#SCBD Last Minute New Year’s Specials!

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching and there are tons of places in the city where you can ring in 2013 this year. Whether you will be friends, family, or your other half, here are some specials in the city:
New Year’s Eve
River Park, Picture courtesy of YM Nation.com

River Park, Picture courtesy of YM Nation.com

450 East 29th Street
212.729.9790 
Hours: 5:30pm -7pm; 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Price: $85/first seating; $125/second seating
Riverpark will celebrate the new year with tasting menus and big-band music performed live by Gerar Carelli & his orchestra. Menu offerings will include smoked sturgeon carbonara with caviar, veal loin with sweetbread, cauliflower & black truffle and gingerbread baba au rhum.
DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

299 Bowery Street (Houston)
212.933.5300 
Hours: 5pm-12am
Guests at DBGB can ring in the new year with a complimentary champagne toast while enjoying celebratory dishes such as oysters and whole roasted Amish chicken for two from chef Collins’ a la carte menu.
Telepan, picture courtesy of Travelsort.com

Telepan, picture courtesy of Travelsort.com

Telepan
72 West 69th Street (at Columbus Ave)
212.580.4300
Hours: 5pm-6:30pm; 7:30pm-8:30pm; 9pm-10:30pm
Price: $75/first seating; $95/ second seating; $125/third seating
Telepan will offer a festive three-course prix fixe menu from 5-6pm: great for dinner before going out to celebrate the New Year with friends. Then, from 7:30-8:30pm, guests can enjoy a four-course meal featuring caviar, black truffles and some Telepan favorites. To end the evening from 9 – 10:30pm, a celebratory Champagne toast accompanies the four-course dinner.

The Americano (518 West 27th Street, 212-525-0000) is holding a stylish New Year’s Eve party — the Masquerade Ball, complete with dinner and dancing. Guests are encouraged to wear black and white for the bash, which pays homage to the costume parties that were all the rage in France during the 15th century. The design of the restaurant perfectly embodies the party’s sleek theme: Black banquets give The Americano an air of sophistication, while high ceilings, large light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows accentuate the light-filled room. And The Americano’s New Year’s Eve tasting menu is just as stunning as the décor, featuring Executive Chef Joseph Buenconsejo’s exquisite French fare with a Latin flair.

The Americano, courtesy of number3mag.com

The Americano, courtesy of number3mag.com

Neely’s Barbecue Parlor (1125 First Avenue, 212-832-1551) on the Upper East Side will transform into a cabaret-meets-saloon, hosting a raucous Barbecue and Burlesque party with seatings at 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm. Expect skilled dancers clad in lace corsets, feathered boas and ostentatious make-up, Red Velvet Martinis, surround sound music blasting Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hits, the song “Lady Marmalade” and more, and an awesome barbecue buffet. Dining highlights include a house-smoked ham carved to order, smoked onion hush puppies, roasted corn arugula salad, peach cobbler and much more. And of course, a champagne toast at midnight.

Neely's BBQ Parlor, courtesy of Eater NY

Neely’s BBQ Parlor, courtesy of Eater NY

New Year’s Day
299 Bowery (Houston)
212.933.5300
Hours: 12pm-3pm; 5:30pm-11pm
Brunch and dinner will be offered on the first day of 2013. Guests can choose from the classic prix-fixe or a la carte brunch menu of specialties such as croque monsieur, warm ricotta crepes and eggs florentine. Those looking for a sweet finish to the meal can order pastry chef Mymi’s cafe gourmand selection, featuring one coffee drink or tea, a scoop of ice cream, sorbet or gelato and a pastry bite for $9.
DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

DBGB, picture courtesy of NYCgo.com

China Latina (127 West 28th Street, NYC, 646-397-9881) will serve brunch featuring Executive Chef Julieta Ballesteros rendition of the ultimate hangover cure, Chilaquiles: Tortilla casserole, shredded chicken, tomatillo, red salsa, Chihuahua cheese, refried beans with 2 poached eggs ($16). You’ll also find dishes like Huevos Rancheros ($16) with pork belly and a Breakfast Quesadilla ($14) with both bacon and chorizo.

