Honey and
Ricotta
a food journal

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Roberta's Pizza


There is no question that Roberta's pizza is the definition of a hipster haven. Drawing hungry people from far and wide to the definitely-still-up-and-coming neighbourhood of Bushwick, they're serving up the best pizza in Brooklyn -- perhaps even the best pizza in New York -- whilst also growing their own produce on a rooftop garden, making honey from their own bees which feed off their own plants, broadcasting all my favorite New York radio shows in their studio out the back, and baking their own bread.


12.30pm on Thanksgiving weekend and the place was already packed out. Being just 2 of us, we squeezed in to the only spaces left on a communal table. Larger parties were left to roam Bushwick until there would be space for them in 90 minutes. Maybe not ideal on a rainy Saturday, but definitely worth the wait. And there's plenty of wall art to discover on the streets around and about in that enforced free time.


It was our first visit so we stuck to the pizza. We admired the beautiful dishes that were ordered by the girls next to us, and vowed that next time we'd go with emptier stomachs to make space for some of them too.


2 perfectly charred pizzas soon arrived at our table. The Lil' Stinker was covered in tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, double garlic (unsure of what that means, but it tastes really good), onion and pepperoncini pepper. Perfectly spicy, a little bit sweet - an absolute winner. The other choice, the Good Girl, was covered in salty, crispy kale, pork sausage, taleggio, and more garlic. There is no better way to eat kale than when charred, doused in cheese, and folded up inside the crust of a blackened, chewy, handmade pizza. 


Roberta's has jumped right to the top of our favourite New York places: they won our hearts serving up the best pizzas this side of the Atlantic in the hippest of spaces. We'll be back for more very, very soon. 

Roberta's, 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11206

Saturday, 28 November 2015

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from Thanksgiving week:

1. Wednesday night ice-cream at Ample Hills. We had a mountain of ice-cream. It was amazing.
2. A Thanksgiving feast.
3. Commuting on an empty subway.
4. Bubbles.
5. Using our new made-with-our-own-hands pottery.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. Another reason to walk rather than take the subway in NYC.
2. Why it's okay that in my head Jennifer Lawrence really is Katniss Everdeen.
3. Freya took more stunning photos of her most recent trip to India.

Happy weekend! 

x


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Pure Thai Cookhouse


Last Friday evening we made our Broadway début. Before we took our seats to watch Keira, coincidentally, also make her Broadway début, playing the lead role in the bleakly intense story of Thérese Raquin, we needed some pre-theatre fodder to sustain us through the melodrama.

Our hopes of a comforting, nourishing bowl of Ippudo's ramen were dashed when we arrived at 5.45 to be told the wait would be at least 2 hours. My maths told me that that would mean we would be taking our first slurp as Keira was taking her first stomp across the stage. Not ideal. The back up plan was Pure Thai Cookhouse, just around the corner. There, the wait was 30 minutes i.e. just enough time for a glass of wine at Ardesia before two seats would be ready for us.


After a well spent half hour we wiggled in to our two seats at the slim wooden bar which runs down one side of this tiny Thai restaurant. The small open kitchen at the front is filled with woks, huge pots, and lots of people, cooking up an authentic storm in an authentic looking kitchen, for all the customers to see. If we had been outside, if it had been hot, and if we hadn't been surrounded by Americans, we could have been back at our favourite Bangkok restaurant, Jok's, which we reminisce about every time Thai food comes our way.

B sipped on a Chang beer, noting that it perhaps didn't taste quite as good when not drunk in situ. Luckily this wasn't the case for the food which was just as packed full of spices, crunch, and heat as it was when cooked by a man named Jok who has just one giant wok, and was eaten on a plastic chair in a street in the middle of a hectic Thai city.


The classic wok basil with chicken was fragrant with holy basil and garlic, the sauce soaked up by freshly steamed rice, the green beans adding colour and crispness to a warming bowl of comfort food. B selected the special of the day: thinly sliced steak with basil, omelette, and a good dose of chili. Every mouthful was quickly gobbled up. We resisted the sticky coconut rice for dessert and said a sad goodbye to the fantastically friendly, smiley, efficient waitress as we braced ourselves for the cold outside and a harrowing two and a half hours of Broadway theatre.


Pure Thai Cookhouse, 766 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

Saturday, 21 November 2015

5 Things & No More

It's been a week that was filled with work. And then also a cold. And lots of headaches. But there have been some happy moments amongst the stress:

1. Board games with B.
2. Ricola cough sweets.
3. Late afternoon hot apple juice.
4. Kamel's matcha baccio.
5. Making Christmas plans.

There hasn't been any time for reading this week, apart from keeping up with the tragic Paris news. I promise to have some things to share with you next Friday.

Have a magical weekend! x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Mid-November at Prospect Park Farmers' Market


My freedom of being unemployed was rather abruptly snatched away from me 2 weeks ago. I turned up on a Wednesday afternoon for an interview, and I have been in the office ever since. This seems to be how New York works: there's no pause, no time for reflection, it's one crazy rush from one thing to the next, with only enough time to grab a coffee to sustain you in between.


So I will no longer be spending my weekday mornings perusing the quiet, relaxed Farmers' Markets. Instead, I'll be following the crowds to the markets on a Saturday morning, fighting my way through to reach the stalls, standing in line waiting to pay, moving from stand to stand as quickly as possible to make sure I get my hands on one of those last butternut squash.



