Thursday, May 29, 2008

Burrata from Philadelphia

The other day I was at Saxelby Cheesemonger, eating a burrata from Philadelphia. Burrata- that's fresh mozzarella filled with fresh cream. It is so delicious, I eat it for lunch!

Next week, Jimmy' s No. 43 will be featuring a selection of very rare Italian beers on draught. I wanted to select a few American cheeses that would pair well with the beers. Other than Parmigiano-Reggiano, the shop (Saxelby Cheesemonger) only carries American cheeses. However, there are a few quality offerings of American made, Italian-style cheeses. There's fresh mozzarella from Alleva in Little Italy, the wonderful Burrata from Philadelphia and a fresh Ricotta from Salvatore in Brooklyn.

One of our favorite desserts is a grilled cheese sandwich filled with this same Ricotta and Nutella. Yummy!! Chef Phillip also adds fresh strawberies to the ricotta sandwiches.

I love Anne Saxelby. Her shop is barely 2 years old, but already I take it for granted that I am on a first name basis with American cheeses like Barick Obama, Timberdoodle, Magic Mountain, and Jasper Hill. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't know any of them. Also, I love her latest blog, about summer cheese and Burrata.<

Friday, May 23, 2008

Greenmarket Goddess 2002

In 2002, a little East Village restaurant named Patio Dining made a splash with its daily market menu. I was lucky to be part of that magical time. Chef Sarah Jenkins was working at Il Buco on Bond Street. She was my favorite chef. My wife and I had our first date there and many dates after that. We even had our rehearsal dinner there. One afternoon, she (Sarah) came to see me, "I quit Il Buco, I want to work with you.". I said, "Take a few weeks off, go back to Italy, then we'll talk". When she returned, we agreed to offer a daily market menu.

Sarah would go the market every day and buy what she needed for the menu that night. Every night there was one dish that was the best thing I had ever tasted in my life. One night it was the soup, the next it was the pasta and so on.

Rob and Robin at New York Magazine wrote a feature article titled Green Market Goddess- click here to read from the New York Magazine Archives.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to Get Summerfield Bacon

During the past few weeks, we were fortunate to have had several outstanding bacons in the house. Through the winter, Jimmy' s No. 43 had run the very popular "The Slab" on the menu. "The Slab" was a massive quarter inch thick slice of Benton's Smoked Country Bacon from Tennessee cooked in a skillet. It is a great dish to share- almost a bacon steak. Two weeks ago, chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark brought it back, this time with Nueske's bacon (some of their product is pictured above), drizzled with ice wine vinegar. Yes, that was an especially good combination - luscious, creamy bacon fat with a brilliantly fruity yet tart vinegar. Those two bacons are so different. The Benton's is rustic, old fashioned, with pronounced salt and smoke. Nueske's is a sweeter, more tender, maple sugar cure.

The king of all slab bacons is Summerfield. From Culpeper, Virginia it is an old fashioned, sweet cure. Almost 2 years ago, Josh Ozerksy had brought it in house for a special bacon tasting. At the time, it was available online through The Grateful Palate , a specialty shop and home of "The Bacon of the Month Club". By last year it had become virtually impossible to find, other than at a few select restaurants around the country. We have tried several times to contact them, and have no word in over one year. This article in the New York Times about a writer's own bacon tasting caught my eye because she had been able to procure some Summerfield.