China Latina, courtesy of FriendsEat.com

China Latina, courtesy of FriendsEat.com

 Have fun and be safe ringing in 2013 wherever you will be!
Cheers!
Sara SCBD Logo Edited

‘Tis the Season for Cider!

angry-orchard-crisp-apple-hard-cider

Welcome to the Holly, Jolly, Orchard!

“ONCE UPON A TIME CIDER WAS THE DRINK OF CHOICE. WE’VE BEEN MAKING CIDERS FOR DECADES… NOW WE WANT TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU. BRANCH OUT AND EXPERIENCE YOUR ANGRY ORCHARD.”

Why yes, I am kicking off my first SCBD blog post with some cider!
 
Sincere the holidays are here I wanted to put the spotlight on my favorite cider,
Angry Orchard Apple Crisp!
 

I was introduced to the Angry Orchard ciders for the first time this year. I was looking for a drink that was not-so-beer-like and I came across these delicious ciders! There are three different types: Traditional Dry, Apple Ginger, and of course, Apple Crisp. All are absolutely delicious, but my favorite is the apple crisp.

angry orchard 1

 

Let me break down the different flavors to give you a better picture of what these unique ciders consist of:

First up is the Traditional Dry: This unique taste is all about the spice, with a bittersweet apple taste. If you are looking for a cider that is close to a beer taste, this one is the perfect choice out of the three. Simple & delicious.
 
Second we have the Apple Ginger: As you can probably guess, this cider has a nice tart blend of ginger and apple. It is a unique, but refreshing taste that you will either love or hate. 
 
And finally, my personal favorite – Apple Crisp: This perfect combination of apple and cider produces an unbelievable mouth-gasm of flavor. I greatly enjoy traditional apple cider. Ya’ know, the kind you get when you go pumpkin picking that comes both hot and cold? Well this is very close to that, however, it is tweaked for adult happiness and does not push the apple. There is nothing more annoying than an over load of flavor, however, I enjoy drinking a cider that makes me feel as though I am drinking sparkling cider or soda. 
 
WARNING. Due to these deliciously smooth flavors – you may loose track of how many you’ve had. (; 
 
Perfect cider serving event idea?
 
Call up a few friends, wear your ugliest holiday sweater, cook some finger foods, and pop open an angry orchard as the warm fire lights up the room. 
 
Enjoy! 
 
Sincerely,
Fräulein Rose

Cheers! #SCBD Holiday Cocktails

‘Tis the season to be jolly & nothing screams jolly more than enjoying a holiday cocktail. Here are some of my favorite cocktail recipes provided my the hottest bars/restaurants in the tri-state area:

Mint Chocolate Candy Cane SideBar

SideBar’s Mint Chocolate Candy Cane, credit: SideBar

 Mint Chocolate Candy Cane (SideBar)

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Vision Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Green Creme de Menthe
  • 1/2 oz. White Creme de Cocoa

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients
  • Shake until chilled (strain optional)
  • Rim martini glass with crushed candy cane
  • Enjoy!
Snow Cap.jpeg

Snow Cap, credit: Pig & Prince

Snow Cap (Pig & Prince)

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. 9 Spiced Rum
  • 2 oz. orange vodka
  • 1 oz. cinnamon syrup
  • 1 oz. cream

Method:

  • Shake vigorously with ice
  • Line the bottom of 2 martini glasses with 1/2oz chocolate syrup
  • Strain into glasses
  • Top with shaved nutmeg
  • Garnish with an orange twist
  • Served chilled in a martini glass
Deck the Halls.JPG

Deck The Halls, credit: Pig & Prince

 Deck the Halls (Pig & Prince)

  • 3 oz. rosemary infused vodka (add rosemary and let sit for 2 days to add flavor to the vodka)
  • 1 oz. blood orange juice

Method:

