Tag Archives: Hotel

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Brooklyn

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynBrooklyn is no longer a side trip to take when you’ve run out of things to do across the river in Manhattan. It’s now the reason many people visit New York and a place most tourists plan to spend some time. There are several neighborhoods to explore for a mind-boggling range of ethnic foods, and to sample “hipster” Brooklyn. But I focused my picks in and around “Brownstone Brooklyn” because they’re near the sites tourists come to see – the Waterfront Park, BAM for dance and theater, Barclay’s Center for basketball, hockey and concerts, and the Brooklyn Museum and Botanic Garden. The museum, the city’s third largest, has a renowned Egypt collection (many items are from expeditions it funded in the early 1900s) and serves up modern art that’s interesting and sometimes controversial. Its Target-sponsored First Saturday evenings combine art, theater, music, and food and draw an eclectic mix of people, including families on the early side.

Breakfast: Teresa’s

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynTeresa’s, a Brooklyn Heights staple for decades, is a few blocks from the Heights Promenade with its often-filmed skyline views. They capably cook up all the usual breakfast foods including buttermilk pancakes (a favorite for neighborhood kids) and egg dishes. But you really go for the Polish food: blintzes, potato pancakes, apple fritters, four kinds of pierogi, and grilled kielbasa.

My suggestion: The blintzes with sweet cheese and plum butter have the right balance of sweet, creamy, and tart and go well with a cup of coffee. If I’m craving something savory I go for the potato pancakes, maybe with a side of kielbasa. It’s a good place to order a few different plates to share. If you prefer eggs but want them with a Polish accent, go for the kielbasa omelet.

Price: breakfast dishes are in the $6-$10 range.
Hours: Daily: 7am-11pm
Address: 80 Montague St, near Hicks St.; Brooklyn Heights
Phone Number: 718-797-3996
Website: Ha! The place is way to old school for such nonsense.
Photo: Zomato 

Second Breakfast (Bakery): Almondine

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynIf you head to DUMBO to explore our ever-changing Brooklyn Bridge waterfront park you’ll be blissfully near Almondine. It’s thoroughly French and everything is good. Expect lines late on weekend mornings.

My suggestion: I love the plump Jelly donuts (beignets) even if they do leave me covered in powdered sugar. I like their almond croissants as well. My daughter goes for the brightly colored macarons or the eclairs, depending on how hungry she is.

Price: upscale NYC bakery prices so $3 to $8 for pastries.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 7am-7pm; Sun: 10am-6pm
Address: 85 Water St, near Main St.; DUMBO
Phone Number: 718-797-5026
Website: http://www.almondinebakery.com
Photo flickr cc

Lunch: Brooklyn Crab

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynBrooklyn Crab is a little out of the way, but worth a cab ride (you can also take the NYC Water Taxi to the Red Hook Dock). The two upper floors have a bar, outdoor picnic tables and a covered dining area with huge windows that open in summer. The top floor has views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. People flock in summer for platters of steamed crab or lobster, fried clams and and a decent kids’ menu. On the ground floor you’ll find a large backyard with a bar, picnic tables, a small mini-golf course, beanbag toss, and shuffleboard tables. The menu is smaller than upstairs, but it’s a great place to while away an afternoon. It’s popular with groups and families and, inexplicably, with local French expats.

My Suggestion: We like the crab roll and the steamer clams when they’re in season. If we aren’t with a group we eat upstairs then head to the backyard for ice cream, a second beer, and some games.

Price: beer $5-6/pint; wine $8-10/glass; appetizers $8-12; sandwiches $15-24; $17-50
Hours: Open year-round. Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00 pm; Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – midnight
Address: 24 Reed St, Red Hook, and Brooklyn 11231
Phone Number: 718-643-2722
Website: http://www.brooklyncrab.com

Coffee shop: Tom’s Restaurant

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynTom’s Restaurant is a step into classic Brooklyn just a few blocks from the Museum and Botanical Garden. The old soda fountain and counter tell you what to order. Lime rickey’s, egg creams, ice cream sodas, and floats come in tall, thick fountain glasses. Order a shake and they’ll bring you the extra that didn’t fit in the glass on the side.

