Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flava Buzz


SoCo, a new sister restaurant to the infamous Negril Village has opened in Brooklyn, New York. Unlike Negril, they will be specializing in Southern Fused Cuisine.  SoCo serves as a restaurant, cocktail bar, and live music venue. 509 Myrtle Ave. Bk, NY 11205 718.783.1936

Lair Restaurant and Lounge has opened in Soho, downtown Manhattan. They will be serving dim sum dishes created by the renowned chef formally of Nobu, Ruby Foos and Monkey bar, Chris Cheung. The restaurant has the appearance of a Paris train station. 201 Lafayette St. New, N.Y 10012 212.334.5247

Pan Latin restaurant, Calle Ocho has reopened.  Their infamous sangria filled Brunch will resume on August 6th, 2011.  45 W. 81st St. N.Y, N.Y 10024 212.873.5025

Parm stand will be opening at Yankee Stadium in August. The stand will feature much-loved parm sandwiches and turkey parm sandwiches. The chef’s behind this stand are originally from Torrisi Italian Specialties.

The Meatball shop opened a new location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  They will continue to serve up their succulent meatballs until 4am. 170 Bedford ave Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211 718.551.0520

Mexicue food truck is famous for their spicy Mexican cuisine, and barbecue wholesomeness.  Mexicue has opened on 7th avenue and 29th St.

Birreria’s Italian beer garden has opened on top of the Eataly on 5th avenue and 23rd St.

Umami Burger is very well known on the west coast for their mouthwatering freshly ground burgers. They are finally coming to the east coast in 2012.

Food Report
100% Tropicana Orange Juice is STILL artificial. The once fresh orange juice goes through a long gruesome process to suck any natural parts of it out. Once the juice is stored and squeezed, oxygen is then removed which allows the juice to stay “fresh” for a year.  The natural flavors are removed and infused with artificial orange flavors.

McDonalds plans to open a new restaurant every day for the next 4 years in China. Apparently, the fast food competition has been at an all time high overseas.

Hot dogs seem to be just as bad as cigarettes. A hot dog once a day results in a 22% increase in your chances of obtaining colorectal cancer.

Hard liquor in a box? Maybe. We will keep you posted.

August 2nd Brittney Spears and Nicki Minaj (on going)
August 2nd Summerstage: The Sugarhill Gang @7pm
August 4th-6th  Summerstage: Salute to Hip Hop featuring Rakim/Epmd/Funkmaster Flex @3pm
August 28th Summerstage: Jagged Edge/Avant/Melanie Fiona @3pm
NY restaurant week Now-September 5th
DC restaurant week August 15th -21st
Alexandria, Virginia restaurant week August 19th -28th
Truckeroo food truck festival in DC August 12th
Dekalb Market Brooklyn, N.Y 7 days a week

Sources: Negril Mailer, Huffington Post etc.
By Celeste 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Crespella Review

An Italian Crepêrie
Although the crêpe is usually associated with French cuisine, it is a commonly consumed treat in many European countries.  Crespella, a quaint Italian crêpe shop located amidst the bustle of Brooklyn’s 7th Avenue, showcases the Italian version of this European delight.  Less than a year old, Crespella is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in Park Slope.

You might be wondering how an Italian crêpe differs from the French version.  The answer is that the divergences are subtle, but definitely noticeable.  For one, French cheeses, meats, and vegetables are replaced with traditional Italian ingredients, and secondly (and less obviously), Italian crêpes are made from chickpea flour, rather than the wheat flour traditionally used in French crêpe batter.

Although Crespella should be noted foremost for its food, its interior deserves attention as well.  For a physically small area, and a mostly take-out business, Crespella is an unexpectedly spacious and attractive shop due to its high ceilings, large glass front wall, and clean décor.  Attractive wooden floors and white marble countertops contribute to this handsome aesthetic.  The left-hand wall is painted a matte red, and is adorned with cutesy Italian culinary phrases and idioms (“fresca, fresca,” “alimentari,” “classiche”).  Crespella’s service is cheery and welcoming.

Crepes are available in both their sweet and savory forms, and feature fantastic combinations of flavors and textures.  Individuals with gluten allergies are welcome to participate in the consumption, as the crêpe batter is prepared sans-gluten.  Savory crêpes include fairly standard, yet no-less-delicious ingredient pairings of tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto ($7.50), and ricotta, spinach and mushrooms ($7.50).  The prosciutto crêpe ($9) was pure culinary pleasure: rich layers of salty, flavorful meat, spears of moist roasted asparagus, and downy slices of mozzarella, all wrapped in a fresh crêpe and polished with a reduced-balsamic lacquer.

 My order only had one blemish: the ingredients should have been more evenly distributed, as prosciutto-dominant, mozzarella-absent bites were not uncommon.  One notable rendition of the dessert crêpe is an indulgent ricotta cream, crushed cannoli shell bits, and chopped pistachio ($7.50); another features rich homemade lemon curd paired with fresh raspberries ($7.50).  Additional menu perks are breakfast pastries, locally made baked goods, and Brooklyn roasted Strumptown coffee.