  • Combine rosemary vodka and blood orange juice
  • Add ice
  • Top with Sprite
Kentucky Hot Seat.jpeg

Kentucky Hot Seat, credit: Pig & Prince

Kentucky Hot Seat (Pig & Prince)

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 2 oz. house spiced sweet vermouth (Cinnamon Cloves Star Anise)
  • 10 oz. hot cider

Method:

  • Add Bourbon and Vermouth to the hot cider
  • Garnish with an apple slice
  • Serve in a coffee mug

Cheers!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

A Good Veggie Burger is Hard to Find…

When’s the last time you had a great veggie burger?  Chances are it hasn’t happened in a while!  If you share my mission of finding great meatless meals, you may have noticed there is a slight deficit… especially in restaurants that have more carnivorous themes.  However, I am happy to report that Zinburger recently broke the mold, and delivered a seriously awesome veggie burger!

IMG_1738 copyright

If you haven’t heard of Zinburger yet it may be because they are new to the East coast.  Our very pleasant and knowledgeable server informed us that Zinburger is a West coast based company, and the Clifton, NJ location I was dining at was the first one on the east coast.  Don’t fret though, because Paramus and Cherry Hill locations will be opening soon!  Zinburger is a self proclaimed “wine and burger bar”, offering a broad spectrum of both.  The full bar includes 18 wines by the glass and 17 beer selections, 8 of which are on tap.  The menu contains no shortage of burger offerings, including a build your own burger option.  There are also a variety of fry options available, some salads, and shakes to tempt your sweet tooth.

I started my Zinburger experience with a trip to their cocktail menu, and I chose the Skinny Margarita.  Made with Sauza Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, orange juice, agave nectar, and lime juice, it provided a great blend of sweet and sour flavors.  You wouldn’t know it was “skinny” if it didn’t say so on the menu!

IMG_1739 copyright

I decided on Clint’s “Almost Famous” Veggie Burger, for a very affordable $9.  The veggie burger was served with smoked mozzarella, avocado, pea shoots, and mayo.  Another win for Zinburger – this item can be ordered vegan!  The burger had a soft texture and didn’t resemble a typical “patty”.  It was loaded with flavor, and the avocado and shoots just made it that much more delicious.

IMG_1736 copyright

In my opinion, every good burger needs a side of fries, so I ordered personal favorite – Sweet Potato Fries for $5.  Zinburger serves their sweet potato fries with a yogurt dipping sauce which was a yummy alternative to ketchup!

IMG_1737 copyright

Make sure you stop by Zinburger soon and let us know what you think!  And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for locations opening in Paramus and Cherry Hill soon!

Happy Chrismukkuh!

Happy holidays! It is a great time of year right now and celebrating the holidays is always fun. But what happens if one of your parents is Catholic and the other Jewish? What if you have friends who celebrate a different holiday than you? How do you throw a party that will please all your guests? We spoke with Kelven Book of the absolutely amazing New York City-based catering company, Canard Inc. for some suggestions. Throw an epic Chrismukkah party!

chrismukkah (1)

First off, how to decorate. Combine Christmas colors – red and green – with Hanukkah colors – blue and white – easy! If you have a Christmas tree or wreath, try decorating it with blue, white, and silver ornaments or put green and red candles in your menorah.

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Once you’ve got your decor taken care of, it’s time to address one of the most important aspects of any party: the food. Make sure to serve delicacies from both holidays, such as a Christmas goose, cranberry sauce, latkes, and matzoh ball soup. Dessert can be a breeze with homemade cookies. Cut them into fun Christmas and Hanukkah shapes and decorate them accordingly. You can even serve them on festive holiday platters.

DSC_0391

Now onto the big kahuna – drinks. Everybody loves a good cocktail, so it’s important to be prepared. You can do fun twists on classic cocktails, like making blue cosmos garnished with a candy cane, or a red cosmo with blue ice cubes. The possibilities are endless. Canard Inc. provided us with a no-fail eggnog cocktail, that will please guests of either religion.