My suggestion: They’re known for the lemon-ricotta pancakes, but my daughter likes the chocolate chip ones. I like their huevos rancheros, unless I go for a classic grilled cheese with tomato on rye. We often share a cherry lemonade.

Price: fountain drinks $3-6; breakfast $3-14; lunch items $5-15
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Address: 782 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn 11238
Phone Number: 718-636-9738
Website: http://www.tomsbrooklyn.com/about.html

Happy Hour 1: Strong Place

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Brooklyn
Beer and Cupcakes: Smuttynose Beer & Porter S’more, Brewery Ommegang & Orange-Almond, Great Divide Brew & Lemon Curd

Brooklyn is hive of innovative brewing, fermenting, distilling, shaking, and stirring these days. So picking one bar is not only unfair but also nearly impossible. If you’re a beer drinker I’d head to Strong Place for its good tap selection and innovative bar food. A weeknight happy hour offers 2-for-1 local beers and very good $1 oysters.

My suggestion: Ask what’s in season and on the happy hour list.

Price: Tap beer $6-12;
Hours: happy hour is 4:00 pm-7:00 pm weekdays.
Address: 270 Court Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn 11231
Phone Number: 718-855-2105
Website: http://www.strong-place.com

Happy Hour 2: The Clover Club

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynThe Clover Club is considered the pioneer and standard-bearer for mixologist-centered cocktail bars in the borough. A weekday happy hour here serves up a selection of drinks and snacks for about half-price.

My suggestion: The cocktails rotate so go with the season, your mood and your favorite booze. Order a round of deviled eggs to go with whatever you’re drinking.

Price: Select cocktails $7; wine $6; beer $4; snacks $5-7.
Hours: happy hour is 4:00 pm -7:00 pm weekdays.
Address: 210 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn 11201
Phone Number: 718-855-7939
Website: https://cloverclubny.com

Dinner: Alma 

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynBypass the gritty ground-floor bar at Alma and head upstairs to the restaurant with its huge picture windows and top-floor roof deck. The views of the Brooklyn waterfront and harbor are reason enough to visit. And the Mexican food is first rate.

My suggestion: The Chilaquiles, ceviches, chile relleno, and enchiladas are all authentic, interesting, and tasty.

Price: beer $7; wine $8-12; margaritas about $12; appetizers $6-16; entrees $16-$30
Hours: Monday- Thursday: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm; Friday: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm; Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Address: 187 Columbia Street; Brooklyn 11231
Phone Number: 718.643.5400
Website: http://almarestaurant.com

Hotel: The Nu Hotel

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynThe Nu Hotel is a modern boutique hotel that’s central to Brooklyn’s major cultural institutions and a few blocks from Barclay’s Center. It’s an easy subway hop to Manhattan or the Brooklyn waterfront. The neighborhoods around it offer ample eating, drinking, and shopping. It offers complimentary breakfast, bicycles to borrow, and a family suite with bunk beds. It’s pet friendly.

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i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Brooklyn

Photo Wikimedia Commons: Theeditor93


Eileen Gunn. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in BrooklynEileen Gunn is the founder of FamiliesGo! and at least the 4th generation of her family to settle in Brooklyn. When she’s not eating her way through New York City, you can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



– The End. Go Eat. –

i8tonite: Chef’s Questionnaire with Clifton Inn’s Yannick Fayolle and his Curry Sauce

i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry SauceMauritius-born Chef Yannick Fayolle is an ambitious, young and undiscovered culinary talent – until now. At the age of 27, he’s had a successful restaurant in his island country before moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he has been working as the Executive Chef at Clifton Inn, a high-end hotel and restaurant, for a little less than a year. He says about living in the historic colonial town, “I love it here. It’s a different level of produce, which is very high in quality. There are these great historical buildings, and interesting stuff about the United States.”

