BEHIND-THE-PLATE

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

FIRST COURSE
Applebee's is Officially Possibly Enforcing "No Tech Tuesday," Maybe

Isn’t it annoying when the person you’re eating with is texting the entire time? Or, even worse, when there’s a loud telephone conversation happening at the table next to you? Well, it seems that Applebee’s has begun taking steps to prohibit cellphone use one day per week with their latest program: No Tech Tuesday!

Or… maybe they aren’t? The phrase is self explanatory — no technology on Tuesdays — but the company claims to have no plans to restrict tech usage at the present time. So far, Applebee's has only filed the trademark application, but with the family-forward movements they’ve been making as of late, this could potentially assist in drawing in an older crowd to dine during the week. For a short period of time, representatives refused to comment on the reasoning behind the trademarking of this phrase. Finally, spokesman Dan Smith stated that guests can use technology however they’d like, and the trademark is simply to protect themselves in the future. According to Mr. Smith, "There's absolutely zero percent linkage between No Tech Tuesday and anything in the restaurant."

FIRST COURSE
Strip House Releases New, Exclusive Knives

Strip House has become a big player in the steakhouse game due to its unique combination of an elegant, modern aesthetic and unparalleled steak. They're known for the risque black-and-white photos of 1930s burlesque dancers that hang on their wall as well as their precise cuts of meat, which they carve by your table.

They partnered up with Schmidt Brothers Cutlery, known for constantly innovating their kitchenware designs, to create a brand new line of knives. These knives are perfect for cutting steak and are made to last, with every aspect of them expressing high quality. Their blades are German steel and their curve is the patented invention of Schmidt Brothers. Their aesthetics are equally top-notch, from their black ash wood handles to the red oak boxes that will be used as packaging.

FIRST COURSE
¡Vamos A La Vara!

Through all four seasons, and hosting all types of people, there is something truly magnificent and unique about a restaurant that time and again you walk away from thinking only one thing: wow!

Another sign you’ve found your soul-mate in a restaurant is that every time you go, you feel zero remorse ordering the same things. That voice in your head that says, “You should probably try something new” is quickly quieted by rapid-fire bites of epiphany inducing fideua, La Vara’s take on paella, made with noodles instead of traditional rice and delicately juxtaposed against a garlic aioli that will make you seriously consider moving to Spain. In fact, as you slurp the wilted noodles into your mouth, barely cognizant of the “mmm” noises you may or may not be making, you wonder aloud if you had food this good the drunken weekend you spent in Barcelona when you were 19 and “studying abroad”, a American term synonymous for “drinking a bottle of wine a day and stuffing your face with gelato”.

FIRST COURSE
Interview & Event: Molly Sims Celebrates Wendy's Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad

Wendy’s and actress/style icon Molly Sims hosted a private rooftop picnic event right in the heart of Rockefeller Center to celebrate Wendy’s new Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad, and rest assured, the entire event was just as good as the salad sounds (and tasted). With 11 different types of lettuce, sweet California strawberries, Applewood smoked bacon, red onion, chicken, and rich crumbled blue cheese, topped with bacon apple flavored vinaigrette, it's the perfect thing to eat this summer!

To get everyone in the mood for the premiere of the new seasonal salad, Wendy’s hosted a #NewSaladCollection contest with Polyvore. Molly Sims served as a judge for this contest and at her rooftop event, she showed guests how to create their own perfect summer styles using her own Polyvore board inspired by the new salad. At the event, we had a chance to sit down and chat with Molly about her partnership with Wendy’s, her thoughts about the new seasonal salad, and of course, important summer styles.

FIRST COURSE
Makini Howell: Your Go-To Vegan Guru


Intimidated by the "V word"? Want to make a change in your eating habits or treat your palate to something new? Talented author of Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro, Makini Howell, truly makes the V word appealing to all. Even if you’re not accustomed to the vegan way of life, don’t fear it; willingly embrace it. Howell’s book even includes baby steps for those who want to dedicate one day of the week for eating Vegan. She makes it so easy with her awesome tips and mouthwatering recipes…turning this transitional step in your life to an easy, delectable one!

FIRST COURSE
Good Water Farms Growing Tiny Vegetables