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Chrismukkah Eggnog

While this is not a kosher drink, the use of Madeira rather than the traditional rum or bourbon is a play on the idea of kosher wine that is mevushal, cooked or boiled, since this is the basic idea of Madeira wines. The use of rose water or fleur d’range, orange water, is a nice reference to the cuisine of the Middle East.

Ingredients:

3 pints of milk
2 cups of superfine or confectioner’s sugar
12 eggs
1 pint of cream
3 cups of Madeira
3 tablespoons of rose water or fleur d’range
Grated nutmeg

Instructions:

Separate the egg whites and yolks into 2 different bowls. Beat the yolks with the  sugar until the mixture is thick and slowly stir in the Madeira, the rose water, the milk, and the cream. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until well chilled. Just before serving, beat the egg whites until stiff. Transfer the egg-yolk mixture to a chilled punch bowl and carefully fold in the whites without beating or stirring. Grate the nutmeg over the eggnog. Do not put any ice into the punch bowl. Makes about 28 servings.

Vote for #SCBD in the FriendsEat Best Food Blogger Contest!

friends eat best food blogger

 

Small Chick Big Deals has been nominated for the FriendsEat.com Best Food Blogger Contest!

Here’s how to vote: 
1) Go to http://friendseat.com/smallchickbigdeals/
2) ‘LOVE’ the page by clicking on the whisk next to it

Voting ends December 17 so make sure you vote today!

See the nominees and vote #SCBD Best Restaurant Review Blog here:
http://blog.friendseat.com/vote-best-food-blog-2012/

Happy Voting! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

 

Christian & His Shumai

Parents are often dissuaded from taking their young children to restaurants and justifiably so… Trust me, I understand it all too well. What is the mom of an energetic 3 year old to do when she wants a great meal out with no babysitter in site? The right restaurant choice, a smart reservation time and a small bag of tricks for your child can make a drastic difference between an enjoyable dinner and a disaster in the making. My son Christian sees a speech therapist 4 nights a week right after his pre-school program. Most nights we don’t walk in the door till 6-63:0 and its a nice treat to eat once a week.

Lucky for me, Christian has developed an affinity for Japanese food. Since Bay Ridge is much closer to his school, we would often travel in to Fushimi Bay Ridge. We would get there relatively early and the staff was very friendly… However, once it hits 6:30, the staff was quick to move you and attend to the VERY crowded bar space that begins to fill as early as 6pm most days of the week. Not to mention the blasting mega mix booming at the highest volume possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love loud music as much as the next but this was pumping at a club-like level.

Earlier this year, Fushimi opened another location in downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg. Since we live in Carrol Gardens, we were thrilled. I was nervous to try it because we LOVE the food at the Bay Ridge location and we were afraid to be disappointed. I decided to go with Christian alone… For those of you who have a 3 year old, taking them out to dinner in a new place on a Thursday night at 7pm, you can understand my trepidation. Sometimes when you enter a restaurant with a small child you get “the look” from the wait staff. This was NOT the case with Fushimi. They approached Christian before they even greeted me and sat us immediately in a large booth in the front corner. Even though I came prepared with my usual kit of coloring book, crayons, water colors, paper and playdough, they offered Christian paper and pencil anyway.

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I decided to order what Christian knows and ask the wait staff for a recommendation or two. Christian wanted the Shrimp Shumai which was the perfect amount of pieces of shrimp and dumpling taste, light and airy and perfect for him to practice his chopstick technique. I ordered the American Dream roll (Rock shrimp tempura inside, topped with spicy kani, spicy creamy sauce) which was amazing. I ordered one roll for fear that Christian may lose patience and begin to act up. I was grateful for my 45 minutes of sitting already! When the waiter returned to ask if I wanted to try a new roll, I explained that it might be pushing it… He told me I needed to try the Aquarium Sushi. I looked up at all the fresh fish in the prep area and gave in. An enormous tray of 12 pieces of assorted Sushi came out and like clockwork Christian became restless. I was just about to ask for the check and ask for it to be wrapped up, when the waiter came over with the hostess, took Christian by the hand, and walked him over to the sushi prep station… I was in shock. The hostess returned back to my table, winked and told me to enjoy my food. I will forever appreciate their hospitality.

