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Tartini: Frozen Tart Yogurt

The favorite emerging food trend of the summer is one you should expect to see only more of. Frozen Tart Yogurt — if you haven't seen it or tried it in your town, it's on its way. You've probably heard of the L.A. based Pinkberry, or the Korean sensation Red Mango that is making waves in the USA, but an emerging favorite with the superior designed space and product is Tartini. Everything about Tartini has been done with a specific purpose and the result is an astounding modern, approachable and high quality product.

Read after the jump for more about Tartini design.
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The Veuve Clicquot Recipe: 1 Part Expertise

Moving right along with the Veuve Clicquot Recipe I’ve been slowly but surely completing for you this week… Since we’ve successfully added one part each of design and ambiance, we’re going to go ahead and fold-in one part expertise today. Successful businesses invariably depend on exceptional people, and VC is no exception, its tradition of expertise having been laid into place by Madame Clicquot. At the ripe age of 27, she took over the family business of wine making from her late husband, Francois Clicquot. The Madame began what what must be considered one of the most impressive careers of the era, both pioneering within her industry, and setting an important example for other aspiring female entrepreneurs. Through brilliant ingenuity of her own, she revolutionized how champagne was made and mass produced when she invented the process of riddling in 1816. She went on to leave her legacy to people whom she trusted, and the brand grew so that when she died in 1866, she was the richest woman in Europe.

Luckily, my Veuve Clicquot experience last week included meeting and learning from Madame Clicquot’s contemporaries. While the guys pictured above are by no means the only experts within the Veuve Clicquot organization, they sure stuck out in my mind. After the jump, I’ll introduce you to them in turn, starting from the left and working right…

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Veuve Clicquot: My Podium Picks

As a bonus to the Veuve Clicquot “recipe” which I will be assembling for you all this week, I thought I’d also offer up a bit of instant gratification — good form for a Monday, I figure. During my time with VC, the other bloggers and I had plenty of opportunities to try plenty of different kinds of champagne. I found myself battling with the dichotomy of objectively great champagne (the stuff that’s known to be great) and subjectively great champagne (the stuff I liked regardless of its reputation) — a philosophical debacle of monumental proportions, right? At times, it was a bit overwhelmed (coming to mind immediately is the dizzy feeling I had at the luncheon we had at the Verzy Mansion right after our first morning tasting event with master Oenologist Cyril Brun)… but when in Reims, one must make the most of each flute of champagne laid in front of them, right?

After the jump are my three favorites, in no particular order. For each, I’ve included a link to explanations by the experts at Veuve Clicquot, as well my various (humble) musings…

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Restaurant Uchi: Sushi in Texas

What do the words Austin, Texas make you think of? Music? Cowboys? Richard Linklater? Okay, fair enough, but what if I told you sushi? Its true, mixed up with all the BBQ, steaks and Mexican food is the amazing sushi restaurant Uchi. We know what you are thinking, “It must be good for Texas sushi standards’, but this sushi bar is amazing. A renovated old house just south of the river and across the street from the landmark Alamo Draft House theater (another Austin gem) provides great interior design to chow down colorful fish. Recent Iron Chef contestant Tyson Cole heads up the creative dishes that look like little pieces of art (and for the price it may as well be art). If you are in Austin and need your Japanese cusine itch scratched, Uchi can do that and them some. Just don’t expect a table when you head down for SXSW.

NoStress: Art and Food

Prague is known for having that take-your-time-because-life-is-beautiful vibe which translates into three-hour meals. Finding a restaurant called NoStress was no surprise. Aside from your typical fine dinning menu and atmosphere, there is an art gallery with rotating contemporary exhibitions below the restaurant. Perfect for browsing while sipping wine after ordering your first course. We love the merge of fine food and art — that should be obvious by now — but there was a little side quest to my dinner. I've been in search of an Asian dish (other than Sag Paneer in Indian food) that uses cheese. NoStress specializes in French Asian fusion and it gave me a glimpse of the mythical combination of cheese with my Thai chili pesto risotto. It was a fusion dish, so only half credit, but tasty. NoStress is in the center of Prague near the Jewish Quarter.

We like snogging better than ice cream

What is the perfect addition to a day walking around South Kensington feeling very posh with fancy restaurants and art museums at your disposal? A good frozen snog! No I'm not talking about kissing (snog is British English for making out), I'm talking about frozen yogurt. Aside from the obvious jokes that fly around the restaurant, "fancy a snog?", "give me a snog please?", or the always popular "wanna have a snog?" the frozen yogurt is really good and good for you. The yogurt is made with hardly any fat and no added sugar, so your dessert (or pudding if you prefer British English) is basically calorie free. The branding and store were designed with Cinimod Studios, a group mostly know for their public art works and they delivered a really fun and fresh approach to a tasty treat.

Grill Charms

Some like it hot. Some like it a little raw. Others are attracted to the fatty ones. When firing up that grill on a Sunday afternoon with all your friends, and all their individual preferences are at play, things can get confusing. The heat is on and you’re responsible for grilling a rack full of steaks to five different temperatures. That’s where Grill Charms come in. These clever stainless-steel steak markers come printed with initials (to keep the medium rare ones from just medium) and symbols (so your sirloin steak isn’t confused with someone else’s blazingly spiced one), and look like screws you insert into your steak, burger, pork chop or chicken. With these handy accessories, you’re one step closer to becoming grill champion on the block — or at least running your line as efficiently as a Chili’s.

Hint Water: Relaunch

Hint Water in honeydew-hibiscus is by far the most refreshing thing I've had this summer. The flavored water has debuted a new bottle design, as well as four new tastes: honeydew-hibiscus, blackberry, hibiscus-vanilla, and watermelon. Not only is the new packaging a huge improvement over the old design of awkward rounded bottles, but it seems that Hint Water is back with a vengeance. When Hint first debuted in yummy flavors such apple and pear, it was definitely appealing, but in my opinion the taste never lived up to the expectation. The revamped formulas make for a phenomenal product. Be sure to try watermelon. It masterfully combines all of the best flavors of the fruit, for those who like the juicy melon as well as the rind area. The new flavors are on limited West Coast release (and available online), but look for their full line of flavors at retailers such as Whole Foods.

Embrace Your Inner Pig

Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Fat Pig Chocolate can give you one in five to seven business days with their organic milk chocolate bars. Today it may seem unfortunate that Fat Pig isn't in the corner shop down the street from your office, but if order one today you'll will have forgotten about it by the time it arrives. And then, surprise! You've got a package and a delicious treat. While you’re pigging out, check out their website where you can upload an image of your own fat face about to eat some chocolate.

Tequila 5150

Tequila 5150 is a new American tequila, or rather an “eau de vie de agave,” and the first of its kind. Frank Leal, owner of Leal Vineyards in Hollister, CA is the first American to legally import blue agave into the U.S. He decided to apply wine making techniques to the tequila-making process, such as using wine barrels instead of old bourbon barrels. Crazy? Absolutely. While Frank was telling his good friend and local county sheriff about his California tequila making plans, the immediate response was "Frank, you are so 5150!" (5150 is the California police code for a mentally disturbed or insane person).

Tequila 5150 is currently available in California (BevMo) and Florida "¦ keep an eye out for the spirit coming your way soon.

CORRECTION: Turns out that while Frank Leal is the first to bring in blue agave plants, Tequila 5150 is currently bottled down at Frankie’s Mexican distillery. As soon as his agave plants mature (which, apparently takes eight years) you’ll have 100% U.S. of A. tequila. Hence the Hecho en Mexico sticker on the bottle.

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