It is unlikely that anyone fond of the French crêpe will be disappointed by Crespella’s take on the Italian version.  Fresh ingredients and an attractive space will leave you sated and happy.  

Location: 321 7th Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11215

Price Range: $

Cuisine: Italian Crepêrie and Espresso Bar

By Sarah T.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

What you'll need
Zucchini Flour Tortilla's
 Shredded cheese (any kind will do)
Taco seasoning
Whole small zucchini or 1/2 of a small one

1. Shred zucchini in a food processor (if you don't have one simply, cut down the middle lengthwise and thinly slice as small as you can)
2. In a small bowl place about 4-5 Tbsp of taco seasoning and about 3 Tbsp of water. Stir & add to Zucchini then mix it.
3. Thinly slice a small onion (about 2 slices). (Optional) you can just use the zucchini & it will still come out great.
4. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes in 2 Tbsp butter. Transfer to bowl
5. Heat up Tortilla. Fill it up with a couple of spoonfuls of the warm Zucchini mix, add cheese (I use 4 cheese Mexican), fold over in a moon shape or place another on top if you would like a large one, (The cheese will melt and the mix will continue to heat)
6.Flip it and let it brown, slightly  
*Serve with Salsa or Sour cream
Recipe by Venice 

Oceano Seafood Restaurant Review

Traditional Greek Ambiance with Classic Greek Music

Walking down Ditmars Blvd in Queens, one encounters a number of Greek restaurants. Many are famous, and people from all over Manhattan make the trek to try the fresh seafood dishes. Some are brand new and just praying to become one of the destinations in a New York City tour book.

Oceano Seafood Restaurant is one of those hopeful restaurants. Only open since December, one can see the famous Taverna Kyclades across the street with people waiting in a long line outside. At Oceano, there are plenty of tables available, and the excited and eager staff are beaming at the presence of new customers.

The meal started with complimentary bread and olive tapenade which is a nice homage to the bread and balsamic vinegar served at Italian restaurants. There is a variety of popular Greek dishes and fresh fish options on the menu. True to its name and underwater paradise décor, seafood plays a heavy hand in the options. 

We started out with “Spanakopita” which was tasty but nothing too special. We went for the “Fried Zucchini and Eggplant” appetizer, as well, which was evenly breaded so that the true crispness came from the veggies and didn’t have that mouth-heavy, cheap fried taste. For dipping, we were supplied with garlic mashed potatoes, which seemed like an odd, heavy option. Surprisingly, the flavor of the potatoes combined with spices in the breading made an excellent arrangement.

For our entrees, we got the “Grilled Calamari” and the “Seafood Pasta.” The calamari was fresh but a couple of the pieces of fish were slightly chewy. The pasta, on the other hand, was a perfect dish. It was a bit expensive at $19, but the plate did not skimp on the seafood. Mixed among the pasta and the tart, spicy red sauce were heaping helpings of scallops, shrimp, and mussels, all fresh, and all meshed well in the sauce.

After paying our bill and preparing to leave, the owner sent over a complimentary Galaktoboureko, a traditional Greek pastry much like Baklava but filled with a custard instead of nuts. It was lightly sweet and the phyllo dough crispy. This is the kind of service to be expected from an eager, family-owned restaurant like Oceano. Along the 35th Street side of the building is a garage-door wall that opens in the summertime, hopefully adding a breeze to enjoy with the fresh seafood; perhaps New Yorkers will be able to close their eyes and briefly imagine that they are by the Greek seaside.

Oceano Seafood Restaurant
35-02 Ditmars Boulevard,
New York, NY 11105
7pm on a Sunday
Price range between $19 and $45 (Fresh fish prices range with market prices)
Greek Seafood
Conducted by Chrissy 

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$ 25 gift certificate

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-Must be 16 years of age or older

How to enter:
1. Leave an inspiring comment under the post for Layla
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**Closes Wednesday, August 3rd at 12am 
Winner will be selected with a random generator 

Dedication to Layla Warsaw

We would like to dedicate our first post to a very special 5 year old twin girl named Layla Warsaw. She is the niece of our copy editor, Bryan F. Warsaw, and was recently diagnosed with cancer. When her pathology came through the results showed that she had a Wilms’ tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer that occurs in children. Luckily, Wilms is the most easily treatable cancer out of the types it could have been. She will have 7-9 months of chemotherapy and she will be an outpatient making frequent trips to the hospital. When the tumor mass has shrunken enough, she will have surgery again to remove it and the kidney. After all of this, she will be cancer-free and she can resume her care-free life as a child. Sometimes, God throws unexpected curve balls to test our strength. Layla and her family are passing this test exceptionally well. She has a long and wonderful life ahead of her when this is nothing more than a bad memory. We here at “Flava in Ya Ear” are wishing Layla a speedy recovery!  We will keep the prayers for Layla going and look forward to when she returns home to resume baking cookies and brownies with her mom and three sisters.