The Aquarium Sushi

The Aquarium Sushi

The Sashimi was unbelievable fresh and the presentation was amazing. I ate as much as I could and walked over to Christian who was now dancing in the entrance to lounge/bathroom area with our waiter. Think Mace and Puff Daddy: Mo Money, Mo Problems music video. I laughed the whole car ride home and even now, I’m cracking up at the memory.

Christian at Fushimi, Williamsburg.

Christian at Fushimi, Williamsburg.

Delicious food, gracious wait staff, hustling atmosphere, reasonable prices and patience for my 3 year old makes Fushimi Williamsburg one of our favorite places to eat. We will be back soon!

I have to mention that there is a Prix Fixe 4 Course Menu – $27.95: Sunday – Thursday! Check it all out at, here.  Become a fan of Fushimi on Facebook!

Join Sailor Jerry Rum and Celebrate Bartenders Appreciation Day

 photo credit: lpliquors.com

photo credit: lpliquors.com

Sailor Jerry Rum is hosting their second annual Bartender Appreciation Day on December 8th in support of all those slinging drinks our way. I got to chat with Brand Ambassador Paul Monahan on this new holiday and its importance in our society.

 photo credit: christmasmagazine.com

photo credit: christmasmagazine.com

Why did Sailor Jerry introduce Bartender Appreciation Day?

We think bartenders are under appreciated. Think about it. They’re such an important part of a good night out. They have to be part crafts-person,  part showman, part diplomat. And they have to work some pretty rough hours – while we’re drinking and having a good time, they’re working. So at Sailor Jerry, we wanted to step up and start getting bartenders the recognition they deserve.

Why do you think it is important to have this day?

We believe it’s important to give people who work hard a pat on the back. Our namesake, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins worked tirelessly perfecting his craft earning him the title ‘the father of the old school tattoo’. This work ethic and dedication to one’s craft is something we strive to support and reward in all walks of life. As a rum, we spend a lot of time in bars — so we’re extremely aware of the innate awesomeness of the craft of bartending and want to celebrate it.

 What are some of your hopes for expanding this holiday in the future?

We’re in it to win it. We want to see this become a proper, widely celebrated holiday observed wherever there are bars – in other words, EVERYWHERE!

What are some fun ways our readers can celebrate?

They can go to the Sailor Jerry website and download petition posters, post cards and other stuff to help spread the word. They can check out our Facebook page to see what official events are going on near them. And most importantly, they can get themselves to a bar on December 8th, have a couple of Sailor Jerry’s – and give an extra big tip!

photo credit: sailorjerry.com

photo credit: sailorjerry.com

‘Put Some South in Yo Mouth’ at the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in New Jersey!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to go dine at the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ that just opened by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. I’ve been past some of the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in the city but had yet to go while I was there. I was staying by my boyfriend Jason last weekend and figured since he doesn’t live too far from New Brunswick it would be the perfect opportunity to enjoy a great, post-birthday week night of food & drinks with to kick off the weekend and Brother Jimmy’s did not disappoint!

carolina cooler

To start, I got the signature Carolina Cooler and Jason got a beer. The Carolina Cooler was great because it’s a mix of Skyy vodka, fresh lemonade, blue curacao, and muddled lemons. It wasn’t too sweet or sour so I enjoyed it. We also ordered some spinach & artichoke dip to start. I really loved how that it was heavy on the spinach, the flavors were right on point.

spin dip

After fully digesting the menu, our waitress came around and we had decided on what entrees we’d order, our  spinach and artichoke dip was almost gone.  I decided to get the half rack of Northern Style Ribs with collard greens and Jason got the BJ’s Signature BBQ Burger with all the fixin’s and fries. The ribs are smoked then grilled with Brother Jimmy’s Original BBQ Sauce. The BJ’s Signature BBQ burger wasn’t just any burger, they actually have their Pat LaFrieda custom blend, which is really tasty. The burger is basted with their Chipotle BBQ sauce and topped with cheddar cheese & onion straws.

