackers.
Combine 2 oz of Ketel One Vodka with 1oz Crème de Cacao, shake vigorously with ice and strain into the martini glass.
Top the martini off with a scoop of marshmallow crème (such as Fluff), a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a marshmallow.
Sit by a fire and enjoy.
Whether you’re just too full to enjoy dessert after your big Thanksgiving meal or you just can’t spend one more moment listening to Uncle Martin’s ridiculous theory about snowfall sometimes it can be hard to truly appreciate those wonderful sweet treats at the end of the feast. Pumpkin pie with its’ smooth rich sweetness and perfect spices and apple pie or perhaps pear crisp with its warm seasonal fruit don’t have to just be the “foot note” to your Thanksgiving meal. The mixologists at these fabulous spots around the country have captured all the flavors you crave in the perfect cocktail that you can enjoy with friends “aka the family you pick” any night of the week (this time of year).
Cocktails a la Pumpkin Pie
BLT Steak LA (Los Angeles, CA)
Andrew Parish is the winning mixologist behind this seasonal treat at BLT Steak LA. Parish happens to be Chelsea Handler’s personal mixologist and has won awards for his innovative and all organic cocktails.
Pumpkin Spice Martini
- 1 teaspoon fresh baked and puréed pumpkin (or substitute with 1 teaspoon canned pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 ounce of brown sugar/clove simple syrup
- 1/4 ounce Frangelico
- 2 ounces Stoli vodka
Add all ingredients to shaker, add ice, shake and strain into martini glass, garnish with fresh grated nutmeg
Locanda del Lago is also serving up a Pumpkin Pie cocktail ($14). Theirs is made with Santa Monica Farmers’ Market pumpkin purée, Tru organic vanilla vodka, Frangelico, Baileys and cinnamon. Cheers to all that sweet, rich, goodness in a glass.
Mandarin Oriental (NYC, NY)
The Mandarin Oriental in New York City has their version of the pumpkin pie cocktail. Topped with nutmeg instead of cinnamon, this might be your pumpkin pie in a glass.
Spiced Pumpkin Pie
- 2 oz Stoli Vanilla
- 1 oz Coole Swan
- ½ oz Kahlua
- ½ oz Monin Spiced Pumpkin Pie syrup
- 1 oz Pumpkin Puree
Add ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into martini glass. Sprinkle lightly with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve in a martini glass with a cinnamon + sugar rim.
Alegria Cocina Latina (Long Beach, CA)
The pumpkin spice cocktail has a nice sweet crumbly pie crust rim to go with the smooth creamy cocktail.
Pumpkin Spice Cocktail
- 2 oz Krome Vodka
- 1 oz Licor 43
- 1.5 oz Pumpkin Spice liqueur
- a touch of cream (to taste)
- a touch of lime (to taste)
Pumpkin Pie Goblet A Crisp Fall Day
At New York’s R Lounge, you might be able to grab a seat next to Bruno Mars or Giuliana Rancic while you sip your Pumpkin Pie Goblet made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, pumpkin purée, whipped cream, and pumpkin spice. Or, you might clink glasses with Minka Kelly over A Crisp Fall Day martini made with Absolut Pear Vodka, Splash Frangelico, Cranberry Juice, and Caramel.
In Boston, or rather Brookline, MA, you can cozy up at The Fireplace for their Thanksgiving cocktail which is made with pumpkin, vanilla bean, and clove infused rum.
Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood has the Pumpkin Spice-tini brought to you by master food/beverage manager Jessica Rodrigue. Barney’s just celebrated its 90th anniversary and if they had a guest book it would read like a Hollywood star map. With Greta Garbo and Clark Gable, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix in the earlier days, and Drew Carey, Johnny Depp, Adam Sandler, Johnny Knoxville and Quentin Tarantino presently grabbing a seat at the bar you could potentially get distracted from your glass. The Pumpkin Spice-tini is made with Ketel One Vodka, Pumpkin Spice Liqueur and a splace of Frangelico shaken over ice. It is served in a martini glass with a light dusting of cinnamon.
The cocktail menu at WP24 Restaurant and Lounge, also in Los Angeles, Klaus Puck’s cocktail menu has the Cloudy Apple on the sweet side and Ginny Hendriks on the savory side of things. The Cloudy apple ($16) is concocted with Calvados, Absolut Apple, lemon and cinnamon. The Ginny Hendricks ($16) with Hendricks gin has rosemary and lemon for a little pucker from the lemon and the strong earthy flavor of Rosemary.
Antonella Ristorante (Santa Ana, CA)
This perfect fall cocktail has the fabulous fall fruit, pear, playing off of the floral flavor of St. Germain.