Friday, August 27, 2010

friday finds :: 5 things we love

1. EATALY is OPENING! :: The opening of the much-talked about Italian food-hall and marketplace Eataly this coming Tuesday, Aug. 31st - 4pm sharp - may just be the best moment of my summer.  When Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich combine forces, you know you've got nothing but magic waiting to happen.  The 36,500 square foot space is due to have 20 retail departments offering a range of items including antipasti, salumi, fresh house-made mozzarella, pasta and breads.  There'll be a coffee bar, a panini bar, a complete wine store, cooking classes run by Lidia herself.  Michael Toscano, former chef at Babbo, will run Manzo, a full-scale white tablecloth Italian steakhouse.  Need I go on?  It's going to be phenomenal and best of all, it's literally a stone's throw from my office (this could be trouble!).  

2. eggs :: Yes, I'm taking a stand and proclaiming my love for eggs this Friday amidst this week's salmonella outbreak and recall of a half a billion eggs stemming from a few large producers (and deplorable food safety measures) in Iowa.  Eggs aren't the enemy.   It's our food safety laws and food system as a whole that could use some serious scrutiny, as Michael Pollan and countless other advocates have been calling for for years.  So should you bypass eggs this weekend when making brunch?  Absolutely not.  But you should be buying them from your neighborhood farmers market, small local farmer or pay a little extra for organic free-range eggs at your grocery store.  Cook up those eggs and say goodbye to salmonella risk.

3. Los Feliz :: If you're looking for a new restaurant to test-drive this weekend, checkout Los Feliz on the LES.  A cozy, well-styled and well-priced taqueria and tequileria on Ludlow St.   Start off with the tres colores salad with it's memorable passion fruit-jalapeno vinaigrette and move to sharing a few different soft tacos - they're small, light and absolutely delightful (the chille relleno, adobo chicken, braised pork and crispy sea bass were my table's picks). And don't miss out on the "fresh" margarita made with Milagro blanco tequila, extra fresh-squeezed lime juice and a touch of agave nectar.  The perfect refreshing margarita for a summer evening.  After dinner, be sure to head downstairs to the gorgeously decorated lounge area with it's own DJ booth.  Go with close friends or a hot date because you'll likely stay for a good while!

4. Not My Day Job: Celebrate the Talent You Tip :: This Sunday at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street),  from 1-5pm, come celebrate the arts at this musical event so thoughtfully put together by my friend Joey Campanale and his team from Dell’anima, L’Artusi and Anfora restaurants. There will be live performances and exhibitions going on throughout the afternoon, including a talent show put on members of the restaurant industry by day, artists by night. So come show appreciation for these talented individuals who dedicate their time to an industry we for sure could not live without!  Tickets @ are $40, and all proceeds will be donated to Foundation Rwanda and Wellness in the Schools.  

5. Sam's pick of the week - corn :: As summer begins to drift away, definitely dig into one of the most crisp and sweet produce picks the season has to offer.  White and yellow corn may be a starchier vegetable, but it's packed with flavor, is rich in vitamins B and C and fiber and signifies the taste of summer.  Grilled, boiled or shaved straight off the cob and tossed into a salad, fresh pasta or a salsa, enjoy while you still can!  

*Check out these corn recipes as well as my fresh corn chowder with jalapeno and pan-roasted tomatoes (made just this week) for some additional inspiration! 


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