BJ's Northern Style Ribs

BJ’s Northern Style Ribs

BJ's Signature BBQ Burger

BJ’s Signature BBQ Burger

I loved the Northern Style ribs, the flavor was perfect and had a little kick and Jason savored  and devoured his entire burger. In fact, there is a little kick to all of the food at Brother Jimmy’s but I enjoyed it and so did Jason.

The Charleston A.P

The Charleston A.P

I loved my first cocktail so much that I figured I might as well try another signature so I went with The Charleston A.P– Brother Jimmy’s boozy take on the classic, Arnold Palmer made with South Carolina sweet tea infused vodka and lemonade. Our waitress and some of the staff recommended it. I also looked around and the cocktails were flowing, the restaurant was crowded. As always, I had some leftover ribs to take back to with me, which were just as delicious the following day. I actually couldn’t wait to eat my leftovers!

Cheers!Sipping on my Charleston A.P!

Cheers!
Sipping on my Charleston A.P!

Our trip to the new Brother Jimmy’s was definitely a success. It’s a great addition to the dining scene in New Brunswick and is a new Jersey foodie destination, especially to those who may get to NYC often. The food is top notch, staff is friendly and accommodating, and the drinks are creative and won’t break the bank! I’m definitely a fan of the Brother’s Jimmy’s BBQ now and plan on taking a trip back in New Brunswick or NYC soon!

BJ BBQ
5 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ

Happy Eating!

Cheers to the weekend! 😀


Sara SCBD Logo Edited

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

Divine Chocolate Spiked Hot Chocolate Recipe & Giveaway!

divince pack

Note: This contest has ended.

A few weeks ago, I received a package from Divine Chocolate. It included bars to bake with, a variety of their dark and milk chocolate, and their signature hot chocolate. From the moment I tasted it, I knew this chocolate was truly divine and unlike any other. It’s because the chocolate is grown under the shade of the rainforest canopy in Ghana, the cocoa beans used by Divine Chocolate are hand-harvested, slow-fermented and carefully dried by the family farmers of Kuapa Kokoo who co-own the company.

My personal favorite, milk chocolate, toffee, & sea salt.

My personal favorite, milk chocolate, toffee, & sea salt.

My favorite out of the chocolate bars was the milk chocolate, toffee, and sea salt. I could eat like five of them. All of the bars are amazing and unique in flavor. I love a great warm, cocktail for the winter, so with the hot chocolate I came up with a spiked hot chocolate recipe.

SCBD Spiked Hot Cocoa Recipe

Serving: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Divine Cocoa powder
  • milk of choice
  • Kahlua (for a shot or two)
  • sugar, as needed

Method:

  • Take 1 tablespoon of Divine Cocoa powder & apply some cold milk until it makes a paste.
  • Leave paste in mug. In the meantime heat up a cup of warm milk.
  • Mix warm milk and paste until its hot chocolate consistency, give it about a minute.
  • Add sugar as needed for taste
  • Add a shot or two of Kahlua
  • Mix & enjoy 😀

cocoadirectionsmixing cocoa & milksugarfinal product

In honor of Divine Chocolate and my recipe I am holding a Divine Prize Pack Giveaway! Three lucky winners will win a Divine Prize Pack filled with some yummy, chocolate goodies.

How to Enter: ‘Like’ Divine Chocolate on Facebook, then comment saying that you liked it and why you you should be one of the winners of the prize pack. The winners will be chosen at random via random.org this Thursday at 10PM! Make sure you enter before its too late.

Good luck, I will be replying to all the winner’s comments Thursday night & announcing them on the Small Chick Big Deals Facebook Friday morning! 🙂

Happy Eating & Drinking! 🙂

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

*Disclaimer: The PR team sent me their products. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*