With cold hands wrapped around a hot apple cider (non-alcoholic for you confused Brits who think I've taken to drinking hot cider early on a Saturday November morning), I filled a bag with beautifully red apples. The small tags detailing the varietal origin, the taste, the best use for them are so amazing: we spent a little while discussing which ones would suit our plans best. This week, Winesap were selected for baking, and Candy Crisp were chosen for munching on on the way home. 


Long stems of sprouts remind you that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. We resisted for now but it won't be long before we're cooking these up until they're crisp and bright with hazelnuts and bacon.



Apples dominate nearly all the stands. The presence of apple related products continues to grow as the weeks go by: apple cider, apple sauce, apple butter, apple pies, toffee apples... It's hard to not just ignore everything else and eat your weight in apple by-products for the rest of the week.




Root vegetables in all the colours of the rainbow are piled into astoundingly tall towers. I'm always slightly fearful that if I pick up a bunch of beets the rest are going to come toppling down and bury me under the circular roots and long leaves.



The sugar snap peas looked like the perfect antidote to all the wintery-vegetables, but we questioned their seasonality and left them there for a less suspicious customer. As we were leaving B found an aubergine eggplant as big as his head (excuse the post-run outfit here!): who knew that this country created supersize vegetables as well as fizzy drinks sodas, burgers and steaks?


Prospect Park Greenmarket, Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Friday, 13 November 2015

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy moments from this week:

1. Reading.
2. Momofuku ramen.
3. Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
4. A long run along the waterfront.
5. Putting on pyjamas as soon as I get home.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. Oy! Have you seen the new sculpture in Brooklyn Bridge Park?
2. Now I'm torn between baking pie or this pumpkin layer cake for Thanksgiving.
3. A guide to all the squash you want to eat, and how to eat them.

Happy weekend! I'm hoping for sleep, a Farmers' Market, and some time in the kitchen. I hope you get everything you want from the weekend too.

X

Sunday, 8 November 2015

ABC Kitchen


Three very generous friends sent us a voucher for dinner at ABC Kitchen as our wedding present. As soon as it arrived in the post, I booked the next available sensibly-timed table, which was over a month away. After a month of anticipation, we walked into the beautifully lit, white-washed restaurant, and celebrated our wedding again with a couple of glasses of bubbles.


The plates were all mismatching in the cutest way. The casual, homey, welcoming feel of the restaurant was balanced out by the super-dressed up tables of girls and cocktails, and the extremely well-considered, pretty and refined plates of food.


Our first courses were wildly different from one another, yet both were bright, beautiful, and packed full of flavour. B's roasted cauliflower with onion and walnut crumbs and a fried egg was crunchy and rich. My tuna sashimi marinated with ginger and mint was hot, refreshing and looked so adorable in its starfish shape.



Our mains were both rich and decadent. We lived the life of NYC luxury for a brief while as I ate my way through a whole wood-oven roasted lobster, and B stuffed himself with the richest crispy pork confit. With a naughty side of house-cut fries, and a crunchy, vibrant side of beans with hazelnuts and mustard, we weren't taking much care of saving ourselves for pudding....



So we ended by sharing dessert: a bright, jammy, fruity concord grape tart. The perfect autumnal end to an extravagant Friday evening. Thank you so much S, H & J - we had an amazing time!


ABC Kitchen, 35th East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

Saturday, 7 November 2015

5 Things & 3 More


5 happy things from a crazy few days which started with many interviews and ended up with 3 days in the new office:

1. Finally meeting the super lovely C. With the addition of avo toast, eggs and coffee this was the most perfect start to a weekday morning.
2. Bond. James Bond.
3. Pumpkin spice ice-cream at Van Leeuwen.
4. Mad Men.
5. Spaghetti and meatballs at Brucie.

3 things to read this weekend:

1. Thankfully, this missing Marathon runner was eventually found.
2. What would have been if Friends had been set in 2015.
3. The most beautiful cranberry viennese sandwich creams.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Brunch at Reynard


Having heard and read so much about the uber-hip Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, we felt we couldn't call ourselves true, authentic Brooklynites until we'd ventured inside for some seasonal, local, beautiful food.


With rumbling tummies, we grabbed a light-flooded table for two on a Saturday afternoon, and were distracted from the stunning decor by the staff's Halloween-costumes. They had all coordinated to make up the cast of Scooby Doo and it made a very amusing spectacle. Our order was taken by a super friendly Velma Dinkley, and our food was served by Scooby himself. Only in Williamsburg.


I was feeling slightly worse for wear after a rather decadent meal at ABC Kitchen the night before (more to come on that soon!), and was thrilled to be presented with a spectacularly autumnal plate of greens and oranges. Wholegrains, squash, cilantro and egg had been carefully scattered to form a fresh, but comforting, soul-reviving salad.


B went for the French toast. Out of character, but with good reason. A spectacular pile of crisped yet spongey brioche was adorned with savoury goat cheese, sweet, almost caramelised pears, and crunchy roasted walnuts. The most perfect plate of brunch fodder.


Eventually, after Daphne Blake had bought us our check, we removed ourselves from our perfect people-watching corner and ventured outside for a lazy Saturday afternoon stroll around Williamsburg. The best way to spend a warm Fall weekend.

Reynard, Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
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