Our rating of farmer produced bacons:

1. Summerfield. It stands alone. Virginia
2. Benton's. Very rustic, super salty and smoky. Tennessee
3. Neuske's. Popular winner, more available, maple cure. Wisconsin
4. Flying Pigs Farm. Available at NYC greenmarket. From upstate New York, a local favorite. Great farm. Great meat.
5. Violet Hill Farm. Available at NYC greenmarket. From upstate New York. Great pork. These two are tied for best pork in New York state!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Asparagus Recipe

Jimmy's No.43's chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark has been at the greenmarket through fall, winter, and now spring. Just a few weeks ago he was foraging upstate for ramps, now the farmers are offering the bounty of spring. It's the height of asparagus season, and New York Magazine's Rob Patronie and Robin Reisfeld have featured one of Chef Phil's recipes: Local Asparagus With Goat’s-Milk Dulce de Leche and Horseradish.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shelton Brothers Beers

The first time I met beer importer Dan Shelton, he told me how all my beers paled in comparison to his imports. Since then, I have become a devotee and proud to feature many of his beers, not only in bottle, but on draught as well. We are currently the only establishment in New York City to serve Christoffel Blond on draught. A 6% beer, Belgian style, from the Netherlands, refreshing with good mouth feel. I can drink this beer all night, and often I do!!

The other day, Rob Patronite and Robin Reisfeld (New York Magazine) were reviewing chef Phillip's asparagus recipe, and they drank the Shelton Brothers Spezial Rauchbier. A light, food friendly ale, with hints of smoke. In fact, primitive beers had a smokiness because early brewers dried their malt over an open fire. It's not at all what you would expect. True to the German beer purity law, there is a subtle smokiness from the natural brewing process, not a commercial additive of hickory flavor.

I love the Shelton Brothers Beers. Check out the beer list at Jimmy's No. 43 for both draught and bottle selections. Look for the friendly "*SB".

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bacon Night is May 12

Bacon Night will kick off Bacon and Summer Beer Week at Jimmy's No. 43. (May 12- 15th)

To get some insight, check out this post from The Strong Buzz...

"I grew up without bacon. I know, it’s a very sad to hear, but that’s how things went down. It really wasn’t so bad actually because I didn’t know any better..."

Food writer Andrea Strong will be on hand to make up for those lost bacon years and gain a little wisdom from Josh Ozersky - aka Mr. Cutlets.

For further information, visit or call 212 982 3006.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

100 Mile Dinner and Drinks

It's always fun to be an innovator.

In March, Slow Food NYC's Ed Yowell hosted a 100 mile dinner at Jimmy's No.43. What a great idea - take local foods and beverages from within a 100 mile radius, and promote the heck out of it! How quickly one idea spreads. New York Times style writer, Jonathan Miles, has proposed a 100 Mile Cocktail. Ed Yowell created a tasty 100 mile cocktail of his own:
The Local Jack. The Local Jack is made with Laird's Apple Brandy, a dash of orange bitters, and a splash of Slyboro Sparkling Cider. Read the New York Times article (linked above) to learn more and to question yourself: why aren't you eating and drinking more locally?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008



You gotta love it when your friends are in the New York Times' Dining Section! 'Alex Cocinera' (aka Alexandra Raij, chef at tapas bar 'Tia Pol') invited me to a sandwich potluck at her apartment this coming Friday. "bring enough for 12 people, make your favorite sandwich, I'd love to have you and your wife." Sounds great, but I hate making sandwiches. Last year, Alex had created a much publicized and very tasty "uni panini" - a mini baguette smeared with sea urchin and mustard oil. I could eat 3 or 4 of those, and I'd take one any day over your average cubano, or meatball sub....

Jimmy's No. 43 chef, Phillip Kirschen-Clark, is currently serving a dessert grilled cheese sandwich, with Nutella and Brooklyn made ricotta.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It's spring. Yes, it has been spring on the calendar, but now it's spring on the farms as well. We have beautiful asparagus, from Cherry Lane Farm (New Jersey) and Yuno's Farm (Bordentown, NJ) and wild ramps from Max Creek Hatchery (near the Delaware Water Gap, NY state). They harvested the ramps from the forest nearby. That's how many farmers and chefs get their ramps, from the wild.

Another sign of spring: our lovely friend, Anne Saxelby is hosting her first of the season "A Day A-Whey" fieldtrip to Mecox Dairy on Long Island this Sunday, May 4th. For more information, visit the website at