10 Ways to Celebrate Passover in NYC

Categories: Eating

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Image courtesy BLT Steak/BLT Prime
Braised brisket at the BLT restaurants.

Passover began last night, and if you've ignored the holiday until now, there's still plenty of time for redemption; lucky for all of us, this city is filled with great Passover options for every level of religious commitment, whether you're a by-the-book kosher zealot, a "cultural" identifier with a Jewish grandmother somewhere down the family line, or a curious bystander who'd like to have a lesson in tradition.

Here, we offer 10 ways to celebrate the gift of freedom, some kosher, some kosher...in spirit.


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Red Hook's El Olomega Wins Top Vendy

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El Olomega and newly-won Vendy.
This weekend the 2013 Vendy Awards, known as "the Oscars of street food," corralled 28 trucks and tables into Sunset Park's Industry City for a marathon of gormandizing before naming New York City's best mobile cuisine purveyor.

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Eat Latkes Out: Mile End's Hanukkah Super Duo, Second Avenue Deli's Instant Heart Attack

Categories: Eating

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Goodman
Mile End makes latkes for the Hanukkah season.

Making latkes is hard in a small apartment kitchen. The brave cook ends up with oil burns and will probably find crusty potato shreds on the floor come Passover. So we don't blame the Hanukkah-celebrating folk for venturing out to eat potato pancakes, especially when served with chopped liver or a heaping pile of pastrami.

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The Best Things We Ate During Sandy

Categories: Eating

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flickr/spork or foon
So many chickens

Some of us might have been without power and water these past few days, but here's how our team has been stress eating (and cooking!) our way through the storm:


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Our Restaurant Fantasies, Revealed

Categories: Eating

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Rao

After reading this fun restaurant wish-list over on Diner's Journal, the Fork team started wishing and hoping for some of our own fantasy places to open.

I'd love for a truck to drive around in the winter serving cups of really good, hot cassoulet. If there's a line, there will be nips of brandy while you wait. And my goodness, if a casual Indian place opened in my neighborhood, serving fresh, excellent Gujurati snacks like patrel and dhokra, along with some great beers, and pots of masala chai, I'd be really happy. Also, how about a place doing exquisite tasting menus that are delicious and affordable?

Here are more Fork wishes, from Laotian and Taiwanese, to Louisianan:


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Eat This Now: Orange Blossom Nougat With Pop Rocks

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The orange blossom nougat ($7) from Gastro Bar at 35th was one of the most unique desserts I've ever had. Served in a martini glass, the bottom is fresh orange juice made into a syrup. It's filled with chocolate mousse and brown sugar, finished with butter on top. Add on a dollop of whipped cream and then the final touch: pop rocks.

"My goal is to make people think and to make it a little bit whimsical," chef John Walsh says. "It's a little part of me that wants to have fun with the guest."

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Summer Barbecue Tips With a Latin Twist From Chef Stanley Licairac

Categories: Eating

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Havana Central

OK, so the weather really hasn't been in our favor lately. But once it does hit the 90s, and we're out again in our flip-flops battling the inevitable East Coast humidity, it'll be time to hit the grill. Here are some summer barbecue tips (with a Latin edge) from the chef who provided us the recipe for mango-glazed salmon earlier this week.

1) Rather than using the typical salt or vinegar to tenderize meat, try citrus. Add juices--sour orange or lime--to the meat at least 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours) prior to grilling.

2) Use chimichurri as a sauce or marinade for a Latin twist. The popular condiment is used on meats in South America and consists of parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes.

3) Getting bored of chicken and pork? Mojo--a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, and sour orange--is a Cuban staple that goes well with both. The sauce is easy to make, and marinating the white meats in it adds juiciness and brings out flavor.


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Huazontle: DUMBO's Gran Electrica Gives It a Green Whirl

Categories: Eating

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Scarlett Lindeman
A little something for your Lent

It's the season for huazontle, a spindly plant from Mexico with bright green branches with thousands of tiny buds, somewhat similar to the beads on broccoli florets. Eaten around the Holy Week of Lent, the buds have a mild spinachy flavor. Though beautiful specimens have been popping up in Mexican markets lately, it is rare to see them on outer-borough taqueria menus.


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ABC Kitchen's Raw Diver Scallop

Categories: Eating

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Lauren Bloomberg
Dan Kluger's dish is as pretty as it is delicious.

ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger's 18th Street collaboration, is known for fantastic dishes that reinterpret vegetables. There are pizzas with farm-to-table toppings and lots of fresh, light entrées. All served in bright white dining room littered with bric-a-brac and chandeliers sourced from the attached ABC Carpet & Home.

However, on a recent dinner jaunt to the restaurant, there was one dish that stood out from the rest. It eclipsed the beets with yogurt and the pretzel-crusted calamari. And blew the socks off of the black truffle-burrata fondita (a special for the evening). Yes, this dish was better than melted cheese and truffles.


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Speedy Romeo Dishes Up Some Yummy Baked Bivalves

Categories: Eating, Shockey

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Lauren Shockey
Oysters at Romeo for Juliet?

Speedy Romeo (376 Classon Avenue, 718-230-0061) opened up recently on the border of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill, offering a menu of wood-fired pizzas, steaks, and grilled seafood in a cozy setting. The spot, which is named after one of the chef's family's racehorses, offers a selection of inventive pies, like the St. Louie (Provel [a Missourian processed cheese], sausage, pepperoni, and pickled chiles) or the Casey Moore (baked clams, béchamel, tarragon, and spinach), but one of the most memorable dishes from a recent visit was the baked oyster appetizer.


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