i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry Sauce

The Switzerland-trained chef calls his style of cooking French and Asian with touches of African (“Because I don’t believe in one style of cooking”), and it’s all related to growing up in the island nation of Mauritius. Colonized by the French and Dutch in the 15th and 16th centuries, with India and Asia’s trade route along the African coasts, Mauritius is a melting pot of international flavors. Fayolle  brings to the Clifton Inn not only intense cookery skill, but also this worldly abundance and familiarity with spices and herbs rarely seen in the States, and directly related to his birthplace. For example, on a recent tasting menu with a seasonal vegetable salad, he added black cocoa soil – a sophisticated European trend creating ingredients to look like “soil” or “dirt” – imitation edible dirt as a stage for sprouts. The cocoa is a nod to Africa’s east coast and its fertile ground, while the the simulated “soil”  displays European training. It’s these unique touches that showcase Fayolle  as an epicurean talent on the horizon. Most of our chefs are still playing with barbeque sauces and figuring out uses for white pepper.

i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry SauceMr. Fayolle  is a bit of an anomaly in the world of cuisine. He’s not a big drinker, and in his spare time, he’s a competitive bodybuilder. While the rest of us are engaging in some of his tasty dishes, he’s pounding out reps and getting ready for the next contest by fortifying himself with protein shakes. Regardless of his outside aspirations, it’s his capacity for cooking that will win over new fans.

In many ways, Mr. Fayolle  may represent the new breed of chef – Instagram-ready, conscientious about his own looks and physique, while implementing higher standards of cooking with lower fat and calories. Either way, Clifton Inn and Charlottesville is very lucky to have him.

Interior 5 Wine Cellar

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

Yannick 1How long have you been cooking? 12 Years

What is your favorite food to cook? I come from an island, so seafood is my best food to cook. It reminds me of home, and products from the sea are always healthy and tasty.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Pre-prepped meals; I am a bodybuilding physique competitor and cook pre-portioned meals twice a week, so I have stacks of deli containers in my fridge.

What do you cook at home? My pre-portioned meals and I always make myself different kinds of smoothies.

What marked characteristic do you love in customers? The smile on their faces when they leave the restaurant.

i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry SauceWhat marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? People who are unadventurous and unwilling to try modern cooking styles.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Rubbermaid.

Beer, wine or cocktail? I don’t drink much but love to find new beers and wines to match my food.


i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry Sauce

Your favorite cookbook author? Thierry Marx “BON!”

Your favorite kitchen tool? The Pacojet.

Your favorite ingredient? Dedication and …. Garlic.

Your least favorite ingredient? Grapefruit.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Shuck oysters.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Asian, French, Southern – finding ways to meld them together.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Pork.

Favorite vegetable? White asparagus. It is a very delicate vegetable.

i8tonite: Chef's Questionnaire with Clifton Inn's Yannick Faynoull and his Curry SauceChef you most admire? Gordon Ramsey. He’s done it all!!!

Food you like the most to eat? Sushi and curries.

Food you dislike the most? Anything bland.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? Three. One on my forearm is Thai. It’s a saying on philosophy of art and perfection. Food is art.

Recipe: Yannick Fayolle’s Curry  Sauce

Curry Sauce

  • 10 hydroponic tomatoes
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 20g ginger
  • 3 medium red onions
  • 5g cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 5g chopped fresh thyme
  • 2g clove powder
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 4 Tblsp curry powder
  • 1 Tblsp turmeric powder
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Salt  to season

Blanch the tomatoes and turn into a concasse. Dice red onions and start searing at medium heat until translucent. Add chopped garlic and ginger with the coriander, the cinnamon and the star anise. Sear for 3 mins still at medium heat.

Add the butternut squash and sweat another 2 mins. Add diced tomatoes. Leave to caramelize. Then add the clove, the curry powder, and the turmeric. Add the butter. Leave on medium heat for 5 mins until the natural water from the tomatoes evaporates by half the volume.

Add vegetable or chicken stock and leave on low heat for an hour.

Blend and strain through a fine strainer.

The end. Go eat.