BEHIND-THE-PLATE

FIRST COURSE
Sachi Bistro NYC: Making Asian Fusion in Murray Hill

Upon entry, Sachi looks like stereotypical version of a Western Thai restaurant. Granite elephant statues peek out from corners, nationalistically ambiguous art hangs on the wall, and beautiful stained woodwork is everywhere throughout the space. The dim lighting and slow paced dining room momentarily transports you far from Second Avenue, and you start to wonder if you have perhaps fallen down a rabbit hole and left the city. Then, an angry driver sits on their car horn for far too long, and you are brought back down to earth. You are in a simple yet elegant space in Murray Hill, perfect for either Date Night or Girls Night Out, and you are happy.

We started out with the Gunpowder Bramble, because regardless of the fact that its 70 degrees outside, it’s still fall, and fall is for bourbon. The Creme de Mure Blackberry Liquer pushes the cocktail a wee bit more to the sweet side than we would have liked, but the fresh lemon juice enhances the black tea infused in the Lapsang Souchong bourbon.

FIRST COURSE
Somtum Dur Offers Authentic North Eastern Thai Cuisine in the Heart of the East Village

With each bite of the papaya salad, authentically called Somtum, we were truly immersed in the spicy, bold flavor.

We thought we knew what Thai food was; pad Thai, coconut soup—you get the point. The North East region of Thailand is a whole new world that we never knew, and absolutely love.

Somtum Dur has its roots in the restaurant business in Bangkok and recently moved in the NYC market specializing in this “farmer’s plate” of tastes. In this particular region, the plate would be filled with anything and everything from the rice patty and farm, but papaya salad is usually a staple. This usually includes dried shrimp, peanuts, garlic, cherry tomatoes, shredded green papaya, lime and fish sauce. And last but not least, the ingredient that makes it what it is, the chili. Never afraid of a little risk, we asked that the chili be loaded on, and it was worth it. However, those less partial to spice will be happy to know that the flavor is still strong without it. As a matter of fact, you could taste the freshness of the ingredients even more. Additionally, for the health conscious person in all of us, there is no oil added which makes for a much cleaner eating experience.

FIRST COURSE
NORTH Festival 2014


Over the past five years, a wind from the north has swept through the top kitchens of the world, guiding the direction of haute cuisine toward a region that had previously been largely unknown to most gourmands. New Nordic cuisine, a movement spearheaded by chefs like René Redzepi (of Copenhagen’s Noma) focuses on embracing food traditionally prepared in Nordic lands (among them: wild game, fish, conifers, and root vegetables) and utilizing traditional Nordic cooking styles (like canning, drying, curing, and pickling), all the while easing them into modernity without sacrificing their integrity. Moreover, New Nordic defines itself by working seasonally and locally, as defined by the 2004 Kitchen Manifesto, which pledges dedication to “purity, freshness, simplicity, and ethics.”

FIRST COURSE
The Meatball Shop Becomes The Tastiest Sitcom On TV

Let’s get the ball rolling with this restaurant turned TV show! The Meatball Shop (multiple locations, New York City) has officially announced that it will be used as the inspiration for one of CBS’s newest sitcoms. The story follows two best friends who are on the track to restaurant success, but must face the difficulties which come from owning a business together. The solution? Visiting a couple’s therapist, of course! While the plot seems a little “out there”, it actually stays true to the history behind Meatball Shop owners, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow.

FIRST COURSE
It All Happened at the Vendys


As we said before, we’ve been looking forward to the Vendy Awards--the annual food truck classic--for quite awhile, and this past weekend, the day finally arrived. We saddled up and headed across the river on the ferry to Governors Island, making our way to the fairground. We’ve got to say, even in spite of crappy weather (it was intermittently drizzling and raining pretty hard), the Vendy Awards was one of the best food events we’ve been to this year. After all, if anybody knows how to operate at the top of their game, rain or shine, it’s this crew. We left totally stuffed and totally happy.

FIRST COURSE
Found: The best Wood Fired Pizza in Brooklyn. No Further Questions.

Over the holiday weekend, we had the pleasure of stopping by Brooklyn Heights Eatery Dellarocco's. Since opening its doors in August of 2012, Dellarocco's has become a beloved neighborhood institution, famous for serving authentic wood fired Neapolitan pizzas in a warm and casual environment.

When we walked in, the open kitchen offered a great view of the imported "ferrari red" wood-burning oven along with the cheerful staff baking Italian fare in view of the whole restaurant. The Chef, Giuseppe Manco, hails from Naples and made his first pizza at the age of six. After having one bite of the amazing pizza, it was no wonder that Chef Manco had won the Las Vegas Pizza Expo’s 2014 World Champion of Italian Style Pizza.

FIRST COURSE
Grilling Magic this Labor Day Weekend…with Peter Kaminsky


Take your palate on a delicious adventure this fall with a quintessential figure in the culinary world. Talented ‘award winning chef’ and author of the new The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook, Peter Kaminsky, is ready to start every urbanite and suburbanite off this season on a scrumptious note.

Joonbug has put together an elite list of Kaminsky’s grilling tips and wine pairings to celebrate this Labor Day Weekend…in mouthwatering style! It’s time to get your charcoal grill heated up, ready to prepare the juiciest fare in town with savory perfection.

  • When grilling, Kaminsky encourages all to use charcoal rather than gas or briquettes. The woody, smoky flavors the charcoal produces in your barbequed fare are truly unparalleled.
  • Use a frying pan or griddle. Kaminsky stated that when people grill in Argentina, they typically utilize a “plancha,” which is a kind of griddle. This made Kaminsky’s creativity flow, thinking of a new burger recipe to relish with Terrazas Malbec. When using a skillet, the chopped onions on the pork burger will have firsthand contact with the heat, soaking up that luscious, caramelized taste that pairs well with Terrazas Malbec wine.
  • For large cuts of meat, turn down the heat! Lowering the heat for bigger cuts of meat is crucial to cook your meat to its prime: a juicy product with tasty, flavorful crust.
  • Don’t forget to use a thermometer; avoid getting into those family kitchen arguments over whether the meat is done yet, or not.
  • To keep your dry cuts of meat juicy; brine. This can be done overnight, by marinating the meats in the brining solution and then placing them in the refrigerator. Or you can become a top-pitmaster for the day and use an injection briner.
FIRST COURSE
Rose the Night Away at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels




We are already a week into August, and while we hate to be the bearer of bad news, Labor Day and the crisp fall chill will be here before you know it.

Bask in the glory of the remaining 80 degree, sun-filled days as they are fleeting, and head downtown to La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels to enjoy a fabulous Rose flight for $40. This fledgling wine bar, an offshoot of the Parisian flagship of the same name, has been open in New York since April, and is part of a broader restaurant group under the heading of Experimental Cocktail Club.

FIRST COURSE
Andaz Wall Street Farmers' Market Debuts Delicious Produce and Unique Atmosphere


Andaz Wall Street is a beautiful hotel in Fi-Di and a haven for tourists, but they also strive to service the local community. They have recently launched a weekly farmer’s market which features some of the most unique artisanal produce from extremely passionate farms and vendors. Every Thursday, now through November you can head to 75 Wall Street and relax in Andaz’s cozy biergarten. Sip Pimm’s garnished with organic produce from the market and let the vendors give you a true lesson in the beauty of their unique production processes.

FIRST COURSE
Boyz II Men Celebrates The Return of Wendy's Pretzel Bun

Boyz II Men is back again to celebrate Wendy’s Pretzel bun! They recently released their #PretzelLoveSongs video celebrating fan’s joy of being reunited with the pretzel bun, which Wendy’s announced is back this summer on both its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and Pretzel Pub Chicken. Be sure to check out the video on Wendy’s Facebook and YouTube playlist